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  2. On Faith and True Knowledge

    I think the answer to this question is an emphatic and resounding "no". When I look around the world, mostly what I see is people who will take any excuse to believe whatever they are told, sans evidence. A sad fact about humans is that, in general, we quite like to be told what to do. We like having someone in authority over us. We like the idea that someone who knows what they are doing is in charge, and if we just listen to them than everything will be alright. So no, in general we don't demand too much evidence; we're more than happy to believe just about anything. Maybe. Maybe not. It is true that history has affected the sorts of baseless claims that many people are willing to believe. We do, as a species, know quite a bit more now than we used to. We don't need to attribute plagues, earthquakes, and floods to the wrath of God. We know what causes them. Yet, there are still many people in the world who do just this, and some of them profess to be quite civilised. Even today, many people are ignorant, and some are wilfully so. But clearly it would be wrong to conclude that in the first century everyone would have found the claims of Christianity compelling. Some people did, and some people didn't. Which group we would have been in is difficult to ascertain. Well, the fact is that the Christian faith is mainly non-sense. The very fact that you have to wonder what is expected of you is evidence of this. This is possible. No can assure you with authority that it isn't. But the thing is, there is no reason to believe that it is true. None whatsoever. It also isn't consistent with the Christian message. So there's that. Ah, see the thing is, you don't generally have to disprove faith claims. The person making the claim has a duty to convince you that they are correct. If they can't do this, then you are under no obligation to accept the claim. The importance of this grows with the absurdity of the claim. Christianity is an absurd claim. Very absurd. So unless there is a reason to accept it, we are well within our rights to simply dismiss it as silly. There is much more that can be said about this. It's an interesting topic. I'm glad you brought it up. Welcome to ExC!
  3. Today
  4. On Faith and True Knowledge

    @TinMan There is something I have been pondering lately, well, it has always been there I just did not realize what I was dealing with at the time. I have been considering the difference between faith claims and what we can ascertain to be true knowledge. When I say true knowledge, I do not necessarily imply we have a complete understanding, but we could reasonably say it matches reality as humans understand it because it has an existential element to it, i.e., we can test it, observe it, or verify it to some extent. A read through of BAA and Dude's thread on Complete vs Limited Understanding might be a start. This was a very interesting topic on understanding, truth etc I mention this because I am struggling to get a grasp on faith claims (in this case, explicitly the Bible or tradition passed down the church) and how they are to be understood. Even more specifically, there are a lot of different faith claims floating around in different denominations and I can reasonably say, almost none are able to be verified or placed in a category of true knowledge as I described above. I have an example from today, I ran across this Linkedin profile where this gentleman had wrote a whole blog on the different types of people who are going to be in hell. Faith claims are not isolated to the bible. Thus a great thing to bring up with religious people is that people from other religions also have faith claims. Why doesn't (say a Christian) accept the faith claims of a Muslim or Hindu? Once they can answer that then they know why you reject their faith claims. Women who wore hoop earrings People who listened to secular music Women who wore trousers Couples who have sex with the woman on top (no kidding, this was actually stated) I wouldn't say this is a faith claim. Rather its someone's opinion. Stupid, illogical opinion at that. "Hell exists" is a faith claim. You are going to hell because of x y or z is an opinion. Not only that, the Bible does not have what I consider a divine stamp. It has human hands all over it, we are unable to actually verify if it is indeed inspired by God, therefore the authority of the Bible becomes another faith claim. Actually I would say we are able to verify some of the claims made. And because they do not past the verification test we can reject them. One claim is how the world was made in Genesis - we can reject that. The Exodus, we can reject that. The flood story, we can reject that. These are things we can test, and find out that they fail the test. Jesus promise of "returning soon". We can reject that. One of my questions would be, if God truly does love us as so many claim, why would there not be evidence for the Bible or claims within Christianity that could be subjected to the scientific method or any other verifiable method to determine what exactly we should believe and how we should live? Do modern humans demand too much so far as evidence goes? No, considering there are 2 billion Christians, and most just believe on faith I would say there is an extreme lack of demand for evidence. If people demanded evidence Christianity would fall over tomorrow. Tying into the previous question, if we all lived in the first century, would we find the claims for the Christian faith compelling, and if so, why? I ask this question because perhaps modern humans do not see the world as the ancients did and that is why a lot of us end up leaving the faith. That would depend on our level of scepticism I guess. It can be shown that if you are inclined to believe one false thing, then you are more susceptible to believe other false things. The reason for my post is because I do have a lot, and I mean a lot of doubts about the Christian faith but I am always plagued by the "what if." What if the answer is really obvious but I missed it and end up regretting it after I die and I end up standing in front of the Christian God. Am I being unreasonable for wanting to verify the claims and to truly understand what is expected? No, you are not being unreasonable. No just God would judge any honest investigation. However if there is a God and he is a prick then I wouldn't want to worship him anyway. But let me suggest that you do not have these worries about meeting any other God apart from the one you were brought up to believe in. Think of that. Do you worry about running into Hades? Or Zeus. Anubis? I know a lot of you have put the idea of Christianity to bed, but I am not sure how you did it. How plausible is it our first example is actually correct and God has what we consider very extreme and/or outrageous expectations. How plausible is the second example? How plausible is it any of it is true by either modern day or historical reasoning? Curious to hear different takes on it because I am losing my mind over it. As much as I would like to say "this is not true and I have nothing to fear," I am afraid I do not know how to disprove any of the faith claims just as I am unable to prove any of them. One of the first things is to be comfortable with not knowing 100%. Can I give you a gift wrapped 100% guarantee that the Christian God doesn't exist? No. But I can't do that for my transcendent unicorn either. What we can say, is based on everything we know, all the information we can currently gather, the existence of God is very unlikely.
  5. Just a curious being here

