Why is it so important for those of you who are religious to convert others?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Wormie2, Jan 16, 2002.

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  1. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

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    Sep 10, 2001
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    TreeCave, very good post.

    I might add that one of the greatest enemies to proper scientific analysis is the fear to question the status quo. Einstein, Hawking... their ideas werent intiially received with much enthusiasm.

    Darwin, also, spent a very long time gaining credibility for his theory. I think that's what a lot of fundamentalists and zealots don't realize... That scientific theories go through their share of scrutiny for a long period of time before they are widely accepted. This is especially the case when they're fighting hundreds of years of religious oppression that permeates into the culture and limits people's imagination, insipiration, and desire to explore the uncharted.

    In order for any science or faith to progress, to have substance and be true to its purpose, it must always be questioned and challenged. This relentless pursuit of truth exposes the faults in those theories or beliefs which cannot withstand the broadsword of skepticism.
  2. TreeCave Jedi Master

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    Jul 28, 2001
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    Thanks, JM and Snowdog - that's a subject I'm pretty passionate about.

    Oooh, I really like your last line there. Science and faith are, in my opinion, not so different. Both, when practiced properly, seek the truth and are willing to accept it, no matter what it turns out to be.

    There's a passage in a Douglas Adams book that describes for several paragraphs the amount of calculus and exact knowledge of all environmental factors required to determine where a pitched ball is going to land. He so well captures the miracle of the human brain, which is able to "guesstimate" the environmental factors and perform the calculus required in the blink of an eye, and we call it "instinct", that reading that passage always gives me chills. When you think about it, science is trying to understand nature and the world by sort of reconstructing it from the basics on up.

    My own study of science has only led me to be MORE amazed that nature exists at all - whether it evolved or was plopped down wholesale, it's hard to imagine there wasn't some intelligence guilding it. But when you DO manage to imagine there was no intelligence guiding it, it's even harder to believe there wasn't something nurturing it, somehow. Either option is awesome and miraculous.
  3. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
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    I don't care about other religions wanting to convert me. I was born a Jedi and I'll die a Jedi.
    But when they want to kill anyone who's not following their religion - that's a problem.
  4. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

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    Science doesn't disprove that God, Allah, Brahman, the Force, or whatever you want to call it, is the one behind all the grand math of the universe to begin with!

    What always amuses me is how people can be so conditional in their faith that it hinges only on the words of a book... as if there's no proof in science and nature that this is, in fact, a universal force that brought it all into existence, that gave it the necessary building blocks for life, for evolution and for self-discovery. The universe seems to me more and more magical, more miraculous, more amazing the more I read about scientific discovery. The idea that the whole of god can be described in the pages of one book... and to keep one's nose glued only to that book, and not focus one's eyes on the real world around them... ignoring the real evidence of god... makes absolutely no sense.
  5. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 6, 2001
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    Like when someone says, "if one word in the bible isn't true, then the whole book isn't true, and God is a liar." I could never put those kind of restrictions on something i cared about.
  6. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 8, 2000
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    God didn't hand-write the Bible. A bunch of old bearded guys in robes wrote it. :p

    *runs from the fundamentalists*
  7. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    May 5, 2001
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    Those old bearded guys obviously had some connection to God, as the prophecies they wrote down were fulfilled, or will one day be fulfilled. Enough have been fulfilled to know that they knew something, and for the ones that haven't been fulfilled, they haven't failed either. They just haven't been fulfilled yet. :)


    And besides, the morals in that Book are just as good as any morals in any other book that tries to explain God. ;)
  8. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    Yes and no. Jesus had alot of good things to say. The OT had lots of good things to say about stoning your children or rape victims in public.
  9. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 8, 2000
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    What cydonia said.

    The prophesies about Jesus, written in Isaiah, came true.

    However, Leviticus talked about, among other things, not having sex with women while they're having their periods and not eating any meat from an animal with a cloven hoof. One of the other books of Moses talks about being able to "dismiss" one's wife if the husband is tired of her. Another talks about a woman being gang-raped to death. I have a hard time believing this was inspired by God.

    Even in the New Testament, Paul talks about how women should obey their husbands. I have trouble with this one, considering that Jesus always treated women as equals.
  10. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    I don't remember seeing anything about stoning children, and as for rape victims, could you post that passage? I remember seeing something about it, and I'm sure there is a logical explaination for it. I just don't remember the rest of the account.


    You're listing the reactions without listing the actions. ;)



    EDIT: The first two, a_g, were given to the Jews, because God wanted them to stay clean. After all, the Savior of the world would be sent through their bloodline, and God wanted them to stay clean and healthy as a race for a good reason.

    "One of the other books of Moses talks about being able to "dismiss" one's wife if the husband is tired of her.


    Could you post the passage?


    "Another talks about a woman being gang-raped to death."


    Again, could you post the passage? I can say right now though that the Bible doesn't list people as being perfect, but as people being imperfect, and God as being perfect. This wasn't a law for a woman being allowed to be gang-raped, it was a mistake on the person's part that allowed her to be gang-raped. Not a law given by God.


