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Author Topic: Theological inconsistencies with Christianity
Rakeesh
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KoM,

I thought you'd return with Unitarian Universalists. You have indeed found a church that...well, doesn't quite endorse divorce, but leaves it up to individual choice.

Care to speculate as to what percentage of all Christians in the USA are Unitarian Universalists?

quote:
As for the counterexample, I don't feel obliged to give an example of a straw man, or church in this case; but reducing the claim to what I actually said, I do not think you will find a counterexample.
What you actually said was that religion exists because it embraces the moral views of the time. That is not, in fact, true. I responded with divorce. You responded with Unitarian Universalists, a very small minority of Christians in the United States.

Your example remains unproven.

------

quote:
Wasn't this precisely Tom's point?
How do you figure?

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quote:
Kate frustrates KoM because her God is not recognizable as God at all; He's basically whatever she's decided to believe. There are no strictures to her religions, no beliefs, that she has not -- from KoM's point of view -- already decided to believe. In other words, as he sees it, she took a moral framework and squeezed a god into it.
Far be it from me to deny that kmbboots's statements on God, religion, and the impact of both on politics and culture and daily living haven't frequently confused, baffled, or even frustrated me...

But exactly who are you, Tom, much less KoM, who is about as fair-minded and objective a judge on such matters as a Southern jury in a civil rights case fifty years ago, to say that she had these pre-conceived notions first and squeezed God into it?

Which existed first, the framework or the religion? Why are the two of you so comfortable in speaking so authoritatively which came first? Well, actually, I have a pretty good idea why, but I'm wondering what your answer would be.

------

ETA:

quote:
Point of Order: Unitarian Universalism is not Christianity.
Also true, of course. But even if it was, KoM's larger point remains just out-of-backside talking.
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TomDavidson
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quote:

"Wasn't this precisely Tom's point?"
How do you figure?

This was precisely my point. Christianity may not have reflected the morals of its time, but it closely reflects the morals of Kate's time -- and her version of it reflects her personal morality even more closely.

quote:
But exactly who are you, Tom...to say that she had these pre-conceived notions first and squeezed God into it?
Well, for one thing, that's how she's said it works. When she considers a bit of Scripture or doctrine, she sits down and thinks, "Does this make sense with what I think is good?" If it doesn't, she concludes that it's not real doctrine.

For another thing, I am just that cool.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
This was precisely my point. Christianity may not have reflected the morals of its time, but it closely reflects the morals of Kate's time -- and her version of it reflects her personal morality even more closely.
Sorry, I was mixing you and KoM's responses up there a bit. KoM's statements have been about religion as a whole.

quote:
Well, for one thing, that's how she's said it works. When she considers a bit of Scripture or doctrine, she sits down and thinks, "Does this make sense with what I think is good?" If it doesn't, she concludes that it's not real doctrine.
It seems a very subjective matter to me. Unless one is a biblical literalist who believes everything is translated and transcribed and published with total divine accuracy, there is always some of that internally-fueled analysis. I mean, from the perspective of the theist, not just from an outside perspective which concludes that it's all internally fueled analysis.

Anyway, my point is, suppose she believes God wants her to do what is good instead of what is expedient, and deciding to adhere to that, she then asks herself that question? Well, then, your phrasing of how it happens is very flawed.

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TomDavidson
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Crucially, however, it means that God will never ask of Kate something that she does not already believe is right.
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King of Men
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[qute]What you actually said was that religion exists because it embraces the moral views of the time. That is not, in fact, true. [/qute]

You're right, it isn't, but neither is that what I said. I make two claims, one strong and specific, the other weaker but more general. The strong claim is that the 'outside' source of kmb's morality is strictly "what kmb decides her god would want". The weaker claim is that churches reflect the morals of their communities, not the other way round.

And on the subject of divorce: Just how large do you think the mismatch is? I doubt there are many Americans who actively approve of divorce, although most would probably say that it is better than staying in a marriage which is really not working. This seems to me to be the attitude of most mainstream churches as well.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
If you got sick, which would you rather do: Pray, or take medicine?

Both. And neither one alone is as effective as both.

