Religion: The Deuce

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Ixtellor
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:46 pm UTC

Phill wrote:Don't forget that in those days everything was passed down verbally. I think some rabbis managed to memorise the entirety of the scriptures. And it's not like there was only one person who witnessed any of these events... although some of the minor details vary I think the major details are pretty much consistent.


Assuming you only go with the books the church didn't reject and then declared heretical and then spent over 100 years tracking down and destroying.

Sure if you ignore the book burning, the killing of people who said anything contrary, and the purposfull editing of the Bible.. then yes you find it consistant. Big shock there.
Its why things like the Dead Sea Scrolls are important, they prove beyond doubt that the Bible has undergone drastic manipulations.

All of your assumptions about the Bible are based on the... Bible. It would be like reading a soviet text book in 1948, 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985 and concluding it was very consistant thus valid.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Phill » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:34 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Assuming you only go with the books the church didn't reject and then declared heretical and then spent over 100 years tracking down and destroying.

Sure if you ignore the book burning, the killing of people who said anything contrary, and the purposfull editing of the Bible.. then yes you find it consistant. Big shock there.
Its why things like the Dead Sea Scrolls are important, they prove beyond doubt that the Bible has undergone drastic manipulations.

All of your assumptions about the Bible are based on the... Bible. It would be like reading a soviet text book in 1948, 1955, 1965, 1975, 1985 and concluding it was very consistant thus valid.


I just don't think there's the evidence you suggest for the purposeful editing of the Bible or anything like that. Sure, the way the Bible came to be wasn't exactly a smooth process, but that's not to say that documents opposing its viewpoint were systematically hunt down and burned. I just can't believe that in a diverse community like the early Christian community, such documents and opposing views would have been able to be completely stamped out to the point where there's no evidence of it.

Regarding your point about the dead sea scrolls: I had a discussion with someone on here a little while back. Essentially it boiled down to the fact that I couldn't find anyone or anywhere which would support the position that the DSS 'weakened' the Bible. To put that in a less bizarre way, every source I could find basically confirmed that the DSS *strengthened* our confidence in the Bible text. To give you one example, they found a scroll of Isaiah, dated roughly 100BC, which is incredibly consistent with the Masoretic Text (the 'standard' version, if you like).

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby BeerBottle » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:54 pm UTC

Black Chakram wrote:I think this is taking a fascinating turn and would love to hear more about some comparative religion stuff.

I don't know a lot of the fine details of Islam, but I think I generally agree with Phill. The religion doesn't seem to be internally consistent. (and if anyone can correct me on these points I'd be more than happy to hear it)

1) Jesus preaches forgiveness, tolerance, and acceptance of others. A quick search reveals that while this is a part of the Quran, it ALSO YOU GUYS: preaches fighting idolaters and false religions and that to do so is better than letting false religion reign. (Sura 2:91-93)

Sorry for the delay in replying. Spoilered below are two quotes from the Quran about war. There is absolutely no doubt that war is allowed only in self defence. Wars of aggression or conquest are expressly forbidden- God says "drive them away from wherever they drove you away", not from their own homes or territory, and each passage permitting war is followed by one requiring peace to be sought. The reason war is allowed is given in 22:40 (spoilered below) - if self defence were not allowed then civilisation would have been destroyed.
Spoiler:
Quran, 2:190 - 2:194 wrote:Fight in God's cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression-for, verily, God does not love aggressors. And slay them wherever you may come upon them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away - for oppression is even worse than killing. And fight not against them near the Inviolable House of Worship unless they fight against you there first; but if they fight against you, slay them: such shall be the recompense of those who deny the truth. But if they desist-behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. Hence, fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone; but if they desist, then all hostility shall cease, save against those who [wilfully] do wrong. Fight during the sacred months if you are attacked: for a violation of sanctity is [subject to the law of] just retribution. Thus, if anyone commits aggression against you, attack him just as he has attacked you - but remain conscious of God, and know that God is with those who are conscious of Him.

