A Conversation for Lies, Damned Lies, and Science Lessons

Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 1

SpiritusOfChaos

...lies soley in the fact you are pychologically effected by the lies of your parents, which is a catalyst for your rather large and accurate knowlage of the truth.

This article was created a long time ago. Do you know how I found it?

I was browsing wikipedia which you are obviously familiar with on the topic of 'Santa Clause'

I quote from Wikipedia on the bottom of the page, note the * marks lead me to this very page where I read that huge conversation on science and your pessimistic reaction to the bible.

Something leads me to beleive you had some pychological impact learning about Santa as a child. I kind of just gradually figured it out on my own from children at school saying it. Can you remember back to that day?

You say extra-ordinary events call for extraordinary evidence. You seem to have a knowlage in physics deep enough to reach a point where you or humanity cannot explain it.

What if there was no evidence? What if was no scientific data?

It goes further then that. As humans, we are lead by normal perception into a science of life. Learning that falls hurt, learning that our parents lied to us about Santa, learning that there is only so much a human mind can learn... It's our own complex science... this is the rational side of the mind.

What happens when events become to irrational to be beleived? When I was a child I had a fever, deadly in nature, and I hallucinated many things I percieved to be real. No drugs, just a tempature rise causing slight alteration in the acids that make up my body.

The [b]Rational[/b] and the [b]Irrational[/b] -perception- of conciousness.

If you want to get completely scientific, you cannot prove your own existance let alone all of this science. You could be living in a complex dreamworld, I, a figure of your own imagination.

Everything has an opposite. Science and Relegion will always be debated for the simple reason is, you cannot prove any of it to begin with.

To rely on science is to always to be lied to. You've said this yourself. There are things we cannot explain. Relegion is a form of your perception beleive it or not. Personally it's my beleif that to completely rule it out you limit your ability as a human in nature. Less then 100% of your potential.

In life, beautiful things occur in an equilibrium. However symmetry in creatures ultimately leads to extinction.

Since you've read the bible, let me quote an article from Revelations smiley - ok Rev "The great thief (The Messiah) will come when man does not expect it. For if a man knows when a theif is coming to his house he will be prepared." Find it yourself, it's somewhere in there.

If we all adapt to critical thinking then we will become manlike computers without empathy. If we are to put faith in our genes and the unknown (God) then the unexplained which have bland explanations from science (seratonin simply causes happiness, etc) will have special meaning to direct our concious thought.

How can you write that off as an unvaluble tool? The problem with AI is simply emotion, which I doubt it can master. Aquiring resources would probably cause AI to battle AI. Without love, peace and unity we cannot become one. The trinity, and you.

That's just me speaking, I want to become a genetic engineer to find a deeper understanding of myself and that around me. Science meeting nature.

I hope you can appreciate this post in some manner. It took a while to type. Here's the quote, visit the title of this article where I've quoted and I'm sure you can find it from there. If you ever reply to this old old article I will swiftly reply... e-mail notification is kewl.

Peace

"[b]Believing[/b]

The children, up to an age of usually seven or eight years, almost religiously believe in Sinterklaas. They think that he actually lives forever and that he comes from Spain, that he knows everything about the children and that his Zwarte Pieten do come down through chimneys. The period between his arrival and December 5 is therefore very exciting.

When children ask their parents how it is possible that Sinterklaas is at so many places, they tell them that those are assistant Sinterklazen. At family gatherings where a stand in Sinterklaas in a rented suit appears, parents have reported in advance to this Sinterklaas what the children have done good and bad and make it look like he knows everything about the children when the 'Goedheiligman' ('Good Holy Man', or originally "good marriage man") looks in his big book.

Most children do suspect that Sinterklaas may not truly exist. The atmosphere during celebrations can be very enchanting though, and many children really want to believe. Also, most children can't think of a reason why their parents [b]*WOULD LIE TO THEM*[/b]

For some children, gradually losing their magic view of the world as they grow older and getting more and more suspicious about what their parents are telling them, it still may be their first big traumatic experience in life when their parents admit that Sinterklaas does not really exist....

Therefore some parents tell their children from the start that all this Sinterklaas is just a fantasy, a game that people play, as they consider it an inappropriately bad example about telling the truth. Others, looking back on their own experience with Sinterklaas as a child, consider that the enjoyment the children get is greater than a 'small' discomfort. [b]Some Christians fear that if their children discover them lying about the existence of Sinterklaas, the children may believe that they are lying about the existence of God himself.[/b]"


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 2

Hoovooloo


Gosh. What a lot of conclusions you draw from little evidence. Starting with...

"Perhaps your creation of this article lies soley in the fact you are pychologically effected by the lies of your parents"

Hmm. Leaving aside "solely", "psychologically" and "affected", *I* think my creation of this article lies mainly in the fact of having read "The Science of Discworld", among many other popular science books, and the progress of my education, particularly in chemistry, where simple models are taught first, then thrown out in favour of more complex models. By far the biggest influencing factor on this article was the step change in chemistry when they stop telling you the atom is like a solar system and start hinting that it is much stranger than that.

Sorry to puncture your "pychological" analysis of me as a person, but it really is as simple as that.

", which is a catalyst for your rather large and accurate knowlage of the truth."

smiley - blush Why thank you.

"This article was created a long time ago. Do you know how I found it?"

No. And I've read the whole of your post and I still don't know. smiley - huh

"your pessimistic reaction to the bible."

smiley - huh Where?

"Something leads me to beleive you had some pychological impact learning about Santa as a child."

I think this belief of yours has more to do with you than me.

