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Author Topic: Elon Musk says that we live in a simulation
LudWig
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KK_kzrJPS8

I am really disturbed by this.

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PanaceaSanans
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Why does it disturb you?
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Strider
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To be fair, Elon Musk did not say that we are living in a simulation. He gave an argument with a probabilistic conclusion, and refused, admirably, to say anything beyond that.

Paraphrase of his response to the questioner's repeated attempts to elicit a yes or no: I've given you the odds, what more do you want from me?

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Samprimary
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your mom's a simulation
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Mr. Y
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And she has a green crystal floating over her head.
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Dogbreath
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BASILISK BASILISK BASILISK
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JanitorBlade
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I mean, us living in a simulation is what Christianity has argued from the beginning right?
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Heisenberg
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To be fair I find the simulation arguments to be quite persuasive.

On the other hand, it all amounts to the same thing. Either we're a simulation in a theist's god's mind, or we're a simulation in a computer of a sufficiently advanced technology in a completely natural universe.

Being a low level sentient life form, I find the idea of higher beings creating mainframes to host forms such as us to be cool. If that were the case, our moral imperative would be to research the technology so that we could continue the chain of turtles.

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LudWig
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What if this is all some RPG, and we're all some NPC characters except for Trump and Putin? [Frown]
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JanitorBlade
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There's limited character progression with both Trump and Putin.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
I mean, us living in a simulation is what Christianity has argued from the beginning right?

What? No.
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Glenn Arnold
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Well, there has been the idea that reality is in the mind of God, and that God creates by imagining things. But it's more of a notion than an argument.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
I mean, us living in a simulation is what Christianity has argued from the beginning right?

What? No.
Sure it is. We're God's creation. And he puts us here.
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PSI Teleport
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But what is Earth simulating, exactly?
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JanitorBlade
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A reality where we have no easy proof of God's existence. We are therefore free to act as agents unto ourselves.

We then run the simulation to find out what kind of people we truly are.

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kmbboots
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I don't think that is what simulation means. We are not pretending; we actually do live in a reality where we have no easy proof of God's existence.

What version of Christianity argues that we don't?

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I don't think that is what simulation means. We are not pretending; we actually do live in a reality where we have no easy proof of God's existence.

But that is in contrast with a previous reality where we did have easy proof of God's existence.

To use Merriam Webster,

"examination of a problem often not subject to direct experimentation by means of a simulating device"

We are in an experiment where our ignorance of God's existence is simulated. It's been stripped away.

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PSI Teleport
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I...am not quite buying that. One of the main tenets of Christianity is that we do have proof of God's existence through general revelation.

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

ETA: I mean, I understand the comparison with "easy" understanding, but I wouldn't say knowledge of God was totally "stripped away." But maybe there's something in Scripture that I missed.

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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
To use Merriam Webster,

"examination of a problem often not subject to direct experimentation by means of a simulating device"

We are in an experiment where our ignorance of God's existence is simulated. It's been stripped away.

BB, but I take it that Musk is using the 3a version of the definition (the imitative representation of the functioning of one system or process by means of the functioning of another), not the 3b version. So unless you think the two definitions are equivalent, you and he mean different things by saying that we live in a simulation (though you still may be correct, theologically)
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
I...am not quite buying that. One of the main tenets of Christianity is that we do have proof of God's existence through general revelation.

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

ETA: I mean, I understand the comparison with "easy" understanding, but I wouldn't say knowledge of God was totally "stripped away." But maybe there's something in Scripture that I missed.

The proof our knowledge of God is stripped away (Assuming it was there in the first place) is that you can't remember anything about God. In fact all knowledge of any existence prior to birth is gone.

If having a person existing in a prepared scenario, with special conditions in place isn't a simulation, not much is I think.

I get that this Earth is absolutely real according to Christian theology. That it's as real as heaven is. So in that sense I can see how what Musk is talking about isn't exactly what I'm saying.

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kmbboots
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"Real" is, by definition, not "simulated".

And Christianity, in general, does not posit a prior existence. Plato did and the early Church dabbled with the notion but it was declared heresy in the 6th century.

edit to add: If you want claim pre-existence for Mormonism or Islam, you can but not for Christianity in general.

