Thread Rating:

rxwine
rxwine
  • Threads: 214
  • Posts: 12411
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 4:59:13 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

"God is some guy with a white beard" ha ha ha what fool believes that?



I doubt if it is a strawman. It's one of the most famous images in classical art.

Aside from the fact that some people have likely taken "made in his image" as seriously as the literalist try to take other parts of the Bible. People have taught speaking in tongues, handling snakes, and drinking poison, and then do it as well.

Atheists certainly don't have to make strawmen on this, (even if some have). Don't know if FrGamble has cast out any demons. I think they take that seriously there in the Catholic church.
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
January 1st, 2012 at 5:43:35 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

I doubt if it is a strawman.



I'd hate to think anyone thinks these arguments have much weight. Of course even if they have the weight of straw someone might still love to make them.

Quote: rxwine

Atheists certainly don't have to make strawmen on this, (even if some have). Don't know if FrGamble has cast out any demons. I think they take that seriously there in the Catholic church.



Point well taken. I guess my point is that for this forum I would hope we would see some arguments on a little higher level. It is possible to argue about the existence of God without bashing anthropomorphicism.
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
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:03:20 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

If that is a bad example, still I have to say I am TOTALLY unimpressed with the atheists and other doubters here who keep setting up straw men topics



Some are straw men, some aren't. For instance, I have
a brother in law who truly believes the Bible word for
word. He believes these are the end times, and Jesus
is coming any minute. He has 5 kids and 7 grand kids.
When I ask him why he had kids at all if he thinks these
are the end times, he has no good answer. Thats because
he doesn't really think these are the end times at all, he's
just parroting what he's been told without thinking. He
has college funds set up for his grand kids, if I asked him
why, he'd quit speaking to me. Many Christians find talking
about their beliefs very uncomfortable, it makes their
heads hurt.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 8:31:16 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

For instance, I have a brother in law...



It's just that these people don't speak for all of us. That doesnt make them bad people, but no one has to think they matter to the issue; that they offer anything that resembles thoughtful reflection.

I'd hate to think a person could be comfortable with his beliefs just by dismissing some dumbasses on the other side. This could lead to a certain kind of blindness, seems to me. When I think about E=M*C^2 , it strikes me that the simplicity of the relationship between matter and energy is awe-inspiring [OK, maybe it's just me, but that is my reaction]. Yet another person never ponders it at all because that would mean you have to believe in some white bearded giant sitting on a cloud? Well, no, you don't. That's my point [and I'm not trying to be a flamer].
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
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:40:43 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

It's just that these people don't speak for all of us..



Nope, but there are enough idiots around
to give the religion a kook fringe image.
Most Christians I've met in my life, and I
mean most, don't want to discuss anything
about it with a non believer. Its like they
know its kook fringe stuff, but don't want
to think or talk about it. They were brought
up in the religion and don't question anything.
They even have an almost secret society way
of talking to each other, it used to drive me
crazy.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
MrV
MrV
  • Threads: 364
  • Posts: 8158
Joined: Feb 13, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:42:08 AM permalink
We atheists are still in the minority here in America, but our numbers are increasing, whereas the numbers of Christians is decreasing.

Those damned baby boomers started it, with their drugs, their education, and their paradigm-changing cultural shift.

See what happens when you open your eyes and actually THINK about something?

Hawkingongod

Funkadelic said it best: "Free your mind and your ass will follow ... the "freedom of heaven" is within."
"What, me worry?"
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
  • Threads: 51
  • Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:47:37 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

How do you weigh one fantastic (emphasis on the fantasy part) verse about a bear charging out of the woods against the hundreds of other passages where insults are to be forgiven or when Christ Himself says, "turn the other cheek." How do you weigh a rehash of an ancient Mesopotamian story meant to show the serious and real consequences of sin and wickedness and their power to destroy the world with the flood of mercy that flows from the side of Christ on the Cross or the thousands of other places in the Bible that speak of forgiveness and God's patient and enduring love...

If I understand correctly, you're telling us that we should cherry pick the light and shiny verses of the bible and ignore the ones that make us uncomfortable.
Quote: FrGamble

Happy New Year!

And to you too.
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
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:49:28 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

People have taught speaking in tongues, handling snakes,



I joined a Christian group in college for about
6 months, mainly because of the good looking
girls and all the hugging they did. They spoke
in tongues and believed Satan was behind
every bush waiting for them. They seemed
harmless enough, but I eventually tired of all
the melodrama they created so they could
feel they were important. The whole thing had
a real cult feel to it. You could only read their
approved books, date their members, and hang
out with them. They were extremely judgemental
and not afraid to tell you if you were screwing
up.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 8:50:16 AM permalink
A friend of mine who is a Presbyterian minister sent me this (not to argue, but in the spirit of friendship; I thanked him, fwiw):

Quote:

Toward the end of his life, one of the greatest Christian theologians of the 20th century, Karl Rahner , was asked by an Italian interviewer, "‘What constitutes the mysterium of human life?" His response is one I've never forgotten, and customarily is the subject of my New Year's Eve ponderings: "That is difficult to answer. Perhaps it could be put briefly this way: ultimately, for me, the mystery consists in being able to grasp rationally that the incomprehensible really exists. This is the highest act of human understanding.”



