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 Christianity's role in a secular society

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EvilHippyEmperor
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PostSubject: Christianity's role in a secular society   Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:25 am

...

Suspect


No


Damn I miss Gomez...
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:14 am

Although I do not identify myself as a Christian, but I know that Christians are more likely to be charitable and friendly (that is not to say that only Christians are charitable and friendly).
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:35 am

Hmm, I think I wouldcntest that point, on the grounds that most people with ANY religious leaning are more likely to be charitable and friendly. Not that us atheistic types are all a**holes, of course.
Personally, I've found the most kindness has come my way from Buddhists. But then, that may simply be because I'm less averse to Buddhism than most religious beliefs.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:00 am

I live in a third world country where the Catholic Church could be said to be the oldest charitable organization. I mean, until 1930's the life average was of 30 years in Venezuela. For all the XIX century and before the only hospitals and schools were run by the church since the governments were in a state of perpetual bankrumptcy and debt with England and Germany to the point that Britain threated us with a blockade and almost invaded us.

Anyway, this continues till today. My dad, who is quite arreligious, talked wonders about the nuns and monks who take care (right now, XIX century) the natives in middle of the jungle and whom have dedicated their lives to it (he even talked with one from Basque Country who came here in 1940's without knowing pretty much anything


Also the monks make great peanut butter
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:18 am

Don't forget coffee.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:11 am

And wine and biscuits and a lot of other things... I kinda admire the monastic life, actually. I see some attractive in such peace and simplicity
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:31 pm

EvilHippyEmperor wrote:

Damn I miss Gomez...

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I've heard it said that if there were no God it would still behoove us to act as though there were.

The point of that statement being that even if we're not going to be smote by a supernatural agency, the greater good remains the greater good, no matter by whom it is enforced, or whether it is enforced at all.

Look at the more-or-less Christian (kind of Deist, but whatever) American Revolution, and by contrast, look at the French Revolution. Now from the secular angle, they were similar setups. Not identical. I grant that. There were basic differences in how the people were being treated, but they shared the common theme of "pooh on royalty, we can govern OURSELVES better than this!" and set about to declare independence. The American Revolution was nasty and bloody as all revolutions are. Nonetheless, it was far preferable to the horror that was the French Revolution.

This is but one example of how the religious mindset (often the Christian mindset) outperforms the humanist mindset in practicality.

I've heard people try to say that "the worst tragedies in history were in the name of religion!"

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but that's not true. The worst tragedies were in the name of irreligion. Lennin. Stalin. Mao. Pol Pot. These guys were Christians? The Nazi holocaust was in the name of a religion, sure, Hitler's own tailor made one, but that hardly counts as a religion. Hitler swept away all religious tradition to make way for his own. It borrowed from the Romans and Norse, but it was neither.

The worst tragedies of Christianity? Oh we've got some nasty stains on our record, sure, but the wars in Ireland I think hardly compare to WWII, and the four "witches" hanged in Salem, Mass. were hardly comparable to the meatgrinder in Russia.

The Crusades? Well, that was just a muddle. Some good, some bad... lotta bad... well, lotta good too. Depends on which Crusade you're talking about, too. Alexander the Great's a hero, but the Crusades were awful, you say. Um... sure.

Oh, and I just noticed there's a Count von Count smiley. Count
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:18 pm

Nobody mentioned the Spanish Inquisition!

Sorry, couldn't resist. I am a big Python fan. Anyway, you are forgetting that in most of those cases they weren't executed under the name of Atheism (with some exeptions, like the massacre to clergy during the Spanish Civil War)

In my personal opinion, is not a matter of religion but of fanatism. See for example Seville during the Middle Ages; a city with Christians, Jews and Muslims living quite well, so we know it's possible.

People can kill for pretty much any idea they are willing to die for.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:48 pm

Gomez wrote:
EvilHippyEmperor wrote:

Damn I miss Gomez...

Horse
I'm here! What are your other two wishes?
Well currently they focus on the new Grammar Nazi uniforms, but let's not go there...
Gomez wrote:

I've heard it said that if there were no God it would still behoove us to act as though there were.

