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Author Topic: Theological inconsistencies with Christianity
TomDavidson
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quote:
Good grief, you are dense.
That was uncalled-for. Why the heck would you insult somebody who's willing to have this conversation with you? Do you think abuse is the best way to get your point across?
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King of Men
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quote:
Do you see the pattern? You make a stupid exucse, it's pointed out how dumb that excuse is, and then you come up with another excuse, it's pointed out how dumb that is, and out comes another one.
Fair's fair; BB has now agreed that he will ask an imam about confirmatory prayer "next time he has a chance", and also that he has nothing to lose by attempting the prayer. This is as far as an internet discussion is going to get. Whether he actually does these things is under his control, but he is not making excuses anymore, at least not in public.
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kmbboots
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FWIW, I highly recommend at least looking into go many different religions and, if at all possible, going to events, services, meetings, celebrations or what have you before settling on one (or none).
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Armoth
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Tom, i did not say it was changeless. Not in the sense that you take issue with. All I meant is that there is a basic corpus that Orthodox Judaism subscribes to.

Yes - it makes it hard for non-believers on the one hand, But i actually think it makes it even harder for believers.

Non-Believers need to look at the basic texts, or even modern religious writings on Orthodox Judaism for the basic fundamentals and theory. I think the Judaism 101 page has been linked a number of times, and I am happy to recommend other reading material.

Believers have the problem of distinguishing between thought and practice. I have many friends who were turned off of Judaism because many of the people we know are really rotten. This includes teachers, Rabbis, parents, etc. They preach Judaism but behave differently. Usually, this is the result of ignorance on their part.

I think that if someone does a serious analysis of a religion, you can distinguish between the ideal faith and its followers. I try to do this in my analysis of Christianity all the time.

Christianity bothered me tremendously in my youth, but I learned a lot more from reading Church fathers, and later Christian thinkers such that I understood that the average Christian misunderstands.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Tom, i did not say it was changeless. Not in the sense that you take issue with.
I'm not taking issue with the changelessness; I'm not passing judgment on that at all. Rather, I'm questioning whether you can fairly say "I know Judaism to be true because it has not changed, and it considers changelessness to be a virtue."
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Good grief, you are dense.
That was uncalled-for. Why the heck would you insult somebody who's willing to have this conversation with you? Do you think abuse is the best way to get your point across?
It apparently wasn't much of a conversation at all. "I don't have to investigate other religions to see if I am wrong, because I believe the LDS church is the only right church" is not a valid argument. Since there wasn't anything I could have possibly said that would undermine that stellar circular argument, it's not like I hurt my rhetorical chances any.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
it's not like I hurt my rhetorical chances any.
Is that the only reason you would avoid insulting somebody in this situation? I mean, seriously, it's not like the stakes are particularly high in this thread or anything. Be pleasant.
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BlackBlade
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Good thing I never made such an argument then. Why don't you tell us the part again where you accuse me of saying I couldn't afford a Koran, that's probably the most amusing bit. I'll even quote the original statement,
quote:
No it isn't, I've already conceded that I would happily read the entirety of the Koran if presented with a copy. That I have not gone out of my way to purchase every single religious book from every single religion is not indicative of disinterest, it's indicative of the fact I couldn't afford to, and it's not a reasonable request anyway
I then went on to explain how it wasn't a reasonable request as it would be impossible for me to obtain a copy of every religious text of every religion as certain religions can be lost from memory which is completely unrelated to whether they were true or not.

You don't like me, I don't dislike you. Your contempt makes all your good ideas taste like poison. It's unfortunate that you don't realize that your rude way of speaking to people with whom disagree, serves only to prevent you from adequately communicating what valuable ideas you posses, (and I have no doubt you have some.)