Testing that properly would be an ethics violation. [Wink] Although there was that one really irritating teacher I had in junior high . . .

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Xaposert
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quote:
And you still refuse to answer anything else I wrote, and I think it's pretty clear why.
It's mostly because in the past whenever I've written on this topic, you seem to skip over the details of whatever reasoning I give, instead substituting irrational strawman arguments into my words, so I'm unsure of how to respond in a way that would communicate across my true viewpoint.

quote:
quote:
If you got sick, which would you rather do: Pray, or take medicine?
Both. And neither one alone is as effective as both.
Exactly.

But it should also be noted that religion (or at least Judeo-christian religion) isn't really suited very well for curing diseases. That's not the main purpose. A better question might be "If you aren't living a good or joyful life, which would you rather do: Start going to church or take some medicine?"

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Corwin
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Well, I don't know of any pill that gets you a job; nor do I think that going to church will get you a job. But if the reason my life sucks is due to chemical imbalances in my brain preventing me from achieving what I want, then I'd go see a psychiatrist and probably take some medication. Not sure how going to church is supposed to "cure" this, except by "escaping" from reality, which would be pretty much like doing drugs: not the answer, an attempt to avoid the answer.
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katharina
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Chemical imbalances are not the only or even primary cause of unhappiness, however.
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Xaposert
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quote:
Crucially, however, it means that God will never ask of Kate something that she does not already believe is right.
That's not exactly true. Even if Kate acts as you say she does, it would still be possible for her to not realize something is right, but after studying a piece of scripture realize it is right. In that case, God would be asking her to do something that she didn't believe was right beforehand, and only came to believe is right with God's help.

[ April 21, 2009, 08:16 AM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]

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Xaposert
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quote:
Well, I don't know of any pill that gets you a job; nor do I think that going to church will get you a job. But if the reason my life sucks is due to chemical imbalances in my brain preventing me from achieving what I want, then I'd go see a psychiatrist and probably take some medication. Not sure how going to church is supposed to "cure" this, except by "escaping" from reality, which would be pretty much like doing drugs: not the answer, an attempt to avoid the answer.
Many, many people can testify that they found going to church or accepting a given religion did "cure" the lack of joy in their life. For one thing, it usually does help you get a job - although one might more accurately call it a "purpose" since it doesn't necessarily pay in money.
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Corwin
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Chemical imbalances are not the only or even primary cause of unhappiness, however.

Yeah, I know. I was giving a few examples of how or why a life would suck. I can't come up with an exhaustive list.

And I was wrong in the previous post: I can actually see how being in an organized community could help in certain situations. I doubt that anyone could prove that being helped by people from a church is better than being helped by non religious friends though.

So this:
"If you aren't living a good or joyful life, which would you rather do: Start going to church or take some medicine?"
is not really the question, is it? That one could apply to chemical imbalances (which is what I answered) but not to things that no pill would help. Non-religious help does not come only in the form of pills.

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katharina
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You could say that a church is no better than a durable organized group with open membership of non-religious people who feel strong moral and social ties to the group and an obligation to help each other.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what makes that a non-religious group.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm not sure what makes that a non-religious group.
The lack of unnecessary superstition and appeals to imagined higher moral authorities?
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Xaposert
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Many of those who found their lives bettered significantly by joining a religion would say that it is their relationship with God that helped them, rather than their relationship with other people. This is something I've heard many say. That's a sort of help that's very specifically religious.
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katharina
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You think that kind of long-term organization won't have its own share of human traditions? You've been in SCA - you should have choked on your words. And have you SEEN what people wear to football games?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
You think that kind of long-term organization won't have its own share of human traditions?
I don't recall using the word "tradition" at any point. Can you not distinguish between religious ritual and tradition? I mean, do you believe that the only effect your baptism had on you was to make you fit in better, and maybe make you and your in-group happy for a bit? Or do you believe that your baptism had an unverifiable mystic effect?

