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Alan Shore
23-01-2005, 09:34 PM
I was reading this on a another forum: http://www.ocremix.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=50943


I have to write a literary essay on The Wars by Timothy Findley, and in the text the main character end up shooting two of his fellow army officers so that these horses won't die in a fire. My essay is about how the main character isn't a hero, and that the humans live were worth more than those of the horses, but I am not sure how to prove it without saying "because I said so".

How would you prove that a human life is worth more than an animals?

Just curious what other people's opinions are: how would you justify (either way) the value of human life in relation to the above scenario?

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2005, 09:46 PM
The process of evaluation is totally subjective and the exercise, as framed, is futile - you can't "prove" a moral statement of this kind. However if the person wanted to talk about the value of the human lives vs the equine lives for a specific objective then it might be possible to make some sense of it. For instance in normal circumstances and for most human goals, humans would subjectively place one human life above any conceivable number of horse lives, but in a wartime situation it might be different. In a war, it's possible that keeping those horses alive would save more human lives on a given side in the long term than the two human lives taken to save them.

Alan Shore
23-01-2005, 09:57 PM
The process of evaluation is totally subjective and the exercise, as framed, is futile - you can't "prove" a moral statement of this kind.

I agree - the categorical imperative is insufficient to make a definitive judgement. Still, it would be interesting to hear a variety of individual perspectives.


However if the person wanted to talk about the value of the human lives vs the equine lives for a specific objective then it might be possible to make some sense of it. For instance in normal circumstances and for most human goals, humans would subjectively place one human life above any conceivable number of horse lives, but in a wartime situation it might be different. In a war, it's possible that keeping those horses alive would save more human lives on a given side in the long term than the two human lives taken to save them.

It seems you're leaning toward human lives being the more valuable then; by saving the horses, you're in effect saving more human lives, in which case the argument becomes Hume's greatest good for the greatest number. Yet if you read that differently, number can be read as referring to human vs. horses rather than human vs. other humans.

Try to remain impartial here as we're not given the precise circumstances of the reasons behind saving the horses or the main character's psychological attachments: it's either saving the horses just for the sake of saving them, or saving the two men just for the sake of saving them. In practice I supposed it's a near impossible scenario to have this complete objective impartiality but even so.. why would the human lives be more valued than the horses or vice-versa in your eyes?

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2005, 10:12 PM
I should make it clear here that I'm not trying to prove that the human lives were more important - I'm actually saying that what's being asked for may not be possible.


It seems you're leaning toward human lives being the more valuable then; by saving the horses, you're in effect saving more human lives, in which case the argument becomes Hume's greatest good for the greatest number. Yet if you read that differently, number can be read as referring to human vs. horses rather than human vs. other humans.

Exactly, and while I was referring to a greatest-good type premise I was only doing so conditionally (ie on the condition that one's goal is to secure the greatest human good, which might be a justifiable wartime goal although looking at most wars one doubts whether it is paid all that much heed. )


Try to remain impartial here as we're not given the precise circumstances of the reasons behind saving the horses or the main character's psychological attachments: it's either saving the horses just for the sake of saving them, or saving the two men just for the sake of saving them. In practice I supposed it's a near impossible scenario to have this complete objective impartiality but even so.. why would the human lives be more valued than the horses or vice-versa in your eyes?

My answer (assuming I did come down on the side of the human lives rather than the horse lives) would be a simple "because I subjectively care about the human lives more, and you cannot mount any objective argument to the contrary." I would then hose down any objective argument offered, but if a person simply subjectively valued the horses more for some reason then there would be nothing I would expect to be able to say to convince them.

Species putting their own species above others is very common behaviour in nature and is presumably genetically wired so even though I would not attempt an objective argument for saving the humans, I am sure a lot of humans would agree they should be saved. Behaviour being very common in nature does not prove anything about it being morally just, but does go a long way towards refuting those who would say that not saving the horses was speciesism.

Kaitlin
23-01-2005, 10:22 PM
" My essay is about how the main character isn't a hero, and that the humans live were worth more than those of the horses, but I am not sure how to prove it without saying "because I said so".

The Dewk ...could say that the main character isnt a hero because he was out to save himself and not to save the day (everyone) ..maybe thats why he killed the other to army guys, so he could use the horse to escape... mmm maybe we need to watch the video before you can say for sure. the only reason I can think of for the guy to kill the horses would be if they were going to eat them so they could survive. But people kill people for everything from mistrust or fear to jealousy which is kinda like fear too, maybe thats why he killed them and thats not a very hero'ee thing to do. Mmm I forgoten the question :S.

The Dewk..at the end of his essay story could just say he put hum self in the place of the guy who did it and sayt from his point of view he did it because "because I said so" ..casue it would take that non thinking stuff to kill anything horses or army soliders.

Rincewind
23-01-2005, 10:40 PM
Species putting their own species above others is very common behaviour in nature and is presumably genetically wired so even though I would not attempt an objective argument for saving the humans, I am sure a lot of humans would agree they should be saved. Behaviour being very common in nature does not prove anything about it being morally just, but does go a long way towards refuting those who would say that not saving the horses was speciesism.

I think this is the point. Due to the shared genes species tends to be "wired" to promote the survival of that species above others. For the same reason members of the same flock, tribe, pride, etc are supported more than those who are less distantly related. This behavior is simply the case of an extended phenotype being selected thanks to neo-Darwinian selection. It doesn't make it morally correct (or incorrect).

To make a moral judgement, I agree you would need a moral objective. I don't believe there is some universal truth of morals. For example, what would aliens looking on from their space-ship have done (if anything)? Perhaps the horses carried with them some rare genetic code that would be lost forever. In this case, they may well have decided that relative to the total biodiversity of the planet, the horses lives were more important.

This might be sobering news for the homo sapiens but others would say "we've had it too much our own way for too long". ;)


Kevin raised the interesting point of the position of the absolutist. That 1 human life is more important than all equine lives (for example). I cannot agree with this. There must be some graduated scale for species. I mean, we are perfectly happy to eat as many cows as we can raise and (in theory) humanely slaughter. But what about whales? dogs? chimpanzees? gorillas? What is our justification for this position?

If there is a gradual scale of species base on any criteria then why should homo sapien be separate from it? Sure they might be on top, but not in an absolute sense.

I don't think this is an easy question.

Rincewind
23-01-2005, 10:48 PM
Banjo Paterson was a horse lover and correspondant during the Boer War. The following poem was from that period...

The Last Parade
by AB 'Banjo' Paterson

With never a sound of trumpet,
With never a flag displayed,
The last of the old campaigners
Lined up for the last parade.

Weary they were and battered,
Shoeless, and knocked about;
From under their ragged forelocks
Their hungry eyes looked out.

And they watched as the old commander
Read out, to the cheering men,
The Nation's thanks and the orders
To carry them home again.

And the last of the old campaigners,
Sinewy, lean, and spare --
He spoke for his hungry comrades:
`Have we not done our share?

`Starving and tired and thirsty
We limped on the blazing plain;
And after a long night's picket
You saddled us up again.

`We froze on the wind-swept kopjes
When the frost lay snowy-white.
Never a halt in the daytime,
Never a rest at night!

`We knew when the rifles rattled
From the hillside bare and brown,
And over our weary shoulders
We felt warm blood run down,

`As we turned for the stretching gallop,
Crushed to the earth with weight;
But we carried our riders through it --
Carried them p'raps too late.

`Steel! We were steel to stand it --
We that have lasted through,
We that are old campaigners
Pitiful, poor, and few.

`Over the sea you brought us,
Over the leagues of foam:
Now we have served you fairly
Will you not take us home?

`Home to the Hunter River,
To the flats where the lucerne grows;
Home where the Murrumbidgee
Runs white with the melted snows.

`This is a small thing surely!
Will not you give command
That the last of the old campaigners
Go back to their native land?'

. . . . .

They looked at the grim commander,
But never a sign he made.
`Dismiss!' and the old campaigners
Moved off from their last parade.

Kevin Bonham
23-01-2005, 10:53 PM
Kevin raised the interesting point of the position of the absolutist. That 1 human life is more important than all equine lives (for example). I cannot agree with this. There must be some graduated scale for species. I mean, we are perfectly happy to eat as many cows as we can raise and (in theory) humanely slaughter. But what about whales? dogs? chimpanzees? gorillas? What is our justification for this position?

I was being a bit lazy there when I said "any conceivable number of horses" - I was more thinking of a typical practical situation where you might be likely to weigh a human life against 10 or 100 or maybe 1000 horses. Actually I think in some cases, like mad cow disease scares, proportionally even greater numbers of common livestock may have been killed per human life directly saved. Perhaps the ratio there is misleading because mad cow disease is also a consumer confidence issue that impacts on the economy (which then impacts on human life) but my point is: a situation where one human life is placed against the life of every horse on the planet isn't realistically likely. Subjectively, I think most people would save the horses in such a case.

Where species are at risk the lives of animals seem to become more highly valued. For instance in some parts of Africa, ivory poaching is an offence punishable by death on the spot and rangers have shoot-to-kill permission for anyone considered to be a poacher. It is not quite comparable because these are the lives of apparently "guilty" humans and not army officers we know nothing about, but it does show a high value can be placed on animal life in these cases.

Many if not most humans are also biased in how they place value on animal lives - pets over wildlife, vertebrates over invertebrates, "pretty" species over "ugly" ones etc.

Kaitlin
23-01-2005, 11:06 PM
If survival is of important then us the human beings should be contcentrating heaps more on space exploration and space colonisation.... "a situation where one human life is placed against the life of every horse on the planet isn't realistically likely. Subjectively, I think most people would save the horses in such a case. ...Where species are at risk the lives of animals seem to become more highly valued." (from Kevins post below # mmm it dont show the number when you scroll down here, after you click submit it does and it was #8)... we won't need horses in space and if there was less of us here then most other things would have a better chance at not becoming extinct.

Rincewind
23-01-2005, 11:16 PM
Another interesting anecdote on the relative value of human and equine life:

Richard Benson, a jockey, aged 14, while riding William Tell in his training, was thrown and killed. The horse is luckily uninjured.
- Melbourne wire

This prompted Paterson to write the poem Only a Jockey which I won't copy here as one poem a day is more than enough. ;)

Kaitlin
23-01-2005, 11:28 PM
Another interesting anecdote on the relative value of human and equine life:

Richard Benson, a jockey, aged 14, while riding William Tell in his training, was thrown and killed. The horse is luckily uninjured.
- Melbourne wire

This prompted Paterson to write the poem Only a Jockey which I won't copy here as one poem a day is more than enough. ;)

I read the other poem and it was sad cause they didnt bring them horses home... its sad when things are looked at for only what they can do and not what they have done :(

Rincewind
23-01-2005, 11:29 PM
If survival is of important then us the human beings should be contcentrating heaps more on space exploration and space colonisation....

Space colonisation is not a high priority at the moment. Provided we don;t screw up the environment is some monumental way. Sure there is always the chance that a big rock hits us some time really soon, but even that chance is pretty small really. The sun is going to burn for a long time yet so I can't see there is much need to being an interplanetary diaspora.


"a situation where one human life is placed against the life of every horse on the planet isn't realistically likely. Subjectively, I think most people would save the horses in such a case. ...Where species are at risk the lives of animals seem to become more highly valued." (from Kevins post below # mmm it dont show the number when you scroll down here, after you click submit it does and it was #8)...

we won't need horses in space and if there was less of us here then most other things would have a better chance at not becoming extinct.

That's true but it not foreseeably possibly that we could gship people off the planet faster than we can grow them at this stage. So space colonisation will not answer the problem of loss of biodiversity.

Rincewind
23-01-2005, 11:38 PM
Many if not most humans are also biased in how they place value on animal lives - pets over wildlife, vertebrates over invertebrates, "pretty" species over "ugly" ones etc.

Is there a best way to place the lives of various species? Is self-awareness, intelligence, etc a valid approach? If so, this debate wil begin having implications on issues of abortion, euthanasia and perhaps even the welfare of the mentally handicapped. If not what else do we have? A supposedly eternal life-force that no one can prove exists and many (including me, incidentally) hold the view that it doesn't.

Kevin Bonham
24-01-2005, 12:50 AM
Is there a best way to place the lives of various species?

Many scientists push for "phyletic distinctiveness". The idea is that an extremely genetically distinctive species, say for instance the platypus (which has no close living relatives) is more valuable than yet another species of, say, kangaroo (or anything else in a genus of several closely related species).


Is self-awareness, intelligence, etc a valid approach? If so, this debate wil begin having implications on issues of abortion, euthanasia and perhaps even the welfare of the mentally handicapped.

Yes. That is why, when talking about how to legitimise different treatment of animals to humans in law, I don't ever try to argue that humans are innately superior. Rather, I say that law is a pragmatic device, that humans have the power to bias their survival decisions towards themselves, and that they choose to do so because it is simpler drawing an artificial line (human/non-human, with different legal rights for each) than trying to treat every individual specimen (human or otherwise) on its specific merits.

Bias in favour of larger and more complex animals is very ingrained in the public mind. Some of this may be indirectly legitimate because the ecological impact of losing a whole given large-animal species is greater than that of losing another random, ecologically minor invertebrate - but most of it is just the it's-cute-it's-cuddly-it's-more-like-us bias.

An interesting case was one of the precariously endangered condors in the USA. This condor got down to a couple of dozen specimens and the situation was so grave that it was decided to take all the surviving birds into captivity for a while (recently, re-release has commenced). A decision was made to disinfect all the birds to protect them against disease risks - but this decision probably caused the extinction of two species of parasite that only lived on that species of condor. Some biologists argue that this decision was wrong.

Some ethicists try to use "consciousness" as a criterion, so that a more advanced animal is more important because it is more likely to have sensation, and also to have more of it. Peter Singer sees nothing wrong with knocking off an animal if it is incapable of sensation. I find this approach unsatisfactory because of the - in my view irresolvable - problems with the word "consciousness" and determining what objects are "conscious" and what are not.

Oepty
24-01-2005, 01:37 PM
I think that 1 human life is worth more than all of the animals, that is every example of every spieces on the earth. This is for purely religious reasons which I can explain if you really want me too.
Scott

Rincewind
24-01-2005, 01:45 PM
This is for purely religious reasons which I can explain if you really want me too.

as it got something to do with aneternal soul? If so, how do you reconcile that belief with the universally accepted scientific theory of evolution? (IE When did the soul evolve?)

Oepty
24-01-2005, 04:02 PM
No Barry. It has absolutely nothing to do with the belief that humans have a human's have an eternal, or immortal soul. I do not believe this belief is taught in the Bible. Humans instead are totally mortal creatures that have no existance after death, but decay away. The hope of any human is ressurection.
In short one of my reasons behind my statement is that humans are capable of believing in God and at least in part doing what God wishs us to do. All animals are not able to do this.
Scott

Rincewind
24-01-2005, 04:36 PM
No Barry. It has absolutely nothing to do with the belief that humans have a human's have an eternal, or immortal soul.

Sorry to presume, I was just trying to save time.


In short one of my reasons behind my statement is that humans are capable of believing in God and at least in part doing what God wishs us to do. All animals are not able to do this.

OK, and how does this (even if it were true) make the value of a single human life worth more than the sum total of all animal (and presumably all plant and bacteria life as well)?

What would be the value of a stem cell? A foetus? Someone suffering from advanced Alzheimer's or some mental disability preventing them from making the cognitive step to awareness of God and his will?

Is there a difference between the value of a Christian life and, say, a Satanist's life?

ursogr8
24-01-2005, 04:45 PM
Is there a difference between the value of a Christian life and, say, a Satanist's life?

Should I be considering metrics on this continuum? ;) :hand:

Oepty
24-01-2005, 07:34 PM
Sorry to presume, I was just trying to save time.



OK, and how does this (even if it were true) make the value of a single human life worth more than the sum total of all animal (and presumably all plant and bacteria life as well)?

What would be the value of a stem cell? A foetus? Someone suffering from advanced Alzheimer's or some mental disability preventing them from making the cognitive step to awareness of God and his will?

Is there a difference between the value of a Christian life and, say, a Satanist's life?

The whole of creation has enormous value and should not be destroyed as a whole willfully. Humans are quite clearly seen as the pinacle of creation and are far more valuable.

I have to cut this answer short, but will come back to it soon hopefully.
Scott

Kaitlin
24-01-2005, 07:52 PM
The whole of creation has enormous value and should not be destroyed as a whole willfully. Humans are quite clearly seen as the pinacle of creation and are far more valuable.

I have to cut this answer short, but will come back to it soon hopefully.
Scott

I am sure cane toads tell themselfs the same thing.

Oepty
24-01-2005, 08:45 PM
To contiue with what I was previously saying.

The fact that God gave humans control over all of the animals indicates that humans have a greater worth than all the animals, as inviduals at least.
God also made it clear that we can eat any animal, beside humans. I think this probably would apply even if it means the end of a species, but I would be personally reluctant to knowingly end a species through killing them. Extreme circumstances may overcome this reluctance though.

As to the various worth of humans, well I think it is a bit different subject. In the end my religious beliefs mean I would rather leave the judgement of that to God.
Is the value of the worst, as far as good/evil in terms of Biblical standards, human being worth more than all the animals on the earth? I would say yes while they are alive because there is always a chance that they may change to the good, or at least I don't think it is up to humans to make the decision there is not a chance.
As for a dead person, the Bible says a living dog is better than a dead lion. I think if a person is dead without hope then they have no value, while a person dead with hope has great value.


Kaitlin, I have thought about your post and there is a number of ways I can read it. If it is more than a throw away line then please explain it more.

Scott

Kevin Bonham
24-01-2005, 09:05 PM
I think that 1 human life is worth more than all of the animals, that is every example of every spieces on the earth. This is for purely religious reasons which I can explain if you really want me too.
Scott

Let me tell you a story about an action that impressed me greatly but will probably be completely lost on you. One of the philosophy lecturers at the uni I went to was quite a "committed Christian", but not a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist enrolled in Philosophy of Religion and attempted to get through the course by basically just quoting from the Bible or attempting to say what the Bible said. The committed Christian, although basically agreeing with many of the fundamentalist's beliefs, awarded them a failure for the philosophy course. :clap: :clap:

Kaitlin
24-01-2005, 09:11 PM
To contiue with what I was previously saying.

The fact that God gave humans control over all of the animals indicates that humans have a greater worth than all the animals, as inviduals at least.



Scott

My dog only does what I tell him to sometimes...well most of the time but only especially if i had bribed him wif food lots before

Spiny Norman
24-01-2005, 09:13 PM
The committed Christian, although basically agreeing with many of the fundamentalist's beliefs, awarded them a failure for the philosophy course. :clap: :clap:

A matter of integrity on behalf of the lecturer ... good for him. Someone should have told the fundamentalist that he was there to do a degree, first and foremost. If you lose sight of that you're on a hiding to nothing I expect. :)

Rincewind
24-01-2005, 09:55 PM
The fact that God gave humans control over all of the animals indicates that humans have a greater worth than all the animals, as inviduals at least.
God also made it clear that we can eat any animal, beside humans. I think this probably would apply even if it means the end of a species, but I would be personally reluctant to knowingly end a species through killing them. Extreme circumstances may overcome this reluctance though.

SO individual humans are more important than individual animals. But I'm still not clear how it follows that 1 human is more valuable than the sum total of non-human creation.

Also what makes you think god gave humans control over all the animals? We don't seem to have much control over the Multi Drug Resistent - Tuberculosis bacteria, for example. Not to mention a few others.

Oepty
25-01-2005, 10:14 AM
Let me tell you a story about an action that impressed me greatly but will probably be completely lost on you. One of the philosophy lecturers at the uni I went to was quite a "committed Christian", but not a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist enrolled in Philosophy of Religion and attempted to get through the course by basically just quoting from the Bible or attempting to say what the Bible said. The committed Christian, although basically agreeing with many of the fundamentalist's beliefs, awarded them a failure for the philosophy course. :clap: :clap:

I understand what you are saying, or at least I think I do. Quoting the Bible does not always provide the type of answer needed or required. I am not expecting people here to full down before me and believe everything I say just because I use the Bible. In fact I almost expect the opposite, I realise I am largely on my own on the BB. I am far different in my views than even Goughfather.
I also have a friend who finished his PHD in science and he has told me that he had to make sure he kept even the hint that he is a creationist out of his work, even though I don't think that belief would have had any impact whatsoever on the area of science he was looking at.
If you want to get something like a degree or PHD then I guess you sometimes have to give the answer required, not the answer you would really like to give. I am not really trying to get something out of anything I put in posts here so I guess I will answer how I like. There is a broader readership of posts than just the person I directly answer too and that also sometimes influences the style of post I use.
Scott

Oepty
25-01-2005, 10:17 AM
My dog only does what I tell him to sometimes...well most of the time but only especially if i had bribed him wif food lots before

Well your dog doesn't reason for himself that something is right or wrong, but is influenced to do something because he might get a reward that meets his natural instincts. In this case he needs food to live so he will do things to get food so he can live.
Scott

Oepty
25-01-2005, 10:29 AM
SO individual humans are more important than individual animals. But I'm still not clear how it follows that 1 human is more valuable than the sum total of non-human creation.

Also what makes you think god gave humans control over all the animals? We don't seem to have much control over the Multi Drug Resistent - Tuberculosis bacteria, for example. Not to mention a few others.

Barry. I will try and keep it short.

God purpose or plan is for all the earth to be filled with his glory.

As humans are the only being capable of the reasoning, however poor you might view that reasoning, to believe and follow God, then only by having humans living on the earth would this be achieved. Animals are largely, if not completely irrelevant to this idea. They in this way as individuals have little worth, while a human has great worth.

Of course animals have worth in other ways, but I think, and I if you disagree then I am not going to be to worried, that means any one human life is worth more than all of the animals put together.

To put it another way, I think, and I might be wrong, God would rather have one human living on earth, than all of the other creatures that live on the earth.

Scott

Rincewind
25-01-2005, 10:58 AM
As humans are the only being capable of the reasoning, however poor you might view that reasoning, to believe and follow God, then only by having humans living on the earth would this be achieved. Animals are largely, if not completely irrelevant to this idea. They in this way as individuals have little worth, while a human has great worth.

So what about humans with a reduced capacity for reasoning to believe in God? Do their lives have less worth than others? After all if the mentally handicapped are unable to reason to follow god they cannot fill the world with his glory and therefore cannot participate in God's grand scheme.

Oepty
25-01-2005, 11:20 AM
Barry. It does not lower their worth as a human being. The fact that they can not reason is not their fault and we should treat them as far as the worth of their life as we would treat any other human. There are other things, such as ignorance, that can limit a person ability to follow God but that does not mean their worth is any less.
Scott

Rincewind
25-01-2005, 01:18 PM
Barry. It does not lower their worth as a human being. The fact that they can not reason is not their fault and we should treat them as far as the worth of their life as we would treat any other human. There are other things, such as ignorance, that can limit a person ability to follow God but that does not mean their worth is any less.

But does the fact that an animal cannot reason to your standard its fault?

Alan Shore
25-01-2005, 03:01 PM
But does the fact that an animal cannot reason to your standard its fault?

The interesting thing is, animals can reason; to a certain point. Consider examples of Great Apes who have been shown to possess self-recognition skills, rudimentary problem-solving techniques (alone and in groups), mathematical adding ability and even communication techniques at the level of sign language.

This is just one example close to how humans see 'reasoning' yet there are numerous other examples of what may be deemed 'intelligence' displayed by animals in order to achieve an ends regarding survival in hunting techniques or surviving harsh weather conditions.

Rincewind
25-01-2005, 03:12 PM
The interesting thing is, animals can reason; to a certain point. Consider examples of Great Apes who have been shown to possess self-recognition skills, rudimentary problem-solving techniques (alone and in groups), mathematical adding ability and even communication techniques at the level of sign language.

This is just one example close to how humans see 'reasoning' yet there are numerous other examples of what may be deemed 'intelligence' displayed by animals in order to achieve an ends regarding survival in hunting techniques or surviving harsh weather conditions.

And hence why I said "... to your standard ..." ;)

Alan Shore
25-01-2005, 03:34 PM
And hence why I said "... to your standard ..." ;)

Yes I realise.. it was more supporting what you were saying than challenging it.. I suppose I could have quoted Scott to be clear about whom it was addressed to but oh well.

Oepty
30-01-2005, 03:08 PM
Bruce. Yes animals can reason to a certain degree, but I don't think they are able to believe in a God. Be very interested if you could prove me wrong.

Barry. You are changing the context of what I said. I made some comments that refered to relationships between species and you asked me a question about issues with a species, in this case humans. You then use this to make a comment about comparing species. These are two completely different issues, please try not to confuse them.

It is not the animals fault they can not believe in a God, but it is irrelevant because I believe they were never created with that intention in mind.
A mentally disabled human being's position is not because of humans position as put forward since creation, but because of disobedience of the human race. Two completely different issues.