Comments?

My first thought is that the question doesn't make any sense, that it's a softball tossed up for the easy answer. My second thought is that the answer doesn't make any sense, either. It all reads like a western koan; it makes sense if you don't try to understand it.
A falling knife has no handle.
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 8:51:56 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

I joined a Christian group in college for about
6 months, mainly because of the good looking
girls and all the hugging they did. They spoke
in tongues and believed Satan was behind
every bush waiting for them. They seemed
harmless enough, but I eventually tired of all
the melodrama they created so they could
feel they were important. The whole thing had
a real cult feel to it. You could only read their
approved books, date their members, and hang
out with them. They were extremely judgemental
and not afraid to tell you if you were screwing
up.



Let me ask you; did any of them help you discover the hidden erotic power of "wrong"? (There's a reason for the question beyond salaciousness; indulge me for a moment.)
A falling knife has no handle.
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:58:51 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

It all reads like a western koan; it makes sense if you don't try to understand it.



Its nonsense. You can't understand whats incomprehensible.
I followed an Eastern guru named Krisnamurti for years, read
all his books and teachings, listened to him on tape. He was
very profound, and mostly refused to answer direct questions.
He was wrapped in mystery. I came to the conclusion just a
few years ago that he was a complete fraud, and found out
others felt the same way. He learned how to play the guru
game and lived a long life of luxury sponging off of rich patrons.
He often talked in riddles and it made my head hurt. He had
a huge following, people will believe anything if you put it in
just the right way.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 9:01:40 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Let me ask you; did any of them help you discover the hidden erotic power of "wrong"?



Thats way too profound for them. They were more concerned
in the demons that came out everytime you sneezed, and what
Satan did to you last week. These were all young college kids,
after all.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 9:03:09 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

Yes, there are churches I guess who can't tolerate the smallest measure of Higher Criticism, and the kids in particular seem to be expected to swallow it all hook, line, and sinker. But I hope that you aren't expecting Fr G, for example, to really say much here. A minister obviously has to be careful about going around saying " I don't believe in the literal story of Adam and Eve" with the snake talking and all that. That he doesn't wouldn't mean he is being dishonest either. It's not fair to demand that of him.

Perhaps it is a bit like a real scientist tolerating the dilettantes here [I include myself] tossing around the ideas on the scientific thread. If we were taking real science courses at a good university on any kind of high level, such as to get a degree, the math that would be thrown in without hesitation would be totally dilettante-crushing. Many of us would be quickly disabused of any notion we were going anywhere towards degree-level understanding of science topics. Yet what would we think of the Professor who was asked to do a lecture to the layman, and he started in on some level like we were seeking degrees? They don't throw in a lick of math on "The Universe" series from the History Channel, yet that is very accessible, and just what it is supposed to be. Should a minister start ticking off half his congregation by saying some of them "were full of it" as to what they believe?

If that is a bad example, still I have to say I am TOTALLY unimpressed with the atheists and other doubters here who keep setting up straw men topics that they then tear to pieces. Made-up examples follow:

"God is some guy with a white beard" ha ha ha what fool believes that?
"Satan is some red dude with horns" ha ha ha Christians are so dumb!
"Believers say Heaven is up there just above the clouds, and now that we have sent people into space we can see it is not there" ha ha ha how stupid the believers are! [supposedly the Soviet Union announced this once for real]

I could go on of course.



You reminded me of this scene from A Mighty Wind!

This is not an occult science. This is not one of those crazy systems of divination and astrology. That stuff's hooey, and you've got to have a screw loose to go in for that sort of thing. Our beliefs are fairly commonplace and simple to understand. Humankind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration. You would make that conclusion walking down the street or going to the store.
A falling knife has no handle.
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 9:12:35 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Thats way too profound for them. They were more concerned
in the demons that came out everytime you sneezed, and what
Satan did to you last week. These were all young college kids,
after all.



OK. My point was, I have experienced that; it is a very powerful aphrodisiac, because it is in the mind, and the more you believe the more powerful it becomes. HOWEVER... if it works that way, then it also shows that the entire concept of Christian right and wrong is also in the mind, and not some absolute that comes from outside. Otherwise, it wouldn't have the power to excite, to work by crossing boundaries inside the body and brain.
A falling knife has no handle.
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 9:27:13 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca


Toward the end of his life, one of the greatest Christian theologians of the 20th century, Karl Rahner , was asked by an Italian interviewer, "‘What constitutes the mysterium of human life?" His response is one I've never forgotten, and customarily is the subject of my New Year's Eve ponderings: "That is difficult to answer. Perhaps it could be put briefly this way: ultimately, for me, the mystery consists in being able to grasp rationally that the incomprehensible really exists. This is the highest act of human understanding.”