Quran 22:39 - 22:40 wrote:Permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged and, verily, God has indeed the power to succour them, those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying “Our Sustainer is God!” For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, all monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in all of which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed [ere now].
The above seems to apply more to societies than at the individual level. In contrast, the Quranic story of (the unnamed) Cain and Abel (spoilered below) explains how turning the other cheek is the required response to aggression of the individual.
Spoiler:
Quran 5:27-5:28 wrote:recite unto them with truth the tale of the two sons of Adam, how they offered each a sacrifice, and it was accepted from the one of them and it was not accepted from the other. (The one) said: I will surely kill thee. (The other) answered: Allah accepteth only from those who ward off (evil). Even if thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I shall not stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee, lo! I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Black Chakram wrote:2) Jesus' whole point on Earth was that He IS the fulfillment of the law and that because of Him, legalism is no longer necessary. Now, I don't know exactly how much salvation is based on the 5 Pillars of Islam, but they seem to revert heavily back to a legalistic point of view. What happens if I'm Islam and don't pray 5 times a day? Do I lose salvation?
Islam is legalistic, but probably much more loosly so than you imagine. Consider 2:62 (spoilered below)
Spoiler:
Quran 2:62 wrote:VERILY, those who have attained to faith, as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians -all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
Clearly stating, as it does, that followers of 'other' faiths shall be saved, where does that leave the rest of Islamic legalism? I think 2:177 provides the answer:
Spoiler:
Quran 2:177 wrote:True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation, and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.
Turning to the east or west is a reference to Islamic prayer - ostensibly concerning the change in direction of prayer (qibla) that occured shortly after Mohammed's revelations began - but more generally refers to the details or outward signs of religious practice, the ritual if you like. It is saying that true faith isn't in the ritual, it's in how you live your life. The rituals are there to remind you and guide you, but they are not the purpose of your life. So those who live their life according to principles laid out in 2:177 will receive the reward mentioned in 2:62.

I hope that's gone some way in response to your points, or at least has been of interest.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bobjoesmith » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:15 pm UTC

There is a fundamental difference between christianity and islam however: something beyond the story and more into theology. There was a famous debate in which a christian pastor and an islamic cleric answered a question: why did God- in the sense of the deity, create the world.

The islam can only provide the answer that allah was lonely.
God made the world because of the perfect love of the trinity.

^correct me if the islamic interpretation is wrong but im 88% sure that the cleric did answer thusly

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Falling » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:43 pm UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:There is a fundamental difference between christianity and islam however: something beyond the story and more into theology. There was a famous debate in which a christian pastor and an islamic cleric answered a question: why did God- in the sense of the deity, create the world.

The islam can only provide the answer that allah was lonely.
God made the world because of the perfect love of the trinity.

^correct me if the islamic interpretation is wrong but im 88% sure that the cleric did answer thusly


Is it just me, or does the Islamic reason seem so much better and more reasonable?

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Sharlos » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:38 am UTC

Falling wrote:
bobjoesmith wrote:There is a fundamental difference between christianity and islam however: something beyond the story and more into theology. There was a famous debate in which a christian pastor and an islamic cleric answered a question: why did God- in the sense of the deity, create the world.

The islam can only provide the answer that allah was lonely.
God made the world because of the perfect love of the trinity.

^correct me if the islamic interpretation is wrong but im 88% sure that the cleric did answer thusly


Is it just me, or does the Islamic reason seem so much better and more reasonable?

It's not just you, I have trouble following the logic that because God loved all three aspects of himself it follows that he went off and created all existence.

The supposed Islamic view that God did it because he was lonely however seems perfectly reasonable.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby duckshirt » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:18 pm UTC

It seems to me, either that isn't the actual Christian 'answer' (I haven't heard it before), or it's drastically over-simplified and we don't know the half of it.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:02 am UTC

There are probably several Christian answers. I assume that "the Islam" has more than one, as well.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Entropy » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:47 am UTC

I've heard the 'perfect love' argument more than once before, in response to more than one different argument... I'm curious as to whether people really use it as justification.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Ixtellor » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:30 pm UTC

Entropy wrote:I've heard the 'perfect love' argument more than once before, in response to more than one different argument... I'm curious as to whether people really use it as justification.


Well the Beauty of the Bible is that you can justify anything with it. So I imagine there are many bible proven justifications for why God created the universe.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby BeerBottle » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:25 pm UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:There is a fundamental difference between christianity and islam however: something beyond the story and more into theology. There was a famous debate in which a christian pastor and an islamic cleric answered a question: why did God- in the sense of the deity, create the world.

The islam can only provide the answer that allah was lonely.
God made the world because of the perfect love of the trinity.

^correct me if the islamic interpretation is wrong but im 88% sure that the cleric did answer thusly
Well I think I disagree with the Islamic cleric's answer. In Islam knowledge is identified as knowable or unknowable (eery overtones of Donald Rumsfeld, I know). Only God has all knowledge (e.g. Quran 2:29), but humans cannot know everything (e.g. qualities, attributes or information about God other than what He has revealed to us). In fact we are warned not to argue over (or even discuss) unknowable things (Quran 3:66, 18:22) as it will only cause division. I'm not aware of God stating in the Quran why He created the universe, so in my opinion the correct response is, we don't know, and moreover, we can't know.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Whimsical Eloquence » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:24 am UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:There is a fundamental difference between christianity and islam however: something beyond the story and more into theology. There was a famous debate in which a christian pastor and an islamic cleric answered a question: why did God- in the sense of the deity, create the world.

