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  1.    #561  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    The difficulty in reading the Bible as literal text, rather than parables designed to promote positive actions towards others, is that you're stuck with reconciling what is literal and what you can toss out. ...

    ...My point is that people can choose to believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, or accept that it was written by men, and is thus subject to fallibility and to a reflection of the times. ...
    Are you sure you had a Catholic education?

    The Catholic Church (those responsible for the establishment of what the Bible consists of does not take the narrow minded "either/or" approach that you seem to be suggesting are the only alternatives. Please refer to this section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (especially sections 115-117 and sections 105-107). Given the credentials you stated about your education, you should have known how the Bible is supposed to be read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    For example, why is cutting your beard or getting a tatoo now acceptable, if it's clearly prohibited in the Bible, while the prohibitions against homosexuality not similarly acceptable? ...
    So is this the real reason you you quoted all those OT Mosaic Law practices that have been abolished? Just so you could say "yeah, why wasn't homosexuality also prohibited?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    ... Who made that decision?
    Jesus did. (Is that okay with you?) This article shows several relevant NT passages as well as a 70AD writing (the Didache), and writings of several of the Church Fathers.
    Last edited by sudoer; 02/21/2010 at 10:29 PM.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  2. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #562  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Lets use the example of these Fish Fry folks in STL this evening. They are going to Church to eat fish so that they may show God just how much they can sacrifice. This is in the hopes that they will increase their chances of a place in a comfortable afterlife or something to that effect.

    Meanwhile the rest of us are free to use that time for our own choosing. School, philanthropy, dinner with friends (other than fish), sleep, holiday...the list goes on. The point is, we can do what we like, without the threat of holy repercussions.
    I'm not sure why you seem to have such a problem with people choosing to follow some set of rules voluntarily, for no other reason that you disagree with it.

    As members of a society, we are forcibly required to give up "freedoms" which of course by most people are seen as reasonable measures in order to maintain society.

    I think there is a key point--Religious people do this "of our own choosing" just like you non-religious people do. Everyone is as free as you are to totally disregard this, as no one is forced to participate in any religion if they do not wish to.

    Again, so it seems to me, based on other things you advocate, you are very comfortable with people's freedom being controlled by others (government), but have a big problem with it, if it is related to Religion. Now, perhaps this isn't what you are intending to say, but it strikes me as the case, nevertheless.

    Bottom line--I think your reasoning here is highly subjective, and you are judging things wholly assuming that your views are by default correct, which is of course great for you, but not suitable for objectively measuring the choices others make for themselves. When I say subjective, I mean that your opinion of the reason seems to make it acceptable or not. For example--do you have a problem with vegetarians--they don't eat meat at all. Are they giving up freedom if you happen to think that they are no particular health benefits?

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 02/21/2010 at 10:31 PM.
  3. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #563  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    I don't blame you for your skepticism. Before I came to STL I had never heard of anything like it. On the other hand my wife has, she was raised under the influence of the Church of England (Anglican), so perhaps they do a similar thing?
    You seem to have very strong opinions about people that you (by your own admission) know very little about. Of course, you are free to do that, but lacking knowledge doesn't make your case very strong.

    KAM
  4. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #564  
    Quote Originally Posted by foosball View Post
    What do you mean by doubt?

    Keep in mind, 1000 questions don't equal a single doubt.
    My reference of doubt was in contrast to a statement by the other poster that they "never" were unsure of God's nonexistence--a very absolute position as I read it.

    KAM
  5. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #565  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Doesn't the fact that all these religions have a different God, or all interpret what God wants of them differently, point to the fact that's it's all made up?

    If you come home to a broken glass table and all 3 of your kids all tell you a different story at least one of them is lying to you.
    Again--over half the world's population believes in the same God (of Abraham), and many others don't have a God (Buddhism for example). And no...it doesn't point to that "fact" at all.