----------

quote:
Many of those who found their lives bettered significantly by joining a religion would say that it is their relationship with God that helped them, rather than their relationship with other people.
I'm sure they would. Often, relationships with real people can disappoint in a way that imaginary relationships with imaginary gods cannot.
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kmbboots
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A couple of clarifications:

Sometimes when something doesn't make intuitive sense at first, after some thought and some study and some prayer, it does make sense. It is possible for me to actually learn new things and occasionally change my mind.

If after prayer and study and thought it still doesn't make sense with what I already know about God, then the disconnect is probably elsewhere.

Religion does not always make me feel good. Nor is it a reflection of how I feel. If my religion depended on how I felt, I would be pretty agnostic this week.

My relationship with God is often disappointing. Usually it turns out to be my fault.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It is possible for me to actually learn new things and occasionally change my mind.
Can you provide an example of a moral opinion you hold now that you would not hold if you were not Catholic?
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kmbboots
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You do know that I wasn't always Catholic, right?
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TomDavidson
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Does it matter?
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kmbboots
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I'm just not sure how the question is relevant? It is sort of like asking if there is a moral position I would hold that I wouldn't hold if I believed something different? How does that make sense?

There are places where I differ from some if not most other Catholics, but I chose Catholicism because it is the best "fit". Why would I have chosen something that didn't fit?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why would I have chosen something that didn't fit?
That is an excellent question. Why do people choose religions which conflict with their moral values (edit: besides being born into them, which is the lazy answer)? Why doesn't everyone find a religion that best reflects what they believe about morality and human nature, and join that one?
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
If you got sick, which would you rather do: Pray, or take medicine?

Both. And neither one alone is as effective as both.

Testing that properly would be an ethics violation. [Wink] Although there was that one really irritating teacher I had in junior high . . .

Actually, it has been tested. And the result is that prayer has no effect, with or without medicine; while medicine has a huge effect, with or without prayer. You must know this. Why are you lying?
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Why would I have chosen something that didn't fit?
That is an excellent question. Why do people choose religions which conflict with their moral values (edit: besides being born into them, which is the lazy answer)? Why doesn't everyone find a religion that best reflects what they believe about morality and human nature, and join that one?
I dunno. Believing something that you don't believe because it is your religion has never made sense to me. I don't know how you beleive something you don't believe.

Now. That is different from never testing and examining your beliefs to see if they really do make sense and exploring new beliefs to see if they make even more sense.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
There are places where I differ from some if not most other Catholics, but I chose Catholicism because it is the best "fit". Why would I have chosen something that didn't fit?

Because if it were really true, then it would be something outside yourself; and there is no particular reason why the Truth Written In The Stars should fit precisely with the intuition written in your head. By your reasoning, you would reject both quantum mechanics and general relativity.
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The Pixiest
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Crucially, however, it means that God will never ask of Kate something that she does not already believe is right.

God is a Rorschach test. What you see in God is a reflection of who you are on the inside.

I think Boots' view of God is beautiful. I think she sees God in the way she does because Boots is a beautiful person.

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kmbboots
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Pixie, you are way too kind. I am not anywhere near as good a person as you think I am. I love that you think so, though. Thank you.

KoM, why do you think that God is purely external? And why do you think that I am incapable of believing that things I cannot understand - quantum mechanics for example - can exist and even be understood by people who know more than I do?

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King of Men
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quote:
KoM, why do you think that God is purely external?
That is the usual sense of the term in English usage. It doesnot surprise me that you have your own private language, to be sure. But I will ask you the same question I asked back on page 2: To the extent that this concept is internal to your brain, what the devil is the use of calling it 'God', with all the connotations of that word? Refer to it as 'my moral intuition' and then we won't have to fight over whether it exists or not.

quote:
And why do you think that I am incapable of believing that things I cannot understand - quantum mechanics for example - can exist and even be understood by people who know more than I do?
Because when it comes to things you care about, you actually don't. Your god reflects only and exactly your own intuition.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
quote:
And you still refuse to answer anything else I wrote, and I think it's pretty clear why.
It's mostly because in the past whenever I've written on this topic, you seem to skip over the details of whatever reasoning I give, instead substituting irrational strawman arguments into my words, so I'm unsure of how to respond in a way that would communicate across my true viewpoint.
Sorry, but I don't see it that way. I've never seen you give an answer that was even close to straight-forward to that question. You know like "I would be devestated and justifiably outraged if my child died because some moron decided to pray rather than give medically indicated treatment. I would be angry, and rightfully so, if I was injured in any way, because some fool had every reason in the world to know that his actions were going to harm me, but did them anyway because he thought that his religious sensibilities trumped the evidence."