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Tom, i did not say it was changeless. Not in the sense that you take issue with.
I'm not taking issue with the changelessness; I'm not passing judgment on that at all. Rather, I'm questioning whether you can fairly say "I know Judaism to be true because it has not changed, and it considers changelessness to be a virtue."
Did I say that? What was the context? I mean, i could expound and address that now if you like, but I'd like to put it back in context.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Did I say that? What was the context?
Your earlier argument -- that if God appeared and gave the entirety of the law to the Jews at Sinai, it invalidates other Judeo-Christian religions -- hinges upon the assumption that God does not change His message or methods. This is the one and only reason I've seen you give for believing in Judaism relative to anything else.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
it's not like I hurt my rhetorical chances any.
Is that the only reason you would avoid insulting somebody in this situation? I mean, seriously, it's not like the stakes are particularly high in this thread or anything. Be pleasant.
Well, perhaps I took it as a bit insulting that BB argued that he didn't have enough money to read free books?

If he'd said at the outset "I'm don't have to bother seriously investigating the possibility that my religious beliefs are incorrect, because as a Mormon, I don't believe those other religions are true" that would have at least been sincere. Close-minded and illogical, but sincere.

But he threw up ten reasons why he won't seriously and persistantly try other religions, and then when those were pointed out as being stupid, then he fell back to "I don't have to, because as a Mormon, I don't believe any of those religions can be true".

I think that sincerity is a higher virtue than pleasantness.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Did I say that? What was the context?
Your earlier argument -- that if God appeared and gave the entirety of the law to the Jews at Sinai, it invalidates other Judeo-Christian religions -- hinges upon the assumption that God does not change His message or methods. This is the one and only reason I've seen you give for believing in Judaism relative to anything else.
For the future, please spell out the assumptions that you think I am making. The quotes you gave earlier threw me off.

If you want to talk about why I believe in Judaism over no religion at all, then we should talk about the fact that I don't think the text changed, or that Judaism changed much. Adapted? Sure. Changed, no. (And when I say adapted, I mean that it adapted within the original context - I'm not saying that words of the bible were "adapted" as Ron claims).

But if I want to prove Judaism as opposed to other Judaeo-Christian religions, the only I thing I need to look at is what they believe - and they affirm the mass revelation as well as the OT. That means I now have to look at Judaism and see if Judaism leaves room for a Christian messiah or Muslim prophet. See the page I quoted earlier for FURTHER arguments (in addition to mass revelation) that explain why I don't believe in Christianity, taking into account this calculation.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Well, perhaps I took it as a bit insulting that BB argued that he didn't have enough money to read free books?
Are we agreed that it's silly to be insulted by someone else's bad argument?

quote:
I think that sincerity is a higher virtue than pleasantness.
The two don't have to be mutually exclusive, y'know.

--------

quote:
That means I now have to look at Judaism and see if Judaism leaves room for a Christian messiah or Muslim prophet.
Only if you believe that God can't change His message, or if you assume that the description of the presentation at Sinai is meant to be verbatim. This ultimately begs the question.
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King of Men
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Incidentally, Armoth, you never did respond to my pointing out that your god is no more likely to appear ex nihilo than the universe is; indeed less so, since it contains all the complexity of the universe plus some extra.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Good thing I never made such an argument then. Why don't you tell us the part again where you accuse me of saying I couldn't afford a Koran, that's probably the most amusing bit. I'll even quote the original statement,
quote:
No it isn't, I've already conceded that I would happily read the entirety of the Koran if presented with a copy. That I have not gone out of my way to purchase every single religious book from every single religion is not indicative of disinterest, it's indicative of the fact I couldn't afford to, and it's not a reasonable request anyway
I then went on to explain how it wasn't a reasonable request as it would be impossible for me to obtain a copy of every religious text of every religion as certain religions can be lost from memory which is completely unrelated to whether they were true or not.
No one was asking you to purchase anything at all! No one was asking you to learn about every single religion that ever existed. No one was asking you to get a PhD, or learn "down to the bones" about any religion, you made that up yourself, so you'd have an excuse to do nothing. Lots of people are capable of learning enough about other religions to convert to them, without getting PhDs. Am I mistaken in thinking that you yourself have witnessed this? Were those people put off by the fact that they didn't have PhD's in every single religion ever? Or did they pick one or a few, and deeply try those?

