snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Religion » Christianity: The Ultimate Urban Legend (Page 2)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: Christianity: The Ultimate Urban Legend
ottercreek
The First USA Noel


Icon 1 posted      Profile for ottercreek   E-mail ottercreek   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
I hope you realise that Christianity is dying. Here's the chart of number of Christians since 1972. See, how the "None" and "Other" is increasing at the same rate as "Protestant" is falling off?

All religions are dying. Oh, maybe not immediately. But, the inherent contradictions in all the world's religions are killing them off.

OTH, belief in secular humanism is becoming stronger and stronger everyday.

I could not see that chart. The X showed up. Were they percentages or what? As I read another link on that site I saw that no-religion is 14% of the population. Perhaps it was smaller before if that is what the chart says. That does not mean religion is "dying". Raw numbers continue to increase. Membership in so called ethical societies is still way low. Percentages of who believes what fluctuate. Anyway, I think the data was USA only, what about Latin America where protestantism is on the rise and where Catholicm is virtually its only significant "competitor" and they agree on most matters anyway. What about Africa? What about Asia? I hardly consider that seccular humanism is becoming oh so popular. The only two secular humanists I know, and others I have met however seem to utterly contradict themselves in so many ways.
Just a few:

There is no god yet we need to be moral becuase it is "good" (Under what authority since you say there is none? Define good under purely scientific terms, the only terms you accept that exist...

"We must tolerate everyone, love peace and happiness, blah blah blah" (sitar music) Yet these people are the most rabidly bigotted (against religious people) I have ever met. They foam at the mouth at the utterance of anything of religious content. They mock and belittle anyone who does not agree with them. Axes to grind are many. It takes all of a bumper sticker on a car to get them into psychotic rant mode. Secular humanist motto: Tolerate everyone (who agrees with you and spit on everyone who doesn't.)

"We should not legislate morality, that would be the....uh hum...WRONG thing to do...."

Yes, thank you for your gulags, your great leaps forward and your year zeros, they've sure helped the world alot eh?

Posts: 736 | From: Maryland | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ganzfeld     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ottercreek:
The only two secular humanists I know, and others I have met however seem to utterly contradict themselves in so many ways.
Just a few:

There is no god yet we need to be moral becuase it is "good" (Under what authority since you say there is none? Define good under purely scientific terms, the only terms you accept that exist...

Nope, I don't see any contradiction there. I'd much rather accept my own terms of morality than some old book with a bunch of dubious stories in it and some (frankly quite disturbing) men who have kept this book telling me how to interpret it... Why must "good" have to have an absolute definition to begin with?
quote:

"We must tolerate everyone, love peace and happiness, blah blah blah" (sitar music) Yet these people are the most rabidly bigotted (against religious people) I have ever met. They foam at the mouth at the utterance of anything of religious content. They mock and belittle anyone who does not agree with them. Axes to grind are many. It takes all of a bumper sticker on a car to get them into psychotic rant mode. Secular humanist motto: Tolerate everyone (who agrees with you and spit on everyone who doesn't.)

Err, this is just some bigotted blathering about your extensive (two people) experience with a minority. So I recommend you get out more often, meet more people. I know many many secular humanists who don't even come close to matching your crude stereotypes.
quote:


"We should not legislate morality, that would be the....uh hum...WRONG thing to do...."

Again, there's no contradiction there at all. I know a lot of religious people who also think morality is between a person and a deity/deities, not to be legislated. Why would you be surprised that many humanists also feel morality (as an absolute) should not be legislated?
quote:
Yes, thank you for your gulags, your great leaps forward and your year zeros, they've sure helped the world alot eh?
I don't know what you're talking about. No humanists I know have anything to do with these things.
Posts: 4922 | From: Kyoto, Japan | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Lainie   E-mail Lainie   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ottercreek:
There is no god yet we need to be moral becuase it is "good" (Under what authority since you say there is none? Define good under purely scientific terms, the only terms you accept that exist...

I think you're confusing "secular humanist" with "Vulcan." No, wait, Spock had ethics. . .

The problem here is not self-contradiction by secular humanists, it's your inability to get past the idea that morality has to come from a supernatural source. People can do the right thing because it's right, not because they're afriad of punishment or the disfavor of God. Some theists do that, too.

quote:
Yes, thank you for your gulags, your great leaps forward and your year zeros, they've sure helped the world alot eh?
Blaming all secular humanists for the atrocities committed by Stalin and Mao (even if they are properly called secular humanists, and I'm not sure they are) is no like blaming all Xtians for the Crusades, or the Inquisition, or the crimes committed by some Popes. Who's the bigot, again?

