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Author Topic: Was Jesus real or was he a great magician?  (Read 26222 times)

Offline mcgiverofthegarden

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« Reply #50 on: 14/05/2009 13:28:04 »
                          MOVING ON.....

Have you all seen it yet?

God says "If you eat the fruit you shall die"

and the serpent says "if you eat the fruit you will not die"

And Adam and Eve eat the fruit and don't die. So does that mean god was wrong? NO.

When the serpent says you won't die he means- you will not stop existing. When God says you will die he means, death to true life, a death to the kingdom of heaven.

And there, Adam and Eve did die to the kingdom of heaven.

So Jesus came to bring us back, for he is the way the truth and the life. The true life, the gate to the sheepfold. And in that sense the Church is correct, he does destroy death in spiritual terms, and brings us life in spiritual terms.

And I say that death is not the root of all evil, the root is the doubt of Gods love.
 

Offline mcgiverofthegarden

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« Reply #51 on: 14/05/2009 14:49:34 »
                   
       I would just like to add something else I have learnt over the past few years

Humility,

Humility really calls us to raise others, not to lower ourselves, for a worm shows no thanks to God for being made a man, and this is expressed most profoundly when Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, for he denies nothing of what he is when he does so.

                            to finish

                    Our father who art in heaven
                        holy be your name
                        your kingdom come
                        your will be done
                      on earth as it is in heaven....

      God bless you and keep you all, your friend as always,

                                Jolly
 
« Last Edit: 14/05/2009 14:52:15 by mcgiverofthegarden »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #52 on: 14/05/2009 23:03:54 »
Would it be raising you to explain the difference between a scienctific forum and a religious one?
 

Offline mcgiverofthegarden

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« Reply #53 on: 15/05/2009 20:02:00 »
Would it be raising you to explain the difference between a scientific forum and a religious one?

I always thought science was about the search for truth. Originally, all science belonged to realm of philosophy, or have we forgoten? Scientists (tut), your always reductionist.

But as another question, what would Adam and Eve have done if God had allowed them to stay in the garden of Eden, with their new found ignorance?

Well what have the sons of Adam done here on earth? How many forms of life have gone extinct because we were scared of them, or hunted them for sport? Not even considering the mass destruction we cause in the pursuit of wealth.

I think it was an Incan that said "when all the land is desert and all the rivers are poisoned man will realise, you can't eat money"

Give the most stupid a park to look after for a week, and it'll be a desert by Wednesday.

Doesn't have to happen. Gandhi- Commerce without morality, a deadly sin.

the rest of Gandhi' seven deadly sins are as follows:

Wealth without work

Pleasure without conscience

Religion without sacrifice

Knowledge without character

Politics without principle

And the one probably most important for this forum

Science without humanity
 
 

Offline DrN

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« Reply #54 on: 15/05/2009 22:31:56 »
Science is most certainly the search for truth.

Religion, however, requires faith by its very nature. To prove or disprove the existence of God would make faith irrelevant.
 

Offline mcgiverofthegarden

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« Reply #55 on: 16/05/2009 19:58:04 »
Science is most certainly the search for truth.

Religion, however, requires faith by its very nature. To prove or disprove the existence of God would make faith irrelevant.

Not necessarily for the opposite of faith is fear, and there are many faithful that hold that.

Want some maths?

0 + 0 = 0
 

Offline BenV

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« Reply #56 on: 16/05/2009 20:04:14 »
Science is most certainly the search for truth.

Religion, however, requires faith by its very nature. To prove or disprove the existence of God would make faith irrelevant.

Not necessarily for the opposite of faith is fear, and there are many faithful that hold that.

Want some maths?

0 + 0 = 0
The opposite of faith is not fear - unless you have a strange definition of either faith or fear.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #57 on: 17/05/2009 08:18:22 »
Perhaps the faithful indeed fear the implications of a universe without their god, hence why they remain faithful in the face of reason.
 

