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BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.

EagleWing 15 Feb 05 - 11:06 AM
dianavan 14 Feb 05 - 12:47 PM
EagleWing 14 Feb 05 - 11:29 AM
EagleWing 14 Feb 05 - 11:15 AM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 05 - 12:52 PM
Rustic Rebel 13 Feb 05 - 03:06 AM
Amos 12 Feb 05 - 06:57 PM
Amos 12 Feb 05 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 12 Feb 05 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,heric 12 Feb 05 - 03:24 PM
Joe Offer 12 Feb 05 - 03:24 PM
dianavan 12 Feb 05 - 03:16 PM
Amos 12 Feb 05 - 02:46 PM
Joe Offer 12 Feb 05 - 01:52 PM
Jim Tailor 12 Feb 05 - 08:50 AM
Jim Tailor 12 Feb 05 - 08:39 AM
Jim Tailor 12 Feb 05 - 08:21 AM
dianavan 12 Feb 05 - 12:43 AM
dianavan 12 Feb 05 - 12:40 AM
Arkie 11 Feb 05 - 11:43 PM
Rustic Rebel 11 Feb 05 - 10:57 PM
Shields Folk 11 Feb 05 - 02:04 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 05 - 02:00 PM
Jim Tailor 11 Feb 05 - 01:46 PM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 05 - 12:00 PM
Amos 11 Feb 05 - 10:13 AM
Jim Tailor 11 Feb 05 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 11 Feb 05 - 07:59 AM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 05 - 05:04 AM
Amos 11 Feb 05 - 03:45 AM
Rustic Rebel 11 Feb 05 - 03:23 AM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 05 - 09:08 PM
dianavan 10 Feb 05 - 08:50 PM
GUEST,? 10 Feb 05 - 05:59 PM
Joe Offer 10 Feb 05 - 02:02 AM
dianavan 09 Feb 05 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Amos 09 Feb 05 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Wolfgang 09 Feb 05 - 11:42 AM
Bill D 07 Feb 05 - 11:41 AM
Paco Rabanne 07 Feb 05 - 11:14 AM
robomatic 07 Feb 05 - 11:01 AM
Jim Tailor 07 Feb 05 - 10:48 AM
John P 07 Feb 05 - 10:36 AM
dianavan 07 Feb 05 - 12:15 AM
Once Famous 06 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 05 - 05:25 PM
dianavan 06 Feb 05 - 05:11 PM
Sttaw Legend 06 Feb 05 - 04:54 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 05 - 04:33 PM
dianavan 06 Feb 05 - 04:30 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: EagleWing
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 11:06 AM

"Duality

The fight between two equals Good and Evil"

That's what I said, I thought.

In contradistinction to your statement:
"Dualism is the belief in both good and evil."

Which is not quite the same thing. Catholicism agreed that there is good and evil but considered that good (or God) was ultimately stronger than evil (or the devil).

On your other point that the centralised organisation of religion was the main bone of contention I concur entirely.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 12:47 PM

Eagle Wing - From the Southern France Guide,

"Duality

The fight between two equals Good and Evil
As set down in St.John':s Gospel
Good being the kingdom of the good lord
Evil being the material and time passing reality of the visible physical world.


Evil had imprisoned good inside men's bodies
Man enters the kingdom of God through his soul.
To achieve this, he had to "ascèse" detaching from the material world
The "ascèse" prepared him for baptism,
Salvation was found through "consolament"
The joining of soul and spirit
The Cathars only sacrement.
The holy book was the new testament
The prayer was the lords prayer..."

The biggest source of conflict between the two sects seemed to be the establishment of a Christian heirarchy, ie. Centralized authority in Rome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: EagleWing
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 11:29 AM

"Let me just add that in the very best sense, you ARE a fundamentalist."

That could be the start of another thread "What is fundamentalism?"
When I was considerably younger, (Christian) Fundamentalists were people who accepted a set of "Fundamental" beliefs such as the Virgin Birth, the physical resurrection etc.

Then the word was applied to Muslim terrorists and Ayatolahs etc., and, by association, to Christian extremists.

Now, it seems, it means Christians who are tolerant like Joe.

Perhaps we should scrap the word. Since it can mean whatever we want it to it's totally meaningless.

