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axelkat
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02 Apr 2005, 4:52 pm

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02 Apr 2005, 9:52 pm

I plan on not quoting anybody because it takes up to much time and space. By the way, I'm 16.

As for the most recent posts, God well accept you regardless of how bad a person you are, as long as you admit you've sinned and want forgiveness through the sacrafice of Jesus. You don't have to change your personality, only admit you make mistakes like everyone else. According to the Bible, you don't have to convert people to go to heaven. It's only suggested. I know there are lots of fanatics and fundamentalists out there, but there are also people who understand the true meaning of Christianity as the Bible states it.

The pope from what I understand (I'm NOT Catholic) is a messanger between God and people. The Bible states that after the death of Jesus, God would talk to people directly and never through a person. I honestly have no idea what verses say this, but it's in their somewhere.

I am speaking from the viewpoint of a Christian because I am one. This is all mentioned in the Bible. I just don't know where. Glenn, I'm going to church tommorrow, and I'm going to ask my pastor to send an e-mail with answers (including verse locations to back them up). You'll probably need a Bible to look up verses, because it'll be a fairly long post with or without direct Bible quotes.


:roll: This debate'll never end.


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03 Apr 2005, 12:13 am

Sarcastic Name, I think you have done a fine job wording yourself. Certainly better than some adults I have been confronted by in my time.

And your right. This debate can't even be agreed on by the highest and smartest of people. It's just one of those things I guess.

TAFKASH (hey it worked ... welsh money)

Do you mean to say that god does not live in a spacecraft??

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03 Apr 2005, 2:27 am

i'm getting dizzy with the circles this discussion is going round in. the whole point of the thread was about fundamentalism, i believe. well, as i've probably said, i have no problem with people having their own spiritual paths (or religion, if you wish to call it that). i DO have a problem with having someone else's beliefs/views/opinions/punishments shoved down my throat, though, whether it's fundamentalism in religion, politics, fashion sense, musical tastes, or any of the "isms". and the idea of burning in a hell prescribed by someone else, and in which i do not believe rather entertains me, to be quite honest.

i don't think everything we do is pre-determined - my own path is about personal responsibility. I'M responsible for what i do, think, say, not anyone else. some things i have control over, some i don't. but i don't go round blaming Life, God, the Universe, Great Spirit, Karma, Fate - whatever you want to call it - for everything (good or bad) that happens to me. i do not believe there are good or bad people - in fact, i don't believe in Good and Evil at all. it goes against both my personal responsibility stance, and against the whole idea of actions, thoughts and words having intent and will behind them. there is no such thing as a "bad" deed/action, for example, only one which is inappropriate as far as right time, right place and right person is concerned. and i know i'll be jumped on and yelled at that Hitler's actions were bad, bad, bad, and of course they were horrific, but i'm not going to go into that right now. what i mean is... chopping off someone's leg is not "bad" if they've got gangrene. it's about intent and will, and context. nothing is that black and white, most of the time.

and i may as well get it over with and say it now - i've heard all the eulogies about Pope John Paul II (you couldn't excape it last night), and i'm going to get my tuppence ha'penny in now. yes, he did marvellous work in helping to freeing eastern europe from one sort of tyranny (and i have firsthand experience of working in eastern europe since, so have seen some of the benefits for myself - don't get me started on how the capitalist systems are starting to take over and cause grief, though). BUT, and it's a huge but... i cannot grieve for a man who caused untold misery in his conservative, traditionalist stance on matters such as abortion, contraception, and the role of women - thousands, if not millions of people have suffered and will suffer because he said condoms were verboten, and the spread of HIV infection and AIDS has escalated wildly. (catholicism is on the rise fastest in africa, where HIV and AIDS is running riot at the moment - it was on Radio 4 this morning - you can argue with the Beeb if you like, but i think it's unlikely they'd get THAT particular issue/statistic wrong, myself). let's put him into context before we jump up and down and say what a great chap he was, shall we?