Scott

Rincewind
30-01-2005, 03:19 PM
Barry. You are changing the context of what I said. I made some comments that refered to relationships between species and you asked me a question about issues with a species, in this case humans. You then use this to make a comment about comparing species. These are two completely different issues, please try not to confuse them.

Scott, I only tried to apply your reasons in so far as I believe they were applicable across species and within species. If you find that it is not applicable for some reson, please tell me so as otherwise I would assume such cross examination illuminating.


It is not the animals fault they can not believe in a God, but it is irrelevant because I believe they were never created with that intention in mind.

Do you think the homo sapien species evolved from earlier hominids or do you think they were created, as is, in a special event of divine intervention?


A mentally disabled human being's position is not because of humans position as put forward since creation, but because of disobedience of the human race. Two completely different issues.

So your saying it is the human's fault that they are mentally handicapped? When you say this are you referring to the fall of man? If so, then didn't the sacrific of Jesus on the cross provide the opportunity for this sin to be forgiven? If so, how is this possbile for someone without the mental ability to believe in God? It would seem this arrangement has left the mentally handicapped out in the cold.

Sorry to have so many contingent clauses but as your position is not clear to me, I think this is necessary to be able to progress the argument at any rate.

Cat
30-01-2005, 11:20 PM
Bruce. Yes animals can reason to a certain degree, but I don't think they are able to believe in a God. Be very interested if you could prove me wrong.

Barry. You are changing the context of what I said. I made some comments that refered to relationships between species and you asked me a question about issues with a species, in this case humans. You then use this to make a comment about comparing species. These are two completely different issues, please try not to confuse them.

It is not the animals fault they can not believe in a God, but it is irrelevant because I believe they were never created with that intention in mind.
A mentally disabled human being's position is not because of humans position as put forward since creation, but because of disobedience of the human race. Two completely different issues.

Scott

I would say an absolute prerequisite for a belief in a God is a language capable of expressing such an abstract concept.

Alan Shore
30-01-2005, 11:32 PM
I would say an absolute prerequisite for a belief in a God is a language capable of expressing such an abstract concept.

What kind of language? Or, why does the concept have to be expressed in language per se? I believe you are limiting your options.

Cat
31-01-2005, 12:09 AM
What kind of language? Or, why does the concept have to be expressed in language per se? I believe you are limiting your options.

Because language created God, he is the word. Without language God doesn't exist. He can only be arrived at abstractly, and for that a language must exist capable of such conceptualisation. The Greeks even coined the term 'Son of Man' and explored some of these concepts.

Rincewind
31-01-2005, 07:21 AM
Because language created God, he is the word. Without language God doesn't exist. He can only be arrived at abstractly, and for that a language must exist capable of such conceptualisation. The Greeks even coined the term 'Son of Man' and explored some of these concepts.

This could just be anthromorphism. Who knows what goes through the minds of chimpanzees except chimpanzees? They look very contented when they are sitting there eating each others lice. I think they must know something. ;)

Oepty
31-01-2005, 12:46 PM
Scott, I only tried to apply your reasons in so far as I believe they were applicable across species and within species. If you find that it is not applicable for some reson, please tell me so as otherwise I would assume such cross examination illuminating.


I explained my reason further in my post




Do you think the homo sapien species evolved from earlier hominids or do you think they were created, as is, in a special event of divine intervention?

I believe in creation as specified in Genesis 1 and 2 of the Bible.



So your saying it is the human's fault that they are mentally handicapped? When you say this are you referring to the fall of man? If so, then didn't the sacrific of Jesus on the cross provide the opportunity for this sin to be forgiven? If so, how is this possbile for someone without the mental ability to believe in God? It would seem this arrangement has left the mentally handicapped out in the cold.

Sorry to have so many contingent clauses but as your position is not clear to me, I think this is necessary to be able to progress the argument at any rate.

Yes I am talking about the fall of man as spoken about in the Bible. Man is now not in the very good state talked about from creation so people with deviations from the design implemented by God, such as mental disability do occur, very sadly

Scott Colliver

Rincewind
31-01-2005, 02:06 PM
I believe in creation as specified in Genesis 1 and 2 of the Bible.

So the idea that homo sapiens evolved from earlier lifeforms and shared common ancestry with the other great apes in the relatively recent past (say 10 million years) - for argument sake let's call this radical idea "orthodox biology". Your position is orthodox biology (as it is taught in schools and universities almost everywhere) is nonsense?


Yes I am talking about the fall of man as spoken about in the Bible. Man is now not in the very good state talked about from creation so people with deviations from the design implemented by God, such as mental disability do occur, very sadly

So do the mentally handicapped unable to comprehend/believe in a creator have any hope for redemption? Or are they forever damned by the unthinking act of Adam and Eve some x,000 years ago?

Oepty
01-02-2005, 03:05 PM
Barry. There is a lot to biology so I am not going to call it nonsense. If parts of biology, in which I have a very, very little knowledge are claimed to prove/support that evolution is true, then I believe that the claim is false. Why it is wrong though I would in almost no cases have any idea. I think it is though pointless for me to talk about biology and evolution because of my lack of knowledge.
Scott

Rincewind
01-02-2005, 05:56 PM
There is a lot to biology so I am not going to call it nonsense. If parts of biology, in which I have a very, very little knowledge are claimed to prove/support that evolution is true, then I believe that the claim is false. Why it is wrong though I would in almost no cases have any idea. I think it is though pointless for me to talk about biology and evolution because of my lack of knowledge.

There is a lot to biology and most of it only makes sense in the light of evolution driven by the idea of natural selection. Also biology in interwoven with the natural sciences and it is very difficult to pick and chose to believe with the modern scientists up to the point of believing that aeroplanes are going to reliably provide transport from Adelaide to Sydney but the world was created in six 24 hour days.

Oepty
01-02-2005, 06:52 PM
Barry is natural selection neccessarily anticreation? I have previously done some reading, but not for a while, quite a while.

Alan Shore
02-02-2005, 03:05 PM
Because language created God, he is the word. Without language God doesn't exist.

Nonsense. If your argument was true then if I was the only man left on earth God would simply cease to be as I have no one to communicate with or language to express myself.


He can only be arrived at abstractly, and for that a language must exist capable of such conceptualisation.

Since when is language a prerequisite for abstraction? There are many things difficult to communicate, perhaps beyond our own capabilities.


The Greeks even coined the term 'Son of Man' and explored some of these concepts.

You're focusing too much on the Logos and not enough on pure spirituality. You should see what some of these Eastern monks are capable of, without language.

Cat
02-02-2005, 04:22 PM
Nonsense. If your argument was true then if I was the only man left on earth God would simply cease to be as I have no one to communicate with or language to express myself.

Its a harsh judgement I know!



Since when is language a prerequisite for abstraction? There are many things difficult to communicate, perhaps beyond our own capabilities.

Not for abstraction but to communicate abstraction, even to oneself.

Oepty
03-02-2005, 12:05 PM
Here is a repost of a post Barry accidentally moved to the thread about Darwin.

So Barry, I guess it is then fair to say that natural selection is not necessarily contradictory to evolution. I have absolutely no problem with it.
The age of the earth is a interesting question. The Bible makes no real determination on the age of the earth, only what God created on it.
From just reading Genesis 1:1-2 all of these things are possible. I am not saying they did happen, just they are not inconsistent, in my opinion, with what is written.
Some time, maybe a lot of time, maybe billions of years of time occured between God creating the earth and creation that is described in the rest of Genesis 1 and 2.
During this time maybe the dinosuars lived on the earth and died out or there was different laws of nature/science at work on the earth. Either of these might explain some of the dating of the earth without there being a massive conspiracy of scientists.
There is also the possibilty the earth existed without time existing.
I don't believe in a massive conspircy of scientists in that all evolutionist scientist have agreed to put forth a view which they know are wrong to hide creation. I think this idea is just stupid.
I don't why evolution has come forth, I just don't why, I just believe it to be wrong.
Scott

Rincewind
03-02-2005, 12:13 PM
In another message (also moved) DR surmised this message would leave me "gobsmacked". Well he was right, but perhaps not for the reason he thinks.

The last line of your post you say...


I don't why evolution has come forth, I just don't why, I just believe it to be wrong.

This raises the question of what is a good reason to believe something.

I believe evidence is the only answer. This is how science works.

However, people regularly form beliefs for other reasons. Tradition, authority and revelation are probably the most common of these and I believe they are all flawed. Why they are flawed will take longer to argue.

Anyway, I submit that you hold these beliefs because of some combination of these "other reasons" rather than evidence and it is obvious the subtantial amout of evidence producible by science has not and probably will not change that view.

So on this point at least there is little point continuing a discussion along these lines.

Oepty
03-02-2005, 12:31 PM
Barry. There are more than one type of evidence and I believe the Bible because of evidence.

Anyway you say there are three reasons why people believe in religion.

Tradition. Well what a stupid reason for believing in something. To believe that something is right just because people who have come before believed it is right is just wrong. People are flawed and you need to look at things appart from what people believe. This does not mean that things which are traditionally done are wrong, we just need to know WHY the are done and decide for ourselves that the WHY is a good reason for doing the traditional thing.

Authority. I guess you mean you believe something because you are told to believe it. Well this is alright for a child, maybe, but we need to be independent people who think for themselves. Someone who allows themselves to be pushed into believing something is just weak.

I guess that leaves revelation. There are many types of claimed revelation, either directly from a god, or indirectly through a writing such as the Bible.

Scott

arosar
03-02-2005, 01:49 PM
Forget about this topic. What about this child abuser, whatshisname, who's been hounded from town to town. Is this, the hounding, the proper way for society to behave? I mean, has this man not paid his dues as per our criminal justice system? What say you? Do you think we should leave him alone?

AR

antichrist
03-02-2005, 02:32 PM
Forget about this topic. What about this child abuser, whatshisname, who's been hounded from town to town. Is this, the hounding, the proper way for society to behave? I mean, has this man not paid his dues as per our criminal justice system? What say you? Do you think we should leave him alone?

AR

To some people his is a life of little value, and to reach this point he had to severely devalue other human lives. I was expecting to see a rope thrown over the nearest tree for a lynching. (trutfully I have not seen any TV on this).

As mentioned earlier I know a guy who has just been jailed for 12 months for flogging a mountain of child porno -- otherwise he seemed okay. I know a woman who was molested when a child, and now a mature adult and still has not made recovery. She displays the typical syntoms of someone being abused and has few friends because of it and is not okay.

In other words the abuser casts a "life" sentence over the child yet he is free to move on with his life.

Remember when that Aussie policeman (Egyptian born) shot his uncle or cousin who had abusing children in OZ, because he could not get protection for the children and he was filling his protective role. The jury let him off.

AS the parole authorities still consider them of some risk, maybe they should have their own community, segregated without children.

Rincewind
03-02-2005, 04:00 PM
Authority. I guess you mean you believe something because you are told to believe it. Well this is alright for a child, maybe, but we need to be independent people who think for themselves. Someone who allows themselves to be pushed into believing something is just weak.

This may be true. However, many of these beliefs are formed when the believers themselves are children. The mind of a child is very open to believe whatever they are told by an authorative figure like a teacher, parent, or is some cultures spiritual teachers.

Once an belief has been firmly lodged in the mind of a child, I suspect it can be near impossible to remove when that child has reached adulthood.

Regarding evidential basis for belief. This is an interesting point. I think I would ask, why don't you believe what is written in the Koran?

Cat
03-02-2005, 06:51 PM
Forget about this topic. What about this child abuser, whatshisname, who's been hounded from town to town. Is this, the hounding, the proper way for society to behave? I mean, has this man not paid his dues as per our criminal justice system? What say you? Do you think we should leave him alone?

AR

You're talking about Matt, right?

Oepty
03-02-2005, 08:06 PM
This may be true. However, many of these beliefs are formed when the believers themselves are children. The mind of a child is very open to believe whatever they are told by an authorative figure like a teacher, parent, or is some cultures spiritual teachers.

Once an belief has been firmly lodged in the mind of a child, I suspect it can be near impossible to remove when that child has reached adulthood.

Regarding evidential basis for belief. This is an interesting point. I think I would ask, why don't you believe what is written in the Koran?

I think you are overstating the possibility of people beliefs being changed as they grow up into adulthood. I have personally seen a lot of people who have been brought up in families who believed in God who have walked away from it. Being brought up in a believing family certainly does increase the possibility of people believing or at least professing to believe. I would question whether someone who believes because their parents do is really a believer or just someone who doesn't want to get on the wrong side of their parents, ie a follower or believer in their parents, not a god.

I have little time at the moment to answer the second question but for a quick answer it is my understanding the Koran is not a prophetic book.

Rincewind
03-02-2005, 08:27 PM
I think you are overstating the possibility of people beliefs being changed as they grow up into adulthood. I have personally seen a lot of people who have been brought up in families who believed in God who have walked away from it. Being brought up in a believing family certainly does increase the possibility of people believing or at least professing to believe. I would question whether someone who believes because their parents do is really a believer or just someone who doesn't want to get on the wrong side of their parents, ie a follower or believer in their parents, not a god.

So have I. I didn't say impossible, just nearly so. My point is these beliefs are generally formed at an early age when the child is not able to question the truth of what they are told. Those beliefs then mature in the mind of that individual and so while they might think their belief is not founded no authority or tradition, in fact it is.


I have little time at the moment to answer the second question but for a quick answer it is my understanding the Koran is not a prophetic book.

I'm not overly familiar with the Koran myself. But I imagine adherents are similarly impressed by its truth as you are by the Bibles. Perhaps even moreso as there seems to be a greater tendancy for Muslims to die for their causes. That being said, how can I choose between the truth inthe Bible and the truth in the Koran? Or more to the point, how do you do it?

antichrist
04-02-2005, 03:34 AM
I'm not overly familiar with the Koran myself. But I imagine adherents are similarly impressed by its truth as you are by the Bibles. Perhaps even moreso as there seems to be a greater tendancy for Muslims to die for their causes. That being said, how can I choose between the truth inthe Bible and the truth in the Koran? Or more to the point, how do you do it?

I choose the Koran as it has a better ending.

Rincewind
04-02-2005, 08:31 AM
I choose the Koran as it has a better ending.

The point that you have two options and must choose one (as they are not entirely consistent) is salient. As any christian will tell you, humans are fallible, prone to error and weakness. How can you be sure you have chosen correctly?

Of course most theists don't chose at all. They are indoctrinated in a particular faith as a child and this leaves them predisposed to accept that faith in their adult life. Scott doesn't reject the Koran, he smiply ignores it. He has the Bible and so there is no need to look for anything else. Muslims and most (if not all) other theists are the same.

Alan Shore
04-02-2005, 09:37 AM
Of course most theists don't chose at all. They are indoctrinated in a particular faith as a child and this leaves them predisposed to accept that faith in their adult life. Scott doesn't reject the Koran, he smiply ignores it. He has the Bible and so there is no need to look for anything else. Muslims and most (if not all) other theists are the same.

I find your little (if not all) most improper Baz, it's pretty insulting to see (if not all) theists branded as braindead saps who lap up what they're fed and don't question anything.. I'd argue it's scientists that are most guilty of not questioning things enough. It's another reason why we need philosophers to light the way.

Cat
04-02-2005, 10:27 AM
I find your little (if not all) most improper Baz, it's pretty insulting to see (if not all) theists branded as braindead saps who lap up what they're fed and don't question anything.. I'd argue it's scientists that are most guilty of not questioning things enough. It's another reason why we need philosophers to light the way.

I think this is a fair comment - as I have said so many times, none of us have the inside rail on wisdom and to judge others for their belief, and to presume that one believer is pretty much the same as any other, is nothing more than bigotry.

Rincewind
04-02-2005, 04:50 PM
I find your little (if not all) most improper Baz, it's pretty insulting to see (if not all) theists branded as braindead saps who lap up what they're fed and don't question anything.. I'd argue it's scientists that are most guilty of not questioning things enough. It's another reason why we need philosophers to light the way.

It is backed up by statistics. The point is there are a multitude of theistic faiths. Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc, etc. All claimnig to have the good oil on spirituality. Yet still faith is overwhelming passed down from parent to child.

Children of theists and atheists alike are likely to take what they are told by an authorative figure to be true. However, once a child's mind has been convinced of believing something without evidence. To put store in faith without reason to believe and to extoll the 'virtue' of the mystery certainly helps keep the rational adult in unquestioned observance.

Theists reject all the gods of all other faiths. Atheists just take this argument to its logical conclusion.

Rincewind
04-02-2005, 04:55 PM
I think this is a fair comment - as I have said so many times, none of us have the inside rail on wisdom and to judge others for their belief, and to presume that one believer is pretty much the same as any other, is nothing more than bigotry.

With so many different faiths saying different things and so many people dying for their (or someone else's) beliefs, don't you think it time to stop pussyfooting around religion? I'm wondering the process that causes so many people to hold heartfelt beliefs which cannot be rationalised. To assume a belief is wise because it is traditional (as you seem to do) is just wrong. It's time we opened our eyes and tackled the truth without the hokus-pokus of superstition.

Alan Shore
04-02-2005, 05:07 PM
It is backed up by statistics. The point is there are a multitude of theistic faiths. Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc, etc. All claimnig to have the good oil on spirituality. Yet still faith is overwhelming passed down from parent to child.

I don't deny that is sometimes the case yet more and more we are living in an ag of questioning and seeking.. the 60's cultural revolution went a long way in ensuring a 'break from parental traditions' I'm sure.. perhaps you can shed more light on that since you were alive back then. ;)

Long story short though, there are social norms and functionalist cognitions that go a long way to governing what we believe, not just basic conditioning.


Children of theists and atheists alike are likely to take what they are told by an authorative figure to be true. However, once a child's mind has been convinced of believing something without evidence. To put store in faith without reason to believe and to extoll the 'virtue' of the mystery certainly helps keep the rational adult in unquestioned observance.

No one should ever adopt such an attitude - you're only fooling yourself if you do. More's the pity for those secluding themselves from a more objective worldview.


Theists reject all the gods of all other faiths. Atheists just take this argument to its logical conclusion.

Hooray, it's the oligatory intellectual atheist snobbery.... we've heard it before Baz. The argument only works for the fundamentalists. :hand:

Rincewind
04-02-2005, 05:17 PM
I don't deny that is sometimes the case yet more and more we are living in an ag of questioning and seeking.. the 60's cultural revolution went a long way in ensuring a 'break from parental traditions' I'm sure.. perhaps you can shed more light on that since you were alive back then. ;)

Long story short though, there are social norms and functionalist cognitions that go a long way to governing what we believe, not just basic conditioning.

And when those also say there is (insert faith here) god in heaven?


No one should ever adopt such an attitude - you're only fooling yourself if you do. More's the pity for those secluding themselves from a more objective worldview.

But this is what christianity does. It's all a part of being successful meme.


Hooray, it's the oligatory intellectual atheist snobbery.... we've heard it before Baz. The argument only works for the fundamentalists. :hand:

It's not snobbery at all. Just making the point that theists reject most of the faiths of the world. If they are playnig for the wrong team they are as stuffed as the atheists are, perhaps moreso.

BTW Is it my imagination or did you reply to my post without raising one point to the contrary? This must be a record. ;)

Alan Shore
04-02-2005, 05:45 PM
And when those also say there is (insert faith here) god in heaven?

You need to go back and read page 1 of this thread Baz, i.e. what I was saying to Kevin about the impossibility of the categorical imperative.


But this is what christianity does. It's all a part of being successful meme.

And I agree with you.. it's nonsense.


It's not snobbery at all.

It is when you claim 'if not all'.


Just making the point that theists reject most of the faiths of the world. If they are playnig for the wrong team they are as stuffed as the atheists are, perhaps moreso.

Most? Sure, why not, I can't speak for them. Yet I also see the problem with 'organised religion' thus cannot and will not ever be a part of it as a 'true believer'.


BTW Is it my imagination or did you reply to my post without raising one point to the contrary? This must be a record. ;)

It must be your imagination.. I certainly didn't agree with your sterotypical labelling of theists. You get partial credit for the rest.

Rincewind
04-02-2005, 05:53 PM
It must be your imagination.. I certainly didn't agree with your sterotypical labelling of theists. You get partial credit for the rest.

It is only stereotyping when you apply the generalisation to an individual or small group. When you are talking about large groups of people you have to generalise.

Alan Shore
04-02-2005, 06:03 PM
It is only stereotyping when you apply the generalisation to an individual or small group. When you are talking about large groups of people you have to generalise.

True.. yet I don't see enough proof you are talking about a majority. Remember it's the extremists/fundamentalists that have the loudest voices and make the most noise yet there may well exist a larger silent majority than you may imagine..

Rincewind
04-02-2005, 06:17 PM
True.. yet I don't see enough proof you are talking about a majority. Remember it's the extremists/fundamentalists that have the loudest voices and make the most noise yet there may well exist a larger silent majority than you may imagine..

It's a little unclear but it appears you thought I was stereotyping when I said


Of course most theists don't chose at all. They are indoctrinated in a particular faith as a child and this leaves them predisposed to accept that faith in their adult life. Scott doesn't reject the Koran, he smiply ignores it. He has the Bible and so there is no need to look for anything else. Muslims and most (if not all) other theists are the same.

I say the mind of a child is impressionanble. Whether that child be born in a theist ot atheist family, I thnik that is an almost universal truth.

Theists will "educate" their children according to their faith. Again I don;t think this is rocket science.

My argument is that the early education of children will predispose them to adopting a particular faith. Christians beget christians, Muslims beget muslim, and so one. You could even say atheists beget athiests, I think that is generally true too but harder to observe as there are far less of them and they are more intermingled.

This predisposition will lead the adult to accept one faith (usually the one of their birth) and pretty much ignore all others. But why should this be so? If the christians say X and the muslims say Y, shouldn't we be searching for the truth?

The question is does atheist upbringing cause the adult to reject the theist position out of hand? That could happen, but I wouldn't know, they are few and far between and I wasn't raised to be an atheist. ;)

BTW When I said "Most (if not all) other theists" I meant to say "Most (if not all) other religions". I didn;t mean all theists but all religions that I could think of. I hope this confusion wasn't the sole source of your outrage.

antichrist
04-02-2005, 08:30 PM
With so many different faiths saying different things and so many people dying for their (or someone else's) beliefs, don't you think it time to stop pussyfooting around religion? I'm wondering the process that causes so many people to hold heartfelt beliefs which cannot be rationalised. To assume a belief is wise because it is traditional (as you seem to do) is just wrong. It's time we opened our eyes and tackled the truth without the hokus-pokus of superstition.

Barry,
We have not all evolved to be rational creatures because it was not necessary, which is why you can't make headway with the emotional/spiritual type. As our mate Freudy said "religion is a psychological walking crutch" -- what more can be said.

I just feel sorry for you argueing with the other who are programmed not to understand us. Remember the saying: when you go to church leave your brains at the door.

Or "if you told the story to a horse it would kick you".

Oepty
05-02-2005, 01:26 PM
Barry
What evidence do you have that I have ignored rather than thoughtfully rejected the Koran as being truth?
Whether the statement is true or false is a bit irrelavent, but how could you possibly know either way?
Have you thoughtfully considered every belief in God, and looked at every bit of evidence that every religion on earth might put forward?
Or have you taken a look a one or two and decided that because you cannot find evidences for them being true that you would reject the whole lot?
Have you examined every bit of evolution science at absolutely convinced yourself that every bit of it has been absolutely proven beyond doubt in your mind?
Scott

Rincewind
05-02-2005, 02:49 PM
What evidence do you have that I have ignored rather than thoughtfully rejected the Koran as being truth?

My statement was based on the balance of the probabilities. I don't know you personally but in my experience the number of theists who have studied another faith in depth and objectively is a very small percentage.


Whether the statement is true or false is a bit irrelavent, but how could you possibly know either way?

I'm willing to stand corrected if I have misrepresented you. But since you don't make that claim, I imagine I have guessed correctly. (Not that it was a difficult guess as I said, my experience tells me the odds were stacked against you).


Have you thoughtfully considered every belief in God, and looked at every bit of evidence that every religion on earth might put forward?

I have looked for an evidential basis for any spiritual claim whatsoever. In fact, there are a number of famous prizes for anyone who can substantiate any such claim. The prizes remain unclaimed.

In the period of me losing the faith of my childhood I did investigate alternatives, although Islam was not one I did in any detail. Mainly looked at Buddhism and some eastern philosophy. However, it was fairly short lived as it was clear there was no evidence for the central Buddhist tenets either.


Or have you taken a look a one or two and decided that because you cannot find evidences for them being true that you would reject the whole lot?

I have chosen to reject the exitence of any god based on their being no evidence that I am aware of to the affirmative. Many people do not go this far and adopt an agnostic position. However, if I was to remain agnostic, I would have to also claim to be agnostic regarding the existence of unicorns, fairies and garden gnomes. As I'm not prepared to remain agnostic about all unsubstantiated claims I feel the only position which makes sense to me is atheism. However, I have no particular quarrel with agnostics.

Also, I continue to maintain an open mind for any evidence to the contrary.


