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the power of weakness?
Posted: 26 January 2007 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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Belief in a Supreme Being requires a belief in an inferior being.

The greater the supreme being, the more worthless the inferior being.

The greatness of the Christian god makes mankind the most worthless beings imaginable.

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”—Psalm 8:3-4

The greatness of the Christian god makes mankind the most worthless beings imaginable.

In Christian terminology, this is known as “conviction”.

How could we love such detestable beings? It would take a God to love us.

Yes.

The love of god becomes meaningless since it cannot be deserved.

If it is deserved, its not love.  That is, the phrase “unconditional love” is redundant. 

It is impossible to believe in god and still love humans.

It is impossible to love God and not love humans.

“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”—1 John 4:20

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

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Posted: 26 January 2007 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Parable,

It is impossible to love God and not love humans.

I told my G/F that it was impossible for me to love her and not love other women.

You love of God is ADULTEROUS to humanity.

We really don’t want your LeftOver love. Give it all to God and leave us alone.

And please try not to quote scripture. I don’t waste your time pasting passages from Superman Comic Books.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 12:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”—1 John 4:20

There are no contradictions in the bible, of course, but I have always wondered how the line you quoted fits in with this one from Luke 14:

14:25
  And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
 
14:26
  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Want to take a stab at explaining it?  You have to hate your own life to become a follower of Christ?  Of course, christianity targeted the “poor and downtrodden” of the empire in it’s first 400 years or so.

There are a couple of good reasons for you to not quote the bible to us.  One is that most of us know it at least as well as you do, so you will not quote anything we “missed.”  The other is that, in it’s 2000 year history, the bible has been used to justify some of the worst pages in world history.  I don’t feel I need to go into them.

Point is, we can cherry-pick as well as you can.  For every verse that seems to inculcate a good ethic, there are ten that are abominable.

You made a statement earlier in the thread that you were not a creationist.  Whence, then, cometh original sin?  Without the concept of original sin, christianity falls apart.  After all, you can’t convert someone without first convincing them that they have something to lose.

There is this teapot…..

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Posted: 27 January 2007 02:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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I told my G/F that it was impossible for me to love her and not love other women.

You love of God is ADULTEROUS to humanity.

When people going through separation or divorce ask me how to stop loving their former spouse, thinking that doing so will somehow alleviate the pain they are experiencing, I tell them the answer is not to stop loving them, but rather to love them more, but in the way God does, not in the selfish ways they think they love that person. 

As for what you told your G/F, the truth of it depends on what you mean by love.  With a self-serving concept of love, what you say is offensive to her, and rightly so.  On the other hand, with love as taught by Christ, such a statement is true not only for other women, but for all people.

Adultery is fundamentally a betrayal.  Hence, it is clear that your use of the term “love” in your statement to your G/F is not the same as the one I’m talking about.

And please try not to quote scripture. I don’t waste your time pasting passages from Superman Comic Books.

I merely referenced a source that I felt was consistent with the sentiment that had been expressed in more contemporary terms.  The intent was to show that not every verse in the bible is utter and complete nonsense, as some suggest.

In logic, to determine the validity of a statement based on its origins is fallacious.  I liar will not be believed even when he is telling the truth.  The veracity of statements must depend on something other than the source, although credibility and authority are factors that influence our willingness to trust, or give the benefit of the doubt.

If you think Superman, or Lex Luther for that matter, have a point that is relevant, by all means feel free.  I recognize comics books as a legitimate literary form.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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[quote author=“Parable”]I merely referenced a source that I felt was consistent with the sentiment that had been expressed in more contemporary terms.  The intent was to show that not every verse in the bible is utter and complete nonsense, as some suggest.

Yeah, but the fact that the sentiment is not complete nonsense is utterly divorced from the fact that it is contained in the Bible, and is quite available elsewhere. Don’t try to sell your source as something special simply because it is not all complete nonsense. That’s arguing from a position of weakness.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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[quote author=“Parable”]What specifically, am I wrong about?

Oh, so many things, Your Grace. And you have proven me prescient in what you took to be my hasty judgement of your message. You are a standard-issue faith-head, with a few pretty words as your prelude. Your coda is the same absolutist bullsh!t we’ve seen countless times here. You quote the Gospel of John, for Christ’s sake. :D Because of the dissonance between your two themes, I no longer think very highly of you as a composer. This is not intolerance, but a matter of taste in the arts.

