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-   -   A Tale of Two Cities: Ash Wednesday - a Southerner in New York (http://ravingatheists.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9211)

ChiefOfAss 03-02-2006 08:51 AM

Seeing Snow Birds in my home town with dirty crosses on their foreheads reminded me of my first Ash Wednesday experience.

Last year, I was in Manhattan on Ash Wednesday. As a native Floridian, I was somehow completely unaware that a LOT of people actually walk around with black crosses on their FOREHEADS - like it's totally normal - until I set out on my morning walk to work in mid-town.

I couldn't help myself, and I stared... squinting my eyes to make sure I wasn't hallucinating as I noticed, at first dozens - then hundreds, of people walking around with these CRAZY dirty marks on their foreheads.

A year later, I'm still shaking my head as I recall working that day with people in my office on 5th Avenue - in Gotham - the apex of civilization in the modern world - looking me square in the eye - as if nothing was extraordinary about having this intentional smudge on their heads.

Can you imagine?? Sitting around a conference room table, talking about the technicalities of some computer system while half a dozen people look back at you with the equivalent of a dollop of mustard drying their hair?

It was like being in the middle of an elaborate prank.

Just thought I would share.

Kate 03-02-2006 09:22 AM

I asked on of those dirty chicks here yesterday if the ashes were made from cremated aborted fetuses. Her mouth flapped open and shut for a bit like the fish she'll be eating on Friday.

DC: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yes."

She walked away shaking her head sadly. Like I was the crazy one.

Jahrta 03-02-2006 09:59 AM

Kate:

"I asked on of those dirty chicks here yesterday if the ashes were made from cremated aborted fetuses. Her mouth flapped open and shut for a bit like the fish she'll be eating on Friday.

DC: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yes."

She walked away shaking her head sadly. Like I was the crazy one."

That's classic - like "Wednesday Adams" classic when she asked the girlscouts if girlscout cookies are made with real girlscout.

What brought upon this bought of Wednesday-ism? was it the fact that it was, after all, ash wednesday? :)

Erik 03-02-2006 11:40 AM

My friend went to her usual Catholic services yesterday and they got the ash treatment. Then the priest advised them to wipe it off before they left church because of the admonishment in the NT to worship in secret.

It's an odd ritual, to be sure, but no stranger than eating a cracker and drinking some wine and pretending that it changes into the body and blood of the savior god provided the correct mumbo-jumbo is spoken.

CavKiller37 03-02-2006 01:08 PM

Quote:

Erik wrote
It's an odd ritual, to be sure, but no stranger than eating a cracker and drinking some wine and pretending that it changes into the body and blood of the savior god provided the correct mumbo-jumbo is spoken.

Yeah, when I was a kid I thought it was gross to eat the body and blood of christ. It's still an oddly barbaric thing for parents and pastors to force kids to do.

Ever ask a catholic what the ashes are for? Most can't tell you. Only thing I've been able to determine is that ashes used to symbolize mourning and sadness. As usual, I know more about christianity than most christians I encounter.

CavKiller37 03-02-2006 01:11 PM

Quote:

Kate wrote
I asked on of those dirty chicks here yesterday if the ashes were made from cremated aborted fetuses. Her mouth flapped open and shut for a bit like the fish she'll be eating on Friday.

DC: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yes."

She walked away shaking her head sadly. Like I was the crazy one.

Now THAT'S funny!

Kate, my compliments.

Kate 03-02-2006 01:13 PM

Thank you, thank you :D

Lily 03-02-2006 01:36 PM

Actually, though I never intended to get involved in these forums, the sheer ugliness of Kate's aborted babies remark must not go unreproved.

CAVkiller37: I assure you, you do not know more than most Christians you encounter. But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis.

Ashes are a universal sign of mourning. They are imposed on Ash Wednesday by ancient (early 8th century) custom with the admonition: "Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return." Good advice for atheists and theists, alike.

And Kate, just for you: The ashes used are those that remain when the palms from the previous Palm Sunday were burned and blessed for use on Ash Wednesday.

Kate 03-02-2006 01:36 PM

So?

ChiefOfAss 03-02-2006 02:00 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Actually, though I never intended to get involved in these forums, the sheer ugliness of Kate's aborted babies remark must not go unreproved.

CAVkiller37: I assure you, you do not know more than most Christians you encounter. But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis.

Alrighty then... do you know where Christianity got it's ritual for that whole wine and cracker, body of Christ thing?

I bet you don't....... (hint: it was folded into Christianity from another popular prophet of the times - do you remember his name?)

I bet I know more about Christianity than you do... seriously.

Like... did you know that there was NEVER - EVER anyone named Jesus Christ ('cuz that would be stupid and blasphemous... like literally naming your kid 'Son of God')?

Or... did you know that not only was Jesus born of virgin birth, but so was his mother, Mary? Seriously.... it's in the Qur'an.

Ok - what you got?

CavKiller37 03-02-2006 02:02 PM

I almost always know more about christianity than christians i meet. Listen lady, don't tell me what i do and don't know. what are you basing this assurance on anyway?

I realize that i may not know more than all christians (about the faith) and i realize that my sampling pool might be biased, which is why i qualified the statement with "that I encounter."

And by the way, ashes of aborted fetuses aren't much chemically different than those of palm fronds.

Lily 03-02-2006 03:48 PM

Quote:

ChiefOfAss wrote
Quote:

Lily wrote
Actually, though I never intended to get involved in these forums, the sheer ugliness of Kate's aborted babies remark must not go unreproved.

CAVkiller37: I assure you, you do not know more than most Christians you encounter. But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis.

Alrighty then... do you know where Christianity got it's ritual for that whole wine and cracker, body of Christ thing?

I bet you don't....... (hint: it was folded into Christianity from another popular prophet of the times - do you remember his name?)

I bet I know more about Christianity than you do... seriously.

Like... did you know that there was NEVER - EVER anyone named Jesus Christ ('cuz that would be stupid and blasphemous... like literally naming your kid 'Son of God')?

Or... did you know that not only was Jesus born of virgin birth, but so was his mother, Mary? Seriously.... it's in the Qur'an.

Ok - what you got?

:lol: I actually thought, for just a moment, that you might have something I could sink me teeth into. When will I ever learn??

Can you possibly believe that there is a single one of us who doesn't know that Christ is a title?

Yes, I do know where the Eucharistic elements come from. I am quite sure after reading this post that you don't. This pretty much ensures that you were going to trot out Mithras again, weren't you?

I don't care what the Koran has to say about any subject under the sun.

It would save time if you would stipulate, just for the sake of argument, that I have an advanced degree in Medieval Studies with an emphasis on theology/philosophy and literature, which I do. You really don't know as much as I do.

Kate So? I just thought you would like to know, so that you could sound like an informed person instead of a vulgar teenager.

Philboid Studge 03-02-2006 04:02 PM

Aw Lily, stick around. We need some thoughtful theists to play with. Salty and ShadowWolf are fine as objects of scorn and derision, but do you really want them defending the faith? I didn't think so!

I never thought of Ash Wednesday as a day of mourning but as a reminder: all things must die. It was a ritual I appreciated long after I stopped believing in god. (You're right: good for atheists and theists alike)

Seriously, cruise the forums a bit and ignore the nastiness if you must. Welcome and stick around!

whoneedscience 03-02-2006 04:04 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Kate So? I just thought you would like to know, so that you could sound like an informed person instead of a vulgar teenager.

Sound like an informed person? You mean like understanding that a ridiculous comment was intended as a joke? Guess that part becomes harder when you hear, and are expected to take literally, things like "that cracker is the flesh of a man who died two thousand years ago" or "God made the world in six days " or "God is all-powerful and all-knowing".

Choobus 03-02-2006 04:17 PM

I have noticed that christianms often pretend that they don't realize that something was intended as a joke so they can attack it. It must be one of the tricks they have to learn to counteract the blatant fact that none of their arguments can stand up to any kind of logical scrutiny.

Lily,.fuck off you scabby troutface. It''s bad enough that you are allowed to contaminate the front page with your insane gibberish. We don't need it here as well. Now, if you would like to talk about renouncing Christ and becoming a stripper in a west vagina mining town, that's a story we can all enjoy.

anthonyjfuchs 03-02-2006 04:23 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Ashes are a universal sign of mourning.

Actually they're a universal sign that the fire went out.

Quote:

Lily wrote
"Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return."

Scientifically true. Human beings and particles of dust are composed from the exact same set of elements, sort of like every word in the English language is composed from the exact same set of letters. And yes, after death, the body will eventually decompose and its molecules will be redistributed through the universe.

What does any of that have to do with religion, theology, or deism?

SuX0rZ 03-02-2006 04:24 PM

I thik atheists would be accepted more.... if we stopped flaming theists.... choobus... shame on you, funny none the less but still, come one, we re supposed to be better than these ppl beause we are released from the constraints of jibberish

Lily 03-02-2006 04:40 PM

Quote:

SuX0rZ wrote
I thik atheists would be accepted more.... if we stopped flaming theists.... choobus... shame on you, funny none the less but still, come one, we re supposed to be better than these ppl beause we are released from the constraints of jibberish

Quite true, in general. But Chooby, who has developed a really insane, albeit virtual passion for me, is a law unto himself, and must be allowed free reign, lest his spirit be crushed. This was mild, compared to some of the adulation he has heaped on me. I am now a scabby troutface which I consider a serious upgrade from "400 pound cornfed something or another" :lol:


Whoneedscience I am aware that Kate was making a joke. But it was in vile taste. Part of becoming an adult is saving that sort of remark for your drunken frathouse buddies. It is usually best to strive for a more elevated tone in public.

calpurnpiso 03-02-2006 04:43 PM

Ash wednesday originated 2063 years ago after the cremation of the Lord and savior, god, hero, Archieros Megistos ( jesus christ for short=head priest) Iulius Caesar!! People were in mourning at the death of this god took ashes from the sacred pyre place them on their heads, and also took burning cinders to light the sacred hearth in their homes.

Over 300 yeas later the Cult of Divus Iulius where his TITLE of head priest (Jesus Christ) was the OBJECT of worship instead of the mortal body of Caesar which had been cremated and FORGOTTEN as a human being, assuming the spiritual form of the comet of 44bc, in heaven, REPLACED all the other religions in the roman empire.. at the instigation of COnstantinus I, Christianity had been born, but it was CEMENTED by Theodosius who ENFORCED it. :)

Lily 03-02-2006 05:03 PM

Quote:

Philboid Studge wrote
Aw Lily, stick around. We need some thoughtful theists to play with. Salty and ShadowWolf are fine as objects of scorn and derision, but do you really want them defending the faith? I didn't think so!

I never thought of Ash Wednesday as a day of mourning but as a reminder: all things must die. It was a ritual I appreciated long after I stopped believing in god. (You're right: good for atheists and theists alike)

Seriously, cruise the forums a bit and ignore the nastiness if you must. Welcome and stick around!

Thanks. That was a very nice message.

We are both right about Ash Wednesday. Ashes as a symbol of mourning are very ancient and universal. We Christians impose them on Ash Wednesday in a tradition that probably goes back to very early in Christianity when there were public processions of penitents, in sackcloth and ashes.

So the tradition at the start of Lent is to begin with a visible sign of mourning for our sins, which is also why so many of us try, as a form of discipline and to keep Christ's sacrifice in front of us, to "give something up for Lent". In turn, of course, we believe that Easter turns our mourning into joy, signifies forgiveness, new life and all that stuff that so many of you turned away from.

