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"Have Faith In God. He Won't Let Us Down."


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#81 Nonny

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 03:16 PM

Here's another paragraph from that article I posted:

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And in fact, when you look at the stuff angry atheists are angry about, you'll notice that much of it -- maybe even most of it -- is not about how religious believers treat atheists. It's about how religious believers treat other believers. Rich faith healers bilking faithful followers out of their hard-earned money; the Catholic church deliberately protecting child-molesting priests and moving them from parish to parish so they can rape more children of Catholic parents; Muslim women being imprisoned, beaten, and even executed for adultery; untouchables in India being taught that their blighted status is punishment for misdeeds in a past life; fundamentalist preachers counseling women to stay in abusive marriages; religious wars and hatreds and bigotries; Protestants hating Catholics; Hindus hating Muslims; everyone hating the Jews... when you ask angry atheists why we're angry about religion, this is the stuff that tends to pop up. Bigotry and hostility toward atheists is on the list, of course. But an enormous amount of atheist anger is not self-interested annoyance at personal mistreatment. It's righteous outrage at brutality and injustice. The exact response you'd expect from people with a strong sense of morality and meaning.

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"One man's vulgarity is another's lyric."  Justice John Marshall Harlan, 1971

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.  

If the Dems are "job killers" then the GOP are job abortionists.  

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

Tea Party organizers may want to run away from the facts, but they're not that fast, and the American people are not that slow.  Charles M. Blow

GOP holding up health care, your money or your life.  

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

Continue to say nothing if you agree. House

If corporations are people, NBC was my first wife!  P J O'Rourke

#82 gsmonks

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 03:28 PM

Ah, yes, the Innacurate Misconception and God's omnitpotence . . .

No wonder he had to use deceitful legerdemain to boink Mary! He's omnipotent, and Viagra wasn't invented yet!

Being omnipotent explains why God has no weiner or balls or DNA to pass along . . .

God's Plan is a placebo for the timid.
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#83 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 03:46 PM

Jumping back in to address various and sundry points:

1. Believers "revulsion" at atheists:  First off, not all "believers" revile atheists, but those that do do so as a matter of belief - the belief that rejection of God is itself a sin. Depending on their theology, this may be a sin worthy of utter shunning (or worse) or it may be a sin same as any other sin, and therefore no big deal.  In my own belief system, not believing in God, or believing wrongly about God, or whatever, is everyone's individual business - I do believe that God works with everyone where they are, and that is a privilege conferred by God to believe as I believe - a privilege and a responsibility that everyone isn't necessarily called to.  I have no beef with atheists, and am not reviled by them unless they are behaving vilely... but then wouldn't anyone be revulsed by anyone behaving vilely??

2. "Preaching."  I don't.  I wish I did, and I wish I could, because I admire the skill, but anyway, I don't.  I express my beliefs, and they are mine alone.  My use of the word "we" notwithstanding, I'm still talking about my beliefs.

3. As always, I have to remind all in these discussions (as Lil has also been pointing out), so many times the God being discounted is one that is a distorted version of a particular description of a religious conception. It is important to note that there is no particular reason to assume that every believer in God believes any of the things ascribed to Him by any single religion.

Having said all of that, I do have to step in to defend Christianity, I think, from some obvious slanders.  
1. God "raped" Mary.  According to Scripture, Mary was told in advance, and gave consent in advance to her pregnancy.  That dispels the "rape" concept from the start. Moreover, nothing in the scripture suggests a physical agency - but rather a mystical one.  (Lil - not sure what you meant by "immaculate conception" but yes, Protestants don't believe in it.  Protestants DO believe in the Virgin Birth, which I found out is something different...)

2. The idea that Jesus was "just a man" does not follow from the fact of his physical existence.  But what else he might be does follow from one's own faith. To put this in context, President Obama is "just a man." But he is also the elected President of the United States - a station that does not have a physical reality, but rather a legal and a social one.  And there are a faction of people who do not believe he was born in the United States and therefore, notwithstanding the election and all, cannot be the "President of the United States." - This disbelief is ideological, as is a belief or disbelief in Jesus as more than "just a man."

3. "God murders the guilty along with the innocent."  This argument has its counter, in that God allows the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the guilty and the innocent - which is proof of God's mercy and grace.  Well, it all depends on our perspective, doesn't it?  I believe that God's so called "murder" as discussed in the Bible (which is most likely where the charge comes from) represents the kind of storytelling/understanding necessary for humanity some 6000 years ago - and scriptures since then suggest human evolution away from that kind of thinking, and consequently, God's Prophets providing quite different kinds of guidance to Humanity than what was ordained (for instance, by Joshua) years ago.


