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  #121  
Old 04-April-2002, 02:32
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Welcome to "The Scream!" AJ113.

You probably could not have picked a more difficult thread than this one for your "maiden post"

I am wondering exactly what you mean when you state "Christianity is not a blind faith".

Certainly there are areas of the bible, mentioned in this thread, where it has not been possible to reach agreement as to what exactly took place. There are different versions of events depending on the source material and some key events are unexplained.

These deficient areas certainly require jumps of blind faith. I accept that Christians that do reason and question consider their faith to be a rationalised one.

As an atheist I do not believe in God. Therefore it follows that I am only able to accept certain moral standards defined by Jesus. Obviously as it has not been proved that God exists then the aspects of the life of Jesus involving direct relationship with God also remain unproven.

The onus is not on the unbelievers to prove the negative but on the believers to substantiate their faith by answering the questions we have raised here.

Last edited by Worldlife; 04-April-2002 at 02:35.
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  #122  
Old 04-April-2002, 07:22
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Thanks. So it's not really interpretation at all, it's just about what you think is plausible.

Of course, I'd say that whether he actually died and rose again, or merely lived through the whole shebang, is rather beside the point, because either way, it doesn't make any difference to him being alive again afterwards. So I don't feel as though it's necessary to me to try to prove it either way.

I consider it more likely that Jesus was alive rather than dead after the "resurrection", on the grounds that no-one claimed to have seen a corpse or skeleton, or at least I haven't heard of it if anyone has, but at least there were a few people who claimed to have seen him alive. Starting from here, then the idea that someone who is alive at a specific time, died and rose to life at some previous time, is obviously questionable, but that's all there is to it.

You see, either way, whether he died and rose or merely just lived, I can understand Jesus not wanting to be crucified a second time. And the teachings of Christianity make no attempt to tackle that issue, probably because once they've managed to get you to believe that the death and resurrection that happened in the first place was a significant miracle, then it might not occur to you to question whether what happened in the aftermath is consistent with it.

So the idea that the miracle means something in terms of how you should live your life is just asking to be treated with suspicion, in my opinion. I could draw attention to the history of the Roman empire, and the wars that have been fought in the name of Christianity and Rome, but that's only a demonstration, it's not proof. I can't prove that political motives definitely exist any more than you can prove that Jesus really did die before the rest of his life, but, by the same token, you can't prove that political motives don't exist either, any more than I can prove that Jesus never died.

Not that I'd want to prove that he never died, but I'd consider proof of absence of political motivation to be more important than proof of what actually happened during Jesus' life. I can't prove that the Sun, the Times and Sky TV are politically motivated, but that doesn't mean to say that I'd be happy for everyone to surrender control in their lives, and become part of a world controlled entirely by Rupert Murdoch. Why? Because it makes sense to be on your guard, just in case they do have some motive that you don't immediately see. And I apply the same logic to Christianity as I do to Sky.

But if you choose not to see it that way, that's up to you. So I'll move on now.

Going on to AJ113 and Worldlife's points, hmmm, interesting. Not sure if I totally agree actually, because I consider belief in the non-existence of something you can't see to be no less dogmatic than the opposite belief. It depends where you're coming from. Perhaps I could ask Worldlife to clarify - when you say you don't believe in God, would I be right in thinking that what that really means is that you don't see it as an issue of primary importance? Or have I misinterpreted? Thanks.

Last edited by squidgy; 04-April-2002 at 07:39.
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  #123  
Old 04-April-2002, 09:06
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The onus is not on the unbelievers to prove the negative but on the believers to substantiate their faith by answering the questions we have raised here
from WL.
Why not? are unbelievers more "right" than believers?

Squidgy: Roman conquest existed before Christianity, itself precedeed by Greek conquests in the same region. I don't think they used religion as a means of spreading further, because they were already in decline when Jesus appeared.

