Chariot of Fire wrote:As for GreecePwns.....yeah, what? A massive debt. Get a job you slacker.
Viceroy wrote:[The Biblical creation story] was written in a time when there was no way to confirm this fact and is in fact a statement of the facts.
crispybits wrote:I'm going to put my response to the slavery section in a hidden box, because while it's an interesting debate I think it's actually a distraction from the main point.
I would disagree. A lot of my criticisms are more relevant to the OT, but not all. There is talk of slavery in the NT also, and in fact Jesus did not say "Don't have slaves", but the NT did say:Luke 12:41-48 wrote:41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
crispybits wrote:Luke 12:41-48 wrote:47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 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.
Jesus doesn't reject slavery. He doesn't come out and say "that's wrong, free your slaves", he says "if they didnt know they were doing wrong then maybe don't punish them quite so harshly folks", and repeatedly talks of servants and masters and the fact the master owns the servants (they are his possessions).
crispybits wrote:So either slavery is OK, because the Son of God himself tolerates it and doesn't outright reject it. The defence I have heard that seemed to hold the most power was almost visible in your post. That Jesus did not come to change the politics (freedom meant death given socio-economic conditions), but he came to spread the message to people's hearts and minds and by accepting that message people would find their own ways to turn on the evils of the world (including slavery). But Jesus talks specifically about several other sins, and condemns them and he says they are evil acts.
crispybits wrote:Matthew 16:15-20 wrote:16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
He will condemn murder, adultery, fornication, etc, but not slavery? He doesn't need to change the world in an instant with that statement, indeed if he was an aspect of God he would know full well his teachings wouldn't have real political consequences for some time, so he would be perfectly free to condemn anything he wanted to make sure the message was right. But he doesn't. He says "treat them nicely hey folks" and talks of men being other men's possessions.
[/quote]crispybits wrote:So is the absolute morality, straight from the mouth of Jesus, that men can be owned by other men? Not their future service or time (because that would not be a "possession" but rather a "debt"), but actual human beings being owned by actual human beings.[/spoiler]
If he said that, please show it. So far you have just shown passages that you seem to feel refer to some nefarious slavery, but actually don't.crispybits wrote:The main point is who has access to the actual absolute moral standard? And by what mechanism? Lets assume (and we know better but for the sake of argument) that I wish to bow down to god and worship him and carry out his will for the rest of my life, who should I go to to receive his message?
(and if the answer is simply "read the bible and follow your heart" then I've already done that, and my heart told me to reject christianity and all other organised religion, and therefore all well formed god concepts entirely)
No, he did not. He simply referred to consequences of actions. Today, people would be fined or even perhaps put in jail for bad actions toward employes. Back then, beatings and such were common. That doesn't mean it was slavery, it means that things were very different back then.crispybits wrote:On the slavery thing, Jesus referred to men as possesions within one of the quotes within my post (the Luke one).
That doesn't apply to any of the above situations.crispybits wrote:And I'm having trouble thinking of a situation where you will be thrown in jail for quitting your job (and only because you quit your job). Maybe if you're a pilot or train or bus driver and you do it while the vehicle is in motion and it crashes then yes, but that's a hell of a stretch. For 99.999% of cases if you quit your job you cannot be thrown in jail or beaten or whatever for that action.
crispybits wrote:I went to a catholic school, and believe me I heard their official line on the bible. but it wasn't even just from there, I went to an anglican church for about 2 years too, looking for answers to questions about why the hell I was here and what the whole point was of everything. When I didn't find answers there I fell in with new age happy clappy born again christians (they baptised me all over again in a public swimming pool) but still the answers I was being given did not make sense. Even when you shed off most of the historical tradition and ritual and focused on the message of love from an almighty creator it didn't fit. For several reasons. So I looked outside of christianity, but even in other faiths I didn't get given a convincing explanation. The closest anyone came were the buddhists, but that's not a religion, it's more like a metaphysical philosophy about existence, and it says nothing about "God". I actually find many aspects of it enlightening, but I have problems with other sections so I can't even say I'm buddhist.
crispybits wrote:See this is why I have such a problem with the message of "open your heart and you will find Him". I have opened my heart, on several occasions. Not from a point of starting with it closed and paying lip service, but from a point of accepting that I don't know what's out there, and believing there is "something" out there, and wanting to connect to it. If it is there, and if it can do a fraction of what most religions say it can do, then I'll be better off for having it with me. Every single time though, without fail, I have tried to genuinely connect with whatever it is through religion, I've found myself looking at.... nothing.
The only time I have ever found myself really believing that I'm connecting with that something has been in quiet times, alone with myself, and talking to it as I'm talking to you now (not through an internet forum obviously). And it's not that it answered or that it demonstrated it's existence or anything like that, but just that all of the ritual, all of the ceremony and obligation that religion entails, it's all completely un-necessary.
It's an impedement. If it does exist, it doesn't need me to say certain words, or to be in a certain place, and it certainly doesn't give me the right to demand anything of anyone else, or impose my own standards on anyone else.
What is proof, except something that you have been taught is true? Faith and belief just take another step. Sometimes, in science, you get to point where you have to make a choice and invest your life/money/time in one route versus another. You hope it proves fruitful.crispybits wrote:But even then the doubt remains - there is no proof that I was connected to anything, I didn't come away from those times with any more knowledge or revelation than I had beforehand. I didn't come away from those moments changed in any way. I cannot claim any privileged truth or knowledge for having made the connection.
crispybits wrote:I still believe there is "something" there, and I still believe it is entirely impersonal, uncaring and oblivious. It cannot be said to have human characteristics, because it cannot be said to be human. It might have, but I've never seen, hard or "felt" any evidence that it does. You could just as easily define it as "the stuff beyond the stuff we know about" as anything else, and the feeling of connection can easily be explained by simple psychology, about the human desire to feel a belonging to something greater than yourself. I'm fully aware that my own personal god concept could be a simple personal delusion.
