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Old 19th June 2017, 02:48 PM   #41
Craig4
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I would quibble and say that honest study and inquiry are perhaps the best way to lose one's faith. My honest inquiry came after I gave up Catholicism. In my case I just got kind of bored with it.
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Old 19th June 2017, 04:27 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
I would quibble and say that honest study and inquiry are perhaps the best way to lose one's faith. My honest inquiry came after I gave up Catholicism. In my case I just got kind of bored with it.

Here's the thing. It's actually easy to stay a Christian despite all the evidence because if you're raised in the religion you make all these bargains with logic and rationality. The bible has all these great quotes that allows a Christian to suspend all rationality and logic. 'With God, all things are possible.' Don't put faith to a test. Doubting Thomas, etc. And lastly, there is Pascal's wager.

I didn't read the entire Bible out of doubt but out of a sense of duty and a desire to understand my religion. The problem I faced was while I liked most of Jesus's messages I grew to despise the character God.

Where was the loving God who cared about mankind and taught me grace? Instead, I discovered that the character God, was cruel, vengeful, arbitrary capricious. The Old Testament is a slaughterfest where every kind of killing imaginable is carried out and sanctioned by God.

And the more you hate this character, the harder it is to maintain that cognitive dissonance.

I doubt I ever believed the story of creation and Adam and Eve or Noah or Jonah. I never embraced that the book was literally true but God was real and these were morality tales. But when you read story after story with stoning, beheadings, disembowlments, burnings, of men women and children you stop wanting to believe.

Does this make sense? I went from what my pastor described as a cafeteria Christian who picked and chose from the bible to being someone who wanted nothing to do with it.
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Old 19th June 2017, 05:37 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

Snip

Does this make sense? I went from what my pastor described as a cafeteria Christian who picked and chose from the bible to being someone who wanted nothing to do with it.

So how was your pastor about you leaving the fold? If he described you as a "cafeteria Christian" what did he describe himself as? Was he cool with all of the stuff in the Bible and if so how did he do that?
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Old 19th June 2017, 06:26 PM   #44
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I knew one person who had been atheist, but for their studies had to read significant portions of the Bible, and eventually converted to Catholicism (which I think they said led to teasing from their atheist friends ).

I think for some people who discuss and argue and challenge, their faith may remain strong. But some people have been brought up in a do-what-we-say-don't-question way, and then have problems dealing with anything (in the Bible or otherwise) that challenges that. Theodicy (the problem of the existence of evil) for instance is something that should be considered and studied, and is in my experience with adults considering becoming Catholic, but is it commonly studied in all Christian traditions and discussed and taught to kids? Or are problems like that ignored?
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Old 19th June 2017, 07:19 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
God is not subject to our moral understandings. Heck, we can't even decide among ourselves what constitutes torture.
Then the acts of God are valueless as a moral guide, and religion loses its major justification.

What will happen on the Day of Judgement? God will say, I did worse things than any of you, but you're schmucks and I'm omnipotent so I can do what I like, and I'm tossing you all into Hell. We'll need to tell the angels: your boss is a psycho.
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The best we can seem to do is something like the Golden Rule, in the form of "Well, I wouldn't like it if it happened to me." And that doesn't impose our morality on God. All it does is push forward a moral preference. Remember, this is God we are talking about, not some mook down the block who stole a couple of bucks from the local Arby's. It's simple hubris to think otherwise.
I'm assuming that's satire. If so, it's good stuff; almost worthy of Voltaire.
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Old 19th June 2017, 07:40 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
So how was your pastor about you leaving the fold? If he described you as a "cafeteria Christian" what did he describe himself as? Was he cool with all of the stuff in the Bible and if so how did he do that?
I became persona non grata. But admittedly, he didn't like that I was a cafeteria Christian either. (His description) Remember, this was a church that preached that the bible was the inerrant true word of God. His attitude was that people like me were what was wrong with the church. We were trying to have it both ways and in his view that was wrong. If I really wanted to be rewarded in heaven and here on earth I had to be fully committed and put my doubts aside. 'You can't walk down the middle of a highway and not expect to get squished' was what he told me.
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Old 19th June 2017, 07:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Then the acts of God are valueless as a moral guide, and religion loses its major justification.