I was watching a programme (maybe on Discovery)the other day which took the perspective that th eJewish faith /christianity were in fact a remnant of the evolving
ancient Egypt creeds towards a single God with a son sent amongst men as a saviour. This would put the origins of religion much earlier than previously thought. Right enough, it won't prove or disprove anything about the Messiah, but was interesting nevertheless.

Last edited by fabienne00; 04-April-2002 at 09:09.
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  #124  
Old 04-April-2002, 09:11
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Wink The parable of the helicopter

Squidgy I merely logged on to add a post script to my previous post.

Just wonder if AJ's use of the term "blind faith" implies that other religions are not rational, and do not have historical facts to substantiate their faith.

This could show contrast between zealot Christian missionary attitudes and the tolerant Buddhist approach to other religions as explained in a previous posting .

I cannot accept Squidgy's arguement that to deny the existence of something that you cannot believe exists is to be dogmatic. If it is important to others that you believe then the onus is upon them to provide the necessary proof

THE PARABLE OF THE HELICOPTER

A group of anthropologists found a new and completely unknown tribes in the hidden depths of the Amazonian jungle.

The scientist's first had to explain that they were not gods but men the same as themselves from a distant land.

"How did you get here and why have you come?" was the question on the lips of the tribal leaders.

"We flew over rivers, lakes and oceans" explained the newcomers trying to show them how much bigger the ocean was to the lake that supplied the village with fish.

The tribe thought they had understood and prepared a special banquet to honour their guests the highlight of which was the young males climbing to the highest trees wearing feathered wings. Fortunately they used their experience of initiation ceremonies and tied long vines to their ankles or otherwise we would have had an abrupt end to this parable.

The next morning the scientists explained that they did not fly with wings and showed them a picture of a helicopter. The tribe could not understand how a real size man could get into an object small enough to hold in the palm of the hand and could not understand why there seemed to be a small bird and colours on one side and only whiteness on the other side of the object before them.

Why should this tribe believe the scientist had flown over forests and seas to reach them?

In their wisdom the scientists told them "Wait and you will see the truth of our words"

Lo and behold after the passing of forty days and forty nights there was the sound of thunder and an apparition appeared in the sky above the village.

The scientists then waved their final goodbyes to the tribe and made their way towards the waiting helicopter each of them bowing deeply in fear of the rotating blades just above head height.

The natives saw their new gods, who have flown over the oceans, rivers and forests, bowing to this symbol of true and absolute power.

As one they prostrated themselves on the ground before the almighty helicopter and truly believed.

Then a loud voice that rang amongst the trees and forest spoke out from the helicopter.

"Friends as you have built your canoes to ride the waters we have built this helicopter to ride the air. Seek knowledge and beware of false gods or those who will exploit your innocence"
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  #125  
Old 04-April-2002, 10:06
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AJ113 First off ..welcome to TS

Talk about a baptism of fire

Yes I really do believe Jesus was a historical figure...but NOT the son Of God.

There are a few - not enough maybe - historical accounts of his existence.

1) Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?)

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.

2) Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian

mentions "christus" who is can only be Jesus.

"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."

There are more.......check them out here:

http://www.carm.org/bible/extrabiblical_accounts.htm

The stuff about living on is PURE CONJECTURE .....but something I just happen to go along with.....
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  #126  
Old 04-April-2002, 15:48
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Fabienne taking the parable of the helicopter the native tribe were enjoying a happy lifestyle without knowledge of the existence of aerial transport.

The onus is therefore clearly on those with knowledge of helicopters to demonstrate the existence of helicopters and their usefulness to society. At the the very least they should explain in clear and simple terms the differences between helicopters and other forms of transport ( alternative religions!)

Abstract reasoning to prove helicopters do not exist is unreasonable to those who have not seen a helicopter.
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  #127  
Old 04-April-2002, 16:36
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Hmmm. I still maintain that not having seen something does not constitute proof of its non existence. For example, there are many people who believe that Jesus died on the cross, kaput, that was it, no more Jesus, and that he didn't rise again. The line of reasoning is that they haven't seen him alive, and they therefore believe he's dead. But the flip side of that same flawed thinking is that to say that if you haven't seen his corpse, it proves that he's alive. Truth is, it doesn't. It doesn't prove it either way. I've never met Rupert Murdoch, but I don't jump to the conclusion that he doesn't exist on that basis alone. So all my reasoning has been, okay, admittedly a bit hypothetical, but merely based on what I consider the balance of probabilities.

