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  1. #61  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    In light of this response to my question:


    Does this mean anything that's not observable does not exist?
    If we can observe their effects, and those are repeatable, predictable, and reproducible we can infer their existence, e.g. gravity, electrical fields.

    Things like that however need a lot of circumstantial evidence, and are therefore the subject of intense research to try and pin them down, e.g. blackholes.

    Surur
  2. #62  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Does this mean anything that's not observable does not exist?
    If something has no observable effect and cannot be detected by any reliable method, and if there is no way of explaining how/why it should have come into existence - chances are it does not exist, because why should it? And even if it exists, if it does not have any effect, it doesn't really matter if it exists or not.

    What is big, green, eats stones and lives three feet below earth's surface?
    It is the big green Stone-eater.
    But: Nobody ever saw him or observed traces of him.
    So why should we believe in the existence of the big green Stone-eater?

    Do you believe Bigfoot exists?
    Why not?


    Anyway, I don't see any advantage in (trying to) casting doubt on your beliefs. If you feel comfortable with it/need it, why not, as long as you don't make baseless claims about the inexistence of the evolution of species and such (which you didn't REALLY ) or that ethical behaviour does not exist without relgion or force your beliefs onto others.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #63  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    ...or that ethical behaviour does not exist without relgion or force your beliefs onto others.
    Well done, bringing us back to topic.

    One answer pointed to what I'm calling social norms. Regarding a basis for determining what "should be" Toby said:

    Within the context of one's social structure.
    I submit that this is the only basis. That is, apart from a higher authority, what is "right" is what the society deems right. Of course, then we would have to add the condition "at the time."

    In other words, what is "right" today, may not necessarily be right tomorrow. It just depends on the most influential forces of the day.

    As such, though, then there is never a firm basis for declaring anything at anytime to BE right, just, fair, ... Those determinations can only be made in a context where the standard is fixed.

    P.S. For those that like to introduce my "religious" beliefs even when I don't, I recognize that christianity has made all sorts of changes to its doctrines. However, the biblical standards have not moved.
  4. #64  
    I assume, correct me if I am wrong, that you are saying that this 'higher authority' is less subject to societal pressure to redefine what is right and wrong. A bit further down you then refute this yourself.

    Its clear that the so-called higher power appears to be more a manifestation of society's will than anything else.

    Surur
  5. #65  
    Let me be clear. God is not subject to societal pressure.

    I used the term "higher authority" to keep the conversation in the theoretical. My supposition all along has been that without an authority to which members of the society can subscribe, you can not have determination of right and wrong. At best, you can have, presently acceptable or presently unacceptable.

    A great example is the view of the U.S. Consitution as a fixed document or a living document. Some believe that the terms have fixed meaning. others believe that the meaining has to be reinterpreted in light of then current conditions.

    In the former, every citizen can estimate reasonably where matters will fall. In the latter, you never know where a ruling may fall.

    I support amending the U.S. Constitution as desired (via a tedious, strenuous process). I do not support reinterpreting the terms as desired. To take any action, I need to know the rules and boundaries that are in place will remain in place, or, if they are changing, will be changed in a manner where everyone knows in advance what it is to which they are changing.

    Changing the rules in the middle of the game is the ploy of those who can not excel in the game.
  6. #66  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Changing the rules in the middle of the game is the ploy of those who can not excel in the game.
    Be that as its may, your views do not reflect the reality of religion over the ages. Even the God of the Old testament is different from the God of the new testament, with a lot less smiting going on.

    In biblical times things like slavery and stoning people were quite acceptable, and even endorsed by God (e.g. Moses and the golden calf story), whereas I don't think even you would currently support that this view represents your God. Morality changes over time, with society, even God's.

    The alternative is that with Enlightenment, our morality has moved away from God's, and for the better, and hopefully permanently. I hope we never contemplate invading another country, slaughtering everyone in it, and living there in the name of God.

    Surur
  7. #67  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Be that as its may, your views do not reflect the reality of religion over the ages.
    Indeed
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Even the God of the Old testament is different from the God of the new testament...
    Not according to the text.
  8. #68  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Not according to the text.
    According to behavior certainly.

    Surur
  9. #69  
    If its moving , changing , growing , curious , like a child ,looking behind the curtain , then it is living . If on the other hand it is the same now as before , complete , repeating , restricting , like a senile elder , offended by change , He is busy dying , or already dead .
  10. #70  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Let me be clear. God is not subject to societal pressure.

