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General Religious Discussion / Re: Christians, what if Islam were true?
« Last post by eh! on Today at 04:40:00 PM »
can you still eat pork rolls with gravy in islam? if not i'm out.
^^Oh Oh Oh.......... g
General Religious Discussion / Re: JW visited
« Last post by One Above All on Today at 03:53:55 PM »
I actually can, but, assuming I can't for the sake of discussion, neither can you (for yours).

Still waiting for a reply to this, Jstwebbrowsing. Can you prove that your numbers are accurate?
No, we are only screwed (ie more screwed than theists) if a) there is a god and b) he punishes atheists more than theists of all faiths. The first qualification has never been proven to be the case, let alone the second.

It could be that c) there is no god, no heaven and no hell. Or maybe d) there is a god and everyone goes to heaven. e) Or everyone goes to hell. Or maybe f) there is a god who sends people to heaven and hell randomly, regardless of what they believed in life. Or maybe g) there is a god who sends atheists to heaven and theists to hell. Or maybe h) half of all atheists and half of all theists go to heaven. And on, and on, and on, down the alphabet, as many combinations as you can think of. Only one possibility can be right, and the only one that fits the evidence we have is c).

And since many theists think that theists not of their faith are as screwed as atheists, seems to me that being an atheist gives you as good a chance as any theist of screwage or non-screwage. If you choose one of the zillions of wrong religions, as is most likely to be the case, you are just as screwed as an atheist.

Being an atheist gives no more chance of screwage than being religious--unless the first two qualifications, a) and b) above are true. The advantage of being an ethical atheist is that even if we get screwed after we die, at least we lived honestly and morally, without all the unnecessary religious baggage.

Imagine how stupid all the fundy religious folks will be to discover when they die, that the Rastafarians were right, and they could have been smoking dope, having sex and listening to reggae instead of sitting in boring church--and meanwhile there will be a few atheists who just happened to get it right!  ;) :angel:
General Religious Discussion / Re: JW visited
« Last post by nogodsforme on Today at 03:21:59 PM »
^^^That is what I was going to say.

Survey research is pretty sophisticated nowadays. Researchers don't have to contact every single person in a neighborhood, city, or state to get a fairly accurate idea of how many people fit a particular characteristic. Researchers use statistical sampling to select a small group that represents the whole population. There are mathematical reasons that explain why a sample of about 1000 people, properly selected, can accurately reflect a population of millions. I can get you some references--if you want, I can find a basic intro to stats article online.[1]

They do this because, as you learn in Stats 101, nobody has the money or time to do a survey where they actually talk to each and every person in a population of millions--and by using math you don't need to. It would just be a waste to survey 10,000 or 100,000 if you only need to talk to 1000 people for an accurate sample. It costs several dollars per person to do a good survey, and more if you want lots of questions asked, and then the numbers crunched accurately.

Even the census, the largest, most comprehensive and expensive survey the US ever does has to do some sampling and estimation. They cannot possibly get to everyone, and only do it once a decade. That does not mean the surveys or the census are not accurate-- they can be extremely accurate, and they know how close they are to perfect accuracy-- that is the "margin of error" when they say + or - 5% or whatever.

Even though they are never 100%, if they are 90% or 95% accurate--that's really good. And, even if they were only 75% accurate (and that would be a pretty bad survey), you would still have far more information than not doing the survey at all.

What people who have not learned statistics or research methods don't realize is that a well-done survey using small statistical samples is far more accurate than talking to a lot more people who were not selected statistically. You are more accurate asking the right 1000 people than asking the wrong 10,000. This will make sense if you imagine the sample of 1000 surveying one person chosen from each voting district in New York, and the 10,000 are all students at the largest Catholic university in New York. Which sample is more likely to reflect what the entire state is like, in terms of race, gender, age, religion, health status, employment, etc?

That is a very long-winded way to say that if properly conducted, unbiased research surveys using statistical samples comes up with fewer JW's (or Mormons or Catholics or whatever) in a given country or state than the religion itself reports, you need to see how the counting was done and whether they were using the same criteria. You can't just assume that the survey that had the fewest (or most) JW's was making the numbers up.

If the Watchtower only counts officially baptized members, and the research surveys let people self-select from a list of religions including JW's as a possible choice, I would think the research would yield higher numbers of JW's, not lower. Lots more people would say they were JW's if they attended the services regularly, even if they were not officially baptized.