As for the story of the helicopter and the amazonian tribe - the most obvious question is this - How did the anthropologists and the unknown tribes happen to have a common language with which to communicate their ideas with each other? Maybe that sequence of events is true, but I must admit, I'd take that story with just a bit of a pinch of salt. But maybe I've missed the point - erm, WL - can you explain it again in different words? Your last post seems to contradict your earlier one unless I've totally misinterpreted.

fb - thanks for the link, it shows that the pure conjecture I've been putting forward is an idea I got from somewhere - I didn't think it all up myself, honest!

(very important edit has been made, totally changing the meaning of the original post! Sorry but I made a boo boo with arranging the words into the right order! )

Last edited by squidgy; 04-April-2002 at 16:41.
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  #128  
Old 04-April-2002, 16:59
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W/L said
The onus is not on the unbelievers to prove the negative but on the believers to substantiate their faith by answering the questions we have raised here.
- agree with fab - I don't agree with your logic here. The onus you talk of must be something I missed (I have not read every post in this thread!), was it set out as a rule ppl adhered to in order to post?

As far as I am aware it's hard to prove something like god exists or doesn't exist. Questions like what / who / why there was this 'big bang' thing which started the universe often has scientists wondering whether there is a god (thats if you believe in the 'big bang' theory). I would think it is a matter of faith what you choose to belive - I have not seen proof of god existance, neither have I seen proof that proves god doesn't exist, luckily we live in a country (well I presume most of us do) that allows people to choose their faith (within limits)

dogma is more to do with how you hold / present your view than the view itself - it is 'view neutral' isn't it ?

Sil
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  #129  
Old 04-April-2002, 17:03
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Squidgy

Sorry but I made a boo boo with arranging the words into the right order
.......do all That I time cool that the...............
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  #130  
Old 04-April-2002, 23:21
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Squidgy my story was a parable. If you would like it embroidered I could explain that the anthropologists had a working knowledge of many native languages similar to that spoken by the tribe they were visiting.

Underline that the native tribe has no need for helicopters and no need to believe that they exist. It is impossible for them to prove that helicopters do not exist. Helicopters have no influence on their everyday lives so it does not matter that helicopters exist in another world.

If those that have the use and belief in helicopters feel that this tribe must recognise their existence then the obligation is upon them to demonstrate and prove.

I realise that it is difficult to justify a faith - it would not be a faith if it were substantiated by proof. The situation is further complicated in so far as evidence from different witnesses or writers is contradictory.

I'll just mention briefly that:-

Jesus was just one of many similar Galilean "hasid"

The concept of life after death was an essential "selling point" for a new religion and The Resurrection provided the evidence that there could be life after death.

Theories developed in "Jesus" by A.N. Wilson details to follow.
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  #131  
Old 04-April-2002, 23:49
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I see - Okay so I misunderstood, thanks for explaining.

So the native tribes can't prove that helicopters don't exist. Can anyone else? Why would anyone want to? I mean, why does it matter whether they exist or not anyway?