    Your reasoning really strikes me as strange, as if you are unaware of the vast differences in cultural views of things that are comparatively well defined, and directly observable (in other words, physical things). I find it hard to believe that you don't understand how 3 different people observing the same thing can very reasonably have 3 very different perspectives on what happened. If you don't believe me-look into pretty much any eyewitness account of anything and you will find great variation--in a very simple matter. Now, try and define something very not-simple like God, the origin of our existence, the creation of the universe, and tell me that different views mean it is "made up." That's just not a position that I think one can defend.

    How many opposing scientific theories are there for a given issue? This is science right, yet scientists disagree all the time. Since there are differences, and different theories, by your line of reasoning--they must all be "made up" then? I don't think that reasoning is valid.

    KAM
  6. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #566  
    Quote Originally Posted by foosball View Post
    Actually your statement is blatantly incorrect. In fact, the Church has always understood and taught that Jesus was the Christ.

    "The Word became flesh" is another way of saying that God became man (John 1:14-18).

    What is true is that the Church called the Council of Nicaea to address the Arian Heresy that was plaguing those times. Until then there was no need to address the issue because Christians didn't doubt His Divinity. Just remember that just because something wasn't defined before a particular Council doesn't mean it wasn't believed.
    I'm glad you addressed this, because this misconception is spread around a lot. It seems that many people gain their knowledge of the history of the Church from the Dan Brown School of distortion. Some people are sincerely ignorant of these issues, and others happily accept claims that agree with their goal (which in some cases is to criticize a religion).

    There was some legitimate debate in the church about the nature of Jesus, but there was more doubt about his humanness rather than his divinity. These issues were of course considered by the church, but saying it was "decided by committee" is likely just an intentional attempt to belittle the Religion. Perhaps it was an innocent remark.

    KAM
  7. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #567  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    I don't believe that's correct. The church was divided into factions on the issue. The Arians did not believe in Jesus' divinity, while the Homoousians held the belief that he was son of God. A third group (the Homoiousians) took a middle ground. It wasn't as simple as "the Arians were heretics" - there was genuine disagreement on the issue.

    Constantine strongly felt that there needed to be a unified message in order to allow him to endorse Christianity as the official religion, and they hammered out a consensus.

    History of the Christian Church, Volume III: Nicene and Post-Nicene Christianity. A.D. 311-600. | Christian Classics Ethereal Library
    Yes, there was genuine disagreement, however, you are placing relevance on the existence of some contrary idea as having particular relevance. Take any belief system, it takes nothing to simply have someone that takes a different perspective. It doesn't mean that view is correct, or is legitimate. Your argument seems to imply that existence of some differing view is automatic legitimacy of that view. Considering that these views were a overwhelmingly rejected, I would say that you are placing way too much emphasis on it, and attempting to forward the notion that there was some level of uncertainty in Christianity that there wasn't (in terms of volume).

    As you should know, even today, there are many differing views on various elements of Christianity--evidenced by the many denominations in Christianity.

    Whereas some people want to make these sorts of things into wild conspiracies (like the dunderheads that take things like 'The Davinci Code' seriously), but in reality it is very simple. Any organization is vulnerable to anyone mischaracterizing it, and thus, there is a need to clearly define itself so every person who attaches some wrong idea isn't treated as legitimate, if it isn't. In other words--an organization has the expectation that it will reject things about it that are incorrect.

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 02/21/2010 at 11:30 PM.
  8.    #568  
    Any feedback on how this thread is going?

    It seems as if the activity in this thread has wound down quite a bit. I'm not sure if that was because of the weekend, because people feel issues have been resolved to their satisfaction, or because people feel I've been too much of a "hard sell" to some people (or "all of the above"). I was on the relieving side the "hard sell" from a Christian friend yesterday (and I saw how that's not always a fun place to be). I do believe we each should be firm in our convictions while also respecting the boundaries and feelings of everyone participating in this discussion. I've tried to balance this, but if you ever feel I "go overboard", I'd appreciate hearing from you rather than having me stifle the discussion. (thanks)
    Last edited by sudoer; 02/22/2010 at 07:57 AM.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  9. #569  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Any feedback on how this thread is going?

