HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI
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Are You Religious?
Are you religious?
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Edward Cardinal ...
post Nov 15 2010, 02:41 AM
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It seems to me that this thread is veering off track slightly (the latest posts appear to be better suited for the debate sub-forum < I just realized that this thread in fact IS within the debate forum - my mistake wacko.gif), but in any case I would like to chime in on this discussion concerning the Bible and interpretation.

While my natural tendency would be to drone on in detail regarding my views on this topic, I think that for now I am going to take the "lazy" route and just post a couple of YouTube links that I think are largely representative of my feelings. My reason for posting these links is not to cause discord or insight heated argument, but simply to outline where I stand regarding this matter.

Biblical Interpretation Link One

Biblical Interpretation Link Two


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mellulah
post Nov 15 2010, 06:43 AM
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I do not believe in God because he has not given me any reason to believe in him, science has given me explanations for how things work. Of course you could argue that God created science but then you get The Big Bang vs Creation of the Universe in 6 Days. I believe in chemical reactions and billions of years more than I believe old man spontanously making things appear.

Even if God were to appear (I'm going along the Christian God here) I would not follow him until he would specify what in his eyes is right and wrong. Is the Bible truely his word or has it been twisted by who wrote it to get everyone to follow thier ideals? If the Bible truely is his word then I probably wouldn't follow him, to me that God is a massive hypocrite 'Love thy neighbour and treat them how you would want to be treated unless they are gay' yadda yadda yadda.

However even if I don't believe, I wish there was life after death. Death would be really boring otherwise.

All in all I am not religous and I believe simply living your life honestly and with no intention to hurt anyone is good enough.


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Edward Cardinal ...
post Nov 15 2010, 03:09 PM
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QUOTE (mellulah @ Nov 15 2010, 08:43 AM) *
Of course you could argue that God created science but then you get The Big Bang vs Creation of the Universe in 6 Days.

The above statement seems to bring to light a very common misconception. I would recommend deferring to the links that I have provided in my previous post above. The Book of Genesis (which contains the story of creation) is a good example of a non-historical text that cannot be interpreted in any literal fashion. I would also make note of the fact that the Big Bang Theory was first introduced by Msgr. Georges Lemaître, a Roman Catholic priest (1894-1966).

QUOTE (mellulah @ Nov 15 2010, 08:43 AM) *
Even if God were to appear (I'm going along the Christian God here) I would not follow him until he would specify what in his eyes is right and wrong. Is the Bible truely his word or has it been twisted by who wrote it to get everyone to follow thier ideals? If the Bible truely is his word then I probably wouldn't follow him, to me that God is a massive hypocrite 'Love thy neighbour and treat them how you would want to be treated unless they are gay' yadda yadda yadda.

I really find the foundational basis of the argument above to be rather disturbing. Assuming that God exists, and making the further assumption that God embodies truth (I see no practical way around this association), I see no right-minded way for a person to deny God if he were to openly present himself to mankind. To do such would be a rejection of truth and evidence that such a person hates God in the real sense of the word. This state of being would appear to map to "evil" by definition. Further, I think that the idea of God being a hypocrite is an oxymoron.

Finally, in response to the less-than-subtle jab referencing the homosexuality debate, suffice to say that (from the Catholic perspective) the issue has nothing to do with how a person "feels" and everything to do with how a person responds to and handles said feelings. I can quite naturally feel mad or upset, I may even have a genetic predisposition towards being a hothead, but one of these conditions would make it morally upright of me to knock someone's block off in a fit of rage. To borrow an Edward quote from episode thirty-six (Series 1), "you can't always trust the way that you feel."




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von Hohenheim
post Nov 26 2010, 01:31 AM
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QUOTE (Edward Cardinal Elric @ Nov 15 2010, 03:09 PM) *
The above statement seems to bring to light a very common misconception. I would recommend deferring to the links that I have provided in my previous post above. The Book of Genesis (which contains the story of creation) is a good example of a non-historical text that cannot be interpreted in any literal fashion. I would also make note of the fact that the Big Bang Theory was first introduced by Msgr. Georges Lemaître, a Roman Catholic priest (1894-1966).


And how were you going to know that it wasn't a literal interpretation? As a matter of fact, how does anyone know whether anything in the bible should be taken metaphorically or not?

The fact that any scientific theory might have been thought up by a religious figure is irrelevant, as the idea itself is not inherently obvious in the religion itself. (And I am well aware of several other religious figures who contributed to science, but the fact that they are religious has no bearing on their work) I cannot find any passage in the bible that suggests that the big bang theory was what caused the universe to exist, and even if you could twist any passage to mean that, it is not unambiguous that that is what the bible was intended to say--how can you distinguish one interpretation from the other without referring to science or anything else outside of the bible?

QUOTE
I really find the foundational basis of the argument above to be rather disturbing. Assuming that God exists, and making the further assumption that God embodies truth (I see no practical way around this association), I see no right-minded way for a person to deny God if he were to openly present himself to mankind.


...I would too. Just because god might reveal himself to me or anyone else does not necessarily mean I have to agree with what he says. He may be powerful, he may be fearful (and he may be jealous), but that still doesn't mean I have to believe he's right. Otherwise, that could mean Hitler was right at one point (which I don't believe most people think he was anyways). We don't give god special pleading because we dont' see any reason to hold him up to a pedestal and say because he's more than human, we have to give special consideration to what he wants us to do, or how to live. God is not sacred. Nothing is sacred.

QUOTE
To do such would be a rejection of truth and evidence that such a person hates God in the real sense of the word. This state of being would appear to map to "evil" by definition. Further, I think that the idea of God being a hypocrite is an oxymoron.


Why is it a rejection of truth to dislike someone? I may not like the fact that god exists, if he did, but denying his laws is a choice based off of my opinion of him. That's different from rejecting his existence. I'm allowed to believe god is evil, and the bible is evidence of it. He has done plenty of things in the bible which we would consider atrocious and unacceptable in today's society. There are lots of things I have found that have been shown to benefit me and the people around me because I choose not to believe in god or do something (or not do something) simply because god said so.

QUOTE
Finally, in response to the less-than-subtle jab referencing the homosexuality debate, suffice to say that (from the Catholic perspective) the issue has nothing to do with how a person "feels" and everything to do with how a person responds to and handles said feelings. I can quite naturally feel mad or upset, I may even have a genetic predisposition towards being a hothead, but one of these conditions would make it morally upright of me to knock someone's block off in a fit of rage. To borrow an Edward quote from episode thirty-six (Series 1), "you can't always trust the way that you feel."[/font]


Ironically, that's exactly the reason why you can't trust your feelings about god or religion. What if god is all just in your head? What if anything we say or do is all in our head? The only way we know anything with any kind of certainty is to hold standards that are mutually the same for everyone, and which can be tested over, and over, and over. And the only thing to have withstood such criteria and succeeded is science. And that's why we all believe in a round Earth that's much older than 6000 years. You couldn't have gotten that from the bible because it doesn't even say anything with any sort of consistency.