What will happen on the Day of Judgement? God will say, I did worse things than any of you, but you're schmucks and I'm omnipotent so I can do what I like, and I'm tossing you all into Hell. We'll need to tell the angels: your boss is a psycho.I'm assuming that's satire. If so, it's good stuff; almost worthy of Voltaire.
I have often imagined that if there was an actual God he'd be rolling his eyes at all the religious bs. If there is a judgment day, he wouldn't be punishing anyone for what sex they had consensually or what they ate or if they praised him. God wouldn't be jealous or vengeful. He's kind and he's loving. He's not some narcissistic idiot that the religious books made him out to be.

He wouldn't give a damn if we loved him but if we loved his creations. That we took care of each other and the earth. That we lived life to the fullest. His attitude would be that he gave us life to live it. Not to live the life charlatans who professed they knew the mind of God better than the rest of us.

People like Jerry Fallwell, Patrick Robertson and Osama Bin Laden would go to hell not some kid that doubted his existence.
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Old 19th June 2017, 08:13 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Then the acts of God are valueless as a moral guide, and religion loses its major justification.
I don't understand. Religion's major justification is presenting the acts of God as a morality tale? I don't see how it's possible to duplicate even the most insignificant "acts of God."

We are different beings than God, bounded differently. What moral choices would I be capable of if all of space and time were open to my inspection? It boggles the mind.
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Old 19th June 2017, 08:23 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well I only scored 93% (got the last one wrong).

I thought there was only one question related to the Mormon religion.
There was one about when it was founded, and one about where Jesus appeared.
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Old 19th June 2017, 08:29 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I don't understand. Religion's major justification is presenting the acts of God as a morality tale? I don't see how it's possible to duplicate even the most insignificant "acts of God."

We are different beings than God, bounded differently. What moral choices would I be capable of if all of space and time were open to my inspection? It boggles the mind.
That was kind of the Buddha's point. God is so far beyond comprehension that it's not worth the effort to worry about morality in God's terms. How could we possibly know what right and wrong is, in God's eyes? How could we understand what such a being would want us to do? It's impossible.

Indeed, even the existence of such a being is beyond our comprehension. So, maybe God exists, and maybe God doesn't exist, but either way, it's not really worth worrying about, because you couldn't understand it anyway.
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Old 19th June 2017, 09:39 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I don't understand. Religion's major justification is presenting the acts of God as a morality tale? I don't see how it's possible to duplicate even the most insignificant "acts of God."

We are different beings than God, bounded differently. What moral choices would I be capable of if all of space and time were open to my inspection? It boggles the mind.
Your basic argument, is that man cannot comprehend God, so what makes you believe that any religious text is true? It seems as if you want it both ways.

The bible is what is 'claimed' to be the revealed word of God. What makes you so sure those revelations are accurate and not what is revealed to me or Shakespeare, Paine, Spinoza and Christopher Hitchens?

You make this absurd excuse for the morality of God who the so called Good Book says killed every living creature on the planet save a small few.

Who kills Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children.
He kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.
He kills Amalek and his people.
He stones a Sabbath breaker (who had gathered sticks for a fire)
He causes the earth to open and swallow up the men and their households (including wives and children) because the men had been rebellious.
He consumes 250 men by fire.
He kills 14,700 people with the plague.
He slays Og "... and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ...."

And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun.

He went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly."
He kills 24,000 people die in a plague.
Kills all the Midianite male children and "... every woman who has known man ...." (Note: How would it be determined which women had known men? One can only speculate.)
32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside (to be sacrificed) as a tribute for the Lord.
When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves."

This is just the beginning of countless horrible atrocities of the Bible. You are welcome to see all of this as the acts i of a loving God.

Me I cant help but think. 'Loving God, my ass.'
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Old 19th June 2017, 10:00 PM   #52
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Offline, I've only ever known one religious person who became non-religious, and it wasn't because of the Bible in her case.