"You say extra-ordinary events call for extraordinary evidence."

I do not. Please do not lie about what I say. I don't like it.

What I *actually* say is that extraordinary CLAIMS require extraordinary evidence. The difference is crucial.

If a man verifiably rises from the dead, that is an extraordinary event, which may challenge explanation, but which is, in itself, as an event, *evidence*.

However, with regard to the myth of Jesus, what we have is NOT evidence, it is claims, and pretty damn extraordinary ones at that. Additionally, from many Christians, we have other claims - the earth is only 6000 years old, Noah's flood wiped out the dinosaurs, tigers were originally vegetarians, bats are birds, pi=3.0, the earth is flat, etc. etc. All of them extraordinary, and not qualitatively different than the claims of people who say the earth is regularly visited by small grey aliens, that they can bends spoons with their mind, that they can see the future, or that they are the reincarnation of Napoleon or Rameses or whoever. Laughable, ridiculous, extraordinary claims.

All I say is - if your claim is ordinary, and not far outside normal verifiable experience, I don't demand much evidence. Claim that you once found a four leaf clover, and I'll likely take your word for it. I'm a trusting soul like that. Claim that you once found a TALKING four leaf clover, and I'll ask you to produce it so that I can talk to it myself. And if you ask me to take your word for it, I'll write you off as a rather pathetic fantasist, which I think is reasonable. Don't you?

"What if there was no evidence? What if was no scientific data?"

Then there may have been no event. Simple enough, I think.

"What happens when events become to irrational to be beleived? When I was a child I had a fever, deadly in nature, and I hallucinated many things I percieved to be real. No drugs, just a tempature rise causing slight alteration in the acids that make up my body."

*Events*, in that case, were perfectly rational. Your *experience* was what you had trouble with. Your experience is NOT the same as objective reality. Many religionists have real trouble with that. Of course, philosophically, as you point out, objective reality, you included, may be an illusion I cooked up to amuse myself. However, if that's true, EVERY experience I'm having is just so much mind-wa*k and I'm wasting my time thinking anything. I don't think it unreasonable to discount the Matrix Hypothesis, as I like to call it. What's out there is real, and is distinct from our experience of it. (Interesting, there's some recent scientific evidence that objective reality really is independent of the observer, in contradiction of some models of quantum mechanics...)

"Everything has an opposite. Science and Relegion will always be debated for the simple reason is, you cannot prove any of it to begin with."

I would dispute that, but I'd get bored quickly. Suffice to say that I agree that science and religion will continue to be debated until the human race discovers a way of making sure EVERY human is intelligent and rational. Once we have a way of weeding out the stupid, psychologically weak, mentally ill, superstitious and ill-educated, religion will be as redundant as the appendix.

"To rely on science is to always to be lied to."

To rely on religion is always to be lied to, AND TO ACCEPT IT, even to the point of pretending that it's not happening.

To rely on science is always to know that what you know is imperfect, but to continue to strive to find the truth, knowing you can only approach it asymptotically.

Strive toward the truth, or languish voluntarily in benighted ignorance? Oooh, tough choice.

"In life, beautiful things occur in an equilibrium. However symmetry in creatures ultimately leads to extinction."

Very poetic. Meaningless of course, but poetic. Sharks are pretty symmetrical, for instance, and quite beautiful too, and they've been around for hundreds of millions of years and show little sign of going away just yet.

In fact, Asymmetry is a much better indicator of imminent extinction. Psychological studies show that humans perceive symmetry of facial features as attractive, and those with more symmetrical features are more reproductively successful. So, objectively, you're wrong. Sorry.

"If we all adapt to critical thinking then we will become manlike computers without empathy."

Rubbish.

"The problem with AI is simply emotion,"

Bollocks. Utter, utter nonsense.

"which I doubt it can master."

Yeah, right, you sound like an expert. Not.

"Aquiring resources would probably cause AI to battle AI."

You've been reading too much trashy sci-fi, I think. Try Ian M. Banks, especially "Look to Windward" and "Excession".

"Without love, peace and unity we cannot become one. The trinity, and you."

Again, poetic but meaningless.

"That's just me speaking, I want to become a genetic engineer to find a deeper understanding of myself and that around me. Science meeting nature."

I am not optimistic that you have the intellectual capacity necessary. I have, however, very little evidence on which to base that conclusion, so I am open to disproof. We'll see, eh?

"I hope you can appreciate this post in some manner. It took a while to type."

Yeah. It struck me that the typing was the time consuming part, and not the thinking behind it.

Pardon me for being abrupt but I'm

(a) in a pretty poor humour this morning and
(b) really quite used to superstitious people telling me their particular superstition is what I need to make my experience of the world complete, even though part of their argument is that they can't prove to me that they even, objectively, exist. smiley - weird

SoRB


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 3

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

Fascinating...

I thought I recognised bits of Science of Discworld in that article...


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 4

Hoovooloo


Since footnote 3 explicitly credits two of the three authors of SoDW I didn't exactly conceal my inspiration. (cf Humph Lyttleton on "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" the other day - "that's 'inspired by' as in 'Ali Baba and the Forty Inspirers'..." smiley - winkeye

SoRB


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 5

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

Well, no... Enjoyed article nevertheless.....


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 6

DA ; Simply Vicky: Don't get pithy with me!

<< Additionally, from many Christians, we have other claims - the earth is only 6000 years old, Noah's flood wiped out the dinosaurs, tigers were originally vegetarians, bats are birds, pi=3.0, the earth is flat, etc. etc.>>

Sigh. As you well know, Hoo, such silly assertions as that 'Christians believe' these things come from the Skeptics Annotated Bible, and not from any Christian, *none* of whom believe or claim that Pi is 3.0, or that tigers were vegetarians, or any other of these stupid statements, except perhaps the one about the Flood - and even then, most Christians are, *again* as you well know, *not* creationists!