Surveys should overcount, not undercount members of various religions. Most people in the US (75-80%) say they belong to some religion, even though the number of non-religious and unaffiliated people is growing. People like to belong to stuff-- or like to say they belong, even though they don't attend the services or even believe the doctrines!
 1. Just because I am such a research nerd, here is a link to NORC, one of the best research institutes in the US, maybe in the whole world. If it comes from NORC it is as close to true as it gets. Read their front page to get an idea of how good surveys are done. They also have a good report from 2012 comparing god-belief over time and across different countries. Japan has the world's lowest number of people who believe in god (4%) and the Philippines have the highest (93%). Which country would you guess has the lower crime rate?
He should make a movie about his particular/peculiar take on Biblical history. He could call it "Lost in Translation". Maybe get Bill Murray to play Moses.

or maybe Carrot Top?

Hmmm... works for me. How about Bill Murray in a wackzainerific take on Job? God allows Satan to really screw with his idyllic life. Hilarity ensues.
General Religious Discussion / Re: negative hippo; a resort for theists
« Last post by eh! on Today at 02:50:38 PM »
I kinda think I get it, these ideas seem "slippery" in my mind if such an analogy holds.
He should make a movie about his particular/peculiar take on Biblical history. He could call it "Lost in Translation". Maybe get Bill Murray to play Moses.

or maybe Carrot Top?
... it presented a fairly compelling explanation on how the Catholic Church at t time was afraid that should the peasants (who by and large did not speak or understand Latin) be able to read a translated Bible on their own, they might start getting funny ideas in their heads that they no longer needed the Church to act as their "middleman" between them and "God". It was all about retaining control the article concluded.

That was probably icing on the cake.  I could be wrong, but I doubt they even saw that as icing. 

If the church is the authority and the bible is only really a resource for the priestly class, what's it matter whether the rubes in the pews understand or not?  From the perspective of the medieval priest (and the RCC), the people are getting what they need - their RDA of jesus flesh and holy spirit for salvation.  The rest is just ritual, ya? 

And if they were illiterate, what would it matter what language it was printed in?  They still would not be able to read it.  And until the Renaissance, peasants had no hope of ever affording a copy of a bible.  The first mass produced bible was not made until circa 1450 (and it was in Latin)[1]   

As I understand it.

If at the moment of my death I do not believe in God/Jesus I will spend eternity suffering in a place called hell?

As I understand it if I kill someone and am generally happy about it when I a struck by a truck and die myself I will go to hell?

source the bible and compiled by GB
everlasting fire — Matthew18:8, 25:41
everlasting punishment — Matthew 25:46
everlasting chains — Jude 1:6
eternal damnation — Mark 3:29
eternal judgment — Hebrews 6:2
eternal fire — Jude 1:7
unquenchable fire — Matthew 3:12
the fire that never shall be quenched — Mark 9:43, 44, 45, 46, 48
fire unquenchable — Luke 3:17
mist of darkness is reserved for ever — 2 Peter 2:17
the blackness of darkness for ever — Jude 1:13
23 "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in TORMENTS. . . "
24 ". . . for I am TORMENTED in this FLAME."

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Psalm 9:17

The Bible describes it as weeping (Matt 8:12), wailing (Matt 13:42), gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:50), darkness (Matt 25:30), flames (Luke 16:24), burning (Isa 33:14), everlasting punishment! Jesus Christ says in Matthew 25:41, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels."

Does that not sound like punishment?

In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says: "And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Now, that sounds like punishment to many members here. And, on the face of it, God is responsible.

There is the alternative view that Yahweh punishes people so that others can see how powerful he is:

Joh:9:1: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Joh:9:2: And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Joh:9:3: Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

But my question is to Lukvance and others on their thoughts of biblical crime and punishment.

Bonus question in anticipation of Lukvance's response.  (where does the CCC gain the right to directly contradict the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Peter who clearly indicate that one goes to hell for non belief and certain sins.)

Actually, aren't you better off if you kill someone with your truck and repent, than if you're like us and post on these forums that there's no evidence of a God?

We're the worst of the worst... 

A rapist who repents and believes  can go to heaven and sit next to the believer husband of the raped women... who ends up in hell because she stopped believing since her prayers to stop the rape weren't answered.

Victim of abuse who ends up not believing?  Eternal torture!
The abuser who repents and turns to Jesus?  Eternal bliss!

Makes sense right?  =-)
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