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Free Talk Live => General => Topic started by: hellbilly on January 12, 2010, 05:36:40 PM

Title: Questions for the believers
Post by: hellbilly on January 12, 2010, 05:36:40 PM
Why can god act with impunity?

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 12, 2010, 05:42:49 PM
Why can god act with impunity?
Who would punish him?

Quote
Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?
Because there is nothing wrong with violence.

Quote
Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?
example please
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: hellbilly on January 12, 2010, 05:53:29 PM
I was going to post these questions in the atheist ethics thread, so I'm going from some of the info there- particularly the bears killing 42 kids as ordered by god (or young adults whichever translation you fancy).

So to rephrase a bit-

Why can god act with impunity and not be held to the same standards as your neighbors?

After all, morality is made clear in regards to violence "Thou shalt not kill" - unless its god who does it, to provide a lesson or perhaps just for kicks.

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

fatcat has already laid out the examples- stoning women, killing gays, etc. How is this made reasonable in the conscience of a believer?

Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?

If god punished kids by having a bear maul them to death, why is it not acceptable for a believer to do the same?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 12, 2010, 05:59:27 PM
So  these are questions for christians and jew?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: hellbilly on January 12, 2010, 06:32:25 PM
No, "believers" as in those who believe in some god or another. All gods seem to have a violent streak.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 12, 2010, 07:00:14 PM
Why can god act with impunity?

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?

He operates in established ways, and in an order understandable to a person who studies Kaballah.

Because they're often taken out of context.

I don't understand your third question.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 12, 2010, 07:06:50 PM
Interesting.  I'll bite for this one, even though I'm agnostic and don't prescribe to dogmatic religion, I'll play Devil's advocate:

Why can god act with impunity and not be held to the same standards as your neighbors?

After all, morality is made clear in regards to violence "Thou shalt not kill" - unless its god who does it, to provide a lesson or perhaps just for kicks.

You're making some interesting assumptions here.  Let me see if I can accurately break down all the suppositions at play:


I think the difficulty here is points #3 and #4.  In my readings of the Bible, Koran, and the Torah - I do not think I have really seen any book address the applicability of God's morality upon God him/her/itself other than in the Koran when dealing with abrogation - basically Allah (through Gabriel) telling Muhammad that when two revelations seem to be in conflict, the more recent revelation chronologically is the "better" and correct revelation.  The part that is relevant to your question is that in the final part of the verse is the phrase, "know you not that Allah can do all things?"

This could then suggest that the assumption that God's law applies to God would be incorrect, and that as human beings (not the creator of all things), posing this question is a non-sequitur because the laws being set forth are not for God to follow, and even if they were, as human beings we would have no possible method of redress to "punish" God for his/her/its transgressions of the law.

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

fatcat has already laid out the examples- stoning women, killing gays, etc. How is this made reasonable in the conscience of a believer?

Excellent question - and it's a problem I have with most dogmatic "western" religions, which I am assuming based upon your examples is whom this question is primarily posed against.  A lot of this deals with a few (now) commonly held assumptions/accepted beliefs about God in our modern, contemporary contexts and interpretations.  For example:


Part of what makes the discussion of Religion and religious texts problematic in today's culture is that we're in today's culture, and everyone who is religious is no a student of hermeneutics: basically studying the language and the context for how it was used at a certain period in history.  The good example of this would be the word, "gay" and its use prior to the late 1950's and after.

The other problem is that as is often admitted - these issues boil down to faith, and thus ensuring that the assumptions held by the faithful are not required to be consistent. 

Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?

If god punished kids by having a bear maul them to death, why is it not acceptable for a believer to do the same?

Probably the easiest to address with a very simple answer were I to put on the "Boots of being Religious:" Because Man is not God, and for Man to consider his judgment, morality and actions as that equal to God is foolish and improper.

However, with fundamentalist Islam, there is no such compunction - in fact many of the acts of the more militant muslims reflects many of the actions that the Prophet Muhammed committed in his life, including the decapitation of prisoners.  In this particular case, your attempted Reductio Ad Absurdum is a non-valid reductio, because there are those (the fundamentalist muslim) who do not believe the conclusion is absurd.


----
edit: fixed a couple typos
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: fatcat on January 12, 2010, 07:14:01 PM
Why can god act with impunity?

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?

He operates in established ways, and in an order understandable to a person who studies Kaballah.

Because they're often taken out of context.

I don't understand your third question.

Care to tell me how this is taken out of context?

Quote
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives."  (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

I believe I've asked this multiple times and don't recall ever getting a satisfactory answer. ("it says in the Gemara" is not an answer if you're not going to tell me what it says in the Gemara, cause I'm not going to jew school).

How bout this one?

Quote
But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house.  Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.  (Deuteronomy  22:20-21 NAB)

Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: hellbilly on January 12, 2010, 07:59:02 PM
Good stuff Celestrian. Even better that such complete answers have come from an Agnostic!
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 12, 2010, 08:13:37 PM
Why can god act with impunity?

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?

He operates in established ways, and in an order understandable to a person who studies Kaballah.

Because they're often taken out of context.




I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 12, 2010, 08:43:17 PM
No, "believers" as in those who believe in some god or another. All gods seem to have a violent streak.
I'm pretty sure the questions only work for "believers" of some organized religions, not all "believers".

Why do most atheists seem like people who are angry at god?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Rillion on January 12, 2010, 08:53:27 PM
Why do most atheists seem like people who are angry at god?

Because most theists see themselves as simply doing what God says, and passing the buck of atheist anger is easier than simply acknowledging that you can't be angry at something you don't believe in.  

If I'm an asshole in the name of Fred, and you get angry about it, it is more appropriate to say that you're angry at me than at Fred.  
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: fatcat on January 12, 2010, 08:54:53 PM
No, "believers" as in those who believe in some god or another. All gods seem to have a violent streak.
I'm pretty sure the questions only work for "believers" of some organized religions, not all "believers".

Why do most atheists seem like people who are angry at god?

Why does blackie always ask condescending questions?

Anyway, most atheists I know are angry at the idea believers have of a mass murdering, petty, vain, homophobic psychopath being the most infallible, caring and merciful being alive.

being angry at a fictional character itself is silly. I'm no angrier at a god than I am at bigfoot or voldemort.

Hellbilly is right if he's talking about all major religions (that have gods). He's wrong if he's talking about bullshit new age invented gods.

Where they take the warm fuzzy stuff from the big G bible god, but don't actually think its the bible god, its some deisticic/personal god that has absolutely no fucking evidence whatsoever, as apposed to the fire and brimstone big G god which at least has some old books.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 12, 2010, 08:56:00 PM
No, "believers" as in those who believe in some god or another. All gods seem to have a violent streak.
I'm pretty sure the questions only work for "believers" of some organized religions, not all "believers".

Why do most atheists seem like people who are angry at god?
Being that atheist don't believe in god, they are not angry at god but rather the ridiculous notion of god.  Angry that people can be so gullible as to believe in superstitions that are bigoted and hateful.  

P.S.
Just in case I'm wrong I threw some salt over my shoulder after typing this post.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 12, 2010, 09:17:26 PM
Anyway, most atheists I know are angry at the idea believers have of a mass murdering, petty, vain, homophobic psychopath being the most infallible, caring and merciful being alive.

...and for those who look govern their lives with logic and reason, this makes sense.  Other than the fact that I simply will never be able to make a meaningful conclusion on a subject which I will never have sufficient evidence to do so, is one of the major reason I've only become more Agnostic as I've gotten older.

