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Does Faith really cause War?
Posted: 15 July 2008 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 05:37 PM

It is difficult to separate the Christian cause in one’s heart from one’s mouth, in case you haven’t noticed.

What do you mean? Are you suggesting that if you said something, you would then believe it in your heart? Imagine if that applied to high-school debate teams - no one would be able to structure an argument solely for the intellectual exercise.

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Posted: 15 July 2008 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
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Carstonio - 15 July 2008 05:52 PM
Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 05:37 PM

It is difficult to separate the Christian cause in one’s heart from one’s mouth, in case you haven’t noticed.

What do you mean? Are you suggesting that if you said something, you would then believe it in your heart?

No, the opposite. Words reflect the heart. What you really believe finds a way of coming out the mouth.

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Posted: 15 July 2008 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 05:55 PM

No, the opposite. Words reflect the heart. What you really believe finds a way of coming out the mouth.

I was talking about falsely claiming to convert in the interest of self-preservation, while secretly not converting in one’s heart. Are you suggesting that one is not capable of keeping such a secret? Or are you suggesting that others should always assume that the person has truly converted?

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Posted: 15 July 2008 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
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Carstonio - 15 July 2008 06:01 PM
Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 05:55 PM

No, the opposite. Words reflect the heart. What you really believe finds a way of coming out the mouth.

I was talking about falsely claiming to convert in the interest of self-preservation, while secretly not converting in one’s heart. Are you suggesting that one is not capable of keeping such a secret? Or are you suggesting that others should always assume that the person has truly converted?

I could not falsely claim to convert. I am sure that others could, but that is a line in the sand for me. To publicly deny my faith under such circumstances would be an act of cowardice.  Now, if I was tortured beyond my ability to bear up, that would be another issue. But if the choice is to renounce my faith or die, then, right now, my conviction is that I would choose death. However, as we all know, you won’t know exactly what you will do until you find yourself in that situation.

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Posted: 17 July 2008 12:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 09:26 PM
Carstonio - 15 July 2008 06:01 PM
Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 05:55 PM

No, the opposite. Words reflect the heart. What you really believe finds a way of coming out the mouth.

I was talking about falsely claiming to convert in the interest of self-preservation, while secretly not converting in one’s heart. Are you suggesting that one is not capable of keeping such a secret? Or are you suggesting that others should always assume that the person has truly converted?

I could not falsely claim to convert. I am sure that others could, but that is a line in the sand for me. To publicly deny my faith under such circumstances would be an act of cowardice.  Now, if I was tortured beyond my ability to bear up, that would be another issue. But if the choice is to renounce my faith or die, then, right now, my conviction is that I would choose death. However, as we all know, you won’t know exactly what you will do until you find yourself in that situation.

You say “my faith ” - should I take that literaly or are you talking “suppose” ? (I had a faith ) ? I’ve meant to ask : would you call yourself an atheist ?

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Posted: 17 July 2008 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
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Dee - 17 July 2008 04:52 AM
Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 09:26 PM
Carstonio - 15 July 2008 06:01 PM
Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 05:55 PM

No, the opposite. Words reflect the heart. What you really believe finds a way of coming out the mouth.

I was talking about falsely claiming to convert in the interest of self-preservation, while secretly not converting in one’s heart. Are you suggesting that one is not capable of keeping such a secret? Or are you suggesting that others should always assume that the person has truly converted?

I could not falsely claim to convert. I am sure that others could, but that is a line in the sand for me. To publicly deny my faith under such circumstances would be an act of cowardice.  Now, if I was tortured beyond my ability to bear up, that would be another issue. But if the choice is to renounce my faith or die, then, right now, my conviction is that I would choose death. However, as we all know, you won’t know exactly what you will do until you find yourself in that situation.

You say “my faith ” - should I take that literaly or are you talking “suppose” ? (I had a faith ) ? I’ve meant to ask : would you call yourself an atheist ?

My friend Bruce is not only an ordained minister but applies his belief system by helping the needy in India.

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Posted: 17 July 2008 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]  
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Dee - 17 July 2008 04:52 AM

You say “my faith ” - should I take that literaly or are you talking “suppose” ? (I had a faith ) ? I’ve meant to ask : would you call yourself an atheist ?

I am a Christian.

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Posted: 18 July 2008 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 09:26 PM

I could not falsely claim to convert. I am sure that others could, but that is a line in the sand for me. To publicly deny my faith under such circumstances would be an act of cowardice.  Now, if I was tortured beyond my ability to bear up, that would be another issue. But if the choice is to renounce my faith or die, then, right now, my conviction is that I would choose death. However, as we all know, you won’t know exactly what you will do until you find yourself in that situation.

