The Benefits of Religion

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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CoffeeCanuck
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Post by CoffeeCanuck »

nolanrh wrote:Truths based on science are very rarely considered absolute. They are explanations based on existing empirical data. The more evidence supporting a hypothesis, the more the confidence in its truth. Often down the road evidence arises that proves an hypothesis to be false. Scientific method allows for this and new hypothesis are formed.

As such scientific "truth" is ever evolving based on new evidence, not absolute and forever. It should be read as: "given all observations to date we believe THIS to be true".

It should never be interpreted as, "this is true forever and always".


I like this. :smt023

~D
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cerealkiller
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Post by cerealkiller »

soulra wrote:
zzontar wrote:So soulra, are you saying you have a lock on the truth?


No I don't. Here's a quote from Robert Ingersoll on the subject of truth...

For many centuries free speech has been an insult to God.
Nothing has been more blasphemous than the expression of honest
thought. For many ages the lips of the wise were sealed. The
torches that truth had lighted, that courage carried and held
aloft, were extinguished with blood.

Truth has always been in favor of free speech has always asked
to be investigated -- has always longed to be known and understood.
Freedom, discussion, honesty, investigation and courage are the
friends and allies of truth. Truth loves the light and the open
field. It appeals to the senses -- to the judgment, the reason, to
all the higher and nobler faculties and powers of the mind. It
seeks to calm the passions, to destroy prejudice and to increase
the volume and intensity of reason's flame.

It does not ask man to cringe or crawl. It does not desire the
worship of the ignorant or the prayers and praises of the
frightened. It says to every human being, "Think for yourself.
Enjoy the freedom of a god, and have the goodness and the courage
to express your honest thought."


Beautiful! Just beautiful! Image
I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.
A.Einstein
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Mr Danksworth
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Post by Mr Danksworth »

Noez! Truth is absolute, always, never changes ever! :130:
Nothing on the Internet is so serious it can't be laughed at, and nothing is as laughable as people who think otherwise.
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zzontar
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Post by zzontar »

soulra wrote:
zzontar wrote:So soulra, are you saying you have a lock on the truth?


No I don't. Here's a quote from Robert Ingersoll on the subject of truth...

For many centuries free speech has been an insult to God.
Nothing has been more blasphemous than the expression of honest
thought. For many ages the lips of the wise were sealed. The
torches that truth had lighted, that courage carried and held
aloft, were extinguished with blood.

Truth has always been in favor of free speech has always asked
to be investigated -- has always longed to be known and understood.
Freedom, discussion, honesty, investigation and courage are the
friends and allies of truth. Truth loves the light and the open
field. It appeals to the senses -- to the judgment, the reason, to
all the higher and nobler faculties and powers of the mind. It
seeks to calm the passions, to destroy prejudice and to increase
the volume and intensity of reason's flame.

It does not ask man to cringe or crawl. It does not desire the
worship of the ignorant or the prayers and praises of the
frightened. It says to every human being, "Think for yourself.
Enjoy the freedom of a god, and have the goodness and the courage
to express your honest thought."


I agree with some things there, but in the last paragraph, is the assumption that if you're religious then you must be ignorant, frightened, and must cringe and crawl?
They say you can't believe everything they say.
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zzontar
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Post by zzontar »

cerealkiller wrote:
zzontar wrote:All I said was if it's the truth, it won't change... if you think otherwise that's your problem.


Sure! Let's look at an example of truth: In the 1500's people in Europe died of the plague like flies. It was believed that bloodletting was the only cure. People got even weaker after getting half of their blood sucked out. That was the truth at that time. I think methods have changed somewhat since then and it's still the truth. Truth was the earth is flat and lightening is caused by angry gods. The truth changed with knowledge and always will.
Your statement is wrong.


The truth never changed, what they believed to be the truth changed.

Truth doesn't change... that's why it's called the truth.
They say you can't believe everything they say.
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Mr Danksworth
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Post by Mr Danksworth »

You should really do some research concerning truth. Google "truth philosophy" and do some reading, before you drop absolutes.
Nothing on the Internet is so serious it can't be laughed at, and nothing is as laughable as people who think otherwise.
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zzontar
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Post by zzontar »

soulra wrote:You should really do some research concerning truth. Google "truth philosophy" and do some reading, before you drop absolutes.


I love those philosophies... you can't truthfully say "snow is white" you have to say "snow is white only if snow is white" ... whatever... I've read some that would suggest we can't say truthfully that we're even having this discussion because it might be a dream... again, whatever... if you want to get into semantics, count me out... my idea of truth is that if you add 2 apples to another 2 apples, you would have 4 apples... I'm sure someone could pick it apart as an untruth, so be it, I'd say time for a new hobby.
They say you can't believe everything they say.
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cerealkiller
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Post by cerealkiller »

zzontar wrote:
cerealkiller wrote:
zzontar wrote:All I said was if it's the truth, it won't change... if you think otherwise that's your problem.


Sure! Let's look at an example of truth: In the 1500's people in Europe died of the plague like flies. It was believed that bloodletting was the only cure. People got even weaker after getting half of their blood sucked out. That was the truth at that time. I think methods have changed somewhat since then and it's still the truth. Truth was the earth is flat and lightening is caused by angry gods. The truth changed with knowledge and always will.
Your statement is wrong.


The truth never changed, what they believed to be the truth changed.

Truth doesn't change... that's why it's called the truth.


