Thread Rating:

FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 4th, 2011 at 10:09:21 PM permalink
I forgot which thread it was on, maybe a couple of them, but someone was wondering about miracles - last night was full of them for me!

I was at an event for the Little Sisters of the Poor a wonderful religious community dedicated to serving the elderly poor in my area. They care for those who have no one else to care for them. It is amazing what they do and these sweet sisters truly love and care for their residents in ways that I rarely see in my many, many, many visits to nursing homes, hospitals, and hospice centers. There vocation and dedication is miracle number one.

Speaking at this event was Dr. Edward Gatz a retired anesthesiologist who in 1989 was given six months to live because of cancer in the esophogus. Last night he gave a moving and very detailed account of his miraculous cure through the intercession of St. Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Little Sisters of the poor. If you go to the Little Sisters website you can find more information on her and the cure. It was amazing the extent the Church went through to prove it was a true miracle. She was made a saint the same day in 2011 as St. Damien of Molokai, who is awesome as well and worth reading about! Anyway this was miracle number two.

Then Tony Melendez gave a concert. Check out his website, www.tonymelendez.com. He was born with no arms but plays a mean guitar! As Pope John Paul II once told him, "Go give hope to the world". He filled us all with hope that with God we can do anything! When Tony wants to see a miracle he just asks someone to show him their hands, that is a wonderful miracle to him. On a side note it reminded me of my metaphysics professor in college who claimed to be an atheist. He once told me that he doesn't like to look at his hands because their beauty, dexterity, complexity, and ability makes him think that we are wonderfully made for a purpose and he begins to question his position on God. For Tony and my professor our hands are a miracle. I think Tony himself was miracle number three for me yesterday.
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
November 4th, 2011 at 11:26:18 PM permalink
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl" said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl by the side of the road." said Tanzan. "Why are you still carrying her?"


Zen Koan

I dearly love Zen koans. This is a good one. Tanzan was a Zen master.

This is an even better one. Gisan was a Zen master in Japan in the 19th century.

A university student while visiting Gisan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gisan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: "And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

Gisan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."

Gisan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
November 5th, 2011 at 1:42:30 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

someone was wondering about miracles.



As far as giving witness to miracles, it does seem to be another category of "great for the believers, lost on the unbelievers". I hate to be harsh, but you might as well come to realize this. Just my opinion of course.

Unless I am mistaken, Jesus himself said even if you were to bring someone back from the dead, some will not believe. [Of course this lays a guilt trip on doubters, since the Bible says Jesus raised Lazarus]. Paul, I think, said he found the Jews needed to see miracles, but the Greeks seek Reason, or some such [I looked but couldnt find these passages]. So the problem was known even in the day. I'm thinking your audience here is more of the "Greek" variety. My 2 cents.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
  • Threads: 122
  • Posts: 11146
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
November 5th, 2011 at 4:42:44 AM permalink
I am happy to hear that a fellow anesthesiologist has apparently beaten the big C. Whenever I hear he was 'given 6 months to live' I know that is not what his treating physician said. What really was said was something more like this... "On average, people with your stage of cancer die in 6 months. About 5% make it past 5 years, and 2% to 10 years. In some the tumor becomes more aggressive and it might only be a month or so..." So you can imagine that any that are fortunate to fall into that 2% group will feel like they experienced a miracle... To put it into gambling terms, if a whole throng of people are given dice to shoot, and they win money if they roll snake eyes in their one allotted roll, will the 2 out of 100 that roll the snake eyes consider their roll a miracle?
On a side note, the yearly Anesthesiology convention has a convocation with a man of the cloth (different religions get a shot each year), and all thank their deity for performing his miracles through us, the anesthesiologists. Whenever I get a new student with eyes wide open it does remind me how what I do and see every day could be construed as 'a miracle'.
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 5th, 2011 at 6:55:05 AM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

So you can imagine that any that are fortunate to fall into that 2% group will feel like they experienced a miracle...



Hear, hear!

But it's the lack of evidence that's disturbing. I know there's such a thing as spontaneous remission. No one, as yet, has any notion why it happens, but it does happen. Anyone may point to such rare occurrences and call them miracles, but no one can prove it.

