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General Religious Discussion / Re: Why Aren't People Nicer if Sin Doesn't Exist?
« Last post by velkyn on April 29, 2016, 06:35:08 PM »
Additing on to that, stating that has it seem that only people who dedicate their lives to God are capable of keeping sin to a minum.  There are plenty of reasonably good people who try to do the right thing regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof.  Your statement would have merit if, say, the only people in the world who tried there best to do good are people who devoutly follow God.

and this is what most Christians try to claim.  Reality shows that such claims are nonsense. 
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Why should God heal amputees?
« Last post by natlegend on April 29, 2016, 06:34:16 PM »
...there are times when he both proves himself and times when he hides himself...

Well we know he hides all the time, but can you show a time when Jehovah has 'proven himself'?
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Chatter / Re: How does free speech work?
« Last post by Jag on April 29, 2016, 05:36:37 PM »
Free speech = the government can not stop you from voicing an opinion, in a nutshell. There are laws that limit certain aspects of speech (fraud, defamation, etc), and as mentioned, there are consequences to free speech. Go ahead and yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater - but you're financially responsible for damages, and headed for prison if anyone dies.

Free speech means you have the freedom to say it. Others have the freedom to listen, or not.

A sample of one - the campus I recently departed bears no resemblance to the one describe in the linked article. In the States, a public university is supposed to be treated as a free speech safe zone, more or less (there's an actual term that I can' recall at the moment), so on my campus, any d!psh!t who wanted to talk was permitted to do so. Hate speech was not permitted, and on rare occasions, someone had to be removed. Students did sometimes stage protests on certain issues that coincided with speakers or events, but there was never any obstructions or efforts to prohibit anyone from having the opportunity to speak.

There was a local guy who called himself Superman. He dressed in a Superman costume, drove round town yelling out the window, stood on street corners yelling at drivers, and drove around campus freaking people out. He mostly drove and hung out downtown, he only showed up on campus a few times a year, for a few days at random times. He's a nasty racist most of the time, but on campus, he didn't usually say anything at all. What he did might have actually been worse - he would find one or two students of color who were walking by themselves, and drive directly behind them, with his window down, blaring music and staring at them. Wouldn't say anything, just stayed right behind them in his car, blaring music and staring. Once they went into a building, he would slowly drive away, then speed up and go looking for more people to follow around, doing nothing but creeping them right the hell out. And there was nothing legally binding that could be done to stop him - what could they charge him with? It's not illegal to be a racist, or a creep. And the campus was really kind of trapped - not only is it a public university, the two main streets actually belong to the city, not the college. He always gets chased off eventually, but there's no mechanism in place to force him to stop altogether.

I find it unsettling that there seems to be a significant segment of a generation here that does fit the linked article. I was often surprised by how unclear the concept of free speech actually was to a lot of younger students, by how willing they were to relinquish certain rights, and by how much they misunderstood other ones. For some, it was literally the first time they had ever been exposed to the idea that citizenship comes with responsibilities, even for citizens who were born here - yes, that happened.  :(

 I know a couple of people (adults, with cars, jobs, and drivers licenses) who have never been outside the seven county metro area of Minneapolis. I know adults from rural Minnesota who have never been in a city with a population bigger than 75,000 people. I know many adults who have never left the state, and many who have never been further away than the next state over - Wisconsin, North or South Dakota, or Iowa. That's it, that's all the larger their world experience extends. When your world is that small, your frame of reference doesn't have room for much. Potential discomfort must be nearly everywhere.

It's contradictory - we "value" individualism, but enforce conformity. That ends up having all kinds of weird free speech consequences.
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I haven't gotten around to watching the videos yet, though I did want to clarify: I hadn't really looked into the evidence that AiG supposedly provides, I just wanted your thought on it.  Did you say you were a geologist velkyn, or am I thinking of someone else?  Either way, thanks for the explanation, and I'll definitely get to watching those videos soon. :)  I didn't even consider craters in the flood claim, good point though.

As for saying Christians intentionally lie, some of them might not lie, but present it as how they believe and justify things.

A lie is a justification that one tells to take someone else's ability to make an informed decision away.  CD, you don't seem to look in to much of anything when you want someone else to render an opinion.   Lots of Christians do this in order to present a topic that they do believe in but don't want to take responsibility for believing in such nonsense. 

I am indeed a geologist.   I will have to admit that I don't believe you'll watch the videos at all nor will you actually read the information at the links.   


