Time Magazine reveals just how out of touch this forum is
Posted: 29 March 2005 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Time Magazine, a reputable rag, (which is read and adored by liberals worldwide), has an interesting article about the risen Christ. It contains some facts which the intellectuals who peruse this forum might find interesting, if not sacriligious to them!!! (no pun intended, hee hee grin ).

Think of this, a Newsweek poll cited in the article shows:

- 78% of Americans believe Christ rose from the dead
- 75% say he was sent to Earth to absolve mankind of its sins

Wow, those are some gaudy numbers! But the best line in the article can be applied to the banter that occurs on this forum:

For the secular, the reminder that Christianity is the product of two millennia of creative intellectual thought and innovation, should slow the occasional rush to dismiss the faithful as superstitious or simple.

Well, I could not have said it any better myself. Think about it intellectuals. Being in such a small minority must surely make you think twice about rejecting Christ. Are you smarter and more informed than 78% of America? What about the billions of believers, smarter than them? Are you smarter than Steven Hawkings, who opened the door to belief in Intelligent Design? Steven Hawkings?

No, get used to it. We're Christians, we're here to stay. We're multiplying every day. We're gonna pray for you and your friends, help out those who are down on their luck, feed the hungry, cloth the poor, provide schooling to the underprivileged in the third world, pray for the masses, we're just gonna keep doing good works, and such. That ok with you? Hey, who ya gonna call when you're down on your luck. You're heart is broken, your friends are all gone, you're more lonely than you ever thought possible? Just stroll on down to your local church.

There, you'll be accepted as you are. Free to join in without being judged, free to experience true love among brothers and sisters who care more about you than what you drive, or what you wear, or where you live. It's all there, waiting for you in your local church. And your pastor will give you counsel for free, none of this $70 an hour charge by the non believer.

We just want you to have the joy we got. I know you're gonna get it, if you open your heart to the risen Christ, humble yourself, say you are the Lord, and I accept you as my savior now and forever, amen.

Geez, I think I'm preaching here…. grin

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Posted: 29 March 2005 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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No, get used to it. We’re Christians, we’re here to stay. We’re multiplying every day. We’re gonna pray for you and your friends, help out those who are down on their luck, feed the hungry, cloth the poor, provide schooling to the underprivileged in the third world, pray for the masses, we’re just gonna keep doing good works, and such. That ok with you? Hey, who ya gonna call when you’re down on your luck. You’re heart is broken, your friends are all gone, you’re more lonely than you ever thought possible? Just stroll on down to your local church.

There, you’ll be accepted as you are. Free to join in without being judged, free to experience true love among brothers and sisters who care more about you than what you drive, or what you wear, or where you live. It’s all there, waiting for you in your local church. And your pastor will give you counsel for free, none of this $70 an hour charge by the non believer.

We just want you to have the joy we got. I know you’re gonna get it, if you open your heart to the risen Christ, humble yourself, say you are the Lord, and I accept you as my savior now and forever, amen.

Geez, I think I’m preaching here…. grin

 

You know he’s saved, saved
He’s gonna preach until you’re deaf and dumb
He’s in that soul-saving army
Beating on the big bass drum
Oh Yeah

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Posted: 30 March 2005 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I often shoot off my big mouth, and embarass myself or others, and I did so a few days ago.  I took my daughter to an eye clinic for laser surgery on both her eyes.  She needed someone to drive her home.  After the surgery, I was allowed into a room where we both waited for her doctor to give her a final check before releasing her.

While we waited, I set the book I had brought along to read, “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene, on the counter.  The doctor came in, by and by, gave her some instructions, and started looking at me kind of in a funny way.  He kept staring at my hat, and I realized I had worn my “evolvefish” hat from http://www.evolvefish.com.  It has a large fish emblem on it, with legs and a wrench, and the word “Evolve” in the center of the fish.  It is meant to be a parody of the xtian fish.

He noticed the book on the counter, and asked who was reading it.  I said I was, and he launched into a discussion of the work of Chuck Missler on the speed of light, and how it is slowing down, and how that explains starlight in a young earth creationism theory.  I told him that was bunk, and he responded with more jibberish.

I asked him if he was a creationist, and he responded by informing me that “most people in Wilmington accepted the literal truth of genesis, and I sould repent, and change my ways.” 