I would actually find the case for God more compelling if the suppositions were consistent; Go ahead and tell me that God doesn't love everyone, or that "hell" as described by many simply doesn't exist, and therefore the potential of damnation as a result of playing our "parts" in life (predetermined by God, of course, because He's omnipotent) is no longer an issue.

just my (very short this time) .02
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 12, 2010, 09:25:31 PM
Why does blackie always ask condescending questions?
He's trolling.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: fatcat on January 12, 2010, 09:29:11 PM
Why does blackie always ask condescending questions?
He's trolling.

I KNEW IT!!!
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Ecolitan on January 12, 2010, 09:54:42 PM


Why does blackie always ask condescending questions?


Because blackie always thinks condescending thoughts.  I like him anyway.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: anarchir on January 12, 2010, 11:39:52 PM
God is always right, because if we get upset at him, he will damn us to hell. And who doesnt want to go to the glorious afterparty?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: cavalier973 on January 13, 2010, 01:38:32 AM
http://www.tektonics.org/lp/outrage.html
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: anarchir on January 13, 2010, 02:47:15 AM
Quote
with the intention to win over the prospective convert by means of emotional appeal.

Based on my experiences with religious types and their reasons for being religious when faced with rational thought, this seems like an appropriate tactic for debate with them.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: anarchir on January 13, 2010, 02:56:33 AM
http://www.tektonics.org/lp/outrage.html
http://the-anointed-one.com/exposed.html
http://theskepticalreview.com/articles-idx.html

Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 13, 2010, 03:06:11 AM




I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: fatcat on January 13, 2010, 09:18:09 AM




I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?

If I'm a cog, whats god? the crankshaft?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 13, 2010, 09:50:08 AM




I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?

Wait a second, COG is an acronym for Child of God, as well as a part of a gear system.  Is this a trick question? 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 13, 2010, 01:49:21 PM




I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?

Wait a second, COG is an acronym for Child of God, as well as a part of a gear system.  Is this a trick question? 


Haha.

Never heard of that.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on January 13, 2010, 03:10:32 PM
No, "believers" as in those who believe in some god or another. All gods seem to have a violent streak.
I'm pretty sure the questions only work for "believers" of some organized religions, not all "believers".

Why do most atheists seem like people who are angry at god?

I always sort of thought it was because they are--but actually, I'd say it's more accurate flipped around.  If it's not someone angry at God, you probably won't hear from them.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 13, 2010, 04:23:30 PM
Quote
with the intention to win over the prospective convert by means of emotional appeal.

Based on my experiences with religious types and their reasons for being religious when faced with rational thought, this seems like an appropriate tactic for debate with them.

Of course this is an appropriate tactic for many of the religious; matters of faith are at their core matters of emotion.  A core part of "having faith," is (supposedly) understanding that you as a human being don't have all the answers and therefore have to surrender yourself and place your trust in that which is unquantifiable.  Personally, I've never been much of one for surrender and/or supplication.

However, if you wish to understand the frame-of-mind, think of it this way:



A bit long, perhaps, but I have found in my experiences in discussion/debate with the devout that understanding these point allow me to better address many of their arguments in a way that makes the discussion much more productive, or failing that, when to acknowledge the discussion has become cyclical and when to politely and constructively draw the discussion to a close.

------------------------
1. For Islam, following the 4 pillars of Islam does not necessarily guarantee salvation according to the Qu'ran - the only passage the clearly ensures entry into paradise is martyrdom for God's cause.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: mikehz on January 13, 2010, 10:14:15 PM
Why can god act with impunity?

There was an entire book in the Bible devoted to this question. It was called Job. God does all sorts of terrible things to Job, who is a devote and obedient servant of the Lord. God kills his family and destroying everything he has. When Job asks how He can do such things to an innocent person, God replies, essentially, "Because I'm fuckin' God, that's why. I made everything, and I can damn well do with it as I wish!"

Quote

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

To save face. They've taken an impossible possition, and would suffer embarrasment at admitting to being wrong.

Quote
Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?

Because most people (and, there are certainly those who feel such violence IS warranted) realize that such deeds are actually immoral, no matter WHAT some old book says. They rationalize this away. (See answer above.)
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: cavalier973 on January 14, 2010, 01:13:36 AM
It's no good to say of Christians that they are "not rational."  Any belief system is rational if one accepts the underlying presuppostions.  There are numerous works of Christian apologetics that lay out the case for the faith in a rational manner.  Nevertheless, one cannot be persuaded by argument that Christianity is true, because Christianity involves a personal relationship with God based on faith and repentence.  It's a personal experience that the individual knows to be true without being able to prove scientifically.  Arguments made to a Christian against the Christian faith, however rational and well-laid out and scientifically verifiable, must always fail, because of this personal experience of having a direct relationship with God; the truth of the relationship overrides even the most brilliant arguments against God.

It's also why the "argument from outrage" isn't persuasive.  The Christian knows from personal experience that God is good.  Therefore, He must have good reasons for allowing/commanding/committing acts that seem atrocious.  Scott Adams, in his book Seven Years of Highly Defective People (which is a series of Dilbert comics with Scott's commentary in the margins) talks about the character of Dilbert's Garbage man being the smartest man in the world.  He writes, "The unanswered question about this character is why he would choose to be a garbageman if he was the smartest man in the world.  But if you think about it, we wouldn't be in a position to judge anything done by the world's smartest person.  Obviously, his decisions would be different from our own--he's smarter!  So if we don't understand why he does what he does, the problem is probably on our end."

In the same way, when we who are mortal and fallen don't understand the actions of a good and omniscient God, then the problem is probably on our end.  Perhaps God was preventing a major eruption of trans-national genocide? How would anyone who is not omniscient know?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Harry Tuttle on January 14, 2010, 01:19:20 AM
I think Cavalier has the best explanation as to why I usually don't worry about religion. Clearly, if there is a god, then he has a very good reason to not make me have an understanding of him and no amount of effort on my part can go against his will. It is best to just allow myself to not worry about whether or not there is a god and seek goodness and ethics in some other manner.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 14, 2010, 03:11:36 AM
I've got some Reform Jew answers to give you, but not right now.  I'll do it later, maybe tomorrow or the next day.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on January 14, 2010, 03:12:47 AM
It's no good to say of Christians that they are "not rational."  Any belief system is rational if one accepts the underlying presuppostions.  There are numerous works of Christian apologetics that lay out the case for the faith in a rational manner.  Nevertheless, one cannot be persuaded by argument that Christianity is true, because Christianity involves a personal relationship with God based on faith and repentence.  It's a personal experience that the individual knows to be true without being able to prove scientifically.  Arguments made to a Christian against the Christian faith, however rational and well-laid out and scientifically verifiable, must always fail, because of this personal experience of having a direct relationship with God; the truth of the relationship overrides even the most brilliant arguments against God.

It's also why the "argument from outrage" isn't persuasive.  The Christian knows from personal experience that God is good.  Therefore, He must have good reasons for allowing/commanding/committing acts that seem atrocious.  Scott Adams, in his book Seven Years of Highly Defective People (which is a series of Dilbert comics with Scott's commentary in the margins) talks about the character of Dilbert's Garbage man being the smartest man in the world.  He writes, "The unanswered question about this character is why he would choose to be a garbageman if he was the smartest man in the world.  But if you think about it, we wouldn't be in a position to judge anything done by the world's smartest person.  Obviously, his decisions would be different from our own--he's smarter!  So if we don't understand why he does what he does, the problem is probably on our end."