oh, and by the way - there ARE some christian churches who say that you get to heaven by proselytising and converting people - the International Church of God is one, i believe. 70 converts and straight to heaven (i may have got the figures wrong, but the principle is there). wonder if there's a discount scheme...? and if i've got the name or the numbers wrong, then, quite frankly, i don't care. check it if you wish. as in my own path, i have the courage of my convictions, as it were, and don't feel the need to defend myself, evangelise, proselytise, threaten anyone with hell, convert anyone, tell anyone they're wrong for what they believe (unless it goes against basic human dignity/rights) or call a fatwa on anyone for saying my "beliefs" are crap (although i don't actually "believe" in anything as such - my path involves things which Are, and what others would call "faith" is just down to quantum and how we don't understand stuff yet, probably). mine works for me, yours works for you, and i'm happy to agree to differ, just don't start on racism, sexism, abuse of power, etc., etc. in the name of your religion/spiritual path.



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03 Apr 2005, 4:25 am

Hey Vetivert, I don't agree with your politics but that was a good post. I'm particularly impressed that you dared question the diktat of the Vatican at such a time. A refreshing change to the sycophantic eulogising I've been subjected to courtesy of BBC news.



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03 Apr 2005, 5:54 am

lol This whole thread IS fundamentalism.

I am really enjoying reading every one's opinions. And the amount of conversion attempts has decreased dramatically. I find it fascintating how frustrated human's become when they face an opposing belief structure.

Yep Verivert. I agree with what you state about self responsiblity. Everything does come from intent. Unfortunately, I no longer accept that everyone's core intent is good.

I have been grasped by the hands of a few faiths in my life, but now I don't beleive even my own perception. But I have a certain amount of respect for those able to have faith. I have lost most of mine as far as anything is concerned really, so I find it amazing when others still have faith of some sort.

I read buddhist teachings. I'm not trying to convert you, just letting you know why. I don't see it as a religion for me. If I did, I would become a monk. But I use it's teachings as a phylosophy for how to get through life and avoid as much suffering as possible. And basically it boils down to self responsibility. But I really like the way it words things.

I think that buddha new something about quantum that the rest of us have not figured out yet.

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03 Apr 2005, 8:54 am

Sarcastic_Name wrote:

I am speaking from the viewpoint of a Christian because I am one. This is all mentioned in the Bible. I just don't know where. Glenn, I'm going to church tommorrow, and I'm going to ask my pastor to send an e-mail with answers (including verse locations to back them up). You'll probably need a Bible to look up verses, because it'll be a fairly long post with or without direct Bible quotes.


:roll: This debate'll never end.


Thank you. it will be interesting to hear your pastor's comments. He doesnt really need to post a lot of Biblical verse locations, though. The Bible is only acceptable as the word of God by those that are already believers; unfortunately, to those that are not Christians, and do not have faith, there is no proof that it is the word of God other than the fact that it states it is (a rather circular argument as I've said before!) What I am seeking by my questions is some kind of reasoned explanation as to why men hold a concept of God that seems . to me at least, both irrational and contradictory. or, if you like, (if your beliefs are more fundamental) why indeed your God should act in such an unreasonable way, whether or not the Bible tells us that that is His nature!
And yes this debate seems never-ending, but I guess that's because it is a very interesting debate to a lot of people, even if they disagree!
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03 Apr 2005, 4:49 pm

------------------------------------------------------------------------
PeaceMaker wrote

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There is a God, because ultimately the entire unerverse is woven together in a mass conciousness, in accordence with the laws of thermodynamics that Progogine showed us. We live an exist in a highly complex, organized dissapative structure called "God" "Love" "Allah" Or whateve else, but a rose is a rose, regardless of the name, and in the end, everything finds its place.