    I used the term "higher authority" to keep the conversation in the theoretical. My supposition all along has been that without an authority to which members of the society can subscribe, you can not have determination of right and wrong. At best, you can have, presently acceptable or presently unacceptable.
    It used to be acceptable to burn people with slightly different interpretations of the Bible at the stake. Also acceptable and actively sponsored by the church was killing masses of civilian infidels in the crusades. All of this based on the very same Bible. There seems to be very little eternal truth and timeless right and wrong in the Bible.

    A great example is the view of the U.S. Consitution as a fixed document or a living document. Some believe that the terms have fixed meaning. others believe that the meaining has to be reinterpreted in light of then current conditions.

    In the former, every citizen can estimate reasonably where matters will fall. In the latter, you never know where a ruling may fall.

    I support amending the U.S. Constitution as desired (via a tedious, strenuous process). I do not support reinterpreting the terms as desired. To take any action, I need to know the rules and boundaries that are in place will remain in place, or, if they are changing, will be changed in a manner where everyone knows in advance what it is to which they are changing.

    Changing the rules in the middle of the game is the ploy of those who can not excel in the game.
    That's precisely what the proponents of slavery used as an argument against the abolition of slavery. Why change the rules? Slavery was ok according to your constitution for a very long time. Why should this suddenly change? You have every right not to "support reinterpreting the terms as desired" and support good old days slavery based on that. Let's stick to those eternal truths!
    Last edited by clulup; 04/05/2007 at 05:13 AM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  11. Fiffer's Avatar
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    #71  
    Using a Centro with free ActiveSync at http://www.TheMessageCenter.com
  12. #72  
    That article is more interesting for the comments than the actual article. Its clear his scientific beliefs arnt really compatible with his christian beliefs, but he has chosen to ignore the interface. How many miracles does he really believe in. If he believes in one (the creation of the universe) what stops him from believing in all of them as a solution to all life's mysteries, scientific or otherwise? He does not really asnwer the question.

    Surur
  13. #73  
    Surur,

    Sure Collins answered the question......he sees god's works everywhere. Collins is the king of all cherry picking xians. Fundies that hold a literal interpretation of the bible are more honest from an (un)intellectual standpoint.
    Visor-->Visor Phone-->Treo 180-->Treo 270-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 755P-->Centro-->Pre+-->Pre 2
  14. #74  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    It used to be acceptable to burn people with slightly different interpretations of the Bible at the stake. Also acceptable and actively sponsored by the church was killing masses of civilian infidels in the crusades. All of this based on the very same Bible. There seems to be very little eternal truth and timeless right and wrong in the Bible.
    These examples highlight the failings of the interpreters, not of the text.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post

    That's precisely what the proponents of slavery used as an argument against the abolition of slavery. Why change the rules? Slavery was ok according to your constitution for a very long time. Why should this suddenly change? You have every right not to "support reinterpreting the terms as desired" and support good old days slavery based on that. Let's stick to those eternal truths!
    Slavery was never "OK" according to the Constitution. At best, you could say the Constitution was silent on the matter. There is no mention of 'slavery' or 'servitude' prior to the 13th amendment.

    That the amendment was made does not mean that the practice was therefore Constitutional prior to that. The amendment was added to specifcally call out that practice as unacceptable, and to empower Congress to actively oppose the practice.

    The 13th amendment is not a repeal. It is a determination.

    So, you have actually provided two examples of the failings of people rather than that of the text.
  15. #75  
    shopharim,

    Your points above are quite valid, but they speak to the larger problem with religion. Unless god reappears to validate what he/she/it expects from us, there will ALWAYS be that variable called interpretation.

    Don't you find it curious that every christian, jew, muslim, etc. is certain their interpretation of their holy book is spot on? I sure do.
    Visor-->Visor Phone-->Treo 180-->Treo 270-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 755P-->Centro-->Pre+-->Pre 2
  16. #76  
    With all the instances of slavery in the bible however one could certainly NOT say the bible and the Christian God does not support it.

    Surur
  17. #77  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo View Post
    shopharim,

    Your points above are quite valid, but they speak to the larger problem with religion. Unless god reappears to validate what he/she/it expects from us, there will ALWAYS be that variable called interpretation.
    According to the text, that time is drawing close.
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo View Post

    Don't you find it curious that every christian, jew, muslim, etc. is certain their interpretation of their holy book is spot on? I sure do.
    Actually, no. I would find it curious if people didn't believe their interpretation were spot on.