My first thought is usually that Karl Rahner rocks and is indeed one of the greatest modern theologians. The question sounds more like a 100 mph curveball than a softball, "What is the mystery of human life?" is a pretty big one. My second thought is that I love how Karl Rahner keeps the mystery part of life in his answer. We are not called to, nor is it possible for us to completely understand everything as human beings. We must find a way to live in the mystery that surrounds us. Yet we also can't just chalk up everything to mystery or use our inability to comprehend everything as an excuse to not even try. No, as human beings we are put in the interesting position to use our God given reason and intellect to eventually understand that the incomprehensible exists. This is at the same time a celebration of our human greatness and a humbling realization that creates an openness to the mystery of the Divine. I love Karl Rahner!
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 9:30:53 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

OK. My point was, I have experienced that; it is a very powerful aphrodisiac, because it is in the mind, and the more you believe the more powerful it becomes. HOWEVER... if it works that way, then it also shows that the entire concept of Christian right and wrong is also in the mind, and not some absolute that comes from outside. Otherwise, it wouldn't have the power to excite, to work by crossing boundaries inside the body and brain.



Can you explain this, it seems like non sequitur to me?
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 9:52:23 AM permalink
Quote: Face

Indeed, FrG. I know there are some who belief in "New Earth", although I'm pretty certain you have already stated that is not one of your beliefs. And the story of the bear...I guess I can see your side of it, taken in context, to not necessarily mean God got pissed and murdered 42 children out of hand. And stuff like the Dec 25th controversy isn't that big a deal to me...

It's mostly the set in stone stuff. ME's question of the slavery thing, it seems to be pretty black and white that Jesus endorsed slavery, I don't see much allegory or metaphor in there. We know the Great Flood could not happen with the amount of water that has ever existed on Earth, yet the story seems to be told as fact, again, not metaphor. Wasn't Noah purported to be 400 some odd years old?

So yeah, I guess it doesn't matter of a specific story for me personally, but I was wondering about ANY issue where you found conflict. How did you handle it? How did you make it fit into your mind, your worldview, your belief? And yeah, I do hate "it's a miracle" or "cause the Bible says so" explanations, but since I don't make the rules for these things, it is an acceptable answer.



Face I think you are asking an important question. Let me start off by saying throughout my life I have found a lot of truth in the old saying, "Many people hate what they think the Catholic Church is or teaches, very few actually hate what the Church truly is or really does teach." (don't know who said it first) Anyway there have been many times in my life where I struggled with issues or teachings that I did not agree with the Church. In those instances I have decided to check my own feelings, emotions, and personal baggage at the door and enter into a true and objective study of what the Church says; every time I have come away impressed with a deeper understanding of what Christ is really saying. Sometimes I've come to the conclusion that my original thoughts influenced by my own desires and personal history were way off base, sometimes I discovered that what I thought the Church said was distorted by the media and others and did in fact jive with what I was struggling with, and finally I must admit that sometimes I still struggle with some things. However a struggle doesn't mean I am right and the Church is wrong. I still put a lot more faith in a 2,000 year old institution founded by Jesus Christ who promises the Holy Spirit will guide it than little old me. So in those last cases I continue to pray over the issue and continue to study and learn more about it and trust that God will lead me and the Church to the truth. Rather than make this post too long on a busy Sunday let me end there with some of my personal thoughts and tackle the specific issue of Slavery in the Scriptures a little later. Thanks.
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 10:08:59 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

if it works that way, then it also shows that the entire concept of Christian right and wrong is also in the mind, and not some absolute that comes from outside.



All religions are in the mind only. Thats why I
don't mind Buddhism or Hinduism, they make
no bones about it being an intellectual concept.
Its religions like Christianity and Islam that insist
its all real, and go to great lengths to convert
people.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 10:18:19 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I still put a lot more faith in a 2,000 year old institution founded by Jesus Christ who promises the Holy Spirit will guide it than little old me.



The Holy Spirit has an abominable record thus
far in guiding its church. Shall we go over again
the atrocities commited in the name of Jesus?
Or the power and corruption inside the church
itself that continues to this day? I'd put my faith
in my own judgement any day than in that old
relic of an institution thats brought so much pain
and suffering to so many people. Yup, the church
has done good things to. But when the mass
murderer in on trial, and the charges are read,
his attorney doesn't say "But he did good things, too.
He gave millions to a childrens hospital." You can't
get off the hook that easily.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 11:00:00 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca


You reminded me of this scene from A Mighty Wind!



