Author Topic: Devoted Unwavering Christian  (Read 10665 times)

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Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #87 on: January 18, 2011, 12:19:21 PM »
Higuys!

As to the people who actually put pen to paper, or stylus to clay, or whatever, their intention was to create a written document of the oral tradition -- that much we know for sure; beyond that, their intentions are unknown because for the most part, we don't even know who they were.

I guess we will have to see if they give any clues in the words themselves, then. (Using knowledge of similar types of literature from those times, if any exist). I am a big fan of authorial intent, but especially authorial intent contained within the authored work (as opposed to authorial intent that you have to read interviews or quotes by the author in order to find out).

Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #88 on: January 18, 2011, 12:24:35 PM »
Perhaps I wasn't clear.  I asked why I should take your words over those that may make the same claims.  If you got a good answer to this, I'd like to hear it.

...

Can you post the argument in your own words?  All you really did was quote someone else extensively.  It's hard to tell from that what's your own thoughts, and which are just his.  I will say, though, that I'm not sure what to make of the self-proclaimation that you're "so susceptible to indoctrination".

My words aren't worth anything except what they're worth as words intrinsically =) Nothing to do with whose they are and where you heard them, and everything to do with whether or not they're the most true. Deciding what version of Everything Ever is the most true is arduous and I can only begin to say how to attain to it, but I think a good place to start is to say, "Okay, IF this version were true, what are its implications? Would it seem to result in a world like the world we see today?"

As for being susceptible to indoctrination, that wasn't really a self-proclamation so much as, it was suggested to me by a lot of people in this thread -- and I being so susceptible, accepted it. :)

Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #89 on: January 18, 2011, 12:33:02 PM »
But if there is something above nature, how can we measure it? And if we can measure it, then it is natural. And if it is natural, how can it not obey natural laws? And if it does not obey natural laws, then is it natural? And If it is not natural, then we can't measure it. And if we can't measure it then what's the point of talking about it? Because if you can't prove anything supernatural, anyone can make up anything they want about it and we have to take their word for it. And see why I don't do philosophical? When I try, I get dizzy going around and round in circles...so I just am interested in talking about what is sensible about talking donkeys?
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The only thing interesting I can think to say in reply to this is..."sensible" is more of a philosophical concept than it is a natural law. :) So is the idea of measuring something, or really every idea ever. I don't think you should limit yourself to ONLY the five senses, but I know that you don't, because if you did you couldn't be here on the interwebs.

But I see why you get dizzy. Yeah...you can't prove that the supernatural exists with anything like a natural tool. (Get out your Supernatural-o-meter and see if it beeps when you wave it over a Christian, things like that). You will get dizzy if you try. So either there is some sort of supernatural measurement device (which, if ideas and thoughts aren't one of the five senses, could only be the Mind or else something vaguish like soul or spirit) ... or else we're out of luck.

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But you have straightened that all out for me in your last post. It's been nice talking to you, I have to bow out of this thread as I am back to my pretend life. I imagine it will be really kewl today since I'll be imagining talking donkeys!

And maybe that's the moral of the whole story, is that we ought to think that if talking donkeys DID exist -- it would be cool.

Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #90 on: January 18, 2011, 12:51:27 PM »
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You see?  Even YOU know it sounds nuts.  The whole "everlasting spirit, talking donkey, angels" sentence sounds loony to you too, doesn't it?

No! It doesn't sound nutty to me at all. =) I was rewriting it with words that you would think sound nutty so that we could see we need to start at the beginning of the sentence. :)

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You give special consideration to the bible.  Ask yourself why you do that?  Ask yourself if you REALLY have good reasons to do that?

I s'poze it's because it's so darn RIGHT about my own self and the people around me and the world I find myself in, it would seem silly to me to chuck the whole thing on account of some surprising historical assertions that are still within the realm of possibility.

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Ask yourself... Do I give special consideration to the bible because someone told me to, or because logic and reason tell me to?   

That voice in the back of your mind that giggles at the thought of Charlotte's Web being real is the voice you need to listen to more.

If you know what Logic means then you know there's nothing technically Illogical about a talking donkey. If you know the meaning of Reason, then you know the thing to be considering is: which is more unreasonable? A God who exists and makes a donkey talk, or no God at all to make a person talk.

Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #91 on: January 18, 2011, 01:03:23 PM »
Can you also please expand further on "chatting with Him"?  My understanding of the word "chat" is a verbal two(or more)-way discourse, where one directs a specific comment or question and receives a related answer or foloow-on statement in return.  Is that what you mean when you talk about "chatting" with your god?  That you receive immediate and relevant responses that are clearly articulated to you?

