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Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 08:00 AM
I'm thinking maybe some of the best apologetics with regards to atheists may be "caught" more than "taught".

For 10 years, and admittedly not of my own choosing, my executive assistant was an atheist lesbian Jew. From the moment she found out I was a Christian, she was relentless in her mocking of (she used a word not approved of on Tweb due to blasphemy).

I just decided to continue to be professional, courteous, and "Christian". She never missed an opportunity to flaunt her lesbianism or to bash Christ. She was in charge of arranging our annual Christmas party, which she tried her best to change to "Holiday Party", but the owners wouldn't allow that.

LONG story short, I treated her with courtesy and respect, and, eventually, I endured an episode where my son-in-law to be was diagnosed with cancer. Sharon (not her real name) was compassionate about this, realizing this was not the time to be combative, and often asked how things were going. I ended up performing the wedding for my daughter and the young man, knowing his cancer was terminal, and the "til death do you part" part was really hard for me to say during the vows. 30 days after marrying them, I buried him. Sharon was paying particular attention to my handling of this whole saga.

Amazingly, during this same time, Sharon's sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a Jewish funeral out of state, else I might have attended just to support Sharon.

When she got back from family leave, Sharon came into my office and closed the door. She asked, "what if you're right and I'm wrong?"

I had no idea what she was talking about, but she continued.. "about the Jesus thing".

I explained that if I am wrong about Jesus, then I will have lived a pleasant life, loving family, avoiding a lot of ugliness, and die in peace, apparently dissolving into nothingness, or "whatever" -- no regrets. IF, however, SHE were wrong.... and she interrupted "then I'm in a hell of a lot of trouble".

I don't know that she has taken that any further, or thought much more about it, but I do know that I had an opportunity to witness to her that I never would have had if I had "taken the bait" and "battled" her antagonism and hostility.

I don't discount AT ALL the admonition from scripture to "always be ready to give an answer...." -- in fact, it's a fundamental part of my approach to witnessing. But at some point, there has to be "fertile ground" to plant the seed, and it's amazing to me how the Holy Spirit prepares the soil.

seasanctuary
02-06-2014, 08:25 AM
Despite our religious differences, I commend you for meeting hostility with patience.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 08:25 AM
Despite our religious differences, I commend you for meeting hostility with patience.

It's the Christian thing to do! :wink:

(Thanks, Sea)

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 10:02 AM
When she got back from family leave, Sharon came into my office and closed the door. She asked, "what if you're right and I'm wrong?"
I had no idea what she was talking about, but she continued.. "about the Jesus thing".
I explained that if I am wrong about Jesus, then I will have lived a pleasant life, loving family, avoiding a lot of ugliness, and die in peace, apparently dissolving into nothingness, or "whatever" -- no regrets. IF, however, SHE were wrong.... and she interrupted "then I'm in a hell of a lot of trouble".
So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable. There is nothing good about that. Sorry to hear about your son-in-law. Into every life a little rain must fall.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 10:06 AM
So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable.

"bullies"? wow


There is nothing good about that.

You seem bitter.


Sorry to hear about your son-in-law.

Yes, I can see the empathy oozing.... :smile:


Into every life a little rain must fall.

... and all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. :shrug:

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 10:15 AM
So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable.

Let's try another scenario --- the thief sat in her jail cell, thinking about the dumb thing she did when she stole that family's Christmas presents..... her conscience "bullied" her when she was "at her most vulnerable".

Yeah, you're right, FF.... nothing good about that. :no:

Cerebrum123
02-06-2014, 10:28 AM
Let's try another scenario --- the thief sat in her jail cell, thinking about the dumb thing she did when she stole that family's Christmas presents..... her conscience "bullied" her when she was "at her most vulnerable".

Yeah, you're right, FF.... nothing good about that. :no:

CP, firstfloor is a :troll:. He's demonstrated that very clearly in many threads. You're probably not going to have very fruitful discussion with him.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 10:30 AM
CP, firstfloor is a :troll:. He's demonstrated that very clearly in many threads. You're probably not going to have very fruitful discussion with him.

Yeah, I'm seeing that. He seems like one of the more "rabid" atheists.

Thanks, Brum!

Cerebrum123
02-06-2014, 10:31 AM
Yeah, I'm seeing that. He seems like one of the more "rabid" atheists.

Thanks, Brum!

Yup, although he tends to be more passive aggressive in the way he does it.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 10:33 AM
Yup, although he tends to be more passive aggressive in the way he does it.

Jesus still loves him.

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 10:33 AM
Let's try another scenario --- the thief sat in her jail cell, thinking about the dumb thing she did when she stole that family's Christmas presents..... her conscience "bullied" her when she was "at her most vulnerable".
Yeah, you're right, FF.... nothing good about that. :no:
This is a little different to Pascal’s wager. I cannot imagine why God would be impressed by anyone who played that game; by someone who backed down too easily when threatened or by people who threaten others with the promise of damnation.

Chrawnus
02-06-2014, 10:56 AM
So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable. There is nothing good about that.

Wow, just...wow. I take it you also think that it constitutes bullying when reality throws something unpleasant in your way. :ahem:

KingsGambit
02-06-2014, 11:08 AM
So if somebody is deathly ill and doesn't know it and a doctor tells them what they have and what they need to do about it, using this logic, that doctor is a bully.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 11:14 AM
So if somebody is deathly ill and doesn't know it and a doctor tells them what they have and what they need to do about it, using this logic, that doctor is a bully.

Or, the classic example of the guy yelling that the bridge is out -- should he REALLY "bully" drivers into not driving off the cliff? :shrug: Perhaps it would be much more compassionate if he just stepped aside and stayed out of the road.

Teallaura
02-06-2014, 11:23 AM
She asked - why would lying have been a nice thing to do? Does anyone actually believe she came in wanting to be lied to?

Hey, FF, I hate to break it to you, but you can't fly. Sorry, but gravity isn't a suggestion - hate to 'bully' you by telling you that just 'cause you wanna jump out a window and fly doesn't mean you can.

Sparko
02-06-2014, 11:25 AM
This is a little different to Pascal’s wager. I cannot imagine why God would be impressed by anyone who played that game; by someone who backed down too easily when threatened or by people who threaten others with the promise of damnation.

wow. my eyes are opened. Jesus was such a bully preaching about damnation and hell! How dare he?

FF, CP didn't "threaten" her with pascal's wager. She came up with it on her own if you bother to read his story. How can you even threaten someone with Pascal's wager when they don't even believe in God in the first place? You could tell me that if I don't believe in Cthulu I will spend eternity being eaten by smurfs if you wanted to, but it would not bother me unless I first believed in Cthulu in the first place.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 11:30 AM
yeah!

Cerebrum123
02-06-2014, 11:35 AM
Jesus still loves him.

:yes:

princesa
02-06-2014, 11:37 AM
Wow, the patience you must have had with your EA. I don't think I could have lasted very long without correcting her disrespect and rudeness to her coworkers. I wouldn't have been mean about it, but frank. (how long did you work together before the mtg?)

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 11:43 AM
Wow, the patience you must have had with your EA. I don't think I could have lasted very long without correcting her disrespect and rudeness to her coworkers. I wouldn't have been mean about it, but frank. (how long did you work together before the mtg?)

She was "assigned" to me by the owner of the company. She was the "pit bull" who got things done, and handled his "difficulties". For some reason, I'm really drawn to "difficult people", and love to win them over. On top of everything else, I knew she was a Chicago Yankee. :smile: I was just determined she wouldn't get my goat, and she never did. I DID have to "stand her down" on occasion due to her rudeness, but I managed to do it in a firm but friendly way.

I honestly believed she needed Jesus, and it was MUCH easier just to be offended than to be a determined witness. It was good practice for me in dealing with difficult church people. :smile:

princesa
02-06-2014, 11:56 AM
Yes, it would have been hard for me to deal with her. I need Jesus too but I don't go around insulting people! People like her get under my skin, especially because that's exactly the reaction they want, so they taunt what's sacred to me and I'm supposed to just let her be rude so I can be the better person!? I am so mad at her!!!

I need to breathe.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 11:59 AM
Yes, it would have been hard for me to deal with her. I need Jesus too but I don't go around insulting people! People like her get under my skin, especially because that's exactly the reaction they want, so they taunt what's sacred to me and I'm supposed to just let her be rude so I can be the better person!? I am so mad at her!!!

I need to breathe.

:smile: So, maybe it's a character flaw in me that I love dealing with that kind of person, because "I win" their game? :smile:

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 12:10 PM
Wow, just...wow. I take it you also think that it constitutes bullying when reality throws something unpleasant in your way. :ahem:
I don’t know why you don’t see it. It is very sad indeed to see people so worried about being wrong or out of step. The faith should not be that important. Fascism is when disagreement is met with ostracism and punishment.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 12:14 PM
I don’t know why you don’t see it. It is very sad indeed to see people so worried about being wrong or out of step. The faith should not be that important. Fascism is when disagreement is met with ostracism and punishment.

Perhaps you wouldn't be so bitter if you knew the Joy of Jesus, FF. :pray:

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 12:19 PM
wow. my eyes are opened. Jesus was such a bully preaching about damnation and hell! How dare he?
FF, CP didn't "threaten" her with pascal's wager. She came up with it on her own if you bother to read his story. How can you even threaten someone with Pascal's wager when they don't even believe in God in the first place? You could tell me that if I don't believe in Cthulu I will spend eternity being eaten by smurfs if you wanted to, but it would not bother me unless I first believed in Cthulu in the first place.
I don’t blame Jesus. And I was not suggesting that CP bullied anyone either. I look up to CP in the same way that I look up to you. No, as I understood the story, she bullied herself (as you point out), or, she let the religion bully her. It amounts to the same thing; a story of intimidation.

Irate Canadian
02-06-2014, 12:20 PM
I don’t know why you don’t see it. It is very sad indeed to see people so worried about being wrong or out of step. The faith should not be that important. Fascism is when disagreement is met with ostracism and punishment.

Uh FF, where exactly did Cow Poke bully that lady? She came and asked him,rather then CP forcing it down her throat...

ETA: Regarding your post above,how exactly did she intimidate herself/religion intimidate her?

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 12:20 PM
I don’t blame Jesus. And I was not suggesting that CP bullied anyone either. I look up to CP in the same way that I look up to you. No, as I understood the story, she bullied herself (as you point out), or, she let the religion bully her. It amounts to the same thing; a story of intimidation.

I'm speechless.

princesa
02-06-2014, 12:21 PM
:smile: So, maybe it's a character flaw in me that I love dealing with that kind of person, because "I win" their game? :smile:

Not a flaw in the least, the world needs to have an influx of such character blessings! :)

Sparko
02-06-2014, 12:32 PM
I think firstfloor needs some "bullying" :hug:

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 12:37 PM
Perhaps you wouldn't be so bitter if you knew the Joy of Jesus, FF. :pray:
I am not bitter and I do not have a quarrel with Jesus. I just do not look at the world through Christo-glasses. I am not Bible centred.
It is quite annoying to non-Christians when Christians insist on telling them that they lack some vital ingredient in their life. It is utter nonsense. Atheists are not difficult subjects. The simply live in the real world (unlike you-know-who).

Sparko
02-06-2014, 12:43 PM
Firstfloor, you lack a vital ingredient in your life.

And it bothers you. That much is obvious. Otherwise you wouldn't spend so much time trying to troll Christians. Your bitterness shows quite plainly.

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 12:48 PM
Jesus still loves him.
And I love all you lot, except C123 who is a complete PITA.

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 12:58 PM
Hey, FF, I hate to break it to you, but you can't fly. Sorry, but gravity isn't a suggestion - hate to 'bully' you by telling you that just 'cause you wanna jump out a window and fly doesn't mean you can.
I discovered recently that some Christians cannot tell the difference between a fable and history. I think that is the true nature of your confusion. You should read more, just not more Bible.

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 01:08 PM
Firstfloor, you lack a vital ingredient in your life.
And it bothers you. That much is obvious. Otherwise you wouldn't spend so much time trying to troll Christians. Your bitterness shows quite plainly.
I am not bitter (how many times do I have to say it!). I enjoy the discussion. Think of me as window on the real world.

Sparko
02-06-2014, 01:09 PM
I am not bitter (how many times do I have to say it!).

sure you aren't. We can all see that. :no:

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 01:22 PM
I am not bitter (how many times do I have to say it!). I enjoy the discussion. Think of me as window on the real world.

Or I could think of you as "Windows ME (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_ME)"! :lmbo:


(sorry :sad:)

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 01:24 PM
Not a flaw in the least, the world needs to have an influx of such character blessings! :)

Awwwwww shucks, ma'am. :blush:

Christianbookworm
02-06-2014, 01:27 PM
What's firstfloor's problem? If he wants to be bored for eternity, so be it. Seriously, how many here believe that Hell is a place of torture or something? If you don't, and I don't(It would still be no fun at all), then you can't really say that it's "bullying". Heaven's where the real party/adventure is at.

Christianbookworm
02-06-2014, 01:29 PM
Though I do hope he doesn't want to be bored and shamed.

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 02:04 PM
What's firstfloor's problem?
My problem is that I have no problem.
Have any of you lovely chaps come across Peter Rollins? Postmodern Christianity? I have been listening to him recently. Do you see a divergence happening between contemporary and traditional forms of Christianity? Is traditional Christianity at a dead end?

Cerebrum123
02-06-2014, 02:06 PM
I am not bitter (how many times do I have to say it!). I enjoy the discussion. Think of me as window on the real world.

Yeah, that doesn't fit very well with the following.


And I love all you lot, except C123 who is a complete PITA.

No one's buying it.