Lily 03-02-2006 05:06 PM

Calpurnpiso! I am aware of your revision of my beloved classical history but I ain't buying it. I won't say I haven't enjoyed it, but I ain't buying it.

ChiefOfAss 03-02-2006 05:53 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
:lol: I actually thought, for just a moment, that you might have something I could sink me teeth into. When will I ever learn??

Well.... that is kinda the whole joke, isn't it? You refuse to.
Quote:

Lily wrote
Can you possibly believe that there is a single one of us who doesn't know that Christ is a title?

Are you serious? Yes - Many... no MOST Christians think Jesus Christ was his name.... that it's written on a birth certificate somewhere.

Most Importantly - Christians don't seem to care either way.

To Wit:
Quote:

Lily wrote
Yes, I do know where the Eucharistic elements come from. I am quite sure after reading this post that you don't. This pretty much ensures that you were going to trot out Mithras again, weren't you?

I don't care what the Koran has to say about any subject under the sun.

Myeah - see.... that's why the unaffected think you're all a bunch of nuts. It's one thing to be ignorant and unaware, it's quite another the choose ignorance. With a statement like, "I don't care what the Koran has to say about any subject under the sun." Can you blame us!?!?!?!?

Holy Shi'ite!

Quote:

Lily wrote
It would save time if you would stipulate, just for the sake of argument, that I have an advanced degree in Medieval Studies with an emphasis on theology/philosophy and literature, which I do. You really don't know as much as I do.

OK - Maybe I don't... but - I do know a lot. So.... prove me wrong - fail to meet my expectations by trying to respond.... tell me why nothing the Koran has to say has any relevance to you when it supports your Bible better than nearly any other reference?

Tell me how you can ignore how interconnected Christianity and Islam are? Tell me why someone who is at least educated enough to know who Mithras was is so compelled by a book with such an amorphous history?

You know what? I'll let you in on a little secret. A lot of people who don't believe in gods, like me, are actually *starving* to understand people like you.

Of course, I can't speak for everyone... but certainly, there are others out there who would love to understand what really drives a person's faith.

Unfortunately, I am usually met with BS when I question them - Christians especially - react poorly to being questioned.

So look - I don't understand you, you don't understand me. How about a deal.... you sincerely answer questions that will require introspection and thought and I'll do the same. All the while, no *intentional* persuasion or disrespect, what do you say to that?

I know - you're probably not interested. What's the point of talking to me if all you gain is human understanding of someone you surely don't understand.

Lily 03-02-2006 06:09 PM

So, Chief of A: That was a great message. Why not start out that way, so that we don't waste time?

Islam, at best, is nothing more than a Christian heresy. I really don't care what the Koran says as a religious document. In its cultural aspects, esp. as they impinge on current events, I do care very much. But that is a different thing.

I will try my best to answer the questions you have. But comboxes are not the best place for real discussions. I can certainly point you to some books, essays, etc. that I have found helpful. But real life is always the best teacher. Do you have no friends who are active Christians? You would probably understand us better by helping out at Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a soup kitchen ministry, etc. Sometimes just working along side of someone speaks volumes.

Let me start with one thing that I can answer: The Bible is not an amorphous book. It is the best attested book (series of books, really) from the ancient world. If I remember my numbers correctly there are some 5000 partial and whole manuscripts extant from as early as the 1st century and who knows what more might turn up? The earliest surviving manuscript (saved by Christian monks, no less) of Caesar's Gallic Wars dates from the 10th century (AD, of course). Yet, if you dare to doubt its authenticity... woe to you! Hordes of aging Classics professors will descend on you and smite you.

ChiefOfAss 03-02-2006 07:11 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
So, Chief of A: That was a great message. Why not start out that way, so that we don't waste time?

Islam, at best, is nothing more than a Christian heresy. I really don't care what the Koran says as a religious document. In its cultural aspects, esp. as they impinge on current events, I do care very much. But that is a different thing.

So, then it follows that Christianity is Judaic heresy?
Quote:

Lily wrote
I will try my best to answer the questions you have. But comboxes are not the best place for real discussions. I can certainly point you to some books, essays, etc. that I have found helpful. But real life is always the best teacher. Do you have no friends who are active Christians? You would probably understand us better by helping out at Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a soup kitchen ministry, etc. Sometimes just working along side of someone speaks volumes.

Why, I do believe you are patronizing me, you saucy minx! (Read back what you wrote to me... why are you still being an asshole?)

Maybe you need to read my message again, I seek to understand the people who subscribe to this - I thought I was clear.

Christians I know are far too fragile to question. I value them too much to question their faiths. I've been down the road too many times. The risk that I would lose my relationship to them is too great.

How will Habitat for Humanity help me understand people who believe in God?

Volunteering at the nursing home where my grandfather eventually succumbed to complications of Alzheimer's - twice every week since 1990 has helped me to better understand a great many things about humanity in general, the value of our greatest generation in particular, and... no doubt... how tempting it must be to reach out for some sort of afterlife, grace, and order when people face their deaths.

But, I've convinced myself that their must be more to it than that. There must be more to your faith than human frailty, right??

Anyway - speaking of Habitat for Humanity makes me think about Jimmy Carter. A man I respect and admire so much.

If granted time to talk to him... there would be so many things I'd love to ask him. I'd be an idiot to waste it on how a man of his intellect can also be a devoted Christian. However, he seems like *just* the person would could illuminate someone like me as to how he can reconcile his prodigious understanding of science, his singular perspective on *history*, and a religion that must present him with incongruence to everything else he knows!

It must take a LOT of effort to maintain.

Quote:

Lily wrote
Let me start with one thing that I can answer: The Bible is not an amorphous book. It is the best attested book (series of books, really) from the ancient world. If I remember my numbers correctly there are some 5000 partial and whole manuscripts extant from as early as the 1st century and who knows what more might turn up? The earliest surviving manuscript (saved by Christian monks, no less) of Caesar's Gallic Wars dates from the 10th century (AD, of course). Yet, if you dare to doubt its authenticity... woe to you! Hordes of aging Classics professors will descend on you and smite you.

So, you're saying that all the evidence (call it "alternate information" if you like) to the contrary is completely baseless?

By the by - where else is it written that Mary was of virgin birth? Since you were so dismissive of the Qur'an (Koran, Kan-Kan, whatever), does that also mean you don't care what other myths say about "The Queen of Heaven"??

Lily 03-02-2006 08:39 PM

Quote:

ChiefOfAss wrote
So, then it follows that Christianity is Judaic heresy? Why, I do believe you are patronizing me, you saucy minx!

Patronizing you? Not at all! "Saucy minx?" :lol: That is the biggest compliment I have been paid in ages! Now seriously, I do believe that the Jews do or did consider us heretics. We, of course, see it differently and believe that Jesus extended the invitation to the gentiles, too.

Quote:

Maybe you need to read my message again, I seek to understand the people who subscribe to this - I thought I was clear.
Sorry, I am not clear. Do you mean to this blog?

Quote:

How will Habitat for Humanity help me understand people who believe in God?
It won't per se. But I was trying to think of ways far more promising than this forum for you to interact with all sorts of people, many of whom will be Christians of various stripes, in a positive environment where you would get to know them, see what drives them and maybe find some who would be open to talking about the issues you are interested in in more depth.

Quote:

Volunteering at the nursing home where my Grand Father eventually succumbed to complications of Alzheimer's ... helped me to better understand a great many things about humanity in general, the value of our greatest generation in particular, and... no doubt... how tempting it must be to reach out for some sort of afterlife, grace, and order when people face their deaths.

But, I've convinced myself that their must be more to it than that. There must be more to your faith than human frailty, right??
Yes, indeed!

Quote:

... However, he (Mr. Carter) seems like *just* the person would could illuminate someone like me as to how he can reconcile his prodigious understanding of science, his singular perspective on *history*, and a religion that must present him with incongruence to everything else he knows!

It must take a LOT of effort to maintain.
I assure you, it does not. On some level, I think you know that already, since you know of one scientifically minded devout person and there are millions more.

Quote:

So, you're saying that all the evidence (call it "alternate information" if you like) to the contrary is completely baseless?
I am not sure what evidence you are talking about here. When the books of the New Testament were written? Who wrote them? How the canon was formed? Any of these is an interesting subject, among many others we could address.

Quote:

By the by - where else is it written that Mary was of virgin birth? Since you were so dismissive of the Qur'an (Koran, Kan-Kan, whatever), does that also mean you don't care what other myths say about "The Queen of Heaven"??
I am not sure how to reply to this. Mary's "virgin birth" is not a Christian doctrine. What other myths do you have in mind? I am no Mary expert and will take your word for it that there are other myths out there.

Eva 03-02-2006 08:46 PM

ahh
lily front the front page is here.

goody. we needed to substitute carico.

Gnosital 03-02-2006 09:34 PM

Quote:

Kate wrote
I asked on of those dirty chicks here yesterday if the ashes were made from cremated aborted fetuses. Her mouth flapped open and shut for a bit like the fish she'll be eating on Friday.

DC: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yes."

She walked away shaking her head sadly. Like I was the crazy one.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

That's a good one, Kate! You know what, I may try that next time I have to lecture about physiology to a group of college seniors with dirt smudges on their foreheads. It was all I could do, looking out at the lot of them, all smudgy and proud, to keep from laughing my ass off.

I wanted to say, hey, you got a little sumpin, right on your forehead there, you may want to wipe.

And kids that age are usually so self-conscious about their appearance! Sheesh.

Gathercole 03-02-2006 11:04 PM

Lily, welcome to the forum, or at least to posting on the forum. Sorry if other people are rude. Some of us do appreciate having an intelligent Christian post here and value the opportunity to understand Christians better. But, many of us have met Christians who don't seem to understand the Bible or its implications very well. I'll mention three issues that I'm interested in your response to:

1) Are all non-Christian Japanese people going to Hell? Most people I met while living in Japan were very nice and it doesn't seem right to send them to Hell.

2) As an example of not being familiar with the Bible, in Matthew 19:9, Jesus is very clear about divorce. He says, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." Why do Protestants believe divorce is permissable? When I've asked Protestants about this, they usually don't believe me that Jesus said such a thing unless I show them the passage.

3) If you showed me a person being tortured, like is happening right now in many oppressive regimes, and I had the ability to end their suffering with little or no effort, I would definitely do it. Wouldn't this be the right thing to do? If it would be, why doesn't God do it?

These are a few issues that Christians I've asked have not given me satisfactory answers to. I'm not interested in pointless argument, I just want to know what you believe. I suspect that your answers may be more well-thought-out than those of other Christians I've talked to.

Lily 03-03-2006 12:02 AM

Those are really great questions, Gathercole. I will do my best to sketch out some preliminary answers.

Quote:

1) Are all non-Christian Japanese people going to Hell? Most people I met while living in Japan were very nice and it doesn't seem right to send them to Hell.
I can't speak for the whole Church. Certainly there are those who believe that no one will ultimately be condemned. They are on very thin ice, I think, if they believe those who reject Christ are going to be saved, especially against their wishes. Those who have never heard the Gospel? They will be judged according to the light they have.

Quote:

2) As an example of not being familiar with the Bible, in Matthew 19:9, Jesus is very clear about divorce. He says, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." Why do Protestants believe divorce is permissable? When I've asked Protestants about this, they usually don't believe me that Jesus said such a thing unless I show them the passage.
They must be Methodists. That is a pretty darned hard scripture to miss. The answer is found in that same place, a couple of lines later. Jesus also said that divorce and remarriage had been permitted among the Jews because of their hardness of heart. Hearts haven't softened noticeably over the centuries.