ETA: I just caught that you actually only know two secular humanists. Two people you know = every secular humanist in the world? Again, who's the bigot?

--------------------
How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

Posts: 8322 | From: Columbus, OH | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
chillas
Coventry Mall Carol


Icon 1 posted      Profile for chillas     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
So much for your promise, eh, ottercreek?

--------------------
Come on, come on - spin a little tighter
Come on, come on - and the world's a little brighter


Posts: 5595 | From: Columbus, OH : The Soccer Capital of America | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 304 posted      Profile for Canuckistan   E-mail Canuckistan   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
ottercreek insists:

quote:
They mock and belittle anyone who does not agree with them. Axes to grind are many.
quote:
Yes, thank you for your gulags, your great leaps forward and your year zeros, they've sure helped the world alot eh?
Does anyone else see the irony in these two passages?

quote:
Originally posted by chillas:
So much for your promise, eh, ottercreek?

Isn't breaking a promise a sin? For shame, ottercreek. You have blasphemed God, you heretic. For shame.

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

Posts: 8429 | From: New York run by the Swiss (Toronto) | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for AdmiralDinty   E-mail AdmiralDinty   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
The Enlightenment brought us, more than any other lesson, the principle of the value of the individual. Martin Luther's contribution wasn't to damage the Church, but to empower every individual. Read the Bible for yourself, and make up your own mind.

And, yes, I do live in some fear that this lesson might be done away with. Perhaps by religious extremists like the Ayatollahs or the Televangelists. Perhaps by atheistic extremists like the Marxists and Leninists. Perhaps by corporate extremists, like the Robber Barons. Perhaps even by a self-perpetuating abomination like Orwell's Big Brother.

Individual liberty is constantly and always under attack. Religion has not always been the friend of liberty...nor has it always been the enemy.

Silas

If anything, the Reformation and subsequent Enlightenment brought us radical individualism, i.e. seeing the human person as not inherently relational.

I would argue that early Christianity "created" or at least exposed the existence of the human person. We see this first in the Nicene-Constantinapolitan formulation of the Trinity, then in the Chalcedonian definition of the personhood of Christ (two natures in one divine person), and finally in Boethius's definition of persona , as "individual substance of a rational nature." In fact, a professor-priest of mine recently gave a lecture (at a Boethius conference) presenting the idea that the modern idea of the person comes from Boethius.

--------------------
"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

Posts: 2291 | From: The Banks of the Merrimack, MA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Temple
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Temple     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I wish I'd read this thread earlier.

quote:
Originally posted by S.A. Lowell:
Oh well, at least I know math will never lie to me.

I put this together many years ago ...

TOP 10 LIES THAT MATH TEACHERS TELL
10. If you add a gallon of one substance to a gallon of another substance, you will necessarily end up with two gallons of the mixture.
9. Any number divided by itself is 1.
8. You can't subtract a smaller number from a larger one.
7. Negative numbers, which do not exist according to #9, do not have square roots.
6. x˛+y˛ can't be factored.
5. The square root of a times the square root of b is necessarily equal to the square root of ab.

(then a few that I've since forgotten)

and the number one lie that math teachers tell their students is ...
1. You need to know this.

--------------------
"Well, it looks we're on our own ... again."--Rev. Lovejoy

Posts: 3572 | From: St. Louis, MO | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


Icon 1 posted      Profile for GenYus   E-mail GenYus   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
9. Any number divided by itself is 1.
8. You can't subtract a smaller number from a larger one.
7. Negative numbers, which do not exist according to #9, do not have square roots.

Do you mean to refer to #8 in #7?

ETA: Also, I think you reversed "smaller" and "larger" in #8.

--------------------
IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

Posts: 3694 | From: Arizona | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AdmiralDinty:
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
The Enlightenment brought us, more than any other lesson, the principle of the value of the individual. Martin Luther's contribution wasn't to damage the Church, but to empower every individual. Read the Bible for yourself, and make up your own mind.

. . . Individual liberty is constantly and always under attack. Religion has not always been the friend of liberty...nor has it always been the enemy.

If anything, the Reformation and subsequent Enlightenment brought us radical individualism, i.e. seeing the human person as not inherently relational.

I would argue that early Christianity "created" or at least exposed the existence of the human person. We see this first in the Nicene-Constantinapolitan formulation of the Trinity, then in the Chalcedonian definition of the personhood of Christ (two natures in one divine person), and finally in Boethius's definition of persona , as "individual substance of a rational nature." In fact, a professor-priest of mine recently gave a lecture (at a Boethius conference) presenting the idea that the modern idea of the person comes from Boethius.