Have you examined every bit of evolution science at absolutely convinced yourself that every bit of it has been absolutely proven beyond doubt in your mind?

No, I'm not an expert on evolution. However, I've read enough to know it makes sense and does explain the evidence we have. I also know there are thousands of reputable scientists working in the field, debating the finer points and cross checking each others work. It is also a field of science which has good interdependence with other fields. As the whole body of science is self consistent I'm confident that the main points of evolution and natural selection are correct.

Further to this the only "alternative" to evolution is creationism. The creationists have been and still are very actively trying to discredit science (not only evolution but geology, physics, plate tectonics, etc). Any investigation into their claims and arguments very quickly exposes their case as a combination of blissful ignorance and boldfaced lies in various proportions.

Cat
06-02-2005, 06:10 PM
With so many different faiths saying different things and so many people dying for their (or someone else's) beliefs, don't you think it time to stop pussyfooting around religion?

What are you suggesting, we take a gun to the lot? You can't change human nature BJC and it's human nature to believe in something. Better to believe in something that has social benefits, is aspirational and provide succour than to get fixated on some herb or crystal.


I'm wondering the process that causes so many people to hold heartfelt beliefs which cannot be rationalised.

Because if we were all sensible about it we'd end up like Marvin.



To assume a belief is wise because it is traditional (as you seem to do) is just wrong. It's time we opened our eyes and tackled the truth without the hokus-pokus of superstition.

Not because it's traditional but because it is an innate aspect of human nature. We all search for escape.

Rincewind
06-02-2005, 09:33 PM
What are you suggesting, we take a gun to the lot? You can't change human nature BJC and it's human nature to believe in something. Better to believe in something that has social benefits, is aspirational and provide succour than to get fixated on some herb or crystal.

That's just rubbish. Total cost accounting would have religiousity come up short. Look at the wars, acts of terrorism, suffering of the aged, the spread of HIV/AIDS, that have been promoted by religious observance.


Because if we were all sensible about it we'd end up like Marvin.

He was shot by his dad, wasn't he.


Not because it's traditional but because it is an innate aspect of human nature. We all search for escape.

I believe there is an innate part of human nature that makes children very impressionable and take in a lot 'knowledge' in the early years of development. Something about the way the brain is wired at that age. The fact that we fill it with groundless superstition is not human nature it's just a niche that cultural memes capitalise on.

Cat
06-02-2005, 10:47 PM
That's just rubbish. Total cost accounting would have religiousity come up short. Look at the wars, acts of terrorism, suffering of the aged, the spread of HIV/AIDS, that have been promoted by religious observance.

As Simon Sharma says, religion doesn't cause wars, it cements affiliations when conflicts arise. To be honest, this sentence is so packed with prejudice that I suggest you try again.




He was shot by his dad, wasn't he.

The paranoid android? Are we talking about the same Marvin?


I believe there is an innate part of human nature that makes children very impressionable and take in a lot 'knowledge' in the early years of development. Something about the way the brain is wired at that age.

Of course and there is a teleological reason why this is so and extends into adulthood. Dennis Potter said hope is our birthright and youth is filled with optimismtic belief. How we use that belief, whether it helps us function or impedes us, is what determines the value of that belief to the individual. Where is the evidence the religious belief inevitably leads to failure? Where is the evidence that it is systemically harmful? Where is the evidence that atheism leads to a happier & better existence?

Of course there is none! Because one cannot determine any of these things based on creed alone, any more than you can by the colour of the skin, by sexual characteristic, by intelligence or any other general trait. These are all simply traits that make up the individual, for better or for worse. And how that individuals lives out their life, whether Christian, Buddist or atheist depends on so many other unquantifiable factors.

So lets make our judgements about people (if we are to judge at all) not on what they are, but by their actions.

Rincewind
06-02-2005, 11:49 PM
As Simon Sharma says, religion doesn't cause wars, it cements affiliations when conflicts arise. To be honest, this sentence is so packed with prejudice that I suggest you try again.

Actually I thought it was quite accurate. Wars and terrorism polarise across theological divides. The catholic church's ban on contraceptives (for example) leads to more severe famines, higher infant fatality and promotes the spread of HIV/AIDS. Anti-euthenasia advocates are generally theologically funded and spend a lot of money trying to force their theological values on the terminally ill, preventing them from dying with dignity and with a minimum of suffering. The list can go on.


The paranoid android? Are we talking about the same Marvin?

That Marvin. I was thinking Marvin Gaye.

I don't think a rationalist utopia, or even a materialist utopia would lead to a higher rate of paranoia. But it is so unlikely to be realised that in any regard, we are safe.


Of course and there is a teleological reason why this is so and extends into adulthood. Dennis Potter said hope is our birthright and youth is filled with optimismtic belief. How we use that belief, whether it helps us function or impedes us, is what determines the value of that belief to the individual. Where is the evidence the religious belief inevitably leads to failure? Where is the evidence that it is systemically harmful? Where is the evidence that atheism leads to a happier & better existence?

For the reasons listed earlier and also for the survival of the species. I believe we are entering into more and more dangerous times which will require level heads and all the application of our rational brains to safely navigate. Fanciful stories that divide and befuddle are simply a luxury I don't think we can afford. Or else, will make the passage much harder to negotiate.


Of course there is none! Because one cannot determine any of these things based on creed alone, any more than you can by the colour of the skin, by sexual characteristic, by intelligence or any other general trait. These are all simply traits that make up the individual, for better or for worse. And how that individuals lives out their life, whether Christian, Buddist or atheist depends on so many other unquantifiable factors.

Blah, blah, blah.


So lets make our judgements about people (if we are to judge at all) not on what they are, but by their actions.

OK. You have 6 billion people. Divided into any one of around 6-10 major religions and each of the big religions further subdivided into another 3-6 major subdivisions. All these groups disagree about something with regard their religion. This gives a reason to be distrustful of or dislike all the others. Add to this hardfelt blood feuds between a number of these factions and a belief in the afterlife and the "attraction" of martyrdom making zealots behave irrationally and unpredictably. Doesn't sound like an efficient recipe for a global culture which has to solve a number of big problems in the next 100 years to me.

Spiny Norman
07-02-2005, 06:30 AM
Total cost accounting would have religiousity come up short. Look at the wars, acts of terrorism, suffering of the aged, the spread of HIV/AIDS, that have been promoted by religious observance.

Barry, you wouldn't want to NOT have religiosity would you? I would guess that the vast majority of useful charitable organisations have their roots in religion. That would leave a massive hole in mankind's ability to help itself.

I also think that most of the major wars (in terms of cost in human lives) had absolutely nothing to do with religious observance. I have previously posted some references to this board about the worst wars ... I think those stats would tend to support this view.

Rincewind
07-02-2005, 07:09 AM
Barry, you wouldn't want to NOT have religiosity would you? I would guess that the vast majority of useful charitable organisations have their roots in religion. That would leave a massive hole in mankind's ability to help itself.

Not at all. There is no evidence that a lack of theism would lead to more selfish behaviour.


I also think that most of the major wars (in terms of cost in human lives) had absolutely nothing to do with religious observance. I have previously posted some references to this board about the worst wars ... I think those stats would tend to support this view.

Depends on what you call a war of course. However, there can be no doubt that religious difference provides a means that allows leader to polarise a population against another for their own purpose. Osima bin Laden used and uses this trump card regularly. As does both sides of the Israel/Palastine conflict and Northern Ireland. Other examples throughout history include Jewish persecution throughout the last 2000 years and various Catholic/Protestant wars over the last 1000 years. Add to that that the spread of Islam throughout northern Africa 1400 years ago is still causing serious numbers of deaths in the region today.

Wars would still occur without religion. But there is certainly evidence to suggest they might occur at least a little less frequently.

Cat
07-02-2005, 11:38 AM
Actually I thought it was quite accurate. Wars and terrorism polarise across theological divides. The catholic church's ban on contraceptives (for example) leads to more severe famines, higher infant fatality and promotes the spread of HIV/AIDS. Anti-euthenasia advocates are generally theologically funded and spend a lot of money trying to force their theological values on the terminally ill, preventing them from dying with dignity and with a minimum of suffering. The list can go on.

Well let me tell you what exists locally, and from my experience working in the UK & NZ, its a typical state of affairs.

If need I food for destitute families or individuals, I can look to the Salvation Army or St Vincent de Pauls for relief. Money, food and blankets can be found from these organisations. The Seventh Day Adventists also provide money and relief. The Salvation Army provides shelter and provides meals, meal tickets, food vouchers. St Vincent de Paul's provide essential nursing services for cancer patients as well as a hospice. Centrecare, the Catholic organisation provides emergency counselling services, family assistance and relief. Rosie's is a Catholic organisation providing shelter for street kids. We have an adolescent support centre provided by one of the local religious groups (I can't remember which), and several church groups are involved in drug rehabilitation, not to mention AA.

Now these services are provided through the charitable services of the local religious communities. These are services that do not exist within the Queensland Health Service, services that the destitute are dependant upon and services the Medical Community essentially regard as integral to providing proper support. This is typical - this is the real world not some idealisitic dream that we can wish upon a star. This is how societies exist & function, like it or not, like what you've got.



Blah, blah, blah.

Trivialising truisms does not give you an escape, don't be like KB.

Oepty
07-02-2005, 12:59 PM
My statement was based on the balance of the probabilities. I don't know you personally but in my experience the number of theists who have studied another faith in depth and objectively is a very small percentage.

I'm willing to stand corrected if I have misrepresented you. But since you don't make that claim, I imagine I have guessed correctly. (Not that it was a difficult guess as I said, my experience tells me the odds were stacked against you).


I have looked at other religions, including mainstream Christianity which I don't consider myself to be part, Mormonism, Jehovahs Witnesses, Hinduism, Islam and others to various extents. I don't know whether they would come under your 'in depth and objectively'.



I have looked for an evidential basis for any spiritual claim whatsoever. In fact, there are a number of famous prizes for anyone who can substantiate any such claim. The prizes remain unclaimed.


Do you believe fulfilled prophecies are evidence?



No, I'm not an expert on evolution. However, I've read enough to know it makes sense and does explain the evidence we have. I also know there are thousands of reputable scientists working in the field, debating the finer points and cross checking each others work. It is also a field of science which has good interdependence with other fields. As the whole body of science is self consistent I'm confident that the main points of evolution and natural selection are correct.

Further to this the only "alternative" to evolution is creationism. The creationists have been and still are very actively trying to discredit science (not only evolution but geology, physics, plate tectonics, etc). Any investigation into their claims and arguments very quickly exposes their case as a combination of blissful ignorance and boldfaced lies in various proportions.

A lot of Creation Science in my experience is absolute junk. Alot of their claims have been based on gross incompentance or worse. Sadly in some of the cases it is almost certainly worse. Having said that there have been cases of bad science of the evolution side as well, not that invalidates evolution.

While I am here I am going to bag one other reason I have heard for believing in Biblical Creation. Evolution and creation both can not be proven. Evolution gives us no hope, the Bible does. Lets all believe in creationism and the Bible. This is total and utter nonsense. What is important is whether one or the other is true NOT what hope one or the other might claim to offer.

I believe in creation, not because of the science, but PURELY because it is in the Bible. That is also true for other events recorded in the Bible such as Noah's flood and the stopping of the rotation of the earth to allow Joshua, I think it was, to completely win a battle, which as far as I can see are more than likely scientifically impossible. All this means is God did them by breaking the laws of science which the world generally is governed by. In other words they were miracles.

Having said that I have over the last few days read a number of articles from the www.talkorigins.org FAQ. A lot of what I have read there is either right at the limits of my understanding or beyond it. I will probably post some questions here in the near future.

Scott

Rincewind
07-02-2005, 03:04 PM
Well let me tell you what exists locally, and from my experience working in the UK & NZ, its a typical state of affairs.

If need I food for destitute families or individuals, I can look to the Salvation Army or St Vincent de Pauls for relief. Money, food and blankets can be found from these organisations. The Seventh Day Adventists also provide money and relief. The Salvation Army provides shelter and provides meals, meal tickets, food vouchers. St Vincent de Paul's provide essential nursing services for cancer patients as well as a hospice. Centrecare, the Catholic organisation provides emergency counselling services, family assistance and relief. Rosie's is a Catholic organisation providing shelter for street kids. We have an adolescent support centre provided by one of the local religious groups (I can't remember which), and several church groups are involved in drug rehabilitation, not to mention AA.

Now these services are provided through the charitable services of the local religious communities. These are services that do not exist within the Queensland Health Service, services that the destitute are dependant upon and services the Medical Community essentially regard as integral to providing proper support. This is typical - this is the real world not some idealisitic dream that we can wish upon a star. This is how societies exist & function, like it or not, like what you've got.

Should the decline of religion lead to less charitable organisations, I see no reason why secular NGOs or governments would not expand to fill the void. Afterall this happened with education. And has occurred over recent years with newish organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières.


Trivialising truisms does not give you an escape, don't be like KB.

Sorry, I was hoping for something more than a few poorly cobbled together cliches. If you make a point with your paragraphs I usually try to respond sensibly. Upon rereading your message, I think my response was harsh, but fair. ;)

Rincewind
07-02-2005, 03:13 PM
I have looked at other religions, including mainstream Christianity which I don't consider myself to be part, Mormonism, Jehovahs Witnesses, Hinduism, Islam and others to various extents. I don't know whether they would come under your 'in depth and objectively'.

Forgetting the christians ones for the moment. Were you investigate them thinking that they could be as true as the you believe the bible to be. If they offer as good or better explanation for your questions of existence, human nature and the relationship of god with his creation.


Do you believe fulfilled prophecies are evidence?

Depends very much on the the prophecy. A lot of cryptically worded prophecising is more about fitting events to fit the prophecy, post hoc. For example, numerous (nororiously bad) shows on Nostradamus and his various prophecies.

If priests were able to regularly pick winning horses at the track, I'd sit up and take notice. (As would the bookies, I think)


A lot of Creation Science in my experience is absolute junk. Alot of their claims have been based on gross incompentance or worse. Sadly in some of the cases it is almost certainly worse. Having said that there have been cases of bad science of the evolution side as well, not that invalidates evolution.

While I am here I am going to bag one other reason I have heard for believing in Biblical Creation. Evolution and creation both can not be proven. Evolution gives us no hope, the Bible does. Lets all believe in creationism and the Bible. This is total and utter nonsense. What is important is whether one or the other is true NOT what hope one or the other might claim to offer.

I think we are in perfect agreement here, except I think evolution is a scientifically proven fact. At least as proven as any other central scientific theory.


I believe in creation, not because of the science, but PURELY because it is in the Bible. That is also true for other events recorded in the Bible such as Noah's flood and the stopping of the rotation of the earth to allow Joshua, I think it was, to completely win a battle, which as far as I can see are more than likely scientifically impossible. All this means is God did them by breaking the laws of science which the world generally is governed by. In other words they were miracles.

But why do you think everything in the Bible is true?


Having said that I have over the last few days read a number of articles from the www.talkorigins.org FAQ. A lot of what I have read there is either right at the limits of my understanding or beyond it. I will probably post some questions here in the near future.

Please do.

Cat
07-02-2005, 06:58 PM
[QUOTE=Barry Cox]Should the decline of religion lead to less charitable organisations, I see no reason why secular NGOs or governments would not expand to fill the void. Afterall this happened with education. And has occurred over recent years with newish organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières.

Jesus Christ, we'll have you believing in God next! I bet you believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus as well. BJC, you're an idealist and while there's much to admire in that, the real world will never confirm to your will.

antichrist
07-02-2005, 07:07 PM
[QUOTE]

Jesus Christ, we'll have you believing in God next! I bet you believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus as well. BJC, you're an idealist and while there's much to admire in that, the real world will never confirm to your will.

I don't think volunteers should have to step in to fill the void. Governments can do it on our behalf, we can a little extra like in tsunami case to help us feel better.

Why should volunteers have to sacrifice their leisure time. If it is worth doing then let governments with our taxes do it. Tax those avoiding taxes and we world soon have enough.

Cat
07-02-2005, 07:29 PM
[QUOTE=David_Richards]

I don't think volunteers should have to step in to fill the void. Governments can do it on our behalf, we can a little extra like in tsunami case to help us feel better.

Why should volunteers have to sacrifice their leisure time. If it is worth doing then let governments with our taxes do it. Tax those avoiding taxes and we world soon have enough.

Governments are conduits for commercial enterprise, they're not interested in humanity. Even the tsunami represents commercial opportunity. Governments will only provide just enough to control the population and themselves are reliant on charity organisations to plug the gaps. Besides it's great pr to be seen donating to some charitable event or other. You'd be better off looking to your fairy Godmother. Governments want to divest themselves of the responsibility to care for the populace, it's far too great a liability.

Secondly, its not how infrastructure develops, if something disappears then it is neither automatic that an alternative will replace it, and the loss of skill, local knowledge, personal contact and people on the ground is something that is irreplaceable. If anything comes, it's likely to be inferior.

Finally, have you ever dealt with a Government organisation? Governments will only employ Vogons. Everything has to be stamped, triplicated, signed, undersigned, oversigned and sent to an office in India. Government organisations have the response time of an Antarctic Beech. People prefer to die than receive government relief. Give me a priest before a beaurocrat anyday!

Rincewind
07-02-2005, 08:09 PM
Jesus Christ, we'll have you believing in God next! I bet you believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus as well. BJC, you're an idealist and while there's much to admire in that, the real world will never confirm to your will.

Actually I thought I made my position on what I believe clear. Can you make a case that a loss of religion would lead to a less charitable society on a whole?

While many charities have their base in a religious setting I believe this is heardly surprising since most of the established charities are quite old and theism was far more taken for granted than it is today.

As I said in more recent times secular NGOs have appeared.

As for greater government involvement in charity, I think this will happen to as more people desire it than you might thnik. To be honest I believe middle Australia is tiring of the current level of marketing that charities now need to undertake to remain viable.

When you are having to put money into the pockets of marketing execs then it is time to overhaul the system anyway.

Cat
07-02-2005, 11:58 PM
As for greater government involvement in charity, I think this will happen to as more people desire it than you might thnik. To be honest I believe middle Australia is tiring of the current level of marketing that charities now need to undertake to remain viable.



You've got to be kidding, people trust Government less than they ever did. People want liberation from Government control. We're the most over-governed State this side of Alpha Centauri, and our government is the biggest threat to our personal freedoms that exists.

The Australian people are about to become victim to a massive restriction in their personal freedoms and invasion of personal privacy, of which they are entirely ignorant and this piece of sophistry is being wielded by your beloved Government, in which you hold such faith.

The Government plans to establish a central database containing all personal and medical information available on it's citizens. To this point this data is held on small networks administered by your personal physician and the use of that data is exercised solely in your medical interests by your immediate treating physician. The data never leaves the surgery, is protected and private and often contains some of the most intimate details of a persons life.

All that is about to change. The central database will permit a doctor anywhere in Australia to access your notes, whereever you are. Isn't that wonderful, the information can be obtained within a few seconds, whereas previously the doctor would have had to phone or have the information faxed and that of course would have taken seconds.

So for this small gain of speed, patients will be asked to permit their personal details public access. No more will the doctor be the custodian of your privacy, who knows who may gain control of that information now or in the future? And of course the medical profession will indeed be coerced into agreement, Governments have ways of doing that.

While in the UK there is an attempt to establish a central database containing details of your personal genome and this is likely to arrive in Australia in the not too distant future. Pretty soon we won't be able to defecate without the Government knowing about it.

Now you may well feel comfortable with this, just lay back and let Big Sister take control. Let our freedoms go and just accept the benevolence of our dictatorship. After all, we're All Australian, right? Living that All Australian dream, why rock the boat? Or maybe even why exist at all?

Rincewind
08-02-2005, 06:57 AM
You've got to be kidding, people trust Government less than they ever did. People want liberation from Government control. We're the most over-governed State this side of Alpha Centauri, and our government is the biggest threat to our personal freedoms that exists.

I don't see what trust has to do with it? The point is so many charities competing for the donation dollar means each have to spend lots of money publicising their cause. You have to spend money to make money. But isn't this an ineffective use of charitible reserves?


The Australian people are about to become victim to a massive restriction in their personal freedoms and invasion of personal privacy, of which they are entirely ignorant and this piece of sophistry is being wielded by your beloved Government, in which you hold such faith.

The Government plans to establish a central database containing all personal and medical information available on it's citizens. To this point this data is held on small networks administered by your personal physician and the use of that data is exercised solely in your medical interests by your immediate treating physician. The data never leaves the surgery, is protected and private and often contains some of the most intimate details of a persons life.

All that is about to change. The central database will permit a doctor anywhere in Australia to access your notes, whereever you are. Isn't that wonderful, the information can be obtained within a few seconds, whereas previously the doctor would have had to phone or have the information faxed and that of course would have taken seconds.

So for this small gain of speed, patients will be asked to permit their personal details public access. No more will the doctor be the custodian of your privacy, who knows who may gain control of that information now or in the future? And of course the medical profession will indeed be coerced into agreement, Governments have ways of doing that.

While in the UK there is an attempt to establish a central database containing details of your personal genome and this is likely to arrive in Australia in the not too distant future. Pretty soon we won't be able to defecate without the Government knowing about it.

Now you may well feel comfortable with this, just lay back and let Big Sister take control. Let our freedoms go and just accept the benevolence of our dictatorship. After all, we're All Australian, right? Living that All Australian dream, why rock the boat? Or maybe even why exist at all?

I don't see what invoking a totalitarian bogeyman has to do with the debate at all. Are you saying governments are incapable of doing anything useful?

Cat
08-02-2005, 09:00 AM
I don't see what trust has to do with it? The point is so many charities competing for the donation dollar means each have to spend lots of money publicising their cause. You have to spend money to make money. But isn't this an ineffective use of charitible reserves?

Isn't that exactly how market forces work? The lobbying and touting is what makes the charities so effective (relatively).


Are you saying governments are incapable of doing anything useful?

No, rather that the strength of our society is it's diversity. When power is concentrated then it undermines our social fabric. It's true that with a single mind society can make great strides, that's exactly what happened under Hitler - but the strides are often in the wrong direction. Pluralism is the true shield of democracy.

Rincewind
08-02-2005, 10:00 AM
Isn't that exactly how market forces work? The lobbying and touting is what makes the charities so effective (relatively).

So you believe market forces 'work'? :rolleyes: :hmm: :hand:


No, rather that the strength of our society is it's diversity. When power is concentrated then it undermines our social fabric. It's true that with a single mind society can make great strides, that's exactly what happened under Hitler - but the strides are often in the wrong direction. Pluralism is the true shield of democracy.

I wasn't talking about a concentration of power. Simply pointing out the inefficiencies of the present humanitarian services model.

Oepty
08-02-2005, 12:31 PM
Forgetting the christians ones for the moment. Were you investigate them thinking that they could be as true as the you believe the bible to be. If they offer as good or better explanation for your questions of existence, human nature and the relationship of god with his creation.


If you understood the difference from Christianity I have I don't think you would be as quick to dismiss my listing of them. A visit to www.carm.org would show how Christadelphians are viewed by a lot of mainstream Christians. Some of what they say on the website is wrong in my view, but it should give you some indications. In case you get caught up with the word cult, in this context it means Christadelphians do not believe the Bible teaches the doctrine of the trinity.
As to other religions I have not looked into them in great depth but based on what I have looked at I have seen absolutely no reason to believe in it. This especially applies to Hinduism.



Depends very much on the the prophecy. A lot of cryptically worded prophecising is more about fitting events to fit the prophecy, post hoc. For example, numerous (nororiously bad) shows on Nostradamus and his various prophecies.

If priests were able to regularly pick winning horses at the track, I'd sit up and take notice. (As would the bookies, I think)


So Barry if I was able to show examples where a person has written a book and predicted something based on their understanding of the Bible BEFORE it happened, perhaps even 100 or more years before it happened you would see this as something worth serious consideration?
Would this apply even if the actuall prophecy does not appear to be written very clearly in the Bible?



But why do you think everything in the Bible is true?

The New Testament tells us that all of the Old Testament is the word of God. To me the whole of the Bible presents a consistent message. A message that can be traced from Genesis to Revelation. There are a number of fulfilled prophecies throughout the whole of the Bible.

Barry do you believe that any or all of the Bible is worth looking in regards to the history it records?
Do you agree that the Old Testament clearly existed before the events in the New Testament would have happened if they did happen?

Scott

Rincewind
08-02-2005, 03:08 PM
If you understood the difference from Christianity I have I don't think you would be as quick to dismiss my listing of them. A visit to www.carm.org would show how Christadelphians are viewed by a lot of mainstream Christians. Some of what they say on the website is wrong in my view, but it should give you some indications. In case you get caught up with the word cult, in this context it means Christadelphians do not believe the Bible teaches the doctrine of the trinity.

I didn't mean to be dismissive of the differences in the various flavors of christianity. The fact that there can be so many different interpretations of the one basic text (with some add ons) is point in case of the risk of using ummutable text like the Bible as a source of truth.


