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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 05:34


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
There is no necessary conflict between religious and scientific thinking.

This is true, as long as they two fields stick to their own domains.
So, science tells you how the universe behaves, how it began and how it will end.
It tells you, through things like game theory and evolutionary psychology, how we should behave (and it also explains why we don't always behave that way.

Basically science tells you about stuff that's real.

Religion should leave these aspects of understanding alone, because it's just not equipped to deal with them.
Unfortunately, religion does not stick to its domain and that's what causes the issues.
Obviously, there's a reason for that; if religion doesn't get involved in the things that are properly part of science, then there's very little left for religion.
Religion is almost entirely redundant, but hasn't realised this yet.

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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 06:20


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  

To my opinion science and religion can coexist perfectly. However, you must not try to understand the religious texts and experiences as if they are written as science text books. Unfortunately some religious people try to interpret religious texts as if they are an exact scientific report of what happened or what will happen (e.g. think of creationists in certain christian denominatons). This is a pity, they do no right to the sometimes beautiful texts. Unfortunately, some atheists make the same mistake.



I used to believe the same as you Woelen. I've always held you with up most regard and still do. Can you see from your paragraph here that you are making excuses for the bible and god? Whenever something doesn't add up in the bible it is "oh, well, you are supposed to interpret it this way or that way.." The point is - Does god exist? Is he the god from the bible? The bible gives no supporting evidence for the existence of god.... and gives plenty of evidence that the god of the bible doesn't exist at all when you compare reality to what is written.... the god of the gaps is getting smaller. The bible may well contain SOME wisdom, like any other book - but to claim the highest, unfailable wisdom from above?... it needs to be perfect and it is not. If god was real it would be un touchable.

I agreed with most of the teachings about love and forgiveness... but when you step back and look at it from the other side of faith the morality isn't what you make it out to be. Women are treated like property, slavery is encouraged... blood needs to shed for forgiveness of sins, you MUST bow down to a non existent being of horror that asks people to sacrifice their children to him etc.. need I go on? When you let it go it is a relief mate - like fresh air after a life full of lies. "The truth will set you free"

I still get the numinous when contemplating the universe and nature - it is wonderful - made even more wonderful accepting my tiny insignificant place in the on-going evolution of life on this planet. I still feel the love of what I used to think was the holy ghost in me... and I still can't explain everything - but I accept that rather than accepting the lies of an old book written to control people.

Best regards woelen, Have a great year,

Dr P.




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 07:43


Quote:
[...]The bible may well contain SOME wisdom, like any other book - but to claim the highest, unfailable wisdom from above?... it needs to be perfect and it is not[...]
Here you hit the nail on its head. Although I consider myself christian, I probably am not like many other christians. To me, the bible is a great book and it contains a lot of wisdom, but I do not consider it the infallible word of wisdom, dictated by God and carved in stone. The bible is people's work, and it has mistakes, like all people's works. I see it as a letter (in allegorical sense) from God to humanity, written to us, so that we may get to know God better. But there are other pillars on which I build my belief, another one being Nature, yet another one being the achievements of mankind over the millennia. Because of this, a beliefsystem needs to be fluent. Things which may be appropriate in one time may not be 1000 years later. Answers which may be adequate for one group of people may not be adequate for other people, in other places, in other times, with other achievements and other culture.

What you tell about interpretation of the bible also is valid, but I do not believe in the so-called god of the gaps. The god of the gaps is something you get if you want to interpret the texts as a scientific account of how things were/are. Many texts can be interpreted in multiple ways and I believe that there is a deeper layer, which unfortunately is lost for many people.

For me, as a christian, things are not absolutely 100% sure. I know of christians who know exactly who God is, and claim His acts as being such and so and nothing else. I believe that these people make a big mistake. it is arrogant to have such a belief. In that way you make yourself the big man and you make your own god.

It is hard for me to express what I feel about my belief. If you want to get an idea of that, try watching the movie Noah from a few years ago and let its atmosphere work upon you. It is mystical, beautiful in some way, almost like fantasy and utterly alien. That is how I believe. Not answers carved in stone, but feeling the mystery of God and the universe and we as little people are only just revealing a little edge of the veil which covers all this mystical and beautiful things yet to discover and enjoy. This also drives my interest in science and is the background of my motto you see below all my posts.