The islam can only provide the answer that Allah was lonely.
God made the world because of the perfect love of the trinity.

^correct me if the islamic interpretation is wrong but im 88% sure that the cleric did answer thusly


I rather think the supposed "Islamic answer" is a good deal more poetic and rather kinder to believers. The idea that a deity values you rather than just has a right to rule you is a profound one, which is often lacking in religious preaching.

I think the supposed "Christian" one rather pseudo-cerebral and nonsensical. "Perfect Love" suggests some sort of higher love than the kind one can understand. More importantly, it dosn't seem to follow logically in providing God with a motive.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Rakysh » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:25 am UTC

Also, I would question the very existence of a "Christian answer" of an "Islamic answer". Both religions have very wide scope for interpretation and subjectivity.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Phill » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:39 pm UTC

BeerBottle wrote:^correct me if the islamic interpretation is wrong but im 88% sure that the cleric did answer thusly
Well I think I disagree with the Islamic cleric's answer. In Islam knowledge is identified as knowable or unknowable (eery overtones of Donald Rumsfeld, I know). Only God has all knowledge (e.g. Quran 2:29), but humans cannot know everything (e.g. qualities, attributes or information about God other than what He has revealed to us). In fact we are warned not to argue over (or even discuss) unknowable things (Quran 3:66, 18:22) as it will only cause division. I'm not aware of God stating in the Quran why He created the universe, so in my opinion the correct response is, we don't know, and moreover, we can't know.[/quote]

I would broadly speaking agree with this conclusion from a Christian perspective as well. We don't really know why God created the world, just that he did.

I agree with the above comments about the 'Christian' answer to God creating the universe - it doesn't really make sense. If the trinity is so self-sufficient in love, why would God feel the need to create the world in order to express love?

That said, I do believe God created the world in order to express love to us, as one of the reasons, I just don't think that's the sum total of it. And, to be honest, in this respect I think that's one of the areas where we must 'see through a glass darkly'.

Whimsical Eloquence wrote:The idea that a deity values you rather than just has a right to rule you is a profound one, which is often lacking in religious preaching.


Slightly derailing the trail of thought here, but ... it depends which church you go to I suppose, you have to strike a balance. There's a course called Christianity Explored which is run at our church from time to time, and I think the main sort of motto for that is "More sinful than you ever imagined, but more loved than you ever dreamed". I think in order for the Christian God to make sense you can't get the balance wrong.

If you push it too far towards the sin / wrath / punishment angle you end up with a wrathful God who no-one in their right mind would want to worship. If you push it too far towards the loving God you end up with a God who is a bit ineffectual regarding the problem of evil. Some churches (and maybe denominations?) unfortunately preach sin / condemnation to the exclusion of love, and I'm sure others are the other way round too.

Anyway it's Easter time and I'm on holiday next week so may not be posting much, just to forewarn in case anyone expects a quick response! :)

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Black Chakram » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:50 pm UTC

BeerBottle wrote:
Black Chakram wrote:I think this is taking a fascinating turn and would love to hear more about some comparative religion stuff.

I don't know a lot of the fine details of Islam, but I think I generally agree with Phill. The religion doesn't seem to be internally consistent. (and if anyone can correct me on these points I'd be more than happy to hear it)

1) Jesus preaches forgiveness, tolerance, and acceptance of others. A quick search reveals that while this is a part of the Quran, it ALSO YOU GUYS: preaches fighting idolaters and false religions and that to do so is better than letting false religion reign. (Sura 2:91-93)

Sorry for the delay in replying. Spoilered below are two quotes from the Quran about war. There is absolutely no doubt that war is allowed only in self defence. Wars of aggression or conquest are expressly forbidden- God says "drive them away from wherever they drove you away", not from their own homes or territory, and each passage permitting war is followed by one requiring peace to be sought. The reason war is allowed is given in 22:40 (spoilered below) - if self defence were not allowed then civilisation would have been destroyed.
Spoiler:
Quran, 2:190 - 2:194 wrote:Fight in God's cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression-for, verily, God does not love aggressors. And slay them wherever you may come upon them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away - for oppression is even worse than killing. And fight not against them near the Inviolable House of Worship unless they fight against you there first; but if they fight against you, slay them: such shall be the recompense of those who deny the truth. But if they desist-behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. Hence, fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to God alone; but if they desist, then all hostility shall cease, save against those who [wilfully] do wrong. Fight during the sacred months if you are attacked: for a violation of sanctity is [subject to the law of] just retribution. Thus, if anyone commits aggression against you, attack him just as he has attacked you - but remain conscious of God, and know that God is with those who are conscious of Him.