Anyway, just some quick thoughts - I'm probably out of this thread for the rest of today, anyway...

QT

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#84 Nonny

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:11 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on 14 January 2011 - 03:46 PM, said:

Jumping back in to address various and sundry points:

1. Believers "revulsion" at atheists:  First off, not all "believers" revile atheists, but those that do do so as a matter of belief - the belief that rejection of God is itself a sin.  
Simply naming nonbelief a "sin" contains a suggestion that believers who don't condemn nonbelievers or nonbelief are guilty of a "sin" of omission.  

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Depending on their theology, this may be a sin worthy of utter shunning (or worse) or it may be a sin same as any other sin, and therefore no big deal.
I would love to be shunned by the woman who has caused me so much trouble with her inappropriate attentions.  I wish she would leave me alone.  I hope she will leave me alone.  I want her to leave me alone, and I want her to keep her hands off me.  

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In my own belief system, not believing in God, or believing wrongly about God, or whatever, is everyone's individual business - I do believe that God works with everyone where they are, and that is a privilege conferred by God to believe as I believe - a privilege and a responsibility that everyone isn't necessarily called to.  
It could be distressing to be thought so little of, but no.  

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I have no beef with atheists, and am not reviled by them unless they are behaving vilely... but then wouldn't anyone be revulsed by anyone behaving vilely??
I am repulsed by anyone behaving vilely, like raping little children, like moving rapists of little children around to protect the rapists and provide more little children for them, like threatening the parents of raped little children with the same hellfire that was beaten into them when they were impressionable children for the canonic crime of reporting priestly child rapists to the authorities, like torturing and murdering millions for not submitting to the authority of their church, for torturing and murdering millions for submitting to it but failing some idiotic litmus test of believership, for conquering lands and forcing the inhabitants in slavery and enslaving them to their church.  

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2. "Preaching."  I don't.
Did I say you did?

Edited by Nonny, 14 January 2011 - 04:14 PM.

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The once and future Nonny

"One man's vulgarity is another's lyric."  Justice John Marshall Harlan, 1971

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.  

If the Dems are "job killers" then the GOP are job abortionists.  

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

Tea Party organizers may want to run away from the facts, but they're not that fast, and the American people are not that slow.  Charles M. Blow

GOP holding up health care, your money or your life.  

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

Continue to say nothing if you agree. House

If corporations are people, NBC was my first wife!  P J O'Rourke

#85 QueenTiye

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:38 PM

View PostNonny, on 14 January 2011 - 04:11 PM, said:

View PostQueenTiye, on 14 January 2011 - 03:46 PM, said:

Jumping back in to address various and sundry points:

1. Believers "revulsion" at atheists:  First off, not all "believers" revile atheists, but those that do do so as a matter of belief - the belief that rejection of God is itself a sin.  
Simply naming nonbelief a "sin" contains a suggestion that believers who don't condemn nonbelievers or nonbelief are guilty of a "sin" of omission.  

Again - it's a belief.  People are entitled to them.

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Depending on their theology, this may be a sin worthy of utter shunning (or worse) or it may be a sin same as any other sin, and therefore no big deal.
I would love to be shunned by the woman who has caused me so much trouble with her inappropriate attentions.  I wish she would leave me alone.  I hope she will leave me alone.  I want her to leave me alone, and I want her to keep her hands off me.  

Ick...  I hope she does too!

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Quote

In my own belief system, not believing in God, or believing wrongly about God, or whatever, is everyone's individual business - I do believe that God works with everyone where they are, and that is a privilege conferred by God to believe as I believe - a privilege and a responsibility that everyone isn't necessarily called to.  
It could be distressing to be thought so little of, but no.  

Nope - no belittling there. Not everyone is called to be a doctor or a minister or to work in distressed regions, or to join the military.  We honor people for their callings when they answer and serve, but we don't think less of people for their lack of calling when they are living their lives!  And in my case, I don't view it as something anyone should or would honor me for - but I do feel it a privilege and a responsibility to be called.

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I have no beef with atheists, and am not reviled by them unless they are behaving vilely... but then wouldn't anyone be revulsed by anyone behaving vilely??
I am repulsed by anyone behaving vilely, like raping little children, like moving rapists of little children around to protect the rapists and provide more little children for them, like threatening the parents of raped little children with the same hellfire that was beaten into them when they were impressionable children for the canonic crime of reporting priestly child rapists to the authorities, like torturing and murdering millions for not submitting to the authority of their church, for torturing and murdering millions for submitting to it but failing some idiotic litmus test of believership, for conquering lands and forcing the inhabitants in slavery and enslaving them to their church.  