I also want to add that non-believers can have the same feeling of wonder and that their feeling is as real as my feeling. It just is that it works like this for me.

[Edited on 9-1-18 by woelen]




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 08:23


Thanks Woelen! A reasoned, honest replay as part of a civil conversation.... much better than the instant emotional denial and shouting you get from a lot of believers (and unbelievers) when their faith is challenged by statements about reality. A victory for sense over cognitive dissonance. Thanks again for engaging.

I see where you are coming from (I knew already) - I would like to question (as a matter of curiosity and for the sake of debate, not to try to shake your faith) WHY you believe in god at all then if the bible is not the word of god? The bible is the background for all of it... isn't this just making excuses for god again? Atheists get the same numinous and spiritual feelings when looking at creation or nature, I have met nicer more peaceful kinder people outside of Christianity than in it (although not many for sure - many Christians are lovely people).... in all of this and in what you wrote - where is the need for a god to describe any part of your life, existence or being? If you keep your beliefs the same, but take the god out, what does that leave?

I have witnessed miracles, joy abounding in the holy ghost, known things, been discerning using the holy ghost and much more.... all of it - every single bit, even if it does seem like an incredible coincidence, can all be explained by probability, psychology, shit happens etc.. ALL delusion or misunderstanding. Why the need for an invisible super being sitting up there doing absolutely nothing to help anyone at all? If it were true then why allow all the confusion and mixed messages.... imo woelen it is just total rubbish - a made up book of stories, most of which did not happen.... so why defend it all? Superstition played a part in the development of our species for sure... but isn't it time to move on now we have a better understanding of the world?

PS - I saw your last post a few years back over at SFN. I understand that it can be a harsh environment to discus this sort of thing over there. I used to try to put the Christian philosophies across over there but it gets sat on straight away. They get a lot of evangelical types logging on there just to argue and to preach without engaging in discussion.... I think that has tainted them because you can't really discuss it there without sarcastic negative comments. - I used to try to humour them with reasoned discussion but they get sat on pretty quick by some of the core members. I used to think it was harsh - but I am a full convert now as it goes and understand that they want their science forum to be science based.... so, If you have a claim then you back it with evidence on that site or face ridicule.

To sum up then - why? Why god when you have already said the bible is made up by man?








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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 09:31


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
If this is the only criterion for assessing the usefulness of a certain phenomenon, then only very few things have value. Arts, such as certain prose, music, paintings, drama, fiction also do not have any predictive value, but still they have value in moving people's emotion, displaying certain moral values, social cohesion, entertainment, and many more.
Religion also can have value, even if it does not predict future events precisely or does not provide answers to how things were exactly in the (far) past. It can give confidence, it can console people, it even can provide answers to difficult questions.

To my opinion science and religion can coexist perfectly. However, you must not try to understand the religious texts and experiences as if they are written as science text books. Unfortunately some religious people try to interpret religious texts as if they are an exact scientific report of what happened or what will happen (e.g. think of creationists in certain christian denominatons). This is a pity, they do no right to the sometimes beautiful texts. Unfortunately, some atheists make the same mistake. They try to read religious texts as accurate scientific reports of what happened and then they conclude it is bullshit, because scientific observations give strong evidence that things were very different. Again, no right is done to the religious texts.

There are many ways to understand the world around us. Science is one of them, and a very valuable one. But there are many more ways to look at the world and religion to my opinion is one of those ways. Everyone, who just uses one way to look and try to understand the world makes a big mistake. So, overzealous religious people who interpret everything in terms of the bible make a big mistake, but the person who only deems science valuable makes a mistake as big as the overzealous religious people.

I myself can perfectly believe in evolution and the results of modern cosmology, and at the same time really enjoy the beautiful account of Genesis about God's creation. It is a mystery to man and tells us a lot about God, ourselves and the world we live in. For me, the fantastic results of science complement what I read in texts like the Genesis-account and these results of science make God even more awe-inspiring to me.