I was raised in a Lutheran environment but never took it seriously, so I can't say anything changed my mind about religion because I didn't really have one all along. However, the Bible can be said to be partially behind that, in a roundabout way. One of the first things I remember noticing about the Bible as a kid, other than how horrible a lot of it is including the New Testament as well as the Old, was how little of it they ever talked about at school or church. I kept hearing the same several stories from it over and over, and hearing or looking up a few scattered verses at a time, and noticing that the untouched remainder of it was huge. It made me wonder what else was in there that they weren't mentioning... but not enough to actually bother reading it. I had to figure that, as bad as the parts I knew sounded, what they were hiding, or at least some of it, must be worse.
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Old 19th June 2017, 10:07 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Your basic argument, is that man cannot comprehend God, so what makes you believe that any religious text is true? It seems as if you want it both ways.
We do the best we can. I do not comprehend many subjects. Take nuclear physics as an example. I don't grok that. Is it true?

Quote:
The bible is what is 'claimed' to be the revealed word of God. What makes you so sure those revelations are accurate and not what is revealed to me or Shakespeare, Paine, Spinoza and Christopher Hitchens?
Tradition, laziness.

Quote:
You make this absurd excuse for the morality of God who the so called Good Book says killed every living creature on the planet save a small few.

Who kills Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children.
He kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.
He kills Amalek and his people.
He stones a Sabbath breaker (who had gathered sticks for a fire)
He causes the earth to open and swallow up the men and their households (including wives and children) because the men had been rebellious.
He consumes 250 men by fire.
He kills 14,700 people with the plague.
He slays Og "... and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ...."

And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun.

He went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly."
He kills 24,000 people die in a plague.
Kills all the Midianite male children and "... every woman who has known man ...." (Note: How would it be determined which women had known men? One can only speculate.)
32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside (to be sacrificed) as a tribute for the Lord.
When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves."

This is just the beginning of countless horrible atrocities of the Bible. You are welcome to see all of this as the acts i of a loving God.

Me I cant help but think. 'Loving God, my ass.'
It's odd that, to make the case against God, one should have to invoke stories from a book you don't hold to be accurate. How do you manage to get both cars in the garage at the same time?
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Old 19th June 2017, 10:24 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
And the Mormon questions were pretty easy, as Mormon questions go. Growing up in Illinois helped on that one. Nauvoo was part of Illinois history.
I also grew up in Illinois (Danville) and I knew nothing about the LDS. What connection was there for you that I missed? What is Nauvoo?
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Old 19th June 2017, 10:28 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
We do the best we can. I do not comprehend many subjects. Take nuclear physics as an example. I don't grok that. Is it true?

Tradition, laziness.

It's odd that, to make the case against God, one should have to invoke stories from a book you don't hold to be accurate. How do you manage to get both cars in the garage at the same time?
I don't hold it to be accurate. My former church would. They believed the whole bible to be the inerrant word of God. Do you?

This idea that these atrocities are somehow moral because God did it is bewildering to me. Basically it suggests that he who has the power is right regardless of what he does. A sort of celestial Donald Trump.
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Old 19th June 2017, 10:36 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
(And now I participate in Jewish ceremony and community,but I don't believe. I generally have a positive view of religion, which I suppose is ironic given my beliefs, but that's the way it is for me.
I've only met one person who actually tried out various religions to find the one that he felt made moral sense and wasn't contradicted by reality. He finally decided on being a secular Jew. He enjoyed all the rituals and ceremonies because he found meaning a fellowship in them band simply ignored all the god-bothering.

He was (sadly, past tense) one of the most enlightened guys I've ever known.
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Old 19th June 2017, 11:21 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I don't hold it to be accurate. My former church would. They believed the whole bible to be the inerrant word of God. Do you?
No.