Honestly, the more you resist, the clearer it is that the idea of seriously trying another religion deeply frightens you. And in one sense, it should, because you think that this stuff is deeply serious business...but that's all the more reason for spending a lot of effort to make sure that you haven't made a mistake. And your idea of enough effort is to wait at home for someone to drop a Koran in your hands.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
No one was asking you to purchase anything at all! No one was asking you to learn about every single religion that ever existed. No one was asking you to get a PhD, or learn "down to the bones" about any religion, you made that up yourself, so you'd have an excuse to do nothing. Lots of people are capable of learning enough about other religions to convert to them, without getting PhDs. Am I mistaken in thinking that you yourself have witnessed this? Were those people put off by the fact that they didn't have PhD's in every single religion ever? Or did they pick one or a few, and deeply try those?
Then let me step into the "dense" role you've created for me and ask just what you are expecting then?

I'm happy to start reading the Koran, I'm already interested in doing so. And quit saying that I made the argument, "I don't have to bother seriously investigating the possibility that my religious beliefs are incorrect, because as a Mormon, I don't believe those other religions are true." I never made that statement either, and it's ridiculous that you keep making those two comments and then arguing against them.

You know what's worse then deception? Thinking you have any business telling me what my real motives are. You are so far away from how I actually feel you need to just stop. You might think you have some great insight into the inner workings of my mind, but you don't. You have no business telling me how much I ought to try to expose myself to other religions as you have no demonstrated you are any better. If you have seriously tried out many religions, I'd be happy to hear how you went about it as well as what worked or what didn't. If you haven't, stop pressing this point because it makes you look foolish.

My resistant to people's calls that I seriously investigate other religions was one of obviously not understanding what I was expected to do. But others managed to stay on point and explain where I wasn't getting it, while you simply overstate my words to the point they are unrecognizable to me anymore.

I've completely removed any credibility that I might have had in stating that I was not going to speak to you about these things until this animosity ceases. Well I'm going to start demonstrating that if there is anything honest about my words this is it.

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Armoth
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Tom - God makes a whole bunch of covenants in the OT. The more you learn it, the more you realize how implausible it is to assume that God "changed His mind." Especially about the commandments.

We can argue that it comes down to interpreting literature. There can be many interpretations to a good story - but some are pushing it. I think the Christian interpretation is all about pushing it. You, as an atheist can surely appreciate that. You believe that the original OT was not referring to Jesus, do you not? You can't see how Christian interpretations seem to cram Jesus into places in the OT?

----

KoM - I thought I DID address it. Think of it this way: Our minds understand the rules of this universe. In this universe, something does not come from nothing. Thus, the universe itself would need to be created.

What it was created by is not subject to the sense of contradiction and impossibility as it is not bound by the rules of the universe.

Should you choose to argue that the universe itself may not be bound by the same rules as things that are PRESENT in the universe, I still need an explanation for the introduction of energy into the universe, and for some sort of impetus for something that was infinite to turn into what it is today.

Richard Dawkins thinks that that is the cheating trump-card method of argument. I think it's funny that that is what he has to say to that argument.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I still need an explanation for the introduction of energy into the universe, and for some sort of impetus for something that was infinite to turn into what it is today.

Why? What explanation gives God the ability to introduce energy into the Universe? He's outside it, after all. Let's just take whatever imaginary mechanism you use, call it "cosmological expansion" instead of God, and say it's non-sentient. There. We're done. [Wink]

quote:
You can't see how Christian interpretations seem to cram Jesus into places in the OT?
Of course I do. But I also think Jewish interpretations cram Yahweh into some places in the OT, so what do I know? [Wink]
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
[QUOTE]
I've completely removed any credibility that I might have had in stating that I was not going to speak to you about these things until this animosity ceases. Well I'm going to start demonstrating that if there is anything honest about my words this is it.

::cheers:: Give the guy a break. And before you rationalize his desire to stop arguing as though he feels as if he is threatened, consider the alternative explanation.

It is incredibly frustrating to argue with someone you know you will never convince, regardless of how logical you are. But what keeps us going is that the other side is willing to try and understand you and to try be pleasant. This is why I like talking to Tom.