More later. I have to run to my electrology session. I've a bone to pick with you about that, too :)
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
rxwine
rxwine
  • Threads: 214
  • Posts: 12411
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
November 5th, 2011 at 11:01:00 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

As far as giving witness to miracles, it does seem to be another category of "great for the believers, lost on the unbelievers". I hate to be harsh, but you might as well come to realize this. Just my opinion of course.

Unless I am mistaken, Jesus himself said even if you were to bring someone back from the dead, some will not believe.



If someone could start bringing various dead people back to life with regularity it would be convincing to me. It'd have to be more than sketchy recounting, and more like various independent medical experts confirming the death and sufficient amount of time after death for life to be brought back into the body. No cold water drownings. More like body lies in state in a warm room where heart and brain function are completely absent for 24 hours, at least. (like Quaddafi, for instance, although they put him in walk in freezer I think)

I don't ask for much.

Question: What if the Vatican kept a special box (tm) that was said to contain something that if opened, would make all unbelievers believe, but God had commanded in several biblical passages that it was never to be opened until Christ returned.

Would the Pope ever open the box before then? Or perhaps, to put it another way, does the Pope ever need to open the box to prove anything? (assume cheating is strictly forbidden, any tampering type method would show the box to be empty, including x-raying)
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 3:06:59 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

If someone could start bringing various dead people back to life with regularity it would be convincing to me.



Here is a "homily topic", Fr. Gamble! Should we question why miracles aren't used more to convert unbelievers? For my own 2 cents, I think it has to be conceded that this is not the purpose of miracles.It would be possible to pick miracles that are more convincing; even in the case of Lazarus, a doubter could have some objections, I need not list them. Jesus could have wowed the crowds by walking on water all the time, but seems to have only accidentally revealed this ability to his Disciples. I could go on. Any thoughts?
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
  • Threads: 15
  • Posts: 417
Joined: Sep 30, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 3:29:37 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Question: What if the Vatican kept a special box (tm) that was said to contain something that if opened, would make all unbelievers believe, but God had commanded in several biblical passages that it was never to be opened until Christ returned.

Would the Pope ever open the box before then? Or perhaps, to put it another way, does the Pope ever need to open the box to prove anything? (assume cheating is strictly forbidden, any tampering type method would show the box to be empty, including x-raying)



Since the Pope is considered Vicar Christi ("regent of Christ") on earth, is there really any spiritual or moral difference between the Pope opening the Special Box and Christ opening it? Is the Box effectively the Council of Propagation of the Faith (i.e., the Inquisition forces), which could compel confessions of penitence and faith upon pain of death, thereby making people "believers"?
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
  • Threads: 15
  • Posts: 417
Joined: Sep 30, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 3:48:28 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

.... [M]y metaphysics professor in college... claimed to be an atheist. He once told me that he doesn't like to look at his hands because their beauty, dexterity, complexity, and ability makes him think that we are wonderfully made for a purpose and he begins to question his position on God.



Anybody who thinks that human dexterity, eyesight, etc. proves or even suggests that we were "wonderfully and fearfully made" by God hasn't compared feeble human physical abilities to those of larger, faster, higher-flying beasts and birds of prey, with vision capable (from a mile in the air) of seeing a mouse scurry and swooping down on it. Sharks can smell of a drop of blood in an ocean, and dogs can smell guns buried deep in the ground and cadavers under ten feet of chlorinated water. I could go on. There is nothing amazing about human abilities, except the abilities to reason and to speak, but most religionists hate to admit that this is real spirituality. Why did your metaphysics professor miss the evidence for God that could have come from the undeniable character of human intellect and the uniquely human pursuit of art?
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
  • Threads: 15
  • Posts: 417
Joined: Sep 30, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 3:56:54 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

But it's the lack of evidence that's disturbing. I know there's such a thing as spontaneous remission. No one, as yet, has any notion why it happens, but it does happen. Anyone may point to such rare occurrences and call them miracles, but no one can prove it.



A miracle is a subjective experience; a remission of a tumor is an objective fact. There is no lack of evidence for the auspiciousness of the Universe and its causalities, just a lack of evidence that miracles are measurable, isolable "things" other than perceptions.
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 4:01:40 AM permalink
Quote: NowTheSerpent

A miracle is a subjective experience; a remission of a tumor is an objective fact. There is no lack of evidence for the auspiciousness of the Universe and its Causalities, just a lack of evidence that miracles are measurable, isolable "things" other than perceptions.