Christianbookworm
02-06-2014, 02:08 PM
Then why do you keep acting like you have a problem with us believing want we believe? We hold to different worldviews and thus won't likely agree period.

Teallaura
02-06-2014, 02:11 PM
Does reading FF's garbage count as 'reading something besides the Bible'? Just curious.


Gotta go catch up on my reading! So many books, so little time...

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 02:22 PM
Then why do you keep acting like you have a problem with us believing want we believe? We hold to different worldviews and thus won't likely agree period.
Not my problem; yours - wicked atheists, etc.

Christianbookworm
02-06-2014, 02:24 PM
Then you won't get to go to the party.

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 02:26 PM
Then you won't get to go to the party.
I'm already at the party.

Christianbookworm
02-06-2014, 02:29 PM
I'm already at the party.

Yours won't last forever.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 02:56 PM
Yours won't last forever.

Yeah, what's that song... turn out the lights, the party's over - they say that all good things must end... :shrug:

whag
02-06-2014, 05:06 PM
I'm thinking maybe some of the best apologetics with regards to atheists may be "caught" more than "taught".

For 10 years, and admittedly not of my own choosing, my executive assistant was an atheist lesbian Jew. From the moment she found out I was a Christian, she was relentless in her mocking of (she used a word not approved of on Tweb due to blasphemy).

I just decided to continue to be professional, courteous, and "Christian". She never missed an opportunity to flaunt her lesbianism or to bash Christ. She was in charge of arranging our annual Christmas party, which she tried her best to change to "Holiday Party", but the owners wouldn't allow that.

LONG story short, I treated her with courtesy and respect, and, eventually, I endured an episode where my son-in-law to be was diagnosed with cancer. Sharon (not her real name) was compassionate about this, realizing this was not the time to be combative, and often asked how things were going. I ended up performing the wedding for my daughter and the young man, knowing his cancer was terminal, and the "til death do you part" part was really hard for me to say during the vows. 30 days after marrying them, I buried him. Sharon was paying particular attention to my handling of this whole saga.

Amazingly, during this same time, Sharon's sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a Jewish funeral out of state, else I might have attended just to support Sharon.

When she got back from family leave, Sharon came into my office and closed the door. She asked, "what if you're right and I'm wrong?"

I had no idea what she was talking about, but she continued.. "about the Jesus thing".

I explained that if I am wrong about Jesus, then I will have lived a pleasant life, loving family, avoiding a lot of ugliness, and die in peace, apparently dissolving into nothingness, or "whatever" -- no regrets. IF, however, SHE were wrong.... and she interrupted "then I'm in a hell of a lot of trouble".

I don't know that she has taken that any further, or thought much more about it, but I do know that I had an opportunity to witness to her that I never would have had if I had "taken the bait" and "battled" her antagonism and hostility.

I don't discount AT ALL the admonition from scripture to "always be ready to give an answer...." -- in fact, it's a fundamental part of my approach to witnessing. But at some point, there has to be "fertile ground" to plant the seed, and it's amazing to me how the Holy Spirit prepares the soil.

I believe this happened just the way you described it (I've known militant homosexuals and atheists), and I commend you for the way you handled it, Mr. Poke.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 07:19 PM
I believe this happened just the way you described it (I've known militant homosexuals and atheists), and I commend you for the way you handled it, Mr. Poke.

Thanks, whag -- and she often identified herself to others as my "work wife". :doh:

whag
02-06-2014, 07:51 PM
Thanks, whag -- and she often identified herself to others as my "work wife". :doh:

Well that's just downright sad. If I was witnessing to her, I would have told her that her aggression in the workplace should be more of a concern to her than her attraction to her own gender. She's much more the master of the former, much less so of the latter. Would you agree?

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 12:04 AM
Yours won't last forever.
Don’t dream your life away. You might not survive your death.

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 01:51 AM
Life after death is what you leave behind; memories, history, children. Your last day on earth is judgement day because at that point your history is fixed forever. Hell is your memory of the things that you feel guilty about. Heaven is the final release from that pain when you disappear into nothingness.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 02:08 AM
And I love all you lot, except C123 who is a complete PITA.

While he can be difficult, in C123's defense, he's dealing with some fairly severe, chronic medical issues. Personally, I cut him some slack, and recommend others do the same. On occasion, even I, the princely protagonist of all that is warm and compassionate, have been called a "jerk."

Imagine that.

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 02:14 AM
While he can be difficult, in C123's defense, he's dealing with some fairly severe, chronic medical issues. Personally, I cut him some slack, and recommend others do the same. On occasion, even I, the princely protagonist of all that is warm and compassionate, have been called a "jerk."

Imagine that.
Thanks for that. I will try to love C123 too.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 02:25 AM
Or, the classic example of the guy yelling that the bridge is out -- should he REALLY "bully" drivers into not driving off the cliff? :shrug: Perhaps it would be much more compassionate if he just stepped aside and stayed out of the road.

There is no cliff.

I've seen that example used before, many times, at The Other Location. Unsurprisingly, it was just another self-justification for wannabe bullies and attention-seekers. No one who posted there would ever confuse their motivations with compassion.

And if there was a cliff, parking the car across the road would get the same job done, without the histrionics. Real cliffs have the distinct advantage of being visible to everyone, and can be safely avoided merely by slowing down and being prepared to stop.

As ever, Jesse

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 04:12 AM
There is no cliff.

I've seen that example used before, many times, at The Other Location. Unsurprisingly, it was just another self-justification for wannabe bullies and attention-seekers. No one who posted there would ever confuse their motivations with compassion.

And if there was a cliff, parking the car across the road would get the same job done, without the histrionics. Real cliffs have the distinct advantage of being visible to everyone, and can be safely avoided merely by slowing down and being prepared to stop.

As ever, Jesse

Dear Jesse,

In my police days, we actually DID have a bridge that got washed away in a storm, and drivers approaching at normal driving speed had no visual clue whatsoever that the bridge was out, and 4 cars went over the edge -- ok, technically not a "cliff" -- but 3 people drowned as a result of that. The fact that the bridge was out was clearly NOT "visible to everyone", and not EVERYONE managed to avoid by "merely slowing down and being prepared to stop". :glare:

A truck driver saw the tail lights in front of him suddenly disappear, and he did stop short of the "cliff" (overhang? edge?) and manage to warn the others, for which they were truly grateful.

The point is -- if I see a danger and don't warn others, I'm not a very good person.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 04:22 AM
Well that's just downright sad.

When her sister died, it was a turning point, Whag. She actually became a "softer" person, much less brusque, and we had some very good discussions. When she described herself as my "work wife", she was actually being complimentary (complementary? I always get those two mixed up) We ended up working together on some major projects which required lots of time in meetings, and she demonstrated the ability to be quite professional and civil.


If I was witnessing to her, I would have told her that her aggression in the workplace should be more of a concern to her than her attraction to her own gender.

I was never comfortable addressing the "gender" issue -- having grown up in a very conservative home, homosexuality was downright horrible. :shrug: Working with her forced me to deal with that, and realize I could actually be civil to gays and lesbians, without compromising my convictions. It was a good experience for me.


She's much more the master of the former, much less so of the latter. Would you agree?

For the first 6 or 7 years I knew her, yes.... after her sister died, I think she really began to reevaluate who she was and how she treated people. I think her sister was the only family member she had left -- her mother had disowned her, to the point of leaving $1.00 to her in her will, while her sister "got the farm". (Her Jewish parents were in the meat packing business in Chicago, and had been quite successful. I know that was PART of her bitterness -- the fact that her mother disowned her)

When I meet somebody like Sharon, I always, in the back of my mind, suspect there's a reason that they are like they are. I always imagine there is something going on I don't know about, and time after time this has proved true. Not saying it "justifies" her meanness, but it helps me understand it. Lots of people respond to "hurt" by acting out.

(More than you asked for, I know, but it's good for me to look back and think things over :smile:)

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 04:36 AM
The point is -- if I see a danger and don't warn others, I'm not a very good person.
Or, you might be falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre and causing unnecessary distress – to use the tired old cliché. That makes you a bed person – for the sake of argument.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 04:44 AM
Or, you might be falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre and causing unnecessary distress – to use the tired old cliché. That makes you a bed person – for the sake of argument.

If I sincerely believe there's a fire in the theater, and there's not, and I shout "fire" -- it doesn't make me a "bad person", FF. It just makes me wrong. :glare:

(you DID mean a "bad" person, right? Not a "bed" person? :grin:)

seasanctuary
02-07-2014, 04:52 AM
There's intention and there's reality and it's simplistic to sum someone up by just one of those.

(I'm definitely a bed person. Could never manage to fall asleep in a cushy chair.)

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 05:00 AM
There's intention and there's reality and it's simplistic to sum someone up by just one of those.

(I'm definitely a bed person. Could never manage to fall asleep in a cushy chair.)

Perception is reality. :glare:

(I have a really nice leather couch upon which I have NO problem falling asleep, but I do prefer my bed for anything more than a nap. :smile:)

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 05:07 AM
If I sincerely believe there's a fire in the theater, and there's not, and I shout "fire" -- it doesn't make me a "bad person", FF. It just makes me wrong. :glare:
(you DID mean a "bad" person, right? Not a "bed" person? :grin:)
Yes, you are quite right, bad not bed. Sincerity is no excuse. You might be sincerely mad. Sincerity has nothing to do with being right. You might be diseased and what you are doing is coughing, very sincerely, over everyone else.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 05:09 AM
Yes, you are quite right, bad not bed. Sincerity is no excuse. You might be sincerely mad. Sincerity has nothing to do with being right. You might be diseased and what you are doing is coughing, very sincerely, over everyone else.

Meanwhile, I am free to preach and witness, and you are free to ignore and whine. :wink:

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 05:43 AM
Meanwhile, I am free to preach and witness, and you are free to ignore and whine. :wink:
Yes, except that I am not ignoring the message and I am not whining (a defensive, pejorative term used by Christians when a fair and reasonable debating point is made).:wink::wink:

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 05:54 AM
Yes, except that I am not ignoring the message and I am not whining (a defensive, pejorative term used by Christians when a fair and reasonable debating point is made).

Well, feel free to make a reasonable debating point any time. :wink::wink::wink:

As a matter of fact, why don't you kinda boil it down into one cogent statement, and go from there?

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 06:15 AM
Well, feel free to make a reasonable debating point any time. :wink::wink::wink:
As a matter of fact, why don't you kinda boil it down into one cogent statement, and go from there?
Okay. Religious people in general suffer from a very strong sense of certainty. Because certainty is unrelated to knowledge it is not a good ground on which to seek to influence a person’s behaviour or beliefs.

Chrawnus
02-07-2014, 06:19 AM
Okay. Religious people in general suffer from a very strong sense of certainty. Because certainty is unrelated to knowledge it is not a good ground on which to seek to influence a person’s behaviour or beliefs.

Are you certain of that?















:outtie:

Sparko
02-07-2014, 06:32 AM
Irony meter... meet firstfloor.

Cerebrum123
02-07-2014, 07:02 AM
There's intention and there's reality and it's simplistic to sum someone up by just one of those.

(I'm definitely a bed person. Could never manage to fall asleep in a cushy chair.)

I have a hard time sleeping in anything other than a recliner. The one I have now is quite nice. :yes:

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 08:27 AM
Okay. Religious people in general suffer from a very strong sense of certainty. Because certainty is unrelated to knowledge it is not a good ground on which to seek to influence a person’s behaviour or beliefs.

That's IT? :huh:

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 08:32 AM
The point is -- if I see a danger and don't warn others, I'm not a very good person.

Dear CP,

The point is ... it needs to be a real danger. Or at the very least, a danger that can be avoided.

Death is inevitable, and if there's anything after death, it's done an amazingly good job of keeping itself hidden. So good, in fact, that I'm likely to continue believing it doesn't exist, and that those who believe otherwise, especially those who believe not merely that there is something there, but that they can hand out important details about it, are — with due apologies to our friends the Mormons — talking out of their hats.

But what if you're right, and there really is something after death? In fact, what if there actually is an anthropomorphic deity who created the universe sitting on a seat of judgment waiting for each of us to cast off this mortal coil, with an actual heaven and an actual hell awaiting the verdicts on whether they'd acknowledged Him correctly?

In that case, I certainly wouldn't want to be the kind of Christian I see most often around here.

Better than half of these folks believe their Creator was an idiot, a creator of the biological evolution we can see leveraging the laws of the universe into a diversity of species we can follow back over the past few billion years — who couldn't quite bring Himself to use it. Their substitute creator has fingers in the mud shaping golems needing mouth-to-mouth vivification before they could be induced to walk, talk, and breathe on their own; a cosmic bumbler so to speak. Nearly half of American Christians believe this, and believe this happened just a few thousand years ago, thumbing their collective noses at 99.9999562 percent of His creation.

Running the numbers, I'd say there's an exit interview waiting for them that's likely to go something more than 99.9999562 percent amiss.

"Wrong deity, dude. It's door number two for you."

But it said right here ...

"Did you miss the talking snake?"

But I believed in you! Lord, Lord!

"You never knew me; I never knew you. ... Next!"

I believe folks should approach the aspects of a universe creator with a bit more humility than that. There are things around us so far beyond our scale of comprehension that it's nearly certain we haven't a prayer of comprehending the wants of their creator, let alone satisfying them. Live a good life. Be kind to strangers. That's enough, and it's rewarding enough by itself without looking for anything more.

As ever, Jesse

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 08:34 AM
Dear CP,

The point is ... it needs to be a real danger.

I believe it is.


Or at the very least, a danger that can be avoided.

It can.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 08:40 AM
I believe it is.

