Author Topic: Pretty scary...  (Read 1639 times)

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2013, 01:23:00 PM »
I went to college in a town that had the highest number of churches and bars per capita in the state.  :laugh:
That state have a lot of corn in it by chance?
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2013, 02:36:42 PM »
Years ago I was working near a small town in Idaho and when I went to town to get supplies I was told by a bartender that the church/bar ratio in that and most small Idaho towns was 1:1. And after church, all the methodists went to one bar while all the presbyterians went to another, the catholics yet another, etc. I don't exactly know how accurate that little story was, but I did count and yes indeed, there were six bar and six churches. In a town that at the time (early 1980's) had a population of under 500. And the country had a population of around 800. I just checked, and 30 years later that country still doesn't have 1,000 people in it. I'm guessing it has more bars and churches though.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2013, 05:20:42 AM »
No. The point of my absurd analogy is that personal judgement doesn't need to be relied upon.

Alright, then what do you rely on?  That was the point of my response.  And, can the thing you do rely on work with both your analogy and what we were originally talking about?

Really, my point is simply that we can rely on actual words written, along with their context, to determine what is being communicated.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2013, 05:30:11 AM »
Hmm. Assholes are assholes regardless of belief.

The what's the point of religion?  I thought it was, at least in part, to make people better, more moral, more decent.  If it doesn't do that, then it's pretty useless, innit?

It's certainly true that a person who has asked Jesus to be their saviour should strive to live as God desires. However, being a Christian doesn't automatically turn you into a saint as far as behaviour is concerned. Paul says it well in Roams 7:

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.


I can bear personal testament to that.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2013, 05:32:01 AM »
Years ago I was working near a small town in Idaho and when I went to town to get supplies I was told by a bartender that the church/bar ratio in that and most small Idaho towns was 1:1. And after church, all the methodists went to one bar while all the presbyterians went to another, the catholics yet another, etc. I don't exactly know how accurate that little story was, but I did count and yes indeed, there were six bar and six churches. In a town that at the time (early 1980's) had a population of under 500. And the country had a population of around 800. I just checked, and 30 years later that country still doesn't have 1,000 people in it. I'm guessing it has more bars and churches though.

Your point is that the various congregations ought to have drunk together? If so, I agree.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2013, 08:05:25 AM »
Really, my point is simply that we can rely on actual words written, along with their context, to determine what is being communicated.

Words are not enough.  It seems like this point has been over a bajillion times.  I don't know why at this stage of the game you fail to understand the point.  Yeah, there are words, but they are not clear and unambiguous and interpretation is necessary.  And as is demonstrated by the 33,000 denominations of xianity, there is no single, clear, agreed upon interpretation.  You seem oblivious to this fact.  You seem to think that everyone should be able to come to the same (correct) conclusion as you.  Yet they do not.  Thus your statement, and your point, is shown to be obviously false.

It seems to me a perfect god would communicate perfectly.  Yet, it has not.  Why do you imagine that is?  I see only a couple of possible conclusions.  None of them are compatible with your funny beliefs.




It's certainly true that a person who has asked Jesus to be their saviour should strive to live as God desires. However, being a Christian doesn't automatically turn you into a saint as far as behaviour is concerned.

Who said anything about it being automatic?  Your response - "assholes are assholes regardless of religion" - indicates religion is more or less useless at making people better.  Your quote from your funny book (which you take very seriously) indicates the same.  My point was it should help you be a demonstrably better person in some way.  It could give you practical strategies to stop being suck a dick.  It could give you meditations to be more selfless.  It could include mandates to help other people and stop being so selfish. 

Yet your thesis seems to be, it doesn't.  And I agree.

Instead, it does nothing for your behavior and according to your funny beliefs (which you take very seriously), allows you entrance to a place for good people without having to have been one.  The whole point of xianity is "people suck, being good is hard, but believe in this magical jew and get eternal rewards despite being a despicable asswipe!"   

Woo-hoo!  Of course people like that.  It's magical, deep fried ice cream covered with chocolate and sprinkles that causes no weight gain or tooth decay.  It is cheap grace.  And people wonder why shysters and con men become preachers and fit in so seamlessly.  It's because this "philosophy" is practically designed to attract the narcissistic and selfish.

There are other religions that actually make you a better person.  I've posted this elsewhere, but I'll repeat it because I think it is important.  In Buddhism, their version of "heaven" is NirvanaWiki.  It is when the Buddhist has realized an "imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished". 