So how can you tell this particular case was a miracle, facilitated by a specific dead person, rather than, say, a joke on all Catholics perpetrated by Loki?
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
  • Threads: 1497
  • Posts: 26687
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 5:43:36 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

Here is a "homily topic", Fr. Gamble! Should we question why miracles aren't used more to convert unbelievers?



When Jesus returned to his home town didn't he try to do a miracle but wasn't able to because the crowd was so skeptical? When I asked your question to a Christian friend years ago he speculated that this was the reason, it is difficult to get a miracle going surrounded by skeptics. In that case, no wonder I never see any.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 6:04:57 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

When Jesus returned to his home town didn't he try to do a miracle but wasn't able to because the crowd was so skeptical?



Interesting. that's often the excuse of "psychics" and other people when keen observers watch their attempts to fool the gullible.

Quote:

When I asked your question to a Christian friend years ago he speculated that this was the reason, it is difficult to get a miracle going surrounded by skeptics. In that case, no wonder I never see any.



What can possibly be difficult for an omnipotent being?

Seriously, how does this sound: god can create the universe and everything upon it, but he can't perform in front of a skeptical crowd? To me it sounds like god likes playing with a fixed deck.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 8:13:58 AM permalink
Throughout the Gospel of Mark there is a theme called the 'Messianic Secret'. It refers to how Jesus whenever he performs a miracle or whenever demons, who know who he is, get expelled and start shrieking that Jesus is the Son of God he quiets them immediately or asks those who received the miracle not to tell anyone. Why does he do this? Jesus does not want us to believe in Him because of some miracle or as some wonder worker. If we looked at him as some type of all powerful wizard this would hinder the type of real relationship God wants to have with us. Jesus wants us to look at Him as a friend, a brother, someone who we can turn to in any need, who understands us, and one who loves us and ultimately one who is willing to give his life for us. The only time the words, "Truly this man was the Son of God" are allowed to be uttered in Mark's Gospel is from the Centurion at the foot of the Cross. Jesus' wants us to see Him as God not in miracles, but in the supreme act of sacrificial love.

With this being said maybe its not skepticism that stops Jesus from preforming miracles, but maybe God realizes that miracles to the skeptic, even if believed, will not engender the type of real loving relationship He is after.
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 8:21:20 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Jesus' wants us to see Him as God not in miracles, but in the supreme act of sacrificial love.



What sacrifice? What did he give up? He wasn't killed, he couldn't be killed. He had nothing to lose. He cannot have anything to lose.

A being like that who coerces or even asks people, who can and have plenty to lose, to perform real sacrifices is sadistic and cruel. If that's your god, even if he exists, you can have the monster. I want no part of him.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Scotty71
Scotty71
  • Threads: 19
  • Posts: 289
Joined: Mar 5, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 8:39:58 AM permalink
Geez Nareed, you make nothing but sour condescending quotes wherever you go. Maybe your cats love you.
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." — E.E. Cummings
Scotty71
Scotty71
  • Threads: 19
  • Posts: 289
Joined: Mar 5, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 9:18:39 AM permalink
A new priest, born and raised in Texas, comes to serve in a city parish and is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks the older priest to sit in on his sessions.

The new priest hears a couple of confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions.

The old priest suggests, "Cross your arms over your chest, and rub your chin with one hand and try saying things like 'yes, I see,' and 'yes, go on,' and 'I understand.'

The new priest crosses his arms, rubs his chin with one hand and repeats all the suggested remarks to the old priest.

The old priest says, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying, "No shit, what happened next?"
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." — E.E. Cummings
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 9:45:04 AM permalink
Quote: Scotty71

Geez Nareed, you make nothing but sour condescending quotes wherever you go.



Condescending is a deity who pantomimes giving up something he cannot give up.

Quote:

Maybe your cats love you.



Ah, another expression of Christian love.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 10:29:37 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Throughout the Gospel of Mark there is a theme called the 'Messianic Secret'.



Well, I learned something. Thanks, good answer.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 10:49:43 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

What sacrifice? What did he give up? He wasn't killed, he couldn't be killed. He had nothing to lose. He cannot have anything to lose.

A being like that who coerces or even asks people, who can and have plenty to lose, to perform real sacrifices is sadistic and cruel. If that's your god, even if he exists, you can have the monster. I want no part of him.