You believe wrong.


It can.

No, it can't.

Well, that was satisfying. Glad I went to the trouble of putting down my thoughts.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 08:46 AM
You believe wrong.

Yo momma* :glare:


No, it can't.

Says You! :rant:


Well, that was satisfying. Glad I went to the trouble of putting down my thoughts.

I actually read them, lt, and I appreciate both the kind manner in which you wrote them, and thought behind them. I still believe.



*trusting you're not as psycho wacky as the last person to whom I said that in OBVIOUS jest, but causing him nonetheless to come to Texas and whip my $#!%!. :smile:

firstfloor
02-07-2014, 09:02 AM
That's IT? :huh:
You wanted it boiled down?

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 09:05 AM
You wanted it boiled down?

Yeah, and kinda like what happens to okra -- it got slimy. :smile:

Try it deep fried this time.

Sparko
02-07-2014, 09:05 AM
TeeJay!

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 09:06 AM
TeeJay!

And Mickiel (sp?)

princesa
02-07-2014, 09:36 AM
We believe there is a real danger because we believe differently (I know, obvious) But that’s why it’s so incredible for someone who doesn’t,..it’s like telling someone they must be afraid of that little tiny mosquito because it will ruin him. The guy looks at him like he’s crazy, it’s just a tiny mosquito. But we fear it carries a plague. The message can be ruined or misunderstood by the delivery, which is why I’m grateful for the Lewis’s, WL Craigs and R. Zacharias’s of the world to name just a few. I’m also grateful to the little old lady I’ve lived with most of my life who couldn’t match them intellectually but her wisdom probably surpassed their intellect and impacted me greatly. There are all levels of Christian thinkers and message deliverers (some don’t even use words) suited to engage in speaking on these types of differing belief systems. Sometimes an ‘intellectual’ will mix with a ‘little old lady’ type and have an impact too. We are all imperfect and sometimes I don’t care that someone isn’t a Christian, I don’t have time, I’m tired and I never thought of myself as a missionary to win souls. That sounds selfish but that is my nature. Sometimes I do get inspired and I’ve impacted people (I’ve been told, but I can feel it those times)


Anyhoo, as far as the 99.9999562 percent of Christians mentioned who don’t believe in evolution. Pretty sure that is a non issue for God. He wouldn’t say “I never knew you” because someone got the whole timing of the earth wrong. That was just extra credit. I also believe we should live a good life and be kind to strangers (I live in NY, really hard to do here sometimes). Unfortunately that falls so short, in my life, of being ‘enough’, I need more. I have a longing this seemingly soulless world can’t satisfy. I’ve tried. Millionaires have tried, Harvard grads tried, celebrities tried, your average every person like me has tried, money and fame doesn’t cut it for a lot of people, even living comfortably with a healthy family and good job doesn’t cut if for some people. You still feel this longing that physical gratifications weren’t cut out to satisfy. People try, it doesn’t work. I can’t live without thinking about God everyday (I thought about Him everyday too when I was not a believer)and trying, not to satisfy Him, but to ‘feel’ close to him, in some way. Which would probably satisfy Him but since I’m selfish it’s the feel I go for. When He’s not in my life because I’ve been too busy or immature in my faith, I pay the price and it’s not worth living to me.

seer
02-07-2014, 09:52 AM
We believe there is a real danger because we believe differently (I know, obvious) But that’s why it’s so incredible for someone who doesn’t,..it’s like telling someone they must be afraid of that little tiny mosquito because it will ruin him. The guy looks at him like he’s crazy, it’s just a tiny mosquito. But we fear it carries a plague. The message can be ruined or misunderstood by the delivery, which is why I’m grateful for the Lewis’s, WL Craigs and R. Zacharias’s of the world to name just a few. I’m also grateful to the little old lady I’ve lived with most of my life who couldn’t match them intellectually but her wisdom probably surpassed their intellect and impacted me greatly. There are all levels of Christian thinkers and message deliverers (some don’t even use words) suited to engage in speaking on these types of differing belief systems. Sometimes an ‘intellectual’ will mix with a ‘little old lady’ type and have an impact too. We are all imperfect and sometimes I don’t care that someone isn’t a Christian, I don’t have time, I’m tired and I never thought of myself as a missionary to win souls. That sounds selfish but that is my nature. Sometimes I do get inspired and I’ve impacted people (I’ve been told, but I can feel it those times)


Anyhoo, as far as the 99.9999562 percent of Christians mentioned who don’t believe in evolution. Pretty sure that is a non issue for God. He wouldn’t say “I never knew you” because someone got the whole timing of the earth wrong. That was just extra credit. I also believe we should live a good life and be kind to strangers (I live in NY, really hard to do here sometimes). Unfortunately that falls so short, in my life, of being ‘enough’, I need more. I have a longing this seemingly soulless world can’t satisfy. I’ve tried. Millionaires have tried, Harvard grads tried, celebrities tried, your average every person like me has tried, money and fame doesn’t cut it for a lot of people, even living comfortably with a healthy family and good job doesn’t cut if for some people. You still feel this longing that physical gratifications weren’t cut out to satisfy. People try, it doesn’t work. I can’t live without thinking about God everyday (I thought about Him everyday too when I was not a believer)and trying, not to satisfy Him, but to ‘feel’ close to him, in some way. Which would probably satisfy Him but since I’m selfish it’s the feel I go for. When He’s not in my life because I’ve been too busy or immature in my faith, I pay the price and it’s not worth living to me.

Good points!

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 09:54 AM
Good points!

Yeah!

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 11:10 AM
Good points!


Yeah!

You see, that's why I generally stay away from witnessing to theists. They've got something that works for them, and keeps them out of the pool halls after school, so why fuss about it? What if it is entirely possible to live a full and rewarding life without believing in anything supernatural? (It is, of course.) There are opportunity costs in doing otherwise, but those are virtual opportunities. Sunday mornings not spent in church aren't all that likely to be spent working a soup kitchen instead.

Oh, and CP? About Yo mamma ... I'm going to come to Texas and beat your $#!@# until you dish out some ice cream. Dark chocolate, so we can post pics to annoy Mossy.

As ever, Jesse

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 11:14 AM
You see, that's why I generally stay away from witnessing to theists. They've got something that works for them, and keeps them out of the pool halls after school, so why fuss about it? What if it is entirely possible to live a full and rewarding life without believing in anything supernatural? (It is, of course.) There are opportunity costs in doing otherwise, but those are virtual opportunities. Sunday mornings not spent in church aren't all that likely to be spent working a soup kitchen instead.

Oh, and CP? About Yo mamma ... I'm going to come to Texas and beat your $#!@# until you dish out some ice cream. Dark chocolate, so we can post pics to annoy Mossy.

As ever, Jesse

You gave me a much needed laugh, Jesse. It's not been such a good week. Probably a good reason not to be posting. :shrug:

If you came to Texas, I'd be happy to grill you a steak and spend some time getting to know you.

(you DO eat steak, yes?)

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 11:16 AM
Anyhoo, as far as the 99.9999562 percent of Christians ...

Umm, that's 99.9999562 (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=%2813%2C700%2C000%2C000-6000%29%2F13%2C700%2C000%2C000) percent of the timeline of creation not being credited to the creator, making the adherent more than 99.9999562 percent wrong about the deity they've chosen to worship. I didn't factor in anything beyond time.

</math nazi>

Would you like some dark chocolate ice cream? CP's buying.

princesa
02-07-2014, 11:23 AM
Umm, that's 99.9999562 (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=%2813%2C700%2C000%2C000-6000%29%2F13%2C700%2C000%2C000) percent of the timeline of creation not being credited to the creator, making the adherent more than 99.9999562 percent wrong about the deity they've chosen to worship. I didn't factor in anything beyond time.

</math nazi>

Would you like some dark chocolate ice cream? CP's buying.

ooh, does this mean you read me twice and just caught this blunder? At any rate, I am ever so grateful that math isn't part of the spiritual equation. If the chocolate is over 70% cocoa then it's a yes!

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 11:25 AM
You gave me a much needed laugh, Jesse. It's not been such a good week. Probably a good reason not to be posting. :shrug:

If you came to Texas, I'd be happy to grill you a steak and spend some time getting to know you.

(you DO eat steak, yes?)

I'd be more than happy to watch you grill up some steak for yourself and everyone else, but I've been vegetarian for about 25 years. (Health reasons, can't eat anything that's been injected with antibiotics, especially penicillin.) I hear those grills work on corn, peppers, and sweet potatoes, though. And if you can find some Mexican joint that serves up chili relleno tacos, like we had before the war ...

I saw the shout about your wife. Best wishes, and good luck.

As ever, Jesse

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 11:31 AM
I'd be more than happy to watch you grill up some steak for yourself and everyone else, but I've been vegetarian for about 25 years.

Yeah, I kinda thought I remembered that.


(Health reasons, can't eat anything that's been injected with antibiotics, especially penicillin.) I hear those grills work on corn, peppers, and sweet potatoes, though.

Actually, I've cut way back on red meat, and have been grilling more chicken and fish. Starting about 5 0r 6 years ago, however, I really got into grilling veggies -- grilled zucchini is one of my favorites. :smile:


And if you can find some Mexican joint that serves up chili relleno tacos, like we had before the war ...

There's an old house down the road that has been converted into a restaurant, of sorts, and is probably not on any health inspector's list, but... :thumb:


I saw the shout about your wife. Best wishes, and good luck.

Thanks, Jesse. You're a stand up guy.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 11:32 AM
ooh, does this mean you read me twice and just caught this blunder? At any rate, I am ever so grateful that math isn't part of the spiritual equation. If the chocolate is over 70% cocoa then it's a yes!

Nah, I caught it immediately and almost stopped reading. But you recovered nicely, so I'm glad I didn't.

It'll be over 70 percent cocoa, or I'll kick his $!#@ twice.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 11:33 AM
I'm feelin the love! :hug:

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 11:33 AM
Last time I checked, the only things you have to get right is that Jesus is the incarnate second Person of the one triune God, His death and resurrection to pay fully for the sins of those who believe, and I think that sums it up. Anything not covered in the apostle's creed is secondary. So, being wrong about the specifics of how God created the universe won't really have any impact. What's important is accepting the gift of eternal life.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 11:57 AM
Last time I checked, the only things you have to get right is that Jesus is the incarnate second Person of the one triune God, His death and resurrection to pay fully for the sins of those who believe, and I think that sums it up. Anything not covered in the apostle's creed is secondary. So, being wrong about the specifics of how God created the universe won't really have any impact. What's important is accepting the gift of eternal life.

Dear CBW,

I posted a muslim board with a guy who "reverted," as they say, to Islam after learning the "truth," as he now saw it, about the Moon landings.

Now some, maybe most, muslims would say that's not a mistake that matters. But we all know it does. Making your religion look foolish is going to have an effect, if not on you, personally, then on those who are giving it consideration. While it's true that academics are generally far less religious than the general population, there's one field of study that sports nearly universal rejection of Christianity.

Biology.

Maybe it's just that Christianity so often gets the basics of biology wrong, which no doubt turns many of them away, but it's not as if that's not a factor with other academics equally familiar with the basics of biology, and geology, and physics which are just as often presented inaccurately. What's different for biologists is that Christians so often attack them directly, and other Christians, who should know better, don't bother coming to their defense, choosing instead to paper it over with platitudes about how it doesn't really matter.

Au contraire.

As ever, Jesse

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 12:10 PM
No, just the idea that we have the same ancestor as a bacterium. Any empirical proof for that? Besides, we don't have any way of prooving what happened at the start of time itself. Anyway, off topic. Evolution is not the whole of biology. And I don't believe species stayed the same. Like an ancestor of all felines including lions, tigers, house cats, and so one. Kinds, not species. Who believes that poodles were on the ark? Or lions, asian elephants, zebras, and wolves for that matter.

princesa
02-07-2014, 12:27 PM
Dear CBW,

Biology.

Maybe it's just that Christianity so often gets the basics of biology wrong, which no doubt turns many of them away, but it's not as if that's not a factor with other academics equally familiar with the basics of biology, and geology, and physics which are just as often presented inaccurately. What's different for biologists is that Christians so often attack them directly, and other Christians, who should know better, don't bother coming to their defense, choosing instead to paper it over with platitudes about how it doesn't really matter.

Au contraire.

As ever, Jesse

Thanks for continuing to read my post after the mathematical error.

Regarding groups. What kind of group would impact an intellectual considering that religion? Consider Behe the biochemist, even if you don't agree with his IC statements he doesn't get the basics embarrassingly wrong, does he? Are we referring to behe type groups that manage to allow their faith and science to co-exist?

should neuroscientists be offended if Christians have a basic understanding of such an esoteric field

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 12:39 PM
No, just the idea that we have the same ancestor as a bacterium. Any empirical proof for that? Besides, we don't have any way of prooving what happened at the start of time itself. Anyway, off topic. Evolution is not the whole of biology. And I don't believe species stayed the same. Like an ancestor of all felines including lions, tigers, house cats, and so one. Kinds, not species. Who believes that poodles were on the ark? Or lions, asian elephants, zebras, and wolves for that matter.

Dear CBW,

You're not making any inroads with atheists here by adding recycled rebuttals of science you don't understand yourself to a conversation with those who do. On the contrary, you are the Christian I was just warning about. The "kind," if you'll forgive the jest, that makes Christians, and Christianity, look foolish, in reckless disregard of the biologists you're pushing out of your churches at a much higher rate than scientists in any other branch of study, who are similarly being pushed out, though not as forcefully.