I would have said, instead, that "modern" invididualism was (like nearly everything else!) explored by the ancient Greeks during the great heyday of philosophy.

My *personal* opinion is that medieval Christianity was opposed to the full realization of individual rights, as evidenced by the Church's iron-fisted approach to the eradication of differences of opinion. The book and movie "The Name of the Rose" dramatize this, in, of course, an exaggerated fashion: the church preserved much of the ancient and lost lore of the ancient era...but also expurgated much of it.

Again, the Enlightenment helped form a system of Christian theology where salvation is a matter for you and the Saviour, and no one else; no churchman has the power to excommunicate or to judge.

re your first point, is human nature inherently relational? We are, most certainly, a "social animal," but hardly a "herd animal," let alone a swarm animal like termites. Very, very few mammals cope as well with sustained isolation as humans do; a great many of us seek it avidly. I would wager that humans spend a larger fraction of their lives alone than any of the other apes, save the Orangutan, which is notable for its reclusivity.

The Enlightenment and the technological revolutions following it have allowed us to talk to people anywhere in the world -- and to curl up alone with a good book.

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for AdmiralDinty   E-mail AdmiralDinty   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
I would have said, instead, that "modern" invididualism was (like nearly everything else!) explored by the ancient Greeks during the great heyday of philosophy.

My *personal* opinion is that medieval Christianity was opposed to the full realization of individual rights, as evidenced by the Church's iron-fisted approach to the eradication of differences of opinion. The book and movie "The Name of the Rose" dramatize this, in, of course, an exaggerated fashion: the church preserved much of the ancient and lost lore of the ancient era...but also expurgated much of it.

I'm not an expert on Greek philosophy, so I could be wrong about this, but as I understand it, the Greek philosophers didn't have a word to express an individual person. (This is why the early Christians had a tough time sorting out words like hypostasis, ousia, and prosopon.)

"The Name of the Rose" is a fine read, but it's horrible history. The Church in the Middle Ages did as much as it could to utilize ancient learning and writings. Heck, it was only in the Middle Ages that the majority of the Aristotelian corpus was translated into Latin. Because of the theological and political rifts between West and East, the majority of ancient Greek writings were known in name only to the Medievals (and sometimes they didn't even know the names.) Case in point: Plato's "Timaeus" was the only known work of Plato in the Middle Ages. However, even in the 12th century the Cathedral School of Chartres was using it to understand the Book of Genesis.

Hell, even Aquinas makes mention of Hermes Tresmagestus's work, and that's about as arcane as you can get. Thus, I'm not quite sure which works you think they expurgated.

--------------------
"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

Posts: 2291 | From: The Banks of the Merrimack, MA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
S.A. Lowell
Theoretical Physicist


Icon 1 posted      Profile for S.A. Lowell   E-mail S.A. Lowell   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Temple:
I wish I'd read this thread earlier.

quote:
Originally posted by S.A. Lowell:
Oh well, at least I know math will never lie to me.

I put this together many years ago ...

TOP 10 LIES THAT MATH TEACHERS TELL
10. If you add a gallon of one substance to a gallon of another substance, you will necessarily end up with two gallons of the mixture.
9. Any number divided by itself is 1.
8. You can't subtract a smaller number from a larger one.
7. Negative numbers, which do not exist according to #9, do not have square roots.
6. x˛+y˛ can't be factored.
5. The square root of a times the square root of b is necessarily equal to the square root of ab.

(then a few that I've since forgotten)

and the number one lie that math teachers tell their students is ...
1. You need to know this.

well yeah, but that's math teachers, not math.

--------------------
*****By visiting my post you release any rights you may have. If you find any content offensive get over it. You also acknowlage that I'm kick ass, and if you have a wife, she is cheating on you, and if she's hot it's with me.*****

Posts: 12 | From: Mesa, Arizona | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AdmiralDinty:
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
I would have said, instead, that "modern" invididualism was (like nearly everything else!) explored by the ancient Greeks during the great heyday of philosophy.

My *personal* opinion is that medieval Christianity was opposed to the full realization of individual rights, as evidenced by the Church's iron-fisted approach to the eradication of differences of opinion. The book and movie "The Name of the Rose" dramatize this, in, of course, an exaggerated fashion: the church preserved much of the ancient and lost lore of the ancient era...but also expurgated much of it.

I'm not an expert on Greek philosophy, so I could be wrong about this, but as I understand it, the Greek philosophers didn't have a word to express an individual person. (This is why the early Christians had a tough time sorting out words like hypostasis, ousia, and prosopon.)


Well, I don't know the language well enough to say, but *translations* of Plato, Aristotle, Democritus, et al, surely seem to imply (in English, anyway) that the Greeks were well aware of the role of the individual and his/her role in citizenship in the city-state.