Quote:
This idea that these atrocities are somehow moral because God did it is bewildering to me. Basically it suggests that he who has the power is right regardless of what he does. A sort of celestial Donald Trump.
It always struck me when the word "Lord" was used in the bible. I read it as mirroring the concept of a King or noble. Someone who was entitled to their position because of who they were. A kind of brute fact about status.
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Old 19th June 2017, 11:32 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well there you go! You have managed to slay Pixel's post with one blow.
I should have known that'd set you off. Try reading my words next time, and not your own assumptions.
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:11 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I don't understand. Religion's major justification is presenting the acts of God as a morality tale? I don't see how it's possible to duplicate even the most insignificant "acts of God."

We are different beings than God, bounded differently. What moral choices would I be capable of if all of space and time were open to my inspection? It boggles the mind.
I have ever eared that God is perfect Good. But you say that “God is not subject to our moral understandings”. Therefore you cannot say if God ‒and his commandments‒, is morally good or bad. The idea of God cannot be the guide of our moral behaviour.
Effectively, maybe we are not sure whether some acts are torture or not. But we are perfectly sure that others are. A father that savagely beats his son is not a good father, whatever the child has done. If God existed he would be a savage father of men. The only excuse of God is that he doesn’t exist.
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:17 AM   #60
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Killing every animal (including fish) except for one pair because you realize that your messed up big time is a genocidal method of covering up your mistakes.

But in an odd way I am more appalled by the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt: God keeps on escalating the plagues to convince the Pharao to let the Israelites go, but at the same time God hacks the Pharao's mind to make sure he will refuse no matter what:
all biblical definition of evil is based on the Free Will of humans to chose good: but in this case, God took that free will away and still punishes the people of the guy who was given no choice but to act the way he did.
The story of the Exodus isn't: escape from slavery, but "don't mess with the people under this God's protection, or he'll **** you and your tribe up, and there is nothing you can do about it, not even cry for mercy".

Edited by Agatha:  Edited to remove breach of rule 10. If you want to swear in the public sections (of which R&P is one), you must type the word out in full with no replacement characters or misspellings, and allow the autocensor to take care of it.
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:31 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
We do the best we can. I do not comprehend many subjects. Take nuclear physics as an example. I don't grok that. Is it true?
I rely on nuclear physicists because of their correct and constant predictions (morally acceptable or not). I don’t see any similar religious prediction. Do you believe in Fatima’s Mysteries?

Effectively, the independent reading of the Bible –not oriented‒ is a source of religious disappointment. How to believe in this array of childish stories? How to believe in a cruel god? But the men of church were worse than the Holy Book. When they tried to explain the incredible stories of the Bible and the awful behaviour of his god, they were more childish and more repellent. Even the “highly spiritual” men had a dark face –or a simplistic face‒ that pushed to go to another place.

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Old 20th June 2017, 01:41 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I don't understand. Religion's major justification is presenting the acts of God as a morality tale? I don't see how it's possible to duplicate even the most insignificant "acts of God."

We are different beings than God, bounded differently. What moral choices would I be capable of if all of space and time were open to my inspection? It boggles the mind.
I trust your mind isn't too boggled to grasp what I'm trying to get across. Let us say that Jesus could miraculously cure diseases using supernatural powers not available to ordinary humans. Curing diseases is good. People do it to one another, and it's morally admirable. Curing leprosy by touch may be miraculous, but it is clearly morally righteous according to human values, even if it is outside normal human powers. Not being able to duplicate it doesn't prevent me from being able to evaluate it morally.
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Old 20th June 2017, 02:29 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I trust your mind isn't too boggled to grasp what I'm trying to get across. Let us say that Jesus could miraculously cure diseases using supernatural powers not available to ordinary humans. Curing diseases is good. People do it to one another, and it's morally admirable. Curing leprosy by touch may be miraculous, but it is clearly morally righteous according to human values, even if it is outside normal human powers. Not being able to duplicate it doesn't prevent me from being able to evaluate it morally.
The problem is we are stuck evaluating the act from our own limited perspective.

We are all familiar with how moral acts can be viewed differently under different circumstances. Change the context and the evaluation comes out differently.

