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a case for christ


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#21 MilesZS

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 07:44 PM

I want to start by saying (as this subject is touchy), that I am a baptized and confirmed Lutheran. However, I choose not to follow or practice any religion. In fact I just stay away from them all, especially in conversation.I did however want to say that I once recieved a couple books from a teacher I had in high school (him and I were involved in many fairly friendly discussions of christianity, as he went to a Wesleyan university, and I had been disillusioned after the b.s. that went on at my church). Now, I have heard from many people that both books are great (one is I believe a double book by some famous fiction author, and I guess they have christian overtones), but I couldn't get through what I believe was A Case for Christ. I still have it at my dad's house somewhere, as I couldn't bring myself to get rid of something that was truly thoughtful and meant to help me. It just seemed like another piece of propoganda. Someone who has studied Socrates should write a similar book. Especially if they can write in the same style as Plato. Plato's stories about Socrates were easy to read, and the Socratic method is by far the best way to bring someone else to the conclusion you think they should come to. By the way, if anyone is interested in those books -- or at least in what they are, let me know. I'll make a trip up to my dad's at some point.

#22 Dlink

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 09:07 AM

[quote name='"LukesMom"][quote name='Smasharoo]I think it's great that Daniel decided to share this and I think' date=' no matter what your beliefs' date=' the world would be a much better place if more lived by the precepts of the Christian faith.[/quote'']I find the Christian faith is fundementally different from my believes (and my religion though I am non practising). The idea that good is rewarded and bad is punished seems very simplistic and somewhat contrived. One should good for the sake of good without want of reward or fear of punishment. Also the idea of sending evil doers to hell for all eternity seems a little less than compassionate to me (yes I am a sap who believes in rehabilitation).I do believe Jesus existed and I do believe he taught many correct and profound things. I also believe a lot of what he though was derived from Judaism which was derived from Zoroastriansim much of which (and here there is no real literature) was derived from ancient Egyptian religions with a varying degree of Sumerian influence. I also know that from the moment of Jesus's death his teachings have been twisted and bastardized. Oh well, I guess the important thing is that in the end people do help one another and act charitably, even if some religions reduce it to just an "act" for the benefit of the one doing it.

#23 drocpdp

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 12:05 PM

Smasharoo said:

Wow! That's a very superficial explanation of Christianity... Didn't really expect that from such an intellectual, but hey.... to each their own! I don't think it's superficial at all.I think it's completely accurate and probably fairly frustrating to people who'd prefer that it was so transparent./shrug.
I think you should respect the fact that he/she is offering an honest opinion, even if it is contradictory to DN's opinion. After all, religion is the EPITOME of opinion. Very little of any religion is concretely based. However, one's personal beliefs in religion are such a central part of one's being, that it is impossible to overlook or insult ANYONE's opinion credibly... no matter how far-fetched they may seem to someone else. Also, just as your beliefs are strongly ingrained, it is just and rightful to respect another's belief that is just as strongly ingrained.I am glad you shared your opinion.

#24 Dlink

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 03:58 PM

drocpdp said:

I think you should respect the fact that he/she is offering an honest opinion, even if it is contradictory to DN's opinion. After all, religion is the EPITOME of opinion. Very little of any religion is concretely based. However, one's personal beliefs in religion are such a central part of one's being, that it is impossible to overlook or insult ANYONE's opinion credibly... no matter how far-fetched they may seem to someone else. Also, just as your beliefs are strongly ingrained, it is just and rightful to respect another's belief that is just as strongly ingrained.I am glad you shared your opinion.
While I appreciate the sentiment drocpdp the statement is wrong. Offcourse some religions and deeply held, ingrained even, personal beliefs are wrong. The Nazi's had a state sponsored religion. There are religions that practise human sacrifice. Indeed some (extremely intelligent) people sincerely believe that it is their duty to God to strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves up in publc places or crash planes into buildings.As much as one should respect other beliefs one also has a duty to be critical of their own and other beliefs and put them on a sound scientific/philospohical footing. If someone cannot justify am opinion, position or argument to a suitable standard they shouldn't waste other peoples time by putting it forward in the first place.