As to other religions I have not looked into them in great depth but based on what I have looked at I have seen absolutely no reason to believe in it. This especially applies to Hinduism.

I think other religions is the key to the argument I was presenting though as progressive christians argue that a number of flavors are on the "right track" and don't differentiate themselves a great deal. However, these other faiths are interesting. there are a couple of billion hindus in the world who swear by their text and gods. It obviously makes sense to them and they see it as just a true as you see the bible.

Now how do I differentiate between christianity and the hinduism? To my mind, at least one is completely on the wrong track, isn't it?


So Barry if I was able to show examples where a person has written a book and predicted something based on their understanding of the Bible BEFORE it happened, perhaps even 100 or more years before it happened you would see this as something worth serious consideration?
Would this apply even if the actuall prophecy does not appear to be written very clearly in the Bible?

Well it depends on a lot of factors. If they predicted in 1869 that someone called Neil Armstrong would land on the moon in 1969, then that is one thing. If they worded their prediction cryptically so the 'true message' only became apparent after the prediction came true then no, I see no special skill in doing that.


The New Testament tells us that all of the Old Testament is the word of God. To me the whole of the Bible presents a consistent message. A message that can be traced from Genesis to Revelation. There are a number of fulfilled prophecies throughout the whole of the Bible.

Barry do you believe that any or all of the Bible is worth looking in regards to the history it records?

I think it is interesting document as it is quite old but should not hbe treated as gospel. ;) The story of Lot's wife needs to be taken with a grain of salt, etc. Sorry.

Basically the earlier you go in the bible the more fanciful the stories tend to become. I can't remember seeing anything scientifically corrobberating anything in the first 5 books for example. So it is of historical interest as a text, but that doesn't mean everything (or anything) it describes actually happened in a physical sense.


Do you agree that the Old Testament clearly existed before the events in the New Testament would have happened if they did happen?

I think that is probably true. But if you are going to argue prophesy fulfulment you will first have to provide evidence that the events described in the New Testament actually happened and that JC was a historical figure. As no one seems to have been able to do this at present, I suggest that line might end up going nowhere.

Cat
08-02-2005, 08:40 PM
So you believe market forces 'work'? :rolleyes: :hmm: :hand:

Depends what you mean by 'work'.


I wasn't talking about a concentration of power. Simply pointing out the inefficiencies of the present humanitarian services model.

There are always things that can be improved, but I suggest it's done by starting with what we've got concensually, not by imposition.

Rincewind
08-02-2005, 11:19 PM
Depends what you mean by 'work'.

I would contend that humanitarian services are not best served by market forces. Marketing budgets in particular are an unnecessary burden in the sector and marketing spend seems to be trending up.


There are always things that can be improved, but I suggest it's done by starting with what we've got concensually, not by imposition.

It's a moot point. I never said imposition. I said governments could make for a more efficient distribution of funds and may be preferable to the current barrage of calls most people with listed numbers receive for lottery tickets, donations, etc.

Furthermore this was is relation to the point you were trying to claim that religious organisations do a lot of good charity work. I don't deny that but I see no reason why secular organisations (like those already existing) would not fill the gap. After all you would still have the same number of people wanting to help.

Oepty
09-02-2005, 09:56 AM
I didn't mean to be dismissive of the differences in the various flavors of christianity. The fact that there can be so many different interpretations of the one basic text (with some add ons) is point in case of the risk of using ummutable text like the Bible as a source of truth.


There is a risk, humans are not infalliable, not even the Pope in the sense Catholics believe him to be. Just because infalliable humans disagree on what it says to some lesser or greater extent does not mean that truth is not there.



I think other religions is the key to the argument I was presenting though as progressive christians argue that a number of flavors are on the "right track" and don't differentiate themselves a great deal. However, these other faiths are interesting. there are a couple of billion hindus in the world who swear by their text and gods. It obviously makes sense to them and they see it as just a true as you see the bible.

Now how do I differentiate between christianity and the hinduism? To my mind, at least one is completely on the wrong track, isn't it?


If I may be so bold, I think your comments here show a fundamental lack of understanding of Hinduism. Either that or I have. Your use of 'text and gods', especially text is wrong. Hindu's do not have a single sacred text, but instead have thousands of texts they consider sacred, to a greater or lesser extent. The oldest of these is said to be perhaps 3000 years old, the Vedas. Under Hindu belief, as part of the caste system, it is at least traditionally, only those of the highest caste, the priestly caste, and only males of that caste, can study these texts. This means Hindu's have no real knowledge of the texts.
Onto the gods part. In my own words Hinduism is theoretically montheistic, although practically polytheistic. One book I have read called Hinduism mostly monothiestic, or most Hindus are monotheistic, I can't remeber the exact wording. Anyway there appears to be one God, Brahma and all other gods, are really representations or manifestations of Brahman. Hindu's ussaully one Of the ones I know, and there are literally 1000's maybe even 10000's of these representations of Brahma, my favourite idea for a god is Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Something we all need at times. The most popular god is apparently Krishna.

Hindu's have there own creation record although it happened millions, maybe billions of years ago.

Hopefully that gives you some understanding of the differences. I have written the above off the top of my head so I am sorry if there is any errors. Yes I do agree with you, it is either Christianity or Hinduism, definitely not both.



Well it depends on a lot of factors. If they predicted in 1869 that someone called Neil Armstrong would land on the moon in 1969, then that is one thing. If they worded their prediction cryptically so the 'true message' only became apparent after the prediction came true then no, I see no special skill in doing that.




I think it is interesting document as it is quite old but should not hbe treated as gospel. ;) The story of Lot's wife needs to be taken with a grain of salt, etc. Sorry.

Basically the earlier you go in the bible the more fanciful the stories tend to become. I can't remember seeing anything scientifically corrobberating anything in the first 5 books for example. So it is of historical interest as a text, but that doesn't mean everything (or anything) it describes actually happened in a physical sense.


Is archealogy a science? I am not saying that I can produce even that for the first 5 books of the Bible.
Is their any parts of the OT that you would consider in any way historically accurate?
On Lots wife I think a possible explaination is that Lot's wife was caught in the raining brimestone, which I think is a kind of salt. I would have problem though if it meant God changed her into a salt statue.



I think that is probably true. But if you are going to argue prophesy fulfulment you will first have to provide evidence that the events described in the New Testament actually happened and that JC was a historical figure. As no one seems to have been able to do this at present, I suggest that line might end up going nowhere.

Well I can always hope, but I did expect this kind of answer. I am just trying to see how much room I have to move in. Very little it looks like.
Do you think that the OT is at least as old as 250BC?
As far as whether Jesus the Christ or Messiah or Annoited One, to put it perhaps a better way than the shorthand Jesus Christ that everyone including me seems to use, is a historical figure. I believe there are some refferences to him but I will have to find them again. There are though not all that many if you discount Christain sources. I am not sure discounting Christian sources is entirely fair, but if you want to I am not going to get into it right now. Maybe latter.

Scott

Alan Shore
09-02-2005, 01:13 PM
There is a risk, humans are not infalliable, not even the Pope in the sense Catholics believe him to be. Just because infalliable humans disagree on what it says to some lesser or greater extent does not mean that truth is not there.

Yet, interpretation is inexorably subjective. Especially through translation but even more so through interpretation. As much as you try to read a historical context into translating a bible you'll never know the meaning the author intended 100%. When you combine that with wanting to put your own spin on passages to suit your own beliefs, you only create further inconsistencies. You've created a truth that is in the eye of the beholder, thus you can't have it both ways - objective meaning can only be illusory.


If I may be so bold, I think your comments here show a fundamental lack of understanding of Hinduism. Either that or I have. Your use of 'text and gods', especially text is wrong. Hindu's do not have a single sacred text, but instead have thousands of texts they consider sacred, to a greater or lesser extent. The oldest of these is said to be perhaps 3000 years old, the Vedas. Under Hindu belief, as part of the caste system, it is at least traditionally, only those of the highest caste, the priestly caste, and only males of that caste, can study these texts. This means Hindu's have no real knowledge of the texts.

I'm sure you mean 'most' Hindu's. Otherwise that's correct.


Onto the gods part. In my own words Hinduism is theoretically montheistic, although practically polytheistic. One book I have read called Hinduism mostly monothiestic, or most Hindus are monotheistic, I can't remeber the exact wording. Anyway there appears to be one God, Brahma and all other gods, are really representations or manifestations of Brahman. Hindu's ussaully one Of the ones I know, and there are literally 1000's maybe even 10000's of these representations of Brahma, my favourite idea for a god is Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Something we all need at times. The most popular god is apparently Krishna.

That's an interesting take, I might ask my Indian friend what he thinks of that interpretation.



Is archealogy a science? I am not saying that I can produce even that for the first 5 books of the Bible.
Is their any parts of the OT that you would consider in any way historically accurate?

There's been attempts to track biblical history through archaeology.. I think they found the city of Jericho but it had been destroyed at the wrong date, some time much earlier. There's little to show for a conquest of Canaan, much more evidence has been shown that the Israelites actually grew out of Canaan rather than conquered it. There's also no evidence of the huge Temple in the times of David (although there was a lot found of the Babylonian King that gets a mention) and no evidence of the Israelites having ever been in Egypt (although as I said to Baz earlier, if something like that happened to the Egyptians they probably would want to erase all record of it, hehe).


On Lots wife I think a possible explaination is that Lot's wife was caught in the raining brimestone, which I think is a kind of salt. I would have problem though if it meant God changed her into a salt statue.

Va'Adonay himtir al-Sedom ve'al-Amorah gofrit va'esh me'et Adonay min-hashamayim. Vayahafoch et-he'arim ha'El ve'et kol-hakikar ve'et kol-yoshvey he'arim vetsemach ha'adamah. Vatabet ishto me'acharav vatehi netsiv melach.

(I'll give you a bt of time to tell me what you think that means). :cool:


Well I can always hope, but I did expect this kind of answer. I am just trying to see how much room I have to move in. Very little it looks like.
Do you think that the OT is at least as old as 250BC?

250BC? Of course, even older. I didn't see Baz question that..


As far as whether Jesus the Christ or Messiah or Annoited One, to put it perhaps a better way than the shorthand Jesus Christ that everyone including me seems to use, is a historical figure. I believe there are some refferences to him but I will have to find them again. There are though not all that many if you discount Christain sources. I am not sure discounting Christian sources is entirely fair, but if you want to I am not going to get into it right now. Maybe latter.

Evidence JC existed? Well, I'd say there's quite a big that suggest it.. outside of the gospels there's Philo, Josephus and Pliny that contain references (although it's plain to see Josephus's work had been edited).

Evidence the events in the NT actually happened? Well, you run into problems of interpretation again. I'd argue there's not enough evidence for anything miraculous that occurred.. raising people from the dead was nothing new (Elijah did it in Kings) and it was also a widow's son then too.

Who was Jesus (probably) then? A Jew, a radical interpreter of the Torah who most likely was executed by the Romans to prevent an uprising. Since it was Roman rule, they could have written anything whereas Jews would not want to blame the Romans for anything for fear of retribution. Just a 'likely scenario'.

Oepty
09-02-2005, 01:33 PM
Yet, interpretation is inexorably subjective. Especially through translation but even more so through interpretation. As much as you try to read a historical context into translating a bible you'll never know the meaning the author intended 100%. When you combine that with wanting to put your own spin on passages to suit your own beliefs, you only create further inconsistencies. You've created a truth that is in the eye of the beholder, thus you can't have it both ways - objective meaning can only be illusory.


I agree nothing can be 100% objective. There is



I'm sure you mean 'most' Hindu's. Otherwise that's correct.

Yep you are right I meant most, not all. Sorry for the error



That's an interesting take, I might ask my Indian friend what he thinks of that interpretation.

This is my understanding from reading various books, some supposed to be introductory or simple. I found Hinduism incredably hard to understand, maybe I read the wrong books. I can find and post my sources if you want. I would be interested in a different point of view though.




There's been attempts to track biblical history through archaeology.. I think they found the city of Jericho but it had been destroyed at the wrong date, some time much earlier. There's little to show for a conquest of Canaan, much more evidence has been shown that the Israelites actually grew out of Canaan rather than conquered it. There's also no evidence of the huge Temple in the times of David (although there was a lot found of the Babylonian King that gets a mention) and no evidence of the Israelites having ever been in Egypt (although as I said to Baz earlier, if something like that happened to the Egyptians they probably would want to erase all record of it, hehe).

I cannot answer this at the moment, I don't simply have much knowledge on what you are saying. I do know someone who does though.



Va'Adonay himtir al-Sedom ve'al-Amorah gofrit va'esh me'et Adonay min-hashamayim. Vayahafoch et-he'arim ha'El ve'et kol-hakikar ve'et kol-yoshvey he'arim vetsemach ha'adamah. Vatabet ishto me'acharav vatehi netsiv melach.

(I'll give you a bt of time to tell me what you think that means). :cool:

I have no idea what this it or what it says. I guess it is Hebrew though because of the Adonay which I think means Lord or God or something similar. Apart from this I give up.



250BC? Of course, even older. I didn't see Baz question that..

I just asked the question. I am going slowly and making sure I understand what Barry accepts and what he doesn't. Trying not to make any assumptions at all.




Evidence JC existed? Well, I'd say there's quite a big that suggest it.. outside of the gospels there's Philo, Josephus and Pliny that contain references (although it's plain to see Josephus's work had been edited).

Evidence the events in the NT actually happened? Well, you run into problems of interpretation again. I'd argue there's not enough evidence for anything miraculous that occurred.. raising people from the dead was nothing new (Elijah did it in Kings) and it was also a widow's son then too.

Who was Jesus (probably) then? A Jew, a radical interpreter of the Torah who most likely was executed by the Romans to prevent an uprising. Since it was Roman rule, they could have written anything whereas Jews would not want to blame the Romans for anything for fear of retribution. Just a 'likely scenario'.

I did have Josephus and Pliny in mind although I am very unclear on this stuff at the moment. I have seen quotes before but they are gone from my memory at the moment. Wouldn't it be great to have full control over your memory.

Scott

Alan Shore
09-02-2005, 01:45 PM
I have no idea what this it or what it says. I guess it is Hebrew though because of the Adonay which I think means Lord or God or something similar. Apart from this I give up.

Va'Adonay himtir al-Sedom ve'al-Amorah gofrit va'esh me'et Adonay min-hashamayim.
[God made sulphur and fire rain down on Sodom and Gomorrah - it came from God, out of the sky.]
Vayahafoch et-he'arim ha'El ve'et kol-hakikar ve'et kol-yoshvey he'arim vetsemach ha'adamah.
[He overturned these cities along with the entire plain, [destroying] everyone who lived in the cities and [all] that was growing from the ground.]
Vatabet ishto me'acharav vatehi netsiv melach.
[[Lot's] wife looked behind him, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.]

Oepty
09-02-2005, 04:02 PM
Va'Adonay himtir al-Sedom ve'al-Amorah gofrit va'esh me'et Adonay min-hashamayim.
[God made sulphur and fire rain down on Sodom and Gomorrah - it came from God, out of the sky.]
Vayahafoch et-he'arim ha'El ve'et kol-hakikar ve'et kol-yoshvey he'arim vetsemach ha'adamah.
[He overturned these cities along with the entire plain, [destroying] everyone who lived in the cities and [all] that was growing from the ground.]
Vatabet ishto me'acharav vatehi netsiv melach.
[[Lot's] wife looked behind him, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.]
Bruce. Do you know Hebrew?
Scott

Alan Shore
09-02-2005, 05:42 PM
Bruce. Do you know Hebrew?
Scott

I know some.. studied it a couple of years ago.. I'd be pretty rusty by now though.

antichrist
09-02-2005, 06:39 PM
Va'Adonay himtir al-Sedom ve'al-Amorah gofrit va'esh me'et Adonay min-hashamayim.
[God made sulphur and fire rain down on Sodom and Gomorrah - it came from God, out of the sky.]
Vayahafoch et-he'arim ha'El ve'et kol-hakikar ve'et kol-yoshvey he'arim vetsemach ha'adamah.
[He overturned these cities along with the entire plain, [destroying] everyone who lived in the cities and [all] that was growing from the ground.]
Vatabet ishto me'acharav vatehi netsiv melach.
[[Lot's] wife looked behind him, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.]

Sounds like a terrific fellow this guy. Killing even innocent children and babies -- a mass murderer. Now we know who King Herod, Hitler, Stalin etc. copied.

Alan Shore
09-02-2005, 06:48 PM
Sounds like a terrific fellow this guy. Killing even innocent children and babies -- a mass murderer. Now we know who King Herod, Hitler, Stalin etc. copied.

There were no innocents. Apparently, if there was even ten innocent people in the city, it would be spared. No go on that apparently.

antichrist
09-02-2005, 06:59 PM
There were no innocents. Apparently, if there was even ten innocent people in the city, it would be spared. No go on that apparently.

Even the Catholic Church accepts that reasoning only comes at the age of seven years, that is why Holy Communion is granted then. How could babies be guilty??? Unless the sin "be upon us and upon our children". Not very fair though.

It think tonight it must be full moon and you are throwing these grenades over the trench as trolls. I am just waiting to help someone otherwise I wouldn't bother answering your amateur blabber.

You certainly don't sound like an intellectual today.

Alan Shore
09-02-2005, 07:33 PM
Even the Catholic Church accepts that reasoning only comes at the age of seven years, that is why Holy Communion is granted then. How could babies be guilty??? Unless the sin "be upon us and upon our children". Not very fair though.

What about their attitudes toward baptism though? I remember my Christian Ed. teacher saying 'If babies weren't baptised, it's off to hell'. I was like WTF? Crazy stuff.

Still, you should go back and read that passage in context.. you're only showing ignorance by making such comments.


It think tonight it must be full moon and you are throwing these grenades over the trench as trolls. I am just waiting to help someone otherwise I wouldn't bother answering your amateur blabber.

I think you woke up on the wrong side of best today... something else in your life that's happening at the moment? You're being pretty vindictive even by your standards today.

Rincewind
09-02-2005, 08:26 PM
There is a risk, humans are not infalliable, not even the Pope in the sense Catholics believe him to be. Just because infalliable humans disagree on what it says to some lesser or greater extent does not mean that truth is not there.

No but noly one of them is the truth so many people are not going to heaven/nirvanah it would seem.


Hopefully that gives you some understanding of the differences. I have written the above off the top of my head so I am sorry if there is any errors. Yes I do agree with you, it is either Christianity or Hinduism, definitely not both.

Thatnks for the explanation, Hniduism is not my forte but it was your last sentence that I was basically wanting agreement on.


Is archealogy a science? I am not saying that I can produce even that for the first 5 books of the Bible.
Is their any parts of the OT that you would consider in any way historically accurate?
On Lots wife I think a possible explaination is that Lot's wife was caught in the raining brimestone, which I think is a kind of salt. I would have problem though if it meant God changed her into a salt statue.

Archeology can (and usually is) performed scientifically. Any part of the OT which is historically accurate? That's a toughy as it would be hard separate the story from the historical context of some sections.

My understanding is brimstone is sulphur which is an element and not a salt. But my comment was (I thought) clearly faceous. The question is not whether the process of incinerating and covering someone in sulphur would turn them into salt. The question is did it happen and if so is their a possible natural explanation.


Well I can always hope, but I did expect this kind of answer. I am just trying to see how much room I have to move in. Very little it looks like.

You have as much scope as you like to prove the existence of JC. I'm just saying I would not take his existence as read.


Do you think that the OT is at least as old as 250BC?

My understanding is that sections of it are probably at least that old. Obviously the english transation came along some time later. ;)


As far as whether Jesus the Christ or Messiah or Annoited One, to put it perhaps a better way than the shorthand Jesus Christ that everyone including me seems to use, is a historical figure. I believe there are some refferences to him but I will have to find them again. There are though not all that many if you discount Christain sources. I am not sure discounting Christian sources is entirely fair, but if you want to I am not going to get into it right now. Maybe latter.

My understanding is the references are dodgey at best. As BD mentions Josephus us the usual one but I believe he was writing around 70 years after the fact and looks to have had an 'editor'. Other writer were more than likely reporting on rumours.

Some people think it most likely that Jesus was an amalgam of events and ledgends relaing to a number of people that was drawn together. I think it story must have had a germinated somewhere. One original unorthodox rabbi who began a following. May have been persecuted by the Romans (although I don't think this necessarily occurred and may have been added later to help stir up anti-Roman sentiment) and after his relatively early death, his followers spread the word and (as the saying goes) the tale grew with each re-telling.

In many respects it reminds me of the the legend of King Arthur and the knight of the round table.

Spiny Norman
09-02-2005, 08:29 PM
Hey AC, perhaps you can provide me with some independent evidence that YOU exist?

Without, of course, referring to the chess community (tournament results, bulletin board, etc) because that stuff is obviously biased and cannot be relied upon for an independent view.

Of course, if you're unable to provide such evidence, we'll have to report this to STML and request that he bans your account ... non-people aren't allowed to have access to this board I believe.

:owned:

Rincewind
09-02-2005, 08:50 PM
Hey AC, perhaps you can provide me with some independent evidence that YOU exist?

Without, of course, referring to the chess community (tournament results, bulletin board, etc) because that stuff is obviously biased and cannot be relied upon for an independent view.

Of course, if you're unable to provide such evidence, we'll have to report this to STML and request that he bans your account ... non-people aren't allowed to have access to this board I believe.

:owned:

If he doesn't exist who the hell are you talking to? :owned:³

Spiny Norman
09-02-2005, 10:05 PM
I was actually hoping that I might be talking to myself. ;)

Its quite disturbing to realise that there's little verifiable, independent evidence that I exist either, so I had to search quite hard to find these:

Haas Business School Alumni News (http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/calbusiness/winter2004/alumni2.html)

Michael Wooldridge Website (http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wcms/publishing.nsf/Content/health-archive-mediarel-1998-mw12898.htm)

Moderator of OzEmail Online Forums (Historical) (http://members.ozemail.com.au/~penton/links2.html)

Cat
10-02-2005, 12:32 AM
I would contend that humanitarian services are not best served by market forces. Marketing budgets in particular are an unnecessary burden in the sector and marketing spend seems to be trending up.

This is a complex issue, I'll just say one cannot make blanket statements about these things - diversity is important.


It's a moot point. I never said imposition. I said governments could make for a more efficient distribution of funds and may be preferable to the current barrage of calls most people with listed numbers receive for lottery tickets, donations, etc.

Governments and efficiency are mutually exclusive terms. Governments that do nothing are often the best, because they raise less hell for the populace. Most aid agencies are far more efficient and effective.


I don't deny that but I see no reason why secular organisations (like those already existing) would not fill the gap. After all you would still have the same number of people wanting to help.


Why is this such an issue for you BJC? It's irrelevant whether an agency is secular or religious, as long as they function effectively. Being religious doesn't make you ineffectual, this is bigoted nonsense.

Rincewind
10-02-2005, 07:53 AM
Why is this such an issue for you BJC? It's irrelevant whether an agency is secular or religious, as long as they function effectively. Being religious doesn't make you ineffectual, this is bigoted nonsense.

The reason it is an issue is because of the argument that many humanitarian origanisations are religious based. A mass loss of religion would lead to a humanitarian aid shortage. One does not necessarily follow from the other.

Also I get annoyed by people complaining that governments are "inefficient". I actually feel this is a rumour spread by governments so they can get out of providing education and healthcare. :)

Oepty
10-02-2005, 02:01 PM
I know some.. studied it a couple of years ago.. I'd be pretty rusty by now though.

Excellent. I have no knowledge of Hebrew at all and although I have looked a tiny bit a Biblical Greek have no real idea about it either.

I have just noticed though I left a no out of a sentence I wrote regarding the issue. Sorry about it. The sentence
'I would have problem though if it meant God changed her into a salt statue'
should read,
'I would have no problem though if it meant God changed her into a salt statue'
Scott

Oepty
10-02-2005, 02:16 PM
No but noly one of them is the truth so many people are not going to heaven/nirvanah it would seem.

Well yes, that is true. That is why their is a risk, I could, you could, anybody could get it wrong.



Archeology can (and usually is) performed scientifically. Any part of the OT which is historically accurate? That's a toughy as it would be hard separate the story from the historical context of some sections.

My understanding is brimstone is sulphur which is an element and not a salt. But my comment was (I thought) clearly faceous. The question is not whether the process of incinerating and covering someone in sulphur would turn them into salt. The question is did it happen and if so is their a possible natural explanation.


Why does anything in the Bible, especially where it says God was directly inlvolved have to have a natural explaination? OKay it would be handy for me and others trying to make a case for belief if it was the case. Why does God even have to have left a trace that scientists can find?
Somethings in the Bible can never have a scientific explanation in my view. This includes raising the dead.




You have as much scope as you like to prove the existence of JC. I'm just saying I would not take his existence as read.


Not quite the point I was making. I was really saying you were not giving me anything as a given. This is not a criticism.



My understanding is that sections of it are probably at least that old. Obviously the english transation came along some time later. ;)

What is your view on the Septuagiant?