If you want no part of him, then why don't you just ignore a topic titled "Celebrate religion here"? I mean, seriously. Because what you're doing appears to be unfriendly, to me at least. Some folks want to celebrate, why crash the party? Part of our glue is mutual respect for our differences, not a desire to change others to our own ways, after all.
A falling knife has no handle.
Scotty71
Scotty71
  • Threads: 19
  • Posts: 289
Joined: Mar 5, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 11:48:06 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Quote: Nareed

What sacrifice? What did he give up? He wasn't killed, he couldn't be killed. He had nothing to lose. He cannot have anything to lose.

A being like that who coerces or even asks people, who can and have plenty to lose, to perform real sacrifices is sadistic and cruel. If that's your god, even if he exists, you can have the monster. I want no part of him.



If you want no part of him, then why don't you just ignore a topic titled "Celebrate religion here"? I mean, seriously. Because what you're doing appears to be unfriendly, to me at least. Some folks want to celebrate, why crash the party? Part of our glue is mutual respect for our differences, not a desire to change others to our own ways, after all.



Hear hear. The good Fr. put out a piece about something inspirational to some it is a miracle, it may inspire some, give others hope. But what you don't like about this "miracle" is the lack of empiracle evidence. Yes, telling you that maybe your cats love you was not nice, and actually I have felt bad about it, but not as bad as you should feel about calling the Christian G_D a monster. I truly feel bad for you, not because you aren't accepting of religion but because you are such a sour person and miss no opportunity to sneeze on the cupcakes at a birthday party. It's obvious that you worship at the altar of self, if thats your god I too want no part of that monster. Most people want the world to be a better place for the next generation, their children, whatever you want to say. And thats a hard thing to accomplish without hope and inspiration. I think when you question inspiration and something beautiful because the person thanks G_D for it and not science or their own willpower it's just bitterness. Balanced happy people typically aren't prowling for opportunities to shit on others.
It's a miracle... a word floated into my mind...... Narcissistic, per wikipedia "To the extent that people are pathologically narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of others' needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen"
I wish you peace

-Scott
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." — E.E. Cummings
rxwine
rxwine
  • Threads: 214
  • Posts: 12411
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
November 6th, 2011 at 11:59:46 AM permalink
Quote: NowTheSerpent

Since the Pope is considered Vicar Christi ("regent of Christ") on earth, is there really any spiritual or moral difference between the Pope opening the Special Box and Christ opening it? Is the Box effectively the Council of Propagation of the Faith (i.e., the Inquisition forces), which could compel confessions of penitence and faith upon pain of death, thereby making people "believers"?



Actually, I was trying to tweak the idea that even if God gave some physical evidence that could do something extraordinary (I'm not really describing the method), but forbade its examination, then true believers, based on claims of faith, don't need it anyway.

They already say their faith is firm, apparently enough to model their whole life's actions around their faith. So, surely, even if their God gave them such a direct way to access to his presence and power on a global scale, since they already believe in him, they know that the command not to access it is from the real God already.

It's similar to the idea that if someone claims to invent a perpetual motion machine. If you already say you have total faith in the claims of his perpetual motion machine, you don't need any further evidence, even if the inventor says you can't have full access to examination of the machine.

So, I figure believers faith is so strong they wouldn't have need of examining miracles, or being able to question Jesus directly, or whatever it might be.

Christians are similar to believers of perpetual motion machines who have enough evidence to act as if it is all true.

As far as i know, the only perpetual motion machines (closed system) that have been invented by people, are the ones no one can really examine thoroughly. So, perhaps they really exist. But that's not good enough for me, or a lot of other people who don't believe the claims.
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 12:14:53 PM permalink
Quote: Scotty71

Yes, telling you that maybe your cats love you was not nice, and actually I have felt bad about it,



I don't believe you.

Quote:

It's a miracle... a word floated into my mind...... Narcissistic,



Because that's not what you'd call nice, either, all the more so since it's baseless. Not to mention all the condescension and unwarranted assumptions you could fit into a single post.

Can you try to respond to an argument rather than engage in personal attacks?
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 12:19:47 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Christians are similar to believers of perpetual motion machines who have enough evidence to act as if it is all true.



Very apt.

Since this is a Vegas forum with an emphasis on gambling, though, let me ask: if someone posts a system to beat the casino, should it be questioned? Should proof be demanded? Or should we accept it on faith?