In the same way, when we who are mortal and fallen don't understand the actions of a good and omniscient God, then the problem is probably on our end.  Perhaps God was preventing a major eruption of trans-national genocide? How would anyone who is not omniscient know?

I'd buy that for a dollar!
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: mikehz on January 14, 2010, 10:30:47 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I225Vcs3X0g (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I225Vcs3X0g)

Yeah, I can't understand how anyone can doubt every story in the Bible...  :lol:
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: anarchir on January 15, 2010, 04:53:13 PM
[youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/I225Vcs3X0g&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/I225Vcs3X0g&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]

Yeah, I can't understand how anyone can doubt every story in the Bible...  :lol:
Awesome.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 19, 2010, 09:32:23 PM
[youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/I225Vcs3X0g&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/I225Vcs3X0g&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]

Yeah, I can't understand how anyone can doubt every story in the Bible...  :lol:
Awesome.

How come I never get to meet any intellectual atheists?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 19, 2010, 10:03:27 PM
How come I never get to meet any intellectual atheists?

Cause' Judaism is way too intellectual :roll:
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 19, 2010, 10:15:01 PM
How come I never get to meet any intellectual atheists?

Cause' Judaism is way too intellectual :roll:

Basically. No one on here can really challenge my faith.

The only group that has come close so far are some formerly religious bloggers who post on the Torah-Science disconnect.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 19, 2010, 10:19:58 PM
How come I never get to meet any intellectual atheists?

Cause' Judaism is way too intellectual :roll:

Basically. No one on here can really challenge my faith.

The only group that has come close so far are some formerly religious bloggers who post on the Torah-Science disconnect.
You win, go say a prayer that I'll see the truth too.  
I admit, I do like the hats.
Edit:  You prayed and I received vision.
I'm studying to convert, that makes me saved right?:

[youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/yKqofE-1XIc&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/yKqofE-1XIc&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 19, 2010, 10:20:33 PM
No one on here can really challenge my faith.
Are you looking for people to challenge your faith?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 19, 2010, 10:24:46 PM
No one on here can really challenge my faith.
Are you looking for people to challenge your faith?
Of course he is.  ---->C.D.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 19, 2010, 10:49:17 PM
No one on here can really challenge my faith.
Are you looking for people to challenge your faith?
I'll say that I went looking for people to challenge my faith, and people did.  I bordered on agnosticism for a while and then once I did the research on cosmology rebounded to pantheistic Judaism.

I think that a responsible religious person should look for challenges so that he can gain a greater understanding of his faith.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 19, 2010, 11:28:20 PM
How come I never get to meet any intellectual atheists?

Cause' Judaism is way too intellectual :roll:

Basically. No one on here can really challenge my faith.

The only group that has come close so far are some formerly religious bloggers who post on the Torah-Science disconnect.
You win, go say a prayer that I'll see the truth too.  
I admit, I do like the hats.
Edit:  You prayed and I received vision.
I'm studying to convert, that makes me saved right?:

[youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/yKqofE-1XIc&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/yKqofE-1XIc&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]

We dont have a concept of saving people. You can be a good person without being Jewish.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 19, 2010, 11:30:17 PM

We dont have a concept of saving people. You can be a good person without being Jewish.
+1

Christianity has been confusing people about Judaism for millenia.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 19, 2010, 11:51:17 PM
Nuh, uh!  My teacher from the video told me so. 
He said I'd be accepted...on judgement day.  Which means saved in my book.
Hallelujah. 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 20, 2010, 12:02:13 AM
Nuh, uh!  My teacher from the video told me so. 
He said I'd be accepted...on judgement day.  Which means saved in my book.
Hallelujah. 


If you convert, which you dont have to.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Rillion on January 20, 2010, 12:08:50 AM
No one on here can really challenge my faith.

Shifting of the burden of proof in nine words. 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 20, 2010, 12:30:27 AM
No one on here can really challenge my faith.

Shifting of the burden of proof in nine words. 

Ok, I will briefly satisfy my end of the burden of proof.

Premise: G-d exists.

Proof: The world had a beginning point.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Rillion on January 20, 2010, 12:45:30 AM
No one on here can really challenge my faith.

Shifting of the burden of proof in nine words. 

Ok, I will briefly satisfy my end of the burden of proof.

Premise: G-d exists.

Proof: The world had a beginning point.

Please demonstrate that a) this is necessarily so, and b) it requires a sentient entity.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 20, 2010, 01:39:20 AM
No one on here can really challenge my faith.

Shifting of the burden of proof in nine words. 

Ok, I will briefly satisfy my end of the burden of proof.

Premise: G-d exists.

Proof: The world had a beginning point.

Please demonstrate that a) this is necessarily so, and b) it requires a sentient entity.


a-Because of background radiation, and red-shifting of galaxies. Don't think that's such a moot point too. Before these were discovered in the fifties, most atheists believed the Aristotelian model that the universe was ageless and always existed as it does now. Once they found out that there was a beginning, as in "In the beginning" they could no longer use the ageless universe explanation. They had to move onto the idea that the universe is in stages of expansion and contraction, and that we are in the expansion point now.


b-Every reaction has to have a catalyst. Since there was a beginning, and nothing can start itself, because that would violate the laws of thermodynamics, something outside of the regular forces that make things happen must have set it off.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 20, 2010, 12:10:35 PM
The God of the Gaps, as it were.

It's interesting you bring up the point of Vacuum Gensis - something that's been discussed and debated from some time.  There are some interesting postulations regarding this in the fields of String Theory (the big physics fad of the moment - much like Quantum Mechanics were about 40 years ago).  The executive, non mathematical summary is like slices of bread - different dimensional planes could at times "bump up" against each other at a singular point, causing a transfer of mass/energy from one plane to another.

I don't have the source material regarding the specifics on hand, so don't take my summary of rudimentary explanation as gospel.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: gibson042 on January 20, 2010, 12:15:12 PM
a-Because of background radiation, and red-shifting of galaxies. Don't think that's such a moot point too. Before these were discovered in the fifties, most atheists believed the Aristotelian model that the universe was ageless and always existed as it does now. Once they found out that there was a beginning, as in "In the beginning" they could no longer use the ageless universe explanation. They had to move onto the idea that the universe is in stages of expansion and contraction, and that we are in the expansion point now.

Closed manifolds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed_manifold) like circles and spheres have no boundary (and thus no set of points that could be identified with a "beginning").  Observations of the universe are consistent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedmann-Lema%C3%AEtre-Robertson-Walker) with those of a closed spacetime.

Quote
b-Every reaction has to have a catalyst. Since there was a beginning, and nothing can start itself, because that would violate the laws of thermodynamics, something outside of the regular forces that make things happen must have set it off.

Introducing an infinite regress is not proof.  Also, you have premised this claim on the unproved (as demonstrated by the above counterexample) assertion of a beginning.  And finally, you have not addressed the issue of sapience.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: hellbilly on January 21, 2010, 05:04:07 PM
New questions:

Does a larger number of converts to one's religion reinforce the notion for that person that their religion is "real" ?

Once a person has been converted, it seems that person is then sort of stowed away like a trophy and the focus of the people doing the converting immediately shifts to the next prize (the next convert). Why is this?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 21, 2010, 05:11:20 PM
New questions:

Does a larger number of converts to one's religion reinforce the notion for that person that their religion is "real" ?