A lot of you guys are using the word religion instead of saying judaism/christianity/islam or one of the other offshoot judaism based religions.

Why are you saying that some creationists are making that mistake or that atheists are making the same mistake?

I think the reason you say that is because of science. Science has demonstrated that the Genesis story of judaism is false. Instead of accepting that is false and throwing out the next 65 and even more books written, some christians move The Genesis book from the "fact" department to the "metaphor" department.

Perhaps you are the one making the mistake.




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 09:32


Quote: Originally posted by DrP  

If you are taught it at an early age then why wouldn't you believe it?

That's the gist of it. I suspect that things learned before you develop the ability to think critically tends to get a free pass later in life.





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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 09:46


And to get back to why I started this thread.
I am thinking that some of you should invest some time teaching your family members about chemistry, then a little bit of physics and biology. Let them know what make you interested in these subjects.
It will obviousy have to span over a few years.

That is something that I already do and they see the value of science and become a little bit more sciency themselves, rather than viewing the world from a superficial human perspective.

I didn't make this thread to be anti-christian but from that video, I am seeing a bunch of people who aren't doing a good job of teaching science. That is going to produce another generation of people who don't know what science is.




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 10:07


Quote: Originally posted by DrP  
[...]To sum up then - why? Why god when you have already said the bible is made up by man?

I believe the bible is made up by man, actually written by man, but still that allows what is written in it to be inspired by God. I believe the authors of the bible were touched in some way by God and by their belief and have written down certain texts. These texts may be mythical/metaphorical accounts to express their belief, to express their concerns, but also their joys and their experiences with God. Some things also certainly will be based on actual things which happened (e.g. parts of Chronicles). But all what is in the bible makes me know God a little bit better. But still, part of it remains mystical and maybe we should just leave it that way.

Next, why God? Simply because I believe He is. I have gone the opposite way of your path. I was an atheist into my twenties, but while doing my studies I got more and more questions and found answers in Christian faith. Not the answers, carved in stone, but answers to difficult questions in life (e.g. about relations between people, the suffering in the world, why is it all there?). I still am seeking, and I must say that I enjoy seeking. There are great philosophers in the world (such as Alvin Plantinga or John Polkinghorne) who have made me think over all kinds of things in the world, our place in the universe, and what role God can have in this. But also my own thinking has brought me in the place where I am now.

I also know that I will never become a christian like many evangelics or devout reformed christians. They have a very absolute beliefsystem, mine is more diffuse and also less exclusive. God can work in many different ways. But what is very clear to me is that there is more between heaven and earth than this plain material realm. I also experienced God personally in my life. Not that I heard voices or saw wonderful lights or something like that, but in my life I have made a few remarkable steps and changes and I experience God's action in that. Of course, this will not convince you about God's existence, but I do not intend to do so. It just is what happened to me and it is the answer I can give to your question.

What also is very important for me is that God is never a threatening God or a God of wrath and vengeance. Nor do I believe in a personality, called devil or satan, who seeks to destroy all the good that God and/or man makes. I do believe in evil, but it always is the people's responsibility, you never can stand behind 'the devil', satan, or whatever you want to call it. You are responsible for your deeds, and you can do good things, but you also can do bad things. For me, this is a very optimistic and positive belief. People can do good things, they can change bad behavior, and are not doomed to be notorious sinners the rest of their life (and possibly for eternity). The good thing is that God helps you to change for the good and that God is forgiving when sometimes you make mistakes. I know of some christians who believe otherwise and their beliefsystem is dominated by the notion of sin. For me that is a fairly depressing belief. Sure, sin exists, but we should not stick to it as the central theme of our beliefs. God is better than human's sins.

I also believe that many of people's works will be part of a new world, when God reconstructs everything, for good, for always and with joy. No more restrictions on certain fun chemicals :P in this newly reconstructed/repaired/glorified world.