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Seit mein Körper sich geändert hat, habe ich zahllose Todesfälle eingesehen. Ich habe beobachtet, wie Freunde alt werden und sterben... habe ganz verwandelnde Orte angesehen, die ich mich früher errinere. Ich schau an, wie Menschen, wieder und wieder, die gleiche Fehler wieder holen und niemals lernen sie von die Vergangenheit. Doch meine einzige Befreiung, ist es mich selbst zu errinern, daß ich noch ein Fleck mitten dem großerem Bild der Sache bin. Da gibt es noch ein menge schöne einzige Dinge, die ich mag schon erfahren... Daran dachte ich, es würde wunderbar sein... Liebe Trisha, als ich du traf und wir Kinder haben, habe ich erkannt, daß ich niemals mich ändern würde und auch wenn unsere Söhne mein Blut in ihren Venen tragen, werden sie sich erwaschen. Sie werden Alter bekommen. Davon hat diese Gedanke mich erschreckt. Danach dachte ich, im Ernst...bin ich Monster.
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Edward Cardinal ...
post Nov 27 2010, 12:36 AM
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QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
And how were you going to know that it wasn't a literal interpretation? As a matter of fact, how does anyone know whether anything in the bible should be taken metaphorically or not?

Google the term magisterium. A tad of reading on the definition of the term should make my response to this topic clear.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
The fact that any scientific theory might have been thought up by a religious figure is irrelevant, as the idea itself is not inherently obvious in the religion itself. (And I am well aware of several other religious figures who contributed to science, but the fact that they are religious has no bearing on their work) I cannot find any passage in the bible that suggests that the big bang theory was what caused the universe to exist, and even if you could twist any passage to mean that, it is not unambiguous that that is what the bible was intended to say--how can you distinguish one interpretation from the other without referring to science or anything else outside of the bible?

I never claimed that the mere fact that a religious individual made a contribution to scientific thought proved anything. I simply offered that observation as a type of evidence that the Church is in no way opposed to scientific thought, progress, or study. Of course some modern theologians and members of the clergy have made the mistake of rejecting scientific inquiry, and anti-religious types seem to love bringing up the Galileo catastrophe, but the authentic teaching of the Church indeed supports both scientific and philosophical advances in knowledge.


It seems that a very incorrect assumption is being made here that I, for some unknown reason, believe that the Bible alone contains a complete explanation of all matters of faith and/or truth. The Church supports scientific investigation precisely because it allows mankind to come to a more complete understanding of the truth, and therefore God.

QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
...I would too. Just because god might reveal himself to me or anyone else does not necessarily mean I have to agree with what he says.

Overall, I am not following the logic in the above. I detect a possible mismatch in the definition of God at a very basic level. Speaking from an eternal and rigorously logical standpoint, there are only two philosophical states: truth and falsehood. Under what I see to be the generically accepted definition of God, God is omniscient and omnipotent. It is a relatively short intellectual journey from these qualities to both equating God to truth and defining God as the creator of all that we perceive in existence. If these arguments be true, then one's refusing to believe in God (should he openly reveal Himself) could only translate into a rejection of truth. This would not reflect a choosing of one truth among many, but an embracing of falsehood.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
He may be powerful, he may be fearful (and he may be jealous), but that still doesn't mean I have to believe he's right.

I sense some serious egoism in this statement. The cure (ironically) = a thorough watch or read of the FMA / FMA:B series.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
Otherwise, that could mean Hitler was right at one point (which I don't believe most people think he was anyways).

I call appeal to emotion / red herring (really.. a Hitler reference?).


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
We don't give god special pleading because we dont' see any reason to hold him up to a pedestal and say because he's more than human, we have to give special consideration to what he wants us to do, or how to live. God is not sacred. Nothing is sacred.

I believe that you are approaching the issue in a very backward way. It appears to me that you are proposing that we ought to decide whether or not we "like" God's proposed "rules" and thereafter choose whether or not we "want" to believe in Him. Particularly from a scientific perspective, this method makes no sense whatsoever. We must first derive the truth value of God in and of Himself, and depending upon the result of such investigation we must thereafter respond in kind. Refusing to believe in or respect God because of our own possibly misbegotten opinions is childish, egotistical, and folly.




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Edward Cardinal ...
post Nov 27 2010, 12:39 AM
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QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
Why is it a rejection of truth to dislike someone? I may not like the fact that god exists, if he did, but denying his laws is a choice based off of my opinion of
him.

Given the definition that I have described earlier, I believe that it is simple to see that there is more to this issue than simply disliking someone. Rejecting God and/or his qualities ("laws" in your verbiage) is to reject all truth.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
That's different from rejecting his existence.

Agree


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
I'm allowed to believe god is evil, and the bible is evidence of it.

Oxymoron assuming omnibenevolence (another basic quality of God)


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
He has done plenty of things in the bible which we would consider atrocious and unacceptable in today's society. There are lots of things I have found that have been shown to benefit me and the people around me because I choose not to believe in god or do something (or not do something) simply because god said so.

The Onion: Finding a Religion that Doesn't Disrupt Your Current Lifestyle


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
Ironically, that's exactly the reason why you can't trust your feelings about god or religion. What if god is all just in your head?

To be blunt, I have completely had it with people characterizing "religious folk" as uninformed, illogical, emotionally-driven simpletons. The fact that I believe in God and choose to follow his precepts to the degree that I am able in no way implies that I am not scientifically minded or that I approach my beliefs in an emotional, irrational, imprecise manner. My beliefs are based upon years and years of observation, study (both formal and informal), and constant, ongoing inquiry. I am fully satisfied that my faith lies in direct correlation with proven scientific fact and is in line with modern philosophy (in fact, I believe that my faith derives naturally from these disciplines).


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
What if anything we say or do is all in our head?

Then the scientific method is a useless cultural artifact.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
The only way we know anything with any kind of certainty is to hold standards that are mutually the same for everyone, and which can be tested over, and over, and over. And the only thing to have withstood such criteria and succeeded is science.

The above seems to be a very broad, imprecise statement.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 26 2010, 03:31 AM) *
And that's why we all believe in a round Earth that's much older than 6000 years. You couldn't have gotten that from the bible because it doesn't even say anything with any sort of consistency.
I
believe in a round Earth that has been around far longer than 6000 years. I am confident that if one were to reference the links that I provided earlier in this thread regarding biblical interpretation, my stance on issues such as this would be quite clear. The Bible is not a highly scientific book and it is not meant to provide mankind with scientific facts or measures. Conversely, I propose that science does not adequately inform mankind regarding issues of morality, spirituality, or other abstract, non-corporeal matters. Science, philosophy, and religion complement one another to lead mankind to truth.


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von Hohenheim
post Nov 27 2010, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE (Edward Cardinal Elric @ Nov 27 2010, 12:36 AM) *
Google the term magisterium. A tad of reading on the definition of the term should make my response to this topic clear.


Are you saying that the church has the right to call what everyone who calls themselves Christians should believe? I think that only accounts for the Roman Catholic Church, which is one organization with one particular interpretation of the bible. However, there are several different other Christian denominations, and several other different people who call themselves Christians, and interpret the bible however they want. And I don't think the magisterium ever kept the same teachings over time; I think at one point, the Church believed the Earth was the center of the universe. Now they're conceding it isn't.