(And yes - I agree that "There is nothing more fundamental to Christianity than tolerance, honoring God wherever he may appear, seeking to apply the Golden Rule." are truly fundamental to Christianity.)

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: EagleWing
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 11:15 AM

"Dualism is the belief in both good and evil."

Surely if that were true it would not have been challenged by the Catholic Church who also believe in good and evil.

It may be more accurate to say that dualism is the belief that good and evil (or God and Satan) are equal in strength and continually oppose each other.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 12:52 PM

Theophagy....now, there's a term I can chew on...

I like it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 03:06 AM

Hey joe, if you can dig it, all I'm saying is I believe each individual has a right to their own existance and with that follows their belief that is, without a doubt in my mind, -true to them.
I would not go with the assumption that your mother is or was a whore unless you prove it.
PS.- assumption-the ascent of the virgin Mary into heaven, -The church celebrating this-(Aug,15)-anything taken for granted,supposition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 06:57 PM

Excerpt from a recent New York Times editorial by N. Kristof:


God and Evolution

In recent years evidence has mounted that there may be something to this, and the evidence is explored in "The God Gene," a fascinating book published recently by Dean Hamer, a prominent American geneticist. Dr. Hamer even identifies a particular gene, VMAT2, that he says may be involved. People with one variant of that gene tend to be more spiritual, he found, and those with another variant to be less so.

There's still plenty of reason to be skeptical because Dr. Hamer's work hasn't been replicated, and much of his analysis is speculative. Moreover, any genetic predisposition isn't for becoming an evangelical, but for an openness to spirituality at a much broader level. In Alabama, it may express itself in Pentecostalism; in California, in astrology or pyramids.

Still, it's striking how faith is almost irrepressible. While I was living in China in the early 1990's, after religion had been suppressed for decades, drivers suddenly began dangling pictures of Chairman Mao from their rear-view mirrors. The word had spread that Mao's spirit could protect them from car crashes or even bring them sons and wealth. It was a miracle: ordinary Chinese had transformed the great atheist into a god.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 06:06 PM

Joe:

Thanks; I do see your point and I did see the vAalue of your analogy. Let me just add that in the very best sense, you ARE a fundamentalist. There is nothing more fundamental to Christianity than tolerance, honoring God wherever he may appear, seeking to apply the Golden Rule. These aren't "options" in Christianity, they're the basic model!! And you work hard to make them work.

Three versus One, symbols versus actuality of flesh and blood, perfection of virginity -- these are window dressing, and as is so often the case, so folks decide they are the important stuff while ignoring the basics.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 04:09 PM

It seems to me that each poster has a different definition of Christianity. Makes it hard to disprove or prove.

I was taught that you should Define Your Terms. How's about it?

As I said somewhere else, The Pope, Rev. Butler of the Aryan Nations, and my Pentecostal grandmother were --or are-- all Christians. What exactly is the "Christianity" that they have in common?

(Incidentally, I was told in confirmation class that while other groups say that the wafers and wind represent Christ's body and blood, we believe that it _is_ Christ's body and blood. Makes it hard to refute the charge of cannibalism -- unless its theophagy.)

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 03:24 PM

I thought it was a brilliant, if intricate, analogy, allowing me to understand why Catholics can be so vocal in denying the infallibity of the Pope. I had never understood the matter in such clear terms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 03:24 PM

OK, Amos, let's take that analogy and fill in the blanks:

Let's say you believe that my religious belief, Christianity, is fundamentalist. Certainly there are fundamentalists within Christianity - but I am a Christian and I am NOT a fundamentalist I had many difficulties with fundamentalist elements of Christianity over the years, because fundamentalists are often unreasonable and angry and intolerant. But still, I'm a Christian, and choose to accept those parts of Christianity that I see as good and reject those I see as evil. I acknowledge the faults of institutional churches and suffered quite a bit because of those faults.

But still you think Christianity is fundamentalist and evil, and you feel obliged to remind me of that as often as you can. Not only that - because I'm a Christian, you insist that I must be responsible for the actions of fundamentalist Christians and those who use Christianity as a method of coercion. Christian churches have had many faults, and I sympathize with anyone who suffered because of those faults - but I suffered those faults, too.

Christianity is not intrinsically fundamentalist or evil, but it does have faults that I cannot defend. But you insist that I must either defend or deny Christianity, or else I am responsible for all of Christianity's shortcomings.