I responded that I realized this, and in most cases it is due to lack of understanding of scientific principals, and therefore is a symptom of ignorance.  I went on that this was obviously not true in his case, he must have had a biology course somewhere along the line, and made a concious decision that scriputre trumped known facts, therefore he was worse than ignorant, he was a fool.

This last statement didnt go over too well, and he didnt say much after that.  My daughter feels the same way I do, but isnt quite as militant.  She forgave me, however, and the doctor apparently did an excellant job.  He must feel the eye is irreducably complex, but that doesnt seem to matter in his treatment.  Reminds me of one of the Asimov Robot stories from the 50’s called “The Cult of the Master”

To wrap this up, it doesnt make a damn bit of difference how many people believe what, facts are facts, and are true whether they are believed by “most of the people” or not.  I have learned I cant influence the beliefs of adults, so I concentrate on the schools, and do what I can to see that good science is taught there.  Eventually, religion will go away, I firmly believe that.

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Posted: 30 March 2005 01:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I guess what I’d have to ask Champion, Time Mag., and Newsweek, is exactly which version of Christianity do they have in mind?

It’s virtually impossible to come up with a definitive count of the number of Christian denominations that exist today, each with its own version of what it means to be a Christian, each opposed to all the others. Some of these denominations have gathered under organizational umbrellas based on the assumption that they have more in common with each other than they have differences, but each is determined it has the one and only God-given truth.

For example, the National Council of Churches lists 36 member denominations. These tend to be the older, more established, mainline churches. Except for the Roman Catholic church which stands alone and doesn’t belong, of course, since it considers itself the one and only true faith. Even though there are vast theological differences between them, the members of the National Council are attempting to engage in a dialog to reconcile those differences. The National Council is also more or less under the umbrella of the World Council of Churches, which has 347 member denominations.

The National Association of Evangelicals, with its 52 denominations, is by no means the only Evangelical organization. The National Association of Radio Evangelists has split off from them, but they often overlap. There is also the Mission America Coalition, with 81 evangelical denominations, which grew out of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. In 2003 the National Association of Evangelicals and the Mission America Coalition began to work together towards common goals. And there are undoubtedly countless other clusters of loosely Evangelical and/or Pentecostal organizations, for example the official Religious Right, plus many independent denominations, large and small.

The strength of the Evangelicals, at least of those Evangelicals who support the right wing of the Republican party, received a tremendous boost from the 2004 election, but they by no means represent all Evangelical denominations or necessarily even the majority of them. One big problem is that good old split between those who believe in Salvation by Faith and those who believe in Good Works. So it goes.

At the ultimate extreme, denominations with one or more members, or that don’t even exist yet, we have the World Council of Independent Christian Churches. This organization exists for those who wish to step outside existing denominations and start their own. This is neither a joke nor a con. They offer ordination at a very reasonable cost, and their chaplaincy program, which is actually accepted by the Department of Defense, can certify you as an acceptable chaplain for any of the armed services. No particular education or training in Christian theology is required; only a ‘calling” to do this. You, too, can start your own Christian denomination if you feel that God is “calling” you. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be any reality testing involved to determine that no self-delusion or wishful thinking is involved in your decision. I guess that’s between you, God, and anyone you can convince to join you.

There is no indication that either the World or National Council of Churches hate the Evangelical denominations; in fact, some Evangelical denominations belong to them, but the National Association of Evangelicals despises the World and National Council of Churches, considers them spawn of the Devil, based on the debate between those who believe in Salvation by Faith and those who feel that Good Works are also necessary. An interesting footnote is that the hatred of “liberals” dates back to the Evangelical notion that the mainstream churches, which tended to be devoted to the “Social Gospel” as a means of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth (yeah, they meant that literally) and thus did good works during the 19th and 20th centuries like prison reform and establishing public schools were all “socialists,” “liberals,” and “commies.” That explains a lot of our present administration’s determination to destroy most of the social progress of the past couple of centuries; they hate the “social gospel.” Us poor old ignorant Seculars haven’t quite grasped that fact yet and think that particular brand of hatred is directed at us. Not so—they have quite a different kind of hatred reserved for us. As Christians, they sure do indulge in a lot of unchristian hate!