[Edited on 9-1-18 by woelen]




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 10:21


Seen as how this seems to be a civil conversation, i shall dip into this with my thoughts.
Firstly, i'm an athiest. I don't believe in a higher power, but am open to being proven wrong scientifically.
On the subject of religion being taught in schools, i think that the only thing taught in schools should be the best current scientific understanding of the world, with the important footnote: "this might change in the future, should we be presented with new evidence." Often science courses are taught as though they are infallible - which annoys me.
I would guess that most of the religious people who see this would be christians of some flavour, so i'll focus on the idea of the christian bible as example of this.
If we take every word in the christian bible as true, and teach that in schools, we have to awknowledge that those who teach it disregard reality. As we understand, it is impossible to put two of every animal on a boat for fourty days. But more importantly, living off the bible has real world consequences to, for example, gay people.
"If a man lyeth with another man they must both surely be put to death; their blood is upon them"
Or black people, women, people who eat shellfish, etc.

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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 13:56


I dunno.

Personally i was educated in a highly religious system (catholic) and ended up rejecting most of it by the time i was about 13.

Perhaps the concentrated brain-washing efforts are part of a filtration system, whereby those who go though the filter are the sheep, those who reject it are the desired product.

Who knows, or cares ?




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 14:32


The only important question is: "Does God exist?"

I was brought up in a Methodist family. My mother was head of the women's league. I went to church camp in the summer where I mostly lusted after the girls. My grandmother played the church piano.

At age 14 I was a fervent Christian. My brother and I would debate the points of the sermon. By 15 I had serious doubts. My friend said I had more faith in a light switch than my god. Today I am an atheist. My wife is a church going Lutheran. I go with her because I love her.

The bible is a book of stories written and inspired by man. There is much wisdom in this book and I quote from it often.

If the preacher said one morning that he had received a message from God saying that heaven and hell had been cancelled, would anyone show up next Sunday?

I hate religion inspired violence and abuse of women and children.

I believe that Science adequately answers all questions that religions purport to answer.

I go to a religion class on Genesis taught by our minister at this time. It is all I can do to restrain myself now as we discuss the Nephilim, 200 angels who came down to earth and bred its women.

The earth is only 6-8000 years old. One woman who I generally respect said she can believe everything except the story of Noah and the flood.

My morning coffee group consists of Baptists, Episcopalians, and Lutherans. I keep mum on matters of religion.

The book by Barker addresses only quotes from the old testament, verse by verse.





[Edited on 9-1-2018 by Magpie]




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 14:40


Well, I guess I’m on the flip side of the coin than most everyone else, except maybe

woelen. I’m a backslid Christian, would die for my faith. But I’m tickled to death that this

thread has remained civilized. Some here have stated that there is no scientific fact

in the Bible. I can give some references were they most certainly are in the Bible.

I’m thinking that the thing is, is that some of them are blaitenly plain, and some are

written so that mankind of that time and understanding could reason the idea.

I’m not one to point fingers at anyone. Hell, most nights I drink 12 beers.

I find it strange that some scientist can look at a DNA helix and not see intelligent

creation. I hope you guys don’t railroad me, but when I see things in the sciences,

I see ingenious design. I hope everyone remembers, to each there own, and it doesn’t

have any persuasion on my thoughts of anyone on here. Lots of GREAT minds on here


@Melgar

Caught you’re post after I posted. I’ve also been reading about the nephilim.

I suppose you’ve seen the recent stories of archeologists unearthing 15+ foot tall

Skeletons?i don’t know if I could produce a reliable reference for that, was just

Curious if you were aware of it


[Edited on 9-1-2018 by ELRIC]
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 14:54


Quote:
Oh, please don't. I hope that all religious believers, especially Christians, will fervently participate. Let's keep the conversation in a spirit of good will.

lol.

According to Amos on the SM Skype chat, everyone on SM know's I'm a fanatical Christian, so no news there.

I suppose there's a lot I could bring up, but I'll keep it short.

For one, according to the bible, you should be able to look around and tell there's a God and that he has power.

Secondly, the idea of faith isn't the opposite of reason or logic, a sort of 'mind over matter' thing, etc. (as many who scorn religion would say) and it isn't some mystical force you build up inside yourself (as, sadly, some religious people would say). And it's certainly not a word to replace 'religion'. It's just making a decision to consider something that is heard to be true - that is, faith is believing something is true.