You claim to be a grad student. I don't believe it. But if you are, take your preaching to a biologist on campus, because we're all full in here. If you want to remain ignorant, I'm fine with that, too, but I'm going to add a bit of advice from my old gran, long since deceased, "Better to remain silent and appear foolish than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

As ever, Jesse

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 12:50 PM
I wasn't trying to rebut anything. Just explaining my position. Not everyone has to be a science expert, I don't claim to be. Just that we don't need any strawman arguments about what creationism is either.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 12:51 PM
I'm in library science, and was a major in psychology. So, I'm not claiming to be an expert in the hard sciences.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 01:07 PM
Thanks for continuing to read my post after the mathematical error.

Regarding groups. What kind of group would impact an intellectual considering that religion? Consider Behe the biochemist, even if you don't agree with his IC statements he doesn't get the basics embarrassingly wrong, does he? Are we referring to behe type groups that manage to allow their faith and science to co-exist?

Dear princesa,

Behe's an embarrassment even inside his own department, so he's hardly a good example to use with atheists. The Disco-tuters in general are something of a laughing-stock. There are others, though, like Ken Miller (http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/), who are both respected by non-theists, and have been pro-active in pushing back against the biological misinformation promoted by Behe et al. There's also the American Scientific Affiliation (http://network.asa3.org/), which is entirely reputable, and Francis' Collins BioLogos Foundation (http://biologos.org/), which features good science and the occasional posting (http://biologos.org/blog/author/pete-enns) from excellent Biblical scholars.

As ever, Jesse

princesa
02-07-2014, 01:09 PM
Dear princesa,

Behe's an embarrassment even inside his own department, so he's hardly a good example to use with atheists. The Disco-tuters in general are something of a laughing-stock. There are others, though, like Ken Miller (http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/), who are both respected by non-theists, and have been pro-active in pushing back against the biological misinformation promoted by Behe et al. There's also the American Scientific Affiliation (http://network.asa3.org/), which is entirely reputable, and Francis' Collins BioLogos Foundation (http://biologos.org/), which features good science and the occasional posting (http://biologos.org/blog/author/pete-enns) from excellent Biblical scholars.

As ever, Jesse

Wonderful, so they can balance out the other groups that embarrass their religion.

whag
02-07-2014, 01:54 PM
I wasn't trying to rebut anything. Just explaining my position. Not everyone has to be a science expert, I don't claim to be. Just that we don't need any strawman arguments about what creationism is either.
one needn't be a "science expert" to process the basic principles of scientific epistemology.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 02:00 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.

whag
02-07-2014, 02:49 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.

that one sentence perfectly encapsulates why fundamentalist teleology has failed you. forget abiogenesis. ask yourself how life can remain in stasis for hundreds of millions of years.


your teleology is boring and an insult to God.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 02:55 PM
I already said I DIDN'T believe that species stay static!

whag
02-07-2014, 02:59 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.


I already said I DIDN'T believe that species stay static!

so what's the quarrel then? species speciate, you're a primate. let's move on.

Cerebrum123
02-07-2014, 03:02 PM
so what's the quarrel then? species speciate, you're a primate. let's move on.

Yes, it's obvious that Christianbookworm is the one who needs to "move on". :ahem:

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 03:06 PM
:glare: :bawl:

whag
02-07-2014, 03:11 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.


Yes, it's obvious that Christianbookworm is the one who needs to "move on". :ahem:

the fundamentalist support system that formed his protology won't let that happen. the consequences are too big.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 03:25 PM
What fundies? Who believes that individual species stay static? Who believes that zebras and donkeys aren't related?

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 03:26 PM
Meanwhile, I still maintain that, if you're gonna witness to atheists, it pays to be nice. :smile:

Cerebrum123
02-07-2014, 03:27 PM
What fundies? Who believes that individual species stay static? Who believes that zebras and donkeys aren't related?

He's calling you a fundie, and I know he considers me to be one. I don't believe the things you state in your post either though.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 03:31 PM
I'd rather be agnostic to events that may have occured billions of years ago. Invent a time machine and get some evidence either way. I can wait until heaven and just ask.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 03:34 PM
I consider a fundy to be someone who's dogmatic about things that aren't important in a eternal sense. Like claiming you have to be YEC, or that the KJV is the only true word of God, or that all promises in the Bible apply to us today. I'm just annoyed that he's calling me a fundy for being slightly more in agreement with one version of YEC. If I happen to be wrong about that, so be it. I don't really know how we can know for sure about stuff that happened before anyone to observe and record what happened. And I'm aware that could include Creation week. We all could be wrong.

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:05 PM
that one sentence perfectly encapsulates why fundamentalist teleology has failed you. forget abiogenesis. ask yourself how life can remain in stasis for hundreds of millions of years.


your teleology is boring and an insult to God.

Nice insulting people for disagreeing with you there whag. :thumb: In truth, she is right in the sense nobody has actually been able to empirically show that non living chemicals can become living things and it isn't as though she is out in left field. Even some pretty big names have come up with things like aliens or rocks from space putting life on this planet. Now that doesn't explain how they got there, but if you want to be a total jerk, keep it up.

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:07 PM
I already said I DIDN'T believe that species stay static!

The real irony here is that it was atheist before the the discoveries of the past 110 years that said the universe was static and it was Christians that maintained that it wasn't. Oh, how so many people don't know their history.

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:08 PM
Meanwhile, I still maintain that, if you're gonna witness to atheists, it pays to be nice. :smile:

I'd have to agree in our personal relationships, being nice (usually that is) pays off. In a public forum like this though, the answer can be a bit more complex. Sometimes, I kind of wish there was a way to always know the answer to how to approach each person we run into though. :sigh:

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:10 PM
I consider a fundy to be someone who's dogmatic about things that aren't important in a eternal sense. Like claiming you have to be YEC, or that the KJV is the only true word of God, or that all promises in the Bible apply to us today. I'm just annoyed that he's calling me a fundy for being slightly more in agreement with one version of YEC. If I happen to be wrong about that, so be it. I don't really know how we can know for sure about stuff that happened before anyone to observe and record what happened. And I'm aware that could include Creation week. We all could be wrong.

Don't take whag too seriously, he calls just about anybody a fundy (including me, which is quite funny).

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 04:13 PM
Don't take whag too seriously, he calls just about anybody a fundy (including me, which is quite funny).

Let me guess, he considers anyone in disagreement with him, a fundy. Is that another definition for a fundy? Saying that anyone that disagrees with you is a fundy/evil/another random insult?

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:17 PM
Let me guess, he considers anyone in disagreement with him, a fundy. Is that another definition for a fundy? Saying that anyone that disagrees with you is a fundy/evil/another random insult?

For the most part; that is what I've seemed to have noticed. While I don't agree with YEC's on many many issues, I also don't think every last YEC is a fundy either (popular or official definition).

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 04:19 PM
What is the popular and official definition of a fundy? Seems like it's used as an insult too.

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:28 PM
What is the popular and official definition of a fundy? Seems like it's used as an insult too.

Popular I find is mostly the classic bible bashing Christian, who is often portrayed as a YEC, takes everything in the Bible literal, always shoving what they believe down people's throats, rejects anything to do with science, backwards thinking, closed minded etc. Pretty much a characture of whatever a person says they don't like about Christians.

Officially fundamentalist are more literalistic then I personally would be, but it is mostly a church movement that isn't nearly as 'in your face' as most of the popular images would have you believe.

And yes, I would agree with you that it is often used as an insult. Most real fundamentalist I've known are not nearly as bad as the popular characture of them portrays them as.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 04:35 PM
Good definition. And they call anyone who doesn't hold to their view of eschatology a liar in cahoots with Satan. And that Satan's behind everything evil, when that wouldn't make any sense.

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:39 PM
Good definition. And they call anyone who doesn't hold to their view of eschatology a liar in cahoots with Satan. And that Satan's behind everything evil, when that wouldn't make any sense.

That is why it's a characture because I seriously have never personally known somebody that fits anywhere close to the characture. If I did, I'm sure even many Christians would give them a wide berth.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 04:46 PM
There may be internet wacko's that might claim I'm not saved because... reasons. I don't know... maybe someone out there believes that you aren't saved if you don't hold to KJV onlyism.

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:51 PM
There may be internet wacko's that might claim I'm not saved because... reasons. I don't know... maybe someone out there believes that you aren't saved if you don't hold to KJV onlyism.

So you've ran into Jorge too? :lol: Jorge has pretty much questioned my salvation several times because I don't agree with him on his YEC views. I've even been compared to a witch on a broom a few times too (but alas, I'm not his arch foe compared to Jim and rogue).

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 04:56 PM
I was being hypothetical. As far as I remember, I don't think anyone has claimed I was not saved aside for maybe a miscommunication thing.

lilpixieofterror
02-07-2014, 04:59 PM
I was being hypothetical. As far as I remember, I don't think anyone has claimed I was not saved aside for maybe a miscommunication thing.

Hang around the internets long enough and you'll run into it. :yes:

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:12 PM
Meanwhile, I still maintain that ... it pays to be nice. :smile:

I agree.

whag
02-07-2014, 05:13 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.


What fundies? Who believes that individual species stay static? Who believes that zebras and donkeys aren't related?

so you accept that horses, zebras, and donkeys (equus) have a common ancestor, but reject that homo sapiens, neanderthals, and monkeys (primates) share a common ancestor? you may as well reject equus relatedness, since the same investigative methodology that determined equine evolution also concluded you are a primate.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:14 PM
I was being hypothetical. As far as I remember, I don't think anyone has claimed I was not saved aside for maybe a miscommunication thing.

You're not saved.

Of course, I don't think anyone is, and I figure you meant fellow Christians, but still.

:flowers:

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:14 PM
Even with the intelligence gap? We can't have kids with apes. Equines can have kids with each other.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:17 PM
Don't really want to argue. It's off topic. Is it really that awful we feel obligated to tell you about the options? Pascal's wager certainly has issues, but the general idea does have a point. Or we could agree to disagree and move on.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:22 PM
You're not saved.

Of course, I don't think anyone is, and I figure you meant fellow Christians, but still.

:flowers:

And you're being silly. Saved from WHAT! If everyone dies and stays dead, what difference will it make in 5 billion years? If I'm right, I'll be doing something enjoyable, maybe exploring the universe, for eternity. If your right, it simply won't matter and we both won't know that your right.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:22 PM
Even with the intelligence gap? We can't have kids with apes. Equines can have kids with each other.

My granma is rolling over in her grave.

1. If the Kardashians can have kids, intelligence doesn't matter.
2. We are apes. We're also primates, mammals, bilaterians, ...
3. There's a good chance we could have kids with chimps. The chromosomes match up almost exactly.

Now, CBW, please! Stop posting about stuff you know nothing about, okay?

As ever, Jesse

whag
02-07-2014, 05:26 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.


I'd rather be agnostic to events that may have occured billions of years ago. Invent a time machine and get some evidence either way. I can wait until heaven and just ask.

Is that how all epistemelogical investigations should be conducted? with a time machine?

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:27 PM
:doh: I meant chimps and gorillas, should have said other apes. Don't think you would want to try to have kids with a chimp. Those guys will kill you! I know you mean in a lab, but still. And what are your credentials? Unless you have a PhD in evolutionary biology or something, I don't think you'rre any more qualified to talk about this topic either. Or at least a BS in biology or something.

princesa
02-07-2014, 05:29 PM
what the heck has this conversation evolved to?

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:33 PM
Is that how all epistemelogical investigations should be conducted? with a time machine?

I was being sarcastic. Time machines would break the laws of physics.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:33 PM
what the heck has this conversation evolved to?

Pearls.

whag
02-07-2014, 05:34 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.


And you're being silly. Saved from WHAT! If everyone dies and stays dead, what difference will it make in 5 billion years? If I'm right, I'll be doing something enjoyable, maybe exploring the universe, for eternity. If your right, it simply won't matter and we both won't know that your right.

this is your brain on Christianity.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:35 PM
:doh: I meant chimps and gorillas, should have said other apes. Don't think you would want to try to have kids with a chimp. Those guys will kill you! I know you mean in a lab, but still. And what are your credentials? Unless you have a PhD in evolutionary biology or something, I don't think you'rre any more qualified to talk about this topic either. Or at least a BS in biology or something.

Granma is now moaning while rolling over in her grave.

BSE, bioengineering, 1984, University of Illinois, and then some more letters after that.

Just stop already.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:36 PM
what the heck has this conversation evolved to?

Something horrible. I 'm trying to get back on track, but someone keeps bringing up more comments on what I said. Or Whag is being a mean :troll:. Do all tweb threads mutate like this? It can't be intelligent design, because that would infer there was a plan to this thread derail!

whag
02-07-2014, 05:39 PM
Just not convinced that abiogenesis is empirically proven.


I was being sarcastic. Time machines would break the laws of physics.

yeah I get that. what's perplexing is your insistence that nothing can be known apart from directly observing it. what lao tzu, and your more loving christian brethren, have been trying to tell you is that's not how reliable knowledge is obtained.

have you ever read even the most basic definition of epistemology?

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:39 PM
Granma is now moaning while rolling over in her grave.

BSE, bioengineering, 1984, University of Illinois, and then some more letters after that.

Just stop already.

Cool. What do you do? Bioengineering what? :grin:

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:41 PM
Why does the :grin: smiley look like it's planning something evil?

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:43 PM
Cool. What do you do? Bioengineering what? :grin:

I keep busy. We can't let the Japanese sci-fi movie industry collapse, now can we? Godzilla won't create itself, you know.

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:44 PM
Why does the :grin: smiley look like it's planning something evil?