Quran 22:39 - 22:40 wrote:Permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged and, verily, God has indeed the power to succour them, those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying “Our Sustainer is God!” For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, all monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in all of which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed [ere now].
The above seems to apply more to societies than at the individual level. In contrast, the Quranic story of (the unnamed) Cain and Abel (spoilered below) explains how turning the other cheek is the required response to aggression of the individual.
Spoiler:
Quran 5:27-5:28 wrote:recite unto them with truth the tale of the two sons of Adam, how they offered each a sacrifice, and it was accepted from the one of them and it was not accepted from the other. (The one) said: I will surely kill thee. (The other) answered: Allah accepteth only from those who ward off (evil). Even if thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I shall not stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee, lo! I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Black Chakram wrote:2) Jesus' whole point on Earth was that He IS the fulfillment of the law and that because of Him, legalism is no longer necessary. Now, I don't know exactly how much salvation is based on the 5 Pillars of Islam, but they seem to revert heavily back to a legalistic point of view. What happens if I'm Islam and don't pray 5 times a day? Do I lose salvation?
Islam is legalistic, but probably much more loosly so than you imagine. Consider 2:62 (spoilered below)
Spoiler:
Quran 2:62 wrote:VERILY, those who have attained to faith, as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians -all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
Clearly stating, as it does, that followers of 'other' faiths shall be saved, where does that leave the rest of Islamic legalism? I think 2:177 provides the answer:
Spoiler:
Quran 2:177 wrote:True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation, and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God.
Turning to the east or west is a reference to Islamic prayer - ostensibly concerning the change in direction of prayer (qibla) that occured shortly after Mohammed's revelations began - but more generally refers to the details or outward signs of religious practice, the ritual if you like. It is saying that true faith isn't in the ritual, it's in how you live your life. The rituals are there to remind you and guide you, but they are not the purpose of your life. So those who live their life according to principles laid out in 2:177 will receive the reward mentioned in 2:62.

I hope that's gone some way in response to your points, or at least has been of interest.



Thanks BeerBottle, this has definitely piqued my interest. I'm not sure if you're of the Islamic faith or just advocating their side, but you seem to be a little more knowledgeable so I'll pose a few more questions:

Some of this still doesn't seem entirely internally consistent. This part in particular, from your quote above: "For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, all monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques - in all of which Gods name is abundantly extolled - would surely have been destroyed".

Then how do people of the Islam faith explain the following things from the old and new testament?
1) The old and new testament express many times that God is in control. That if He wishes for a certain outcome, it will happen. So why would the Quran seem to preach "if you don't defend yourself as a nation, everything God wants will surely be wiped out"? This doesn't seem consistent. Especially when looking at how God allowed foreign nations to conquer Israel and burn their stuff to the ground numerous times.

On the flipside, God in the OT did let Israel fight, but not to spread religion or convert unbelievers as the Quran seems to hint at. God would only let the Israelites be the aggressors after God Himself had sent numerous messages and prophets to the offending nation telling them to repent of their wickedness or be destroyed. Only if they repeatedly didn't listen did God allow Israel to conquer. This is usually interpreted as the thought that God cannot tolerate sin in the end, but loves people so much that He'll give them every chance possible before meting out punishment. Additionally, it's also seen that God will forgive completely if the people listen and turn from evil (i.e. the case of Ninevah and Jonah). This message is totally consistent with the new testament. Jesus will forgive sins and through a lifetime, someone will encounter many messages from God showing how to turn from wickedness (I'm sure some of you will debate that specific point). But that if you don't repent, you go to hell when you die. Same message, just through a spiritual filter and lens instead of a physical one like in the OT.

2) In the New Testament, Jesus preaches that the synagogues, churches and etc are no longer necessary because God now dwells within each believer individually. This is why the New testament preaches that at Jesus' death, the curtain in the synagogue cordoning off the holy of holies ripped in half. So why would the Quran go back and place emphasis on the importance of the structure anyways? To do that would cheapen the whole reason Jesus died and somewhat invalidate the fact that he was establishing a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one?


And on the topic of why God created the universe, I had certainly never learned the "perfect love" argument. I had always heard something more akin to the idea that God created the universe because he wanted to have a relationship with us.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby BeerBottle » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:08 am UTC

Hi BC, sorry again for the long response time.....

Well I should preface my answer to your points by saying that from the Islamic point of view (and yes, I am a muslim, by the way), the revelations given to Jesus, Moses, in fact all of the other prophets have been changed by man, through mistakes in transmission, forgetfulness, or delibrate alteration. In contrast, a muslim considers the Quran unaltered (in my opinion this is not unreasonable from a historical point of view, although that's another discussion), so naturally if there is an inconsistancy between the Quran and another revelation (the Gospels for example), then a muslim would accept the Quranic account. Notwithstanding the above, from a Muslim point of view, all the Abrahamic religions are really one, as can be seen in 42:13, and other places:
Quran 42:13 wrote:In matters of faith, He has ordained for you that which He had enjoined upon Noah - and into which We gave thee insight through revelation as well as that which We had enjoined upon Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus: Steadfastly uphold the true faith, and do not break up your unity therein.