Me too!

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2. "Preaching."  I don't.
Did I say you did?

No, but I wanted to clarify, since you said I was being "preachy" or some such. :)

QT

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#86 gsmonks

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:26 PM

Are people entitled to their beliefs?

H'm . . .

I have to disagree, there. This would include violent extremists, and no, they are not entitled to their beliefs.

The "people are entitled to their beliefs" thing is long overdue for being accompanied by such qualifiers as, "Only to the extent that they don't act on them and harm or interfere with other people."
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#87 gsmonks

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:32 PM

God "allows" the sun to shine and the rain to fall? Are you joking? The sun and rain were around long before Man came along to invent God. God doesn't "allow" anything, except in stories people write.

That's really all the Bible is- endless talk, talk, talk, and lots of words. And a misguided belief in magic, which is really what we're talking about here.
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#88 Vapor Trails

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:38 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on 14 January 2011 - 01:01 PM, said:

Nor I.  I would completely understand a minister's reluctance to say those words to those women.  I would have a hard time saying them.  And yet, I know it is true.

As to the bold-how?

I'd imagine the following question...

"God...I've been told you loved me. If so, why did you allow me to be a sexual prisoner for 20 years? Why did you allow my own father to rape me for 20 years?

And keep in mind-there are criminals who've done horrific things and have faced FAR less time in jail.

Edited by Analog Kid, 14 January 2011 - 05:42 PM.

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#89 Nonny

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:14 PM

No God, no mantra? You'd flunk Army's 'spiritual fitness' test

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You don't pray or meditate. You're among the "Nones" -- folks who claim no religion and maybe you shrug off spirituality, too.

So you might flunk the five spiritual questions on the U.S. Army's current well-being assessment survey for soldiers. Already, one church-state watchdog, Michael "Mikey" Weinstein is having a constitutional fit over their inclusion in a battery of questions to measure a soldier's resilience. Is he or she fit to fight for inner peace?

Barbara Bradley Hagerty at NPR has the story on the Army's efforts to assess how resilient soldiers are, all the better to meet their needs as our two-war times take an emotional and psychological toll.

Since Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum, director of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, found data that "spiritual fitness has a positive impact on quality of life, on coping and on mental health," the army included a required survey for soldiers assessing their well-being and relationships including their spiritual dimension..

One self-described "Foxhole Atheist", Justin Griffith, a sergeant at Fort Bragg, N.C., checked out 100% un-spiritual. When he submitted the computerized survey, the auto-response came back:

    

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Spiritual fitness may be an area of difficulty... You may lack a sense of meaning and purpose in your life. At times, it is hard for you to make sense of what is happening to you and to others around you. You may not feel connected to something larger than yourself. You may question your beliefs, principles and values...Improving your spiritual fitness should be an important goal."

Cornum defends the assessment to Hagerty as merely a helpful resource for soldiers, saying,

    

Quote

There's no pass-fail, nothing happens. No one sees it but the guy who takes it.

But Weinstein, a former Air Force lawyer who founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says he has 220 soldiers ready to sue if the survey doesn't drop those questions. Weinstein has been embroiled in years of battles with the military over what he perceives as an evangelical invasion of the armed forces....
I admire and respect Cornum, but she is wrong, wrong, wrong.  Nobody in the military can dare assume that this kind of crap won't be going into their personnel file, if not now, soon.
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The once and future Nonny

"One man's vulgarity is another's lyric."  Justice John Marshall Harlan, 1971

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.  

If the Dems are "job killers" then the GOP are job abortionists.  

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

Tea Party organizers may want to run away from the facts, but they're not that fast, and the American people are not that slow.  Charles M. Blow

GOP holding up health care, your money or your life.  

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

Continue to say nothing if you agree. House

If corporations are people, NBC was my first wife!  P J O'Rourke

#90 Nonny

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:24 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on 14 January 2011 - 04:38 PM, said:

View PostNonny, on 14 January 2011 - 04:11 PM, said:

View PostQueenTiye, on 14 January 2011 - 03:46 PM, said:

Jumping back in to address various and sundry points:

1. Believers "revulsion" at atheists:  First off, not all "believers" revile atheists, but those that do do so as a matter of belief - the belief that rejection of God is itself a sin.  
Simply naming nonbelief a "sin" contains a suggestion that believers who don't condemn nonbelievers or nonbelief are guilty of a "sin" of omission.  