    Welcome to Ex-c! I think you should start a topic in the Spirituality Section and allow the people who are longing for some kind of spiritual walk in 'the universe', to be able to post there? PM me and I'll let you in. The reason I suggest this is because if you go stay here in the Lions Den, you will have to prove what you are stating about this spiritual concept. So I'll leave this up to you. Thanks, new friend. (hug) @Soul The Spirituality Section allows for a much friendlier discussion.
  6. It's a legal entity, usually with limited liability. You think that legal corporations are the problem? Companies do no run themselves. People do.
  7. Evolution is intelligent

    And gone again.
  8. On Faith and True Knowledge

    You seem like a science and philosophy oriented guy who was raised in a Christian home and sent to church as a child. If I am wrong, then I guess I am just seeing myself in you. I would recommend looking into cultural anthropology. Christianity looks quite impressive when it is standing by itself and you have been saturated by Christian apologetics. But when you study other primitive cultures and notice how they all created gods you start to see a pattern. Put Jehovah next to Odin, Zeus and Osiris and suddenly they all look silly. But then when you realize that humans have created thousands of gods then it becomes clear that the Christian god is just one more of the same. It is human nature to create gods. We still do it today but modern gods are called "superheroes" and they live in comic books. Really it is the same thing. Christians should not be allowed to get away with special pleading. They should demonstrate that their god had earned an exception or else their god should be dismissed the same way Christians dismiss all the other gods people have invented.
  9. Evolution is intelligent

    What happened to it yesterday? Are the mods pickin on ya?
  10. Evolution is intelligent

    Annnnnd, he's back.
  11. Just a curious being here

    " God is the Seed of all creation but he creates the world in a very different way than anyone is aware of. " God shared this with you? I'm so jealous.
  12. .... wtf. Try the laundry pod challenge!!!

    Gold paint is still king in my book.
  13. Just a curious being here

    You might actually want to investigate the origins & evolution of the Bible & the Christian Faith before you start lecturing anyone about what you believe. You will discover folks here know considerably more about the Bible & the Christian Faith than believers do. I suggest you stop reading apologist. & start reading historians like Dr. Bart Ehrman. And by the way the "God" you are worshipping is actually a Canaanite war God that was adopted as the one true God by the Israelites, who were originally Canaanite's too & were never slaves in Egypt. Oh yeah, Moses & the Exodists story are not true. That never happened.
  14. Just a curious being here