    It seems as if the activity in this thread has wound down quite a bit. I'm not sure if that was because of the weekend, because people feel issues have been resolved to their satisfaction, or because people feel I've been too much of a "hard sell" to some people. I was on the relieving side the "hard sell" from a Christian friend yesterday (and I saw how that's not always a fun place to be). I do believe we each should be firm in our convictions while also respecting the boundaries and feelings of everyone participating in this discussion. I've tried to balance this, but if you ever feel I "go overboard", I'd appreciate hearing from you rather than having me stifle the discussion. (thanks)
    @sudoer:

    I personally think you're doing an excellent job "moderating" this thread of yours and i think that most other people would probably agree with me.
    It's just natural for a thread to slow down once in a while. People did put alot of thought into these 500 something replies and they probably think that they made their points clear.
    I'm sure they still have an eye on it and will input more when they have something else they want to add.
  10. #570  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    I wasn't speaking to the truthfulness of the Bible in my previous post. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you made a statement to the effect that the Bible has been copied over too many times to be reliable. I was merely stating that the copies of the text didn't change the original meaning because we have so many fragments of the originals that we can reference to see that what we're reading now is what was written then. Albeit in a different translation.

    If you agree to that then we can move forward on why the Bible can be seen as more reliable than other ancient texts.
    No, I don't think we are going to agree, but I appreciate your clarification. History is not fluid, it is static and unchanging. What happened yesterday, regardless of how many different times I report it, must stay the same to be considered accurate. The bible has not stayed the same, in fact it is the most reproduced AND re-edited manuscript in the history of the written language. In that respect alone I cannot consider it an accurate account of ancient history. Again, the bible was translated and re-written by hand countless times. In my opinion, each reproduction erodes its original validity.
  11.    #571  
    Quote Originally Posted by joshaccount View Post
    No, I don't think we are going to agree, but I appreciate your clarification. History is not fluid, it is static and unchanging. What happened yesterday, regardless of how many different times I report it, must stay the same to be considered accurate. The bible has not stayed the same, in fact it is the most reproduced AND re-edited manuscript in the history of the written language. In that respect alone I cannot consider it an accurate account of ancient history. Again, the bible was translated and re-written by hand countless times. In my opinion, each reproduction erodes its original validity.
    I believe the question at hand is whether the Bible has been "translated" or whether it's meaning or content has been changed in the process. Translations run the gamut from word to word (literal) translations to dynamic equivalents using modern day speech. There can be biases in these translations depending on the "underlying theology" of the translators. (Is this what you were referring to?) Such differences are clear (not only to Bible scholars, but to) anyone who's participated in interfaith Bible study/discussion/reading. Having many translations more likely enhances understanding of nuances lost in translations rather than "dulling" the message, so if this is your beef, I don't think you are making a good argument for your case.

    Most Christian denominations use a Bible that has 7 of the OT books removed from the originally determined canon. (This might be an interesting discussion which I'm open to having if others want to.)

    If you are saying that early Christians somehow "got the content of the Bible wrong", that's another possible interesting discussion. Please clarify what you mean. (thanks)
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  12. #572  
    Quote Originally Posted by joshaccount View Post
    No, I don't think we are going to agree, but I appreciate your clarification. History is not fluid, it is static and unchanging. What happened yesterday, regardless of how many different times I report it, must stay the same to be considered accurate. The bible has not stayed the same, in fact it is the most reproduced AND re-edited manuscript in the history of the written language. In that respect alone I cannot consider it an accurate account of ancient history. Again, the bible was translated and re-written by hand countless times. In my opinion, each reproduction erodes its original validity.
    Not only that, but even when there are multiple eyewitness to a crime, each one will have a different account of what they saw happen. This is a known phenomenon in police/detective work.
    Then you could throw on top of that all the "translations".
    Really. How accurate can it be?
  13.    #573  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Not only that, but even when there are multiple eyewitness to a crime, each one will have a different account of what they saw happen. This is a known phenomenon in police/detective work.
    Then you could throw on top of that all the "translations".
    Really. How accurate can it be?
    The question at hand is whether the Bible would be more or less accurate than any other book in history. Is there something that would make the Bible more prone to this problem over other books (or do you not believe anything you read). @dbd, from what I know about you, it could very well be the latter!
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  14. #574  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    I think there is a key point--Religious people do this "of our own choosing" just like you non-religious people do. Everyone is as free as you are to totally disregard this, as no one is forced to participate in any religion if they do not wish to.
    I don't feel that this is true. Perhaps the choice to first worship a God is made of your own freewill (but more likley parents force the issue) but once fully indoctrinated how could that be the case? If you are truly worshiping a God in the hopes that you will get a place in the afterlife of your choice, that requires making the God happy. Therefor you need to act in a certain way as determined by that God, eliminating your freewill. Meanwhile the rest of us are fee to make choices as they pertain to the moment at hand or perhaps on how they would effect the remainder of our life on our own terms (rather than how they would effect an afterlife).

    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    Again, so it seems to me, based on other things you advocate, you are very comfortable with people's freedom being controlled by others (government), but have a big problem with it, if it is related to Religion. Now, perhaps this isn't what you are intending to say, but it strikes me as the case, nevertheless.
    Your correct. The Government is real thing which you can touch, e-mail, see, hear and correspond with directly. In my view, a God is not. If someone is going to set rules by which I have to live my life I want them to physically exist.
  15.    #575  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    If you are truly worshiping a God in the hopes that you will get a place in the afterlife of your choice, that requires making the God happy.
    Maybe some people believe this but certainly not all. At least in terms of Christianity, it's not a question of making God happy. He's happiest when we make our own free choice what we want to do. He does not want to force us to choose him in any way. He gave this same choice to all the angels.. Satan and 1/3 of the legion of angels did not choose him too.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  16. #576  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    The question at hand is whether the Bible would be more or less accurate than any other book in history. Is there something that would make the Bible more prone to this problem over other books (or do you not believe anything you read). @dbd, from what I know about you, it could very well be the latter!
    Well, it's not that i don't believe anything i read. It's just that there are some things much harder to believe than others.
    But when you put thousands of years worth of "heard it through the grapevine" literature together, errors and mis-translations are bound to be plentiful, which is a shame, because people live and die according to what they are led to believe is true.
  17.    #577  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Well, it's not that i don't believe anything i read. It's just that there are some things much harder to believe than others.
    But when you put thousands of years worth of "heard it through the grapevine" literature together, errors and mis-translations are bound to be plentiful, which is a shame, because people live and die according to what they are led to believe is true.
    Again, the concern you raise would be the case for any of the antiquities. Do you discount all old writings for these reasons? There are more copies of the Bible from widely separated periods of both time and geography (more so than any other book). This is precisely why we are asserting that it's a more reliable work than any other writing. You are welcome to read original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic documents if you have those skills. I tend to trust Biblical scholars to provide accurate and meaningful translations. I've compared a Douay Rheims Bible (translated into Latin before 400AD and translated from that Latin into English around 1600) and it's meaning is perfectly understandable to me, and the concepts are all the same as other translations I read. Many of us feel that a book inspired by the Holy Spirit should be kept preserved for the purposes which the writer intended. You can buy Bibles that have many translations in parallel if this really concerns you (so that should not be a stumbling block for you). I use software that I bought for under $40 and I get about 11 translations (including Greek and Latin which I do not know how to read).
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  18. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #578  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    I don't feel that this is true. Perhaps the choice to first worship a God is made of your own freewill (but more likley parents force the issue) but once fully indoctrinated how could that be the case? If you are truly worshiping a God in the hopes that you will get a place in the afterlife of your choice, that requires making the God happy. Therefor you need to act in a certain way as determined by that God, eliminating your freewill. Meanwhile the rest of us are fee to make choices as they pertain to the moment at hand or perhaps on how they would effect the remainder of our life on our own terms (rather than how they would effect an afterlife).
    Not to be dismissive, but it really doesn't doesn't matter if you feel it is true or not. Given that many people later reject religion (using one justification or another, and sometimes none at all), it seems to me that people are fully capable of getting past their "indoctrination." It's curious though--would you characterize a parent providing their child a set of values "indoctrination" if separate from Religion? Or would that simply be good parenting?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Your correct. The Government is real thing which you can touch, e-mail, see, hear and correspond with directly. In my view, a God is not. If someone is going to set rules by which I have to live my life I want them to physically exist.
    Perhaps I wasn't clear about my point. Your issue isn't about freedom at all--its simply you attempting to apply your preference to someone else. I would not argue about your choice for your own life--that's completely up to you. People who believe in God (obviously) think that God is real as well, and while no one to my knowledge has yet e-mailed God successfully, that really isn't the point.

