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Kosmonaut
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22 May 2007, 12:01 pm

Mitch8817 wrote:
Yeah sorry, I was addressing ragtime but accidentally quoted you too :?


ok, no need to apologize. And next time you address Ragtime why not ask him how he got to be on speaking terms with god. :lol:



JonnyBGoode
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22 May 2007, 12:25 pm

Indoctrination is too simplistic.

I was brought up in a church. "Indoctrinated." "Bring up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Seriously, do you think parents are not going to teach their children what they firmly believe in? Among atheists, you call this teaching. Among religious people, you call it "indoctrination."

I call that, "bias."

When I was "of age," I began to question what I believed. Mainly because I came up against an alternate belief system that came smack in the face of mine. So I didn't just blindly say "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." That's a child's thinking. "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things."

I started studying. Religion. Philosophy. I studied every major belief system, every major cult and dozens of minor ones, the teachings of Nietzsche, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, Aquinas, Augustine, and a host of people you've never even heard of. I discovered quickly that understanding these "deep thoughts" came incredibly easy to me. An Aspie trait, no doubt. I had a love of learning, of reading, of absorbing these deep thoughts.

If you've never read any of the great works of philosophy and/or theology, you are missing out on so much. "There is more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

And you'd think that all that study of so many views would have shaken any faith or belief I had. But I quickly discovered, as C.S. Lewis did, that "atheism is just too simple." And the further I went, the more I was convinced that of all the religions and philosophies out there, the simple Christianity I was taught as a child was ultimately the most logically coherent. So I returned home.

That, to me, was the clincher. The logic. I expected the right path to be the "logical" path, for I am a logical man. And that was what I found. And therefore that is what I cling to. Not "religiously," for there is no religion in this to me, as most people understand the term. It is instead a deep-held belief upon which I guide my life. A life-style.

(One which, I'll confess quite openly, I don't always walk within. That doesn't make me a hypocrite though - it makes me human.)


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Last edited by JonnyBGoode on 22 May 2007, 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sopho
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22 May 2007, 12:27 pm

I don't see Christianity as being coherent at all. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. I don't like how they try telling people how to have sex either. Interfering f*****g perverts.



JonnyBGoode
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22 May 2007, 12:36 pm

Perhaps nobody has ever explained it to you properly. In which case, I would be glad to sometime.

Or perhaps you really just didn't want to listen. That's not a condemnation, merely an observation of the human psyche. If you're presented with a philosophy that, if accepted, means you would have to consider a change of lifestyle, and you are resistant to such a change - then truth or not, the mind can easily block and confuse what it does not wish to accept.

I'm not going to stay in this thread any longer, I just wanted to express my POV. :)


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Sopho
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22 May 2007, 12:37 pm

What lifestyle?



Mitch8817
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22 May 2007, 12:50 pm

JonnyBGoode, I was merely commenting on the susceptibility you have to your parents beliefs throughout your life, regardless of age, intelligence of exploration - of anything, you will feel more at 'home' in them, so any exploration you do will be 'tainted'. Subjectivity and bias are unavoidable, which I was also using to assert that your beliefs, therefore, are no more true than anyone else's and simply a matter of chance (location, era).

Athiesm may be 'too simple', but at least it involves a personal search for meaning instead of accepting given ones.


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JonnyBGoode
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22 May 2007, 12:59 pm

Mitch8817 wrote:
Subjectivity and bias are unavoidable, which I was also using to assert that your beliefs, therefore, are no more true than anyone else's

At least you're honest.

But one does not necessarily follow from the other. There is a possibility you are overlooking, that there may be an absolute truth quite apart from one's personal upbringing, and the possibility that perhaps one (or more) of the worlds' belief systems have stumbled upon it.

Sopho wrote:
What lifestyle?

Pardon me for making an assumption. Or for phrasing myself poorly. You have stated your preference for women elsewhere, and in your last post stated, "I don't like how they try telling people how to have sex either"; I was therefore referring to homosexuality euphemistically, because I didn't want to steer the conversation off onto a tangent and often the very mention of the word is a hot button and can cause tempers and ill feelings to flare, on both sides. And minds to close. (Which was what my point was.)


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Mitch8817
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22 May 2007, 1:06 pm

But does not 'absolute truth' only exist if there is indeed a God?


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JonnyBGoode
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22 May 2007, 1:07 pm

A good question.

One I'll let you all ponder a while... :twisted:

Another good question: If you discover a truth that is absolute - can you infer from that, that there must therefore be a God?


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Mitch8817
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22 May 2007, 1:13 pm

I am not aware of any 'absolute truths' existing (hence my use of ' ' in using the term). Can you name any?