<< What's out there is real, and is distinct from our experience of it. (Interesting, there's some recent scientific evidence that objective reality really is independent of the observer, in contradiction of some models of quantum mechanics...)>>

Interesting, especially as proof that no one, not even you, Hoo, is always wrong! smiley - biggrin


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 7

Hoovooloo


", such silly assertions as that 'Christians believe' these things come [...] not from any Christian"

Christians saying the earth is 6000 years old.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/re1/chapter8.asp

Christians saying the flood wiped out the dinosaurs
http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/2.asp , http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/Area/AnswersBook/dinosaurs19.asp

Christians saying all carnivores (e.g. tigers) were originally vegetarians
http://www.worldmagblog.com/blog/archives/000473.html
http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/carnivores.html
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v27/i2/dingo.asp

smiley - popcorn

Any more pathetic easily demolished lies for me to point out, Della?
smiley - biggrin

" proof that no one, not even you, Hoo, is always wrong!"

smiley - huh

SoRB


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 8

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

Problem is you say "christians believe" implying it is a central tenet of Christian Belief. Many Christians may believe as you have said, but not all, and I would like to bet that the majority DO NOT believe as you have said...


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 9

DA ; Simply Vicky: Don't get pithy with me!

You notice Hoo, that I specifically excluded the bits about the age of the earth, in what I've said, such as the assertion about Pi (which is an obsession wuith campaigning atheists but is not a statement I have *ever* heard from any Christian (or Jew.))

I am interested in you actually being able to find a Christian who asserts that tigers were vegetarian, however, as it is also the first I'd ever heard about that!

As someone else has noted, 99% of the obsessions in the Skeptics Annotated are regarding the Old Testament. If you knew anything about Christians from talking to any, you'd know that there is also something called the *New* Testament, which carries more weight with Christians than the old (or should..)

It has long been my belief that no one is ever wrong about everything - the most apt to be mistaken person has one or two things he is right about - and I was pleased to discover this is also the case with you! smiley - biggrin


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 10

Hoovooloo


Della, Della, Della. You seem stubbornly unwilling to learn even from lessons you admit you've been given. Observe:

First you say: "[pi equal to 3] is not a statement I have *ever* heard from any Christian"

Then, in the very next paragraph you say: "I am interested in you actually being able to find a Christian who asserts that tigers were vegetarian, however, as it is also the first I'd ever heard about that!"

You have therefore demonstrated to everyone reading this except, apparently, yourself, that simply because YOU haven't heard of something doesn't mean it isn't true. You've also demonstrated that you're fully prepared to state baldly as fact something you're completely ignorant about. And finally you've demonstrated that, despite the fact that you are by definition sitting in front of the finest and fastest research tool in the history of mankind, you simply cannot be bothered to check your facts before spouting off on subjects you claim to be expert in.

How many times is this going to have be rammed into your skull before you finally understand it?

smiley - popcorn

"As someone else has noted, 99% of the obsessions in the Skeptics Annotated are regarding the Old Testament."

Right, a few points here:

1. "someone else"? Who?
2. You'll excuse me if I simply ignore your "99%" figure, as you have amply demonstrated, over and over and over again, that when it comes to statistics you are a proven incorrigible liar. Indeed, you seem not even to understand that there is such a thing as truth when it comes to statistics, preferring instead to simply make numbers up off the top of your head to support your arguements, then screech prejudice or some other canard when challenged. Of course, if you can actually demonstrate that 99% of the content of the site you've brought up deal with the OT, I'll start to take some notice, but I will not be holding my breath...
3. What is this obsession you have with the Skeptics Annotated anyway? I haven't brought it up, why have you?

I'm well used to Christians mumbling and looking embarrassed when I talk about the Old Testament, as well they should, but, inconveniently for them, every single Bible I've ever handled contains the Old Testament. This, to me, implies some degree of importance to the religion.

If Christians wish to disavow the Old Testament and all the foul, sadistic and perverted nonsense it contains, they could simply call the New Testament "The Bible" and start pretending the old never existed. Such revisionism would be in character. Thing is, I don't see ANY Christians doing that. I don't see ANY repudiating the Old Testament, don't see ANY campaigning to have it removed from the Bible. All I see is them getting all flushed when the inconvenient parts of it are pointed out, and doing the equivalent of saying "Hey, look over here!" in the hope that the people they're talking to are as weak-minded as them.

Clue: misdirection, if you're going to do it at all, must be subtle. Simply saying "ah, please don't look at that", DOESN'T WORK. Worse than that, it makes you look like you've got something to hide, something you're ashamed of and don't want people to see. And even worse than that, it makes you look like someone who has something to hide, but who isn't any good at hiding it. Dishonest is bad enough, but dishonest and incompetent? That's just sad...

SoRB


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 11

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

You don't see ANY christians doing that, well, maybe not, but you do see some christians being "embarassed" by certain parts of it?

And you have never seen a bible without the old testament in it? Well... I remember having a new testament only bible when I was a young lad (I also remember having a separate version of all three books of the Lord Of the Rings, the Hobbit AND the Silmarrillion)..

To me, and to many Christians (that I know) the old testament is to the New like the Silmarrillion is to the Lord of the Rings.

