Religion


Religion

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Nico
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I enjoyed that read, but as it isn't allowed in the Josh Kennedy thread, I thought we'd bring it here. Come, johnsmith, bring your bullshit so I can have a good laugh :p

I guess anyone can discuss their personal beliefs, etc as well. I'm a practicing atheist...
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I believe in a sunburnt country, where you are free to drink beer and watch TV.
mk0825
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Not-thiesm though at times i passionately argue that the bible is simply a drunken rant.
johnsmith
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Actually, you might be interested to know that football is said to be a religion for many people:

- it's something they do every week without questioning why;
- they not just believe it, but everything in them passionately supports it;
- the people find identity by being in community with others of like focus;
- it gives meaning for life for a lot of people (if not for football, life would be unbearable etc)
- people are willing to put their wallets where the mouths are.

I'm curious: what would it take to convince staunch Aussie football-religion fanatics to convert? or at least replace God as their priority passion ahead of football?

mattx
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Johnsmith (not the famous one I assume),
I have really appreciated your calm, inteligent and non-defensive responses.. If only people discussing issues that divide us could discuss in the way you have. Your question above is an intersting one, but it seems to say we cant be both football and God-passionate at the same time? Surely we can be both?

Anyway, Nico, I wonder what it means to be a practising atheist? Do you have to read books by authors such as Christopher Dawkins? Eg. The God Delusion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion
Or did you just come to an awakening one day?

My beliefs, I belive in a God beacuse I choose too, it makes my life better. I choose to keep my mind open to the spiritual side of life though, and am not conformed to a religion and details that divide us. I guess Im Chrstobuddaislashintohinduist if you wanna put a label on me.

Edited by mattx: 8/9/2008 09:52:06 PM
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I dont really know what faith I am. I would say Agnostic is closest, although there are many bits and pieces i believe in
I guess im a bit hypocritical, I believe some things in the bible (things about Azazel and the Nephilim for one) but dont belive in others
Im a firm believe in the spiritual side of things eg angels too.
I dont disagree with any faiths, but dont choose to strictly follow any myself.
If being firmly religious helps you in life, then go for it. The only thing i am against in kids being forced into a religion by their parents when its not their own belief.
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John Smith, you shouldn't have to validate your reasons for Jesus being real, you're beginning to sound like your trying to convert us all, but when you have to justificate your faith it just sounds stupid. If you have faith in Jesus then thats fine but just leave it at that
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withersn, I'll explain why I take a different approach.

If each person, having different opinions, was like two people driving on a highway, but in different directions, then it does not matter which direction you're going in, as long as it suits you.

However, if, say, a bridge has crashed. And we become aware that there are *consequences* for heading in that direction, is it not reasonable to warn those people heading towards the disaster ahead?

From this illustration, there are consequences.

A lot of people mock, and say why would God send people to hell.

Here's how I see it.

Christianity is voluntary. No one forces you in. No one forces you to remain. (It's voluntary because it's based on love). Therefore, if God wants you to spend eternity with him, but you don't want to -- then He cannot force you. He cannot force you to love Him.

If telling people that the direction they're heading leads to a broken bridge, I guess it could seem like trying to convert people. But, if you saw the bridge was done, wouldn't you try to turn people around?

Nico
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mattx wrote:
Or did you just come to an awakening one day?

There has been no specific moment as such. Just a gradual dislike for religion and what it causes and basically choosing to believe science has taught me to move further and further away from the belief. I used to go to a Catholic school up until Year 9, am now finishing year 12 at a public school and tbh, I love that it is free of prayer and all that bullshit (my opinion, don't get too defensive :P).

I believe there are some good principles to follow in many religions (probably most), although generally they cover the most basic of human rights anyway. I don't particularly see the point to be apart of a religion for any reason.

When I said practicing it meant it as a joke. I am only atheist, and if I am completely honest, find the idea of God/s a joke...

Quote:
My beliefs, I belive in a God beacuse I choose too, it makes my life better.


I am interested in how you believing in a god makes your life better? Serious question btw, not trying to have a laugh...

Edited by Nico: 8/9/2008 10:45:43 PM
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Yeah but why would god break the bridge in the first place. Thats rediculous.
Bloody evil bridge breaker.
Or wait I get it, god created faulty engineers that stuffed up the design and hence the bridge collapsed. Yeah gotta hate that. Theres alot of faulty engineers out there.
Nico
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johnsmith wrote:
If telling people that the direction they're heading leads to a broken bridge, I guess it could seem like trying to convert people. But, if you saw the bridge was done, wouldn't you try to turn people around?