Sorry I never answered this! "Chatting" is perhaps a misnomer...I blame myself for being too chirpy and reaching for a chirpy word. =P

So generally I think things at Him (unless I talk out loud for my own concentration's benefit) because I figure He will know what I think, and it feels more secret that way. :) Alas He has never answered verbally, so we might not call it chatting after all. Mostly I find that if I want the immediate and relevant responses, I better be paying attention to the Bible! For a dusty old book it gets spookily relevant even when I'm not looking for it.

So the communication goes:
me ---prayer---> God -----Word Of God----> me

Then there is a whole level of what probably sounds like mystical hocus-pocus going on, where talking to Him and knowing He's listening and doing subtle Spirit-within-me things is totally refreshing...but that challenges my articulation a lot. =) And even if I didn't have cozy feelings sometimes to assure me that that sort of thing is happening -- I would still be able to tell Him about my life, requests, difficulties, and thanks -- and then sharpen and clarify my thoughts by reading the words He already wrote down for my benefit -- and that would be quite enough :) except for the times when I would get whiny because I wanted cozy feelings.

Offline Vivisectus

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #92 on: January 18, 2011, 01:15:03 PM »
DeBew
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"The reason I believe what I believe is because, from all my considerations thus far, it sounds like the most true, sensible and complete explanation of the facts.

Seriously? The earth created in 7 days, we are all descended from Adam and Eve about 13000 years ago, there was a flood that covered all the mountains in the world and the reason we are here is because Noah took his family and 2 of every animal (or 2 of every normal one and 7 of any clean one, depending on which story you read) on board of a wooden ship? Demonic possession, the earth is flat, the earth is the center of the universe and was created for the sole purpose of having people around?

Also, god is loving and wonderful, but because of the most distant ancestor we are saddled up with original sin, and we had better worship him or we are either destroyed or eternally tortured?

What about the fact that the bible condones slavery, and even sets a penalty for if a neighbors slave is killed by your property?

What facts are explained by Christianity anyway?

Sorry for the enormous list of questions, but these things really boggle my mind - how does one take all that and turn it into "reasonable" and "complete"?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #93 on: January 18, 2011, 01:22:45 PM »
Higuys!

I guess we will have to see if they give any clues in the words themselves, then. (Using knowledge of similar types of literature from those times, if any exist). I am a big fan of authorial intent, but especially authorial intent contained within the authored work (as opposed to authorial intent that you have to read interviews or quotes by the author in order to find out).

how do you determine this when, as PD has noted, we have extraordinarily little information on the authors?  It seems that you are another Christian who wants to claim that they and only they know what God "really" meant, with no more evidence than the next.  Many Christians claim that they can "interpret" the bible becuase of various apologetics and that the "holy spirit" is guiding them.  How is it that they get different answers? 

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s'poze it's because it's so darn RIGHT about my own self and the people around me and the world I find myself in, it would seem silly to me to chuck the whole thing on account of some surprising historical assertions that are still within the realm of possibility.
Right? How? Historically?  No, not even remotely, no evidence of any of the claims of the bible, no flood, no exodus, no crucifiction, no earthquake, no Jericho, no Sodom and Gomorrah, no Babel, etc. If you want to claim it's "so darn right" becasue it mentions a few historical personages and locations, then any political thriller must be "so darn right" to you.  It is not right in any prophecies, and Christians must cherry pick to have any even close.  And a astrology prediction can see "so darn right", so waht makes this different from that?   A man rising from the dead, appearing to his friends and then vanishing is no more possible than the Cat in the Hat appearing.  Are you basing your religion on that?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 01:27:18 PM by velkyn »
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Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #94 on: January 18, 2011, 01:24:06 PM »
Please study other religions, then give me valid reasons why yours must be true instead of them. You're just proving to us all that a devout Christian is always born one, in a family of Christians, indoctrinated by birth, who claims his religion to be the OneTrueReligion without so much as touching another religious book.
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Ok =) I will try to study and come back later with more information, but I think it will take a long time before I am as familiar with another religion as I am with my own (and I would want to be that familiar with it before I do the comparison, if I was going to claim familiarity). In the meantime...

where did the first Christians come from if Christians always come from families of Christians?  :?

Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #95 on: January 18, 2011, 01:29:17 PM »
deBew, you're not starting to waver, are you?  ;D

Haha, hmm -- depends on what you mean by wavering. In this thread, not really, I just stopped posting because of poor attention spans and because I was working from home last week so I could lollygag in less subtle ways like playing computer games without worrying about people walking behind me. =P Here I can write things without too much worry as long as I scroll down so I don't have "WHY WON'T GOD HEAL AMPUTEES" emblazoned across my monitor. ;)

But about wavering in general...I sort of just used the phrase because it was what the front page requested. Still -- I am unwavering in the sense that I have never wavered between whether to say I am or am not a Christian. I have and do wavered all the time in lots of little ways, when something like Living Forever seems intimidating, or when I doubt any particular promises or precepts the Bible teaches. But those waverings are usually based on emotions that sneak up on me, and I should not like to base my thoughts on my emotions, so I find myself praying the classic prayer a lot, "I believe, Lord! Help my unbelief!"

So in *that* sense, I am not at all starting to waver -- just continuing to do so, and thank God for the space to do it. :)

Offline velkyn

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #96 on: January 18, 2011, 01:31:54 PM »
Ok =) I will try to study and come back later with more information, but I think it will take a long time before I am as familiar with another religion as I am with my own (and I would want to be that familiar with it before I do the comparison, if I was going to claim familiarity). In the meantime...

where did the first Christians come from if Christians always come from families of Christians?  :?

try this site: http://www.religioustolerance.org/  It will give you an overview of many many religions. Pick just one, I think that'll be enough. 
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #97 on: January 18, 2011, 01:45:19 PM »

My words aren't worth anything except what they're worth as words intrinsically =) Nothing to do with whose they are and where you heard them, and everything to do with whether or not they're the most true.

In short, you won't argue a position in your own words.  While you may agree with what someone else said; it's really helpful if you could speak for yourself, instead of having someone else voice come through your mouth.


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As for being susceptible to indoctrination, that wasn't really a self-proclamation so much as, it was suggested to me by a lot of people in this thread -- and I being so susceptible, accepted it. :)

And this brings me back to the question I've been asking all along; you've openly acknowledged that you would had have a different religion in a different time and place, you've even admitted that this is because of susceptible to "indoctrination".  Your christian faith is nothing more than the result of the environment you grew up in (whenever parents and/or culture).   The only real reason why christianity is "the most sensible" to you is because you were brought up in it, and raised to beleive it was the one and only true way.  This is the same for muslims and hindus and other religious faiths.  In short; your claim that chrisitianity is "the most sensible" is indistinguishable from that of a muslim or a hindu saying that his religon is "the most sensible".  I have yet to see why this is different.
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Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #98 on: January 18, 2011, 02:05:09 PM »
OK, in what way then are you an unpleasent or ruinous person as you described yourself earlier and why do you feel you need to be religious to not be the aforementioned things if you already have an idea of right and wrong (one not much different from the majority) and make decisions based on this concept. I am arguably very unpleasent because I can easily judge right from wrong but I don't factor them into my actions as I don't see them as emperical issues and are thus to me irrelevant but you don't, you want to be in the right in your own eyes. Perhaps you need to believe because you don't value your own opinion valid enough to guide your actions but I don't know.

To quote myself from Page 1: "The effort is pretty much commanded. :) It is good and right to try to be better than you are. My best efforts have historically been pretty floundering, though. If I hadn't heard about the unconditional love and forgiveness thing, I would readily hurl myself onto self-discipline and rigorous ethics. I think I am a pretty bad case though, and would end up as just a very nice chap who still shudders to knows what he's capable of. o_O Happily now I get to do the self-discipline and rigorous ethics in celebration of having found a more satisfactory ultimate solution!"

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As for the whole fiction vs non-fiction issue look at this way, mad stuff like talking donkeys, blowing up cities etc may have needed a god to be credible fiction in the past as humans had no other way of coming up with an explaination behind said fiction but nowadays we could have just as easily substituted aliens, holograms, time travelling militaries etc into the fiction so if for example if God in the bible was replaced with "Fleetlord Atvar" (see Harry Turtledove's WorldWar series) would you still feel a need to obey it's teachings or take it in any way seriously? This hypothetically assumes that the bible always included this name and thus you never heard the word god before.

Man, if I was God, I would totally have people call me "Fleetlord Atvar". One of the many reasons I am not.

Well now that depends -- would it just be a name-for-name replacement? Or would we be altering the Bible to say that instead of God being a self-sufficient eternal-in-both-directions spirit, he was a guy with lots of spaceships? (I never read WorldWar ... I tried reading some other Harry Turtledove stuff and found it to be Not My Thing). Because if it was the former, I would be okay with the renaming if God was okay with it. =P If it was the latter, I would ask, "Who made Fleetlord Atvar?" or something equally profound.

Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #99 on: January 18, 2011, 02:06:52 PM »
And this brings me back to the question I've been asking all along; you've openly acknowledged that you would had have a different religion in a different time and place, you've even admitted that this is because of susceptible to "indoctrination".  Your christian faith is nothing more than the result of the environment you grew up in (whenever parents and/or culture).   The only real reason why christianity is "the most sensible" to you is because you were brought up in it, and raised to beleive it was the one and only true way.  This is the same for muslims and hindus and other religious faiths.  In short; your claim that chrisitianity is "the most sensible" is indistinguishable from that of a muslim or a hindu saying that his religon is "the most sensible".  I have yet to see why this is different.

^ this man does not speak Wry.

What's your story, Aaron? :)

Offline deBew

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #100 on: January 18, 2011, 02:13:09 PM »
To expand on this and a previous post: Let's say these books - the Hindu, Norse, and Native American mythology were laid out on a table with the Bible, and maybe the Silmarillion, Harry Potter, and maybe some literature (it must exist outside of the Star Wars movies, I would think) from those who identify themselves as "Jedi" and someone with no knowledge of ANY of them was asked to pick the one which was non-fiction, how likely would they be to pick the Bible over anything else? And why?

I'm not a huge fantasy and sci-fi reader, but if I were, I'm sure I could come up with even more creation/alternate reality stories, none of which explicitly identify themselves as fiction, which would sound more plausible, and contain more internal consistency than the Bible.

That would be an amazingly fun experiment, actually =)
It might be hard to find people who fit the requirements, but if we can find them, I say we go for it.
This is a pretty interesting line of discussion anyway -- I never met people before who really believed the writers of the Bible were just trying to make up an entertaining story. I have heard lots of reasons not to believe in Christianity, but never that someone wrote Leviticus to kill some time and entertain their friends.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #101 on: January 18, 2011, 02:24:24 PM »
^ this man does not speak Wry.

What's your story, Aaron? :)

Dodging the question.  I have yet to see why I should accept your claim about christianity being sensible.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #102 on: January 19, 2011, 06:10:56 AM »
So generally I think things at Him (unless I talk out loud for my own concentration's benefit) because I figure He will know what I think, and it feels more secret that way. :) Alas He has never answered verbally, so we might not call it chatting after all. Mostly I find that if I want the immediate and relevant responses, I better be paying attention to the Bible! For a dusty old book it gets spookily relevant even when I'm not looking for it. 

Interesting.  So you have never received any actual response from your god?  Rather, you re-read a book that you are already familiar with, and use it to produce an answer that you were therefore already subconciously aware of?

But then you mention....

Then there is a whole level of what probably sounds like mystical hocus-pocus going on, where talking to Him and knowing He's listening and doing subtle Spirit-within-me things is totally refreshing...

Not too bothered by the articulation.  What I am intrigued by is the bolded part above, for two reasons.  Firstly, I wonder exactly how you are able to tell that this IS your god doing things to you, and not (a) something that would have happened anyway, (b) the result of your own thoughts and experiences, or (c) Satan (or some other god).

I'm also intrigued as to how this fits with any concept you have of free-will.  If your god actually makes changes within you - in your "soul", presumably - then presumably that overrides, at least to some degree, any free will you might possess?  Is free will, and the uninfluenced ability to "choose" a vital part of your religion?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #103 on: January 19, 2011, 07:52:48 PM »
I s'poze it's because it's so darn RIGHT about my own self and the people around me and the world I find myself in, it would seem silly to me to chuck the whole thing on account of some surprising historical assertions that are still within the realm of possibility.

Which parts are right for you, and which parts do you find wrong for you?  Because you can't mean the WHOLE thing is right, right?  I mean, do you think slavery should be legalized and that as long as you don't beat your slaves so hard that they can't get up in the morning, you are fine to beat the crap out of them?  Or how about the idea that we should kill people who work on the Sabbath?  Sure, you can find some good things in it too that seem to fit with you and your life, but I guarantee you will find that stuff in just about every religious book ever written.  Here are just a few examples... 