When there is no pleasantness involved, you are not just talking to a wall. You are talking to a really ugly, rude wall. That's not fun.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I still need an explanation for the introduction of energy into the universe, and for some sort of impetus for something that was infinite to turn into what it is today.

Why? What explanation gives God the ability to introduce energy into the Universe? He's outside it, after all. Let's just take whatever imaginary mechanism you use, call it "cosmological expansion" instead of God, and say it's non-sentient. There. We're done. [Wink]

quote:
You can't see how Christian interpretations seem to cram Jesus into places in the OT?
Of course I do. But I also think Jewish interpretations cram Yahweh into some places in the OT, so what do I know? [Wink]

The former point: I'm okay with that. The metaphysical proofs for God don't prove God. They prove an original cause who is beyond the rules of this universe. I don't know why you say it isn't sentient - it doesn't HAVE to be sentient, but I think it makes sense that it IS sentient.

The latter point:
Firstly, the term you used for God is not the way Orthodox Jews pronounce it. They pronounce it the other way, the one with a J? But instead of a J, they do a Y. Granted, I've never actually pronounced that name in my life...

Secondly - let's read the bible as a piece of literature. How can you say that the interpretation of the Bible as a god speaking to man etc. is a cramming of God into the bible?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:

But if I want to prove Judaism as opposed to other Judaeo-Christian religions, the only I thing I need to look at is what they believe - and they affirm the mass revelation as well as the OT. That means I now have to look at Judaism and see if Judaism leaves room for a Christian messiah or Muslim prophet. See the page I quoted earlier for FURTHER arguments (in addition to mass revelation) that explain why I don't believe in Christianity, taking into account this calculation.

Again, you are making some assumptions about Christianity that are not universally true. Christianity does not necessarily depend on the accuracy of the reporting or the reliability of remembering of the revelations recounted in the Hebrew scripture.

[ May 05, 2009, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
it doesn't HAVE to be sentient, but I think it makes sense that it IS sentient
Why? Sentience increases complexity. Since there's no evidence for sentience, and no obvious requirement for it, Occam's Razor would advise against it.

quote:
How can you say that the interpretation of the Bible as a god speaking to man etc. is a cramming of God into the bible?
I don't believe that the portrayal of God -- especially as the One True God -- is remotely consistent within the OT, much less the NT. I think it's pretty obviously a collection of stories meant to answer different questions and prop up various social mores, regardless of how bizarre and cobbled-together a god it produced.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Seems the nazis were late to the party as Mormons were saying tobacco was harmful for you back in 1833. It looks like scientific consensus began to form early in the 1900s. Of course it's likely there were doctors before that with pet theories that tobacco was bad for you.

Methodists were saying it in the 1700s. And the idea that tobacco & alcohol were both unhealthy and immoral would definintely have been part of the socio-religious culture in which Joseph Smith grew up.
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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
it doesn't HAVE to be sentient, but I think it makes sense that it IS sentient
Why? Sentience increases complexity. Since there's no evidence for sentience, and no obvious requirement for it, Occam's Razor would advise against it.

quote:
How can you say that the interpretation of the Bible as a god speaking to man etc. is a cramming of God into the bible?
I don't believe that the portrayal of God -- especially as the One True God -- is remotely consistent within the OT, much less the NT. I think it's pretty obviously a collection of stories meant to answer different questions and prop up various social mores, regardless of how bizarre and cobbled-together a god it produced.

The former pt: I think Occam's Razor points to a a sentient creator. I think it is more complex to say that a first cause randomly created a universe than that a sentient being created the universe. Even if God IS a complex option, we are talking about the origin of the universe. Weighing the randomness of a non-sentient first cause against the orderliness of a sentient one, I think the latter is the less complex of the two options.

The latter pt: It would be interesting to sit down and read the OT together.

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
God makes a whole bunch of covenants in the OT. The more you learn it, the more you realize how implausible it is to assume that God "changed His mind." Especially about the commandments.

I'll say again: is this more implausible that god changed his mind, or that a perfectly good omnipotent god allows suffering of innocents etc?