So - as far as faith goes, it is indeed based on information. It's not mindless or blind as some refer to it as. If Christianity were about people believing that Christ got up from the dead, on no basis whatsoever, then I certainly wouldn't still be a part of it. Men who saw Jesus die - if they had no basis to believe what they did - would not have let themselves be killed over what they held to be true - that he was raised from the dead*. However, they, I, and many others have indeed seen God back up the fact that Christ indeed was raised from the dead. Faith is not mindless, it's just preferentially believing one source of information from another, based upon a determination of one's value over the other.

Some things I believe because they have been backed up - however some things I believe because I trust the source of that information. In both cases, it isn't a blind decision.

That's all. If you ever notice a difference between Christians and the rest of the world, maybe you shouldn't just write it off.

Edit:
Interesting stuff ELRIC.

[Edited on 1-9-2018 by The Volatile Chemist]
Edit 2: nvm, was just stuff about personal beliefs, wasn't a benefit to the conversation.

[Edited on 1-9-2018 by The Volatile Chemist]

Edit three: just a clarification*

[Edited on 1-9-2018 by The Volatile Chemist]




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:05


Stories about the unearthing of giant nephilim skeletons have been all over the internet for years.

Many include photoshopped pictures of people digging up giant skeletons. Mostly photos that were part of a photoshop competition held by the website worth1000.com.

The competition they held with the subject, 'archeological anomalies' spawned dozens of pretty good shops showing people digging up giant skeletons, moving giant skulls by a wheelbarrow, etc.

Fundamentalists take these known fakes, crop the worth1000.com symbol off, and post them as reality.

They sometimes also just take stock photos from the Hunterian, or the Mutter Museum, of giant human skeletons displayed next to really, really small ones.

I believe Charles Byrne and Caroline Crachami are the most often shown pair of skeletons.

Doing google image searches on these photos can be enlightening.

Or just google 'nephilim' and 'Worth1000.com' and see how many photos match, except the missing label that is.




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:09


Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Quote:
Oh, please don't. I hope that all religious believers, especially Christians, will fervently participate. Let's keep the conversation in a spirit of good will.

lol.

According to Amos on the SM Skype chat, everyone on SM know's I'm a fanatical Christian, so no news there.

I suppose there's a lot I could bring up, but I'll keep it short.

For one, according to the bible, you should be able to look around and tell there's a God and that he has power.

Secondly, the idea of faith isn't the opposite of reason or logic, a sort of 'mind over matter' thing, etc. (as many who scorn religion would say) and it isn't some mystical force you build up inside yourself (as, sadly, some religious people would say). And it's certainly not a word to replace 'religion'. It's just making a decision to consider something that is heard to be true - that is, faith is believing something is true.

So - as far as faith goes, it is indeed based on information. It's not mindless or blind as some refer to it as. If Christianity were about people believing that Christ got up from the dead, on no basis whatsoever, then I certainly wouldn't still be a part of it. Men who saw Jesus die - if they had no basis to believe what they did - would not have let themselves be killed over what they held to be true. However, they, I, and many others have indeed seen God back up the fact that Christ indeed was raised from the dead. Faith is not mindless, it's just preferentially believing one source of information from another, based upon a determination of one's value over the other.

Some things I believe because they have been backed up - however some things I believe because I trust the source of that information. In both cases, it isn't a blind decision.

That's all. If you ever notice a difference between Christians and the rest of the world, maybe you shouldn't just write it off.


Well said. I reiterate, I’m happy this hasn’t made it to detritus.
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:13


If God is all-knowing, does he still have free will? Or is he a prisoner of his knowledge?



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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:17


The Bible, as promulgated by the English King James the second (second edition) is clearly the source of all Truth, despite being an inaccurate translation of other languages and being influenced by the politics of the time.

I could easily be Wrong, but maybe the Original texts would be more accurate than the translations.

"Thou Shalt Not Kill" is stated in as direct a way as possible, so any meat-eating God-ist is basically disobeying a direct Commandment from their God.

Meat is kinda tasty.




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:26


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
The Bible, as promulgated by the English King James the second (second edition) is clearly the source of all Truth, despite being an inaccurate translation of other languages and being influenced by the politics of the time.

