GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

What are your thoughts on god? Part 3

POSTED BY: CHRISTHECYNIC
UPDATED: Saturday, January 21, 2006 20:51
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 4:33 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


The title is what this is, this is for you to say your thoughts on god, if you didn't see the other parts that's no problem, jump right in. We were just getting too long for some users connection speed. (I've never had a thread successful enough for that to happen before.)

Now this is not for debate, nor conversion, but that doesn't mean you can’t respond to people. I do almost constantly.

If you don't understand something and want clarification, if you want to say, "That reminds me I/some people think ____," or simply, "That's cool," feel free to respond to people. In fact feel free to respond to people in any way that is not hostile.

-

While I'm not going to tell you what terminology to use I want to clear something up, there are three stances on belief

1 I believe there is at least one god.
2 I do not believe.
3 I believe there is no god.

2 and 3 are both forms of atheism, 2 is the Agnostic stance as well as that of Soft Atheists, 3 is commonly known simply as Atheism but is more accurately Hard Atheism

Thinking of 2 and 3 as the same thing because neither believes in god is just as incorrect as thinking of 1 and 2 as the same thing because neither believes there is no god.

-

To start off the last two threads I said my thoughts, to sort of get the ball rolling or some such, so here goes again:

I do believe in god, and I also believe in science, I do not think the two contradict at all. For one thing I don't see why god would violate the laws of nature god created. Another thing is something someone, an atheist in fact, brought up in part two: "Everything is within the natural world. If you find something you think must be outside nature, then the very fact you can see it, measure it, or observe it's effects on the world in any way means it is natural, even if you can't explain it."

So if someone (or god) does perform a miracle we can see it, measure it, and observe its effects. It would be studied and examined and eventually explained, that is what science does. Plenty of things that were once impossible are now accepted. If god did stuff that we couldn't see, measure, or observe the effects of no one would care much about god.

I think god does care about us, and is a lot nicer than usually given credit for. On the other hand I also think god isn't a totalitarian, "I will control what you think," kind of being so that kind of limits power.

I don't believe very strongly in organized religion, I'd prefer organized education, teaching religious texts and putting them in context, but letting people decide on their own what to accept, even if that is nothing.

I also don't think any religion has it all right.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 4:59 AM

IMALEAF


I have mixed feelings. I believe life is easier if you know it isn't everything, if you know that there is more. But I do believe that if God is up there watching he thinks religion is the mistakes we made one on top of the other trying to prove our loyalty. And that there has to be a better way to warship Him.

I also so believe that without God death will be easier. No thinking, no looking for our first spouse while being tracked down by our second spouse or looking for that lost leg. Anyone who studies physics, or always wonders how things work might get this point of view. I am pretty sure that I would go insane trying to figure out how time and universe works. Too much to know for one person but I don’t think I could ever stop looking for the answers. Since I want to know all I can in life I think of death as that break I would never let myself have. Life is easier believing someone is pulling the cosmic strings but for me death would be easier if nothing happens after it.


"I want to know God's thoughts......the rest are just details."
-Albert Einstein

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 6:09 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


I'm still disappointed that no one responded to my post in part 2 at all. Sometimes I wonder if my posts are invisible and no one can read them. Hello? Can you see me? Or are my opinions really just that boring?

"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 6:10 AM

RIVER6213


The only reason I dont put a gun to my head and pull the trigger, and blow my brainpan away, is because suicide is a sin, and I think you get sent straight to hell for that.

I believe in God and also evolution. I think god uses evolution for hiz own ends. I don't believe god is perfect, and he/she makes mistakes....big ones.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 6:37 AM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by queenofthenorth:
I'm still disappointed that no one responded to my post in part 2 at all. Sometimes I wonder if my posts are invisible and no one can read them. Hello? Can you see me? Or are my opinions really just that boring?



I went back and looked. I read your statement, but saw no question. Maybe it was invisible. Could you please repeat it?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 6:46 AM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
I don't believe god is perfect, and he/she makes mistakes....big ones.



If a person doesn't believe God is perfect, I can see why they might find it difficult to fully trust Him.

If you can indulge me but a moment...

To cut to the brief, the last 3 years of my life have been a horrible mess. Just one major catastrophe after another. I won't go into details here, because it would make this thread too long to load (and Chris knows how I dislike long threads), but just suffice it to say, that the closer I've drawn to the Lord, the worse my life has gotten.

Does this make me think that God has made a mistake? To the contrary. He never promised a rose garden -- in this life.

Look at Job. The Lord allowed his finances, possessions, home, family and health to be taken from him. Job didn't like losing those things, but he maintained his faith in God through it all.

The Lord eventually blessed Job, but never told him why he'd suffered. Most of us will never realize why certain things have happened to us. But, like Job, I say "though He slay me, yet I will praise Him."

We can't see the whole picture. Heck, we can't see hardly any of it. We don't expect infants to fully comprehend why we make them do certain things and prohibit them from doing others. And God is so far above us, that the difference in wisdom between Einstein and an amoeba is indistinguishable. How then can we question our Creator?