I am not aware that there are any Christian denominations that ever totally prohibited divorce. Divorce is not the problem. Remarriage is. Later, in speaking to the very new Christian communities which were struggling to know what to do when one spouse was a Christian and the other not, Paul talked about letting the non-Christian spouse leave, if he wanted to. He also defined the characteristics of a Christian husband and wife and where one or the other has been woefully wanting, this has made divorce (and subsequent remarriage) possible.

To take the obvious example: no woman has to stay with a man who beats her. He is not acting as a Christian husband must. In such a case, churches have held that the marriage itself could be set aside as invalid and remarriage is then permissable. While Catholics still have a formal annulment process, protestants have shown more willingness to tolerate some very questionable practices in regard to this question.

Quote:

3) If you showed me a person being tortured, like is happening right now in many oppressive regimes, and I had the ability to end their suffering with little or no effort, I would definitely do it. Wouldn't this be the right thing to do?
Yes, absolutely.

Quote:

If it would be, why doesn't God do it?
Much better educated, more moral people than I have tried to tackle the problem of evil. They usually write books. I am not going to be able to do much here.

If free will means anything, then God cannot interfere with our use of it, continually. If nothing else, our reaction to evil tells us, or should, something about ourselves and the world we live in. If this world, this life is all we have, and there is no ultimate purpose, then what is the problem? Evil is the way things are and we had just better suck it up. But we can't, can we? The question is: why not?

I have read here many times that atheists don't need a God to have morals. I do not find any of the reasoning persuasive. We have seen too many times, just in our own century, that it is not morality that fills a vacuum but power. And power is not maintained by adherence to the 10 commandments or any other moral code we have had offered to us.

Kate 03-03-2006 06:00 AM

Quote:

Eva wrote
ahh
lily front the front page is here.

goody. we needed to substitute carico.

Successful chumming gives me a reason to hum all day long :)


Edit: And a joyous coincidence that Choobus called her a troutface! :lol:

ChiefOfAss 03-03-2006 08:11 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Patronizing you? Not at all!

Lily, don’t be disingenuous, you know you were patronizing me.

So, what happened to our deal, Lily? I thought you were going to *try*. Am I operating under a misapprehension?
Quote:

Maybe you need to read my message again, I seek to understand the people who subscribe to this - I thought I was clear.
Sorry, I am not clear. Do you mean to this blog?
Are you dense? If you had any sense of context, you’d know that I was seeking to identify, to understand, to learn from someone that has beliefs – to enlighten myself. I thought you’d do me that favor… I thought you’d at least give an honest try and we’d both benefit from the exchange.
Quote:

Quote:

me wrote
How will Habitat for Humanity help me understand people who believe in God?

It won't per se. But I was trying to think of ways far more promising than this forum for you to interact with all sorts of people, many of whom will be Christians of various stripes, in a positive environment where you would get to know them, see what drives them and maybe find some who would be open to talking about the issues you are interested in in more depth.
Yeah, that’s it Lily. That’s my problem…. I just haven’t been around enough Christians.

Quote:

But, I've convinced myself that their must be more to it than that. There must be more to your faith than human frailty, right??
Yes, indeed!
Yeah? Well – HOW? Let me tell you…. From the outside looking in, it *is not* obvious.

Quote:

I assure you, it does not (take a lot of effort). On some level, I think you know that already, since you know of one scientifically minded devout person and there are millions more.
What is your problem? I am *precisely* saying that it *appears* to take a lot of effort.

I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. Am I giving you too much credit?

Science and religion do not appear to mix. Christianity has a well documented track record of being the enemy of knowledge… from it’s development in the 5th century straight on through today.

It is NOT intuitive as to how someone can be scientifically minded and religious – which is precisely why I made the observation about Jimmy Carter.

What… did you think I was being coy? “On some level I think you know” – sheesh!!! I sincerely try to understand… but, I can’t *imagine* how people do it.

It’s like – how could someone believe that Santa Clause makes his rounds to the entire world in one night, then go out the next day and design the SR-71?

Again, I’m trying to give Christians the benefit of the doubt here, because logic suggests that as a person learns more about the properties of the physical world, that person has to make certain compromises with either his/her faith or his/her intellect.

It follows that depending on how a person decides to treat new information, that person must eventually bargain away all vestiges of faith; or, shut down and choose belief over facts.

A perfect example is “Intelligent Design”. How can a reasonably informed Christian get Creation and Evolution to coexist, he/she modifies both fact *and* faith to form a composite belief - which isn’t true to either fact or faith.

At least YEC’s can say they haven’t compromised.
Quote:

I am not sure what evidence you are talking about here. When the books of the New Testament were written? Who wrote them? How the canon was formed? Any of these is an interesting subject, among many others we could address.
I don’t get it – you even mentioned Mithras earlier. And, you said you had an education, didn’t you? My bad – I assumed you knew about stuff outside the Bible and thought you might shed some light on how you regard it.
Quote:

I am not sure how to reply to this. Mary's "virgin birth" is not a Christian doctrine. What other myths do you have in mind? I am no Mary expert and will take your word for it that there are other myths out there.
C’mon – you know…. It’s among the stuff in the more recently found gospels excluded from the NT (Dead sea scrolls, Gnostics, and all that jazz).

You know what forget that last part… just tell me:
What is your position on all the stuff that was left out of the Bible when Constantine’s team of editors put the Bible together?

Is the whole story about Constantine pure bunk? How do you fit the pieces together? (Please note – at least I’m still trying, whilst it appears you’ve retreated to some sort of selective deafness)

Quote:

(from a different post)
If free will means anything, then God cannot interfere with our use of it. If nothing else, our reaction to evil tells us, or should, something about ourselves and the world we live in. If this world, this life is all we have, and there is no ultimate purpose…
How did you arrive at the conclusion that, if this life is all we have then there is no ultimate purpose? I mean, I understand you’re not saying that this world and life is all we have – but… you are saying that *IF* this life is all we have *THEN* there is no ultimate purpose, right?

Just so you know, the following collection of words:
Quote:


then what is the problem? Evil is the way things are and we had just better suck it up. But we can't, can we? The question is: why not?

While I’m sure it sounded great in your head… and maybe you’re just tired…. Doesn’t make any sense.

Do you want to try that again?
Quote:

I have read here many times that atheists don't need a God to have morals. I do not find any of the reasoning persuasive.
Would you agree that, despite any lack of persuasion, there are loads of people living moral lives without God?
Quote:

We have seen too many times, just in our own century, that it is not morality that fills a vacuum but power. And power is not maintained by adherence to the 10 commandments or any other moral code we have had offered to us.
I agree with you there, but I don’t know if you’re trying to make some larger point. If so, would you elaborate?

Let me just ask you one more thing. Can you try… try to imagine – I’m not saying agree – but just imagine how people outside your faith just might think it’s all a little strange?

Lily 03-03-2006 08:28 AM

CoA: I am now very tired and not feeling very friendly toward this diatribe. I answered you as well as I could. You have now called me an asshole, accused me of patronizing you, though that is in your head... whatelse? Now I have to intuit the answers you want and if you don't get them then there is something wrong with me. Your prose is not as clear as you think but I think I get it now.

It will not repay me to enter into any further discussion with you. Yes, the story about Constantine, to which you are alluding is pure bunk. I have even written here in some comment recently about that. There is no point to even trying to discuss that. Anyone who could believe it is beyond all but supernatural help.

Mary is not mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Gnostic gospels are not New Testament books but books produced by the Gnostics, a heretical sect. etc.

I really resent spending time trying to answer questions honestly only to find out that they weren't honestly put.

Tenspace 03-03-2006 08:56 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
:lol: I actually thought, for just a moment, that you might have something I could sink me teeth into. When will I ever learn??

Can you possibly believe that there is a single one of us who doesn't know that Christ is a title?

Oh, probably about a hundred million American Christians. You know, the majority.

Tenspace 03-03-2006 09:05 AM

Quote:

Choobus wrote
I have noticed that christianms often pretend that they don't realize that something was intended as a joke so they can attack it. It must be one of the tricks they have to learn to counteract the blatant fact that none of their arguments can stand up to any kind of logical scrutiny.

Lily,.fuck off you scabby troutface. It''s bad enough that you are allowed to contaminate the front page with your insane gibberish. We don't need it here as well. Now, if you would like to talk about renouncing Christ and becoming a stripper in a west vagina mining town, that's a story we can all enjoy.

Aw, c'mon Choob. I invited Lily here when I saw how steadfast she was in her arguments on the front page. I didn't think she'd walk in full of derision, saying things like " But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis."

She's obviously well-educated, articulate, and unlike Lucy Muff, able to hold a conversation above the level of basic namecalling.

Let's see if she can hold a candle to the to the neuroscientists, physicists, theologians, computer scientists and the like. Right now, all I know about online Christians came from Carico, Salty, and Jiminy; maybe she can enlighten me.

Tenspace 03-03-2006 09:13 AM

Quote:

scathach wrote
I wanted to say, hey, you got a little sumpin, right on your forehead there, you may want to wipe.

Or, do what I did. This was when I was a devout Jew, an honest mistake.

One of my employees came in after lunch with the ashes on her forehead. I truly thought it was a little mess from lunch, so I sort of snuck up on her with a damp paper towel and wiped it off while saying, "Ya got a little something on your forehead."

She ran away screaming. If this was today's litiguous society, she probably would have sued me.

ChiefOfAss 03-03-2006 10:04 AM

C'mon, Lily - Don't give up on my now!
Quote:

Lily wrote
CoA: I am now very tired and not feeling very friendly toward this diatribe. I answered you as well as I could. You have now called me an asshole, accused me of patronizing you, though that is in your head... whatelse? Now I have to intuit the answers you want and if you don't get them then there is something wrong with me. Your prose is not as clear as you think but I think I get it now.

It will not repay me to enter into any further discussion with you. Yes, the story about Constantine, to which you are alluding is pure bunk. I have even written here in some comment recently about that. There is no point to even trying to discuss that. Anyone who could believe it is beyond all but supernatural help.

Mary is not mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Gnostic gospels are not New Testament books but books produced by the Gnostics, a heretical sect. etc.

I really resent spending time trying to answer questions honestly only to find out that they weren't honestly put.

I accept that you think I'm not being honest in my questions - I regret that my delivery made you feel that way.

All I can do plead that despite how I sound... I *am* being sincere. I exclaim - desperately sincere! I hope my unguarded proclamation will assuage your frustration with me, at least to the extent that you can accept that we *must* be misunderstanding each other.

I'd rather admit that I'm a bad writer than let you carry on the impression that my questions, "weren't honestly put." It's shitty of me and counter-productive to insult you... and, I readily admit that my retreat to insult was all too easy, and all too rapid. I respectfully offer my sincerest apology.

I also accept that you weren't trying to patronize me. For me, however, this is a gesture of my faith in you. All I ask is that you review the what you wrote (the part I interpreted as patronizing) and see if you can try to imagine why I thought you were marginalizing me.

Quote:

Lily wrote
I can certainly point you to some books, essays, etc. that I have found helpful. But real life is always the best teacher. Do you have no friends who are active Christians? You would probably understand us better by helping out at Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a soup kitchen ministry, etc. Sometimes just working along side of someone speaks volumes.

Can you imagine how that might suggest to me, "You need to read some more and be around Christians... because you haven't tried hard enough"?

Also, it seems to me that you ignored me when I wrote that I have tried to talk to Christians before as I have... 'been down that road'... and I also implied that I have hurt people I care about by questioning their faith. Then, I wrote that I have decided I value my relationships with the Christians in my life too much to risk hurting anyone else. Doesn't that alone suggest to you that must have a lot of contact with Christians ?