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JonnyBGoode
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22 May 2007, 1:21 pm

I can... but since I'm at work right now,

"... I'll get back to you, Gene..." :wink:


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Ragtime
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22 May 2007, 1:21 pm

Mitch8817 wrote:
Kosmonaut wrote:
Ragtime wrote:
And that setup is actually intentional on God's part. He wants only those who want to believe in Him to know He's real.


this is jibberish :lol:


But if he loves us all equally and unlimitedly, wouldn't he want to maximise our chances to get into heaven? - you know, give us a real opportunity to make a choice instead of having this gamble (100's if religions each saying that all the others are wrong etc. etc.).

If God appeared before me then I would believe in whatever denomination he represented, unquestionably. And yet, He seems focused too much on these sick and endless tests to give a rat's.


The decision to follow Him has to be based on love. If He physically appeared with blinding brilliance before us all as the only solution to eternal life, then even his haters would choose Him. God isn't trying to force us into believing in Him. He wants only those who choose Him honestly, truly, and willingly, and not because they think they have to. But indeed, I cannot explain all of God's reasoning, nor do I insist that He present it all to me.

But, God really does not make the likelihood of His existence mysterious -- aside from what is called "General Revelation" (the beauty and order of nature all around us), it's all right there in the Bible, for those who wish to examine that historical document with an open mind. (And few there be, these days.) And it is declared not in hard-to-decipher riddles, like in many other religions which you allude to in general, but plainly and openly and specifically. For example, some people, even some "Christians", say that Jesus did not necessarily say He was God. Wrong. Jesus willingly locked Himself into that position, that if He were shown not to be God, i.e. through some imperfection in His moral living or teaching, then all Christianity is false. He made specific, evidensible claims, so that His followers would not have to believe in some vaporous "sense of being" or other vague feelings equated with truth by many religions.

It is interesting to note, though, that at times, Jesus intentionally spoke in proverbs, and He did that specifically when He knew His accusers were trying to bate Him into giving a wrong answer, either morally or factually, in the way they phrased the questions, so that they could arrest and convict Him on it. But when people really wanted to know, and asked Him sincerely, He gave straight answers -- so much so that He was killed for them.

But back to God's plan being easily understandable though serious Bible study, nonetheless, most people choose to avoid such examinations. Many who have set out to disprove the Bible through studying it have become Christians themselves, simply because of the incredible way the Bible all ties together. C.S. Lewis was one. Josh McDowell was another. Others include Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, General Lew Wallace (author of "Ben Hur"), Madeline Murray O'Hare's son John, journalist Lee Stoble, who then wrote, "The Case for Christ" -- all staunch unbelievers at the time they decided to challenge the veracity of Scripture, and put it to the test. Attorney Simon Greenleaf, famed juris prudence scholar from Harvard who authored many of the America's laws of evidence, wrote that the four Gospels, through their consistent agreement yet clearly different perspectives, well qualify for making a legal case for Christ under our laws of admissible evidence.


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Mitch8817
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22 May 2007, 1:26 pm

JonnyBGoode wrote:
I can... but since I'm at work right now,

"... I'll get back to you, Gene..." :wink:


PM me if you could, I hate losing track of topics in the flood of things.


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Kosmonaut
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22 May 2007, 1:34 pm

Mitch8817 wrote:
I am not aware of any 'absolute truths' existing (hence my use of ' ' in using the term). Can you name any?


'you are going to die' is an absolute truth.



Mitch8817
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22 May 2007, 1:36 pm

Proving His existing doesn't force anyone to do anything. Further, I think God would be able to distinguish between those who would then choose Him out of selfishness or convenience, as opposed to those who are pure of heart and have lead a moral and great, albeit misguided life (such as me by religious reasoning). Let him judge me not on my beliefs, but on my deeds and the heart behind them - as a being of absolute fairness, that should make sense to Him.

And don't even get me started on the Bible. It's enough to say that there are alot of problems in that thing and much incompatibility in relation to modern society. And unless God Himself wrote the Bible, then we can't take it for face value. I assure you though, my mind is very open and was when I read the Bible.

However, I resolve to study the Bible if you resolve to study evolution and the words of Dawkins with an open mind. You will find that your mind has been closed somewhat by your strong beliefs and you will unconsciously and personally refute everything in those pages regardless of how 'true' you find them to be. Such is the nature of religion.

Oh, and don't play the name-dropping game, it doesn't prove much to me. Everyone has done everything if you look hard enough.


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JonnyBGoode
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22 May 2007, 1:38 pm

Kosmonaut wrote:
'you are going to die' is an absolute truth.

Point! lol

Torturing babies for fun. Always, absolutely evil? I certainly hope so. That would be an absolute to me.

The very statement, "There are no absolute truths" is self-contradictory, as it sets itself up as an absolute truth.


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