The same goes for other impossible claims. If FrGamble wants to post about a miracle, that's his privilege. If others want to go along and treat such claims as fact, that's their right. But they should expect some here will question the claim, and when presented with supporting arguments will question those too.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
November 6th, 2011 at 1:08:05 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

What sacrifice? What did he give up? He wasn't killed, he couldn't be killed.



I have to admit, the so called 'sacriface' is the weakest part
of Christianity to me. Jesus was 33, in a time when the average
lifespan was 40. He was late middle aged for that period. He
had no family. He was killed with a method the Roman's had
used on over 100,000 people already, it was extremely common.

Where is the sacrifice? Its not like he would have lived forever.
Nobody has ever proven original sin even exists, its pure intellectual
speculation. So Jesus dies to save mankind from an idea that
makes no logical sense? I'm much more interested in what Jesus
taught than in the carnival show of miracles, and healings, and
dying for sins. That stuff is just too odd..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
November 6th, 2011 at 1:13:03 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Since this is a Vegas forum with an emphasis on gambling, though, let me ask: if someone posts a system to beat the casino, should it be questioned? Should proof be demanded? Or should we accept it on faith?



I don't know FrGambles background, but most priests
grew up in the faith. Look at a heavy hitter like father
Jonathan Morris, who we see on TV all the time. He
was raised a Catholic, went to Catholic schools, had the
religion pounded into his head since he was a baby. Its
that way for most priests, they question nothing because
they've been told the earth is flat since infancy, and
surround themselves with people who believe the same way.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Scotty71
Scotty71
  • Threads: 19
  • Posts: 289
Joined: Mar 5, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 2:45:13 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I don't believe you.



Because that's not what you'd call nice, either, all the more so since it's baseless. Not to mention all the condescension and unwarranted assumptions you could fit into a single post.

Can you try to respond to an argument rather than engage in personal attacks?



Nothing to argue but I apologize.
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." — E.E. Cummings
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 3:01:45 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Can you try to respond to an argument rather than engage in personal attacks?



Nareed, how about constructive criticism? I think Scotty started out with that in mind. There is such a thing as a sense of propriety that should be known amongst all regardless of sect. Does something you believe give license to observe no boundaries? You are giving needless offense over matters that weaken your arguments, and they are things that violate common propriety.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 3:15:23 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed


Since this is a Vegas forum with an emphasis on gambling, though, let me ask: if someone posts a system to beat the casino, should it be questioned? Should proof be demanded? Or should we accept it on faith?



The advantage play is religion. Religion is about believing in a strategy that has been shown to be helpful to billions of people. Religion is more like counting cards (never thought I would write that in my life;). It is a reasonable way to deal with life without giving in to the idea that life is complete randomness and can't be understood or made sense of.
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
November 6th, 2011 at 3:33:22 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

It is a reasonable way to deal with life without giving in to the idea that life is complete randomness and can't be understood or made sense of.



Religion offers structure to many people who would be
lost without it. Whether its true or not, is really beside
the point. Its helps people get along, which is the
important thing.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 6th, 2011 at 4:14:32 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

I have to admit, the so called 'sacrifice' is the weakest part
of Christianity to me.



The Sacrifice of Jesus is the strongest part of Christianity to me.

God cannot suffer or sacrifice without freely willing it, this alone makes his suffering, which He freely accepted, greater than the suffering unwillingly thrust upon us by the broken world in which we live. He willingly suffered and died for us motivated by nothing other than a perfect and unconditional love for every human person. His suffering and sacrifice was done to forgive all sin, therefore the one without sin takes upon Himself all the sins of the whole world. Along with carrying that cross He carried all the sins you, me, and everyone would ever commit.

In my opinion this makes His suffering and sacrificial death the most powerful action ever in the history of humanity.
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
November 6th, 2011 at 4:55:18 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Along with carrying that cross He carried all the sins you, me, and everyone would ever commit.
In my opinion this makes His suffering and sacrificial death the most powerful action ever in the history of humanity.



This all sounds really good, but there's not a shred of evidence its true.
I have much more respect for the soldier that sacrifices his life by throwing
himself on a live grenade to save his friends. Jesus sacrificed nothing more
than than the soldier did, and we have actual proof the soldier did good thru
his actions, he saved many of his comrades. The good Jesus did is only after
the fact speculation, based on a lot of wishful thinking.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
November 6th, 2011 at 6:06:58 PM permalink
Quote: Scotty71

Nothing to argue but I apologize.