While it's not my place to tell anyone else what to do, it would be my desire that you would seek Him and trust Him. He will show you the way -- one step at a time.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 6:54 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


Quote:

Originally posted by cartoon:
Quote:

Originally posted by queenofthenorth:
I'm still disappointed that no one responded to my post in part 2 at all. Sometimes I wonder if my posts are invisible and no one can read them. Hello? Can you see me? Or are my opinions really just that boring?



I went back and looked. I read your statement, but saw no question. Maybe it was invisible. Could you please repeat it?



Oh, I didn't have any questions. I just thought others might have comments on my thought-provoking, highly intelligent, and infinitely fascinating post. I guess not, though. I certainly thought that "anything is possible" comment of mine might get a few skeptics jumping, but it didn't. Oh well.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:19 AM

URSULA


I believe the more we learn scientifically, the closer we are to understanding the mind of God.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 8:12 AM

CARTOON


Okay.

And, here I thought that your posts were invisible.

Anyhow, one part of your ten-thousand page treatise did catch my eye. The bit about how do we know anything we haven't seen is true?

Along those lines....

I wish I can remember where I read it, but I read somewhere (within the past year or so) that there is more ancient documentation supporting the accuracy of the Bible (Old Testatment) than there is supporting all other ancient writings (older than 2,000 years old) combined.

Maybe it was in the affore-mentioned Lee Strobel's "Case for Christ" book? I can't say for sure. My mind isn't quite what it used to be. And to be honest, it was never what I imagine it to be.

In other words, there are more existing copies of manuscripts which support the Hebrew scriptures (and even more of the Greek New Testament) than there are for anything else related to the ancient world period.

And believe it or not, there are people out there who wouldn't hesitate to say that Julius Caesar, Alexander, even Ramses actually existed and did the most of the things accredited to them, but don't believe in the accuracy of events accredited to Jesus, David, Moses.

If I can find whatever it was that I'm referring to, I'll post it later.

I just moved a few weeks ago (after having all of my stuff in storage for 18 months), so everything isn't easily accessible (if it even still exists).

I wish I can blame the disarray of my mental processes on the recent move, but alas, I cannot.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 8:29 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


Aha! So my posts are visible to the human eye! Well, unless you have some special post-reading ability you haven't told me about.

Anyways, I wasn't talking about the bible specifically. I believe that most of the bible is accurate, and the stuff that isn't has been messed around with by people.

But yeah, I'm of the school of thought that pretty much anything is possible or could be real. Hell, I believe King Arthur and Santa Claus could have possibly existed at some point. Whether they do or not, who knows? And is all the stuff written about them accurate? Highly unlikely. People mess with written stuff and change it to suit them. But I believe in Jesus and Moses just as much as Caesar, you know. Feel free to tell me more when you've got your mind straightened out, though.

"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

"Sucker! Competitive violence, that's why you're here!"

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 8:37 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Gee, I was gonna say

2) I do not believe....

but the way you put it, maybe I should say 2.5 intstead? Definitions as to what God™ is vary. There is much in the Cosmos which is greater than man, but I don't equate any of that to a Supreme Being.

So, I'll keep this simple. Unlike Mulder, I do NOT beleive. Instead, I'll go with what Carl Sagan said.. I do not want to believe, I want to KNOW. For Book's sake, I'll say I believe in science, but only for what it is, and not for any promises that it may hold. Science is a tool, a method by which we understand our surroundings, what and how things occur. But not always the WHY things occur. It rains because conditinos which favor rain to fall are present, and not out of any requirement for it to rain.



" They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself. "

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:14 AM

PHOEBE


I do not believe! In fact I carry a strong torch *against* religion. My response to religious folks is - spell god back to front and tell me what you get.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:49 AM

USMC


Quote:

Originally posted by cartoon:
Okay.

And, here I thought that your posts were invisible.

Anyhow, one part of your ten-thousand page treatise did catch my eye. The bit about how do we know anything we haven't seen is true?

Along those lines....

I wish I can remember where I read it, but I read somewhere (within the past year or so) that there is more ancient documentation supporting the accuracy of the Bible (Old Testatment) than there is supporting all other ancient writings (older than 2,000 years old) combined.

Maybe it was in the affore-mentioned Lee Strobel's "Case for Christ" book? I can't say for sure. My mind isn't quite what it used to be. And to be honest, it was never what I imagine it to be.

In other words, there are more existing copies of manuscripts which support the Hebrew scriptures (and even more of the Greek New Testament) than there are for anything else related to the ancient world period.

And believe it or not, there are people out there who wouldn't hesitate to say that Julius Caesar, Alexander, even Ramses actually existed and did the most of the things accredited to them, but don't believe in the accuracy of events accredited to Jesus, David, Moses.

If I can find whatever it was that I'm referring to, I'll post it later.

I just moved a few weeks ago (after having all of my stuff in storage for 18 months), so everything isn't easily accessible (if it even still exists).

I wish I can blame the disarray of my mental processes on the recent move, but alas, I cannot.




