great stuff!
Posted: 14 March 2005 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I really enjoy the tone and level of the discussion, in the book that is, because it doesn't resort to "big words" to communicate basic psychological realities.

I am very doubtful, though, that anyone will understand that hasn't done so yet. Most of the stuff also seems reruns of the same (true) arguments made before but to no avail.

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Posted: 15 March 2005 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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For me the difference here is that someone is suggesting that we evaluate the possible consequences of unquestioned faith. I have always taken the approach that another person’s religious beliefs and faith are ‘out of bounds’ and not to be criticized, that’s part of the religious freedom thing that forms our national character even though internally I am scratching my head saying “I don’t get this at all!” Actually I frequently say worse things than that. The religious Right has an agenda for putting religion back in public life, I say fine, let’s take a good look at those beliefs and get a discussion started in terms of their soundness or reasonableness. Let’s examine the cost of blind belief in the public forum!

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“Every minute we spend oblivious to the value of a minute is a minute of unconsciousness. This isn’t some screwball scheme to latch onto the present moment in time, it’s simply what it means to be awake.”

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Posted: 15 March 2005 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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The trouble is, the followers of blind belief are motivated by fear. They are scared to death of “it all ending” when we die, they are scared of going to hell, they’ve probably had the bejeezus scared out of them from childhood on. Dare to question, or apply your own intelligence to a problem? You’re disrespecting your parents, and all your ancestors, and you are a bad person.

So the nonsense gets perpetuated, sort of the way an AIDS virus appropriates a cell and turns it to its own use. Here, the religious mythology attaches itself to human needs and fears, where it resides, complacent in its own “truth” regardless of the facts. Once a person has been infected, it is virtually impossible to reach him through a rational discussion. I include all dogmatic religions in this.

We’re wasting our time trying to argue with them; there are none so blind, etc. But I agree that it’s nice to have an oasis here, to vent if nothing else.

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Posted: 16 March 2005 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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“The trouble is, the followers of blind belief are motivated by fear.”

I think it depends on the kind of blind belief one is looking at. For the Religious Right, with its belief in the Rapture, it seems to me that hate is the motivation, not fear. Maybe hate plus revenge on the rest of us who are gonna be Left Behind. This is frightening because those Left Behind books are among the best sellers ever.

During the Rapture, which is a completely modern 20th century invention and NOT in the Bible, the “born again” suddenly vanish because they’ve somehow been sucked up into heaven to sit at the right hand of god to jeer and smirk while the rest of us suffer the tribulations of the End Times. How (un) Christian of them!

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Posted: 16 March 2005 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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MJ, you said: “The trouble is, the followers of blind belief are motivated by fear.”

Perhaps nobody told you the following: The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

You said:  “seems to me that hate is the motivation, not fear. Maybe hate plus revenge on the rest of us who are gonna be Left Behind”

That is very illogical. There will only be pity for those left behind (make sure your not one of them).

You said: “During the Rapture, which is a completely modern 20th century invention and NOT in the Bible”

Umm, now that is very silly statement. Obviously you have never read the bible. Paul and Peter wrote about the rapture 2000 years ago.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thess 16-18

So the saints are to be LOOKING (or watching) for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ Titus 2:13

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Posted: 16 March 2005 05:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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So, as I suspected, champion is one of the rapture crowd!

I strongly suspect that the Bible verses he quotes refer to the Second Coming. The supposed “rapture” is quite a different matter from the Second Coming of Christ. I also suspect that I know a lot more about the Bible than champion does.

I don’t want to bore everyone out of their minds here, or I’d go into a very long explanation of what’s going on these days with Biblical interpretation among these little sects and the justification for how this gets done, which dates back to ancient occult practices—and ultimately to poor old Plato. It’s a perversion of the ancient belief that the Bible is not to be read merely for what it says but for secret meanings hidden (by poor old misunderstood God, of course) in the text. Anyone can interpret anything in the Bible as meaning anything at all.

The perversion is that any uneducated fool who comes along and believes that he or she is entitled to invent a new interpretation and start a new Christian denomination does so. Check out the World Council of Independent Christian Churches. This is not a joke or a scam. If you believe you have a “calling” you can be certified by them as a chaplain, even if you’re the only person in your new “church,” and the Department of Defense will accept this certification so you can be chaplain in any of the armed services!

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Posted: 16 March 2005 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Yes MJ, there is a difference between the rapture and the second coming. If you knew a little more about it (as you supposedly do, because you said you know more than myself), you would be certain that the text I referenced pertains to the rapture, and not the second coming. But you’re not quite certain, are you.

Here we go again, the bible getting knocked by those who haven’t studied it. Just give it a chance, that’s all we’re asking.

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Posted: 16 March 2005 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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For those curious about the history of belief in “the rapture,” which is very modern, check out:

http://www.economist.com/diversions/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3490697

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Posted: 16 March 2005 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Boy oh boy, you’re sinking deeper MJ…

“Belief in the Rapture, which enlivens the familiar end-of-time narrative with a compellingly dramatic twist, appears to be a modern phenomenon…”

There we go again. Scientific and unbeliever literature are LITTERED with the “key” words: may, could be, most likely is, appears to be (see above), could be, maybe is, is probably, etc. etc.

You intellectuals don’t have brass tacks on anything, do ya? ha ha.

MJ, seriously though, I feel for ya, the God of this world has you deceived. You’re lining up right where St. Peter said you and others would be:  Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”  2 Peter 3:3 (does that not fit or what?)

LAST DAYS

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. II Timothy 3:1-5


How bout this? And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14

Will there be a warning? But the day of the Lord will come like a thief....2 Peter 3:10

TIME TO SHAKE THE DUST?

I plead with you all. Turn to God now. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

(talk to you folks after a while, but got you in my prayers….)

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Posted: 16 March 2005 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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There we go again. Scientific and unbeliever literature are LITTERED with the “key” words: may, could be, most likely is, appears to be (see above), could be, maybe is, is probably, etc. etc.

Somehow, I prefer these words to “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not!”

The reason words like that have to be applied to your “words of god” is that the words of god are so damned ambiguous that their meaning is whatever anyone wants it to be, most of the time, except when he is damning or killing some poor sinner.  I much prefer my myths:  Santa and the Spring Bunny.

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Posted: 16 March 2005 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]There we go again. Scientific and unbeliever literature are LITTERED with the “key” words: may, could be, most likely is, appears to be (see above), could be, maybe is, is probably, etc. etc.

That’s because we’re willing to admit that we might possibly be wrong. Unlike you, apparently.

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