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Old 05-31-2007, 07:41 AM   #31
SteveG
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The vast majority of Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox (though in the U.S. that's often easy to forget), and both of those groups hold to the belief that grace builds upon nature.
Actually, the vast majority of Christians are twice-a-year church-goers (if that) who know very little about their faith and call themselves "Christian" only because their parents were.
And...how exactly does that have anything to do with the point I made? Let us say that of the 2 billion people calling themselves Christian, only 10% are thoughtful and interested in their faith beyond the cultural reasons (i.e. their parents were). So of the remaining 200 million, the vast majority will still be Catholic and Orthodox and the point will be the same.

Am I missing some deeper point you were trying to draw out?

In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:47 AM   #32
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SteveG wrote
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Professor Chaos wrote
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SteveG wrote
The vast majority of Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox (though in the U.S. that's often easy to forget), and both of those groups hold to the belief that grace builds upon nature.
Actually, the vast majority of Christians are twice-a-year church-goers (if that) who know very little about their faith and call themselves "Christian" only because their parents were.
And...how exactly does that have anything to do with the point I made? Let us say that of the 2 billion people calling themselves Christian, only 10% are thoughtful and interested in their faith beyond the cultural reasons (i.e. their parents were). So of the remaining 200 million, the vast majority will still be Catholic and Orthodox and the point will be the same.

Am I missing some deeper point you were trying to draw out?
No. Just pointing out your inaccuracy.

I will grieve. Grief is not a theistic concept. ~ Sternwallow
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:54 AM   #33
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Philboid Studge wrote
SteveG, nice to see ya. You can make doctrinal claims about Catholicism but I don't think one can assume with accuracy what 'the vast majority' of these people actually believe.
Let me rephrase it. Catholicism and Orthodoxy from a theological perspective would simply not have any fear of this explanation of the workings of the brain. Indeed, the discovery is totally in line with the theological understanding of human nature.

I think itís true however that such a discovery would be threatening to the Calvinistic understanding of total depravity because it shows that there is something inherent in human nature that longs and desires to do good (which has always been the Catholic understanding).

My point was not that all people calling themselves Catholic/Orthodox would have a perfect understanding of the theology, but that at the least, most people calling themselves Christian consider themselves part of a group(s), that from a theological stance, would have no problem with the mechanics that the article points out.

I was trying to address Mog (and others) comments that theologians would fear this kind of thing. Itís just a silly claim for the most part.

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You might be able to make broad claims about how animistic beliefs endow nature with the divine, but that is far cry from your esoteric ruminations on grace.
I honestly canít make much sense of this, but I will say that my esoteric ruminations are rather mainstream Catholic theology. Whether some groups of Catholics have allowed parts of animism to creep into their beliefs doesnít really shed much light on what the church teaches in this regard.

In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:00 AM   #34
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Professor Chaos wrote
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SteveG wrote
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Actually, the vast majority of Christians are twice-a-year church-goers (if that) who know very little about their faith and call themselves "Christian" only because their parents were.
And...how exactly does that have anything to do with the point I made? Let us say that of the 2 billion people calling themselves Christian, only 10% are thoughtful and interested in their faith beyond the cultural reasons (i.e. their parents were). So of the remaining 200 million, the vast majority will still be Catholic and Orthodox and the point will be the same.

Am I missing some deeper point you were trying to draw out?
No. Just pointing out your inaccuracy.
Which inaccuracy? That roughly 2 Billion people identify themselves Christian is pretty well attested as far as I know.

If they call themselves Christians, I am not the one to judge if they are 'true' Christians or not. Nor am I going to call into question their motives and reasons for calling themselves such. That's between them and God.

Many a Catholic I have known was a cultural Catholic for many years only to later have a deepening of their faith to what an outsider might consider 'serious' levels. Again, it's not for me to judge their level of Catholicity, but neither is it for you to do so.

In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.
G.K. Chesterton
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:03 AM   #35
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And...how exactly does that have anything to do with the point I made? Let us say that of the 2 billion people calling themselves Christian, only 10% are thoughtful and interested in their faith beyond the cultural reasons (i.e. their parents were). So of the remaining 200 million, the vast majority will still be Catholic and Orthodox and the point will be the same.

Am I missing some deeper point you were trying to draw out?
No. Just pointing out your inaccuracy.
Which inaccuracy? That roughly 2 Billion people identify themselves Christian is pretty well attested as far as I know.

If they call themselves Christians, I am not the one to judge if they are 'true' Christians or not. Nor am I going to call into question their motives and reasons for calling themselves such. That's between them and God.