Why won't you listen to the Jews or the Buddhists or the Mormons or the Muslims? Surely they are just trying to send you in the right direction and not to the faulty old bridge of doom?
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Nico, I'll explain why science is not always the appropriate approach to testing whether God exists.

I have studied both science and law, and each are useful under different circumstances.

For repeatable events, Science is best. An experiment is where you perform a repeatable even, and draw conclusions.

For a once-off event, you need to use legal method of analysing the evidence. The resurrection is the ultimate proof, and since this is a once-off event, you cannot use Scientific method to test it. You test it by using the principles that lawyers use to evaluate evidence.
Nico
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Fine, I'm doing legal studies, I'm basically a qualified judge :P. Show me your evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
johnsmith
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Nico, you asked "Why won't you listen to the Jews or the Buddhists or the Mormons or the Muslims?"

Well, I do, to the extent that I have to come to a working understanding of all of them, well enough to be their advocate in a debate. If I don't understand them well enough to argue their case, then I can't argue against them.

Consider this: if I am travelling towards Melbourne, and you are travelling towards Sydney, we cannot, logically, be travelling in the same direction.

Christianity differs from all other religions on the issue of justification-by-faith. You can agree or disagree with it, but it means that Christianity cannot be said to head in the same direction as all the other religons. Christianity is either right or wrong, but it cannot be said to be the same as everyone else.

Justification-by-faith means that, nothing you do can get you to heaven -- whereas all other religious say it depends on whether you have lived life to deserve to go to heaven.

Christianity says, you can't do anything to deserve it -- It's like the Bali bombers have been found guilty. They can't escape the penalty by saying they've lived a good life being kind to their family etc. The only solution is if the Sovereign of the country pardons them. In this instance, because Jesus took the penalty, we can accept his offer of forgiveness for having taken our place.

Best of all, once you accept it, you get to have a great relationship with God. It's this that makes it easy to be passionate about God, more than football, because you discover that He's passionate about you.
mk0825
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johnsmith wrote:
If telling people that the direction they're heading leads to a broken bridge, I guess it could seem like trying to convert people. But, if you saw the bridge was done, wouldn't you try to turn people around?


But why take your bridge? Why not take the bridge of islam?

Do you believe in santa too? JOOC.
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johnsmith wrote:

Consider this: if I am travelling towards Melbourne, and you are travelling towards Sydney, we cannot, logically, be travelling in the same direction.


If you start both at geelong you will be.

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Nico wrote:
Fine, I'm doing legal studies, I'm basically a qualified judge :P. Show me your evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Nico, I wrote a brief summary of the points in the main post under the story of Kennedy. Did you read that? What did you think of those points?

Here's a copy:


It all comes down to proof, not insecurity.

Here's a summary:

- Jesus said he would be resurrected.

- 3 days after he was buried, his body disappeared. Thereafter, the disciples whipped up a storm in Jerusalem based on his resurrection, which upset the city officials and the Romans.

- Where did the body go? People claim the disciples stole it, but that's not credible because they would have had to get past the Roman guards and roll back the massive sealed stone.

- If the authorities/Romans had taken the body -- then, when the disciples were whipping up a storm, the authorities could have immediately silenced them as impostors by displaying the dead body -- but they couldn't because they didn't have it.

- Further proof: eye witnesses, over 500 people are said to have seen Jesus alive again. These people later on gave their lives for what they believed. Now, you don't give your life for something you know to be a lie.

p/s There's a difference between "resurrection" and the more common after-death-experiences. In all cases where people come back from the dead, they eventually die perhaps years later. Whereas, the resurrection of Christ is unique because He never died again. Because he lives, you are able to relate to Him today as a living although invisible person.


Edited by johnsmith: 9/9/2008 12:03:38 AM
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Also if both your drive ways are pointing north and you both have to go south to back out of it.
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johnsmith wrote:
- Further proof: eye witnesses, over 500 people are said to have seen Jesus alive again. These people later on gave their lives for what they believed. Now, you don't give your life for something you know to be a lie.


They didnt know it was a lie. Ever thought of that?
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mk0825 wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
If telling people that the direction they're heading leads to a broken bridge, I guess it could seem like trying to convert people. But, if you saw the bridge was done, wouldn't you try to turn people around?


But why take your bridge? Why not take the bridge of islam?

Do you believe in santa too? JOOC.