There seems to be some similarity here with Buddhist belief, which sees all beings as part of a greater reality, not as completely separate “souls” as Christianity does. But I also think there is a problem with terminology. I have certainly met people who do not share the orthodox Christian beliefs (and certainly not any “fundamental” beliefs) who speak of God as “love” or the “unifying principle’ of all of creation, or some such generality (“Mass consciousness”, perhaps. I am not sure that I understand fully what they mean, but there seems to be a suggestion that Gid is all of us, we are all part of God, and that “God” is just another name for such a mass consciousness. But while this may be a valid way to picture God for some people, for the purposes of this debate we have been discussing a more standard, Christian concept of the godhead. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I understand the basic Christian concept is that the nature of God is completely separate from that of His creation, mankind. Man can aspire to be rewarded by heaven, to be in the everlasting presence of God, and he might believe he was created by God in His (spiritual) image. But man can never aspire to be God, to become part of him. The fundamental nature of God and his creation is forever separate and different.
It is maybe facetious, and a bit of a cliché to suggest that actually Man created God in his own image, and not the other way round (Which could be termed the”official version”!) but I think it is true, especially when we consider the way that many people visualise the meaning of ‘God’ and his relationship to mankind.
It is for this reason that I asked my questions. You see, they are perhaps not only about why God would behave in what to me seems an irrational way, but why people would even want to believe in a God like that! It seems to demonstrate a concept of God that is both anthropomorphic and somewhat childish.Yet it does seem that a lot of people have a need to believe that we understand God’s intentions, even if they do not entirely make sense. The only way we can do this is to attribulte to God the mental characteristics and emotions of humanity, even though, as stated earlier in this discussion, God simply cannot have human emotions.
The alternative of course is to admit we do NOT understand the mind of God ... because “He works in mysterious ways” and perhaps man is not ‘meant’ to understand his plans, let alone question them. But that sort of belief opens a whole new can of worms, as far as understanding God goes! Because why would God create an species which he expects to worship him, and threaten them with punishment if they ‘sin’ or go against his moral laws .... and yet not give them enough intelligence to understand him and his morality fully? Would not this be a requirement for blind obedience, not a choice based on knowledge and free will?
And re the free will concept ...
TAFKASH wrote
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I disagree yet again. I will state it again for the nth time: We have no control over how our personalities are formed. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Diddly-squat. We develop into the characters we are due to forces completely beyond our control. I can not alter the kind of person that I am, neither can you or anybody else. The "choices" we make in life are completely ring-fenced and circumscribed by the kinds of people we are, and the kinds of personalities we have.


I am sorry but I disagree. Certainly we have no control over the circumstances and influences of our birth, or the forces which form our personalities. But I do think we have a choice about what we DO with the material that fate has dealt out to us! Someone like Hitler, for example, never developed beyond the infantile state when only ‘self’ is real. To him, other people and their lives an emotions were both unreal and unimportant... he was the supreme egotistical child, greedy for power and for his own desires and needs to be gratified. Taken to extremes, we see this as pure evil, and so it is, I guess. But most people, as they mature, learn that such attitudes are destructive and hateful. They realise that people are all similar, with the same hopes and feelings - perhaps they realise that we are all one creation (as discussed above) and therefore to cause pain to others can ultimately hurt you too, and it will be self inflicted harm, not something done by a vengeful God! In other words; such people have managed to change, to learn, to build upon what nature doled out to them. They have (gasp) CHANGED !
Nothing is permanent (says Buddhist teaching :-) ...I don’t think we or our natures are set in cement, for eternity!

Glenn


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03 Apr 2005, 5:15 pm

I was too nervous to ask my pastor the questions, but he would have quoted the Bible (some of you don't believe it), as all pators would. I really don't know what to think right now, because some of you don't seem to understand the full meaning of Christianity. There are so many ideas that differ between Christian and Catholic. Once again, the line is being blurred.

As for sinning, God knows you sin. All he wants is admittance of doing so and asking of forgiveness through the sacrafice of Jesus. You can't say that you've never done anything wrong, because everyone's lied before. Everyone has probably stolen something at one point in their life. Saying you've never done anything wrong before is wrong because you're human. That's all I have to say for now.