I know what your answer is; but as a reasonable portion of your audience is atheist/agnostic you should realize that arguments resting on the relative implausibility of events we already regard as thoroughly implausible are far from compelling.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Even if God IS a complex option, we are talking about the origin of the universe.
Well, absolutely! You think something capable of imagining the whole universe is less complex than something capable of emitting energy?

quote:
Weighing the randomness of a non-sentient first cause against the orderliness of a sentient one...
How can you possibly do this? Where's your control universe, to show you the defaults?
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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
The former pt: I think Occam's Razor points to a a sentient creator. I think it is more complex to say that a first cause randomly created a universe than that a sentient being created the universe. Even if God IS a complex option, we are talking about the origin of the universe. Weighing the randomness of a non-sentient first cause against the orderliness of a sentient one, I think the latter is the less complex of the two options.


Why is 'first cause' being preferred to 'infinite regress'?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
Non-Believers need to look at the basic texts, or even modern religious writings on Orthodox Judaism for the basic fundamentals and theory.

Even that is a choice though, the Orthodox interpretation of Judaism is obviously different from others and its not immediately clear why a non-believer would take that perspective to judge Judaism as a whole.

quote:
I think that if someone does a serious analysis of a religion, you can distinguish between the ideal faith and its followers. I try to do this in my analysis of Christianity all the time.
I just don't entirely understand why a non-believer would think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" version of a particular faith.

As an example, say you've watched the 1970s version of Battlestar Galactica and then you watch the modern Battlestar Galactica. It is true, maybe there is *some* "ideal" of Battlestar Galactica based upon the older version but separate from the budget and acting constraints of the time.

I can get why from one perspective that one may prefer the original since its older whereas the newer version is "distorted." I can also get that maybe separate from the actual practice of filming that older version, that there was a imaginary "ideal" version sitting in the head of one of the writers at the time which could be better replicated by better special effects.

But from my POV, since they're all imaginary anyways, its not really even a relevant question which is the "ideal." Its almost nonsensical.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Seems the nazis were late to the party as Mormons were saying tobacco was harmful for you back in 1833. It looks like scientific consensus began to form early in the 1900s. Of course it's likely there were doctors before that with pet theories that tobacco was bad for you.

Methodists were saying it in the 1700s. And the idea that tobacco & alcohol were both unhealthy and immoral would definintely have been part of the socio-religious culture in which Joseph Smith grew up.
Possibly. Are you saying the Methodist church uniformly believed that tobacco was bad for the body? Because very early in Mormonisms history Joseph Smith made no objections to tobacco. It was when his wife complained that cleaning chaw off the floor of the meeting house was disgusting and he prayed that the word of wisdom was revealed.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
No one was asking you to purchase anything at all! No one was asking you to learn about every single religion that ever existed. No one was asking you to get a PhD, or learn "down to the bones" about any religion, you made that up yourself, so you'd have an excuse to do nothing. Lots of people are capable of learning enough about other religions to convert to them, without getting PhDs. Am I mistaken in thinking that you yourself have witnessed this? Were those people put off by the fact that they didn't have PhD's in every single religion ever? Or did they pick one or a few, and deeply try those?
Then let me step into the "dense" role you've created for me and ask just what you are expecting then?
I've only said it about 10 times. I'm not the first to ask either. Simply that you give Islam a serious chance, and be as thorough and persistant at it as you expect believers in your own religion to be towards its teachings. Since you place such a high preimium on prayer, that's the approach you should use. Pray every day for Allah to confirm in you that Islam is right, and your old beliefs were wrong. And if you hear nothing, try again. You already admitted that God will sometimes be silent if the person praying is unworthy, so demonstrate your worthiness by being persistant and sincere.

quote:
I'm happy to start reading the Koran, I'm already interested in doing so. And quit saying that I made the argument, "I don't have to bother seriously investigating the possibility that my religious beliefs are incorrect, because as a Mormon, I don't believe those other religions are true." I never made that statement either, and it's ridiculous that you keep making those two comments and then arguing against them.
Here is the quote in context:

quote:
quote:
Me: You can afford to read every religious text found in every library in your area. There are even inter-library loans which expand the number of books you have access to. I'd be shocked if there weren't at least a few online Koran translations, and obviously, you have access to the internet.
That does not give me access to every religious book ever written. It does not account for lost texts, or lost religions. As a Mormon I don't believe the true religion of God existed in its' proper form for a some years short of two thousand.
The whole point of the conversation is that your LDS beliefs might be wrong. Making their accuracy your starting presumption completely misses the point of pages of conversation.

