ALL religions make me want to throw up...

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sprunkner

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:55 pm

I would imagine that God can do whatever he damn well wants about mercy and justice. It's only Christianity that posits God's human suffering as a neccesary part of forgiveness.

Pissin' Poonani wrote:"I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him".

Thanks for trying to explain.


If He's real, He's taken a lot of abuse over the years. You're on the light end of unappreciativeness, Poo.

[edit] made number seven! (does the robot)

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Yaya

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:07 pm

Bouncelot wrote:
Yaya wrote:
His version may have been the best preserved version, but there's no way to be certain given that the variants no longer exist to compare.


That's because you do not know the character of Othman, who was one of the greatest of the Prophet's (PBUH) companions. And if what you say is true, why then have not other Othans' come in the past 1300 years to change the book to their liking? Because they can't. And then won't. Many have tried, but none of succeeded. Muslims believe it is protected from alteration, as God deems this so in hthe Koran itself.


Also, if the Koran was altered in he course of his standardising the text, it might not have been deliberate on his part..


If multimillions of Muslims know the Koran by heart today, how many would have known it by heart during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) ? There were thousands of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) during his life and thereafter which would verify the authenticity of the Prophets(PBUH) words, nevermind the Koran which is believed by Muslims to be the word of God.

One can believe what they want. But in studying the history, and having a Koran in Tashkent that is from the Prophets time period which is the same as today to the letter, one would have to believe that if it were changed, then a collaborated effort amongst thousands of Muslims occurred to alter it.

So I'm going to assume that this is what you believe to be possible-that thousands of Muslims who knew the Koran by heart got together immediately after the Prophet (PBUH) died and changed it. If you read the biographies of these Companions, you would come to find it would have not only been impossible for them to change it right under everyone's noses, it would also have involved the greatest of treachery to the very same man whom they died in battle for, lost their sons and daughters for. etc. Given how meticulous they were (read the history books and their biographies), it would be impossible. Even if ten Muslims got together to change it, the other several hundred would never have allowed it.

The Koran was protected from the time of its revelation. That is its miracle.

But your claim that the Bible has been altered is a claim that Muslim writers make but Christian writers do not make. So what source did you get that claim from from?


My own book and Prophet (PBUH) are the basis for this belief, not some historian or Muslim scholars or writers

So how does Islam reconcile God's justice and His forgiveness?


God's Justice is that every human being be accountable for their actions against God and fellow humans.

Here is God's Justice:
If I killed you, and we stood before God, God would not forgive me unless you forgive me. In other words, for crimes against other fellow persons, God allows the victim to determine whether they choose to forgive or not. Human beings will stand before their Creator and answer for the crime they committed against even animals, even themselves. This is regardless of whether they are Muslim, Christian, atheist, etc. That is God's Justice.

Here is God's Forgiveness:
That despite my not being deserving of Paradise given my constant tendency to sin and disobedience(example, forgoing prayer for a day, committing fornication, not fasting when I am told to do so, etc), that if I seek His forgiveness, He extends it to me.

If human beings were judged simply on our acts, our good vs. bad acts, no human being would end up in Paradise, Muslim or otherwise. This is because human beings are imperfect with a tendency to commit sin, and God recognizes this. As such, for those who seek His forgiveness, He extends it to him or her. And His forgiveness in this regard have no limits.

So Justice and Forgiveness certainly coexist. But it is not Justice that I hurt someone, and that person not have a say in the matter, is it? Just like it is not Justice that another person should die and suffer on the cross for the sins of another, the very point that a Christian and Muslim differ on.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

Bouncelot

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:10 pm

Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:
Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:There are a whole host of reasons why I believe what I do. I believe Christianity to be true based on my personal study of it and my experience of it, and the effect I see it having on people I know. I can think of lots of people I know who have been utterly tranformed by Christianity, I've seen and experienced things that make most sense to me as God acting, there are times when God has spoken to me.


Hm highly intriguing. What makes you believe that there is more to these sights and sounds than normality can explain?


Well, things like healings, people speaking in lanuguages they've never learnt (and I can point to cases where speaking in tongues was an actual language that somebody in the room understood), and some examples of absolutely accurate prophecy stand out as examples of things I can't explain easily by naturalistic means.


Ah yes, I've heard much of this before. If this is indeed the case, why don't we hear of it outside its own (biased) circles? I know from first hand experience that some (particularly evangelical) churches will swear blind that impossible events x, y and z have happened.

Differentiating this for a moment from the cases of a person happening to make a recovery from an illness (which does happen) have you seen with your own eyes someone physically beind healed? The trick here is not "someone who was prayed for got better" as there are far too many factors involved to possibly say that prayer/faith was the cause of their recovery- I mean an instance where somebody *was* ill, a prayer or ceremony was performed, and then they were well.


There was one example I remember where somebody had been deaf in one ear, and after being prayed for they were able to hear in that ear again - pretty much an instantaneous change. Of course most healings are of things that you could plausibly get better from, because most illnesses are like that.

If these things were true, and they have been investigated often by Science- including many other claims such as ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance etc., then they would have made slightly bigger news and be accepted a little wider than their own niche audience I think. Unless one wants to start down the path of conspiracy stories.


I'm not so sure. I seriously doubt any respectable newspaper would ever run a story about a genuine miracle. They'd be afraid that it could be proved to be a hoax and their reputation would be ruined. The same holds for any phenomena that's considered supernatural or otherwise beyond the grounds of normal believability.

So, elaboration aside, what evidence have you directly been exposed to that this is the case?


Well, I could quote lots of examples of healings I've seen - I've lost count of the number of times there's been a healing I'm aware of which the doctors have said just couldn't have happened. I mentioned examples of praying in tongues where other people who knew the language understood the prayer.

Have you considered perhaps that, similar to the self-perpetuating and self-justifying nature of conspiracy theories ("But what about this?" "Ah, that's what THEY want you to think!" "But why would they do that?" "So you would dismiss it as a loony conspiracy theory!" - forgive my characature), you may be in the middle of something similar? Unjustified 'phenomenon' which serve as their own proof? Which may be then amplified by word of mouth, individuals who for one reason or another are convinced they are true and have happened to them (alien abductions are a good example here) and so forth?


Well there's certainly no conspiracy theory concepts floating around. It's an interesting interpretation of what I've seen, and I actually have a tendancy to be sceptical about just how much any particular example of healing is God. But I've seen so many examples of healings, including a great many where the doctors said it couldn't happen, that I genuinely think that the evidence proves that they do happen, rather than it just being a "conspiracy nut" subculture thing.

Furthermore, I assume at one point you were non-religious (that is, not aligned to any particular religion) and came to believe through your experiences of life that there must be something more?


I first became a Christian as a child, I saw my parents' Christianity and decided - unprompted by anything or anyone - that I wanted the relationship they had with God. My subsequent experience and study has completely backed up that decision. Most of my Christian friends became Christians much later in life and could probably answer that in a lot more detail.


Ah, I see, a parental influence? How much of your early personality do you feel may have been influenced to be susceptible to these teachings? i.e. is it a coincidence that you happen to favour Christianity over the other branches of the main religions when your parents felt the same?

Now obviously not all children follow in their parents footsteps, but that does not mean we can discount their influence either.

Is there perhaps some childlike belief, that is to say a belief without wishing to question for fear of shattering a beautiful illusion, that drives you forward in your convictions of something which has no proof other than your own convictions?


I don't think that my belief is completely without evidence, as your post suggests, and yes I have questioned my beliefs at times. There was a point a few years back where, due to some circumstances, my faith was very seriously tested, and I came close to abandoning God. And yes, there was some level of influence from my parents, although as they didn't go to church at all until I was about 3, my very earliest personality wasn't really affected.

Naturally the idea that you were unprompted is completely untrue (although I'm not saying you were intentionally lying, sounds more like you were trying to second guess my thought process :))- human beings are not born with notions and preconceived constructs like religion, there must have been influences upon you as a child to make you believe in this 'relationship' with God- indeed to make you believe that this relationship was a good thing and a thing which you needed. Have you considered perhaps re-evaluating these processes? Revisiting them outside of your current mindset, although I appreciate how difficult that is.


When I said unprompted, I meant that is exactly how I remember it. I came downstairs one day and told my mum I wanted to become a Christian. The specific circumstances of my conversion were definitely unprompted by my parents.

I've no real surprise that your experiences in life have backed up your decision to become Christian, if they had not you wouldn't be here now discussing this topic in such a fashion :) Stands to reason.


Well, yes. Although not really relevant to the fact of me remaining a Christian.

What made you believe this 'more' was Christianity, as oppose to say the beliefs of your Islamic cousins? I appreciate ideas and philosophies can be very profound on people's psyches, how do you make the link between this and believing in something which, if it weren't so steeped in institution and collective consciousness, would be generally considered rather far-fetched?


As I said before, looking at the evidence for the central doctrines of Christianity leads me to believe that it is true. When I've looked into Islam, it's seems so much more human in its doctrines and beliefs. When I've looked into Judaism, I find their interpretation of the Hebrew Bible so much less convincing than a Christian one. Though, admittedly, I've not looked too much into other faiths than those.


But they are not evidence. In order to consider that they are evidence you must believe in them. You are however citing that it is their 'evidence' that helps cement your belief. This is circular reasoning- I wish to understand why you subscribe to these things... now you speak of 'truth'. Truth is an internal construct- we have our own notion of truth which may or may not change over time (like most of our mental mechanisms). So what I'm understanding from this is that you have a preconceived notion of 'truth' (which is fair, we all do I think to one degree or another) which would have been built on your upbringing from Christian parents- this 'truth' then was aligned with Christianity, and because of it's alignment with Christianity you believe Christianity to be true?


Not sure I follow. From what I've studied of other religions, I'm not convinced that they are true. It's possible that my judgement is wrong on the issue, but truth isn't a subjective category. Something is either true or false, whatever my opinions (right or wrong) on the matter.