Really? Just a kook?

I guess it does go to show that I do not see myself the way other people see me; that translates to here too I guess. I have had to accept that now while once I was unaware of it.
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
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
  • Threads: 88
  • Posts: 6526
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 12:45:27 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Its nonsense. You can't understand whats incomprehensible.
I followed an Eastern guru named Krisnamurti for years, read
all his books and teachings, listened to him on tape. He was
very profound, and mostly refused to answer direct questions.
He was wrapped in mystery. I came to the conclusion just a
few years ago that he was a complete fraud, and found out
others felt the same way. He learned how to play the guru
game and lived a long life of luxury sponging off of rich patrons.
He often talked in riddles and it made my head hurt. He had
a huge following, people will believe anything if you put it in
just the right way.


How do you know he was a fraud? Were his actions in any way inconsistent with a "true" guru? How can you tell the difference between a true guru and a false one?
"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
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 1:17:09 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

How do you know he was a fraud?



K spoke in a very roundabout way, everything was a mystery.
He had a follower, another man from India with the same last name,
UG Krisnamurti. He would go to K's lectures and try and understand
what he was saying. They became very good friends in the 40's
and 50's, but UG finally got fed up. Here's an excerpt:

"The question that was uppermost in my mind every time I encountered Krishnamurti was this: 'What is there behind all those abstractions you are throwing at me? Is there anything at all? I am not interested in your poetic and romantic descriptions. As for your abstractions, you are no match to the mighty thinkers that India has produced--you can't hold a candle to them. The way you describe things gives me the feeling that you have at least "seen the sugar"--to use a familiar traditional metaphor--but I am not sure that you have tasted the sugar.'
I repeated this question time and again, one way or another, at every meeting with Krishnamurti and never received a direct or satisfactory answer. The total break came in Bombay. This was my last visit with him for a long time. Again I asked him if there was anything behind the abstractions he was throwing at me, 'Come clean for once.' Then he said with great force, 'You have no way of knowing it!' Then I said, 'If I have no way of knowing it and you have no way of communicating it, what the hell have we been doing! I have wasted seven years listening to you.' "

UG came to the same conclusions I did. K was
saying nothing, it just sounded profound. He
was a performer, not a guru. I puzzled over his
teachings for over 30 years and it was frustrating.
When I came across UG's thoughts on it, I felt as
though a weight had been lifted. It wasn't the
student that had failed, there was no teacher. Later
an insider wrote a tell all book about K, on his secret
affairs and private high living lifestyle. UG then
declared "The picture that emerges from that book
tells us that Krishnamurti has successfully remained
an undetected hoax of the twentieth century."

K fooled thousands of people for a very long time,
I can't feel too badly.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
HotBlonde
HotBlonde
  • Threads: 117
  • Posts: 2334
Joined: Feb 8, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 1:18:09 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

They were brought up in the religion and don't question anything.

That's why I love Byron Katie. She points out that we all live with stories, most of which we never question. She's all about inquiring into the stressful ones to bring us peace.

Quote: MrV

Hawkingongod

I'm glad Stephen was as bold to say what he has to say. People get freaked out thinking that there could actually be no afterlife, that our lives are really just a flash in the pan. And again, FrG, that does not mean that we can't enjoy life or find meaning within our lives, or have no reason to be a good person.

Quote: EvenBob

You could only read their approved books, date their members, and hang out with them. They were extremely judgemental and not afraid to tell you if you were screwing up.

This is similar to my experience in the church. And in addition, we were told that if we fucked up and continued on the same path they would have no problem at all excommunicating us from the church family.
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 1:37:48 PM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

Quote: Mosca


You reminded me of this scene from A Mighty Wind!



Really? Just a kook?

I guess it does go to show that I do not see myself the way other people see me; that translates to here too I guess. I have had to accept that now while once I was unaware of it.




No, no, not YOU; your post. I didn't write that you remind me of; I wrote you reminded me of, by the structure of what you wrote.
A falling knife has no handle.
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
  • Threads: 88
  • Posts: 6526
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 1:41:23 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

We are not called to, nor is it possible for us to completely understand everything as human beings. We must find a way to live in the mystery that surrounds us. Yet we also can't just chalk up everything to mystery or use our inability to comprehend everything as an excuse to not even try.


You know, this is remarkably similar to the branch of computer science called complexity theory. In a nutshell, complexity theory tells us what problems computers can solve and what problems they can't. There are classes of computational problems for which answers cannot be found or even verified easily -- where "easily" means as a polynomial function of the size of the data. Without getting too deep into the actual science, the point is that there are some computational tasks that computers can't practically solve given finite resources (including time). Those problems are called "intractable" -- based on current theory, there is no way to practically solve them.