Quote:

I will try my best to answer the questions you have. But comboxes are not the best place for real discussions.
I resubmit for your appraisal that these discussion groups are, for better or worse, the only place open discourse can occur without the formidable personal toll that often occurs in the non-virtual world.

Lastly - I leave all the other issues on the table as secondary. Because, what I have learned from this, if we accept each other at face value, is:

You and I - we two - despite sincerity of heart, managed to completely misunderstand each other in nearly every possible way that matters. Would it that it give us both pause.

Shouldn't we have both tried harder?

Kate 03-03-2006 10:16 AM

Quote:

Tenspace wrote
I didn't think she'd walk in full of derision, saying things like " But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis."

Asleep at the wheel, Ten?

Lily 03-03-2006 10:17 AM

Oh good grief. I can't possibly refuse a generous follow up like that, COA. But it will have to wait. I am desperately tired (I have been up for most of the last 72 hours coughing from bronchitis and I am *cranky*). When I try next, why don't I try laying out some of the things that really puzzle me here. Maybe if we understand each others' premises better, we will be better able to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. Some will be unavoidable. We come from very different places.

ChiefOfAss 03-03-2006 10:28 AM

Yes! Great... it's a deal.

calpurnpiso 03-03-2006 10:29 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Calpurnpiso! I am aware of your revision of my beloved classical history but I ain't buying it. I won't say I haven't enjoyed it, but I ain't buying it.

The reason is because you know NOTHING about the history of the Roman empire, the Life of Caesar his writtings, the writtings of Virgil, Appianus, Pollio, Suetonius, Seneca, etc. You know nothing about the Egyptian religion, Roman religion, Greek philosophers, Egypt under the Ptolomys. You know nothing about the vastness of the Roman empire which INCLUDED the WHOLE Mediterraeum sea who the Romans called MAre Nostrum ( our sea). You know NOTHING about the assasination of Caesar, his funeral, his status as a GOD, his temples and the cult that followed. You know NOTHING about the life of Herod the great ( A LOVER of ALL thing Roman) and his family. You know NOTHING about the Roman army VETERANS who settle ALL OVER the Empire. You know NOTHING about THEIR religion. You know NOTHING about latin and Greek structures and the languages SPOKEN in the VAST Roman Empire.....so, it is of no surprise you do not buy it.

How could you buy something you know NOTHING about?

Isn't it wise to get INFORMED and connect all of the dots to arrive at the truth? Remember I can back up my statements with evidence.......:)

Lily 03-03-2006 10:32 AM

Quote:

Tenspace wrote
I didn't think she'd walk in full of derision, saying things like " But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis."

Now this is really an example of what I mean, when I talk about coming from different places. You consider that derision? How is that possible? You all say it all the time, literally. Not a day goes by without some subset of you congratulating one another for your logic and rationality; no godidiots here. (except for me and a couple of others). My personal favorite was the poor soul who wrote that we were mentally ill even if we were MDs, PhDs, etc.

At most, I expected you to take my statement as somewhat snarky but, at the same time, recognize it as truthful. I have been listening to you for some time now and don't agree with that assessment. For however long I stick around, I will not mince words. When you are offensive, I will say so. When you are wrong, I will tell you so. If I am, I will admit it. If I don't know, I won't pretend that I do.

That's the best I can do.

Lily 03-03-2006 10:45 AM

Quote:

calpurnpiso wrote
Quote:

Lily wrote
Calpurnpiso! I am aware of your revision of my beloved classical history but I ain't buying it. I won't say I haven't enjoyed it, but I ain't buying it.

The reason is because you know NOTHING about the history of the Roman empire, the Life of Caesar his writtings, the writtings of Virgil, Appianus, Pollio, Suetonius, Seneca, etc. You know nothing about the Egyptian religion, Roman religion, Greek philosophers, Egypt under the Ptolomys. You know nothing about the vastness of the Roman empire which INCLUDED the WHOLE Mediterraeum sea who the Romans called MAre Nostrum ( our sea). You know NOTHING about the assasination of Caesar, his funeral, his status as a GOD, his temples and the cult that followed. You know NOTHING about the life of Herod the great ( A LOVER of ALL thing Roman) and his family. You know NOTHING about the Roman army VETERANS who settle ALL OVER the Empire. You know NOTHING about THEIR religion. You know NOTHING about latin and Greek structures and the languages SPOKEN in the VAST Roman Empire.....so, it is of no surprise you do not buy it.

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.

Uh--Undergraduate Classics major, here. I actually have read most of that stuff. In Latin, some of it (Caesar, Virgil, Suetonius, Cato and Catullus, maybe a few others, as well). If I could have conquered Greek I would have done my graduate work in Classics, too. Alas, Caesar's loss was King Arthur's gain... But heck, it is all glorious Liberal Arts!

Tenspace 03-03-2006 10:46 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Quote:

Tenspace wrote
I didn't think she'd walk in full of derision, saying things like " But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis."

Now this is really an example of what I mean, when I talk about coming from different places. You consider that derision? How is that possible? You all say it all the time, literally. Not a day goes by without some subset of you congratulating one another for your logic and rationality; no godidiots here. (except for me and a couple of others). My personal favorite was the poor soul who wrote that we were mentally ill even if we were MDs, PhDs, etc.

At most, I expected you to take my statement as somewhat snarky but, at the same time, recognize it as truthful. I have been listening to you for some time now and don't agree with that assessment. For however long I stick around, I will not mince words. When you are offensive, I will say so. When you are wrong, I will tell you so. If I am, I will admit it. If I don't know, I won't pretend that I do.

That's the best I can do.

Fair enough.

calpurnpiso 03-03-2006 10:47 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Quote:

Tenspace wrote
I didn't think she'd walk in full of derision, saying things like " But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis."

Now this is really an example of what I mean, when I talk about coming from different places. You consider that derision? How is that possible? You all say it all the time, literally. Not a day goes by without some subset of you congratulating one another for your logic and rationality; no godidiots here. (except for me and a couple of others). My personal favorite was the poor soul who wrote that we were mentally ill even if we were MDs, PhDs, etc.

At most, I expected you to take my statement as somewhat snarky but, at the same time, recognize it as truthful. I have been listening to you for some time now and don't agree with that assessment. For however long I stick around, I will not mince words. When you are offensive, I will say so. When you are wrong, I will tell you so. If I am, I will admit it. If I don't know, I won't pretend that I do.

That's the best I can do.

Tell me. What do you call a person that accepts absurd DELUSIONAL fairy tales as if they were REALITY and abides by its irrational teachings?

Do you know the symptoms of schizophrenia, TLE, dementiae and schizoaffective disorder?

Do you know the symptoms produced by ingesting psychoactive substances ( i,e peyotl, amanita, salvia, peganum harmala, mandrake, ayahuasca etc)?

Have you read Augustinus of hippo Confessions or City of God?. HAve you read the life of Martin Luther?..that of Aquinas and his Summa theologica...the life and "piety" of hildegard of Bingen...the life and times of muhammed and his visions at the cave of Hyra?

Have you read the Egyptian Book of the Dead? Are you familiar with the Hajj?

Would it be an insult if you tell a friend that is loosing weight and his always sick to get tested for HIV? If a friend constanly tells you that you must leave your TV on at night because the aliens that have implanted devices in his brain to monitor his thoughts can give you intelligence and health if you do it...would you view it as an insult if you suggest he sees a neurologist ?
:cool:

CavKiller37 03-03-2006 10:54 AM

And to imagine, all of this hubub came from a little innocent comment about the ashes of aborted fetuses.

ChiefOfAss 03-03-2006 10:58 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
At most, I expected you to take my statement as somewhat snarky but, at the same time, recognize it as truthful.

Then don't you have to recognize that you have done the same thing? Forget the subject of disbelief for a moment, what about your own insistence that Christianity is the only religion with any validity?

The Islamic faith claims the Qur'an is the actual word of God. It is based on verbatim recital of the passages delivered to Mo' - so... what puzzles a lot of us is how Christians can so readily dismiss that – and every other religion but their own.

Christianity doesn't claim to have the *actual* word of God, right? Christianity admits that the words in the Bible are accounts from the perspective of people that *knew* Jesus.

From a completely objective point of view, it looks like Islam has a more concrete claim to be the true message of God.

So, aren't you just as guilty of self-congratulatory superiority as we are?

ChiefOfAss 03-03-2006 11:00 AM

Cal - not for nothin', but what is with your spelling?

Lily 03-03-2006 11:03 AM

Quote:

calpurnpiso wrote
Tell me. What do you call a person that accepts absurd DELUSIONAL fairy tales as if they were REALITY and abides by its irrational teachings?

Crazy

Quote:

Do you know the symptoms of schizophrenia, TLE, dementiae and schizoaffective disorder? Do you know the symptoms produced by ingesting psychoactive substances ( i,e peyotl, amanita, salvia, peganum harmala, mandrake, ayahuasca etc)?
No

Quote:

Have you read Augustinus of hippo Confessions or City of God?. HAve you read the life of Martin Luther?..that of Aquinas and his Summa theologica...the life and "piety" of hildegard of Bingen
Yes
Quote:

...the life and times of muhammed and his visions at the cave of Hyra?
No.

Quote:

Have you read the Egyptian Book of the Dead?
Yes, eons ago.

Quote:

Are you familiar with the Hajj?
No.
Quote:

Would it be an insult if you tell a friend that is loosing weight and his always sick to get tested for HIV?
It would be a bit much coming from someone who is not a physician, unless I knew something more. It would probably be fine to express concern and recommend a check-up.

Quote:

If a friend constanly tells you that you must leave your TV on at night because the aliens that have implanted devices in his brain to monitor his thoughts can give you intelligence and health if you do it...would you view it as an insult if you suggest he sees a neurologist ?
Well, I wouldn't consider it an insult but my friend might.

How'd I do?

Lily 03-03-2006 11:32 AM

Quote:

ChiefOfAss wrote
Quote:

Lily wrote
At most, I expected you to take my statement as somewhat snarky but, at the same time, recognize it as truthful.

Then don't you have to recognize that you have done the same thing? Forget the subject of disbelief for a moment, what about your own insistence that Christianity is the only religion with any validity?

The Islamic faith claims the Qur'an is the actual word of God. It is based on verbatim recital of the passages delivered to Mo' - so... what puzzles a lot of us is how Christians can so readily dismiss that – and every other religion but their own.

Christianity doesn't claim to have the *actual* word of God, right? Christianity admits that the words in the Bible are accounts from the perspective of people that *knew* Jesus.

From a completely objective point of view, it looks like Islam has a more concrete claim to be the true message of God.

So, aren't you just as guilty of self-congratulatory superiority as we are?

I don't, by any means, think that Christianity is the only religion with any validity! In fact, if it didn't share many principles and affinities with other religions, I would be sure it was made up. All us believers insist on is that where we diverge, we are right. While that sounds triumphalist, it must make sense, upon reflection. I mean, why would I be a Christian at all, if I didn't think it completely true?

Mohammad claimed that the Koran was dictated to him directly by Allah. No interpretations, no progressive understanding in the light of history and experience are permitted. It is stuck in the 6th century, with all that that implies. Now obviously, murder, adultery, etc. are as wrong today as they were then but there are many more aspects to it than our areas of agreement.

The Bible is made up of many books written by men, inspired we believe by, but not dictated to by God, in a number of languages over many centuries. Progressive revelation is fundamental to it. And yes, it culminates in the New Testament written by men who knew or knew the men who knew and accompanied Jesus in his ministry.