The reason that the "old testament" is kept (imho) is that, although it contains much that is apocryphal, etc... (to lift from DNA's description of the guide), it also contains some useful lessons, and helps people to understand what came before Christianity - it provides CONTEXT.

You may have heard the term "gospel truth" referring to absolute truth? This reflects the weight that Christians place on the New Testament.

I, personally, know no Christian who believes that the old testament is the literal "word of God" (also very few who believe that the New testament is - mainly due (in the latter part) to translation problems that have crept in over the years - just a good approximation of the same).

I also know no Christian (with the exception, possibly, of my Boss - who is a Mormon) who believes in Creationism (in the generally accepted sense (sorry you will probably take exception to that phrase...) that the world was, literally, created in seven days...) - mind you all the Christians I know are relatively well educated British Christians, that may be the difference here...


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 12

Alfster



And, of course, the Gospels contain no lies at all. Like the Herods Massacre of the Innocents which is mentioned in one place only: Matthew.

No contemporary historical references allude to this. They to record Herod killing most of his family but not a fair proportion of the population.

It certainly reflects Christians ability to not actually research the historical truth behind what is recorded in the Bible. Probably because their safe house of card would crumble.


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 13

Hoovooloo


"You don't see ANY christians doing that, well, maybe not, but you do see some christians being "embarassed" by certain parts of it?"

Well, yes, obviously. There's one in this very thread, bleating the usual "well, obviously we don't believe THAT old stuff..." nonsense.

"And you have never seen a bible without the old testament in it?"

Nope. I had an illustrated Bible when I was very small, along with other books of fairy stories. I went to a church school, and every Bible we had was, well, a Bible. Which is to say it had all the books that Christians recognise as being in the Bible. I'm really not sure what the point is here. As far as I'm aware, if you ask ANYONE what "The Bible" means, they'll describe 66 books that open with the fairy story about the talking snake and end with the rantings of a drug-crazed loon. They absolutely will NOT tell you about a book that starts with the Nativity.

"Well... I remember having a new testament only bible when I was a young lad"

You can remember having a copy of the New Testament. I put it to you that what you had was not a Bible, any more than my copy of "The Amber Spyglass" is the complete His Dark Materials.

"To me, and to many Christians (that I know) the old testament is to the New like the Silmarrillion is to the Lord of the Rings."

I haven't read the Silmarillion, so I'm afraid I don't get the allusion. I get the point that it's all fictional, though... smiley - winkeye

"The reason that the "old testament" is kept (imho) is that[...] it also contains some useful lessons,"

Why not just keep the parts that are useful then? Why keep all the parts that are embarrassing, sadistic, senseless, obviously nonsense or whatever? I mean, why not keep, say, the Ten Commandments, but excise the bit that talks about it being OK to sell your children as slaves?

"and helps people to understand what came before Christianity - it provides CONTEXT."

But the context is the problem - the context, for instance, is a world in which there are many, many gods, and the god of the Israelites is simply one of the more nasty and unpleasant ones. Many Christians seem not to understand this one - they actually seem to think there's only one god, completely missing the CONTEXT of the very first commandment.

"You may have heard the term "gospel truth" referring to absolute truth?"

To be perfectly honest (and I'm not saying this just to be contrary), whenever I've heard something referred to as "the gospel truth", it's almost invariably been something that's quite obviously the most outrageous lie. Which has always struck me as appropriate. I'd never really thought about it before.

"This reflects the weight that Christians place on the New Testament."

If that weight is so great, I repeat - why not simply repudiate the Old Testament and all it says?

"I, personally, know no Christian who believes that the old testament is the literal "word of God" "

Lucky you. There are plenty about.

That said - if they DON'T believe it's the word of their god... what IS it? What is the point of it? Is it any more or less authoritative as a source than any other document from around that time? And if so, why is it included in every single Bible I've ever seen?

"(also very few who believe that the New testament is - mainly due (in the latter part) to translation problems that have crept in over the years - just a good approximation of the same)."

But surely your omni-whatever god has the power to remove translation and other such errors? And if not, what's the point of him or his book?

"I also know no Christian (with the exception, possibly, of my Boss - who is a Mormon) who believes in Creationism"

Hang on... you start off saying you don't know any Creationists, then immediately note that your BOSS is one? Doesn't it worry you that you're reporting to someone so detached from reality? For one thing, can't you get a better job? smiley - erm

"all the Christians I know are relatively well educated British Christians, that may be the difference here..."

Aha, I see. British Christians, with their generally liberal outlook and worthwhile, rounded, usually state-funded educations, are very much in a minority in global Christianity, which is possibly part of the reason why much of the rest of the Christian world seems (to an outsider) to somewhat look down on them.

Christianity is of course, as with most religions, a spectrum of belief, from "social" Christians who go to church for the nice tunes and the tea and buns and so that their children can get into the right school, through relatively non-devout but ill-educated, bigotted, close-minded morons too stupid to recognise their own intellectual inadequacies, via relatively educated but wilfully dishonest so-called creationists pushing a conservative political agenda under the guise of religious freedom (and ironically now having to disguise THAT, unsuccessfully), right down to the hordes and hordes of benighted individuals whose whole education is based on the Bible - all of it - and for whom it is, like it or not, the inerrant word of their creator god.

As you can see above and in many other places where she has posted, Della often assumes that because the tiny, tiny little bit of the world she has experienced is a certain way, then it is a bald fact that the whole rest of the world is that way. Please, do not make the same mistake.

SoRB


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 14

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

I didn't say that the gospel was "gospel truth", just that it has generated a term which most people recognise, and which points to the *greater* reliability of the new testament (as it was, generally, written down rather than passed on mouth to mouth for centuries, as the old Testament was ... OK so most of it was also not recorded at the same time as the events that it purports to record, but at a significantly later date).