It's all well and good to admit and accept that computers can't solve certain problems. But it's a big blow to one's ego to admit that *we* can't. I personally am comfortable with my inability to comprehend the unknowable, but I also recognize that I'm in the minority. I took a road trip last week and passed at least 3 different billboards on the same theme: "Have questions? Jesus is the answer." It is, for a great many people, extremely uncomfortable not having answers.

Where it gets touchy, in my opinion, is where the answers -- once codified -- fail to change with the context. That's why I asked about the slavery issue: the context at the time the Law was given to Moses was very different than our modern society. Slavery was an accepted part of life in 1500 BCE. It is not now. If morality is absolute, either we are immoral today by outlawing slavery or the Bible was immoral by permitting it. I'm unaware of a third option, hence my request for commentary. Similarly, women's rights were basically non-existent until very recently in human society; women were historically treated as things rather than people. It took until 1920 for women in the US to gain the right to vote, and it took until 1979 (not kidding) for the UN to pass a women's anti-discrimination convention. Contrast that with biblical law which treats women as property and rape victims as criminals. Read Deuteronomy 22:13-29. That section of the Law provides several instances where a woman may be stoned to death for being raped or by not being a virgin at marriage. Several passages explicitly use the phrase "you must purge the evil from among you". Modern law makes killing female rape victims or non-virgins illegal. Again, if morality is absolute, there is a contradiction between Biblical and modern law. Both cannot be upheld simultaneously.

This all goes away once one the context is adapted -- humans have agreed, in general, to favor human rights and women's equality over ancient Biblical precepts, so we don't regularly have stonings in the town square or slave sales. But how does the Church (or any other religion, for that matter) explain or justify that in light of the supposed absolute infallibility of Biblical morality and law?
"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
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 4:27:01 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

No, no, not YOU



Whew. Thanks.

BTW I am hardly the poster boy for Christianity, in spite of seldom saying so. Not trying to weaken my arguments I think. My faith wavers pretty badly. I guess I feel comfortable in that camp somewhat, on my own terms, which hardly includes church-going, it must be said.
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
January 1st, 2012 at 4:57:14 PM permalink
EvenBob you are at least consistent in your how you incorrectly understand both Scripture and history. If you already have the erroneous conclusion you want to reach in mind you can easily get there by misusing and selectively reading the Bible or history.
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
  • Threads: 51
  • Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 5:16:28 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

EvenBob you are at least consistent in your how you incorrectly understand both Scripture and history. If you already have the erroneous conclusion you want to reach in mind you can easily get there by misusing and selectively reading the Bible or history.

What FrGamble is trying to say is that you should pick and choose which verses of the bible appeal to you and throw out the rest. It's not unheard of, Thomas Jefferson did it.
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
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 5:54:17 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

EvenBob you are at least consistent in your how you incorrectly understand both Scripture and history. If you already have the erroneous conclusion you want to reach in mind you can easily get there by misusing and selectively reading the Bible or history.



This is about the 4th time you've made sweeping
statements about what I write and when I ask for
details, you ignore me. This is really beneath you.
Either be specific, or don't bother. I have no idea
what you're referring to, is that your intent?
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 6:05:52 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist


Where it gets touchy, in my opinion, is where the answers -- once codified -- fail to change with the context. That's why I asked about the slavery issue: the context at the time the Law was given to Moses was very different than our modern society. Slavery was an accepted part of life in 1500 BCE. It is not now. If morality is absolute, either we are immoral today by outlawing slavery or the Bible was immoral by permitting it. I'm unaware of a third option, hence my request for commentary. Similarly, women's rights were basically non-existent until very recently in human society; women were historically treated as things rather than people. It took until 1920 for women in the US to gain the right to vote, and it took until 1979 (not kidding) for the UN to pass a women's anti-discrimination convention. Contrast that with biblical law which treats women as property and rape victims as criminals. Read Deuteronomy 22:13-29. That section of the Law provides several instances where a woman may be stoned to death for being raped or by not being a virgin at marriage. Several passages explicitly use the phrase "you must purge the evil from among you". Modern law makes killing female rape victims or non-virgins illegal. Again, if morality is absolute, there is a contradiction between Biblical and modern law. Both cannot be upheld simultaneously.

This all goes away once one the context is adapted -- humans have agreed, in general, to favor human rights and women's equality over ancient Biblical precepts, so we don't regularly have stonings in the town square or slave sales. But how does the Church (or any other religion, for that matter) explain or justify that in light of the supposed absolute infallibility of Biblical morality and law?



There may be a way to go about answering this question without going into the differences in types of slavery and the corrections and growth seen throughout the Bible in regards to this specific issue. Your question is much bigger than one particular thing and if I understand it correctly is really asking about unchanging moral truths. Is morality absolute or changeable with the times? Specifically how can the Bible be considered a bastion of moral teachings when things are so different today?