I guess that basically I believe that everyone and everything has faults. I think what we're supposed to do is deal with the faults, not exclude or condemn everyone and everything because they are flawed.


-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 03:16 PM

Joe - It is true that Cathars were dualists in as much as they believed that if Jesus represented all that was good on earth, that there would also be a representative of evil on earth. The Cathars were Christians but were opposed to a centralized authority and a heirarchy that mirrored Rome. Dualism is the belief in both good and evil.

The explanation for refusing communion was based on the fact that they were vegetarian and that it symbolized cannibalism. Its possible that there was another explanation for their refusal to partake but I do not know of any other reason; do you?

I am no authority on Catharism but at least I have taken the time to investigate. The fact that they were Christians who took a vow of poverty, that they lived communally and were allowed to marry, intrigued me.

I think there is a big difference between blind faith and religious inquiry. If my inquiry offends your faith, I am sorry for that but I won't be muzzled by your indignation. Just because I disagree doesn't mean I dislike you.

I do not have a set of beliefs that are immune from criticism. What I believe is constantly changing. It seems the only thing that will satisfy you is if I become a Christian and accept your system of beliefs. That is bigotry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 02:46 PM

If I may interject, Joe, the analogy you have drawn is not only complex and long-drawn-out, but I think it falls short of paralleling the situation in real terms.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 01:52 PM

OK, let's get this away from religion, Rustic Rebel, and put it this way:

Let's say you believe that my mother was a whore. I had many difficulties with my mother over the years, because she was often an unreasonable and angry woman. But still, I'm her son, and there were many good things about my relationship with her over the years - even though I acknowledge her faults and suffered quite a bit because of those faults.

But still you think my mother was a whore, and you feel obliged to remind me of that as often as you can. Not only that - because I'm her son, you insist that I must be responsible for her being a whore. She had many faults, and I sympathize with anyone who suffered because of those faults - but I suffered those faults even more.

She was not a whore, but I cannot defend her faults. But you insist that I must either defend or deny her, or else I am responsible for all her shortcomings.

Might that not make it difficult for me to feel comfortable working with you?

Dianavan, I haven't heard that the Cathari accused Christians of cannibalism. The Cathari lived seven hundred years ago, and their history is clouded by propaganda on both sides. The basic belief of the Cathari was dualism, that there are parallel natural and spiritual worlds, and that the natural world is bad and the spiritual world good. It's not my way of looking at the world, but it is a perspective that has some validity.
I think it unlikely that it was a basic belief of the Cathari that Christians were cannibals because they celebrated Holy Communion. Most likely, it was an oversimplification of Cathari belief by an extremist - used to mobilize Christians against Cathari or to mobilize Cathari against Christians.
Whatever the case, calling Holy Communion cannibalism is an insult. You're not likely to be burned at the stake for saying it nowadays, but it's still an insult. Insults are not effective ways to win friends and influence people.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 08:50 AM

here it is:
08 Feb 05 - 07:04 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 08:39 AM

wrong post. I'll have to find the right one when I have more time. Off to a show!


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 08:21 AM

I already covered that ground in my post of 07 Feb 05 - 10:48 AM.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 12:43 AM

Jim Tailor - "If a woman decides to pick up a hitchhicker in her car...:

What if the woman didn't decide to pick up the hitchhiker. Maybe he jumped in at the truckstop and hijacked her car.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 12:40 AM

Joe -

"Cannibalism"? "Impregnated in the ear"?

I am not a bigot. It was John of Damascus who said Mary conceived through her ear.

Cannibalism was what the Cathars (who were vegetarian) thought of communion. They were burned as heretics.

I have no trouble working alongside Christians. Unless, of course, they are thinking that I am a friend of the devil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Arkie
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 11:43 PM

The Jesus that I know from the pages of the New Testament and from experience, compels people to compassion, responsibility, and devotion and communion with the creative Life of the Universe. To follow his teaching means one strives to live to the best of their potential and the world becomes a better place because of them. One of the major complaints about Jesus by the holy people of his day was that he did not properly observe the laws and that he encouraged people to break religious taboos and restrictions. In fact he was opposed only to laws for the sake of laws and to the dehumanizing of the law.

