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  #261  
Old 21.01.2011, 11:52
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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I don’t think it is fair that you should use GWB as a representative example of Christianity.
Not GWB, his father, George Bush. A well-respected man to this day. He just happens to regard 15% of his population with disdain, no biggie.
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Old 21.01.2011, 11:52
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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[FONT=Verdana][COLOR=black]I don’t think it is fair that you should use GWB as a representative example of Christianity.
Is JP2 a better representative?

Who killed more people?
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  #263  
Old 21.01.2011, 11:57
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

@ Daboy... oh why bother...

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Not GWB, his father, George Bush. A well-respected man to this day. He just happens to regard 15% of his population with disdain, no biggie.


OK, him too. Well-respected by whom?

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Is JP2 a better representative?

Who killed more people?
Dunno, but I'm sure you are going to tell me.
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  #264  
Old 21.01.2011, 12:00
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

It's funny... I used to find Richard Dawkins quite offensive when I was an atheist.

Now I'm no longer an atheist, I just find him amusing.

Why kill people when you can just take the mick out of them? That's much more satisfying.
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Old 21.01.2011, 12:01
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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Dunno, but I'm sure you are going to tell me.
I'm just not sure given JP's stance on HIV and the effect that had in Africa, not to mention the child abuse issues, that he's a particularly good representative for what claims to be a religion of love. Catholicism is quite keen on sins of omission, no?
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Old 21.01.2011, 12:02
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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What I've always found puzzling about religion isn't basic faith in a deity (or whatever). It's how you can make the leap from that simple belief to a range of other beliefs, from certain texts being the 'word of God' or some individuals (the Pope) having a direct line to God. Or being certain that God wants us to behave in certain ways, e.g not being gay.
Yeah, I always wondered how anybody who studied history could possibly be religious. I think most US colleges require two survey courses on world history as a requirement for any arts degree. It's so obvious how contrived and arbitrary Christianity is, for example. They had regular meetings where they would just make crap up. All documented by themselves.

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In Christianity the other thing that gets my goat is the language or lordship and praise. Even if You did create us, are You so insecure that You need all that affirmation? Do biologists stare down into their petri dishes longing for hymns from their cultures?
They think it's necessary for a positive social order. Also, It passes time and cultivates discipline, and opens wallets.
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Old 21.01.2011, 12:04
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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GG earlier suggested that one can disassociate personal abuse from abuse of a belief. Well, I'm sorry if it is news to you, but in the case of religion, this is very hard, as this is a very personal thing. With this in mind, I've usually found that atheists, from the most moderate to the hard core amongst them, really aren't interested in faith. They love nothing more than a good faith-bash. They just want to poke fun and ridicule. Look at the start of this thread for example. Can't really think of a better example.
It's really hard to walk on eggshells and try to not offend people when you ultimately think that they're wrong to be offended in the first place. You can still be civil with people despite thinking that they're completely wrong on some things. I sympathize with theists. I mean, nobody wants to be alone in the universe or for there to be nothing after they die. But I draw a blank when I try to find a nice word for strongly believing in things that aren't at all likely to exist. I think faith is a delusion, I can't really mince words about that. That said, I don't see why I can't get along with religious people any more than I can't get along with, say, people who think the Twilight movies are good and romantic, since I think both are just as deluded.
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Old 21.01.2011, 12:09
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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It's really hard to walk on eggshells and try to not offend people when you ultimately think that they're wrong to be offended in the first place. You can still be civil with people despite thinking that they're completely wrong on some things. I sympathize with theists. I mean, nobody wants to be alone in the universe or for there to be nothing after they die. But I draw a blank when I try to find a nice word for strongly believing in things that aren't at all likely to exist. I think faith is a delusion, I can't really mince words about that. That said, I don't see why I can't get along with religious people any more than I can't get along with, say, people who think the Twilight movies are good and romantic, since I think both are just as deluded.
But could anybody possibly get along with someone who thought the Hitchhiker's movie was "pretty good," and not a sick and twisted insult to Mr Adams?
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Old 21.01.2011, 12:14
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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It's funny... I used to find Richard Dawkins quite offensive when I was an atheist.

Now I'm no longer an atheist, I just find him amusing.

Why kill people when you can just take the mick out of them? That's much more satisfying.
If you think he's amusing you should check out some Hitchens! He's a lot more offensive, plus a lot more articulate and witty. Granted he isn't an actual scientist.

Last edited by daboy; 21.01.2011 at 12:15. Reason: added a sentence.
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  #270  
Old 21.01.2011, 12:15
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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It's really hard to walk on eggshells and try to not offend people when you ultimately think that they're wrong to be offended in the first place. You can still be civil with people despite thinking that they're completely wrong on some things. I sympathize with theists. I mean, nobody wants to be alone in the universe or for there to be nothing after they die. But I draw a blank when I try to find a nice word for strongly believing in things that aren't at all likely to exist. I think faith is a delusion, I can't really mince words about that. That said, I don't see why I can't get along with religious people any more than I can't get along with, say, people who think the Twilight movies are good and romantic, since I think both are just as deluded.
I don't expect you to walk on eggshells. You are free to say that I'm deluded. I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem is usually the bit that comes after... "... and your dumb for thinking it...".