It is appropriate to start by asking the first question. I believe, as I imagine most do that there is such a thing as moral right and wrong that are irrespective of the context in which you live. Slavery for example is wrong, whether the Israelites practiced it or not. The atrocities of the Nazi’s are evil even if they managed to exterminate or brainwash everyone into thinking it was not. The time, place, or popular opinion do not make something wrong or right morally. It is very clear that morality then is absolute or we would be forced to accept all types of horrible things and have no ground to say to someone that it is wrong to kill that person because their hair is red for example.

Now in regards to the Bible I think you see what you have already mentioned in your post is a natural unfolding and development towards the moral absolutes. One would have a hard time reading the Sacred Scriptures of the Hebrews and Christians and coming to the conclusion that slavery was a good thing approved by God. From Jesus quoting Isaiah 61:1, his many parables about the importance of the least among us, the love of everyone from foreigners to enemies, the Letter to Philemon, etc., etc. would give us a vision of the dignity of the human person leading us towards the conclusion we have today shown in the Catechism #2414. The underlying thought that would erode the support of the institution of slavery and cause it to come crashing down (even though it still sadly exists) was found in the Bible. The same thing with the archaic laws of purity you mentioned and their unreasonable punishment. The death knell for these violations against the moral law was rung when Jesus wrote something in the sand and forgave the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). There were more than rocks that dropped from the people’s hands that day; the beginning of a thought that would see the end of stoning was begun by Jesus’ actions.

This is why I get uncomfortable when people look for answers only in the Bible. I can’t tell you how much I love the Bible and what it teaches us about God, I call it a love letter written from God to us. However, we are not meant to take it all literally. We see in the Bible itself encouragement for the development of doctrine and moral theology. It is a gift the Church continues to unpack and interpret guided by the Holy Spirit so that the Bible, Tradition, and the Magisterium (or teaching authority of the Church) can all three lead us on the journey to live out the unchanging moral truths more perfectly in our day and age.
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 6:21:50 PM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

What FrGamble is trying to say is that you should pick and choose which verses of the bible appeal to you and throw out the rest. It's not unheard of, Thomas Jefferson did it.



No, I am saying that we need to continue to look at Scripture and History as a whole and not just the nice shiny and wonderful verses or times, nor just the confusing and sad verses and times. To make such sweeping statements about the Church or to reach conclusions about what the Bible teaches based on a few verses leads me to believe as I said very clearly in my post - I think you have your mind made up already and are just choosing moments in history or stories and verses that support your conclusion without giving due respect or attention to the many other examples that would show you to be wrong. I maintain that this is an incorrect way of looking at both Scripture and History.

I have tried to demonstarte this to Bob numerous times, most recently in the way he approached the Trinity and earlier when we had discussions about Confession and the Inquistion period in which in my humble opinion he made the same mistake. I know he is a very smart man and very strong on his views, maybe it would help if when he made such bold and brash statements he made it more clear that this was his opinion, especially because it is usually not backed up with much documentation or background. Come to think of it maybe I could do the same thing a little more often as well.
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 6:58:40 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

choosing moments in history or stories and verses that support your conclusion without giving due respect or attention to the many other examples that would show you to be wrong. I maintain that this is an incorrect way of looking at both Scripture and History.



Good grief, why? If I want to find the Bible's
stance on slavery, I look up passages on slavery.
How else would I do it? Just read it randomly,
hoping to run across what I'm looking for?

Slavery was the same in the OT as it was in
the time of Christ, and in the times after Christ.
You buy a person, enslave them, use them
for whatever you like. Menial labor, concubines,
marry them off to a son, have children and keep
them forever. You could beat them, sell them,
its slavery. How do you pretty that up? It is now,
and always has been, the major civil rights
violation of all time. Just because it was accepted
practice, did that make it OK? Some slaves were
voluntary because of poverty, does that make
it OK? Some men sold their daughters into sexual
slavery because they were poor. Does that make
it OK? Apparently mankinds savior and his followers
thought it was fine, they never spoke a word
against it. Doesn't that bother you, padre? It sure
bothers me and I'm not a Christian. I'd be scratching
my head and going HUH? It doesn't make sense.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
  • Threads: 51
  • Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 7:10:49 PM permalink
This discussion reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:4 which describes love.
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
HotBlonde
HotBlonde
  • Threads: 117
  • Posts: 2334
Joined: Feb 8, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 7:23:54 PM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

This discussion reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:4 which describes love.

This is funny shit. Love it!
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 7:24:13 PM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

This discussion reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:4 which describes love.