    "Even in the New Testament, Paul talks about how women should obey their husbands. I have trouble with this one, considering that Jesus always treated women as equals."


    Jesus considered them as equals, but not as leaders. All the apostles were men, and that's because (I think anyway) that God put men in a leadership position. However, women are just as valuable as men, and should be treated with repect. A good friend of mine once said, "My wife is supposed to be submisive to what I say. I have to be careful about what I say to her though." ;)

    And besides, Paul was speaking to a certain church, where the women repeatedly spoke out against the church and interupted the meetings. Some Christians don't think he meant for women to be submisive forever, just the particular women in the church this letter was sent to.
  11. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 6, 2001
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  12. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

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    J_M201: A logical explanation for rape? You're kidding, right?

    I'm looking for those passages right now, but it's taking me awhile because I don't have a very good concordance.
  13. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    May 5, 2001
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    No, a logical explaination for the stoning of a rape victim.


    And please remember that the there were people (most notable: the pharisees) that put laws on the Jews that weren't given by God. I don't think God commanded the people to stone this rape victim.
  14. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    This deals with rape in the sense that if she doesn't cry out (which i'm sure happens alot) she is a goner. There is some heavy adultery consequences in here as well.


    But if this thing be true, [and the tokens of] virginity be not found for the damsel:
      
      Deu 22:21   Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
      
      Deu 22:22   If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, [both] the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
      
      Deu 22:23   If a damsel [that is] a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
      
      Deu 22:24   Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, [being] in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
  15. anakin_girl Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 8, 2000
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    I am still looking for the passage on the gang-rape victim, but if you have a better concordance than I do, maybe you could find it--she was a concubine of either David or Solomon, and the passage was either in I or II Kings or I or II Chronicles.

    Here's the passage about Moses and divorce:

    Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
    "What did Moses command you?" he replied.
    "They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away."

    --Mark 10: 2-4

    Of course Jesus changed this around, to say "No divorce, period," but my point stands.

    "Jesus considered them as equals, but not as leaders. All the apostles were men, and that's because (I think anyway) that God put men in a leadership position."

    I strongly disagree with you there, and I think most of the stuff in the Bible, about treating women as second-class citizens, was a reflection of the views of men who wrote the Bible, not of God. I have a hard-time believing that God sees me as equal to men, but not a leader, or that my husband is in some kind of a leadership position over me. He is only "above" me to the point that I allow him to be.

    BTW, what I don't get about those OT passages, if they were supposed to be about "cleanliness", is, how does having sex with a woman who is having her period make a person "dirty"? Or eating pork? Or having a wet dream, or touching a guy who has had one?

    I understand the injunctions against having sex with one's mother-in-law, but some of these little minute things are ridiculous.
  16. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    May 5, 2001
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    Cydonia, that passage refers to a woman that doesn't reject the "rape". Her not "crying out" means that she didn't object, and is therefore just as guilty as the rapist.



    a_g, as the chapter goes on to say, divorce was something God gave to mankind to bring order because of their mistakes. God intended for a man and woman to be together forever.

    V. 9
    What therefore God has joined together, let no man seperate.

    That's what God intended. But remember, God intended for Adam and Eve to be in the Garden of Eden forever. But because of their choice, they had to leave, and in turn, die. God let this happen because He didn't want to force them to follow Him. But He went and payed the price for them. In the same way, divorce was an accomodation to human weakness and was used to bring order in a society that had disregarded God's will, but it was not the standard God had originally intended. The purpose of Deut 24:1(the verse where Moses gave the "ok" for the Jews to divorce) was not to make divorce acceptable, but to reduce the hardships of its consequences.


    EDIT: They're rediculous in your opinion. ;) God had a reason for the laws He gave to Moses to give to the Jews. I can understand you seeing some things the people did in the Bible as being rediculous, but those laws were given by God Himself. If you'll notice Jesus didn't object to any of the 'cleanliness laws'.

    As to the gang-rape thing, I can't find anything on it. ?[face_plain]
  17. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 6, 2001
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    Well, even if we're talking about adultery, stoning someone to death shouldn't be the first option.
  18. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    May 5, 2001
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    To be honest with you, Cydonia, I agree. But there's a verse that says God's ways are not our ways, and I believe that God was right in making this law.


    Another thing to remember that the Jews were the keepers of the Law, and they would bring the Savior of the world into the world, and God wanted them to be set apart from the morally depraved Canaanites that lived around them. It'd be like if you had two children, but you trusted one child more, and so you gave that child a responsibility. You have to put certain restrictions on that child that you wouldn't put on the other one, simply because that child has a bigger responsibility, and is supposed to be an example to your other children. God had to be a little harder on the Jews because of their role in the world's history.
  19. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 6, 2001
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    Wow. I'm not sure how to respond to that.
  20. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    Is that a compliment? Or a simple statement that you don't know how to argue my point?


    ?[face_plain] (<---- Me)
  21. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 6, 2001
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    No, i just can't believe you're saying what you are saying, the jews were special therefore stone adulterers to death. Maybe that is god's way, i hope not.
  22. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

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    May 5, 2001
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    No, they weren't special, just chosen to do a certain task. Part of that task was to be a good example to other nations. If they were allowed to do as they please, people wouldn't have accepted the Savior of world. He'd be an immoral person from a morally depraved nation. God had to keep them in line. But if you'll notice, when the Jews obeyed God, they got big rewards. The point is not what kind of punishment they get for the crime. The point is that there is a punishment for each crime, and therefore the crime should not be commited in the first place.
  23. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 6, 2001
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  24. TreeCave Jedi Master

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    Jul 28, 2001
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    In regards to the laws of Leviticus, Jesus specifically conveys that those laws are not what's important - they allow what we would now call "Sunday Christians" to fulfill a few simple, meaningless duties or abstinences and feel cozy about their salvation, without ever letting God in on any level. Jesus said - and this is the most tragically overlooked thing he said - it's not what goes INTO you that defiles (corrupts) you, it's what comes out of you. So eat unclean meat, have sex during menstruation, whatever. Have lunch with prostitutes - Jesus did. So, if you're Christian, I think you should consider the old laws informative but not necessarily reverent anymore. Jesus was the "word made flesh" and the law was nothing but the word. Salvation through Jesus is meant to be the replacement for all that.

    Disclaimer: I believe in all religions equally, and am not advocating Christianity in general, but I happen to have studied it extensively, and I think people should at least be aware of how it's MEANT to be practiced. Many are not, because they've been misguided by oversimplified teachings.

    Anakin_Girl, Paul also says that a lot of what he's writing is his own thinking, and Jesus might not have agreed with him. If you read him on that level, it's a lot easier to accept his views, or at least that was my experience.

    Cydonia, that passage refers to a woman that doesn't reject the "rape". Her not "crying out" means that she didn't object, and is therefore just as guilty as the rapist.

    "God, protect me from your followers." Good heavens, I hope you're not saying what it sounds like you're saying here. Very disturbing.
  25. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

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    Sep 10, 2001
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    Isn't it rather convenient that the people/institutions who sold us the idea of "Gods ways" vs. "free will" are generally the same people/institutions who seem to be self-appointed executors of God's will?

    It's crap, I tell you.

    ...as the prophecies they wrote down were fulfilled, or will one day be fulfilled.

    One day?

    Ok, I predict that one day... a guy named Fred will walk around in a circle ten times while reciting the alphabet. It might happen 2000, or 10,000 years from now... but if it happens, then I am right and therefore I know God!

    This line of reasoning regarding prophecies to justify the scribblings of a bunch of "old men in beards," as anakin_girl would put it, is one of the most backwards arguments ever attempted to justify the contents of the Bible. The ambiguity of the events in these prophecies and the dates within which they are supposed to happen... and their success rate is like throwing darts, while blindfolded, at a dartboard to see how many of them hit the board, much less stick to the wall.

    Furthermore, there's often the contention that "Christianity is correct because no other religion has prophecies that came true..." Of course, if you believe that, you don't know diddley-crap about other religions. However, that argument hasn't yet been made in this thread... so I won't belabor the point.

    All I am going to say, JM201, is pick another argument. All kinds of prophecies can magically come true for two reasons:

    1. Given enough time, and enough ambiguity, events will eventually happen which resemble the prophecy close enough... at least to satisfy those who so deeply want to believe that prophecy will come true. Of course most fundamentalists don't believe this for the same reason they don't believe in evolution... but there's enough evidence present in nature to see how massive probability matrixes can yield such results, given enough time. Of course, they don't understand the math of genetics, probability or chance... and instead choose to find self-justifying arguments out of the same source for which they argue.

    2. There are many self-fulfilling prophecies... such as the land of Israel. When the Jews finally did find a place they could call home, what else would they call it but Israel?

    It was already written in plain view for all the Jews to see and know... so of course they created a self-fulfilling prophecy by naming the land they settled in after what was written. Second, it's not exactly like the Jews have had it easy there... despite whatever the prophecy says about them eventually finding their place in the world. Of course that prophecy was clearly constructed as a tool to convince people to fight to protect the Jews claim, against other Hebrew factions, to what used to be the most priceless geographical location on earth.

    Naturally, one has to ask the question... If it was written that the Jews would go to Western Europe, settle in the Alps, and call that land Meshuggenopolis, wouldn't they have just sought to make that happen instead?

    If faith only requires faith, and not actual, empirical/clinical scientific analysis, why even bring up prophecies?

    If Jesus turned out to be a shoe salesman instead of the son of God, and yet still had the same words to contribute to humanity, would that make him any less special? There's no reason to attempt to prove faith... it's like trying to prove an opinion. You're not required to prove that the events of the Bible were true or came true in order to justify your beliefs.

    Ultimately, two things drive people to have to justify their beliefs:

    1. peeing contests over whose religion is right. Some psychologists might interpret this obsession as megalomania, if you subtract out the convenient, self-justifying dogma that directs some religions to proselytize. This relates directly to my second point...

    2. self-doubt - which drives the need for the "security" of knowing that all other beliefs are false. This is a pretty clear sign that you
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