The point of that statement being that even if we're not going to be smote by a supernatural agency, the greater good remains the greater good, no matter by whom it is enforced, or whether it is enforced at all.
No arguments so far.
Gomez wrote:


Look at the more-or-less Christian (kind of Deist, but whatever) American Revolution, and by contrast, look at the French Revolution. Now from the secular angle, they were similar setups. Not identical. I grant that. There were basic differences in how the people were being treated, but they shared the common theme of "pooh on royalty, we can govern OURSELVES better than this!" and set about to declare independence. The American Revolution was nasty and bloody as all revolutions are. Nonetheless, it was far preferable to the horror that was the French Revolution.
Hmmm, though I would argue that there are other significant differences between the two revolutions apart from their 'religiousnessness'.

By the way, weren't both these countries ruled by Christian monarchs when conditions got so bad that they felt compelled to revolt?
Gomez wrote:


This is but one example of how the religious mindset (often the Christian mindset) outperforms the humanist mindset in practicality.

I've heard people try to say that "the worst tragedies in history were in the name of religion!"
Not me. As I have said many times before, I consider virtue and religion to be unconnected.
Gomez wrote:

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but that's not true. The worst tragedies were in the name of irreligion. Lennin. Stalin. Mao. Pol Pot. These guys were Christians?
No, but Vlad the Impaler, Papadoc Duvalier, Augusto Pinochet, Emperor Bokassa I, Francois Marcos, Robert Mugabe etc all were or are.

You have also changed tack slightly here, as you started talking about Christianity compared with Humanism, and I don't think Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot ever claimed to be humanist.
Gomez wrote:

The Nazi holocaust was in the name of a religion, sure, Hitler's own tailor made one, but that hardly counts as a religion. Hitler swept away all religious tradition to make way for his own. It borrowed from the Romans and Norse, but it was neither.
I would suggest that if we were to exclude Hitler from this debate, then we would also have to exclude Stalin. I think it is quite plain to everyone that both were driven purely by their own egomania, and religion or lack thereof was never any more than a facile justification of their actions.
Gomez wrote:

The worst tragedies of Christianity? Oh we've got some nasty stains on our record, sure, but the wars in Ireland I think hardly compare to WWII, and the four "witches" hanged in Salem, Mass. were hardly comparable to the meatgrinder in Russia.
So it's just a matter of scale then? The fact that poor Vlad only had a small country and primitive techniques means that the 20,000 muslims he had impaled in the "forest of stakes" doesn't really count?
If he had had Stalin's resources, do you really think he would have stopped at that?
Gomez wrote:

The Crusades? Well, that was just a muddle. Some good, some bad... lotta bad... well, lotta good too. Depends on which Crusade you're talking about, too. Alexander the Great's a hero, but the Crusades were awful, you say. Um... sure.

Oh, and I just noticed there's a Count von Count smiley. Count
We've got an Animal one too: Animal

How cool is that?

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:08 pm

Spanish Inquisition and Bad Vlad. I knew I was forgetting something that would come back to haunt me.

Regarding Spain: I agree with the statement that it's fanaticism that's the problem, not the religion, with which I believe we're all in agreement. Christian fanaticism quickly goes sour. So does atheistic fanaticism. And scientific fanaticism. And those bloody awful Scene Kids, but back on topic. It would be really hard to make a case that the Spanish government were acting in the interests of any actual religion during their Inquisition (I suppose by rites I should say "our," but it was a little bit before my time).

Regarding Vlad: This brings up an interesting point of moral relativism. Now don't get me wrong, people bring up relativism and normally I go running the other way. I don't believe in relativism, moral or otherwise, and do think the Impaler was objectively wrong. However, I would point out that he has many admirers. Okay, granted Hitler still does too, but skinheads are just weird. Vlad's admirers point out that he created order, and was considered a national hero. I'm not saying what he did was fine, or even acceptable. I'm just saying that he was doing what his times demanded of him. What was his alternative? Abject chaos, for the most part. He got things into shape really quickly, and lots of Romanians were proud of that. Though not the Muslim ones I'd bet...

As to it being a matter of "scope." No. You bring up a really great point there. Some little podunk bully in a one-horse town could be far more evil than some moderately evil ruler of a huge nation, and his impotence would not mitigate his evil. Power and intention are not to be confused, I'll concede.