Thats very clever, and at the same time depressing,
because its true. You really have to suspend your
logical, rational disbelief to be a member. And be
in complete denial.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 7:51:45 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

One would have a hard time reading the Sacred Scriptures of the Hebrews and Christians and coming to the conclusion that slavery was a good thing approved by God. From Jesus quoting Isaiah 61:1, his many parables about the importance of the least among us, the love of everyone from foreigners to enemies, the Letter to Philemon, etc., etc. would give us a vision of the dignity of the human person leading us towards the conclusion we have today shown in the Catechism #2414. The underlying thought that would erode the support of the institution of slavery and cause it to come crashing down (even though it still sadly exists) was found in the Bible.



"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

"Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them." (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

"The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. 'But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.'" (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)
A falling knife has no handle.
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:06:02 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

his many parables about the importance of the least among us, the love of everyone from foreigners to enemies, the Letter to Philemon, etc., etc. would give us a vision of the dignity of the human person leading us towards the conclusion we have today shown in the Catechism #2414. The underlying thought that would erode the support of the institution of slavery and cause it to come crashing down (even though it still sadly exists) was found in the Bible.



If that was his meaning, why not address it outright then?
He had no qualms about saying what he felt on dozens
of subjects, why be so squeamish on this one? Its really
stretching it to take a couple of obscure verses and say
this was his take on slavery. Like I've heard all my life,
you can make the Bible say anything you want it if
you just look hard enough.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
  • Threads: 51
  • Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:11:57 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

If that was his meaning, why not address it outright then?
He had no qualms about saying what he felt on dozens
of subjects, why be so squeamish on this one? Its really
stretching it to take a couple of obscure verses and say
this was his take on slavery. Like I've heard all my life,
you can make the Bible say anything you want it if
you just look hard enough.

And why did Jesus choose to murder the fig tree instead of commanding it to bear fruit? Certainly the lesson that He wanted to teach (pray for mountaintop removal and if you're a true believer, it will happen) would be equally as valid.
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
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 8:17:35 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Now in regards to the Bible I think you see what you have already mentioned in your post is a natural unfolding and development towards the moral absolutes.



A human morality would indeed evolve in such a way, as we gain understanding of ourselves and the world. But you'd expect an omnipotent, omniscient deity to be able to get it right at the beginning, without a need to evolve towards an ideal. In other words, this view of an evolving "absolute" morality is indirect evidence that all these holy books were written by people, not by the Judeo-Christian conception of a god.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Mosca
Mosca
  • Threads: 191
  • Posts: 4140
Joined: Dec 14, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 8:33:25 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

A human morality would indeed evolve in such a way, as we gain understanding of ourselves and the world. But you'd expect an omnipotent, omniscient deity to be able to get it right at the beginning, without a need to evolve towards an ideal. In other words, this view of an evolving "absolute" morality is indirect evidence that all these holy books were written by people, not by the Judeo-Christian conception of a god.



Here's where the free will get-out-of-jail card gets played.
A falling knife has no handle.
FrGamble
FrGamble
  • Threads: 27
  • Posts: 790
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
January 1st, 2012 at 8:39:05 PM permalink
Quote: HotBlonde

Quote: s2dbaker

This discussion reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:4 which describes love.

This is funny shit. Love it!



I didn't love it and didn't think it was funny but other than that I agree with HB. I will say it is a perfect example of the grotesque way in which people, especially those who want to make some sad and incorrect point, will interpret Scripture. Jesus is the inspiration for the beatuiful image of love used in the passage and He does fulfill it perfectly.
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
  • Threads: 51
  • Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 8:45:12 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Jesus is the inspiration for the beatuiful image of love used in the passage and He does fulfill it perfectly.

* Fig trees not included.
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
January 1st, 2012 at 8:56:54 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

A human morality would indeed evolve in such a way, as we gain understanding of ourselves and the world. But you'd expect an omnipotent, omniscient deity to be able to get it right at the beginning, without a need to evolve towards an ideal. In other words, this view of an evolving "absolute" morality is indirect evidence that all these holy books were written by people, not by the Judeo-Christian conception of a god.



These holy books were indeed written by people inspiried by the Holy Spirit and yet these folks were part of their own time and on a spiritual journey themselves. I'm amazed and somewhat edified that everyone wants the Bible to give very nice and clear and complete answers to all of life's questions. I'm afraid as I mentioned before religion is about mystery and the Bible is not a scientific textbook that says this is exactly as it should be. The answers are there to be found not by just reading a quote or a verse as dead words on the page, but by reflecting upon these things in your heart, praying over them, reading how they have been read by holy men and women and interpreted by the Church. Look at the example of Jesus who spoke in parables and clearly knew the answers but wanted us to know them for ourselves and come to understand them in much the same way we learn things in school. That is another aspect of the Bible many people fail to see. God is bringing us along and developing in us faith, morality, and an understanding of God's amazing love for us surely and slowly like any good teacher who has something important for us to truly know.
Nareed
Nareed
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
January 1st, 2012 at 9:05:04 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

These holy books were indeed written by people inspiried by the Holy Spirit and yet these folks were part of their own time and on a spiritual journey themselves.