Christianity doesn't really need philosophical arguments to "prove" it. What is needed is belief that the writers are honest witnesses to what they say happened. Certainly the fact that over 2000 years, no one ever cleaned up the discrepancies to perfectly harmonize the 4 canonical gospel accounts is reassuring. The early Church didn't try to cover up things that could seem to weaken its case. Paul says very clearly in one of his letters that if Christ did not rise from the dead then none of what they preach has any meaning; they are just pitiable fools.

So, Christ died for men; Mohammad killed for Allah. I like my version better.

Tenspace 03-03-2006 04:14 PM

Quote:

Kate wrote
Quote:

Tenspace wrote
I didn't think she'd walk in full of derision, saying things like " But since you all tell each other how much more intelligent and logical you are, than we, I don't blame you for your thesis."

Asleep at the wheel, Ten?

Yep. Too many late nights, not enough coffee and donuts. Or was that cocaine and hookers? Hm...

Kate 03-03-2006 04:47 PM

Not enough cocaine and hookers? In Florida?? I don't believe you.

calpurnpiso 03-03-2006 04:48 PM

Quote:

ChiefOfAss wrote
Cal - not for nothin', but what is with your spelling?

I'm a Colombian dyslexic, , living in Arizona, that is in a hurry when typing with two fingers...:)

Rat Bastard 03-03-2006 04:52 PM

Quote:

Kate wrote
Not enough cocaine and hookers? In Florida?? I don't believe you.

Well, he IS in the panhandle. It is a little provincial, if you catch my drift...:lol: Couldn't resist it, Ten. I bet you are more cosmopolitan than I am, truth be known.;)

calpurnpiso 03-03-2006 04:59 PM

Lily wrote "Crazy" when I asked:

"Tell me. What do you call a person that accepts absurd DELUSIONAL fairy tales as if they were REALITY and abides by its irrational teachings? "

I'm gald you agree with me religious folks are crazy and not much different than the schizophrenic and TLE. You must realize ALL religious beliefs systems WITHOUT exception accept irrational delusional fairy tale teachings as if they were REALITY.

I would suggest you connect the dots and read about those questions you answer no. You'll be extremely happy you did. Here is an investigative report you'll find fascinating, as long as you do not readily dismiss it as false without reading it. Check all of the sources and you'll find them accurate. Enjoy:

http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/esumma.html

Lily 03-03-2006 05:14 PM

Quote:

calpurnpiso wrote
Lily wrote "Crazy" when I asked:

"Tell me. What do you call a person that accepts absurd DELUSIONAL fairy tales as if they were REALITY and abides by its irrational teachings? " ... http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/esumma.html

I knew I was going to make you happy, only to let you down. Believers in absurd, delusional fairy tales are, I avow, crazy. But I don't accept that as a definition of religion. So I am afraid that I misled you.

I have also long been familiar with Carotta's thesis. It is a bit of a stretch.

calpurnpiso 03-03-2006 05:27 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Quote:

calpurnpiso wrote
Lily wrote "Crazy" when I asked:

"Tell me. What do you call a person that accepts absurd DELUSIONAL fairy tales as if they were REALITY and abides by its irrational teachings? " ... http://www.carotta.de/subseite/texte/esumma.html

I knew I was going to make you happy, only to let you down. Believers in absurd, delusional fairy tales are, I avow, crazy. But I don't accept that as a definition of religion. So I am afraid that I misled you.

I have also long been familiar with Carotta's thesis. It is a bit of a stretch.

It is a strech because you are ignorant of Roman history, the life of Caesar, the Cult of Divus iulius, Egyptian/Roman religion, Greek language and mistranslations that occurred, etc etc.

What is religious faith? How do you define it? How did it originated? What are religious beliefs base on? Are they based on FACTS? ..or delusions that MUST be accepted by faith? Is it a reality? Doesn't religious faith dissipates with knowledge? Don't: Trauma, psychoactive substances, temperature, food, lack of oxygen, lack of rest, disease, temporal lobe stimulation AFFECTS the PERCEPTION of religious beliefs? Don't ALL religious beliefs systems have an INVISIBLE FRIEND as the PRINCIPAL FOCUS of adoration and who had STABLISHED ( via books, signs, apparitions, oral traditions etc) a dogma that must be OBEYED by the believer and INTERPRETED by the Priest, Iman, Rabbi, Minister, Shaman etc?...you need to learn lots....:cool:

Gathercole 03-03-2006 06:27 PM

Wow, some turbo-posting has been going on today. Lily, thanks for your answers to my questions. We don't get enough Christians on this board, and I think I understand why... honestly, what do the rest of you atheists think is going to happen here? Do you have a lot of experience converting people by insulting their intelligence? Lily is going to come away from this discussion with the absolutely correct opinion that most of the atheists she's met are insensitive assholes. We atheists can go to a lot of work proving we're moral, but "moral" is a poor substitute for "polite."

anthonyjfuchs 03-03-2006 08:14 PM

Quote:

Gathercole wrote
We atheists can go to a lot of work proving we're moral, but "moral" is a poor substitute for "polite."

Really? I'd spend time with a rude moral person long before I'd spend time with a polite immoral Christian.

calpurnpiso 03-03-2006 08:37 PM

Quote:

Gathercole wrote
Wow, some turbo-posting has been going on today. Lily, thanks for your answers to my questions. We don't get enough Christians on this board, and I think I understand why... honestly, what do the rest of you atheists think is going to happen here? Do you have a lot of experience converting people by insulting their intelligence? Lily is going to come away from this discussion with the absolutely correct opinion that most of the atheists she's met are insensitive assholes. We atheists can go to a lot of work proving we're moral, but "moral" is a poor substitute for "polite."

Remember, we atheist must be also HONEST using deductive reasoning without sacrificing politness. If some one says it is a little stretch that the earth had ONE continent named pangea but has NOT read the history of the earth, WHY should we be polite a say NOTHING, instead of suggesting to this person to get educated reading books about earth history?

This is the problem today, Neurologist, and many other scientists are AFRAID to say to the world that religious beliefs which are based on ABSURD DELUSIONS are no different that the beliefs of schizophrenic and people suffering from mental illness which also based their beliefs on delusions! These afraid, scared, intellectual COWARDS do not stand up agains those obviously mentally ill folks ( the religious), which are causing tremendous damage to us all. Let us just look at the mentally ill retard we have for POTUS! Does anyone in the Neruological community notices it?

Been politically correct is not the answer to knowledge. If someone does not have the knowledge of the subject been discuss but pretend he/she does, the person is simply ignorant. Remember, we are ALL born ignorant. I'm ignorant of accounting, real state, business, stock market and millions of other things, but I have the intelligence to remain silent and do RESEARCH on the subject I know nothing about before speaking, and if I'm called ignorant, they are right to do so because I'm...so, where is the offense? Remember, the truth will set one free.....been polite while sacrificing the truth, does not...:)

Choobus 03-03-2006 08:49 PM

so, lily goes to the doctor because she has developed two small green circles, one on each of her inner thighs. The doctor is mystified; he's never seen such a thing. He gives her a battery of allergy tests, but nothing comes up. So he orders extensive blood tests, and still nothing. Confused, he consults his colleagues but they too are stumped. He tries changing her diet, cutting out various things, all to no avail. A dermatologist is also unable to help. After months of testing she comes in and the doctor askes her a question:

do you have a boyfriend lily? he asks.
well yes, yes I do she says, in an embarrassed Christian sort of manner.
well, the doctor says,somewhat irritated, tell him his ear rings are not made of real gold.

calpurnpiso 03-03-2006 08:50 PM

If one looks deeply into what true basic morality is all about using human nature/ biology as a guide, one will realize those people infected with religious-psychosis have CREATED a morality which is, because of their illness, an actual delusional opposite, an immorality!.

Christ-psychotics are in reality inmoral as are all folks infected with religion and neurological disorders. Ethic and morals are ABSENT in diseased brains ( andrea Yates, Hitler, Jones, Koresh, Torquemada, William Hawthorne, KKK, etc etc)..:)

Gathercole 03-04-2006 12:28 AM

Quote:

anthonyjfuchs wrote
Quote:

Gathercole wrote
We atheists can go to a lot of work proving we're moral, but "moral" is a poor substitute for "polite."

Really? I'd spend time with a rude moral person long before I'd spend time with a polite immoral Christian.

The meaning of the idiom "X is a poor substitute for Y" is that X can't fill Y's role, as in "Water is a poor substitute for engine degreaser." It doesn't mean that engine degreaser is more important, in general, than water. Being moral is important, but if you want to make a good impression on people who disagree with you, and increase your chances of changing their beliefs, you need to be polite.

HeathenLifer 03-04-2006 12:52 AM

"Science and religion do not appear to mix. Christianity has a well documented track record of being the enemy of knowledge… from it’s development in the 5th century straight on through today.

It is NOT intuitive as to how someone can be scientifically minded and religious – which is precisely why I made the observation about Jimmy Carter."


Okay, I can shed some light on this.. Several members of my family prescribe to just this brand of medicine, and here is the reasoning behind it. Evolution is real. It exists because god wanted it to. That is, God made the primordial ooze and sent it to its present existence through incremental steps. Evolution is the how, religion is the why.Not perfect, but much more preferable to me than the girl at work who thinks science and the odd weather we've hjad this year will go to prove that the Grand Canyon was made in a day.

Choobus 03-04-2006 12:25 PM

Jimmy Carter is not a "true scientist".............

Lily 03-07-2006 07:38 AM

COA: I don't know if you are still listening and still interested. But I said I would lay out a few premises and talk about some of the things that puzzle me here and so here goes:

1. I do not recognize the people you describe as Christians here. Seriously, you describe people whom I have never met and I have been in the church for 30 years. Now, I realize that as an academic who has spent her entire adult life in university towns (in and out of the Bible belt), I am mixing with a particularly well-educated class. But even in the days when I attended a fairly fundamentalist church, I found a broad variety of people, most of whom were as kind and neighborly as any on the planet. No gay-bashers or atheist-bashers among them, though they were, of course, opposed to those things.

2. I do not understand the extraordinarily defensive tone most of you assume. I used to be an atheist. I was an atheist, loudly so, in college. I never felt under attack. There were so many non-believers around me that I never felt isolated or exposed. And this was on the fringes of the Bible belt. Therefore, I am at a loss to understand the constant barrage of of hatred, animosity, vulgarity, etc. flung at "theists" here.

3. I see no tension between science and theology. Many, if not most, of you seem to believe that science disproves God. It can do no such thing, concerned as it is with the material world. Moreover, since I believe that the material world was created, it follows that the laws which govern it were "instituted" (for lack of a better word) by God. Those laws, being reliable and consistent, can be apprehended and studied by man. Therefore, scientific discoveries increase my appreciation of God and His handiwork.

There is probably more that I should say but that is what I have in mind this a.m.

anthonyjfuchs 03-07-2006 08:28 AM

I know that none of this is addressed to me, but I'll take a stab at it anyway:

Quote:

Lily wrote
3. I see no tension between science and theology. Many, if not most, of you seem to believe that science disproves God. It can do no such thing, concerned as it is with the material world. Moreover, since I believe that the material world was created, it follows that the laws which govern it were "instituted" (for lack of a better word) by God. Those laws, being reliable and consistent, can be apprehended and studied by man. Therefore, scientific discoveries increase my appreciation of God and His handiwork.

I agree with you that science cannot disprove any deities; science is not even interested in disproving deities. As you aptly point out, science is concerned with analyzing and understanding the physical reality in which we exist. What most atheists point to in science is that every natural effect has revealed a natural cause that science can explain; the fact that most natural phenomena which we did not previously understand have since yielded their natural causes to our scientific inquery leads to the implication that natural phenomena which we do not currently understand will eventually yield their natural causes to science as well.