[ June 13, 2017, 12:42 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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JanitorBlade
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You can't?

Maybe if you decide the Second Council of Constantinople = Christianity. Which it isn't.

Christ's existence before mortality is affirmed in scripture. "Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world."

So the door of that possibility is already open. We have in Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

So Jeremiah's ordination as a prophet predates his own birth. Again suggesting preexistence.

We see Lucifer interacting with Adam and Eve without his ever having been born in the first place. Or in Job,

"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

God is affirming that his children rejoiced at his creation of the Earth. Again suggesting preexistence.

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kmbboots
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No. You can't.

Maybe if you decide that Mormonism is all of Christianity. Which is isn't.

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scifibum
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I think "experiment with independent variables" is a better fit than "simulation" for the way LDS view mortal existence.

"Let's see what happens if we turn 'memory of pre-mortal existence down to 0'."

BB, I think you can claim that the LDS belief is the one you feel is correct, but quoting scripture to convince others that their church's understanding of that same scripture is incorrect is probably a non-starter.

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kmbboots
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Yeah. Origen tried that and failed.

edit to add: Honestly, I don't care so much about the particular doctrine as I do about people making claims about Christianity in general that they should not be making.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
No. You can't.

Maybe if you decide that Mormonism is all of Christianity. Which is isn't.

What? I never even suggested Mormonism = All of Christianity, I'm even using what Christians do universally accept as scripture to give evidence.

But you shoot the scriptures down with some council that has no jurisdiction over anyone accept those that choose to and use that as proof I'm wrong about preexistence.

I'm happy to hear how you interpret those passages.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
No. You can't.

Maybe if you decide that Mormonism is all of Christianity. Which is isn't.

What? I never even suggested Mormonism = All of Christianity, I'm even using what Christians do universally accept as scripture to give evidence.
I understand that Mormons may interpret those scriptures to indicate preexistence, but most Christians *don't*. As some of those scriptures are brought up specifically in predestination debates, they're ones I'm pretty familiar with. But, in response:

quote:
Christ's existence before mortality is affirmed in scripture. "Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world."
That only makes sense as evidence in the context of Mormon theology, where Christ is distinct from God. Christians who hold to the Nicene Creed believe he is "begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father." Or in other words, Jesus existed before creation because he is NOT a created being, he is the creator. (The beginning of the Gospel of John makes this more explicit) Strip away the Mormon belief that Jesus is distinct from God, and this no longer makes sense as evidence of preexistence.

quote:
"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
Christians generally interpret this to indicate predestination (or at least, foreknowledge), not preexistence. I.e, God had understood the need for Jeremiah, and had a plan and mission for him when he created him. (As an answer to Jeremiah's doubt of "but I'm just a kid, why would you pick me at random?" God tells him it's NOT random, that he was created for a specific purpose)

quote:
We see Lucifer interacting with Adam and Eve without his ever having been born in the first place.
Again, Mormon theology. At no point does the Bible ever mention Lucifer talking to Adam or Eve. That was the serpent. (Who may not have been born, but probably hatched!)

Who or what "Lucifer" from Isaiah 14:12 is isn't specified in the Bible, and Mormon theology is drastically different from most of Christianity in that regard, too.

quote:
"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?"
That's a rhetorical question. The implication being "you weren't there, so shut up and listen."

quote:
"When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
"Sons of God" is here interpreted to mean "angels" not "preexisting humans" by most Christians.

---

None of which is to say your/the LDS interpretation is wrong and the mainstream interpretation is right. But none of the scriptures you quoted are actually evidence of preexistence to someone who doesn't already believe the specific extra-Biblical things you/Mormons do. Especially to someone who believes contradicting extra-Biblical things and comes from a tradition that interprets those verses differently. [Razz]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
No. You can't.

Maybe if you decide that Mormonism is all of Christianity. Which is isn't.

What? I never even suggested Mormonism = All of Christianity, I'm even using what Christians do universally accept as scripture to give evidence.

But you shoot the scriptures down with some council that has no jurisdiction over anyone accept those that choose to and use that as proof I'm wrong about preexistence.

I'm happy to hear how you interpret those passages.

The council in question was accepted by the Church. At the time, that was, for all practical purposes, all of Christianity. That, much later, some relatively small sects of Christianity have decided otherwise does not mean that they speak for "Christianity" in general.