And this is why I believe that if I have been given a message it is the message that religion is fundamentally wrong.
crispybits wrote: If I haven't been given a message and it's a delusion, if I have done everything asked by the religious and asked nothing except "be with me" and been denied then their definition of God is flawed, because by definition that being would accept that request, by definition it cannot deny that request. So I find that all religions I have ever honestly tried are bullshit and in the absence of any real supernatural authority my natural moral duty as a human being is to spread that rejection of brainwashing, to confront this manipulation and control exercised by mortal men over mortal men and hold the banner up for freedom from this mental, emotional and physical oppression. And if I have been given this entirely personal message from the almighty, then I have just as much of an evangelical imperative to do exactly the same. And that imperative does not extend to forcing my morals over non-religious subjects onto others as all religions do with the fear of God's wrath, but simply to address the religious disease that keeps us in spiritual shackles, bound by the moral opinions of people who I cannot believe have any authority over a relationship with the divine that is entirely personal, and who definitely don't have the authority to use the fear of God's wrath as justification for bending others to their extended secular moral viewpoints.
That's about the most open and honest post you will ever get from me on this subject by the way (thanks to a few beers and a genuine desire to explain my position rather than just bash others' positions). Religion is bullshit. Religion is immoral. Religion is a man made control structure that has been used for political and financial gain, and it has nothing to do with any almighty power, whether that power exists or not. Religious people are victims of the most powerful brainwashing man ever invented, and it is everyone's moral duty, whether those morals come from God or nature, to resist, oppose and attack that offensive, demeaning and morally and spiritually bankrupt slavery of the soul.
crispybits wrote:(By the way, before you say that I haven't denied the possibility of your God, and that your God could still be God and he's just connecting with me in a different way, then I would ask why he wants me to attack his religious structures, and why an all-powerful all-loving being with the power of personal revelation direct into every human heart even needs any religious structures or authorities at all)
crispybits wrote:T I would disagree with you about revealing truth nullifying free will. If I were to tell you that every time you roll the dice to attack here on this site on an exact multiple of 10 seconds, you will always win the roll outright, would that remove your choice? You would still have the ability to roll at any time you wish. Just providing information doesn't counter-act free will.
crispybits wrote:And if it exists all divine revelation is in the end is information, access to a truth higher than could otherwise be attained. So God could easily reveal himself, and leave us in no doubt in our hearts to his nature and existence, every single one of us, without removing our ability to turn our backs on him.
crispybits wrote:Instead, every single person who identifies themselves as christian or muslim or whatever is forced to claim the truth comes at least partially from a book written by man. That's not my only objection to religion, but it is a fairly major one, and I have never seen or heard any argument that has convinced me to change my position.
You've actually come the closest to someone I would probably find myself in most agreement with in this debate, more so than some of the other people on the "there is no God" side. At heart I'm not an atheist, I'm an anti-theist agnostic with pantheistic tendencies and a loosely christian moral framework from my upbringing. I have no real evidence or basis for that, which is why I would never try to change anyone's faith, but I got there by critical thinking, by rationalising all the information available to me from both religious and scientific sources, and by making my own determination of what constitutes reality. I don't want to change anyone's faith, I just want them to approach finding it in the same free way without the impedements of being told by anyone else what is really out there or what isn't.
It's like the difference between being told that 2+2=4 in the first year of school, and getting to the point where instead of just repeating by rote you then understand WHY 2+2=4. You understand how numbers relate and interact in mathematical framework. So many people seem to walk through this whole area of belief with their eyes closed, blindly repeating that 2+2=4 because that's what they've been told, without actually opening their eyes and understanding WHY that's the case. Everyone should find their own faith, not be force fed it by their parents or teachers or anyone else, because nobody can claim to have the ultimate answer to dictate to others. The role of mentors should be to encourage critical reasoning and finding these things out for ourselves, not planting a pre-fabricated idea and declaring it ultimate truth.
PLAYER57832 wrote:However, if God went into your heart and told you specifically that you had to believe this way or that and behave this way or that... then your will is removed. You can voluntarily essentially give up your will and let God decide, but that can be dangerous because sometimes what people think is God is not.
crispybits wrote:You can teach kids right and wrong without ever needing to resort to theology lessons. Until they are old enough to understand what a god concept actually entails then they don't need that concept being put in their heads.
crispybits wrote:But when it comes to religion it's somehow fully acceptable to jump straight to eternal heaven and hell and absolute power and all that.
crispybits wrote:This is another of the many reasons I find that religion fails. Are the religious so insecure in god's power and wisdom and love that they have to remove free will from their own children in this way? If they truly believed in what they were preaching then wouldn't they trust god to do what is necessary to reveal himself effectively to the adult that their kid becomes?
crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him.
tzor wrote:But, frankly, I'm sure the best answer to "Why should I love my younger brother," is "because *I* told you to." It works for some things, not not for everything.
And when you do remove God, you somehow sneak in surrogates to do the same thing. Barney, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, are all just God substitutes.crispybits wrote:God doesn't need religion to connect to us. We don't need religion to connect to him.
Minor point, God doesn't need theology to connect to us. He needs "religion," or in other words the community of believers that we call the church.
crispybits wrote:The best answer to "why should I love my younger brother" is "because you love your younger brother".
oss spy wrote:If God is omniscient, then there is no free will.