That people distort, misunderstand, or present Christianity in a militant and arrogant context does not invalidate the ultimate values. Capitalism, Democracy, Communism, Socialism, and practically every other political and economic system of order known to man has been distorted and abused. For those of us who attempt to follow Christ we have a tremendous task of finding ways to make this force a positive and redeeming one in this day and age.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 10:57 PM

Okay Joe, I hear what your saying about tolerance and non-tolerant associated bigotry, but I just can't grasp the notion that if Dianavan's idea of eating the holy communion is cannabalism, then to her perhaps it is, why you call it bigoted? I could turn it right back at you then for your statement;

You must be unable to work in the peace movement or in poverty programs, because those movements are full of Christians. Even if they "turn the other cheek" and put up with your insults, you'd probably find them "patronizing" for doing so.

You see, I think you just associated me, a professed non-christian with someone who would insult others for their beliefs and that I couldn't work with christians in a peace rally. The difference being, I would never consider you to be a bigot for saying this! I only consider it your opinion!

Maybe I just don't understand the term bigot when used in a conversation that so many people have different views on.
So I refer to my dictionary- a narrow-minded person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc.
I see what you mean by wanting tolerance and understanding, but I just am trying to work this out. Am I narrow minded or anyone else when they believe stongly in anything they do? or who they are? With the difference being to be tolerante to another viewpoint.
I'm starting to see what your saying as I sit here and contemplate! I still think people have the right to their beliefs without , oh hell....let me get back to you on this!

P.S. I don't believe in the devil either!


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Shields Folk
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 02:04 PM

arguing about religion is like arguing who has the best imaginary friend


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 02:00 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 01:46 PM

Thanks, Amos. I'm sure I fail more than I succeed, but it's a gracious thing for you to say.

Since I didn't answer you, dianavan (I actually thought the Joe covered it better than I could have), but I didn't want you to think I was ignoring your direct question to me.

If a woman decides to pick up a hitchhicker in her car, and then, rather than dropping the hitchhiker off where he wanted to go (or anywhere else for that matter), kills the hitchhiker with her Smith & Wesson, the question isn't about the right of the woman to do what she wishes with her own car.

And...

As I would hope it wouldn't matter what race I was to have opposed slavery in the 19th century, even if I was not a slave...

And as I would hope it wouldn't matter what race I was to have opposed the slaughter of Jews in the 20th century, even if I was not the one being gassed...

And as I would hope it wouldn't matter what race I was to have fought for or voted for civil rights for all, even if I was not the one discriminated against...

I would hope I wouldn't have to be a woman or unborn to wish better for the rights of the unborn.

cheers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 12:00 PM

I suppose you're right, Burke. I should leave my faith to all those "thugs, bigots, miracle-seekers, tonguebabblers, witchburners, and the rest," and go start a new one. and then if somebody unacceptable to you should happen to turn up in my new church, then I should leave that one, too.

I suppose African-Americans have the same problem. Some people associate them with Steppen Fetchit and blackface minstrel clowns and all those other stereotypes. And there are lots of African American people who commit crimes. By your logic, that gives people the right to discriminate against Blacks. And Blacks that don't like it should go paint their faces some other color.
Is that what you think?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 10:13 AM

Jim:

I think that you and Joe Offer exemplify the difference, as do a few others I have been friends with here, and urge you to continue to do so. It is by doing so that you have a shot at healing the rifts and confusions the subject can cause in others. It's a case of owning the name you want in the best way you can, and let those who can see observe what you put there to be seen.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 08:35 AM

Can't answer for Joe, but maybe it's because some of us feel that it is the "thugs, bigots, miracle-seekers, tonguebabblers, witchburners" who are the mis-named "Christians". For the sake of continuity and accuracy the "true" believers don't feel it's too much to ask to keep "our" name.

It is probably too much to ask that others understand the difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 07:59 AM

Joe Offer wrote: "I am well aware of the warts of Christianity, and those deficiencies make me seething mad at times - but they're part of every human community. Many Christians work very hard to correct those deficiencies."

Why call yourself a Christian then? You'll always be associated with the thugs, bigots, miracle-seekers, tonguebabblers, witchburners, and the rest. For every St Francis of Assisi there's a Torquemada, and to us outsiders, it seems that Christianity is simply useless as a description of how you see the world (or the next world for that matter).