[ June 14, 2017, 11:20 AM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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JanitorBlade
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Dogbreath: Thanks for your responses.

quote:
That only makes sense as evidence in the context of Mormon theology, where Christ is distinct from God. Christians who hold to the Nicene Creed believe he is "begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father." Or in other words, Jesus existed before creation because he is NOT a created being, he is the creator. (The beginning of the Gospel of John makes this more explicit) Strip away the Mormon belief that Jesus is distinct from God, and this no longer makes sense as evidence of preexistence.

It's true that at times I have trouble stripping away and converting my understanding of the Bible when discussing with other Christians. It usually comes up in discussions of the resurrection, and I'll admit it blindsided me on the preexistence piece.

I don't really understand how it is that Protestantism represents a total separation from the Catholic church including many Catholic doctrines, but then things like the Nicene creed and the Second Council of Constantinople which are clearly Catholic church meetings somehow are still rigorously adhered to, while previous Christians who saw these scriptures differently are all heretics and not Christians.

You are right the pre-existance of Jesus does not make sense (Though I struggle to understand what is meant by begotten not made) if you believe in the mainline doctrine of the trinity.

quote:
Christians generally interpret this to indicate predestination (or at least, foreknowledge), not preexistence. I.e, God had understood the need for Jeremiah, and had a plan and mission for him when he created him. (As an answer to Jeremiah's doubt of "but I'm just a kid, why would you pick me at random?" God tells him it's NOT random, that he was created for a specific purpose)
OK. But if God was trying to say Jeremiah was around before he was born and was ordained a prophet, what other language could he use to make that clear?

quote:
Again, Mormon theology. At no point does the Bible ever mention Lucifer talking to Adam or Eve. That was the serpent. (Who may not have been born, but probably hatched!)

Who or what "Lucifer" from Isaiah 14:12 is isn't specified in the Bible, and Mormon theology is drastically different from most of Christianity in that regard, too.

Blindsided again.

So in Revelations where it says,

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"

Satan is called that old serpent, but he's not the serpent in the Garden of Eden?

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:

I don't really understand how it is that Protestantism represents a total separation from the Catholic church including many Catholic doctrines, but then things like the Nicene creed and the Second Council of Constantinople which are clearly Catholic church meetings somehow are still rigorously adhered to, while previous Christians who saw these scriptures differently are all heretics and not Christians.

We've talked about it before, but it's because Protestants don't consider themselves separated. I mean, I grew up in various Protestant churches and they all claim to be part of the Holy Catholic Church - that's one of the central tenants of Christianity and holding to the Nicene creed. Protestants reject the authority of the Roman Catholic Church (the institution) but consider still consider themselves to be part of the Church (the body).

Also, the Protestest Reformation, while not coherent in its goals (i.e, Henry VIII had much different reasons than Martin Luther), was about rejecting specific Church teachings/practices, not outright rejecting everything that happened since 325 AD. Some of the practices/abuses that inspired the protestant reformation (like the quantification/selling of indulgences) have since been curtailed or ended by the Roman Catholic Church since then.

Nobody has said that pre-Nicean Christians weren't Christians, just that their disparate beliefs (the number and diversity of which was what inspired standardization with the Councils of Nicea and Hippo in the first place) aren't those of "Christians in general." Kate has explained this a few times.

quote:
You are right the pre-existance of Jesus does not make sense (Though I struggle to understand what is meant by begotten not made) if you believe in the mainline doctrine of the trinity.
It's a fairly easy distinction. "Begotten" means born, "made" means created, artificed. As in, they believe Jesus is the Son of God, of the same substance and being of God, coequal, rather than Jesus being a creation of God, he is God. Whereas humans are created - crafted, designed. In the image of God, but not of the same substance, and not God.

QUOTE]OK. But if God was trying to say Jeremiah was around before he was born and was ordained a prophet, what other language could he use to make that clear?[/QUOTE]

Say "before I placed you in the belly" before "before I made you in the belly" for starters I guess, or maybe "Yo, Jeremiah, you existed before I wiped your memory and put in you in a human body", but I'm not here to debate interpretation with you, just telling you how that verse is in fact interpreted by most Christians.

quote:
Blindsided again.