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I never even considered that about the pyramids and the Sphinx (and I've been fascinated by Egypt since I read The Egypt Game in 4th grade).  The one justification I can think for that is that if I recall correctly, the pyramids were built around 3000-2600 BC, and wasn't Noah's flood supposedly a couple centuries after Adam?  Maybe the flood happened (or rather, going by the rock and sediment layers, multiple local floods like the one I mentioned in the Black Sea in the earlier thread) and the pyramids were built afterwards.  You do make good points about the layer order regardless, which is how we've determined the different prehistoric eras (I always thought it would be awesome to have a dinosaur as long as it didn't eat me though).

Christians have no idea when any of their nonsense happened.  Like GB did, we can say that there is certain numbers of years between certain events, per the bible, with no other bit of evidence to support this.  And its' entirely made up when the "creation" happened, since Christains again can't agree on that.  You've ignored what I've said and have retreated to the same lies that the AiG and creationist give. It's disappointing, expected, but disappointing.   


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Now that's actually a really interesting article.  So even though they didn't focus on Genesis at all, mainly Edodus and the others, Genesis is still part of the Torah, right?  Then if many Rabbis apparently admit that they consider the first five books of the Torah mythology, that not only includes Exodus, but Genesis.   And if they consider the Exodus to be myth, then that might mean they consider the same for the Flood and even the Fall from the Garden of Eden, though they didn't mention Genesis at all, just the history of the Jewish people....  If that is the case though, that would also explain why they didn't believe Jesus was the Messiah... though if they believe even the Garden of Eden story is a myth, why do the Jewish think there'd be a Messiah, or that they'd need one?

Figured you'd invent an excuse to ignore the article.  Yes, genesis is still part of the Torah.  Your ignorance still astonishes me, CD, and I know it really shouldn't.  The Jews think they are promised a messiah that will make them important again.   The problem is that the Christian impostor doesn't fit the actual supposed prophecies. Again, lies upon lies, ignorance promoted constantly, to keep power and fear.  Jews ignore their supposedly holy book sjust like Christians.  Lovely examples of how religion displays the worst parts of humanity.         
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Religion & Society / Re: another shooting in Church
« Last post by rev45 on April 29, 2016, 05:04:20 PM »
Love is patient love is kind, unless you're in a building to worship the god of love and find yourself fighting over seating arrangements in which case shoot the bastard.  I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.
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Chatter / Re: How does free speech work?
« Last post by jaimehlers on April 29, 2016, 04:46:01 PM »
All that freedom of speech really means is that you have the right to say what you want without fearing you'll be punished by the government, or those in power, merely for daring to speak.  If I say something, nobody else is obligated to listen, or to give me so much as the time of day.  And there's no guarantee that other people won't shout me down or drown me out if they don't like what I'm saying.

For that matter, if I say something that offends a million people, why should they then be obligated to treat me reasonably in other ways?  If I'm selling a product, and I say something stupid, what incentive do they have to consider buying my product?  And so on, and so forth.

If I say something politically incorrect, why should other people put up with it?  And if someone else says something politically incorrect, and I chastise them, why should they listen to me?  I could go on and on if I wanted, but I believe I've made my point about the true nature of free speech.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Why should God heal amputees?
« Last post by Jstwebbrowsing on April 29, 2016, 04:37:36 PM »
What I'd like is for you to acknowledge that the vast majority of people on earth aren't Christian or JW, and more of those aren't "true believers".
I'd like you to acknowledge that there are many convincing fakes out there that have fooled people into thinking supernatural healing and whatnot exists.

Yes, I will acknowledge that.  How do I know that I have not been deceived?  That's not really the question.  The question is how do you know that I have not been deceived.  You don't.  That's why I am not asking you to believe what I say.  The more I insert myself the more prone to error I become.  The more prone to error I am the more likely I will mislead you.  That's the last thing I want on my shoulders.

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YOU think it's important that we believe in Jehovah right?   If YOU had evidence, you'd probably share it right?

Not in this case.  In this case I am telling you what evidence the scriptures say to look for and placing the responsibility of looking for it on you.  Instead of trying to make predictions about what would occur if a loving God existed, listen to what the scriptures say and match it with reality.  No matter how much we think God could/should/would do things a certain way, God is doing it his way.

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Why do YOU think it's important to testify and try to convince people that Jehovah is real... if Jehovah doesn't think it's important to prove?

It's important to me because I want to share that joy that comes from that realization. 