If you know anything about the bible you will know there are several OTHER accounts of the life of Jesus which have been excluded from the bible and are now considered (generally) to be heretical and/or fakes (e.g. the gospel of Thomas, which purports to cover Jesus' early life). I don't know why we are left with the four we ARE left with though...


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 15

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

OKAY....

ANYONE? Well no... actually you won't. But then again I am a pedantic bastard. There are MANY MANY versions of the bible, a quick google reveals at least 16 English language versions - MOST of which will include both Old and New testament.

A book which includes only the NEW testament can still be referred to as A bible (as can a book with only the old testament). However I do concede that the majority of people will consider a bible to be both sets of writings.

Ok...

"I haven't read the Silmarillion, so I'm afraid I don't get the allusion. I get the point that it's all fictional, though" - not my point and you know it (you may not have read it but surely you know what it is?).

"Why not just keep the parts that are useful then? Why keep all the parts that are embarrassing, sadistic, senseless, obviously nonsense or whatever? I mean, why not keep, say, the Ten Commandments, but excise the bit that talks about it being OK to sell your children as slaves?" smiley - erm CONTEXT/CONTRAST - why the old way was wrong and the new way is better?


"Many Christians seem not to understand this one - they actually seem to think there's only one god, completely missing the CONTEXT of the very first commandment."
I beg to differ, the whole of the Christian faith is based on the existence of only ONE god (who happens to have three parts). The "thou shalt not worship any god but me" bit (IIRC) is BECAUSE there are no others so what's the point? Unless you are falling into the trap of admitting the existence of other REAL gods. Just because other gods were worshipped does not mean they exist (unless you live on Discworld, of course smiley - biggrin), any more than because Christians worship God makes him/her exist (and another, somewhat unrelated, point the God of Christianity is the same god as that of Islam, and Judaism, to mention only two other religions...).

"gospel truth" well I have to agree people, especially in fiction, tend to use that term when they are trying to get themselves believed, when they are actually talking bollox. But the term came about before this phenomenon (1600s I believe).

""This reflects the weight that Christians place on the New Testament."

If that weight is so great, I repeat - why not simply repudiate the Old Testament and all it says?"

I refer the honoured gentleman to my previous answer on the same subject - context/contrast - it may not be necessary anymore.

""I, personally, know no Christian who believes that the old testament is the literal "word of God" "

Lucky you. There are plenty about."

I am aware of that fact, and I do consider myself lucky in who I know. Christianity has been given a bad name in the last 5-7 decades, mainly by TV Evangelists, but also by idiots who believe them. (OK there is more to it than that, you also have to consider the rise of Science, amongst other things).


"That said - if they DON'T believe it's the word of their god... what IS it?. What is the point of it? Is it any more or less authoritative as a source than any other document from around that time? And if so, why is it included in every single Bible I've ever seen?"

smiley - erm Difficult to know - do you have a handy time machine so we can check it out (sorry that was flippant). It is more authoritative than some are (or so I am lead to believe) and less so than others - however it provided Judaism (from which Christianity sprang) with ITS laws on how to live life - the only Commandments which Christians acknowledge (OK this isn't the right terminology - the only ones that are required by the christian faith) are those handed down by Jesus (e.g. Love thy Neighbour, actually I *think* that is the only one...) the others (those that Moses wrote down) are just common sense for the most part.



"But surely your omni-whatever god has the power to remove translation and other such errors? And if not, what's the point of him or his book?"
smiley - erm The brand of Christianity to which I have been most exposed believes in Freedom of Choice, thus man is free to misinterpret the word of god, or to mistranslate it, if he wishes. Other brands believe in predeterminism - thus it doesn't really matter WHAT you think or do- you have been preprogrammed to do it in the first place.

"Aha, I see. British Christians, with their generally liberal outlook and worthwhile, rounded, usually state-funded educations, are very much in a minority in global Christianity, which is possibly part of the reason why much of the rest of the Christian world seems (to an outsider) to somewhat look down on them."
Are you being sarcastic? I'm not sure. What you say may well be true, however, I think you will find that the majority of protestant European Christians hold the same general views (I can't really comment on Roman Catholicism as I don't really give it much credence - all its minor gods (saints) which are worshipped almost as much as the "major" one, I rate it just above mormonism...)


smiley - erm
"Hang on... you start off saying you don't know any Creationists, then immediately note that your BOSS is one? Doesn't it worry you that you're reporting to someone so detached from reality? For one thing, can't you get a better job?"
Actually I don't: I start of by saying that with the POSSIBLE exception of my Boss, who is a Mormon - I don't know any Creationists.I don't KNOW her stance on this thing as I refuse to engage her in a deep conversation about religion, as she will, no doubt, go on for hours without drawing breath. Her religious leanings have nothing to do with her inadequacies in her job... Why am I still here? An eas(ier) life is the answer to that - while we get used to having a Son (6 months old now). She became my boss at the same time as my Son was born I can only handle so much change at once...

"As you can see above and in many other places where she has posted, Della often assumes that because the tiny, tiny little bit of the world she has experienced is a certain way, then it is a bald fact that the whole rest of the world is that way. Please, do not make the same mistake." Do not worry I don't/won't - you should do the same smiley - biggrin.

You do not know everything I know - I do not know everything that you know - but I know that...

I try not to assume that what I know is the TRUTH, that said I do believe certain things, which, apparently, are peculiar to myself, although that may not be true....