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« Reply #58 on: 17/05/2009 12:35:54 »
Perhaps we are at a watershed in the development of humans. We have got this far. Society has regulated itself fairly successfully on the basis of religions - inventions of the subconscious which arrived by evolution. With the exceptions of an 'elite' few thinkers, humans are governed, ultimately, by some form of faith.
Along comes Science and starts to point this out, dispassionately. The rug is being drawn smartly out from under our feet. People are trying to hang on to the rug but Pandora's box can't be shut again, once opened (to mix a couple of metaphors). I can only hope that rationality will be as successful as faith for our future. I have my doubts.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #59 on: 17/05/2009 17:25:03 »
Since people actually pick and choose which parts of their religion to believe and/or uphold, it's clear that morality is a function of culture and innate processes rather than of religion.
 

lyner

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« Reply #60 on: 17/05/2009 17:49:38 »
I think it's more fundamental than that. I fear that you can't rely on peoples' actions to be rational and for the best of society. I guess that what I am suggesting is that the 'altruistic' gene expresses itself sub consciously in the form of faith / belief. Why else should we really give a stuff about the rest or the world or the distant future?
Many humanists still talk in terms of 'rights' but that can only be a shorthand for 'best for the future of the species in the long run'. There's yer actual faith but under a different name.
It worries me that, once we acknowledge this, we may disregard the need for altruism entirely. Back to total savagery.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #61 on: 17/05/2009 18:36:10 »
Can you name a feature of religion that is both necessary for altruism and absent from any non-religious altruistic endeavors?

Further, as we are social organisms, can you honestly believe that there's no rational reason to be altruistic?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #62 on: 17/05/2009 19:23:31 »
If you believe that acting in a certain way while alive will bring you an eternity in heaven, is it really altruistic to behave that way or is it just self-interest?
As I see it, religion kills altruism.
 

lyner

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« Reply #63 on: 18/05/2009 00:25:27 »
The reason that Religions work in an overall altruistic way and tend to be of (overall) social benefit is that they provide a simple set of rules. Not everyone is smart enough or reasonable enough to figure out what's 'best'. I doubt that anyone reading this can honestly say that they would have independently arrived at the code of conduct they use. We all learn our codes and adapt them to fit. If we choose to call our particular approach humanitarian and fully logical then I think we delude ourselves. It is an instinct just like that of ants, only more complex and based on learned socialisation - resulting from the actions of certain genes.
If you are an anti-religionist then you will always be able to find failed aspects of any religion. But are there any systems (proven to work in a large population for a long time) which serve better?
I, personally have no 'religion'. I have no belief in an after-life or a God but I know that I feel better for doing 'the right thing' - taught by my society and largely based on the Christian ethic.

Religion achieves altruism because it offers the individual immediate gratification for behaving in an altruistic way. Why should anyone be altruistic without some immediate reward / payment? The reward for putting up with your own kids and squandering most of your livelihood on them is the occasional "I love you Dad" and a rosy glow - plus an unashamed pride of 'ownership'. Why else do childless couples crave to have a family?
This is just extended to tribe, village, nation in some inverse law. The genes work well for close relations but less for strangers. The parable of the Good Samaritan endeavors to extend our natural localised altruism; my 'neighbour' is also someone alien to me.
I do not know how a system can be built which will instill altruism and which doesn't actually match many of the definitions of religion. I only know that revolution against religion does not seem to work in the long term. Does anyone have an alternative (for the masses, of course - not for us thinkers, who have sussed it all out)?

Perhaps it's all based on Game theory, in the end.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #64 on: 18/05/2009 04:56:57 »
You don't need to be a genius to be ethical.

As far as reward goes, perhaps just getting to survive is not gratifying enough for social organisms to be altruistic?

Religion may be a manifestation of altuism, but it's not the source.

You say that your morality is based on the Christian ethic. Where did the Christian ethic come from? It's a product of evolution. Also, I'm sure you don't think rape and slavery and genocide is OK, nor that humans [are supposed to] have dominion over nature. So you're clearly cherrypicking which parts of the Christian ethic to base your morality on, just as most moderate people do (few of whom are highly intelligent). I wonder what criteria they could possibly be using to pick and choose?

There are manifestations of all of the human altuistic traits in non-religious behaviours. Morality is hardwired, and reinforced by society. Religion does not have a monopoly.
 

lyner

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« Reply #65 on: 18/05/2009 11:20:50 »
You don't need to be a genius to be ethical.
Very true - but ethics are not arrived at independently; we need to be taught some values and rules and we don't figure out what to do 'for the best' from scratch every time.

As far as reward goes, perhaps just getting to survive is not gratifying enough for social organisms to be altruistic?
I don't think you mean "getting to survive" - in the short term, personal survival in a sticky spot may require total lack of altruism. You mean survival of the species, I think.