Interesting line of thought, so perhaps I might take it a bit further, so humour me on this one. Thanks.
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  #132  
Old 05-April-2002, 03:55
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The concept of life after death was an essential "selling point" for a new religion and The Resurrection provided the evidence that there could be life after death.
Hmmmmmm! I don't think the concept to sell Christianity as a new form of religion was the selling of life after death. Most religions have some sort of belief in what happens to us after we die. Whether we go to heaven or are reincarnated etc etc.
The basic selling point of Cristianity is the Almighty God and His compassionate act of forgiveness of sins.
According to the new testament Forgiveness of sins was preached and written abou a lot more than heaven or hell was written about.
After the Gospels and the book of Acts, the epistles were written mostly by Paul to encourage the new Christians in their faith.
Evangelists most often when on crusades in other countries, do try to prove God with signs and wonders, just like Jesus did when he was here on this earth.
I do actually beleive that Jesus was the son of God. The bible states this so many times. Whether he WAS God is another matter and one which many many theologians have argued over for centuries.
People ask for proof! Well just look at the wonder and beauty of some parts of this earth. To say it all came together by a billion, billion, billion to 1 chance is rediculous!
To say one is an athiest puts them in a poor position. An athiest has his mind made up, that a higher power does not exist. I would say an agnostic is in a far better position for spiritual enlightnement as he has left his mind open to be convinced. In fact I don't really think there is anyone who is a TRUE atheist. You can tell me all you like that you are, but deep down you know your not. Because yous still have a little glimmer of hope inside you, there is more to this life than meets the eye.
Before I finisht this post I would just like to mention (in case anyone is thinking) I am not a member of any church or religion or cult.
I have mhy own personal relationship with MY God and it's not the same as anyone elses realtionship.
Call Him what you like, but there is a higher power and one that has got me through some absolutely horrendous periods in my life.
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"Thinking about what you might not be able to control, only wastes time and energy, till it eventually becomes your enemy."
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  #133  
Old 05-April-2002, 07:09
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food for though beef - thanks

I think (and I might have made this up - or read it - not sure now) that resurection and indeed reincarnation (or any life after death talk) is a metaphor. Do people live after they are phyiscally dead - I don't personally think so, do people go through different stages in their life and start 'new lives' when they change stages, it's a question of interpretation (or personal belief / faith).

All I'm saying is that not all religious texts are have to be taken literally (or I would argue were written to be taken literally), they are stories that are meant to enlighten. There is nothing at the start of them that says 'you can only read this if you are going to take it all literally'.

To my mind, it matters not if jesus existed, books (even the bible) are a medium for transferance of ideas there can be a lot of 'truth' w/o the actual events themselves needing to have happened.

Sil
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  #134  
Old 05-April-2002, 08:52
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Thanks Beef for providing the insight into your faith

Just to quote my source material that parallels some of the information you have given but does not arrive at the same conclusions.....

This word, anastasis,or resurrection, is central to Paul's teaching. He never actually states in his writings that Jesus left behind an empty tomb, but says something much more beguiling. The anastasis of Jesus will enable his followers to conquer death itself.

Here was an offer of far more universal appeal than the essentially esoteric claim that a Jewish Messiah had been born, who would usher in a period of Jewish rule by Jewish saints. Here was something to which any credulous slave in the Mediterranean could respond:

" Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality.... Then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?"

These words, which have been read countless times since at Christian funerals, are the heart of Paul's message to the world. Hesus is risen, and in his rising, he brings the hope of everlasting life to all who believe. from "Jesus" by A.N. Wilson
Atheism to me is not the active denial of the existence of God. It is a personal statement of disbelief, I can't see how one can sit on the fence as an "agnostic"... either one has faith or does not have faith.

If provided with absolute evidence of the existence of God both atheist and agnostic would I feel sure convert to the appropriate faith.

To be agonistic though one would have to be convinced that it was important to spread the message of disbelief in the manner that Christian missionaries spread belief.

Last edited by Worldlife; 05-April-2002 at 08:55.
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  #135  
Old 05-April-2002, 09:07
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Atheism to me is not the active denial of the existence of God. It is a personal statement of disbelief, I can't see how one can sit on the fence as an "agnostic"... either one has faith or does not have faith.

> yes, one believes or doesn't (or believes partially perhaps), isn't the difference between agnostic and atheism just a difference between not knowing (or never being able to know) and already decided - surely the 'dont know' (or perhaps don't care) option is as valid as any other?

If provided with absolute evidence of the existence of God both atheist and agnostic would I feel sure convert to the appropriate faith.