How else could you have individual names, and celebrations of individual achievement? How could you have, for instance, the ceremony of giving the laurel to the victor in the Olympic Games, without a notion of individual triumph?

I will agree that the *value* a society places on individualism changes. Heck, just look at, say, the Napoleonic Wars, where good solid British soldiers would stand still and let a cannonball kill them (they could see it coming!) rather than to duck for cover (thus allowing the enemy to break the square and perhaps win the battle.) American troops aren't trained to do that: we value them much more highly as individuals, and we plan our battles with that set of values in mind.

The ancient and medieval worlds were callous, probably because death from disease was so commonplace...

quote:
"The Name of the Rose" is a fine read, but it's horrible history. . . .Thus, I'm not quite sure which works you think they expurgated.
Every so often, a monastery is excavated, and writings are found, not expurgated so much, but sequestered. Preserved, but suppressed.

(Heck, the church didn't even want the Bible published; a century earlier, Gutenberg would have been burned at the stake...)

By the way, please don't think that I'm trying to paint an entirely ugly picture of the medieval church. My comments, in rebuttal to yours, may seem solely negative, but only because I feel that your opinion may be too positive, and thus I am "arguing you down." You're probably aware that I have taken the opposite approach with others whose opinions of the church have been too negative!

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for AdmiralDinty   E-mail AdmiralDinty   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
Well, I don't know the language well enough to say, but *translations* of Plato, Aristotle, Democritus, et al, surely seem to imply (in English, anyway) that the Greeks were well aware of the role of the individual and his/her role in citizenship in the city-state.

How else could you have individual names, and celebrations of individual achievement? How could you have, for instance, the ceremony of giving the laurel to the victor in the Olympic Games, without a notion of individual triumph?

I will agree that the *value* a society places on individualism changes. Heck, just look at, say, the Napoleonic Wars, where good solid British soldiers would stand still and let a cannonball kill them (they could see it coming!) rather than to duck for cover (thus allowing the enemy to break the square and perhaps win the battle.) American troops aren't trained to do that: we value them much more highly as individuals, and we plan our battles with that set of values in mind.

The ancient and medieval worlds were callous, probably because death from disease was so commonplace...

quote:
"The Name of the Rose" is a fine read, but it's horrible history. . . .Thus, I'm not quite sure which works you think they expurgated.
Every so often, a monastery is excavated, and writings are found, not expurgated so much, but sequestered. Preserved, but suppressed.

(Heck, the church didn't even want the Bible published; a century earlier, Gutenberg would have been burned at the stake...)

By the way, please don't think that I'm trying to paint an entirely ugly picture of the medieval church. My comments, in rebuttal to yours, may seem solely negative, but only because I feel that your opinion may be too positive, and thus I am "arguing you down." You're probably aware that I have taken the opposite approach with others whose opinions of the church have been too negative!

Silas

Regarding "person" in Greece: as Bernard Lonergan has pointed out in "Method in Theology" and probably in his earlier work "Insight", the early Greeks (in the days of Homer) did not have "generic terms", i.e. they only had words for things that could be directly perceived or represented. Thus, there were words for glancing, peering, staring, but there was no general word "seeing." The Greek philosophers moved from this "world of common sense" (as Lonergan calls it) to the world of theory. Thus, they invented general terms, but I don't think they had a general term for human person.

In regards to medieval documents: I can't speak to what has recently been discovered in monasteries (I'm more interested in mss. of medieval texts as opposed to ancient ones,) however I'd be interested to find out what they were sequestering. Do you have any examples? (I'm not calling you out, just truly curious.)

Now the suppressing of the Bible in the Middle Ages might be one of the biggest historical ULs out there. Just out of curiosity, where did you get that from? There were tons of different Latin versions of the Bible. You have Jerome's translations, the Vetus Latinus, and even a North African translation. This was compounded by scribes confusing glosses with the actual Biblical text. For example, Aquinas's personal Bible included a number of verses that were found in no other Bible.

While the Church certainly didn't finance vulgate translations of the Bible, they certainly didn't try to stop them. For example, Peter Valdes (or Waldo) had a local priest in Lyons translate the Bible into Provencal in the Late 12th century. Of course, he was later declared a heretic, but it was for unrelated reasons.

Believe me, I'm no blinded apologist. I'm quick to point out many of the medieval churches failings, both the institutional and the theological.

--------------------
"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

Posts: 2291 | From: The Banks of the Merrimack, MA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Temple
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jay Temple     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
quote:
9. Any number divided by itself is 1.
8. You can't subtract a smaller number from a larger one.
7. Negative numbers, which do not exist according to #9, do not have square roots.