So with that in mind, moving on to your points:
BlackChakram wrote:The old and new testament express many times that God is in control. That if He wishes for a certain outcome, it will happen. So why would the Quran seem to preach "if you don't defend yourself as a nation, everything God wants will surely be wiped out"? This doesn't seem consistent. Especially when looking at how God allowed foreign nations to conquer Israel and burn their stuff to the ground numerous times.
Predestination, the idea that God has perfect knowledge of not only the past and present but also the future, is an important part of Islam. Like other religions where this plays a part, it can be troublesome to see how humans can have free will if God already knows their future actions - again this is really a separate discussion, but we are told in the Quran that we do indeed have free will, and that God does indeed know our futures, so we must understand that as best we can. So if God is in control of everything, why does he not simply protect the faithful from the attacks of others? Why must they fight to defend themselves, and why is there a danger that the faithful will lose, and that religion will be destroyed? Well maybe part of the answer is that this world is a test - the bad and good things that happen to us (individually and as societies) are tests of our character, our will to do good (Quran 21:35), and we will be judged on our actions after death. After all, it would be easy to live a good life if there were no suffering or hardship, if everyhting was perfect. But that isn't how the world is, and our test is how we respond to that fact.

I suppose the real answer is that God isn't concerned with the victory or defeat of nations - it is of no consequence to Him if all religion is wiped out - there isn't a 'battle' between God and some evil force which God might lose, as God is all powerful. Besides, there is no 'if' for God; the past, present and future of the universe is exactly how he created it and couldn't be any other way.
BlackChakram wrote:In the New Testament, Jesus preaches that the synagogues, churches and etc are no longer necessary because God now dwells within each believer individually. This is why the New testament preaches that at Jesus' death, the curtain in the synagogue cordoning off the holy of holies ripped in half. So why would the Quran go back and place emphasis on the importance of the structure anyways? To do that would cheapen the whole reason Jesus died and somewhat invalidate the fact that he was establishing a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one?
I think there's more than one level here - yes the Quran is saying that places of worship, and by extension civilisation, is important, but it is what goes on in the churches, mosques etc that is the important bit, i.e. remembrance and consciousness of God, and worship of him to better ourselves. That is what would be destroyed if we didn't fight, and it's in our very best interest to protect this.
As an aside, the Quran does echo Jesus' message of release from the multitude of laws that the previous people had followed. The relevant passage is bolded in the quote below:
Quran 2:286 wrote:God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear: in his favour shall be whatever good he does, and against him whatever evil he does. O our Sustainer! Take us not to task if we forget or unwittingly do wrong! "O our Sustainer! Lay not upon us a burden such as Thou didst lay upon those who lived before us! O our Sustainer! Make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear!"

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby NumberFourtyThree » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:57 pm UTC

Black Chakram wrote:2) In the New Testament, Jesus preaches that the synagogues, churches and etc are no longer necessary because God now dwells within each believer individually. This is why the New testament preaches that at Jesus' death, the curtain in the synagogue cordoning off the holy of holies ripped in half. So why would the Quran go back and place emphasis on the importance of the structure anyways? To do that would cheapen the whole reason Jesus died and somewhat invalidate the fact that he was establishing a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly one?

The Quran does not say all the same things about Jesus that the New Testament does. In fact it claims that Jesus did not die but ascended bodily to heaven alive:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Islam#Ascension
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Syrak » Sun May 23, 2010 10:11 pm UTC

Hi everybody,

For a long time I have called myself an "atheist determinist". That is to say, I believed that everything can be explained logically, and the world is just a big construction game, and there is no God deciding which thing goes where. I also believed that there may be something outside what we call our "Universe", and things even bigger and so on, which we could compare to the notion of God, but then, we will see it and there whall be new theories, new science advances etc to explain it. The world is just an algorithm, to calculate something, and science is meant to find that something, or the source code, then what's beyond it etc.

I won't go into details after the possible paradoxes emerging from these ideas. Then I have been listening in philosophy class, and I have been thinking about the possible existence of God.

