Senate Understanding Christianity

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. MasterSanders Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2014
    star 1
    To say that the Big Bang created the universe or that evolution created all living things is contradictory to the creation story in every way... Which is why in the discussing Christianity thread I would give the Christian perspective...
  2. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I'm sure there are individuals who believe in science like a religion. However you don't have to put faith in it. Science is empirical. Experimental evidence, I'm sure you learned in 5th grade science, is what determines whether hypotheses are correct. This is done under the form of peer review and experimental replication, where multiple scientists review the results of an experiment and then replicate the experiment themselves to see if they get the same data. In addition, the most basic, low-level science experiments can be done by you! You think quantum mechanics is bull****? That light doesn't behave like particles? Do the double slit experiment yourself. You need a $10 laser and a piece of cardboard.

    This isn't divine revalation. You don't need to put faith in anything expect your own two eyes. And don't tell me some philosophy nonsense, you put faith in your own two eyes every day.
    Where? How do scientists disagree with each other on every subject? The only time scientists are disagreeing are on hypotheses that don't have enough experimental backing yet. Like SUSY or String Theory. Where do you see scientists disagreeing over Maxwell's equations today?
    What does this even mean? That many individual hypotheses fail experimentation? Of course they do! That's how it works. And even if your hypothesis fails, it's still a good thing. You've advanced scientific knowledge by narrowing the search to the correct explanation.

    How is this some black mark against the scientific method or scientists in general?

    The reason you think this is probably because you don't understand evolution.

    Yep, you definitely don't understand evolution. First of all, we're looking for paleontological evidence, not archaeological evidence. Secondly, the definitive evidence supporting evolution is not the fossil record (they're nice, but not necessary), but evidence in genetics and physiology. Thirdly, we have actual fossils of pre-historic humans. They exist. They are real. The fact that you think some conspiracy is afoot to fool the planet on this is laughably ridiculous.

    Tell that to Lemaitre, the Catholic priest who came up with the big bang cosmological model.

    You don't understand evolution. You don't understand science. I don't know where you went to school, but you were obviously failed by either the school or your parents. You deserved a better science education.
  3. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    But where does this absolutist view come from? What is your understanding of how the bible was written?
  4. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    Thank goodness the Bible wasn't written over a very long period of time. Moses likely lived in the 14 or 1300's BC (possibly a hundred or more years earlier), whilst sections (1 John, 2 John, and 3 John) of the New Testament weren't written until 50 years after Jesus' death.

    Are you suggesting that there couldn't have been any mistranslation? That every single one of the authors had perfect memory and saw things 100% clearly with no bias?

    Hell, have a look at our calendar, set up to align with the year of the birth of Jesus. Except, that in the medieval era, we weren't as informed as we are now. The consensus among historians is that Jesus was born sometime between 7 BC and 2 BC.
    Last edited by 07jonesj, Jan 14, 2014
  5. MasterSanders Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2014
    star 1
    All scripture is God breathed, inspired by the Holy Spirit and written down by men who received the word by God... God would speak, they would listen and write it down...
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  6. MasterSanders Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2014
    star 1
    Ok y'all have fun... I'm gonna eat and go back to listening to NJO series... Have a good night...
  7. ggrillo93 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2012

    I think Carl Sagan put the final nail on the coffin to the argument of personal experience more than 25 years ago. I'll let his words speak for me.

    Of course, Sagan's point applies not only to apparitions and stuff like that but also to more indirect personal experiences that Christians and other religious believers frequently use to justify their personal beliefs. The elephant god Sagan mentions is a real god in Indian religion that has a particular talent for removing obstacles from people's path. People in India thank this god, Ganesha, when they feel that a certain obstacle that stands in their way has been removed. If I were to accept your argument from personal experience, then what stops me from accepting the personal experiences of the followers of Ganesha, or the followers of Allah, or of Zeus, or whatever other god there is? And by your own logic, you actually should accept their claims as much as you accept your experiences if you want atheists and people who have not had any religious experience to accept yours. And once you accept that, the argument from personal experience collapses. So you shouldn't be surprised when atheists dismiss that type of argument so easily.

    As to the rationality of religious belief, I stand completely behind what timmoishere said. And you'd be surprised to see that many Christians believe the same thing. Faith itself, by definition, is irrational. It demands belief in the absence of evidence, and even in the presence of contradicting evidence. Most Christians are raised so that they accept the claims of Christianity without asking questions, and for good reason. Religious movements recognized early on that if they were to spread their ideas and reach a large number of people, they needed to control the educational system as much as they could, and teach their beliefs as dogma, without motivating critical thinking. Of course, there exist rational Christians, and I know and respect a few of them, but these are few and hard to find. Even those who claim to champion reason above all things, like philosopher William Lane Craig, accept that there is no evidence whatsoever that could convince them to change their minds, which is clearly a dictionary example of what irrationality is supposed to be. And yes, of course there are irrational atheists, people that have taken their atheism too seriously and utterly deny the existence of Jesus, for example, but the fact that most atheists feel no obligation to disbelieve in God is definitely a good reason to think that they are atheists because they honestly think that there simply is no evidence of the supernatural in the world we live in. I would be the first to change my mind if sometime in the future compelling evidence of the existence of God comes along, but so far I have not seen anything clear enough to warrant a belief in something as specific as the God of Christianity or of any other religion. It is not due to chance that 93% of the top scientists in the world (the members of the US National Academy of Science) are either atheists or agnostics.
  8. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Pathetic. You won't even bother to respond to criticism and you're damn glib about it. I've never seen someine debate in bad faith like this.
  9. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Blindly repeating your dogma isn't helpful to this discussion because your argument pretty much comes down to circular logic: The Bible is true because the Bible says it is true.

    Also, if you think the Bible must be taken 100% literally, I am very scared for you and those close to you. There are some horribly repugnant passages in the Bible, and I can't believe that you truly think non-virgin brides must be killed, gays must be killed, and those who work on Sundays must be killed. Not to mention that the Bible has numerous contradictions; do a quick Google search and you'll find dozens of them.
  10. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    @MasterSanders I'm curious how you handle one part of this. You've been very clear that Christianity must, necessarily, reject evolution or creationism because it doesn't fit with a literal interpretation of the Bible and that this is scientists versus religion. You also said that you consider the translations, as well, to be divinely inspired if I understood you correctly?

    How do you then reconcile this with the concept that the Catholic Church accepts evolution and the big bang as the best scientific explanations for the diversity of life and the early universe, respectively? The Pope I thought is considered to be guided by god, more or less, and Pope Pius XII endorsed evolution as a reasonable explanation with no conflict with religion in 1950, and that has been reaffirmed since then by later Popes. I don't see how that divine guidance should be discarded or treated as though it isn't reflective of the Christian perspective.

    I suppose this is also open to anyone else that takes a similar stance to MasterSanders
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  11. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I suspect you will get a bunch of "No true Scotsman" fallacies. I often forget that historically christians actually slaughtered one another other over these kinds of differences.
  12. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'm hoping to get a serious answer, though. If nothing else, I'd like more insight in how science can be treated as a Christian or unChristian thing.
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  13. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    Not wishing to speak for Sanders, but bear in mind Lowie that there are many Christian denominations (usually of the fundamentalist variety) that don't see Catholics as 'Christian' (some even going as far as considering the Pope the anti-Christ) and therefore it's teachings/stances on issues as heretical. I note that Sanders made the comment "I could go on a tangent for a year about the Catholic Church and it's teachings, but I'll refrain...", so wouldn't be surprised if he/she might be of a similar bent.

    Personal anecdote - I once dated very briefly a 'non-denominational'*** Christian girl, and this similar line of reasoning popped up:
    Her: I don't understand how any Christian can accept evolution and not take the Bible literally.
    Me: Well plenty of denominations do. The Catholics for instance ...
    Her: My church doesn't really see the Catholics as Christian.
    Me: [face_hypnotized]


    ***I had previously assumed 'non-denominational' as meaning a laid back, accept-all-comers type of Christian. Turns out it was the exact opposite. :oops:

    (oh, and it was our 2nd date. And last. :p)
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  14. MasterSanders Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2014
    star 1
    Well for the record the Catholic Church has killed more Christians and Muslims than any other religion in the world, their very belief that the Pope's word is above the bible is blasphemous, and to say that only people that are Catholics are real Christians is also biblically untrue.. I could go on for hours about everything the Catholic Church has done wrong but that would take all night, so if you think I'm impressed that a Pope said something stupid like that further proves my point... Btw where in the bible does if ever say to pray to Mary or the saints? Answer nowhere... There are many Christians in Catholicism but not all Catholics are Christian based on what the bible says about what Christians are and how they should live, honestly for that matter 84% of Americans claim to be Christian, but about 4% actually live a Christian life... Nevertheless he ain't the Pope of me...
  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    It blows my mind that some christians do not consider catholics to be christians. To the extent that a person believes that Jesus is the son of god, died for the sins of humanity and was resurrected and redemption is achieve through Christ, then you are a christian. The rest is trifles.
  16. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    @Obi-Zahn Kenobi
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  17. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    True, I'd missed that part, but for a discussion about Understanding Christianity, the Catholic Church absolutely can not be written off as they are most certainly Christian, and their views do represent a Christian position. The Methodist Church takes a similar stance, as does the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church, and the United Church of Christ. Based off of data for the sizes of various denominations, these groups alone, without looking into smaller groups, account for over 123 million Christians in the United States. I don't think they can all be discounted.
  18. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7

    actually moses most likely didnt live at all but other than that point taken
  19. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 1999
    star 7

    "Non-denominational" usually means "Our beliefs are nearly identical to most baptists (with some borrowing from Methodism), but we don't want to call ourselves baptists because of the negative associations people have."
    timmoishere likes this.
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    The joke where I live is that Baptists actually wave to each other while they're buying liquor.
  21. Champion of the Force Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 27, 1999
    star 4
    I would go with "all other denominations are wrong so we separate ourselves from their creeds and doctrines but don't create our own denomination lest we turn into them", but yeah your definition probably works too. :p In Australia though I don't think there's any negative connotations associated with the Baptists specifically (any more than any other denomination at least).
  22. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    Good point. And regarding your other question, there have been translator errors in the Bible over the years since the NT was compiled. One prime OT example that I noticed, though it took me a while to pick up on it, was the two decade discrepancy in the age of King Ahaziah of Judah at his accession to the throne; Kings gives his age as 22, Chronicles as 42. By looking at the verses in Kings starting with the account of Ahaziah's father Jehoram and comparing to the relevant verses from Chronicles, it is fairly obvious that the Chronicles age is wrong and all the notes appended to the Chronicles verse agree that it was an error by later translators.
    07jonesj likes this.
  23. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    The nuts and bolts of it, pretty much, @Lost on Hoth. Thing is, the churches have gotten so dependent on ritual, theological intepretations, ect. that it's split Christianity apart. And it's not a recent happening, either (ie. Luther, East-West split.) Look at the debate over whether Gentile Christians should keep the Law in Acts.

    I'm reposting this from the "When is a religion not a religion" thread, since it kind of ties in here:

    True enough. Still, when one looks back at Church history, it's shocking how much scandal and corruption was rampant during the Middle Ages. Alexander VI was probably the most notorious, but there were plenty of others too. If anyone has the chance, I'd recommend tracking down a copy of "A Treasury of Royal Scandals" by Michael Farquar and take a look at the section 'Papal Vices.' I was almost floored by it. Alexander VI was familiar to me from the mentions of him in "Count of Monte Cristo" and I had a little knowledge of a few others, but had no idea just how bad some medieval popes were.

    Something else, too: in the early days of Christianity, the apostles and other Jewish Christians weren't that concerned with rigid ritual like the Law of Moses had. Even when Gentiles started joining the Church, they weren't bound by ritual. The message of salvation through Christ's redemptive work on the cross was the focus. Over time, I think Church leaders started losing their way and drifting away from what the apostles taught. Differences in theology started emerging and led to the East-West split.

    Vatican II was a huge step in the right direction for the RCC, and though I'm not that familiar with John Paul II despite his being pontiff until I was 16, I feel he did his best for the Church. Benedict XVI - I can't remember if he knew about the abuse scandal or not, but if he did, he should have moved decisively to stop it instead of letting it fester. Francis I seems to be doing his best for reform, but time will tell.

    Edit: Kind of off tangent, but "ATORS" also gave a brief and very interesting account of Celestine V's election as Pope, reign, abdication, and murder. He was mentioned in the film adaptation of Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons" in the scene where Camerlengo Patrick McKenna enters the Sistine Chapel during the conclave to inform the Cardinals of the late Pope's murder.

    Edit II: I was raised in the Protestant Methodist denomination and don't agree with a lot of Catholic doctrine. I do, however, have a few good friends who were raised Catholic and we've talked about Catholic beliefs and stuff. I've even studied a little bit of Catholic ritual on my own and posted the antiphon "In Paradisum" in memory of the 9/11 victims on the 11th anniversary.

    There are good people out there who are Catholic and strive to live up to God's standards for Christians, but it is people like Roger Cardinal Mahoney and others of his ilk who give the RCC a bad name with their actions.

    Just ignore the first edit paragraph since it has no bearing on the discussion
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Jan 15, 2014
  24. Jedi Merkurian ST Manager on Temporary Leave

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    This is totally uncalled-for. Believe it or not, people occasionally have better things to do with their lives than argue on teh internets. Try not to die of shock.
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  25. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Except for the part where he continued posting on other topics and on the jcc right after that he posted that. I think it's perfectly called for. Even today he has yet to address any of my points. Not a one.