And it doesn't really matter anyways because that doesn't explain how the church came to their interpretation of the bible.

I wonder if the magisterium includes protecting child molesters and spreading misinformation about condom use. As that's what's been happening in the church lately.

QUOTE
I never claimed that the mere fact that a religious individual made a contribution to scientific thought proved anything. I simply offered that observation as a type of evidence that the Church is in no way opposed to scientific thought, progress, or study. Of course some modern theologians and members of the clergy have made the mistake of rejecting scientific inquiry, and anti-religious types seem to love bringing up the Galileo catastrophe, but the authentic teaching of the Church indeed supports both scientific and philosophical advances in knowledge.


Well, the reason Galileo keeps being mentioned (and several other scientists and freethinkers who were persecuted around the same time) is because he was actually persecuted for it. If it were only a few theologians, and not the church as a whole, they wouldn't have the power to condemn him or his works--the church wouldn't persecute him for it.

QUOTE
It seems that a very incorrect assumption is being made here that I, for some unknown reason, believe that the Bible alone contains a complete explanation of all matters of faith and/or truth. The Church supports scientific investigation precisely because it allows mankind to come to a more complete understanding of the truth, and therefore God.


Um, no it doesn't. Science has no say about god because it is completely irrelevant. If you think you're going to get a better understanding of god through science, you're placing the conclusion before the evidence and the studies, and that has no place in science. You have somehow made the incorrect assumption that there is god at the end of this truth.

You can choose to believe that if you want, but I don't buy it. I see absolutely no reason to.

QUOTE
Overall, I am not following the logic in the above. I detect a possible mismatch in the definition of God at a very basic level. Speaking from an eternal and rigorously logical standpoint, there are only two philosophical states: truth and falsehood. Under what I see to be the generically accepted definition of God, God is omniscient and omnipotent. It is a relatively short intellectual journey from these qualities to both equating God to truth and defining God as the creator of all that we perceive in existence. If these arguments be true, then one's refusing to believe in God (should he openly reveal Himself) could only translate into a rejection of truth. This would not reflect a choosing of one truth among many, but an embracing of falsehood.]


Actually, there are problems with omniscience and omnipotence. Which is why I don't consider god to be omnipotent or omniscient, and even if he (somehow magically) could be, that still doesn't impress me much. It's still got the same might makes right problem anyhow; just because he might be more powerful than any other human being, and know more than everyone else doesn't necessarily mean he'll always make the right choice or use his knowledge in a fashion that is meaningful or beneficial for us. In fact, the bible has pretty much shown the kind of bad choices he's made already.

Truth is an abstract concept. You cannot equate god with being truth unless god himself is abstract (and really, I don't see the point in doing so. Just call it truth and stop confusing everyone else).

And by the way. "Truth" is incapable of containing properties like omniscience and omnipotence. Those only apply to sentient beings.

QUOTE
I sense some serious egoism in this statement. The cure (ironically) = a thorough watch or read of the FMA / FMA:B series.


What's so egotistical about rejecting the authority of someone powerful and fearful?

And I have read FMA. What it seems to suggest to me is that immortality is overrated, as is power (and jealousy). Using other people to get what you want is evil. Religious institutions can be greedy and deceitful. That's my interpretation of it, and that's the beauty of unfalsifiable literature, which may or may not have any bearing on reality.

QUOTE
I call appeal to emotion / red herring (really.. a Hitler reference?).


Then you've missed my point completely. I was wondering how you might think it's wrong to reject god since he's omnipotent and authoritative, but the idea that you have to accept what someone says simply because of his or her authority and power is wrong. I used Hitler as an example because he did have authority and power at one time--and just because he had power and authority doesn't make him right. Similarly, just because god is powerful and has authority doesn't make him right all the time.

QUOTE
I believe that you are approaching the issue in a very backward way. It appears to me that you are proposing that we ought to decide whether or not we "like" God's proposed "rules" and thereafter choose whether or not we "want" to believe in Him. Particularly from a scientific perspective, this method makes no sense whatsoever. We must first derive the truth value of God in and of Himself, and depending upon the result of such investigation we must thereafter respond in kind. Refusing to believe in or respect God because of our own possibly misbegotten opinions is childish, egotistical, and folly.


And why can't we? Why aren't we at a position to decide whether or not we like the rules of a character written about in an unfalsifiable book? And an individual judgment over a character in a book has nothing to do with science; it's just opinion and nothing more. This is perfectly fine, since you just admitted the bible doesn't have a complete explanation of the truth, so no one who reads the bible must expect everything that's described in it to be true. Actually, that's true for just about any book--you can't expect anything you read to be true just because someone wrote it. Otherwise, you are making backwards assumptions about what must be true (god's existence). If you want to concede that you believe in god's existence merely out of faith, then fine. But don't expect other people to; faith is not evidence of anything.

And before examining the "truth value of god", maybe it might be a better idea to find out if he actually exists or not (unless maybe that's what you meant). But before you have any evidence of his existence, it's not necessary to assume he exists and confine yourself to believing anything he says you have to do.

I don't believe in god because there's no evidence for it other than some book. I don't respect god because of what I know of him in the bible. Whether or not you think this is childish or egotistical is besides the point; if I'm entitled to my opinions, as I believe we all are, then we should also be entitled to believing or not believing in god, and respecting or disrespecting god if we so choose.


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Seit mein Körper sich geändert hat, habe ich zahllose Todesfälle eingesehen. Ich habe beobachtet, wie Freunde alt werden und sterben... habe ganz verwandelnde Orte angesehen, die ich mich früher errinere. Ich schau an, wie Menschen, wieder und wieder, die gleiche Fehler wieder holen und niemals lernen sie von die Vergangenheit. Doch meine einzige Befreiung, ist es mich selbst zu errinern, daß ich noch ein Fleck mitten dem großerem Bild der Sache bin. Da gibt es noch ein menge schöne einzige Dinge, die ich mag schon erfahren... Daran dachte ich, es würde wunderbar sein... Liebe Trisha, als ich du traf und wir Kinder haben, habe ich erkannt, daß ich niemals mich ändern würde und auch wenn unsere Söhne mein Blut in ihren Venen tragen, werden sie sich erwaschen. Sie werden Alter bekommen. Davon hat diese Gedanke mich erschreckt. Danach dachte ich, im Ernst...bin ich Monster.
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von Hohenheim
post Nov 27 2010, 02:12 AM
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QUOTE (Edward Cardinal Elric @ Nov 27 2010, 12:39 AM) *
Given the definition that I have described earlier, I believe that it is simple to see that there is more to this issue than simply disliking someone. Rejecting God and/or his qualities ("laws" in your verbiage) is to reject all truth.


You are simply using the name of god as a metaphor for truth, which is really just confusing an abstract concept (truth) with an entity (god). You can say certain things about him that can be considered true, but you can't actually call him "truth" without conceding a metaphorical definition that cannot at the same time be an entity. It just doesn't make any sense. You're just confusing the terms.

