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Postby DarthMonk » Mon May 06, 2013 9:41 am

Deadskins wrote:Cappster, just out of curiosity, do you believe people have a soul (that is a non-physical part of their existence)?


This is a crucial question.

The Christian answer is a clear yes.

For my brother, a teacher at a Jesuit school, true consciousness is something unique to humans and exists outside space and time.

My answer would be "I don't know." Thought, especially self-referential thought, can feel as if it is outside space and time. Of course, it could also merely be a chemical reaction that takes place inside my brain now.

I'm keeping an open mind on the topic. Is there a "seat of consciousness" or is what we call consciousness simply an extremely complex pattern?

There is a line of thought among the evolutionists concerning a concept called quantum consciousness that posits the first self-referential thought (Moses?) as being so shocking it was perceived as having come from without, i.e., that God was speaking to the person.
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Postby Mississippiskinsfan2 » Thu May 09, 2013 2:52 pm

Does the Universe Need God?
If we can make it work with out him does that mean there is no god?

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

In many religious traditions, one of the standard roles of the deity has been to create the universe. The first line of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, is a plain statement of this role. Much has happened, both in our scientific understanding of the universe and in the development of theology, since that line was first written. It's worth examining what those developments imply for the relationship between God and cosmology.

In some ways of thinking about God, there's no relationship at all; a conception of divinity that is sufficiently ineffable and transcendent may be completely separate from the workings of the physical world. In addition to the role of creator, God may also be invoked as that which sustains the world and allows it to exist, or more practically as an explanation for some of the specific contingent properties of the universe we observe.

Each of these possibilities necessarily leads to an engagement with science. Modern cosmology attempts to come up with the most powerful and economical possible understanding of the universe that is consistent with observational data. It's certainly conceivable that the methods of science could lead us to a self-contained picture of the universe that doesn't involve God in any way. If so, would we be correct to conclude that cosmology has undermined the reasons for believing in God, or at least a certain kind of reason?

This is not an open-and-shut question. We are not faced with a matter of judging the merits of a mature and compelling scientific theory, since we don't yet have such a theory. Rather, we are trying to predict the future: will there ever be a time when a conventional scientific model provides a complete understanding of the origin of the universe? Or, alternatively, do we already know enough to conclude that God definitely helps us explain the universe we see, in ways that a non-theistic approach can never hope to match?

Most modern cosmologists are convinced that conventional scientific progress will ultimately result in a self-contained understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe, without the need to invoke God or any other supernatural involvement. This conviction necessarily falls short of a proof, but it is backed up by good reasons.

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Postby Cappster » Fri May 10, 2013 7:28 am

Mississippiskinsfan2 wrote:Does the Universe Need God?
If we can make it work with out him does that mean there is no god?

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

In many religious traditions, one of the standard roles of the deity has been to create the universe. The first line of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, is a plain statement of this role. Much has happened, both in our scientific understanding of the universe and in the development of theology, since that line was first written. It's worth examining what those developments imply for the relationship between God and cosmology.

In some ways of thinking about God, there's no relationship at all; a conception of divinity that is sufficiently ineffable and transcendent may be completely separate from the workings of the physical world. In addition to the role of creator, God may also be invoked as that which sustains the world and allows it to exist, or more practically as an explanation for some of the specific contingent properties of the universe we observe.

Each of these possibilities necessarily leads to an engagement with science. Modern cosmology attempts to come up with the most powerful and economical possible understanding of the universe that is consistent with observational data. It's certainly conceivable that the methods of science could lead us to a self-contained picture of the universe that doesn't involve God in any way. If so, would we be correct to conclude that cosmology has undermined the reasons for believing in God, or at least a certain kind of reason?

This is not an open-and-shut question. We are not faced with a matter of judging the merits of a mature and compelling scientific theory, since we don't yet have such a theory. Rather, we are trying to predict the future: will there ever be a time when a conventional scientific model provides a complete understanding of the origin of the universe? Or, alternatively, do we already know enough to conclude that God definitely helps us explain the universe we see, in ways that a non-theistic approach can never hope to match?