Sounds familiar. The apostles, maybe? Well, choosing to die as an expression of faith rather than say something you don’t really mean in order to save your life sounds a lot better than chopping your kid in half. Therein lies the foundation of martyrdom.

If you’re going to set out conquering other people and their land for wealth, power, oil etc., getting your soldiers and citizens to believe there is some kind of divine sanction seems like it would act as a very powerful motivator, coupled with allegience to state, you can’t go wrong. Some better weapons and intelligence, you’ve probably maximized your potential for success and your good to go. Of course, if your leader is just feeding you a line of bullshit, you end up a martyr.

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Posted: 20 July 2008 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 09:26 PM
Carstonio - 15 July 2008 06:01 PM
Bruce Burleson - 15 July 2008 05:55 PM

No, the opposite. Words reflect the heart. What you really believe finds a way of coming out the mouth.

I was talking about falsely claiming to convert in the interest of self-preservation, while secretly not converting in one’s heart. Are you suggesting that one is not capable of keeping such a secret? Or are you suggesting that others should always assume that the person has truly converted?

I could not falsely claim to convert. I am sure that others could, but that is a line in the sand for me. To publicly deny my faith under such circumstances would be an act of cowardice.  Now, if I was tortured beyond my ability to bear up, that would be another issue. But if the choice is to renounce my faith or die, then, right now, my conviction is that I would choose death. However, as we all know, you won’t know exactly what you will do until you find yourself in that situation.

Last year Frankr suggested one of his favorite novels on the above theme:  ‘SILENCE’ by prize-winning Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo.

http://www.amazon.com/Silence-Shusaku-Endo/dp/0800871863

You can click on customer reviews at this site.

Frankr, I think, was greatly moved by the plight of the Japanese martyrs (back in the 1600’s) while I, realizing that this story was based on historical events, was appalled by the whole scenario.  Didn’t those Portugese missionaries know that the holy fathers in Rome were decreeing the same kind of treatment for ‘heretics’ in Europe, and natives in the New Worlds?

In the old days, so the story goes, a famous Zen master, chilled to the bone, came inside and found that the monks had not replenished the woodbox.  He put the wooden statue of the Buddha (probably the centerpiece of the Zendo for generations) into the fireplace and warmed himself, much to the horror and astonishment of the monks who came in and saw what he had done. 

Seeing a student pouring over a book of famous Zen stories, a master may comment, “Those pages are only good for toilet paper.  You are wasting your time.”

I’m surprised to see Bruce’s willingness to die, his willingness to be martyred for words and declarations, when cavalier apostasy could well deflate and make his appressors appear powerless, even silly.  “You want me to wipe my feet on this piece of wood?  Hey!  No problem!  Anything else?” 

How wretched!  To worship a humorless, inflexible, fussbudget who doesn’t have the savvy to know you’re just being, momentarily, accomodating; who doesn’t give his troops the flexibility to dive into trenches, dodge behind trees, practice a little subterfuge for crimeny’s sake!  ‘Stand in a row like tin soldiers and take a load of shrapnel!  There’s my brave fellows!  Be a glorious example!’ . .  the classic stupid notion that you are more ‘useful’ dead than alive.  But beyond all that, what kind of numbskulls paint themselves into such corners?

Oh, right.  Atheists in the Bush/Cheney/Hagey theocracy.  I forgot.  Everybody scatter!  Are you an atheist?  No.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/sam_harris/2007/10/the_problem_with_atheism.html

[ Edited: 20 July 2008 12:45 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: 23 July 2008 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]  
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zacherystaylor - 23 July 2008 01:40 PM

Hitler lead the Nazi’s in the name of Christ as did many other Crusaders.

Hitler actually portrayed himself as the savior and many were foolish enough to believe him.

This is also my understanding.  Hitler’s actual religious stance was apparently enigmatic, but he brainwashed his troops in the name of god, and all their buckles even read: “Gott mit Uns” (“God with us”).

Check out Richard Carrier’s article: “On the Trail of Bogus Quotes.”

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Posted: 24 July 2008 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]  
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I agree ZT and thanks Aaron for the link to Carrier’s article…good stuff.

I fear our side, or any side, making broad accusations such as “Religion is the cause for most of our wars” to be naively simplistic and biased.  While religion can be used as a justification for genocide, despotism, fascism, misogyny, homophobia, and a litany of other social and political miasma, it is us, human beings, that both cause and fight wars.  I find it troubling that a brilliant mind like Sam Harris’ can understand the danger of dogmatic thought, bigotry and xenophobia and yet openly attack a broad category of fellow human beings, the Islamics.  How is this any different than Bush declaring “War on Terror?”

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