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03 Apr 2005, 5:30 pm

Glenn wrote:
Someone like Hitler, for example, never developed beyond the infantile state when only ‘self’ is real. To him, other people and their lives an emotions were both unreal and unimportant... he was the supreme egotistical child, greedy for power and for his own desires and needs to be gratified. Taken to extremes, we see this as pure evil, and so it is, I guess. But most people, as they mature, learn that such attitudes are destructive and hateful. They realise that people are all similar, with the same hopes and feelings - perhaps they realise that we are all one creation (as discussed above) and therefore to cause pain to others can ultimately hurt you too, and it will be self inflicted harm, not something done by a vengeful God! In other words; such people have managed to change, to learn, to build upon what nature doled out to them. They have (gasp) CHANGED !


Yes - in different circumstances Hitler would have changed and become a different person - but those circumstances didn't happen, did they? Hitler never had a real choice in becoming the person he became..... He never had the chance to mature beyond his nurture/nature induced child-like destructive ego...... If circumstances had have been different I'm sure he'd have won Miss World 1933 while selling record numbers of girl guide cookies to fund the building of hospitals for sick orphans..... If my uncle had tits he'd be my auntie..... IF, IF, IF...... But IF didn't blinking well happen, did it? Noone can make IF happen if their nature precludes it..... "Evil" people can become "good" through IF happening to them, but the occurrence of IF or not is purely beyond their control.....

We can't alter the people that we are, or the way we generally respond to life occurrences, and thence to our "destiny"...... The kind of people we are can be changed by these life occurences, but not consciously.... This can't be argued against people..... I'm sorry, but it can't.... Especially not against as fearsome a foe as I :wink:

vetivert wrote:
i don't think everything we do is pre-determined - my own path is about personal responsibility. I'M responsible for what i do, think, say, not anyone else. some things i have control over, some i don't. but i don't go round blaming Life, God, the Universe, Great Spirit, Karma, Fate - whatever you want to call it - for everything (good or bad) that happens to me. i do not believe there are good or bad people - in fact, i don't believe in Good and Evil at all. it goes against both my personal responsibility stance, and against the whole idea of actions, thoughts and words having intent and will behind them. there is no such thing as a "bad" deed/action, for example, only one which is inappropriate as far as right time, right place and right person is concerned. and i know i'll be jumped on and yelled at that Hitler's actions were bad, bad, bad, and of course they were horrific, but i'm not going to go into that right now. what i mean is... chopping off someone's leg is not "bad" if they've got gangrene. it's about intent and will, and context. nothing is that black and white, most of the time.


I agree 100% - nothing is pre-determined, and our paths are our own responsibility...... But the forks we choose in those paths will always be driven by our innate nature, greatly reducing the forks we can, in reality, take, whether we like it or not...... We all have our own personal senses of "right" and "wrong" that drive these choices, but these are indeed not universal, and vary from person to person based purely on nurture/nature..... I too agree that there is no global good or evil...... Hitler's actions were thoroughly "good" within his own belief system, but "bad" to most others'..... I think societal "good" and "evil" on which our various laws and moral codes are based are merely an averaging out of the general populus's internal systems. They simply aren't universal constructs by any means.

(I do think that "fate" deserves a right good kicking though, sometimes... :wink:)

vetivert wrote:
and i may as well get it over with and say it now - i've heard all the eulogies about Pope John Paul II (you couldn't excape it last night), and i'm going to get my tuppence ha'penny in now.


Pope John Paul II was a dangerous fanatic running an evil system that ruined countless numbers of lives in the name of power and greed alone. The only bad thing about his death is that someone just as bad will take over the same role in the not too distant future, changing nothing.....


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03 Apr 2005, 6:13 pm

TAFKASH wrote:
Pope John Paul II was a dangerous fanatic running an evil system that ruined countless numbers of lives in the name of power and greed alone.


I completely disagree with you. Pope John Paul II was probably the best pope the Church has ever had. He fixed and apologised for a lot of the Chruch's screw ups over the years. (He also slammed the war in Iraq while Bush was sitting next to him...what a cool guy.) May he rest in peace.