quote:
You have no business telling me how much I ought to try to expose myself to other religions as you have no demonstrated you are any better.
You can do whatever the hell you want. If you want to post on the internet that you would read the Koran, if only there were some way for you to get the text without having to pay for it, or even leave your home, and you think that that's a sincere and sound argument, you keep making it.

quote:
If you have seriously tried out many religions, I'd be happy to hear how you went about it as well as what worked or what didn't.
You can read history fine for yourself. You know that all the Inquisitors prayed for guidance, and kept doing what they were doing, honestly believing it was the Lord's work. Thumbscrews, burning people alive, all supported by prayers.

Their example is a great deal more convincing than anything I could tell you.

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Armoth
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Even if God IS a complex option, we are talking about the origin of the universe.
Well, absolutely! You think something capable of imagining the whole universe is less complex than something capable of emitting energy?

quote:
Weighing the randomness of a non-sentient first cause against the orderliness of a sentient one...
How can you possibly do this? Where's your control universe, to show you the defaults?

Tom, it isn't just emitting energy. It is emitting energy and the rules of the universe that make it possible for the incredibly complex state of life we currently enjoy. That led me to my complex random vs. complex order.

And I can't weight that against the other scientifically. That's impossible. It's impossible to calculate probabilities when you don't know how many outcomes are even possible. But in terms of what is likely to me based on logical plausibility, I think that it is makes sense that the first cause is sentient. Just like you feel that you are speaking to a human and not a computer program.

---
Mystic - Because it is not an infinite regress when the laws of the universe no longer apply.
---

Mucus - Your BSG analogy doesn't work here. BSG is not a mode of thought, it is not a mission, or a way of life.

---

To all of ya'all - When I am presenting my perspective, I am not trying to convince you. I am trying to explain that if you reject a religion based on its adherents, it is likely you aren't getting a good picture of the religion.

I understand that this is laughable from a non-believers concrete perspective. It's just that if the reason why a non-believer does not believe has anything to do with the practices of some of its adherents, perhaps the perspective should not be so concrete.

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King of Men
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quote:
Because very early in Mormonisms history Joseph Smith made no objections to tobacco. It was when his wife complained that cleaning chaw off the floor of the meeting house was disgusting and he prayed that the word of wisdom was revealed.
I have to say, as demonstrations that a particular bit of ritual is divinely ordained and not contingent on humans go, I find this one particularly unconvincing. The word of god just happens to be convenient for letting Smith support his wife and having her continue to clean the meeting room, saving him from hiring someone to do it? Uh-huh. Sure.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Possibly. Are you saying the Methodist church uniformly believed that tobacco was bad for the body? Because very early in Mormonisms history Joseph Smith made no objections to tobacco. It was when his wife complained that cleaning chaw off the floor of the meeting house was disgusting and he prayed that the word of wisdom was revealed.

I'm saying that the idea that it was unhealthy was around in the culture. There were pamphlets about it. Doctors who said it was arguing with doctors who said it wasn't. Anti-tobacco societies signing pledges not to smoke or chew. And lots of people with money tied up in tobacco farms trying to promote it as harmless or even healthy. But suggesting that abstaining from tobacco is the healthy choice would not have been anything new or unusual.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
...
Mucus - Your BSG analogy doesn't work here. BSG is not a mode of thought, it is not a mission, or a way of life.

First, it could be.

Second, I don't understand why that should make a difference to me as a non-religious person.

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:

---
Mystic - Because it is not an infinite regress when the laws of the universe no longer apply.
---


?

I was asking why you have discounted the possibility that the universe has always existed i.e. was not 'caused' at all. Please clarify what you were saying.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Armoth:
BSG is not a mode of thought, it is not a mission, or a way of life.