> quite, though different people require differing levels of 'absolute evidence' I would think

To be agonistic though one would have to be convinced that it was important to spread the message of disbelief in the manner that Christian missionaries spread belief.

> wouldn't atheism fit better this description? (tho of course whether you choose to spread your views is seperate from the view itself, generally - rather like being dogmatic)

Sil
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  #136  
Old 05-April-2002, 10:02
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Sil......you're so right

not all religious texts are have to be taken literally
There lies the root of most of the ills of this world now and in the past..........

I'm with Marx and his Opiate on this one.
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  #137  
Old 05-April-2002, 13:30
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On antagonistic - whoops I mean agonistic
by Silv wouldn't atheism fit better this description?


NO!!


@ silv - sussed!

Last edited by Worldlife; 05-April-2002 at 13:35.
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  #138  
Old 05-April-2002, 14:00
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I can't believe this thread has gone on so long!

Thing is, when you start saying that texts should be taken metaphorically, you're getting down to the basics of language and communication. Who's to say that you ever interpret anything anyone says correctly anyway? Of course, BT would like to have you believe it's possible, but when you think about it, language is a pretty amazing thing. A lot of people take it for granted, but I try not to. Yeah I went to speech therapy when I was little, and yes I've worked in telesales, but I still think that language is a bizarre and amazing thing.

Point is thought, languages change anyway. Not just over time, but different people speak different languages as well.

I don't think Christianity is specifically about whether God exists or not, in fact, I don't think that any religion really is, they usually have some other point to them. It just depends on how you interpret words like "God". My overriding point, though, is that I think some things are clearer than others, our language is better adapted to deal with some things more than others. And sometimes it's better to stick to what you know you can do with a language. Okay, I know that's saying that the medium is the message, but I still think it's worth something.

Oh, and I also think this is the most vague thing that I've posted in this thread by a long shot! Does it make any sense to anyone? Thanks.
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  #139  
Old 05-April-2002, 14:18
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death (and rebirth) are not always used to mean phyisical death - it makes (to me) more sense to think of death being other than phyisical death, w.r.t. a lot of 'religious' writing, budda said (perhaps he did - I can't remember now ) that faith must be suseptable to logic

read this on google groups here

when I see the [to self] put in - the way I understand it is that they are talking abt self - or ego ..

if you look at the prayer w/o the [to self] you could easily think it was talking abt 'life after death' - or heaven - but what is the true meaning (as in, what appears to the the 'truth' to you) might well be something else

Sil
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  #140  
Old 05-April-2002, 14:19
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Thought I might join in after reading bits & pieces of this thread.

Hmmm......I guess I consider myself an "agnostic atheist" or a "atheistic agnostic", take your pick.

My upbringing included religious education, but my mum always encouraged us to make up our own minds.

I have a hard time believing anything written down as "an accurate report" by a person who was at an event after any length of time has passed longer than 24hrs. Recollection tends to waiver over time and the "accurate report" becomes an "approximation".

Therefore taking this premise and knowing how historical records can be distored over time, how can any educated rational individual, take the Bible as an accurate record of events that occured before most people of the time could read or write (Romans excluded) or had access to paper.

I do believe certain events occured and certain people were involved, but even today with all our technology we still have "accurate reports" being retracted at a later date, because the reporters perception of events was flawed or the evidence for an event was manufactured or even non-existant.

I was approached recently while waiting for (who is a Methodist by the way and believes in God and has her faith to comfort her at this time in her life), by a man & woman who were trying to ram the Christian faith down peoples throats. I cannot abide this, when asked if I was a "Believer" I said NO, it was then explained to me all the reasons that I should "Believe" because otherwise my soul would be "damned", I wouldn't be "forgiven my sins", etc, etc, etc..........

When they finally shut up and asked if I had any questions I asked this:-

Do you know the difference between right & wrong, good & evil?

Yes they answered.

Explain this to me then....

One man can do good all his life, help other people, lead a productive & fruitful life but not believe in god.

Another man can believe, but not contribute a thing to others, never offer help to people, even harm others.