This seems to imply that either no supernatural causes exist, or that any which do exist do not interact with physical reality in any way that makes them relevant. If any supernatural causes did exist which had caused any kind of natural effects on physical reality, we should see some kind of "god-factor" in our observances. That is, there should be some unknown variable for which we cannot account, which we cannot measure or understand, for which there are no natural explanations.

If any supernatural cause were, as theists contend, so entwined with reality that it were to cause everything, then the god-factor should also appear consistent, or at least consistently within our observance of natural phenomena. But none seem to appear.

Of course, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Some kind of deistic model may exist that had no interaction with physical reality after merely tipping the First Domino. But that model need not even be conscious, nor does it need to still exist; a purely deistic model would make no demands as to human behavior, because humans would be an accidental side-effect.

If it were conscious and still existent, a purely deistic model would, in all likelihood, not even be aware of the existence of humans in the vastness of the universe. We are so insignificant within the truly profound sprawl of the cosmos that any supernatural cause which may exist would not even notice us, much less care what we did on this spiralling blue-green rock.

CavKiller37 03-07-2006 08:44 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
COA: I don't know if you are still listening and still interested. But I said I would lay out a few premises and talk about some of the things that puzzle me here and so here goes:

1. I do not recognize the people you describe as Christians here. Seriously, you describe people whom I have never met and I have been in the church for 30 years. Now, I realize that as an academic who has spent her entire adult life in university towns (in and out of the Bible belt), I am mixing with a particularly well-educated class. But even in the days when I attended a fairly fundamentalist church, I found a broad variety of people, most of whom were as kind and neighborly as any on the planet. No gay-bashers or atheist-bashers among them, though they were, of course, opposed to those things.

I've met plenty of wacked out christians in my time. Of course, I've met plenty of very nice christians in my time too. I suspect that most are the latter, but it is the former who cause most of the problems. When the really crazy ass christians try to force their agenda on people, and they ALWAYS do, they garner most of their support from the normal christians. The normal christians sign on because they believe that being gay is a sin, but they aren't so vocal about it. Then the law comes up for vote (like in texas) and all christians think it is their duty as good god-fearing people to vote against gay marriage. When this happens, ALL christians effectively become gay-bashing fundamentalist totalitarians. And then it reminds me how close we are to becoming the middle east.

Quote:

Lily wrote
2. I do not understand the extraordinarily defensive tone most of you assume. I used to be an atheist. I was an atheist, loudly so, in college. I never felt under attack. There were so many non-believers around me that I never felt isolated or exposed. And this was on the fringes of the Bible belt. Therefore, I am at a loss to understand the constant barrage of of hatred, animosity, vulgarity, etc. flung at "theists" here.

This is an atheist forum, so it is a place where atheists can vent their frustration. We are surrounded by theists and it wears on us. At least that is how I feel.
I've been berated, accosted and generally looked down upon for being an atheist. Can you imagine being in a 1 square mile base in the middle of an islamic fundamentalist country? Can you further imagine being there with 400 men and women from mississippi, most of whom have never even heard of an atheist and think its a form of satan worship? I was literally surrounded and it was maddening.

Also we are defensive because of what I've said above. Fundies are trying to tell us how to live our lives, and they have the support of the general christian population. If they have their way, we'll all be in jail or dead.

Quote:

Lily wrote
3. I see no tension between science and theology. Many, if not most, of you seem to believe that science disproves God. It can do no such thing, concerned as it is with the material world. Moreover, since I believe that the material world was created, it follows that the laws which govern it were "instituted" (for lack of a better word) by God. Those laws, being reliable and consistent, can be apprehended and studied by man. Therefore, scientific discoveries increase my appreciation of God and His handiwork.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence of the "immaterial world" so in this way, science does disprove god. If we can understand the laws that god instituted, why can't we understand the laws that govern god? If he is in the immaterial world and we can't understand the immaterial world, then we are all agnostics by default and god is irrelevant.

Scientific discoveries increase people's appreciation of god because of what I've said in a different post. People WANT to belive in god so they do. It is as simple as that. Nothing will dissuade them, they are going to force themselves to see god where the evidence is absent or contradictory.

calpurnpiso 03-07-2006 09:36 AM

Lily wrote:

"Therefore, scientific discoveries increase my appreciation of God and His handiwork. "

The reason been because you are ignorant of the sciences of: evolutionary biology, chemistry, neurology, astronomy, archaeology, paleontology, geology and the studies of: ancient History, languages, religion, entheogens, ancient epigraphy etc relying only on FAITH because of a strong susceptibility by your brain to accept concepts based upon irrational/ illogical delusions as if they were based upon an empirical tangible reality!...and religious faith is ALWAYS inversely proportional to the knowledge and information a person experiencing it has! So, the more the faith the more of the ignorance and viceversa. People whose feeble brains are plagued by faith triggers are EASY target for con-artists, since they accept the most idiotic, illogical and delusional tales as if they were true!. This delusions accepting syndrome ALWAYS accompanies religius-psychosis........:):cool:

Tenspace 03-07-2006 01:38 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
1. I do not recognize the people you describe as Christians here. Seriously, you describe people whom I have never met and I have been in the church for 30 years. Now, I realize that as an academic who has spent her entire adult life in university towns (in and out of the Bible belt), I am mixing with a particularly well-educated class. But even in the days when I attended a fairly fundamentalist church, I found a broad variety of people, most of whom were as kind and neighborly as any on the planet. No gay-bashers or atheist-bashers among them, though they were, of course, opposed to those things.

Lily, have you ever spent an extended period of time in the Southern US? I can assure you the majority of Christians are not like you. They have the ethics of Tom DeLay, the hope for the future of Pat Robertson, and the respect for others that parallels Fred Phelps. Sad but true. Where do you think the loons like Falwell, Robertson, and Swaggert get their billions of dollars and mountains of support? Then, there are the megachurches. These are the brainwashing pros. I would honestly respect the religious if it was a personal belief system, not something used by the priveleged few to spur the masses on for their own personal benefit. Look at my thread on Thom Kincaid for more "Christian Love".

Quote:

Lily wrote
2. I do not understand the extraordinarily defensive tone most of you assume. I used to be an atheist. I was an atheist, loudly so, in college. I never felt under attack. There were so many non-believers around me that I never felt isolated or exposed. And this was on the fringes of the Bible belt. Therefore, I am at a loss to understand the constant barrage of of hatred, animosity, vulgarity, etc. flung at "theists" here.

You know, the more I read your words, the more I respect you. I truly believe that you are not aware of the actions of the Christian majority. Faith seems very personal to you, and I doubt you would ever misuse faith for personal gain. I just wish that could be said for the other 99 percent.

Being at a college on the fringes of the Bible Belt is nothing like being a resident on the Buckle of the Bible Belt. I don't think your college experience is representative of the Southern Baptist attitude. I moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1975 from a small, northern industrial town. The culture shock was beyond me. I was ostracized for being Jewish. I was treated no different than the blacks by the conservative white schoolchildren. The environment was nothing like the nice little middle-class neighborhood in Ohio. It was disgusting.

Quote:

Lily wrote
3. I see no tension between science and theology. Many, if not most, of you seem to believe that science disproves God.

I wish more theists shared your position. I don't think that Science disproves God - but I do see that with every scientific milestone, the message of religion becomes more diluted and unnecessary.

Lily 03-07-2006 06:38 PM

Tenspace: Thank you for your kind words. I am, however, sure that I will tick you off sometime soon with some opinion of mine. We come from very different places!

I have been giving a lot of thought to the past; my interactions with people of all different stripes and flavors, so to speak, in order to respond to this:

I can assure you the majority of Christians are not like you. They have the ethics of Tom DeLay, the hope for the future of Pat Robertson, and the respect for others that parallels Fred Phelps. Sad but true. Where do you think the loons like Falwell, Robertson, and Swaggert get their billions of dollars and mountains of support? Then, there are the megachurches. These are the brainwashing pros.

I am thinking back to when I first encountered Christians of any sort (in college) and how often they seemed to belong to another species. Why was that? Today, I realize it is what they were talking about that was (seemed to me) weird. But they were just like everyone else.

Now, you point to Tom DeLay who is, I think more sinned against than sinner, and Robertson, whom I really have issues with, as somehow typical of Christians. Yes-- in that they are typical of people. When I think back over the last 30 years of my life what I see is an amazing variety of people-- some intelligent, some not. Some well-educated, some not. Some with wonderful senses of humor; some rather dour. Some Christians; some not.

What seems to me to be true is that the church reflects the reality, messy though it is, of people. Just to clarify; suppose 10% of the American population had a BA in economics. I would expect that approximately 10% of the Church would too. Likewise, if 25% of the American people have a really wickedly funny sense of humor, I would expect approximately 25% of the Church to have that too. We have seen throughout history that people are not usually inclined to go against the status quo. I am not surprised, nor am I dismayed by mega churches, though I don't care for them, nor for the dumbing down of theology to a gospel of wealth and health.

I am not surprised that there are sinners in the Church. That is where they are supposed to be found; undergoing the cure. Most of us are limited by circumstance, culture, geography, language, etc. so to find that some Christians are better people than others seems to me to be expected.

To find that some are threatened by science is no surprise. Most people are ill educated in science. But that holds for the atheists here, as well. There is a touching belief in the ability of science to answer all question that I don't think many real scientists hold. I would go so far as to say that there are those here who triumphantly proclaim that science has answered all questions and disproved God, who haven't the foggiest notion what science is and can or cannot explain. They are acting on faith, just as surely as the most naive theist.

I did try to find your Thom Kincaid thread but failed. Which forum should I be looking in? (edited for grammar, style and substance and to say that I did find the Kincaid thread),

WITHTEETH 03-07-2006 07:04 PM

Lily, can you tell us your story of why, and how you became a Christian in the first place after being an atheist?

calpurnpiso 03-07-2006 07:55 PM

Quote:

WITHTEETH wrote
Lily, can you tell us your story of why, and how you became a Christian in the first place after being an atheist?

There is absolutelly no way Lily was EVER an atheist. She was born with this neurological suceptibility of accepting fantasies as reality. She was perhaps an atheist ONLY in her dreams....and since she accept dreamy Christian delusions as real, she would also accept false memories and dreams of 'atheism" as reality!
:cool:

Lily 03-07-2006 08:37 PM

Quote:

WITHTEETH wrote
Lily, can you tell us your story of why, and how you became a Christian in the first place after being an atheist?

Oh dear. It is so dull. I wasn't miraculously rescued from raging bears or struck by lightening...

I was raised in an agnostic home. My parents were musically gifted and great readers. I cannot remember a time when I did not want to go to college, did not intend to be an "intellectual", etc. My childhood hero was Cicero, for some reason. I started learning Latin in 7th grade and had a traditional (as in 19th century) liberal arts education in my sights. I started out in college as a history major but quickly realized that I was interested in literature and mythology, as well and switched to a cross-disciplinary history/classics major. When I went to grad school, I quickly was introduced to the heavy-weights of western civilization. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Ockham, Anselm, Erasmus... you name him, I read him. It is pretty hard to escape that most of them were Christians and *yikes* Catholics at that.

Most of my fellow T.A.s were, for some reason, Christians of varying sorts. They were the first openly Christian people I had ever known. We got into some royal battles over faith vs reason, God's existence or not, etc. over the next couple of years but it was always deeply friendly, because we liked one another and were all interested in "truth". We were and are old-fashioned enough to believe in truth.