See, I don't think you can say this straightforwardly, because you've strongly defended your right to do just that.

quote:
quote:
quote:
If you got sick, which would you rather do: Pray, or take medicine?
Both. And neither one alone is as effective as both.
Exactly.
Really?

Show me the evidence. A study where strangers praying over people gave them statistically better outcomes than people who thought strangers were praying over them but weren't.

If prayer were really effective medical treatment, why don't Catholic hospitals pay people to do nothing but pray over patients? Why don't Catholic universities set up studies about how prayer can help cure cancer, or malaria? Why don't Catholic hospitals advertise that have better outcome than secular hospitals, due to all the prayers? Why don't insurence companies send sick people to faith healers instead of paying for expensive procedures?

If you think that praying yields statistically better outcome, do you think that cursing is effective too?

quote:
But it should also be noted that religion (or at least Judeo-christian religion) isn't really suited very well for curing diseases.
Well, I'd love to hear which religion you think is.

But why do you think that is? Could it be that curing disease requires one to use reason and evidnece to find out what's wrong, and what works to fix it, and that ignoring the data when your religious sensibilities are offended by the evidence, or rejecting the conclusion because one's heart dislikes it is not a good way to actually cure people?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
KoM, why do you think that God is purely external?
That is the usual sense of the term in English usage. It doesnot surprise me that you have your own private language, to be sure. But I will ask you the same question I asked back on page 2: To the extent that this concept is internal to your brain, what the devil is the use of calling it 'God', with all the connotations of that word? Refer to it as 'my moral intuition' and then we won't have to fight over whether it exists or not.

quote:
And why do you think that I am incapable of believing that things I cannot understand - quantum mechanics for example - can exist and even be understood by people who know more than I do?
Because when it comes to things you care about, you actually don't. Your god reflects only and exactly your own intuition.

Well, no. You are ignoring the Christian idea of the Holy Spirit, which is God and which is internal.

When it comes to things I care about (and what makes you think I don't care about quantum mechanics?) I would hope that my intuition (and study and prayer and so forth) would more and more exactly and only reflect God.

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Xaposert
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quote:
Why do people choose religions which conflict with their moral values (edit: besides being born into them, which is the lazy answer)?
I'm not sure people do. Does anyone here belong to a religion that conflicts with their moral values?

quote:
Because if it were really true, then it would be something outside yourself; and there is no particular reason why the Truth Written In The Stars should fit precisely with the intuition written in your head.
This statement reflects assumptions you are bringing into this discussion, KoM, which are not shared by most religious people. Where in the stars do you believe the truth about morality to be written?

Many religious groups believe certain truths are written on our souls, not in the stars. Morality is often one of those truths. I'm not sure where else it would be written.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Many religious groups believe certain truths are written on our souls, not in the stars.
If that were the case, religions couldn't help people be better than they already are.
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kmbboots
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I don't know that religion can help people be better than they can be but we aren't generally as good as we can be.
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Xaposert
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quote:
I've never seen you give an answer that was even close to straight-forward to that question. You know like "I would be devestated and justifiably outraged if my child died because some moron decided to pray rather than give medically indicated treatment. I would be angry, and rightfully so, if I was injured in any way, because some fool had every reason in the world to know that his actions were going to harm me, but did them anyway because he thought that his religious sensibilities trumped the evidence."

See, I don't think you can say this straightforwardly, because you've strongly defended your right to do just that.

I'd be devestated if someone prayed for my child rather than give him medicine and he died as a result. I'd be happy if someone prayed for my child rather than give him medicine and he healed.

I'd be devestated if someone gave medicine to my child rather than pray and he died as a result. I'd be happy if someone gave medicine to my child rather than pray and he healed.