Many a Catholic I have known was a cultural Catholic for many years only to later have a deepening of their faith to what an outsider might consider 'serious' levels. Again, it's not for me to judge their level of Catholicity, but neither is it for you to do so.
If you asked the "vast majority" of Christians if they believe that "grace builds upon nature," they'd look at you as if something were crawling out of your ears before hurrying home to watch TV.

I will grieve. Grief is not a theistic concept. ~ Sternwallow
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:12 AM   #36
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If you asked the "vast majority" of Christians if they believe that "grace builds upon nature," they'd look at you as if something were crawling out of your ears before hurrying home to watch TV.
OK, no disagreement, but again whatís this have to do with anything?

Mogís point was about theologians being fearful. My point was that this is not so for Catholics and Orthodox, and that the vast majority of folks claiming to be Christian fall into those two bodies. I didnít claim that the vast majority would be able to even attempt to explain the workings of grace.

I donít mean to belabor it, but you claimed I was being inaccurate, and I still donít see it?

I want to be careful because Iíve seen a lot of claims of dishonesty being thrown about lately that from where I stand have more to do with misunderstanding than truthfulness or accuracy.

In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.
G.K. Chesterton
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:17 AM   #37
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If you asked the "vast majority" of Christians if they believe that "grace builds upon nature," they'd look at you as if something were crawling out of your ears before hurrying home to watch TV.
OK, no disagreement, but again whatís this have to do with anything?

Mogís point was about theologians being fearful. My point was that this is not so for Catholics and Orthodox, and that the vast majority of folks claiming to be Christian fall into those two bodies. I didnít claim that the vast majority would be able to even attempt to explain the workings of grace.

I donít mean to belabor it, but you claimed I was being inaccurate, and I still donít see it?

I want to be careful because Iíve seen a lot of claims of dishonesty being thrown about lately that from where I stand have more to do with misunderstanding than truthfulness or accuracy.
Why not say, "The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach that..." instead of "the vast majority of Christians believe that..."

Wouldn't that be more accurate? That's all I'm saying. I'm not trying to give you a hard time.

"The vast majority of Christians believe that..." is not accurate.
"The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach that..." is accurate.

And you weren't really talking about theologians. You specifically stated believers.

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Old 05-31-2007, 08:37 AM   #38
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Why not say, "The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach that..." instead of "the vast majority of Christians believe that..."

Wouldn't that be more accurate? That's all I'm saying. I'm not trying to give you a hard time.

"The vast majority of Christians believe that..." is not accurate.
"The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach that..." is accurate.

And you weren't really talking about theologians. You specifically stated believers.
But see, I didn't say what you are claiming, and based on an incorrect understanding of what you think I said, you are claiming I am being inaccurate.

Again, it may seem to be belaboring the point, but this happens more often than not round these parts.

Someone says something that may not be as precise as it should be, and instead of asking for clarification, accusations of dishonesty, or claims of inaccuracy are made.

Here's what I did say...

The vast majority of Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox (though in the U.S. that's often easy to forget), and both of those groups [Catholicism and Orthodoxy] hold to the belief that grace builds upon nature.

In other words, this is exactly what a person should expect to findÖthat the brain is wired in a way that sheds light on what we already know by showing us how the mechanics of things work.


I did not say what the vast majority of Christians believe. I said what the vast majority are (or identify themselves as), and that the teaching of the two bodies to which they claim to belong are threatened by this.

I definitely can see how this was not clear from my original post, and that is further evidenced by the fact that Phil misunderstood me as well. But whereas Phil asked for clarification (and I gave it), you put down the claim of inaccuracy.

I want to suggest that this is what happens way to often here, especially with Lily. Someone either says something imprecise, or says it precisely but is misunderstood and then accusations start flying.

In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don't know it.
G.K. Chesterton
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:48 AM   #39
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SteveG wrote
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Why not say, "The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach that..." instead of "the vast majority of Christians believe that..."

Wouldn't that be more accurate? That's all I'm saying. I'm not trying to give you a hard time.

"The vast majority of Christians believe that..." is not accurate.
"The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach that..." is accurate.

And you weren't really talking about theologians. You specifically stated believers.
But see, I didn't say what you are claiming, and based on an incorrect understanding of what you think I said, you are claiming I am being inaccurate.

Again, it may seem to be belaboring the point, but this happens more often than not round these parts.

Someone says something that may not be as precise as it should be, and instead of asking for clarification, accusations of dishonesty, or claims of inaccuracy are made.

Here's what I did say...

The vast majority of Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox (though in the U.S. that's often easy to forget), and both of those groups [Catholicism and Orthodoxy] hold to the belief that grace builds upon nature.