And I never said Jehovah doesn't think it's important.  However, there are times when he both proves himself and times when he hides himself.  For anything to have an effect, Jehovah must act to reveal himself.   According to the scriptures there are things people can do to encourage/discourage that revelation.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Why should God heal amputees?
« Last post by nogodsforme on April 29, 2016, 04:33:09 PM »
^^^What you are saying here, is that god is a deal maker. He wants something. He will [maybe] help humans if he gets what he wants from them. This does not sound as if god is very powerful, since his actions depend on humans doing something first. When humans figure out how to behave, as a group, then god will help us out. This also does not make god sound very nice. Until we straighten up and become more perfect, babies will be born with Downs syndrome and people will suffer from missing limbs.[1]

Well, what god wants has never been possible in human history. God created us with all these flaws that make perfect obedience virtually a non-starter for the vast majority. So we are at an impasse with god on one side of the canyon and humanity on the other side. Humans, as a group, are incapable of behaving the way god wants. The bible is evidence of that. So god just sits and waits for us to change. He made us this way, and wants something different? Does not seem very useful or wise of god.

And god could make his presence much more obvious. He is very powerful and knowlegable and could probably give each person exactly what they need to be convinced that he is real.Then they would know for certain that they should follow x, y and z rules. But Jehovah is not even able to reach all the people who want to be Christians, let alone the rest of the planet.

It seems that he is waiting for everyone to read, understand, properly interpret and obey one particular religious book. Moreover, the words in the book have to have some special effect, as you describe happened to you. But not everyone is reached by words in any book. There is no guarantee that reading any book will create the right effect, but that is what god seems to be depending on. 

Most people who read the book (and it is not a very understandable or well-written book either) interpret it wrongly or just don't feel it says anything special. The book does not speak to everyone the way it did to you, Jst. That suggests that the book is just regular words, written by human beings, with nothing to do with any gods. 

So, again, there is that impasse. God will not reach across it to communicate with us where we are.  And humans are unable to change the reality we are in, where most of us cannot hear him. This is the reality god made and the one he perpetuates, the reality he could change whenever he wanted. If things were different, and god communicated adequately to everyone, we all could be saved. But god does not want everyone to be saved, or he would do things differently.

Why should we love, respect or worship this being, again? I forget.
 1. Fortunately, science has been very good at solving the problems that god ignores. So we humans will figure out how to grow back limbs without relying on god, or becoming perfect, and we will update this website to refer to something else god can't do.
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Feelings lie. How we feel about things is made up of culture, family history, personal attributes and how your particular brain and nervous system processes information. That is why science and rational thought are better ways to decide what is true. Going with your feelings, gut, intuition, etc often leads to making the wrong decisions.[1]

You can end up marrying the wrong person, taking the wrong job, joining the wrong religion, engaging in risky behavior and spending years of your life doing stuff that makes no sense, based on feelings. Would a teenager from suburban Minnesota voluntarily run away to become a prostitute or join IS based on balanced rational thought?

That is where my faith in democracy falls apart. People vote on important issues, based on feelings, not on rational thought. And feelings can be manipulated very adroitly by skilled communicators, as Jag pointed out. Reagan. Trump. Hitler. Evita Peron. Lenin. Televangelists. All good at whipping people up into believing things that are not true and supporting irrational, even harmful social policies.  :(
 1. The one big exception here is when you feel like you are in danger. When that happens, run, especially if you are female. Run like Forrest. Cognitive science says those who run when they feel threatened might be picking up on some danger cues that they are not consciously aware of. Runners are more likely to survive and reproduce.

You make very good points, NGFM.


Well, color me as embarrassed as possible  :-[. I lost track of the public nature of this conversation, and would have chosen my words much more tactfully if I'd been paying more attention. Apologies CrystalDragon, I really didn't intend to make this about you, it was just an example that fit the point I was making. It doesn't help that junebug and I are having several conversations across different threads, but I do apologize for putting you on the spot like that.

And please don't misunderstand what I was saying about communicating on emotional terms. To be more clear - it's a technique, and it applies to anyone - the "persuader" simply pays enough attention to notice the kind of words the "persuadee" uses, and then frames their persuasive messages using the same kind of language.

When done right, it's subtle, but really really effective. It doesn't work in all situations. Sometimes it really is better to speak with authority, and to use language that the persuadee may NOT use, or even really understand, but in general, day-to-day kind of conversation, this works quite a bit better than you might think.

Apology accepted.  And you know, now that I think about it, I remember reading a very good article on Cracked.com about persuading people.... Okay, found two, one's about salespeople: http://www.cracked.com/article_19071_6-real-world-jedi-mind-tricks-salesmen-are-using-you.html. And the other is people in general: http://www.cracked.com/article_20223_5-bizarre-factors-that-secretly-influence-your-opinions.html (The last one in this article reminds me a little of what we were just discussing)
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Religion & Society / Re: another shooting in Church
« Last post by The Gawd on April 29, 2016, 04:18:17 PM »
Awful...
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