In all cases, I'd have justification to be outraged if the person trying to help my child did not do what they believed to be best, or if the person trying to help my child was an expert who is supposed to be able to save him and failed. If its a doctor who is supposed to know that medicine X will save him, and he doesn't give him medicine X, I'd have reason to be outraged.

Is that straightforward enough?

quote:
Could it be that curing disease requires one to use reason and evidnece to find out what's wrong, and what works to fix it, and that ignoring the data when your religious sensibilities are offended by the evidence, or rejecting the conclusion because one's heart dislikes it is not a good way to actually cure people?
Yes, that is likely true. Similarly, discovering your purpose in life may require meditation, introspection, and religious help - in contrast, trying to do a scientific study on it is not a good way to actually discover your purpose in life.

Certain types of evidence are better at answering certain types of questions.

[ April 21, 2009, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]

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Xaposert
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quote:
If that were the case, religions couldn't help people be better than they already are.
Having a truth "within you" is not the same thing as knowing that truth. I think "1+1=2" is a truth that was "within me" from the beginning, but there was a point where I didn't realize its truth.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think "1+1=2" is a truth that was "within me" from the beginning
But that truth is not within you. If you die, 1+1=2 remains true in all cases. It's actually a perfect example of an external truth.
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Xaposert
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Just because it exists outside me doesn't mean it doesn't exist within me. After all, if the entire external world disappeared and only I remained, 1+1=2 would still remain true.

In the case of religious truths, I'd assume that a "truth" that exists in me also exists outside me, even if just within other people.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Well, no. You are ignoring the Christian idea of the Holy Spirit, which is God and which is internal.

'The' Christian idea? Pff. In any case the point remains, which you did not answer: Why call it 'God'?

quote:
When it comes to things I care about (and what makes you think I don't care about quantum mechanics?)
If you did, you would make an effort to understand it.

quote:
I would hope that my intuition (and study and prayer and so forth) would more and more exactly and only reflect God.
But my point is rather that your god is exactly reflecting the intuitions of your segment of society.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Well, no. You are ignoring the Christian idea of the Holy Spirit, which is God and which is internal.

'The' Christian idea? Pff. In any case the point remains, which you did not answer: Why call it 'God'?

quote:
When it comes to things I care about (and what makes you think I don't care about quantum mechanics?)
If you did, you would make an effort to understand it.

quote:
I would hope that my intuition (and study and prayer and so forth) would more and more exactly and only reflect God.
But my point is rather that your god is exactly reflecting the intuitions of your segment of society.

Well not just Christian or all Christian, but most Christians believe in a triune God, one part of which is the Holy Spirit. We call it God, because it is.

What, exactly, do you suppose my "segment of society" is or intuits about God?

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
quote:
I've never seen you give an answer that was even close to straight-forward to that question. You know like "I would be devestated and justifiably outraged if my child died because some moron decided to pray rather than give medically indicated treatment. I would be angry, and rightfully so, if I was injured in any way, because some fool had every reason in the world to know that his actions were going to harm me, but did them anyway because he thought that his religious sensibilities trumped the evidence."

See, I don't think you can say this straightforwardly, because you've strongly defended your right to do just that.

I'd be devestated if someone prayed for my child rather than give him medicine and he died as a result. I'd be happy if someone prayed for my child rather than give him medicine and he healed.
So someone tells you "The evidence says that your child will die without medicine, but my gut says that all he needs is prayer. Either way, we'll know tomorrow". You are saying that you would do nothing, and just wait for that to unfold?

quote:
In all cases, I'd have justification to be outraged if the person trying to help my child did not do what they believed to be best,
It's the "believed to be best" part that's so bizzarre. I have no medical knowledge at all. Reason and evidence clearly dictate that I will kill whomever I operate on. But if I were stupid enough to think that I was some magical religiously-blessed exception, and I operated on your child, and killed her, you would be fine with that, because I did my best, and my best was predictably lethal to someone you loved?