In other words, this is exactly what a person should expect to findÖthat the brain is wired in a way that sheds light on what we already know by showing us how the mechanics of things work.


I did not say what the vast majority of Christians believe. I said what the vast majority are (or identify themselves as), and that the teaching of the two bodies to which they claim to belong are threatened by this.

I definitely can see how this was not clear from my original post, and that is further evidenced by the fact that Phil misunderstood me as well. But whereas Phil asked for clarification (and I gave it), you put down the claim of inaccuracy.
You're being way too sensitive here, Steve.

But first of all, you left out your preceding sentence, so you're kind of taking yourself out of context. :P

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You really do make yourself look like someone who actually knows very little about faith when you make the claim that this will be frightening to believers.
You're implying above in the comparison with Phil that I came out guns-a-blazing attacking your post with labels of "inaccuracy," and I'm also getting the feeling that you're implying I think it was intentional. I do not. I was simply pointing out something that's overlooked by far to many Christians (not necessarily you.)

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I want to suggest that this is what happens way to often here, especially with Lily. Someone either says something imprecise, or says it precisely but is misunderstood and then accusations start flying.
I want to suggest that with some of our members I agree. If you're implying that this happens with me, I want to suggest that you get your head examined. :nanner:

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Old 05-31-2007, 08:52 AM   #40
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I definitely can see how this was not clear from my original post, and that is further evidenced by the fact that Phil misunderstood me as well.
SteveG,
The fact that Lily would never even admit that she posted an unclear statement, nevermind admitting when she is actually wrong, makes this a completely different situation than with you.

Even though most of us don't agree with your beliefs, you have a lot of people's respect, probably because of your honesty and lack of condescension, which is obviously not the case with Lily.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
George Bernard Shaw
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:53 AM   #41
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If you asked the "vast majority" of Christians if they believe that "grace builds upon nature," they'd look at you as if something were crawling out of your ears before hurrying home to watch TV.
OK, no disagreement, but again whatís this have to do with anything?

Mogís point was about theologians being fearful. My point was that this is not so for Catholics and Orthodox, and that the vast majority of folks claiming to be Christian fall into those two bodies. I didnít claim that the vast majority would be able to even attempt to explain the workings of grace.

I donít mean to belabor it, but you claimed I was being inaccurate, and I still donít see it?

I want to be careful because Iíve seen a lot of claims of dishonesty being thrown about lately that from where I stand have more to do with misunderstanding than truthfulness or accuracy.
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SteveG wrote
I didnít claim that the vast majority would be able to even attempt to explain the workings of grace.
That's exactly what you claimed:

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SteveG wrote
The vast majority of Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox (though in the U.S. that's often easy to forget), and both of those groups hold to the belief that grace builds upon nature
It would be difficult for a person to hold to a belief they can't even begin to explain, would it not?

This is standard theistic bullshit. 'There are billions of us! And we all believe as I do! Therefore we are right." When in reality, the zealots, like you and Lily, are a tiny minority of "All Christians"

Even the phrase "Grace builds upon nature" is complete crap. It only includes 'nature' to give it a ring of authenticity, when in fact, 'grace' is built entirely on philosophy. It doesn't matter if you follow Thomism, Augustinianism, Molinism, Congruism, or Syncretism... none of it builds upon nature.

I suggest that the phrase "Grace builds upon nature" is really just a catch phrase designed to fool "jose six pack" into believing that there is actually a connection between miracles and the natural world.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:06 AM   #42
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Is nobody here going to define that cryptic phrase: Grace builds upon nature? Is this just a poetic way of saying "Godidit?"

"So many gods, so many creeds! So many paths that wind and wind, when just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs."
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:08 AM   #43
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This is standard theistic bullshit. 'There are billions of us! And we all believe as I do! Therefore we are right." When in reality, the zealots, like you and Lily, are a tiny minority of "All Christians"
Steve isnít a zealot and he certainly doesnít deserve to be lumped in with Lily
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:10 AM   #44
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Is nobody here going to define that cryptic phrase: Grace builds upon nature? Is this just a poetic way of saying "Godidit?"
I think it means that god works through natural mediums so finding natural explanations shouldnít be surprising
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:10 AM   #45
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Thanks, SteveG for speaking up for me! But I want to assure you that it is as unnecessary, as it is appreciated. A fair number of folks here don't care much about honesty or actually hearing out someone who doesn't agree with them. Renaissanceman and nkb just made that clear, yet again. Who knows what they fear? That something like real conversation might ensue? That they might actually learn something?

Well, I know this is the Raving Atheists forum but raving about what doesn't actually exist, shaking your fist in the face of straw fundies ... isn't that mental illness? Mog?
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