Again - it's a belief.  People are entitled to them.
Considering how "sin" was presented to me when I was a helpless, impressionable child, I am entitled to be disgusted by the mere notion that some other entitled being would consider my rejection of their spiritual beliefs as suitable for me as "sin".  Yes, I find it disgusting, and no, while I believe that others are entitled to their beliefs, no matter how disgusting I may find them, I do not believe that they are entitled to act upon them if they may cause harm to others, nor do I believe that they are entitled to impart them to me if I don't want to hear about them.  

If someone wants to claim that he or she is a sinner, whatever, but if someone wants to claim that "we" are "all" sinners, then I reject that claim.
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The once and future Nonny

"One man's vulgarity is another's lyric."  Justice John Marshall Harlan, 1971

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.  

If the Dems are "job killers" then the GOP are job abortionists.  

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

Tea Party organizers may want to run away from the facts, but they're not that fast, and the American people are not that slow.  Charles M. Blow

GOP holding up health care, your money or your life.  

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

Continue to say nothing if you agree. House

If corporations are people, NBC was my first wife!  P J O'Rourke

#91 SparkyCola

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:51 PM

Nonny- on the we issue, thanks for explaining. I understand where you're coming from now. As for the preaching issue - (aside: yikes, what IS up with my spelling these days?!  :crazy: I used to be good at spelling... :( ) - I wasn't using the quote marks as a sign that I was quoting you, but as a sign that I was using a word the use of which I disagreed with. When I'm quoting, I use the quote function. But I apologise if you feel you were misquoted. I just responded to what I felt you were implying. But I guess technically I was using the quote marks incorrectly so my bad really. I'm not a very technically accurate grammar-user as I'm certain you've noticed over the years ;)

GS - Surely it's a matter of whether or not people act on their beliefs that matters, not what beliefs people hold. Once you go down the line of forbidding people from believing certain things... Orwellian.

AK - it's getting a bit circular now. Christians believe that God gave everyone free will. Therefore he does not intervene by taking away that free will, no matter what. He tries to influence without intervening directly. But like a parent, he loves his children. Again, your question of 'how can you say God loves those women?' is the equivalent of saying  "How can you say the parents of that child love them, when that child got hurt by stranger?"  -  the parents were not able to stop their child from being hurt. And they feel that helplessness and that pain and they want to protect their child even more and love them even more, but ultimately- it's not their fault that a stranger hurt their child. It's the fault of the stranger. God abides by the rules he himself made. He feels giving us free will is so important that it even binds him in this way of not being able to help - God's love for us and the gift of free will are intertwined, inextricably.

If you disagree - ok. You're not a Christian. That's fine. Neither am I. I'm just arguing the case that it's not like Christians haven't thought about the answers to the kinds of questions you're asking - and of COURSE Christians and all believers have doubts and questions, are sometimes angry, sometimes hurt, etc. - but there is NOT the disconnect that you're suggesting between: 1. Belief in God and 2. Compassion for other people. And that's what I think is really driving me to defend people of faith even though I'm not one. I might not believe in God, but I have absolutely no problem with those who do. The idea of God and compassion for your fellow people are absolutely NOT at odds with one another the way you're implying.

Obsidian: :hugs: thanks for an insightful post. :)

Sparky

Edited by SparkyCola, 14 January 2011 - 07:52 PM.

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#92 Vapor Trails

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:18 PM

Sparky,

Quote

Again, your question of 'how can you say God loves those women?' is the equivalent of saying "How can you say the parents of that child love them, when that child got hurt by stranger?" - the parents were not able to stop their child from being hurt. And they feel that helplessness and that pain and they want to protect their child even more and love them even more, but ultimately- it's not their fault that a stranger hurt their child. It's the fault of the stranger. God abides by the rules he himself made. He feels giving us free will is so important that it even binds him in this way of not being able to help - God's love for us and the gift of free will are intertwined, inextricably.

Faulty anology. You're comparing God to lowly humans. The rapists assault these women for two decades, and yet the Creator of the Cosmos is supposed to feel "helpless" about alleviating their pain?! According to you, by God's rules of "non-interference", these women have to endure two decades worth of agony?!

Frankly, "cruel" doesn't even begin to cover it. And if this had been a loved one of yours-who you thought had been dead, but then discovered had been enduring this abuse for two decades-how would you feel about God's "non-interference"?
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#93 Bad Wolf

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 09:19 PM

It doesn't matter whether I think someone is entitled to their beliefs.  They believe what they believe and I have precious little control over it.  In fact even governments have precious little control over it.  What some people CAN control to some extent is consequences for actions.
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#94 Rhea

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:14 PM

I just wanted to interject for a moment to say how appreciative I am that everyone participating in this thread has stuck to interacting about the subject rather than the posters. I groaned when I first read Saul's post because I was afraid this would degenerate into a bloodbath, and instead I've found it fascinating to see what you all have to say minus personal attacks,

Edited by Rhea, 18 January 2011 - 10:26 PM.