Do you mean to refer to #8 in #7?
Yep. It was #9 at the time I wrote it, and then I added what's now #9.

quote:
Also, I think you reversed "smaller" and "larger" in #8.

Well, I did say they were lies. [Razz]

--------------------
"Well, it looks we're on our own ... again."--Rev. Lovejoy

Posts: 3572 | From: St. Louis, MO | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AdmiralDinty:
[The Greeks] invented general terms, but I don't think they had a general term for human person.


But they surely had the concept of "the individual," as their exploration of democracies and republics would suggest. (Surely?)

quote:

In regards to medieval documents: I can't speak to what has recently been discovered in monasteries (I'm more interested in mss. of medieval texts as opposed to ancient ones,) however I'd be interested to find out what they were sequestering. Do you have any examples? (I'm not calling you out, just truly curious.)



One particularly lovely example are the Benedictbeuern Poems, only discovered in the excavation/renovation of a monastery, and used by Carl Orff as the basis for the famous Carmina Burana. Another example is the priest (argh, his name eludes me!) who collected the music for a great many renaissance dances, so that we have them today...but who would never have dreamed of publishing them!

EDITED TO ADD: Thoinot Arbeau!

quote:

Now the suppressing of the Bible in the Middle Ages might be one of the biggest historical ULs out there. Just out of curiosity, where did you get that from?



William Tyndale comes readily to mind.

quote:

Believe me, I'm no blinded apologist. I'm quick to point out many of the medieval churches failings, both the institutional and the theological.

It is, of course, an universal feeling (and failing!) that one's own position is always the most moderate one! I must constantly fight against that tendency in myself, as, of course, must any conscientious intellectual. Your view and mine are probably a lot closer than they appear...which allows us to squabble over certain smaller points of history. I just wanted to make sure that everyone reading (who haven't yet fallen asleep!) knows that my views should not be extrapolated.

Silas (like Captain Queeg not coming out of a left turn!)

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cobra4J
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cobra4J   E-mail Cobra4J   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
OK- Me thinks we are a little off subject again here-

The topic is some bozo writes a book that slams Christianity-

My point was, and is, why should Christians get too worked up aout it- and why should even non-believers buy this guy's book? There are plenty of people, and as I said, even entire nations, that have tried to kill off the notion of God, religion, etc.

If entire countries can't argue God into non-existence or prove God false scientifically, why get too worked up over one bozo and one book?

Posts: 479 | From: Owosso, MI | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 05 posted      Profile for Canuckistan   E-mail Canuckistan   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
My point was, and is, why should Christians get too worked up aout it- and why should even non-believers buy this guy's book?

Yes, heaven forbid anyone read anything that might disagree with their world view.

quote:
If entire countries can't argue God into non-existence or prove God false scientifically,
And how does one prove a negative, exactly? Isn't the onus on people claiming that God exists to prove it?

quote:
why get too worked up over one bozo and one book?
So I'm assuming you've met the guy? Otherwise, how would you know he's a bozo?

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

Posts: 8429 | From: New York run by the Swiss (Toronto) | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dog Friendly   Author's Homepage   E-mail Dog Friendly   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
But his name is Paul John.

You know, like John Paul? Both of them?

Come on, here, do I have to spell it out for you?!?

But wait. Didn't they write "Devil In Her Heart"?

Kilgore ("No, no, nay will she deceive") Trout

--------------------
"Nobody ever got stoned and beat up his old lady" -- Spence, snapdragonfly's friend

Posts: 768 | From: North Hollywood, CA | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cobra4J
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cobra4J   E-mail Cobra4J   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
My point was, and is, why should Christians get too worked up aout it- and why should even non-believers buy this guy's book?

Yes, heaven forbid anyone read anything that might disagree with their world view.

quote:
If entire countries can't argue God into non-existence or prove God false scientifically,
And how does one prove a negative, exactly? Isn't the onus on people claiming that God exists to prove it?
quote:


Well some people believe, and some do not believe, in the Loch Ness Monster. I'm pretty sure if I drained the lake that would pretty well answer the question. (Kind of unrealistic I suppose, but hypothetically possible. So, there might indeed be ways to prove God does or does not exist, but, as far as I can tell, so far, no one has mixed chemical A with chemical B, and it came up red, therefore God does exist - or it comes up blue so God does not exist.

quote:
why get too worked up over one bozo and one book?
So I'm assuming you've met the guy? Otherwise, how would you know he's a bozo?

Well, I've never met you, but I'm pretty sure you're a bozo- [fish]

Just kidding- smile it's a joke.