I could easily be Wrong, but maybe the Original texts would be more accurate than the translations.

"Thou Shalt Not Kill" is stated in as direct a way as possible, so any meat-eating God-ist is basically disobeying a direct Commandment from their God.

Meat is kinda tasty.

What does that have to do with you? There is a God, and if you discover that all those who acknowledge him disobey a certain of his command, does that exempt you from honoring him?

I don't keep the sabbath - why not? The answer to that is part of the answer to your question - however you don't really care about the answer, do you? The other part is of course that a more thorough studying of the Hebrew word would likely turn up something else - otherwise God himself wouldn't be righteous for killing some, as documented in the old testament. But regardless, your question has nothing to do with the topic of the thread, nor does it clarify any points made so far.




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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:27


Quote: Originally posted by SWIM  
Stories about the unearthing of giant nephilim skeletons have been all over the internet for years.

Many include photoshopped pictures of people digging up giant skeletons. Mostly photos that were part of a photoshop competition held by the website worth1000.com.

The competition they held with the subject, 'archeological anomalies' spawned dozens of pretty good shops showing people digging up giant skeletons, moving giant skulls by a wheelbarrow, etc.

Fundamentalists take these known fakes, crop the worth1000.com symbol off, and post them as reality.

They sometimes also just take stock photos from the Hunterian, or the Mutter Museum, of giant human skeletons displayed next to really, really small ones.

I believe Charles Byrne and Caroline Crachami are the most often shown pair of skeletons.

Doing google image searches on these photos can be enlightening.

Or just google 'nephilim' and 'Worth1000.com' and see how many photos match, except the missing label that is.


I’ve seen the pictures. And the way they appeared to be buried makes one wonder

how they stood the test of time.

[Edited on 9-1-2018 by ELRIC]
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:32


Please fellas, let’s not send this to oblivion (detritus).

I’m still waiting on someone to ask for a reference for scientific fact found in the Bible.

I might just have to start spewing them out :)
[Edited on 9-1-2018 by ELRIC]

[Edited on 9-1-2018 by ELRIC]
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:46


Quote: Originally posted by aga  

"Thou Shalt Not Kill" is stated in as direct a way as possible, so any meat-eating God-ist is basically disobeying a direct Commandment from their God.

Meat is kinda tasty.


Regarding Judea-Christian beliefs, permission to eat meat was specifically granted Genesis 9.1-5, post flood, pre-flood people were limited to the green stuff.

One of my favorite quotes that relates to science and religion is:

Quote:
The problem is fundamentalism, that is, the belief that one knows truth. ..... Once one believes that one knows truth, this removes an important barrier on one’s behavior, and the means can often justify the ends in one’s mind.


This isn't limited to religion, but more and more to individuals preaching science. Which is disappointing because science, has never sold itself as the end-all answer to anything. Science is intentionally fallible, the scientific method lets us tear it down and rebuild it. Sometimes it pays to stick to your ideas in science, but things do change, nothing is certain, "science is the observation of phenomena and the tracing of their laws", nothing more.

[Edited on 1/9/2018 by BromicAcid]




Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 15:58


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
If God is all-knowing, does he still have free will? Or is he a prisoner of his knowledge?


If God doesn’t have free will, how could He have ever emparted it to you?

Another question. Call me a simpleton, but can knowledge enslave anyone?

( except maybe all the classified stuff. And I don’t really see that being enslavement).
[Edited on 9-1-2018 by ELRIC]

[Edited on 10-1-2018 by ELRIC]
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JJay
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 16:34


What do you think about doing a controlled experiment to see if prayer actually works?



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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 17:16


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
What do you think about doing a controlled experiment to see if prayer actually works?


It has already been done. One of the kings of England (a George, I think)
was deathly ill. 200,000 people prayed that he would get well. He didn't, he died.




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
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[*] posted on 9-1-2018 at 17:47


That's not a controlled experiment, though... a controlled experiment would be something like assigning cancer patients to "prayer" and "no prayer" groups and praying for one group to see how prayer affects the outcomes.



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