Once a person has been converted, it seems that person is then sort of stowed away like a trophy and the focus of the people doing the converting immediately shifts to the next prize (the next convert). Why is this?

I think many of the devout might disagree with your observation, pointing out that what it seems like to you is that of an observation hopelessly skewed by bias.  It could also be equally likely that (as I think we're talking about Christianity again - as I don't see a large recruiting effort on the part of the practitioners of Judaism) is that there is the burden of Christians to spread the word of Christ, and once someone accepts him as their personal savior, then the attention they receive is not the same "recruitment practices," but rather fall into the fold and do "everyday kinds of stuff."

I don't know what that "stuff" would be, but just a opening postulation.   I actually have some questions of my own I would like to ask the devout based on a recurring set of assumptions I hear, particularly when discussing Omnipotence, but I think that deserves it's own thread.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 21, 2010, 05:19:24 PM
even though I'm agnostic
Isn't it possible to be an agnostic believer or an agnostic atheist?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: hellbilly on January 21, 2010, 05:20:54 PM
Always good to have input from you Celestrian.

There's no doubt that I am biased regarding religion. My second question is more of a thought I suppose, but the first one is legit.

It seems that any cult can become "real" if enough people buy into it, whether they've been aggressively pursued by members or not. Scientology is a good example of that. If no one buys into the belief, then no matter how powerful their god, or belief system, is- then eventually their idea falters.

Is it a self-seeking confirmation for individuals to get other people to believe as they do?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 21, 2010, 05:26:00 PM
New questions:

Does a larger number of converts to one's religion reinforce the notion for that person that their religion is "real" ?

Once a person has been converted, it seems that person is then sort of stowed away like a trophy and the focus of the people doing the converting immediately shifts to the next prize (the next convert). Why is this?
The amount of people who believe what I do has no bearing on my believing it.  I think this issue can be different for members of other religions though, especially mormons and Jehova Witnesses.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 21, 2010, 07:05:03 PM
New questions:

Does a larger number of converts to one's religion reinforce the notion for that person that their religion is "real" ?

Once a person has been converted, it seems that person is then sort of stowed away like a trophy and the focus of the people doing the converting immediately shifts to the next prize (the next convert). Why is this?

Its social reinforcement, but not philosophical. Kind of like a bandwagon approach.

I wouldn't know. My roommate is a convert, and he said he doesn't feel like that's what happened with him. You're speaking from a Christian perspective, which I can't answer to, and don't know anything about.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 21, 2010, 07:10:21 PM
even though I'm agnostic
Isn't it possible to be an agnostic believer or an agnostic atheist?

There's a big spectrum, but yes.  I would be slightly closer to an "agnostic believer" as you put it, because the concept of God is not anathema to me, but think I still remain closer to the Strong Agnostic - which is summed as "Mankind will never be able to prove/disprove God's existence objectively ever..... until you're dead - and therefore I cannot draw a decisive conclusion on whether to believe either way."
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 21, 2010, 08:42:20 PM
I think I may be an ignostic. But also a believer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism
Quote
Ignosticism, or igtheism, is the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism) assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. The word "ignosticism" was coined by Sherwin Wine, a rabbi and a founding figure in Humanistic Judaism.

It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God:

   1. The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the question of the existence of God (per that definition) is meaningless. In this case, the concept of God is not considered meaningless; the term "God" is considered meaningless.
   2. The second view is synonymous with theological noncognitivism, and skips the step of first asking "What is meant by God?" before proclaiming the original question "Does God exist?" as meaningless.

Some philosophers have seen ignosticism as a variation of agnosticism or atheism,[1] while others have considered it to be distinct. An ignostic maintains that they cannot even say whether he/she is a theist or an atheist until a better definition of theism is put forth.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 22, 2010, 12:38:31 AM
Always good to have input from you Celestrian.

There's no doubt that I am biased regarding religion. My second question is more of a thought I suppose, but the first one is legit.

It seems that any cult can become "real" if enough people buy into it, whether they've been aggressively pursued by members or not. Scientology is a good example of that. If no one buys into the belief, then no matter how powerful their god, or belief system, is- then eventually their idea falters.

Is it a self-seeking confirmation for individuals to get other people to believe as they do?

Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 22, 2010, 11:25:11 AM
Always good to have input from you Celestrian.

There's no doubt that I am biased regarding religion. My second question is more of a thought I suppose, but the first one is legit.

It seems that any cult can become "real" if enough people buy into it, whether they've been aggressively pursued by members or not. Scientology is a good example of that. If no one buys into the belief, then no matter how powerful their god, or belief system, is- then eventually their idea falters.

Is it a self-seeking confirmation for individuals to get other people to believe as they do?

Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.

Yours is older so you win.  Judaism goes waaaay back.  You know back before god was cool. 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 22, 2010, 12:10:43 PM
Yours is older so you win.  Judaism goes waaaay back.  You know back before god was cool. 

This is something that I've actually been thinking about for a while in regards to the "life cycles" of organized religions.  However, there is something to be said about the what seems to be the staying power of Abrahamic Religions.  Granted, I'll admit that this thread, and most of our discussions relating to these have a decidedly western bend to them; as Hinduism also has a significant number of followers and a lengthy history as well.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 22, 2010, 01:58:40 PM


Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.

Yours is older so you win.  Judaism goes waaaay back.  You know back before god was cool. 

You are a total fucktard. I never said anything about age. We mentioned religions as opposed to cults, and I said that under the definitions of the cult registry, Mormonism is a cult.

If you're too stupid to contribute to the discussion, don't.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 22, 2010, 03:49:23 PM


Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.

Yours is older so you win.  Judaism goes waaaay back.  You know back before god was cool. 

You are a total fucktard. I never said anything about age. We mentioned religions as opposed to cults, and I said that under the definitions of the cult registry, Mormonism is a cult.

If you're too stupid to contribute to the discussion, don't.

Temper, temper.
Isn't it shabbat time?
Go eat some braided bread you silly zealot you.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 22, 2010, 04:01:36 PM
Isn't it shabbat time?
Go eat some braided bread you silly zealot you.
Not till sundown.

And it is called challah. I know because I have a book about it.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513VYKH7PQL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg)

OMG, the book is out of print and people are trying to sell new ones for $95-$250. You can get a used one for $0.71.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0789492342/ref=sr_1_olp_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264196557&sr=8-1&condition=new

Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 22, 2010, 04:02:53 PM
I would say that Mormonism is far closer to being a cult than Judaism for several reasons.  It was based on following the words of a specific individual.  It has an organized religious hierarchy.  Judaism has neither of these.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 22, 2010, 04:35:52 PM
I'm gonna play "Devil's advocate" for the sake of exploration

I would say that Mormonism is far closer to being a cult than Judaism for several reasons.  It was based on following the words of a specific individual.  

Would not "following the word of God" also satisfy this criteria as God is a single entity?

It has an organized religious hierarchy.  Judaism has neither of these.

What is the role of the Rabbi's in religious landscape in contrast the "average" practitioner of Judaism? (Honestly curious)
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 22, 2010, 05:58:23 PM
I'm gonna play "Devil's advocate" for the sake of exploration

I would say that Mormonism is far closer to being a cult than Judaism for several reasons.  It was based on following the words of a specific individual.  