We'd all agree that it was good to save an innocent child. But change the circumstances (the child is carrying a biowarfare agent) and the moral landscape shifts - the calculus changes. And it's no good saying, "Well, this is a God, so he could make everything end up correctly," because it simultaneously accepts the divine perspective (he could do this miracle) and then demands we don't trust that very perspective - the one we do not have to consult.
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Old 20th June 2017, 04:05 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I also grew up in Illinois (Danville) and I knew nothing about the LDS. What connection was there for you that I missed? What is Nauvoo?
Nauvoo, Illinois (I hope I'm spelling that right) was the headquarters of the LDS, where Joseph Smith was building his community, on the Mississippi river north of Saint Louis. At some point, there was a confrontation between the Mormons and the locals. It became a battle. Joseph Smith was killed, and Brigham Young led the church to Utah.

Back in the 5th grade we had to do a unit of "Illinois History". It was one of the topics covered.
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Old 20th June 2017, 04:42 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
The problem is we are stuck evaluating the act from our own limited perspective.

We are all familiar with how moral acts can be viewed differently under different circumstances. Change the context and the evaluation comes out differently.

We'd all agree that it was good to save an innocent child. But change the circumstances (the child is carrying a biowarfare agent) and the moral landscape shifts - the calculus changes. And it's no good saying, "Well, this is a God, so he could make everything end up correctly," because it simultaneously accepts the divine perspective (he could do this miracle) and then demands we don't trust that very perspective - the one we do not have to consult.
Two different possibilities here.
1. Things that God does, that look like crimes from a moral point of view, in fact are not crimes from that same moral point of view simply because God knows more about the circumstances of the situations than we do, or

2. The moral rules that apply to us do not apply to God cos he can do what he likes and if he smites millions of people that's up to him; he's not just some schmuck who's stolen ten goddam bucks.

These are two opposite things.

- God observes the same moral laws that he teaches us to live by; but we can't always appreciate what he's doing because he knows more about events than we do, or:
- Who the hell do you think you are, to tell God what he can or can't do? Shut up or he'll roast your goddam ass for all eternity.

To which of these propositions do you adhere? Judging by your previous posts, I think the second. But in any case you must choose. You can't have both, or mix them up in any way, because they are in absolute contradiction.
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Old 20th June 2017, 04:57 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Killing every animal (including fish) except for one pair because you realize that your messed up big time is a genocidal method of covering up your mistakes.

But in an odd way I am more appalled by the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt: God keeps on escalating the plagues to convince the Pharao to let the Israelites go, but at the same time God hacks the Pharao's mind to make sure he will refuse no matter what:
all biblical definition of evil is based on the Free Will of humans to chose good: but in this case, God took that free will away and still punishes the people of the guy who was given no choice but to act the way he did.
The story of the Exodus isn't: escape from slavery, but "don't mess with the people under this God's protection, or he'll **** you and your tribe up, and there is nothing you can do about it, not even cry for mercy".
The good thing is that all the evidence points to both stories seem to have absolutely no basis in history and the Noah and the flood story is clearly a plagiarism of the story of Gilgamesh which itself is a plagiarism of another story that is also a plagiarism.

Anyone with even a modicum of intellect should easily come to the conclusion that any story repeated time and again as these stories were are going to be continuously modified by the storytellers. One game of telephone should inform one of the ridiculousness of believing that even if there is a shred of truth to any of the stories, there is no way one could honestly know what parts were true and what parts were false.

There is clearly something totally absurd of man in the 21st century living his life by the texts of superstitious peasants written 1700 to 4000 years ago.
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Old 20th June 2017, 05:04 AM   #67
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The good thing is that all the evidence points to both stories seem to have absolutely no basis in history and the Noah and the flood story is clearly a plagiarism of the story of Gilgamesh which itself is a plagiarism of another story that is also a plagiarism.
that is a given.
But even as made-up recruitment stories, these are horribly bad at selling themselves if you ever spend a little time thinking about them.


Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
There is clearly something totally absurd of man in the 21st century living his life by the texts of superstitious peasants written 1700 to 4000 years ago.
According to studies of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect, IQ has been rising linearly by 2-3 points/decade.
A quick calculations should tell you what the average intelligence was like 2000 years ago ...