Think up a new name- you might find youself in the more congenial company of people who might not believe that Jesus was God, but who behave in exactly the same way as if they believed in Jesus in tyhe same way that you do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 05:04 AM

C'mon, Rustic Rebel! "Cannibalism"? "Impregnated in the ear"?

Is that any way to carry on a respectable conversation? That kind of talk is downright bigotry.

I am well aware of the warts of Christianity, and those deficiencies make me seething mad at times - but they're part of every human community. Many Christians work very hard to correct those deficiencies. Certain Mudcatters regularly post scathing condemnations of Christianity, and rarely make any attempt to balance their statements or to show any sort of respect toward anyone who calls himself Christian.

How can I carry on an intelligent and friendly discussion with somebody who calls me a cannibal?

Now yes, I do know some Christians throw out the term "baby killer" and worse at women who have abortions - but you'll never hear that kind of talk from me (or from most Christians). The conduct of some Christians is appalling - but there's no call for sweeping generalizations that blame ALL Christians for that. There's certainly room for peaceful discussion of specific problems, presented with logic and evidence - but these shoot-from-the-hip generalizations are offensive.

There's no question about it. It's bigotry, plain and simple. Somehow, some members of the left have raised ideological purity to an ideal, and they have forgotten about the ideal of tolerance.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 03:45 AM

It's clear that Joe's end of this conversation is thoughtful indeed, and I am glad to hear dianvan's pointed but in some way necessary questions answered with his usual care. I am sure that Joe's experience contains plenty of instances of "liberal" bigotry, or at least prejudice, just as much as people embracing the category but not the role of CHristian have imposed plenty of their version on those who prefer a different brand of ideational clarity.

Christianity has a burden that often makes it difficult, in that it offers a very complex series of metaphors as a way of offering hope to beings whose burdens are too great. The metaphorical nature of its teachings tends to confuse those who seek more literal answers, and in the hands of those who do not understand them well the metaphors of Christianity can become vehicles of intellectual, emotional and even physical abuse, instead of a way of finding peace and spiritual uplifting.

I am not a scholar of Christianity, and I do not mean to offend anyone by talking about its metaphorical approach to what can also be vividly real at some level; every good metaphor maps to the world in some way. It;s just that the context of Christianity as lesson is riddled with terms I can only understand as metaphors, and cannot begin to absorb as literal statements, such as Son, Father, and Devil to name just three from among scores.

But Joe is a kind and tolerant man whose real Christianity comes through in his practice, not in his language. I appreciate his dialogue.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 03:23 AM

Joe, being a liberal and a christian doesn't give you all the rights to be throwing your judgements around either. I think you like to use the word bigot anytime you don't agree with something on this topic or thread.
I would prefer to call it a thinking conversation that name calling isen't called for, and because others have another opinion does not mean they are a bigot. It just means they believe different than you. (pretty obvious)


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 09:08 PM

...blind adherence to an outdated hierarchy that baffles me


I suppose the same thing happens in world affairs. Europeans are sure that all Americans blindly adhere to the policies of George Bush.

It's not true for Americans and Bush, and it's not true for Catholics and the Pope - no matter what it appears to outsiders.

I thought I answered the question about the net worth of the Vatican fairly well, although I did not give specific numbers. And yes, there was a financial scandal a number of years ago that lost a lot of money for the Vatican and others, and it was due to the subterfuge of a priest or bishop and a number of other church officials.

The trouble with these attacks on Christians is that it pushes people apart. Holy Communion is very sacred to Christians, the essence of faith for many denominations. If you call it cannibalism, it's an insult that makes it very hard for believers to interact with you in any way. Same with the remark about Mary getting pregnant through the ear, or the generalization about Christians forcing their religion on you. Maybe you don't believe what they believe, but I think that common courtesy demands that you treat their beliefs with at least some modicum of respect. Even though you don't believe what they believe, you should at least be able to find their beliefs and traditions interesting (or at least "quaint"), and you should be able to learn something from those among them who are wise.

I suppose if some of you truly have the level of anti-Christian intolerance that you profess, it must be difficult for you. It must be hard on you every time somebody wishes you "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Easter." You must be unable to work in the peace movement or in poverty programs, because those movements are full of Christians. Even if they "turn the other cheek" and put up with your insults, you'd probably find them "patronizing" for doing so.