Somehow, they challenged me to read the Gospels and study the Bible seriously as literature, the way we were studying other texts. Somewhere along the way in trying to prove them wrong, I became convinced that the story related in the Gospels was true. Literally. Don't think I didn't try to fight it. I was terrified that I would have to become a pest like Brother Jed (is he still around, I wonder?) preaching every Spring outside the student union. Or maybe have to go door to door preaching at harried housewives. Thankfully, I quickly learned that that is a caricature and that Christians come in as many different varieties as the rest of humanity.

So, who should play me in the movie version?

anthonyjfuchs 03-07-2006 08:56 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Somewhere along the way in trying to prove them wrong, I became convinced that the story related in the Gospels was true. Literally.

I'm not trying to be abrasive when I ask this, despite my spotty reputation.

On what basis did you become convinced that the story was literally, historically true?

I mean to ask if some outside corroborative evidence led you to your conclusion, or if you simply felt yourself believing that the narratives of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were actually representative of a physical history that actually occured.

Philboid Studge 03-08-2006 05:40 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
So, who should play me in the movie version?

I'm thinking Yvonne De Carlo, circa 1945.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...nnedecarlo.jpg


Only in the movie there are definitely bears and lightening.




Your T.A. will be played by Fred Gwynne:

http://www.owhc-hockey.co.uk/Herman%20Munster.JPG

LILY!!!!


Anyway, I'm wondering how your lineup of heavyweights -- Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, inter alia -- would have interpreted man's place in the universe post-Darwin. Your worldview is shaped by people -- good, smart men all -- whose lives preceded the most important person to ever live: Chucky D. It's time to update the reading list.

Tenspace 03-08-2006 07:57 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Tenspace: Thank you for your kind words. I am, however, sure that I will tick you off sometime soon with some opinion of mine. We come from very different places!

I have been giving a lot of thought to the past; my interactions with people of all different stripes and flavors, so to speak, in order to respond to this:

I can assure you the majority of Christians are not like you. They have the ethics of Tom DeLay, the hope for the future of Pat Robertson, and the respect for others that parallels Fred Phelps. Sad but true. Where do you think the loons like Falwell, Robertson, and Swaggert get their billions of dollars and mountains of support? Then, there are the megachurches. These are the brainwashing pros.

I am thinking back to when I first encountered Christians of any sort (in college) and how often they seemed to belong to another species. Why was that? Today, I realize it is what they were talking about that was (seemed to me) weird. But they were just like everyone else.

Now, you point to Tom DeLay who is, I think more sinned against than sinner, and Robertson, whom I really have issues with, as somehow typical of Christians. Yes-- in that they are typical of people. When I think back over the last 30 years of my life what I see is an amazing variety of people-- some intelligent, some not. Some well-educated, some not. Some with wonderful senses of humor; some rather dour. Some Christians; some not.

What seems to me to be true is that the church reflects the reality, messy though it is, of people. Just to clarify; suppose 10% of the American population had a BA in economics. I would expect that approximately 10% of the Church would too. Likewise, if 25% of the American people have a really wickedly funny sense of humor, I would expect approximately 25% of the Church to have that too. We have seen throughout history that people are not usually inclined to go against the status quo. I am not surprised, nor am I dismayed by mega churches, though I don't care for them, nor for the dumbing down of theology to a gospel of wealth and health.

I am not surprised that there are sinners in the Church. That is where they are supposed to be found; undergoing the cure. Most of us are limited by circumstance, culture, geography, language, etc. so to find that some Christians are better people than others seems to me to be expected.

To find that some are threatened by science is no surprise. Most people are ill educated in science. But that holds for the atheists here, as well. There is a touching belief in the ability of science to answer all question that I don't think many real scientists hold. I would go so far as to say that there are those here who triumphantly proclaim that science has answered all questions and disproved God, who haven't the foggiest notion what science is and can or cannot explain. They are acting on faith, just as surely as the most naive theist.

I did try to find your Thom Kincaid thread but failed. Which forum should I be looking in? (edited for grammar, style and substance and to say that I did find the Kincaid thread),

It's unfortunate that the defective wheels squeak the loudest, eh? ;) That's true whether the annoyance comes from Robertson or Michael Moore.

Here's the link to the Kincaid article: http://www.latimes.com/news/printedi...,1266147.story

Here's the link to the posts: http://ravingatheist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3481

Lily 03-08-2006 08:51 AM

Philboid! That is too funny! Sheesh, you shoulda given me some warning. But I admire your perspicacity. Yes, Yvonne is almost perfect...

That is an amazingly fun question to ponder... what would Augustine, et al. think if they had lived in or could visit the post-Darwin world? Truthfully, I am not sure it would much matter, as far as strictly spiritual matters are concerned. They were not much concerned with the material world. But I do think Aristotle would be ticked off.

anthonyjfuchs! I am not ignoring your question but I do have to give it some thought and try to make my answer brief and readable.

Demigod79 03-09-2006 11:29 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Christianity doesn't really need philosophical arguments to "prove" it. What is needed is belief that the writers are honest witnesses to what they say happened. Certainly the fact that over 2000 years, no one ever cleaned up the discrepancies to perfectly harmonize the 4 canonical gospel accounts is reassuring. The early Church didn't try to cover up things that could seem to weaken its case. Paul says very clearly in one of his letters that if Christ did not rise from the dead then none of what they preach has any meaning; they are just pitiable fools.

That's where I differ. To me there is absolute philosophical and empirical proof needed for Christianity. Considering that there is not a single source that speaks of the life of Jesus in any of the early literature (Josephus being the only - but disproven - exception) I find it difficult to even know whether Jesus even existed at all. The fantastic, mythical element in the gospels and the parallel with other savior figures and the classic hero archetype raises questions about his authenticity. Add in the fact that allegorical literature and midrash were very common at this era and it pretty much destroys the foundations for a historical Jesus. Tell me, what facts can you provide to justify the existence of Jesus Christ aside from the gospels?

You mentioned believing that the writers are honest, but that can also be misleading. Perfectly honest people can speak about things that are false without even realizing it. False memories can very easily be implanted due to the way the brain works. Some psychologists use techniques to "dredge up" repressed memories but most of the time these memories are simply made up. You do not need hypnosis or to be regressed to create these memories though. Entirely false memories can be created simply through the power of suggestion. Whenever we remember something we recreate it in the way we think it happened, and details can change without us knowing it. Furthermore, when we're not sure what happened we tend to substitute it with whatever is most likely. In short, eyewitness testimony, even by those who are completely honest, cannot be taken as reliable evidence. You need to have some kind of empirical data to correlate with their account.

Quote:

Lily wrote
So, Christ died for men; Mohammad killed for Allah. I like my version better.

Another critical error Christians make. A religion isn't made true or false by your likes or dislikes. Your opinions and preferences have absolutely nothing to do with the truth. If that is indeed your basis for believing in Christianity then I can clearly say that it is faith alone that defines your choice.

Lily 03-09-2006 05:46 PM

Quote:

Demigod79 wrote
Quote:

Lily wrote
Christianity doesn't really need philosophical arguments to "prove" it. What is needed is belief that the writers are honest witnesses to what they say happened. Certainly the fact that over 2000 years, no one ever cleaned up the discrepancies to perfectly harmonize the 4 canonical gospel accounts is reassuring. The early Church didn't try to cover up things that could seem to weaken its case. Paul says very clearly in one of his letters that if Christ did not rise from the dead then none of what they preach has any meaning; they are just pitiable fools.

That's where I differ. To me there is absolute philosophical and empirical proof needed for Christianity. Considering that there is not a single source that speaks of the life of Jesus in any of the early literature (Josephus being the only - but disproven - exception) I find it difficult to even know whether Jesus even existed at all. The fantastic, mythical element in the gospels and the parallel with other savior figures and the classic hero archetype raises questions about his authenticity. Add in the fact that allegorical literature and midrash were very common at this era and it pretty much destroys the foundations for a historical Jesus. Tell me, what facts can you provide to justify the existence of Jesus Christ aside from the gospels?...

I don't have time to adequately answer this tonight but I will tell you in general where I think the answer lies. The question as you have framed it assumes that I need to prove (rather than justify, I think) the existence of Jesus Christ aside from the gospels. I don't think so. If we applied that measure to most of what we know (or think we know) about the past, we would have to dismiss whole empires, centuries, etc.

There is a further problem in your statement about the fantastic, mythical elements in the gospels. Actually there are none. When you make that claim, I ask myself (as did the ever-quotable, CS Lewis , my model and fellow medievalist) how many fantasies have you read? How many myths? I have been studying those (and other literary genres) my entire life and the gospels bear no resemblance to them at all. Whatever we may think about the truth contained within, the story is presented as straight-forward, historical fact.

I will try to get back to you with a fuller answer soon.

Demigod79 03-09-2006 07:18 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
I don't have time to adequately answer this tonight but I will tell you in general where I think the answer lies. The question as you have framed it assumes that I need to prove (rather than justify, I think) the existence of Jesus Christ aside from the gospels. I don't think so. If we applied that measure to most of what we know (or think we know) about the past, we would have to dismiss whole empires, centuries, etc.

Taking it to the other extreme is to assume that every single name put down on paper existed. This would include Zeus, Hercules, Osiris, and just about every other character in antiquity. What you don't seem to realize is that history is always open to interpretation, and as new facts come along old ones are refuted. Many famous characters in history have been put into question, including fictional ones such as the pantheon of Greek gods, but also real-life characters like Socrates. We know that people in ancient history used a lot of allegory and symbolism. The Jewish writers were famous for creating midrash and the gospels closely resemble such literature. Many modern biblical scholars are now reading between the lines, trying to find the real version of events (scholars now say that David took part in Saul's defeat, was also involved in the death of his son Absalom, and that the bible writers were simply spin-doctoring things to make David look innocent). Characters in ancient history are constantly being put into question, and in order for their existence to be validated there had better be damn good corroborative evidence for it. Unfortunately for Jesus there is no such evidence, and the only documents the speak clearly about him are mythical, midrash texts. This puts Jesus into the same category as Zeus, Spiderman, or Peter Pan.

Quote:

Lily wrote
There is a further problem in your statement about the fantastic, mythical elements in the gospels. Actually there are none. When you make that claim, I ask myself (as did the ever-quotable, CS Lewis , my model and fellow medievalist) how many fantasies have you read? How many myths? I have been studying those (and other literary genres) my entire life and the gospels bear no resemblance to them at all. Whatever we may think about the truth contained within, the story is presented as straight-forward, historical fact.

How do you figure? Raising of the dead, turning water into wine, the slaughter of the innocents, child prodigy story, the empty tomb story, the star of Bethelem... these have all existed in other mythical tales or in scripture. The miraculous symbol of birth has existed for characters like Julius Ceasar. The story of the road to Emmeas is a direct inversion of the Romulus myth. Jesus' miracles are a direct reworking of the miracles of Elijah and Elisha. The trial and crucifixion is taken from Paul's Christ cult. There is nothing original in the gospels. It's just a mixed bag of midrash and allegorical literature where they were creating another hero figure (Jesus Christ ranks #3 on Ragland's hero). Jesus himself is a reincarnation of the savior figure of other religions such as Osiris of Egypt or Dionysus of the Greeks.

You know, with your statement I can say that the Iliad and Odyssey are historical events. They don't read like other mythical texts and are presented as straight-forward, historical fact. Other religions use stories of gods to explain how the world works, and mankind's place in the world but Homer's eyewitness accounts don't do that. They are told as accurate historical accounts.