Religion may be a manifestation of altuism, but it's not the source.
Again, I agree. Religions are Social structures, like Governments. My view is that humans can't exist in large groups without both.

You say that your morality is based on the Christian ethic. Where did the Christian ethic come from? It's a product of evolution.
Agreed. There are too many different religions to conclude otherwise.  If religion has evolved, as you say, then we must take care before 'amputating' it. Who can predict the knock-ons?

Also, I'm sure you don't think rape and slavery and genocide is OK, nor that humans [are supposed to] have dominion over nature. So you're clearly cherrypicking which parts of the Christian ethic to base your morality on, just as most moderate people do (few of whom are highly intelligent). I wonder what criteria they could possibly be using to pick and choose?
Humans are complex and we do "cherrypick" and bend the rules. I guess my selection was based on examples of certain role models. Despite what antireligionists says, if you look at established religious texts there is very little to encourage what 'we' would call wrong behaviour.  So called fundamentalists pick up a religion and interpret it in their own interests and use it as an excuse for the antisocial behaviours you quote. Is that the fault of 'the religion'? Don't you think that they would be just as objectionable without the religious connection?
On a topical note, would you say that we should do away with government because MPs have been dipping their snouts in the trough?

There are manifestations of all of the human altuistic traits in non-religious behaviours. Morality is hardwired, and reinforced by society. Religion does not have a monopoly.
I wish someone could show me a list of these examples. I don't need to quote the examples of Moslem, Christian, Hindu (etc.) groups who are extremely well socially adjusted  and who do practice what they preach. They may not have a 'monopoly' but the non religious groups seem to be well hidden. I am not referring to what goes on in family and tribal groups. That, as I said in an earlier post, is explicable in terms of innate family self-interest.

If you want to do away with Religion, then you must replace it with something which is 'better'. Are you confident that you can?
But this is my problem. Once we become aware of the way we regulate ourselves and recognise that religion (and whatever else you care to replace it with)  is merely a ruse, gives everyone an excuse to behave just as they please.
What are ethics and 'rights', when viewed that way?
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #66 on: 18/05/2009 13:26:06 »
You don't need to be a genius to be ethical.
Very true - but ethics are not arrived at independently; we need to be taught some values and rules and we don't figure out what to do 'for the best' from scratch every time.

That's true, the details must be learned and even the basics need reinforcing. Are you aware of research into child moral development?

Quote
As far as reward goes, perhaps just getting to survive is not gratifying enough for social organisms to be altruistic?
I don't think you mean "getting to survive" - in the short term, personal survival in a sticky spot may require total lack of altruism. You mean survival of the species, I think.

What I meant was that being ethical directly benefits the individual. When members of a social group behave negatively towards others, they are excluded and punished in various other ways. In ancient times this can mean death. Cooperating and forming close positive relationships with others has definite advantages to individuals as well as the group.

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Religion may be a manifestation of altuism, but it's not the source.
Again, I agree. Religions are Social structures, like Governments. My view is that humans can't exist in large groups without both.

You say that your morality is based on the Christian ethic. Where did the Christian ethic come from? It's a product of evolution.
Agreed. There are too many different religions to conclude otherwise.  If religion has evolved, as you say, then we must take care before 'amputating' it. Who can predict the knock-ons?

Since we agree that people don't actually get morality from religion, what use is the outdated, superstitious and morally despicable content of religions?

Quote
Also, I'm sure you don't think rape and slavery and genocide is OK, nor that humans [are supposed to] have dominion over nature. So you're clearly cherrypicking which parts of the Christian ethic to base your morality on, just as most moderate people do (few of whom are highly intelligent). I wonder what criteria they could possibly be using to pick and choose?
Humans are complex and we do "cherrypick" and bend the rules. I guess my selection was based on examples of certain role models. Despite what antireligionists says, if you look at established religious texts there is very little to encourage what 'we' would call wrong behaviour.  So called fundamentalists pick up a religion and interpret it in their own interests and use it as an excuse for the antisocial behaviours you quote. Is that the fault of 'the religion'? Don't you think that they would be just as objectionable without the religious connection?
On a topical note, would you say that we should do away with government because MPs have been dipping their snouts in the trough?

There is very little room for interpretation of the nasty content of the Bible and Koran. The "extremists" simply choose to subscribe to the parts that the rest of us no longer consider to be ethical.