So, folks, just exactly what do you have in mind when you tell me to become a Christian? Do you want me to join you in some sect in which there will then be exactly two members? If I do, will just the two of us end up sitting at the Right Hand of God after the Rapture, looking down and sneering at the Unbelievers who didn’t listen to you in your ultimate wisdom? Should I become an Evangelical and hate the mainstream churches? After all, the Episcopalians now have a GAY BISHOP! Dear God, why haven’t You stricken them yet? Should I join a mainstream church and look down on the others with benign tolerance? Or what exactly do you have in mind?

[ Edited: 30 March 2005 02:22 AM by ]
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Posted: 30 March 2005 02:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“hampsteadpete”]  . . . he launched into a discussion of the work of Chuck Missler on the speed of light, and how it is slowing down, and how that explains starlight in a young earth creationism theory.


That’s about when I normally smile and say “That’s nice.” or something of that nature (and maybe put away any sharp objects that may be lying around depending upon the situational context), because such a statement makes it quite clear the speaker’s mind has shifted gears and it’s just going to spin in neutral, so any productive or meaningful discussion is almost certainly out of the question.

On the other hand, depending upon my mood, I might push a button or two to see what happens . . .

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 30 March 2005 02:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]
Think of this, a Newsweek poll cited in the article shows:

- 78% of Americans believe Christ rose from the dead
- 75% say he was sent to Earth to absolve mankind of its sins

Wow, those are some gaudy numbers! But the best line in the article can be applied to the banter that occurs on this forum:

For the secular, the reminder that Christianity is the product of two millennia of creative intellectual thought and innovation, should slow the occasional rush to dismiss the faithful as superstitious or simple.

Champ, you are truly an outstanding example of the stereotypical ignorant, arrogant and intellectually disgusting Jesus pimp!

500 years ago, nearly 100% of believers, relying on the product of one and a half millennia of “creative intellectual thought and innovation”, thought that the earth was flat and at the center of the universe!

Sorry, but the “faithful” were “superstitious simpletons” then and you are clear evidence that nothing has changed in the last 500 years.

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful…..Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman (3 BC - 65 AD)

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Posted: 30 March 2005 04:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Think about it, Champ.  Check out all the statistics… only 33% of the entire world believes in your Christian myths (and even they cannot agree on what they agree on, as MJ pointed out). 

My math says at least 67% of everyone in the world disagrees with you.  That’s a lotta millions!  If that is your reasoning in your belief system, it’s time to get off the bus.

Millions of Indians for thousands of years have believed that rats are sacred.  Do you? 

I don’t! 

If your god created you in his image, he gave you a brain for a reason.  Use it!

Please!

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Posted: 31 March 2005 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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If your god created you in his image, he gave you a brain for a reason. Use it!

Please!

He does use it. Unfortunately as a seat cushion.

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Posted: 02 April 2005 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]Think of this, a Newsweek poll cited in the article shows:

- 78% of Americans believe Christ rose from the dead
- 75% say he was sent to Earth to absolve mankind of its sins

Exactly, Sam Harris has often pointed out the frightening implications of these numbers.  These figures explain why it’s even more critical to open peoples’ eyes to the absurdity of their superstitious beliefs.  And these figures explain why we elected an idiot president, twice (or once depending on how you see it) who claims “God wanted him to be president.”  Don’t forget: When we talk to god, it’s called prayer.  When god talks to us, it’s called delusional schizophrenia.

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Posted: 07 April 2005 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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I’m not particularly inclined to accept statistical data on first brush, largely because (at least in this case) I have no idea what the survey sample consisted of, whether it really represents what it purports to (all Americans).

Neither am I inclined to accept any argument that hinges on logical fallacy, argumentum ad populum specifically, to reach a conclusion. Simply because a large number of people believe a given proposition does not make it true. It simply means that people believe it, end of story. Truth is truth, regardless of whether people believe it or not! Falsity is falsity, no matter how many people say it is true! The real trick is being able to distinguish the two reasonably accurately.

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Posted: 08 April 2005 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“Alan Slipp”]
Simply because a large number of people believe a given proposition does not make it true.

Hear, hear. Look at Nazi Germany. That many people can be wrong!!!

I knew what you were driving at, but I nevertheless had to look up argumentum ad populum. Here’s an interesting page I found, I thought some others might be interested in. It was the first link when I googled it:
http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/popular.html

Statistics are crutches used to prop up weak arguments. If you have to resort to statistics to make your point, then you’ve already lost the argument on merit.

- Bulldog

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