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the smileys aren't out to get you.

whag
02-07-2014, 05:44 PM
I'm not trying to hurt your feelings or be mean, but I do bristle when I see the effects of fundamentalist pedagogy. I apologize if I hurt your feelings. can you at least try to read some christian material on the subject? you have no idea the adventure your missing out on.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:45 PM
yeah I get that. what's perplexing is your insistence that nothing can be known apart from directly observing it. what lao tzu, and your more loving christian brethren, have been trying to tell you is that's not how reliable knowledge is obtained.

have you ever read even the most basic definition of epistemology?

I'm not claiming that. Just that If someone didn't observe and record it, we have to make an educated guess about what happened. I just would rather not be dogmatic about things that happened a long time ago. It may be a misconception, but I thought science was about repeatable experiments or something.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:48 PM
Just that we don't know everything.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:51 PM
Can we please get back on topic? Witnessing to Atheists. It can be a pain in the rear for both parties. True or false? How do we avoid giving each other pains in the neck and other regions?

Juvenal
02-07-2014, 05:52 PM
I'm not claiming that. Just that If someone didn't observe and record it, we have to make an educated guess about what happened. I just would rather not be dogmatic about things that happened a long time ago. It may be a misconception, but I thought science was about repeatable experiments or something.

*sigh*

The rocks and fossils were there. We can observe them and record our observations. We can run experiments to tell us how old they were, and repeat them as necessary. We have living fossils in our DNA, genes that have been passed down for billions of years. We have methods to compare them among living species to tell us about their common ancestors. These are the same methods we use for paternity testing. You can learn these things from biologists right there at your school. Just walk into one of their offices and ask.

Now please? Stop? Pretty please? With sugar on it? CP will give you ice cream!

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 05:55 PM
I'm trying to get back on track. I just don't like being called a fundy!

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 06:10 PM
Dear CP,

The point is ... it needs to be a real danger. Or at the very least, a danger that can be avoided.

Death is inevitable, and if there's anything after death, it's done an amazingly good job of keeping itself hidden. So good, in fact, that I'm likely to continue believing it doesn't exist, and that those who believe otherwise, especially those who believe not merely that there is something there, but that they can hand out important details about it, are — with due apologies to our friends the Mormons — talking out of their hats.

But what if you're right, and there really is something after death? In fact, what if there actually is an anthropomorphic deity who created the universe sitting on a seat of judgment waiting for each of us to cast off this mortal coil, with an actual heaven and an actual hell awaiting the verdicts on whether they'd acknowledged Him correctly?

In that case, I certainly wouldn't want to be the kind of Christian I see most often around here.

Better than half of these folks believe their Creator was an idiot, a creator of the biological evolution we can see leveraging the laws of the universe into a diversity of species we can follow back over the past few billion years — who couldn't quite bring Himself to use it. Their substitute creator has fingers in the mud shaping golems needing mouth-to-mouth vivification before they could be induced to walk, talk, and breathe on their own; a cosmic bumbler so to speak. Nearly half of American Christians believe this, and believe this happened just a few thousand years ago, thumbing their collective noses at 99.9999562 percent of His creation.

Running the numbers, I'd say there's an exit interview waiting for them that's likely to go something more than 99.9999562 percent amiss.

"Wrong deity, dude. It's door number two for you."

But it said right here ...

"Did you miss the talking snake?"

But I believed in you! Lord, Lord!

"You never knew me; I never knew you. ... Next!"

I believe folks should approach the aspects of a universe creator with a bit more humility than that. There are things around us so far beyond our scale of comprehension that it's nearly certain we haven't a prayer of comprehending the wants of their creator, let alone satisfying them. Live a good life. Be kind to strangers. That's enough, and it's rewarding enough by itself without looking for anything more.

As ever, Jesse

So, there's the post that started the derail!!! Please stop the derail. I sure don't believe that a Spirit would have human form. And we're not having a discussion about the Trinity and incarnation here! Please can we set up more threads instead of derailing threads? :smile: And can we PLEASE get back on track! And not accuse eachother of being fundies!

whag
02-07-2014, 06:34 PM
I'm trying to get back on track. I just don't like being called a fundy!

Okay, I take it back. But it certainly is true that your skepticism of natural science comes only from that wing of Christianity. Understanding and accepting the findings of science doesn't mean you have to be dogmatic about it.

I wouldn't want you to get cornered or hamstrung by atheists or skeptics who have a better grasp of past and present reality than you. If that happens, your faith is in grave danger. It's better to prepare yourself before that happens.

Unfortunately, that means that you'll eventually have to process the fact that you're a primate and harmonize that fact with your religion. I know that sounds scary, but many people who have done that have actually found it to be quite liberating--and not in the sinful libertine sense but in the cognitive freedom sense.

Darth Executor
02-07-2014, 06:34 PM
I believe folks should approach the aspects of a universe creator with a bit more humility than that. There are things around us so far beyond our scale of comprehension that it's nearly certain we haven't a prayer of comprehending the wants of their creator, let alone satisfying them.

Well, if we're gonna the deist route the universe appears to be a very violent one where the strong thrive and the weak are crushed beneath their boots. Crom strikes me as a likely candidate for the deist god.


Live a good life. Be kind to strangers. That's enough, and it's rewarding enough by itself without looking for anything more.

The first natives Columbus ran into were very kind and hospitable to him. He took it as weakness and had them enslaved. I believe they were eventually wiped out. This is a common refrain in human history. If I were an atheist "be kind to strangers" is the type of advice I'd give to people I really, really hate.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 06:37 PM
Can we please get back on topic? Witnessing to Atheists. It can be a pain in the rear for both parties. True or false? How do we avoid giving each other pains in the neck and other regions?

By being real.

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 06:38 PM
But don't be an evil jerk either. So, be assertive? What's that look like? And why do some people think Christians are supposed to be passive? Are their people that think that? In respose to a different question, my faith is based on the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus, not what happened in the distant past.

Darth Executor
02-07-2014, 06:48 PM
The Resurrection of Jesus also happened in the distant past...

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 06:53 PM
There was still civilization! I'm talking before the time of Abraham! Two thousand years is nothing compared to 15 billion! Or is it 13.7 billion?

Carrikature
02-07-2014, 09:27 PM
Dear CP,

The point is ... it needs to be a real danger. Or at the very least, a danger that can be avoided.

Death is inevitable, and if there's anything after death, it's done an amazingly good job of keeping itself hidden. So good, in fact, that I'm likely to continue believing it doesn't exist, and that those who believe otherwise, especially those who believe not merely that there is something there, but that they can hand out important details about it, are — with due apologies to our friends the Mormons — talking out of their hats.

But what if you're right, and there really is something after death? In fact, what if there actually is an anthropomorphic deity who created the universe sitting on a seat of judgment waiting for each of us to cast off this mortal coil, with an actual heaven and an actual hell awaiting the verdicts on whether they'd acknowledged Him correctly?

In that case, I certainly wouldn't want to be the kind of Christian I see most often around here.

Better than half of these folks believe their Creator was an idiot, a creator of the biological evolution we can see leveraging the laws of the universe into a diversity of species we can follow back over the past few billion years — who couldn't quite bring Himself to use it. Their substitute creator has fingers in the mud shaping golems needing mouth-to-mouth vivification before they could be induced to walk, talk, and breathe on their own; a cosmic bumbler so to speak. Nearly half of American Christians believe this, and believe this happened just a few thousand years ago, thumbing their collective noses at 99.9999562 percent of His creation.

Running the numbers, I'd say there's an exit interview waiting for them that's likely to go something more than 99.9999562 percent amiss.

"Wrong deity, dude. It's door number two for you."

But it said right here ...

"Did you miss the talking snake?"

But I believed in you! Lord, Lord!

"You never knew me; I never knew you. ... Next!"

I believe folks should approach the aspects of a universe creator with a bit more humility than that. There are things around us so far beyond our scale of comprehension that it's nearly certain we haven't a prayer of comprehending the wants of their creator, let alone satisfying them. Live a good life. Be kind to strangers. That's enough, and it's rewarding enough by itself without looking for anything more.

As ever, Jesse

Well said. There's no AMEN button, or reputation, apparently. Much to my dismay.



Well, that was satisfying. Glad I went to the trouble of putting down my thoughts.

It mattered to others of us.



So the religion bullies her when she is at her most vulnerable. There is nothing good about that. Sorry to hear about your son-in-law. Into every life a little rain must fall.

I'm quoting this because it's relevant to this thread and the thoughts I'm about to put down.

Recently, I attended a funeral for my cousin who was murdered on New Year's Eve. No condolences necessary: I barely knew her and have no sadness regarding her passing. Anyway, at her funeral, they had an altar call of sorts, in which people were invited to "pray the prayer", at the request of her parents. To those of you who don't know the kind, it's a "everyone close your eyes and bow your heads while we all pray" thing, followed by "keep your eyes closed and those who prayed it for the first time raise your hand". Mind, I'm non-theist, and I'm curious, so you know I'm watching. Well over a dozen hands were raised. The pastor, unsurprisingly, was moved nearly to tears. He proceeds with several comments. The gist of it was, 1) talk to your pastor/priest, 2) go read the Bible (starting with Matthew), and some other misc stuff that seemed to be at odds with each other.

Now, I would not call this bullying. I would call it misguided or even exploitative.

Should you be prepared to share at any time? I would hope so. Is during a time of extreme vulnerability a good time to do that? I doubt it. Mind, I am not condemning CP here. She came to him asking the questions. That said, would you truly value a conversion in such emotional instability? Further, could you truly condone a conversion wherein the witness (in this case the pastor) assumes that the conversion is done without even knowing what the Bible says, or what the commitment entails? I hope not.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 09:37 PM
Should you be prepared to share at any time? I would hope so.

Yeah, and that's what Peter teaches.


Is during a time of extreme vulnerability a good time to do that? I doubt it.

I don't have a problem with that "making a person think", but it's only a step in the process -- and I really don't like "emotionalizing" people into a decision. I simply don't do that.


Mind, I am not condemning CP here. She came to him asking the questions.

Yup


That said, would you truly value a conversion in such emotional instability?

I think that presumes that this particular "emotional instability" would be the whole process. I see it, as I said, as simply one step to begin considering possibilities. Which is pretty much what Sharon did -- she was considering the possibility that I might be right.


Further, could you truly condone a conversion wherein the witness (in this case the pastor) assumes that the conversion is done without even knowing what the Bible says, or what the commitment entails? I hope not.

Not sure what this is about, because THIS pastor (if you're talking about me) hadn't assumed anything. If you're talking about the pastor at the funeral, which I'm guessing you are, I would definitely hope there was followup.

If I have to "emotionalize" (I made up that word :smile:) somebody into accepting Christ, you're gonna have to continue to "emotionalize" them to stay.

Did I miss anything?

Christianbookworm
02-07-2014, 09:43 PM
Yeah.. definitely hope there was followup in the funeral pastor prayer situation. What about those youth church camp where everyone gets all hyped up and the speaker gives the gospel call? Wonder how many of those kids go down just because their friend went down or the excitement? We don't know?

Paprika
02-07-2014, 09:43 PM
Dear CP,

The point is ... it needs to be a real danger. Or at the very least, a danger that can be avoided.

Death is inevitable, and if there's anything after death, it's done an amazingly good job of keeping itself hidden. So good, in fact, that I'm likely to continue believing it doesn't exist, and that those who believe otherwise, especially those who believe not merely that there is something there, but that they can hand out important details about it, are — with due apologies to our friends the Mormons — talking out of their hats.

But what if you're right, and there really is something after death? In fact, what if there actually is an anthropomorphic deity who created the universe sitting on a seat of judgment waiting for each of us to cast off this mortal coil, with an actual heaven and an actual hell awaiting the verdicts on whether they'd acknowledged Him correctly?

In that case, I certainly wouldn't want to be the kind of Christian I see most often around here.

Better than half of these folks believe their Creator was an idiot, a creator of the biological evolution we can see leveraging the laws of the universe into a diversity of species we can follow back over the past few billion years — who couldn't quite bring Himself to use it. Their substitute creator has fingers in the mud shaping golems needing mouth-to-mouth vivification before they could be induced to walk, talk, and breathe on their own; a cosmic bumbler so to speak. Nearly half of American Christians believe this, and believe this happened just a few thousand years ago, thumbing their collective noses at 99.9999562 percent of His creation.

Running the numbers, I'd say there's an exit interview waiting for them that's likely to go something more than 99.9999562 percent amiss.

"Wrong deity, dude. It's door number two for you."

But it said right here ...

"Did you miss the talking snake?"

But I believed in you! Lord, Lord!

"You never knew me; I never knew you. ... Next!"

I believe folks should approach the aspects of a universe creator with a bit more humility than that. There are things around us so far beyond our scale of comprehension that it's nearly certain we haven't a prayer of comprehending the wants of their creator, let alone satisfying them. Live a good life. Be kind to strangers. That's enough, and it's rewarding enough by itself without looking for anything more.

As ever, Jesse
You're saying that if Christianity is true, many Christians who have the wrong belief about creation would not be acknowledged by God?

You know, I've seen my share of YEC's claiming that denying YEC leads to an hermeneutical slippery slope, but it really pales to what you've presented. This takes the cake.

Anchor
02-07-2014, 09:46 PM
and if there's anything after death, it's done an amazingly good job of keeping itself hidden.

The majority of the world's population throughout recorded history disagrees. So much for hiddeness....


So good, in fact, that I'm likely to continue believing it doesn't exist, and that those who believe otherwise, especially those who believe not merely that there is something there, but that they can hand out important details about it, are — with due apologies to our friends the Mormons — talking out of their hats.

And yet your worldview is well in the minority even in the face of almost a century of state based disbelief. Something in humanity rejects the idea that a deity does not exist. Its almost as if belief in a god was properly basic.