Not to argue, but just a correction. Many people think there religion is the best, so its no biggy that you say "Period" in your statement, but the facts are noone knows for sure the oldest/documented/accurate religion. But if you were to research it ,unbiased of course, you would find hinduism is actually meets your critaria much more accuratly. I am not arguing for this religion, I for one do not believe in any entity (god) of any sort. Just want to correct you, in case this arguement leads others to a different path. I am a history buff, a horrible pet peave, sry : )

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:56 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by queenofthenorth:
I'm still disappointed that no one responded to my post in part 2 at all. Sometimes I wonder if my posts are invisible and no one can read them. Hello? Can you see me? Or are my opinions really just that boring?


Would you please repeat yourself in this part?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 10:06 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by Phoebe:
I do not believe! In fact I carry a strong torch *against* religion.


I meant to say, and did in at least one of the other versions of this thread, that I'm asking about god NOT religion.

Quote:

My response to religious folks is - spell god back to front and tell me what you get.

Canine.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:04 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


Quote:

Originally posted by Phoebe:
I do not believe! In fact I carry a strong torch *against* religion. My response to religious folks is - spell god back to front and tell me what you get.



I take that to mean that you think dog is an insult. While I know lots of people use it as such, I don't think it is. Dogs are some of the most loyal companions a person could ever hope to know and have probably the purest souls on the planet. Certainly much purer than humans. Which makes them a very good thing, to my way of thinking.

Now, if you spelt a name for God backwards and got human, that might be an insult. Also, not to be extremely nitpicky, but I'm pretty sure this argument only works for English, not any other language. And English is by no means the oldest or even most widely spoken language out there.

Don't take this to mean a personal attack. And I'm also not religious in the sense that I follow any religion. You'll see what I mean when I repeat my post from Part 2 per Christhecynic's request. I'm just a dog lover.

"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

"Sucker! Competitive violence, that's why you're here!"

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:06 AM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by USMC:
Not to argue, but just a correction. Many people think there religion is the best, so its no biggy that you say "Period" in your statement, but the facts are noone knows for sure the oldest/documented/accurate religion. But if you were to research it ,unbiased of course, you would find hinduism is actually meets your critaria much more accuratly.



Hi. Don't worry, no offense taken. Thanks for the input. And I'd never consider arguing with a military man (never in the military, myself, but like yourself, I enjoy history -- and the military parts are certainly the most interesting).

Also, whether I agree with you or not (and I don't on your beliefs), I respect anyone who serves their country as you have/are. Thank you.

(Why is there no emoticon for "salute"???)

Now, onto your point...

I wasn't saying (or mean to imply) that because there is more ancient manuscript documentation related to the scriptures that they are "true" (which I believe they are), but was trying to make a point that (for instance) many people accept as fact that Julius Caesar was murdered by the Roman Senate on March 15th in the year 44 BC (or whenever it was -- I'm too lazy to look it up), when there is far more ancient, historical manuscripts of the Bible, which they often dismiss entirely, or at best think is just "silly".



Okay. I just dug it up, and that bit about the shere number of ancient manuscripts corroborating the Bible (as opposed to things from secular history) was indeed from Strobel's book "The Case For Christ" (specifically chapter 3 - pps 60-61). I won't quote the bits here, unless requested, as they're somewhat lengthy.



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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:11 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


There. Here's the repeat of my previously invisible post, in case anyone missed getting hit over the head by my opinions.


Okay, I have lots of thoughts on god, life, the universe, and everything. So bear with me, cuz this is prolly gonna be a long post.

First off, I'll start by saying that I believe in a higher power. A being of divine wisdom that created us and everything, blah blah blah, etc. For convenience's sake, I will hereafter refer to this higher power as "God". It's shorter and easier to type than higher power. I believe that God is an embodiment of everything, an "all-in-one" kind of deal, male, female, father, child, hunter, hunted, and so forth.

Now, as to why I believe in God, it's simple. To look at the infinite vast complexity of the universe, the earth, all the species on it, not to mention just how complex people themselves are, and to attribute all that to some accidental "big bang" seems EXTREMELY farfetched to me, even moreso than the concept of God. I also think "big bang" is quite possibly the dumbest, most unoriginal name a person could think of for that occurence, but that's not the point.

Then there's also how people's lives turn out. Yes, I do believe we have free will and the ability to make our own choices and all that, but looking at the way things end up in people's lives even if that's not the way they thought or wanted things to happen, leads me to believe there must be something guiding or directing us.

Take, for example, the way my parents met. My dad left home at the age of 17 and traveled all over western Canada moving from job to job. One day he just happens to be in Red Deer, Alberta, and sees an ad on a bulletin board for a job in Ponoka, a little town that he'd never heard of before. So, he packs up his bags, heads to Ponoka, and gets the job. He then meets my mother at the bowling alley (they're both bowlers) and then they date, blah blah, and get married. But when you think about all the circumstances and other things that had to happen in order for my parents' paths to cross and for them to get married and have me and my brother, it gets very hard to believe that all this could happen by accident. I mean, if my dad had never seen that ad, there would be two people who wouldn't exist (me and my brother), and his life and my mom's life would be completely different, which in turn would affect probably hundreds of other lives. So it seems ridiculous to me to assume that something isn't guiding all of this.