#25 drocpdp

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 05:00 AM

Dlink said:

drocpdp said:

I think you should respect the fact that he/she is offering an honest opinion, even if it is contradictory to DN's opinion. After all, religion is the EPITOME of opinion. Very little of any religion is concretely based. However, one's personal beliefs in religion are such a central part of one's being, that it is impossible to overlook or insult ANYONE's opinion credibly... no matter how far-fetched they may seem to someone else. Also, just as your beliefs are strongly ingrained, it is just and rightful to respect another's belief that is just as strongly ingrained.I am glad you shared your opinion.
While I appreciate the sentiment drocpdp the statement is wrong. Offcourse some religions and deeply held, ingrained even, personal beliefs are wrong. The censored's had a state sponsored religion. There are religions that practise human sacrifice. Indeed some (extremely intelligent) people sincerely believe that it is their duty to God to strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves up in publc places or crash planes into buildings.As much as one should respect other beliefs one also has a duty to be critical of their own and other beliefs and put them on a sound scientific/philospohical footing. If someone cannot justify am opinion, position or argument to a suitable standard they shouldn't waste other peoples time by putting it forward in the first place.
Of course some methods of expressing an opinion are more extreme than others. However you are using extreme cases as evidence that are not even close in similarity to the methodology Mr. Negreanu utilizes in spreading his "message." I would hardly call a forum post as dangerous and harmful to other humans. And the free book he mails out does not have a bomb attached to it for those who forsake its contents. I believe Mr. Negreanu believes his religion is only beneficial to man, and expresses and shares these beliefs out of sheer good will.I think you are confusing those who abuse their freedoms with those who express it within the confines of common sense and societal norms. Also, regarding your needs for justification, I will assume this is an opinion. Christianity, one of the most widely followed religions, preaches the ressurrection of a man-God. A human being part man and part God. This belief can hardly be scientifically proven. But then again, science is a part of our world. If one is to truly believe in a world higher than this, science would have no bearing. THe universal "heaven" requires no need for this sort of thing, and is instead composed of happiness, joy, etc.Universally, religion is probably the one thing that is accepted without question and without concrete scientific evidence. However, the acceptability is evident in our world, as we swear on the bible, use "God" in our pledge of allegiance, etc. Unfortunately, our society requires a higher being or entity to temper our animalistic nature. However, if you were to ask any religious person about the roots, origins, or reason for their beliefs, they could provide you with a well composed answer. I assume when you state "personal beliefs are wrong," you speak for the extremist methods of expressing beliefs. Otherwise, this statement is completely ignorant and contradictory, as your belief to not believe in a higher being until you have evidence, is nonetheless, in itself, a belief.

#26 drocpdp

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 05:18 AM

[quote name='"Dlink"][quote name='LukesMom][quote=Smasharoo]I think it's great that Daniel decided to share this and I think' date=' no matter what your beliefs' date=' the world would be a much better place if more lived by the precepts of the Christian faith.[/quote'']I find the Christian faith is fundementally different from my believes (and my religion though I am non practising). The idea that good is rewarded and bad is punished seems very simplistic and somewhat contrived. One should good for the sake of good without want of reward or fear of punishment. Also the idea of sending evil doers to hell for all eternity seems a little less than compassionate to me (yes I am a sap who believes in rehabilitation).I do believe Jesus existed and I do believe he taught many correct and profound things. I also believe a lot of what he though was derived from Judaism which was derived from Zoroastriansim much of which (and here there is no real literature) was derived from ancient Egyptian religions with a varying degree of Sumerian influence. I also know that from the moment of Jesus's death his teachings have been twisted and bastardized. Oh well, I guess the important thing is that in the end people do help one another and act charitably, even if some religions reduce it to just an "act" for the benefit of the one doing it.[/quote]Don't forget, God "existed" way before Jesus came to this earth. Therefore, is it possible that this "Zoroastrianism" is a derivation of Christianity? Also, I think you enjoy to use the word "bastardized" to cause an extreme reaction from opposers. However, this you will need to clarify. Bastardized means to debase and demean. Again, I am only reiterating your own belief of the necessity of scientific evidence. What teachings do you feel have been twisted? Or are you just basing this belief on your favorite rock singer's lyrics?You state Jesus existed. Yet isn't that scientifically unproven in itself? Are you sure you believe this? I am not convinced you believe Jesus existed. After all, if you truly did, his purpose on this Earth would mystify you, to say the least.Again, regarding this "bastardization," I agree with you. But more than likely it is not the Catholic Church, or even pure Christianity, that is claiming these "bastardized" teachings as their own. Where are your sources of this "bastardization"?Feel free to email me privately. I respect your opinion. However, since you yourself stated the necessity for evidence, I would like to take the initiative to express my opinions with you, and perhaps listen to your evidence as to why you believe the way you do.Personally, I think you're talking a lot of fluff and puff with no hard evidence yourself. It always amazes me when people try to take religions into a scholastic context ("zoaroastronism"?!??!) with no consideration as to the persoal effects a religion has or why their beliefs are so strong. Almost as if you're in the outside looking in, yet criticizing those on the inside.