    @Soul, Aside from the touchy-feeling bullshit please provide real world evidence of your accretions. And with that perhaps this topic should be taken to the Lion's Den... Thank you.
  15. You might find the book The Fabricated Paul by Hermann Detering or The Colossal Apostle by Robert M Price helpful. They are but two of many scholars that believe the evidence indicates Paul was a literary character not a real person. Just as the evidence suggest Jesus wasn't a real person either. They believe the evidence indicates the Epistles were written by Marcion & Simon Magus. Christianity is a Gnostic religion. The Gospel of John & the Epistles are Gnostic. There were different versions of the Gnostic beliefs just as there are different versions of Christianity. Marcion & Simon Magus "discovered" Pauls Epistles in the early part of the second century. It is common knowledge among all scholars the Bible has been edited, redacted, and parts completely rewritten, as Ehrman noted in one of his books, more times than there are even words in it. That makes present day Bible's virtually useless as a reliable source for much of anything, that and the fact the Bible is literature (fictional stories) not an accurate historical record of anything. If you enjoy reading parables then you would enjoy reading the Bible. Problems arise when the reader starts believing the stories they are reading are about things that actually happened. If if you want to know what really happened you have to read a historian not an apologist, but we all know Christians would never do that because they really don't want to know the truth.
  16. BAA

    I'm grieving for BAA too but let's not pry too much. If he wanted me to know his last name I think he would have told me in a PM. He obviously cared about his family and would want us to respect their wishes and privacy. I was in envy of BAA because he had this talent for robust, tour-de-force analysis. He approached problems in the polar opposite to the way that I do so his insight was always useful to me. I told him how much I appreciated it on several occasions but now that feels so inadequate. I'm in tears. He was as good a friend as somebody could have on the internet. I only wish I had known him offline in the real world but it was not meant to be.
  17. It's coming. Not really sure what we can do to put Pandora back in the box. A bunch of my friends on FB got notified by Twitter this week that they had, *gasp!* been victims of Russian "bots" and had retweeted them. FB and Twitter are using algos now based on MSM resources and Snopes, two of the most unreliable and misinformative sources of info out there. Corps are working with the governments to herd us all into our little corners so that we don't share info with those outside our narrow groups if it's not info they don't want shared. If all you're doing is trading barbs over the Democrats or the GOP or sharing cat pics, you'll be fine. But if you criticize Israel, the two party system, etc... you'll get ghost-banned.
  18. Now this is great advise.
  19. BAA

    It probably wouldn't be that hard to figure it out. His last post was somewhere around the last couple of days in November and we know his accident was at the end of November, so you could probably google his first name plus car accident along with the date.
  20. I'm always amazed at the people who are NOT in the 1% still want everything to favor that 1% not realizing it's at their own expense. History clearly shows time after time that uncontrolled capitalists (robber barons) will destroy competition as they destroy natural resources, pollute the environment as they take advantage of their employees - children when they can get them. These abuses are the reason a civilized society has laws and regulations to protect the majority from predators. How can anyone not see that?
  21. Evolution is intelligent

    Individuals do not evolve. Tiny changes happen from having children. Children are slightly different than their parents. If the differences bounce back and forth from one generation to the next then it won't be noticeable. However if the changes all go in a similar direction then after many generations the differences will stack and the whole group will be slightly different. Also birds and mammals are on different branches. Look at a tree. The branches spread away from the trunk. Once they shoot off the branches don't join up and merge again. The way trees grow is a perfect visual metaphor for how species spread out over time.
  22. Jonah and the whale

    Hey DB, it’s good to know your son has joined us: I hope he introduces himself soon - or has he already done that?
  23. And in the meantime, the next best thing we can get is democratic socialism which is proven to work pretty well... for everyone except the 1 % but fuck them. Now see BO bust an artery reading that.
  24. Not to forget that the crisis has never been solved. The journaille just first re-reported it into a national debts crisis then fell more and more silent about it. The crap finance products are still the elephant, naye, the 30-ton blue whale in the room that everyone tries desperately to ignore. Let alone that the banksters, fresh after getting bailed out by taxpayer money ("the government is not to meddle with private enterprise... until we fuck up, then it's the gov's duty to help us out of our own hole!!!"), immediately started the next round of bubble-inflating gambles. Nothing has changed, at least not for the better. Sooner or later the entire system will explode right in our fucking faces, unless we (as a global society) work to correct the market in slow, stomachable steps before then.
  25. Progress?

    Which brings Mormonism and others to mind. I don't see the early churches as anything different to Judaism than Mormonism is to Christianity. One great big heretical venture that could only fool so many. And if Mormonism would have captured the attention of an Empire, it could have gone huge, by force. Even though it's just as patchy against Christianity as Christianity was against Judaism.....
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