I said I believed the world is all determined. EVERYTHING down to our minds. There is no free-will, as Spinoza compares human beings with stones which gained consciousness and believe that they are falling because they want to. In my opinion, our "mind" is an atomic system in some cell, and that makes something like a complex computer...
So anything, we could call it E, is the effect of its cause D and the cause of its effect F. (that's tautological) Then, science is to find some general equation to know, knowing whatever E, what's its D and its F, and the A, B, C, G, H... With enough precision. People have been looking at things smaller and smaller, thanks to devices such as microscopes, and things bigger and bigger, thanks to telescopes...
Then, suppose we look at the cause of something, say a corpse. We can easily go to the atomic scale. This atom and that molecule react, that makes this electron go at that place...and the atom reacted because it is made that way, with protons and whatever, which themselves are made of quarks, themselves made of some particle X, assembled from Ys... and so on. Then you could go indefinitely, since I said everything is explainable. Same way to the effects.
Now my teacher asked "what's the point ? How come the world is made that way and not another ?" and he says there must be some goal to it.

So the point of origin of everything is also the goal of everything, that is it's effect, and we have a loop. It is made that way BECAUSE of this point. So with science we are trying to get as near this point as possible, since we cannot reach it. It's an infinity in the cause, and in the effect. What I'm asking myself about is this infinity. Paradoxally I imagine it like some sort of particle, and its properties define the world. That would be what I call God, it "decides" of the events, and that's what the world is leading to, in an unreachable future. HEY THAT'S A STRANGE THOUGHT. gotta think about it later.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun May 23, 2010 11:46 pm UTC

Syrak wrote:Hi everybody,

For a long time I have called myself an "atheist determinist". That is to say, I believed that everything can be explained logically, and the world is just a big construction game, and there is no God deciding which thing goes where. I also believed that there may be something outside what we call our "Universe", and things even bigger and so on, which we could compare to the notion of God, but then, we will see it and there whall be new theories, new science advances etc to explain it. The world is just an algorithm, to calculate something, and science is meant to find that something, or the source code, then what's beyond it etc.

I won't go into details after the possible paradoxes emerging from these ideas. Then I have been listening in philosophy class, and I have been thinking about the possible existence of God.

I said I believed the world is all determined. EVERYTHING down to our minds. There is no free-will, as Spinoza compares human beings with stones which gained consciousness and believe that they are falling because they want to. In my opinion, our "mind" is an atomic system in some cell, and that makes something like a complex computer...
So anything, we could call it E, is the effect of its cause D and the cause of its effect F. (that's tautological) Then, science is to find some general equation to know, knowing whatever E, what's its D and its F, and the A, B, C, G, H... With enough precision. People have been looking at things smaller and smaller, thanks to devices such as microscopes, and things bigger and bigger, thanks to telescopes...
Then, suppose we look at the cause of something, say a corpse. We can easily go to the atomic scale. This atom and that molecule react, that makes this electron go at that place...and the atom reacted because it is made that way, with protons and whatever, which themselves are made of quarks, themselves made of some particle X, assembled from Ys... and so on. Then you could go indefinitely, since I said everything is explainable. Same way to the effects.
Now my teacher asked "what's the point ? How come the world is made that way and not another ?" and he says there must be some goal to it.

So the point of origin of everything is also the goal of everything, that is it's effect, and we have a loop. It is made that way BECAUSE of this point. So with science we are trying to get as near this point as possible, since we cannot reach it. It's an infinity in the cause, and in the effect. What I'm asking myself about is this infinity. Paradoxally I imagine it like some sort of particle, and its properties define the world. That would be what I call God, it "decides" of the events, and that's what the world is leading to, in an unreachable future. HEY THAT'S A STRANGE THOUGHT. gotta think about it later.


You realize the universe doesn't necessarily have to have a beginning? This big bang could have been caused by a big crunch before it and so on ad infinitum. Also, you seem to either be conflating the laws of physics with being god(which is something like pantheism) or claiming that because the universe exists god exists(which is a non sequitor)
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bobjoesmith » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:11 pm UTC

but to put this idea out there...
just in general for religon

2 scenarios: God or No God
if (God)
{ if (faith)
salvation;
else
damnation;

else
if (faith)
nothing;
else
nothing;
}

Though pretty close to perhaps blashphemy, the bottom line is, theres no reason not to believe in a god.

Even should there be no deity/ruling power, it hasn't cost you anything. If there is, you have a perhaps 20% chance in scoring (higher than the chance shaq can make a freethrow).

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Dark567 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:32 pm UTC

replace god with flying spaghetti monster and it holds just as true. How do I know which one to believe. Also its not like there is no benefit to not believing in god, I get to live my life without fear of constant damnation.

More importantly though, your argument isn't a basis for whether or not god exist, which is what we really should be concerned about.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby infernovia » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:53 pm UTC

Even should there be no deity/ruling power, it hasn't cost you anything.

Lies, all worship requires a sacrifice, and this is no different.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby guenther » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:06 am UTC

I have to agree. While technically faith is about asserting truth, it's also wrapped up in the idea of being faithful to a way of life. No one expresses faith in Russell's teapot because a teapot don't inform us how to live our lives. But in religion, there's a narrative that wraps up all the wisdom, and asserting truth in the narrative implies a truth in the importance of living life by it's rules.