I'm not asking anybody to convert. All I'm asking for is a little tolerance. I've been a liberal and a folkie all my life - partially because I thought liberals and folkies believed in tolerance and justice. I thought liberals and folkies valued a wide spectrum of tradition and intellectual inquiry, that they sought wisdom wherever it could be found. It used to be that I could have deep discussions with fellow liberals and know my opinion would be respected, even if we weren't in total agreement. That's not the case any more. Intolerance and injustice are becoming just as prevalent among the left as they are among the right.

And that's a damn shame.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 08:50 PM

Guest - I can disagree without hating anyone.

Joe and others - When I posted the questions above, it was because I wanted to see how such obvious metaphorical meanings would be interpreted by others.

Too bad the Cathars didn't realize that communion was not ritualized cannibalism. Failure to partake in communion was one of the reasons they were called heretics and slaughtered.

As far as the net worth of the Vatican, nobody has really answered that. Probably never will, either because thats why they have such a special and very secretive little nation of their own.

I am not negating the good works of the Church or the goodness of common, everyday Christians. Its the blind adherence to an outdated hierarchy that baffles me. If I were among the faithful, it would all make sense I'm sure. I could simply believe and not have to wonder about the history of atrocities committed in the name of Christ.

Having said that, as a doubter, I have every right to question. That doesn't make me hate Christians.

...but for those of you who think that Christianity is harmless and doesn't impose on anyone, I would like to invite you to any public school at Christmas and Easter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: GUEST,?
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 05:59 PM

Given that the Christ Spirit is considered to be One with God, and indivisible from God, you could eat or drink anything whatsoever, and be partaking of that Spirit in a ritual way...because God, being infinite, is by definition not apart from anything.

To call it cannibalism is ridiculous. How do you cannibalize an indwelling Spirit?

How does one truly commune with the Christ Spirit? By sharing the awareness of that Spirit...meaning, by sharing its love, compassion, mercy, and understanding.

Oddly enough, there seem to be 2 lots of literal-minded people out there...religious fundamentalists at one extreme and people who are against what they call "religion" on principle at the other extreme. Those 2 groups heartily detest each other, but that may be because they already have so much in common. They are both literalists, and seem to have great difficulty grasping symbol and metaphor. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 02:02 AM

Gee, maybe I shouldn't have looked at this thread. Sure seems to be full of bigotry. I suppose it a Christian who got it off to a bad start, daring others to disprove something that can't be proven.

Still, look at this stuff:
    My big questions: How do vegetarians justify eating the body and blood of Christ (even symbolically) when it is symbolically cannibalism?
    Cannibalism doesn't come into discussion at all in the theology of eucharist/communion. The bread and wine look and taste like bread and wine, although I admit the bread is a bit pastey. You must be some sort of fundamentalist literalist if you see it as cannibalism. I look on it as experiencing the presence of Christ in a form that I can touch and taste.

    Why do Christians think that God impregnated Mary through her ear?
    I've been a Christian all my life and I have a degree in Theology, and I've never heard that.

    Doesn't that just mean that she was given an idea?
    If God is what believers believe God is, is it so incredible to think that God could become human simply by deciding to do so? If you don't believe in God, that's fine - but do you think maybe you could believe in tolerance, and allow people to believe what they believe? Has anybody ever really tried to force you to believe in virgin birth? For me, it has no meaning one way or another, but I don't disbelieve it. It just doesn't matter to me, since I'm not a literalist.

    What is the net worth of the Vatican?
    A lot of money. What do you suggest they do with their assets - sell Notre Dame as a movie set? Sell the art works to private collectors so the public can't see them? Sell hospitals and schools to for-profit corporations?
    Yes, the Vatican has a sizeable endowment that is invested, and the Vatican is able to operate off the income from that endowment. I don't have proof, but I think it's safe to say that the Catholic Church gives more non-military foreign aid than the U.S. Government. Local dioceses and parishes have their own budgets, separate from the Vatican. In the U.S., dioceses are having a hard time paying for inner-city churches that are no longer in use but are too beautiful to be torn down. Many dioceses have also been saddled with heavy payments for a child molestation suits, even though the number of priests who molested was relatively small - far fewer than five percent.