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 16

Hoovooloo


"There are MANY MANY versions of the bible, a quick google reveals at least 16 English language versions - MOST of which will include both Old and New testament."

Which kind of backs up my point...

"I do concede that the majority of people will consider a bible to be both sets of writings."

smiley - ok

"I haven't read the Silmarillion,[...]" - not my point and you know it

Well, yes, hence the smiley - winkeye

"(you may not have read it but surely you know what it is?)."

Actually no. I read and liked the Hobbit, but I found LotR to be terribly overblown and tedious. Since the Tolkeinophiles I knew - the ones who thought LotR was the greatest thing ever written - told me that THEY thought the Silmarillion was boring, I steered clear. So the only thing I know about it is that it's related to LotR and gave its name to a band.

"CONTEXT/CONTRAST - why the old way was wrong and the new way is better?"

BUT - the NT never says that the OT way is wrong. Indeed, is there not something Jesus is said to have said along the lines of "not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law..."?

"Many Christians seem not to understand this one - they actually seem to think there's only one god, completely missing the CONTEXT of the very first commandment."
I beg to differ, the whole of the Christian faith is based on the existence of only ONE god"

Um... no. Possibly many Christians do misunderstand that point. Possibly they, personally, believe there is only one god. Their Bible, however, is quite clear on the matter. There are others, whom it is forbidden to worship.

"The "thou shalt not worship any god but me" bit (IIRC) is BECAUSE there are no others so what's the point?"

But if there are no others, why bother to ban worshipping them?

Note that there is a SEPARATE ordinance against the worship of graven idols, so the first commandment is quite unequivocally talking about REAL other gods. So as far as YOUR book is concerned, other gods are real, AT LEAST as real as your god is.

"Unless you are falling into the trap of admitting the existence of other REAL gods."

I admit nothing. I admit the existence of no gods at all. I'm merely quoting from YOUR book, which makes it very clear that your god is merely one among many.

Now, I'm entertained by the fairy stories in that book. YOU choose to believe them to be true. Well, fair enough, whatever floats your boat. But do try to maintain some consistency.

"Just because other gods were worshipped does not mean they exist"

Steady on. Just because your god is worshipped doesn't mean it exists. That's a very dangerous road to start down.

Look at that commandment. You shall have no other gods but me, or however your version phrases it.

Note that it does not say "Worship me, because I'm god".
It doesn't even say "Worship me, because I'm *a* god."

It's not a "do" - it's a "don't". Specifically, DON'T worship other gods. It does not, even implicitly, question the existence of other gods. Clearly, Christianity actually a polytheistic religion - it's just that one particular god within it is so violently sadistically jealous that the majority of its adherents are too scared to even admit the existence of the rest. This much is clear from an objective reading of the OT.

"the only Commandments which Christians acknowledge [...] that are required by the christian faith) are those handed down by Jesus (e.g. Love thy Neighbour, actually I *think* that is the only one...)"

Interesting. Jesus gave TWO commandments. And "love thy neighbour" was the *second*. What was the first? Hey, we're back to the one above - "Love god". Admittedly Jesus phrased it better - he didn't explicitly say "... just this one, not all the others", as Moses had had to. But that was his first and greatest commandment, before anything that involved humans was mentioned.

"the others (those that Moses wrote down) are just common sense for the most part."

Yeah, obviously I shouldn't covet my neighbour's ass. Goes without saying. And only an idiot would worship graven idols, duh. I have to say I don't think "thou shalt not kill" is common sense, however. Even vegetables are alive, so if you're going to be pedantic (and you say you like to) if you were to follow the letter of the ten commandments as "common sense" there'd be hardly anything you'd be allowed to eat... milk, cheese, eggs, that's about it.

"Aha, I see. British Christians, with their generally liberal outlook [...] are very much in a minority in global Christianity, which is possibly part of the reason why much of the rest of the Christian world seems (to an outsider) to somewhat look down on them."
Are you being sarcastic? I'm not sure."

Not at all. And indeed you admit what I say may be true. It's certainly the impression I get.

SoRB


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 17

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

First off I'm glad you weren't being Sarcastic... Thank you.

".. silmarrillion..."
Really? I do agree, however, with the other tolkienophiles, I only tried to read the Silmarrillion for completeness sake (never managed the whole thing though).

"BUT - the NT never says that the OT way is wrong. Indeed, is there not something Jesus is said to have said along the lines of "not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law..."?" I don't know - is there? And his "second" law flatly contradicts the eye for an eye thing...


OK - you obviously have it in mind that Christianity - contrary to most of its teachings, and the belief of most christians is a polytheistic religion - you have either, flaws in your understanding or Logic, or I have - I'll try and answer in more detail later...

But First: "Now, I'm entertained by the fairy stories in that book. YOU choose to believe them to be true. Well, fair enough, whatever floats your boat. But do try to maintain some consistency. "

smiley - erm I choose to believe them? How do you know this? Do you know me better than I know myself?
Sorry I take exception to that: I do not choose to believe the OT, some of it rings true (and can be verified through historical records, e.g. the exodus of the Jews to Egypt - although how it happened? well that brings me to the way it was written). The majority seems to be written to guide people, and, not necessarily to be "the word of god" (this is only mho). The way it is written is mainly to be easily accessible to the "common man" most of whom could not read or write, and to tie in with what their world view was (i.e. (as I understand it)a "wronged" minority who had to stick together to maintain their identity in the face of the alien hordes (from their point of view)).

As to where it comes from - the only thing I AM pretty certain of is that the Creationist Myth does not originate with Christianity (or Judaism (which I note you fail to attack, maybe you know more educated Jews than christians - whatever its beside the point)) but with a babylonian religion, from which it was pinched, more or less, wholesale to kick the bible off with...