So if there's no cost to an expression of faith, then either that faith is meaningless or it's not sincerely held. (This is not meant to be critical of anyone who expresses faith, I'm just arguing against the notion that we should convince people to have a zero-cost faith.)

Dark567 wrote:More importantly though, your argument isn't a basis for whether or not god exist, which is what we really should be concerned about.

This doesn't concern me at all because the truth of the matter is poorly defined. But I understand how it concerns a lot of people.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby SnakesNDMartyrs » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:49 am UTC

bobjoesmith wrote:but to put this idea out there...
just in general for religon

2 scenarios: God or No God
if (God)
{ if (faith)
salvation;
else
damnation;

else
if (faith)
nothing;
else
nothing;
}

Though pretty close to perhaps blashphemy, the bottom line is, theres no reason not to believe in a god.

Even should there be no deity/ruling power, it hasn't cost you anything. If there is, you have a perhaps 20% chance in scoring (higher than the chance shaq can make a freethrow).


This is Pascal's wager and there are some serious problems with it. First how do you know which God(s) to have faith in? Since religions are mutually exclusive of other religions, having faith in the wrong God will also end in damnation. You're also assuming that having faith in a God is enough to earn you salvation - would God favor a man who has faith but lives a sinful life or a man without faith who lives a sinless life? If faith isn't enough to gain salvation then you have lost something - namely the ability to sin.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby thc » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:44 am UTC

Another case is, what if god is an asshole and punishes everyone that believes in him?

This reminds me of the time years ago when I argued about Pascal's Wager for about 100 pages on gamefaqs (lol). Basically, Pascal's Wager is completely untenable. Your decision tree is lacking huge branches; if that's true, your pseudo code can end without returning a value, which makes no sense.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby BeerBottle » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:19 am UTC

SnakesNDMartyrs wrote:First how do you know which God(s) to have faith in? Since religions are mutually exclusive of other religions, having faith in the wrong God will also end in damnation.
Just to point out this is not correct for at least one major world religion:
Quran 2:62 wrote:Verily, those who have attained to faith, as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the sabians -all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
Quran 5:69 and 22:17 also relate to this.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby guenther » Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:44 pm UTC

BeerBottle wrote:
SnakesNDMartyrs wrote:First how do you know which God(s) to have faith in? Since religions are mutually exclusive of other religions, having faith in the wrong God will also end in damnation.
Just to point out this is not correct for at least one major world religion:
Quran 2:62 wrote:Verily, those who have attained to faith, as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the sabians -all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds-shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve.
Quran 5:69 and 22:17 also relate to this.

That's fascinating. I didn't know that about Islam.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bobjoesmith » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:07 pm UTC

...well u it may result in damnation, rather than it WILL result in damnation

and of course the main function can end without returning value

and u get 2x chance if u believe in christianity and judaism

You post quality in this thread is rapidly deteriorating. Might I suggest the staunch the flow of coherence before you reach the text message threshold?

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby podbaydoor » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:28 am UTC

2x isn't a whole lot of increase compared to the pretty much infinite galaxy of possible gods the human imagination can come up with.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby pheonixduprese » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:44 am UTC

Really, it doesn't matter, does it?

I was reading a philosophy book about religion, and it had a memorable quote-
You're of a faith, adhering to this faith all your life. You die, and it turns out that there isn't such a thing as "Heaven" But you won't care because you're dead.

You're an atheist, and you die. But it turns out there is a heaven! And, sadly, a hell. Goodbye.

So, hey, if you're of the faith, then when you die and there is a heaven, you win!


Really, if you're of the wrong faith, then you're screwed anyway.

Personally I'm of the belief that all of the gods people worship, they're all the same diety. So if you're an adherent of a faith, then you'll get to heaven anyway. Regardless.


Just my two cents.
Sorry for interfering.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Soralin » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:00 am UTC

pheonixduprese wrote:Personally I'm of the belief that all of the gods people worship, they're all the same diety. So if you're an adherent of a faith, then you'll get to heaven anyway. Regardless.

Or, God is powered by Irony ;)

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby podbaydoor » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:06 am UTC

Personally I'm of the belief that all of the gods people worship, they're all the same diety. So if you're an adherent of a faith, then you'll get to heaven anyway. Regardless.

That's a very nice, but pretty much the same kind of thing as dreaming up another god. Just saying it doesn't make it so.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby pheonixduprese » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:30 am UTC

Podbaydoor, If you could please reiterate, or explain your statement?

Thanks.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Coffee Stain » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:01 am UTC

The point is that pursuing a God for the purpose of gaining entrance to heaven without regards to what type of God you pursue is, ironically, dependent on God being the type of God that doesn't care. This is, just like the claims of any religion about God, just another claim about Him that requires justification.