Now that is, again, a reasonable position but the distinction I would like to bring about is that the 'truth' is not an externality, it is something from you. You are not set in stone and may change over time, your mind may in fact change one day to the next. Therefore the tenure of 'truth' is entirely in your own mind. You need only let go of Christianity for it to lose all practical truth and meaning. Would that not be an interesting experiment? Particularly considering that a truth should be immutable and always correct.


In order to do that I would have to change my opinion of a great many things. And given the joy and peace I get from my faith, it wouldn't be a particularly appealing experiment.

Finally, how do you differentiate God's voice from the many conflicting threads of your own mind? How can you be sure it was Him and not just your own mind. Unless you physically heard him, naturally, but I'm assuming this was an internal experience. If so, on what basis do you believe this internal experience to have any external causality?


I've not physically heard God, though I've known people who have. My experience is that there are a range of ways of hearing God. There have been two or three times when God's voice has been utterly unmistakeable - it's the mental equivalent of someone shouting in your ear, and there's no way it could possibly be your own thoughts. Other times, I've been reading the Bible and verses have directly leapt out at me, and there are other times where I've had a definite "impression" of something God wants to say, it doesn't resemble any of my own thoughts, and isn't exactly words. It's the sort of thing that's difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it.


I'm firstly greatly interested in how you believe others to have physically heard God when you have not heard him yourself? How do you know that they are not merely externalising the same internal thoughts and ideas you have?


The particular example I was thinking of was someone who audibly heard God before he became a Christian. He wasn't externalising any religious thoughts because he had none.

Which brings me to my second issue which is of the greatest interest so far- I have the exact same 'visions' or 'messages'. It isn't a case of me not experiencing it, I do. I however place an entirely different meaning and emphasis on it. I constantly hear voices, feelings and insights in my mind. I believe that's part of being human. To what we attribute them is up to us and to what extent we feel them I would expect depends how far we are willing to take notice of our own thoughts.

I for example have heard voices in my head warning me against bad decisions, 'bad' people [I use the term for simplicity's sake], good ideas, big decisions or to tell me to trust people or situations. They are part of my intuition, my empathy and my senses (which I would argue form the building block for my intuition, which is then filtered through my personality).

Now, these thoughts and 'messages' definitely come from inside me- no matter how alien or unlike me they may be. I've never yet found one which does not stem from some facet of my mind (bearing in mind the complexity of the human mind, there is so much more to it than the 5% we show/use every day). Some can be very subtle, and others very loud. Would this correspond correctly to the voices which you believe are from God? If so, how would this impact on your belief that they are from God? Is he messaging me? And if so, why do these thoughts always stem from (albeit sometimes virtually disused and deserted) areas of my psyche?


All I can say is that the times I very clearly heard God, the thoughts were utterly distinct from any other kind of thought pattern I've ever experienced. They cut across the things that were going through my mind. They weren't anything that I could ever imagine any part of my mind coming up with when it happened. They were very clearly a different "voice" than I've ever had in any other thought. With the "impressions" your interpretation could be fairly plausible, as it's possible that they could be my own thoughts. I don't think that they are, but I accept that it is possible.
 

Kaylee
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Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:50 pm

Bouncelot wrote:
Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:
Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:There are a whole host of reasons why I believe what I do. I believe Christianity to be true based on my personal study of it and my experience of it, and the effect I see it having on people I know. I can think of lots of people I know who have been utterly tranformed by Christianity, I've seen and experienced things that make most sense to me as God acting, there are times when God has spoken to me.


Hm highly intriguing. What makes you believe that there is more to these sights and sounds than normality can explain?


Well, things like healings, people speaking in lanuguages they've never learnt (and I can point to cases where speaking in tongues was an actual language that somebody in the room understood), and some examples of absolutely accurate prophecy stand out as examples of things I can't explain easily by naturalistic means.


Ah yes, I've heard much of this before. If this is indeed the case, why don't we hear of it outside its own (biased) circles? I know from first hand experience that some (particularly evangelical) churches will swear blind that impossible events x, y and z have happened.

Differentiating this for a moment from the cases of a person happening to make a recovery from an illness (which does happen) have you seen with your own eyes someone physically beind healed? The trick here is not "someone who was prayed for got better" as there are far too many factors involved to possibly say that prayer/faith was the cause of their recovery- I mean an instance where somebody *was* ill, a prayer or ceremony was performed, and then they were well.


There was one example I remember where somebody had been deaf in one ear, and after being prayed for they were able to hear in that ear again - pretty much an instantaneous change. Of course most healings are of things that you could plausibly get better from, because most illnesses are like that.


Most illnesses being like that doesn't remove the requirement for some level of evidence that the change came from God or prayer though surely? Since there could be 100 and 1 possibly explanations (all with just as much plausibility as 'God did it' in the final analysis) we would need some correlatory proof that is the case. More than heresay certainly - consider:

If these things were true, and they have been investigated often by Science- including many other claims such as ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance etc., then they would have made slightly bigger news and be accepted a little wider than their own niche audience I think. Unless one wants to start down the path of conspiracy stories.


I'm not so sure. I seriously doubt any respectable newspaper would ever run a story about a genuine miracle. They'd be afraid that it could be proved to be a hoax and their reputation would be ruined. The same holds for any phenomena that's considered supernatural or otherwise beyond the grounds of normal believability.


I was thinking more of Scientific journals and papers, which are published regardless of whether they upset the establishment or may be disproven- Science generally stands to be disproven.

If miracles truly happened, and happened with some frequency and on the small scale you're describing (i.e. individuals being healed from illnesses, rather than continents being reshaped by the hand of God) then somebody would surely have been able to study it I would have thought.

So, elaboration aside, what evidence have you directly been exposed to that this is the case?


Well, I could quote lots of examples of healings I've seen - I've lost count of the number of times there's been a healing I'm aware of which the doctors have said just couldn't have happened. I mentioned examples of praying in tongues where other people who knew the language understood the prayer.


Again we're coming up against the notion that just because Science doesn't know everything, God must therefore be the answer. In an ironic way I suppose that could be said to be true- God does generally fill the void in between our reasonings on the Universe.

Does that not worry you however that sooner or later the world may discover rational explanations behind these things?

Have you considered perhaps that, similar to the self-perpetuating and self-justifying nature of conspiracy theories ("But what about this?" "Ah, that's what THEY want you to think!" "But why would they do that?" "So you would dismiss it as a loony conspiracy theory!" - forgive my characature), you may be in the middle of something similar? Unjustified 'phenomenon' which serve as their own proof? Which may be then amplified by word of mouth, individuals who for one reason or another are convinced they are true and have happened to them (alien abductions are a good example here) and so forth?


Well there's certainly no conspiracy theory concepts floating around. It's an interesting interpretation of what I've seen, and I actually have a tendancy to be sceptical about just how much any particular example of healing is God. But I've seen so many examples of healings, including a great many where the doctors said it couldn't happen, that I genuinely think that the evidence proves that they do happen, rather than it just being a "conspiracy nut" subculture thing.


Doesn't the evidence rather stand up against that however? The manner in which these healings are only reported (seriously) in the religious establishments they're a part of? It seems rather convenient to me. Especially considering God will happily heal someone's inner ear when they're prayed for, but does nothing for the millions of children (Christian children, I might add) dying of HIV in Africa- despite them praying and being prayed for quite regularly by a huge number of people. Whatever explanation may or may not account for it, the idea that God will heal people with trivial illnesses and that this is entirely accurate but has never been investigated and found to have a shred of proof by any impartial analyst sounds a bit like... a conspiracy subculture. I mean it does, doesn't it? Whether you believe it or not you have to agree it certainly sounds pretty dodgy in that light.

Furthermore, I assume at one point you were non-religious (that is, not aligned to any particular religion) and came to believe through your experiences of life that there must be something more?


I first became a Christian as a child, I saw my parents' Christianity and decided - unprompted by anything or anyone - that I wanted the relationship they had with God. My subsequent experience and study has completely backed up that decision. Most of my Christian friends became Christians much later in life and could probably answer that in a lot more detail.


Ah, I see, a parental influence? How much of your early personality do you feel may have been influenced to be susceptible to these teachings? i.e. is it a coincidence that you happen to favour Christianity over the other branches of the main religions when your parents felt the same?

Now obviously not all children follow in their parents footsteps, but that does not mean we can discount their influence either.

Is there perhaps some childlike belief, that is to say a belief without wishing to question for fear of shattering a beautiful illusion, that drives you forward in your convictions of something which has no proof other than your own convictions?


I don't think that my belief is completely without evidence, as your post suggests, and yes I have questioned my beliefs at times. There was a point a few years back where, due to some circumstances, my faith was very seriously tested, and I came close to abandoning God. And yes, there was some level of influence from my parents, although as they didn't go to church at all until I was about 3, my very earliest personality wasn't really affected.


Well, evidence in the sense that you can see what you want to see in certain situations yes but there seems a distinct lack of quantitative evidence. I appreciate a person can see things and only be able to explain them with the notion of God- but that's not the same thing as evidence of God. That's essentially using an imaginary concept to fill a gap in understanding (I use the term imaginary in the sense that if God does exist, then he probably doesn't match many of people's ideas about him. He would be totally unlike anything in human experience, if he is totally separate from it, so the God being used to fill the hole who is imbued with human qualities of love and justice is pretty much made-up I think you can agree, regardless of the actual deity's existence).

So since your personality was already established your faith would be something of a bolt-on to it? Unless perhaps there's a genetic influence, which some Scientists have theorised there might be... how would you feel about your faith being influenced by your genes? How do you feel that might influence ideas of universal truth, if not everybody would be able to see them? It's entirely hypothetical naturally, I'm just curious.

Naturally the idea that you were unprompted is completely untrue (although I'm not saying you were intentionally lying, sounds more like you were trying to second guess my thought process :))- human beings are not born with notions and preconceived constructs like religion, there must have been influences upon you as a child to make you believe in this 'relationship' with God- indeed to make you believe that this relationship was a good thing and a thing which you needed. Have you considered perhaps re-evaluating these processes? Revisiting them outside of your current mindset, although I appreciate how difficult that is.