Of course corruption in government is bad, but the solution would be to remove the corruption and keep the laws up to scratch, not abandon them altogether. If something like that were done to religion, where the actual religious content was removed, I'd have no more argument.


Quote
There are manifestations of all of the human altuistic traits in non-religious behaviours. Morality is hardwired, and reinforced by society. Religion does not have a monopoly.
I wish someone could show me a list of these examples. I don't need to quote the examples of Moslem, Christian, Hindu (etc.) groups who are extremely well socially adjusted  and who do practice what they preach. They may not have a 'monopoly' but the non religious groups seem to be well hidden. I am not referring to what goes on in family and tribal groups. That, as I said in an earlier post, is explicable in terms of innate family self-interest.


If you want to do away with Religion, then you must replace it with something which is 'better'. Are you confident that you can?

This innate, family/tribal self-interest/ethical behaviour is something that can easily account for ethical behaviour in much larger groups. Humans have not evolved to live in groups so large that most other people around them are strangers. Ancestrally, everyone you met was someone who it would benefit you if you were nice to them. This tendency to be nice has simply been expanded to include everyone else we encounter.

The ethical behaviours/traits that religions have made claim to are things like:

love
empathy and sympathy
in-group out-group behaviour
reciprocity, the Golden Rule
generocity, charity etc
laws and rules.

Which of these does religion have a monopoly on, and are there any others that I've missed?

Quote
But this is my problem. Once we become aware of the way we regulate ourselves and recognise that religion (and whatever else you care to replace it with)  is merely a ruse, gives everyone an excuse to behave just as they please.
What are ethics and 'rights', when viewed that way?

I can't believe someone with your intelligence could think that once people realise that religion is a ruse, they would become immoral. The fact is that morality is part of human ethology. Getting rid of religion is not going to change that.

Besides that, if it were true that anarchy would ensue from the death of religion, that would mean people weren't truly moral in the first place, and we know this to be false.
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #67 on: 18/05/2009 13:54:30 »
I'm sure early humans would have prescribed their own rules and regulations such as:
She is my woman, nobody else can have her.
This is my cave, only my family & those I invite may come in.
Do not harm my children or I will harm you.
Only those who share in the kill may share in the meat.
Do not pick the fruit of another man's bush.

Some of these laws would have been difficult to uphold at times. e.g. someone could steal fruit from your bush while you're out hunting. So I wonder if a 'Watcher' was invented, who could see all. The 'Watcher' or 'God' not only protects the property and rights of the individual, but also the ethics of the tribe.

In other words, could gods and religion have been born out of a need for ethics/morality?
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #68 on: 18/05/2009 14:33:56 »
That's plausible. There are some psychological theories being formulated that suggest that god belief arose in similar ways, i.e. as an extension of normal mental and physical processes like personifying non-self objects and beings.
 

lyner

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« Reply #69 on: 18/05/2009 16:18:19 »
Don_1
You seem to be suggesting that Religions are a construct which helps us behave properly (i.e. advantageously for the future of H. Sapiens). They are a vehicle for morality and ethics. That's what I've been trying to say.

Stefan
I do actually believe that there are a significant number of people who would, but for the innate fear of some mystical consequences, behave very antisocially. That is not a lapse in intelligence, on my part, it is based on observation and reading. Let people off the hook and they get up to all sorts of unsuitable behaviour. Any alternative 'ism' will only work if it makes people believe that there is a Jimminy Cricket on their shoulder, checking up on them, even when they think they're on their own. That's a major feature of a religion.
I agree that most religious organisations have been riddled with corruption and self interest but, when you are quite happy to talk of improving a government, why do you not subscribe to the same treatment for the bad in religious organisations? You seem a bit too 'angry' about religions to give them fair consideration.
(remember you are talking to someone who does not actually subscribe to a religion so I am trying to see both sides of the coin)
I think you are falling into the trap of assuming that everyone lives their life at the intellectual level of people who contribute to Science Fora and the like. What I have read of Educational  Developmental Theory would suggest that the vast majority of people tend to stick at the Concrete Operational Stage and seldom stray into Formal Operational processes. Religious beliefs developed before the 'intellectual' approach to life came along. They are very low level, sub-conscious, and very simple, basically.
It worries me that to get rid of religion is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Have you any examples, yet, of where it has happened successfully?
 