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03 Apr 2005, 6:23 pm

It is further proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us
A


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03 Apr 2005, 7:48 pm

Bec wrote:
I completely disagree with you. Pope John Paul II was probably the best pope the Church has ever had. He fixed and apologised for a lot of the Chruch's screw ups over the years. (He also slammed the war in Iraq while Bush was sitting next to him...what a cool guy.) May he rest in peace.


So he was a slightly better brand of dangerous fanatic than others that came before him, with the keen and politically astute pragmatic sense necessary to make minor changes in dogma to try to sustain his dying, discredited and outdated old faith into the 21st Century..... The guy was still the leader, driver and figurehead of a huge, incredibly dangerous and basically evil global conspiracy........ The world is a better, safer place with one less of his kind in it.....

......and appearing reasonable, non-fascistic and peace loving compared to Bush is hardly a ringing endorsement of anyone now, is it? :?

Sarcastic_Name wrote:
I was too nervous to ask my pastor the questions, but he would have quoted the Bible (some of you don't believe it), as all pators would. I really don't know what to think right now, because some of you don't seem to understand the full meaning of Christianity. There are so many ideas that differ between Christian and Catholic. Once again, the line is being blurred.


I understand with startling clarity the full "meaning" of Christianity, to an extent that no Christian ever could...... (wood and trees kind of thing). And fundamentally, all flavours of Christianity are essentially the same, and you're kidding yourself by claiming otherwise - the leader of the Catholic church wears a dress, lives in a big Gothic cathedral, speaks in latin and is 300 years out of touch with reality, the leader of your church probably wears a suit, lives in a 70s prefab, speaks in a Southern US drawl (most likely) and is only 150 years or so out of touch..... Fundamentally though, they both just want your cash and your unthinking obedience - that is all any church wants from you or anybody else - the elaborateness of their stained-glass windows and size and design of their pipe-organs makes not a jot of difference.....

Sarcastic_Name wrote:
As for sinning, God knows you sin. All he wants is admittance of doing so and asking of forgiveness through the sacrafice of Jesus. You can't say that you've never done anything wrong, because everyone's lied before. Everyone has probably stolen something at one point in their life. Saying you've never done anything wrong before is wrong because you're human. That's all I have to say for now.


I've never "sinned" because I believe that "sin" is a human construct, and I refuse to accept its existence as an omnipotent, deity-assessable axiom of the universe - I have only ever "sinned" in ways that were right and/or acceptable to my internal, personal moral compass at the time, and so cannot be considered "sins" as far as I am concerned.

....and nobody has ever yet, after all these years and all those countless attempts, ever managed to come up with a cogent reason as to why some hippy getting stapled to a tree 2000 years ago is supposed to make a jot of difference to the price of sugar-free pop tarts where an individual's "sin" assessment is concerned..... Jesus died....... fine...... SO FLIPPIN' WHAT????? :?


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03 Apr 2005, 8:25 pm

Ummm......TAFKASH..... I don't care about the comments made about the pope......but have you ever been to a church before?


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03 Apr 2005, 8:33 pm

TAFKASH wrote:
1PeaceMaker wrote:
All possible choices are available. You have multiple futures, as physics seems to be revealing. So your life is what you make of it. In some ways, it is like "Gorundhog Day" on a very much larger scale. Your life is your choice, as physics reveals.


I disagree yet again. I will state it again for the nth time: We have no control over how our personalities are formed. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Diddly-squat.


Why?

..You do not appear to be taking into account the fact that we are timeless, unified beings, given the laws of entaglement, that is, as well as other facets of physics that point in that direction.

In other words, I chose to be born from the beginning of time. I am more than flesh and bones. What's more, I don't really care if you want to argue that we are not free.. One thing always causes another, which means that something did cause my choice, and whatever that was was caused by something else, et. cetera.. anyways, it's all beside the point to me, because if I am not in charge of who I am, than neither is God, after all, whatever makes him what he is leaves him without free will either.. Anyway, SO WHAT?