#27 ChuckSty

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 05:33 AM

as a another atheist this book sounds fishy. but i might have to check it out as well.

#28 ChuckSty

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 05:58 AM

i personally find it comforting that if i choose to be a cgood person i choose that and it is not because i am doing it becasue it is my christain duty. i have myslef to let down. and myself to impress. and those that i care about. that has been enough work and reward for me. religion from a historical standpoint has always been mythology. these exact conversations have been had by the Romans, Greeks, and every other religion that has scratched the earth. Does Zeus exist? i believe religion to be a social construct which is a reflection on our society. do i believe in nothing, no. but do i believe in a cognizant being that punishes, rewards, and doles out miracles. No i just can't buy that. i prefer believing that you do what you do and get what you get based on how hard you work and some luck. alot like poker i guess. but there are too many good people who get screwed by life for there to be god and too many christain nuts killing people and ****ing other peoples wives and then being rascist, or completely screwing over anyone and everyone in the business world and then claiming to be upstanding christians when they go on a mission trip and help some people in a third world country.don't get me wrong i'm not gonna stand here and knock christians. i think most of them(you) are great people with big hearts who do the good things you do becasue you believe them and what they stand for. but i think christianity as a whole is a tool which has been shoved down society's throat to control us and to help us further gain power. For more evidence on this see the colonialism in Africa, it truly sickens my stomach. I mean who are we to tell other people what to believe. And further who the hell has the right to kill based on someones beliefs we believe to be inferior. again i'm not knocking the player. i'm knocking the game.

#29 ChuckSty

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 06:31 AM

hey i just read that opening post that Daniel wrote. educated perspective.i consider my atheist perspective to be very well educated. i do want to read the book. i am always eager to learn about the other side's perspective and consider myself to be of a very open mind. I do however base my beliefs on my education. both in life and scholastically where i studied religion a great deal.

#30 drocpdp

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 08:47 AM

ChuckSty said:

i personally find it comforting that if i choose to be a cgood person i choose that and it is not because i am doing it becasue it is my christain duty. i have myslef to let down. and myself to impress. and those that i care about. that has been enough work and reward for me. religion from a historical standpoint has always been mythology. these exact conversations have been had by the Romans, Greeks, and every other religion that has scratched the earth. Does Zeus exist? i believe religion to be a social construct which is a reflection on our society. do i believe in nothing, no. but do i believe in a cognizant being that punishes, rewards, and doles out miracles. No i just can't buy that. i prefer believing that you do what you do and get what you get based on how hard you work and some luck. alot like poker i guess. but there are too many good people who get screwed by life for there to be god and too many christain nuts killing people and censored other peoples wives and then being rascist, or completely screwing over anyone and everyone in the business world and then claiming to be upstanding christians when they go on a mission trip and help some people in a third world country.don't get me wrong i'm not gonna stand here and knock christians. i think most of them(you) are great people with big hearts who do the good things you do becasue you believe them and what they stand for. but i think christianity as a whole is a tool which has been shoved down society's throat to control us and to help us further gain power. For more evidence on this see the colonialism in Africa, it truly sickens my stomach. I mean who are we to tell other people what to believe. And further who the hell has the right to kill based on someones beliefs we believe to be inferior. again i'm not knocking the player. i'm knocking the game.
hehehe... I totally agree with your view with re: to the things that go on in this great Earth. Killings, murders, abortions etc. If there's a God, why the hell would 9/11 happen? Why did my cat die? etc etc etc. But then again, if you look deeper into these tragedies, is there a purpose for them? In my opinion, this world is so complex, i definitely do not even claim to have an answer. But my view is that this world is supposed to be hellish. In the bible, man was created in the image of man. What the heck does that mean? It means, if you can comprehend it or even visualize it remotely, that we're like God.. ?????? Our anger, our love, our hate even. And supposedly, we're put on this Earth to sort of prepare for heaven. Because supposedly, heaven is nothing like this. All the "bling bling" all the girls, all the cars, all the poker money all the girls, and all the girls, plus all the girls... (heheh) supposedly is NOTHING AT ALL compared to heaven. The company of God is supposedly INDESCRIBABLE in ecstacy. The true test is that how the heck do we know that? Right now, the bling bling and babes SEEM like the thing to accomplish. ON earth, yes. In heaven, it means diddly-squat.But back to tragedies and stuff. I think the destruction we see constantly is a reminder that in heaven, none of that sadness will exist. In fact, our entire existence (seems pesimistic, i know) is sadness UNTIL we meet our heavenly father. (sorry to upset you atheists)(My dialect is getting a bit preachy i know). I know this sounds perverted, but the sheer magnitude and the veil of ominous incomprehensible tragedy of 9/11 should be a blessing in disguise. A reminder that NONE OF THIS exists in heaven. I think everyone of us seriously no joke felt sick that day. I seriously think it affected me. I didn't really cry or anything. But at the year anniversery, all the feelings, (I know people that live near there, and I live near NYC myself), all the remorse, all the chaos, all of it flooded back and pounded me in the stomach and i literally released it, crying for like 10 minutes in my pillow. Why? 5,000+ died in the hands of 2 men. How can we do this kind of thing?One of the prayers that Catholics say, which in my opinion is so beautiful, and explains perfectly the chaos on earth quotes "To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve... to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears... Turn then oh most gracious advocate thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile..." etc etc etc blah blah blah.. the point is, that this time on Earth is meant to be hellish and an exile of sorts and a testing. Tragedies toughen our soul. They also give us a chance to be charitable. Of course, the atheists will argue (and this argument, is in fact perfectly legitimate), that we don't need a God to show compassion. Perhaps. But back to my original statement, how do we know that created in the image of God, God is compassionate? And another thing re: CAtholic/Christians. You know, the gay molesting priest scandals. And the historical persecution and killing of non-Catholics. And the power abuse by the popes, supposedly in the Catholic religion, there word is "infallible" meaning that Catholics believe their word is handed down by God. What God would permit popes to do that/???It's tough for all religions nowadays. But the Christian/Catholic religion has persevered through the ages. I know in the Catholic Churches many people fear/hate/defile the Catholics. Gay marriages, abortions. Isn't God compassionate? Shouldn't he understand? *Shrug. God is also stern and strict too. He sets rules. He created us (supposedly). We are only "alive" b/c of him. BUt then again, (esp. in this time of year), Catholics are reaffirming the fact that he sent Jesus to save us. I won't go into that, but you know, he died and suffered to open a "passage" to heaven. The bible quotes somthing like "He [GOd] poured all his malice and anger into Jesus..." Jesus took all this crap for us. Yet, despite the anger, God still loves us b/c he wants us with him in heaven. Like us, he gets angry, and like us though, he feels regret. (Ex. Noah's ARk, etc.).You atheists, I totally agree with your legitimacy in not believing in a specific god. Your arguments totally make sense.I don't know what to say. I stated my beliefs. Please feel free to not follow them, because they are my opinion, and i know you respect that just as i respect your beliefs. Please, go on living your life as you did b4 my assinine post. Trust me, i abhor people who hand out bibles in like secular places. I HATE KOREANS b/c they're all christ this and christ that and then they're sleeping with like 32423423432432 people. The people that have most inspired me are the quiet ones that set the example. They will welcome you only if you want to be welcomed. The priests, religious educators, my mom. I think my mom inspires me the most. When she had breast cancer, she went through the toughest time. Before she was hardcore Catholic (in a quiet way), always going to mass, was a volunteer, very humble, very shy, yet in church, always singing, always welcomed lonely people from church over for dinner (which i felt uncomfortable with, but she saw something in them), etc. Then after her breast cancer, she went through torture. Chemo made her feel sick 24/7, her hair fell out, she was weak. She came to me and was like, Dave I hate God for doing this to me. Which sort of shocked me. I was going through my ins-and-outs with my faith too, so i took her to a priest. HE explained that these tests are meant to test us for the next life. This Earth is torturous and evil and hard and cruel. She also, by chance, where she worked, befriended a nun who, make no mistake about it, must have been sent by GOd or something. She got my mom through it with faith, and friendship itself. They send each other cards and visit each other now. My mom's faith is stronger than ever. Yet she doesnt' push it. For religious people, it's hard. I love porn, money, the fast life. Yet God says "NO" what?!??!?!??!?!?! come on!!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!*shrug. Sometimes i don't practice, other times i fall and realize i want to get back up and go back to confession and church, etc. It feels good. Knowing that someone loves you. Kind of seeing God in all my friends and family too.I don't know. I'm not perfect by any minds. Shoot, i did tons of bad stuff. Hookers, stealing, fights, etc. So i'm definitely not a heaven poster child. But whenever i go back to church, and open my life to God again, my life feels complete. No joke. Then the world tempts me again and i fall.*shrug. I don't know what to say.But i do respect all your opinions, esp atheist boy (hahah i forgot your screename). ok peace out.

#31 weishan14

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 09:11 AM

ChuckSty said:

don't get me wrong i'm not gonna stand here and knock christians. i think most of them(you) are great people with big hearts who do the good things you do becasue you believe them and what they stand for. but i think christianity as a whole is a tool which has been shoved down society's throat to control us and to help us further gain power. again i'm not knocking the player. i'm knocking the game.
The problem is that Christians are first and foremost only human. That means that they will often react to the circumstances around them, and not always in a proper way. We are still subject to sinful living. Many people do not like the word Ďsiní, however Ďsiní just refers to anything that we do that is not good, proper living. There is not a person alive (other than Christ) who ever lived a perfect, sinless life. So if you base Christianity on the people around you, you will always find reasons to reject it. You need to base it on the object of Christianity, Christ, and a personal relationship with Him. Many times people confuse religion with Christianity. You can be a very religious person and never know Christ and be a true follower of Him. Christ calls us to love and encourage one another. He doesn't called us to try to win people over with wars and fighting, but to show them His love and let them make the decision whether they want to follow Him or not. Unfortunately many people do try to "make" people conform to their way of thinking.By saying that ĎIím not knocking the player, Iím knocking the game", itís like saying that because there are crooked, unethical poker players in the world, the game of poker is wrong. Who plays the game does not change the game itself.

#32 ChuckSty

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 10:44 AM

By saying that ĎIím not knocking the player, Iím knocking the game", itís like saying that because there are crooked, unethical poker players in the world, the game of poker is wrong. Who plays the game does not change the game itself.[/quote]i just kind of threw that in there because i thought it was a funny ending.regardless, your right. people who follow what the bible preaches are fine with me. i think there is a lot of good moral values in there. granted i believe alot of the historical evidence that points to the fact that it was written by men for reasons of power i do believe for the most part it carries a good message. Who plays the game does not change the game itselfkind of a double edged sword here.look at baseball. it changed. because of steroids. look at religion. it changed becasue of money.sure at it's heart if your a true "follower of christ" then it won't matter.all you have to do is appease yourself. but alot of christians aren't like that. alot live very hypocritacal lives. and if enough people were cheating at poker. i woulnd't win any money. and the game would suck, yes definitely.again, "i'm not knocking the player i'm knocking the game."i

#33 Dlink

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 11:00 AM

drocpdp said:

I think it's great that Daniel decided to share this and I think, no matter what your beliefs, the world would be a much better place if more lived by the precepts of the Christian faith.
I think it is great that Daniel is sharing beliefs that are fundementally "good".

drocpdp said:

Don't forget, God "existed" way before Jesus came to this earth. Therefore, is it possible that this "Zoroastrianism" is a derivation of Christianity?  
This makes no sense. Lets assume God's existence, whether it be as a being, a power or fundemental universal consciousness. Christianity would be one perspective of looking at the world. Christianity began roughly 2000 years ago with the coming of Christ. Judaism was already predominant, there is no debating this it is historical fact and extensively documented. Zoroastriansim had been adopted as the official religion of Persia for more than 3,000 years at this time and being strategicall placed between all the east west trading routes it is safe to assume that something about it was knowna nd it's influence had spread. Zoroastrianism was the first monoethistic religion, again there are writings from 3,000 BC to substantiate these claims. Am I sure this is exactly what happened? No. Using the best resources that historians have and extensiv study is this the logical and accepted conclusion? Yes. Also study the history of the Bible and the surrounding documents carefully, while there are multiple interpretations of it as to whether it is literal or figurative the first people to accept the new prophet were the Zoroastrians (The 4 wise men were Zoroastrians; 1 of whom never completed the journey - hence the "three wise men"), again this is logical because since the time of King Darius Persia had an official state religion of Zoroastriansim tempered with the Maegi performing ceremonies of importance but had a policy of allowing all religions and not attempting to convert anyone.

drocpdp said:

Also, I think you enjoy to use the word "bastardized" to cause an extreme reaction from opposers. However, this you will need to clarify. Bastardized means to debase and demean. Again, I am only reiterating your own belief of the necessity of scientific evidence. What teachings do you feel have been twisted? Or are you just basing this belief on your favorite rock singer's lyrics?
The dictionary meaning of bastadize is " To lower in quality or character; debase" which in moder in application means to make less pure. It is a word commonly used to suggest something is not in it's original form. If it illicits an extreme reaction it's from ignorance of language not from the word itself. The alternattive meaning "to declare someone a bastard" or "to make one appear to be a bastard" is obiously out of context here as we are not disscussing an individual."As to teachings being twisted I can rant and rave but they would be personal beliefs, lets look at just one or two plain examples. Lets presume that Jesus (man or God) believed in equality and compassion. This is something that Christians and representitives of the Church have ignored for centuries. From the Crusades, to the holocaust to the Souther Baptist Church during the American civil war. The little documentation we have points to the fact that Jesus helped people out of compassion. Christianity has had a habit of mass conversions and torture. The inquisition etc. I shan't go into the more controvertial topics here but I do not believe organized religion has really followed the desires of Christ. For those of you who read the Da Vinci code most of what it refers to about how Christ wanted his wive to take over where he left off and how women have been suppressed and pushed out of the Churc is the best historical interpretation we have. No one will ever no for sure what happened where and when, but we have methods and processes for deriving the most likely scenarios, sensible people use them. Sure there are people who seeing Q-K-A on the board suited after a huge preflop raise and after their opponent bets will still call with a 7-2o. They are not using logic or rational deduction, they are believing what they want, most (not all) modern Christians follow this path as the evidence is too inconvenient.

drocpdp said:

You state Jesus existed. Yet isn't that scientifically unproven in itself? Are you sure you believe this? I am not convinced you believe Jesus existed. After all, if you truly did, his purpose on this Earth would mystify you, to say the least.
Genghis Khan, King Alfred, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Alexander, we don't have "scientific proof" that any existed (fetch me the DNA and let's recreate him!) We accept they existed based upon sound historical evidence, multiple sources of documentation and any other relics we may be able to uncover.

drocpdp said:

Again, regarding this "bastardization," I agree with you. But more than  likely it is not the Catholic Church, or even pure Christianity, that is claiming these "bastardized" teachings as their own. Where are your sources of this "bastardization"?
The Dead See Scrolls, The Secrets of the Masons, The Story of Christianity: Volume 1 : Volume One: The Early Church to the Reformation (Story of Christianity) , Jesus the Man, A Case for Christianity, The Gospel of Philip : Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Gnosis of Sacred Union, Who Was Mary Magdala, Search for the Holy Grail, "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", Templar Revelation, Monthy Python and the Holy Grail (this is to test who's paying attention!), Rise and fall of the Roman Empire, any books disscussing the apocrypha, works on comparitive religion and many many more books detailing various versions, interpretations and deductions based on the evidence at hand. The overwhelming majority of respected academic sources agree in broad stroaks that modern Christianity while it has many of the values Christ shared fails to apply, teach and sometimes even nterpret them, man times it even ignores them.

drocpdp said:

Feel free to email me privately. I respect your opinion. However, since you yourself stated the necessity for evidence, I would like to take the initiative to express my opinions with you, and perhaps listen to your evidence as to why you believe the way you do.Personally, I think you're talking a lot of fluff and puff with no hard evidence yourself. It always amazes me when people try to take religions into a scholastic context ("zoaroastronism"?!??!) with no consideration as to the persoal effects a religion has or why their beliefs are so strong. Almost as if you're in the outside looking in, yet criticizing those on the inside.
I appreciate your view and am not trying to put down any religion. I just believe if it is being disscussed it should be done openly, fairly and logically (see above about playing 7-2 offsuit). There is plenty of evidence there.People have strong beliefs for one of 2 reasons - they have spent many years studying, questioning and searching and have developed a set of beliefs based on a sound logical structure (whether or not the base of that structure is flawed) or because they are ignorant and grasp to what they want to believe. The vast majority fall in the second category. I do not belief blind faith is healthy, ever. I belief blind faith leads to human suffering and history has proved this repeatedly. Much like vigilance is needed to guard democracy I believe vigilance is needed to preserve our humanity. Yes when one looks at something they must be unbiased and look at it from all perspectives ("outside looking in").As for ' ("zoaroastronism"?!??!) ' it was the worlds first monotheistic religion. There are approximately 120,000 left spread all over the world. The religion has like anything else evolved over time but there are still in Iran "ancient zoaratrians" who live in the caves and practise much as they have for the past 5 to 8,000 years. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated 2003 as the "3000th Anniversary of Zoroastrian CultureĒ in an attempt to attempt to preserve this "history" before it is lost to humanity. The Zoarastians accepted Jesus as a prophet just not as "the prophet", also, he had nothing new to tell them. They had lived with the idea of one God, freedom of religion, monarchs being responsible to their people and charity for 2,000 years, the primary difference being they had no tenets that said "Thou shall" or "Shall not" the core of their religion was based on "Spent MAihyou" (good or progressive thought) and the idea that one must strive for "Good words, good thoughts, good deeds". They also believe there is only one God and that he is good and locked in struggle with evil and there will be an Apocalypse brought in by the coming of the last Messiah. Then the good go to heaven and the evil will be cleansed and ultimately join them as well. So knowing the historical context I don't find Christianity to be that much of a revolution in thought. A huge revolution in many other ways, but only an evolution of spiritual thought and ideas. So please explain to me why you find the reference to Zoroastrianism boggling, or have you only read the modern literature from 200 AD + ( :>). Also if you have any contradictory views to these please share them i do enjoy the disscussion and dialogue and often pick up piece and tidbits of information that I have not in the past. I do not think it is unreasonable to put the onus of rational exporation and thought on the individual as opposed to his Church or religious leaders, in fact I believe it is responsible.

#34 Dlink

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 11:40 AM

I just read my above post and it is filled with spelling errors, I am however to lazy to correct them right now so I apoligize in advance.

#35 elkang

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 03:33 PM

this is a great practice. thanks daniel!I find that people tend to believe ultimately what they want to believe and find the facts to back up their worldview more than the other way around. And there are plenty of arguments around that sustain many belief systems. I found one of the most interesting and spirited ones between Jews for Jesus (messianic Jews) and "normal" Jews - talk about your clash of beliefs!For me personally, I found the formation of the early church and the accomplishments and faith of those martyrs to be reason enough to believe that this guy went around claiming to be God. I find it impossible to believe that these close followers of were deceptive or lying in their belief as many went to their deaths doing so, and I find it ludicrous to believe that they were all mistaken - they claimed to have seen Christ numerous times after his death. But, ultimately, are the teachings and values of Jesus Christ true? I find it to be so, but this opens a whole another bag of worms as people have debated Christ's true values for millenia.Ultimately, the Christian path is a personal one, and I say that there are many roads on the way to finding oneself. This book may help you, but many have found other ways. Good luck to all.

#36 Longshanks

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 11:26 PM

if im not mistaken I believe that the credible information on Jesus life outnumbers Alexander the Greats 10-1, yet that seems to be common knowledge and everyone accepts it.

#37 drocpdp

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 11:33 AM

Well, another thing is the "faith" factor.The hardest thing about convincing people to follow their religion is the fact that most religions rely on faith, despite not seeing evidence.I'm sure many of you heard the term "doubting Thomas." Thomas was an apostle who refused to believe that Jesus had been resurrected until he saw with his own eyes. Jesus himself said "You believe because you have seen. Blessed are those who have not seen for themselves but still believe."Anyways, I don't have full proof or evidence of the existence of Jesus. There is no proof or theory as with mathematics. ON Earth, some of the things that ocurred during the lifetime of Jesus are incomprehensible. However, faith is what drives me and my practice of Catholicism. Some may think it is ignorant, but there is more spiritual evidence that is rather personal that has swayed my beliefs in ways that are even more powerful than the most convincing physical evidence anyone on this earth can ever provide.

#38 Dlink

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 12:03 PM

Yes but there is logical and systematic thought to mathematics and this can be applied to the life of Jesus as well. Your argument is predicated on the argument that if you believe you don't need proof, debate or even probability. My argument is that to believe you should have come to the conclusion through rational stages.Jesus said "Blessed are those who have not seen for themselves but still believe." I say I am correct and those who question it are mistaken!So what is the difference between those two statements? By me telling you you should accept something blindly, and you accepting it, does it make it fact or pleasant (or unpleasant) mutual delusion?Also your argument could be argued for any system of belief . I shall restate a universal truth that has repeatedly been proven throughout history, blind faith, any blind faith, leads to human suffering.Now having attacked your statement I am going to do a complete turn. Belief in something does not always equate to ignorance. "Faith" is something we all need, and whether we define it spiritually or pyschologically the results are the same. Faith is also one of those traits that help us define ourselves as human. If you derive your faith from Catholiscism there is nothing wrong with that PROVIDED you question every one of its directives and their effect on your everyday actons, because any man made institution is susceptible to corruption or, just plain human error or oversight.

drocpdp said:

Well, another thing is the "faith" factor.The hardest thing about convincing people to follow their religion is the fact that most religions rely on faith, despite not seeing evidence.I'm sure many of you heard the term "doubting Thomas." Thomas was an apostle who refused to believe that Jesus had been resurrected until he saw with his own eyes. Jesus himself said "You believe because you have seen. Blessed are those who have not seen for themselves but still believe."Anyways, I don't have full proof or evidence of the existence of Jesus. There is no proof or theory as with mathematics. ON Earth, some of the things that ocurred during the lifetime of Jesus are incompreh. ensible. However, faith is what drives me and my practice of CatholicismSome may think it is ignorant, but there is more spiritual evidence that is rather personal that has swayed my beliefs in ways that are even more powerful than the most convincing physical evidence anyone on this earth can ever provide.


#39 drocpdp

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 04:31 PM

Ok this argument is sort of incomplete. I have an exam in 3 minutes. I'll re-write it to clarify. And i'm sure you'll respond. My response will be more thorough later on.

Dlink said:

Yes but there is logical and systematic thought to mathematics and this can be applied to the life of Jesus as well.  Your argument is predicated on the argument that if you believe you don't need proof, debate or even probability.  My argument is that to believe you should have come to the conclusion through rational stages.
I can't really argue with this one, as you are taking a secular base for an argument whose evidence, as i've stated before, roots in a more personal level and at a mystical level. My reasons for believing, despite the fact that I have no physical evidence to give you whatsoever, root from my own personal experiences, and my own revalations.

Dlink said:

Jesus said "Blessed are those who have not seen for themselves but still believe."  I say I am correct and those who question it are mistaken!So what is the difference between those two statements? By me telling you you should accept something blindly, and you accepting it, does it make it fact or pleasant (or unpleasant) mutual delusion?
He is not implying that those who question it are mistaken. Also, I am not telling you that you should accept it. If you choose to accept it, it is blind. There is no doubt about it. Before I continue, i want to clarify that your religion/no religion is your choice. However, for those who do look forward to the stated "heaven" that Christian religions preach, it is necessary to go on blind faith ultimately. Of course, there are remnants of Jesus' presence in the bible, in good deeds, etc. It is not necessarily delusion. You're assuming it's delusion because you haven't found what you were searching in your search. Others have, and truly believe that they're faith is ultimately infallible. Anyways, some of the best things need no evidence. Love itself, is a deeper feeling than the act of making love can even express. Hate, too, can be deep.The vastness of the universe...Our place in this world.... Etc etc etc.Subconsciously (ok the gloves are coming off) i believe that humans denounce a higher God due to the fact that they are afraid of not being the "top of the food chain." They don't want someone telling them what to do. However, we all know, human nature is full of follies. Yet we have good too... Adam and Eve, sort of explains that. We had free will, but it was sort of abused by us. However "god loves us". etc. Look at how many people get killed by lions, sharks, tigers, etc. we're not at the top of the food chain necessarily, and have weaknesses.

Dlink said:

Also your argument could be argued for any system of belief .  I shall restate a universal truth that has repeatedly been proven throughout history, blind faith, any blind faith, leads to human suffering.Now having attacked your statement I am going to do a complete turn.  Belief in something does not always equate to ignorance.  "Faith" is something we all need, and whether we define it spiritually or pyschologically the results are the same. Faith is also one of those traits that help us define ourselves as human.   If you derive your faith from Catholiscism there is nothing wrong with that PROVIDED  you question every one of its directives and their effect on your everyday actons, because any man made institution is susceptible to corruption or, just plain human error or oversight.
Man itself is susceptible to this. However, the "institution" of Catholicism was not created by man. DO not forget this. It is maintained in THIS world by man, but ultimately, the buildings we call churches, and even the public figures elected to represent our religion is not the church in itself as a whole in this world.

#40 drocpdp

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 08:01 AM

I think i'm about done in this post. DLink, your views are definitely interesting. However, the only thing left after what we've both said is to convince each other of our opposing views. I don't think I'll be able to convince you of my opinion, and vice versa. And honestly, we're not harming each other, only our fingers when we type.. hahaha. Our views are somewhat conflicting, but nonetheless, unharmful to each other, and even enlightening to some extent.This debate was great though. There were no cheap shots, or excessive preaching. I think we've both shared educated viewpoints and arguments. See you elsewhere on the forum. Take it easy.




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