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#95 SparkyCola

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:14 PM

Comparing God to a parent isn't faulty. God made us in his image, according to Christian belief. And yes - God is bound to the constraints of his own rules. Why? See the post I made about the importance of free will. You either have free will and terrible atrocities, or you have no atrocities and no free will. That's what it comes down to ultimately. So YES according to *Christian belief* (not "me"), those women suffered for the sake of the free will of humankind. You don't have to believe or AGREE with what christians believe. I don't. But you should understand it. And like I said: not make the mistake of thinking that people who believe in God don't care about others. As for whose fault it is for the suffering of those women - put the blame where it belongs. The people who did it to them. It will always be their fault.

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#96 Vapor Trails

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 10:47 PM

Sparky,

Quote

Comparing God to a parent isn't faulty.

We agree to disagree. You can't compare a lowly human to the so-called Creator of the Cosmos. Saying this is "apples & oranges" DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN to cover it.

Quote

God made us in his image, according to Christian belief. And yes - God is bound to the constraints of his own rules. Why? See the post I made about the importance of free will. You either have free will and terrible atrocities, or you have no atrocities and no free will. That's what it comes down to ultimately. So YES according to *Christian belief* (not "me"), those women suffered for the sake of the free will of humankind.


Free will at the cost of the freedom and sanity of these two women?? Freedom at the cost of 20 years of rape?? In one case, at the hands of the victim's own father?! And this is the way this so-called Creator Of The Cosmos displays his love to those people horribly brutalized by this free will??

And they didn't even have a choice in it. Nice. It's little wonder people like gsmonks have the point of view they do.

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You don't have to believe or AGREE with what christians believe. I don't. But you should understand it.

Uh-actually, I DON'T understand it. Calling it "bizarre" would be the understatement of the millennium. Ages ago, I used to be Roman Catholic. My parents sent me to parochial school. So, I've had PLENTY of exposure to this stuff.

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And like I said: not make the mistake of thinking that people who believe in God don't care about others.

Oh, I think a lot of people who are religious do care. I think a number of them are decent people. I also don't think you need religion to be a decent person.

Quote

As for whose fault it is for the suffering of those women - put the blame where it belongs. The people who did it to them. It will always be their fault.

And the idea of the Creator Of The Cosmos ™ "loving" these women while allowing them to be brutalized so horribly for 20 years is so bizarre as to be asinine. Sorry-but I have to call it as I see it.

Oh yeah-that "God made man in his own image" spiel. Why man? What makes this lowly, delusional ape think "God" picked Earth, and by association, homo sapiens, to be "his" representatives? That just strikes me as more human arrogance, to be honest.

Edited by Analog Kid, 14 January 2011 - 11:02 PM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#97 gsmonks

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 11:19 PM

Religion is about several things, one of them being an anthropormorphic view of the world humans live in and their place in it.

Humans evolved from simple life-forms, and when they reached the talky-ape stage, came up with this God-thing that is based upon themselves. It looks like them, acts like them, thinks like them . . . in fact, the God thing reminds me of bad science-fiction writing. We all know the type, where our mighty cast of characters travel to an "alien" planet, and lo and behold, everyone speaks English, is a bipedal humanoid with thoughts, ideas and emotions just like ours, and there's no sign of genuinely alien life anywhere.

The notion of "denial" came from the Judeo-Christian tradition, and the underlying truth of the notion is that it applies to religious thinking itself. Second only to anthropomorphic thinking is "denial": denial that there is no paternal force out there, watching over us; denial that there is no such thing as life after death; denial that we all will die one day and become nothing, forever and ever. In short, religion is an attempt to deny the Big Bogeyman- death.
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#98 gsmonks

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 11:24 PM

Religion is denial! That's what I was trying to say.
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#99 Vapor Trails

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 11:34 PM

View PostRhea, on 14 January 2011 - 10:14 PM, said:

I groaned when I first read Saul's post...

I oftentimes tend to get that reaction out of people. :whistle: :sly:

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#100 SparkyCola

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:53 AM

Like I said - you can't have it both ways. EITHER you have freedom and atrocities in this world, OR you have no freedom, and no atrocities. This is me really spelling it out now. You may say "I'd like no freedom and no atrocities." and all I can say to that is: Ok. *shrug*. That's about all there is to it. Ok. But you can't have your cake and eat it at the same time. Christians merely disagree and would rather have freedom at the cost of atrocities.

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