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Old 04-25-2001, 05:35 PM   #51
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To the one who asked my age; I am 1 1/2 years old, and am presently learning how to walk. Lol! Seriously though, I am 20 years old.

Physics Guy, very good post! That sums it up, basically. Couldn't agree with you more -but, basically, theres one point I feel all Christians need to adress more than anything:
Why aren't "tollerant" Christians doing more to stop the intollerant, idiotic Fundy-types? This needs to be adressed. Just saying "they are not 'true' Christians" and "I and many other Christians do not act like them" will not suffice. Put as much effort into distancing, seperating, and even stopping or attempting to stop, the Fundies, as the Fundies put into being assholes. Otherwise I see little need to differentiate between Fundies and "non-Fundies", as they haven't made sufficient efforts to deserve such classification.

Bede:

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Firstly, apart from expressions of regret, which even the Vatican is now doing, there's nothing very much we can do about what happened five hundred years ago. I do get annoyed by idiots who claim Christianity is some uniquely bad thing based of a false view of the past but I care about history more than most.</font>
Admit that the atrocities were done because of Christianity, that the Bible supports such actions and that the atrocities would not have happened without Christianity. These are all facts. Admit them, or don't even bother being an apologist.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Second, I don't thing anyone is going to burn for eternity. I only ever hear atheists claim most Christians believe this but I'm sure there are a few Christian throw backs to the middle ages who have told them so.</font>
Every practicing Christian I have ever met has told me I was going to Hell for not being a Christian. You must never have listened to any American Christians TV, radio or Church services because you will find that the majority of all the influential, major protestant denominations damn all non-believers to Hell. John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Jerry Faldwell, etc.

Furthermore, Christianity has been preaching this doctrine ever since the moment of its conception. It is not some weird throwback to medieval times, it is something that until 30 years or so ago was almost a requirement of anybody who was of the Christian faith.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">When atheist bring this up, it is a strawman as far as I'm concerned.</font>
~shrugs~When you don't even bother to figure out what was happening a mere 30 years ago or indulge in a Christian television or radio program, its a slam against your intelligence.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">When Christians bring it up I will state my point of view.</font>
Lemme guess: the "fire" of Hell is just to literally burn up and destroy the souls of those who go there? We are burned up and then die an atheistic type death. So your loving Jesus just kills all us poor deluded freethinkers instead of tortures us, huh? Oh wow, your belief is sooo much better...the hell it is. Same intollerant, arrogant bullshit, just not as bad as before.
Unless, of course, that is not your position on the Hell doctrine.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Third, I'm a neo Darwinist. If you ceased to be a Christian because you thought it was incompatible with evolution then you would be foolish,</font>
Actually, you'd be right on the money. The Biblical creation story is described as literal, 24 hour days. The acts of creation are incompatible with the fossil record even if you ridiculously elongate the days into long epochs of sorts. Noah's flood supposedly covered Mt. Ararat. Adam, Eve and Noah are all described as regular people in the Bible, just like David, Solomon, Elijah, etc.. The ten commandments state that the Earth was created in 6 literal days, and the NT authors all believed the story of Adam to be literal. The entire concept of Jesus' death was to redeem us from Adam's original sin, as LITERALLY described in Genesis. If you are going to say the whole story of Adam & Eve, and Noah's Flood, is fictional, you might as well say everything is (from the Ten Commandments to David killing Goliath to Jesus' death and resurrection itself). If your going to say its "metaphorical" and not literal, then again, you'll have to take everything written in that context as equally such, and thus not really what it describes. "everything in that context" would be the rest of the Bible, BTW. Hence: evolution is incompatible with Christianity. Evolution is proven true, therefore Christianity is proven false.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Fourth, the atheist equivalent to creationist is the Jesus myth. In our every day lives it doesn't matter much but in academia you'd get as shorter hearing for it as you would creationism. Yep, there are exceptions but I certainly place them in the same pseudo scholarship box.</font>
I think the Jesus myth theory is bullshit. I also think the same of your equating it to Creationism. Such a comparison is justified only by the most retarded degrees of stupidity. Know this: a handful of accounts going on thirdhand information with a total lack of any observational proof of Jesus is much, much less significant than thousands of fossils unearthed, tons of radiometric date correlations from plate tectonics, paleomagnetism, etc., DNA analysis of living to organisms correlating with their fossil counterparts, morphological similarities ubiquitous to all higher life, predictability of the ratio of extinct-to-living organisms and of the effects of long-term isolation of species and obeserved instances of speciation. Sorry but to say the latter is in any significant way even remotely equal to the former is horribly, tear-inducingly idiotic.
 