Would not "following the word of God" also satisfy this criteria as God is a single entity?
God is more than an individual.  God is the entirety of the Universe, infinite etc.  Not just one dude in a chair in the sky.
Quote
It has an organized religious hierarchy.  Judaism has neither of these.

What is the role of the Rabbi's in religious landscape in contrast the "average" practitioner of Judaism? (Honestly curious)
  Rabbi means teacher in Hebrew.  Nothing more and nothing less.  A Rabbi is simply an individual who has studied Torah to a much higher degree than the average person and is highly knowledgeable of it.  There's nothing hierarchical there besides the teacher/student relationship that is voluntary.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 22, 2010, 08:56:48 PM
There's nothing hierarchical there besides the teacher/student relationship that is voluntary.
Judaism may not be "hierachical", but it is very organized, and there are people in charge.

Who gets to decide if someone can convert to Jew?

Also, sometimes "they" decide to kick people out. Brauch Spinoza (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Spinoza) was kicked out for being pantheistic.
Quote
Though Spinoza was active in the Dutch Jewish community and extremely well-versed in Jewish texts, his controversial ideas eventually led community leaders to issue a cherem (Hebrew: חרם, a kind of excommunication) against him, effectively dismissing him from Jewish society at age 23.

...

The terms of his cherem were severe.[8] He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, "cursed with all the curses in Deuteronomy and with the curse that Elisha pronounced on the children who, in consequence, were torn to pieces by the she-bears."[9] The cherem was, atypically, never revoked. Following his excommunication, he adopted the first name Benedictus, the Latin equivalent of his given name, Baruch; they both mean "blessed". In his native Amsterdam he was also known as Bento (Portuguese for Benedict or blessed) de Spinoza, which was the informal form of his name.

The Ban

The ban, written in Portuguese, is still preserved in the archives of the Amsterdam community. The pronouncement preceding the ban reads:

The chiefs of the council make known to you that having long known of evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Spinoza, they have endeavored by various means and promises to turn him from evil ways. Not being able to find any remedy, but on the contrary receiving every day more information about the abominable heresies practiced and taught by him, and about the monstrous acts committed by him, having this from many trustworthy witnesses who have deposed and borne witness on all this in the presence of said Spinoza, who has been convicted; all this having been examined in the presence of the Rabbis, the council decided, with the advice of the Rabbi, that the said Spinoza should be excommunicated and cut off from the Nation of Israel.

Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 22, 2010, 11:08:25 PM
There's nothing hierarchical there besides the teacher/student relationship that is voluntary.
Judaism may not be "hierachical", but it is very organized, and there are people in charge.

Who gets to decide if someone can convert to Jew?

Also, sometimes "they" decide to kick people out. Brauch Spinoza (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Spinoza) was kicked out for being pantheistic.
Quote
Though Spinoza was active in the Dutch Jewish community and extremely well-versed in Jewish texts, his controversial ideas eventually led community leaders to issue a cherem (Hebrew: חרם, a kind of excommunication) against him, effectively dismissing him from Jewish society at age 23.

...

The terms of his cherem were severe.[8] He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, "cursed with all the curses in Deuteronomy and with the curse that Elisha pronounced on the children who, in consequence, were torn to pieces by the she-bears."[9] The cherem was, atypically, never revoked. Following his excommunication, he adopted the first name Benedictus, the Latin equivalent of his given name, Baruch; they both mean "blessed". In his native Amsterdam he was also known as Bento (Portuguese for Benedict or blessed) de Spinoza, which was the informal form of his name.

The Ban

The ban, written in Portuguese, is still preserved in the archives of the Amsterdam community. The pronouncement preceding the ban reads:

The chiefs of the council make known to you that having long known of evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Spinoza, they have endeavored by various means and promises to turn him from evil ways. Not being able to find any remedy, but on the contrary receiving every day more information about the abominable heresies practiced and taught by him, and about the monstrous acts committed by him, having this from many trustworthy witnesses who have deposed and borne witness on all this in the presence of said Spinoza, who has been convicted; all this having been examined in the presence of the Rabbis, the council decided, with the advice of the Rabbi, that the said Spinoza should be excommunicated and cut off from the Nation of Israel.

Spinoza is a well known and studied individual among Jews.  What I remember about him mostly was that he was kicked out of his community for being too Catholic.  Although Wikipedia seems to suggest that it was because he associated with too many atheists and dissident Christians.

There are no people "in charge" of Judaism.  There is no Jewish "pope" figure.  There isn't even any central organization or structure.  The closest you can come to hierarchical or organized Judaism is Chabad.  And even that is not the comparable to religions like Mormonism and Catholicism.   Who decides if a person is to be converted?  A rabbi.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 22, 2010, 11:14:45 PM
What does it take to become a Rabbi?  Who decides when a person is fluent enough in the belief to be a Rabbi?  
Is it expected to donate to the faith somehow?   Like the way that Christians tithe? 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 22, 2010, 11:18:19 PM
What does it take to become a Rabbi?  Who decides when a person is fluent enough in the belief to be a Rabbi?  
Is it expected to donate to the faith somehow?   Like the way that Christians tithe?  
You go to a Rabbinical school.  Diogenes knows a lot more about that stuff than I do, so I'll let him chime in even though I believe he is mostly associated with the Chassidic sect and is more traditional than most Jews today.  I know that my rabbi told me that in order for him to graduate from his school he had to defeat his teacher in an argument.  I thought that was kinda cool.

Do a google search on Rabbinical school and you'll find a variety of organizations and methods.

Easy cop out link: http://www.ehow.com/how_138294_become-rabbi.html
Quote
Instructions

Step
1

Be Jewish or convert to Judaism. Conversion is a multistep process with different requirements for the different branches of Judaism.

Step
2

Be a good speaker and a good listener. Your success as a rabbi hinges on interacting well with people to gain their confidence.

Step
3

Decide which branch of Judaism you want to serve: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist. (Orthodox Judaism ordains only male rabbis.) They feature very different forms of worship and lifestyle, from traditional to quite modern. Format and rituals can even vary within one branch.

Step
4

Get a college degree. Most Jewish seminary programs require it. Your major isn't crucial. Seminaries look for qualities that will make you a successful spiritual leader. They weigh your academic success, volunteer work, psychological makeup and more.

Step
5

Gain substantial life experience. Many lawyers, doctors and business people become rabbis as a second career. They view their religious calling as a way to give back to the community.

Step
6

Complete a four- or five-year seminary program. Each branch of Judaism has its own requirements, but you can usually expect an academic program plus internships and field training. The religious curriculum includes the Torah, Jewish history and Hebrew, and you'll also study psychology, education, public speaking and community problem solving.

Step
7

Graduate as a rabbi with a master's degree in Hebrew letters. Or study longer and earn a doctorate in Hebrew letters.

Step
8

Get hired by a congregation and receive direction from your congregation's board of trustees. Judaism doesn't have a religious hierarchy, so rabbis don't report to a superior such as a bishop or a pope.