When I said unprompted, I meant that is exactly how I remember it. I came downstairs one day and told my mum I wanted to become a Christian. The specific circumstances of my conversion were definitely unprompted by my parents.


So you mean the exact moment you accepted Christ was unprompted? Well I wasn't expecting someone to be holding a gun to your head :)

I've no real surprise that your experiences in life have backed up your decision to become Christian, if they had not you wouldn't be here now discussing this topic in such a fashion :) Stands to reason.


Well, yes. Although not really relevant to the fact of me remaining a Christian.


They're entirely relevant. Without your perceptions of these experiences then you would surely not have adhered to the particular doctrines you subscribe to. I'd have expected as such, otherwise I wouldn't expect you to be fighting for the corner you are :)

What made you believe this 'more' was Christianity, as oppose to say the beliefs of your Islamic cousins? I appreciate ideas and philosophies can be very profound on people's psyches, how do you make the link between this and believing in something which, if it weren't so steeped in institution and collective consciousness, would be generally considered rather far-fetched?


As I said before, looking at the evidence for the central doctrines of Christianity leads me to believe that it is true. When I've looked into Islam, it's seems so much more human in its doctrines and beliefs. When I've looked into Judaism, I find their interpretation of the Hebrew Bible so much less convincing than a Christian one. Though, admittedly, I've not looked too much into other faiths than those.


But they are not evidence. In order to consider that they are evidence you must believe in them. You are however citing that it is their 'evidence' that helps cement your belief. This is circular reasoning- I wish to understand why you subscribe to these things... now you speak of 'truth'. Truth is an internal construct- we have our own notion of truth which may or may not change over time (like most of our mental mechanisms). So what I'm understanding from this is that you have a preconceived notion of 'truth' (which is fair, we all do I think to one degree or another) which would have been built on your upbringing from Christian parents- this 'truth' then was aligned with Christianity, and because of it's alignment with Christianity you believe Christianity to be true?


Not sure I follow. From what I've studied of other religions, I'm not convinced that they are true. It's possible that my judgement is wrong on the issue, but truth isn't a subjective category. Something is either true or false, whatever my opinions (right or wrong) on the matter.


That's the right idea but not the direction I was angling at: there is no empirical or quantifiable evidence for God. It comes from the Bible and from people's perceptions of their world (influence by the Bible). In order to believe in the exact order of God you do, you must believe in the Bible. Your belief in the Bible is reinforced by your belief that what you see in the world is the work of God. To believe this, you must believe in the Bible. It is a neverending cycle of circular reasoning.

A is true because B is true because A is true.

Bearing this in mind, and that we perceive the world we wish to see since it is filtered through our understanding and beliefs, we have a situation where the truth you are in fact subscribing to is internal. You are believing because you wish to believe.

I wish to know what bits of Christianity you wish to believe. Is it the afterlife, the character of the God? The teachings of this God? Which teachings in particular? My quesiton was intentionally oblique, I'm afraid.

Now that is, again, a reasonable position but the distinction I would like to bring about is that the 'truth' is not an externality, it is something from you. You are not set in stone and may change over time, your mind may in fact change one day to the next. Therefore the tenure of 'truth' is entirely in your own mind. You need only let go of Christianity for it to lose all practical truth and meaning. Would that not be an interesting experiment? Particularly considering that a truth should be immutable and always correct.


In order to do that I would have to change my opinion of a great many things. And given the joy and peace I get from my faith, it wouldn't be a particularly appealing experiment.


Almost certainly true, but how would that affect your faith? Considering for a moment that your believed notions about the world are internal and without your belief would disappear- what room for total truth? It's quite a fearful concept, but personally find it quite fun to play it over in my mind regularly. Keeps things in perspective for me :)

Finally, how do you differentiate God's voice from the many conflicting threads of your own mind? How can you be sure it was Him and not just your own mind. Unless you physically heard him, naturally, but I'm assuming this was an internal experience. If so, on what basis do you believe this internal experience to have any external causality?


I've not physically heard God, though I've known people who have. My experience is that there are a range of ways of hearing God. There have been two or three times when God's voice has been utterly unmistakeable - it's the mental equivalent of someone shouting in your ear, and there's no way it could possibly be your own thoughts. Other times, I've been reading the Bible and verses have directly leapt out at me, and there are other times where I've had a definite "impression" of something God wants to say, it doesn't resemble any of my own thoughts, and isn't exactly words. It's the sort of thing that's difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it.


I'm firstly greatly interested in how you believe others to have physically heard God when you have not heard him yourself? How do you know that they are not merely externalising the same internal thoughts and ideas you have?


The particular example I was thinking of was someone who audibly heard God before he became a Christian. He wasn't externalising any religious thoughts because he had none.


How do we know so? I appreciate he may not have accepted Christ, but supposing faith is something in the mind (or the genes perhaps?) Therefore whether someone subscribed to the faith or had even considered it before, the building blocks of that faith (i.e. the capacity to believe in it without proof and to ascribe physical events to that particular theory) may already be in place.

So he may well in fact have been externalising thoughts which were his own through a dormant belief in 'something'- that something was later attuned to Christianity. Veery interesting... or perhaps I should say as is my theory that his 'something' happened to be attuned to Christianity more than any other (as he discovered upon investigation) and therefore aligned himself to that faith.

Do you think it may be some form of survival instinct? Humans have the capacity to leap beyond logic and reasoning and to see more in the world than there is- our ability to predict future events is essentially this capacity and to make decisions based on things which are factually sketchy or may never happen. Perhaps it is an extension of that to believe in something which an impartial observer from Mars (for argument's sake) would probably observe very outlandish?

Which brings me to my second issue which is of the greatest interest so far- I have the exact same 'visions' or 'messages'. It isn't a case of me not experiencing it, I do. I however place an entirely different meaning and emphasis on it. I constantly hear voices, feelings and insights in my mind. I believe that's part of being human. To what we attribute them is up to us and to what extent we feel them I would expect depends how far we are willing to take notice of our own thoughts.

I for example have heard voices in my head warning me against bad decisions, 'bad' people [I use the term for simplicity's sake], good ideas, big decisions or to tell me to trust people or situations. They are part of my intuition, my empathy and my senses (which I would argue form the building block for my intuition, which is then filtered through my personality).

Now, these thoughts and 'messages' definitely come from inside me- no matter how alien or unlike me they may be. I've never yet found one which does not stem from some facet of my mind (bearing in mind the complexity of the human mind, there is so much more to it than the 5% we show/use every day). Some can be very subtle, and others very loud. Would this correspond correctly to the voices which you believe are from God? If so, how would this impact on your belief that they are from God? Is he messaging me? And if so, why do these thoughts always stem from (albeit sometimes virtually disused and deserted) areas of my psyche?


All I can say is that the times I very clearly heard God, the thoughts were utterly distinct from any other kind of thought pattern I've ever experienced. They cut across the things that were going through my mind. They weren't anything that I could ever imagine any part of my mind coming up with when it happened. They were very clearly a different "voice" than I've ever had in any other thought. With the "impressions" your interpretation could be fairly plausible, as it's possible that they could be my own thoughts. I don't think that they are, but I accept that it is possible.


Intriguing. All I can say is I am aware of numerous personalities, some of which are very distinct from me and surface periodically. In fact, normally after each massive depression I have [about every 6 months or so] my personality is usually rebuilt out of a subset of these personalities. Hence after each depression I'm mostly the same, but usually with a differing dominant set of attributes (this most recent incarnation since Christmas is nowhere near as charitable or trusting and infinitely more bitter. Not a good regeneration but a regeneration never the less).

The human mind is a fantastically complicated machine, I'm very interested in how other people rationalise the many different voices and impulses they hear.
 

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:30 pm

I think you can convince yourself oa anything to be honest tho - If you want to 'hear' god you probably will hear god.

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:56 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:I think you can convince yourself oa anything to be honest tho - If you want to 'hear' god you probably will hear god.


I agree.
 

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:29 pm

Even with snipping bits this is starting to look horribly large.

Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:
Karl Lynch wrote:Ah yes, I've heard much of this before. If this is indeed the case, why don't we hear of it outside its own (biased) circles? I know from first hand experience that some (particularly evangelical) churches will swear blind that impossible events x, y and z have happened.

Differentiating this for a moment from the cases of a person happening to make a recovery from an illness (which does happen) have you seen with your own eyes someone physically beind healed? The trick here is not "someone who was prayed for got better" as there are far too many factors involved to possibly say that prayer/faith was the cause of their recovery- I mean an instance where somebody *was* ill, a prayer or ceremony was performed, and then they were well.


There was one example I remember where somebody had been deaf in one ear, and after being prayed for they were able to hear in that ear again - pretty much an instantaneous change. Of course most healings are of things that you could plausibly get better from, because most illnesses are like that.


Most illnesses being like that doesn't remove the requirement for some level of evidence that the change came from God or prayer though surely? Since there could be 100 and 1 possibly explanations (all with just as much plausibility as 'God did it' in the final analysis) we would need some correlatory proof that is the case. More than heresay certainly - consider:


Well, yes, there could be different explanations for many healings. Take an example I heard today. A lady in my church had had a bone in her elbow break many years ago, it hadn't been spotted at the time, and had healed badly - sticking out in a way that gave her lots of trouble. Last week she had it prayed for, and hasn't had any trouble with it since - including when she had been doing a whole lot of relatively heavy lifting. You could come up with a naturalistic explanation, but once you've accepted the possibility of God existing and answering prayer the explanation that she was healed is a fairly reasonable one. And the example of the deaf man I quoted above doesn't fall into that category anyway.

If these things were true, and they have been investigated often by Science- including many other claims such as ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance etc., then they would have made slightly bigger news and be accepted a little wider than their own niche audience I think. Unless one wants to start down the path of conspiracy stories.


I'm not so sure. I seriously doubt any respectable newspaper would ever run a story about a genuine miracle. They'd be afraid that it could be proved to be a hoax and their reputation would be ruined. The same holds for any phenomena that's considered supernatural or otherwise beyond the grounds of normal believability.