Just kidding - but at face value I wouldn't take their advice on anything.
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Old 20th June 2017, 05:07 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post

It always struck me when the word "Lord" was used in the bible. I read it as mirroring the concept of a King or noble. Someone who was entitled to their position because of who they were. A kind of brute fact about status.
I don't think that is an accident. The divine right of kings is asserted by virtually everyone of royalty including the British monarch who is not just the head of state but the head of the church of England.
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Old 20th June 2017, 05:25 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
that is a given.
But even as made-up recruitment stories, these are horribly bad at selling themselves if you ever spend a little time thinking about them.
But there is no way that Noah or Jonah intended for adults. They are early indoctrination stories targeted at children. Get them while they are young and can think for themselves.


Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
According to studies of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect, IQ has been rising linearly by 2-3 points/decade.
A quick calculations should tell you what the average intelligence was like 2000 years ago ...


Just kidding - but at face value I wouldn't take their advice on anything.
Can you name a single thing they knew more about than modern man? How shear a sheep with a sharp stone. Which hand to wipe their ass.
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Old 20th June 2017, 05:38 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Can you name a single thing they knew more about than modern man? How shear a sheep with a sharp stone. Which hand to wipe their ass.
But God made King Solomon the wisest human who ever lived and will ever live!
You really think he didn't know as much as Feynman about Quantum Theory?
Hard to believe ...
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:03 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
But God made King Solomon the wisest human who ever lived and will ever live!
You really think he didn't know as much as Feynman about Quantum Theory?
Hard to believe ...
I'll say this though. Wisdom and intellect are not the same things. Newton and Tesla were both 2 of the most intelligent people to walk the earth and I wouldn't describe either as wise.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:22 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
And it's no good saying, "Well, this is a God, so he could make everything end up correctly," because it simultaneously accepts the divine perspective (he could do this miracle) and then demands we don't trust that very perspective - the one we do not have to consult.
I have no reason to think that something called “God” has a “divine” perspective of all earthly events that humans are unable to understand.
But the concept of an unintelligible god that is explained in the Bible is auto-contradictory.

Let us suppose that a god exists who has other different perspective of things that humans cannot understand. This god would not have any effect on us, because he would not be understandable by definition. The concepts referred to him in the Bible would be inappropriate, the circumstances insufficient, the explanations purely human… We would get a caricature of the real god: a god made in the image and likeness of men themselves with all their vices and insufficiencies. It is not surprising that the Bible be repellent.

Either you admit that God is like the god of the Bible (disappointing) or you recognize that the Bible doesn't reflect the true nature of God and you have no idea of what is God. In any case the Bible is repellent in itself.
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Old 20th June 2017, 10:22 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I have no reason to think that something called “God” has a “divine” perspective of all earthly events that humans are unable to understand.
But the concept of an unintelligible god that is explained in the Bible is auto-contradictory.

Let us suppose that a god exists who has other different perspective of things that humans cannot understand. This god would not have any effect on us, because he would not be understandable by definition. The concepts referred to him in the Bible would be inappropriate, the circumstances insufficient, the explanations purely human… We would get a caricature of the real god: a god made in the image and likeness of men themselves with all their vices and insufficiencies. It is not surprising that the Bible be repellent.

Either you admit that God is like the god of the Bible (disappointing) or you recognize that the Bible doesn't reflect the true nature of God and you have no idea of what is God. In any case the Bible is repellent in itself.
If you study how the Bible came to be It's easy to see the power struggle of different groups trying to mold the story of Jesus to their own view. To get an understanding of this I highly recommend a couple of books by Bart Erhman

Lost Christianities The battles for scripture and the faiths we never knew
Misquoting Jesus The story behind who changed the bible and why

When you read about Marcion of Sinope who created the first New Testament which included 10 epistles of Paul and most of Luke. He did not believe that Jesus's heavenly Father was Yahweh as the Hebrew god Yahweh was a cruel and vengeful god. I think it is interesting that Marcion thinks that Paul is the ultimate interpreter of Jesus. Never mind that Paul never spent a moment with Jesus.