Which man is the good & which the evil? Because what you are advocating is that no matter how good a life you lead, your "Compassionate GOD" doesn't give a s**t about that, all it cares about is itself and how many people worship it.

And if that is the kind of being you are asking me to believe in, I'd rather it didn't exist.

They shut up and walked away!!

ANY BEING, THAT HAS THE POWER TO END SUFFERING AND CHOOSES NOT TO, IS NOT WORTH BELIEVING IN.

My prays for a cure, I hope it listens one day, but I'm not holding my breath!!!
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  #141  
Old 05-April-2002, 14:38
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Gecko thanks for your contribution and I'm in complete agreement with what you have written. Some of my experiences are very similar to yours.

Whatever our beliefs (or non-beliefs!) our thoughts go out to your beloved partner together with our respect for her religious beliefs. We hope that her faith is a comfort to her at this terrible time for you both.
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  #142  
Old 05-April-2002, 15:36
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Despite opting out of this thread I have followed it with interest.

As with many profound debates, it contains so much hypothesis, theories and unfounded personal beliefs, it was, as I posted earlier, never going anywhere.

Carry on lads and lassies.



PS. Worldlife. I have probably misses it but what do you do for a living?
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  #143  
Old 05-April-2002, 17:47
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Apologies if I am moving too far away from the subject, although it has already spread quite widely.

There is an ancient religion that has not been mentioned so far but could be in the order of 50,000 years old.

Have a look at www.members.tripod.com/siekman/index.html .

The Australian Aborigines seem to have a perfectly valid religion that is very seldom mentioned.

I first heard of it in the mid-thirties when I was about ten years old and was sent an unusual children's book by an aunt in Australia.

Dantony
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  #144  
Old 05-April-2002, 18:45
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PS. Worldlife. I have probably misses it but what do you do for a living?
ewtie.... the only employment or income matter I can think of relevant to this thread concerns psychological profiling for a new career.

After half a day of extended tests I received the expert recommendation...... to become a member of the Clergy.

Their faces dropped somewhat when I explained there was a slight flaw in their suggestion in so far as I did not believe in God.

They were sufficiently humoured to continue crediting my NI contibutions whilst technically unemployed (but having the benefit of an early retirement package). They even offered unemployment benefit that I had not asked for!!!!!

Maybe I have found my vocation as an atheist preacher on TS !!!

I have certainly found the thread stimulating and it is going to more places intellectually than many other threads. IMHO useful to have a mix of fun and the serious.
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  #145  
Old 05-April-2002, 19:13
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Dantony thanks for your link on the Aboriginal tribes and have noted the information about their religion. This and the influence of the British is extremely short with just an outline of "Dreaming" and the arrival of convicts !

I thought the Aborigines might be an example to show the downside of the influence of Christian Missions and Missionaries on native tribes and in particular how this contrasts with Buddhist tolerance explained by Fenix previously.

I'm not sure the extent to which the adoption policy mentioned below was linked to religious conversion or if it was for racial integration and and the eventual extinction of freely living Aboriginal tribes. It is suggested in this article that the actions constitute genocide. Christians surely should have been one of the strongest opponents of any policy that might be regarded as genocide.

Unofficial apology offered to Aborigines
Premier is first to express regrets over adoption policy

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - A policy that sought to "save" Aborigine children by forcibly taking them from their parents spawned lasting trauma and resulted in a "stolen generation," Australia's premier said Monday in an apology.

John Howard offered his regrets personally, not on behalf of the government, for the policy that removed an estimated 100,000 children from their parents between 1910 and the early 1970s in the belief that the Aborigines were a doomed race.

Light-skinned children were given to white families for adoption. Dark-skinned children were put in orphanages.

"Personally, I feel deep sorrow for those of my fellow Australians who suffered under the practices of past generation towards indigenous people," Howard told delegates at the Australian Reconciliation Convention.