My understanding is the references are dodgey at best. As BD mentions Josephus us the usual one but I believe he was writing around 70 years after the fact and looks to have had an 'editor'. Other writer were more than likely reporting on rumours.

Some people think it most likely that Jesus was an amalgam of events and ledgends relaing to a number of people that was drawn together. I think it story must have had a germinated somewhere. One original unorthodox rabbi who began a following. May have been persecuted by the Romans (although I don't think this necessarily occurred and may have been added later to help stir up anti-Roman sentiment) and after his relatively early death, his followers spread the word and (as the saying goes) the tale grew with each re-telling.

In many respects it reminds me of the the legend of King Arthur and the knight of the round table.

I am far from up with it as far as the Arthurian legend goes, but I thought I had heard somewhere that Arthur was based on a real person, although the legend is far from biographical.

Anyway back to Jesus. I will have to have a search around for the quotes and examine them anew. Do you believe Pontius Pilate was a real person?

Scott

arosar
10-02-2005, 04:30 PM
You know, I actually invented a new word based on Pontius Pilate's name.

AR

antichrist
10-02-2005, 06:12 PM
Hey AC, perhaps you can provide me with some independent evidence that YOU exist?

Without, of course, referring to the chess community (tournament results, bulletin board, etc) because that stuff is obviously biased and cannot be relied upon for an independent view.

Of course, if you're unable to provide such evidence, we'll have to report this to STML and request that he bans your account ... non-people aren't allowed to have access to this board I believe.

:owned:

Aren't you a bit off tangent asking this question and why of me?

We all know the famous line: I think therefore I am.

According to Basil I may not think.

Tell me how I can prove it to you and I will endeavour to do so if it's legal and moral.

Cat
10-02-2005, 11:47 PM
I actually feel this is a rumour spread by governments so they can get out of providing education and healthcare. :)

Thats true too.

Rincewind
11-02-2005, 10:21 PM
Scott, sorry for not replying earlier but other duties beckoned. However, Friday night means I can give your post and my reply to it the attention they require.


Well yes, that is true. That is why their is a risk, I could, you could, anybody could get it wrong.

Well don't you think this is rather foolish of a God? I mean the majority of humans are not sufficicently exposed to the 'true' religion (should one exist) and therefore are going through life without hope of redemption. Would a humane God allow this?


Why does anything in the Bible, especially where it says God was directly inlvolved have to have a natural explaination? OKay it would be handy for me and others trying to make a case for belief if it was the case. Why does God even have to have left a trace that scientists can find?
Somethings in the Bible can never have a scientific explanation in my view. This includes raising the dead.

It doesn't need to have a natural explanation. But it is those which we have evidence for having occurred and that we DON'T have natural explanations for which are of interest. Obviously if a natural explanation exists, there is no need to think God was involved.


Not quite the point I was making. I was really saying you were not giving me anything as a given. This is not a criticism.

OK. No, I think the expression is "assume nothing". :)


What is your view on the Septuagiant?

Is that a really big Septua? If you mean the Septuagint, it's an early translation of the Hebrew texts now forming the old testament. My understanding is most western churches OT is based on the Vulgate but what is the difference between these which is important to your case?


I am far from up with it as far as the Arthurian legend goes, but I thought I had heard somewhere that Arthur was based on a real person, although the legend is far from biographical.

Exactly the similarity I was referring to.


Anyway back to Jesus. I will have to have a search around for the quotes and examine them anew. Do you believe Pontius Pilate was a real person?

Haven't really bothered to track him down. He is mentioned a number of time by Josephus but apparently there was a dedication stone uncovered in Caesarea which bears his name. So it looks pretty likely that he was the Roman prefectus of Judea at around the time 26 to 36 AD. It that of particular importance?

Spiny Norman
12-02-2005, 10:44 AM
Aren't you a bit off tangent asking this question and why of me? We all know the famous line: I think therefore I am. According to Basil I may not think. Tell me how I can prove it to you and I will endeavour to do so if it's legal and moral.

I'm just stirring your intellectual juices a bit (and having a gentle sideways swipe at Barry at the same time).

One of the main for-the-negative arguments put forward in any debate over the existence of Jesus as a "real person of history" seems to run like this:

1. You can't trust the Bible because its (a) self-serving and (b) any historical accuracy in it was put there after the event; and

2. You can't trust Josephus because his writings have also been modified after the event; and

3. There isn't anything else of substance to refer to; therefore

4. Jesus wasn't a real person.

SO

I was applying the same rules to you:

1. You can't trust what the chess community says (so this bulletin board, tournament results, chess websites etc are not permitted as evidence that you exist)

2. So use some other reputable (!) reference to prove your existence.

Now, given that Jesus lived around 2,000 years ago and there they didn't have printing presses, or the Internet, you should have a tremendous advantage in your ability to provide such proof of your existence!

I will accept three (3) non-chess website references as a satisfactory proof.

Thus ... I went and found three (3) non-chess website references to myself as a proof to you (and Barry) that I myself also exist.

Over to you .... :P ... think of the tremendous credibility this will lend to your arguments in future!

Cat
12-02-2005, 01:09 PM
I'm just stirring your intellectual juices a bit (and having a gentle sideways swipe at Barry at the same time).

One of the main for-the-negative arguments put forward in any debate over the existence of Jesus as a "real person of history" seems to run like this:

1. You can't trust the Bible because its (a) self-serving and (b) any historical accuracy in it was put there after the event; and

2. You can't trust Josephus because his writings have also been modified after the event; and

3. There isn't anything else of substance to refer to; therefore

4. Jesus wasn't a real person.

SO

I was applying the same rules to you:

1. You can't trust what the chess community says (so this bulletin board, tournament results, chess websites etc are not permitted as evidence that you exist)

2. So use some other reputable (!) reference to prove your existence.

Now, given that Jesus lived around 2,000 years ago and there they didn't have printing presses, or the Internet, you should have a tremendous advantage in your ability to provide such proof of your existence!

I will accept three (3) non-chess website references as a satisfactory proof.

Thus ... I went and found three (3) non-chess website references to myself as a proof to you (and Barry) that I myself also exist.

Over to you .... :P ... think of the tremendous credibility this will lend to your arguments in future!

It is indeed difficult to locate the Christian Jesus in the historical record, and if indeed you have evidence to the contrary I guessed we'd all love to share it. Frosty, you're belief is based on faith and it is unreasonable to ask others to accept this as a measure of proof. Be content in your faith, evangelise if you wish - and I mean that with the greatest respect. But in my book anyone who tampers with the historical record is committing a mortal sin.

Alan Shore
12-02-2005, 01:25 PM
We all know the famous line: I think therefore I am.

That's all very well for you, but what about from my view? :P

Alan Shore
12-02-2005, 01:26 PM
But in my book anyone who tampers with the historical record is committing a mortal sin.

History is written by the winners anyway.. you'll always get distortion of the truth wherever you look. Not to mention all the libraries that would have been destroyed by war and conquest...

Cat
12-02-2005, 02:04 PM
History is written by the winners anyway.. you'll always get distortion of the truth wherever you look. Not to mention all the libraries that would have been destroyed by war and conquest...


Damn

Oepty
12-02-2005, 02:09 PM
Scott, sorry for not replying earlier but other duties beckoned. However, Friday night means I can give your post and my reply to it the attention they require.


I wasn't waiting, I too had other duties that meant I am only now looking for an answer.



Well don't you think this is rather foolish of a God? I mean the majority of humans are not sufficicently exposed to the 'true' religion (should one exist) and therefore are going through life without hope of redemption. Would a humane God allow this?


Yes.



It doesn't need to have a natural explanation. But it is those which we have evidence for having occurred and that we DON'T have natural explanations for which are of interest. Obviously if a natural explanation exists, there is no need to think God was involved.


Okay, I see what you are saying.



Is that a really big Septua? If you mean the Septuagint, it's an early translation of the Hebrew texts now forming the old testament. My understanding is most western churches OT is based on the Vulgate but what is the difference between these which is important to your case?


I am just refering to its age, apparently it was completed by 250BC. You stated that you did not necessarily think all of the OT was this old, the Spetuagint is evidence that the OT is at least that. The circumstances around the translation probably indicate it is much older, at least in parts.




Haven't really bothered to track him down. He is mentioned a number of time by Josephus but apparently there was a dedication stone uncovered in Caesarea which bears his name. So it looks pretty likely that he was the Roman prefectus of Judea at around the time 26 to 36 AD. It that of particular importance?

Well, yes and no. I was just seeing what your view was and what you based it on seeing he plays a part of huge importance in the story of Jesus in the Bible.

Scott

Rincewind
12-02-2005, 03:01 PM
Well don't you think this is rather foolish of a God? I mean the majority of humans are not sufficicently exposed to the 'true' religion (should one exist) and therefore are going through life without hope of redemption. Would a humane God allow this?
Yes.

This seems rather a bold statement. How would a South American indian (prior to the joyful arrival of the conquistadors) have had any possibility to "discover" the 'true' religion of christianity (as you believe it to be)? If the answer is not at all. Then al the souls of those without the possibliity of exposure to the true religion were given the gift of an eternal soul without the possibiity of attaining everlasting life.

So getting back to the topic of the thread then... is the life of a christian worth more than one who has no possible exposure to christianity. It would seem that God thinks so.


I am just refering to its age, apparently it was completed by 250BC. You stated that you did not necessarily think all of the OT was this old, the Spetuagint is evidence that the OT is at least that. The circumstances around the translation probably indicate it is much older, at least in parts.

Yes most of it is quite old. The LXX was retranscribed a number of time by various people but it seems to have been based substantially on hebrew texts existing prior to 250BC. There are a couple of books with some large variations from the dead sea scrolls, but by and large it seems kosher.

I assume you are head towards some prophetic statements in the OT being fulfilled elsewhere. If so, please cut to the chase. As I doubt I'll need to question the priority of the OT.


Well, yes and no. I was just seeing what your view was and what you based it on seeing he plays a part of huge importance in the story of Jesus in the Bible.

Pilate features in the life of Christ. However, Christ doesn't seem to feature too greatly in the life of Pilate.

Spiny Norman
12-02-2005, 06:54 PM
My understanding is most western churches OT is based on the Vulgate ...

One of the most recent translations (and the one which I have selected for personal reading) is the New International Version (NIV) which is:

"... a completely new translation of the Holy Bible made by over 100 scholars working directly from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts."

Ref: New International Version (Preface) (http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content/186466271?page=204684&sp=57355)

Many years ago I tended to read the King James Version (KJV) but the language (old English style) was too difficult/foreign and a then switched to the NIV.

Spiny Norman
12-02-2005, 07:01 PM
One of the most recent translations (and the one which I have selected for personal reading) is the New International Version (NIV) which is:

"... a completely new translation of the Holy Bible made by over 100 scholars working directly from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts."

Ref: New International Version (Preface) (http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content/186466271?page=204684&sp=57355)

Further to that, the relevant paragraph from that preface says:


For the Old Testament the standard Hebrew text, the Masoretic Text as published in the latest editions of Biblia Hebraica, was used throughout. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain material bearing on an earlier stage of the Hebrew text. They were consulted, as were the Samaritan Pentateuch and the ancient scribal traditions relating to textual changes. Sometimes a variant Hebrew reading in the margin of the Masoretic Text was followed instead of the text itself Such instances being variants within the Masoretic tradition, are not specified by footnotes. In rare cases, words in the consonantal text were divided differently from the way they appear in the Masoretic Text. Footnotes indicate this. The translators also consulted the more important early versions—the Septuagint; Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion the Vulgate the Syriac Peshitta the Targums and for the Psalms the Juxta Hebrarca of Jerome Readings from these versions were occasionally followed where the Masoretic Text seemed doubtful and where accepted principles of textual criticism showed that one or more of these textual witnesses appeared to provide the correct reading. Such instances are footnoted. Sometimes vowel letters and vowel signs did not, in the judgment of the translators, represent the correct vowels for the original consonantal text. Accordingly some words were read with a different set of vowels. These instances are usually not indicated by footnotes.

Given that wide range of texts providing input, the modern translations such as the NIV should be the most accurate available and provide the best balance of content I think.

Rincewind
12-02-2005, 08:06 PM
Given that wide range of texts providing input, the modern translations such as the NIV should be the most accurate available and provide the best balance of content I think.

I have the NIV in hardcopy published by Zondervan Publishing House.

antichrist
12-02-2005, 08:13 PM
That's all very well for you, but what about from my view? :P

We could connect some electrodes from my brain to yours and when I think you would get zapped, is that sufficient evidence for you.

Cat
13-02-2005, 01:12 AM
The reason it is an issue is because of the argument that many humanitarian origanisations are religious based. A mass loss of religion would lead to a humanitarian aid shortage. One does not necessarily follow from the other.

Also I get annoyed by people complaining that governments are "inefficient". I actually feel this is a rumour spread by governments so they can get out of providing education and healthcare. :)

I guess its important to understand what we mean by 'culture' and the effect different cultures have on our society. Culture is not a respector of political boundaries and within our society a number of prevailing cultures are competing. This may include religious culture, but also corporate culture, political culture, legislative culture or social culture. There are many more, but this list is enough.

So rather considering things as secular or religious, within the secular world there are a number of competing cultures each acting in their own interest. The point is that each of these cultures are powerful forces in our society through which individuals can exert influence. None of these forces represent 'truth' and if any of these forces predominate it leads to totalitarianism. It is in all our interests that a reasonable balance is maintained.

Science is not really a culture but a tool to be used or abused by any of these cultures. Science may just as easily be misused by a corporate entity pouring unwholesome heath products on the consumer, or the development of psychological techniques for marketing purposes, as it might be misused to support ideas of creationism.

Rincewind
13-02-2005, 08:16 AM
Science is not really a culture but a tool to be used or abused by any of these cultures. Science may just as easily be misused by a corporate entity pouring unwholesome heath products on the consumer, or the development of psychological techniques for marketing purposes, as it might be misused to support ideas of creationism.

The advantage science has is the power to uncover those who abuse and misuse it. This is because it can discover the truth, which includes uncovering pseudoscience.

Unfortunately, it is not so easy to distinguish true from false prophets.

Oepty
13-02-2005, 03:52 PM
This seems rather a bold statement. How would a South American indian (prior to the joyful arrival of the conquistadors) have had any possibility to "discover" the 'true' religion of christianity (as you believe it to be)? If the answer is not at all. Then al the souls of those without the possibliity of exposure to the true religion were given the gift of an eternal soul without the possibiity of attaining everlasting life.


Barry. You seem to still believe that I believe in a eternal soul in the sense that most Christians would. I do not. I am at a bit of a disadvantage if you are going to critize me for things I don't believe because of what Christians in general believe. To make it easier, and I don't like putting in a negative way like this but when you are thinking of my beliefs you can remove the trinity, immortality of the soul, a supernatural devil, dead going to heaven or hell at death, Jesus being God, current possesion of Holy Spirit from the list of my beliefs. These are not in my view are not taught in the Bible and to judge the Bible, or at least my belief of what it teaches, with these teachings in mind is unfair.



So getting back to the topic of the thread then... is the life of a christian worth more than one who has no possible exposure to christianity. It would seem that God thinks so.

No it is not true to say God views one persons life more than another. God has given everybody who lives a life. One life is not more valuable than another, it is an equal gift to everyone.
What a person does with the gift is up to them. The ignorant will live a life how they see fit and die and that is the end for them. The Bible likens the fate of this group of people to the fate of sheep.
Then we have people who have been exposed to God's purpose.
A person who accepts what the Bible says and lives the way layed out in it will be given eternal life then in God's Kingdom which will be on earth.
A person who rejects what the Bible says will be rejected by God from the Kingdom at the judgement seat.
I do not see any unfairness in what I have said. I do though see unfairness in a belief of the good going to heaven, bad going to torture in hell scenario. What happens to the ignorant in this? Have to get someone who actually believes this to try to justify there position. Goughfather or Frosty might fit the bill.



Yes most of it is quite old. The LXX was retranscribed a number of time by various people but it seems to have been based substantially on hebrew texts existing prior to 250BC. There are a couple of books with some large variations from the dead sea scrolls, but by and large it seems kosher.

I assume you are head towards some prophetic statements in the OT being fulfilled elsewhere. If so, please cut to the chase. As I doubt I'll need to question the priority of the OT.


Okay fair enough.



Pilate features in the life of Christ. However, Christ doesn't seem to feature too greatly in the life of Pilate.

I am currently investigating this as well as whether Jesus can be shown to be an historical figure. I am trying to look at everything anew in the light of some things you have said, this takes some time.
Scott

Spiny Norman
13-02-2005, 08:05 PM
I am currently investigating this as well as whether Jesus can be shown to be an historical figure. I am trying to look at everything anew in the light of some things you have said, this takes some time.
Scott

I was chatting to my boss at church this morning and we were talking about the historical person of Jesus ... he said he had recently been reading a book written by someone from Harvard on this very topic. I'll see if I can track it down and provide a reference.

Spiny Norman
13-02-2005, 08:23 PM
... when you are thinking of my beliefs you can remove the trinity, immortality of the soul, a supernatural devil, dead going to heaven or hell at death, Jesus being God, current possession of Holy Spirit from the list of my beliefs. These are not in my view are not taught in the Bible and to judge the Bible, or at least my belief of what it teaches, with these teachings in mind is unfair.

I'll put my hand up as believing in ALL of those things ... and also that they can be shown to be consistent with what is portrayed in the Bible (when I say "the Bible" I refer to the major Christian translations such as the NIV, KJV, NKJV, etc ... can't speak for others).


I do though see unfairness in a belief of the good going to heaven, bad going to torture in hell scenario. What happens to the ignorant in this? Have to get someone who actually believes this to try to justify there position. Goughfather or Frosty might fit the bill.

Romans chapter 1 refers to this dilemma and points out that "God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine natures have been clearly seen ... being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse". Having recently stood out in the country late at night and looked up at the stars, seeing the Milky Way for the first time, I think I understand what the writer of Romans was getting at.

However I need to balance this with the teaching of Jesus ... someone full of compassion towards mankind. For example, His encounter with the religious leaders who wanted to stone to death the woman caught in the act of adultery.

Then there's this:

Luke 12:48 "But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

So it seems that I, being a believer, will be held accountable to a much stricter standard then someone who does not believe, or someone who has "never heard".

As with just about all things, I need to read carefully, take a balanced and careful view ... and I mustn't be too quick to judge others.

Cat
13-02-2005, 09:11 PM
The advantage science has is the power to uncover those who abuse and misuse it. This is because it can discover the truth, which includes uncovering pseudoscience.

Unfortunately, it is not so easy to distinguish true from false prophets.

There are many false prophets who claim science as their mistress and these are possbily even more dangerous for the unwary. The greater the knwoledge the greater the potential for misuse. Some of the more dangerous seers of science have the full weight of corporate industry to support their mischieveous deeds, science is no protection.

Rincewind
13-02-2005, 09:19 PM
Barry. You seem to still believe that I believe in a eternal soul in the sense that most Christians would. I do not. I am at a bit of a disadvantage if you are going to critize me for things I don't believe because of what Christians in general believe. To make it easier, and I don't like putting in a negative way like this but when you are thinking of my beliefs you can remove the trinity, immortality of the soul, a supernatural devil, dead going to heaven or hell at death, Jesus being God, current possesion of Holy Spirit from the list of my beliefs. These are not in my view are not taught in the Bible and to judge the Bible, or at least my belief of what it teaches, with these teachings in mind is unfair.

Scott, this is quite a revelation. If the soul is not immortal then can you please tell me what the nature of the soul is? What is its purpose and function, if you like?

Also if good christians don't go to heaven, where do they go while they are waiting for God's kingdom on earth to arrive?


No it is not true to say God views one persons life more than another. God has given everybody who lives a life. One life is not more valuable than another, it is an equal gift to everyone.
What a person does with the gift is up to them. The ignorant will live a life how they see fit and die and that is the end for them. The Bible likens the fate of this group of people to the fate of sheep.
Then we have people who have been exposed to God's purpose.
A person who accepts what the Bible says and lives the way layed out in it will be given eternal life then in God's Kingdom which will be on earth.
A person who rejects what the Bible says will be rejected by God from the Kingdom at the judgement seat.
I do not see any unfairness in what I have said. I do though see unfairness in a belief of the good going to heaven, bad going to torture in hell scenario. What happens to the ignorant in this? Have to get someone who actually believes this to try to justify there position. Goughfather or Frosty might fit the bill.

But the good are still going to a heaven of sorts, aren't they? Not straight away but when God's kingdom on earth is set up, all the good christians will be resurrected or something right? And then share in the glory of God's kingdom.

If this is consistent with your belief then what about the people without even the possibility of exposure to God's word in the Bible? All the Native Americans who died prior to 1492, for example. When they go before God's judgement seat, what will they say? "I'm sorry, but I never heard of Jesus"? Will this wash with God?

Oepty
14-02-2005, 01:12 PM
Scott, this is quite a revelation. If the soul is not immortal then can you please tell me what the nature of the soul is? What is its purpose and function, if you like?

Also if good christians don't go to heaven, where do they go while they are waiting for God's kingdom on earth to arrive?

Without getting to technical by refering to a Hebrew language authority I believe that the word soul in the OT testament refers to the body. It is nothing more than that. In the NT the word soul refers to a person life amoungst other things.




But the good are still going to a heaven of sorts, aren't they? Not straight away but when God's kingdom on earth is set up, all the good christians will be resurrected or something right? And then share in the glory of God's kingdom.


Well yes. It could be described as heaven on earth, although this is a very loose description. The Lords Prayer talks about praying for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. This will happen then, it is certainly not happening now.



If this is consistent with your belief then what about the people without even the possibility of exposure to God's word in the Bible? All the Native Americans who died prior to 1492, for example. When they go before God's judgement seat, what will they say? "I'm sorry, but I never heard of Jesus"? Will this wash with God?

No ignorant people will not be brought before the judgement seat. They will not be ressurected for judgement. As I said before in my previous post the fate of the ignorant is the same as sheep.

Scott

Rincewind
14-02-2005, 01:16 PM
No ignorant people will not be brought before the judgement seat. They will not be ressurected for judgement. As I said before in my previous post the fate of the ignorant is the same as sheep.

That sounds unfair to me. Perhaps it is just my sensibilities of fair play. Seems God sells the ignorant a raffle ticket and then chucks out those numbers from the draw.

Oepty
14-02-2005, 01:29 PM
That sounds unfair to me. Perhaps it is just my sensibilities of fair play. Seems God sells the ignorant a raffle ticket and then chucks out those numbers from the draw.

There seems to be some randomness in this way of looking at the situation that I don't really think is there.
So you are saying it is unfair for God to allow some people to be ignorant while others are not. This would be the case if all people deserved an opportunity at more than this life. The Bible teaches that this is not true, instead the opposite is the corrent way at looking at it. No one deserves eternal life, it is death that we all deserve. In giving some people, even one person a way for eternal life He is going further than we should expect.
Scott

Rincewind
14-02-2005, 01:36 PM
There seems to be some randomness in this way of looking at the situation that I don't really think is there.
So you are saying it is unfair for God to allow some people to be ignorant while others are not. This would be the case if all people deserved an opportunity at more than this life. The Bible teaches that this is not true, instead the opposite is the corrent way at looking at it. No one deserves eternal life, it is death that we all deserve. In giving some people, even one person a way for eternal life He is going further than we should expect.
Scott

OK but if that is the case then God has chosen some people to be deserving of this way and other not. In donig so hasn't he discriminated against the ignorant which shows he regards them as less worthy than others?

Oepty
14-02-2005, 01:51 PM
I have no real answer as to why X person is left ignorant, and Y person is not. If I am correct, then the question of why me not another person is one I can not answer. I can only say that I do not believe it is because I have anything special about me, or anything that makes more worthy than others.

The mechanism by which God seems to use is preaching. In the Bible preaching is commanded of every follower and that this preaching should take place in every part of the world. God expects believers to spread his message and has provided his Bible to help us do it.

Scott

Rincewind
14-02-2005, 02:12 PM
I have no real answer as to why X person is left ignorant, and Y person is not. If I am correct, then the question of why me not another person is one I can not answer. I can only say that I do not believe it is because I have anything special about me, or anything that makes more worthy than others.

You may not feel any more worthy, but logically either you are more worthy and God knows why, or it is dumb luck.


The mechanism by which God seems to use is preaching. In the Bible preaching is commanded of every follower and that this preaching should take place in every part of the world. God expects believers to spread his message and has provided his Bible to help us do it.

He may have provided the Bible, but he didn't provide a means of communicating it to the Americas for 1.5 millenia after the death of Christ. Seems a lot of sheep went though the yards in that time without the remotest possibility of sharing is God's Kingdom on Earth when it arrives.

Oepty
14-02-2005, 03:01 PM
You may not feel any more worthy, but logically either you are more worthy and God knows why, or it is dumb luck.

I don't believe it was either. I do believe God had some part to play in it but the choice was not based on greater worthiness. What it was based on I am not sure.



