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General Religious Discussion / Re: why do you post here?
« Last post by YRM_DM on Today at 09:20:47 AM »
I like to feel like I'm not alone out there realizing the Bible is a crap sandwich.
General Religious Discussion / Re: Hell and the end of life
« Last post by screwtape on Today at 09:02:31 AM »
It's not that they don't have free will.  It's just that they will never have the capacity to obey from the heart.  They hardened their heart through disobedience to the point it's numb.

Sorry, jst, this bit about "heart hardening" sounds silly.  I am sure you understand it is metaphorical language.  But in this case using methaphor does not help to understand.  It dumbs it down and gets in the way.

If you will notice the scriptures say that Jehovah hardened Pharoah's heart (Exodus 7:3).  They also say that Pharoah hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:32).  So what hardened Pharoah's heart?  Jehovah's words did.  Why?  Because Pharoah was a rebel.

Huh?  That is not scriptural.  Lets go through the story.  First, yhwh lays out a plan:
1. I will harden pharoah's heart so he won't listen
2. I will do magical stuff, but he won't listen because I've already hardened his heart
3. I will punish egypt
4. you will go free
5. people will know I am a badass

Notice, the first step is to make pharoah tune out and not "do magic, which will make him tune out."

Now, his first act of magic - turning a staff into a snake - does not impress pharoah.  Why not?  Is it because he was a rebel?  No.  He couldn't be a "rebel" because yhwh was never his god.  It is not recorded anywhere that yhwh even attempted to invite him into the fold.  You cannot rebel from someone who is not and never was your authority.  I cannot rebel from Russia because I am not Russian nor am I in Russia. 

Pharoah was unimpressed because he had a who pack of magicians who could turn staves into snakes.  yhwh's snake ate theirs, but so what? They turned staves into friggen snakes, man!  Let me ask you - if you saw a bunch of people turn sticks into snakes and then one of the snakes ate the others, what would be the most remarkable thing to you?  The fact that they could do that at all or that one ate all the others?

Hearing Jehovah's words hardens the hearts of his opposers.

why is that?  If god wants everyone in heaven, why do his words make people resist?  It seems to me if god wanted people to listen, they would.  Instead, it is as if he designed his message to turn people away.

This seems to be a theme with god.  yhwh, being all knowing and all powerful, could have gone a different route with pharoah.  He could have sat down with him, had a one-on-one, and convinced him to let the hebrews go.  He could have offered him a deal.  But he didn't.   

And it's the same thing with people like me.  It is not that I do bad things that harden my heart.  I just cannot believe the baloney in the bible.  If it is because I oppose god, as you say, then why would god let that happen?  Why doesn't he say "oh shit, I've lost Screwtape.  I'd better find a different way to reach him"?  Instead, he seems pretty content to let me burn in hell forever.  Which does not strike me as something a truly good and just person (let alone omnimax god) would do.

The more they hear it and reject it, they harder their heart becomes against it.

So it is a self reinforcing death spiral.  Too bad god is powerless to do anything to help.

Do you not see the illogic here?

Jehovah did not force Judas to betray Christ.  He saw the events in advance. 

a distinction without a difference.  It is part of the problem of the idea of knowing the future.  If someone knows the future, then it is fixed in place and there is no free will, just the illusion of it.

Christ did not have to be betrayed. 

Oh really?  How would that have played out? Was he going to choke on a chicken bone?   I thought the whole point of it was that he was a sacrifice.  In hebrew tradition sacrifices did not die of old age.

Jehovah saw that the fall would occur in advance and adjusted his actions accordingly.  He did not cause the fall, nor was it necessary.

If he saw it would happen in advance, why did he not "adjust" Eve, the serpent or Eve's slow witted mate?  Why did he have to adjust the story centuries later?  You say he made an adjustment, but he made it much later after much suffering when he could have made the adjustment up front, at the beginning.  the Fall happened because yhwh allowed it to happen.  Does yhwh allow things to happen that he does not will? He must have willed the fall.  There is no way around it.

The major difference is that Jehovah sees in advance all possible outcomes, whereas storytellers can be caught by suprise by unpredictable players and can end up having to shoe horn the players.

This is exactly why your argument fails.  With yhwh, the players did not need not have made sub-optimal choices. yhwh behaves like a DM caught flat footed, having to adjust the story down the road because it started off wrong.

General Religious Discussion / Re: Achtiname of Muhammad
« Last post by screwtape on Today at 08:23:38 AM »
didn't ancient islam have a university that encouraged free exchange of ideas between different religions....that was later destroyed by xians?