QUOTE
Oxymoron assuming omnibenevolence (another basic quality of God)


His omnibenevolence must be demonstrated. As with all the other omni- characteristics he is said to possess. Omnipotence already fails because it contradicts itself. There are instances all over the bible that show he is not omnibenevolent nor omniscient--he sends people to hell if they don't obey him and his love isn't unconditional. He tests people's faith and loyalty, and screws up all the time--not characteristics one would expect from an omniscient being.

You're welcome to deny all that if you just want to use the church's interpretation of the bible, and keep believing god is omnibenevolent, and ignore or re-interpret those bits.

QUOTE


Unfortunately, whether or not something benefits you and the people around you is the only indicator of whether or not it might actually be good. Obeying an unseen, unevidenced god's authority is a bit too farfetched for me.

QUOTE
To be blunt, I have completely had it with people characterizing "religious folk" as uninformed, illogical, emotionally-driven simpletons. The fact that I believe in God and choose to follow his precepts to the degree that I am able in no way implies that I am not scientifically minded or that I approach my beliefs in an emotional, irrational, imprecise manner. My beliefs are based upon years and years of observation, study (both formal and informal), and constant, ongoing inquiry. I am fully satisfied that my faith lies in direct correlation with proven scientific fact and is in line with modern philosophy (in fact, I believe that my faith derives naturally from these disciplines).


I didn't say you were uninformed, and I'm well aware that scientists who have a religion exist (...okay, not a whole lot, but they exist). If your beliefs really are based on observation, and are scientifically demonstrable, then you should be able to repeat your observations. If not, it is nothing more than an unreliable experience or feeling.

QUOTE
Then the scientific method is a useless cultural artifact.


Missing the point. We have science so that we can get around the problem of having unreliable senses. We occasionally see or feel things that aren't really there. We can be influenced by the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, religious experiences (prayer or meditation), drugs, alcohol or miracles because our senses are unreliable--to get around this problem, we have peer review, and can test things repeatedly and independently by other people--the only thing that remains is truth. It will be universal to everyone who observes it--if only a small portion of the people who test something observe it, their senses are unreliable.

QUOTE
The above seems to be a very broad, imprecise statement.


Oh really? Does it not even sound familiar? You did say you didn't like being called uninformed and not scientifically minded, so what I described shouldn't really be all that unfamiliar, as it's one of the most important aspects of science, and one of the reasons why it works so well. If you don't know, just google scientific peer review.

QUOTE
I
believe in a round Earth that has been around far longer than 6000 years. I am confident that if one were to reference the links that I provided earlier in this thread regarding biblical interpretation, my stance on issues such as this would be quite clear. The Bible is not a highly scientific book and it is not meant to provide mankind with scientific facts or measures. Conversely, I propose that science does not adequately inform mankind regarding issues of morality, spirituality, or other abstract, non-corporeal matters. Science, philosophy, and religion complement one another to lead mankind to truth.[/font]


I doubt that's what the church would have believed centuries ago. Besides which, if it really had no say over scientific fact, then the bible should have no business talking about the properties of the Earth. And because it does, it is easy for anyone to think that what the bible says about the universe is true (as they may have centuries ago), unless you applied some healthy skepticism and tested it. That the bible should say nothing about the properties of the universe is an opinion--you can find passages all over describing what the bible writers thought the Earth must appear to be.

I don't see how religion leads anyone to truth. Morality or spirituality have no bearing on truth; they are just abstract concepts we believe are necessary to live with each other and to have a functioning society. You can obtain truth without being moral or spiritual, so long as we're speaking of the standard definition of truth, and not your metaphorical interpretation of it which includes god.


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Seit mein Körper sich geändert hat, habe ich zahllose Todesfälle eingesehen. Ich habe beobachtet, wie Freunde alt werden und sterben... habe ganz verwandelnde Orte angesehen, die ich mich früher errinere. Ich schau an, wie Menschen, wieder und wieder, die gleiche Fehler wieder holen und niemals lernen sie von die Vergangenheit. Doch meine einzige Befreiung, ist es mich selbst zu errinern, daß ich noch ein Fleck mitten dem großerem Bild der Sache bin. Da gibt es noch ein menge schöne einzige Dinge, die ich mag schon erfahren... Daran dachte ich, es würde wunderbar sein... Liebe Trisha, als ich du traf und wir Kinder haben, habe ich erkannt, daß ich niemals mich ändern würde und auch wenn unsere Söhne mein Blut in ihren Venen tragen, werden sie sich erwaschen. Sie werden Alter bekommen. Davon hat diese Gedanke mich erschreckt. Danach dachte ich, im Ernst...bin ich Monster.
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DistantBlue
post Nov 27 2010, 03:20 AM
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(If I sound like a total moron, I apologize...I'm 15 and don't discuss religion much :-P

Also, this is all IMHO)

I'm Roman Catholic. I was raised as such, but continue to follow it of my own free will. I have had plenty of doubts in my religion, of course, but I have never once doubted that there is no such thing as God. Yes, it's true - we cannot physically see Him, know of His physical presence, and many see Him as an object of a contrived giver of hope, love etc. But because we are the way we (humans) are, I have reason to believe that He exists. There is no other creature on this planet that is like us (not trying to say this in any pompous way) - we are uniquely intelligent, different, and above all free-willed. We have a sense of good and bad, our own choices to make, emotions reflected over/as a result of these choices. Basically, God created us in His likeness...we are the only beings on this planet that are as such.

I have other personal reasons for feeling this way as well...but first and foremost (and while this may sound silly, bear with me...) I really do sense and feel his presence. I really do feel someone is listening when I pray, and I always feel this sense of peace and love when I go to church (which I don't do on a weekly basis, by the way) or when I pray on my own.

Again, do I have doubts? Yes, of course. Particularly in the aspect of the afterlife, although I will say I definitely believe in Heaven and Hell.

But I want to be clear on something - God does not hate or condemn homosexuals, non-believers, etc. God loves every single one of his children, and doesn't go around sending people to Hell because of it. Does it go against Him and the Christian religion? Well...sorta. My priest told me once that people misinterpret this part of the bible (particularly about homosexuality). I (and most of the Christian religion) believe that regardless of who you are and what religion you follow, if you are a good person and try to live a life being kind to other people more than yourself, truly are sorry for your mistakes, and etc, that you will go to Heaven. Even as a fellow Christian, it bothers me to no end reading or hearing other Christians refer to Homosexuals as 'disgusting' and 'wrong' and etc - we are all human beings, and many gays have said they at first tried so hard not to be gay - and they just couldn't. If God made them that way, then they shouldn't be discriminated at all. To be honest, I view this whole gay controversy as a test of tolerance and acceptance for each other.

And when people are extremely arrogant and forceful of our religion...oh boy. Don't get me started. We are all human beings...its fine to have a different opinion.

Oh yeah...and this will sound reallyyyyy bad and judgemental and etc and you are most certainly allowed to call me out for it, btu this is just my observation...people who are athiest (I have several good friends who are) or agnostic seem to be a lot more...how to put it? Pessimistic, negative, quick to berate religion, overall not as happy, etc. This is something I have noticed in ALL of my non-religious friends. Many of them are very easy going, pleasant, and funny people, but you can always sense those traits when you talk to them or hear their opinion on something. Not saying that Christians and religious folk are never this way, its just that it is particularly more noticable with non-religious folk, even compared to people that only vaguely believe in God.

Anyway, that's my rant/post of the month. :-P I won't be returning to this thread (for many reasons), so yeah...don't bother try to argue with me.


--------------------



QUOTE (Alzea @ Jul 16 2009, 07:49 AM) *
DistantBlue, I just can see this, demotivational poster:
QUOTE
Observation skillzShe haz them

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von Hohenheim
post Nov 27 2010, 04:40 AM
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As an atheist, I don't consider myself less happy because I don't believe in god.

I might be able to point out when something is less than pleasant, and can accept hard truths without the need to believe in imaginary beings to console myself, but I wouldn't call myself pessimistic or negative just because of that. Yes, perhaps I have a beef with religion (not to be confused with people who believe in religion) because it says some rather dogmatic things that people in the end, have to re-interpret because it is no longer compatible with society, and it has allowed horrible things to occur. It also has ideas that should not be promoted, and I highly doubt it has done society much good anyways. Perhaps you or other religious people don't like to hear that though, and maybe that's why you think we're being negative.


--------------------


Seit mein Körper sich geändert hat, habe ich zahllose Todesfälle eingesehen. Ich habe beobachtet, wie Freunde alt werden und sterben... habe ganz verwandelnde Orte angesehen, die ich mich früher errinere. Ich schau an, wie Menschen, wieder und wieder, die gleiche Fehler wieder holen und niemals lernen sie von die Vergangenheit. Doch meine einzige Befreiung, ist es mich selbst zu errinern, daß ich noch ein Fleck mitten dem großerem Bild der Sache bin. Da gibt es noch ein menge schöne einzige Dinge, die ich mag schon erfahren... Daran dachte ich, es würde wunderbar sein... Liebe Trisha, als ich du traf und wir Kinder haben, habe ich erkannt, daß ich niemals mich ändern würde und auch wenn unsere Söhne mein Blut in ihren Venen tragen, werden sie sich erwaschen. Sie werden Alter bekommen. Davon hat diese Gedanke mich erschreckt. Danach dachte ich, im Ernst...bin ich Monster.
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Edward Cardinal ...
post Nov 28 2010, 01:04 AM
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I unfortunately do not have sufficient time presently to respond to each of the points made above in a lengthy post, but I would like to make a couple of "quick" observations and comments.

Firstly, I would like to point out what I feel is a very important item. My belief in God’s existence really has nothing at all to do with the Bible. This is to say, my belief in the existence of a God arises out of a scientific understanding of the workings of the world, not out of the text contained in scripture. The Bible, I believe, is useful and helpful in understanding God and His works in a historical and timeless sense.

I do not at all understand why some individuals insist on divorcing the worlds of physical science and philosophy / religion. I am firmly convinced that, when the issue is approached from an unbiased initial position, the physical sciences (I am a bit of a theoretical physics enthusiast) provide compelling evidence of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent Creator. I have encountered a number of intriguing arguments in this regard through time, but I must admit that I, lacking an advanced degree in philosophy, theology, or metaphysics (my Master’s degree is in management and information systems), cannot explain all of these proposals in much detail or with great precision.


Secondly, God (in the Catholic understanding) is not some dude sitting on a cloud way up in the sky somewhere. All lightheartedness aside, God is understood as eternal, pure existence or being. The idea of a “personal” or “entity” based God, while important in understanding the manner in which God has revealed Himself to humanity, does not represent the totality or core being that the concept of God implies. I equate God directly to Truth not to mix definitions, confuse verbiage, or argue about semantics, but rather because this understanding is important in theology. God is not merely mighty, powerful, and/or intelligent, but completely omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent in fullness by definition. God does not possess knowledge, but embodies and simply “is” Truth in a very abstract fashion. This is not a whimsical idea passed around as a creative thought, but rather a very complex concept that I by no means claim to understand in any comprehensive way. This is why I fail to understand how one could potentially both acknowledge God and yet obstinately disagree with Him. To do so would be to deny Truth, which would reveal a basic hatred of God and would define evil.

Third, observations made regarding the Church’s “teachings” through time need to be well-informed in light of the Church’s true structures regarding doctrines, dogmas, and the like. Simply because a high-ranking Church official or officials (including the Pope) have proposed or endorsed certain ideas or positions throughout time does not necessarily indicate that such items are authentic, official pieces of Church teaching. True doctrines of the Church do not change, and are contained in written form in the Catechism. Under ordinary circumstances, doctrines of the Church arise out of very long periods of philosophical development and review, much like the scientific peer review process (a structured, formalized construct of which I am very well aware and knowledgeable, despite ill-spirited implications to the contrary).

Lastly, as an overall observation, I would just like to point out that I find it wrong-minded to consider oneself or humanity as a group to be the “be-all end-all” of the universe. It is always possible for one’s opinions and desires to be ill-conceived and incorrect. Placing one’s beliefs or assumptions beyond criticism or analysis is not a proper way to approach a philosophical inquiry. I note that some individuals have described disliking certain practices or beliefs held by others. These contrarian options should, in an honest and forthright debate, not be used as a basis of argumentation, but rather disregarded in the interest of approaching the topic in a fair and balanced way. Self-interest should not constitute the lens through which the Truth is sought.

QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 27 2010, 03:15 AM) *
I wonder if the magisterium includes protecting child molesters

NOTE: I find the statement above to be extremely insulting and a completely uncalled-for ad-hominem attack. In no way do I deny the abuse problem or the harm that it has caused in our world, but the idea that the Catholic Church in itself would support such abhorrent behavior is ridiculous. This scandal arose out of serious failings on the part of ever-fallible individuals who failed to live up to their duties and responsibilities. Please refrain from this sort of absurd mudslinging in any sort of intellectual argumentation.




--------------------


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von Hohenheim
post Nov 28 2010, 04:54 AM
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QUOTE (Edward Cardinal Elric @ Nov 28 2010, 02:04 AM) *
I unfortunately do not have sufficient time presently to respond to each of the points made above in a lengthy post, but I would like to make a couple of "quick" observations and comments.

Firstly, I would like to point out what I feel is a very important item. My belief in God’s existence really has nothing at all to do with the Bible. This is to say, my belief in the existence of a God arises out of a scientific understanding of the workings of the world, not out of the text contained in scripture. The Bible, I believe, is useful and helpful in understanding God and His works in a historical and timeless sense.


If that's true, then I think a real scientific demonstration is in order. Surely, if you can demonstrate god scientifically, there's no reason to leave us here in the dark and not know what great evidence you have discovered, right?

QUOTE
I do not at all understand why some individuals insist on divorcing the worlds of physical science and philosophy / religion. I am firmly convinced that, when the issue is approached from an unbiased initial position, the physical sciences (I am a bit of a theoretical physics enthusiast) provide compelling evidence of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent Creator. I have encountered a number of intriguing arguments in this regard through time, but I must admit that I, lacking an advanced degree in philosophy, theology, or metaphysics (my Master’s degree is in management and information systems), cannot explain all of these proposals in much detail or with great precision.


No it doesn't. You need to demonstrate that it is scientifically possible for an omniscient, omnipotent being to exist, and that it actually does exist.

QUOTE
Secondly, God (in the Catholic understanding) is not some dude sitting on a cloud way up in the sky somewhere. All lightheartedness aside, God is understood as eternal, pure existence or being. The idea of a “personal” or “entity” based God, while important in understanding the manner in which God has revealed Himself to humanity, does not represent the totality or core being that the concept of God implies. I equate God directly to Truth not to mix definitions, confuse verbiage, or argue about semantics, but rather because this understanding is important in theology. God is not merely mighty, powerful, and/or intelligent, but completely omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent in fullness by definition. God does not possess knowledge, but embodies and simply “is” Truth in a very abstract fashion. This is not a whimsical idea passed around as a creative thought, but rather a very complex concept that I by no means claim to understand in any comprehensive way. This is why I fail to understand how one could potentially both acknowledge God and yet obstinately disagree with Him. To do so would be to deny Truth, which would reveal a basic hatred of God and would define evil.


So you're basically admitting that god does not exist in the physical sense. And if so, I don't see why it's so important to label truth as god--what do you have to gain by doing that? And if it's so complex that you can't understand it, you've just lost all your credibility in explaining how you know anything about truth or even your own god. If it's a personal belief, then that's fine (actually, I beg to differ because I don't think that's a healthy way of thinking; better to admit you don't know than to pretend there's something special out there), but it's not going to convince anyone if you're just going to say it's too complicated for people to understand it.

Ironically, it is not good practice in science to admit something is too complicated to explain and simply not bother researching it further and continue to claim (or conclude) that it exists anyways. You cannot say anything about the validity of a theory until you have tested it.

Look here. It's entirely possible to accept truth without accepting god. All you need to do in accepting truth is to accept the things we have observed well and repeatedly, and that can be well reasoned. And all of that can be done without requiring god, or pretending there's something out there that's so complex you can't even explain it. I don't hate god because I deny truth, I just dislike his character in the bible.

QUOTE
Third, observations made regarding the Church’s “teachings” through time need to be well-informed in light of the Church’s true structures regarding doctrines, dogmas, and the like. Simply because a high-ranking Church official or officials (including the Pope) have proposed or endorsed certain ideas or positions throughout time does not necessarily indicate that such items are authentic, official pieces of Church teaching. True doctrines of the Church do not change, and are contained in written form in the Catechism. Under ordinary circumstances, doctrines of the Church arise out of very long periods of philosophical development and review, much like the scientific peer review process (a structured, formalized construct of which I am very well aware and knowledgeable, despite ill-spirited implications to the contrary).


Then who or what endorses authentic church teachings? Who is to say which verses can be taken metaphorically, and which ones can't be? If it's not the church itself, was it perhaps someone who lived centuries ago, when slavery was accepted and heretics could be tortured?

Funny that you say the church doctrines don't change, because if they don't, it flies in the face of science and fails completely to be compatible. The problem is that an immutable doctrine has no opportunity whatsoever for progress--quite unlike science, which changes, grows and improves all the time. The church changes what it says because it would run out of favor of the rest of society if it didn't. There was a period of time when the Catholic church was unpopular, and their teachings would simply be accepted as immoral or outdated unless they bothered to change it.

And quite frankly, I'm appalled that you would compare the reviewing of a dogmatic, immutable doctrine as that of the church with scientific peer review.

QUOTE
Lastly, as an overall observation, I would just like to point out that I find it wrong-minded to consider oneself or humanity as a group to be the “be-all end-all” of the universe. It is always possible for one’s opinions and desires to be ill-conceived and incorrect. Placing one’s beliefs or assumptions beyond criticism or analysis is not a proper way to approach a philosophical inquiry. I note that some individuals have described disliking certain practices or beliefs held by others. These contrarian options should, in an honest and forthright debate, not be used as a basis of argumentation, but rather disregarded in the interest of approaching the topic in a fair and balanced way. Self-interest should not constitute the lens through which the Truth is sought.


The problem here is that no one has come back with evidence of an afterlife or anything beyond it--there's really no reason to believe any of that, much as we stop believing in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. In fact, you can say that about any fictional character. We default to not believing them because no evidence of them exists. Are you saying we're all wrong because we don't think these things exist? Ja, I'm aware there are lots of things out there that could potentially exist that we're unaware of, but without the evidence, there's nothing you can say or do about it. It would be highly unscientific anyways. Not believing in something because we lack evidence is not an assumption, nor is it faith; it is a default position until evidence does exist (if it ever does). Conversely, the possibility of something existing without evidence should not be used as a basis of argumentation either. Particularly if you can't even explain it.

QUOTE
QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 27 2010, 03:15 AM) *
I wonder if the magisterium includes protecting child molesters

NOTE: I find the statement above to be extremely insulting and a completely uncalled-for ad-hominem attack. In no way do I deny the abuse problem or the harm that it has caused in our world, but the idea that the Catholic Church in itself would support such abhorrent behavior is ridiculous. This scandal arose out of serious failings on the part of ever-fallible individuals who failed to live up to their duties and responsibilities. Please refrain from this sort of absurd mudslinging in any sort of intellectual argumentation.


It's not an ad hominem unless I'm shooting down your entire argument solely based on your character. However, I never said anything regarding your character, as I don't know that much about you. And if the Catholic church doesn't support child molestation, they should do something about it. But no one within the church steps up and tells these people they're wrong. No one in the church goes to Ratzinger and tells him he's not abiding by the church's teachings. I don't know of any Catholics who come out and apologize for how the pope is tarnishing their religion. This has been something that has been happening for years, and previous popes have done nothing much about it. And if people don't do that, your magisterium might as well not exist, or you have a different interpretation of it.

I brought this up because I felt it was an issue that needed to be explained and discussed. What does (not should; does) the magisterium say about child molestation, and if it does not say anything about it, do you think it should be changed?


--------------------


Seit mein Körper sich geändert hat, habe ich zahllose Todesfälle eingesehen. Ich habe beobachtet, wie Freunde alt werden und sterben... habe ganz verwandelnde Orte angesehen, die ich mich früher errinere. Ich schau an, wie Menschen, wieder und wieder, die gleiche Fehler wieder holen und niemals lernen sie von die Vergangenheit. Doch meine einzige Befreiung, ist es mich selbst zu errinern, daß ich noch ein Fleck mitten dem großerem Bild der Sache bin. Da gibt es noch ein menge schöne einzige Dinge, die ich mag schon erfahren... Daran dachte ich, es würde wunderbar sein... Liebe Trisha, als ich du traf und wir Kinder haben, habe ich erkannt, daß ich niemals mich ändern würde und auch wenn unsere Söhne mein Blut in ihren Venen tragen, werden sie sich erwaschen. Sie werden Alter bekommen. Davon hat diese Gedanke mich erschreckt. Danach dachte ich, im Ernst...bin ich Monster.
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Edward Cardinal ...
post Nov 29 2010, 12:42 AM
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QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 28 2010, 06:54 AM) *
If that's true, then I think a real scientific demonstration is in order. Surely, if you can demonstrate god scientifically, there's no reason to leave us here in the dark and not know what great evidence you have discovered, right?

When you request a "demonstration" of God's existence, I can only assume that you are asking for some sort of physical experiment that would reveal God's existence. Clearly, there is no known way to perform such type of physical demonstration. The scientific evidence that I mentioned previously is based upon observational science and related logic deductions and philosophy. Certainly a scientifically minded individual cannot dismiss this sort of reasoning as it is used routinely in scientific study. If I may use a loose example, I would point to emergent studies in the existence of dark matter (please excuse any imprecision on this topic as I am by no means a scholar of cosmology or related disciplines). Scientists are fairly sure at this point that dark matter exists in the universe to account for observed behaviors in the cosmos. While these scientists would be hard pressed to "demonstrate" the existence of this dark matter in a laboratory, scientific observations relating to the natural environment indicate that this conclusion is valid. Similarly, while I cannot offer up a lab experiment to "prove" God's existence, I can attempt to explain my rationale based upon logic and observation. This is a valid scientific approach and although I believe it to be fully possible, it is not necessarily simple (and again I may not be the best or most qualified person to explain such issues).


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 28 2010, 06:54 AM) *
So you're basically admitting that god does not exist in the physical sense. And if so, I don't see why it's so important to label truth as god--what do you have to gain by doing that?

What I am implying is that God does not exist just in a physical sense. I am proposing that God is eternal existence (i.e. pure being).


Further, I would recommend suspending questions to the effect of, "what do you have to gain by doing that?" I have nothing to gain or lose, I am simply trying to uncover truth and distinguish the qualities that exist therein.

QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 28 2010, 06:54 AM) *
And if it's so complex that you can't understand it, you've just lost all your credibility in explaining how you know anything about truth or even your own god. If it's a personal belief, then that's fine (actually, I beg to differ because I don't think that's a healthy way of thinking; better to admit you don't know than to pretend there's something special out there), but it's not going to convince anyone if you're just going to say it's too complicated for people to understand it.

Ironically, it is not good practice in science to admit something is too complicated to explain and simply not bother researching it further and continue to claim (or conclude) that it exists anyways. You cannot say anything about the validity of a theory until you have tested it.

I never stated that I am not capable of understanding anything about Truth / God, I simply stated that I currently do not possess a comprehensive understanding of God. I am fully confident that I nor any other person ever will in this life. But on this same token, I also do not believe that any one person will ever be able to grasp all of the knowledge that has been revealed to mankind through the physical sciences. Just as man's understanding of the universe continues to grow and evolve, I propose that so does man's understanding of God.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 28 2010, 06:54 AM) *
Funny that you say the church doctrines don't change, because if they don't, it flies in the face of science and fails completely to be compatible. The problem is that an immutable doctrine has no opportunity whatsoever for progress--quite unlike science, which changes, grows and improves all the time.

The application or precise understanding of doctrine can be refined through time (not reversed per say, but made more clear or extrapolated), but the doctrines themselves do not change. I do not believe that this approach is all that far from the evolution of scientific understanding. As an example, our understanding of how gravity works may develop over time, but certainly no scientist would propose that gravity itself is "wrong" and the universal law of gravitation needs to be thrown out completely.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 28 2010, 06:54 AM) *
The church changes what it says because it would run out of favor of the rest of society if it didn't. There was a period of time when the Catholic church was unpopular, and their teachings would simply be accepted as immoral or outdated unless they bothered to change it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am fairly sure that the teachings or the Church are unpopular these days. Many doctrines are unpopular (are oftentimes not followed) because individuals feel that they are antiquated.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 28 2010, 06:54 AM) *
And quite frankly, I'm appalled that you would compare the reviewing of a dogmatic, immutable doctrine as that of the church with scientific peer review.

Have you taken the time to understand the concept of the Church's magisterium as I recommended earlier? The establishment of doctrine via the ordinary route involves the universal and simultaneous agreement of all of the bishops of the Church. Certainly, this review process takes a serious amount of time and involves a great amount of "peer review" and discernment. Look into the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church for further information.


QUOTE (von Hohenheim @ Nov 28 2010, 06:54 AM) *
It's not an ad hominem unless I'm shooting down your entire argument solely based on your character. However, I never said anything regarding your character, as I don't know that much about you. And if the Catholic church doesn't support child molestation, they should do something about it. But no one within the church steps up and tells these people they're wrong. No one in the church goes to Ratzinger and tells him he's not abiding by the church's teachings. I don't know of any Catholics who come out and apologize for how the pope is tarnishing their religion. This has been something that has been happening for years, and previous popes have done nothing much about it. And if people don't do that, your magisterium might as well not exist, or you have a different interpretation of it.

I brought this up because I felt it was an issue that needed to be explained and discussed. What does (not should; does) the magisterium say about child molestation, and if it does not say anything about it, do you think it should be changed?


Although you did not level an attack against me directly, you clearly called out the Church and Her members by implying that child molestation is accepted by the Church. This was an inappropriate approach to civil argumentation and should have been avoided.

Paragraph 2389 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):

"Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing."

CCC Link at vatican.va

Clearly, as indicated above, the authentic teaching of the Church firmly stands against child abuse. To this end, members of the clergy (including members of the Church hierarchy) have failed in their responsibilities to uphold moral law and perform their rightful duties expediently. While further improvements should be made to ensure the safety of children within the Church, I can personally attest to how hard it is today to even so much as volunteer at one's local parish (a background investigation is now required in many places and a training program has been instituted, I believe throughout all U.S. dioceses, for any Church personnel who interact with children).

Lastly, I am not sure why the post above appears to have such an axe to grind regarding Pope Benedict XVI. I for one do not believe that he has "tarnished" the Church or defied Church teaching. He has spoken out about the sexual abuse issue, particularly in the U.S., and I fail to see how he can be blamed for anything and everything that has transpired in this regard.



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von Hohenheim
post Nov 29 2010, 02:43 AM
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QUOTE (Edward Cardinal Elric @ Nov 29 2010, 12:42 AM) *
When you request a "demonstration" of God's existence, I can only assume that you are asking for some sort of physical experiment that would reveal God's existence. Clearly, there is no known way to perform such type of physical demonstration. The scientific evidence that I mentioned previously is based upon observational science and related logic deductions and philosophy. Certainly a scientifically minded individual cannot dismiss this sort of reasoning as it is used routinely in scientific study. If I may use a loose example, I would point to emergent studies in the existence of dark matter (please excuse any imprecision on this topic as I am by no means a scholar of cosmology or related disciplines). Scientists are fairly sure at this point that dark matter exists in the universe to account for observed behaviors in the cosmos. While these scientists would be hard pressed to "demonstrate" the existence of this dark matter in a laboratory, scientific observations relating to the natural environment indicate that this conclusion is valid. Similarly, while I cannot offer up a lab experiment to "prove" God's existence, I can attempt to explain my rationale based upon logic and observation. This is a valid scientific approach and although I believe it to be fully possible, it is not necessarily simple (and again I may not be the best or most qualified person to explain such issues).


Actually, that's not entirely true. There is evidence of dark matter, and it is demonstrable. Scientists have been able to confirm the existence of dark matter through their observations of galaxies. Even if it may not be directly observable, you can observe patterns in the velocities at which stars move, which has helped scientists arrive at their conclusion with dark matter. If you are still claiming that you know about god's existence through scientific evidence, you still need to demonstrate it. That's the whole point of doing science. If you can't demonstrate it, it is neither observable nor repeatable, and I refuse to accept your reasons for accepting god's existence as scientific.

And you haven't really explained your definition of god particularly well. You just made a few vague statements trying to tie god with an abstract concept like truth, and when pushed to explain it, you say it's too complicated. Highly unscientific, I'm afraid.

QUOTE
What I am implying is that God does not exist just in a physical sense. I am proposing that God is eternal existence (i.e. pure being).


Please explain how that is possible. If you cannot, I have no reason to accept your logic. In fact, no one should if you can't.

QUOTE
Further, I would recommend suspending questions to the effect of, "what do you have to gain by doing that?" I have nothing to gain or lose, I am simply trying to uncover truth and distinguish the qualities that exist therein.


I asked that question because if there is really no difference between accepting the standard, accepted definition of truth (without god) and accepting god, then you may as well not apply that label and stop confusing people, as well as accusing them of denying something by association.

QUOTE
I never stated that I am not capable of understanding anything about Truth / God, I simply stated that I currently do not possess a comprehensive understanding of God. I am fully confident that I nor any other person ever will in this life. But on this same token, I also do not believe that any one person will ever be able to grasp all of the knowledge that has been revealed to mankind through the physical sciences. Just as man's understanding of the universe continues to grow and evolve, I propose that so does man's understanding of God.


Okay, but that still does not mean that you can assert something without understanding it. If you don't understand it now, you don't know it, and can't really say very much about it. There are lots of things in science I don't know about or understand. There's lots of natural phenomena that even scientists don't understand or know about either. What you are doing is asserting that something exists with no proper explanation of it, and anyone else who doesn't understand it or know about it has no reason to believe it exists. You've been asserting all along that god exists, and you've been making the assumption that we're somehow going to find god--this kind of thinking is biased and has no place in science.

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The application or precise understanding of doctrine can be refined through time (not reversed per say, but made more clear or extrapolated), but the doctrines themselves do not change. I do not believe that this approach is all that far from the evolution of scientific understanding. As an example, our understanding of how gravity works may develop over time, but certainly no scientist would propose that gravity itself is "wrong" and the universal law of gravitation needs to be thrown out completely.


Actually, that still doesn't show that it's anything like science. By the mere and simple fact that you've admitted that the doctrines don't change because they just simply become more "clear", you've just shown that religion (or that doctrine) is not falsifiable. And falsifiability is also another key aspect of science. The thing is, the people reviewing the doctrines are influenced, whether they like it or not, by the social norms of their time, so those people reviewing them are doing so from their own opinions, their own upbringings, and everything else that influences them outside of the church. This is highly inconsistent and not based on any of the kinds of empirical rigor that gets applied to science because in science, it doesn't matter what your opinion is, only the observations, which everyone has access to and can do them independently does.

The reason people don't call gravity wrong is because it's stopped being a theory and is widely accepted. But theories themselves can still be subjected to error, and actually be falsified. There is actually criteria under which any given scientific theory fails to demonstrate reality correctly, and when it does, it will stop being accepted. I highly doubt religion does that. There is no criteria for falsifying a doctrine; you just change it and say it's made more "clear" whenever a discrepancy arises, and that's precisely why it's wrong to compare it to science.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am fairly sure that the teachings or the Church are unpopular these days. Many doctrines are unpopular (are oftentimes not followed) because individuals feel that they are antiquated.


And for good reason. We shouldn't be following antiquated doctrines. We shouldn't be trying to support information or ideas that are outdated; we move forward and live in the here and now; we get better, we grow, we change. And we realize when old information becomes outdated and useless, they are not worth using, and we stop relying on them.

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Have you taken the time to understand the concept of the Church's magisterium as I recommended earlier? The establishment of doctrine via the ordinary route involves the universal and simultaneous agreement of all of the bishops of the Church. Certainly, this review process takes a serious amount of time and involves a great amount of "peer review" and discernment. Look into the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church for further information.


It is not my responsibility to be looking up information you should be providing to bolster your argument. It's yours. To start off, perhaps you should explain why you believe the church's method of reviewing the doctrine is anything like scientific peer review. Because I'm not convinced they're anything alike.

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Although you did not level an attack against me directly, you clearly called out the Church and Her members by implying that child molestation is accepted by the Church. This was an inappropriate approach to civil argumentation and should have been avoided.


I had no evidence that it wasn't. It was more natural to believe they accepted it than if they didn't.

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Paragraph 2389 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):

"Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing."

CCC Link at vatican.va

Clearly, as indicated above, the authentic teaching of the Church firmly stands against child abuse. To this end, members of the clergy (including members of the Church hierarchy) have failed in their responsibilities to uphold moral law and perform their rightful duties expediently. While further improvements should be made to ensure the safety of children within the Church, I can personally attest to how hard it is today to even so much as volunteer at one's local parish (a background investigation is now required in many places and a training program has been instituted, I believe throughout all U.S. dioceses, for any Church personnel who interact with children).


Gee, I wonder why that is. I wonder what the church has to say about sexuality in general.

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Lastly, I am not sure why the post above appears to have such an axe to grind regarding Pope Benedict XVI. I for one do not believe that he has "tarnished" the Church or defied Church teaching. He has spoken out about the sexual abuse issue, particularly in the U.S., and I fail to see how he can be blamed for anything and everything that has transpired in this regard.


But he has protected child molesters in the church, whom I think should have been banned from the clergy. Apparently, he thinks the church's reputation is more important than upholding the church's doctrines. Ironically, people are beginning to smarten up to what the church is doing, and it's not really working anymore. Nothing is being done about these child molesters. If they were teachers at secular schools, they'd be banned from teaching.


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Seit mein Körper sich geändert hat, habe ich zahllose Todesfälle eingesehen. Ich habe beobachtet, wie Freunde alt werden und sterben... habe ganz verwandelnde Orte angesehen, die ich mich früher errinere. Ich schau an, wie Menschen, wieder und wieder, die gleiche Fehler wieder holen und niemals lernen sie von die Vergangenheit. Doch meine einzige Befreiung, ist es mich selbst zu errinern, daß ich noch ein Fleck mitten dem großerem Bild der Sache bin. Da gibt es noch ein menge schöne einzige Dinge, die ich mag schon erfahren... Daran dachte ich, es würde wunderbar sein... Liebe Trisha, als ich du traf und wir Kinder haben, habe ich erkannt, daß ich niemals mich ändern würde und auch wenn unsere Söhne mein Blut in ihren Venen tragen, werden sie sich erwaschen. Sie werden Alter bekommen. Davon hat diese Gedanke mich erschreckt. Danach dachte ich, im Ernst...bin ich Monster.
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Envy's Lady
post Feb 2 2011, 12:00 AM
Post #495


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Group: Members
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From: Toronto, Canada
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Yep. I'm Protestant.


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