He may have provided the Bible, but he didn't provide a means of communicating it to the Americas for 1.5 millenia after the death of Christ. Seems a lot of sheep went though the yards in that time without the remotest possibility of sharing is God's Kingdom on Earth when it arrives.
Yes, but to me while it is sad in one way, it does not really matter in another way. God purpose is not to save everybody, all salvation is open to everyone. They have to hear yes, the Bible in Romans 10:13-15 makes that very point.

13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

God is after a number of people who are prepared to follow him. These people he will give the earth. People dying without hearing or having an opportunity to hear does not mean this cannot happen. No one can complain about being unfairly treated because they don't deserve anything more than they have had, in fact they deserve a whole lot less. This includes me.

Scott

Oepty
14-02-2005, 03:04 PM
I was chatting to my boss at church this morning and we were talking about the historical person of Jesus ... he said he had recently been reading a book written by someone from Harvard on this very topic. I'll see if I can track it down and provide a reference.

Thank you. That would be good. I have looked in my local library for books on this subject and I looked up Pontius Pilate not expecting to find anything. Instead I found 2 books completely dedicated to him, much to my surprise.
Scott

JGB
14-02-2005, 03:04 PM
It seems Barry is posting some fine questions to which very few reasonable answers are found? I seek the answer to similar questions myself, but at the moment the bible is probably the last place I would look, I tried it a while back and it seemed to raise only more questions.

I have a problem with the nonsensicle belief that if there is an almighty "God" why would he not judge every man at the gates regardless of his religious belief. Naturally if there were such a being, he would do just that, and judge each man on his own life regardless of the belief system; for that itself is only man made.

Oepty
14-02-2005, 03:31 PM
I'll put my hand up as believing in ALL of those things ... and also that they can be shown to be consistent with what is portrayed in the Bible (when I say "the Bible" I refer to the major Christian translations such as the NIV, KJV, NKJV, etc ... can't speak for others).

Well, I use the KJV as my main Bible, but i think the RSV, NASB and others are quite good as well. I personally don't have much respect for the NIV, especially NT, but this is a completely different subject. Probably need a new thread if we are going to discuss this or the doctrines we disagree on.



Romans chapter 1 refers to this dilemma and points out that "God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine natures have been clearly seen ... being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse". Having recently stood out in the country late at night and looked up at the stars, seeing the Milky Way for the first time, I think I understand what the writer of Romans was getting at.

However I need to balance this with the teaching of Jesus ... someone full of compassion towards mankind. For example, His encounter with the religious leaders who wanted to stone to death the woman caught in the act of adultery.

Then there's this:

Luke 12:48 "But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

So it seems that I, being a believer, will be held accountable to a much stricter standard then someone who does not believe, or someone who has "never heard".

As with just about all things, I need to read carefully, take a balanced and careful view ... and I mustn't be too quick to judge others.

I don't think creation on its own can give a person enough information to be saved. In itself it say nothing about the position of mankind before God and that Jesus died for sins. Surely these must be known for salvation.
As for the Luke quote. Doesn't this say, along with the context, that ignorance it not an excuse although it is not as bad as willfully being disobedient.

Scott

Spiny Norman
14-02-2005, 06:51 PM
Seems a lot of sheep went though the yards in that time without the remotest possibility of sharing is God's Kingdom on Earth when it arrives.

Perhaps this reference provides a clue:

John 10:16
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Rincewind
14-02-2005, 06:52 PM
John 10:16
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

What does that mean?

Spiny Norman
14-02-2005, 07:04 PM
I have a problem with the nonsensicle belief that if there is an almight "God" why would he not judge everyman at the gates regardless of his religious belief. Naturally if there were such a being, he would do just that, and judge each man on his own life regardless of the belief system; for that itself is only man made.

JGB, we're in agreement, and I think the Bible is in agreement with you:

Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ...

That means me, the Jewish nation, everyone. Christianity's claim is that God's standard of perfection creates a situation where nobody can measure up. So a circuit-breaker was required, and was provided in the person of Jesus:

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in [or through] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Obviously there's a lot more to it than that (i.e. in the small print) but that's the nub of it. Christianity claims that Jesus' perfect sacrifice was sufficient to pay the penalty for sin that God's perfection requires for His nature to remain congruent.

Many people find this far too simple to be acceptable. One verse in the Bible describes Christian belief as "a stumbling block for the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks". The Jews basically believed that "good works" was how to get God's approval. The Greeks (one might replace this with "gnostics") believed that it was through accumulation of "wisdom". Christianity is neither of those, which is why people find it particularly difficult to comprehend.

That's my 30-second summary anyway.

Spiny Norman
14-02-2005, 07:10 PM
What does that mean?

I wish I knew. Its not clear to me ... but the context is important. Jesus was talking about people knowing him and He knowing them (i.e. in relationship) "... just as the Father knows me and I know the Father". He was talking about His [impending] sacrifice ... "I lay my life down for the sheep".

I don't profess to know how to deal with the difficulties presented by:
- all the people who lived before Christ
- all the people who have lived since who don't know about Him

But that verse I mentioned leaves me with the conclusion that God knows and has it under control. So I trust Him to deal with it in a loving and compassionate way. This also leads me to avoid making judgemental assertions about other people, but to remain personally accountable and leave it at that.

Spiny Norman
14-02-2005, 07:33 PM
I don't think creation on its own can give a person enough information to be saved. In itself it say nothing about the position of mankind before God and that Jesus died for sins. Surely these must be known for salvation.

I just sat down and wrote a long-ish reply ... but really, there is not much to be gained by me arguing the toss over what is essentially a side issue.

So I deleted it and posted this instead .... sorry! :)

Oepty
15-02-2005, 10:37 AM
What does that mean?

I think this verse is about the Jews and Gentiles. The Jews being the first sheep pen and the Gentiles being from the other pen.

Scott

Oepty
15-02-2005, 10:39 AM
I just sat down and wrote a long-ish reply ... but really, there is not much to be gained by me arguing the toss over what is essentially a side issue.

So I deleted it and posted this instead .... sorry! :)

Okay. That is up to you.
Scott

Oepty
19-02-2005, 01:07 PM
I think that 1 human life is worth more than all of the animals, that is every example of every spieces on the earth. This is for purely religious reasons which I can explain if you really want me too.
Scott

I made this statement almost a month ago and I have thought about the issue quite abit since. As a result of this and the discussion on the BB I am now no longer sure that this statement is correct. The arguements that I thought proved it to me before do not now seems as convincing. This means although I am not going to say I was wrong in the statement above I am no longer going to defend this statement in anyway. This does not change the other views that I have put forward in this thread.

Scott

antichrist
19-02-2005, 01:09 PM
I made this statement almost a month ago and I have thought about the issue quite abit since. As a result of this and the discussion on the BB I am now no longer sure that this statement is correct. The arguements that I thought proved it to me before do not now seems as convincing. This means although I am not going to say I was wrong in the statement above I am no longer going to defend this statement in anyway. This does not change the other views that I have put forward in this thread.

Scott

Listen mate
It has been reported that no or not many animals died in the tsunami, doesn't that tell you something.

If there were no animals where would we get our protein from, we would become eneamic (?)

Oepty
19-02-2005, 01:13 PM
Listen mate
It has been reported that no or not many animals died in the tsunami, doesn't that tell you something.

Yes.


If there were no animals where would we get our protein from, we would become eneamic (?)
Vegetarians seem to manage. I am not one and don't think I ever will be one but I know some people who are and they seem healthy.
Scott

antichrist
19-02-2005, 01:48 PM
Yes.

Vegetarians seem to manage. I am not one and don't think I ever will be one but I know some people who are and they seem healthy.
Scott

But they are not living in a natural environment. That is they obtain foods which originated from all around the world, and with modern medical knowledge can manage to scrape though. I would imagine it can only be practised in rich societies who can afford such choice. In Asia animals eat the food scrapes etc from humans, the animals then become food. It is a very efficient system that works well. They don't have money to buy all the latest fruits, nuts, dofu, etc.

This push is led by New-Age women, along with the vegetarianism comes a whole lot of irrationalism about past lives etc.

I have not seen a healthy looking vegetarian yet.

Oepty
19-02-2005, 02:01 PM
But they are not living in a natural environment. That is they obtain foods which originated from all around the world, and with modern medical knowledge can manage to scrape though. I would imagine it can only be practised in rich societies who can afford such choice. In Asia animals eat the food scrapes etc from humans, the animals then become food. It is a very efficient system that works well. They don't have money to buy all the latest fruits, nuts, dofu, etc.

This push is led by New-Age women, along with the vegetarianism comes a whole lot of irrationalism about past lives etc.

I have not seen a healthy looking vegetarian yet.

I don't know whether you are right about vegetarianism is only prossible in the modern western world or not. Even if it is true it still does not make your original comments correct. It is possible to be vegetarian and be healthy, I have seen healthy looking vegetarians. Just becuase you have never seen a person who you know is vegetarian looking healthy does not mean healthy vegetarians do not exist.

Scott

antichrist
19-02-2005, 02:28 PM
I don't know whether you are right about vegetarianism is only prossible in the modern western world or not. Even if it is true it still does not make your original comments correct. It is possible to be vegetarian and be healthy, I have seen healthy looking vegetarians. Just becuase you have never seen a person who you know is vegetarian looking healthy does not mean healthy vegetarians do not exist.

Scott

I know one vegetarian who regularly has health check-ups to determine she is not missing out on essential vitamins and minerals. People in third world countries, and people before last century cannot do this.

I usually find them hypocrites as well so in general they don't impress me.

But I have seen plenty who have looked unhealthy.

Rincewind
19-02-2005, 03:32 PM
It has been reported that no or not many animals died in the tsunami, doesn't that tell you something.

When you say animals, I assume you mean other than Homo sapiens. This may be true (but I think it is more likely that a few isolated incidents have been grossly exaggerated by the press).

However, according to this website (http://www.godhatesamerica.com/ghfmir/main/faq.html#Tsunami) the tsunami was God's judgement on sex tourists, particularly Swedes for some reason.

(Warning the link takes you an extremely fundamentalist and religiously bigotted site. Proceed with caution.)

JGB
19-02-2005, 05:23 PM
I have not seen a healthy looking vegetarian yet.

My sisters is a vege (full; no fish, gelatine etc) and she is probably healther than me. But it takes knowledge, and she began this 'fad' when she was 12. ... she is turning 25 soon. ;)

antichrist
19-02-2005, 05:48 PM
My sisters is a vege (full; no fish, gelatine etc) and she is probably healther than me. But it takes knowledge, and she began this 'fad' when she was 12. ... she is turning 25 soon. ;)

Does she have blood tests to know that she actually is okay?

antichrist
19-02-2005, 05:51 PM
Isn't it much more plesant without the rudeness and bully-boy tactics of Bill and also without the flamewars.

I would make an offer -- if he quits so will I.

Cat
19-02-2005, 11:16 PM
I made this statement almost a month ago and I have thought about the issue quite abit since. As a result of this and the discussion on the BB I am now no longer sure that this statement is correct. The arguements that I thought proved it to me before do not now seems as convincing. This means although I am not going to say I was wrong in the statement above I am no longer going to defend this statement in anyway. This does not change the other views that I have put forward in this thread.

Scott


No, no, no Scotty, hold the line, you stick to your guns buddy. Could you say the life of a rat or a cat means as much to you as your mothers life, or sister, or brother? Of course not, and likewise those who lost loved ones in the tsunami would value the lives of those loved ones more than all the rats in Bangkok. And aren't we all brothers & sisters in the eyes of the Lord? So of course those human lives mean more to us than the lives of animals - this is your faith Scotty, have confidence.

BJC and Antichrist are cynics, Scott, they have no soul! They're repeating the spiel of Peter Singer, widely known to be the most dangerous man on the planet. But this is a position of privilege, most people can't afford this kind of largesse.

Look, suppose you're on a desert island, you're starving and your only means of obtaining food is to kill and cook a rabbit. Now a carniverous animal would instinctively hunt it's prey, kill and eat it unquestioningly because it's the natural order of things. But you're different, you're a human being, you can make a choice, is your life worth more to you than the rabbits? Of course you would eat the rabbit.

But what if it was your mothers life at stake, or a friend, or even a child you'd never met before - you'd still choose to take the rabbits life woudn't you? Of course -and isn't that what it says in the bible?

Scott, you have your faith - its a precious thing, are you going to let it be shaken by a couple of heathens? Use the resources at your disposal, you have a powerful friend in Jesus.

Cat
19-02-2005, 11:29 PM
But they are not living in a natural environment. That is they obtain foods which originated from all around the world, and with modern medical knowledge can manage to scrape though. I would imagine it can only be practised in rich societies who can afford such choice. In Asia animals eat the food scrapes etc from humans, the animals then become food. It is a very efficient system that works well. They don't have money to buy all the latest fruits, nuts, dofu, etc.

This push is led by New-Age women, along with the vegetarianism comes a whole lot of irrationalism about past lives etc.

I have not seen a healthy looking vegetarian yet.

In fact, some societies have an extremely long tradition of vegitarianism, such as some Hindu sects and because of their cultural heritage avoid many of the nutritional deficiencies one might expect. The experience passed on from their ancestors selects foods that are nutritionally balanced.

Conversely many Western vegetarians develop nutritional defiencies because they are uneducated as to finding the correct balance in their diet. They simply continue their Western diet and simply drop the meat. Yet another example of the value of tradition!

Rincewind
19-02-2005, 11:32 PM
BJC and Antichrist are cynics, Scott, they have no soul! They're repeating the spiel of Peter Singer, widely known to be the most dangerous man on the planet. But this is a position of privilege, most people can't afford this kind of largesse.

I'm not a cynic, I'm a skeptic; and I have not been repeating the spiel of Peter Singer. In fact I have not gone anywhere near the degree of animal ethics that Singer advocates (and to his credit, seems to live to as well). However, I think a more realistic and defensible ethical framework needs to be based on a relativist rather than absolutist model, and recognising our close genetic relationship with the (other) apes would be a good start.

This gets back to the true (negative) value of religion in our society. While ever religion is there telling us that God made us in his image and gave us dominion over the beasts and the fowl, such an ethical framework cannot be realised. Although it is heartening that Scott has at least questioned his previous absolutistic stance.

antichrist
19-02-2005, 11:45 PM
In fact, some societies have an extremely long tradition of vegitarianism, such as some Hindu sects and because of their cultural heritage avoid many of the nutritional deficiencies one might expect. The experience passed on from their ancestors selects foods that are nutritionally balanced.

Conversely many Western vegetarians develop nutritional defiencies because they are uneducated as to finding the correct balance in their diet. They simply continue their Western diet and simply drop the meat. Yet another example of the value of tradition!

My relos have lived to 104 years old and they never thought twice about eating meat. Our body has evolved to eat meat (including our stomach), it is natural to eat meat.

Also in China some Buddists are vegetarians who probably do it successfully due to tradition, based on research -- which in Chinese medicine can be quite thorough.

I have heard of many cases where people have damaged their bodies due to vegetarianism.

Of course fatty meat will also damage the body.

Cat
19-02-2005, 11:47 PM
This gets back to the true (negative) value of religion in our society. While ever religion is there telling us that God made us in his image and gave us dominion over the beasts and the fowl, such an ethical framework cannot be realised. Although it is heartening that Scott has at least questioned his previous absolutistic stance.

Now you're doing what the fundamentalist does, extracting bits from the scriptures and using that information literally. All animals are God's special creation and should be treated with respect - all things bright & beautiful, what? In fact the Corpus Hermeticus, which has similar origins to some Christian scriptures, is at pains to stress the importance of ecological responsiblity. 'The Good Shepherd' is a title given to both Jesus and Hermes, with the virtue of good animal husbandry being suggested amongst it's many metaphorical connotations.

antichrist
19-02-2005, 11:52 PM
Freddy,
which life is more valuable?

That of your mother or that of the last couple of an endangered species, i.e, their death will make the species extinct.

Choose your favourite animal as the endangered species.

Also realise that this is all only relative, e.g., if you lived in India you would not dare harm a cow, they might kill you and your mother. So realise that you are only a product of your environment and values (and religion) reflect the society you come from.

Cat
19-02-2005, 11:55 PM
I have heard of many cases where people have damaged their bodies due to vegetarianism.

Of course fatty meat will also damage the body.


Yes, for the uneducated westerner there are many pitfalls in vegetarianism. But generally we eat too much meat in the west. In fact we just eat too much, plain & simple.

The other problem in the west is that so much of our food is highly processed, so that the nutritional value of our food has been diminished. Food manufacturers have been unscrupulous when modifying our food. They load our foods with salt, sugar and saturated fat, while they remove fibre to improve texture.

antichrist
19-02-2005, 11:57 PM
Now you're doing what the fundamentalist does, extracting bits from the scriptures and using that information literally. All animals are God's special creation and should be treated with respect - all things bright & beautiful, what? In fact the Corpus Hermeticus, which has similar origins to some Christian scriptures, is at pains to stress the importance of ecological responsiblity. 'The Good Shepherd' is a title given to both Jesus and Hermes, with the virtue of good animal husbandry being suggested amongst it's many metaphorical connotations.

Why then did God design them how they don't respect each other. They terrorise each other and literally tear each other apart. What is bright and beautiful about such terror.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 12:00 AM
Yes, for the uneducated westerner there are many pitfalls in vegetarianism. But generally we eat too much meat in the west. In fact we just eat too much, plain & simple.

The other problem in the west is that so much of our food is highly processed, so that the nutritional value of our food has been diminished. Food manufacturers have been unscrupulous when modifying our food. They load our foods with salt, sugar and saturated fat, while they remove fibre to improve texture.

I have considered Lebo food and come to the conclusion that it is all healthy. Providing one takes all the fat off the meat, which good cooks do, especially in restaurants. When I think further about it now, it is all unprocessed and fresh.

Rincewind
20-02-2005, 12:02 AM
Now you're doing what the fundamentalist does, extracting bits from the scriptures and using that information literally. All animals are God's special creation and should be treated with respect - all things bright & beautiful, what? In fact the Corpus Hermeticus, which has similar origins to some Christian scriptures, is at pains to stress the importance of ecological responsiblity. 'The Good Shepherd' is a title given to both Jesus and Hermes, with the virtue of good animal husbandry being suggested amongst it's many metaphorical connotations.

Your examples are bulldust as usual. In the Jesus as the good shepherd metaphor it with mankind as being the sheep and has nothing whatsoever to do with sound ecological management.

The point in case being Scott's previous position where a single human life being worth more than all other instances of life on the planet. Perhaps theism doesn't promote this absolute value of human life stance, but many christians seem to adhere to it in at least some degree, even (itwould appear) some of those who doesn't believe in an immortal soul.

Cat
20-02-2005, 12:03 AM
Also realise that this is all only relative, e.g., if you lived in India you would not dare harm a cow, they might kill you and your mother. So realise that you are only a product of your environment and values (and religion) reflect the society you come from.

Ah, but in India that makes a lot of sense, because beef is a common source of salmonella poisoning, particulary a problem in the hot Indian subcontinent. Also milk was a major source of tuberculosis before pasturisation, so again the Indians obviously became aware of the consequences of eating beef, drinking milk and so it became deeply enshrined in their culture, similar to the Jewish tradition towards pork, again a major potential source for salmonella poisoning.

Geoff Boycott had his spleen removed and each time he visited India he had no defence against the local infections. Eventually he stopped touring India, much to the relief of the Indians.

Rincewind
20-02-2005, 12:09 AM
Geoff Boycott had his spleen removed and each time he visited India he had no defence against the local infections. Eventually he stopped touring India, much to the relief of the Indians.

Yes, who know how many he bored to death with his batting while touring there.

Cat
20-02-2005, 12:19 AM
Your examples are bulldust as usual. In the Jesus as the good shepherd metaphor it with mankind as being the sheep and has nothing whatsoever to do with sound ecological management.

The point in case being Scott's previous position where a single human life being worth more than all other instances of life on the planet. Perhaps theism doesn't promote this absolute value of human life stance, but many christians seem to adhere to it in at least some degree, even (itwould appear) some of those who doesn't believe in an immortal soul.

Well maybe you need to do a little more reading BJC. I'd suggest Stephen Hoeller from Harvard or Elaine Pagels /Princeton. There is an enormously rich vein of discussion even in ancient texts about the various symbolic devices used by the peoples of antiquity. For example, take the Garden of Eden mythology - many of the ancient texts discussed the myth from the serpent's view, that the serpent was leading Adam towards enlightenment and that the demuirge, or a false God was attempting to prevent discovery. Another text tells the story from Eve's perspective.

Most of these mythological symbols have at least a half dozen different possible interpretations, which is what makes them such powerful symbolic devices. For the next bit I reckon you should sit down BJC.

Many literists believe myths to be more valuable than facts, because facts are generally banal, relate to daily events and are quickly forgotten. Myths on the other hand relate to the individual on a personal level because we live through those myths in our own lives, the myths have meaning at a personal level and are remembered.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 01:31 AM
Freddy
Can you reply to my posts 167 and 169 please then we can proceed further in the morning.

Rincewind
20-02-2005, 07:37 AM
Most of these mythological symbols have at least a half dozen different possible interpretations, which is what makes them such powerful symbolic devices.

...which makes them totally useless as a means for discovering truth, you mean.


Many literists believe myths to be more valuable than facts

Yes they would I guess. However, literists have never discovered a single objective truth. In fact it is a well known adage that the facts get in the way of a good story. However, since good stories led us to so many wars, perhaps it was time we considered the facts.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 09:54 AM
Well maybe you need to do a little more reading BJC. I'd suggest Stephen Hoeller from Harvard or Elaine Pagels /Princeton. There is an enormously rich vein of discussion even in ancient texts about the various symbolic devices used by the peoples of antiquity. For example, take the Garden of Eden mythology - many of the ancient texts discussed the myth from the serpent's view, that the serpent was leading Adam towards enlightenment and that the demuirge, or a false God was attempting to prevent discovery. Another text tells the story from Eve's perspective.

Most of these mythological symbols have at least a half dozen different possible interpretations, which is what makes them such powerful symbolic devices. For the next bit I reckon you should sit down BJC.

Many literists believe myths to be more valuable than facts, because facts are generally banal, relate to daily events and are quickly forgotten. Myths on the other hand relate to the individual on a personal level because we live through those myths in our own lives, the myths have meaning at a personal level and are remembered.

Hey David,
I don't know what your day job is but you are wasting your time. You could go to an area where New Age is strong (for e.g., Byron Bay) and become an instant guru success story. New-Age women are full of spiritualism and symbolism, you may have to brush up on past lives and a few other fads, yoga is all the go (umpteen varieties), vegetarianism is another. They pay well with the money and the box.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 10:18 AM
David,
As it appears that Freddy has caught the last train for the coast (with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost) you should be able to handle the simple questions put in posts 167 and 169.

Cat
20-02-2005, 11:54 AM
Hey David,
I don't know what your day job is but you are wasting your time. You could go to an area where New Age is strong (for e.g., Byron Bay) and become an instant guru success story. New-Age women are full of spiritualism and symbolism, you may have to brush up on past lives and a few other fads, yoga is all the go (umpteen varieties), vegetarianism is another. They pay well with the money and the box.


I think I could, I'm thinking of writing a book.

Cat
20-02-2005, 11:58 AM
Freddy,
which life is more valuable?

That of your mother or that of the last couple of an endangered species, i.e, their death will make the species extinct.

Choose your favourite animal as the endangered species.

Also realise that this is all only relative, e.g., if you lived in India you would not dare harm a cow, they might kill you and your mother. So realise that you are only a product of your environment and values (and religion) reflect the society you come from.

We cannot deny our humanity, or else we simply lie to ourselves. We are genetically programmed to defend our interests and the interest of our tribe. We may intellectualise this dilemma, but at the end of the day our savagery will shine through, mum lives!

Cat
20-02-2005, 12:05 PM
Why then did God design them how they don't respect each other. They terrorise each other and literally tear each other apart. What is bright and beautiful about such terror.

Well, duality is a well worn track amongst the ancients, crystallised in William Blake's beautiful poem The Tiger - I can do no better than that.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

antichrist
20-02-2005, 02:14 PM
Sorry, but the poem in no answer my question. Poets in my opinion are known to be artistic/spiritual but not rationalistic nor seriously philosophical, they only flirt around the edges. That Lebo Gibran(?) is like that and many others. Poets can't face hard nose solutions which is why they dilly-dally with words.

I want a serious, straight forward answer!! Otherwise I will divorce you.

Oepty
20-02-2005, 03:06 PM
No, no, no Scotty, hold the line, you stick to your guns buddy. Could you say the life of a rat or a cat means as much to you as your mothers life, or sister, or brother? Of course not, and likewise those who lost loved ones in the tsunami would value the lives of those loved ones more than all the rats in Bangkok. And aren't we all brothers & sisters in the eyes of the Lord? So of course those human lives mean more to us than the lives of animals - this is your faith Scotty, have confidence.