In itself, I don't have an issue with people calling me dumb - I went to an RC boarding school. I've had to cope with worse () - it is the arrogance, if that's the right word, that goes with it. I'm not sure it is the right word, but I can't think of it right now.

I find affiliations to a particular sporting team or nationality somewhat delutional with respect to them "representing" you. But I don't go round telling people they are wrong for thinking it. I accept it and move on, in a way that I find some people cannot when it comes to religious belief (for that matter on both sides of the equation!).
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  #271  
Old 21.01.2011, 12:16
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

It's hard to believe that two people could be more different than a Muslim who had perfected a purification ritual in a lake in Mali and Yamabushi Buddhist praying under a waterfall in Japan.

However, both life turns, without question, around the same axes: a higher power, supernatural and non-earthly. God. Faith is global. It is, like language, in all cultures. And scientists alike seek to unravel the principles of universal grammar and religiosity. My question would be: Why do we need faith? Do we need faith? In what should we have faith?

Pope, a star? Yes, because our contemporaries, regardless of age, sex or social affiliation, yearn myths and rituals, as the authority and authenticity as a guiding figure and a project space for trust and truth.

As the personification of the most powerful spiritual authority, the pope emphasized the need to meet people with dignity and "unity in word and deed". As peak representative of the Catholic Church, the oldest global institution in the world, responds to their longing cultic veneration.
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  #272  
Old 21.01.2011, 12:17
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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If you think he's amusing you should check out some Hitchens! He's a lot more offensive, plus a lot more articulate and witty. Granted he isn't an actual scientist.
Which Hitchens? The annoying attention-seeking one, or his even more annoying attention-seeking brother?

They're like the Mitfords for the 21st century.
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  #273  
Old 21.01.2011, 12:27
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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Which Hitchens? The annoying attention-seeking one, or his even more annoying attention-seeking brother?

They're like the Mitfords for the 21st century.
lollies. Christopher. Actually his brother is religious. Hence the feud.
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  #274  
Old 21.01.2011, 12:30
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

I've no problem getting on with people who have a strong faith- as long as they don't expect to have a vast influence on the Government, laws, education and ethics of the country I live in. As long as they don't tell me how to live my life and what I can and cannot do. Laws should be based on human decency and common sense - not on somebody's book - especially if it is no longer representative of the beliefs and aspirations of people- and cause mayhem and wars between families, communities and nations.

Respect and tolerance cannot be limited to the 'correct side'. WHICH corrrect side? Or limited to religious groups. As a non-believer with a strong moral framework, I am entitled to the same respect and tolerance.

Bush may not be a good example of Christianity - but many in the US (and elsewhere) are Christians to uphold a socio-political system and culture as against another. Look at Ireland for instance. I know people in the US and in many countries who go to Church regularly to up-hold their social values, but who clearly, when asked, do NOT 'believe' at all. Same in UK or indeed CH (like all those in UK who suddenly develop a strong faith when it comes to school selection for their children for instance - or want to get married in a pretty Church).

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  #275  
Old 21.01.2011, 12:56
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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That said, many atheists I come across IRL put the fact that they don't believe in (a) God at the centre of their lives in a perverse or ironic kind of way, kinda like "look at me, look at me, I'm free because I don't believe in God, look at me, aren't I great and clever!".
To be fair, many theists can have a similar smug air, fundamental or not, a smugness from thinking they know something more, but don't feel they have to justify it with explanation and demonstration.

But also annoying is that we're always atheist to theists, and that atheism is therefore a religion. Calling a christian a theist doesn't really tell you anything about what they believe, and many things said about atheism are akin to me ascribing the particular philoshy of one sect of one religion and saying that as one theist believes it, all theists believe it.

Probably most atheists are humanists, however, when many theists start wandering about what atheists belieive, they just start assuming we're nihilist evilotiounists seeking to turn the world into a dystopian mad max free for all world.
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  #276  
Old 21.01.2011, 13:09
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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I accept it and move on, in a way that I find some people cannot when it comes to religious belief (for that matter on both sides of the equation!).
Hi Carlos,

Please accept the following as honest questions . . . I'm not trying to make rhetorical points or criticise. I can understand simple belief in God. That's a clear example of faith and one can look at faith as irreducible (arguably).

But what leads you to belief in Christianity, in particular Catholicism? How can you justify belief that the Bible is the word of God or that the Pope is God's representative on Earth? How do you think these things came about? You may not be a 'religious nutjob', but you do have to believe not only in God's direct influence on people's minds, but also that you can accurately recognise that.