Old 04-25-2001, 05:39 PM   #52
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CLB,

Do you kiss your mom with that mouth?

Wow.
 
Old 04-26-2001, 12:36 AM   #53
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bede:
PhysicsGuy,

Firstly, apart from expressions of regret, which even the Vatican is now doing, there's nothing very much we can do about what happened five hundred years ago. I do get annoyed by idiots who claim Christianity is some uniquely bad thing based of a false view of the past but I care about history more than most.</font>
Agreed. The past is the past.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Second, I don't thing anyone is going to burn for eternity. I only ever hear atheists claim most Christians believe this but I'm sure there are a few Christian throw backs to the middle ages who have told them so. When atheist bring this up, it is a strawman as far as I'm concerned. When Christians bring it up I will state my point of view.</font>
Can you blame nonChristians for thinking Christians believe this? It would seem that the Bible supports the view that nonChristians will spend an eternity in hell, and hell is usually pictured as rather nasty. Your views certainly aren't consistent with those that I came across in my years at different churches as well as at a Christian University (Biola).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Third, I'm a neo Darwinist. If you ceased to be a Christian because you thought it was incompatible with evolution then you would be foolish, but I'm sure you have other reasons.</font>
If it were the only reason, I still wouldn't find it foolish. The Christian worldview usually sees humans as fundamentally different than other animals. It generally sees humans as 'created' in the 'image' of God and as containing a 'spiritual' nature, or 'soul'. It is a bit of a stretch to see this as being consistent with humans as animals. If you feel, however, that the evidence for supernatural in your life is strong enough, then I suppose you will find a way to make sense of it all.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I am sick and tired of the so called 'debate' about evolution and my website has a long essay on my views. I've never bothered with the board about it here. ID is more fun but ultimately unconvincing. That said, I don't think it matters much whether people believe evolution or not. It doesn't stop them driving safely or being good bank managers. I'd rather US education system taught people where Canada is before worrying about Darwinism.</font>
Agreed.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Fourth, the atheist equivalent to creationist is the Jesus myth. In our every day lives it doesn't matter much but in academia you'd get as shorter hearing for it as you would creationism. Yep, there are exceptions but I certainly place them in the same pseudo scholarship box.</font>
To throw a phrase back at you that I see a lot in this forum, are you familiar with the views that you criticize? Have you read through any of Doherty's material? Numerous times I have seen the claim that 'no scholars take the Jesus-myth idea seriously' but there has been a clear lack of pertinent criticism from both 'scholars' and people on this board. A major part of the problem is that people such as myself who are interested in Doherty's work are not researched enough in these matters to keep up a lively debate. I have read enough, though, to realize that his views have in no way been adequately reviewed on this discussion board. This is one reason why I hope Doherty joins us for a debate. If he doesn't, I may feel responsible for presenting his views and with a wife, son, a conference talk to prepare for and a dissertation to write in an unusually short amount of time, I despair at the thought of delving into this much deeper right now.

 
Old 04-26-2001, 01:42 AM   #54
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PhysicsGuy,

On hell, I think my opinion is biblical (although I'm not an inerrantist) and that it is clear that hell is death. Paul says so and so does Revelation. The exceptions are Jesus's parables which are fictions that make a point, not metaphysics.

On humans and animals. We are fundementally different and we do have a spiritual side. This doesn't stop us from being evolved from animals. When science has solved the hard problem of consciousness then I'll stand corrected, but for the moment the use of higher reasoning, language (as defined by Chomsky), foresight and freewill are all uniquely human. To claim otherwise is to put ideology before the evidence and we all know freethinkers don't do that. Even if the brain is all there is we do not know enough about it to say ours is not qualitively different to that of other animals.