BJC and Antichrist are cynics, Scott, they have no soul! They're repeating the spiel of Peter Singer, widely known to be the most dangerous man on the planet. But this is a position of privilege, most people can't afford this kind of largesse.

Look, suppose you're on a desert island, you're starving and your only means of obtaining food is to kill and cook a rabbit. Now a carniverous animal would instinctively hunt it's prey, kill and eat it unquestioningly because it's the natural order of things. But you're different, you're a human being, you can make a choice, is your life worth more to you than the rabbits? Of course you would eat the rabbit.

But what if it was your mothers life at stake, or a friend, or even a child you'd never met before - you'd still choose to take the rabbits life woudn't you? Of course -and isn't that what it says in the bible?

Scott, you have your faith - its a precious thing, are you going to let it be shaken by a couple of heathens? Use the resources at your disposal, you have a powerful friend in Jesus.

David. I have not changed my faith. I am just stating that the statement I initially made in this thread might not be right in my view. I am not saying it is wrong, just I would need to look at what I said again before I defended such a absolute stament.
Your post is a total overreaction to what I said.
Scott

Oepty
20-02-2005, 03:11 PM
Freddy
Can you reply to my posts 167 and 169 please then we can proceed further in the morning.

Give me a chance. I am only now reading your posts.
Scott

Oepty
20-02-2005, 03:14 PM
Freddy,
which life is more valuable?

That of your mother or that of the last couple of an endangered species, i.e, their death will make the species extinct.

Choose your favourite animal as the endangered species.

Also realise that this is all only relative, e.g., if you lived in India you would not dare harm a cow, they might kill you and your mother. So realise that you are only a product of your environment and values (and religion) reflect the society you come from.

My mother.

Oepty
20-02-2005, 03:16 PM
Why then did God design them how they don't respect each other. They terrorise each other and literally tear each other apart. What is bright and beautiful about such terror.

You are replying to a post from David that I don't really understand with a quick reading. Why should I be required to defend something David has written?

Scott

antichrist
20-02-2005, 03:19 PM
My mother.

Then, when they ask you to lock that answer in, scientists discover that the endangered animal has the cells that will cure cancers etc. i.e., millions of other mothers will survive if you will just let this one mother die.

What will be your answer?

antichrist
20-02-2005, 03:22 PM
You are replying to a post from David that I don't really understand with a quick reading. Why should I be required to defend something David has written?

Scott

Fair enough.

Now David, the ball is back in your court. You are playing singles -- not doubles.

Alan Shore
20-02-2005, 03:27 PM
Then, when they ask you to lock that answer in, scientists discover that the endangered animal has the cells that will cure cancers etc. i.e., millions of other mothers will survive if you will just let this one mother die.

What will be your answer?

Hey, thanks AC for getting back to the original topic.

It really brings up the question of Hume's 'greatest good for the greatest number' versus the freedom to make our own subjective decisions based upon the subjective values we hold dearest to us.

It will be interesting to see Scott's response.

P.S. I like that poem Dave... fearful symmetry!

antichrist
20-02-2005, 03:34 PM
Hey, thanks AC for getting back to the original topic.

It really brings up the question of Hume's 'greatest good for the greatest number' versus the freedom to make our own subjective decisions based upon the subjective values we hold dearest to us.

It will be interesting to see Scott's response.

P.S. I like that poem Dave... fearful symmetry!

It is either bad luck or you are blessed this weekend because I happen to be a bit sick and within striking distance of a PC. I can't to out and my chess mates run away from me. I have had too many of those real life experiences without clothes on and they have caught up to me.

Oepty
20-02-2005, 03:51 PM
Then, when they ask you to lock that answer in, scientists discover that the endangered animal has the cells that will cure cancers etc. i.e., millions of other mothers will survive if you will just let this one mother die.

What will be your answer?

Just to clarify. Are you saying if I had the choice to save either the pair of endangered spieces or my mother who would I chose? Are you saying if I had to chose to kill one of these options what whould i do?
Scott

PS Bruce, I think I brought the thread back to the initial subject not AC

Alan Shore
20-02-2005, 03:55 PM
Just to clarify. Are you saying if I had the choice to save either the pair of endangered spieces or my mother who would I chose? Are you saying if I had to chose to kill one of these options what whould i do?
Scott

I think he means the choice to save one or the other.. i.e. the one you do not save will die but you do not 'carry out the killing yourself', merely their life is extinguished from you failing to save them.

Even so, if you were to carry out the killing through action rather than lack of action, would this change your response?


PS Bruce, I think I brought the thread back to the initial subject not AC

OK then, thanks Scott.

Oepty
20-02-2005, 03:58 PM
I think he means the choice to save one or the other.. i.e. the one you do not save will die but you do not 'carry out the killing yourself', merely their life is extinguished from you failing to save them.

Even so, if you were to carry out the killing through action rather than lack of action, would this change your response?


Yes.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 04:13 PM
Yes.

Then what you are saying is that humans and animals can be used as a means to an end?

Are you on the supposed slippery slope of relativism?

Isn't means to an end against all Church stated doctrine (though thoroughly ingrained in their fables etc.)?

Oepty
20-02-2005, 04:21 PM
Then what you are saying is that humans and animals can be used as a means to an end?

Are you on the supposed slippery slope of relativism?

Isn't means to an end against all Church stated doctrine (though thoroughly ingrained in their fables etc.)?

What? Where an earth did you get this load of nonsense from. Point out where I said anything like your first sentence. I am not saying this at all.
Reread what has been said in the last few posts and I am sure you understand what I said in the last posts. This is nothing, absolutely nothing like what I said. I just asked for a clarification on what you were asking and when Bruce asked me whether it would change my answer I said yes. Please clarify what you were asking with your questions. I can not give an appropriate answer if I don't understand the question.
Scott

antichrist
20-02-2005, 04:51 PM
Okay,
we will go back. I did not think you would give a yes answer and wondered if Bruce confused you.
___________________________________________

You have already said yes to save your mother and forsake your favourite animals species.

Now read on...

Then, when they ask you to lock that answer in, scientists discover that the endangered animal has the cells that will cure cancers etc. i.e., millions of other mothers will survive if you will just let this one mother die.

What will be your answer?
______________________________________-

That is if you let your mother die not only will your favourite species live but a cure will be found for all the cancers that effect women. Therefore millions of mother will live, but also (if you are an oldie like myself) your own daughter who is also a mother will live.
________________________________________

How all of these come to their death or who does what is irrelevant.

Cat
20-02-2005, 05:44 PM
Why then did God design them how they don't respect each other. They terrorise each other and literally tear each other apart. What is bright and beautiful about such terror.

Design is a product of natural selection and there is enormous beauty in that. I was writing metaphorically and attempting to use the Christian vernacular to bring the arguments I was using within a Christian framework, in essence attempting to transpose that logic into a more orthodox Christian meaning, to touch a cord with Scott, if you like - because he is correct & I support his stance. Human life is more important to humans because of our biological attachments. If we become detached from that, we are diminshed as human beings, we might as well all become Marvins.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 05:53 PM
Design is a product of natural selection and there is enormous beauty in that. I was writing metaphorically and attempting to use the Christian vernacular to bring the arguments I was using within a Christian framework, in essence attempting to transpose that logic into a more orthodox Christian meaning, to touch a cord with Scott, if you like - because he is correct & I support his stance. Human life is more important to humans because of our biological attachments. If we become detached from that, we are diminshed as human beings, we might as well all become Marvins.

Post 169
Originally Posted by David_Richards
Now you're doing what the fundamentalist does, extracting bits from the scriptures and using that information literally. All animals are God's special creation and should be treated with respect - all things bright & beautiful, what? In fact the Corpus Hermeticus, which has similar origins to some Christian scriptures, is at pains to stress the importance of ecological responsiblity. 'The Good Shepherd' is a title given to both Jesus and Hermes, with the virtue of good animal husbandry being suggested amongst it's many metaphorical connotations.

So are creatures a result of evolution or God's creatures? You are not breastfeeding Scotty now.

I am not going to try to interpret your dilly-dallying, esp. as the news is on.

Cat
20-02-2005, 06:15 PM
Post 169
Originally Posted by David_Richards
Now you're doing what the fundamentalist does, extracting bits from the scriptures and using that information literally. All animals are God's special creation and should be treated with respect - all things bright & beautiful, what? In fact the Corpus Hermeticus, which has similar origins to some Christian scriptures, is at pains to stress the importance of ecological responsiblity. 'The Good Shepherd' is a title given to both Jesus and Hermes, with the virtue of good animal husbandry being suggested amongst it's many metaphorical connotations.

So are creatures a result of evolution or God's creatures? You are not breastfeeding Scotty now.

I am not going to try to interpret your dilly-dallying, esp. as the news is on.

Evolution of course

antichrist
20-02-2005, 07:22 PM
Now Scotty,
You can see from my examples that David will you around the bush and back again so I advise you to ignore anything he says.
__________________________________________________ _____-

David Richards:
No, no, no Scotty, hold the line, you stick to your guns buddy. Could you say the life of a rat or a cat means as much to you as your mothers life, or sister, or brother? Of course not, and likewise those who lost loved ones in the tsunami would value the lives of those loved ones more than all the rats in Bangkok. And aren't we all brothers & sisters in the eyes of the Lord? So of course those human lives mean more to us than the lives of animals - this is your faith Scotty, have confidence.

BJC and Antichrist are cynics, Scott, they have no soul! They're repeating the spiel of Peter Singer, widely known to be the most dangerous man on the planet. But this is a position of privilege, most people can't afford this kind of largesse.

Look, suppose you're on a desert island, you're starving and your only means of obtaining food is to kill and cook a rabbit. Now a carniverous animal would instinctively hunt it's prey, kill and eat it unquestioningly because it's the natural order of things. But you're different, you're a human being, you can make a choice, is your life worth more to you than the rabbits? Of course you would eat the rabbit.

But what if it was your mothers life at stake, or a friend, or even a child you'd never met before - you'd still choose to take the rabbits life woudn't you? Of course -and isn't that what it says in the bible?

Scott, you have your faith - its a precious thing, are you going to let it be shaken by a couple of heathens? Use the resources at your disposal, you have a powerful friend in Jesus.
____________________________________________-

David Richards (the next day):
Evolution of course
(his view of our origins)
______________________________

Now you can go back unhindered and answer my question in post 196.

Cat
20-02-2005, 09:11 PM
Now Scotty,
You can see from my examples that David will you around the bush and back again so I advise you to ignore anything he says.
__________________________________________________ _____-

David Richards:
No, no, no Scotty, hold the line, you stick to your guns buddy. Could you say the life of a rat or a cat means as much to you as your mothers life, or sister, or brother? Of course not, and likewise those who lost loved ones in the tsunami would value the lives of those loved ones more than all the rats in Bangkok. And aren't we all brothers & sisters in the eyes of the Lord? So of course those human lives mean more to us than the lives of animals - this is your faith Scotty, have confidence.

BJC and Antichrist are cynics, Scott, they have no soul! They're repeating the spiel of Peter Singer, widely known to be the most dangerous man on the planet. But this is a position of privilege, most people can't afford this kind of largesse.

Look, suppose you're on a desert island, you're starving and your only means of obtaining food is to kill and cook a rabbit. Now a carniverous animal would instinctively hunt it's prey, kill and eat it unquestioningly because it's the natural order of things. But you're different, you're a human being, you can make a choice, is your life worth more to you than the rabbits? Of course you would eat the rabbit.

But what if it was your mothers life at stake, or a friend, or even a child you'd never met before - you'd still choose to take the rabbits life woudn't you? Of course -and isn't that what it says in the bible?

Scott, you have your faith - its a precious thing, are you going to let it be shaken by a couple of heathens? Use the resources at your disposal, you have a powerful friend in Jesus.
____________________________________________-

David Richards (the next day):
Evolution of course
(his view of our origins)
______________________________

Now you can go back unhindered and answer my question in post 196.

There's no conflict, I'm open about my opinions. As I've said before I consider myself to be Christian for cultural reasons rather than religious reason. I see value in Religious belief in that they support longstanding cultural values that by & large are of social benefit. I respect many of the institutional aspects of the church and recognise the flaws too. Religious belief stems from biological and psychological processes that are deeply embedded in the human mind, this was probably first suggested by Carl Jung. Mythology is the product of the human imagination and creativity, and is a favoured vehicle for religious belief. The mythological record is a rich library of human insights accumulated over the aeons. Metaphor and symbolism are wonderful linguistic devices for expressing ideas and insight.

Rincewind
20-02-2005, 09:13 PM
Well, duality is a well worn track amongst the ancients, crystallised in William Blake's beautiful poem The Tiger - I can do no better than that.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


Where did you get this from? It should have been spelt The Tyger.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 09:27 PM
Barry,
I can't believe that you have putting up with David's funny business as displayed here -- "A man for all seasons".

He is certainly New-Age guru material.

Rincewind
20-02-2005, 09:30 PM
I can't believe that you have putting up with David's funny business as displayed here -- "A man for all seasons".

He is certainly New-Age guru material.

I just want to know who is correcting William Blake's spelling.

Cat
20-02-2005, 09:37 PM
I just want to know who is correcting William Blake's spelling.

Yes, you're correct it was spelt The Tyger, but in those days there weren't rigid rules about spelling and often things were spelt fonetycale. Of course, unless you have some deeper spiritual understanding of the spelling?

Oepty
21-02-2005, 04:20 PM
Okay,
we will go back. I did not think you would give a yes answer and wondered if Bruce confused you.
___________________________________________

You have already said yes to save your mother and forsake your favourite animals species.

Now read on...

Then, when they ask you to lock that answer in, scientists discover that the endangered animal has the cells that will cure cancers etc. i.e., millions of other mothers will survive if you will just let this one mother die.

What will be your answer?
______________________________________-

That is if you let your mother die not only will your favourite species live but a cure will be found for all the cancers that effect women. Therefore millions of mother will live, but also (if you are an oldie like myself) your own daughter who is also a mother will live.
________________________________________

How all of these come to their death or who does what is irrelevant.

Well I would save my mother first, and then try and save the animals if it was a matter of having to do something to stop them dieing.
If it was a matter of me having to chose to kill either of them then I hope I would refuse to kill both of them. Maybe under the treat of death this would change, I cannot tell whether I would buckle at this point because I have never been put in that situation.
This is why I said my answers where different depending on the exact circumstances.

It is also not so simple as if the animals die then a substance that could cure cancer would be lost. Maybe the animals could be cloned from their genetic material. Also the produced a substance and scientist knew what the substance was then maybe the could produce it synthetically. Also maybe another cure for cancer might be discovered the next day so saving the animals may not be really that great a deal. No other mothers might die because I let mine live. That would be a bit of waste to say the least.

I am 27 years old and I don't have any children.

Scott

Alan Shore
21-02-2005, 04:38 PM
Well I would save my mother first, and then try and save the animals if it was a matter of having to do something to stop them dieing.
If it was a matter of me having to chose to kill either of them then I hope I would refuse to kill both of them. Maybe under the treat of death this would change, I cannot tell whether I would buckle at this point because I have never been put in that situation.
This is why I said my answers where different depending on the exact circumstances.

Some may call that selfish, Scott. The provisor is of course, that you know these animals hold that cure for cancer. It is not simply a case of directly saving a life versus indirectly saving many, it is a real attachment that influences your decision.


It is also not so simple as if the animals die then a substance that could cure cancer would be lost.

Actually for the sake of this hypothetical, it is.


Maybe the animals could be cloned from their genetic material.

Assume they can't.


Also the produced a substance and scientist knew what the substance was then maybe the could produce it synthetically.

Assume they can't.


Also maybe another cure for cancer might be discovered the next day so saving the animals may not be really that great a deal. No other mothers might die because I let mine live. That would be a bit of waste to say the least.

That's more than a little idealistic...

Anyway, given all this, does your decision change at all? It's fine if it doesn't but we just have make the conditions tough enough to evoke true decisiveness.

P.S. I'm not being cruel on purpose.. but I'm still interested in how you'd react given these conditions but more importantly, why.

Oepty
23-02-2005, 11:26 AM
Some may call that selfish, Scott. The provisor is of course, that you know these animals hold that cure for cancer. It is not simply a case of directly saving a life versus indirectly saving many, it is a real attachment that influences your decision.

P.S. I'm not being cruel on purpose.. but I'm still interested in how you'd react given these conditions but more importantly, why.

Bruce. If enough work has been done on these animals so that it has been determined that they contain a chemical that cures cancer then there must be some of the chemical in a drug form in existance somewhere. If this is not the case then all you are dealing with is speculation that it works. If some of the drug is in existance then I find it highly unlikely that the drug could not be copied. I am not a scientist and I might be wrong in this but I would need to see some evidence of the opposite. To make an assumption for an hypothetical that is highly likely to wrong in my view is just stupid.

If for the sake of this hypothetical you say that has been shown that people who eat this species are cured of cancer then practically you only have 2 cures, not cures for millions. This is because it is not known why, which part and how the cure works. Also are we going to assume that this pair would breed and produce offspring to continue the spieces. In a lot of cases I believe it is very difficult to breed animals in captivity. If they are in the wild then they might be killed by predators or something else. This hypothetical raises more and more questions and to just discount alot of these possibilities in the hypothetical makes it totally unrealistic and stupid in my view.
I think the best you can say in this scenario is by letting the species die out you are possibly letting the solution to cancer go.

Lastly to be considered is the law. I wonder whether it would be legal under the law to allow a person who you can keep alive die in these circumstances. In this scenario I am assuming my mother is reasonably healthy and not on life support or something like that when there is no chance of recovery. The phrase negligent homicide comes to mind when looking at this scenario. I am no expert in the law so maybe it could be showed that there is nothing illegal in me allowing my mother to die.

There are alot of things that stand in the way of me saying I would allow my mother to die but I guess even if all of these were removed then the last and biggest reason I would not allow my mother to die is that I love her as my mother. I do not want her to die. This maybe selfish to some extent and if it is well call me selfish, it won't worry me. Maybe everything I have written is just selfish self justifications but I think I have rasied some real issues.

Scott

antichrist
23-02-2005, 11:40 AM
Scotty,
Looking from the other side of the fence. Some mothers are very strong, their difficult motherhood (in some cases very difficult) has made them tough or die.

They are already old enough to have satisfied their roles as mothers, don't ask for much more, and now ready to accept the peacefulness of death.

The mother says "Scotty, I have no more role in this life, I already healthy grandchildren, I will pull exit chord myself so that other mothers can be saved, including my granddaughter. But I must think of my son first, do you agree with my decision? Love can mean having to be cruel to be kind!"

Well Scott, it is up to you.

Scotty, there was a court case recently because a loving husband had put his wife "down", due to her chronic sick condition. He was let off. We all have to depart sometime, some can do it in style and others pathetically.

Oepty
23-02-2005, 01:09 PM
You are now not talking about my mother, but about some hypothetical mother that I might have had. I cannot the same way about this hypothetical person you make out to be my mother and is not, as I would about my real mother. You are pushing this hypothetical situation to far and I really don't want to be part of it, at least your part of it. I am interested in what Bruce has to says about my previous post.
Scott

antichrist
23-02-2005, 01:28 PM
Okay Scott,
I will let you off.

But I will inform you that I know a mother who lived "too long" and seen five of her children die of cancer. Her only plea was "Why does God take my children, I am ready, why doesn't He take me?".

She was not told of the death of the fifth as they did not want to put her in her grave. She was 97 years old.

In return to be kind to your mother you may have to be cruel, i.e., put her down. That is the "Problem of Evil" in the Philosophy of Religion.

I know of two Catholic seminarians who left the "priesthood" after taking the "Problem of Evil" seriously.

Oepty
23-02-2005, 01:51 PM
There are cases like the one you mentioned, I was not trying to deny that. I was just saying that that is not my mother at least at this point of time. Death strikes hard and seeing relatives constantly dieing must be a very hard thing to bear. I know one lady who has lost a brother, sister and son in a very short period of time. Heartbreaking it must, something I can not understand as I have not been through such a period in my life. That life can be such a hardship is very sad, and sadening. Unfortunately the fact everyone who is alive is going to die means such circumstances will happen, but it does not make them any easier to handle I would guess.
Scott

antichrist
23-02-2005, 01:54 PM
Scott,

A criticism philosophers make of JC (if he did live of course) is that (like yourself) he did not live enough to have extensive life experiences, dying at the age of 33 years (you not yet).

If and when I reach 97 years old I may very well have different views from now. I have certainly changed since I was your age.

Edit: this posted before viewing previous post.

Oepty
23-02-2005, 04:41 PM
Yes it is true I am young, but I hope I give due respect to the older and wiser around me, although that is for others to judge, not me. I am currently writing from an nursing home where I am helping my sister in Library which she runs on a voluntary basis. I have seen today men and women who are suffering from the degeneration that effects everyone over time. To see people who are clearly not the people they used to be is sad. When they are old and sick I guess death can look inviting, a way that is best. I might be like that in many years time, but at the moment in my healthy youth I find it hard to understand.

As to Jesus or any 30 year old living in the time he did live, or in most places in this world would have a wealth, if it can be described as such, of experiences that I would not have in my life in Adelaide. It is speculated, and I am not sure on what, that Joseph died when Jesus was young. IF this is true then he would have gained some life experience from the changes to his family that would have happened after this occured.

Scott

Spiny Norman
25-02-2005, 06:55 AM
I was chatting to my boss at church this morning and we were talking about the historical person of Jesus ... he said he had recently been reading a book written by someone from Harvard on this very topic. I'll see if I can track it down and provide a reference.

OK, I have the book now. Not bad value at $5.95 in paperback (on special, not sure what the list price is). Here's the poop.

TITLE: The Case For Christ (subtitle: a Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus).

AUTHOR: Lee Strobel ... former award-winning, investigative journalist and then legal editor for the Chicago Tribune, Masters in Law from Yale Law School.

ISBN: 0-310-22655-4

STYLE: Written in interview style based on conversations with "expert witnesses" from Cambridge, Princeton, Brandeis, etc ... all recognised authorities in their field (e.g. New Testament studies, ancient texts, etc).

The style of writing might not suit everyone, but keep in mind its a paperback for general consumption. The content is interesting though. He does look at ancient authors such as Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, etc.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Part 1: Examining the Record
1. Eyewitness Evidence
2. Testing the Eyewitness Evidence
3. Documentary Evidence
4. Corroborating Evidence
5. Scientific Evidence
6. Rebuttal Evidence

Part 2: Analyzing Jesus
7. Identity Evidence
8. Psychological Evidence
9. Profile Evidence
10. Fingerprint Evidence

Part 3: Researching the Resurrection
11. Medical Evidence
12. Evidence of the Missing Body
13. Evidence of Appearances
14. Circumstantial Evidence

Conclusion: The Verdict of History

List of Citations
Notes
Index

PEOPLE INTERVIEWED:
Dr. Craig Blomberg
Dr. Bruce Metzger
Dr. Edwin Yamamuchi
Dr. John McRay
Dr. Gregory Boyd
Dr. Ben Witherington III
Dr. Gary Collins
Dr. D A Carson
Louis Lapides, M.Div, Th.M
Dr. Alexander Metherell
Dr. William Lane Craig
Dr. Gary Habermas
Dr. J P Moreland

Rincewind
25-02-2005, 07:09 AM
AUTHOR: Lee Strobel ... former award-winning, investigative journalist and then legal editor for the Chicago Tribune, Masters in Law from Yale Law School.

... and teaching pastor at Willow Creek community church.

antichrist
25-02-2005, 10:42 AM
Listen Frosty

We just had that big tsunami, right? What was the latest news out of there? It was that child N(?)81 has been identified by DNA and returned to her family.

Why was this necessary?
Because about a dozen different "parents" lay claim to this child.

What does this prove?
That people will believe what they want and need to believe, not necessarily anything to do with the truth.

So forget all eye witness reports of JC being seen after the "crossing", without conceding that he existed and "crossing" took place.

And just as important is to realise that this is not an important subject. Living your life well is!

Rincewind
25-02-2005, 12:01 PM
PEOPLE INTERVIEWED:
Dr. Craig Blomberg
Dr. Bruce Metzger
Dr. Edwin Yamamuchi
Dr. John McRay
Dr. Gregory Boyd
Dr. Ben Witherington III
Dr. Gary Collins
Dr. D A Carson
Louis Lapides, M.Div, Th.M
Dr. Alexander Metherell
Dr. William Lane Craig
Dr. Gary Habermas
Dr. J P Moreland

Regarding the 'expert witness' credentials it would seem all but two are Committed christians. The author interviews an historian, an archeologist and eleven professional christians, many of whom are evangelical apologists. On that short comparison it appears that the book might lack balance based. Here is what I was able to discover about the interviewees quickly scanning the web. Most sentences are cut and past from various bio paras on various sites, all over the place. I may have picked up the wrong bio is one or two cases but the numbers are overwhelming...


Dr. Craig Blomberg

Dr. Blomberg completed his Ph.D. degree in New Testament, specializing in the parables and the writings of Luke and Acts, at Aberdeen University in Scotland. He received his M.A. degree in New Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He graduated summa cum laude from Augustana College with majors in religion, mathematics :eek: , education and Spanish.


