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Old 09-28-2011, 10:29 PM   #61
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

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Originally Posted by ~Darkseeker~ View Post
I had another thought.

The second of the 10 commandments (I think it's the second, Google Images says so.) says not to worship false idols. Surely, the Pope is not a religious icon mentioned in the bible, and he's definitely worshipped from what i've seen of catholics. Surely that means Catholicism is fundamentally flawed?

No, he's not worshiped, it's the same way Buddha isn't worshipped in Buddhism.

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I've stayed out of this thread until now because I tend to very deliberately turn a blind eye to threads like this on here; personally I don't think they should be allowed because they *always* run away with themselves until we have one group sticking up for Christianity and the other slating it. Often full of arguments on both sides that are either insubstantial, make no sense or just fundamentally flawed.

It's the same as the whole "why do Macs do x" series of threads, always ends up going the same way with no positive outcome for anyone.

Examples? Just looking at the current page here, but comments like this:

Examples? Proof to back this up? Studies being shown? This is one of the biggest cases of irony I've seen! You're making a sweeping, generalising statement with no backing claiming that other people that make such statements are ignorant. Taking religious belief out the question here, how is that argument not fundamentally flawed? If I stated that "actual logical thinking is unfortunately a trait almost completely confined to white people" or, God forbid, "actual logical thinking is unfortunately a trait almost completely confined to Christians" you'd probably get rather angry (and rightly so, it's a stupid statement to make.) So please, think of such things before you type.


Once again, have you been up in space and seen the earth is spherical? I'm betting you've never seen that, you've "just been told about it" yet you believe in it. I'm not arguing from a religious perspective here, just a logical one as to why this statement like many others in this thread is without any basis from a logical perspective.


Yes, I am a Christian. No, I can't write you a mathematical formula to prove this is the case. No, I don't agree with many of the things "the church" (in many denominations) have done and in some cases continue to do. I don't agree with the typical "cheesy Christian" perspective of "just convert lots of people and follow these rules and you'll have a happy life and better one to come." (among many reasons, I don't believe it's biblical.)

But besides from all the negative examples of Christianity here, let me throw a positive one in the mix.
My model of evangelism is to be loving to people and if they ask questions, give honest answers. "Tea and toast" for instance was a regular session held at our uni where anyone could come along and help themselves to some tea, or toast, in order to help them sober up a bit if they felt they'd had too much to drink or just fancied some. We provided food and talked about random things with them, if they didn't bring anything up religion related then we were just happy to help them, whatever background they're from, gay, straight, Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, whatever. If they did ask questions then we were happy to talk, though if they weren't in a fit state to have a serious conversation then we'd deliberately break away from that kind of thing since it's not really helpful to anyone. If they wanted to talk about Christianity, enter into debates or answer questions then they were more than welcome to do so. If not then we were equally as happy to provide for them.

So far I haven't met anyone making a serious case against what we're doing with that, and it's had positive feedback from many, many students.

Now *that* is the sort of thing I believe the bible teaches, not the "shove it in your face" attitude mentioned here a lot. While there have clearly been cases of this going on, I don't believe it's what Jesus would have wanted, I don't believe it's what he would have done (when do you ever see him doing anything remotely similar in the bible?) and I don't believe it's what Christians should be doing.

I have had many debates of this nature over the years, and probably will have many more. But they only work if people on both sides are prepared to put their points across clearly, quoting appropriate sources where necessary and making sure they're well backed up. One thing I really like about academia (yes, that's right, I'm a Christian studying for a PhD in a subject built around logic) is the fact that no-one would even bother reading an article or paper that wasn't clearly written backed up by appropriate sources - and for good reason.
I agree with a lot here. I'm also studying engineering(logic stuff), yet I'm Catholic. I wish my University had a group like that. I think the one at mine is Catholic. I'm currently attending two Catholic groups, but I'm only here in Minneapolis area until December. I haven't been to one of the groups at my school yet.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:29 AM   #62
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

I agree with you Berry, and if every christian had the same philosophy as you I would have no problem with them.

but, what logical reason is there to believe in something you have never seen or witnessed, and only been told from one publication (the bible) and people who support that publication?
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:45 AM   #63
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

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Originally Posted by ~Darkseeker~ View Post
I agree with you Berry, and if every christian had the same philosophy as you I would have no problem with them.

but, what logical reason is there to believe in something you have never seen or witnessed, and only been told from one publication (the bible) and people who support that publication?
According to our belief, Jesus actually did come to Earth and die for us. That is the main thing to believe in as a Catholic. And that was seen only 2,000 years ago.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:48 AM   #64
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

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what logical reason is there to believe in something you have never seen or witnessed, and only been told from one publication (the bible) and people who support that publication?
In a loose sense, how is this so different from believing the results of a scientific paper? You haven't seen or witnessed the experiment, you trust the results based on that publication and people who support it because you deem it to be valid, consistent within itself and perhaps to a certain extent you might trust the authors of that publication.