From my point of view the whole of the OT can be seen as an analogy, or a LIE to children... The NT... Hmm well I remain undecided, it is certainly contradictory in places, and the "church" has certainly picked and chosen which bits to retain (IIRC the "bible" at one point had closer to 80 books than the current 66). There are certainly lies to children within it.

"Look at that commandment. You shall have no other gods but me, or however your version phrases it."
Ok a quick google comes up with:
"KJV - 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

NRSV - 3 you shall have no other gods before me.

TEV - 3 "Worship no god but me."

(that's from http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/10commandments-texts.htm) and is simplified (there) as: HAVE NO OTHER GODS. Now I can see where you are coming from with your logic - why mention gods when there is only the one? Well basically its (imho) because the majority of religions did worship more than one god, and God wanted this to stop (or that is how Moses interpreted it), the phrase does NOT imply the existence of other gods it simply confirms that people do WORSHIP other gods - whether they exist or not. As I said before just because something is worshipped DOES NOT mean that it exists (god or otherwise).


For completeness I'll put this point in:
"Interesting. Jesus gave TWO commandments. And "love thy neighbour" was the *second*. What was the first? Hey, we're back to the one above - "Love god". Admittedly Jesus phrased it better - he didn't explicitly say "... just this one, not all the others", as Moses had had to. But that was his first and greatest commandment, before anything that involved humans was mentioned."

OK fine I forgot about that one, and...?

""the others (those that Moses wrote down) are just common sense for the most part."

Yeah, obviously I shouldn't covet my neighbour's ass. Goes without saying. And only an idiot would worship graven idols, duh. I have to say I don't think "thou shalt not kill" is common sense, however. Even vegetables are alive, so if you're going to be pedantic (and you say you like to) if you were to follow the letter of the ten commandments as "common sense" there'd be hardly anything you'd be allowed to eat... milk, cheese, eggs, that's about it."

Okay you're being deliberately daft now.. if you take it that far you might say that you can not breath, or defecate, or walk, or exist - simply by existing you are killing things...

The same source I used above has these three translations:

"KJV - 13 Thou shalt not kill.

NRSV - 13 You shall not murder.

TEV - 13 Do not commit murder."

Only one of which states it in the way you say. However I think the intent is quite obvious, that you should not kill your fellow man.
I wonder whether the original was specific or whether future generations have simplified it/them? (I rather suspect they have).

As to that coveting thing - most people seem to be stuck on the "thou shalt not cover thy neighbour's ass" thing -it actually mentions many other things:

KJV - 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

NRSV - 17 You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

TEV - 17 "Do not desire another man's house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns."

I suspect the ASS fixation is due to the American misconception that your Butt is your Ass (as opposed to your ARSE) - an ass is a type of donkey - which I'm sure you knew.

OK - the Ten (or how ever many there really are) Commandments are *generally* common sensical ways to govern society. The initial ones about worship, etc.. are Specific to a theocracy, the others are pretty sensible things...:

the 10 commandments (taking the headings from the link above):

1. HAVE NO OTHER GODS - relevant to a Theocracy
2. DO NOT MAKE IDOLS - again relevant to a theocracy
3. DO NOT TAKE THE LORD'S NAME IN VAIN - ditto
4. KEEP THE SABBATH DAY - mainly ditto - although having a day off a week does make sense.
5. HONOR YOUR PARENTS - Fairly sensible - without them you'd be nothing, they also possess wisdom garnered from their life, so it makes sense to listen to them (well on some things...)
6. DO NOT KILL - or murder or whatever - sensible you don't want people going around killing each other..
7. DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY - well, yes, or it could lead to 5 - also makes sense from a continuance of the species pov - if you (or your wife) commits adultery how can you be sure that your children are yours.
8. DO NOT STEAL - well yup - common sense
9. DO NOT FALSELY ACCUSE - well its only polite
10. DO NOT COVET - well you'll only get miserable, go and commit adultery, then get stoned to death.. Or steal something... etc...

Actually I've just found out (although I kind of knew it before) that there are about 600 MORE laws laid down by Moses (etc?) in the Torah...





Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 18

Alfster



Do you 'Moses' as in the one prophet chosen by God or the possible 5 individuals who wrote it over a number of centuries and hence why there is repetition and differing styles within the books themselves?


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 19

Hoovooloo


"First off I'm glad you weren't being Sarcastic... Thank you."

smiley - ok

"Indeed, is there not something Jesus is said to have said along the lines of "not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law..."?" I don't know - is there?"

Yes, there is. Matthew 5:18 in fact.

"I choose to believe them? How do you know this?"

My apologies. I meant to say "You *may* choose to believe them."

"the only thing I AM pretty certain of is that the Creationist Myth does not originate with Christianity"

Hardly any of the Christian myths originate with Christianity - the creation, the flood, the virgin birth of the messiah, the resurrection from the dead of the son of the god, etc. etc. etc., all of it appropriated and adapted from earlier myths. The authors of the Bible were no more original than was Shakespeare.

"(or Judaism (which I note you fail to attack,"

I fail to attack Judaism because I regard it as a piffling irrelevance. There are in excess of a BILLION self-identifying Christians in the world. Over 70% of the British population - over 42 MILLION people - self-identify as "Christian". Meanwhile, Jews in the UK are outnumbered three to two by... Jedi. Why would anyone waste their time giving a s**t about Judaism? smiley - huh

"As I said before just because something is worshipped DOES NOT mean that it exists (god or otherwise)."