It also goes into the Gnostics and other groups fighting to control the Jesus story. This all more than 100 years after Jesus was crucified. This would be like like you and I fighting about the story of a preacher who live a hundred years prior and determine what was accurate about a bunch of anonymous stories about a carpenter who said he was the messiah.
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Old 20th June 2017, 11:53 AM   #74
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I never managed to read enough of the Bible for it to be a major factor in losing faith (or acknowledging that I reqally never had any. In the New Testament, I got throught the gospels and Acts. On the old I don't think I got much past Exodus. Once you get into Dueteronomy and Numbers, the listing of the "laws" gets really tedious, and I never could get through it. I've read other bits and pieces. The Book of Revelations reads like the ravings of somebody on a bad mushroom trip, or maybe a schizophrenic.

For me it was the multiplicity of religions, all contradicting each other all claiming to have a monopoly on the truth. They couldn't all be right. Maybe none of them are right.

I went to sunday school and church services (United Prespbyterian) as a child, but I don't think I ever completely bought it. Even as a child, much of it seemed nonsensical to me, but it took me until my late teens to quit feeling guilty about my doubts and reach the conclusion that the fault wasn't in me, but in the religious nonsense. Certainly much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is repugnant when viewed objectively.
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Old 20th June 2017, 02:42 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I should have known that'd set you off. Try reading my words next time, and not your own assumptions.
OK then let's have a look at the words.

Firstly you make the comment in response to the OP's suggestion that reading the Bible is the best way to lose faith:

"Not for me. It wasn't because of the Bible that I stopped going to church."

Then in response to Pixel's post you write the following:

"Funny. None of those three were mine."

Is there something I am not gleaning from these two seagull deposits you have left, that add so much to the depth of the discussion?
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Old 20th June 2017, 02:51 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post

Snip

It's odd that, to make the case against God, one should have to invoke stories from a book you don't hold to be accurate. How do you manage to get both cars in the garage at the same time?

Yes well I have seen this trick before and it is not a good one.

Acbytesla is not a believer in this fictitious god in case you haven't noticed, but is arguing against the assumed goodness of said god, from the so called sacred writings about his actions that believers hold as truth.
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Old 20th June 2017, 03:22 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
No.



It always struck me when the word "Lord" was used in the bible. I read it as mirroring the concept of a King or noble. Someone who was entitled to their position because of who they were. A kind of brute fact about status.
Best to look up the original Hebrew word translated into English as Lord, and it's not a definition of status, as you might think. In most of its occurrences it's the name of a Semitic divinity.
LORD (all caps or small caps) reflects the original term yhwh (found 6,823 times), while Lord (standard capitalization) is the English rendition of the Hebrew adonai (used some 300 times).

As suggested above, one of the names for God, as conveyed in Hebrew, was yhwh (four consonants). Because the Jews considered this title to be very sacred, they did not pronounce it.
So it was avoided by translators who used the expression Lord in place of it.
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:00 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
OK then let's have a look at the words.

Firstly you make the comment in response to the OP's suggestion that reading the Bible is the best way to lose faith:

"Not for me. It wasn't because of the Bible that I stopped going to church."

Then in response to Pixel's post you write the following:

"Funny. None of those three were mine."

Is there something I am not gleaning from these two seagull deposits you have left, that add so much to the depth of the discussion?
Quite the opposite. You are gleaning stuff that isn't there.

I provided these comments as a contrast to the popular narrative. I expected that someone might want to ask me about what did cause me to leave the church, but it's okay that no-one did. Perhaps "interesting" might have been a better word choice than "funny", but any intent to "slay" anyone else's argument is entirely in your own head.

I suggest you check your own motivation for replying.
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:01 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Not for me. It wasn't because of the Bible that I stopped going to church.
Me too. It was because the chicks didn't put out.
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Old 20th June 2017, 06:12 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
Me too. It was because the chicks didn't put out.
You went to the wrong church.
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