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Is Anyone Familiar With Bethlehemstar.net?


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#1 Kalos

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 04:58 AM

Hi, around Christmas some time ago my family and I saw this presentation by a lawyer that used some program to see what the starts were doing around the supposed time of Jesus' birth. I know little about astronomy so I don't know what to make of it. Also, I don't think many atheists know about this so naturally I have only heard xtians praising it. here is the link:

http://www.bethlehemstar.net/

there are also some youtube videos that outline his study if you don't want to read:

If you guys could check this out and tell me your opinions on it that would be great.
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#2 Deva

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 06:05 AM

Its nonsense. Just assigning meanings to different planets, the way astrology is done. That is actually what this is - astrology. In addition to being stupid, its extremely hypocritical. Christians condemn astrology as of the devil nowadays but it suddenly acceptable in order to "prove" a supposed event in the Bible? Different meanings have been assigned the planets and their movements are then extremely significant.

In addition there are many offensive and ridiculous conclusions drawn in the section "What Does This Mean".
Of course the alignment of the planets "proves" Christ came and the whole Bible is true so now, in conclusion, we can get down to praying the sinner's prayer. Even though the planets move like clockwork and God knew all about what was going to happen billions of years before, WE now have to make a decision for Christ or go to hell.

What could be more foolish than this " ..according to the Bible there is a disconnection between God and man. We are interested in God, yes, but we are much more interested in ourselves—this is the heart of what the Bible calls "sin."

So sin is not doing wrong actions, it is just being more interested in ourselves than interested in God. Yet what will a Christian say when witnessing? It will be something like "haven't you done something wrong in your life"? Then say that's sin. Christians themselves can't say what sin actually is! It is completely natural for humans to be more interested in themselves than an invisible, obviously man-made God -- if they were not, there would be no survival and no human race. Christians are always most interested in themselves than God anyway.

I have to wonder what Pascal would think if he were alive today, evangelical Christians so much love to use him. If it isn't Pascal's Wager, its Pascal's "God shaped hole" statement. Oh, excuse me, "God shaped vacuum", that sounds more scientific. :lmao:

I am familiar with this whole Bethlehem star theory. I even think one Christmas I saw it demonstrated in a planetarium. Bottom line is that the motions and conjunctions of planets still do not conform with what is described in the Bible - an actual star moving and guiding the wise men.
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#3 HereticZero

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:40 AM

I think Christians squeeze too much thought into something to make it work for their doctrine. I didn't buy the moving star or planet idea when I was a christian and I do not now. I think the website's 'theory' of astronomy needs some real astronomy to get my attention.
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#4 Kalos

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 02:30 PM

Thanks for the replies. Devalight, you make a really good point by saying it's hypocrisy because it's more like astrology, a practice most xtians condemn. I remember thinking that for a lot of his "theories" to work we would have to accept the pagan names for the planets and I wondered why he was so ok with that. I'm sure he would answer that God used those names because it was his plan for people to call them that so that his signs would be apparent in the sky but it would probably be kind of easy to assign meaning to any event in the sky using names like Jupiter=king and Virgo=Mary. Also, a big part of the beginning of his study was finding the right time. I wonder if that didn't have so much to do with chronology as it did with finding a time when the right planets were in a good enough place to suit his purpose. However I know very little of astronomy so I didn't realize that there is a simpler answer: what Mr. Lawson is doing is pseudo science. If we give planets names and meanings and then look for them to do something significant regarding such names and meanings we will probably find something because that is kind of a self fulfilling prophesy. It's just like people who believe in fate and/or god's plan, they look for little things in life to que them off to what they should do next and when it doesn't work out they don't admit that it's bull, they just keep looking into some "sign" leads them somewhere they like and then they say that fate or God is always good to them and has a plan and keeps them in mind. :P
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#5 Shyone

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 02:36 PM

It's just like people who believe in fate and/or god's plan, they look for little things in life to que them off to what they should do next and when it doesn't work out they don't admit that it's bull, they just keep looking into some "sign" leads them somewhere they like and then they say that fate or God is always good to them and has a plan and keeps them in mind. :P

Take away the mystical part of it, and you have what everyone does. Think, reason, attempt, regroup and start over (if necessary).
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#6 Kalos

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 08:19 PM


It's just like people who believe in fate and/or god's plan, they look for little things in life to que them off to what they should do next and when it doesn't work out they don't admit that it's bull, they just keep looking into some "sign" leads them somewhere they like and then they say that fate or God is always good to them and has a plan and keeps them in mind. :P

Take away the mystical part of it, and you have what everyone does. Think, reason, attempt, regroup and start over (if necessary).


yeah but the mystical part kind of messes with things. Rather than thinking, reasoning, and all that a person believing in some kind of fate will look for signs rather than do practical things.
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#7 Shyone

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:00 PM



It's just like people who believe in fate and/or god's plan, they look for little things in life to que them off to what they should do next and when it doesn't work out they don't admit that it's bull, they just keep looking into some "sign" leads them somewhere they like and then they say that fate or God is always good to them and has a plan and keeps them in mind. :P

Take away the mystical part of it, and you have what everyone does. Think, reason, attempt, regroup and start over (if necessary).


yeah but the mystical part kind of messes with things. Rather than thinking, reasoning, and all that a person believing in some kind of fate will look for signs rather than do practical things.

Yeah, but I've always suspected that when we look for signs we are looking for reinforcement for what we already want to do (or believe is correct).

The only way that wouldn't work would be to set up some arbitrary criteria like: "If I see a black bird flying from my left to my right, I will do X, but if I see one flyhing from right to left I will do the opposite." Most signs, however, are things that we "recognise" as being signs, but otherwise we might ignore them.
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#8 sciencemike

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 02:51 AM

I find this rather amusing that they advocated a heliocentric point of view, because it would be considered complete heresy to the church a few hundred years ago:

"But the wandering stars exhibit another, stranger motion. Periodically, they appear to reverse course and move backward through the other stars. This may seem odd, but the reason is simple enough: we watch the planets from a moving platform—Earth—hurtling around the Sun in its own orbit. When you pass a car on the freeway, it appears to go backward as it drops behind. For similar reasons, when the Earth in its orbit swings past another planet, that planet appears to move backward against the starry field. Astronomers call this optical effect retrograde motion."


Also chuckled at this:

"Jupiter continued on its path through the star field. But then it entered retrograde. It "changed its mind" and headed back to Regulus for a second conjunction."


So... instead of coming up with a valid physical explanation using celestial mechanics (such as everyone has been doing for the past 300 years since the time of Newton) an alternative explanation involving Jupiter's mind deciding to change its apparent position changing due to the Earth's (and Jupiter's) own movement and parallax with respect to a distant constellation that is located about 80 light years away. While we're at it, we might as well take into account the gravitational effects of the Andromeda galaxy and how it "feels" about it. :Hmm:
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