Thank you. That's very gracious.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
  • Threads: 15
  • Posts: 417
Joined: Sep 30, 2011
November 9th, 2011 at 3:45:51 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

The Sacrifice of Jesus is the strongest part of Christianity to me.

God cannot suffer or sacrifice without freely willing it, this alone makes his suffering, which He freely accepted, greater than the suffering unwillingly thrust upon us by the broken world in which we live. He willingly suffered and died for us motivated by nothing other than a perfect and unconditional love for every human person. His suffering and sacrifice was done to forgive all sin, therefore the one without sin takes upon Himself all the sins of the whole world. Along with carrying that cross He carried all the sins you, me, and everyone would ever commit.

In my opinion this makes His suffering and sacrificial death the most powerful action ever in the history of humanity.



And to think that "greater works than [His] shall [we] also do" (from John 14:12)
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
  • Threads: 15
  • Posts: 417
Joined: Sep 30, 2011
November 9th, 2011 at 4:07:16 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Quote: NowTheSerpent

Since the Pope is considered Vicar Christi ("regent of Christ") on earth, is there really any spiritual or moral difference between the Pope opening the Special Box and Christ opening it? Is the Box effectively the Council of Propagation of the Faith (i.e., the Inquisition forces), which could compel confessions of penitence and faith upon pain of death, thereby making people "believers"?



Actually, I was trying to tweak the idea that even if God gave some physical evidence that could do something extraordinary...but forbade its examination, then true believers, based on claims of faith, don't need it anyway.

It's similar to the idea that if someone claims to invent a perpetual motion machine. If you already say you have total faith in the claims of his perpetual motion machine, you don't need any further evidence, even if the inventor says you can't have full access to examination of the machine.

Christians are similar to believers of perpetual motion machines who have enough evidence to act as if it is all true.



Actually perpetual motion machines are forbidden by the Laws of Thermodynamics, which all sides of a debate like this one agree are absolutely valid. So, any Christian who is like the believer in the perpetual motion machine is a piss-poor apologist for his faith. Furthermore, Jesus never forbade Thomas the evidence he needed to be convinced of the Resurrection. Is Thomas' subsequent prostrate confession, "My Lord and My God", then, invalid? Also, I am not familiar with God forbidding any who wish to prove any of his claims from doing so. It is interesting how quickly those who have the burden of proving their faith-based moral propositions positively to skeptics (as is the apologetic's duty) like to point out the supposed "supremacy of faith over reason".

Maybe I should just take it on faith that my God told me to steal from and murder a dignitary, and knowing the supremacy of My God's ways (moral, political, artistic, etc.) over my ways (Isaiah 55:9) should make me not even think of questioning my urge and moral resolve, out of abject obedience to My God and certainty that only from Him could such moral certainty proceed. Would I not then also be like the believer in the Creator of the perpetual motion machine who abandons his knowledge of all reality because someone charasmatic, with Shekinah all around Him, made an outrageous and counter-intuitive claim?
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
  • Threads: 15
  • Posts: 417
Joined: Sep 30, 2011
November 9th, 2011 at 4:54:44 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Christians are similar to believers of perpetual motion machines who have enough evidence to act as if it is all true.



Christians are like these are like believers in perpetual motion machines who have the certitude (not certainty) to act as if it's all true. The Second Vatican Council was really like a big Star Trek convention - folklore, role-playing, and all.
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 9th, 2011 at 9:54:09 AM permalink
When people say faith is superior to reason, or vice versa, they are often mistaken about the nature of faith and reason. Faith is an act of our reason. Faith divorced from reason is a very dangerous thing and deserves a different name like superstition or 'blind faith'. Reason without faith is an oxymoron but it might be used to try to describe living and determining our decisions based only on scientifically proven evidence. This is not only impossible, but it is not utlilizing the true power of our human reason, which is meant to take all types of evidence and facts and come to new knowledge based on combining and extrapolating from them. This is how reason helps us as humans fly high and reach new heights. Faith is using reason as the fuel to launch human knowledge into outer space!
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
November 9th, 2011 at 10:11:00 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Reason without faith is an oxymoron but it might be used to try to describe living and determining our decisions based only on scientifically proven evidence. This is not only impossible, but it is not utlilizing the true power of our human reason, which is meant to take all types of evidence and facts and come to new knowledge based on combining and extrapolating from them. This is how reason helps us as humans fly high and reach new heights. Faith is using reason as the fuel to launch human knowledge into outer space!



