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‘COLLAPSE’ and the APOCALYPSE
Posted: 23 July 2009 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Your humanitarian ‘holy as I am holy’ friends are rolling up their sleeves to ease monumental suffering that their own whacko religion has caused.

I think maybe the longer your time here, US, the fuzzier your logic and reasoning is getting.  Are you seriously blaming the Christian message for poverty, starvation and disease?  Do you really think that the Christian missionary presence in India or China is contributing to overpopulation there?  As the anti-theist is so keen to point out, the United States is one of the most religious countries in the world, and was even more religious in the past.  Why are we not overrun with starvation, overpopulation, poverty and disease?  It must be because of the atheists.  All the condoms in the world aren’t going to fix the problems in India or Africa. 

Tell me, why doesn’t your church support a family planning mission, and help distribute condoms?  Are you going to let us figure that one out on our own?

Because we’re not trying to blame the world’s problems on family planning…

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Posted: 24 July 2009 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 23 July 2009 09:05 PM

Because we’re not trying to blame the world’s problems on family planning…

If you were to make a list of 5 of the world’s most serious problems, what would they be?

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“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 24 July 2009 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 23 July 2009 09:05 PM

Because we’re not trying to blame the world’s problems on family planning…

Right, it’s the lack of family planning and disease control (and don’t embarrass yourself with the abstinence only solution) that contributes to many of the problems. Speaking of Africa, a large part of their problems are ... guess what? ... the fight between Christians and Muslims.

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Posted: 24 July 2009 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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If you were to make a list of 5 of the world’s most serious problems, what would they be?

1. Rejection of the Gospel/Sin
2. Corrupt governments and officials
3. Mismanagement of land, money and other resources
4. Education
5. War and armed conflict

The first one is a catch-all, the other four come out of the first.  Your zeroing in on disease and overpopulation, in my opinion, addresses symptoms, not causes.  And you’re proposed solution of family planning seems to me to only address one symptom of much larger causes.

As a Christian, #1 is of the upmost priority because I believe that true change of a person’s heart comes through recognition of sin, repentance and faith in Christ.  Does this solve the world’s problems?  No.  Jesus said that the poor will always be among us.  But with true vital faith and biblical practice, I believe we can lessen the effects, and even end, many of the other causes.  In other words, the worlds problems find their origins in the hearts of men and women like you and me and I believe that individuals, communities, countries, nations, continents, etc. will change from the inside out.   

And please don’t start up a bunch of strawman arguments about Christians just preaching the Gospel and handing out tracts to fix everything.  There is no evidence in the NT that the Gospel comes without real, tangible help and aid.  In fact, you will find them closely tied together.  Yes, you and I will disagree about methods.  Do I have a problem with Africans, for example, having increased access and supply of condoms?  Of course not.  However, handing out condoms is not going to address deeper issues like rampant polygamy, promiscuity, rape and sexual coercion, and significant inequality for women.  And while his work may not be as politically correct as people want, I think Edward Green’s research on AIDS prevention seems pretty honest.  I don’t think its a coincidence that decreases in sexual partners and encouragement of monogamy have made larger strides in AIDS prevention, and by the way, that happens to be in line with the biblical model.

So unless you can provide empirical evidence that Christians in Africa or otherwise are perpetuating the AIDS epidemic, I’d propose that you refrain from empty accusations.

Again, these conversations only serve to show your extreme bias, rather than looking at real facts.  Ironic, I know, because atheists are always claiming to be so “factual” about everything right?  Did it ever occur to you, for instance, that corrupt totalitarian war mongers who spend more money on guns than public infrastructure may cause poverty and perpetuate disease and hunger in Africa?  What about apartheid? What about the failure to tap into the natural water resources on the continent?  What about the caste system in India or the suppression of industrialization by the Brits?  Perhaps poor education and practice of agriculture?  Low human resources for primary and secondary schools?  etc. etc.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Your zeroing in on disease and overpopulation, in my opinion, addresses symptoms, not causes.

Overpopulation is a fundamental source of conflict in our present civilization.  If spiritual or emotional conceits cloud this abject truth, than those conceits should be opposed, in my opinion.

Why, Clay, hasn’t the Lord instilled any sense of wonder or stewardship in the Earth in those who believe in Him?  Why does he leave it to the Unbelievers to fill that role? 