The reason why I focus on the resurrection as the single ultimate proof of Christianity, is that the apostle Paul said it was the single proof of Christianity. Paul said, "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is worth nothing, and your faith is worth nothing. And also, we are guilty of lying about God, because we testified of him that he raised Christ from the dead." (2 Cor 15:14-15).

Islam's Koran -- for all its acknowledge of Jesus as a prophet -- claims that Jesus was not crucified, and did not die, and hence, was not resurrected.

This single claim of the Koran relates to what the Bible itself says is it's single proof.

If there was no resurrection, then Christianity is a fraud, said the apostle Paul (above).

But if there was a resurrection, then what do we conclude about the Koran's claim?

Here are some thoughts:

Love is the basis of Christianity.
Paul said, without love, everything else is nothing (1 Cor 13)
Jesus said, the greatest commandment is to love God and love people.
The apostle John said God is love.
Jesus said that love is the only proof that a person is His follower.

Love cannot be forced. Love is voluntary. (e.g. you cannot force a girl to love you, and if you could, it wouldn't be love).

Therefore, Christianity has to be based on voluntary love, otherwise it would not be love.

Islam takes a different approach, in that, once you are a Muslim, you cannot leave. In other words, it is not based on voluntary love.

Love is mentioned as the main point of the New Testament, whereas Islam's relationship with God is called "submission".

Consider this: the Christian God is three person as one God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, for all eternity past, even before anything was created, there were three Persons who could love and relate to each other. That is why the Bible-God is love.

Whereas the Allah of the Koran is one God, one person. Logically, for all eternity past, before anything was created, that One-Person, one God was all alone. One person, all alone, cannot be love. Love has to have another person to love.

Hence, in answer to your question, the reason why I choose the bridge of the New Testament God is because that God emphasises love, and instinctively I know that God is the one I want to follow with all my heart.

p/s Do I believe in Santa? No




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mk0825 wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
- Further proof: eye witnesses, over 500 people are said to have seen Jesus alive again. These people later on gave their lives for what they believed. Now, you don't give your life for something you know to be a lie.


They didnt know it was a lie. Ever thought of that?



Well, admittedly that's a possibility. That's why the proof is not based on one issue, but on the weight of the overall evidence.

Nico
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As you said, like law, and therefore I shall treat it like a court case based on EVIDENCE.

johnsmith wrote:
- Jesus said he would be resurrected.

Source?

Quote:
- 3 days after he was buried, his body disappeared. Thereafter, the disciples whipped up a storm in Jerusalem based on his resurrection, which upset the city officials and the Romans.

Source?

Quote:
- Where did the body go? People claim the disciples stole it, but that's not credible because they would have had to get past the Roman guards and roll back the massive sealed stone.

But it is plausible that a dead guy came back to life, HE pushed the "massive sealed stone" and slipped passed the guards??? Riiiiiight. O and Source?

Quote:
- Further proof: eye witnesses, over 500 people are said to have seen Jesus alive again. These people later on gave their lives for what they believed. Now, you don't give your life for something you know to be a lie.

Again, in the court of law you must have some level of proof of this. Source? heresay isn't acceptable either, unless you have that documented OR the actual people (and im doubtful about that), than its unusable in Court.

Quote:
Because he lives, you are able to relate to Him today as a living although invisible person.

So did they see him, or was this is the invisibility trick, where only Christians can see him?

Thing is, none of what you have said has any substantial proof. And if your "proof" is going to be some 2000 year old book, then you may as well forget about it. You asked for a legal method and I am giving you one. The Bible is not evidence. It is a book. At best its circumstantial. And shall we test its reliability? How about Noahs story that we're all inbreed, I'm sure that will show how much proof the Bible is.

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johnsmith wrote:
mk0825 wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
- Further proof: eye witnesses, over 500 people are said to have seen Jesus alive again. These people later on gave their lives for what they believed. Now, you don't give your life for something you know to be a lie.


They didnt know it was a lie. Ever thought of that?



Well, admittedly that's a possibility. That's why the proof is not based on one issue, but on the weight of the overall evidence.


Im sure i could find another fault. :). Is it worth the effort, 30 seconds could be used elsewhere, or will it also be swept under the rug? :)
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Nico

Jesus said he would be resurrected:

Source: John 2:19-22
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.


- 3 days after he was buried, his body disappeared. Thereafter, the disciples whipped up a storm in Jerusalem based on his resurrection, which upset the city officials and the Romans.