Step
9

Expect to start small in your first job. Competition is stiff for large congregations. You can become an assistant rabbi, a leader of a small congregation, a chaplain in the military or the director of a college Hillel center. You can also teach at a college or seminary or work for a Jewish social-service agency.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 22, 2010, 11:23:03 PM
He probably won't answer me.  I'm a "fucktard". 
Anyway, I'll look it up b/c I'm curious.  Who knows maybe one day DTC will be my Rabbi converting me?
Out of all the clubs out there to join, Judaism seems to have the most beneficial perks/benefits/contacts. 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 23, 2010, 06:41:34 AM
He probably won't answer me.  I'm a "fucktard". 
Anyway, I'll look it up b/c I'm curious.  Who knows maybe one day DTC will be my Rabbi converting me?
Out of all the clubs out there to join, Judaism seems to have the most beneficial perks/benefits/contacts. 
I think the solution is to not be an asshole to him because he has different religious beliefs than you.  We're not looking for converts.  But we're always down for friends.  So chill out and relax about Jews.  I'm sure if you do you'll find a couple friends.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 23, 2010, 06:57:28 AM
PS: Hellbilly, I hope my answers (in both currently pertinent threads) are helping to satisfy your questions that I promised I would answer.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 23, 2010, 07:31:07 AM
I thought this was interesting: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4061817701550449001&ei=WutaS4TPEIOWwgO_zJD0Bg&q=judaism+vs.+mormonism&hl=en&client=opera#

This is just to show from my previous posts that I don't have any prejudices against Mormons.  I actually think that they are typically excellent folks even though I completely disagree with their religious philosophy.

I have known mormons who practice the Sabbath on Saturday, just like the Jews.  I really respect that.  I've known mormons who have been SUPER DOWN to study Torah for other holidays like Passover for example.  I really love that. 

I grew up in a very mormon neighborhood.  In fact I grew up around the corner from a mormon church.  Many of my friends were mormon and were members of families of greater than 10 members.  I respect every one of those things myself.  I don't give a damn one way or another about the polygamism, even though i do lean towards polygamy because I'm an asshole who loves getting laid.  Fuck em if they think having too many wives is a burden, he shoulda thought about that before marrying them. 

What I really dig about mormonism is that they read the old testemant and try to live by it more than other modern christian sects.  Mormons tend to be more "down" with the Jews than other sects.  Perhaps this is more due to religious preservation, I really don't know nor do I give a damn.  They're chill, I'm chill.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 23, 2010, 08:01:24 AM
What I found Ironic about this video is that everyting this guy has to say about Christianity is actually attributable to Judaism but NOT most modern sects of Christianity: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4061817701550449001&ei=WutaS4TPEIOWwgO_zJD0Bg&q=judaism+vs.+mormonism&hl=en&client=opera#docid=-6920086458731758835

Check it out, and remember what I had to say.  This guy has a lot of the right ideas, yet all of them are attributable to Judaism!  Yet not modern Christianity!  So check it out.  I like this dude's ideas, but I have a HUGE problem with him because he is falsely attributing many ideas and attitudes to the wrong religion.  One of my best friends growing up was a hardcore christian, and he agreed with me on all points that I am making.  He believes in Jesus et al, but he agreed with my Jewish beliefs on God and religious practician over what his church had to tell him.  He agreed with me on every single count that this dude has to say that is false and disingenuous about Judaism.  He was practically a Jew for Jesus, which in my opinion is better than a straight up Christian because at least a JFJ will acknowledge the basic laws and refuse to be evangelical.


PS:  I realized after writing this that it may be construed as an evangelical effort on my part.  I would like to clarify by specifically pointing out that I am NOT being evangelical.  Please do not try to convert to Judaism or inquire about converting to Judaism because of what I had to say.  I honestly was just defending my religious beliefs pre-emptively when perhaps I should have just ignored this terrible video and just allowed individuals to challenge themselves on their own.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on January 23, 2010, 09:38:57 PM
Every god is subject to their believers. If a god's believers choose not to believe in him, then what can that god do?

</random>
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 23, 2010, 09:51:29 PM
The God of the Gaps, as it were.

It's interesting you bring up the point of Vacuum Gensis - something that's been discussed and debated from some time.  There are some interesting postulations regarding this in the fields of String Theory (the big physics fad of the moment - much like Quantum Mechanics were about 40 years ago).  The executive, non mathematical summary is like slices of bread - different dimensional planes could at times "bump up" against each other at a singular point, causing a transfer of mass/energy from one plane to another.

I don't have the source material regarding the specifics on hand, so don't take my summary of rudimentary explanation as gospel.

I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science.

String theory is unproven.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 23, 2010, 10:39:36 PM
The God of the Gaps, as it were.

It's interesting you bring up the point of Vacuum Gensis - something that's been discussed and debated from some time.  There are some interesting postulations regarding this in the fields of String Theory (the big physics fad of the moment - much like Quantum Mechanics were about 40 years ago).  The executive, non mathematical summary is like slices of bread - different dimensional planes could at times "bump up" against each other at a singular point, causing a transfer of mass/energy from one plane to another.

I don't have the source material regarding the specifics on hand, so don't take my summary of rudimentary explanation as gospel.

I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science.

String theory is unproven.
String Theory is nutty cult crap for physicists.  I don't buy it.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Ecolitan on January 24, 2010, 01:52:11 PM

Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.

There's a cult registry?  I'd like to meet the person who thinks they get to sort through the religions of the world and decide which is "cult" and which is not, for purposes of pointing and laughing.  Why is it called a registry?  Is it like the who's who registry where I can have a little bio of me and my cult for networking purposes?  Who does the registering?  Is there a fee?  What a stupid fucking name.  Why are you always taken in by these ridiculous things man?  Were they wearing a black suit with a black tie and a black hat and black shoes and a white shirt?  I know how you feel about what that says about yourself, maybe you can't help but think it says all the same things about someone else.  Didn't you learn how awful uniforms are from the nazis?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: fatcat on January 24, 2010, 02:24:30 PM

Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.

There's a cult registry?  I'd like to meet the person who thinks they get to sort through the religions of the world and decide which is "cult" and which is not, for purposes of pointing and laughing.  Why is it called a registry?  Is it like the who's who registry where I can have a little bio of me and my cult for networking purposes?  Who does the registering?  Is there a fee?

I think its more of a sex offender type register.

if it actually exists that is
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 24, 2010, 02:40:33 PM
I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science.

String theory is unproven.

String Theory is nutty cult crap for physicists.  I don't buy it.

Wow, gentlemen - that's some pretty harsh (and slightly ironic) statements.  Would this mean then I could then be justified to summarily attack/dismiss your viewpoints as completely and utterly invalid with the same tone of righteous indignation as I seem to be reading by simply:

I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science unsubstantiated declarative statements.

String theory G-d is unproven.

String Theory G-d is nutty cult crap for physicists believers.  I don't buy it.


I have to be frank in that I'm a little disappointed that these statements don't seem to indicate an approach of giving differing viewpoints that have about as much "proven" as yours or any religion/faith with the same level of (at least) respect that I would assume you would at least like others to give you when talking about Judaism. :|
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 24, 2010, 03:18:00 PM
I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science.

String theory is unproven.

String Theory is nutty cult crap for physicists.  I don't buy it.

Wow, gentlemen - that's some pretty harsh (and slightly ironic) statements.  Would this mean then I could then be justified to summarily attack/dismiss your viewpoints as completely and utterly invalid with the same tone of righteous indignation as I seem to be reading by simply:

I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science unsubstantiated declarative statements.

String theory G-d is unproven.

String Theory G-d is nutty cult crap for physicists believers.  I don't buy it.