My point, and I think we're in agreement, correct me if I'm wrong, is that when these outbreaks occur it is not the religion that's to blame, it's the fanaticism. Catholicism did not sanction the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition itself is a long, long story, and one I'd be willing to delve into if folks are interested, but it requires some study to understand what was really going on there. You can't take it at face value based on what you've seen in movies. Which lots of people have. Grr. Nor was Vlad enabled to carry out his genocide by the tenants of his religion, either. He did that on his own. Hitler's engine if not he himself, committed many atrocities in the name of "science" with no moral compass, but I don't blame scientists for that, nor consider it an outcropping of scientific inquiry. It was an outcropping of callousness and hatred that used science as a tool, just as the Spanish Inquisition utilized the Catholicism for its own ends. And whatever the Irish are doing...

The American and French revolutions though, I think could stand more discussion here. What all was different between them? I'd say the French peasants were treated far worse than the American colonists, so if that's a point of yours I'll agree. What else you got going on in your head there?

And what's this thing for? @
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:28 am

Maxmordon wrote:
Nobody mentioned the Spanish Inquisition!


Some old geezer here in the States took a shotgun into a church & opened fire on the parishioners, killing one outright with one of the wounded having since died. Another two aren't looking so good.

The church was Unitarian. Not exactly Christian per se but labelled "liberal" by the old coot's conservative media.

So I guess this frustrated Christian figured that denomination's political leanings meant a forfeit of their lives?

Hmn...I guess he forgot to look at his WWJD? bumper sticker?
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:44 am

darkwave_71 wrote:
Maxmordon wrote:
Nobody mentioned the Spanish Inquisition!


Some old geezer here in the States took a shotgun into a church & opened fire on the parishioners, killing one outright with one of the wounded having since died. Another two aren't looking so good.

The church was Unitarian. Not exactly Christian per se but labelled "liberal" by the old coot's conservative media.

So I guess this frustrated Christian figured that denomination's political leanings meant a forfeit of their lives?

Hmn...I guess he forgot to look at his WWJD? bumper sticker?
It has to be said, you don't get many atheist leaders encouraging their followers to shoot it out with the FBI, or 'drink the Cool Aid'!
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:53 am

darkwave_71 wrote:
Maxmordon wrote:
Nobody mentioned the Spanish Inquisition!


Some old geezer here in the States took a shotgun into a church & opened fire on the parishioners, killing one outright with one of the wounded having since died. Another two aren't looking so good.

The church was Unitarian. Not exactly Christian per se but labelled "liberal" by the old coot's conservative media.

So I guess this frustrated Christian figured that denomination's political leanings meant a forfeit of their lives?

Hmn...I guess he forgot to look at his WWJD? bumper sticker?

This happened right down the road from where my brother goes to church (I believe in west Knoxville which is the ritzy part of town).
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:03 am

A house is stronger if built on a solid foundation.

Instead of judging Christianity based upon things such as the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, why not look at the foundation of Christian belief itself: The Bible.

No offense to anyone of the Christian persuasion here, but I simply refuse to bow down and worship *any* "higher power" that has ordered and encourages the slaughter of innocents. There was no justifiable slaughter of Jericho's inhabitants, for example. The violence and brutality expressed within those pages cannot be nullified by a few words of "love". Jesus creating fish and loaves out of thin air does not exactly make up for the sadism. Even today's church espouses militaristic talk, such as "warrior for Christ" and "the armor of Christ" and "the sword of truth". Here in the United States, many churches hold "prayer sessions" for our troops in Iraq and other nations we have invaded. Instead of praying for peace, they pray for success in the battlefield.

Then you have the dispensationalists who crave for another war to "bring about the second coming of Jesus". Many of these dispesationalists hold positions of power with the government. Is it any wonder why influential Christian leaders like John Hagee support Israel and AIPAC, in addition to supporting war?

If Christianity is a religion of peace, love, and doing good, then they need to investigate the barbarous foundation upon which their church has been built.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:53 am

semyaza wrote:
No offense to anyone of the Christian persuasion here, but I simply refuse to bow down and worship *any* "higher power" that has ordered and encourages the slaughter of innocents...If Christianity is a religion of peace, love, and doing good, then they need to investigate the barbarous foundation upon which their church has been built.