I am getting sick and tired of having all the world's problems blamed on Christians. Yes, without the Christians the world would be a perfect paradise. All joining hands in a circle singing kumbaya.  0% theft. 0% murder. 0 problems.

Enough of this.

But sometimes xians did and do evil shit in the name of jesus.  Is that or is that not true?  And I don't think "eh!" was blaming all the world's problems on xians.  He was pointing out just one particular thing to which they may have contributed.  And he could be completely wrong.[1]  You are free to try to verify or nullify what he said.  Or ask him for a link to support it.  If he's right, he's right.  If he's not, well, wouldn't it be fun to point that out?

 1. I take his claim with a large dose of salt.
Science / Re: A world without oil
« Last post by screwtape on Today at 08:10:01 AM »
Maybe some of you don't realize how much stuff is made from petroleum products.

I've not seen anyone suggest we get rid of all products derived from petroleum.  I have seen it suggested we stop burning it.

So, for all the environmentalists out there, how can we produce all of our technology i.e. the thing you are using to read this comment, without oil?

as above

Maybe some more level headed people will agree that we can't get rid of Oil production but we can cut down on oil for energy.

as above

For the rest of those who insist on getting rid of oil production entirely...

as above.  You repeated the same straw man three times. I am curious as to why you think people are saying this?

what is the alternative you propose? How do we make all the stuff we depend on without petroleum products?

Taking the strawman as fact, I would suggest that one alternative is to change how we live.  Why does that never seems to come into anyone's mind?  It seems obvious to me.  Sure, it would be a massive change.  But humans have lived without iPads and cars and bottled water and excessive packaging before. In fact, in some parts of the world, they still do.  Maybe if we stopped making everything to do disposable, that would be a step in the right direction.

I for one would accept higher fuel / energy costs if I knew air / water quality standards were more stringently and consistently enforced.

Here is the thing: you already are paying those higher costs.  They are just hidden.  The costs of petroleum are not just in the price of a barrel of oil or a gallon of gas.  They are also in your taxes for the EPA, for superfund clean up, for government built roads, for FEMA, in your insurance, in hospital bills for increased asthema (and other ailments) and in numerous other costs that do not explicitly say "oil".  These are the ways petro corporations avoid paying the real costs of business and dump them onto everyone else. 

Chatter / Re: Palin Family Brawl
« Last post by screwtape on Today at 07:42:56 AM »
If you've not seen Game Change, see it.  Steve Schmidt, McCain's campaign manager, said it was very accurate.
"rang true enough to make me squirm."

Religion In The News / Losing religion
« Last post by screwtape on Today at 07:07:31 AM »
Conservative blogger and old bitty, Rod Dreher has asked people to share stories of how they lost their religion.  Apparently he's banned me, but you can go there and share if you like.  Or, just read what other people have to say.

there is also a related post from him where questions are also asked.

General Religious Discussion / Re: why do you post here?
« Last post by Mrjason on Today at 05:38:29 AM »
Arguing helps with my stress.


No it doesn't.
oh look, a slider bar appeared, miracle?
Science / Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Last post by relativetruth on Today at 04:48:38 AM »
We think that we are exempt from the consequences of mindless Nature; we think that being human is different from being any other life-form: we are deluded.
Exempt, no.  But we can make a difference, unlike many other life-forms. 

Quote from: Graybeard
There is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent a catastrophe of global warming/cooling if it happens. Even thinking we could is pure stupidity – how will we control the sun, the atmosphere and ocean currents?
Pessimistic much?  I'll take those "purely stupid" people who think we can, even if they're wrong, over any number of people like you, who wail and moan about how we can't do anything and thus do their best to ensure that we don't even try.

Quote from: Graybeard
The very best is that the more technically advanced nations threatened by one of the fatal causes might be able to invade and conquer a survivable part of the planet that is less developed. At least this will provide the seeds to get us back to civilisation more quickly but the losses will be immense.
Alternately, we can push actual space exploration and maybe send colony ships out so that we have more than just one world.

Quote from: Graybeard
Population, the very thing that gave us our advancement over the last 200 years, is our downfall: we are victims of our own success. Like all species in which population collapse occurs, our job was to reproduce, and we did it too well.
This is unfortunately true.  We will have to get our population under control somehow.

There is only one Earth.

If we cannot control climate here we will not have enough time to develop the technology to terraform other planets or build stations on moons etc capable of supporting humans. Even if we found another Earth-sized and Earth-like planet in the galaxy we will be restricted by the speed of light so we could never get there practically.

I do, however, remain very positive about us finding a solution in spite the anti-science barriers set up by many of the world's politicians and religious leaders.

It is just the next phase of the evolution of ape species, except, that this time we have technology to help us when emotional, short term, political and selfish decisions fail us.

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