I have to be frank in that I'm a little disappointed that these statements don't seem to indicate an approach of giving differing viewpoints that have about as much "proven" as yours or any religion/faith with the same level of (at least) respect that I would assume you would at least like others to give you when talking about Judaism. :|
I had a professor of physics who was obsessed with String Theory.  He dedicated the week before finals to educating us about it.  I walked away from that week completely unprepared for final exams and thinking to myself that there is no logical reasoning to back up ST whatsoever and that all of it was nutty supposition and pseudo-science.  Sure it might be fun to consider and wonder about, but it doesn't make a ton of sense (if any) and exists as a religion for physicists who in my opinion feel a need to believe in God, but are uncomfortable accepting that one exists, so they fall into this weird extremely high level pseudo-scientific "cult" of String Theory.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: mikehz on January 24, 2010, 10:20:06 PM
"Cult" just means it hasn't got enough members yet to represent a serious voting block.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 25, 2010, 12:45:18 AM

Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.

There's a cult registry?  I'd like to meet the person who thinks they get to sort through the religions of the world and decide which is "cult" and which is not, for purposes of pointing and laughing.  Why is it called a registry?  Is it like the who's who registry where I can have a little bio of me and my cult for networking purposes?  Who does the registering?  Is there a fee?  What a stupid fucking name.  Why are you always taken in by these ridiculous things man?  Were they wearing a black suit with a black tie and a black hat and black shoes and a white shirt?  I know how you feel about what that says about yourself, maybe you can't help but think it says all the same things about someone else.  Didn't you learn how awful uniforms are from the nazis?


Mormons are in the cult registry last time I checked.

There's a cult registry?  I'd like to meet the person who thinks they get to sort through the religions of the world and decide which is "cult" and which is not, for purposes of pointing and laughing.  Why is it called a registry?  Is it like the who's who registry where I can have a little bio of me and my cult for networking purposes?  Who does the registering?  Is there a fee?  What a stupid fucking name.  Why are you always taken in by these ridiculous things man?  Were they wearing a black suit with a black tie and a black hat and black shoes and a white shirt?  I know how you feel about what that says about yourself, maybe you can't help but think it says all the same things about someone else.  Didn't you learn how awful uniforms are from the nazis?

The cult registry is a book I found in the reference section of my college library. It was academically oriented. They based the difference between cults ans religions based on several factors, including degree of tolerance of dissent, and how much freedom people in the cult had. I tried to find the ISBN using google, but couldn't.


Right. Nazis and uniforms. The Nazis also built highways, so I guess highways are bad too. You know, you're onto something with the uniform analogy. The brownshirts wore brown, and Brownie scouts wear brown. I guess that makes the Brownie scouts as bad as brownshirts.

Wait wait, no. You keep making the mistake of false equivocation. Like a person who says an airplane is a ship because it has a fore, aft, bow and stern you see things that seem similar, like uniforms, religions and cults, so you assume they're all the same.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 25, 2010, 03:45:33 PM
I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science.

String theory is unproven.

String Theory is nutty cult crap for physicists.  I don't buy it.

Wow, gentlemen - that's some pretty harsh (and slightly ironic) statements.  Would this mean then I could then be justified to summarily attack/dismiss your viewpoints as completely and utterly invalid with the same tone of righteous indignation as I seem to be reading by simply:

I don't base my belief of G-d on gaps of science unsubstantiated declarative statements.

String theory G-d is unproven.

String Theory G-d is nutty cult crap for physicists believers.  I don't buy it.


I have to be frank in that I'm a little disappointed that these statements don't seem to indicate an approach of giving differing viewpoints that have about as much "proven" as yours or any religion/faith with the same level of (at least) respect that I would assume you would at least like others to give you when talking about Judaism. :|
I had a professor of physics who was obsessed with String Theory.  He dedicated the week before finals to educating us about it.  I walked away from that week completely unprepared for final exams and thinking to myself that there is no logical reasoning to back up ST whatsoever and that all of it was nutty supposition and pseudo-science.  Sure it might be fun to consider and wonder about, but it doesn't make a ton of sense (if any) and exists as a religion for physicists who in my opinion feel a need to believe in God, but are uncomfortable accepting that one exists, so they fall into this weird extremely high level pseudo-scientific "cult" of String Theory.

String theory is kinda wack, this guy has a better solution.  The universe is flat and came from "NOTHING".  Long video (1 our) , but presentation is fun and lively.

[youtube=595,490]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/7ImvlS8PLIo&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/7ImvlS8PLIo&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on January 25, 2010, 03:51:22 PM
as  for string theory

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. " - Richard Feynman, a quantum physicist
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: fatcat on January 25, 2010, 03:58:31 PM
I had a professor of physics who was obsessed with String Theory.  He dedicated the week before finals to educating us about it.  I walked away from that week completely unprepared for final exams and thinking to myself that there is no logical reasoning to back up ST whatsoever and that all of it was nutty supposition and pseudo-science.  Sure it might be fun to consider and wonder about, but it doesn't make a ton of sense (if any) and exists as a religion for physicists who in my opinion feel a need to believe in God, but are uncomfortable accepting that one exists, so they fall into this weird extremely high level pseudo-scientific "cult" of String Theory.

Celestrians point seemed to be, that if someone said to you that:

"String Theory G-d is nutty cult crap for physicists believers.  I don't buy it."

That it wouldn't be constitute a very good argument.

And that non believers in this thread generally haven't just said "religion is stupid/for stupid people", but have actually tried to engage the religious beliefs with a bit of depth and understanding.

And that it would be nice if it worked both ways.

Saying that,
You're right that its not proven, but it doesn't mean that it can't be, and that there isn't interesting work being done in String theory.

Although I'm not sure Celestrian was making a point beyond this.

There was theory for black holes long before any physical evidence.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on January 25, 2010, 04:09:27 PM
as  for string theory

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. " - Richard Feynman, a quantum physicist
I agree.  Quantum mechanics is the thing I hated most in physics and advanced chemistry.  It can be fun to wonder about though, but it is pretty wack.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 25, 2010, 05:16:37 PM
Celestrians point seemed to be, that if someone said to you that:

"String Theory G-d is nutty cult crap for physicists believers.  I don't buy it."

That it wouldn't be constitute a very good argument.

Score++ for you.  This is the main thrust, but it also goes beyond that which I'll cover in your secondary point.

And that non believers in this thread generally haven't just said "religion is stupid/for stupid people", but have actually tried to engage the religious beliefs with a bit of depth and understanding.

And that it would be nice if it worked both ways.

You touch the other point here, and part of it the response the such a statement from the non-religious would receive.  The typical response to "G-d is wacky crap," is generally one of (understandable) anger and indignation for the Ad Hominem based [counter]argument.

My point was that these statements seem to be the very kinds of arguments that I have often heard rejected by the religious as overtly pernicious and off-point, and were the positions reversed - the individuals making these statements might not take too kindly to them.

Saying that,
You're right that its not proven, but it doesn't mean that it can't be, and that there isn't interesting work being done in String theory.

Although I'm not sure Celestrian was making a point beyond this.

Nope - like my position on God, I make no statements of fact concerning the validity of String Theory, merely was used to point out another potential viewpoint held by some, that "another brick" in their wall of faith was the fact that despite all of the things/processes that science claims to have solved, there are still "gaps" in our understanding (ex. pre-big bang) - hence the "God of the Gaps" position.

For the record, as a Strong Agnostic, my position is I have no position, but will gladly follow anyone down the path of exploration to determine what my position might be.

There was theory for black holes long before any physical evidence.