I'll give you a lot of latitude, FrG, but I think you're wrong here. You are intentionally conflating the small definition of faith with Faith. You can make a better argument I think.
A falling knife has no handle.
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
  • Threads: 88
  • Posts: 6526
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
November 9th, 2011 at 10:12:45 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

The advantage play is religion. Religion is about believing in a strategy that has been shown to be helpful to billions of people. Religion is more like counting cards (never thought I would write that in my life;). It is a reasonable way to deal with life without giving in to the idea that life is complete randomness and can't be understood or made sense of.


Several questions and comments:
a) What's wrong with the idea that life is complete randomness?
b) I disagree that the premise that life is complete randomness necessarily implies that life cannot be understood or made sense of. Humanity, through rational inquiry, is making more sense of life every day. Just the other day we discovered some new facts about the earliest recorded supernova (observed by Chinese astronomers in 185 A.D.)
c) I wouldn't necessarily equate religion to card counting. Card counters routinely get thrown out of casinos.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 9th, 2011 at 1:32:07 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

I'll give you a lot of latitude, FrG, but I think you're wrong here. You are intentionally conflating the small definition of faith with Faith. You can make a better argument I think.



I was just trying to play off the Star Trek comment. I believe Faith in its true sense can take us to places no man has been before. The act of reasoning is taking what we know and reaching new conclusions based on them. Faith does just that. It takes what we know about this wonderful world and our amazing human nature and through a process of reasoning leads us to conclusions about the big questions in life. We would have no way of reaching this final frontier without the power of Faith, which is a reasonable judgement based on evidence and truths that leads us to the things man would have no access to if it was not through the act of reason we call Faith.
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 9th, 2011 at 2:14:43 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

Several questions and comments:
a) What's wrong with the idea that life is complete randomness?
b) I disagree that the premise that life is complete randomness necessarily implies that life cannot be understood or made sense of. Humanity, through rational inquiry, is making more sense of life every day. Just the other day we discovered some new facts about the earliest recorded supernova (observed by Chinese astronomers in 185 A.D.)
c) I wouldn't necessarily equate religion to card counting. Card counters routinely get thrown out of casinos.



Looking at point b I think it gives voice to an answer to question a. We long for things to have meaning, for things to make sense. Even as gamblers we want to find a way to bring order to choas and randomness through things like dice control or card counting. We avoid bad bets like keno or we play them just for the fun of it, understanding that there is no strategy or hard work that will make any difference. Maybe that is one of the problems with life as complete randomness. In my opinion things lose their meaning, hard work doesn't make a difference, and the only sensible position seems to be have as much fun as possible, life is reduced to keno, yuck.
thecesspit
thecesspit
  • Threads: 53
  • Posts: 5936
Joined: Apr 19, 2010
November 9th, 2011 at 2:17:19 PM permalink
Life isn't random. We find patterns in things, and we can repeat those patterns (science, technology).

And though things may lose their meaning to you if it is as the staunchest atheist will say, wishing it to be otherwise doesn't mean it IS otherwise. I find it the weakest of arguments for a God is the one that says "it ought to be so".
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
boymimbo
boymimbo
  • Threads: 17
  • Posts: 5994
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
November 9th, 2011 at 2:41:35 PM permalink
Agree with the cess pit.

Life is far from random. Our development through time has been a "miracle" of evolution, but we see this all of the time. It's incredible to see how animals work together to make their societies work. Humans are by far the most advanced species on this planet, and the evolution of the planet and the big bang still has many mysteries, some of which will not be explained for some time, but it not an excuse for the existence of God.

In my opinion, if you are going to believe in God, the only way you can believe it is through faith alone. The bible is a great book, but there's no absolute proof that it's the word of our Christian God. If you're going to believe that, you've got to believe in faith. If you're a person of science, you also have to realize that many many stories are embellishments stretched over the millenia. It's difficult to reconcile Adam and Eve existing 6,000 years ago with the fact that the universe is much older and the fact that homosapiens have existed for at least 35,000 years. It's difficult to explain the great Flood when there is no evidence for one. Yet, there are many truths in the bible.