I brought up the orignal question in order to elict the response "Yeah, I guess when things really do matter, matter a lot, I go with what reason and evidence say, because you get better outcomes". But you obviously don't think like this. You don't care much about trying to get the best outcome, you only care if people try their best? This is an attitude appropriate for 6 year olds in sports leagues. Not grown-ups.

quote:
or if the person trying to help my child was an expert who is supposed to be able to save him and failed. If its a doctor who is supposed to know that medicine X will save him, and he doesn't give him medicine X, I'd have reason to be outraged.
But the doctor is perfectly aware of all the evidence that treatment X would have saved your child. But his religious sensibilities told him that it wasn't necessary. So he ignoered the evidence, and went with his gut instead.
That's the whole point of the question.

quote:
Similarly, discovering your purpose in life may require meditation, introspection, and religious help - in contrast, trying to do a scientific study on it is not a good way to actually discover your purpose in life.
Don't you think that all those priests who molested children meditated and prayed long and hard about whether the priesthood was the right place for them?

I bet they did. And I bet the priests who covered up for them prayed long and hard too. And the guys who tortured people during the inquisition did too. And the torturers concluded at the end of their introspection that they were doing God's work, for the greater good.

quote:
Certain types of evidence are better at answering certain types of questions.
Okay, and apparently medicine on the border? Let me guess...when the answer given by evidence and reason doesn't suit you, that's the wrong kind of question for reason and evidence.
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Xaposert
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quote:
So someone tells you "The evidence says that your child will die without medicine, but my gut says that all he needs is prayer. Either way, we'll know tomorrow". You are saying that you would do nothing, and just wait for that to unfold?
See, this is what I was talking about when I said you put strawman arguments into my mouth. No, I am definitely not saying I'd do nothing while my child dies. I'd probably ask for him to get the medicine AND the prayer.

quote:
It's the "believed to be best" part that's so bizzarre. I have no medical knowledge at all. Reason and evidence clearly dictate that I will kill whomever I operate on. But if I were stupid enough to think that I was some magical religiously-blessed exception, and I operated on your child, and killed her, you would be fine with that, because I did my best, and my best was predictably lethal to someone you loved?

I brought up the orignal question in order to elict the response "Yeah, I guess when things really do matter, matter a lot, I go with what reason and evidence say, because you get better outcomes". But you obviously don't think like this. You don't care much about trying to get the best outcome, you only care if people try their best? This is an attitude appropriate for 6 year olds in sports leagues. Not grown-ups.

I said I'd be devastated if my child died. So no, I would not "be fine" with you killing my child. And no, I don't only care if people try their best.

All I said is that I would not be justified in being furious with a person who did their best to save my child and failed. If I put my child's life in the hands of someone whose best isn't good enough, then the person I should be furious with is myself. This IS an attitude appropriate for grown-ups; in fact, it's the only attitude correct for grown-ups.

quote:
But the doctor is perfectly aware of all the evidence that treatment X would have saved your child. But his religious sensibilities told him that it wasn't necessary. So he ignoered the evidence, and went with his gut instead.
That's the whole point of the question.

Why doesn't he give both prayer AND treatment X? If he goes with his gut and it works, then I'm fine. But otherwise, I'd expect him to take the safest course, rather than doing the minimum he felt was "necessary".

My personal religious view is that prayer does not act to reliably cure diseases. So, I'd be unlikely to go to a doctor that says he will treat my child based on prayer. But if my child ended up being treated by such a doctor, and if it worked, I'd have no complaints. And if my child went to such a doctor and it failed, I'd be very upset - but probably no more upset than if I went to a doctor that gave my child medicine that failed.

[ April 21, 2009, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: Xaposert ]

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Vyrus
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My internet's been out for a week, and I didn't have access to one (library or otherwise) so please forgive me for not replying--I wasn't merely avoiding you fine folks.

Just give me a short while to read the thread, and then start replying.

Edit: Because I started this thread, and then was not there to answer all of your replies, comments, etc., I feel it is my duty to at least do you the honor of answering questions, giving my own opinions, retorts, etc.

Of course I'll do so with the mind that posts develop over time, and will to try to stay with the concurrent themes that have recently been discussed, along with the ones from several days ago.

I'll try to do so concisely and accurately.