Maybe the Lord, in his mysterious way, wants his children to grow up and join the rest of humanity.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 24 July 2009 07:28 PM

If you were to make a list of 5 of the world’s most serious problems, what would they be?

1. Rejection of the Gospel/Sin
2. Corrupt governments and officials
3. Mismanagement of land, money and other resources
4. Education
5. War and armed conflict

I assume that ‘rejection of the Gospel’ (the Christian Bible) includes indifference to this book, as manifested by billions of people throughout the world.  Are you equating this indifference with sin?  (Indifference would include the attitude of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, etc. - just as you are indifferent to their holy books).

In ‘THE END OF FAITH’ Sam Harris writes:

“It is time we recognized that the only thing that permits human beings to collaborate with one another in a truly open-ended way is their willingness to have their beliefs modified by new facts.  Only openness to evidence and argument will secure a common world for us.  Nothing guarantees that reasonable people will agree about everything, of course, but the unreasonable are certain to be divided by their dogmas.  This spirit of mutual inquiry is the very antithesis of religious faith.”  - (end quote)

You have listed ‘rejection of the Gospel’ as the number 1 problem in the world.  Surely you can see that this position, attitude, idea, conviction, belief - dooms you to eternal conflict with other dogmas?  I am pointing out that in your own assessment, your religion is the world’s number 1 problem - the eternal strife of different dogmas.

Harris writes:

“It is imperative that we begin speaking plainly about the absurdity of most of our religious beliefs.  I fear, however, that the time has not yet arrived.  In this sense, what follows is written very much in the spirit of a prayer.  I pray that we may one day think clearly enough about these matters to render our children incapable of killing themselves over their books.  If not our children, then I suspect it could well be too late for us, because while it has never been difficult to meet your maker, in fifty years it will simply be too easy to drag everyone else along to meet him with you.” - (end quote)

At this point, Harris provides a footnote, mentioning the book, Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning by Martin Rees.

Clay, do you acknowledge that what you see as the world’s number 1 problem, rejection of the Gospel, is the most likely catalyst of our doom?  (intolerance - unwillingness to have one’s beliefs modified by new facts)

‘Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning’ by Martin Rees -
Read reviews at:

http://www.amazon.com/Our-Final-Hour-Scientists-Warning/dp/0465068634

“Even if we were to grant that one of our religions must be correct in its every particular, given the number of conflicting views on offer, every believer should expect damnation on mere probabilistic grounds.” - Bertrand Russel

[ Edited: 25 July 2009 01:37 PM by unsmoked]
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“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 25 July 2009 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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unsmoked - 25 July 2009 05:33 PM

Clay, do you acknowledge that what you see as the world’s number 1 problem, rejection of the Gospel, is the most likely catalyst of our doom?  (intolerance - unwillingness to have one’s beliefs modified by new facts)

Excellent post, smokey. Thoughtful and cogent. You make me proud to be associated with you (I’d say we are). It was interesting to read again Harris’ second paragraph that you quoted. Very profound.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Are you equating this indifference with sin?

No, I’m saying that the core of the world’s problems rest in existence of sin and the fall of man, as spelled out in the Christian Scriptures.  A person’s indifference to the Bible doesn’t make it true or untrue.

Only openness to evidence and argument will secure a common world for us.

This itself is a dogma, one adopted by many like Sam Harris, which is entirely speculative and probably based much more in personal opinion or experience than actual evidence. 

Do I understand that my particular view sets me at odds with much of the world?  Yes, and Sam Harris should recognize that his does the same.  Surely he must recognize this fact.  All he is saying is that he thinks his worldview, if taken seriously, will end conflicts (or diminish them)...at least religious ones.  And of course, my worldview has a similar hypothesis (although mine culminates in the second coming of Christ, rather than a world full of rational, as SH defines it, people).  Not only that, but SH insults the rest of mankind in the process, claiming that the world’s battles are between rational people, like him, and irrational people, like religious folk.

Clay, do you acknowledge that what you see as the world’s number 1 problem, rejection of the Gospel, is the most likely catalyst of our doom?

Yes, I acknowledge that rejection of the Gospel and the embrace of sin is the most likely catalyst of our doom…in this world and the world to come.

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