In the end, we are all the sons of God, and if we have lived a regrettable life, we will regret it, and that is that. We cannot regret being who we are, but we can regret acting in ways that make no sense, even given who we are.

Quote:
We develop into the characters we are due to forces completely beyond our control. I can not alter the kind of person that I am, neither can you or anybody else.


Ah, but sentiant beings can alter who they are. If you educate yourself, you can become a lawyer, for instance. Can you do anything and everything? I am not saying that, but you and I can make all the choices we need to in order to derive satisfaction in life. I went from being single, to being a married mother. I made choices I will not regret. And I will make more. In the end, I will look back on my life and see I made the best choices I could, given the available information... at least most of the time. We are dancing around something outside the scope of this conversation. I have to be hasty, so as not to waste too much time, lol.
Quote:
The "choices" we make in life are completely ring-fenced and circumscribed by the kinds of people we are, and the kinds of personalities we have. If there is a correct "path" to godliness or whatever, some people have ready-made personalities to slot right into it with no effort.


I aint no "fundy" - so if you mean "Fundy" brand salvation, can't help ya, you're toast. In my universe parents and child, nature and nurture mold a man's future, but all of us have plenty of opportunities to make the most of what we have. And, in one universe or another, we will take that chance, and make the most of ourselves.

Quote:
Other people have personalities which will completely preclude them from doing so. It is hardly fair to judge these people by the same criteria....... You wouldn't criticise somebody with no legs for losing a race to an able bodied athlete..... Why then would you harshly judge someone with a naturally "bad" personality for making bad "choices" when they are naturally predisposed to do so, due to forces completely beyond their control..... You can no more equitably send an "evil" person to hell for being "evil" than you can send a sprinter with no legs to hell for losing lots of races - its that simple..... There is no possible equitable way for a deity to allocate after-life punishment to people based on life choices.... There simply isn't..... End of story.....


I agree. I don't believe that is the way the afterlife works. The juddgement is the chance for you to see if you made an *ss of yourself or not. If you did, back to square one, humiliation and all. Our punishment is our loss of dignity in the face of stupidity.. and not the kind you inherit.

Quote:
1PeaceMaker wrote:
I am not saying I completelsy understand the mathmatical part of the physics involved, (yet) but my point is stlll there. You are a free will agent, because you don't just exist now, you also exist in timelessness, and much is open to you. Science is starting to show us that we are more than what we are used to measuring and counting as belongs to us.. There are powers that belong to us existing in what sciences like to call "hyperspace".


I'm not going to argue quark, strangeness and charm on this topic, sadly :wink: It is a demonstrable fact that we have no say over how our lives develop, irrespective of kinks in the time space continuum or whatever....... Endless possibilities may be open to us at every turn, but our innate nature will always exclude the "choice" of the vast majority of these "choices", and inevitably force us to have to select from an, in reality, very small subset of these "choices"..... This fact cannot be argued against, and I'm a little puzzled as to why so many people on this thread are lobbying against this very clear and obvious point.... :?


Because you are not looking at the 11th dimention, the bulk, hyperspace, or any othe these variable factors when you say this stuff. Fact is, there IS more than meets the eye. And I also think wwe are talking past each other a little. hehehe..

Quote:
1PeaceMaker wrote:
There is a God, because ultimately the entire unerverse is woven together in a mass conciousness, in accordence with the laws of thermodynamics that Progogine showed us. We live an exist in a highly complex, organized dissapative structure called "God" "Love" "Allah" Or whateve else, but a rose is a rose, regardless of the name, and in the end, everything finds its place.


.....and you were doing so well, too..... :lol: The laws of thermodynamics prove there is a God then, eh? Somehow I think not...... :wink: This is a blind, logical leap of faith from science to the absurd and I'm sure you know it deep down, really.... No offence.... :)


What? Don't you know what an organised, dissipative structure is? 8O :P