The bible is just one publication, yes, but it's made up of books written across centuries by many different authors, that all come together to give surprisingly common themes considering how radical those themes often were a millennium or 2 ago. There's been prophecies in the old testament that line up perfectly with Jesus coming, that no-one even saw the meaning of until after he came (so in that sense it's pretty damn unlikely they were faked.) The authors themselves throughout weren't egotistical people forcing their believes on everyone. Luke for instance was a doctor looking to study the claims made about Jesus and write a genuine account of them. Paul was a mass murderer of Christians turned in a near instant to someone of the opposite character that turned out to be one of the most influential apostles of the new testament. Miracles performed by Jesus are consistently backed up by 4 separate authors writing separate accounts. As a publication, I have scrutinised it and I believe it does hold up to scrutiny and logic.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #65
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I've read through most of the posts here, though not all of them, but feel the need to say a few things.

First, I'm from a small, small town of around 500-700 people. Things in this town revolve around the School, the Bar, and the Church (a Catholic one). In fact one of the school teachers owns the bar and sings in the church chior...LOL. This year I was asked to help run the Church Festival. I accepted though I was concerned that it was going to be to "church-y" for me. I was suprised to find out that the other people who run it are very "normal" in terms of their beliefs as well. I think if you spend any time with the people of a small community you'll find that most of them do attend the Catholic Church and believe in God, but they are your "shove-it-done-your-throat" Catholics. Like myself, they believe in a higher power but question some of the teachings and the ways of the church. I also think that it's ok to question these things because by doing so, we are able to seek out the answers and we are able to develop a better understanding of ourselves and of our faith.

I also think it's important to remember that religion is faith. Faith is the "belief that is not based on proof". Therefore by having faith in God we are believing that there is some "thing" that can help us when we need it or some "thing" to thank when something good happens to us.

I'm very conflicted in my beliefs. I'm a believer in Evolutionism but I also believe in God. I can't explain this to myself, let alone other people so I've quit trying. I've come to accept the fact that these are my beliefs and I will continue to believe this way no matter what.

What if we turn the tables and say that evolutionism is the belief that everything evolved from some small single celled organism and think about some questions that raises. Isn't there still that "missing link"? Are we putting our faith in a belief that there was something that allowed animals to crawl out of the water and on to land? What dinosaur did man develop from? How did reptile scales turn to skin, feathers, or fur? How did a single cell organism devolop into a human brain? I'm just acting as the devil's addvocate here because I don't know the answer to any of these questions and yet I also believe in Evolution just as much as anyone. I was just at the zoo 2 weeks ago watching the apes and was thinking "how can anyone deny that we evolved from them". But that leads to the next question: why did the evolution stop, why are there still apes? Why didn't they all evolve into the better species?


No matter what you believe or where you put your faith there will always be questions simply because it's just that: faith.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:07 AM   #66
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

Evolution has not stopped. Since the first Homeosapiens we have evolved and adapted to living in cities and towns rather than in caves, the average height has come down and the average body mass has gone up. Evolution includes environmental factors. There is a missing link, but you could rip out half of the evolution theory and it would still be more plausible in my eyes than christianity. Infact, there's evidence to suggest humans are devolving, and the Y chromosome is dying out. Something evolves when it mutates or adapts, the apes that remained apes were the ones not descended from those who mutated or adapted. Your definition of faith is definitely correct, and also explains why I am not a christian; without proof I cannot believe anything, I have no faith.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:53 AM   #67
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

Well this is my last post but I just wanted to point out a few more things:
- I didn't mean that evolution stopped as a whole. Just meant why didn't all the apes evolve, which you addressed.
- Isn't there a certain amout of faith involved to believe single celled organisims formed the plants and animals we have today - or at least the ancestors of them?
- Can you really, truly, beyond any reasonable doubt prove that evolution happened or that any of the religions of the world are correct?
- Do you not say "I believe" in evolution?
- And in my opinion you do have faith. It just depends on how you look at it. You have faith that there is no God. I have faith that there is a God. Isn't that essentially the same thing?
- And just to clarify I'm a Catholic who believes in Evolution. (Yes, we do exist) Yes I know the two "theories" don't normally co-exist, but in my head and more importantly in my heart, they do. I'm also not trying to attack you or anyone or your or their beliefs. I'm really just asking questions, questions I don't have an answer to.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:56 AM   #68
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