You have to wonder if the Bible's most zealous adherents have ever read the thing without occasionally going "um...okay, hold on a minute..." at the number of contradictory themes?
God creates the world, destroys it via flood, promises to never lay waste to it again, then unleashes His power to obliterate this or that people. This same occasionally vindictive entity then sends His son to, oddly, spread his father's(!) message of love & forgivness and a call to remember that homage is due to the big guy.
The followers of the message will spend the next centuries spreading this message at the tip of a sword, laying waste to those who won't accept it, and replacing the big guy with his kid, in terms of his importance.

Most importantly, while the followers will occasionally remember that Christianity became the state religion of Rome when Emperor Constantine converted, a lot fewer will recall the story of the Emperor calling together all of the new religion's leaders at a gathering called the Council of Nicea, to ask for THE book of the new religion. When he was told there was NO official book, it was at his mortal urging that the clerics assembled the Bible via committee, giving the yays to certain books but keeping out others.

There there are many of varying religions who blindly follow a given religion without occasionally questioning the reasoning behind that denomination's actions. For my own self I took certain philosophical strings from the Bible & took them to heart (i.e. no killing {unless, as we say in Texas, "they needed killin'!", etc. }). I don't hold myself morally above others nor do I demand others follow what I believe.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:13 pm

darkwave_71 wrote:
semyaza wrote:
No offense to anyone of the Christian persuasion here, but I simply refuse to bow down and worship *any* "higher power" that has ordered and encourages the slaughter of innocents...If Christianity is a religion of peace, love, and doing good, then they need to investigate the barbarous foundation upon which their church has been built.

You have to wonder if the Bible's most zealous adherents have ever read the thing without occasionally going "um...okay, hold on a minute..." at the number of contradictory themes?
I'm with you there. A huge chunk of my beef with Christianity is the Bible, or more precisely the ad hoc way in which it tends to be interpreted.
Either it's 'the word of god' and therefore meant ot be taken seriously and literally, or it's a bunch of stories written by men and therefore open to interpretation. Er... so not so much 'the one true word of god' then eh?
In my experience discussions with Christians about the Bible tend to end one of two ways. Either the 'but the Bible says this and it's the word of god therefore that's what you should do' argument is wheeled out, or the 'but it's not meant to be taken literally' argument is. These states are mutually exclusive, so excuse me if I remain somewhat cynical.
An example...
So God created Adam & Eve and they got naughty and chucked out of the Garden of Eden whereupon they had two sons, Cain and Abel. They might have had daughters too but they didn't get a mention.
So where did Adam & Eve's grandchildren come from? Taken literally. either someone had sex with their sister who wasn't mentioned, or with their mother, because there weren't any other females around. Taken as a 'story' then perhaps Adam and Eve are just generic terms for 'man' and 'woman' and therefore there were plurals involved. In which case only one woman out of however many sinned in taking an apple, but hey, the great benevolent god kicked everyone out anyway. Or perhaps the earth was already populated with men and women... in which case who created them?
Don't even get me started on Constantine's arbitrary coupling together of a variety of texts he considered to be worthy of being in what would eventually become the Bible, or it's many subsequent and quite horrific translations *cough* King James *cough* to subjugate those who didn't tow the line.
I have nothing against Christians or any religions in general, nor the majority of their followers. I know both believers and non-believers who are some of the nicest people I've ever met and some from both sides who are some of the most evil, narrow minded peopel I've ever known. But I do object to the fundamentalists and book-bashers who use flawed, contradictory and circular arguments to explain away why they are basically intolerant a**holes. Religions in general set a moral tone. Once that moral tone becomes abused and dictatorial, it's no longer moral in my view. I have far more respect for those who have beliefs that they are prepared to question rather than following their chosen shepherd like a flock of sheep.

wow... I don't think I've posted so much in a religious topic for years Surprised I generally find staying away from these discussions is better for the blood pressure Laughing It's refreshing to have a proper discussion rather than
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:37 pm

That's pretty much what irkens me of a lot of Protestant teachings. Protestants put the Bible over the ritual while Catholicism and Orthodoxs do it otherwise and have declared quite a while that the events of the Bible mustn't be taken literaly.