So yeah, those are my compelling reasons to believe in God. That being said, I am not a religious church-goer. I do believe in God, and I try to live my life being a good person, not stealing, killing, and trying not to lie, etc. However, I don't follow any religion, because I believe that religions are man-made, fallible, entirely too flawed, and hypocritical. Not to mention, a lot of the religious people I've met have been some of the worst people that I've met.
Like my cousin's grandma, for example. (Not the one that we share, but their other grandma.) She was a very religious Christian, went to church twice a week, had lots of Jesus stuff, didn't even use the word "stupid" because she figured it was a swear-word. She was also the meanest bitch I've ever met. She treated my aunt like absolute crap because she didn't think my aunt was good enough for her precious son. Not to mention the way she treated me because she thought I was a bad influence on my cousins. She also treated all their friends absolutely horribly. Nobody, not even my cousins or her son, was really sad when she died. Which sounds horrible to say, but it's true. And she lived her life around a religion that is supposed to teach kindness and tolerance of others. Apparently she wasn't getting the message, even though she heard it all the time.

There's also the way that religions or religious intolerances have been responsible for some of mankind's most horrible atrocities: Crusades, Salem witch trials, Holocaust, 9/11, etc. People who believe they have the right to kill or judge in God's name because of religions just freak the hell out of me. This is not to say that I think all religious people are bad. I know some very good religious people. It's just it's too easy for fanaticism to lead people down the wrong path. This is why I will never participate in any religion. I will believe in God and do my best to be a good person, but I will never follow a man-made religion.

A little aside about supernatural stuff: I think anything is possible. Ghosts, aliens, what have you. To say that you know for sure something is impossible or doesn't exist is to say that you know everything, which is a statement I am not comfortable making. So I'll just believe that everything is possible, even if some things I never actually see for myself. Hell, I've never actually seen the South Pole - how do I know that exists?

Herein ends my lengthy post, if anybody actually read this far.




"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

"Sucker! Competitive violence, that's why you're here!"

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:23 AM

CARTOON


I'd almost swear that someone posted something between my previous post and this one.






Nah. I must be imagining things. There's nothing there.














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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:40 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


Hey now, that's really not funny . . .

Oh, wait, actually it is. Please continue.

"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

"Sucker! Competitive violence, that's why you're here!"

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:45 AM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by queenofthenorth:
Hey now, that's really not funny . . .

Oh, wait, actually it is. Please continue.



Not sure I want to provoke someone whose signature boasts about how they can kill people with their brains.

Let's just pretend I'm not here.







Actually, I'm not.

Well, I'm here (where I am), but not where the rest of you folks are. Unless, of course, you're actually here, too. No. I'd see you then.

Hmmm...

I think we've strayed from the subject of this thread. Chris will be most irrate. My apologies in advance.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:52 AM

HEB


I think Lee Strobel's book stated that there were more surviving copies of the bible than other manuscripts not that there were more surviving supporting documents. But it's been a while since I read it so it's worth double checking that.
I think the point of this argument was to support how reliable the current bible is as a copy of the original text, so how accururately the bible was passed down.

The issue of supporting documents is another matter. I'm pretty sure the first mention of Jesus by a non-Christian historian (who didn't mention the resurrection) was many years later and in my (non-expert) opinion you can't historically prove a guy was resurrected nearly 2000 years ago.

...................
Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:58 AM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
and in my (non-expert) opinion you can't historically prove a guy was resurrected nearly 2000 years ago.



I fully concur (and I say that as someone who does believe that Jesus bodily resurrected).

However, the resurrection is the thrust of any belief in Christ as Messiah, and I believe the way Strobel related to that subject in his book was well-handled, and made a lot of sense to me. Obviously, not everyone agrees.

I believe you're also right about the surviving documents bit. But, that was the point I was trying to make. There are more surviving manuscript copies of the Bible (Old and New) than everything else from that time period, combined. I believe the point Strobel (and I) was trying to point out that if people will believe that Alexander conquered Persia on the basis of (I don't know, I'm making up figures) 3 contemporary (or close-to-contemporary) documents, why should they disbelieve the accuracy of the Bible which has hundreds or thousands of contemporary (or close-to-contemporary) documents?


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:05 PM

HEB


Well I'm not an expert on Alexander or Persia but I should imagine that there is evidence for this in more than one of the historical categories of evidence. For example archaeological evidence (coins perhaps?) and that the event was covered in more than one document. Although I will concede that these documents are likely to exist in fewer copies than the bible.

I also think there's a difference between prooving that someone commanded an army that conquered a country and proving that someone rose from the dead, (which also has a lot fewer eye witnesses than the conquering of a country).

I will try and find the link I read about historical evidence when I'm not supposed to be writing a biology essay.

...................
Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:13 PM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
Well I'm not an expert on Alexander or Persia but I should imagine that there is evidence for this in more than one of the historical categories of evidence. For example archaeological evidence (coins perhaps?) and that the event was covered in more than one document.