Dr. Bruce Metzger

Bruce Manning Metzger is the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


Dr. Edwin Yamauchi

Edwin M. Yamauchi has been teaching courses in Ancient History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, since 1969. He is the author of numerous books, articles and reviews on the Ancient Near East, the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Early Church.


Dr. John McRay

John MCray PH.D , former trustee and research associate of W F Fullbright inst of Archeological Research in Jerusalem, a current trustee of Near East Archeological Society.


Dr. Gregory Boyd

Greg Boyd received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota, his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (Cum Laude, 1982), and his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary (Magnum Cum Laude, 1988).


Dr. Ben Witherington III

He is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY.


Dr. Gary Collins

Executive Director of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

From their web site...

AACC BELIEVES THAT:

There exists only one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally co-existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Scriptures, both Old and New testaments, are the inspired, inerrant and trustworthy Word of God, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of human beings, and the final authority for all matters about which it speaks.

Human nature derives from two historical personas, male and female, created in God's image. They were created perfect, but they sinned, plunging themselves and all human beings into sin, guilt, suffering, and death.

The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and his bodily resurrection provide the only ground for justification, forgiveness, and salvation for all who believe. Only those who trust in Him alone are born of the Holy Spirit and are true members of the Church; only they will spend eternity with Christ.

The Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal for believers in Jesus Christ. He makes the presence of Jesus Christ real in believers, and he comforts, guides, convicts, and enables believers to live in ways that honor Christ.

Ministry to personas acknowledges the complexity of humans as physical, social, psychological, and spiritual beings. The ultimate goal of Christian counseling is to help others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.


Dr. D A Carson

Research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.


Louis Lapides, M.Div, Th.M

M.Div and Th.M say no more.


Dr. Alexander Metherell

Dr. Metherell holds a medical doctorate from the University of Miami in Florida, and a doctorate in engineering (no discipline specified) from the University of Bristol, in England.


Dr. William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig is a Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He is an evangelical Christian, having committed his life to Christ while an undergraduate at Wheaton College.


Dr. Gary Habermas

Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University. He received a Master of Arts in Philosophical Theology from the University of Detroit, a Doctor of Divinity in Theology from Emmanuel College, Oxford and a Doctor of Philosophy in History and Philosophy of Religion from Michigan State University.


Dr. J P Moreland

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, 1990; B.S., University of Missouri; M.A., University of California, Riverside; Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Southern California.

antichrist
25-02-2005, 03:40 PM
Irregardless of these nabobs they may be, we are talking about the so called witnesses to JC after the ressurection. Not what people may be saying about them 2000 years after the event.

In my earlier posted I "proved" that many people will say what is in their best interest or perceived best interest. Demolish that argument first.

Rincewind
25-02-2005, 03:59 PM
The point is if you are going to publicise the book as written by an award-winning investigative journalist, then there is a reasonable expectation that the book to be written to the standards of high-quality journalism. Primarily deficient in this case in the area of balance. There are a couple of (apparently) secular technical experts, many of the other expert seem to have an unnecessary christian bias (like the psychologist Dr Gary Collins) and what is totally absent is anyone with a position critical of the evangelical one supported by the author.

BTW can you tell me how "irregardless" differs in meaning from "regardless"?

Alan Shore
25-02-2005, 09:36 PM
Dr. Ben Witherington III

He is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY.

I read this guy's book 'Jesus the Sage', I found it a good read, very insightful about the strategies of communication utilised by Jesus.

Rincewind
25-02-2005, 09:41 PM
I read this guy's book 'Jesus the Sage', I found it a good read, very insightful about the strategies of communication utilised by Jesus.

BTW what did you make of the statement of faith of the American Association of Christian Counselors?

Alan Shore
25-02-2005, 09:59 PM
BTW what did you make of the statement of faith of the American Association of Christian Counselors?

Well let's see...


AACC BELIEVES THAT:

There exists only one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally co-existing in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Consistent with Christian Catholic belief, Trinitarian.


The Scriptures, both Old and New testaments, are the inspired, inerrant and trustworthy Word of God, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of human beings, and the final authority for all matters about which it speaks.

Pity they don't mention which translations/interpretations are the 'inerrant words'... not to mention the many contradictions and questionable morals exhibited.


Human nature derives from two historical personas, male and female, created in God's image. They were created perfect, but they sinned, plunging themselves and all human beings into sin, guilt, suffering, and death.

Interesting they now add 'female' to be included in God's image... as social belief structures change, so too do the interpretations. Again, consistent with Catholic belief re: the temptation and Fall of Man from grace i.e. Genesis.


The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and his bodily resurrection provide the only ground for justification, forgiveness, and salvation for all who believe. Only those who trust in Him alone are born of the Holy Spirit and are true members of the Church; only they will spend eternity with Christ.

Pretty much rehashing John 3:16, the most famous of Christian verses. Also emphasises resurrection as the greatest factor of belief.. something consistently viewed by most Christians as the lynchpin of their faith in the religion.


The Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal for believers in Jesus Christ. He makes the presence of Jesus Christ real in believers, and he comforts, guides, convicts, and enables believers to live in ways that honor Christ.

This is almost a reverse-peephole way of looking at things! Christian theology should dictate that it is God who is the almighty power with Jesus as the Logos/agent, not the other way around. However, you can expect these muddled views from Trinitarians.


Ministry to personas acknowledges the complexity of humans as physical, social, psychological, and spiritual beings. The ultimate goal of Christian counseling is to help others move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.

Noble goals I'm sure. Yet one cannot be certain of possible ulterior motives... for the most part there is simply the belief to exercise Matthew 28:19 and convert as many as possible to the Jesus banner.

And that be Bruce's summary, Baz!

antichrist
26-02-2005, 04:52 AM
Regarding the 'expert witness' credentials it would seem all but two are Committed christians. The author interviews an historian, an archeologist and eleven professional christians, many of whom are evangelical apologists. On that short comparison it appears that the book might lack balance based. Here is what I was able to discover about the interviewees quickly scanning the web. Most sentences are cut and past from various bio paras on various sites, all over the place. I may have picked up the wrong bio is one or two cases but the numbers are overwhelming...


Dr. Craig Blomberg

Dr. Blomberg completed his Ph.D. degree in New Testament, specializing in the parables and the writings of Luke and Acts, at Aberdeen University in Scotland. He received his M.A. degree in New Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He graduated summa cum laude from Augustana College with majors in religion, mathematics :eek: , education and Spanish.


Dr. Bruce Metzger

Bruce Manning Metzger is the George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


Dr. Edwin Yamauchi

Edwin M. Yamauchi has been teaching courses in Ancient History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, since 1969. He is the author of numerous books, articles and reviews on the Ancient Near East, the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Early Church.


Dr. John McRay

John MCray PH.D , former trustee and research associate of W F Fullbright inst of Archeological Research in Jerusalem, a current trustee of Near East Archeological Society.


Dr. Gregory Boyd

Greg Boyd received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota, his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (Cum Laude, 1982), and his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary (Magnum Cum Laude, 1988).


Dr. Ben Witherington III

He is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY.


Dr. Gary Collins

Executive Director of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

From their web site...



Dr. D A Carson

Research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.


Louis Lapides, M.Div, Th.M

M.Div and Th.M say no more.


Dr. Alexander Metherell

Dr. Metherell holds a medical doctorate from the University of Miami in Florida, and a doctorate in engineering (no discipline specified) from the University of Bristol, in England.


Dr. William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig is a Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. He is an evangelical Christian, having committed his life to Christ while an undergraduate at Wheaton College.


Dr. Gary Habermas

Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University. He received a Master of Arts in Philosophical Theology from the University of Detroit, a Doctor of Divinity in Theology from Emmanuel College, Oxford and a Doctor of Philosophy in History and Philosophy of Religion from Michigan State University.


Dr. J P Moreland

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, 1990; B.S., University of Missouri; M.A., University of California, Riverside; Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Southern California.

What a waste of good education.

You could go through a thousand intellectuals from China and probably 100% would say they are atheist, and laugh at religion.

I have lived there and sometimes feel like moving over permanently as well. I get sick of seeing ruddy church buildings on every corner. Monuments to ignorance.

Spiny Norman
26-02-2005, 07:06 PM
The point is if you are going to publicise the book as written by an award-winning investigative journalist, then there is a reasonable expectation that the book to be written to the standards of high-quality journalism. Primarily deficient in this case in the area of balance. There are a couple of (apparently) secular technical experts, many of the other expert seem to have an unnecessary christian bias (like the psychologist Dr Gary Collins) and what is totally absent is anyone with a position critical of the evangelical one supported by the author.

The critical views are discussed throughout the book. Each of the chapters is based on a series of interviews with a "subject matter expert". The style is along the lines of a reporter asking a series of questions of each interviewee.

Yes, its "one-sided" as it seeks to present a particular viewpoint. Most books are like that though, so I fail to see why this should cause any concern. Keep in mind that its a paperback. There is an extensive list of citations at the back (~160) but its only 370-odd pages.

I don't agree with your assumption that its not written to a high-standard of journalistic integrity ... pretty much all the competing viewpoints get given a run.

Rincewind
26-02-2005, 09:20 PM
I don't agree with your assumption that its not written to a high-standard of journalistic integrity ... pretty much all the competing viewpoints get given a run.

I've not read the book, or even thumbed through it in a book store but the reviews I've read does not agree with this assessment. There would appear to be a couple of cases where a particular point of view is roundly criticised but a representative of that point of view is not interviewed or even contacted for a written response to the issues raised in the book.

For example, Greg Boyd is a vocal critic of the Jesus Seminar and again derides their arguments in Strobel's interview. However, not a single member of the Jesus Seminar is contacted for comment by Strobel. Also Michael Martin is criticised by Strobel and again no response from Martin is present.

This is Journalism 101 stuff and a glaring omission of Strobel's should be be attempting a piece of high journalistic integrity. Therefore, I am interested in the book for what it is but believe it has been marketed under false pretenses.

No doubt Starter will simply call it marketing 'puffery'. ;)

ursogr8
27-02-2005, 06:18 PM
Therefore, I am interested in the book for what it is but believe it has been marketed under false pretenses.

No doubt Starter will simply call it marketing 'puffery'. ;)

Sorry Baz,
I am not ready to call it that.


Actually, I am struggling with the title of this thread, and not a metric in sight yet. Are you guys doing the real useful work in PMs? ;)

regards
starter

Cat
27-02-2005, 09:48 PM
I've not read the book, or even thumbed through it in a book store but the reviews I've read does not agree with this assessment. There would appear to be a couple of cases where a particular point of view is roundly criticised but a representative of that point of view is not interviewed or even contacted for a written response to the issues raised in the book.

For example, Greg Boyd is a vocal critic of the Jesus Seminar and again derides their arguments in Strobel's interview. However, not a single member of the Jesus Seminar is contacted for comment by Strobel. Also Michael Martin is criticised by Strobel and again no response from Martin is present.

This is Journalism 101 stuff and a glaring omission of Strobel's should be be attempting a piece of high journalistic integrity. Therefore, I am interested in the book for what it is but believe it has been marketed under false pretenses.

No doubt Starter will simply call it marketing 'puffery'. ;)

I hate to agree with Barry on anything, but on this one he's got me hands down. The book (from the references I've read) is on shakey ground. For example, he claims the Christian community was in agreement about the historocity of Jesus from an early age. This is not the case and I would refer you to Elaine Pagels who has written extensively about this, or indeed Stephen Hoeller.

Much weight is placed on the Gospels as being historically accurate. Also Ireneaous was used as the authority to validate that historical accuracy, but his role in the early church is well known in suppressing and purge contradictory opinion. Finally the analogies to Homer and the Iliad are appropriate but for the wrong reasons. The author suggests that Homers works arrive to us from a much later period, but no-one doubts the authenticity of the copies. This may be true, but neither does anyone doubt that The Iliad and The Odessey are mythological tales either.

antichrist
27-02-2005, 10:03 PM
Does the current discussion come in under Jesus' human life category? His value was 30 peices of silver.

Oepty
01-03-2005, 12:21 PM
With the title of the book being discussed being The Case for Christ I would be surprised if it was anything but a book that claimed to give Jesus some historical authenticity. If it is being promoted as being something other than this, and I have absolutely no knowledge of this book aside from what has been written here, then I think it is most probably wrong and should not be done. It would be very, very hard, perhaps impossible, to write a book on a subject, any subject, where you have a strong view in the subject and be 100% objective. It is probably better to get books by strong proponents of the major points of view about the subject and read them. You then make up your mind about what you feel is right.
Scott

Cat
05-03-2005, 08:46 AM
In his new book 'Happiness' economist, Richard Layard from the LSE explores the elements that lead to tangible benefits in human existence. He notes that although money is important to relieve poverty and suffering, more money tends to lead to a breakdown in personal relationships.

In a study of over 50 countries 6 factors were found to account for 80% of the variations in happiness.

-the divorce rate
-the unemployment rate
-the level of trust
-membership of non-religious organisations
-the quality of of government
-the fraction of the population that believes in God.

On a slightly different note anthropologist turned psychologist Pascal Boyer from Washington University has been exploring the value of belief in the human brain. Similar work has been done by neuroscientists such as Todd Murphy and radiologist Andrew Newberg has been exploring brain activity in religious experience. Belief continues to be resilient despite scientific progress in unravelling previously held mysteries.

Some anthroplogists believe that religion was so successful in improving group survival that a tendency to believe was positively selected for in our evolutionary history. Others believe religion is too modern to have influenced selective pressure and is a by-product of other cognitive capacities which evolved much earlier.

Finally recent research has discovered that during emotional experiences we release a substance beta phenyl ethylamine which acts as a neurotransmittor and suppresses rational thought and seems to promote human attachment. This neurotransmittor seems to be vital in the promotion of bonding and the formation of relationships. It seems that there is much more to human existence than simple Aristotlean logic. Brilliant as Aristotle was, he never intended logic to be the encapsulating and encompassing motif of human existence, but a tool to improve understanding.

antichrist
05-03-2005, 09:00 AM
I interpret these results as justifying the atheist position concerning the existence of a god. It's all in the brain. I have been saying for years that we need another 100000 years of evolution for it to evolve out. In the meantime rationalists have to put up with sub-normals.

To show I don't hold grudges do you feel like a game of chess. I have no idea what your rating is, doesn't worry me. I am still confined indoors until I recover.

Rincewind
05-03-2005, 09:03 AM
I interpret these results as justifying the atheist position concerning the existence of a god. It's all in the brain. I have been saying for years that we need another 100000 years of evolution for it to evolve out. In the meantime rationalists have to put up with sub-normals.

With the world population heading towards 10 bil at an alarming rate, we probably don't have that much time.

antichrist
05-03-2005, 09:08 AM
I agree completely. Again been saying for years that the new religion is environmentalism, and deservedly so. But I am not optimistic at all.

The Philippines had three to six million a hundred years ago, now has about 75 million. Poor blighters.

Did you read my edited message re chess game. You can stipulate conditions re time limits.

Cat
05-03-2005, 09:09 AM
I interpret these results as justifying the atheist position concerning the existence of a god. It's all in the brain. I have been saying for years that we need another 100000 years of evolution for it to evolve out. In the meantime rationalists have to put up with sub-normals.

To show I don't hold grudges do you feel like a game of chess. I have no idea what your rating is, doesn't worry me. I am still confined indoors until I recover.

You can believe anything you want to believe, if it makes you happy. Thanks for the offer, but I'm struggling for time at the moment.

Rincewind
05-03-2005, 09:22 AM
-the divorce rate
-the unemployment rate
-the level of trust
-membership of non-religious organisations
-the quality of of government
-the fraction of the population that believes in God.

I haven't read the book, or even heard about it. But the irony of an economist writing such a book appeals to me. So it might be worth reading for purely amusement value, if no other.

Based on your claims of the book I can see some fundamental problems with basing any conclusions on the results. Firstly, there is the issue of correlation does not mean causality. So the fraction of the population that believes in god, for example. It could be that happier people just believe what they are told by the parents more than unhappy people. So happiness causes an increase in religiosity, rather than the other way around.

However, another problem which can't really be answered without a more detailed look at his methodology is how did he measure these things? For example, how does he measure 'happiness', 'trust' and 'quality' of government? Sure you can measure something, but equating it to these multifaceted, complex characteristics is almost predestined to failure. The terms are just too woolly to permit one single measure. So measuring something and calling it a measure of 'happiness' is simply misleading.

In summary, if your claims of the book are accurate the main issue I think is that the methodology looks too simple and the conclusions too broad to be credible.

Rincewind
05-03-2005, 09:28 AM
I agree completely. Again been saying for years that the new religion is environmentalism, and deservedly so. But I am not optimistic at all.

I don't call myself an environmentalist because the term has been marginalised. However, it is obvious that we have to have an environment to survive as a species and a planet. Population containment is just one major issue which religion has a negative impact on.

Cat
05-03-2005, 10:03 AM
I haven't read the book, or even heard about it. But the irony of an economist writing such a book appeals to me. So it might be worth reading for purely amusement value, if no other.

Based on your claims of the book I can see some fundamental problems with basing any conclusions on the results. Firstly, there is the issue of correlation does not mean causality. So the fraction of the population that believes in god, for example. It could be that happier people just believe what they are told by the parents more than unhappy people. So happiness causes an increase in religiosity, rather than the other way around.

However, another problem which can't really be answered without a more detailed look at his methodology is how did he measure these things? For example, how does he measure 'happiness', 'trust' and 'quality' of government? Sure you can measure something, but equating it to these multifaceted, complex characteristics is almost predestined to failure. The terms are just too woolly to permit one single measure. So measuring something and calling it a measure of 'happiness' is simply misleading.

In summary, if your claims of the book are accurate the main issue I think is that the methodology looks too simple and the conclusions too broad to be credible.

I think you're clutching at straws. Why not go to his web-site. The measurements are standardised measurements used by the LSE. Looks one can always criticise their approach, that's reasonable, but living in denial is another thing!!!!

Rincewind
05-03-2005, 10:34 AM
I think you're clutching at straws. Why not go to his web-site. The measurements are standardised measurements used by the LSE. Looks one can always criticise their approach, that's reasonable, but living in denial is another thing!!!!

I'm clutching at straws? Perhaps you should try refuting my argument instead of ignoring what I say and directing me to another crackpot website.

The truth is there is no single measure of happiness. You can measure lots of things and call it a happiness 'index' if you like, but it is an artifical construct and suffers from the flaw of subjectivity in its construction. A house of straw, no matter how elegant its construction, will fall over when subjected to some decent winds.

antichrist
05-03-2005, 10:39 AM
I become estatic by going to Christian processions and disrupting them with protests. They hate me become unhappy often turning violent.

So disbelief can result in happiness and vice versa.

Ask the poor Jews during the Holocaust if religion made them happy.

Cat
05-03-2005, 10:53 AM
I'm clutching at straws? Perhaps you should try refuting my argument instead of ignoring what I say and directing me to another crackpot website.

The truth is there is no single measure of happiness. You can measure lots of things and call it a happiness 'index' if you like, but it is an artifical construct and suffers from the flaw of subjectivity in its construction. A house of straw, no matter how elegant its construction, will fall over when subjected to some decent winds.

The LSE is world renown. Economics may not be your cup of tea, but to dismiss one of the foremost institutions in the world as crackpot is really stretching the envelop. We can all be cynical of economic theory, but to simply deride this research which is pretty mainline holds no credibility Barry.

Yes, social scientists develop artificial constructs to define the world around us, but that is no different from physicists or mathematicians. The contructs are less precise because the systems they are dealing with are more complex and we lack the language to create better models and understanding. It's still the best we have at this time. It's at about the same stage as mathematics was prior to Newton.

In fact, its quite likely that these future models and language won't be human at all, but be computer abstractions unintelligible to ourselves and only related to us by machines in simplistic language we can understand. I'd give it around 100 yrs.

frogmogdog
05-03-2005, 11:27 AM
It's at about the same stage as mathematics was prior to Newton.
dunno about that. euclid and archimedes were way ahead of modern economists.

Cat
05-03-2005, 11:48 AM
dunno about that. euclid and archimedes were way ahead of modern economists.

Ahead of the Renaissance much of their work was unknown, hence the term the Dark Ages.

Oepty
05-03-2005, 01:35 PM
I don't call myself an environmentalist because the term has been marginalised. However, it is obvious that we have to have an environment to survive as a species and a planet. Population containment is just one major issue which religion has a negative impact on.

Barry. Wouldn't be fairer to say population containment is just one major issue which A religion has a negative impact on?
Scott

Rincewind
05-03-2005, 01:46 PM
The LSE is world renown. Economics may not be your cup of tea, but to dismiss one of the foremost institutions in the world as crackpot is really stretching the envelop. We can all be cynical of economic theory, but to simply deride this research which is pretty mainline holds no credibility Barry.

All of a sudden it's me vs LSE? Stop hiding behind the skirts of your appeals to authority and articulate your argument.


Yes, social scientists develop artificial constructs to define the world around us, but that is no different from physicists or mathematicians. The contructs are less precise because the systems they are dealing with are more complex and we lack the language to create better models and understanding. It's still the best we have at this time. It's at about the same stage as mathematics was prior to Newton.

Social sciences are very different from the physical sciences. It boils down to this: Matter behaves the same way regardless of your cultural frame of reference - people don't.

Economics is a perfectly reasonable field of study but one shouldn't get carried away. The world operated perfectly well for 4 billion years without Homo sapiens, let alone a global economy. We needed physics from day one.


In fact, its quite likely that these future models and language won't be human at all, but be computer abstractions unintelligible to ourselves and only related to us by machines in simplistic language we can understand. I'd give it around 100 yrs.

Computers are already used to perform numerical calculations based a a knowledge of the governing equations of a system but without any idea as to a solution. This method can produce the right "answers" to problems that we cannot yet solve exactly, but they are approximations and do not greatly assist our understanding of the nature of the solution.

Rincewind
05-03-2005, 01:55 PM
Barry. Wouldn't be fairer to say population containment is just one major issue which A religion has a negative impact on?

I'm yet to hear of a religion which promotes family planning as a matter of theology. Various flavours of christianity and islam (at least) actively discourage it.

It may not be the fault of religion, afterall religion is the product of humanity which are just another species trying to get along in the world. However, our advantage is we can see the effect we are having no the globe and are able to behave rationally to produce a positive outcome. At least I hope so.

Alan Shore
06-03-2005, 12:27 PM
Baz,

I like your new sig.

Here's another quote I like from the same man:

Then I looked at myself, at what was going on within me and I recalled those deaths and revivals which had taken place within me hundreds of times. I remembered that I lived only when I believed in God. As it had been before, so it was even now: I needed only to know about God and I lived; I needed to forget and not believe in him and I died.
What then, are these revivals and deaths? Certainly I do not live when I lose my faith in the existence of God; I should have killed myself long ago, if I had not the dim hope of finding him. "So what else am I looking for?" a voice called out within me. "Here he is. He is that without which one cannot live. To know God and live is one and the same thing. God is life."
"Live searching after God, and there will be no life without God." And stronger than ever all was lighted up within me and about me, and that light no longer abandoned me. - Leo Tolstoy

antichrist
06-03-2005, 12:31 PM
This guy needs a shrink.

Rincewind
06-03-2005, 01:40 PM
Then I looked at myself, at what was going on within me and I recalled those deaths and revivals which had taken place within me hundreds of times. I remembered that I lived only when I believed in God. As it had been before, so it was even now: I needed only to know about God and I lived; I needed to forget and not believe in him and I died.
What then, are these revivals and deaths? Certainly I do not live when I lose my faith in the existence of God; I should have killed myself long ago, if I had not the dim hope of finding him. "So what else am I looking for?" a voice called out within me. "Here he is. He is that without which one cannot live. To know God and live is one and the same thing. God is life."
"Live searching after God, and there will be no life without God." And stronger than ever all was lighted up within me and about me, and that light no longer abandoned me. - Leo Tolstoy

Freethought is a process, not a particular world view. There are theist, deist and athiest freethinkers.

antichrist
06-03-2005, 02:00 PM
Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless. - Tolstoy
___________________
And yet Tolstoy wrote:


Then I looked at myself, at what was going on within me and I recalled those deaths and revivals which had taken place within me hundreds of times. I remembered that I lived only when I believed in God. As it had been before, so it was even now: I needed only to know about God and I lived; I needed to forget and not believe in him and I died.
What then, are these revivals and deaths? Certainly I do not live when I lose my faith in the existence of God; I should have killed myself long ago, if I had not the dim hope of finding him. "So what else am I looking for?" a voice called out within me. "Here he is. He is that without which one cannot live. To know God and live is one and the same thing. God is life."
"Live searching after God, and there will be no life without God." And stronger than ever all was lighted up within me and about me, and that light no longer abandoned me. - Leo Tolstoy
__________________________________

Is there a contradiction?

I have not heard of the term Freethought used in your broad context recently though it may have been in history.