We've gone through this before, but I'll say it again...

The first commandment (in any version you pointed out) does NOT say - "There are no other gods."
It does NOT say - "I am the only god, so don't worship false ones."
It does NOT say - "I want this belief in other gods to stop."

ALL it says is - "Make ME the only god you worship."

In ALL the commandments, there is implicit a choice - obey or do not.

There exists the option to covet one's neighbour's ass, to disrespect one's parents, to kill, to bear false witness etc. And in exactly the same way, there exists the option to worship OTHER GODS. That the existence of such entities is taken for granted is implicit in the commandment.

You may choose to ignore the implication, just as you and any other person may cherry pick which bits of the Bible you think are lies and which are truth. Just acknowledge that that's what you're doing. Then we can agree that we are BOTH Christians by your definition - I simply cherry pick different bits than you do. For instance, I choose to believe that Herod existed. Most of the rest of it I think is bunkum. I am, however, by your definition, still a Christian, because, like you, I believe SOME of the Bible is literally true, and some of it is a lie. The only difference between us, and between me and the Pope for that matter, is how much of it we think is a lie...

"Okay you're being deliberately daft now.. if you take it that far you might say that you can not breath, or defecate, or walk, or exist - simply by existing you are killing things..."

Hey, I didn't invent the idea of "Biblical literalism".

"most people seem to be stuck on the "thou shalt not cover thy neighbour's ass" thing"

I'm only stuck on it because it's funny. I'm perfectly well aware of the full wording, it's just funnier to think of a guy checking out his neighbour's backside and thinking "wow, I wish I looked like that. Gotta get me one of those Bunmaster 2000BCs..."

"7. DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY - well, yes, or it could lead to 5 - also makes sense from a continuance of the species pov - if you (or your wife) commits adultery how can you be sure that your children are yours."

Actually this makes NO sense from a continuance of the species point of view. In fact it's the very opposite of what makes sense, as I did once point out in a satirical piece that was pulled from Peer Review. Evolutionarily the best strategy for a male is to impregnate as many females as possible. For a female, she should first be impregnated by an alpha male and bear his child, and then if possible bear the children of any available beta male and get the alpha male to support them. This lends valuable genetic diversity. The concept of "adultery" is alien to most primates (certain gibbons excepted).

Commandment seven is entirely about the Jews' obsession with maintaining their racial purity - which is ironic, considering...

SoRB


Perhaps your creation of this article...

Post 20

Argon0 (50 and feeling it - back for a bit)

smiley - erm Adultery - well there are (at least) two respected povs on this yours and mine (both backed by anthropological theory/evidence).

Why should you bother looking after kids if you can't be sure they are yours? (a Male Perspective)

I should get pregnant by as many men as I can so that they will ALL think my children may be theirs and want to look after them. (a Female Perspective)

(note I say A perspective as their are indubitably several).

From a female's pov it makes sense to keep your man true, as if not they may go off and impregnate/protect someone else, from a Male's it makes sense to stop your woman going off having sex with another man, or you won't be able to be SURE that your children ARE your children, and thus you won't be sure that your gene's are passed on.

OK, I do know that evolutionarily this is odd, and it may take "intelligence" to figure it out, thus the majority of the animal kingdom does not practice monogamy (with some notable exceptions).

On the polytheisic thing I think we shall have to agree to disagree (BTW - a polytheistic religion BELIEVES in more than one god - I don't think that the majority of Christians BELIEVE in more than one god, despite your interpretation of the first Commandment. Also BTW is this your personal opinion or have you a source?)

"And in exactly the same way, there exists the option to worship OTHER GODS."
smiley - erm and how does this imply the existence of those other gods? All it implies is that other gods may be/have been worshipped. As I have said, just because something IS worshipped does NOT mean it exists! (the christian God included).

I have always held the opinion that, if there is but one GOD, then all the other "gods" are mere aspects of her/him. Not that I am SURE about the existence of any gods at all.

Judaism - piffling irrelevance? I think many people would disagree with you, particularly those Jews who hold powerful positions in the Western world (particularly those in Finance (e.g. Rothschilds), or the media (who, after all, shape many peoples view of the world). Note: I am not passing any judgement (for what that would be worth smiley - biggrin) on this.

"You may choose to ignore the implication, just as you and any other person may cherry pick which bits of the Bible you think are lies and which are truth. Just acknowledge that that's what you're doing."

OK, I acknowledge it.

"Then we can agree that we are BOTH Christians by your definition - I simply cherry pick different bits than you do. For instance, I choose to believe that Herod existed. Most of the rest of it I think is bunkum. I am, however, by your definition, still a Christian, because, like you, I believe SOME of the Bible is literally true, and some of it is a lie. The only difference between us, and between me and the Pope for that matter, is how much of it we think is a lie..."

My definition of Christianity is NOT that you believe some of the bible is true (as, I think, most people would agree that Pilate existed (as a historical fact)). A couple of good definitions come from dictionary.com:

"Chris┬Ětian
adj.

1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.


n.

1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus"

The first of which I believe to be relevant to this discussion, as to which of his teachings you decide to follow, well, that is up to individual choice.

Covetting Asses - lets forget this one know as I'm pretty sure you're deliberately misunderstanding it for comedy value - an ASS is (in British english anyway): Any of several hoofed mammals of the genus Equus, resembling and closely related to the horses but having a smaller build and longer ears, and including the domesticated donkey.

ARSE is the correct word for your Butt, Backside, rear cheeks, etc...

Ass in the american sense is derived from the british/olde english word ARSE.


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