Something quite curious I discovered this week, a Belgian Catholic priest was the first theorizer of the Big Bang Theory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:08 pm

Maxmordon wrote:
Something quite curious I discovered this week, a Belgian Catholic priest was the first theorizer of the Big Bang Theory:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre

lol, who knew?!

Then again, contrary to the traditional story, the Church supposedly wasn't against science during Galileo's time. Supposedly they actively encouraged his & other scientific work as it figured science would eventually prove everything was due to an all-powerful diety.

Only when it was proposed that everything had a rational explanation and maybe not the work of God, and that God might not even exist, did the Church go "Whoa now!!" sunny
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:48 pm

darkwave_71 wrote:
Maxmordon wrote:
Something quite curious I discovered this week, a Belgian Catholic priest was the first theorizer of the Big Bang Theory:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre

lol, who knew?!

Then again, contrary to the traditional story, the Church supposedly wasn't against science during Galileo's time. Supposedly they actively encouraged his & other scientific work as it figured science would eventually prove everything was due to an all-powerful diety.

Only when it was proposed that everything had a rational explanation and maybe not the work of God, and that God might not even exist, did the Church go "Whoa now!!" sunny

The whole Galileo bussiness is quite interesting. The Church would have left alone Galileo if he said his theory was that, a theory, and not a fact as we know today. The problem with the science of the Church during the Middle Ages is that it was heavily based that Aristotle was right in all, the same Aristotle who said that all our ideas came from the heart... and that the brain was a what pumped our blood through the body. But even the Ancient Greeks knew Earth was round (it's easy to discover going to the beach and seeing the natural aroundness of the coast) this knowledge wasn't hid but simply it wasn't redundant for your average medieval peasant (like us and Quantum Physics) so that' was is commonly assumed that they tought it was flat:


Father Lamaître and Albert Einstein

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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:51 pm

Regarding the Big Bang: I've been saying that for some time. Glad someone else is noticing as well.

Regarding the Bible: Boy do I wish I had time to reply. I will, but I gots to go to bed. It's morning.

Nutshell: Most of people's objections to the Bible I've found spring from one of two sources:
1) Protestant interpretation of the Bible (which historically speaking is plain weird, sorry to offend if I do).
2) Taking it or the events recounted out of context.

One last note before I flee: Regarding Adam and Eve and their offspring:
The first generation after Adam and Eve married their siblings, the only other human beings around at the time. Remind me again what the question was?
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:30 pm

Gomez wrote:
1) Protestant interpretation of the Bible (which historically speaking is plain weird, sorry to offend if I do).
?

OK, I'm an atheist: How is the Catholic interpretation more rational than the protestant one?
Gomez wrote:

One last note before I flee: Regarding Adam and Eve and their offspring:
The first generation after Adam and Eve married their siblings, the only other human beings around at the time. Remind me again what the question was?
So the bible is an incomplete record, and we should see fit to invent bits to fill in the gaps?
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:19 pm

Protestants tends to be quite literal of what says in the Bible. If it says it happened in 6 days, in 6 days happened, etc. While Catholicism has outright admited that quite a lot of things are metaphorical
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:16 am

EvilHippyEmperor wrote:

So the bible is an incomplete record, and we should see fit to invent bits to fill in the gaps?

I would hope that even protestants acknowledge that the Bible isn't a complete historical record. As for Caine, there are many theories about where his wife came from. Some theories say that the woman was just materialized by God, and some say that Adam and Eve weren't the only ones created so thus a woman from another group was directed in Caine's direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:15 am

Okay, so earlier today, I posted this long reply to it and then the Max came by and deleted it all by scrolling the little roller thing on the mouse two clicks and clicking the left button once. Seriously, that boy creeps me out sometimes. When he was sixteen months old, he did this thing where he spread his fingers, hit the keyboard twice, and opened a bunch of programs, including a browser window with Google in it doing a search for a random string (really random and really long... like a line from an executable opened with NotePad or something) and a hard-drive search for either the same string, or one close enough I couldn't tell the difference. I seriously spent a long time trying to hit the keyboard to do that, hoping nobody would walk in on me and say "What are you doing?" Like anybody is likely to believe any of this, but I don't care. I saw it. I was there.