But what if you're right, and there really is something after death? In fact, what if there actually is an anthropomorphic deity

John 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”


who created the universe sitting on a seat of judgment waiting for each of us to cast off this mortal coil,

Not all will shuffle off this mortal coil:

1Thess 4:15 "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."


with an actual heaven and an actual hell awaiting the verdicts on whether they'd acknowledged Him correctly?

Everyone on this earth will be given to the opportunity to make Christ Lord.


In that case, I certainly wouldn't want to be the kind of Christian I see most often around here.

I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. - Mahatma Gandhi

Mark 2:17 Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.


Better than half of these folks believe their Creator was an idiot, a creator of the biological evolution we can see leveraging the laws of the universe into a diversity of species we can follow back over the past few billion years — who couldn't quite bring Himself to use it. Their substitute creator has fingers in the mud shaping golems needing mouth-to-mouth vivification before they could be induced to walk, talk, and breathe on their own; a cosmic bumbler so to speak. Nearly half of American Christians believe this, and believe this happened just a few thousand years ago, thumbing their collective noses at 99.9999562 percent of His creation.

Running the numbers, I'd say there's an exit interview waiting for them that's likely to go something more than 99.9999562 percent amiss.

"Wrong deity, dude. It's door number two for you."

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”

Evolution may be a fact, regardless, whether one believes in it or not is a grand case of missing the point.


But it said right here ...

"Did you miss the talking snake?"

But I believed in you! Lord, Lord!

"You never knew me; I never knew you. ... Next!"

Gen. 3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made"

"My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!" - Charles Baudelaire


I believe folks should approach the aspects of a universe creator with a bit more humility than that. There are things around us so far beyond our scale of comprehension that it's nearly certain we haven't a prayer of comprehending the wants of their creator, let alone satisfying them. Live a good life. Be kind to strangers. That's enough, and it's rewarding enough by itself without looking for anything more.

“God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Carrikature
02-07-2014, 09:56 PM
I don't have a problem with that "making a person think", but it's only a step in the process -- and I really don't like "emotionalizing" people into a decision. I simply don't do that.

I figured you didn't.



I think that presumes that this particular "emotional instability" would be the whole process. I see it, as I said, as simply one step to begin considering possibilities. Which is pretty much what Sharon did -- she was considering the possibility that I might be right.

For my scenario, where conversion is done at an altar call during a funeral, there is great danger that emotional instability is in fact the whole process. The pastor did attempt a very bumbling version of "hey you non-christians", but if it actually accomplished anything I have in truth witnessed a miracle. It was probably the worst attempt at that I have ever heard, and I'm not sure it ever actually found the point. I was doing well not to snort in derision. THAT would have been disastrous.



Not sure what this is about, because THIS pastor (if you're talking about me) hadn't assumed anything. If you're talking about the pastor at the funeral, which I'm guessing you are, I would definitely hope there was followup.

I'm talking about the pastor at the funeral. He didn't know these people. He might have had some of them come to talk to him, but if so it was not in the sanctuary immediately following. His words were to the effect of "go read Matthew at least so you'll know what this is all about", and that's a very close paraphrase. That tells me that he knew there was a good chance many of those converts had no clue what they had just signed up for. If that's not irresponsible, I don't know what is.

In part, I blame my family. It's moronic to ask for an altar call as part of a funeral. It's worse still to be overwhelmed that someone converted while simultaneously knowing that the converts quite possibly have no idea what they're doing.



If I have to "emotionalize" (I made up that word :smile:) somebody into accepting Christ, you're gonna have to continue to "emotionalize" them to stay.

I would concur, except I might expand to say that they haven't actually accepted anything except a momentary placebo.



Yeah.. definitely hope there was followup in the funeral pastor prayer situation. What about those youth church camp where everyone gets all hyped up and the speaker gives the gospel call? Wonder how many of those kids go down just because their friend went down or the excitement? We don't know?

Having been among those kids, more than you might guess or hope.

Anchor
02-07-2014, 10:29 PM
Recently, I attended a funeral for my cousin who was murdered on New Year's Eve. No condolences necessary: I barely knew her and have no sadness regarding her passing. Anyway, at her funeral, they had an altar call of sorts, in which people were invited to "pray the prayer", at the request of her parents. To those of you who don't know the kind, it's a "everyone close your eyes and bow your heads while we all pray" thing, followed by "keep your eyes closed and those who prayed it for the first time raise your hand". Mind, I'm non-theist, and I'm curious, so you know I'm watching. Well over a dozen hands were raised. The pastor, unsurprisingly, was moved nearly to tears. He proceeds with several comments. The gist of it was, 1) talk to your pastor/priest, 2) go read the Bible (starting with Matthew), and some other misc stuff that seemed to be at odds with each other.

Now, I would not call this bullying. I would call it misguided or even exploitative.

Should you be prepared to share at any time? I would hope so. Is during a time of extreme vulnerability a good time to do that? I doubt it. Mind, I am not condemning CP here. She came to him asking the questions. That said, would you truly value a conversion in such emotional instability? Further, could you truly condone a conversion wherein the witness (in this case the pastor) assumes that the conversion is done without even knowing what the Bible says, or what the commitment entails? I hope not.

I think a funeral is the perfect time to ask for an alter call. Its one of the few moments in a person's life where we stop thinking of ourselves and think about life in general. So often we put up a field of distortion to keep out the important questions about eternal life and eternal death. In times of death, we're faced with our own mortality. Its a sobering experience. I can't think of a better time to ask "why am I here?" "what's this all about?" "where did I come from", and "where am I going?"

Carrikature
02-07-2014, 10:34 PM
I think a funeral is the perfect time to ask for an alter call. Its one of the few moments in a person's life where we stop thinking of ourselves and think about life in general. So often we put up a field of distortion to keep out the important questions about eternal life and eternal death. In times of death, we're faced with our own mortality. Its a sobering experience. I can't think of a better time to ask "why am I here?" "what's this all about?" "where did I come from", and "where am I going?"

I don't have a problem asking those questions at that time. I have a problem expecting a rational decision. It's not a commitment to enter into lightly, nor should it be made on the premise of "what if I go to hell". That latter is all too likely in such a situation.

Anchor
02-07-2014, 11:03 PM
I don't have a problem asking those questions at that time. I have a problem expecting a rational decision. It's not a commitment to enter into lightly, nor should it be made on the premise of "what if I go to hell". That latter is all too likely in such a situation.

I agree that an alter call without some form of discipleship is less than opportune; the fact remains that the average joe thinks little about the existential nature of life outside of births, (perhaps marriage), and death. What happens after we shuffle off this mortal coil is something that most people don't want to be confronted with until they're face to face with it. I can think of fewer times that an alter call is appropriate.

Carrikature
02-07-2014, 11:16 PM
I agree that an alter call without some form of discipleship is less than opportune; the fact remains that the average joe thinks little about the existential nature of life outside of births, (perhaps marriage), and death. What happens after we shuffle off this mortal coil is something that most people don't want to be confronted with until they're face to face with it. I can think of fewer times that an alter call is appropriate.

A funeral is a time to plant a seed, not a time to harvest it. For all things, a season.

Fire insurance doesn't really work, anyway. That's all conversion at a funeral is selling, whether intended or not.

Anchor
02-07-2014, 11:28 PM
A funeral is a time to plant a seed, not a time to harvest it.

Agreed. An alter call is more often than not that planted seed.

Carrikature
02-07-2014, 11:53 PM
Agreed. An alter call is more often than not that planted seed.

altar*

(I only correct because you've misspelled it more than once. /nazi)


I have no idea how it is you conclude that an altar call, during which one is supposed to convert, could be considered planting a seed.

seasanctuary
02-08-2014, 04:17 AM
I'm not trying to hurt your feelings or be mean, but I do bristle when I see the effects of fundamentalist pedagogy. I apologize if I hurt your feelings. can you at least try to read some christian material on the subject? you have no idea the adventure your missing out on.

Maybe try to bristle less? Comments like "This is your brain on Christianity" are a good way to keep people from taking that adventure.

Cow Poke
02-08-2014, 07:20 AM
A funeral is a time to plant a seed, not a time to harvest it. For all things, a season.

Fire insurance doesn't really work, anyway. That's all conversion at a funeral is selling, whether intended or not.

I think you're selling short the work of the Holy Spirit. Naturally, this is probably due to the fact that you believe He doesn't exist*. :shrug: It's the principle of "fruit that remains".


*if, in fact, that's what you believe

whag
02-08-2014, 07:27 AM
Maybe try to bristle less? Comments like "This is your brain on Christianity" are a good way to keep people from taking that adventure.

I will. I apologized to CBW personally.

Juvenal
02-08-2014, 07:31 AM
You're saying that if Christianity is true, many Christians who have the wrong belief about creation would not be acknowledged by God?

You know, I've seen my share of YEC's claiming that denying YEC leads to an hermeneutical slippery slope, but it really pales to what you've presented. This takes the cake.

Dear Paprika,

My apologies to all those who interpreted my earlier post as an attack on their beliefs. This was not my intent. Clarification is in order.

You ask if I'm beginning with, "if Christianity is true ..." I didn't go that far, and don't, by preference. Read the OP, and then read this again:

"But what if you're right" — note the replay of "Sharon"'s "what if you're right and I'm wrong?" ... followed by a variation from "about the Jesus thing" to — "and there really is something after death? In fact, what if there actually is an anthropomorphic deity who created the universe sitting on a seat of judgment waiting for each of us to cast off this mortal coil, with an actual heaven and an actual hell awaiting the verdicts on whether they'd acknowledged Him correctly?"

Nowhere in the referenced post did I mention Jesus, which is an important note in context. I could just as easily be speaking to Muslims here and, in fact, was considering both groups when I posted it. In extended context, I post Christian and Muslim boards, and over the past decade actually have more posts in on the latter, though I do post more on Christian boards today. On occasion, I've cross-posted between the two, often enough verbatim. It's an illuminating experience, watching each group insert their own presuppositions to fill in the gaps.

The OP relates an instantiation of Pascal's wager. My referenced post, in response to the OP, was not intended as a condemnation of non-YEC Christians, but rather as an instantiation of the general rebuttal to Pascal: What if you've chosen the wrong god? If one wishes to witness to atheists, one should be aware there are more gods than just the one within the ring. The choice is not merely whether to believe in Pascal's God, but in which god one should vest their belief. Choosing the wrong one could lead to disastrous consequences, as detailed.

Muslims, Christians, Hindus, animists, Buddhists to some extent, and even Taoists indigenous to China believe in a wide variety of gods among which the concept of deity itself is malleable. The Brahman of Hinduism, roughly analogous to the God of the Abrahamic religions, just for instance, permits endless new forms. Vishnu, the sustainer, is believed to have had an entire series of incarnations, including the incarnation as Krishna we're familiar with among the Hare Krishnans. Each hand in the depiction of a Hindu deity forms a symbol that can be translated into one of that god's principle characteristics, roughly analogous to the "persons" of the Trinity within mainstream Christianity. A closer analogy could be formed between the trinity and the triumvirate composed of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.

Every Christian would agree with the Muslim that, "lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh" — "There is no god but God." But which God is it? Assuming they are correct in principle, how should an atheist test the specifics?

A simple criterion when judging between gods is whether their adherents can "get it right" about what we see around us here in the physical world, as a measure of whether they can "get it right" about a spiritual world we cannot see. At the very least, they should have a mechanism for correcting mistakes that we can check in the here and now by virtue of how well they've accomplished these corrections historically.

There's a member of this board, with his own forum inside "Intervarsity Relations" who is still defending the Catholic church's treatment of Galileo even after that church's centuries-belated apology, and no one is calling him out on it.

It simply will not do to demand of us a belief that begins with disbelieving the moon landings. On the contrary, we should see such demands rejected by fellow adherents. Moreover, coddling them in the interest of communal harmony encourages ill-conceived attacks directed outside the community. Attacks on our hard-earned knowledge of space flight take the god of such an adherent entirely out of the ring, and with it the closely associated gods of those who profess a spiritual brotherhood. Mut. mut., the ages of the earth and the universe, and the biological evolution of species from their common ancestors.

In further context, the referenced post continues a recent PM conversation relating the reaction of atheists in academia to specific teachings common within Christianity, independent of whether they form part of any creed.

I understand the dilemma. How does one correct one's fellow believers without creating divisive strife within the community? Historically, these internal, spiritual disagreements have led to physical wars. Is it worthwhile to pursue the atheist in light of this threat? Perhaps not, but if one wishes to do so effectively, it is a price that must be paid.

As ever, Jesse

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 07:37 AM
Do Muslims really not believe in the Moon landings???

Juvenal
02-08-2014, 07:55 AM
Do Muslims really not believe in the Moon landings???

Dear CBW,

That's taken from an actual "reversion" story posted on a Muslim board ... I think it was gawaher.com. It was in response to a call for reversion stories, and was duly posted on the website the OP was creating to collect them. The "fake moon landing" meme is popular among Muslims, but by no means universal. The rebuttals from other atheists on the board were quickly backed up by better-educated Muslims as well.

You'll find the same thing occurring within our own Nat. Sci. forum, with pushback on creationism and young-earthism often led by Christians like Oxmixxmud and Rogue06. One of the most active debunkers of YEC here and elsewhere was Glenn Morton, who remains today not merely a Christian, but also a Biblical literalist; a former YEC who contributed papers for young earth organizations for decades before coming around due to unanswerable objections related to his work as a geologist working on oil exploration.

See Morton's Demon (http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/feb02.html).

As ever, Jesse

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 07:57 AM
What religious reason for not believing in the moon landings???

