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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #641
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Yes, I am constantly surprised by people who make comments based on tradition and assume that it is said in the Bible since it is taught by their church.
Why? As I said earlier, the Old Testament is concerned with Judaism, and Christianity existed for a long time before the relevant texts were chosen to make up the New Testament. Apart from some chop-logic material about Peter, you won't find anything about Popes in the Bible, for instance. I'm not a scriptural expert, but the Church came first, clearly, and its traditions are just as important - like Sunday's being the Christian Sabbath because Jesus rose on that day. I though everyone took that for granted.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:14 AM   #642

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What i find most scandalous is the things that pastors know about Xtianity from their divinity education, but keep secret from their flock. The way the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is mistakenly portrayed as an anti-homosexual morality tale, is a good example.
Well it is a very interesting industry, if you look at it like a business. On one hand you want to keep your congregation engaged by stimulating/ challenging their thought, on the other hand you do not want to alienate your customer base in order to keep your pews full.

One of my childhood friends, who is also an atheist, and whose father is a pastor, was shocked when I made the claim that most believers believed in largely literal interpretations of the Bible.

"That can't be." He said, "This stuff has been commonly taught in seminary for a while, and is what my parents believe. That's old school."

He then asked his father. "Yeah, he says you're right. Most of his congregation do believe in literal interpretations. That's crazy."
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #643
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Well it is a very interesting industry, if you look at it like a business. On one hand you want to keep your congregation engaged by stimulating/ challenging their thought, on the other hand you do not want to alienate your customer base in order to keep your pews full.

One of my childhood friends, who is also an atheist, and whose father is a pastor, was shocked when I made the claim that most believers believed in largely literal interpretations of the Bible.

"That can't be." He said, "This stuff has been commonly taught in seminary for a while, and is what my parents believe. That's old school."

He then asked his father. "Yeah, he says you're right. Most of his congregation do believe in literal interpretations. That's crazy."
In America perhaps. Here they just pretend to, to be polite to the Vicar, who is saving them from being shocked by what theologians think.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:25 AM   #644
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Get rid of the old testament and you take half of the christian religion away.

It is all picking and choosing to match ones own needs, desires and lifestyle. If it fits your view of the world, you will choose one type of christianity, if it enlightens you, then another.

Why do you think not all christians can agree on which is the true form of christianity to worship in? Because neither are correct and neither incorrect. It is a contradictory book that is written in a ancient mindset. If it was true to the word of god, surely it would be very very specific and so blunt and straight forward that there would only be one religion and all christians could worship in the one true religion with absolute certainty that it is gods own one religion? Why would god leave his own religion in such a confused state?
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:33 AM   #645

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Doesn't it take as much faith to believe in the big bang, as to believe in God?.

Fraid not, there's reasonable evidence for the Big Bang, there's no evidence for God, and even less evidence for the Christian God. Cause and effect is no real proof because there doesn't have to be a higher purpose. As far as nature is concerned we're all lost in a mysterious universe which has no apparent reason to be here.

It all comes down to a matter of likelihood, I can believe in the laws of physics and what scientists say because I'm using science to communicate with you right now. Whereas in 2000 years there's never been any reasonable evidence for miracles or the power of prayer. It's all hearsay and the insistence of believers.

I can't believe in magic and miracles because there's no reasonable evidence for it. It's like forcing someone to believe in witches and goblins through force of personal charisma alone. Tho I imagine the repetitive sermons and parents/figures of authority telling these things to children soon sets their minds to believe it without ever seeing it. That's how religion essentially works and survives.



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The Absolute Limits of Scientistic Arrogance

by Sean Carroll
I have redefined them! Those limits, that is. This is the view of Father Robert Barron, in response to — well, something I said, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what. But I know it was me and not some other Sean Carroll, because there’s a video in which my picture appears a couple of times.