So in Revelations where it says,

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,"

Satan is called that old serpent, but he's not the serpent in the Garden of Eden?

You said Lucifer before, who is never said to be Satan in the Bible. But in response to that, the nature of Satan/the Devil is one of the least agreed upon/established things amoung Christians (to the point where most Protestants at least draw their interpretation of the nature of Satan from Milton), but I believe most Christians would agree that the Serpent was either a manifestation of Satan or an animal possessed by him. That being said, they also believe Satan (and the rest of the angels) are created beings who were created before humans (see "Sons of God" above), and are spiritual rather than physical beings, but are nonetheless created. They don't "pre-exist" since they aren't mortals (though they can take the shape of or posess mortal beings), just exist. But again, very little of that is from the Bible, and a lot of it wasn't hammered down even in the middle ages, which is why you see such disparate beliefs on the subject. (With a lot of protestant churches rejecting Satan as an literal being as opposed to a literary device or allegory - which makes sense, since the story of the Garden of Eden seems pretty highly allegorical in the first place)
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JanitorBlade
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Dogbreath:
quote:
We've talked about it before, but it's because Protestants don't consider themselves separated. I mean, I grew up in various Protestant churches and they all claim to be part of the Holy Catholic Church - that's one of the central tenants of Christianity and holding to the Nicene creed. Protestants reject the authority of the Roman Catholic Church (the institution) but consider still consider themselves to be part of the Church (the body).
We, as in you and me? Or we as in this forum? I've literally never heard a Protestant say they belong to the Holy Catholic Church. It's like hearing that all this time, Christians believe that Baal is actually a real God and demands sacrifice. If you are saying Holy Catholic Church = Body of Christ, well that's more or less what we believe too.

quote:
Also, the Protestest Reformation, while not coherent in its goals (i.e, Henry VIII had much different reasons than Martin Luther), was about rejecting specific Church teachings/practices, not outright rejecting everything that happened since 325 AD. Some of the practices/abuses that inspired the protestant reformation (like the quantification/selling of indulgences) have since been curtailed or ended by the Roman Catholic Church since then.
I didn't mean to suggest they threw everything out, but isn't their a gamut? Anglicans are almost exactly Catholic, Universalists are pretty far removed?

quote:
Nobody has said that pre-Nicean Christians weren't Christians, just that their disparate beliefs (the number and diversity of which was what inspired standardization with the Councils of Nicea and Hippo in the first place) aren't those of "Christians in general." Kate has explained this a few times.
Those beliefs didn't take root because they were declared a heresy and you could be killed for saying them. My point is more that Mormons didn't originate them, and they aren't alien concepts to Christianity. Some ancient Christians believed them.

I can see how my terming it "Christianity taught from the beginning" was flawed because I honestly had no clue other Christians don't believe in a pre-existance.

quote:
You said Lucifer before, who is never said to be Satan in the Bible.
Blindsided by this. I assumed most Christians use Lucifer and Satan interchangeably.

quote:
But in response to that, the nature of Satan/the Devil is one of the least agreed upon/established things amoung Christians (to the point where most Protestants at least draw their interpretation of the nature of Satan from Milton), but I believe most Christians would agree that the Serpent was either a manifestation of Satan or an animal possessed by him. That being said, they also believe Satan (and the rest of the angels) are created beings who were created before humans (see "Sons of God" above), and are spiritual rather than physical beings, but are nonetheless created. They don't "pre-exist" since they aren't mortals (though they can take the shape of or posess mortal beings), just exist. But again, very little of that is from the Bible, and a lot of it wasn't hammered down even in the middle ages, which is why you see such disparate beliefs on the subject. (With a lot of protestant churches rejecting Satan as an literal being as opposed to a literary device or allegory - which makes sense, since the story of the Garden of Eden seems pretty highly allegorical in the first place)
Thanks for the explanation.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
We, as in you and me? Or we as in this forum? I've literally never heard a Protestant say they belong to the Holy Catholic Church.

You and me. (And dkw, kmboots, and others) http://www.hatrack.com/ubb/main/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=059397;p=2#000057
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Dogbreath
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Like, its something protestants literally say every time they read the Nicene Creed in church. The universality of The Church is a pretty central tenant for most Christians.
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kmbboots
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Most Protestant sects still use the Nicene Creed which contains, "And I believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."