    My observation is that all people live according to what they believe is right (even if they know better, a la the heavy drinker who can recount all the risks involved in so doing). I have further observed that a significant number of 'firm believers' have beliefs shaped moreso by the understanding(s) of those they trust rather than their own understanding. I think this pattern contributes in large part to so many people being so confident in so many different beliefs.

    On another forum, one participant shared an experience of responding to a quiz in a christian church setting. The question was asked how many siblings Jesus had. Most people responded "1," referring to the brother who wrote one of the New Testament letters. This person read a portion of text that describes Jesus as having several brothers and sisters. Even hearing that text read, the people stuck to their first answer, and in fact ridiculed the reader for thinking otherwise.

    I suspect if more people examined the texts for themselves, a bit more homogenaeity would result.
  18. #78  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    According to the text, that time is drawing close.Actually, no. I would find it curious if people didn't believe their interpretation were spot on.

    My observation is that all people live according to what they believe is right (even if they know better, a la the heavy drinker who can recount all the risks involved in so doing). I have further observed that a significant number of 'firm believers' have beliefs shaped moreso by the understanding(s) of those they trust rather than their own understanding. I think this pattern contributes in large part to so many people being so confident in so many different beliefs.

    On another forum, one participant shared an experience of responding to a quiz in a christian church setting. The question was asked how many siblings Jesus had. Most people responded "1," referring to the brother who wrote one of the New Testament letters. This person read a portion of text that describes Jesus as having several brothers and sisters. Even hearing that text read, the people stuck to their first answer, and in fact ridiculed the reader for thinking otherwise.

    I suspect if more people examined the texts for themselves, a bit more homogenaeity would result.
    The Text ? I'm sorry I Know now-one is asking for my opinion but you are so comfortable in your righteous theology . You fell like a chunk of plutonium . Your happy to philosophize about how a great number of " UnSaved" will soon be checking into some eternal torture chamber , while you or your God's lucky ones strut into some Happy Joy Camp . Not because of the depth of there caricature but because they happened to believe this out of ten million irrational dogmas . That people like you so eloquently led them to . You and your God have missed every bit of wisdom that is singing out from in-between the crap in your "Good Book" . Like do into others as you would have them do you and Love your enemies . I am no saint but compared to your god you'd be safer with me sealing your fate than him because I mean it when I say, " He that harms the least in mankind harms me ". I would never be a party to any torturer chamber ..real or imaginary It's one thing to be helpless or desperate and get caught up in some weirdness but for a thinking person to knowingly coalesce with such a cruel conspiracy is really depressing . If there is a God And I would be so comforted to know there was , It would be beyond your wildest dream why are you happy to parrot echos of a story written 2000 years ago ? Its not the Bible Or The Constitution thats sacred or living Its the creative loving people that can derive wisdom from them thats what's sacred . Only an angry, bitter, broken, man would cling to such a depressing ending to such a wonderful dance of life .
  19. backbeat's Avatar
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    #79  
    "In the Beginning, Man created god ..."
  20. #80  
    Quote Originally Posted by byronchurch View Post
    The Text ? I'm sorry I Know now-one is asking for my opinion but you are so comfortable in your righteous theology . You fell like a chunk of plutonium . Your happy to philosophize about how a great number of " UnSaved" will soon be checking into some eternal torture chamber , while you or your God's lucky ones strut into some Happy Joy Camp .
    Which of my posts are you making reference?
    Quote Originally Posted by byronchurch View Post
    Not because of the depth of there caricature but because they happened to believe this out of ten million irrational dogmas . That people like you so eloquently led them to .
    People like me?
    Quote Originally Posted by byronchurch View Post
    You and your God have missed every bit of wisdom that is singing out from in-between the crap in your "Good Book" . Like do into others as you would have them do you and Love your enemies .
    Aren't those quips part of the "crap"?
    Quote Originally Posted by byronchurch View Post
    I am no saint but compared to your god you'd be safer with me sealing your fate than him because I mean it when I say, " He that harms the least in mankind harms me ". I would never be a party to any torturer chamber ..real or imaginary It's one thing to be helpless or desperate and get caught up in some weirdness but for a thinking person to knowingly coalesce with such a cruel conspiracy is really depressing . If there is a God And I would be so comforted to know there was , It would be beyond your wildest dream why are you happy to parrot echos of a story written 2000 years ago ? Its not the Bible Or The Constitution thats sacred or living Its the creative loving people that can derive wisdom from them thats what's sacred
    It would seem that any wisdom in them resulted from the people
    Quote Originally Posted by byronchurch View Post
    . Only an angry, bitter, broken, man would cling to such a depressing ending to such a wonderful dance of life .
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