I was thinking more of Scientific journals and papers, which are published regardless of whether they upset the establishment or may be disproven- Science generally stands to be disproven.

If miracles truly happened, and happened with some frequency and on the small scale you're describing (i.e. individuals being healed from illnesses, rather than continents being reshaped by the hand of God) then somebody would surely have been able to study it I would have thought.


I'm not sure that they would. There have been studies which have looked at people being prayed for remotely by people who have never met them, but how would you establish a control group for people being prayed for in person? I don't think it's the sort of phenomenon that lends itself to proper scientific investigation.

So, elaboration aside, what evidence have you directly been exposed to that this is the case?


Well, I could quote lots of examples of healings I've seen - I've lost count of the number of times there's been a healing I'm aware of which the doctors have said just couldn't have happened. I mentioned examples of praying in tongues where other people who knew the language understood the prayer.


Again we're coming up against the notion that just because Science doesn't know everything, God must therefore be the answer. In an ironic way I suppose that could be said to be true- God does generally fill the void in between our reasonings on the Universe.

Does that not worry you however that sooner or later the world may discover rational explanations behind these things?


I'm not sure that naturalistic necessarily equates to rational.

And no it doesn't worry me. If someone is healed when they are prayed for, does it matter if it was God acting outside of the way the universe normally works or God acting within the way the universe normally works?

Well there's certainly no conspiracy theory concepts floating around. It's an interesting interpretation of what I've seen, and I actually have a tendancy to be sceptical about just how much any particular example of healing is God. But I've seen so many examples of healings, including a great many where the doctors said it couldn't happen, that I genuinely think that the evidence proves that they do happen, rather than it just being a "conspiracy nut" subculture thing.


Doesn't the evidence rather stand up against that however? The manner in which these healings are only reported (seriously) in the religious establishments they're a part of? It seems rather convenient to me. Especially considering God will happily heal someone's inner ear when they're prayed for, but does nothing for the millions of children (Christian children, I might add) dying of HIV in Africa- despite them praying and being prayed for quite regularly by a huge number of people. Whatever explanation may or may not account for it, the idea that God will heal people with trivial illnesses and that this is entirely accurate but has never been investigated and found to have a shred of proof by any impartial analyst sounds a bit like... a conspiracy subculture. I mean it does, doesn't it? Whether you believe it or not you have to agree it certainly sounds pretty dodgy in that light.


Actually, there are many many more reports of healings coming out of African, Latin American, and Chinese churches than there are from Western churches. By all accounts there are more modern-day miracles in countries where they are most needed than there are in countries where they are not.

I first became a Christian as a child, I saw my parents' Christianity and decided - unprompted by anything or anyone - that I wanted the relationship they had with God. My subsequent experience and study has completely backed up that decision. Most of my Christian friends became Christians much later in life and could probably answer that in a lot more detail.


Ah, I see, a parental influence? How much of your early personality do you feel may have been influenced to be susceptible to these teachings? i.e. is it a coincidence that you happen to favour Christianity over the other branches of the main religions when your parents felt the same?

Now obviously not all children follow in their parents footsteps, but that does not mean we can discount their influence either.

Is there perhaps some childlike belief, that is to say a belief without wishing to question for fear of shattering a beautiful illusion, that drives you forward in your convictions of something which has no proof other than your own convictions?


I don't think that my belief is completely without evidence, as your post suggests, and yes I have questioned my beliefs at times. There was a point a few years back where, due to some circumstances, my faith was very seriously tested, and I came close to abandoning God. And yes, there was some level of influence from my parents, although as they didn't go to church at all until I was about 3, my very earliest personality wasn't really affected.


Well, evidence in the sense that you can see what you want to see in certain situations yes but there seems a distinct lack of quantitative evidence. I appreciate a person can see things and only be able to explain them with the notion of God- but that's not the same thing as evidence of God. That's essentially using an imaginary concept to fill a gap in understanding (I use the term imaginary in the sense that if God does exist, then he probably doesn't match many of people's ideas about him. He would be totally unlike anything in human experience, if he is totally separate from it, so the God being used to fill the hole who is imbued with human qualities of love and justice is pretty much made-up I think you can agree, regardless of the actual deity's existence).


So what kind of evidence would you consider to be actual evidence of God?

So since your personality was already established your faith would be something of a bolt-on to it? Unless perhaps there's a genetic influence, which some Scientists have theorised there might be... how would you feel about your faith being influenced by your genes? How do you feel that might influence ideas of universal truth, if not everybody would be able to see them? It's entirely hypothetical naturally, I'm just curious.


Well it would seem to fit to a certain extent to some of what the Bible seems to teach about predestination if you only came to faith through certain genes. Of course someone being blind to the truth doesn't change the truth being true.

Naturally the idea that you were unprompted is completely untrue (although I'm not saying you were intentionally lying, sounds more like you were trying to second guess my thought process :))- human beings are not born with notions and preconceived constructs like religion, there must have been influences upon you as a child to make you believe in this 'relationship' with God- indeed to make you believe that this relationship was a good thing and a thing which you needed. Have you considered perhaps re-evaluating these processes? Revisiting them outside of your current mindset, although I appreciate how difficult that is.


When I said unprompted, I meant that is exactly how I remember it. I came downstairs one day and told my mum I wanted to become a Christian. The specific circumstances of my conversion were definitely unprompted by my parents.


So you mean the exact moment you accepted Christ was unprompted? Well I wasn't expecting someone to be holding a gun to your head :)


Well, no. But the fact that it was unprompted makes it my decision rather than something I just went along with.

I've no real surprise that your experiences in life have backed up your decision to become Christian, if they had not you wouldn't be here now discussing this topic in such a fashion :) Stands to reason.


Well, yes. Although not really relevant to the fact of me remaining a Christian.


They're entirely relevant. Without your perceptions of these experiences then you would surely not have adhered to the particular doctrines you subscribe to. I'd have expected as such, otherwise I wouldn't expect you to be fighting for the corner you are :)


Well, yes. But the fact that I'm posting what I'm posting isn't relevant to the rest of the discussion.

What made you believe this 'more' was Christianity, as oppose to say the beliefs of your Islamic cousins? I appreciate ideas and philosophies can be very profound on people's psyches, how do you make the link between this and believing in something which, if it weren't so steeped in institution and collective consciousness, would be generally considered rather far-fetched?


As I said before, looking at the evidence for the central doctrines of Christianity leads me to believe that it is true. When I've looked into Islam, it's seems so much more human in its doctrines and beliefs. When I've looked into Judaism, I find their interpretation of the Hebrew Bible so much less convincing than a Christian one. Though, admittedly, I've not looked too much into other faiths than those.


But they are not evidence. In order to consider that they are evidence you must believe in them. You are however citing that it is their 'evidence' that helps cement your belief. This is circular reasoning- I wish to understand why you subscribe to these things... now you speak of 'truth'. Truth is an internal construct- we have our own notion of truth which may or may not change over time (like most of our mental mechanisms). So what I'm understanding from this is that you have a preconceived notion of 'truth' (which is fair, we all do I think to one degree or another) which would have been built on your upbringing from Christian parents- this 'truth' then was aligned with Christianity, and because of it's alignment with Christianity you believe Christianity to be true?


Not sure I follow. From what I've studied of other religions, I'm not convinced that they are true. It's possible that my judgement is wrong on the issue, but truth isn't a subjective category. Something is either true or false, whatever my opinions (right or wrong) on the matter.


That's the right idea but not the direction I was angling at: there is no empirical or quantifiable evidence for God. It comes from the Bible and from people's perceptions of their world (influence by the Bible). In order to believe in the exact order of God you do, you must believe in the Bible. Your belief in the Bible is reinforced by your belief that what you see in the world is the work of God. To believe this, you must believe in the Bible. It is a neverending cycle of circular reasoning.

A is true because B is true because A is true.


OK, let's break this down a bit more into different types of evidence:
1) The Bible being an accurate record of what people believed they had experienced. This stands on its own independant of any other evidence.
2) The authors of the Bible being right in their interpretation of what they had experienced. Yes, this is backed up by what I see today, but it isn't entirely based on it.
3) Things I see around me. I wouldn't need to believe the Bible to be convinced that something supernatural was happening amongst the church I belong to. Exposure to it is sufficient on its own. Yes, it reinforces my belief in the Bible, as it's all happening as a result of people believing the Bible, but I don't think that it's entirely dependant on it.
4) The way the world in general seems to work matches the teachings of the Bible. Another corroborating piece of evidence that is fairly independant.

Bearing this in mind, and that we perceive the world we wish to see since it is filtered through our understanding and beliefs, we have a situation where the truth you are in fact subscribing to is internal. You are believing because you wish to believe.

I wish to know what bits of Christianity you wish to believe. Is it the afterlife, the character of the God? The teachings of this God? Which teachings in particular? My quesiton was intentionally oblique, I'm afraid.


I don't think I can realistically answer that question. Separating out any one part of my faith as being something I want to believe more than another part really doesn't fit the way I think about it. I guess my favourite part might well be God's grace just because it's particularly wonderfuil, but that's utterly intertwined with pretty much every part of my faith that's actually important.

Now that is, again, a reasonable position but the distinction I would like to bring about is that the 'truth' is not an externality, it is something from you. You are not set in stone and may change over time, your mind may in fact change one day to the next. Therefore the tenure of 'truth' is entirely in your own mind. You need only let go of Christianity for it to lose all practical truth and meaning. Would that not be an interesting experiment? Particularly considering that a truth should be immutable and always correct.


In order to do that I would have to change my opinion of a great many things. And given the joy and peace I get from my faith, it wouldn't be a particularly appealing experiment.


Almost certainly true, but how would that affect your faith? Considering for a moment that your believed notions about the world are internal and without your belief would disappear- what room for total truth? It's quite a fearful concept, but personally find it quite fun to play it over in my mind regularly. Keeps things in perspective for me :)


I don't know. I think ripping out something that naturally affects the way I think about anything important would have a seriously depressing effect on my state of mind. In fact, I think I would find the idea that there is no ultimate meaning difficult to deal with, unless I buried it under something else. The old "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die" thing.

I've not physically heard God, though I've known people who have. My experience is that there are a range of ways of hearing God. There have been two or three times when God's voice has been utterly unmistakeable - it's the mental equivalent of someone shouting in your ear, and there's no way it could possibly be your own thoughts. Other times, I've been reading the Bible and verses have directly leapt out at me, and there are other times where I've had a definite "impression" of something God wants to say, it doesn't resemble any of my own thoughts, and isn't exactly words. It's the sort of thing that's difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it.


I'm firstly greatly interested in how you believe others to have physically heard God when you have not heard him yourself? How do you know that they are not merely externalising the same internal thoughts and ideas you have?


The particular example I was thinking of was someone who audibly heard God before he became a Christian. He wasn't externalising any religious thoughts because he had none.


How do we know so? I appreciate he may not have accepted Christ, but supposing faith is something in the mind (or the genes perhaps?) Therefore whether someone subscribed to the faith or had even considered it before, the building blocks of that faith (i.e. the capacity to believe in it without proof and to ascribe physical events to that particular theory) may already be in place.


So a non-Christian whose attitude to God at the time was "If I ever meet him I'll thump him one" audibly hears God's voice?

So he may well in fact have been externalising thoughts which were his own through a dormant belief in 'something'- that something was later attuned to Christianity. Veery interesting... or perhaps I should say as is my theory that his 'something' happened to be attuned to Christianity more than any other (as he discovered upon investigation) and therefore aligned himself to that faith.


The voice in question told him to go and listen to a man who happened to be reading his bible. Hardly the sort of thing you'd expect from a genetic tuning.

Do you think it may be some form of survival instinct? Humans have the capacity to leap beyond logic and reasoning and to see more in the world than there is- our ability to predict future events is essentially this capacity and to make decisions based on things which are factually sketchy or may never happen. Perhaps it is an extension of that to believe in something which an impartial observer from Mars (for argument's sake) would probably observe very outlandish?


Surely that would be a negative trait for survival.

Which brings me to my second issue which is of the greatest interest so far- I have the exact same 'visions' or 'messages'. It isn't a case of me not experiencing it, I do. I however place an entirely different meaning and emphasis on it. I constantly hear voices, feelings and insights in my mind. I believe that's part of being human. To what we attribute them is up to us and to what extent we feel them I would expect depends how far we are willing to take notice of our own thoughts.

I for example have heard voices in my head warning me against bad decisions, 'bad' people [I use the term for simplicity's sake], good ideas, big decisions or to tell me to trust people or situations. They are part of my intuition, my empathy and my senses (which I would argue form the building block for my intuition, which is then filtered through my personality).

Now, these thoughts and 'messages' definitely come from inside me- no matter how alien or unlike me they may be. I've never yet found one which does not stem from some facet of my mind (bearing in mind the complexity of the human mind, there is so much more to it than the 5% we show/use every day). Some can be very subtle, and others very loud. Would this correspond correctly to the voices which you believe are from God? If so, how would this impact on your belief that they are from God? Is he messaging me? And if so, why do these thoughts always stem from (albeit sometimes virtually disused and deserted) areas of my psyche?


All I can say is that the times I very clearly heard God, the thoughts were utterly distinct from any other kind of thought pattern I've ever experienced. They cut across the things that were going through my mind. They weren't anything that I could ever imagine any part of my mind coming up with when it happened. They were very clearly a different "voice" than I've ever had in any other thought. With the "impressions" your interpretation could be fairly plausible, as it's possible that they could be my own thoughts. I don't think that they are, but I accept that it is possible.


Intriguing. All I can say is I am aware of numerous personalities, some of which are very distinct from me and surface periodically. In fact, normally after each massive depression I have [about every 6 months or so] my personality is usually rebuilt out of a subset of these personalities. Hence after each depression I'm mostly the same, but usually with a differing dominant set of attributes (this most recent incarnation since Christmas is nowhere near as charitable or trusting and infinitely more bitter. Not a good regeneration but a regeneration never the less).

The human mind is a fantastically complicated machine, I'm very interested in how other people rationalise the many different voices and impulses they hear.


From what you're saying it looks like your internal voices come from your depression. Surely you wouldn't expect the same thing from someone without depression.
 

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 9:25 pm

I dont belive in miracles in any way shape or form. everything can be explained using science.

And one other thing - how do u know God di it and not the flying speghtti monster, im serious, prove me wrong.... U cant prove it, thats the point.

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:29 pm

Bouncelot wrote:Even with snipping bits this is starting to look horribly large.


It is, but manageable with a little care on the quote tags :3

Karl Lynch wrote:
Bouncelot wrote:
Karl Lynch wrote:Ah yes, I've heard much of this before. If this is indeed the case, why don't we hear of it outside its own (biased) circles? I know from first hand experience that some (particularly evangelical) churches will swear blind that impossible events x, y and z have happened.

Differentiating this for a moment from the cases of a person happening to make a recovery from an illness (which does happen) have you seen with your own eyes someone physically beind healed? The trick here is not "someone who was prayed for got better" as there are far too many factors involved to possibly say that prayer/faith was the cause of their recovery- I mean an instance where somebody *was* ill, a prayer or ceremony was performed, and then they were well.


There was one example I remember where somebody had been deaf in one ear, and after being prayed for they were able to hear in that ear again - pretty much an instantaneous change. Of course most healings are of things that you could plausibly get better from, because most illnesses are like that.


Most illnesses being like that doesn't remove the requirement for some level of evidence that the change came from God or prayer though surely? Since there could be 100 and 1 possibly explanations (all with just as much plausibility as 'God did it' in the final analysis) we would need some correlatory proof that is the case. More than heresay certainly - consider:


Well, yes, there could be different explanations for many healings. Take an example I heard today. A lady in my church had had a bone in her elbow break many years ago, it hadn't been spotted at the time, and had healed badly - sticking out in a way that gave her lots of trouble. Last week she had it prayed for, and hasn't had any trouble with it since - including when she had been doing a whole lot of relatively heavy lifting. You could come up with a naturalistic explanation, but once you've accepted the possibility of God existing and answering prayer the explanation that she was healed is a fairly reasonable one. And the example of the deaf man I quoted above doesn't fall into that category anyway.


You're making an erroneous leap- accepting the possibility of God answering the prayer as the explanation for her healing is not an especially reasonable one, or at least no more reasonable than saying it was magic. You've got nothing that says God actually did it, all you know is through some means some ailment ceased being an issue for her- you are interpreting that through your understanding. Seeing the world through red-coloured glasses doesn't mean the world is red, if you catch my drift.

More...

If these things were true, and they have been investigated often by Science- including many other claims such as ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance etc., then they would have made slightly bigger news and be accepted a little wider than their own niche audience I think. Unless one wants to start down the path of conspiracy stories.


I'm not so sure. I seriously doubt any respectable newspaper would ever run a story about a genuine miracle. They'd be afraid that it could be proved to be a hoax and their reputation would be ruined. The same holds for any phenomena that's considered supernatural or otherwise beyond the grounds of normal believability.


I was thinking more of Scientific journals and papers, which are published regardless of whether they upset the establishment or may be disproven- Science generally stands to be disproven.

If miracles truly happened, and happened with some frequency and on the small scale you're describing (i.e. individuals being healed from illnesses, rather than continents being reshaped by the hand of God) then somebody would surely have been able to study it I would have thought.


I'm not sure that they would. There have been studies which have looked at people being prayed for remotely by people who have never met them, but how would you establish a control group for people being prayed for in person? I don't think it's the sort of phenomenon that lends itself to proper scientific investigation.


Interesting you mentioned 'remote' healing as I know I read an article on an investigation into that. They were using three groups- one left to heal without intervention, another group who were prayed for at their bedside (with their full knowledge) and a final group who were prayed for remotely (without their knowledge). The results weren't any great shakes if I remember correctly- I think the group who were prayed for in their presence generally did better than the others, but that lends itself open to the obvious placebo effect.

So, elaboration aside, what evidence have you directly been exposed to that this is the case?


Well, I could quote lots of examples of healings I've seen - I've lost count of the number of times there's been a healing I'm aware of which the doctors have said just couldn't have happened. I mentioned examples of praying in tongues where other people who knew the language understood the prayer.


Again we're coming up against the notion that just because Science doesn't know everything, God must therefore be the answer. In an ironic way I suppose that could be said to be true- God does generally fill the void in between our reasonings on the Universe.

Does that not worry you however that sooner or later the world may discover rational explanations behind these things?


I'm not sure that naturalistic necessarily equates to rational.

And no it doesn't worry me. If someone is healed when they are prayed for, does it matter if it was God acting outside of the way the universe normally works or God acting within the way the universe normally works?


You're making the leap that God is involved at all. If you wish to believe that God may intervene through entirely natural effects (that is to say, he's not turning up and literally healing someone with a flash of lights but perhaps working metaphorically with their immune system, doctors, family and wellwishers etc.) then that's reasonable I suppose. One may consider the Almighty to be a first cause of the Universe, in which case all things descending from it (including the human immune system for example) is 'His' healing.

However isn't that at odds with Biblical teachings, that God is actively afoot in the world?

Well there's certainly no conspiracy theory concepts floating around. It's an interesting interpretation of what I've seen, and I actually have a tendancy to be sceptical about just how much any particular example of healing is God. But I've seen so many examples of healings, including a great many where the doctors said it couldn't happen, that I genuinely think that the evidence proves that they do happen, rather than it just being a "conspiracy nut" subculture thing.


Doesn't the evidence rather stand up against that however? The manner in which these healings are only reported (seriously) in the religious establishments they're a part of? It seems rather convenient to me. Especially considering God will happily heal someone's inner ear when they're prayed for, but does nothing for the millions of children (Christian children, I might add) dying of HIV in Africa- despite them praying and being prayed for quite regularly by a huge number of people. Whatever explanation may or may not account for it, the idea that God will heal people with trivial illnesses and that this is entirely accurate but has never been investigated and found to have a shred of proof by any impartial analyst sounds a bit like... a conspiracy subculture. I mean it does, doesn't it? Whether you believe it or not you have to agree it certainly sounds pretty dodgy in that light.


Actually, there are many many more reports of healings coming out of African, Latin American, and Chinese churches than there are from Western churches. By all accounts there are more modern-day miracles in countries where they are most needed than there are in countries where they are not.


But you're not disputing the fact that thousands of children died today with HIV who prayed to God for their salvation? My conundrum is how a God who will happily descend a cure someone's earache because it was prayed for could turn a blind ear to all those children.

Naturally that can be despatched with "Ah, but we cannot hope to understand the mind of God", but I think you are more than smart enough to know that is a non-answer- as we said before, the ability for faith to paper over obvious glaring issues with a doctrine.

I first became a Christian as a child, I saw my parents' Christianity and decided - unprompted by anything or anyone - that I wanted the relationship they had with God. My subsequent experience and study has completely backed up that decision. Most of my Christian friends became Christians much later in life and could probably answer that in a lot more detail.


Ah, I see, a parental influence? How much of your early personality do you feel may have been influenced to be susceptible to these teachings? i.e. is it a coincidence that you happen to favour Christianity over the other branches of the main religions when your parents felt the same?

Now obviously not all children follow in their parents footsteps, but that does not mean we can discount their influence either.

Is there perhaps some childlike belief, that is to say a belief without wishing to question for fear of shattering a beautiful illusion, that drives you forward in your convictions of something which has no proof other than your own convictions?


I don't think that my belief is completely without evidence, as your post suggests, and yes I have questioned my beliefs at times. There was a point a few years back where, due to some circumstances, my faith was very seriously tested, and I came close to abandoning God. And yes, there was some level of influence from my parents, although as they didn't go to church at all until I was about 3, my very earliest personality wasn't really affected.


Well, evidence in the sense that you can see what you want to see in certain situations yes but there seems a distinct lack of quantitative evidence. I appreciate a person can see things and only be able to explain them with the notion of God- but that's not the same thing as evidence of God. That's essentially using an imaginary concept to fill a gap in understanding (I use the term imaginary in the sense that if God does exist, then he probably doesn't match many of people's ideas about him. He would be totally unlike anything in human experience, if he is totally separate from it, so the God being used to fill the hole who is imbued with human qualities of love and justice is pretty much made-up I think you can agree, regardless of the actual deity's existence).


So what kind of evidence would you consider to be actual evidence of God?


God spent most of the Old Testament appearing in fireballs, wiping cities off the earth with brimstone and sulphur, flooding the world and killing everyone except for Noah and his brood (plus a few animals), sending tablets of stone to Earth and unleashing plagues of locusts upon his people's enemies.

He hasn't done a huge amount of that recently, in fact not since Man generally speaking became able to accept more down-to-earth explanations for world events.

Quantifiable evidence of God would simply be thus:

We have an empty box. We know it is empty. We have measured it, weighed it, analysed it. Empty. We put it in an empty sealed room, nobody is allowed in. We get someone to pray for God to influence the box, and we then detect a change in the box. God heats the box up, cools it down, rips it, makes a tiger appear in it. Whatever. Why the Almighty considers giving us proof of his existence to be a sin is something I cannot grasp, similarly how a character who spends so much time interfering in the world in such obviously Godlike ways can suddenly totally withdraw and be reduced to dubious healing ceremonies.

Why can't God influence the world in such a fashion if he has no problems interfering in it?

So since your personality was already established your faith would be something of a bolt-on to it? Unless perhaps there's a genetic influence, which some Scientists have theorised there might be... how would you feel about your faith being influenced by your genes? How do you feel that might influence ideas of universal truth, if not everybody would be able to see them? It's entirely hypothetical naturally, I'm just curious.


Well it would seem to fit to a certain extent to some of what the Bible seems to teach about predestination if you only came to faith through certain genes. Of course someone being blind to the truth doesn't change the truth being true.


You're assuming that there is an objective truth outside of your own personal agenda. However, if God's truth were always true, objective and all-encompassing... shouldn't anybody be able to see it regardless of genetics? Considering God in theory also created our DNA.

Naturally the idea that you were unprompted is completely untrue (although I'm not saying you were intentionally lying, sounds more like you were trying to second guess my thought process :))- human beings are not born with notions and preconceived constructs like religion, there must have been influences upon you as a child to make you believe in this 'relationship' with God- indeed to make you believe that this relationship was a good thing and a thing which you needed. Have you considered perhaps re-evaluating these processes? Revisiting them outside of your current mindset, although I appreciate how difficult that is.


When I said unprompted, I meant that is exactly how I remember it. I came downstairs one day and told my mum I wanted to become a Christian. The specific circumstances of my conversion were definitely unprompted by my parents.


So you mean the exact moment you accepted Christ was unprompted? Well I wasn't expecting someone to be holding a gun to your head :)


Well, no. But the fact that it was unprompted makes it my decision rather than something I just went along with.


I see, rather than being someone who just goes along to church with the 'rents and ends up being part of it, the distinction you're trying to make is you had a moment where you actually said "Okay, I'll go along with this".

I've no real surprise that your experiences in life have backed up your decision to become Christian, if they had not you wouldn't be here now discussing this topic in such a fashion :) Stands to reason.


Well, yes. Although not really relevant to the fact of me remaining a Christian.


They're entirely relevant. Without your perceptions of these experiences then you would surely not have adhered to the particular doctrines you subscribe to. I'd have expected as such, otherwise I wouldn't expect you to be fighting for the corner you are :)


Well, yes. But the fact that I'm posting what I'm posting isn't relevant to the rest of the discussion.


But it is :3 You were telling me something I already knew and I elaborated on why I'd already deduced it :)

What made you believe this 'more' was Christianity, as oppose to say the beliefs of your Islamic cousins? I appreciate ideas and philosophies can be very profound on people's psyches, how do you make the link between this and believing in something which, if it weren't so steeped in institution and collective consciousness, would be generally considered rather far-fetched?


As I said before, looking at the evidence for the central doctrines of Christianity leads me to believe that it is true. When I've looked into Islam, it's seems so much more human in its doctrines and beliefs. When I've looked into Judaism, I find their interpretation of the Hebrew Bible so much less convincing than a Christian one. Though, admittedly, I've not looked too much into other faiths than those.


But they are not evidence. In order to consider that they are evidence you must believe in them. You are however citing that it is their 'evidence' that helps cement your belief. This is circular reasoning- I wish to understand why you subscribe to these things... now you speak of 'truth'. Truth is an internal construct- we have our own notion of truth which may or may not change over time (like most of our mental mechanisms). So what I'm understanding from this is that you have a preconceived notion of 'truth' (which is fair, we all do I think to one degree or another) which would have been built on your upbringing from Christian parents- this 'truth' then was aligned with Christianity, and because of it's alignment with Christianity you believe Christianity to be true?


Not sure I follow. From what I've studied of other religions, I'm not convinced that they are true. It's possible that my judgement is wrong on the issue, but truth isn't a subjective category. Something is either true or false, whatever my opinions (right or wrong) on the matter.


That's the right idea but not the direction I was angling at: there is no empirical or quantifiable evidence for God. It comes from the Bible and from people's perceptions of their world (influence by the Bible). In order to believe in the exact order of God you do, you must believe in the Bible. Your belief in the Bible is reinforced by your belief that what you see in the world is the work of God. To believe this, you must believe in the Bible. It is a neverending cycle of circular reasoning.

A is true because B is true because A is true.


OK, let's break this down a bit more into different types of evidence:
1) The Bible being an accurate record of what people believed they had experienced. This stands on its own independant of any other evidence.
2) The authors of the Bible being right in their interpretation of what they had experienced. Yes, this is backed up by what I see today, but it isn't entirely based on it.
3) Things I see around me. I wouldn't need to believe the Bible to be convinced that something supernatural was happening amongst the church I belong to. Exposure to it is sufficient on its own. Yes, it reinforces my belief in the Bible, as it's all happening as a result of people believing the Bible, but I don't think that it's entirely dependant on it.
4) The way the world in general seems to work matches the teachings of the Bible. Another corroborating piece of evidence that is fairly independant.


You're assuming independence where none really exists. Human beings acquire knowledge through their senses, not directly. The world is filtered through these and goes to make up our personalities and understanding.

Essentially what you're telling me is logically impossible:

You were involved in your church and saw 'things' through its (rather tinted) lens and you also see the word of the Bible at work in the world.

However this is not a result of you believing the teachings or the word of the Bible, as that came after (since these affirmations are your reason for believing the word of the Bible).

You must first believe these things to see them and believe them, how can they then stand as proof for your beliefs?

Essentially you cannot escape that human beings filter the world through our minds and not directly- to see 'evidence' for the Bible, one would first need to believe the Bible.

Your faith must therefore be an internal quality, rather than external. It's no great biggie, but it's the leadup to the following:

Bearing this in mind, and that we perceive the world we wish to see since it is filtered through our understanding and beliefs, we have a situation where the truth you are in fact subscribing to is internal. You are believing because you wish to believe.

I wish to know what bits of Christianity you wish to believe. Is it the afterlife, the character of the God? The teachings of this God? Which teachings in particular? My quesiton was intentionally oblique, I'm afraid.


I don't think I can realistically answer that question. Separating out any one part of my faith as being something I want to believe more than another part really doesn't fit the way I think about it. I guess my favourite part might well be God's grace just because it's particularly wonderfuil, but that's utterly intertwined with pretty much every part of my faith that's actually important.


Oh not one bit, multiple bits will do fine. So you like God's 'grace'? I'd like you to tell me more about that... by grace you mean the way his works all fit together and interact? Erm, elegant I think is perhaps the word- the workings of the world are elegant?

Now that is, again, a reasonable position but the distinction I would like to bring about is that the 'truth' is not an externality, it is something from you. You are not set in stone and may change over time, your mind may in fact change one day to the next. Therefore the tenure of 'truth' is entirely in your own mind. You need only let go of Christianity for it to lose all practical truth and meaning. Would that not be an interesting experiment? Particularly considering that a truth should be immutable and always correct.


In order to do that I would have to change my opinion of a great many things. And given the joy and peace I get from my faith, it wouldn't be a particularly appealing experiment.


Almost certainly true, but how would that affect your faith? Considering for a moment that your believed notions about the world are internal and without your belief would disappear- what room for total truth? It's quite a fearful concept, but personally find it quite fun to play it over in my mind regularly. Keeps things in perspective for me :)


I don't know. I think ripping out something that naturally affects the way I think about anything important would have a seriously depressing effect on my state of mind. In fact, I think I would find the idea that there is no ultimate meaning difficult to deal with, unless I buried it under something else. The old "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die" thing.


Hmm, very interesting. Thank you for answering that :)

I've not physically heard God, though I've known people who have. My experience is that there are a range of ways of hearing God. There have been two or three times when God's voice has been utterly unmistakeable - it's the mental equivalent of someone shouting in your ear, and there's no way it could possibly be your own thoughts. Other times, I've been reading the Bible and verses have directly leapt out at me, and there are other times where I've had a definite "impression" of something God wants to say, it doesn't resemble any of my own thoughts, and isn't exactly words. It's the sort of thing that's difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it.


I'm firstly greatly interested in how you believe others to have physically heard God when you have not heard him yourself? How do you know that they are not merely externalising the same internal thoughts and ideas you have?


The particular example I was thinking of was someone who audibly heard God before he became a Christian. He wasn't externalising any religious thoughts because he had none.


How do we know so? I appreciate he may not have accepted Christ, but supposing faith is something in the mind (or the genes perhaps?) Therefore whether someone subscribed to the faith or had even considered it before, the building blocks of that faith (i.e. the capacity to believe in it without proof and to ascribe physical events to that particular theory) may already be in place.


So a non-Christian whose attitude to God at the time was "If I ever meet him I'll thump him one" audibly hears God's voice?


Why shouldn't he? If the mechanisms are already built in his brain for such a belief and he is in fact expressing other thoughts and feelings (sounds like frustration) through his words?

Let's put it this way, if he plots to thump God one he must first be open to the idea of his existence :) So maybe there were whole areas of his brain and psyche just waiting to kick into action, perhaps therefore creating 'fulfilment'? An interesting idea! :)

So he may well in fact have been externalising thoughts which were his own through a dormant belief in 'something'- that something was later attuned to Christianity. Veery interesting... or perhaps I should say as is my theory that his 'something' happened to be attuned to Christianity more than any other (as he discovered upon investigation) and therefore aligned himself to that faith.


The voice in question told him to go and listen to a man who happened to be reading his bible. Hardly the sort of thing you'd expect from a genetic tuning.


Hm sounds good to me- part of his mind needed something to believe in, best place to start is someone who knows a thing or two about religion. It'd be probably such a man might be reading his Bible at the time.

Minds are incredibly complicated, subtle impulses are built on and joined to thoughts and feelings which can then become words and sensations in our mind. Maybe your friend felt such a thing? Maybe if God were a 'first cause' he might well be behind them (ultimately).

Do you think it may be some form of survival instinct? Humans have the capacity to leap beyond logic and reasoning and to see more in the world than there is- our ability to predict future events is essentially this capacity and to make decisions based on things which are factually sketchy or may never happen. Perhaps it is an extension of that to believe in something which an impartial observer from Mars (for argument's sake) would probably observe very outlandish?


Surely that would be a negative trait for survival.


I can't see why, it helps the grieving process and allows humans to function extraordinarily well despite perhaps knowing virtually nothing about how their world works. The brain's way of joining the dots to make a picture so we at least have something to work with :) Naturally we'd have to believe it too, otherwise it wouldn't be of much use... I could see that being quite important in fact to early humans and beyond.

Which brings me to my second issue which is of the greatest interest so far- I have the exact same 'visions' or 'messages'. It isn't a case of me not experiencing it, I do. I however place an entirely different meaning and emphasis on it. I constantly hear voices, feelings and insights in my mind. I believe that's part of being human. To what we attribute them is up to us and to what extent we feel them I would expect depends how far we are willing to take notice of our own thoughts.

I for example have heard voices in my head warning me against bad decisions, 'bad' people [I use the term for simplicity's sake], good ideas, big decisions or to tell me to trust people or situations. They are part of my intuition, my empathy and my senses (which I would argue form the building block for my intuition, which is then filtered through my personality).

Now, these thoughts and 'messages' definitely come from inside me- no matter how alien or unlike me they may be. I've never yet found one which does not stem from some facet of my mind (bearing in mind the complexity of the human mind, there is so much more to it than the 5% we show/use every day). Some can be very subtle, and others very loud. Would this correspond correctly to the voices which you believe are from God? If so, how would this impact on your belief that they are from God? Is he messaging me? And if so, why do these thoughts always stem from (albeit sometimes virtually disused and deserted) areas of my psyche?


All I can say is that the times I very clearly heard God, the thoughts were utterly distinct from any other kind of thought pattern I've ever experienced. They cut across the things that were going through my mind. They weren't anything that I could ever imagine any part of my mind coming up with when it happened. They were very clearly a different "voice" than I've ever had in any other thought. With the "impressions" your interpretation could be fairly plausible, as it's possible that they could be my own thoughts. I don't think that they are, but I accept that it is possible.


Intriguing. All I can say is I am aware of numerous personalities, some of which are very distinct from me and surface periodically. In fact, normally after each massive depression I have [about every 6 months or so] my personality is usually rebuilt out of a subset of these personalities. Hence after each depression I'm mostly the same, but usually with a differing dominant set of attributes (this most recent incarnation since Christmas is nowhere near as charitable or trusting and infinitely more bitter. Not a good regeneration but a regeneration never the less).

The human mind is a fantastically complicated machine, I'm very interested in how other people rationalise the many different voices and impulses they hear.


From what you're saying it looks like your internal voices come from your depression. Surely you wouldn't expect the same thing from someone without depression.


That's entirely speculation on your part. My mind works in an identical way (merely in the opposite direction) when I'm on a mania. I've decomposed the personalities of several other (normal?) individuals who have similar interpretations to their mind's 'voices' as I do. Unless you want to pull up a couch and psychoanalyse me for a month or two you're not likely to know the cause of most of my mental activity or indeed how it might compare to a 'regular' person :)
 

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Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:11 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:I dont belive in miracles in any way shape or form. everything can be explained using science.

And one other thing - how do u know God di it and not the flying speghtti monster, im serious, prove me wrong.... U cant prove it, thats the point.


Can you prove to me God doesn't exist? I mean if my believing in God is baseless as you say, your disbelief in God is no less baseless.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:05 am

Yaya wrote:
Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:I dont belive in miracles in any way shape or form. everything can be explained using science.

And one other thing - how do u know God di it and not the flying speghtti monster, im serious, prove me wrong.... U cant prove it, thats the point.


Can you prove to me God doesn't exist? I mean if my believing in God is baseless as you say, your disbelief in God is no less baseless.



The burden of proof is to provide evidence that something did happen or does exist.

Let me ask you this. Do you think that your religion can be applied to everyone? Would everyone be happier if they were Muslims?

Let's say we all convert to Islam. What becomes of women? What becomes of science?

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.
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Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:30 am

:roll: accidentally doubleposted. First partial post deleted.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:32 am

Bouncelot wrote:I think ripping out something that naturally affects the way I think about anything important would have a seriously depressing effect on my state of mind. In fact, I think I would find the idea that there is no ultimate meaning difficult to deal with, unless I buried it under something else. The old "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die" thing.


Having been through it to some degree, I can say that doesn't actually happen. I got depressed, but it was more related to how my friends and family (mostly Mormon) would not understand my choice. My whole life belief was linked to this institution; I was really ripping out something that affected the way I thought about anything important.

Personally, I felt completely free to analyze the hell out of everything I believed, ask myself why I believed it and figure it what I would do about. Quite liberating and reassuring personally. Once again, a lot of problems from friends and family, which causes depression, but not a personal crisis.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:33 am

Professor Smooth wrote:Let me ask you this. Do you think that your religion can be applied to everyone? Would everyone be happier if they were Muslims?

Let's say we all convert to Islam. What becomes of women? What becomes of science?


Yes, I believe my religion can be followed by anyone.

Would everyone be happier? True happiness cannot be attained in an imperfect world, can it? Maybe in fleeting instances, but nothing gives complete continuing happiness in our world, whether we are Muslim or not. A Muslim does not view (or should not view, anyway) worldly happiness as the goal, the purpose of life. To the Muslim, worship of the Creator is the goal which will lead to true peace, true happiness, in the hereafter. If I based my faith on whether I was always happy or not, it would be something quite weak. Again, understanding this goes back to whether one actually believes in a hereafter or not, of a paradise or hell.


Anyone can become and live as a Muslim. Why? Because Muslims believe that everyone is created with what is called fitra, which is awareness of God and the truth of His existence, even before our mothers give birth to us. Islam teaches that it is the world, specifically parents, that can take others away from their natural state of belief. As such, the capacity to believe in one God is within all of us.

What would become of women? You are likely one of those who have been swayed by the outpouring of slanderous propoganda into believing that women are poorly treated in Islam. This is perhaps the biggest misconception of all when it comes to Islam. Not to say that there are not Muslim men who do wrong and mistreat women, because physical abuse and mental abuse do not have religious, social, etc preference. The media latches on to the Islamic dress of a women, and from this makes the argument that she is somehow stripped of her rights as a human being.

Here, in the U.S., women did not have the right to own property until this century. In fact, they were considered to be property not so long ago. Islam is the first religion to give women the right to own property 1400 years ago. In fact, in regards to the relationship of husband and wife, it is the man's duty to provide for the wife, whereas the wife can keep 100% of whatever she earns for her own purposes and is not required to share any of this.
Can a women work and earn her own living in Islam? The Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) first wife was a business women whom he worked under.
A man is required to leave work and attend the Friday prayer service, something that is absolutely obligatory, yet the women can choose whether she wants to go or not.
A man who dies defending his people from invaders gets the reward of a martyr, the greatest of rewards. A women who wants this same reward need only go for the pilgrimage and need not loose her life defending in battle.
A Muslim man must pray five times a day except under the condition of insanity. A women who is under going her menses does not have to pray or fast.
Two men are required to bear witness to an occurence in matters of the home in Islamic legal juriprudence, whereas only one women's word is enough.

Women are explicitly mentioned to receive the same reward as men in the Quran:

For Muslim men and women, for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast, for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah's praise, for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward. (33:35)

Why be so explicit, so redundant in this verse 1400 years ago?

And who works righteousness, male or female, and is a faithful one, so We will give them life a good life, and We will pay them their wages for the most beautiful of what they were working (16:97)

Find me a book from 1400 years ago that specifically mentions men and women on equal ground, with equal reward. Find me one passage in the Bible that spells out women's being equal to men like this one verse of the Quran does.

Hell, our own United States Declaration of Independence states "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal".

And I could go on and on about the place of women in Islam, and how in many ways they are privileged above men. Yet the media will not mention any of this and will simply latch on to those who truly are abusive and degrading to women.

Certainly, Islam defines what roles men and women should play, and these are spelled out clearly. They are not the same. Islam is a belief that acknowledges the differences between men and women, and that one may be better suited in one thing than another. This is different from the belief that one is inferior to the other, which is not the case. The punishment and rewards are the same, just the roles are different. Here is where some might have a problem, but I firmly believe that gender roles serve a purpose in the maintenence of society and family. A belief that many no longer share.


What becomes of science?


Science is viewed as a created means to an end. It is a catalyst by which all percieved things happen. This does not take away from its wonder and magnificence. Some of the greatest scientists and mathematcians were Muslim Arabs. I myself have studied the biological sciences my whole life it would seem. Islam commands that when I scientific cure to an illness is discovered, it must be taken. Logical.

Science to the Muslim is simply another reflection of God's magnificence. In fact, having studied science, embryology, the human brain, etc, science has become one of the things that strengthens my faith in a God. And within the Quran itself, there are things that are described, like embryological stages, that could not have been realized without a microscope, which did not exist then. Read the book "The Bible, The Koran, and Science". Amazing stuff.

Science, for me, serves as a confirmation, not a contradiction. So it is with all Muslims.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:56 am

Theory and practice are two seperate things. You'd do well to recognize that.

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:26 am

So, I know that the majority of those on this site are not of a religious sort, but I was wondering, does anyone else have deep religious convections that are coming from a different point of view that they'd care to speak of?

I mean, Muslim vs. Satanist (With disillusioned Mormon as the ref) is cool and everything, but I could always go for more of a good thing. :p

Best First wrote:I thought we could just meander between making well thought out points, being needlessly immature, provocative and generalist, then veer into caring about constructive debate and make a few valid points, act civil for a bit, then lower the tone again, then act offended when we get called on it, then dictate what it is and isn't worth debating, reinterpret a few of my own posts through a less offensive lens, then jaunt down whatever other path our seemingly volatile mood took us in.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:12 pm

Perhaps we should invite a few of the ghostmembers back from TransformersHomage to partake in the discussion. I wonder what Master Fwiffo is up to.

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:39 pm

Professor Smooth wrote:Perhaps we should invite a few of the ghostmembers back from TransformersHomage to partake in the discussion. I wonder what Master Fwiffo is up to.


I don't think he ever quite forgave me for finally convincing him that his dislike of homosexuals came from him rather than his God...
 
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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:06 pm

Whether or not the Koran is unchanged from the original text dictated by Mohammed or not, it's not a miracle. I've got a copy of the Lord of the Rings that is word-for-word the same as that written by JRR. It's not a miracle. It's a book. Congratulations.

I've been invited to become a Muslim a couple of times. I refused for three main reasons:
1. Bacon
2. Beer
3. Foreskin
I was told that the rules about the latter two are flexible, but not eating pork is an absolute, so I still respectfully declined. No bacon? No ham? **** that. It might have been a smart rule when Mohammed lived in a hot country without refrigerators, but it's totally pointless when I grew up in a country where pigs have been farmed for thousands of years.

Yaya wrote:Two men are required to bear witness to an occurence in matters of the home in Islamic legal juriprudence, whereas only one women's word is enough.

That's the wrong way round. I read this bit in the Koran. It says that if you want to lend someone money, you need a witness of sound mind and body. If you can't get a male witness, get two women because women are liable to forget their minds and one can remind the other:

Teh Koran, 2:284 wrote:And get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her

Honestly, Yaya, completely pwning you on religious topics has got even more fun since you obviously don't even know your own holy book. If it's that important to you then perhaps you might, you know, actually KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

Also, the Koran says that a man has rights to sexual congress with his wife whenever the feeling takes him and irrespective of what she is doing at the time. She's making bread? Looking after the children? She has to drop everything and satisfy him. Does Islam even have a concept of rape within marriage? I don't think there's a Shariah court in the world that has ever convicted a man for that.

Yaya wrote:Women are explicitly mentioned to receive the same reward as men in the Quran

Aha. This would be the invisible, spiritual reward that you only get after you die. Sorry, I don't believe in that. It sounds like a very good way of telling people "put up with this **** in this life because you'll be rewarded in the next". In other words, it's a load of bollocks.

And women aren't inferior to men in Islam? How about Surah 4:34?

The Koran wrote:Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in beds apart and beat them.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:14 pm

Oh, let's not forget Surah 4:11 as well
The Koran wrote:Allah (thus) directs you as regards your children's (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females. These are settled portions ordained by Allah: and Allah is all knowing, all wise

Women only recieve half as much inheritance as men. Presumably the invisible reward they get in the next life makes up for this.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
Impactor returns 2.0, 28th January 2010

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:14 pm

Women are brought up to feel wrong because they can taint/corrupt or make men think wrong thoughts etc...hence wearing the smock.
How male is that! - how human is that?

Again can someone prove to me that the flying speghiti monster is not in controll of everything and it is in fact not god allah what ever?

Now I cant prove it, and nor can the opposing argument, but isnt religon a bit bollox if you cant back it up over a joke? I mean seriously think about it? thats pretty mad isnt it?

I dont mean to sound insulting but its a fair question, if you cant beat a joke about a pasta based god what on earth are you wasting your time with?

Everything else in religon is debateable on various levels, but the one fundemental factor requires you to belive, so how can u belive in somthing that can be made to look silly against the FSM or some other joke?

I am as good as any religous person on this earth, to tell me im not would mock your own religon - your left with trying to prove the existance of god, and so far no one can prove its not the FSM!, how do ppl feel about this?

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:17 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:Foreskin


Now I can finally picture you naked with accuracy.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:18 pm

Yaya wrote:Here is where some might have a problem, but I firmly believe that gender roles serve a purpose in the maintenence of society and family.


and er, these gender roles, they were hashed out equally were they?

bu men and women together agreeing?

and not just, say, a bunch of blokes?

eh?

Oh, but you 'firmly believe' it - like that constitutes an arguement.
 
Last edited by Metal Vendetta on Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:20 pm

How about the Hadith found in Sahih al-Bukhari? This has been authenticated by both collections of Hadith as authentic and is therefore mutafaqun 'alayhi, or 'agreed upon':

Hadith wrote:Allah's Apostle once said to a group of women : 'I have not seen any one more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious, sensible man could be led astray by some of you.' The women asked: 'O Allah's Apostle, what is deficient in our intelligence and religion?' He said: 'Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?' They replied in the affirmative. He said: 'This is the deficiency of your intelligence' ... 'Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?' The women replied in the affirmative. He said: 'This is the deficiency in your religion.'

Women are more dificient than men in intelligence and religion. Mmmm, nice.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:22 pm

I would have thought that all the succesfull gay families shows that gender roles in the family enviroment are not all that important?
2 dads, 2 mums etc... can bring up a family as well as a conventional man and women family could?

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Metal Vendetta

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:29 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:I would have thought that all the succesfull gay families shows that gender roles in the family enviroment are not all that important?
2 dads, 2 mums etc... can bring up a family as well as a conventional man and women family could?

Yes, I'm sure there are loads of religious people out there going "You know, we could learn a lot from gay families".

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:31 pm

sprunkner wrote:Now I can finally picture you naked with accuracy.

Stop that.

I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:31 pm

Its a shame religon cannot listen to lifes experiences - living by the rules in one book is dangerously naive to me.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:13 pm

I made my decision on religion long ago:

Religion is a Russian roulette. I have an equal probability of picking the "right" religion that God approves of no matter what religion I pick (Impy's Spaghetti Monster arguement."

Therefore, instead of worrying about it, I'm going to try and be the best person I can be, which generally includes learning from my mistakes and treating other people as I'd like to be treated. And if I die, and there's a heaven, and God says, "Well, you didn't believe in Jesus/you ate pork/you do/don't have foreskin, so you're going to Hell," I'll be like, "F*** you, buddy."

Now, that's not saying I don't have an interest in finding or identifying with a set of beliefs that matches my own. Just that I'm not going to pretend to have a better path than anyone else.

Best First wrote:I thought we could just meander between making well thought out points, being needlessly immature, provocative and generalist, then veer into caring about constructive debate and make a few valid points, act civil for a bit, then lower the tone again, then act offended when we get called on it, then dictate what it is and isn't worth debating, reinterpret a few of my own posts through a less offensive lens, then jaunt down whatever other path our seemingly volatile mood took us in.

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Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:15 pm

Shanti418 wrote:
Therefore, instead of worrying about it, I'm going to try and be the best person I can be, which generally includes learning from my mistakes and treating other people as I'd like to be treated. .


i tend to agree.

do you think that can be expaned intoa more comprehensive secular philosophy?
 
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