Yes. There are coins and other other archeological things. Mostly just names and inscriptions, though, not historical accounts. For those, we have very few contemporary manuscripts.

And when I say "contemporary", I'm willing to go several hundred years beyond the fact -- which is usually where you have to go for anything from this period. There's very few actual contemporary accounts of anything from antiquity -- with the exception of the New Testament, where all of the books of the NT (by most established conservative accounts) were written within 20 to 50 years of the events which are portrayed in them (and written by people who claim to be eyewitnesses of said events).

Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
I also think there's a difference between prooving that someone commanded an army that conquered a country and proving that someone rose from the dead, (which also has a lot fewer eye witnesses than the conquering of a country).



Again, I'll fully agree.

I wasn't talking strictly about evidence of resurrection accounts, though, just the textual verity of the ancient manuscripts (of both Hebrew old and Greek new testaments).

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:26 PM

HEB


Yeah I agree about the large number of bible manuscripts.

Can I ask, if it's not too personal, why you believe in the resurrection? Is it from a historical perspective or for spiritual or philosophical reasons? Or because you believe the bible as a whole for spiratual reasons?

Thanks

heb



...................
Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:37 PM

PHOEBE


My post was mainly referring to god :p Just verging onto religion. I'm anti-religion because at the core I believe there is no god. That god is just a creation of humans to instill fear and/or obedience.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:45 PM

RIVER6213


Sorry to be bit of a bore, but what exactly is the purpose of this thread? I'm not in any way offended by this topic, I'm just curious.

Didnt you have a part 1 and 2 of this topic? Did you not obtain the information that you sought when you started it, or is this a food-for-thought sort of thread, where you are attempting to get us to seek god or something?

If it is the latter, trust me, god will plague us all one way or another until we hit the grave, through people and things; for all there is no escape which is rather sad because some of us want to escape.

I wish God had minded his own business and left creation of earth and humans alone....especially me; I was doing quite fine in the world of the unliving.

Some people just can't seem well enough alone, and in that area, I can clearly see that man was indeed created in the image of God.


Just a thought.




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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:45 PM

RIVER6213


Sorry to be bit of a bore, but what exactly is the purpose of this thread? I'm not in any way offended by this topic, I'm just curious.

Didnt you have a part 1 and 2 of this topic? Did you not obtain the information that you sought when you started it, or is this a food-for-thought sort of thread, where you are attempting to get us to seek god or something?

If it is the latter, trust me, god will plague us all one way or another until we hit the grave, through people and things; for all there is no escape which is rather sad because some of us want to escape.

I wish God had minded his own business and left creation of earth and humans alone....especially me; I was doing quite fine in the world of the unliving.

Some people just can't seem well enough alone, and in that area, I can clearly see that man was indeed created in the image of God.


Just a thought.




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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:47 PM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
Can I ask, if it's not too personal, why you believe in the resurrection? Is it from a historical perspective or for spiritual or philosophical reasons? Or because you believe the bible as a whole for spiratual reasons?



No, it's not too personal. As a matter-of-fact, as a Christian, I'm commanded to give reason for my faith. I won't push it, but I'll state it matter-of-factly, and if queried, am more than happy to comply.

I was raised with the Bible, and initially just accepted it as fact because I trusted the people telling me about it (mostly my mother). But then, I know a lot of people who were raised with the Bible who later fell away, so that (in itself) isn't sufficient.

In my twenties, I came to personally receive the Lord as my Savior -- at which time, I started studying the scriptures in more detail. I even have an interlinear Hebrew-English OT and Greek-English NT. I can't read either Hebrew or Greek (unfortunately, languages aren't my strong point), but I have good lexicons which help.

I've also studied and read a bit on hermeneutics (a study of how to interpret and read the scriptures in context) -- which I believe everyone (even skeptics) should know a little bit about, as they lay down some very basic rules on how to read something in context.

I think the historical evidence for the verity of the text of the scriptures is very compelling, and would probably lead me to trust the accuracy of the documents even if I were not a believer.

However, to be honest, no amount of historical evidence can make a person believe the nature of what's written therein. For that, one needs faith.

Given the number of ancient documents supporting the scriptures (as opposed to anicent documents supporting secular, historical events), I'd probably need more faith to believe that Alexander conquered Persia, than I would to believe that Jesus was cruficied and resurrected.

Nonetheless, to be honest, no amount of historical evidence can make a person believe the nature of what's written in Scripture. For that, one needs faith.

I can point out things which have happened in my life (and the lives of others I know or have heard about) which underscore that faith, but it won't make anyone else believe if they don't want to.

Certain things can be proven on face value (I'm standing on the ground, because I see my feet on the ground. Assuming I'm of rational mind and not dreaming, it would be hard to convince me otherwise.) Belief in God cannot be proven or forced.

That's why I find this thread interesting. I see people stating reasons why they believe or don't believe -- and while I can understand reasons for "unbelief", I cannot fully describe "belief", and do not attempt to do so.