I think his remarks were spurred by Natalie Wolchover’s article about my piece on why the universe doesn’t need God. (Here is a related article, not quite a transcript of the above video but close, in which he mentions Natalie’s piece but not mine.) He may have read the original piece, although it’s unclear because he doesn’t link to anything specific, nor does he reference particular arguments from the essay itself. He also refers to a book I’ve written, but none of my books actually fit the bill. And he talks a lot about my arrogance and hubris. (I’ve finally figured out the definition of “arrogance,” from repeated exposure: “you are arrogant because you think that your methods are appropriate, when it fact it’s my methods that are appropriate.”)
In any event, the substance of Fr. Barron’s counter-argument is some version of the argument from contingency. You assert that certain kinds of things require causes, and that the universe is among those things, and that the kind of cause the universe requires is special (not itself requiring a cause), and that special cause is God. It fails at the first step, because causes and effects aren’t really fundamental. It’s the laws of nature that are fundamental, according to the best understanding we currently have, and those laws don’t take the form of causes leading to effects; they take the form of differential equations, or more generally to patterns relating parts of the universe. So the question really is, “Can we imagine laws/patterns which describe a universe without God?” And the answer is “sure,” and we get on with our lives.
As good scientists, of course, we are open to the possibility that a better understanding in the future might lead to a different notion of what is really fundamental. (It is indeed a peculiar form of arrogance we exhibit.) What we’re not open to is the possibility that you can sit in your study and arrive at deep truths about the nature of reality just by thinking hard about it. We have to write down all the possible ways we can think the world might be, and distinguish between them by actually going outside and looking at it. This is admittedly hard work, and it also frequently leads us to places we weren’t expecting to go and perhaps even don’t much care for. But we’re a flexible species, and generally we adapt to the new realities.
Which reminds me that I still owe you a couple of reports from the naturalism workshop. Coming soon!
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #646

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Why? As I said earlier, the Old Testament is concerned with Judaism, and Christianity existed for a long time before the relevant texts were chosen to make up the New Testament. Apart from some chop-logic material about Peter, you won't find anything about Popes in the Bible, for instance. I'm not a scriptural expert, but the Church came first, clearly, and its traditions are just as important - like Sunday's being the Christian Sabbath because Jesus rose on that day. I though everyone took that for granted.
Without the Old Testament the messianic prophesies are moot, the need for redemption is moot, and it's claim for legitimacy is also moot. Yes the Bible does say that Jesus rose on the first day of the week, Sunday, but it doesn't say that Sunday should be the Sabbath.

I personally had thought that the Christian day of rest being on the Day of the Sun, was due to the Roman day of rest being on the Day of the Sun? So it was more convenient to keep the current traditions going?

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On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #647
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Get rid of the old testament and you take half of the christian religion away.

It is all picking and choosing to match ones own needs, desires and lifestyle. If it fits your view of the world, you will choose one type of christianity, if it enlightens you, then another.

Why do you think not all christians can agree on which is the true form of christianity to worship in? Because neither are correct and neither incorrect. It is a contradictory book that is written in a ancient mindset. If it was true to the word of god, surely it would be very very specific and so blunt and straight forward that there would only be one religion and all christians could worship in the one true religion with absolute certainty that it is gods own one religion? Why would god leave his own religion in such a confused state?
Christianity is about Jesus and what he said/did. I'd leave Revelations to the druggies too. After that there are some arguable bits in the Epistles, but they came first, after all. But if you drop the Old Testament, what element of Christianity do you loose except some very dubious prophecies and a bit of background reading? Most people who get nasty about the inevitable transition from theism and the attempt to understand in our own terms are using the OT alone - as are pretty well all the fundamentalist sickoes.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:37 AM   #648

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In America perhaps. Here they just pretend to, to be polite to the Vicar, who is saving them from being shocked by what theologians think.
Are the pews full in the UK?
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:38 AM   #649
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Without the Old Testament the messianic prophesies are moot, the need for redemption is moot, and it's claim for legitimacy is also moot. Yes the Bible does say that Jesus rose on the first day of the week, Sunday, but it doesn't say that Sunday should be the Sabbath.

I personally had thought that the Christian day of rest being on the Day of the Sun, was due to the Roman day of rest being on the Day of the Sun? So it was more convenient to keep the current traditions going?



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As I say, what 'the Bible' says is what certain Bishops decided at a Conference. Big deal! To me the New Testament is fascinating as the first serious socialist manifesto in history. 'The sabbath' was just a useful time for Christians to meet. The Romans had a lot of holidays, but no weekly day of rest.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #650

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As I say, what 'the Bible' says is what certain Bishops decided at a Conference. Big deal! To me the New Testament is fascinating as the first serious socialist manifesto in history. 'The sabbath' was just a useful time for Christians to meet. The Romans had a lot of holidays, but no weekly day of rest.
Yes, I think it's really interesting too. I guess you would be surprised too at what people think is in the Bible.
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