There are Buddhists who are called bodhisattvasWiki.  They have promised to not enter Nirvana until all sentient life can also attain buddhahood.  Can you imagine that?  Have you ever heard a xian say "I'm not going to enter heaven until everyone can join me?"  Of course not.  Actual selflessness is a completely foreign concept to xianity.  Xianity is at its base an inherently selfish religion.  It's all about someone else picking up the check for you.

yeah yeah yeah, "what about jesus?"  He didn't actually suffer and he certainly didn't die, so get over it. Bodhisattvas are infinitely better than xians.  They just are.


So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.[/i]

heh.  Slave.  The weird, sadomasochistic metaphors of xianity.  Let me know if you'd like your screen name changed to something like "LeatherXian" or "Spanked4jesus". 
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2013, 12:33:19 PM »
I just had a similar conversation, albeit my attempt far less profound than Mr Screwtape put forth, with a believer in my office.  I asked if the xian version of living made you a better person than other religious practices around the world...

I used a similar analogy regarding selflessness... i.e. Hindus come back as worse creatures if they live  their life poorly.  Surely they live kinder, gentler lives in order to receive their reward than a xian who, as was said, had the check paid by someone else???

My believer friend sat silent for a bit then said it is not a valid comparison since they (hindus) live for works and believe in a false god.

Truly amazing!!
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline screwtape

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #36 on: May 29, 2013, 12:45:03 PM »
they (hindus) live for works

Irrelevant.  And it agrees with what you said.  Works are actions, behaviors.  Thus, hinduism makes people behave better.  As opposed to faith, which is just stupidly believing something.  It is internal.  So douchebag is explicitly agreeing with you.

Of course, I don't agree, given how hindus treat women and the whole caste thing. 

Quote
and believe in a false god.

unsupported.  There is as much support for their ridiculous pantheon of gods as there is for his ridiculous middle eastern cult.

kick your friend in the balls for me next time you see him, please.  Tell him Screwtape sends his respect.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2013, 12:50:49 PM »
they (hindus) live for works


kick your friend in the balls for me next time you see him, please.  Tell him Screwtape sends his respect.

consider kicked...
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2013, 04:43:59 PM »
Really, my point is simply that we can rely on actual words written, along with their context, to determine what is being communicated.

Words are not enough.  It seems like this point has been over a bajillion times.  I don't know why at this stage of the game you fail to understand the point.  Yeah, there are words, but they are not clear and unambiguous and interpretation is necessary.  And as is demonstrated by the 33,000 denominations of xianity, there is no single, clear, agreed upon interpretation.  You seem oblivious to this fact.  You seem to think that everyone should be able to come to the same (correct) conclusion as you.  Yet they do not.  Thus your statement, and your point, is shown to be obviously false.

Why would you be surprised if I apparently don't understand a point you have previously communicated? Would that suggest you have been a poor communicator?

The 33,000 denominations, by the way, is a massive red herring. The differences in the most part would be confined to what type of hymns they sing or whether they hold Sunday school in the morning or the afternoon.

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2013, 05:08:18 PM »
Triune god:  Ambiguous.
Heaven existence/details:  Ambiguous.
Hell existence/details:  Ambiguous.
Divinity of Jesus:  Ambiguous.

I could go on.  These things all require selection between accounts and the personal interpretation of what's written.  33k denominations, as you say, do not mean 33k different interpretations of the Bible.  But diverse interpretations do nonetheless exist.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2013, 05:21:53 PM »
Question: if 50 people interpret meaning from a written text one way and 50 another way, is that an example of ambiguity in the text?

Same question, but with a 70/30 ratio.

90/10 ratio

99/1 ratio

Or is ambiguity determined by something more concrete?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2013, 05:56:36 PM »
If there's no way to determine which interpretation is correct, then even 100% interpreting it one way and no-one interpreting different doesn't mean the text isn't ambiguous.  The ambiguity derives from how active a role the reader must play in inserting his or her biases into the interpretation.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2013, 09:52:48 PM »
Why would you be surprised if I apparently don't understand a point you have previously communicated?

Because I constantly forget not everyone is as smart as I.  I shouldn't, since I am reminded daily that the world if is full of idiots.  Yet I am constantly surprised to find myself mostly surrounded by them.

http://www.ecotopia.com/webpress/stupidity/

Would that suggest you have been a poor communicator?