Agreed. Truth is perception. Absolute truth requires absolute knowledge. We will never have absolute knowledge, therefore no absolute truth is achievable despite it's existence. Only the perception of it. And that changes throughout our lives and throughout generations.
I am not a philosopher but that's my truth. :130:
I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.
A.Einstein
bdbnkr

Post by bdbnkr »

soulra wrote:in my opinion Christians do not automatically have morals. Being scared of everlasting torture has nothing to do with morals. Being anxious to please a benevolent deity also does not equate to morals: It means you’re a good dog.


This statement demonstrates how little you understand about the Christian faith. Being a Christian is not about claiming to have better morals than non Christians. Being a Christian has nothing to do with being scared of everlasting torture. Being a Christian has nothing to do with pleasing a benevolent deity.

Being a Christian is recognizing that as an individual you will never be good enough on your own. It is about recognizing that you are separated from God and nothing you can do on your own can bridge that separation. It is not about evolution vs. creation. Its not about who has the most abortions or the most divorces. It is recognition that no matter what we all fall short of the glory of God.

As a Christian I will be the first to admit we are hypocritical, self righteous and imperfect. We are human just like everyone else. There are many who claim to be Christian but don't get the point that Christianity is not about being better than others. It is knowing that you are not.

I accept the existance of a Creator. Can I prove it? Not anymore than someone can disprove it. The are huge gaping wholes in the logic of either side of the argument. However, that being said I truly believe that everything in the universe more logically points to there being a a creator than random chance. Being an atheist is an even bigger leap of faith than belief in a Creator.

Anyway... I am starting to ramble...

I would love to have the time to completely lay out my interpretation of Christian Doctorine but needless to say we all have lives we need to get to. I will sum it up in one line.... His Grace is sufficient for me.

That being said I would love the oportunity to to debate any specific issues anyone has against Christianity.

Cheers...
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steven lloyd
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Post by steven lloyd »

bdbnkr wrote: Being a Christian is not about claiming to have better morals than non Christians. Being a Christian has nothing to do with being scared of everlasting torture. Being a Christian has nothing to do with pleasing a benevolent deity.

Being a Christian is recognizing that as an individual you will never be good enough on your own. It is about recognizing that you are separated from God and nothing you can do on your own can bridge that separation. It is not about evolution vs. creation. Its not about who has the most abortions or the most divorces. It is recognition that no matter what we all fall short of the glory of God.

As a Christian I will be the first to admit we are hypocritical, self righteous and imperfect. We are human just like everyone else. There are many who claim to be Christian but don't get the point that Christianity is not about being better than others. It is knowing that you are not.

I accept the existance of a Creator. Can I prove it? Not anymore than someone can disprove it. The are huge gaping wholes in the logic of either side of the argument. However, that being said I truly believe that everything in the universe more logically points to there being a a creator than random chance. Being an atheist is an even bigger leap of faith than belief in a Creator.

I will sum it up in one line.... His Grace is sufficient for me.

Cheers...


Thanks bdbnkr. Many people I know who just happen to also be Christian have explained their faith in exactly the same way. Its amazing how perspective can be constructively influenced when one actually tries to understand instead of just criticize and judge. The criticisms that some try to lay at the feet of religion are actually criticisms of humans and human nature – for example, the use of ideas (religion, freedom, capitalism, etc.) to manipulate others in the quest for power. To use widespread and generalized statements to promote the stereotype of religion and religious thought just highlights the absence of any understanding. It is indeed ironic how vehemently some will argue against a topic they know so little about.
bdbnkr

Post by bdbnkr »

my pleasure steven...
I have been given a tremendous amount of freedom by my faith and I am always looking for opportunities to clarify what Christianity is all it about. As a former hardcore atheist I really do understand where people are coming from when they critisize Christians. It used to be one of my favorite hobbies....

It amazes me how many people like to blame religion for the wrongdoings of man. It is not usually the faith itself that causes the problem. It is man (or woman) that causes the problem and tries to use faith as a justification. Everyone likes to be right. Sometimes people carry it to far and and then try to back up their actions as being somehow righteous.

Considering the core of the Judeo Christian faith is the loving God and the golden rule "do unto others", I find it difficult to justify violence, cruel critisizm, racism, etc as being at all justified by the faith. However, many people choose to interperet scripture in a way that justifies the actions they take in "being right".

Jesus great commandment was to "love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor." Pretty hard to justify Holy Wars, witch burnings, etc when this is considered.

That being said all of us will continue to be human, with human desires and weaknesses. I really believe that it is the recognition of our "humaness" that allows us to take the 1st steps in truly turning to God.

Cheers...
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zzontar
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Post by zzontar »

Hi bdbnkr, if it's not too personal I'd be interested to know what turned you into a hardcore atheist and then into a Christian.
They say you can't believe everything they say.
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CoffeeCanuck
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Post by CoffeeCanuck »

zzontar wrote:Hi bdbnkr, if it's not too personal I'd be interested to know what turned you into a hardcore atheist and then into a Christian.


I'd be interested in knowing if you've read the Dawkins Delusion.

~D
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bdbnkr

Post by bdbnkr »

CoffeeCanuck wrote:
zzontar wrote:Hi bdbnkr, if it's not too personal I'd be interested to know what turned you into a hardcore atheist and then into a Christian.


I'd be interested in knowing if you've read the Dawkins Delusion.

~D


No... But i have read a few of Dawkin's books. I find him to be a highly intelligent and facinating man. I just happen to perceive things a bit differently than he does.
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CoffeeCanuck
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Post by CoffeeCanuck »

I'm currently reading the Dawkins Delusion. You may find it an interesting read as well, considering the author used to be an athiest and is now a christian, much like yourself.

~D :124:
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