On Doherty, I've read his stuff and other Jesus mythers and debated with both him and Peter Gandy of the Jesus Mysteries. Although it's patronising to say this, you stand in NT studies where someone first exposed to evolutionary theory stands in relation to that. It looks quite hard to believe at first but after reading Dawkins and Co most people get it. Sadly, many atheists here simply don't trust the academics who write against the Jesus myth (as many Christians don't trust Dawkins as he is also an atheist apologist).

Finally, as to controlling our own extremists. Well, here in the UK we have a state religion and are totally secular. I find it hard to comprehend what it must be like to live in the US, which as I gather is practically a theocracy. I hear that contraception, abortion and pornography are all illegal, that sex before marriage is outlawed, that creationism is taught in all schools, that there is an official religion that all people must sign up to. I admire the guts of freethinkers who risk persecution to post on this forum and stand up for freedom and reason.

Or perhaps, in fact, it's not like that. Perhaps there are just people who do not want secular culture thrust down their throats and those of their children. Perhaps all we need to do is be understanding and argue our case without rancour. I try to do that. So do you. Some don't.

Yours

Bede

Bede's Library - faith and reason

 
Old 04-26-2001, 01:51 AM   #55
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bede:
PhysicsGuy,

On hell, I think my opinion is biblical (although I'm not an inerrantist) and that it is clear that hell is death. Paul says so and so does Revelation. The exceptions are Jesus's parables which are fictions that make a point, not metaphysics.</font>
Sounds pretty good to me.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">On humans and animals. We are fundementally different and we do have a spiritual side. This doesn't stop us from being evolved from animals. When science has solved the hard problem of consciousness then I'll stand corrected, but for the moment the use of higher reasoning, language (as defined by Chomsky), foresight and freewill are all uniquely human. To claim otherwise is to put ideology before the evidence and we all know freethinkers don't do that. Even if the brain is all there is we do not know enough about it to say ours is not qualitively different to that of other animals.</font>
As you say, we shall see.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">On Doherty, I've read his stuff and other Jesus mythers and debated with both him and Peter Gandy of the Jesus Mysteries. Although it's patronising to say this, you stand in NT studies where someone first exposed to evolutionary theory stands in relation to that. It looks quite hard to believe at first but after reading Dawkins and Co most people get it. Sadly, many atheists here simply don't trust the academics who write against the Jesus myth (as many Christians don't trust Dawkins as he is also an atheist apologist). </font>
I was able to move forward faster in my investigations into the creation/evolution question by finding books written specifically to respond to other's opinions. I have seen barely anything in response to Doherty. Would you suggest going to the 'Jesus Mysteries' page? Are there critiques of Doherty on the internet or in print besides what's linked on Doherty's page?


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Finally, as to controlling our own extremists. Well, here in the UK we have a state religion and are totally secular. I find it hard to comprehend what it must be like to live in the US, which as I gather is practically a theocracy. I hear that contraception, abortion and pornography are all illegal, that sex before marriage is outlawed, that creationism is taught in all schools, that there is an official religion that all people must sign up to. I admire the guts of freethinkers who risk persecution to post on this forum and stand up for freedom and reason.</font>
O.K., the U.S. isn't that bad.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Or perhaps, in fact, it's not like that. Perhaps there are just people who do not want secular culture thrust down their throats and those of their children. Perhaps all we need to do is be understanding and argue our case without rancour.</font>
Agreed.
 
Old 04-27-2001, 11:32 PM   #56
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dvmprof, I am a Christian, and I am really sorry for whatever bad experience you have had with Christians. But please don't generalize us. Too many Christians generalize atheists, so please take the higer ground.
 