Most modern cosmologists are convinced that conventional scientific progress will ultimately result in a self-contained understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe, without the need to invoke God or any other supernatural involvement. This conviction necessarily falls short of a proof, but it is backed up by good reasons.


Logic and reasoning are tools that science uses to help support its claims. This is why I have the mentality that makes me ponder if there is a god, it is nothing like that of which is written about in ancient texts. Example: Religion cannot disprove evolution (Pope John Paul II even endorsed evolution as scientific fact) which, I think, pretty much decimates the story of Adam and Eve. If the story of Adam and Eve isn't true in the literal sense, there was no need for some guy named Jesus to die for original sin. If there was no need for Jesus to die for our "sins," there is no purpose for the existence of Christianity.

The way I look at it, if one can present evidence that is scientific fact and that which comes into direct conflict with religious mythology, "faith" alone is not a reasonable counter argument to defend one's claim.
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Postby Deadskins » Fri May 10, 2013 8:08 am

Why are you always trying to force the Bible as a literal document onto people of faith? Almost no one who has done any serious religious study, considers the Bible's (particularly the Old Testament) stories to be absolutely factual accounts of events that happened thousands of years ago.
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Postby Cappster » Fri May 10, 2013 8:51 am

Deadskins wrote:Why are you always trying to force the Bible as a literal document onto people of faith? Almost no one who has done any serious religious study, considers the Bible's (particularly the Old Testament) stories to be absolutely factual accounts of events that happened thousands of years ago.


I find it rather amusing that you are offended by me using the bible and its biblical claims, which is the basis of Christianity, to challenge the validity of Christianity when people use the same texts to disapprove of such things as gay marriage. This is why Christianity is very well known as quite possibly the most cherry picked religion of them all. Some areas of the bible christians want to take literally and others, well, all that is just figurative nonsense... I mean, its only the "HOLY" bible so why shouldn't it be filled with fallacies and inconsistencies in addition to literal and figurative meanings of the word of the almighty?

The easiest way to become a non-believer is to actually take what the bible claims, on face value, without sugarcoating the bad parts (or ignoring them altogether) to say that "god is a loving god...unless you don't love him back then he will torture you forever."
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Postby Deadskins » Fri May 10, 2013 9:17 am

Cappster wrote:I find it rather amusing that you are offended by me using the bible and its biblical claims, which is the basis of Christianity

Um, no, it isn't. And, I'm not offended in the least. I'm just trying to help you see where your misconceptions are keeping you from understanding.
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Postby SkinsJock » Fri May 10, 2013 9:36 am

I call myself a Christian but to me that does not have a whole lot to do with the Holy Bible ...

basically, I believe:

God sent His Son to earth

He was crucified for a reason

He will come again

I also believe in the Holy Trinity


I do not believe that everyone that does not believe in God is "damned for eternity" ....



the Holy Bible is not what I base my faith on and being a Christian does not mean I have to believe everything that is written in the Holy Bible My 2 cents
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Postby Cappster » Fri May 10, 2013 9:38 am

Deadskins wrote:
Cappster wrote:I find it rather amusing that you are offended by me using the bible and its biblical claims, which is the basis of Christianity

Um, no, it isn't. And, I'm not offended in the least. I'm just trying to help you see where your misconceptions are keeping you from understanding.


Please, do so help me, understand the misconceptions I have about this bible of yours. What have i misconceived? Stoning someone to death for working on the sabbath? The first three commandments being all about god and nothing about morality? Maybe its the whole Adam and Eve having two sons and somehow now we have people all over the world? I am all ears.
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Postby DarthMonk » Fri May 10, 2013 9:49 am

BTW ... here's a link to the stuff below:

http://preposterousuniverse.com/writings/dtung/


Mississippiskinsfan2 wrote:Does the Universe Need God?
If we can make it work with out him does that mean there is no god?

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."

In many religious traditions, one of the standard roles of the deity has been to create the universe. The first line of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, is a plain statement of this role. Much has happened, both in our scientific understanding of the universe and in the development of theology, since that line was first written. It's worth examining what those developments imply for the relationship between God and cosmology.

In some ways of thinking about God, there's no relationship at all; a conception of divinity that is sufficiently ineffable and transcendent may be completely separate from the workings of the physical world. In addition to the role of creator, God may also be invoked as that which sustains the world and allows it to exist, or more practically as an explanation for some of the specific contingent properties of the universe we observe.