Source: Read chapters 1-5, book of Acts (after Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts). Note how the apostles were thrown in jail twice by the authorities, and commanded not to preach about Jesus Acts 4:18)




Question: But it is plausible that a dead guy came back to life, HE pushed the "massive sealed stone" and slipped passed the guards??? Riiiiiight. O and Source?

Answer: John 20:26 indicates that after the resurrection, Jesus was no longer limited to the physical dimension, and was able to pass through physical structures. After all, He is God.




Point: heresay isn't acceptable

Remember, the gospels were not written as evidence, but as a record for the early disciples to read. Nevertheless, if we apply the test of whether it qualifies as evidence:

Gospel of Matthew, written by one of Jesus' disciples who saw the resurrected Christ. Evidence.

Gospel of Mark, probably close disciple of Peter. Mark heard the stories from Peter. It was probably written during the lifetime of Peter and other disciples who had seen the events, and they would have voiced disapproval if it had been inaccurate.

Luke was not an eyewitness, but collected the information from early disciples. Probably doesn't meet the standard of court evidence, but is regarded as reliable biography written during the lifetime of the generation that experienced it.

John was Jesus' closest disciple, and was a witness.


Question: Invisibility

Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days. Following that, there was a period where he appeared visibly, in physical form, to over 500 people (1 Cor 15:6). After that, he was seen to rise up into heaven. From then on, relationship with Jesus in the visible realm is not the norm.


A good book to read is "Evidence That Demands A Verdict" by Josh McDowell
http://orders.koorong.com/search/details.jhtml?code=0785242198
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Simple question - was Jesus descended from King David as the Messiah was predicted to be?

An you really need to check your info on the following. Your first statement is very important here...

johnsmith wrote:

Point: heresay isn't acceptable

Remember, the gospels were not written as evidence, but as a record for the early disciples to read. Nevertheless, if we apply the test of whether it qualifies as evidence:

Gospel of Matthew, written by one of Jesus' disciples who saw the resurrected Christ. Evidence.

Gospel of Mark, probably close disciple of Peter. Mark heard the stories from Peter. It was probably written during the lifetime of Peter and other disciples who had seen the events, and they would have voiced disapproval if it had been inaccurate.

Luke was not an eyewitness, but collected the information from early disciples. Probably doesn't meet the standard of court evidence, but is regarded as reliable biography written during the lifetime of the generation that experienced it.

John was Jesus' closest disciple, and was a witness.



Edited by Kevin Airs: 9/9/2008 12:49:04 AM
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junak wrote:
Yeah but why would god break the bridge in the first place. Thats rediculous.
Bloody evil bridge breaker.
Or wait I get it, god created faulty engineers that stuffed up the design and hence the bridge collapsed. Yeah gotta hate that. Theres alot of faulty engineers out there.



It comes down to choice.

God built a perfect bridge.

We chose to stuff it up.

God creates a perfect garden. Adam and Eve choose to side with the serpent.


In your life, you've heard of a God that asks you to turn from sin.

You choose to:

what are the areas in your life where you choose not to choose God's way of goodness and life?


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Kevin Airs wrote:
Simple question - was Jesus descended from King David as the Messiah was predicted to be?





Here's how I see it. Mary gave birth to Jesus without being impregnated by a man's sperm, i.e. virgin birth.

The egg was Mary's.

The impregnation came from the Holy Spirit.

Hence, by natural lineage, Matthew chapter 1, and Luke 3, show the hereditary connection to David.

Kevin Airs
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I'm afraid not, because that quoted lineage is through Joseph. Who, erm, had nothing to do with his conception. Mary's lineage was Aaronite, not Davidian.

So it was either a virgin birth - but with Jesus not descended from David.

Or he WAS descended from David...but wasn't the product of a divine immaculate conception.

Oh dear. We haven't got past the first chapter and it's all gone messianically pear-shaped.
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Can we skip to the part where Jesus is supposed to be a fair-haired, anglo???
johnsmith
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Kevin Airs wrote:
I'm afraid not, because that quoted lineage is through Joseph. Who, erm, had nothing to do with his conception. Mary's lineage was Aaronite, not Davidian.

So it was either a virgin birth - but with Jesus not descended from David.

Or he WAS descended from David...but wasn't the product of a divine immaculate conception.

Oh dear. We haven't got past the first chapter and it's all gone messianically pear-shaped.



I've heard that one of the Matthew/Luke genealogies shows Joseph's lineage, while the other shows Mary's lineage. I've never gotten to the explanation of it, but I found this on a google search:

http://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/are-josephs-and-marys-lineage-incorrect/

Edited by johnsmith: 9/9/2008 01:07:33 AM
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