Old 04-28-2001, 12:32 PM   #57
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Whew! What a bitter discussion board. dmvprof will get over his bitterness with Christians in due time. It's part of the "ex-Christian stages of grief" when leaving Christianity. First there's fear, then anger (because you realized that you'd been had, and you begin to reflect on how Christians treated people), then acceptance. This does not mean that there is not anger with Christians who attack abortion rights, attack gay-rights, feminism and social progress because of their religious beliefs (designed especially to promote social conservatism). But it does not take the form of the vituperation that dmvprof has. If dmvprof had grown up in a more moderate form of Christianity, I don't think his break would have been so violent. Most people in mainstream denominations can just stop going to church peacefully and abandon the religion. I go to a university where a routine saying is, "I was raised such and such..." but they don't really have a religion. With a fundamentalist, it requires so much emotional energy to break away. And also, people inadvertently build an entire social network around the church so that it is even MORE difficult. Stop going to church, you loose the social network and perhaps even friends.

It's also funny how so many people have bad experiences with fundamentalist Christians. I think it's a little more than a "few bad apples" which is the excuse we hear all the time.

Also the historical debate is always interesting, and I see that people have gotten into it here. Christians were responsible for the murder of millions of people and atrocities like slavery. But Christianity is not the CAUSE of these atrocities. Rome was a brutal, brutal empire, but the justification of the imperial regime was not based on the Roman religion. The Roman religion was made to justify the regime through the cult of the emperor and Rome! And it was actually a more secular philosophy that justified the oppression of the Roman world.

Christianity merely provides the ideological justification for oppressive ideologies that were already in existence. Does this get Christianity off the hook? Absolutely not. Christianity, provides the language for such brutal oppression, and its literature is perfect to justify oppression. Its insistence that slaves not fight to liberate themselves (Colossians 3:22, II Peter 2:18) and tacit approval of slavery, its statements about the role of women, its insistence that people not revolt against oppressive regimes (Rom. 13), and let's not EVEN TALK about the Hebrew Bible. Sure Christianity was used to liberate slaves and liberate blacks from Jim Crow, but it still doesn't let Christianity off the hook. It's like Phillip Morris helps Meals on Wheels and we're supposed to forget about their even bigger contribution to lung cancer and emphysima. I don't think so.
 
Old 04-29-2001, 04:33 PM   #58
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dmvprof:
You all need a slap in the face followed by a swift kick in the ass. Yea, Im a little pissed, as I write....</font>
"slap in the face"--Christian witnessing.

"swift kick in the ass"--God sending you to hell OR branding someone a heretic, shunning him/her from church.

"a little pissed"-normal uncertainty after sensing cracks in the dominant paradigm.

I wanted to turn your rant around, dmvprof, just to show that we're all in this together and evangelicals and fundamentalists are just as freaked out as you are with the differences we are encountering. We're all finally rubbing shoulders with the rest of the guests at the global cocktail party.

It has only been a little less than 300 years since the birth of modern biblical scholarship. Heck, the Bible was the exclusive province of the priests until Martin Luther came along in the Middle Ages and it has really only been a short time since the "common people" were even allowed to read the Bible.

The world is changing and even the pristine, pre-Enlightenment inerrant world of the fundamentalist is collapsing. One only has to venture inside one of our neighborhood "Christian" bookstore to see the array of diversity in Bible translations--"Scripture for Skateboarders," the "Rap Bible," "Christian Housewife's Word of God," etc. These newly-translated Bibles for newly-recognized groups are evidence of the splitting of the evangelical mind, trying to frantically grasp all the myriad forms of postmodern reality before it runs headlong into the brick wall of marginalization.

It will be interesting to see if the evangelical community retreats outside the city's gates to form a doomed, Essene-like compund or will it let down its guard and listen to the unfolding of the eternal parable which always subverts conventional wisdom? But that might mean letting Jesus speak for himself for a change....

History does inform faith and the information that is being uncovered from its obvious hiding place is enough to shake the temple to its foundations.

Based on what I have noticed on these boards, fundamentalists and evangelicals are at a loss when it comes to separating belief and faith from data and evidence. Dogma is all right--as long as one is up-front and honest about it. Trying to hide it under the cloak of objectivity and historical methodology is not only dishonest, but a waste of our time.








[This message has been edited by aikido7 (edited April 29, 2001).]
 
 

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