Small "c" catholic. It basically means universal. From the Greek kata (with respect to) holos (the whole).

quote:
I can see how my terming it "Christianity taught from the beginning" was flawed because I honestly had no clue other Christians don't believe in a pre-existance.
Thank you, BB. That was all you needed to say. And now you know. [Smile]
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
We, as in you and me? Or we as in this forum? I've literally never heard a Protestant say they belong to the Holy Catholic Church.

You and me. (And dkw, kmboots, and others) http://www.hatrack.com/ubb/main/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=059397;p=2#000057
Thanks for the link. My memory on these terms got muddled.
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JanitorBlade
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Kate:
quote:
Most Protestant sects still use the Nicene Creed which contains, "And I believe in the one holy catholic and apostolic church.
.

This I knew. I just didn't think they actually said the one holy catholic church, since I'd never heard them call their churches Catholic.

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kmbboots
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So you knew it but didn't think it?
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JanitorBlade
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Sorry, on my phone. I knew that they recited the Nicene creed. Did not think of they included the bit I quoted.
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kmbboots
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While individuals may make small, unauthorized* tweaks (I, for example leave out the "men" in "For us men and for our salvation" and change the pronoun for the Holy Spirit to "she") you shouldn't think that whole denominations could make wholesale changes and still use the creed.

*My priest and my catechist approved.

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kmbboots
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Also, thank you, Dogbreath.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
While individuals may make small, unauthorized* tweaks (I, for example leave out the "men" in "For us men and for our salvation" and change the pronoun for the Holy Spirit to "she") you shouldn't think that whole denominations could make wholesale changes and still use the creed.

*My priest and my catechist approved.

I appreciate the explanation. But I also hope that perhaps you can see that repeatedly our conversations about Christian doctrine revolve around this particular creed. And I find it more than a little annoying that a group of men living centuries after Christ get to define what the Bible means and what it means to get to be called Christian. Particularly when you consider that many of these major decisions came down to who had a slightly bigger majority at the time.
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JanitorBlade
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I'm sorry, I'm frustrated. Both because of this topic (Christianity) being so difficult to discuss. Because of your statement to me on Facebook just now (Which I'm sure amuses you because it seems like evidence of your point), because I feel like often in conversations like these it feels like I said nothing of interest or utility, and because of some other things unrelated but which clearly together make me less than enjoyable to talk to right now.

I'll try to get myself together and come back to the thread later.

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kmbboots
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I get that you think it is wrong. You are free to believe what you choose - just like all of us. And you get to choose to be part of a sect of Christianity that also thinks that those centuries of councils and traditions and interpretations are wrong. What you don't get to do is ignore the fact that billions of Christians do believe them and you need to take that into account when talking about "Christianity" as a whole. You don't need to know the doctrine but when someone corrects you, just listen. Okay? [Smile]
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kmbboots
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What I found "amusing" is that you seem to be able to listen to Dogbreath so much more easily than you do to me. I get that there could be other reasons for that. Don't be discouraged, your posts are often both interesting and useful.
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PSI Teleport
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BB, I'm sorry I missed this entire discussion while I was offline. I found your points to be interesting and valuable. I don't believe in the pre-existence, but I was interested to see how those Bible verses were interpreted by the Mormon church.

I will say that I know a sect of Protestants who believe in the pre-existence of humans, in that they believe this whole world is Earth Version 2 and that we existed here before.

ETA: Respectfully, Kate, I think Dogbreath came off less challenging/argumentative. But I think there must be precedents to this conversation that I've missed.

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Dogbreath
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kmbboots: No problem!

---

BB: To reiterate what Kate has said, I don't think you're wrong because you believe things and interpret the Bible in a way that isn't compatible with most of Christianity. Just that it's not correct to say "Christians believe this" when the overwhelming majority believe something mutually contradictory.

If it makes any difference, my own personal interpretation of the Bible and the nature of God is almost certainly heretical, and is probably closer to yours than any mainstream beliefs. (I've discussed it in depth here before, but a lot of it is my extrapolation on the writings of Saint Irenaeus) Then again, I usually hesitate to call myself Christian because my beliefs, while founded in Christian theology, are different enough from Christianity in general that I don't feel comfortable giving myself that label. I feel like it would be a misrepresentation.