As a fairly "religious" person myself, I object to the notion that we should attempt to hedge our bets in such a way to trick our God to allow us into heaven. I am of the general view that, when you arrive at the pearly gates, and God asks why he should let you into heaven, if you give a reason, He doesn't let you in. :)

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby SnakesNDMartyrs » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:29 am UTC

pheonixduprese wrote:Really, it doesn't matter, does it?

I was reading a philosophy book about religion, and it had a memorable quote-
You're of a faith, adhering to this faith all your life. You die, and it turns out that there isn't such a thing as "Heaven" But you won't care because you're dead.

You're an atheist, and you die. But it turns out there is a heaven! And, sadly, a hell. Goodbye.

So, hey, if you're of the faith, then when you die and there is a heaven, you win!


Really, if you're of the wrong faith, then you're screwed anyway.

Personally I'm of the belief that all of the gods people worship, they're all the same diety. So if you're an adherent of a faith, then you'll get to heaven anyway. Regardless.


Just my two cents.
Sorry for interfering.

Pheonix


I don't see why that is so memorable, it is just a rehash of Pascal's Wager and suffers from the same failings detailed above.

What if I worship myself as a deity? If you believe that all worshiped deities are actually the same, and I worship myself - that would mean that everyone around the world is worshiping me. Your position only makes sense if you believe God to be an anthropomorphism of the universe itself.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby pheonixduprese » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:31 pm UTC

And what's saying that he isn't an anthropomorphism of everybody? Most relgions believe that their diety is located in the soul, so what's the difference?


By the way, I didn't mean that every diety that people worships is the same- it's the same power, the same energy. If that makes any sense.

And if you're the omnipotent thing that five billon (very rough estimate) people worship, then I guess every one is worshiping you.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:48 pm UTC

And what's saying that he isn't an anthropomorphism of everybody? Most relgions believe that their diety is located in the soul, so what's the difference?


By the way, I didn't mean that every diety that people worships is the same- it's the same power, the same energy. If that makes any sense.

And if you're the omnipotent thing that five billon (very rough estimate) people worship, then I guess every one is worshiping you.


If god is the anthropomorphisation of the universe, then god only exists as a metaphor.

So your saying not everyone is worshiping the same thing; they are just worshiping the same thing but a different same thing?
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Nem » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:32 pm UTC

Different aspects of the same divine substance perhaps?

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby pheonixduprese » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:15 am UTC

Yeah! Exactly. It's like the blind guys and the elephant legend? You know?


Spoiler:
Once upon a time, five blind men came upon an elephant.

"What is this?!" asked the first one, who had run headlong into its side.

"It's an Elephant." said the elephant's keeper, who was sitting on a stool, cleaning the elephant's harness.

"Wow! So this is an Elephant! I've always wondered what Elephants are like!" said the man, running his hands as far as he could reach up and down the elephant's side. "Why, it's just like a wall! A large, warm wall!"

"What do you mean, a wall?" said the second man, wrapping his arms around the elephant's leg. "This is nothing like a wall. You can't reach around a wall! This is more like a pillar. Yeah, that's it! An Elephant is exactly like a pillar!"

"A pillar? Strange kind of pillar!" said the third man, stroking the elephant's trunk. "It's too thin, for one thing, and it's too flexible for another. If you think this is a pillar, I don't want to go to your house! This is more like a snake. See, it's wrapping around my arm! An Elephant is just like a snake!"

"Snakes don't have hair!" said the fourth man in disgust, pulling the elephant's tail. "You are closer than the others, but I'm surprised that you missed the hair. This isn't a snake, it's a rope. Elephants are exactly like ropes."

"I don't know what you guys are on!" the fifth man cried, waving the elephant's ear back and forth. "It's as large as a wall, all right, but thin as a leaf, and no more flexible than any piece of cloth this size should be. I don't know what's wrong with all of you, but no one except a complete idiot could mistake an Elephant for anything except a sail!!!"

And as the elephant stepped aside, they tramped off down the road, arguing more loudly and violently as they went, each sure that he, and he alone, was right; and all the others were wrong.

The Elephant keeper sighed, and went back to polishing the harness, while the elephant winked solemnly at him.


The elephant is obviously the diety, but what (or who) is the elephant keeper?
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby SnakesNDMartyrs » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:37 am UTC

pheonixduprese wrote:The elephant is obviously the diety, but what (or who) is the elephant keeper?


So in the analogy the men used the sense of touch to describe different parts of the elephant, what do religions use to 'touch' the different parts of God? Which parts of which religions accurately 'describe' God and how can you be sure of this?

Why did the men only touch one part of the elephant each? If someones account of the elephant differed so dramatically from mine I would go over and touch what they are touching to compare and eventually end up with a complete picture of the elephant...
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