First, it could be.
Actually, from the way some of my friends have tried to get me to watch it, I rather thought it was.
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Samprimary
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quote:
it doesn't HAVE to be sentient, but I think it makes sense that it IS sentient
quote:
I do believe it's more likely that my experiences come from God and not from myself.
quote:
I think the fact not all adherents to Catholicism are slathering idiots is indicative of important truths existing in the faith.
Threads like these are at their best when attempts at logical justifications and mechanisms for faith, such as these, are extricated through patient questioning.

In a completely neutral, non-hostile fashion I find the mechanisms of internal justification for core ideologies to be fascinating and like to see examples of the process by which justifications are rendered in response to challenges to core ideologies.

Sometimes — even though this unavoidably sounds hostile, but will grudgingly make sense to a religious person when viewed in the context of the habits of people in other 'easily dismissible' religious like Scientology — it provides insight into "The X Habits Of Highly Successful Religions," one of which seems to be, in Tom's words, filters specifically recommended by one's religion that make critical review of one's religious lens almost impossible.

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scifibum
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"filters specifically recommended by one's religion that make critical review of one's religious lens almost impossible"

Make that "extremely unattractive" and I'd agree.

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Samprimary
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Certainly in far too many highly religious cultures, rendered a deviant act.
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Armoth
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I don't appreciate you taking my quote out of context. That quote is meant to be an aspect of my position that can only be understood accurately in light of all my views as represented by me on pages 1 through 15 of this thread.

Mystic, I misunderstood your question.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Because very early in Mormonisms history Joseph Smith made no objections to tobacco. It was when his wife complained that cleaning chaw off the floor of the meeting house was disgusting and he prayed that the word of wisdom was revealed.
I have to say, as demonstrations that a particular bit of ritual is divinely ordained and not contingent on humans go, I find this one particularly unconvincing. The word of god just happens to be convenient for letting Smith support his wife and having her continue to clean the meeting room, saving him from hiring someone to do it? Uh-huh. Sure.
Joseph's relationship with his wife was not quite like that. For instance Smith's revelation on polygamy was so opposed by Emma that after his death she denied he ever had it. There's perfect propriety with a prophet asking God on the matter of personal health, and being given an answer that profits the rest of mankind. The revelation does not stop at tobacco, but goes on to discuss many different things. As somebody who has lived in Utah and seen the general health of members of the church, I would have to say the revelation was of vital importance.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Tom, it isn't just emitting energy. It is emitting energy and the rules of the universe that make it possible for the incredibly complex state of life we currently enjoy. That led me to my complex random vs. complex order.
It's entirely possible that in an infinite number of other universes, different rules have popped up and, as a consequence, we have not.
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steven
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"Why? Sentience increases complexity. Since there's no evidence for sentience, and no obvious requirement for it, Occam's Razor would advise against it."

Precisely. Even if there is a supernatural aspect to the Universe, common sense would tell you that it's probably a lot like everything else that seems to exist. It would be increasing in complexity over time, much like carbon-based life (amino acids to DNA to cells to higher organisms, may have left out a step or 40), stellar system forms (hydrogen can only form stars, but as heavier elements are formed, rocky planets/moons are possible), etc. The Universe is becoming more complex on the obvious physical level. Why would this not be true on the supernatural level?

This is the elephant in the living room that no conservative/Orthodox/etc. person talks about. It's one thing to talk about the supernatural. It's another thing to hate Americans because we don't make our women wear the burka, mmm? I submit it's putting the cart before the horse to assume that, just because there may be a supernatural, intention-influenced aspect to existence, that it's OK to kill/hate others because they think differently about the supernatural.

Think about it this way. Imagine a skilled musician. When he starts 6th grade band, he has a pair of drumsticks. You could have fairly called him a drummer, that very first day of band. Later, after playing for over 20 years, he also has a pair of drumsticks. You can still call him a drummer. Who knows more about drumming, though, the "drummer" at age 11 in 6th grade band, or the "drummer" at age 33, with a degree in percussion performance, and years of professional experience? Both individuals are called "drummers".