Something that has caused a bit of wry amusement over the past few years in these discussions is that, in my (so far unsuccessful) search to find a church community that I can call home, I've run into a number of faux hippy franchise churches (with names like "The Porch" or "Harvest Fellowship" or what have you, the kind with pastors who smile all the time and hipster rock bands on stage) where the trendy thing to say for a while was "I don't believe in Religion, I believe in Jesus!" or "I don't like the baggage of the word 'Christian', I prefer to call myself a 'Follower of Christ'". It's very fashionable nowadays to avoid labels, even when they're perfectly applicable. You, on the other hand, care a great deal about the label and identity that comes with the word "Christian", even though your beliefs are so very distinct from Christianity in general where you could very justifiably call LDS a different religion. Not that I think you shouldn't call yourself a Christian - it doesn't make a difference to me - it's just an interesting contrast.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I get that you think it is wrong. You are free to believe what you choose - just like all of us. And you get to choose to be part of a sect of Christianity that also thinks that those centuries of councils and traditions and interpretations are wrong. What you don't get to do is ignore the fact that billions of Christians do believe them and you need to take that into account when talking about "Christianity" as a whole. You don't need to know the doctrine but when someone corrects you, just listen. Okay? [Smile]

I wasn't trying to ignore that fact, though I was honestly amazed that we diverged on this doctrinal point, so that certainly made it hard for me to believe what you were suggesting, and then when we talk about how creeds are the proof that this is the way "Christianity" feels, I chaffed.

Speaking honestly, I find the conclusions those councils reached irritating, and horribly wrong, but that's on me to control. Interestingly enough, I have strong suspicions the Holy Ghost is a woman too. But that's certainly not taught in my church.


quote:
Originally posted by PSI Teleport:
BB, I'm sorry I missed this entire discussion while I was offline. I found your points to be interesting and valuable. I don't believe in the pre-existence, but I was interested to see how those Bible verses were interpreted by the Mormon church.

I will say that I know a sect of Protestants who believe in the pre-existence of humans, in that they believe this whole world is Earth Version 2 and that we existed here before.

If we go to any of Mormonism's canonized scriptures, or even Joseph Smiths' translation of the Bible, preexistence is inescapable. If you are interested in any verses, I'd be happy to link them.
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JanitorBlade
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Dogbreath:
quote:
BB: To reiterate what Kate has said, I don't think you're wrong because you believe things and interpret the Bible in a way that isn't compatible with most of Christianity. Just that it's not correct to say "Christians believe this" when the overwhelming majority believe something mutually contradictory.
That's true. As I said before, the idea that other Christians do not believe in a pre-existence was astonishing to me, to the point I struggled to accept it.

It's is amusing that I care about being labeled a Christian while for you it carries a lot of baggage. Part of that is probably that Mormons have been told they aren't Christians (Not this time, but it was a conclusion this board reached in another thread) because they believe in a different Christ than the Nicene creed, and it has been that way over 180 years now. Our baptisms don't count, whereas other sects do for example when converting to Catholicism. IMHO part of the reasons Mormons in Utah ally so strongly with the GOP is because evangelicals are there, and they think it's the party of Jesus.

We also have scriptures that expressly say that a church must be Christ's church in name or else it belongs to somebody else. And that his followers are called Christians. So when others say that is not the case, we're kinda desperate for validation from other Christian sects. It's kind of depressing. [Razz]

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kmbboots
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Not having baptisms "count" is not the same thing as not being considered Christian. Would my baptism count if I were converting? And it isn't just Mormons; there are several Christian sects who would need to be baptized if converting.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Not having baptisms "count" is not the same thing as not being considered Christian. Would my baptism count if I were converting? And it isn't just Mormons; there are several Christian sects who would need to be baptized if converting.

Your baptism would not count and neither would any other sect's, but not because you weren't Christian. It's a question of correct authority. No particular sect is exempt.

I have absolutely no doubt that you believe in the same Christ I do. Or that you are as Christian as I am. Possibly even more so.

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