For some reason, probably because you’re such a fan of Rick Warren, you remind me of another Christian who’s posted here a few times under the name centuri0n. To see an example of his later work read a thread called The Bible . I participated in that one and kindly recommend that you read it, mainly so I do not have to repeat some of the things I said there in response to that guy.

You started the thread with some vague nonsense about interpretations. You’ve repeated several convenient platitudes about tolerance. But you still bring your absolute standard, which you use to project your own arrogance as if it were not your own. If my negativism comes into clear relief here, take it as coming from the negative dialectic presented as the punch line in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

At the very least, you are wrong in believing that bringing your standard of the “perfect example” into this forum is anything but your Christian’s typical sado-maso-scato trip, however you package it in nice-sounding (but ultimately quite uncreative) appeals for “tolerance”.

You can quote all the scripture you like, but, like Joad says, you’re duplicating the same comic-book stuff we’ve all read before. One gets the impression you think there is great power in words about love simply because they appear between the covers of a particular book, as if they provided the definition.

And there ya have it, again, folks. Parable brings, like every other Christian messenger, the same wish that we can settle our differences by adopting the “universal standard” he prefers. I’m quite content to let some other atheists take over for me here. They can quote you more readily the contradictions and gruesomeness of the tale in your Book.

Since I will be suspected of intolerance here, let me point you at a fine thread over at TheologyWeb , on the very subject of tolerance. In fact let me reproduce a most concise kernel of the problem from one of the respondents to the article, someone who goes by the name of Barry Desborough:

I certainly disagree with, “All views have equal merit and none should be considered better than another.” I know that I’m from Alpha Centauri and I know that anyone who disagrees with me is talking rubbish.

There is one aspect of tolerance I’d like to pick out, and it is related to humility as opposed to the arrogance that seems to come with a sense of certainty. It’s irrelevant to me exactly what any arrogantly certain person is actually certain about. Their certainty breeds a form of intolerance that prevents them from considering the merits of differing views or from seriously questioning their own.

How are we to deal with the fact that I would be happy to leave you to your own devices if you would but leave me alone to mine? I think that my willingness to do so is indicative of my tolerance of your beliefs and practices. It is abundantly clear that those beliefs of yours cannot find their full flowering except by your inflicting them on others. You are wrong in believing that at least some folks will not object strenuously to this. I take your unconcern with such niceties as further evidence of your particular and quintessentially Christian arrogance.

As a scientist, I am used to considering the evidence for the hypotheses I make; hence I am used to the idea that not all views have equal validity. Broken symmetry is one of the signals of theoretical weakness. Based on the asymmetry between your brand of tolerance and mine, I at least see that there is a problem to be resolved. Given that your beliefs about the nature of authority are based on pure tradition and a crappy 2000 year old myth, I see the problem as resolving itself in particular ways.

Science allows you to test ideas and reject or pursue them when evidence for doing so accumulates. Hermetically sealed belief systems are immune to this flexibility, and can be considered arrogant in that regard. Science does not hang around waiting while a lack of evidence continues to accumulate on a particular matter.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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There are no contradictions in the bible, of course,

Contradiction is part of the human condition, no?  I do not dispute that the bible contains specific passages that are difficult to understand or reconcile.  Yet, as the bible scholar F.F. Bruce suggests, many passsages that are difficult not because we don’t understand what they mean, but rather because we do, and this understanding reveals something of ourselves.

There are other passages such as when Moses orders his generals to kill all the Midianite boys and take for themselves the virgin girls. (see Numbers 31:17)  By our standards, this is astonishing.  Yet, in a war situation, especially when survival is on the line, doesn’t this kind of thing happen all the time?  My point is, the bible doesn’t pull any punches or try to make things all nice nice.  Its clear that not everything in the bible is something we’re supposed to emulate.  Just because Jesus was crucified doesn’t mean we should crucify others or seek to be crucified ourselves. (Besides, he already did that for us, according to orthodox teaching)

In his book ON JESUS, in the section on Jesus’ epistemology, Doug Groothuis says “...Jesus implicity endorses the law of noncontradiction as a necessary test for truth.”

Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.


Want to take a stab at explaining it? You have to hate your own life to become a follower of Christ?

According to Groothuis, Jesus is using hyperbole to illustrate that when compared to how one is supposed to love God, all other love is not just insufficient, but a hindrance to loving God above all else.  This is because it is possible to love family more than God, and in the biblical context, this is idolatry.  His use of family in this teaching makes the point in the strongest possible terms.  Jesus is not advocating that we hate our family, but rather love God that much more.  The literal interpretation is just as much an interpretation as any, with the same potential for missing the point.  There are many genres in the bible and literalism does not always lead to the proper understanding.

...the bible has been used to justify some of the worst pages in world history.

No argument there.  But does that preclude using the bible as a source to illuminate something noble or holy?  In Terminator, the cybernetic organism used the phone book to find all the Sarah Connors in order to kill them.  Does that mean we shouldn’t use it to contact our friends? 

You made a statement earlier in the thread that you were not a creationist. Whence, then, cometh original sin? Without the concept of original sin, christianity falls apart.

I did not say I wasn’t a creationist.  I said “Creationism is not the foundation of my faith, so evolution is not a threat”, which is different.

Before original sin, there was original blessing.  Original sin is the recognition that all of us, first and foremost, seek to satisfy our selfish desires before the needs of others.  My pastor describes Genesis as “history in poetry” and “a mosaic of truth”, both of which call us to see the big picture rather than argue over the prose, or how well the individual stones of that picture fit with the stones of our individual framework of understanding.  Ultimately, we have to come to terms with that part of ourselves that keeps us separated from others.  When we deal with this, original blessing is restored.

There is this teapot…..

Sorry, I don’t get the reference.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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[quote author=“Parable”]Sorry, I don’t get the reference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell’s_teapot

Research, m’boy, research.  :D

[ Edited: 27 January 2007 03:42 AM by ]
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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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Salt Creek,

Because of the dissonance between your two themes, I no longer think very highly of you as a composer.

Two themes?  Dissonance?  Please be more explicit. 

You seem unwilling to discuss the merits of the ideas under consideration and instead respond with vague generalities and patronizing condescension. 

As you said, “this is not intolerance, but a matter of taste in the arts.”

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Salt Creek,

Yeah, but the fact that the sentiment is not complete nonsense is utterly divorced from the fact that it is contained in the Bible, and is quite available elsewhere.

Got any examples?

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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[quote author=“Parable”][quote author=“Salt Creek”]

Because of the dissonance between your two themes, I no longer think very highly of you as a composer.

Two themes?  Dissonance?  Please be more explicit.

Perhaps the comment was intended for those with more discernment than have you evidently. You are lodged between the absolutes of faith and some vague inclination to tolerance; whence you get that, I know not. You seem to think that interpretation will yield whatever you wish. You are a cafeteria Christian.

patronizing condescension.

Only for deserving targets.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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[quote author=“Parable”]Salt Creek,

Yeah, but the fact that the sentiment is not complete nonsense is utterly divorced from the fact that it is contained in the Bible, and is quite available elsewhere.

Got any examples?

Sure. You tell me which sentiment, and I will present you the example. You were the one who referred to some abstract “sentiment” and I’m just trying to get you to pin yourself down. The fact that it is inconvenient for you to do so is already obvious to us.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Salt Creek,

Only for deserving targets.

You simply have to stop making my points for me.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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[quote author=“Parable”]Salt Creek,

Only for deserving targets.

You simply have to stop making my points for me.

Sorry. You have given us your share of generalities. With a certain measure of condescension to our ignorance. You don’t have a point.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Salt Creek,

You tell me which sentiment, and I will present you the example. You were the one who referred to some abstract “sentiment” and I’m just trying to get you to pin yourself down.

It obvious from the preceding posts.  Specifically, in my post under this thread at Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:04 pm I quote the person to whom I am responding, namely Joad who posted at Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:34 pm. 

Is that sufficiently “pinned down”?

Now, your turn.  Please cite some examples of the sentiment Joad and I each expressed.  I presume you can review those posts yourself, so I need not quote the sentiment out of context.

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