Also, a disclaimer: I feel you all were right about not doing my research as well as I should've, not presenting my points of query in a more organized, thorough format, and should've clearly noted which parts were inconsistencies between law and practice in Christianity, and which parts were my impressions of them.

This lackadaisical approach diminished the effectiveness of conveying any point I was trying to make, and bastardized the original query of my piece, which was less "Can you explain the difference between why you say this and do this? Please? It's kind of dumb." and more "From these certain points of Scripture, and how it differs from the average Christian practices, what they say about God, etc., I feel that Christianity conveys itself a falsities wrought on..." etc.

With this in mind, I read.

[ April 21, 2009, 10:08 PM: Message edited by: Vyrus ]

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rivka
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I selected that particular adjective deliberately. But I shouldn't have bothered -- I knew how this would go. I was hoping the name-calling wouldn't happen that quickly, but silly me.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
If I put my child's life in the hands of someone whose best isn't good enough, then the person I should be furious with is myself. This is an attitude appropriate for grown-ups; in fact, it's the only attitude correct for grown-ups.

The point is that you don't get to choose.

If anyone gets to allow their religous sensibilitites to trump reason and evidence at any time, then they can do so without your approval.

quote:
quote:
But the doctor is perfectly aware of all the evidence that treatment X would have saved your child. But his religious sensibilities told him that it wasn't necessary. So he ignoered the evidence, and went with his gut instead.
That's the whole point of the question.

Why doesn't he give both prayer AND treatment X?
Because his religous sensibility tells him not to.

Sure, you think that it's reasonable to do both, but he's letting his religous sensibility trump reason, remember? That's the whole point of the question. How can you not understand it after all this time?

quote:
If he goes with his gut and it works, then I'm fine.
Sorry, this just astonishes me. You'd allow your child's life to be put at serious risk of death, just to humor the religious foibles of a stranger? You wouldn't say "Hell no, I'm not risking my child's life because your gut says that proven medical techniques shouldn't be tried"?

I'm curious...if you, say, took another person's child street racing with you, do you think that most parents would be fine with that, so long as you didn't crash that time?

If you took another person's child with you to swim the English channel in winter, or go on walkabout in Austraila with nothing but a canteen and a knife, do you think that most parents would wait until you got back before they knew if they approved of your behavior or not?

Becuase your attitide of "It's fine if people take ridiculous risks with the life of my child" is not common in my experience.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
The point is that you don't get to choose.

Of course he does. Tres has already said that he wouldn't take his child to a doctor who used prayer instead of medicine, so your repeated insistence that he's willing to risk his hypothetical child is misplaced.

And, really, the number of religious people of any stripe who believe that prayer is a substitute for medical care is so low as to make this a really pointless argument. The idea that all of a sudden a doctor's "religious sensibilites" are going to trump her medical training in the way you describe is as likely as an atheist doctor suddenly deciding that her asthetic sensibilities argue that antibiotics aren't elegant enough to use on a patient.

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King of Men
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But that's just the point! Practically nobody uses prayer instead of medicine, or more generally religion instead of science, when the real-world outcome is actually important. And that is because science works and religion doesn't.
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Armoth
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My religion doesn't tell me to pray to heal. It's like that classic story about the dude who wanted to get saved from the flood and a boat comes by and he's all "God will save me", and then a whole bunch of other stuff including a helicopter comes and he is all "God will save me." And he dies and goes to heaven and gets upset at God and God is all "I sent you a boat, and some other dudes and a helicopter!"

The point being - God created this world. My religion teaches me to use the physical world but to recognize that it is His. To pray and to use medicine - not because the prayer will "work", but because the prayer is a recognition that the only reason why this precise combination of chemicals works to heal is because God created the world that way.

It's like living under your parents roof and not thanking them for the food, clothing, and the four walls that surround you. Most kids take that for granted. As we take the world for granted.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
But that's just the point! Practically nobody uses prayer instead of medicine, or more generally religion instead of science, when the real-world outcome is actually important. And that is because science works and religion doesn't.

Nobody uses antibiotics to fix their automobile or ballet to catch fish either. And that is because that isn't their purpose.
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King of Men
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Precisely my point: Religion is not useful.
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