Anyhow, I hope I've satisfactorily answered your question, and not put too many folks in here to sleep in the process. (Except for Queenofthenorth, who, quite frankly, needs to be sedated -- and often.)





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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:01 PM

HEB


See the thing is, for me, having not had a spiritual experience all I can go on is the historical evidence. You say 'for that you need faith' but that faith has to come from somewhere. Why have faith in the bible rather than the Koran? It seems like there are two ways you can get that faith in a religious book - through a spiritual experience pointing you towards it, or through believing what it says on the
basis that you think it's an accurate document. If you conclude that you belive in a God how do you decide you believe a particular document is the word of that God?

Some of this may come across as rhetorical but I am genuinely asking these questions.

Changing topic:

Are there a lot of historical documents that mention the resurrection? I only really know of a Josephus mention of Jesus and I think it was admitted that the passage on him being more than a man was unlikely to have been written by Josephus?

...................
Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:02 PM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
Sorry to be bit of a bore, but what exactly is the purpose of this thread? I'm not in any way offended by this topic, I'm just curious.

Didnt you have a part 1 and 2 of this topic? Did you not obtain the information that you sought when you started it, or is this a food-for-thought sort of thread, where you are attempting to get us to seek god or something?



Well, I can't speak as to the purpose of this thread, as I didn't start it. Chris would have to speak up here.

Speaking as to my participation in this thread, I believe I've covered as much near the end of my last post. I, like others in this thread, initially stated my beliefs. Any additional postings on my part was in response to (or a comment about) another posting.

Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
If it is the latter, trust me, god will plague us all one way or another until we hit the grave, through people and things; for all there is no escape which is rather sad because some of us want to escape.



Also, as I've said in my previous post (which was posted after you posted your question), I'm not trying to force my beliefs on anyone. I don't think anyone in this thread is. I think the various views of belief and unbelief have been very civil. And while I'm sure there are those who blatantly disagree with me (as I do with them), I don't see them trying to persuade me (nor am I trying to persuade them) -- we are merely stating our thoughts on this matter.


And while I won't push my beliefs on anyone, I know what helped (and still helps me) when I feel that way, and I hope that things will soon look brighter for you.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:41 PM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
Are there a lot of historical documents that mention the resurrection? I only really know of a Josephus mention of Jesus and I think it was admitted that the passage on him being more than a man was unlikely to have been written by Josephus?



Jesus is mentioned in the writings of Josephus -- which, as far as I know, were indeed written by Josephus.

Several years ago I read something about Jesus which was allegedly written by some Roman official back to his superior in Rome, which contemporaneously described Jesus (even physically).

While that alleged document is very complementary to Jesus, and goes as far as endorsing Biblical claims as anyone could even hope for from a non-biblical, secular source (and who among us wouldn't like an actual physical description of Jesus -- just out of curiosity), I don't put too much credence in the report. My personal belief is that it's a forgery.

I'm not aware of any others. Not saying they're not out there. I just haven't run across any to the best of my recollection. Sorry.

P.S. I used to have the complete works of Josephus. (Alas, no more.) I sort of recall Josephus mentioning that it was "reported" (or some such) that Jesus rose from the dead. I wish I had it, to check. My memory isn't a shadow of what it used to be.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:59 PM

OAK


I tend to believe in things I can see. The Sun is our Father and the Earth is our Mother.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 2:03 PM

HEB


So I'm not sure I understand what you were saying earlier. Are you saying that the supporting evidence for the bible on events other than the ressurection verifies its accuracy and so you also believe it on the issue of the resurrection even if that event itself isn't supported by other evidence?

I'm off to bed now I'm afraid so wont be able to reply till tomorrow but this discussion has been really interesting thanks.

Heb

...................
Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood
.................
I wear the cheese. It does not wear me.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 2:15 PM

CARTOON


Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
So I'm not sure I understand what you were saying earlier. Are you saying that the supporting evidence for the bible on events other than the ressurection verifies its accuracy and so you also believe it on the issue of the resurrection even if that event itself isn't supported by other evidence?



We keep this up, and Chris is going to kick us out of here. He's already irritated with me for that business with QOTN.

To clarify (at your request), I do believe there's enough historical evidence to support belief in the general verity of the authencity of the Scriptures (both Hebrew & Greek). Historical evidence, however, does little to support the verity of the accounts in scripture, which I take mostly on faith.

The same applies to my belief in the resurrection. There are bits and pieces of evidence as well as circumstantial evidence, etc. (see Strobel's book for specifics), which support a secular, non-biblical basis to believe it happened, but they are not the primary reason I believe it to be true (which is faith).

If you require additional clarification, please contact me, as not to completely bore everyone else in here to death with my attempts at an explanation of what I believe and why.

Quote:

Originally posted by heb:
I'm off to bed now I'm afraid so wont be able to reply till tomorrow but this discussion has been really interesting thanks.



You're welcomed.

Chris, if this keeps up, we may need another chapter...

Sorry.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:20 PM

AERIN


Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
Sorry to be bit of a bore, but what exactly is the purpose of this thread?