BTW - Your characterisation of falsifiability in science is incomplete. While it's true that scientific fact has the status of unfalsified hypothesis, it's important in that it should be in principle falsifiable. It's not clear how you could falsify belief in God, so it's quite different from scientific belief.
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Old 21.01.2011, 13:10
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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To be fair, many theists can have a similar smug air, fundamental or not, a smugness from thinking they know something more, but don't feel they have to justify it with explanation and demonstration.
Didn't I subsequently say that there are pricks on both sides of the equation? I cannot explain my faith. I can tell you what I think/believe, and even why, but I don't expect you to believe what I believe, but at the same time, neither do I feel I have to justify it - why should I have to if it doesn't affect you?

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But also annoying is that we're always atheist to theists, and that atheism is therefore a religion. Calling a christian a theist doesn't really tell you anything about what they believe, and many things said about atheism are akin to me ascribing the particular philoshy of one sect of one religion and saying that as one theist believes it, all theists believe it.

Probably most atheists are humanists, however, when many theists start wandering about what atheists belieive, they just start assuming we're nihilist evilotiounists seeking to turn the world into a dystopian mad max free for all world.
But I don't believe that atheism is a religion. I said it was a belief system - GG elaborated nicely on what I was trying to say. TBH day-to-day I don't really care that much what atheists believe or what motivates them, not because I believe myself "above" it all, just because to me it is a non-issue. The basis of most major religions is "live and let live", which is something that I try to adhere to.
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  #278  
Old 21.01.2011, 13:17
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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The basis of most major religions is "live and let live"
Really?

I mean, really really?!
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Old 21.01.2011, 13:24
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

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The basis of most major religions is "live and let live".
..Amalekites....
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Old 21.01.2011, 13:52
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Re: Pope on Fast Track to Sainthood

Without chapter and verse and actual face-to-face discussion, these are practically impossible to explain (never mind that I also have an appraisal in 8 mins to prepare for...)

But here goes...

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But what leads you to belief in Christianity, in particular Catholicism?
I was raised RC, so it kinda stays with you.

But, I've studied religion up to A level, so have, I believe, a relatively broad understanding of most religions, if not the detail.

My main conclusion is that the differences between the main single God religions is so small as to be practically neglible in terms of their premise - application of course varies wildly!

I'm very loosely RC - I'm sure my parents pray for me. It is my Church, but I don't stick to all the rituals, and I too find some of the language (that you alluded to) odd at times, but hey, rough with the smooth. For the rest we have confession

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How can you justify belief that the Bible is the word of God or that the Pope is God's representative on Earth?
I don't believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God. Rather, I believe it is a guide that should be translated to a humanitarian (for want of the right word) level and the world we live in today.

I don't believe that there's a guy in a white beard above the clouds, nor that there is a bloke in red with little horns and trident below the earth.

As an aside, as a Christian, one should differentiate between OT & NT. OT has - or should have - much less of an impact than NT.

Pope as God's man on earth. Dunno. He is that man, to me, and sometimes you disconnect with what our "leaders" might be saying. I try not to follow what people tell me blindly, unless they are a Basel police officer. At times, I see a good man trying to do his best and "hold it together". At other times, I see the mistakes and shake my head in dispair.

I believe in the Sanctity of the Church. I fear the influence of Man.

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How do you think these things came about?
How did these things come about? Not sure what you are referring to by "these things" - it is a bit of broad term/question!

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You may not be a 'religious nutjob', but you do have to believe not only in God's direct influence on people's minds, but also that you can accurately recognise that.
If I've understood your question, no you don't. The way I was taught this was that we do have free will. God knows what you are going to do, but it is still your choice. Neat get out, heh?

I do believe that some people think that they have been spoken to by God. Some of those people go on to do great things. Others the most terrible things. I think people hear what they want to hear - this is probably a universal truth outside of religion. Just like you decide on an action within the first millisecond then spend an age justifying it.

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BTW - Your characterisation of falsifiability in science is incomplete. While it's true that scientific fact has the status of unfalsified hypothesis, it's important in that it should be in principle falsifiable. It's not clear how you could falsify belief in God, so it's quite different from scientific belief.
Indeed, so that being the case, why do die-hard atheists try to prove the existence of God through a scientific approach?

It is a paradox that I believe I've alluded to. You cannot prove or justify the existence of God through scientific rigour, neither can you really rationally justify faith.

I have a scientific background (BSc, MSc) in human science. I marvel daily at the beauty of the human body and world around me. Every scientific discovery reveals another level of complexity in how the world/universe works. I just believe that it is too perfect to be random chance.

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Really?

I mean, really really?!
Yes. It gets EFed up when humans get involved. But

Christianity: love thy neighbour
Islam: If anyone harms (others), God will harm him, and if anyone shows hostility to others, God will show hostility to him.
Judaism: Jews and non-Jews alike have a relationship with God
Hindusim: conceives the whole world as a single family that deifies the one truth, and therefore it accepts all forms of beliefs and dismisses labels of distinct religions which would imply a division of identity (Wiki)
Buddhism: well, that speaks for itself...

Us believers are covered... it's you atheists who have to worry
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