Each of these possibilities necessarily leads to an engagement with science. Modern cosmology attempts to come up with the most powerful and economical possible understanding of the universe that is consistent with observational data. It's certainly conceivable that the methods of science could lead us to a self-contained picture of the universe that doesn't involve God in any way. If so, would we be correct to conclude that cosmology has undermined the reasons for believing in God, or at least a certain kind of reason?

This is not an open-and-shut question. We are not faced with a matter of judging the merits of a mature and compelling scientific theory, since we don't yet have such a theory. Rather, we are trying to predict the future: will there ever be a time when a conventional scientific model provides a complete understanding of the origin of the universe? Or, alternatively, do we already know enough to conclude that God definitely helps us explain the universe we see, in ways that a non-theistic approach can never hope to match?

Most modern cosmologists are convinced that conventional scientific progress will ultimately result in a self-contained understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe, without the need to invoke God or any other supernatural involvement. This conviction necessarily falls short of a proof, but it is backed up by good reasons.
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Postby Cappster » Fri May 10, 2013 10:04 am

SkinsJock wrote:I call myself a Christian but to me that does not have a whole lot to do with the Holy Bible ...

basically, I believe:

God sent His Son to earth

He was crucified for a reason

He will come again

I also believe in the Holy Trinity


I do not believe that everyone that does not believe in God is "damned for eternity" ....



the Holy Bible is not what I base my faith on and being a Christian does not mean I have to believe everything that is written in the Holy Bible My 2 cents


So, you fit my description of one of those Cherry Picking christians who ignore all of the hell and damning that the bible has to offer. If it is HOLY, as in its entirety, I am of the ilk that say either believe everything in the wholesomely divine book or don't believe any of it as it mustn't be divinely written by the hand of said god.
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Postby Deadskins » Fri May 10, 2013 10:10 am

Your first misconception is that it is "my" Bible. Second would be what I have tried to point out to you in every conversation we've had on the subject; you are trying to take literal interpretations of the stories in the Bible (all your examples are Old Testament, BTW) to prove that it offers no value as a religious text.

On a side note: I don't understand your objection to the first three (or two to four, depending on your source) Commandments. Why does God explaining that He is the only true God, and that everything that follows, hangs on that principle, bring out such a harsh reaction from you?
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Postby Cappster » Fri May 10, 2013 11:39 am

Deadskins wrote:Your first misconception is that it is "my" Bible. Second would be what I have tried to point out to you in every conversation we've had on the subject; you are trying to take literal interpretations of the stories in the Bible (all your examples are Old Testament, BTW) to prove that it offers no value as a religious text.

On a side note: I don't understand your objection to the first three (or two to four, depending on your source) Commandments. Why does God explaining that He is the only true God, and that everything that follows, hangs on that principle, bring out such a harsh reaction from you?


If you are a Christian, then it IS your holy bible. I've never heard of a christian seemingly trying to distance themselves from the book that is the basis of their religion. If the literal interpretation of Adam and Eve is not literally true, that man ate the forbidden fruit and was punished by god, the whole basis of Jesus dying for original sin is for naught which pretty means Christianity was founded on false pretenses.

What is valuable as religious text? If something is holy, and we are talking about divinely guided by god, why is it so fallible?

With god commanding that he is the true and only jealous god, over the first 4 commandments, the ten commandments has no justifiable grounds to be moral guiding light. And that is not a harsh reaction as it is just the truth. If god was just and loving, he would've spoken out about things such as slavery, war, sex crimes, etc... Unfortunately, I know this is hard, but a just and loving god didn't write the ten commandments. It was written by man and this is the one true fact that is irrefutable.

If you want a Jesus quote:

Jesus wrote:And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.


Well, Jesus, I guess we should all strive to be poor and struggle in life so that we may have everlasting life worshiping you, the father, and the holy spirit. Maybe this is why children are starving right now and yet god wishes to do nothing to ease their hunger pains...
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Postby Deadskins » Fri May 10, 2013 12:54 pm

Cappster wrote:I've never heard of a christian seemingly trying to distance themselves from the book that is the basis of their religion.