I can't say why Chris started this thread, but I suspect it's the same reason I like reading it. I find it profoundly interesting to read what other people think on this topic, especially considering there are contributers from multiple contries. In this supportive, non-threatening venue people can write what they actually believe (I hope).

It's also a way to get to know people that seems less creepy than your average chat room, since we're all Browncoats. I think this is why there are threads relating to how you picked your name or what you do for a living. Such a diverse crowd.

Quote:

If it is the latter, trust me, god will plague us all one way or another until we hit the grave, through people and things; for all there is no escape which is rather sad because some of us want to escape.


Regardless of what you believe about god, I hope you realize there are lots of people on this site that care about you and are worried about you.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:43 PM

RIVER6213


Now THAT is something I find rather difficult to stomach, but it does sound nice, too bad its not true.

National anthems, and good speeches are great, beautiful, wonderful, and on the whole, full of hope. They sound good, and they provoke emotions. You want it all to be true, in your heart of hearts you want them to be true, but in reality, they are not.

This is how I view the human animal...good intentions, but in the end, they fail all, and one ends up sitting in the corner of their room, on the floor in the fetal position, with their thumb in their mouth saying: "Two by two, hands of blue, two by two, hands of blue..."

I had a point to make somewhere in all of this...

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 8:17 PM

CHOPPYBADGER


Well all I can say is I have no idea.
If there is such a thing I very much doubt it can be singularly labeled 'God'. I have never been one for Churches, Hymns, and this Worshippy slop. It never felt natural. Nearly all my uncles were preachers and all that good stuff. Never thought it right to grovel around. I personally think if something supernatural exists that created the Universe exists, it is something so large and powerful, it can not be labeled with a word, it is something that you know but you can not ever figure out a word to describe it. Labeling this something 'God' is kind of naive to me. Perhaps a throw-back to ancient times where humans' lives were held up by a thread. People were simple and rightfully scraped up the most hope they could get to live on and try to make a better world. Of course this simple and rational thing got the interests of people wanting to use this faith for their benefit. Throw in a few thousand years or so and you got religions and ideals of today. I personally think religions have been over-evolved. No one ever stops and ponders the basest ideals. That is where my thoughts on things came from, being smothered with all that religious mumbo-jumbo really got me thinking out of sheer spite. And what I found out is, it can not be explained in words, it can only be discovered yourself, through questioning everything we do as a society and a race. Does a mystical power exist beyond our plane of existence? Well heck if I know, if I could find out, I would not get much out of it, I couldn't explain it well, I probably couln't even truly comprehend it. For all we know, it might not be sentient, perhaps so powerful, sentience would be a waste for it. But people don't like thinking for themselves, they want an easy way out, even if it ends up being the hard way in the end. I think a great example of it is Bhuddhism. Though I am going from memory so it could be wrong. Bhuddha basically questioned everything that others took for granted and was able to simplify his life to the most basic thing a human needs, at least he thought he achieved it. What happened after? I remember hearing that Buddha did not want to be worshipped as a God since he knew he was just an enlightened man. But look what happened, Bhuddha did become a God because people don't want to simply give up all their needs, they want someone to tell them that someone or something is their God and they will be rewarded by worshipping it. Seriously, if you just do as good as humanly possible, help build a better world for the future of humanity, and live life to the fullest, you would not need to fear death or worry if you are going to live your afterlife in misery, because you did what you thought was best and had a full, happy life. Once you do this, these God and religion questions become irrelevant. That is my thoughts on the matter.

[IMG][/IMG]
Heresy grows from Grottiness...

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:44 PM

RIVER6213


When you break it all down to its most basic form, People just want to feel like they belong to something, and are useful, and are loved, liked, and respected, without conditions. And they also want to have something to offer.

Our parents, parents delivered sin and evil to our mothers and fathers....most likely we shall, or have already, delivered sin and evil to our children, and they shall in turn deliver evil unto their children... and so on, and so on...

Welcome to the Earth that currently is.



Bruce Wayne: "You kinda got a dark side to you don't you?"


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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 11:12 AM

MISBEHAVEN


I do not believe in any god, and it would seem to me that anyone who uses logic and reason to look at the question would not either. For far too many years, mankind has used god, gods, goddesses, religion etc. in a way that is detrimental to humanity. If I could remove one thing from this world it would be religion. Think of all the immeasurable suffering that has occurred in the name of any god. The Inquisiton, the crusades, wars of agression, Salem witch trials, human sacrifice and so on. And throughout it all not one of these gods ever manifesteded itself to its followers. If humanity put forth as much time, energy, and finances as it does towards religion to eradicating poverty, hunger, and war to name a few things, the world would be a much better place.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 11:39 AM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


Quote:

Originally posted by misbehaven:
I do not believe in any god, and it would seem to me that anyone who uses logic and reason to look at the question would not either. For far too many years, mankind has used god, gods, goddesses, religion etc. in a way that is detrimental to humanity. If I could remove one thing from this world it would be religion. Think of all the immeasurable suffering that has occurred in the name of any god. The Inquisiton, the crusades, wars of agression, Salem witch trials, human sacrifice and so on. And throughout it all not one of these gods ever manifesteded itself to its followers. If humanity put forth as much time, energy, and finances as it does towards religion to eradicating poverty, hunger, and war to name a few things, the world would be a much better place.