    In short--your argument doesn't seem to be one based on the principle of freedom, but rather your preference to place your faith willingly in government, while scoffing at those who place their faith in God--simply because you don't share their views and beliefs. Unlike Government, you can freely choose to not follow God--as you demonstrate.

    I suggest however, that the bureaucrats that control very large elements of your life are effectively as removed as God. If you were to apply mathematical precision to it, not so, but effectively. Yet you happily turn your freedom over to their will.

    Let me give you an example that will hopefully help you understand one perspective of a Religious person, again using the comparison of Religion and Government. As a member of society, I don't feel it is a restriction on my free will to not have the freedom to murder or steal. Rather, I'm simply doing what is right for me and for society. Likewise, following the Religious beliefs that I choose, I feel I'm simply doing what is right, and as such, I don't consider it a burden on my free will. Simply, we all live within certain boundaries.

    A sociopath might view restrictions on his ability to murder as a curtailing of his freewill, but of course, you and I would reject that notion (presumably). Likewise, whereas you view some form of sacrifice or repentance as an incursion on free-will, I merely see it as an exercise in doing what is right. I understand the points you are making, I simply don't share your perspective, as you do not share mine. I see no conflict between us because of that however.

    Let's look at another example--children. If a person is a parent, they teach their child about things they think are right, trying to instill values in them. You want them to both think for themselves and make the right choices with that free will. Providing them guidance isn't trampling their free-will, but rather preparing them to make good decisions for themselves. The child retains the freedom to make their own choices. You want them to make the choices that you think are right, but it is really still up to them.

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 02/22/2010 at 11:43 AM.
  19. #579  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    People who believe in God (obviously) think that God is real as well, and while no one to my knowledge has yet e-mailed God successfully, that really isn't the point.
    Exactly...they think God is real. Whereas the Government is real even if you don't believe in it.
  20. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #580  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Any feedback on how this thread is going?

    It seems as if the activity in this thread has wound down quite a bit. I'm not sure if that was because of the weekend, because people feel issues have been resolved to their satisfaction, or because people feel I've been too much of a "hard sell" to some people (or "all of the above"). I was on the relieving side the "hard sell" from a Christian friend yesterday (and I saw how that's not always a fun place to be). I do believe we each should be firm in our convictions while also respecting the boundaries and feelings of everyone participating in this discussion. I've tried to balance this, but if you ever feel I "go overboard", I'd appreciate hearing from you rather than having me stifle the discussion. (thanks)
    I think it is going pretty well, which I would not have predicted. It seems to me that there is very significant disagreement, but that (so far) people are addressing the issues raised in a generally positive manner.

    I'm not sure that there is any consensus, but I wouldn't expect there would be, because we are talking about strongly held beliefs in most cases.

    I would say that it is a success if for nothing else it isn't founded in some petty political attack. That alone makes it refreshing.

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 02/22/2010 at 12:09 PM.

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