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« Reply #70 on: 18/05/2009 17:49:04 »
Don_1
You seem to be suggesting that Religions are a construct which helps us behave properly (i.e. advantageously for the future of H. Sapiens). They are a vehicle for morality and ethics. That's what I've been trying to say.

I am suggesting that this is a possibility among others for the creation of gods. But I do not think religion is an essential for good moral behavior. Indeed, religion has sparked more than its fair share of extremely bad moral behavior. However, religion can also be a great comfort to some in their darkest moments, thus the removal of religion would be a great lose to very many people.
 

lyner

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« Reply #71 on: 18/05/2009 19:30:17 »
Yes. ReligionS all have their bad points. I am differentiating between Religion and Religions, though. There are no perfect religions. Some of the more gentle ones, like Buddhism and the Bahai Faith are less prone to  nastinesses. A strict religious code can be a good way through life because it answers many questions for you and you don't need to think too hard about what you should do in a new situation. You are, however, in the hands of the 'priesthood' (the Politicians of the business - some of whom are not even 'believers') and you can be badly advised. But are secular Social Workers and Counselors any more reliable? This is my point, though. Most people would rather be advised about what to do than to think it out for themselves. They are bad enough in that respect about Income Tax.  Without some form of religion, what are they supposed to do? They will go out and find a substitute; one with no track record or accreditation at all.
You also brought up the idea of 'comfort'. That is a whole new can of worms which will make hackles rise for the anti religionists. Perhaps it's just better for people to believe in a mythical afterlife even if it does offend  'thinking people'.
This form of analysis (self analysis of our culture) is, surely, the least reliable of all. The problem is even worse than the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #72 on: 19/05/2009 01:31:07 »
I do actually believe that there are a significant number of people who would, but for the innate fear of some mystical consequences, behave very antisocially. That is not a lapse in intelligence, on my part, it is based on observation and reading. Let people off the hook and they get up to all sorts of unsuitable behaviour. Any alternative 'ism' will only work if it makes people believe that there is a Jimminy Cricket on their shoulder, checking up on them, even when they think they're on their own. That's a major feature of a religion.

Isn't this kind of why we have laws? For the minority with no real conscience?

Quote
I agree that most religious organisations have been riddled with corruption and self interest but, when you are quite happy to talk of improving a government, why do you not subscribe to the same treatment for the bad in religious organisations? You seem a bit too 'angry' about religions to give them fair consideration.
(remember you are talking to someone who does not actually subscribe to a religion so I am trying to see both sides of the coin)

Did you miss where I wrote "If something like that were done to religion, where the actual religious content was removed, I'd have no more argument."? When the nonsense is gone, I'll be happy. I don't actually see a baby in the bathwater to be lost.

Quote
I think you are falling into the trap of assuming that everyone lives their life at the intellectual level of people who contribute to Science Fora and the like.

Not so.

Quote
What I have read of Educational  Developmental Theory would suggest that the vast majority of people tend to stick at the Concrete Operational Stage and seldom stray into Formal Operational processes. Religious beliefs developed before the 'intellectual' approach to life came along. They are very low level, sub-conscious, and very simple, basically.
It worries me that to get rid of religion is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

As I said, genius is not necessary. Have you read about childhood moral development?

Quote
Have you any examples, yet, of where it has happened successfully?

I've shown you the statistics. Those populations were massive. The trends are clear. Nations with lower rates of belief have higher social health. This is worldwide. At the very least this means non-belief does not make people less ethical. If what you are saying was true, you would expect the opposite pattern.
 

lyner

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« Reply #73 on: 19/05/2009 08:47:40 »
Briefly; I have to out.

What are the indicators of 'social health'?
A correlation does not mean a causal relationship and, in this case, does not tell the 'direction' of that relationship.
(btw, which statistics?)
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #74 on: 19/05/2009 10:33:50 »
I was referring to the last discussion we had about this:
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=20293.0

http://www.ffrf.org/timely/Religion&Society.pdf

 :)

By "social health" I mean indicators such as education, rates of homicide & suicide, life expectancy of adults and children/infants, STD/Is, and teen pregnancy.

I was not claiming that there was causation. I was careful not to do that. What I am pointing out is that there is a clear positive correlation between high rates of non-belief and better social health.

Further, the religiously unaffiliated/agnostics/atheists is the fastest growing segment of the population. Why isn't societal dysfunction generally increasing over time for those stats?

That is not what you would expect if your hypothesis was true. At the very least you would expect a negative correlation.
 

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