It won't be dissimilar to the 40 point 3 hour dice roll that I will claim to have had 40 years from now (5 years ago, yeah, that's the ticket) -- for the record, it was a one hour roll and I got about about 12 points.

But hey, I'm a Christian, so I'm going to celebrate!! Drinks are on me!
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
November 9th, 2011 at 3:50:31 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Maybe that is one of the problems with life as complete randomness. In my opinion things lose their meaning



How can something lose its meaning when it had none
to begin with? Whats the meaning of a cat? Or a tree,
or a groundhog? The irritating thing about religion is,
it reverse engineers everything, and then tries to put
it back together so it makes sense to them. They see
what they think is a 'creation', so they look for a creator.
They see what they think is 'sin', and look for somebody
to save them from it. There's zero proof the universe was
created, it could have just 'come to be' by a process we
don't yet understand. Picking and choosing certain acts
you don't care for, like homosexuality, for instance, and
labeling it a 'sin', says far more about you than it does
about the label you put on it.

You said it yourself, religion gives you purpose, a reason
to live, to carry on every day. Its a weakness, a crutch.
Those who don't need the crutch, who are fine with
random events as they unfold, irritate the crap out of
religious people because it can't be possibe that somebody
could be happy without a purpose. So they strive to make
everybody just like them, so everybody will be just as neurotic
as they are. In the old days they forced conversions with
the penalty of death. They can't get away with that anymore
(unless you're Muslim), so now they use guilt. Not nearly as
effective, but you use what you got..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
rxwine
rxwine
  • Threads: 214
  • Posts: 12411
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
November 9th, 2011 at 5:35:54 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

We long for things to have meaning, for things to make sense.



Quite a few animals (with higher brain functions) use whatever limited brain power they have to make sense of events to survive better. That seems likely the purpose of having the motivation.

Does that mean the motivation to make sense for survival extends to forming a religion for eternal survival when you have a more complex brain? Perhaps. Does that mean religions are some sort of ultimate truth or a continuation of that motivation? Which is more likely?
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
November 9th, 2011 at 5:45:16 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I was just trying to play off the Star Trek comment. I believe Faith in its true sense can take us to places no man has been before. The act of reasoning is taking what we know and reaching new conclusions based on them. Faith does just that. It takes what we know about this wonderful world and our amazing human nature and through a process of reasoning leads us to conclusions about the big questions in life. We would have no way of reaching this final frontier without the power of Faith, which is a reasonable judgement based on evidence and truths that leads us to the things man would have no access to if it was not through the act of reason we call Faith.



That's much better. Thanks. I can see how this works for you and others.
A falling knife has no handle.
MrV
MrV
  • Threads: 364
  • Posts: 8158
Joined: Feb 13, 2010
November 9th, 2011 at 5:54:42 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

... the suffering unwillingly thrust upon us by the broken world in which we live.



What is so "broken" about the world?

Works just fine for me.

I'm content, dare I say happy, and pretty much always have been.

Maybe it's time to toss aside your vestments and live.
"What, me worry?"
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
  • Threads: 88
  • Posts: 6526
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
November 9th, 2011 at 8:14:38 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Quite a few animals (with higher brain functions) use whatever limited brain power they have to make sense of events to survive better. That seems likely the purpose of having the motivation.


Indeed, it is the most straightforward expression of evolution that better survival instincts are more commonplace than poor ones. There's nothing at all complicated about the idea that if behavior X leads to early death (and therefore, less reproduction), then behavior X does not persist.

It's like the old joke: if your parents didn't have any children, chances are you won't either.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
  • Threads: 51
  • Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
November 9th, 2011 at 8:50:14 PM permalink
Quote: MrV

Maybe it's time to toss aside your vestments and live.

May as well ask a child to stop believing in Santa Claus.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
November 9th, 2011 at 9:35:13 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine


Does that mean the motivation to make sense for survival extends to forming a religion for eternal survival when you have a more complex brain? Perhaps. Does that mean religions are some sort of ultimate truth or a continuation of that motivation? Which is more likely?



That is an interesting question. I would say that there is ultimate truth connected to that motivation you mentioned to 'survive better'. We are called to 'survive better' and religion does that. Without religion or being against religion is fighting against this natural motivation to find meaning in life. A motivation ingrainded in us to help us survive and to help us live better lives. Without religion and without meaning in life we are doomed to be destroyed by our own selfishness and greed.
  • Jump to: