SPLIT TOPIC: Churches and Morality in Crown Heights - Page 4 — Brooklynian

SPLIT TOPIC: Churches and Morality in Crown Heights

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  • So let's say you bought a new Ford, the most expensive car you've ever owned. Being a bit of a doodie head, you never read the owners manual and develop the opinion that the car can fly.

    When the inevitable happens, you curse the wrecked car for being a defective piece of junk. The maker of the car judges you to be a moran.

    Do you think Ford's replacing your car for you!

  • No, of course they won't, but here's the thing. If I bought a new Ford and despite not reading the owner's manual I thought the car could fly I would be flouting all of the rules of PHYSICS. RATIONAL THOUGHT dictates what cars do. INDEED, rational thought built the car in the first place; an abeyance to the cause and EFFECT, NOT my opinion. My opinion on anything is a SUBJECTIVE, NORMATIVE perspective. My opinion about Christianity is just that, subjective and normative. However, indifferent to my opinion are the tenets of the laws which govern REALITY. And in that world, there is no historical record of Jesus walking the earth except in the texts which can aptly be classified as MYTHOLOGY. But for the cultural intolerance of Christianity, you might be evangelizing about the tenets of Zeus, or Zhango right now... But that's another story...

    Implicit in your own scenario is that not believing in reading the manual makes one a 'doodie head'. But here's the thing: WHO reads a manual to drive a car??

    In fact, so many people are apt to NOT read manuals, but to -- and correctly so -- figure out how things work on their own, using their rational faculties...

    Your god is a myth.

  • You know what dude, good for you. This is tiresome, no? Let's agree to disagree. Thank the Constitution that we live in a country where we can do that without fear of government reprisal.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.

  • And in that world, there is no historical record of Jesus walking the earth except in the texts which can aptly be classified as MYTHOLOGY.

    incorrect :) The Bible isnt the only book that has record of Jesus walking the earth. Or other books classified as "mythology". For you to say that keeps proving you need to do some more homework. :farao:

    Happy New Years to you and your family too. *hugs*

  • My little parable was of course loosely written.

    Perhaps taking driving lessons might be a better analogy than reading the owners manual. Think of the Bible as the written material and your life as practice driving.

    Now we have the road test.

    Did he learn anything?

    Or did he ignore every opportunity and continue to drive like a doodie head?

    Boy this is getting silly.

    Still....,

  • (Sigh), You mean the book created in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicene? Yeah, okay...

    Happy New Year people.

  • You know what I find arrogant? The fact that believers always fall back on the same point--- that the universe was created by something and that ultimate something is god. Then people write a book providing the whole mythology behind such... That is arrogant.

    If you asked an atheist how the universe was created, they'd probably shrug and say 'I don't care' because not only can we not understand these things, but why would we want to know? Wouldn't that make our lives seem even less miraculous/mysterious?

    And the woman who wrote that article is an atheist, but she's the type of atheist who is sensitive to the beliefs of others. She seems to find militants atheists to be arrogant and insulting, but she uses the kind of rationalization that drives me crazy:

    For example, when she talks about the woman from Rwanda whose faith in jesus christ was in her mind responsible for her survival. She asks what an aggressive atheist would say to this woman and that is exactly the type of pundit oped bullshit I'd expect from the Daily News. It seems to suggest that they would have the audacity to belittle her atrocious experience by telling her that jesus is a myth or something. Really? It's absurd.

    They would probably think to themselves that in her case, it was example of the tremendous power of the will to live. They'd also probably think her case a tragedy that stems from the divisions people impose on themselves that lead to genocide and war. Divisions like... religion; where people's beliefs compromise the beliefs of others.

    The reason many atheists come off as aggressive or even militant is because they are frustrated with the religious world. They want people to stop wasting their time with what they view as fairytales and grow up. And they want to not just say it but scream it. I suspect this is because of a history of repression, as it is only now that atheists are really comfortable with speaking up.

  • Capt-

    You continue to assert to myself (and presumably MHA and other atheists) that we are damned in the next life.

    For a brief moment, can you imagine being an atheist and being told this?

    I do not believe in an afterlife.

    I am unable to fear the judgement of a god that I do not believe exists.

    As we have discussed, the bible is one of many sources that one can use to guide their life. Even if one uses the bible as their main source of stimulating their moral neurons, they must read it and use their intellect to determine how the stories can be applied to modern life.

    In short, life has no owners manual. It is hard work.

    ....yet, I look forward to the challenges of 2011. I'll face them using a variety of resources:

    friends

    loved ones

    family

    great philosophers, leaders, thinkers and teachers (living and dead)

    and my inherent sense of right and wrong.

    If you want to face 2011 with my above list "plus God", it won't bother me.

    But, I must say that I continue to not understand why it bothers you that "God" isn't on my list.

    For brief moment, I will suppose there is a god. As I look around, I have yet to be judged by s/he or it. ...but I sure see a lot of people judging myself and others in god's name.

  • "The reason many atheists come off as aggressive or even militant is because they are frustrated with the religious world. They want people to stop wasting their time with what they view as fairy tales and grow up. And they want to not just say it but scream it. I suspect this is because of a history of repression, as it is only now that atheists are really comfortable with speaking up."

    PittieCity layin' it down!!!

    =DB

  • (Sigh), You mean the book created in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicene? Yeah, okay...

    #EPICFAIL *sigh* same ol' same ol. so off.



    "The reason many atheists come off as aggressive or even militant is because they are frustrated with the religious world. They want people to stop wasting their time with what they view as fairy tales and grow up. And they want to not just say it but scream it. I suspect this is because of a history of repression, as it is only now that atheists are really comfortable with speaking up."

    works both ways, as why_not and the article mentions. its ok pittiecity. I laughed and I laughed and I laid it down. Jesus was a huge myth in my mind as well. What is odd is I have yet to see any arguments other than the ones I myself made or others make. Not that they aren't valid questions, but they've been answered time and time again. That's why a website aint gon cut it.

    Pittie,

    Where's the oppression? The repression? In a city like NYC, I find that somewhat laughable.

    For brief moment, I will suppose there is a god. As I look around, I have yet to be judged by s/he or it. ...but I sure see a lot of people judging myself and others in god's name.

    *nods* and thass not cool. *sigh* relax relate release peoples. Breathe in Breathe out.... :D

  • whynot wrote: For brief moment, I will suppose there is a god. As I look around, I have yet to be judged by s/he or it. ...but I sure see a lot of people judging myself and others in god's name.

    HCH wrote: *nods* and thass not cool. *sigh* relax relate release peoples. Breathe in Breathe out....

    But this really gets to the crux of what we are talking about.

    Yes, "repression" and "oppression" may be too strong of words.

    Yes, calling the religion of christianity inherently repressive and oppressive certainly puts the members on the defensive.

    I think MHA and pittiecity accurately point out that, until recently, many people have had to "fake a belief in god" and go to church in order to be included in society.

    ....to do otherwise negatively affected:

    ones dating and marriage opportunities.

    who would hire you

    where you could live

    etc.

    ...basically, it subjected one to many of the forms of discrimination that minorities and gay folks received in this country since its founding.

    Atheists (such as myself) are arguing that "society's demand that they just be quiet and fake it" is as harmful to them as it is to demand that a gay person stay closeted and marry someone they do not love.

    Basically, whether one has faith in god is a central part of their identity, and it is incredibly harmful to have a society that demands one must deny who they are in order to be accepted.

    This country is a majority Christian country, and -yes- it is tempting to blame the christians for a system that is way beyond their individual means to control.

    ....yes, the "privileges" bestowed upon christians in this country have diminished, and may be smallest in someplace like NYC ....but such privileges do still continue.

    I expect myself and other atheists to try to level the playing field at every opportunity.

    Ain't no stoppin' us now.


  • I don't find repression to be too strong a word. As I have mentioned before, can you imagine a politician running for president admitting to being an atheist? I'd be political suicide. Why? Because in the minds of many believers, you can't have morality that's not subject to a higher power... (Sigh)

  • i will fight with yall to change that perception pittie. Because the hypocrisy that does exist in Christendom flows from that belief. Living up to the prevalent social moral standards in this country and in this world are achievable no matter what you believe. no doubt.

    Check this video out. Tim Keller is here in the city.



    I think MHA and pittiecity accurately point out that, until recently, many people have had to "fake a belief in god" and go to church in order to be included in society.

    Are you or MHA or pittie one of those people? i definitely was. Definitely. Made a rap song called "the bible belt" that drew that out.

  • HCH wrote: Are you or MHA or pittie one of those people? i definitely was.

    I am fortunate in that I no longer have to fake a belief in god in order to be included.

    I presently have a circle of friends that are either accepting of my (lack of) faith, or do not care about it.

    I presently have a work atmosphere wherein my coworkers do not ask about religion or faith (we are a very diverse mix).

    I also make it a habit not to discuss religion; I find it is too personal and controversial of a topic for most settings ...certainly work. As someone with some authority where I work, I occasionally tell others to keep their religion to themselves ...I am able to do so without reprisal.

    But this has not always been the case:

    I was raised catholic.

    attended catholic high schools

    attended a catholic college

    ...despite being an atheist since I was around 10 (the time I think people begin to think about such issues), I grinned and bared it.

    And I certainly aware that not everyone (whether they are religious or atheist) is fortunate enough to have a "life" like the one I have just summarized. ...this is why I am not a militant.

    ....and probably why I have never felt the desire to read any of the books/authors that your video mentions.

    <<<< leaves computer to attend NYE party.

  • *DJ SCRATCH* HCH was:



    I was raised catholic.

    attended catholic elementary and middle school

    attended a liberal college

    ...despite being an anti-Jesus and atheistic since I was around 14, I grinned and bared it.

    we should definitely talk cuzn. have fun and be safe out there! please! im out myself to a couple.

  • I read this the other day and it reminded me of y'all:

    But there were some things I believed in. Some things I had faith in. And faith isn't about perfect attendance to services, or how much money you put into the little plate. It isn't about going skyclad to the Holy Rites, or meditating each day upon the divine.

    Faith is about what you do. It's about aspiring to be better and nobler and kinder than you are. Its about making sacrifices for the good of others - even when there's not going to be anyone telling you what a hero you are.

    Faith is a power of its own, and one even more elusive and difficult to define than magic. A symbol of faith, presented with genuine belief and sincerity, is the bane or many an otherworldly predator..."

    Jim Butcher

  • I liked it until the part about the "otherworldly predator"

    ....sounds like a bad god.

  • WhyNot, what did you bare while you grinned?

    Gotta be careful... people get arrested for baring the wrong body parts...

    Happy New Year!

  • If you do recall, I have expressed much about A Virtue Attached To Recreational Skin. One of those virtues is the ability to be candid about who you are, how you feel, and what you think; that possessing an AVATAR in this virtual world enables more freedoms than one would have in the real world. I am more comfortable being quite candid about my apathy and antipathy of religious faith here than I would in any face to face context.

    In face-to-face encounters, I've suffered many social consequences from voicing my criticisms of religion. To wit, whenever it comes up, like it did today in a livery cab, the Haitian brother said, "God is wonderful. He often closes opportunities just to provide you with others." I agreed with him while silently wondering how he could think that -- given Haiti's onward slide into the Caribbean Sea.

    For the sake of keeping the peace, I don't speak of my religious indifference in face-to-face discourse -- especially when I'm in the company of the fairer sex and attempting to breach at least two of the ten commandments at the same time.

    Being from the Caribbean, Christianity is a huge facet of people's lives. My grandmother is a Jehovah's Witness, as are a plethora of my cousins. They know I am as godless as they come, and they view me with that ironic pity Christians in toto possess. We have a silent agreement that it's something we don't talk about. Only on one occasion I was asked what church I belonged to, and I said with a wry smile, 'I am a proud heathen.' And I am.

  • But, look, I really want to stop seeming antagonistic here... There is no one truth; there are many truths. My ego's experience with the Uni-verse is not one that I would describe as needing of a medium - i.e. Jesus Christ. To the extent that I've expressed earlier sentiment that Captain Planet and His Crown Heights is 'wrong', then I want to say, I am wrong.

    There are many ways of perceiving reality, and interacting with it. choose your chalice, pick your poison, and muse to the music which moves you.

    Happy New Year everybody.

    :cheers:

  • Faith is about what you do. It's about aspiring to be better and nobler and kinder than you are.

    I'd tell Jim he would be incorrect in regards to Christianity though. I'll leave it at that so this thread can finally end lol :)

    In face-to-face encounters, I've suffered many social consequences from voicing my criticisms of religion.

    I wish I could meet you and find out more about that. Such a new perspective, what you guys are saying about being repressed. I'll take that into consideration.

    I agreed with him while silently wondering how he could think that -- given Haiti's onward slide into the Caribbean Sea.

    @MHA: relative to "bearing it and grinning"? Why didn't you ask him that question?!! It's a dope question. But I guess you attribute it to feeling "repressed".

    But, look, I really want to stop seeming antagonistic here...

    YAY!!!! *throws confetti* (Im messing. not like u the bad guy lol)

  • HCH wrote: I'll leave it at that so this thread can finally end lol

    I find it hard to believe we have resolved a discussion and debate that has been going on since the beginning of humanity.

    [Surely there was a few cavemen who couldn't buy the idea that fire = god.]

  • But fire could be god. It all depends on what is meant by 'god'. Maybe to the caveman fire =ed god because of what fire does: it warms the body, it keeps predators away, it cooks food, it forges metal, etc. Fire was venerated because of what 'good' it provided to early man; so he worshipped it.

    Then one day, after arising from his prostrations in front of the fire god, a man filled with something akin to ardor wanted to know how god did what he did. And he began to study the properties of his god. Relatively soon, his ardor and fascination became UNDERSTANDING. At this point man was transformed, because he successfully understood the properties of the fire god; in this sense, man became god himself.

    He then extrapolated on his knowledge of fire and thought, 'Then what of the water god, What of the gods in the sky at night?' 'What of the demons in the water?' Man began to approach his world with a different set of epistemological tools. With these tools he was able to see the world differently, for better or worse; the rest, as they say is history.

    As an aside, with the fundamental shift in the concept of god -- from warm hearth to the starry sky -- came a fundamental shift in how the believer perceives god as well.

    And I have no doubt that with man's growing ability to understand and manipulate his existence, man's concept of god will also change. Where now even the contemporary believer no longer looks upon fire with the same fascination as did early man, I have no doubt that the future believer will hold the same nonchalance for the Uni-verse too -- once our progeny expands it scope, ability and understanding of existence.

    Please forgive me, I spent the early morn revelling in the most recent Star Trek movie.

  • Yes, those who believe in god will always find something that "proves" god's existence. .....however, they rarely convince anyone beside themselves.

    Unless, of course, "god" is to be defined as simply the things we do not understand.

  • I liked it until the part about the "otherworldly predator"

    ....sounds like a bad god.

    (whisper)He's actually talking about vampires, and what gives and takes their power(whisper)

  • Hey MHA, why do you write uni-verse instead of universe?

  • Because I'm trying to make the point about what we are a part of. We exist in a facet of the whole picture. We are a part of 'one thing', but there are other things that adjoin our 'thing' 'uni'- one, 'verse' - part, facet, element...

    When a space shuttle orbits the earth,the people within it see a planet; that's the primary thing. Then they break down what they see into smaller parts. Similarly, The Universe is a uni-verse...What Earth is to the Solar System, What a galaxy is to the Universe, I think that the uni-verse is to something else.

  • Because I'm trying to make the point about what we are a part of. We exist in a facet of the whole picture. We are a part of 'one thing', but there are other things that adjoin our 'thing' 'uni'- one, 'verse' - part, facet, element...

    When a space shuttle orbits the earth,the people within it see a planet; that's the primary thing. Then they break down what they see into smaller parts. Similarly, The Universe is a uni-verse...What Earth is to the Solar System, What a galaxy is to the Universe, I think that the uni-verse is to something else.

    gen-i-us

  • thats pretty cool man.

    You mentioned people gaining UNDERSTANDING about 'god'. What do you think about the following statement:

    For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
  • "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

    HCH, I don't know if Man has truly seen the nature of what you define as 'God'. I think that's an ongoing perspective. I think that the nature of all living things is to be shaped by its environment so that the attainment of power becomes easier. So, Man's ultimate destiny, in that regard, is not to be perpetually beholden to the physical parameters which contain him, but to one day transcend them, and in the sense man has gained understanding of the characteristics of fire, earth, and indeed air, and now controls them, man's penultimate objective is to control existence itself, to in a sense kill the god that he has and replace 'Him' -- with himself.

    There is a Buddhist saying that if you see the Buddha walking on the road, you must kill him. Similarly, nature reveals that the parent is transcended by the offspring. God must die in order that man must live.

  • Interesting that you say that. Following along it says that we:

    exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    and

    exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator

    So either we glory in God, ourselves, or living things in this one-thing. Man does either of these things whether right or wrong. Now, if God dies, man lives (for a while), and living things live (for a while). Until they die as well. Is it proper to state that you trust moreso in a man that lives and then dies, than a god that does not exist and must be killed?

  • Well, here's the thing, whether God exists or not -- he's gonna get whacked.... Sorry, it's the nature of things....

  • whynot wrote: I liked it until the part about the "otherworldly predator"

    ....sounds like a bad god.

    homeowner wrote: (whisper)He's actually talking about vampires, and what gives and takes their power(whisper)

    Ah, got it.

    I think not being able to believe in vampires is one of the few intrinsic disadvantages in atheism. As I understand vampires, they have some powers given to them as a result of being "undead".

    As someone who thinks we simply become dirt, and that we are unable to become "undead" afterward, I think the ability to believe in ghosts and vampires is one of the things I miss the most.

    In this sense, the Capt may have a point: I have a hole in my life that never can be filled. I must admit, I think I could really get along with some of those cool ghosts in Ghost Busters and the related movies, and must admit that I have wanted to meet the Sesame Street character "The Count" from a very early age.


  • Wow, didn't realize that a lack of belief in a God meant vampires were out of bounds as well. How can you not believe in the Count? :joker:

  • MHA wrote: Well, here's the thing, whether God exists or not -- he's gonna get whacked.... Sorry, it's the nature of things....

    Three points:

    1. Please tell me how something that does not exist can be whacked.

    2. If we created god to answer all of life's mysteries and then un-create him by solving all of the same mysteries, can't some smarter people come along and think of some more stuff to solve? Isn't life just a process of realizing how much more you don't know every time you figure one damn thing out? In this way, isn't life a lot like laundy? ...one can never be done with the damn project unless you are naked, and even then others force you to get dressed and start again?!

    3. I will be gone for the next week. I expect you folks to have solved these issues by the time I return. Please make your answers applicable not just to Crown Heights, but my nearby neighborhood of Prospect Heights as well. Thank you

  • homeowner wrote: Wow, didn't realize that a lack of belief in a God meant vampires were out of bounds as well. How can you not believe in the Count?

    When I last watched Sesame Street, the Count seemed to possess magic powers that caused thunder and lightning to happen. If you can convince me that these powers came from evolution or that he is an alien, I may be able to believe in him.

    However, if he is merely a run-of- the-mill "undead" vampire, I am afraid that believing in him is inconsistent with my understanding of the basics tenets of my faith.

    Attention aspiring atheists: While atheism might not require you to go to church, or read the bible, it does make huge demands that not everyone is cut out for.

  • Well, the Buddhist saying that if you see Buddha walking down the street to kill him -- refers not to literally kill him, but to overwhelm him, and become better than him.

    In that sense, God is 'killed'.. I am really sleepy and I don't have the wherewithal to really get into right now...

  • MHA-

    Got it. Yup, assuming we feel the need to keep putting in the effort, much of humanity is going to keep redefining who or what god is until the end of time.

    So far, I haven't heard of a version that works for me.

    ...but I suppose if the skeptics let the believers completely flexible on the definition of what god is (i.e. "the unknown"), the believers will always be right.

    I guess the real question is "Why do the atheists let the believers change both the questions and the answer whenever the prior question is answered?"

    ....if the believers stopped saying "we don't know what the answer to this yet", would the atheists stop advancing the knowledge base?

    We seem to be continuing to advance the knowledge base despite a bunch of folks thinking evolution didn't happen.

  • @MHA

    Well, here's the thing, whether God exists or not -- he's gonna get whacked.... Sorry, it's the nature of things....

    whynot let me indulge that. because he has some merit there. in fact, God does not rule himself out in being whacked. excerpt (decided to copy and paste instead of murdering my hands):

    God himself bears the complete responsibility in fulfilling the terms of the covenant. Covenants in the ancient world typically specified certain benefits that could be expected if the terms of the covenant were upheld, as well as certain penalties that would follow if the terms were broken. In this covenant, God promises to bestow the

    benefits upon Abram’s offspring, but he also promises to bear the penalties that would be incurred if Abram’s offspring failed to uphold the covenant. It is an entirely one-sided promise. Typically, it was done by two parties, usually nations, who were entering into a binding relationship with each other. Once the animals were suitably prepared for the ritual, both parties

    would walk through the pieces to signify their commitment to what was being promised. It was a self-maledictory oath. When each party walked through the pieces, they were

    saying, ‘May I become like these dead animals if I ever break the terms of this covenant.’ Notice, however, what is different about the ritual in our passage. Here it is not both parties, but only the Lord passes through the pieces. Abram does not walk through them. God takes the

    covenantal curses entirely upon himself.

    Long story short, Abraham and his descendants break the covenant, and God is killed, keeping with "the nature of things". Goes back to the John 3:16 you posted. Jesus is God, the covenant keeper killed.

    @whynot_31

    We seem to be continuing to advance the knowledge base despite a bunch of folks thinking evolution didn't happen.

    The advancement in the knowledge base is based on evidence and progression. Observation and development. Not a theory that seems to never gain solid evidence and also gains evidence to its contrary. Although, whynot, I will say that it is not disproven. I believe in microevolution. I've had evidence for it. And Im not opposed to fielding thought about macroevolution. Im not militant against it. But I can note that parts of the theory needs faith. And dont think I dont know evolutionists tranform their definitions and articles. They do.

    All in all, I dont want to dismiss MHA's thought on what god is and origin, yet I have my own. Respectable. I also have a more expansive definition of what faith is and in it it begs for evidence. If there is no evidence, there is hardly faith. But where there is evidence, there can be faith.

    Would like to talk offline. We should. PM me with availabilty. Im going to be working this week on a couple web projects so Im going to detached from the site. HOLLA! :D

  • If creation is an on-going process and the Creator is killed , who continues the process? Is MHA suggesting humans will start running the uni-verse?

  • This is a far more profound conversation than I signed up for, that's for sure.

    I do think for better or worse, man's present relationship with his environment will ultimately lead to the destruction of a great deal of it, and the control of a great deal of it. Man's relationship with the environment impels him to gain understanding of it, and ultimately attempt to control it. I don't say this proudly. If there is any 'original sin' it is Man's ego. He is constantly trying to ensure his separateness from the surrounding cosmos, and in order for him to effectively ensure that he is not a part of it, not attached to it -- indeed better than it, his ego demands he control it, so that he can say, 'THE' sky, 'THE' bird, 'THE' earth, etc.

    It is a process of objectifying the world, and, in a sense 'de-spiritualizing' it; I know, that's not even

    a word. I could have simply said 'robbing it of its spirit': Man reduces his world literally to pieces, and studies those pieces, then puts them back together, or makes his version of what he thinks he sees. That's just what he does.

    The reason he does this -- in my opinion -- has everything to do with 'God'. Man sees God as his superior, and in any instance where there is a superior-inferior dynamic, there is tension, and attempt to secure power. Man studies the elements of God's power, and ultimately tries to take that power. Then, he does. That is what he has done from the beginning of time; that's what he will do to the end of time. The result is either glorious --- or Mars...

    Yeah, I know, MHA is crazy, right?

  • Morality is evolutionary? Hmmm.

    The evolutionary basis for morality might be completely disgusting

    http://io9.com/5723024/the-evolutionary-basis-for-morality-might-be-completely-disgusting

    Most humans are grossed out by things like oozing sores or rotten meat, and there might well be an evolutionary basis for staying away from these harmful things. But it might go deeper: that disgust might have created our morality.

    Valerie Curtis, a researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, argues that disgust evolved for the much same reasons that fear did. While our fright will keep us away from huge, scary predators like lions and bears, disgust keeps us away from tinier threats like parasites and harmful bacteria. And disgust is found in all creatures, even the incredibly simple nematode worm, which can recognize and crawl away from potentially deadly bacteria.

    Now, all of that seems fairly reasonable and straightforward, but there's a controversial extension to this line of thinking. Curtis explains the theory that the capacity for disgust was at the foundations of our modern conception of morality:

    "If I go around leaving poo in your front lawn or spitting in your cups or making nasty smells in public transport or if I go to church in my pajamas, I'm threatening you with my bodily fluids. These are manners, but they're also the precursor of moral behavior. That's at least one of the ways that morality could have evolved in society: simple rules about not getting other people sick with your emanations. If you sit people in a room with bad smells, they punish more severely. Your sense of disgust for people's bad behavior is tied together with your organic system."

    It's an interesting idea, although it should be stressed that this doesn't have to be the only source of morality. After all, a societal aversion to acts like murder or theft could develop quite apart from a sense of disgust. But this could be a part of the puzzle, and Curtis argues there's evidence for it in the way certain societies work today:

    "Societies with high pathogen risk tend to be societies that have a greater number of religions, they're more close knit, have more socially conservative rules and are more xenophobic. It might be that if you live in a society where you hear a lot about disease, your disgust sensitivity is going to be tuned up higher and as a result, you find that effect across society. It could also be that there are some group selection effects. If one village was really beset by some serious disease problems, would they tend to evolve towards higher disgust settings?"

    Of course, as with a lot of ideas in evolutionary psychology, there's a definite danger of taking it too far. Cornell researcher David Pizarro thinks this new research has merit, but is skeptical about some of its applications:

    "Even though I do think that the evolutionary approach is the right one to explain the origins of disgust and how it works in life now, I wonder if it can be applied too broadly. It seems unclear to me that you need an evolutionary approach to explain some of the behaviors [discussed]. For instance, avoiding large groups when you know that there's an outbreak of influenza. It seems people would just sort of notice. I don't know that it has to recruit a special system. There are a lot of things like manners that may or may not have anything to do with the avoidance of disease and seem sort of arbitrary."

  • That makes perfect sense to me, Ntfool. That's a great article.

    Morality and Biology

    Infidelity has always struck me as a result of biology, It makes sense as a man that I want to ensure that my children are my own genetically, and I assume women want to ensure that the father of her children prefers he does not have any children other than the ones they have together, for obvious material reasons. The emotional response to infidelity is the deterring factor.

    Ironically, despite not wanting to be at the short end of that stick, both men and women are subject to the temptation to indulge in infidelity. So here is an activity that if done to you would be determined as disgusting, but which there is the likelihood of temptation to indulge in yourself. Here, morality (fidelity) and immorality (infidelity) are instinct driven. Also, the prospect of getting an STD must be a factor -- more relevant than ever, sadly...

    Aesthetics and Biology

    A buddy of mine always argued that the average woman's preference for a taller male partner is a result of biology. That when our ancestors made their way on the grassy plains from 4 legs to eventually 2, the preference for a taller male partner comes from those males who mastered the ability to stand on their hind legs and survey the ancient plains for would be predators. Early women would seek out initially the men who had the longest 'hang time', which eventually became early women seeking out the taller men.

    Many aspects of what we consider right and wrong are derivations of the quest for biological dominance of specie over specie, rationalized for the purpose of perpetuating the specie's interest.

    Race, Specie, and the Quest for Genetic Supremacy

    And yep -- gonna bring it back to race: Early anti-miscegenation laws in this country were a manifestation of this fear that one racial construct will be sullied by the presence of another. Viewed subjectively, this seems 'wrong', but viewed dispassionately it makes perfect sense. In the animal world, related species fight all the time. Male lions newly dominant in their pride take to the killing of the cute lion cubs not their own. As soon as they do this the female lions go quickly into heat; they know the deal. Biology reigns supreme.

    God and Biology

    God is the ultimate alpha (typically seen as)male. Independent of whether one believes or not, the notion of god as a sensitive Alan Alda type who may listen to Dido was never the case. The creator was always portrayed in early religions as the big Patriarch in the sky. Early man built obelisks in awe of his bigness. God was projected as uber-man.

  • This stuff is mad interesting. Sort of reminds me of some stuff Nietzsche said in 'The Genealogy of Morals'.

    God and Biology (cont'd)

    It begs -- or at least requests -- the question, what is the biological basis (or need) for god concepts? And this is a question independent of whether God exists or not. God might come on the scene and announce him/her/it-self, but it is up to Man to decide whether or not this entity is really God, or just a really smart, powerful entity. It is Man who must 'worship' the creator; implicit in God's existence is 'his' expectation of obedience, gratitude, and worship.

    Apathy,Chaos & Biological Precedents for Morality

    Therefore does it follow that 'disgusting things' prevalent within a social group are signs of an imploding biology? For instance, if it becomes the norm that a 'disgust threshold' will be lower, and people get used to litter, garbage, the lack of hygiene generally, that this is a biological precursor for a society's devolving? Or, if there are high quotients of communicable diseases and death, that this is a signal of a living entity's demise -- and outwardly a sign of some greater environmental concerns? Take for instance algae blooming in our oceans, and widespread coral reef dying, or the mysterious conditions of whale pods washing to shore and refusing to make their way back into the very environment that keeps them alive?

  • can we bring this discussion back to churches and morality and their place in Crown Heights? we have veered off topic. all discussions should revolve in some way around the title of the thread. anything else would be uncivilized.

  • ... But we are talking about morality and churches (i.e., God). My last point above did bring it back to a query about the relationship between biology and social pathology -- and collaterally, churches.

    Implicitly I was making the point that if there is a biological basis for god concepts, then churches (and other religious institutions) can therefore be deemed the social equivalent of white blood cells, and should serve the purpose of routing out pathos that manifests in our environment (neighborhoods). But, if they do not do that, then the 'immune system' is compromised. Essentially, churches are not doing their job of ensuring biological integrity.

  • any mods care to weigh in?

    i suggest a split topic in which Nietzsche's ideas and other intellectual/academic ideas about the underpinnings of morality can be discussed.

    we must remain loyal to the purpose of this thread as determined by the original poster.

    if not, i think this thread might have to be locked.

  • Well, if such is the case, then I say you are wrong. I am the original poster, and if we are talking about morality, religion, and Crown heights, whatever collateral material that is introduced by anyone to make points underneath that theme are relevant.

    To, in the stead of this, start maligning how someone makes their points is only relevant if those who moderate say that it is. And where they say, chill, you are disrespectful and flout the rules of civility, then we ought to pay heed to that. Additionally, where attacks against the man are made infinitely, that only further obfuscates the issues being discussed and reveals one's bias against the individual, and not the points they address.

  • Ooops!

    Sorry, I am not the original poster, though it was my prompting to the moderator that led to this new thread being created. Sorry about that.

  • reveals ones bias against the individual, and not the points they address.

    i don't know anyone on this message board. i respond only to what they post, AKA "the points they address," and the methods they employ to address them.

  • Sorry, what does 'AKA' mean here?

  • Above Knee Amputation

  • Alright Mr. Met, I'm going to pull back from this conversation. Not sure where you are going there...

  • This thread started with a point made that churches provide morality (in Crown Heights and otherwise), and that there was no adequate replacement for churches, and in effect religion in general, to provide an adequate source of the teachings and understandings of morality.

    I don't necesarily feel that the conversation is currently "off-topic". After a few days of inactivity in this thread in general, I came across and posted here an essay which theorizes that morality originated as an instincual defense mechanism to protect the human body against disease, i.e., that morality is potentially not something that is taught (and that, consequently, organized religion cannot hold the monopoly on teaching morality).

    A little esoteric, perhaps, but I don't see how any of this is off-topic.

  • I agree with you Ntfool. I didn't think your post was off topic either. Here below, is something that is:

    Bedstuy Man Makes Good:

    http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/amplifier/51933/golden-voiced-homeless-man-captivates-internet/

  • I think I was afflicted with the same as MHA and xlizellx this week. (I've never known what it's like to not have my faculties together. Today marks the first day I can actually listen to music in ear. My head was spinning out of control and I think my walking relationship with turtles are over.) I haven't read all the statements from my last post till now - but did want to make apologize to MHA.

    #EPICFAIL ... so off

    That was short of me and you were addressing that. I didnt consider deeply what you were saying, although for me, that's a point I've researched. I still read my Bible with skeptical glasses as well as details surrounding its creation and completion. I try to make a habit of digging deep and studying, although Im not a "bible brainiac".

    BTW, I saw the link yesterday about the guy from Bedstuy. I do pray he will get some quality time with his mother.

  • ok just finished reading. i agree with what you guys wrote about morality and biology. I differ with the connection to churches and God. The Christian God anyway. I've noted your origin of "god" claims as well. I'm almost forced to tell you why I keep saying living up to prevalent social moral standards is achievable by all, but at this moment I gotta run and take care of family "business". I'll be back another day.

    Ohhh praying we could have an offline forum... please please please... you guys are really cool. I'd share coffee with everyone of you. :D

  • Unfortunately HCH,I am afflicted with a condition that makes talking in person not likely (Think Stephen Hawking meets Phantom of the Opera). Speaking through my AVATAR is probably best. It allows more honesty, and less distraction.

    I am sorry that you were ill. If you were afflicted with anything similar to what Xlizellx and I had, then I know it was horrible. Do I take from your walking with turtles comment that you were touching a turtle, and fear you got salmonella? It is possible that's what I had. I can tell you, it was the worst bout of food poisoning I have ever had.

    As far as the atheist's perspective, it is akin to the scientist's. I think that the issue is one of (to use a fancy word) epistemology, meaning, HOW one ascertains information. Faith as a means of interacting with the Divine is something that a clinical trial can't ascertain (yet. Faith is something else, and to be frank, I envy the faithful their faith.

    Lastly, that link to that brother with the golden voice whose life is turning around -- I think both skeptic and believer should watch it. It is certainly moving. It's hard not to see how communing with the Universe in his way helped him. He made a comment about talking with God -- as he understands it -- everyday. It is moving. It is a beautiful moment. That brother has a beautiful spirit. far be it for me to reduce his world view to 1's and 0's and tell him that he's delusional.

    Recall 'Crazy' Steve Maynard, the tree branch breaker? Well, I did early this morning watching an episode of Star Trek. Data is having crazy dreams of hungry mouths gnawing away at the members of the crew. He takes a knife and stabs one of them., ultimately injuring someone. As it turns out, he was seeing a creature from another dimension. My point is that maybe Steve's insanity was/is a perceptive state that WE can't see -- so of course he appears crazy. Steve obviously believes he sees something; I will assume such is the case. But where society took action was when his beliefs began to endanger the quality of life of others around him. If Steve saw angels and demons but did nothing about it, his visions would not be a problem. To the extent that they help or hinder his life -- that is the bounty or the burden he must live with. The faithful and their faith, the skeptic and their skepticism, the agnostic and their doubt -- and all of those in between, as long as we build a productive society, then what we believe is inconsequential.

  • The faithful and their faith, the skeptic and their skepticism, the agnostic and their doubt -- and all of those in between, as long as we build a productive society, then what we believe is inconsequential.

    Um... wow. I feel like that was the most direct and succint point you've made in this entire conversation. With the exception of HisCrownHeights, this thread has numerous times been pulled into everything from orneriness to miscommunication to occasional bouts of veiled bigotry (none of which is incommon when discussing faith and religion), but that quote right there really sums up my feelings better than I could have written myself. Good show MHA.

    Also, nice how you brought it back to the tree branch breaker, which is where this thread originated before being broken off.

  • Thanks! : )

  • HCH, et al,

    I'll soon be back in town and could jabber off line.

    We could do a noisy dinner at the Indian place on Franklin or Sapid on Washington.

    ....I am craving indian.

    Lurkers always welcome.

  • HCH, et al,

    I'll soon be back in town and could jabber off line.

    We could do a noisy dinner at the Indian place on Franklin or Sapid on Washington.

    ....I am craving indian.

    Lurkers always welcome.

  • P.S. Be excellent teach other

  • Well, I will definitely not be there. No offline discourse for me.

  • P.S. Be excellent teach other

    Thats what we've been doing ... LOL.... ROFL.

    yo for real on the offline discourse. Set it up cuzzo whynot. Yo MHA, can i get your email addy. PM me. :D

  • I dig that Indian place. Count me in!

  • HCH and I have been PMing, and seem to be settling on a mon - thur, sometime during the week of 1/25/11. Do those dates work for you?

  • AKA = better translation: ''also known as''

    there's a joke in all this, I suppose

    ;)

  • ProdigalSon, I figured as much, but I don't understand what Mr. Met meant by that.

    Not really feeling getting warm and fuzzy with folk here HCH, no offense.... I'm sure you are a wonderful person, but, alas, still, we need to commune via the avatar. I still think there is virtue in it. Whenever I see folks I know are online, I can't help but see the fleshed mask as 'construct'. here we are the construct we create. Want to keep it that way for the sake of discourse.

  • HCH, Capt, and anyone else that wants to come-

    How about we settle on

    Wed 1/26/10.

    7 PM

    Sapid

    ?

  • HCH-

    Regarding my "be excellent to each other" becoming "be excellent, teach each other", Tom Petty may say it best.


  • whynot_31 said:

    HCH, Capt, and anyone else that wants to come-

    How about we settle on

    Wed 1/26/10.

    7 PM

    Sapid

    ?

    WOW. I wish you wouldve PMed me. I have notifications that way. I havent been on this site in weeks.... I got a new job! :D LOL. I can say to be safe Wednesdays and Thursdays are dangerous nights to schedule anything for me.

    As far as the songs, I've read the lyrics and am wondering what you are trying to communicate?

    In re: Who Made Who? I think this is a cool book end to it, AC/DC part A and this song part B? And it has the lyrics on the youtube page. Pay attention to the pictures in the vid!! They're dope! :D



    CLEAN UP:

    "He did it at his discretion"

    "No You're wiser than us all"

    "We're reminded that your Sovereign, it was all on schedule."

    "You'll restore us back to the image of Christ, chant..."

  • I communicate only that whether there is a god, and what form that god takes is a a discussion that has been going since the beginning of time, and unlikely to be resolved soon.

    The "distinguished" members of AC/DC even thought about it :)

  • ah that's where I disagree. There is a God and he took on the form of human flesh, and dwelled among us, he got calluses on his feet, he sweated, he was tired, he cried, he healed, he protected, he touched, he died and he rose from the grave. The issue is a closed matter. And he says, "I'm here, I'm alive. In my true followers, in art, in architecture." Those who have grown up in Christian homes may remember what he said to doubting Thomas, but he also said this:

    But you haven't believed in me even though you have seen me.John 6:36

    I pray that you see him, up close and personal. :)

    *By the way, if Weds night is the best night for all, I'll be glad to meet up :)

  • Again, I appreciate your faith, but I certainly don't consider it a "closed matter". You read that god took human form to live among us in a book. Well, who wrote that book? And to what end?

    Not everyone that grew up in a Christian household, as I did, has your level of faith.

  • Perhaps HisCrownHeights is simply stating that "for him" it is a "closed matter". Surely he is not claiming that we all must believe as he does.

    ...as we discussed earlier, such a belief would:

    a. invalidate all religions and belief systems other than christianity

    b. assume that there was a unified definition of "christianity" or its meaning. When I last checked, the Klan, the unitarians, the born agains, and catholics all seem to lay claim to practicing the teachings of Jesus and believing that he was "god".

    On the other hand, I merely claim that the debate over "whether there is a God" has been going on for eons, and is unresolved. Do I need to cite more than AC/DC and this thread as evidence?

  • Perhaps HisCrownHeights is simply stating that "for him" it is a closed matter. Surely he is not claiming that we all must believe as he does.

    ...as we discussed earlier, such a belief would:

    a. invalidate all religions and belief systems other than christianity

    b. assume that their was a unified definition of "christianity" or its meaning. When I last checked, the Klan, the unitarians, the born agains, and catholics all seem to lay claim to being Christian.

    On the other hand, I merely claim that the debate over "whether there is a God" has been going on for eons, and is unresolved. Do I need to cite more than AC/DC and this thread as evidence?

    EDITED: those are great questions, I'll not double post.

    It was written by God through people. 40 different people over thousands of years, nt. and it's not about my "level of faith". Size of a mustard seed? My "level of faith" is not something I achieved. It's a gift. I was given it. I appreciate that you disagree with what I said about it being a closed matter. I dont mean to say its something that cant be discussed, I mean to say its been written, recorded, it's true. But to many, it's not "truth". That's where faith comes in. Because they can say someone was robbed at gunpoint at Bedford and Lincoln. They can show me pictures, write an article, but I wasnt there. I didnt see it. So my question is: what gets us to believe what we read in the newspaper, on TV, in books? Do we not also exercise faith to a degree?

    a. Yeah. It's insane. That's why there's so much hatred. From the world at large, from religions. And it's actually freeing and not burdensome. I was more confused when I thought all religions, beliefs were cool as long as we're following our belief closely.

    b. As far as many people laying claim to be Christian: we have to examine what it means to believe in Christ through what the Bible says. Read that as, not BE A CHRISTIAN, but to BELIEVE in Christ. I can imitate a mime, throw on a paint, but does that make me a mime?

  • That you believe in a christian god, and live what you consider to be a christian life, has yet to be disputed by anyone on this thread.

    It seems that I (and perhaps ntfool, and some other posters) are stating that:

    a. We do not believe in a christian god, and

    b. Despite your impassioned pleas and thorough knowledge of the bible, we continue to feel no need to change our minds.

    Even if I were to somehow find/achieve your "god given" ability to believe in a god, I fail to see the need to do so. I look at it somewhat selfishly ....at this point in my life, believing in a god sounds like work without any potential payoff.

    As discussed above with Capt Planet, I find I am able to be a moral being without believing in an afterlife that is contingent on my present behaviors.

    Hence, if I were to believe in a god or religion, I think I would choose one that didn't try to make be behave in the present life "as if" there were an afterlife.

    Do you mention "having faith in things you do not directly experience" because you do not believe atheists can enjoy such faith?

    ....do you believe that I (and other atheists) are incapable of faith in anything? For example, that only people who believe in god can believe the newspaper, TV or books?

  • I look at it somewhat selfishly ....at this point in my life, believing in a god sounds like work without any potential payoff.

    As discussed above with Capt Planet, I find I am able to be a moral being without believing in an afterlife that is contingent on my present behaviors.

    It's not about work. That's the difference between Christianity and religion. :) And as far as being a moral person, I agree. You can. But being perfect and righteous is another bag.

    Do you mention "having faith in things you do not directly experience" because you do not believe atheists can enjoy such faith?..do you believe that I (and other atheists) are incapable of faith in anything? For example, that only people who believe in god can believe the newspaper, TV or books?

    No. On the contrary, I am guessing atheists do have a faith they enjoy. That's why I asked those couple questions. I'd love some feedback.

  • It's not about work. That's the difference between Christianity and religion. And as far as being a moral person, I agree. You can. But being perfect and righteous is another bag.

    I try to grow a little, and live my life a better each day. ...but I do not believe I will ever achieve perfection or righteousness. I don't see either of those qualities as achievable, and try not to present myself as anymore "perfect" or "righteous" than anyone else because I find those who do be pretty annoying.

    Frankly, throughout my life I've encountered people who are of various religions (christian, atheist, hindu, jewish etc), and have developed a suspicion of those who claim that on the basis of their religion (or, actually, on ANY basis) they either "do not shit, or somehow their shit does not stink". I'd like to think I'm suspicious of everyone equally.

    ...but I will admit there are a lot of people in the world better than me. I just can't assign anyone "better than" status as a result of a religion or faith they possess; I try to assign such judgement solely on the basis of their actions.

    I'd like you to expand on your belief that christians either have been given the ability to believe, or have not. This conflicts with my perception that many christians I know (such as family members) constantly struggle to maintain their faith.

    It also conflicts with me being told "I don't believe in christ, or much of what my church teaches, but I go to church for the fellowship and community it offers me. I would be alone in life without my congregation. They are wonderful". I feel a comradery with these folks, and have thought to myself "if I ever find myself alone in life, I would go to church too. I would participate in the potlucks, wear a tie, and sing along with the best of them."

    Do you believe that a lot of the people in the pews to your left and right are there for similar reasons?

    No. On the contrary, I am guessing atheists do have a faith they enjoy. That's why I asked those couple questions. I'd love some feedback.

    I only speak for myself, but I believe the main difference in "having faith" (as you define it) between people who are not christian AND those who are christian is the faith in christ thing.

    I think on other issues of "faith", we are pretty similar and can see eye to eye. I, too, read the newspaper and watch the news ... while I am skeptical, I will admit to believing most of it. (Please note that new sources on the far left or right, or ones with obvious agendas I tend to doubt; I suspect you doubt them as well).

    ....of course, there are those christians who claim evolution didn't happen, that homosexuals are evil, and that anyone who isn't christian is less than them, etc. Despite my best efforts, I can't see eye to eye with those people.

    However, you have repeatedly, and convincing stated you are not one of those, so I see the differences between you and I as relatively minor.

  • HisCrownHeights said:

    It was written by God through people. 40 different people over thousands of years, nt.

    This is still a sticking point for me. God told people to write the Bible, i.e., God either dictated to them what to write, or planted the idea to write specific sections in specific individuals' heads, correct?

    How do you know that's how it went down? Because it seems like you're getting second or third-thousandth hand information. Are there passages in the Bible which detail how it was written? If so, that's would be called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Just because the powers that be (i.e., the Church) have put forth the idea that God, in some form or another, influenced mortal men to author the Bible in its initial form some 2,000 years ago does not make it fact. And on that topic, how is it that the first form of the Bible was apparently written some 300 years after the death of Jesus Christ? How do we reconcile the fact that the Gospel according to this or that Apostle was possibly written hundreds of years after said Apostle was dead and buried?

    More interesting to me, If Emperor Constantine had not declared Christianity to be the state-enforced religion of the Roman Empire in the 320's AD (or maybe the decade before... can't remember off the top of my head), would Christianity have lasted as long as it has? Keep in mind, the relatively new religion that is Christianity was persecuted to the point of non-existence in the Empire just 50 years before. If it had been fully vanquished, what would our modern landscape look like?

    My wildly untrained, knee jerk opinion is that no matter the form that organzied religion takes, it is always, in some way or another, a power grab. A very human, mortal weakness.

  • ntfool, et al,

    Rather than continue to type here, HCH and I are in the process of setting up a time to again meet in person.

    We will advise you of the location and time, and you are welcome to join us.

    In the event that we reach an agreement on:

    a. the existence of god

    b. his/her/its form

    c. his/her/its wishes

    ....we promise to publish our results here first. :)

  • I'd love to join you, but bad timing at the moment. I've been working ungodly hours in light of a big project, and my wife is likely feeling abandoned with our two young children.

    I don't think that, on the off chance that I'm not at work, I could get away with escaping for a relaxing meal and/or drink to discuss the vagaries of the mystery of God. In fact, even picturing her expression to that request gives me the chills.

    Perhaps next time. Thanks for the invite.

  • I'm here. Been a while. I apologize. Really. I thought about clicking "alert me to replies" but I wasn't looking for a flood of emails per each post.



    I'd like you to expand on your belief that christians either have been given the ability to believe, or have not. This conflicts with my perception that many christians I know (such as family members) constantly struggle to maintain their faith.

    1 John 2:19

    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

    Simple. Man, it's a shame though. And it happens all the time.

    Do you believe that a lot of the people in the pews to your left and right are there for similar reasons?

    Some maybe, but that circles back to 1 John 2:19 and Jesus' parable of seeds.

    Mark 4:

    16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

    And some are genuinely hurt by the church. So they leave. I pray for those people, but I also think: "man, if only church discipline was properly in practice then:

    If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

    AND

    21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

    TO NT:

    How do you know that's how it went down? Because it seems like you're getting second or third-thousandth hand information. Are there passages in the Bible which detail how it was written? If so, that's would be called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    2 Tim 3:16, 17

    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    ALL. ALL BIBLE. :) that's bananas. no other book of "religion" self-proclaims it's inerrancy.

    Also, in the book of Matthew there are many scriptures about how Jesus does things that fulfill "Old Testament" scripture.

    I.E.

    Psalm 22 (written thousands of years before)

    17 I can count all my bones—

    they stare and gloat over me;

    18 they divide my garments among them,

    and for my clothing they cast lots.

    Matt 27 (thousands of years later)

    When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

    Roman, Jew-hating, Bible-hating soldiers fulfilled prophecy AND HAD NO CLUE THEY WERE.

    If I was going to write down a profound lie, I wouldn't want to be killed gruesomely for it. I'd renounce all of it, like nah, the soldiers aint really, and Jesus aint really... so yeah, you can remove that sword from my neck.... Ceasar is Lord. which eads me to the heart of all of your questions:

    My wildly untrained, knee jerk opinion is that no matter the form that organzied religion takes, it is always, in some way or another, a power grab. A very human, mortal weakness.

    Most of the disciples were killed.

    ALERT! I don't agree with all the following theology of this site but it gives a historical rundown of what happened to the disciples:

    http://www.gotquestions.org/apostles-die.html

    http://www.ichthus.info/Disciples/intro.html

    "Many of Jesus disciples died cruel deaths for preaching the gospel"

    Power Grab? eesh. nahhhhh, I dont think it was. But think for a moment, isnt the presidency, a place of power. Constantine was no apostle. He was a king. Popes have committed graver sins than declaring Christianity a state religion. We are sinners who need grace, true saints will say. And I'd be with you if any of the disciples, first century saints and writers said: overthrow and take over the world!!! take over nations Christians!!

    But you hit it on the head: A very human, mortal weakness is the pursuit of power for pride.

    I can take a machete and harvest a field, cut down bananas for my family. Or I can murder with it, be in a gang, and be a killer for territory and power in Crown Heights.

    Humans take anything and everything that can be used for good and use it for evil. We're evil indeed. and we don't even recognize that unless there is a wheelchair invented to help along a disabled person. but if provoked i'll take it and run over your foot too with it. LOL. So, are the inventors of the wheelchair evil?

  • The Bible is fun.

    Ob ovo, all that begating (or begatting); and all that "knowing" ("Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain...Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch"), so Victorian, so Enlightened; and the non-monogamous couplings ("Lamech took two wives", but did he truly "know" them both?); the drunken nakedness of Noah; or the tale that is almost written for reality TV, fitted out with slavery, adultery, surrogacy, illegitimacy -- a mash up of "Gone with the Wind" and "Wife Swap"

    "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and Sarai said to Abram, 'You see that the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go into my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her."

    "Go into her indeed!," his consent sealed by an arched eyebrow.

    No, neither THAT nor the collective adult circumcision: "This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised."

    My covenant for a foreskin!

    Abraham, a "player" of biblical proportions, doesn't set off my immorality meter either.

    No, I am disturbed by the genocide in Genesis, the firebombing of Sodom and Gomorrah; the honor killing that resulted from the defiling of Dinah

    "On the third day, when they were still in pain (as a result of another collective wave of circumcision), two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and came against the city unawares, and killed all the males...And the other sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city...They took flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and made their prey."

    -- God, not the little ones! --

    for which Jacob received a blessing from God.

    Or the fate of poor Onan: "he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother's wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother. What he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death also." A one off for a one off, so to speak.

    Golf clap

  • HCH wrote: no other book of "religion" self-proclaims it's inerrancy.

    Combined with some of the crazy and contradictory stuff in it, this claim is one of the reasons I leave it shut.

    Meanwhile, these two very "on topic" local plays are looking like a good use of my time and money:

    http://theaterforthenewcity.net/infallibility.htm

    even I can afford $18!

    ...because those who claim to represent christianity, islam, hinduism, judaism etc have such wildly different interpretations of what "it" means, perhaps people should decide whether or not they want to be part of specific religion largely based on the nature of their individual congregation or group.

    I have a hard time viewing members of any religion as actually subscribing to any uniform code of beliefs. As a result of everyone claiming to be the "true" believers, hasn't the idea of religion been outdated?

    Cafeteria catholics?

    Cafeteria jews?

    cafeteria islam?

    etc.

  • Hey, how come no one has brought up Pascal's Wager yet?

    ...we are slacking!

    Here's a good read on the topic:

    http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2011/02/why-pascals-wager-sucks.html

  • pascals wager... blah. lol.

    a mash up of "Gone with the Wind" and "Wife Swap"

    "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and Sarai said to Abram, 'You see that the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go into my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her."

    "Go into her indeed!," his consent sealed by an arched eyebrow.

    The fact that you have a problem with this historical story shows you have a knowledge of good and evil. Or at least disturbing. That makes me wonder why? The gruesome even sexually immoral details of what Qaddafi did, what Saddam did, what happened during Katrina, when told in newspapers, blogs, history books, have the same effect. But we don't rail much against the news or question their inaccuracies. Do we? But be clear it's ok to be disturbed. I just wonder are we looking outward moreso than inward.

    A heinous statement to make is if we had a clue of what God has really done faithfully, graciously and who he really is, we would no longer find fault in what he does. Similar to the I, Robot movie, where the creation kills its creator. and it's hard time convincing everyone that we are inherently sick and capable of murder. Because "I would never be Cain. How could I kill my own brother?" Fast forward: Civil War, United States. And in a society much more religious than now.

    I tell you God is not a mad scientist who seeks nothing but to malign his creatures. Or impose laws that cannot be kept just for the sake of tyranny. Farbeit wiser than I to find the hopeless and save them. And not just save them but love throughout eternity. And not just after recognition, but even sparing us while we are still spitting and cursing at him.

    Combined with some of the crazy and contradictory stuff in it, this claim is one of the reasons I leave it shut.

    Name some contradictions, and I'll see if I can assist. Primarily, because that was the exact reason I kept it shut for so long, but found I none.

    shai linne (rapper):

    Beyond conviction, would not listen to what my mom was kickin. Thought the bible was full of contradictions. Then I read it and got confronted with the fact:

    THE CONTRADICTIONS WERE LIKE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN IRAQ

    couldn't find them so; the Lord gave me a brighter glow. On mics I flow; that Christ would be highlighted though.

    But check the equation that got me excited bro:

    HE DIPPED THIS BROWN MAN

    IN RED BLOOD

    AND I CAME OUT WHITE AS SNOW!

  • My challenge for the day is merely to find contradictions in the bible?

    ...an easy day indeed.

    Let's see, it seems to say that everyone one should be equal and we should treat others as we wish to be treated ...yet also says women are pretty much garbage.

    Here's a discussion re: women in the bible that seems to be started by someone who has opened the bible and bothered to cite it:

    http://opposingdigits.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3006

    Ditto, we seem to have more than a few endorsements of slavery being god's wishes.

    ....just some quick examples of how claiming to be free from errors and contradictions seems beyond the bible's reach, or -for that matter- any historical text.

    HCH, do you really believe that in order to be a good christian you must defend everything in the bible? (this is not a standard I am trying to impose on you)

    On a similar note, why do you dismiss a discussion of Pascal's wager?

    While you may have been given the gift of unquestioning faith you profess, do you really find it hard to believe that many of people participating in religion do so largely as a result of such a wager?

    ....among my friends and family who believe, they all admit that they have trouble with the central tenets of their religions, yet practice it for the sense of community it provides, as well as a version of Pascal's wager.

    This doesn't make them bad people, or bad christians in my view. Does it make them bad christians in yours?

    Are you stating that the members of your congregation are different than the christians (jews, muslims, etc) that I know and love?

    How many cafeteria christians are able to say "well that's what the bible said, but that isn't what it meant. So I don't follow that"

    Are they still christian even though they interpret the bible's teachings to match their own preferences?

    Are they still muslim if they pick and choose what they follow from the koran?

    etc

  • LINK : http://video.foxnews.com/v/4545541/what-is-the-true-word-of-jesus/

    Assuming this will post, I'll return about your questions whynot. This was a good news interview. I see these things and post them, recognizing that God allows me to pause and pray. Which wala!, along with busyness, is the reason to these vid posts and long stretches of silence. I am praying :) I'll return soon.

    Excerpt:

    quoting a pastor friend of his:

    Person A: I'll believe in Jesus if you can give me a water-tight argument..

    Pastor: What if God didn't give us a water-tight argument, but a water-tight person in Jesus Christ who against in the end there can be no argument?

    O.O :| wow.

    BY THE WAY: I don't attend Redeemer but got mad friends who do. He's dope. :)

  • I think I speak for many when I point out that the Fox interview on "What is the True Word of Jesus" would have been far more convincing had they interviewed Jesus, as opposed to some christian theologian 2000 years after Jesus spoke.

    ...but I might be wrong.

  • In response to Fox "news", I post the classic Carl Sagan Tribute Videos on the subject:



    ....the video is well worth the 10 minutes.

    This is actually only one of the (5) five videos that have been on the topic. All five can be found here and are well worth our time.

  • HCH, do you really believe that in order to be a good christian you must defend everything in the bible? (this is not a standard I am trying to impose on you)

    1. I can never be a "good christian". I am a Christian because I've been enraptured in the love of Christ. Whether you've been saved 2 seconds or 18 years, you're never more good or bad of a Christian.

    2. 1 Peter 3:15

    but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

    Highlight: yet with gentleness and reverence. That's my aim here. That's why I haven't responded in two weeks. Cuz I want to be like "you guys have go to be jokin me. this is stupid." But no, I need to be humbled. I need Jesus as much as I speak to you about him. And as soon as you feel superChristian in your skin, that's when God knocks you right back down. I know. I wyled out cutting off mad ears. smh.

    On a similar note, why do you dismiss a discussion of Pascal's wager?

    Because the Bible and God is worth more than a theory or an exercise in "What if?" So much more. And it's so much more trustworthy.

    While you may have been given the gift of unquestioning faith you profess, do you really find it hard to believe that many of people participating in religion do so largely as a result of such a wager?

    Some may. But I know of none. in Christianity that is. cuz on the real, I see every reason to just go crazy if it was based on a 50/50 and a lot of people feel the same. But from life experience to Jesus' resurrection, its 99:1 lol.

    ....among my friends and family who believe, they all admit that they have trouble with the central tenets of their religions, yet practice it for the sense of community it provides, as well as a version of Pascal's wager.

    This doesn't make them bad people, or bad christians in my view. Does it make them bad christians in yours?

    Nope. But I'd question 1) did u really mean that, or was that your in the pressure moment answer to your nonbelieving friend or cousin? 2) If you believe that, then go sin like you don't know God. Like you dont think he exists. They will probably say "You crazy, heck no." And then I'd ask why? Because they know it's deeper than a social club or Pascal's wager.

    Are you stating that the members of your congregation are different than the christians (jews, muslims, etc) that I know and love?

    Did I state that? Infer that? If I did I shouldnt have. I only say that all christians aren't Christians, all jews aren't all jews, all muslims arent muslims too. So what's the difference? The Bible states that those who are Christians trust in Jesus alone for their salvation. Not their community, not Pascal's wager, not their good kindness. And I understand that doesn't seem tangible. But God is all wise. Because if it was totally tangible, we'd be fighting over who more holier than who. and that's my problem and Im pretty sure a lot of peoples problem with religion.

    How many cafeteria christians are able to say "well that's what the bible said, but that isn't what it meant. So I don't follow that"

    I wonder what a cafeteria christian is? and as far as part B. The Bible means what it says. It's the final authority. And we should discern and interpret it through a Gospel grace filled lens. Did Jesus mean I have to eat of his flesh and drink his blood in order to be his follower? The Gospel says Jesus sacrificed his body and shed his blood on the cross for my sins. What part of that is a demand to eat Jesus' body? So I need to interpret that through the Gospel. And I ain't tellin you what he's saying because I want you whynot to find that one day and discover what that means. But a good study of the Old Testament, which Jesus quoted a lot during his ministry, will reveal the meaning. :)

    Are they still christian even though they interpret the bible's teachings to match their own preferences?

    It's ok to have preferences in worship and dress and day to have church, but never have preferential interpretations on the Bible's teachings. It should be interpreted through Gospel grace filled lens. So I ain't a saved woman if I don't wear a hat to church? The Gospel says Jesus sacrificed his body and shed his blood on the cross for my sins. What part of that is a demand to wear a hat to be saved? You feel me now?

    Are they still muslim if they pick and choose what they follow from the koran?

    etc

    Ask a muslim. I'm not an authority on islam, though I was big fan of Farrakhan during my college years and beyond; i remember walking into a mosque one day just to see if I wanted to do that.

    I want to say this. God will prove himself without my help. I only seek to relate things to you because he is worthy to be known and loved and he wants to love. He created to love. That I know because I am who I am and Jesus is who he is. So its not so much about defending the bible, as it is showing how God is trustworthy and true. And its ok for me to do that I think. Because if you saw a dope movie, isn't ok for you to say "yo go see inception. the movie was this and this and this." and I can say "well so and so said it had this and this and I aint really into that" who has the final say on what it contains and its interpretation. not me, not you, not so and so. the movie, the director and the screenwriter. right? so what do i need to do. I can watch the movie, i can talk to the director and screenwriter. Whynot, read the Bible. and if you feel I said something wrong, thass dope, CUZ IM FALLEN TOO. ask me about it. but I pray Jesus reveals himself and enraptures you in his love :D

  • HisCrownHeights and I have agreed to continue this discussion in person, and not online until afterward.

    As promised earlier in this epic thread, we will publish any changes in our viewpoints here.

    To my knowledge, neither of us actually expects to "convert" the other.

    But both of us seem to enjoy each others company.

  • Looking forward to hearing about it!

This discussion has been closed.