Similarly, I submit that the "God" of the past (and by God I mean "something/anything supernatural) is not the same "God" of the future, much as the "drummer" in 6th grade band, though having the same title as the professional "drummer", is not the same at all as the professional.

I ask you this--if the complexity of the Universe is your evidence for the existence of an intelligent, self-aware Creator, why would the Universe be getting MORE complex over time? IF the creator is unchanging (as far as complexity goes), why would the creation not also be static (in terms of complexity)? Mmmm? Indeed. My logic is impeccable.

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Teshi
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Because very early in Mormonisms history Joseph Smith made no objections to tobacco. It was when his wife complained that cleaning chaw off the floor of the meeting house was disgusting and he prayed that the word of wisdom was revealed.
I have to say, as demonstrations that a particular bit of ritual is divinely ordained and not contingent on humans go, I find this one particularly unconvincing. The word of god just happens to be convenient for letting Smith support his wife and having her continue to clean the meeting room, saving him from hiring someone to do it? Uh-huh. Sure.
You're not thinking like a religious person. To someone who believes, Smith's wife's comment about the state of the floor was not just a complaint but the doorway to him having this revelation.

Think of a haunted house. Common urban mythology has houses being empty because they are haunted. "All potential buyers or purchasers are scared away." But the reality is, the mythology exists because the house is empty.

In this case, Smith did not have his revelation because his wife complained (because the house is empty, it is haunted), but she complained because he was going to have his revelation (empty because it's haunted).

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Because very early in Mormonisms history Joseph Smith made no objections to tobacco. It was when his wife complained that cleaning chaw off the floor of the meeting house was disgusting and he prayed that the word of wisdom was revealed.
I have to say, as demonstrations that a particular bit of ritual is divinely ordained and not contingent on humans go, I find this one particularly unconvincing. The word of god just happens to be convenient for letting Smith support his wife and having her continue to clean the meeting room, saving him from hiring someone to do it? Uh-huh. Sure.
Joseph's relationship with his wife was not quite like that. For instance Smith's revelation on polygamy was so opposed by Emma that after his death she denied he ever had it.
Well, she would say that, wouldn't she? That Smith had one revelation to please his wife doesn't mean he can't have one to please himself.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Because very early in Mormonisms history Joseph Smith made no objections to tobacco. It was when his wife complained that cleaning chaw off the floor of the meeting house was disgusting and he prayed that the word of wisdom was revealed.
I have to say, as demonstrations that a particular bit of ritual is divinely ordained and not contingent on humans go, I find this one particularly unconvincing. The word of god just happens to be convenient for letting Smith support his wife and having her continue to clean the meeting room, saving him from hiring someone to do it? Uh-huh. Sure.
Joseph's relationship with his wife was not quite like that. For instance Smith's revelation on polygamy was so opposed by Emma that after his death she denied he ever had it.
Well, she would say that, wouldn't she? That Smith had one revelation to please his wife doesn't mean he can't have one to please himself.
Taken as a whole, I think you will find that Joseph's revelations were not given with the intention of exalting himself and debasing others. Frequently in the text God chastises Joseph for his inadequacies, and Joseph often confesses to having weaknesses.

But I can see how the fact his wife complained about a problem first which then resulted in a revelation seems suspicious.

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King of Men
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quote:
Frequently in the text God chastises Joseph for his inadequacies, and Joseph often confesses to having weaknesses.
...thereby demonstrating that much-praised and sought-after virtue, modesty. Is there any sign that he strengthened these weak points, as opposed to just beating his breast about them?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Frequently in the text God chastises Joseph for his inadequacies, and Joseph often confesses to having weaknesses.
...thereby demonstrating that much-praised and sought-after virtue, modesty. Is there any sign that he strengthened these weak points, as opposed to just beating his breast about them?
How many leaders of religious groups do you hear openly confess to making mistakes? I'm merely asserting that he didn't strive to develop a cult of personality.
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King of Men
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That is a much weaker point than the one you originally cited this behaviour as supporting, namely that he did not have 'revelations' of convenience.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
That is a much weaker point than the one you originally cited this behaviour as supporting, namely that he did not have 'revelations' of convenience.

I'll stick to both points then.
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