Absolutely, and this does touch an interesting consequent; there is an ultimate, factual answering the existence or lack thereof of God; either He/She/It exists or He/She/It doesn't.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 25, 2010, 05:22:41 PM
"Nope - like my position on God, I make no statements of fact concerning the validity of String Theory, merely was used to point out another potential viewpoint held by some, that "another brick" in their wall of faith was the fact that despite all of the things/processes that science claims to have solved, there are still "gaps" in our understanding (ex. pre-big bang) - hence the "God of the Gaps" position."

I urge you when you free time to watch the video posted on the Universe is flat and came out of "nothing".  An interesting perspective you should view.  Seems more believable than string theory.  The guy talks about string theory too.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on January 25, 2010, 06:24:42 PM


Absolutely, and this does touch an interesting consequent; there is an ultimate, factual answering the existence or lack thereof of God; either He/She/It exists or He/She/It doesn't.

What makes you think that there's only one god though?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 25, 2010, 06:32:29 PM


Absolutely, and this does touch an interesting consequent; there is an ultimate, factual answering the existence or lack thereof of God; either He/She/It exists or He/She/It doesn't.

What makes you think that there's only one god though?

Excellent point.  Merely because it is the most talked about model of theism in our contemporary context.  Feel free to replace singular pronouns with plural ones if it suits your purposes better. :)
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: theCelestrian on January 25, 2010, 11:08:31 PM
I urge you when you free time to watch the video posted on the Universe is flat and came out of "nothing".  An interesting perspective you should view.  Seems more believable than string theory.  The guy talks about string theory too.

I will do so now and respond accordingly, even if just to let you know my initial impressions.



edit:  I just finished watching it - very interesting and compelling.  Let me think on it overnight before providing more detail on my impressions in its thread.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: gibson042 on January 26, 2010, 12:09:04 AM
I urge you when you free time to watch the video posted on the Universe is flat and came out of "nothing".  An interesting perspective you should view.  Seems more believable than string theory.  The guy talks about string theory too.

I will do so now and respond accordingly, even if just to let you know my initial impressions.

I liked the video. It provided a new perspective on some aspects of cosmology. And the ideas are even more powerful when combined with concepts like Wick rotation and imaginary time, in the light of which even an initial Big Bang "singularity" becomes just another point along a smooth phase transition (http://arxivblog.com/?p=71) between 4-dimensional Euclidean space and (3,1)-dimensional Lorentzian spacetime. It is entirely possible that we live within some portion of a 5 (or more) dimensional manifold that just happens to have the emergent property of "time". I wish I were smart enough to convey it graphically.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Rillion on January 26, 2010, 09:32:08 PM
[youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/i6sdpc8stqI&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/i6sdpc8stqI&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]
..
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 26, 2010, 10:27:37 PM



........and?
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: blackie on January 26, 2010, 10:27:53 PM
[youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/i6sdpc8stqI&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/i6sdpc8stqI&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]
..
I hate the Hebrews too.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Rillion on January 26, 2010, 10:32:07 PM



........and?

Hint: that video is a parody.  If you honestly don't see the problem with that line of thinking, then kill yourself now. 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Cognitive Dissident on January 27, 2010, 01:21:03 AM
All that hatred can't be good.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 27, 2010, 01:39:14 AM



Hint: that video is a parody.  If you honestly don't see the problem with that line of thinking, then kill yourself now. 

Did you get your PhD in art history or linguistics? Is it in an academically challenging field, because sometimes I wonder about you.

I know when I see parody, even when poorly done. If you amuse yourself with strawmen arguments, and simmer about what other people think about, then so be it.

If you're going to point out said strawman to irk me or whatever, you can go fuck yourself.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Rillion on January 27, 2010, 09:32:24 AM



Hint: that video is a parody.  If you honestly don't see the problem with that line of thinking, then kill yourself now.  

Did you get your PhD in art history or linguistics? Is it in an academically challenging field, because sometimes I wonder about you.

I know when I see parody, even when poorly done. If you amuse yourself with strawmen arguments, and simmer about what other people think about, then so be it.

If you're going to point out said strawman to irk me or whatever, you can go fuck yourself.

Point being: OT God was fucked up, no matter which way you swing it.  No rationalization can redeem him.  No straw man is necessary-- he is the straw man.  I apologize for suggesting that you kill yourself, but obvious sadistic God is obvious.   And it does genuinely irritate me to hear people apply apologetics to him as if he is their alcoholic father. 

(This forum, by the way, is intended by me strictly for recreation.  When it's fun to be calm, rational, and thoughtful, I will be.  When it's fun to be caustic and bitchy, I will be.  Fair warning.)
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: anarchir on January 27, 2010, 04:31:19 PM



Hint: that video is a parody.  If you honestly don't see the problem with that line of thinking, then kill yourself now.  

Did you get your PhD in art history or linguistics? Is it in an academically challenging field, because sometimes I wonder about you.

I know when I see parody, even when poorly done. If you amuse yourself with strawmen arguments, and simmer about what other people think about, then so be it.

If you're going to point out said strawman to irk me or whatever, you can go fuck yourself.

Point being: OT God was fucked up, no matter which way you swing it.  No rationalization can redeem him.  No straw man is necessary-- he is the straw man.  I apologize for suggesting that you kill yourself, but obvious sadistic God is obvious.   And it does genuinely irritate me to hear people apply apologetics to him as if he is their alcoholic father. 

(This forum, by the way, is intended by me strictly for recreation.  When it's fun to be calm, rational, and thoughtful, I will be.  When it's fun to be caustic and bitchy, I will be.  Fair warning.)

It would be great to be a fed, getting paid to do this :P
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Diogenes The Cynic on January 27, 2010, 06:54:59 PM






Point being: OT God was fucked up, no matter which way you swing it.  No rationalization can redeem him.  No straw man is necessary-- he is the straw man.  I apologize for suggesting that you kill yourself, but obvious sadistic God is obvious.   And it does genuinely irritate me to hear people apply apologetics to him as if he is their alcoholic father. 

(This forum, by the way, is intended by me strictly for recreation.  When it's fun to be calm, rational, and thoughtful, I will be.  When it's fun to be caustic and bitchy, I will be.  Fair warning.)

I get the point, thankyouverymuch.

Rationalizing may be the M.O. for others, but not me.

By your last statement you're basically reserving your right to be a bitch. Ok then whatever. Lick a clit.
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: Rillion on January 27, 2010, 07:17:46 PM
Rationalizing may be the M.O. for others, but not me.

It's either rationalizing, or embracing the fact that you worship a sadist.  Whichever you find easier to live with. 

Quote
By your last statement you're basically reserving your right to be a bitch.

Well, yeah-- I have since I first set foot in this filthy land, charming as it may occasionally be.  An academic conference this place is not. 

And don't even pretend that you haven't reserved the same right for yourself. 

Quote
Lick a clit.

I wouldn't mind doing so again, but it's kind of a "take it or leave it" sort of thing. 
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: The ghost of a ghost of a ghost on January 27, 2010, 07:28:11 PM
Quote
I wouldn't mind doing so again, but it's kind of a "take it or leave it" sort of thing.

DETAILS pls!
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on January 28, 2010, 12:51:18 AM
Quote
I wouldn't mind doing so again, but it's kind of a "take it or leave it" sort of thing.

DETAILS pls!
Title: Re: Questions for the believers
Post by: anarchir on January 28, 2010, 02:30:00 AM
Quote
I wouldn't mind doing so again, but it's kind of a "take it or leave it" sort of thing.

DETAILS pls!