    Why would anyone insist that a non-Christian woman give birth to an unwanted child?
    Because they believe it's a life that's being lost in abortion, and they believe that every life is infinitely valuable, Christian or not. I don't believe in eliminating abortions by coercion because I don't think that would work - but I do think we need to continue to teach that abortion is wrong and that women need to explore alternatives to abortion more thoroughly. But ultimately, I think the choice has to be made by the woman. Many Christians and Catholic Christians believe that way - that there should a middle between the two extremes, with a goal of avoiding abortion whenever possible.

    Why do Christians believe that they have the right to tell others how to live their lives and what to believe?
    I guess it has something to do with believing in justice. When employers are unjust, people who believe in justice feel an obligation to speak out. When a President wages an unjust war or a governor executes record numbers of prisoners, people who believe in justice feel an obligation to oppose them. When the lives or potential lives of unborn children are being lost, people who believe in justice feel an obligation to at least propose alternatives.When there was segregation in the United States, thousands of Christians and other believers in justice worked for years to bring segregation to an end - and they've done the same for the rights of farmworkers and to oppose wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Is it wrong for believers to work for justice?

    Yes, I will admit that abortion is not as clear-cut as some of those other injustices, but I believe that if people think clearly, they generally will admit that abortion is never a good thing, never a cause for celebration. While it may be necessary at times, it's certainly not something to be chosen if there are alternatives. I suppose the irrational anti-abortion extremists have created an equally irrational pro-abortion opposition, and reason and balance went out of the equation long ago.
I probably dislike hateful fundamentalist Christians more than nonbelievers do - but I know of far more Christians who are gentle, loving people who stand up for the justice and peace that we need to have in this world. Questions like these are just plain, ignorant bigotry.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 10:17 PM

Jim Tailor -

1. If a woman gives birth, it is most likely a child. What would you call it?

2. Since it is the mother giving birth, she is the only one in a position to know if she wants it or not.

Hopefully, the issue of whether or not a fetus is carried to term will rest with the pregnant woman. Who would have greater authority to determine the fate of the fetus? Why should the church or the government be given the authority to make decisions regarding the body of a woman who has committed no crime? Its her choice!

...or do you consider getting pregnant a crime that should carry a punishment of nine months and heavy labour?

Maybe if you were a woman you would feel differently.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: GUEST,Amos
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 12:29 PM

While I do not have the SRI records, I believe I remember that they were uniformly dramatically higher than chance results over hundreds of test scenarios of different kinds. The story I told was not "moving the goal posts after a miss", Wolfgang, it was an example of a hit being called a miss because of a flaw in the mapping scale being consulted, which proves that there could not have been any leakage from the tester to the subject, since it turned out the subject saw more than the tester knew!

I did not say that an individual could not pay attention to other than incoming information, I was describing what I see as a tendency: the more you believe you are the body, the more you fixate on sensory inputs and this tends to have a hypnotic effect. Conversely, the more you use creative and imaginative abilities, the more you tend to discover your non-material nature.

I guess it is just an opinion, really.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 11:42 AM

Mary heard the word ...and the word became flesh (maybe very wrong translation) that's how it goes; but anyone taking this not metaphorically can't expect to be taken seriously.

You can't test a nonphysical event with physical testing procedures, Bill. (Little Hawk)
Asking consciousness to exhibit obdurate, blind replicability is like fucking for virginity (Amos)

Why did both of you not make these comments when Amos told about the SRI experiments? They relied in principle on counting procedures for hits and looked whether more hits could be found than can be expected by chance (even what you would term nonphysical events can be counted). I have no problem at all with this approach (though the results beyond anecdotes as told above about changing the goalposts after a miss are far from convincing) but I have problems with people who tell on the one hand about what they consider positive results in an experimental approach and on the other hand later denounce such an approach when others use or discuss it. It reminds me of (rare) Christians who cite studies showing that prayer helps people healing quicker and when someone else points out methodological deficiencies and points to better done studies with other results quickly retreat to the position that the effect of prayers cannot be counted at all (which is the better argument as I understand the Christian faith).