Again, the Bible is NOT the basis of the Christian religion. You do realize that Christianity pre-dates the New Testament, don't you? Is the Redskins' playbook the basis of the team? Is the user's manual you got with your TV the basis of the unit? Are the set-up instructions you got with your IKEA bookshelf the basis for that piece of furniture?

And, I'm not trying to distance myself from it. I just object to your calling it "my" bible. I'm assuming you are referencing the King James version when you talk about the Bible, but you have no idea what I consider the Bible to be. For the purposes of this discussion, though, we can use the King James version as the de facto Bible.

Cappster wrote:If the literal interpretation of Adam and Eve is not literally true, that man ate the forbidden fruit and was punished by god, the whole basis of Jesus dying for original sin is for naught which pretty means Christianity was founded on false pretenses.

Show me anywhere it is written in the Bible, that Jesus died for original sin. Original sin has been used as a reason for the necessity of a virgin birth (not saying that I agree with that causality). Maybe that's what's confusing you.

Cappster wrote:What is valuable as religious text? If something is holy, and we are talking about divinely guided by god, why is it so fallible?

You're the one saying it's divinely guided by God, not I. Both the New and Old Testament were written by man, not God. And as such, they are fallable, as is man. That doesn't mean that there isn't value there as text that can bring you to a closer understanding of God and His works.

Cappster wrote:With god commanding that he is the true and only jealous god, over the first 4 commandments, the ten commandments has no justifiable grounds to be moral guiding light.

I still don't understand how you're making that connection. And I don't read jealousy into the first 2/3/4 commandments, the way you do. Couldn't it be that God is just giving instructions that other gods (not necessarily deities, but money, power, etc.) are the path to moral downfall?
Cappster wrote:And that is not a harsh reaction as it is just the truth.

Yes, your interperetation is harsh, and no, it's not the truth.

Cappster wrote:If god was just and loving, he would've spoken out about things such as slavery, war, sex crimes, etc...

I say that He has, many times over. In fact, all of that is covered by the Ten Commandments. Should God have also spoken to people 4000 years ago about the perils of internet porn? If people followed the commandments to the letter, none of those evils would exist.

Cappster wrote:Unfortunately, I know this is hard, but a just and loving god didn't write the ten commandments. It was written by man and this is the one true fact that is irrefutable.

All your posts up to this point have been making the exact opposite argument.

Cappster wrote:If you want a Jesus quote:

Jesus wrote:And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.


Well, Jesus, I guess we should all strive to be poor and struggle in life so that we may have everlasting life worshiping you, the father, and the holy spirit. Maybe this is why children are starving right now and yet god wishes to do nothing to ease their hunger pains...

Do you think it's possible that Jesus wasn't condemning rich people en masse, but rather making a statement about what gods a "rich man" might be worshipping before God? :idea:
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Postby Cappster » Fri May 10, 2013 4:28 pm

LOL...oh my...gawd.

Yes, obviously there were people who followed christ before the new testament was written. If you go to church, what book are they going to tell you to open and read from? The...uh...oh yeah..the bible. Christ may be the centerpiece, to christians, but the teaching of christ comes from the holy bible. And you know, the bible IS different to every christian as, again, they pick and choose what parts of the bible they want to be relevant to them.

Slavery? Nah, I don't agree with that part. Homos? They deserve to be second class citizens, because that is what the bible commands. Work on the sabbath? A man's gotta eat. Polygamy? The bible says its okay and I do too.

The god of the universe, for as much as he wants to be known/praised/worshiped, really likes to keep the mystery going doesn't he? He has man write books for him that are full of fallacies and contradictions, we can pick and choose which parts of his holy texts to believe, and through all of the confusion if you don't believe in him he will punish the ones he loves most with the most damning of penalties. Makes perfect sense.
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Postby Deadskins » Fri May 10, 2013 9:01 pm

Cappster wrote:If you go to church, what book are they going to tell you to open and read from? The...uh...oh yeah..the bible.

Nope, the Book of Common Prayer. Obviously, you don't go to church much. Funny, considering how you're such an expert on the subject. There is none so blind as he who will not see. :roll:
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