Cow Poke
02-08-2014, 08:00 AM
Do Muslims really not believe in the Moon landings???

Yes, but I don't know how many -- In the Muslimsphere, Neil Armstrong is reported to having converted to Islam because he heard the Muslim call to prayer (Adhan) whle on the moon, but didn't recognize what it was until he was in Egypt, and heard it - realizing that was what he heard on the moon. I think these "reports" began circulating in Malaysia.

Juvenal
02-08-2014, 08:29 AM
What religious reason for not believing in the moon landings???

Dear CBW,

I don't recall that we went there. It was such a jaw-dropping remark that no one really wanted to see what relationship there might be. Most likely, the "fake moon landing" meme is an offshoot of the general anti-Western prejudice you find among Muslims in Arabia and southwest Asia with a heavy admixture of anti-science anti-intellectualism. That board was filled with Pakistani and Indian Muslims, mostly young kids born well after the Apollo program, naive even beyond what we see in much of the YEC belt here in the U.S. In these regions, most schooling occurs in religious schools where the principal, and sometimes the only, textbook is the Qur'an itself.

I do recall one of the Muslim debunkers formerly worked for NASA during the heart of the space race. A large part of what we were rebutting was taken from conspiracy sites here in the U.S.

As an interesting side-note on modern syncretism, much of the YEC literature, stripped of its young-earthism, is used by Muslim creationists as a direct result of proselytization efforts by American YEC organizations. The most prominent of these is Adnan Oktar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adnan_Oktar) who writes as Harun Yahya (http://harunyahya.com/) with extensive resources available from his eponymous website. On many occasions I found myself simultaneously responding to nearly identical threads on both Christian and Muslim boards with a straight-out copy-and-paste. I would sometimes challenge myself to see how little I had to change in responding between boards, sometimes just a word or two in the introduction, but other times not a single word.

As ever, Jesse

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 08:33 AM
Conspiracies are weird. Don't think the government is competent enough to pull one off.

Carrikature
02-08-2014, 08:54 AM
I think you're selling short the work of the Holy Spirit. Naturally, this is probably due to the fact that you believe He doesn't exist*. :shrug: It's the principle of "fruit that remains".


*if, in fact, that's what you believe

I don't believe the Holy Spirit exists, though I suppose there's few here who know what it is I truly believe anymore.

I don't sell the work short, however. In this particular case, it strikes me as more akin to agreeing to jump at the first glimmer of turbulence in the flight before having ever been handed the parachute. I could, were I so inclined, use the occasion of a funeral to really drive several points home relevant to Christian belief in an afterlife (pretending for a moment that I believed such things). Planting a seed, as mentioned, would be easily done with a little prudence, as the soil itself is already wet with tears and freshly turned for burial.

Paprika
02-08-2014, 08:57 AM
My apologies to all those who interpreted my earlier post as an attack on their beliefs. This was not my intent. Clarification is in order.

I've reread the post. The criticism in my previous post is not relevant now, and I retract it.

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 09:00 AM
Pascal's wager isn't really that good in that it just picks between two worldviews. So, better argument? Because quite a lot of arguments from both sides seem to be circular. Is it correct that both sides use arguments that only apply if their side is correct?

Paprika
02-08-2014, 09:06 AM
Pascal's wager isn't really that good in that it just picks between two worldviews. So, better argument? Because quite a lot of arguments from both sides seem to be circular. Is it correct that both sides use arguments that only apply if their side is correct?
Not always. For example, any cosmological arguments can be marshalled for Islam or Judaism.

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 09:11 AM
Not to mention, even the demons believe that God exists, so just being a theist is not good enough. Necessary but not sufficient?

Anchor
02-08-2014, 11:27 AM
The OP relates an instantiation of Pascal's wager. My referenced post, in response to the OP, was not intended as a condemnation of non-YEC Christians, but rather as an instantiation of the general rebuttal to Pascal: What if you've chosen the wrong god? If one wishes to witness to atheists, one should be aware there are more gods than just the one within the ring. The choice is not merely whether to believe in Pascal's God, but in which god one should vest their belief. Choosing the wrong one could lead to disastrous consequences, as detailed.

I'm sure the OP would consider it a step in the right direction if the only victory claimed was that the atheist at least began to consider "which god?" rather than "no god".

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 11:31 AM
Not to mention straw-god. Know who he is? The evil, sadistic god that some atheists think we believe in.

Juvenal
02-08-2014, 11:34 AM
I'm sure the OP would consider it a step in the right direction if the only victory claimed was that the atheist at least began to consider "which god?" rather than "no god".


Not to mention straw-god. Know who he is? The evil, sadistic god that some atheists think we believe in.

Oh, I get it now. Y'all are trying to give examples on how not to witness to atheists. Well played.

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 11:36 AM
Or we could agree to disagree and just point out the options. I'm sure you already know what they are.

Cow Poke
02-08-2014, 12:29 PM
I'm sure the OP would consider it a step in the right direction if the only victory claimed was that the atheist at least began to consider "which god?" rather than "no god".

Well, yeah, but it was a little more interesting than that, in that the atheist in question had grown up as a Jew, so it's not only accepting that there IS "a God", but that Jesus was His son. Not an easy thing for a Jew to consider, let alone that God is "real". And, I guess part of my point was that I never had to "preach" to her, or argue the point -- I was simply "living the testimony", and she was starting to "get it". :shrug:

Christianbookworm
02-08-2014, 12:36 PM
Well, yeah, but it was a little more interesting than that, in that the atheist in question had grown up as a Jew, so it's not only accepting that there IS "a God", but that Jesus was His son. Not an easy thing for a Jew to consider, let alone that God is "real". And, I guess part of my point was that I never had to "preach" to her, or argue the point -- I was simply "living the testimony", and she was starting to "get it". :shrug:

Yeah, wonder why they're so upset about that! It's almost like they want to convert us to atheism! :tongue: (I'm kidding, unless that is what you atheists want.)

Doug Shaver
02-12-2014, 01:54 AM
Yeah, wonder why they're so upset about that! It's almost like they want to convert us to atheism! :tongue: (I'm kidding, unless that is what you atheists want.)
That is exactly what many atheists want, but I'm not among them. What I want to convert people to is the kind of thinking that made me an atheist. It doesn't always lead people to atheism. It usually does, but when it doesn't, I'm OK with that.

Tassman
02-12-2014, 02:14 AM
Yeah, wonder why they're so upset about that! It's almost like they want to convert us to atheism! :tongue: (I'm kidding, unless that is what you atheists want.)

I guess that some atheists have a “born-again atheist” missionary zeal. But my main concern is that religious values are not given priority in the legislature over and above the equal civil rights of all citizens.

JohnnyP
02-12-2014, 02:26 AM
Pascal's wager isn't really that good in that it just picks between two worldviews. So, better argument? Because quite a lot of arguments from both sides seem to be circular. Is it correct that both sides use arguments that only apply if their side is correct?

The position on Pascal's Wager from an Annihilationist view such as mine is if you don't believe in God, no loss, you go into non-existence just as you believe. But why do so many atheists still complain that God is unfair to send them into a non-existence they already expect?

That's what I don't get. To me that shows an underlying belief in eternal life, and a jealousy that it is not given to them.

Juvenal
02-12-2014, 05:59 AM
The position on Pascal's Wager from an Annihilationist view such as mine is if you don't believe in God, no loss, you go into non-existence just as you believe.

Dear JohnnyP,

My position on annihilationists is that they're half right.


But why do so many atheists still complain that God is unfair to send them into a non-existence they already expect? That's what I don't get. To me that shows an underlying belief in eternal life, and a jealousy that it is not given to them.

You're just pulling legs, here. Obviously. Most Christians aren't annihilationists, so there's no point pretending that's the hypothetical to which we're responding. It's not as if there weren't another location — from which this board originated — where we heathen aren't all greeted with a hearty, "Welcome, you're going to hell!"

But even if it were the case that all Christians were half right, there are plenty enough alternatives to an underlying belief in eternal life to discount jealousy as motivation. Folks, generally, believing they're in possession of the truth, love pushing their opponents noses into their mistakes.

As ever, Jesse

whag
02-12-2014, 07:10 AM
The position on Pascal's Wager from an Annihilationist view such as mine is if you don't believe in God, no loss, you go into non-existence just as you believe. But why do so many atheists still complain that God is unfair to send them into a non-existence they already expect?

That's what I don't get. To me that shows an underlying belief in eternal life, and a jealousy that it is not given to them.

annihilationist or not Pascal's Wager is obscene.

some of Christopher Hitchens' last debates are his best. here he debates David Berlinski. it contains the most well-articulated objection to PW ever uttered. it's toward the end, but the whole thing is worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-A4Jyf8Ohk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

seer
02-12-2014, 07:24 AM
annihilationist or not Pascal's Wager, is obscene.

one of Christopher Hitchens' last debates are his best. here he debates David Berlinski. it contains the most well-articulated objection to PW ever uttered. it's toward the end, but the whole thing is worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-A4Jyf8Ohk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

No Whag it is not obscene. But I look at it in the reverse - if I'm not correct and there is no afterlife - what have I lost?

whag
02-12-2014, 07:31 AM
No Whag it is not obscene. But I look at it in the reverse - if I'm not correct and there is no afterlife - what have I lost?

you needed the wager to kick start belief? if your belief came about independent of the wager, then surely you can understand why the gambit is obscene.

shunyadragon
02-12-2014, 08:25 AM
The position on Pascal's Wager from an Annihilationist view such as mine is if you don't believe in God, no loss, you go into non-existence just as you believe. But why do so many atheists still complain that God is unfair to send them into a non-existence they already expect?

Pascal's Wager is a fool's fear wager. If Judaism or Islam is true, your bacon for Satan. No, atheists do not claim God is unfair. That is another foolish anecdote.


That's what I don't get. To me that shows an underlying belief in eternal life, and a jealousy that it is not given to them.

Again, a fool's anecdote.

shunyadragon
02-12-2014, 08:26 AM
No Whag it is not obscene. But I look at it in the reverse - if I'm not correct and there is no afterlife - what have I lost?

Another fool's delusion of Pascal's Wager.

shunyadragon
02-12-2014, 08:29 AM
Pascal's wager isn't really that good in that it just picks between two worldviews. So, better argument? Because quite a lot of arguments from both sides seem to be circular. Is it correct that both sides use arguments that only apply if their side is correct?

In reality it picks between a number of possible choices of world view. If either Judaism or Islam are correct, your bacon for Satan. If Hinduism is correct you may come back as a mouse and start over.

whag
02-12-2014, 09:12 AM
Another fool's delusion of Pascal's Wager.

Hitchens on Pascal's wager:

"I have two comments on this. First, it's religious hucksterism of the cheapest and nastiest kind. "What have you gotta loose I've got a good offer for you, come on baby just lie a little"; no, don't talk to me like that, and don't call it piety when you do, or prepare to have piety despised. Second, Bertrand Russell when answering this question said 'Lord, you did not give us enough evidence', I would go a little further and say, look boss, if it's true what your fans say about you and you are indeed an infinitely kind, forgiving, all-fatherly deity, do you not have a little room in your obviously capacious heart for someone who just couldn't bring himself to believe in you? Someone who really, honestly, truly couldn't, as opposed to someone who may spend half of their lives on their knees making false and fawning professions of faith because Pascal told them it was a good bet. Which is us is the more moral? Which of us is the more honest? Which of us is the more courageous? Which of us has the bluest eyes and is the most sexually attractive? Which of us has the real charisma? I'm only asking..."

seer
02-12-2014, 09:20 AM
Another fool's delusion of Pascal's Wager.

That didn't answer the question...

And you have your own hell Homer

http://www.bahai.us/heaven-and-hell/


Baha’is believe what people traditionally refer to as heaven and hell are not literal places in the afterlife, with a person going to one or the other depending on whether he was good or not in this world. Rather, the Baha’i Writings explain heaven and hell as symbolic representations of spiritual conditions of the soul – conditions a person can be in at any time, whether still in this life or in the next. “Heaven” represents the joy experienced by a soul that is spiritually close to God, while the torments of “hell” symbolize the suffering a soul endures when it is spiritually far from its Creator. Baha’is believe such spiritual “proximity to” or “distance from” God is determined by a person’s love for the Creator and the degree to which he sincerely tries in his life to reflect the true Teachings revealed by God’s Prophets.

Teallaura
02-12-2014, 09:27 AM
First rule of arguing law: if the law is on your side, argue law; if the law isn't on your side, pound the table harder.

shunyadragon
02-12-2014, 09:33 AM
Hitchens on Pascal's wager:

"I have two comments on this. First, it's religious hucksterism of the cheapest and nastiest kind. "What have you gotta loose I've got a good offer for you, come on baby just lie a little"; no, don't talk to me like that, and don't call it piety when you do, or prepare to have piety despised. Second, Bertrand Russell when answering this question said 'Lord, you did not give us enough evidence', I would go a little further and say, look boss, if it's true what your fans say about you and you are indeed an infinitely kind, forgiving, all-fatherly deity, do you not have a little room in your obviously capacious heart for someone who just couldn't bring himself to believe in you? Someone who really, honestly, truly couldn't, as opposed to someone who may spend half of their lives on their knees making false and fawning professions of faith because Pascal told them it was a good bet. Which is us is the more moral? Which of us is the more honest? Which of us is the more courageous? Which of us has the bluest eyes and is the most sexually attractive? Which of us has the real charisma? I'm only asking..."

Excellent, 50 kudos to you!!!!

shunyadragon
02-12-2014, 09:34 AM
That didn't answer the question...

And you have your own hell Homer

http://www.bahai.us/heaven-and-hell/

Very good!! What's your point???