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And just to clarify I'm a Catholic who believes in Evolution. (Yes, we do exist) Yes I know the two "theories" don't normally co-exist
As a Christian (not a Catholic but besides the point) I know of many other Christians that believe in evolution - it's not that uncommon at all. There's various answers and proposals as to why, but I definitely wouldn't go as far as saying the two are incompatible. The way I see things, the purpose of that book was to depict the relationship between God and man, how it was meant to be - not give a scientific account of the creation of the world.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:23 AM   #69
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

I would rather be the one who went through life with faith to find out there is no God, than he who goes through life with no faith to find out there is a God... To be honest, there is nothing to loose.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:40 AM   #70
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Default Re: Question about the Bible

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Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
The authors themselves throughout weren't egotistical people forcing their believes on everyone. Luke for instance was a doctor looking to study the claims made about Jesus and write a genuine account of them. Paul was a mass murderer of Christians turned in a near instant to someone of the opposite character that turned out to be one of the most influential apostles of the new testament. Miracles performed by Jesus are consistently backed up by 4 separate authors writing separate accounts. As a publication, I have scrutinised it and I believe it does hold up to scrutiny and logic.
I'll just quote Wikipedia here.

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The majority view today is that Mark is the first Gospel, with Matthew and Luke borrowing passages both from that Gospel and from at least one other common source, lost to history, termed by scholars 'Q' (from German: Quelle, meaning "source"). This view is known as the "two-source hypothesis".[30] The two-gospel hypothesis, in contrast, says that Matthew was written first (by Matthew the Apostle), and then Luke the Evangelist wrote his gospel (using Matthew as his main source) before Mark the Evangelist wrote his gospel (using Peter's testimony). John was written last and shares little with the synoptic gospels.
Basically, all four of the canonical gospels were written long after the life of Jesus, and are almost universally accepted as having a common source. The fact that there are four of them recording similar events doesn't add to their validity any more than the fact than having four versions of "Little Red Riding Hood" adds to its validity.

I also find it rather strange that, given the massive public miracles that Jesus performed, there are no contemporary accounts that even show his existence. The earliest mention of him is in 98 AD, in Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, and that is widely believed to have been later corrupted by Christians. Also, many of the events mentioned in the gospels (the birth of Christ, the census, King Herod's infanticide) have no evidence of having ever occurred.

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Well this is my last post but I just wanted to point out a few more things:
- I didn't mean that evolution stopped as a whole. Just meant why didn't all the apes evolve, which you addressed.
We didn't evolve from apes. We share a common ancestor with them. Big difference.

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- Isn't there a certain amout of faith involved to believe single celled organisims formed the plants and animals we have today - or at least the ancestors of them?
Yes, but it's the theory that makes the most sense, and it holds up to scientific scrutiny.

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- Can you really, truly, beyond any reasonable doubt prove that evolution happened or that any of the religions of the world are correct?
We know that evolution has happened, and continues to happen. As I mentioned earlier, the most obvious example are RNA-based viruses. They evolve extremely rapidly due to a lack of error-correction when replicating. That's why you have to get a new flu shot every year.

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- Do you not say "I believe" in evolution?
Yes, but that's because there really isn't any better word to use. Maybe "I understand" evolution? But that sounds kinda funny, and it doesn't rule out the possibility of understanding the theory, but rejecting it.

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- And in my opinion you do have faith. It just depends on how you look at it. You have faith that there is no God. I have faith that there is a God. Isn't that essentially the same thing?
In my opinion, it's dishonest to firmly believe that there is no god. If I was presented with conclusive evidence for, I would believe it. Anyone who wouldn't is just as bad - if not worse than a theist. That said, there really is no conclusive evidence for any religion, just evidence against it.

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- And just to clarify I'm a Catholic who believes in Evolution. (Yes, we do exist) Yes I know the two "theories" don't normally co-exist, but in my head and more importantly in my heart, they do.
Actually, most Christians believe in evolution. The Catholic Church even declared that there's no denying it. Usually the ones who don't believe in Evolution are the extreme fundamental churches that are fairly common in the lower US.

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Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
I'm also not trying to attack you or anyone or your or their beliefs. I'm really just asking questions, questions I don't have an answer to.
I hope I answered your questions adequately. Please feel free to ask if you'd like clarification on anything.
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