I think you're exactly right about religion. But to be fair, you can't really attribute all the stuff humanity does in the name of God to God. This is just humanity using God as a reason to go commit atrocities. If it wasn't religion they used for a reason, the sad fact of the matter is they would find something else. I mean, people could easily say, "Well, there is no God, so that means I could kill all these people and it really won't matter." I would eat my hat if humanity could ever solve all its problems, religion or no religion.

"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

"Of course I'm right. And if I'm not, may we all be horribly crushed from above somehow."

Like books? Go to this thread: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=14862
to find out how to buy mine!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 1:54 PM

MISBEHAVEN


I agree with you about humanity using religion as an excuse; however, I never intended to suggest that these things wouldn't occur if religion didn't exist. Nevertheless, I can't help but think that we'd all be better off without it. After all, it's not like you need commandments, precepts or laws to tell you that murder, stealing, lying, etc. are wrong.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 2:01 PM

QUEENOFTHENORTH


Quote:

Originally posted by misbehaven:
I agree with you about humanity using religion as an excuse; however, I never intended to suggest that these things wouldn't occur if religion didn't exist. Nevertheless, I can't help but think that we'd all be better off without it. After all, it's not like you need commandments, precepts or laws to tell you that murder, stealing, lying, etc. are wrong.



Yeah, that's true, but I think some people need the fear. I think they need the fear that God will punish them if they do these things in order to keep from doing them. That's one of the problems with the justice system nowadays. No one's afraid of the consequences anymore and so a lot more crimes are being committed.

Anyway, I personally have nothing to do with religions for the exact reasons that you said.

"I'm having one of those things - a headache with pictures."

"Of course I'm right. And if I'm not, may we all be horribly crushed from above somehow."

Like books? Go to this thread: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=2&t=14862
to find out how to buy mine!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 4:24 PM

MISBEHAVEN


Apparently many people do need to be afraid of being punished in order to do the right thing, but it still mystifies me that many people that I know to be otherwise intelligent human beings can actually believe that there's some omniscient being out there keeping track of everything they do.

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Friday, January 20, 2006 3:21 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by RiveR6213:
Sorry to be bit of a bore, but what exactly is the purpose of this thread? I'm not in any way offended by this topic, I'm just curious.

Didnt you have a part 1 and 2 of this topic?


Well the purpose is just to continue, conversation hasn't died down (or maybe it has I'm three days behind right now) and it was getting too long for some people with dial-up connections.

It is a food-for-thought thread and also getting information, that information being what others think.

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Friday, January 20, 2006 3:22 AM

J6NGO1977


Who? :D

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Friday, January 20, 2006 3:45 AM

CHRISTHECYNIC


Quote:

Originally posted by j6ngo1977:
Who? :D


He's this guy, well more of an androgynous fellow really, goes by a lot of names. Round here they call him God, but I've heard he's also known as Jehovah, YHVH, Allah, Brahmin, Ahura Mazda, Aten, and some other things, hell some call him by many names: Nyx, Zeus, Amen, Aten, Ra, Iuppiter, Hecate and Hera just to name a few. I’ve even heard talk of Tetraktys.

Of course he’s just this guy, you know.

-

Ok so that really has nothing to do with anything, but such is ... something.

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Friday, January 20, 2006 4:42 AM

JONUS


I do believe in God and I do accept Jesus. I don't call myself a Christian. Religions divide people, just like politics. I am simply a believer or a follower. I am not religious or spiritual. I just try to obey God's commandments and do the right thing.

I think people who say God isn't perfect or people that blame all the bad things on God are weak. In the beginning everything was perfect. Our knowledge of sin and our free-will are the causes of all bad things that happen. People are responsible for everything bad in this world. God doesn't want to hurt us. We do a pretty good job of hurting ourselves.

I don't understand something about people who don't believe in God. You must believe in God, you just deny it. Otherwise you would have killed yourself by now. If you don't believe in anything then why do you go on living?

Mal would kick Han Solo's ass.

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Friday, January 20, 2006 5:04 AM

JUMPY


Uhhh, I'm not going to go into how I feel about God but I just wanted to point out about the last post:

Jonus, just because you don't believe in God doesn't mean you can't enjoy your life. As some people believe, "if" this is all there is, I think it makes sense that people would want to live it out. There are a lot of wonderful things in this world and people want to experience them. They take them for what they are, not what they might mean.

Maybe its like eating or drinking things we like, take a really wonderful pasta as an example. You know the pasta has a nice flavour, you also know if you eat it eventually it'll be gone. So do you not eat it at all or do you enjoy it anyway? Different people would choose a different course of action, just like one person might kill themselves because they think life is meaningless, and another would enjoy it while they have it.

Hope that makes sense lol.


__________________________
There's no show I'd rather see, than the one with Serenity.
You can't take the sky from me...

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