Amos,(1) nobody asks for blind replicability, better than chance is the only request,
(2) stimulus/response psychology is a bit outdated and so is the idea that a person cannot but attend to a flow of information from outside. The focus of attention can be an inner state like thoughts, dreams or information from the body like headache. Attention always looks for changes and a continuous flow is a very bad attention grabber. We do not just act upon oncoming stumuli all of us and always in the same manner: (a) past expericences have influenced the more permanent neural wiring, (b) local influences like hunger, dizziness after sleep, preoccupation with a problem have an impact upon the non-permanent state of the neural activity (c) chance events like spontaneous neuron discharges also may play a role in which firing pattern will gain local stability in the next seconds. We are extremely far from any real understanding but I consider such an approach anything but dull. Dull I consider approaches that have already the answers.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 11:41 AM

did you ever notice that an anagram for 'flamenco ted' is 'mal defect on'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 11:14 AM

200!


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: robomatic
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 11:01 AM

Please forgive me if I don't go through every message in this thread and someone has already said it. I can't do a search on 'prove' without hitting every ms.

You can't disprove Christianity because it hasn't been 'proved', along with a bunch of other stuff, like every religion except mine which I've already proven by my own immaculate conceptions.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 10:48 AM

Why would anyone insist that a non-Christian woman give birth to an unwanted child?

Well, I can try to answer this though I'm sure you won't like, of agree with the answers.

1. If it is a child, then it should be extended the right to life that we extend to all of our citizens. If you wish, in the future, to make your point less assailible, you might craft the wording more cleverly to not include the answer within the question -- avoid using the word "child".

2. Unwanted by whom? Society has not allowed as how any one person has the right to determine the degree of "wantedness" for another individual (except in the current allowance for abortion on demand). In all other cases in society, when we do determine the "wantedness" of an individual, and decide to the negative, it is through due process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: John P
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 10:36 AM

dianavan -- I agree with the questions you raise, but I took the original post in this thread to be saying that you can't disprove the existence of the Christian god, including his self/son Jesus, not that you can't disprove the existence of Christianity as an organized religion. I know that's not whay Georgiansilve acutally said, but when dealing with that kind of fuzzy logic and inadequate communication skills one has to read between the lines in order to discern the meaning.

Of course, there is no reason to try to disprove Christianity as a religion -- it obviously exists. On the other hand, there is no reason to try to disprove the faith-based tenets of the religion -- why would anyone want to spend any time trying to disprove something for which there is no evidence? But some Christians tend to be pretty dumb that way.

[rant]

To answer the other questions you asked:

How do vegetarians justify eating the body and blood of Christ (even symbolically) when it is symbolically cannibalism?

How could meat eaters justify this, for that matter? Yuck!!

Why do Christians think that God impregnated Mary through her ear?

I confess I never heard this one either, but it makes as much or more sense as a virgin birth. Maybe god wanted a virgin birth and this was the best he could think of. Maybe whoever wrote the ear story knew the whole virgin birth thing would sound idiotic to anyone with a brain and was trying to come up with a plausible alternative. It sounds like God was fucking with Mary's head, though.

Doesn't that just mean that she was given an idea?

Whoa, I get ideas all the time. You're scaring me now . . .

What is the net worth of the Vatican?

Good question. Those hypocritical bastards are watching people starve to death while they play with all their gold.

Why would anyone insist that a non-Christian woman give birth to an unwanted child?

You know the answer. They want power over us. Over our thoughts, over our bodies, over our sexuality, over our money. Power, greed, greed, and power.

Why do Christians believe that they have the right to tell others how to live their lives and what to believe?

See above . . .

[/rant]

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 12:15 AM

If it weren't for you, Martin, I would post a picture of myself. Its people like you who make me realize that its probably not very safe to put a portrait on the internet.

...and as I have mentioned before, I am a hairless wonder. I have lots of hair on my head but very little hair on my body: including my ears, which is a real advantage when you want to hear the word of God. ;>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Once Famous
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM

Does dianavan have pubic hair around her ear?


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 05:25 PM

Oh, indeed. Right with you there, Dianavan. I think much of it is inspired writing, but it's certainly a mistake to take most of it literally...and it's a mistake to take it in toto as some sort of infallible source.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 05:11 PM

Little Hawk - I think most of what is written in the Bible is based on myth and should be taken metaphorically. I have trouble with those who insist the Bible is God's word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 04:54 PM

Be blessed 69


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 04:33 PM

I hope he meant it metaphorically. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Disprove 'Christianity'...You can't.
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Feb 05 - 04:30 PM

I think it was John of Damascus who said, "Mary conceived through the ear."


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