"Your Sustainer has decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your lifetime, do not say to them a word of contempt nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility and say: My Sustainer! Bestow on them Your mercy, even as they cherished me in childhood"  The Quran.  (Islam)

"I so pronounce that all the omniscients of all times, state, speak, propagate, and elaborate that nothing which breathes, which exists, which lives, or which has essence or potential of life, should be destroyed or ruled over, or subjugated, or harmed, or denied of its essence or potential."  The Acaranga Sutra (Jainism)

One in whose heart there is love attains salvation.   Guru Ganth Sahib (Sikh)

Do those all feel so darn RIGHT to you too?  Sure they do.  It does to me too.  But that doesn't mean the books speak the truth in other places, and I sure as hell don't need a book to tell me to treat my parents with respect or that love is important. 

So let me ask you about these biblical passages....  Do they feel oh so darn RIGHT to you?   

And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.
For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death
If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
And you shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it with dung of the excrement of man, in their sight.

What you have done is romanticized the idea of the bible as if it's the greatest book of all time, whilst forgetting that it's also chock full of some of the most disgusting, immoral and ludicrous things you will ever find in any book.  You've cherry picked the parts you like and ditched the rest as if it's not there and then claimed the whole thing is so darn RIGHT.  It makes me question whether you've actually read the book at all. 

You say it would be silly to chuck the whole idea just because of some surprising historical assertions that are within the realm of possibility.  But isn't it even more silly to cling to the entirety of an ancient superstition just because you think a few of the passages feel oh so darn RIGHT to you? 

If you know what Logic means then you know there's nothing technically Illogical about a talking donkey.

You're right, I agree.  There is nothing illogical about the concept of a talking donkey.  I can easily conceptualize that.  Or a talking spider.  Or a talking pig.  Or talking horses.   After all, Shrek's best friend is a talking donkey, and Mr. Ed was a very famous talking horse.   

But there is something logically wrong with assuming there once lived an ACTUAL talking donkey just because you read it in a 2000 year old book.  Without proof, it's just plain stupid to believe that. 

If you know the meaning of Reason, then you know the thing to be considering is: which is more unreasonable? A God who exists and makes a donkey talk, or no God at all to make a person talk.

A God who exists and makes a donkey talk is by far more unreasonable.  Hands down. 

Scenario A. God exists and makes a donkey talk.  You must prove beyond reasonable doubt...

1. Donkey's exist.  I will give you that one.
2. God exists.  Good luck with that.
3 A donkey talked.  Also, good luck with that. 

Scenario B.  no God exists to make a person talk.  You must prove beyond reasonable doubt...

1. There is no God.  Since there is no evidence for God other than what is written in the bible, (which, as we all know, the bible can't be used as evidence that the bible is true)  this is already done.  It is the default assumption. 
2. People exist.  I think we can prove that.
3. People talk.  I think we can do that too.  And we can explain it in natural terms. 

Hands down, scenario A is far more unreasonable.   
 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline nasubzna

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #104 on: May 19, 2011, 05:22:41 AM »
Moderator edit: removed unrelated links

I can see clearly that each Christian believes for their own reasons.  And I find it unfortunate that some of them choose to use their belief to raise themselves to a pretend state of moral superiority.
I do appreciate that many humans find it comforting to have a belief that there is a God out there that cares about them, and that offers them hope for today, and tomorrow.  Unfortunately, I fear that this separates many of them from reality to the point that they lose out on the real juice of life on this planet
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 06:05:39 AM by jetson »

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #105 on: May 20, 2011, 11:57:26 AM »
nasubzna,

The last post in this thread was dated to mid January. Please do not post in threads this old.  In many cases the people involved are long gone.  Thanks.

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Offline perrydu

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #106 on: June 16, 2011, 04:35:27 PM »
It would be difficult to find someone that disagrees with the concept of personal growth and improvement regardless of their spiritual beliefs.  Unfortunately too many stop making the effort.  I define spirituality as the almost universal curiosity about where we come from, where we go after we die and what our relationship with god is, if there is one.  I share that curiosity and try to avoid criticizing those who seem genuinely curious.  Religion, on the other hand, asks the same questions but flatly claims to have the answers.  It always strikes me as somewhat arrogant that someone who has read what they consider a holy book and done a little thought on the matter feel they have solved mysteries that have been studied by some of the most brilliant minds in the world, many as a lifetime career.  I am amazed how often I am told that I would understand if I just tried reading the Bible or listening to a particular preacher by people who quickly demonstrate that they know less about the bible and Christianity than I do.  (not bragging on my knowledge level, but I have read some and considered these things) 

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Re: Devoted Unwavering Christian
« Reply #107 on: June 20, 2011, 09:21:22 AM »
perrydu,

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