Posts: 479 | From: Owosso, MI | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 217 posted      Profile for Canuckistan   E-mail Canuckistan   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, great joke, Cobra.

You going to answer the other questions?

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

Posts: 8429 | From: New York run by the Swiss (Toronto) | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dieter Meyer
Deck the Malls


Icon 05 posted      Profile for Dieter Meyer     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
If entire countries can't argue God into non-existence or prove God false scientifically, why get too worked up over one bozo and one book?

Apart from how your first clause doesn't seem to have a logical relationship with the second, I have to take issue with your statement of "entire countries" trying to disprove God.
You really think that during the Communist years, all the Russians did was sit around in their living room pondering the philosophical question of "is there a God?", sending their results to the government? [Confused]

--------------------
"Soyons désinvoltes; n'ayons l'air de rien" - Noir Désir

Posts: 255 | From: Norvegr | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dreams of Thinking Machines   E-mail Dreams of Thinking Machines   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dieter Meyer:
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
If entire countries can't argue God into non-existence or prove God false scientifically, why get too worked up over one bozo and one book?

Apart from how your first clause doesn't seem to have a logical relationship with the second, I have to take issue with your statement of "entire countries" trying to disprove God.
You really think that during the Communist years, all the Russians did was sit around in their living room pondering the philosophical question of "is there a God?", sending their results to the government? [Confused]

Really? My history is pretty fuzzy but I seem to remember that during the Stalinist and Maoist purges there was a rich philosophical dialectic that went a little like this:
Agent:"Do you believe in God/Gods?
Citizen:"Yes."
*Agent proceeds to shoot citizen in the head*

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

Posts: 166 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delia Darrow
I Saw Three Shipments


Icon 500 posted      Profile for Delia Darrow   E-mail Delia Darrow   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
There are plenty of people, and as I said, even entire nations, that have tried to kill off the notion of God, religion, etc.

If entire countries can't argue God into non-existence or prove God false scientifically, why get too worked up

Yes, the fact that slavery has existed for thousands of years, that nations have convulsed in the effort to rid themselves of it, and the fact that it still exists today are all good reasons to simply give up the fight. It's been around so long, it must be beneficial to humankind.

[Roll Eyes]

~Delia

--------------------
Cogito, ergo Dei non est.

Posts: 70 | From: Portland, Oregon | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
Really? My history is pretty fuzzy but I seem to remember that during the Stalinist and Maoist purges there was a rich philosophical dialectic that went a little like this:
Agent:"Do you believe in God/Gods?
Citizen:"Yes."
*Agent proceeds to shoot citizen in the head*

Um...pardon me for asking...was that meant as a joke? It's very difficult for me to work out whether you are just poking fun.

This is why I very rarely engage in "irony" as a rhetorical tool. It tends to backfire.

Anyway, the dialogue is obviously invented, and not historically valid.

(Not to deny that the Stalinists and Maoists did suppress freedom of religion; no doubt of that. Please don't extrapolate my rebuttal incorrectly.)

(And isn't it a sad thing when someone has to make that request?)

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
James D
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for James D   E-mail James D   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Temple:
I wish I'd read this thread earlier.

quote:
Originally posted by S.A. Lowell:
Oh well, at least I know math will never lie to me.

I put this together many years ago ...

TOP 10 LIES THAT MATH TEACHERS TELL
10. If you add a gallon of one substance to a gallon of another substance, you will necessarily end up with two gallons of the mixture.
9. Any number divided by itself is 1.
8. You can't subtract a smaller number from a larger one.
7. Negative numbers, which do not exist according to #9, do not have square roots.
6. x˛+y˛ can't be factored.
5. The square root of a times the square root of b is necessarily equal to the square root of ab.

(then a few that I've since forgotten)

and the number one lie that math teachers tell their students is ...
1. You need to know this.

Well, physics teachers lie to students all the time too. Newton was wrong.

The tough part is that these 'lies' are simplifications so that the educational process is possible from an early age and accessable to everyone. A full proof based mathematics from kindergarten would die a rapid death.

Can you imagine the chaos if we insisted on exact relativistic calculations when meeting someone somewhere. Sure, the change in the rate of time while traveling to any terestrial location is trivial - but if you insist on exactness, it is still a 'real' factor.

As for needing to know this - a lot of math is used in everyday life, even if you're a panhandler you gotta be able to count your change. If you have to put something in the oven for 2 hours at 11:00 am, modular arithmatic is useful - even if you don't know you're using it.

Of course, most of those 'lies' are taught by elementary teachers - Secondary teachers tend to be well aware that you cannot divide by 0 (the exception to #9), and frame questions such as #7 as having "no real roots".