Now, you see why I have to keep asking for proof? Otherwise you just wedge your assertions in and expect everyone to agree. Now, considering that all sorts of people have written all sorts of books, and considering no spirits, holy or otherwise, have been ever seen or detected inspiring anyone to do anything, the reasonable conclusion is: all books known were written by people for reasons of their own.

Quote:

I'm amazed and somewhat edified that everyone wants the Bible to give very nice and clear and complete answers to all of life's questions.



Is it too much to ask of an omnipotent and omniscient deity to speak plainly and say what he means to say?

Quote:

The answers are there to be found not by just reading a quote or a verse as dead words on the page, but by reflecting upon these things in your heart, praying over them, reading how they have been read by holy men and women and interpreted by the Church.



So by picking and choosing how to make "this is how you'll treat slaves" into "slavery is wrong." Oh, and we've always been at war with Eurasia. :P

And to think you're worried about subjectivism and moral relativism taking over...
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
98Clubs
98Clubs
  • Threads: 52
  • Posts: 1728
Joined: Jun 3, 2010
January 1st, 2012 at 9:11:46 PM permalink
From the Dark Side of the Thesis of the title:

No portion of this Universe is a perfect vacuum.
A black-hole is filled with energy below the Speed of Light boundary. (ie: the "inner core" is energy)
The core of energy is not a vacuum.

Somewhere between the two opposing viewpoints of God (The Creator of the Universe) and looking scientifically at what exists (while finding new things and or theses) is where we exist.

That old Bi-Polar problem of divide and conquer, chicken and egg, cat and mouse...

98Clubs
Some people need to reimagine their thinking.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
  • Threads: 327
  • Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
January 2nd, 2012 at 4:00:40 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Good grief, why? If I want to find the Bible's stance on slavery, I look up passages on slavery.



Well, Bob, I don't know you, but that statement is a very Protestant statement. Father G, maybe Bob appreciates your special attention to saving his soul or not, but I think he may be caught in the trap we Protestants have set for ourselves: We say all Doctrine must come from Scripture, but then we find reading the Bible to find our own way such a trial. We dabble in Higher Criticism just enough to make trouble. Freethinking heading towards agnosticism at the least is around the corner. Yet we have to ask, if Doctrine can come from outside Scripture, then isn't everyone free to just make it up as we go along? I have enough problem with this last part of the conundrum to be pretty sure I wouldnt make a good Roman Catholic, perhaps not even a good Episcopalian! So I am in the trap too.

BTW that you-tube video I suppose is meant to be humor, but I found it so offensive I couldn't listen to it. If someone found it funny and liked it, fine, but I have to say whoever made it would have to someone who hates God. An Atheist or Agnostic is one thing, but someone who hates God is beyond the pale. That was awful.
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
January 2nd, 2012 at 7:49:59 AM permalink
Not all Christians are Catholics, obviously. Even within believers, there is an entire spectrum of thought, including mainstream denominations, several different iterations of Catholicism, Mormonism (they consider themselves Christians), the many fractions of Baptists including the Westboro Baptist Church....

"MINE is right!" "No, MINE is right!" "GOD HATES FAGS!" "Iconography is idolatry!" "Icons are to be worshipped!" "The universe is 4000 years old!" "Evolution is a lie, fossils were put on the earth by god to fool us!" "Evolution is real, but it is part of God's creation!"

It all gets so tiring. And there is one obvious solution, one sword that cuts the Gordian knot. If you give up the assumption that ONE of them HAS TO be true, and start by admitting there's a possibility that maybe none of them are true, the answer is easy to see. But only if you want to see it.
A falling knife has no handle.
s2dbaker
s2dbaker
  • Threads: 51
  • Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
January 2nd, 2012 at 8:20:37 AM permalink
Atheists are pretty much the same as Theists with one minor caveat: Atheists believe in one less God.
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
EvenBob
EvenBob
  • Threads: 441
  • Posts: 29023
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
January 2nd, 2012 at 12:05:32 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

If you give up the assumption that ONE of them HAS TO be true, and start by admitting there's a possibility that maybe none of them are true, the answer is easy to see. But only if you want to see it.



We have a winner! Either all religions are true, or
none of them are true. They all have a nugget of
truth in them, the rest is just urban legend and
wishful thinking. How can you write knowledgably
about the unknown? What does 'love god' mean.
How can you possibly love something you can't
see, or even prove exists? How can you think god
loves you? Because he gave his only son, blah blah
blah? Says who? Not god, thats for sure.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
MrV
MrV
  • Threads: 364
  • Posts: 8158
Joined: Feb 13, 2010
January 2nd, 2012 at 3:46:46 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

How can you write knowledgably
about the unknown? How can you possibly love something you can't
see, or even prove exists?




God is dread.
"What, me worry?"
  • Jump to: