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Religion
07-09-2015, 11:35 AM
Post: #301
RE: Religion
Unlike Santa or the Easter Bunny, a surprisingly large amount of people in the culture do believe in the magical sky daddy. So while most kids (of a certain age) would walk away from discussions about Santa with skepticism, the same can't be said for a belief in gods.

In addition, there's a HUGE problem with presenting kids with a hypothesis with no evidence as an equal to a scientific theory with mountains of evidence. Especially since most places that want to teach creationism next to evolution are places in the south, where, if anything, evolution would be suggested as the less reliable explanation nine times out of ten based on religious indoctrination and bias alone.

Religion doesn't belong in the science or history classroom until it has evidence. And if it had evidence, it WOULD be science/history.

Teaching religions of the world as works of fiction, however, as we do with extinct religions like the Greek gods, is fair game, though too politically incorrect for anyone to seriously consider.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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07-09-2015, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2015 12:14 PM by Truthordeal.)
Post: #302
RE: Religion
You're making a few very bold assumptions.

First of all, you're assuming that it's worthwhile or even possible to teach about "every religion" in a science class. You have to make room in a curriculum for that, and by shoehorning in creationism you're pushing out something else--something that actually deserves to be in a science class. Furthermore, do you realize how many religions there are? By the logic that you brought up, you would not only have to learn about the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism and Hinduism as the "mainstream religions," but also things as far flung as voodoo animism, Wicca or Aboriginal folk tales. Not to mention that even within religions like Christianity the cosmology isn't uniform. The Pope says the Big Bang Theory and Evolution are real. He has no trouble incorporating them into the cosmology. Guys like Jerry Falwell don't. You would also have to teach about Mormonism and it's cosmology, Jehovah's Witnesses and their cosmology, and various other minute ways that the multitude of denominations distinctly perceive the universe. And that's just Christianity. Wait until you get into the Asiatic religions and how fractured they are. The point is to be fair and equitable, but that just doesn't work. It is way too complex, and moreover it's stupid to think that all ideas get an equal weight. If you teach creationism, then you can't pick or choose what else goes into your science class.

Second, you're assuming that it's easy to use critical thinking to dismiss God, or at least as easy as it is to disprove Santa. Santa is supposed to come on Christmas and give presents. That's his entire deal. If you stay up long enough on Christmas Eve, you will never see him. Instead you'll probably see your parents do it, or, if you're like me, your parents will put the presents out weeks ahead of time and you're still dumb enough not to realize he doesn't exist until you're ten. People have traveled to the North Pole and haven't found a present factory. It's easy to finally figure out that Santa doesn't exist. It's not as easy to figure out that God doesn't. And it's even harder to disprove the idea that the world didn't just begin one day due to a deity or aliens (as in intelligent design). How do I, a normal high school student, without any access to the type of hifalutin knowledge or technology that was used to prove evolution, disprove creationism? A high school curriculum just can't cover that.

Third, you're assuming that your average high school student will actually use critical thinking and try to figure out a solution for themselves instead of absorbing whole hog what the teacher says. People are dumb. Dumb as shit. Most don't want to solve a problem or come to their own conclusion, they want to be spoon-fed information. And nowhere is this more true than in a typical high school. You've made the mistake in believing that students are actually properly interested in learning about anything. People bitch about the lack of financial education or logic in high school, not knowing that both are offered pretty much everywhere. It's just that no one takes them, and those that do don't really care to learn. All you would be doing in this situation is saying that evolution and creationism (and all of the other religions) are on equal footing. The only way that isn't the case is if you, as a teacher, say they're not. In that case, why bother presenting all sides, since you're just gonna tell them the right answer?

Finally, you're assuming that if a person was educated enough and cared enough they would come to the same conclusion as you. Not only is this hopelessly optimistic, but it's also more than a little bit condescending. If it were the case that just knowing enough would make people make the right decisions then this subject wouldn't even be up for debate. But it's not, and there are extremely well educated, passionate, critical thinkers who just think that creationism makes more sense. And no, you won't be able to convince them otherwise, no matter how much evidence you present. Because this isn't a situation of people not having all of the facts; instead, they just believe what they want to. That's going to be only more true in high school.

No creationism in science class. Period.


1Kids Wrote:Teaching religions of the world as works of fiction, however, as we do with extinct religions like the Greek gods, is fair game, though too politically incorrect for anyone to seriously consider.

We've had this conversation on the word "fiction" before. But in any case, most school curricula do that. You'll usually read the beginning of Genesis in a Brit Lit/English 4 class, as a study of the King James Bible. If you're in a World Lit class you'll probably read parts of the Qu'ran and the Old Testament. Of course in History classes they're treated as non-fiction sources, but the purpose and process remains the same.

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07-09-2015, 12:56 PM
Post: #303
RE: Religion
(07-09-2015 12:09 PM)Truthordeal Wrote:  You're making a few very bold assumptions.
Understatement of the year. Smile
Honestly, this is more of a thought experiment than a solidified belief as - like you go on to mention - there are hundreds of issues with introducing religion into the science class. I'm a realist at the end of the day, and the idyllic results I'd love to have in the classroom are exceptionally far-fetched. That said, I do have to disagree with you over one point:
(07-09-2015 12:09 PM)Truthordeal Wrote:  Finally, you're assuming that if a person was educated enough and cared enough they would come to the same conclusion as you. Not only is this hopelessly optimistic, but it's also more than a little bit condescending. If it were the case that just knowing enough would make people make the right decisions then this subject wouldn't even be up for debate. But it's not, and there are extremely well educated, passionate, critical thinkers who just think that creationism makes more sense. And no, you won't be able to convince them otherwise, no matter how much evidence you present. Because this isn't a situation of people not having all of the facts; instead, they just believe what they want to. That's going to be only more true in high school.
It's not that I want people to draw the same conclusions I have drawn, it's more that I want opinions challenged. I don't think you can challenge religious opinions solely on scientific ground - as rigorous and accurate as it is. I realize I'm biased based on my own personal experience, but I found my own criticism of religion stemmed more from analyzing why I didn't believe in the Native "Turtle Theory" of the World, which in turn prompted me to wonder why all other religions were considered "wrong" or why there was so much difference between Christians and Jews. These were thoughts I was having at age 8.

I'm not saying that I'm special, I just think we're all demanding answers from the get go. When we're presented with a bevvy of possibilities from the start, I think it exposes people to critical thinking. And while I don't think religion should be presented on equal footing to science, from my own personal experience - where it was presented as "Science History" - I simply can't object to it being taught in classes. At least, in theory.

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07-09-2015, 05:45 PM
Post: #304
RE: Religion
I went to a public school in my primary years, and then went on to a catholic private high school, but in Australia we do teach the predominant (White) religion, although there was a little bit of Shinto and Buddhism here and there. the thing is though, they are not taught in the science classroom. they were their own class called RE: Religious Education. It was just like a normal class and because of it, I figured out I was an atheist long before I graduated to high school.

Again, I went to a Private Catholic High School, and weirdly enough, we didn't have RE any more. Evolution ETC was taught in Science. the most religious we got was a morning prayer in Home Room which was pretty much dropped by the time I got to year 10. at Year 10 people can choose their own electives, and a choice between philosophy or religion was to be chosen, and while I did choose philosophy friends of mine who picked religion told me that it was very broad based and not focused on Catholicism and it's brothers and sisters.

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07-09-2015, 06:54 PM
Post: #305
RE: Religion
Based on spritestuffs post, I retract my previous opinion. I think what I felt was that religious studies can help inform our scientific queries as they present human based solutions. Through informing ourselves of them, they provide us a great means of challenging our ideals be us theists, spiritualists or atheists. However, I was wrong in saying that they belong in the science classroom, they just have a place in school. You don't teach French in an English class, you don't teach religion in science.

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07-09-2015, 07:51 PM
Post: #306
RE: Religion
But you at some point teach history in everything. Veni vidi vici.

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11-26-2015, 08:23 AM (This post was last modified: 11-27-2015 11:00 PM by The.Radicle.Boys.)
Post: #307
RE: Religion
(07-09-2015 11:35 AM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  Unlike Santa or the Easter Bunny, a surprisingly large amount of people in the culture do believe in the magical sky daddy. So while most kids (of a certain age) would walk away from discussions about Santa with skepticism, the same can't be said for a belief in gods.

As far as atheism goes you'd think the best atheist argument would be the most scientific thing you'd ever hear but I was really dissapointed to find out that it's completely the opposite. It's that of ridicule. Their best argument is to compare the idea of a higher trancendent to Santa or Easter Bunny, something that we know for sure that we made up to entertain little kids.

(07-09-2015 11:35 AM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  In addition, there's a HUGE problem with presenting kids with a hypothesis with no evidence as an equal to a scientific theory with mountains of evidence. Especially since most places that want to teach creationism next to evolution are places in the south, where, if anything, evolution would be suggested as the less reliable explanation nine times out of ten based on religious indoctrination and bias alone.

That's a "HUGE" exaggeration. There are as many creationists in the US as there are westboro Baptist church-tier funeral picketers, if not lesser. I'd suggest you stop reading too much Gawker & Co. Media. I don't think I've ever met a single creationist in my entire life so far. The last fear-mongering article I read was by Slate that went something along the lines of "Literally all the states are funding their school to teach your kids creationism" and then they listed every single school that went so far as to mention the word in their curriculum.

(07-09-2015 11:35 AM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  Religion doesn't belong in the science or history classroom until it has evidence. And if it had evidence, it WOULD be science/history.

That's right boys and girls, religion has nothing to do with science OR history! Not like it played a major role in forming a fair bit of both of them.

On a more serious note. Science was founded on religious practices. Anyone who's passed highschool can tell you that. Even your lord and savior Richard Dawkins isn't going to deny that.

(07-09-2015 11:35 AM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  Teaching religions of the world as works of fiction, however, as we do with extinct religions like the Greek gods, is fair game, though too politically incorrect for anyone to seriously consider.

Your sentence construction gave me a headache, but I finally made sense of this.

If religion was entirely a work of fiction then it wouldn't be the most highly demanded field for historians to study in this decade.

"Oh your god is just a grey-bearded tooth fairy"
"Oh no you pray to grey-bearded santa just to feel better about your sad life lol"

I don't know how many times I've heard arrogant fedoras with zero sense of self-awareness repeat these same "arguments" over and over.

As a side note, I think it's by all means possible to learn about evolution and intelligent creation at the same time. Since, Evolution teaches us about the mechanism and the theory of intelligent creation teaches us about the agency. However I don't think it's a good idea for it to be taught at schools because God, soul, spirituality etc. are usually discovered through the means of self-discovery.
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11-26-2015, 04:43 PM
Post: #308
RE: Religion
(11-26-2015 08:23 AM)The.Radicle.Boys Wrote:  On a more serious note. Science was founded on religious practices. Anyone who's passed highschool can tell you that. Even your lord and savior Richard Dawkins isn't going to deny that.

Anyone who's passed high school can also tell me that Christopher Columbus was like Hitler and killed off millions of Indians. They'd be wrong too, because they lack the nuance and understanding of what exactly they're talking about. Your statement is really too broad to actually have any truth value, which is a problem that most people on the Internet end up having when discussing anything more sophisticated than a box of macaroni. What do you mean by "science?" What do you mean by "religious practices?" Are you implying that there's a link between Jesus' crucifixion and Richard Dawkins saying that the crucifixion is rubbish? This is all stuff that needs to be defined properly before you can have any sort of meaningful discussion.

But I'll get off of the semantic nonsense since I'm pretty sure I know what you mean through context. The science that we know today, the kind practiced by our Lord and Savior Richard Dawkins, wasn't founded on "religious practices." At least, unless you have a very liberal definition of what a religious practice is. Some say that seeing the Virgin Mary in toast is a religious practice, and who am I to argue their completely subjective experience? Anyway, "science" is a term that doesn't really come into play until the Enlightenment. Before then, a better word for it was "natural philosophy," i.e., the stuff that both Pythagoras and Issac Newton did. This is completely separate from the type of work that, say, Thomas Aquinas did in determining the teleological argument for the existence of God. The stuff that the folks like Pythagoras and Newton did wasn't religious, it was secular. They weren't trying to explain occurrences through the lens of a specific theological framework. They used their own senses (and tons of math) to explain phenomena around them. They weren't trying to prove that God, even a Greek "god" existed.

Science spawned from this type of inquiry, mixed with Lockean empiricism. Now, had you said that religious people were the first "scientists" then absolutely! Copernicus was a priest, after all. Up until very recently most mainstream religious types had no problem with squaring their faith and the products of their research.

(11-26-2015 08:23 AM)The.Radicle.Boys Wrote:  If religion was entirely a work of fiction then it wouldn't be the most highly demanded field for historians to study in this decade.

I'd like to know where you're pulling this data from. I have no trouble believing it, but I doubt you're making that claim in good faith so I have to be skeptical. Even if that is the case, it's probably not for the reasons you're implying. First of all, religious history does not mean history of just Christianity or the Bible, it means the history of religion in general, all religions, even animist cults. Second, religious/church history isn't popular because people are compelled by their religious beliefs or by the power of religion in the past to study it. Rather, chances are that people are studying church history in the past decade due to current modern events.

Let me give you an example. Right now, the two most demanded geographic areas that universities are hiring for are China and the Middle East. Why? Because the Middle East has been the focus of the United States' foreign policy since 2001, and China has been our focus economically since the nineties. People want to learn about these things, so universities need more professors, so more people study them in order to get jobs at universities. Supply and demand.

Church history is in a similar trend. The Middle East has gotten a lot of people interested in Islam and it's history; we've had two Popes die or resign in the past ten years; the scandal of Catholic priest child abuse has made people very wary of the church; the rise of fundamentalism all over the world, including Japan, China, the Middle East and the United States has made people more aware of religion's place in the public sphere; the various "revolutions" in gender, race and social issues has always had a confrontation or assistance with religious authorities; the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is in two years. There's a lot of ways that religion influences our society, so naturally people's interest in it's history is going to be prevalent.

None of that has anything to do, however, with the truth value of the Bible or Christian teachings, anymore than the recent upsurge in interest of the Qu'ran means that Islam is the truest religion.


For what it's worth though, 1Kids is still wrong about the Bible being fictional. It, the Qu'ran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, all are non-fiction, even if really only one of them can be considered "true." The Iliad and the Odyssey are fictional though, because they were plays that happened to have gods as central characters. They're not sacred texts. They're still highly studied by classicists, however.

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11-28-2015, 02:09 AM (This post was last modified: 11-28-2015 02:12 AM by The.Radicle.Boys.)
Post: #309
RE: Religion
(11-26-2015 04:43 PM)Truthordeal Wrote:  Anyone who's passed high school can also tell me that Christopher Columbus was like Hitler and killed off millions of Indians. They'd be wrong too, because they lack the nuance and understanding of what exactly they're talking about. Your statement is really too broad to actually have any truth value, which is a problem that most people on the Internet end up having when discussing anything more sophisticated than a box of macaroni.

To argue, I'd have to go into a deep discussion about the origin of science and weird religious practices. So I'll willingly concede from this arguemnt for now.

(11-26-2015 04:43 PM)Truthordeal Wrote:  I'd like to know where you're pulling this data from. I have no trouble believing it, but I doubt you're making that claim in good faith so I have to be skeptical.

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2009...ha-survey/

There is no bad faith. I don't have a dog in the fight, I'm not religious. I'm only stating what there is.


(11-26-2015 04:43 PM)Truthordeal Wrote:  Even if that is the case, it's probably not for the reasons you're implying. First of all, religious history does not mean history of just Christianity or the Bible, it means the history of religion in general, all religions, even animist cults. Second, religious/church history isn't popular because people are compelled by their religious beliefs or by the power of religion in the past to study it. Rather, chances are that people are studying church history in the past decade due to current modern events.

I have little to no idea why people just seem to assume that I'm on this holy quest to defend christianity from evil non-believers. I never mentioned christianity in my post. Neither am I a christian. I'm just trying to combat bad arguments with facts. Most historians take most of what the bible's, Q'uran's, Vedas' account of history quite seriously. Every Historian I've ever met has explicitly stated that the existence of Jesus is beyond doubt factual. Saying that it's complete works of fiction is empirically and factually incorrect.

You seem to assume that I have an ulterior motive for making these statements aside from the fact that I want to point out abhorrently overstated and incorrect arguments. If you think that what I've stated is misleading or incorrect please state so.
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11-28-2015, 02:30 AM
Post: #310
RE: Religion
(11-28-2015 02:09 AM)The.Radicle.Boys Wrote:  Every Historian I've ever met has...

So... like two?

The whole Jesus the son of god existing is still up for debate, and is rather contentious, with the average opinion being "eh, there probably was a guy called Jesus" (Dr Micheal Shermer)

At the end of the day, it's very hard to find real evidence of a historical biblical Jesus, considering that all the things he "Drew power" from, they can factually prove false. for example the Moses story. there is not one single scrap of evidence for the entire thing! A man leading a entire legion of slaves for forty years, and they can't even find a dirty cup to prove it.

I think there are a few letters to Romans saying they saw a dude named Jesus here or there, but that is really circumstantial, and only proves the name Jesus existed back then. They also reckon they found Jesus Tomb. the proof? it kinda looked like the vague cave description and it didn't have a dead Jesus in it. (Because he was resurrected!) So yeah... you can throw that one out pretty quickly.

At the end of the day, Jesus was a young dude that said his dad was god. people wouldn't have payed attention to him unless he really could perform miracles. and there's absolutely no reason to realistically believe he did. So why would they write about Jesus 40 years after his death? (I might need to fact check that one). Because they were Joseph Smithing the whole deal. they needed a Bible part 2 to suit their updated lifestyle and they needed a protagonist.

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11-28-2015, 09:58 AM
Post: #311
RE: Religion
(11-28-2015 02:30 AM)spritestuff Wrote:  At the end of the day, it's very hard to find real evidence of a historical biblical Jesus, considering that all the things he "Drew power" from, they can factually prove false. for example the Moses story. there is not one single scrap of evidence for the entire thing! A man leading a entire legion of slaves for forty years, and they can't even find a dirty cup to prove it.

That's not really all that uncommon for super-ancient sources though. You have to bear in mind that the Exodus supposedly happened between 1440 and 1270 BC. That's over 3000 years ago! Most ancient sources, Greek, Roman, Persian, don't exist anymore. We have something like 1% of what we know existed during these periods that we could've used as evidence, with the other 99% disappearing due to war, revolution, or just being super old.

Though you're right on the Exodus; the current consensus view is that there's no evidence of the Israelis being in Egypt at the time, and the only sources are inscriptions in monuments, which are obviously really unreliable. Turning that to the historical Jesus though, you were right in the beginning: Most historians accept the idea that there was a Jew named Jesus who lived in Galilee and went to Jerusalem to preach and was executed by crucifixion by the Roman governor there. The Pharisees were real people, Roman records confirm that they existed as judges in Roman controlled Jerusalem, and a lot of the context is considered true.

Tying this back into the ancient evidence bit, there are two non-Gospel sources that confirm he existed: Tacitus, from whom we get most of our understanding of the Roman world, and Josephus, who wrote mostly about Jerusalem under the Romans. Both of these guys were writing in the second century AD, so they would have been talking about Jesus 70-100 years after he was executed. That is problematic, yes, but this is the type of "primary source" that we have to rely on when it comes to the ancient world. Otherwise we have to throw out pretty much everything we do have, making a lot of the archeology that we've been able to draw data from unusable.

To give another example of an ancient figure we just kind of have to assume was real, there was a British queen named Boudica who lived around 40-60 AD. She was most famous for fighting the Roman dominion over the British Isles, and the one really valid source we have on her is from the very same Tacitus mentioned earlier. Tacitus' father, Agricola, was a military figure during the attack on Boudica's Britain, so there's probably some inherent bias there. But he's all we have to go on.

I'm bringing this all up because what you said here:

(11-28-2015 02:30 AM)spritestuff Wrote:  So why would they write about Jesus 40 years after his death? (I might need to fact check that one). Because they were Joseph Smithing the whole deal. they needed a Bible part 2 to suit their updated lifestyle and they needed a protagonist.

Is absolutely ridiculous. You're ignoring any sort of context of the period, and half-assedly throwing out the baby with the bathwater because you think they were "Joseph Smithing" it. There has been more ink spilled about the New Testament, it's authenticity, it's source usage, it's terminology, than even Shakespeare. There is too much material to go over in explaining the Gospels and the Pauline letters, so I'm not going to bother. Here are some very non-esoteric reasons why the Gospels were written so long after the execution of Christ:

1) Some were written before. Biblical scholars believe that most of the gospels were written using the Gospel of Mark (~70 AD) as a source basis, along with an unidentified document referred to as Q. Luke confirms this at the beginning of his Gospel:

Quote:"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."

Long story short, there is evidence of earlier accounts of Jesus' teachings that haven't made it to modern day, such as is the case with most ancient sources.

2) Most of the disciples would have been illiterate.

3) Most of the disciples were being persecuted. This was the case for most of the "mystery cults" that sprang up in Rome.

4) Both Simon Peter and Paul were killed in the 60s AD, and around 70 AD there was a Jewish revolt that was viciously put down. Before then, there was no practical purpose in writing down their experiences, because...

5) Judaism, even from the Old Testament era, is heavily based around an oral tradition. To give a very quick example, the Book of Deuteronomy was supposedly transcribed from Moses' mouth on his death bed. The actual book itself wasn't put together until the 6th century BC. The oral tradition was strong enough that the teachings lasted for generations, until they stopped being followed and a book had to be made.

For the record, none of this in anyway means that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah and that the Judeochristian religions are true. These are the historical bases that we have in asserting whether or not they existed, and yes it is generally believed that there's just too much hooplah surrounding this Jesus dude that it makes more sense for there to be a Jesus than for there not to be one. We can't claim this as absolute fact, because there's no such thing in ancient history, but we're as confident in those as we are in anything else that we can gleam about the ancient world. It's also accepted that the Gospel writers were writing in good faith about their experiences with Jesus; there's absolutely no reason to assume otherwise.

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11-28-2015, 10:47 PM
Post: #312
RE: Religion
(11-28-2015 02:30 AM)spritestuff Wrote:  So... like two?

No like... a lot more than two.

(11-28-2015 02:30 AM)spritestuff Wrote:  The whole Jesus the son of god existing is still up for debate, and is rather contentious, with the average opinion being "eh, there probably was a guy called Jesus" (Dr Micheal Shermer)

Coming from someone who's completely anti-religion it's not a very strong argument. The fact that Jesus existed is not up for debate. Even if you exclude the bible there are too many historical accounts. (For good Eg. check Jesus lived in India by Holger Kersten). No prominent historian disagrees that Jesus did not exist. Jesus definitely existed. The thing that is up for debate is that if he was actually the son of god. And that's a completely different discussion.
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12-03-2015, 02:57 PM
Post: #313
RE: Religion
I think it's actually pretty great that there are atheists in this thread who are trying to make the claim that Jesus of Nazareth wasn't a real person.

I mean, like Truth said, the accounts of Josephus and Tacitus are both non christian accounts from around the time, and the claims of Tacitus in particular are striking because he was a ROMAN senator who would have seen the Christians, and therefore Christ, to be a menace. It makes no sense for him as an individual to write something so negatively about them, if what he's saying is just Christian propaganda.

Whether Jesus/Yeshua was a real person isn't really debatable. There were plenty of people doing the exact same thing around the same time wasn't unheard of. He has accounts of people both on his side and against him, making the claim that he exists.

I mean, for all accounts, there is better sourcing of Jesus than there is of the Sea People of Antiquity, and it's almost certainly true that they existed as well.

You forget how much history was lost at the fall of Rome, and the burning of the Library at Alexandria.

Ultimately, I have the libertarian viewpoint of religion. I don't care what you do. Don't drag me into it. Let me do me, and you do you. Also, it's easier to believe that you have choice if you believe in something spiritual, otherwise you're a preprogrammed meat computer.

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12-03-2015, 09:30 PM
Post: #314
RE: Religion
(12-03-2015 02:57 PM)xerostyle Wrote:  Also, it's easier to believe that you have choice if you believe in something spiritual, otherwise you're a preprogrammed meat computer.

This alone kept and keeps me from turning into an atheist/non-theist/anti-theist. I refuse to accept the demoralizing proposition that I have no autonomy, no liberty, no worth, that life is a purposeless video game with no respawn upon death and a meaningless score that awards nothing to the "achiever," that life can be boiled down to a glorified, grand set of no more than chemical reactions within and between sacks of cells.

There are many days where I question the logic of faith and belief in a God, the stories in the Bible, humanity's place and purpose in the universe, and the inability to prove His existence; but not a day passes when I wish determinism were the truth. I find no comfort in that nihilism.

You are what you put your time into.

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12-04-2015, 03:17 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2015 03:17 AM by spritestuff.)
Post: #315
RE: Religion
That's why so many atheists are hard drug users.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_drug_addiction



(This is a joke. I thought this was funny. I am not making any point)

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12-04-2015, 08:14 AM
Post: #316
RE: Religion
I know it was a joke, but seriously, if you don't believe in anything, you're accepting the fact that your body and choices aren't real, and they're just a series of chemical and physical reactions that were predetermined from the very beginning of time, via the big bang.

It's hard to really say "All that other stuff is fake, but my decisions and perceptions surely aren't just another extension of chemistry and physics that are precluded by the big bang."

Sure religion might be deluding myself at that point, but as nihilistic as I am, I'm fairly certain that I do have agency over my actions, so there has to be something metaphysical in this world, be it spirits, gods, or what have you.

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12-04-2015, 03:48 PM
Post: #317
RE: Religion
Or maybe we are meat computers programmed to behave in reaction to certain things that occur, and that code is built up by all the events and missed hugs that happened over all that's been done to us in our lifetime.

But still, almost all things that happen are random. Earthquakes, hurricanes, Dad being at work all the time, because his dad was on vacation all the time because his dad was ashamed at him for skipping out on WW2.

Sure we may be programmed, but our programming was coded in a unique way by other unique code that was programmed by etc etc. There's something kinda nifty about that. But there's also comfort in that because we are all "programmed" it means we all want to feel love and we all want to be apart of something bigger than ourselves. I take comfort in that.

But hey, maybe I was programmed to.

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12-05-2015, 12:39 AM
Post: #318
RE: Religion
To really get down to it though, that means nothing, because at the end of the day the illusion of choice exists. Without some kind of intrinsic, separate otherworldly spark, you're just a machine of inputs and outputs, albeit a complicated one that's difficult to understand. If that's the case, nothing is truly random, it's all just perceived to be because of our limited perception of the universe. Without some kind of intrinsic soul or diety or what have you, your decisions truly aren't your own, they were predetermined at the origin of the universe, a play written by the rapid spin of stardust and it's ever marching decay.

Essentially it is just an avenue of saying "my decisions are not my own, and destiny, as asinine as it sounds is absolute."

Realistically, if you look in the mirror, and at everything science has found, how can you see your experiences as anything other than the collective reactions waiting to dissipate into entropy?

I mean, unbelieving of a supernatural soul or a diety, can you truly say that any decisions you make are your own? Can you truly say, in the face of all physics, chemistry, logic, and mathematics, that your decisions are your own, and not complex chemical reactions that move your arms for you, predetermined at the inception of the universe?

It's an issue that bothers me a lot. Especially as I get older.

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12-05-2015, 01:31 AM
Post: #319
RE: Religion
Well, to be a real asshole about, I think therefore I am.
That one really came to me when I was giving your post a ponder. Do I think everything was all planned out from the start? nope. far too many variables. especially when you have bugs and cats and shit to consider. but it's confusing the hell out of me. surely that must mean I have some kind of free mind, if it'll allowing me to feel like an idiot for a few moments.

But what's the difference between a programmed response and a "Freely willed one" If you punch a preacher in the nose I'm pretty sure he's going to sat ow. and then hopefully forgive me. I feel like you're not appreciating chaos in the folds of programming a human. To get to the point, maybe we're programmed at birth to have 3 bits of code. but our responses to each one of those things makes our code longer, until eventually we have full blown A.I. seriously line up a group of babies, they'll all do the same shit. you have to learn free will.

But more on the spiritual place of other things, what was the spiritual purpose of the fly you threw a shoe at? what was the point of your dog growing up. the idea that a spiritual entity had any kind of focus on them perplexes me but it added to your code. made you more of a real person. but let's face it, free will is the most bullshit thing to think about. Either you have it, and it doesn't matter, or you don't have it, and nothing matters.

You should be spending your time thinking about butts.

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Now that's a good butt.

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12-05-2015, 03:26 PM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2015 03:28 PM by 1KidsEntertainment.)
Post: #320
RE: Religion
Y'all are barely scraping the basics of the Free Will discussion, which, while related to religion, is a separate philosophical question altogether. I'm not against having that discussion, but it probably deserves its own thread. Otherwise you're all just trying to summarize it into a single post each. It's so much more complicated than that, and it's something philosophers have thought about for a long, long time.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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