Given that you do seem to know a fair amount of math, I figure there are two main possiblities - the first being far more likely.

1. You did have some good math teachers and wrote this with your tounge firmly in your cheek.

2. you possess a tremendous intelect which discoverd "the Truth" all for yourself, and pity us poor mortals who cannot hold a candle to you.

I'll get it...

[fish]

--------------------
The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - )

Posts: 244 | From: Ventura, CA | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dreams of Thinking Machines   E-mail Dreams of Thinking Machines   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by dreams of thinking machines:
Really? My history is pretty fuzzy but I seem to remember that during the Stalinist and Maoist purges there was a rich philosophical dialectic that went a little like this:
Agent:"Do you believe in God/Gods?
Citizen:"Yes."
*Agent proceeds to shoot citizen in the head*

Um...pardon me for asking...was that meant as a joke? It's very difficult for me to work out whether you are just poking fun.

This is why I very rarely engage in "irony" as a rhetorical tool. It tends to backfire.

Anyway, the dialogue is obviously invented, and not historically valid.

(Not to deny that the Stalinists and Maoists did suppress freedom of religion; no doubt of that. Please don't extrapolate my rebuttal incorrectly.)

(And isn't it a sad thing when someone has to make that request?)

Silas

Yup, it was a joke. Sometimes I forget that the nuances conveyed by the spoken language don't always transfer into the realm of written language.

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

Posts: 166 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cactus Wren
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cactus Wren   E-mail Cactus Wren   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
Why get too concerned when at least one very intelligent man, Albert Einstein, did believe in God?

I'm not concerned at all. I'm glad Einstein believed in God. I simply happen to disagree, that's all.
Er, actually:
quote:
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.


--------------------
“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -- Edward R. Murrow

IOToriSparrowANK!

Posts: 598 | From: Arizona | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dreams of Thinking Machines   E-mail Dreams of Thinking Machines   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by James D:
[QUOTE]
The tough part is that these 'lies' are simplifications so that the educational process is possible from an early age and accessable to everyone. A full proof based mathematics from kindergarten would die a rapid death.

I hate how my teachers missed the one thing, the only thing, that really seems to matter in higher mathmatics: orders of operations.
With flawless orders of operation math is easy as 3.1459... [fish]

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

Posts: 166 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
talk2sparky
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for talk2sparky   Author's Homepage   E-mail talk2sparky       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
This seems as good a time as any present this counter-argument:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScfUjvE1NCg

--------------------
"If the Internet teaches you anything, it's that there is NOTHING, NOWHERE, that someone isn't frantically masturbating to. " -snopes poster Brandi

Posts: 137 | From: Chicago, IL | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dreams of Thinking Machines
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dreams of Thinking Machines   E-mail Dreams of Thinking Machines   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
That doesn't prove anything, it doesn't get to the core of the matter,this proves something!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qchmuSdK8SQ

--------------------
Obi Wan: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes!"
Anakin: "Um, isn't your last statement an absolute?"

Posts: 166 | From: San Antonio, Texas | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cobra4J
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 216 posted      Profile for Cobra4J   E-mail Cobra4J   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Delia Darrow:
quote:
There are plenty of people, and as I said, even entire nations, that have tried to kill off the notion of God, religion, etc.

If entire countries can't argue God into non-existence or prove God false scientifically, why get too worked up

Yes, the fact that slavery has existed for thousands of years, that nations have convulsed in the effort to rid themselves of it, and the fact that it still exists today are all good reasons to simply give up the fight. It's been around so long, it must be beneficial to humankind.

~Delia

And some people have trouble following MY logic??? I almost feel like I am comparing apples to rocks with this one.

Either God exists or he does not- Maybe God is not the way I picture God, but God either is, or is not. (Kind of hard to picture an in between)

Slavery was and is and probably will be for a while - and I'm pretty sure I can prove that.

If I can "prove" slavery is evil, should we do away with it - of course. But, just because I prove something is bad do NOT expect people, or governments, to change their behavior. (take smoking again for example)

Lets be honest- Yes, religion can be a a very bad thing- It can lead to crusades, holy wars, inquisitions, oppression of women, minorities, and any "outsiders", etc.

Lack of religion can also be a terrible thing (take a look at the Soviet Union again.)

Religion can also be a beautiful thing - My life was changed, and I do think for the better - Other people's lives have been changed.

I was just watching the history channel the other night with a story about the vikings. The vikings were the "terrorists" of Europe for a while. What stopped them? They started to convert to Christianity.

But, once again - does any of the above prove or disprove God? So, again, why should I get too worked up over a book?