JohnnyP
02-13-2014, 12:20 PM
My position on annihilationists is that they're half right.

You're just pulling legs, here. Obviously. Most Christians aren't annihilationists, so there's no point pretending that's the hypothetical to which we're responding. It's not as if there weren't another location — from which this board originated — where we heathen aren't all greeted with a hearty, "Welcome, you're going to hell!"

But even if it were the case that all Christians were half right, there are plenty enough alternatives to an underlying belief in eternal life to discount jealousy as motivation. Folks, generally, believing they're in possession of the truth, love pushing their opponents noses into their mistakes.

As ever, Jesse


annihilationist or not Pascal's Wager is obscene.

some of Christopher Hitchens' last debates are his best. here he debates David Berlinski. it contains the most well-articulated objection to PW ever uttered. it's toward the end, but the whole thing is worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-A4Jyf8Ohk&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Pascal's Wager is a fool's fear wager. If Judaism or Islam is true, your bacon for Satan. No, atheists do not claim God is unfair. That is another foolish anecdote.

Again, a fool's anecdote.

I understand you're responding to the position of ECT. But I still encounter reactions to the Annihilationist position implying that God -- if He exists -- is unfair to give unbelievers non-existence simply because they made the wrong choice.

I acknowledge jealousy may not always be the motive, it may just be to argue that such a God is unfair, believers are full of themselves, or for other reasons. So I stand corrected on that part of my statement.

whag
02-13-2014, 05:26 PM
I understand you're responding to the position of ECT. But I still encounter reactions to the Annihilationist position implying that God -- if He exists -- is unfair to give unbelievers non-existence simply because they made the wrong choice.

I acknowledge jealousy may not always be the motive, it may just be to argue that such a God is unfair, believers are full of themselves, or for other reasons. So I stand corrected on that part of my statement.

christopher Hitchens objection isn't based on ECT but the illogic of belief being a virtuous action that impresses god. that I believe is the point, not the excessive cruelty of hellfire.

JohnnyP
02-13-2014, 07:10 PM
christopher Hitchens objection isn't based on ECT but the illogic of belief being a virtuous action that impresses god. that I believe is the point, not the excessive cruelty of hellfire.

ECT relating to lao tzu's comment, "...the hypothetical to which we're responding."

As far as Hitchens he gave a pessimistic and incomplete view of the Wager since there's no implication of "believing only for a handout" or for some insincere reason, as Pascal also writes, "God regards only the inward; the Church judges only by the outward." Pensée 904.

From Pensée 233 (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18269/18269-h/18269-h.htm#p_233) Pascal goes on to say that if you sincerely don't believe, then "fake it 'till you make it" which is an idea heavily promoted today in 12-Step groups, which is not to say pretend or lie that you believe, but rather, do things as if you believe in order to follow the example of believers. Do what they do. Pray all day to whatever God may be there if there is one, for Him to give you faith. And then by doing so you may also gain humility which fosters faith.

So it's saying that if you really want to be able to claim that you've exhausted all resources, examined all the evidence, done all you can to prove to yourself that you can't believe, then it is what it is. I don't personally know who has done what, but I've encountered my share of atheists who say, "Well I prayed for a while but nothing happened so I stopped." To which I would reply, pray until the day you die, you might get an answer a split second before you pass -- that may be when God decides for you to believe. That is if you really want to be able to claim that you did all you could to make a sincere effort in knowing what there is to know to make an informed decision about it.

whag
02-14-2014, 09:20 AM
ECT relating to lao tzu's comment, "...the hypothetical to which we're responding."

As far as Hitchens he gave a pessimistic and incomplete view of the Wager since there's no implication of "believing only for a handout" or for some insincere reason, as Pascal also writes, "God regards only the inward; the Church judges only by the outward." Pensée 904.

If god simply judges the inward, then belief should be irrelevant. Belief isn't an action like flipping a switch.

From Pensée 233 (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18269/18269-h/18269-h.htm#p_233)
Pascal goes on to say that if you sincerely don't believe, then "fake it 'till you make it" which is an idea heavily promoted today in 12-Step groups, which is not to say pretend or lie that you believe, but rather, do things as if you believe in order to follow the example of believers. Do what they do. Pray all day to whatever God may be there if there is one, for Him to give you faith. And then by doing so you may also gain humility which fosters faith.

That sounds showy, not humble. Who has the time to pray all day? You're literally suggesting that a person pray to an invisible being for hours asking for the same thing. How many different ways did you frame your query, and in what way did it eventually come?


So it's saying that if you really want to be able to claim that you've exhausted all resources, examined all the evidence, done all you can to prove to yourself that you can't believe, then it is what it is. I don't personally know who has done what, but I've encountered my share of atheists who say, "Well I prayed for a while but nothing happened so I stopped." To which I would reply, pray until the day you die, you might get an answer a split second before you pass -- that may be when God decides for you to believe. That is if you really want to be able to claim that you did all you could to make a sincere effort in knowing what there is to know to make an informed decision about it.

I like how you phrased that. You really think there's no legitimate epistemological investigation between rigorous study that occupies most of one's free time and "praying a few hours and nuthin happened"?

Juvenal
02-14-2014, 09:42 AM
ECT?

</upper case, please>

Cerebrum123
02-14-2014, 09:50 AM
ECT?

</upper case, please>

Eternal Conscious Torment.

whag
02-14-2014, 09:51 AM
ECT?

</upper case, please>

Eternal conscious torment. theological acronyms are funny.

Teallaura
02-14-2014, 11:02 AM
Says the guy who calls himself 'whag'.... :whistle:

Mountain Man
02-25-2014, 07:58 AM
I'm thinking maybe some of the best apologetics with regards to atheists may be "caught" more than "taught".

For 10 years, and admittedly not of my own choosing, my executive assistant was an atheist lesbian Jew. From the moment she found out I was a Christian, she was relentless in her mocking of (she used a word not approved of on Tweb due to blasphemy).

I just decided to continue to be professional, courteous, and "Christian". She never missed an opportunity to flaunt her lesbianism or to bash Christ. She was in charge of arranging our annual Christmas party, which she tried her best to change to "Holiday Party", but the owners wouldn't allow that.

LONG story short, I treated her with courtesy and respect, and, eventually, I endured an episode where my son-in-law to be was diagnosed with cancer. Sharon (not her real name) was compassionate about this, realizing this was not the time to be combative, and often asked how things were going. I ended up performing the wedding for my daughter and the young man, knowing his cancer was terminal, and the "til death do you part" part was really hard for me to say during the vows. 30 days after marrying them, I buried him. Sharon was paying particular attention to my handling of this whole saga.

Amazingly, during this same time, Sharon's sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a Jewish funeral out of state, else I might have attended just to support Sharon.

When she got back from family leave, Sharon came into my office and closed the door. She asked, "what if you're right and I'm wrong?"

I had no idea what she was talking about, but she continued.. "about the Jesus thing".

I explained that if I am wrong about Jesus, then I will have lived a pleasant life, loving family, avoiding a lot of ugliness, and die in peace, apparently dissolving into nothingness, or "whatever" -- no regrets. IF, however, SHE were wrong.... and she interrupted "then I'm in a hell of a lot of trouble".

I don't know that she has taken that any further, or thought much more about it, but I do know that I had an opportunity to witness to her that I never would have had if I had "taken the bait" and "battled" her antagonism and hostility.

I don't discount AT ALL the admonition from scripture to "always be ready to give an answer...." -- in fact, it's a fundamental part of my approach to witnessing. But at some point, there has to be "fertile ground" to plant the seed, and it's amazing to me how the Holy Spirit prepares the soil.
This story is precisely why the scriptures make a clear distinction between personal enemies and corporate enemies. As you say, her attacks were directed at you personally; she wasn't seriously challenging the gospel but instead trying to get a rise out of you. Your response was therefore appropriate. If the circumstances were different then a different kind of response might have been warranted, but not in this case.

Thank you for sharing.

Mountain Man
02-25-2014, 09:05 AM
Pascal's wager isn't really that good in that it just picks between two worldviews. So, better argument? Because quite a lot of arguments from both sides seem to be circular. Is it correct that both sides use arguments that only apply if their side is correct?
Pascal's Wager is like the trilemma, it's intended for those who already accept certain premises as true. In other words, they're not the sort of thing you would use to convert someone from hard-nosed atheist to Christian.

KingsGambit
02-25-2014, 09:52 AM
Pascal's Wager is like the trilemma, it's intended for those who already accept certain premises as true. In other words, they're not the sort of thing you would use to convert someone from hard-nosed atheist to Christian.

:yes: If this isn't kept in mind, it looks like it says that simply acknowledging that God exists is enough for salvation.

37818
02-26-2014, 10:48 PM
Pascal's wager isn't really that good in that it just picks between two worldviews. So, better argument? Because quite a lot of arguments from both sides seem to be circular. Is it correct that both sides use arguments that only apply if their side is correct?It is a risk assessment. And it is between two defined views. And there are more views than those two. The critics fail to understand this, when other exceptions are interjected.

Now Pascal didn't present the "wager" as a method, but as a reason it is better to believe in the God as he believed God to be.

But as a methodology of testing the unknown, that which cannot be otherwise empirically tested.

Let's say we have two belief systems. A and C.

The methodology would be used to level the playing field between the two beliefs. Can be used to compare them both against each other in the same way.

The method would be to premise each view respectively as one being true and the other being false. And then vise versa.

So for our example:

We premise A as true and C as not true. And it C that is believed. What is the perceived benefits of believing C is true? What are the consequences to the one believing C is true when in reality A is true?

And then the vise versa:

We premise C as true and A as not true. And it A that is believed. What is the perceived benefits of believing A is true? What are the consequences to the one believing A is true when in reality C is true?

How do the different results compare? Assuming the view one takes is going to be wrong. Which of those two views would be safer to be wrong about? Choose that view as right.

This method can be tested using known empirical truth against a known empirical falsehood as a verification of its validity. This method should be able to be used to test itself.

NormATive
03-12-2014, 08:04 PM
I just decided to continue to be professional, courteous, and "Christian".

I applaud your decision here, Cow Poke. In my mind, this is what I think of when I fondly remember my days as a Christian, and the example my parents impressed upon me.

I had a similar experience with a co-worker many years ago, but the roles were reversed. I was the obnoxious taunter of the other person for his religious beliefs. To my consternation, he never rose to the bait (for that's what my motivation was - to force him into a confrontation) and kept his cool.

He was always kind to me, despite my baiting and taunting. He never failed to invite me to his church and dinner with his wife and family (I was only 18 at the time) despite the vitriol I was spewing.

This always had a profound effect on me years later. I recall thinking what is it about his faith that enables him to keep his cool.

I know what you are thinking, and you are probably wrong. You see; I was the Christian, and my co-worker was a Muslim.

My Islamic object of torment displayed a specific human behavior that is not privy to only one faith group, or even those with no faith at all: loving kindness and humility trumps anger and self-righteousness. I think this one philosophy is an inherent element to many human religions and humanistic worldviews.

NORM

37818
03-14-2014, 05:08 PM
. . . I fondly remember my days as a Christian, and the example my parents impressed upon me. . . .

<snip>

NORM

Hi NORM,

I'm interested in your former Christianity. If you would be so kind, I would like to know from your former view as a Christian, what you would have explained as to how to become a Christian? Also, what was it that you thought was true, that you learned was not, as to your turning point from that faith?

Paul S
aka 37818

NormATive
03-14-2014, 06:39 PM
Hi NORM,

I'm interested in your former Christianity. If you would be so kind, I would like to know from your former view as a Christian, what you would have explained as to how to become a Christian? Also, what was it that you thought was true, that you learned was not, as to your turning point from that faith?

Paul S
aka 37818

I would be happy to answer your questions in either a private message or in a more appropriate thread. I don't want to derail this one.

NORM

37818
03-15-2014, 09:56 PM
I would be happy to answer your questions in either a private message or in a more appropriate thread. I don't want to derail this one.

NORMThat is fine.

Doug Shaver
03-16-2014, 11:18 PM
I think this one philosophy is an inherent element to many human religions and humanistic worldviews.
That reminds me in a tangential way of some thoughts I had after taking a course in Eastern philosophy. If you're interested, you can read them here: http://dougshaver.net/autobio/philosophy_project.html.

NormATive
03-17-2014, 07:33 PM
That reminds me in a tangential way of some thoughts I had after taking a course in Eastern philosophy. If you're interested, you can read them here: http://dougshaver.net/autobio/philosophy_project.html.

Thanks Doug, I found your paper quite interesting. This quote from it particularly struck me:


This reinforces one of my major convictions, which is the indispensability of intuition in any intellectual enterprise. I think it is a mistake, common though it be, to appeal to intuition as a proof of any concept, but we have to get our ideas somewhere before we can subject them to any kind of rational scrutiny, and our intuition provides plenty of ideas for us to scrutinize. When we have only inductive arguments with which to defend an idea, a consilience of intuitions that is both multicultural and ancient ought to count for something.

Having converted from Christianity (a primarily Western religion) to Judaism (an Eastern religion), I can appreciate this statement.

NORM

Cow Poke
03-17-2014, 07:36 PM
Can you guys please take your conversation somewhere else?

Thanks!

NormATive
03-17-2014, 08:32 PM
Can you guys please take your conversation somewhere else?

Thanks!

Sorry, CP. I've been led astray.

NORM

Cow Poke
03-18-2014, 05:09 AM
Sorry, CP. I've been led astray.

NORM

Well, neither do I condemn thee. Go and stray no more!

:smile:

Juvenal
03-18-2014, 10:54 AM
Go and stray no more!

*chuckle*