Howard's apology drew strong applause at first from the nearly 2,000 delegates. But many booed and shouted when he said, "Australians of this generation shouldn't be required to accept guilt and blame for past actions and policy over which they had no control."

A number of Australia's whites believe they have no reason to apologize for past wrong-doing. Others say a heartfelt general apology is warranted, along with compensation.

A report issued Monday by federal human rights commission recommends that Australia's governments set up a fund to compensate victims of the adoption policy. The federal government has said it will reject the idea.

It also rejects the report's assertion that the adoption policy could be considered a form of genocide as defined by a 1946 U.N. resolution.

Australia's 303,000 Aborigines, who were given full citizenship in May, 1967, lag behind other Australians in access to jobs, education and health services.
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  #146  
Old 05-April-2002, 19:24
fabienne00
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Squidgy:
I don't think Christianity is specifically about whether God exists or not, in fact, I don't think that any religion really is, they usually have some other point to them
I think you are going nowhere with that line, Squidge! Try and ask islamists if their God exists.....

gecko:
Which man is the good & which the evil? Because what you are advocating is that no matter how good a life you lead, your "Compassionate GOD" doesn't give a s**t about that, all it cares about is itself and how many people worship it
I think you need to make a difference here between believing in God and following a religion. For instance, i agree with you in so far as what you have experienced was really being issued with a threat against you: believe like us or go to hell. I would argue that faith also comes to people who haven't been forced into it, or endoctrinated into blinkered beliefs. As beef has said, when you are able to form a personal relationship with God, then you can take or leave the "trimmings" brought about by the church!

The process of endoctrination is in my eyes the root of most problems, be it with the different denominations within christianity, or within Islam or other religions.

I don't know if Buddhism has "schools, or churches" where the teachings are passed on more or less forcibly, ie under the threat of some sort of eternal damnation? Maybe it has?
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  #147  
Old 05-April-2002, 19:47
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Worldlife Worldlife is offline
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The collusion between Australian Church and State is explained extremely well in:-

The Effects of European Immigration on Australian Aboriginal Culture


Seems there might be parallels here with the Canadian Indians

Church-run schools spent a century trying to assimilate native children by drowning their culture (CANADA) Although not a single case has made it to court, a wave of litigation is threatening to bankrupt Canada's four largest Christian denominations under the weight of thousands of lawsuits brought by Indians demanding redress for "cultural abuse" in church-run boarding schools.
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  #148  
Old 05-April-2002, 19:47
Dantony
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W/L, the web site I noted is just one of 39 matches I found via Copernic for Australian Aborigines, there is a lot of information available if you are interested and have the time to read it all.

I just picked one that had the basic facts.

Dantony
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  #149  
Old 05-April-2002, 20:01
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Fabienne,

I'm confused, I thought religion & God(s) go hand in hand.

If you believe in a God, there is usually a religion attached of some denomination, if you follow a religion, there is usually a hierarchy attached, with a leader/god.

In either case, if the God or Leader is given certain attributes, (i.e. all powerfull, all compassionate, totally good, etc.) and then does not use those attributes he/it/she is credited with, how can he/she/it be considered all powerfull, all compassionate, totally good etc.

If a doctor let a patient die through inaction and smiled while he/she watched that patient die, he/she would be considered down right evil/bad.

How does that differ from God(s), being omniscient, yet they do nothing to relieve the suffering of their believers.

IF GOD CREATED THE PLANET AND EVERYTHING ON IT, IT DID A F*****G BAD JOB AND THEREFORE IS FLAWED. IF A GOD IS FLAWED IT CANNOT BE CONSIDERED PERFECT. IF IT IS NOT PERFECT IT MUST BE IMPERFECT. IF IT IS IMPERFECT IT CAN BE BAD/EVIL.

Religion is defined as:-
1a) Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
1b) A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2) The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3) A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4) A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
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  #150  
Old 05-April-2002, 20:05
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No criticism intended Dantony and agree you link was a very good start to understanding Aboriginal religion and culture.

It is just that what I read there was a memory jerker and I needed to find out more than was given
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