ANYWAY!!

Um... my last message was kinda longish, so hopefully I can condense it. I don't have time to get into Semyaza's points, and must hide my face in shame for that. I really think it belongs in a separate thread, though, so when (not if) I get the time to reply I may do so in a new thread.

EHE: The difference between Protestant and Catholic scripture can be summed up in two words: Sola Scriptura. It's a weird little notion that Martin Luther dreamed up in the Middle Ages. Basically, he says that the Bible can and should be interpreted by any member of the proletariat without regard to history, education, or context. The Bible says what you think it says after a causal perusal, not what scholars who have dedicated their lives to this stuff think it says. The doctrine also says that the Bible is the sole, complete, and final authority on all matters spiritual whatsoever, so if it ain't in the Bible, it ain't so. This gave rise to all kinds of odd doctrines, since now anything anybody thinks the Bible might hint at is the indisputable Word of God.

The Catholic view is that Christ left the Deposit of Faith with his Apostles, and guarenteed them the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and having done so granted them teaching authority. (EHE, yes, I will get you the chapter-and-verse, if you like, I don't have my Bible handy) They in turn passed down these teachings to the next generation, and so it got passed down, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Most notable among these teachings, for many reasons, was the compilation of the Bible as we know it today (that would be the original version, not the Protestant version that sent Wisdom, Sirach, Maccabees, etc. to the wind) which the Church declared to be inspired.

Constantine did not do this; however, that rumor is so widespread that I don't begrudge people thinking that. It was done as a process, obviously, which spanned the Council of Rome, the Synods of Hippo, and the Council of Carthage. One of the main reasons the canon was compiled was that there was a lot of confusion about which books were Inspired and which weren't, which got WAY out of hand when people at the end of the 5th Century (when all this happened) were writing works and claiming divine inspiration for them. Many of these works are asinine. I've read some. The Church put its foot down and said, "Nope. Just these. No others. Thanks for coming. Have a nice day." And there the controversy ended, for all practical purposes.

I don't doubt I just got myself in a lot of trouble now as I'll have to document all that.

My favorite apologist, John Martignoni has done a fabulous job at explaining it in a lecture, which you can download for free here from Bible Christian Society's download page, if you feel so inclined. It's about an hour long I think... I'll check. Yeah. 55:44. Also of note is Which Came First, the Church or the Bible? from the same source. Similar length.

So, as to your question about the Bible having gaps: Well, obviously it does. It isn't the complete and total explanation of everything - such a tome would have more mass than the planet itself.
As to your question about us being able to make up your own doctrine as you go along, regardless of whether it's rational or not: If you're a Protestant, that's fine.
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PostSubject: Re: Christianity's role in a secular society   Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:18 am

semyaza wrote:
No offense to anyone of the Christian persuasion here, but I simply refuse to bow down and worship *any* "higher power" that has ordered and encourages the slaughter of innocents...If Christianity is a religion of peace, love, and doing good, then they need to investigate the barbarous foundation upon which their church has been built.

Once again I bring to light that ALL faiths/beliefs are beautiful, in their own way, until touched by humans. I truly believe that we (we being used in the most general of senses, mostly ancestors who helped build religions) have tampered and severely scarred the words of what was truly meant at one point. Humans=mistakes therefore everything throughout history has been tarnished. Just my belief. The bible is a book written by man throughout the ages. This has been succeptable (sp?) to as many misinterpretations as anything else throughout history. I bring this to light only because the Christian faith is built upon this book but still ppl choose to believe this book and it's entirety as the end all be all of the word of GOD. I understand the human need for a higher power, to believe in something bigger than we are. Hell, I believe in GOD/DESS but am not so intent on the need for it that I cannot be intelligent enough to realize that this is a book that has been written and rewritten by man throughout time. This is what I find scary. To know that there are ppl who simply accept things as they are told. Otherwise intelligent ppl who question every aspect of their lives except for this part. That is what I cannot understand. Why be not afraid to question other parts of your life but be afraid to question the one thing you should be searching the truth of?
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