Lily 03-10-2006 10:57 AM

Quote:

Demigod79 wrote
You know, with your statement I can say that the Iliad and Odyssey are historical events. They don't read like other mythical texts and are presented as straight-forward, historical fact. Other religions use stories of gods to explain how the world works, and mankind's place in the world but Homer's eyewitness accounts don't do that. They are told as accurate historical accounts.

I dropped in to say a few more words and find that a few won't do! I still have to speak to your larger point but I need to clarify with you something about the nature of literary genres. I have stated that the Gospels are narratives, that is to say, they present an account of certain events. The Iliad and the Odyssey are epics. That means that they have a different aim. No one who understands what an epic is, would assume that they are straightforward narratives, although they certainly could, and many do, treat historical facts.

The easiest way I know to cut through the basics of genre is to consult:

http://campus.murraystate.edu/academ...0and%20Devices

This is a really nice glossary of genre terms with their characteristics.

schemanista 03-10-2006 11:46 AM

Quote:

Lily wrote
I don't have time to adequately answer this tonight but I will tell you in general where I think the answer lies. The question as you have framed it assumes that I need to prove (rather than justify, I think) the existence of Jesus Christ aside from the gospels. I don't think so. If we applied that measure to most of what we know (or think we know) about the past, we would have to dismiss whole empires, centuries, etc.

We can, should, and do apply "that measure" to most of what we know about human history. As a handy example, see Frances Wood's Did Marco Polo Go to China?. <edit> or Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, or Jack Weatherford's Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. I may be too heavily influenced by my sister who's a historian of science, but I get the sense from her that if you can substantiate your claim, everything is up for grabs. </edit>

As another example, let's look at Herodotus and his claims about the size of the Persian army. Does any modern historian really think that Xerxes could support an army of 1.7 million in the field? I'm sure that you could lecture me about ancient histories and their fondness for using "millions" as a synonym for "lots and lots".

Biblical accounts cannot, by special pleading, beg for exemption. If Matthew, Mark and Luke speak of 3 hours of darkness blotting out the sun immediatly after Christ's death, then this specific historical claim should be examined. And when it's examined, it doesn't survive scrutiny--a fact pointed out by Gibbon in 1776.

Quote:

Edward Gibbon wrote
It happened during the lifetime of Seneca and the elder Pliny, who must have experienced the immediate effects, or received the earliest intelligence, of the prodigy. Each of these philosophers, in a laborious work, has recorded all the great phenomena of nature, earthquakes, meteors, comets, and eclipses, which his indefatigable curiosity could collect. Both the one and the other have omitted to mention the greatest phenomenon to which the mortal eye has been witness since the creation of the globe. A distinct chapter of Pliny is designed for eclipses of an extraordinary nature and unusual duration; but he contents himself with describing the singular defect of light which followed the murder of Caesar...

Reaching a little further back, let's consider whether the Old Testament account of the Exodus is even possible: several thousand Jews leave Egypt with only what they can carry and then survive a desert journey whose logistical tail would put Operation Overlord to shame?

Those are just two Biblical claims. We could troll through the entire Bible and make a career out of examining its tenuous relationship with recorded and observable history. The point that I'm getting at is this: when the Bible makes specific historical claims, its accounts are wrong more often then they're right [will you concede this, or shall my second call upon you?] Why, then, should a sceptic accept any of the rest of the Bible as historically accurate, without massive substantiation and external confirmation? Taken to the next step: if the claim that there was a historical Jesus is unwarranted, what does that do to the rest of the Christian doctrine?

We don't even need to slide completely over to the mythicist's side of the bench. The spectacular accounts of miracles, contained nowhere else but in the Gospels, cannot be substantiated. Why not treat them the same way we do modern occurrances of alien abductions, UFOs, faith healing, astrology... and the empirical track record of these "modern" phenomenae speaks for itself.

Lily 03-10-2006 12:16 PM

Quote:

schemanista wrote
I confess, Lily, you're taking a curious intellectual stance for a professional historian.

Probably. Even in my dreams, I can't get away with claiming to be a professional historian. I am far more a literature person than a historian, even though I had to read lots of history. That's why so much of what y'all think is bunk, strikes me as being perfectly understandable. I wouldn't expect an iron age witness to explain natural phenomenon completely correctly.

Likewise, much later historically we know that the Franks were defeated at Roncevalles (778 AD) by a larger army but not one numbering a half million +, as recorded in the Song of Roland. Nor was it the Saracens who attacked and ultimately killed Roland. Nevertheless, the epic does record events that took place and we are left to tease the real from the fictional with the help of other sources of information. We are in the same situation with the Old Testament. These texts, plus what we can learn from archaeology, historical records of neighboring tribes, kingdoms, etc, can and do yield reliable information about the past. We must, of course, always be open to having our assumptions corrected by new data that may come to light.

schemanista 03-10-2006 12:29 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
Probably. Even in my dreams, I can't get away with claiming to be a professional historian. I am far more a literature person than a historian, even though I had to read lots of history. That's why so much of what y'all think is bunk, strikes me as being perfectly understandable. I wouldn't expect an iron age witness to explain natural phenomenon completely correctly.

Okay, my bad. I misunderstood you.

Also, I was updating the post as you replied. Not really fair, but the message board does allow for it, so it's not exactly cheating.

The point of my rant is that any claims for historicity made by apologists should be treated as provisionally as any other historical claims. For example, there's the idea (not proposed by you) that the evidence for Jesus' existence is as good or better than that for Julius Cesar. That seems laughably desperate to me.

This is the part I was really trying to lead up to (as if you didn't see it coming):

Quote:

evil revisionist schemanista wrote
Taken to the next step: if the claim that there was a historical Jesus is unwarranted, what does that do to the rest of the Christian doctrine?

We don't even need to slide completely over to the mythicist's side of the bench. The spectacular accounts of miracles, contained nowhere else but in the Gospels, cannot be substantiated. Why not treat them the same way we do modern occurrances of alien abductions, UFOs, faith healing, astrology... and the empirical track record of these "modern" phenomenae speaks for itself.


Lily 03-10-2006 03:12 PM

Quote:

evil revisionist schemanista wrote
Taken to the next step: if the claim that there was a historical Jesus is unwarranted, what does that do to the rest of the Christian doctrine?

If there was no historical Jesus, then there was no redemption and we are still dead in our sins and separated from God. There is no Christian doctrine apart from Christ.


I know you all think that there is no proof for Christ's existence but I think you are wrong. I will try to gather up my wits and write more about that tonight or tomorrow.

Philboid Studge 03-10-2006 03:27 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
I know you all think that there is no proof for Christ's existence ...

Just by the way, some of us don't have strong feelings one or the other on the existence of a person named Jeebus. If his official birth certificate or the shellacked remains of his foreskin showed up, it would say nothing about the miracles, resurrection, and the whole son-of-gawd thing he was always on about. Prove the little fella walked on water and you'll be doing something.

Demigod79 03-10-2006 03:36 PM

Quote:

Lily wrote
If there was no historical Jesus, then there was no redemption and we are still dead in our sins and separated from God. There is no Christian doctrine apart from Christ.

I know you all think that there is no proof for Christ's existence but I think you are wrong. I will try to gather up my wits and write more about that tonight or tomorrow.

People were never "dead" in their sin. That was something that came about with Christianity and Christ's death and resurrection (at least Pauline Christianity). The Jews had always viewed the savior as someone who would liberate them from their foreign oppressors, not someone who would free humankind from sin. Jesus himself even said in the gospels that he came to save only the Jews. Unfortunately Jesus didn't help the Jews at all, and they lost their precious temple and their ancient homeland at the hands of the Romans. It's little wonder that they don't believe in a savior.

The concept of sin is something that's been drilled into the heads of all Christians, but it's simply a religious doctrine used to justify Jesus' crucifixion. The trinity also follows (obviously if there's only one God you can worship then you cannot be justified in worshipping Jesus unless he was God himself). There's been a lot of material that's been created to justify the practice of Christianity but the fact is that they're all just made up. Even the Trinity (which is a long-established church traditions) has surprisingly little biblical support (it's never stated, just assumed).

BTW, what would you consider the story of Joseph or Joshua's conquest of Jericho? Are they narratives or epics?

Kate 04-04-2007 07:39 AM

oops

nkb 04-04-2007 09:25 AM

Kate,
Not sure why you posted in this old thread, but it was an interesting read (especially to see Lily's first droppings postings on this forum).

This quote made me laugh:
Quote:

Lily wrote
When you are wrong, I will tell you so. If I am, I will admit it.

I challenge anyone here to find a post where Lily ever admits to being wrong (note: she was wrong plenty of times, just never admitted it).

Choobus 04-04-2007 09:36 AM

Quote:

Kate wrote
Quote:

Eva wrote
ahh
lily front the front page is here.

goody. we needed to substitute carico.

Successful chumming gives me a reason to hum all day long :)


Edit: And a joyous coincidence that Choobus called her a troutface! :lol:

come on, it was a scabby troutface......

Kate 04-04-2007 09:39 AM

NKB-I was quoting her first post and neglected to toggle back to that appropriate thread. Ooops. :D

Yes, it was/is scabby, but I was laughing too much at that point to type much more, dear dr.

Choobus 04-04-2007 09:46 AM

I'm not sure that this statement : "if you would like to talk about renouncing Christ and becoming a stripper in a west vagina mining town, that's a story we can all enjoy." is strictly accurate.

Just Us Chickens 04-04-2007 01:58 PM

Quote:

Tenspace wrote
Quote:

scathach wrote
I wanted to say, hey, you got a little sumpin, right on your forehead there, you may want to wipe.

Or, do what I did. This was when I was a devout Jew, an honest mistake.

One of my employees came in after lunch with the ashes on her forehead. I truly thought it was a little mess from lunch, so I sort of snuck up on her with a damp paper towel and wiped it off while saying, "Ya got a little something on your forehead."

She ran away screaming. If this was today's litiguous society, she probably would have sued me.

Heehee I did the same thing last ash Wednesday my unintended victim was to quick for me though. he moved before I could clean the smuts off his forehead and squealed “Its ash Wednesday!” at which point we gave each other stunned looks for a moment and I scampered away.

I’m sure I should have learned something about accosting strangers to clean smuts off their faces but I doubt I did.

Choobus 04-04-2007 02:57 PM

so on jizz friday can you come to work with spooge dripping off your chin? Of course not. As usual it's one rule for the godidiots and another for the rest of us. Typical....

Philboid Studge 04-04-2007 02:59 PM

Hey that reminds me: Tomorrow's Holey Thursday, so don't forget to go to work with your cheeks spread and your santorum droolin'.

Kate 04-04-2007 03:26 PM

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...s/comicpun.jpg

WITHTEETH 04-04-2007 03:30 PM

Hahahahaha!!!!!111!!1!1

Kate 02-06-2008 09:28 AM

Well, here we are again, Free Advertising for Chimneysweeps Day.

I have noted that the dirty catlicker has not gotten a smudge today. Guess she's tired of trying to defend that shit with me around.

Damn. Spoilsport.

Philboid Studge 02-06-2008 09:41 AM

The acknowledgment that we all will die eventually should be the starting point for appreciating life to the fullest. Instead, Catlicks use this excellent idea to launch 40 days of dreariness and faux-sacrifice, culminating in a big fat denial of human mortality. You are then saved by SuperJew on a Stick, and all you have to do is eat him.

Kate 02-06-2008 09:44 AM

http://chocolates.tripod.com/C983.jpg

OK, tripod is pissing me off.

It's a chocolate jeebus lollipop.


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