No.  It suggests I am an imperfect communicator.  It also suggests you are thick.

The 33,000 denominations, by the way, is a massive red herring.

bollocks. It was on point.

The differences in the most part would be confined to what type of hymns they sing or whether they hold Sunday school in the morning or the afternoon.

Bollocks.  This grossly minimizes the point.  On almost every position you hold regarding the bible, there is a denomination that considers that position heresy.  There are at least 8 major positions ripe for ambiguity before you even get out of Genesis 2.

1. Is god the same as spirit of god?
2. Literal or figurative days? 
3. What is the "vault above"?
4. when exactly was man made?
5. are men and women equal?  That is, are men supposed to be womens' bosses?
6. evolution or evil-ution?
7.  how old is the world?
8. was the serpent satan?
9. is the bible literally the word of god, or is it an inspired work of man?

There are at least a dozen more quibbles.

While this may be fun, it is a digression from the basic point at hand - your belief that just reading the words of the bible should lead everyone to the same childlike understanding as you is overly simplistic.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 07:22:40 AM by screwtape »
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Offline sun_king

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2013, 12:28:56 AM »
Question: if 50 people interpret meaning from a written text one way and 50 another way, is that an example of ambiguity in the text?

Same question, but with a 70/30 ratio.
90/10 ratio
99/1 ratio
Or is ambiguity determined by something more concrete?

It is ambiguous till it is 100/0.

Example of unambiguous text is "Thou shalt not cross the road if the light is red". An unambigous statement will have every reader interpret it in just the one way. How hard would it be for a god to do what we ordinary mortals can do?

PS: I am qualified to speak about ambiguity, I work with system requirements for some complicated devices.

Offline grant

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2013, 06:04:20 AM »
Whilst I don't doubt that such discrimination occurs, and I am sorry that it does, I have always been skeptical that a Christian culture is dominant in the USA to the extent indicated on this forum. No doubt it has pockets where church goers outnumber non-church goers, but what percentage of Americans go to church regulalry overall? 20-30%?

In any event, the OP isn't affected by churches in New York. He lives in Australia same as me,  where being a Christian is most definitely being the one singled out and made fun of.

"where being a Christian is most definitely being the one singled out and made fun of."

Where do you live where fellow Australians single you out because you are a christian?

I think I'm a pretty normal bloke in Australia. I don't go to work, my friends places, the supermarket, or the pub, and talk about religion. Matter of fact I wouldn't know if my mates are christians, atheists or devil worshippers. Nor do I care.

If you're attracting "being singled out... because you're a christian", I'd suggest you stop talking about religion.... because I'd single you out for bleating about politics or the weather too. Try shutting up about religion in your social circles and see if you're made fun of then.
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2013, 06:15:32 AM »
Question: if 50 people interpret meaning from a written text one way and 50 another way, is that an example of ambiguity in the text?

Same question, but with a 70/30 ratio.
90/10 ratio
99/1 ratio
Or is ambiguity determined by something more concrete?

It is ambiguous till it is 100/0.

Example of unambiguous text is "Thou shalt not cross the road if the light is red". An unambigous statement will have every reader interpret it in just the one way. How hard would it be for a god to do what we ordinary mortals can do.


I agree that's unambiguous, although somewhat strange. Crossing the road with cars stopped at the red light seems like a safe way of doing it.
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Offline sun_king

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2013, 07:47:25 AM »
<snip>
I agree that's unambiguous, although somewhat strange. Crossing the road with cars stopped at the red light seems like a safe way of doing it.

Technically you should wait for your light to turn green (if available). I had deliberately left some ambiguity hoping that you will find it out. You actually did a review and pointed out a flaw in the statement. I accept it and refine it, here is the new one.

"If there is a traffic light on the road in the direction of your travel, you shall cross the road only when the light is green."

This clears up things a lot till someone comes up and says "In my country, a right turn on red is allowed if it is safe to do so". So I will have to carefully add that clause so that it would not directly contradict my "only when the light is green" statement.

If someone had done a good review for the bible, there might be a lot less than 38,000 different sects.



Offline magicmiles

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Re: Pretty scary...
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2013, 08:24:04 AM »
 The colour of the light won't matter much if you backpedal through the intersection  ;D

The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.