Posts: 479 | From: Owosso, MI | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


Icon 504 posted      Profile for Silas Sparkhammer   Author's Homepage   E-mail Silas Sparkhammer   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
Either God exists or he does not- Maybe God is not the way I picture God, but God either is, or is not. (Kind of hard to picture an in between)

I can envision lots of in-betweens. Start with lesser gods, perhaps in a pantheon or group, like the Greek or Norse gods. Or the Hindu gods, where several deities are seen as facets off larger gods.

How about the Cthulhu mythos, where the "gods" are vast and powerful, but monstrous, as alien to us as spiders. This is one of the most grisly of a number of "animist" views, where the spirit of the cosmos is alive, but not "personal" in the way Jupiter or Jehovah are.

There is the possibility of a great myriad of little spirits, pixies and sprites and naiads: they are "godlings." Or, again, a large number of animistic spirits, without having human form or intelligence.

What about a true Duality? God is not one, but two. Perhaps a creative and a destructive spirit, always competing, and the universe reflects this.

What if *we* are the gods? Our minds, collectively, shape the cosmos, and our spirits create miracles.

The "either/or" logic is far too limited; C.S. Lewis and Blaise Pascal both relied on it far too heavily, and, while both are still admired today, their specific arguments ("Pascal's Wager," C.S. Lewis' "Liar, Lunatic, or Lord" broadcast) are, today, seen as flawed.

Silas

Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
happyholidaysfrog
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for happyholidaysfrog   Author's Homepage   E-mail happyholidaysfrog   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Religion is what humanity is. It is cruel, it is kind, it is warm and gentle and it is harsh and abusive. We created it so it reflects what we are, multidemensional concepts and practices, in every shade and depth. Some downright hilarious and some warm and healing. Atheism is the same, it's an idea created by humanity thus you will find athiests who reflect the same values and shortcomings as the religions of the world.

As for the big (wo)man upstairs, I'm a solid agnositc, errr, pagan, errrr, agnostic. Oh drat it, it depends on the day and the hour whether I at this moment believe in my God and Goddess as seperate intelligent beings, but I like the idea of them and even if they arn't there I feel good saying my morning and evening prayers and I'm comforted by my spirituality and faith. I think God is more like the God in The Autobiography of God by Julius Lester then any other Gods I've read about.

In the end I think we all are Gods and Goddess in our own right. No matter what path we happen to be walking upon.

--------------------
~All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream~
E.A.Poe

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.
~James Dean~

Posts: 516 | From: Anderson, Indiana | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Adastra
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Adastra   Author's Homepage   E-mail Adastra   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Speaking (or writing) from the Christian perspective, though in a highly unorthodox form, I suggest that "inbetween" is probably the most enlightening way to think about God. Does God exist? Define God first. Define "exist". Unanswerable questions lead to mightily confusing answers.

The very first name of God used in the Hebrew Judeo--Christian scriptures is "Elohim." This is a most unusual word as it is formed by taking a feminine root and adding a plural ending in masculine gender. The root "Eloah" means approximately "Goddess". The plural form "-im" is masculine. If we were to try to reproduce this in English it would come out something like "Godsess". Is this masculine or feminine? Singular or plural?

It is both and neither. The term includes masculine and feminine and transcends both polar opposites with a synthesis that makes little sense in terms of logic, but I believe makes perfect sense in suggesting that our categories of thought cannot encompass the idea of God. In the same way it deals with the apparent opposite ideas of singular and multiple. I would extend the principle to include the more abstract ideas of existence and nonexistence.

So we can never give a definitive answer to these questions. We simply decide to use whatever limited understanding we can bring to bear on the question and treat that as limited, somewhat inaccurate and ultimately inadequate, but good enough to go on with. The rest is just trying to prove that which cannot even be adequately defined or trying to prove a negative--two impossible tasks.

All the great questions of life are like that. There is no "right" answer, nor any completely "wrong" answer, no matter how hard philosophers and theologians try to dictate them. Decide for yourself, but remember that whatever answer you come up with says more about you yourself than about any final answer to any of these debates.

And always remember, Play nicely, children.

Sincerely,

--------------------
Bob,
aka Adastra,
the Wizzard of Jacksonville

Posts: 1 | From: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TheBobo
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 05 posted      Profile for TheBobo   Author's Homepage   E-mail TheBobo   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cobra4J:
Lack of religion can also be a terrible thing (take a look at the Soviet Union again.)


Huh?
What about countries that have religion? Iran and Iraq are good examples. In their case religion is a terrible thing.

--------------------
The views expressed in the above Post does not necessarily reflect those of snopes,The Infopoop Corporation,the Internet or most of society for that matter.

Posts: 2474 | From: Scranton, PA | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2