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RicOlie_2

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6-Jun-2013
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7-Dec-2018
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Post
#1258471
Topic
Religion
Time

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:
… ultimately, in order to enter into a loving relationship with him, we have to have faith. If God is God, and he gave us empirical evidence directly demonstrating his existence, we would not have faith and would simply know in a more absolute sense that God will always keep his promises. But that’s not how human relationships work. Because we are not gods, we can fail to keep our promises, and every human relationship therefore requires trust and faith that the other person will not turn their backs on us. God wants us to have that same trust and faith, otherwise there will be a certain coercion involved in following him.

Right, but again, that’s what pretty much every religion says. How do I pick? How do I know which one is right?

No, that’s actually what a minority of religions say: namely, the major monotheistic religions and religions they’ve influenced. Most Eastern religions have no conception of relationship with god (at least not a relationship based on trust and love), and neither do most religious systems indigenous to the Americas, Africa, and Australia, as far as I’m aware. They don’t all emphasize the importance of trust and faith. They don’t all recognize a single higher being.

Christianity is also fairly unique in having documents (many of them independent from each other) dating back to about the time when a divine power is supposed to have revealed himself (to many different eyewitnesses). In Islam, the Qur’an wasn’t written for centuries after Mohammad lived, and he was conveniently the only one who received this divine revelation. Hinduism’s texts evolved and developed over time, but none go back to the time of a divine revelation. Buddhism’s texts don’t go back to Buddha. Most indigenous religions don’t have any such documents to speak of.

Post
#1258414
Topic
Religion
Time

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

I would count as tangible something that is measurable and repeatable under controlled conditions. I cannot understand why a benevolent god would be so cruel as to deny that, while requiring our belief, as a prerequisite to salvation.

What would this look like in your opinion? I gave the example of Eucharistic miracles.

Also, you’re presuming that empirical, scientific knowledge is the only reliable source of knowledge. What about reason? Or intuitive knowledge? You can probably know that someone loves you without scientifically measuring it under controlled conditions. It isn’t as if we believe in God without any sort of evidence whatsoever. We have texts and numerous people throughout history who attest to personal encounters with the divine, including some that speak about God as having revealed himself to us in the person of Jesus. The question isn’t whether we have evidence or not, it’s whether the evidence is convincing enough. It is only in the last hundred years or so that people have begun to see “science” and empirical, testable evidence as the only acceptable form of proof. That’s just bad philosophy.

Christians have believed since the beginning that if someone doesn’t know about or believe in the Christian God but is sincerely seeking the truth, that person will be saved. So God doesn’t necessarily require belief.

As far as process theology goes, that doesn’t sound too different from mainstream Christianity. I would say the main difference is that God could impose his will on us, and does provide us with some degree of empirical evidence in the form of Eucharistic miracles, incorruptible saints, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, etc., but that ultimately, in order to enter into a loving relationship with him, we have to have faith. If God is God, and he gave us empirical evidence directly demonstrating his existence, we would not have faith and would simply know in a more absolute sense that God will always keep his promises. But that’s not how human relationships work. Because we are not gods, we can fail to keep our promises, and every human relationship therefore requires trust and faith that the other person will not turn their backs on us. God wants us to have that same trust and faith, otherwise there will be a certain coercion involved in following him.

Post
#1258023
Topic
Religion
Time

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

Ok, thanks for pointing out the clarification, and sorry for directing my comment specifically to you. I’ll change my “YOU” to point towards a larger swath of zealous missionaries, you specifically not necessarily included. (although some of your other posts do seem to fit the 2nd sentence - that is, being the lucky bearer of ultimate truth).

Thanks, and apologies, as I realize some of my posts were unclear. And I do in fact believe I am the (very) fortunate bearer of ultimate truth…I wouldn’t be Christian if I didn’t.

BTW, this is exactly why science is not a religion. Scientists do not claim to know the truth; they only argue what they believe to be the current best explanations for things, given the limitations of available measurement technology. Being proven wrong is how science advances. By contrast, religion claims absolutely to know the truth (sometimes in spite of measurements and scientific reasoning), and those truths are immutable - like axioms in a mathematical system.

Certainly, but we don’t claim to know the truth about absolutely everything either. Out of curiosity, what scientific reasoning and measurements do you think contradict Christianity (and specifically Catholicism)?

Well, for one, the power of prayer. Scientific studies have repeatedly failed to find any evidence that prayer has any effect whatsoever, while Christianity (and other religions) insist that it does.

I’m curious to know what they looked at specifically in those studies. In Catholicism, we believe a number of things about prayer that may not have been taken into account: (1) prayer is primarily about conforming one’s will to God’s will, not about obtaining favours, (2) intercessory prayer is more effective when one has conformed oneself to God’s will (because one is not praying for something that contradicts God’s will), and (3) that means that if someone decides to pray to God all of a sudden because they need help, God might not answer that prayer because they aren’t really asking because they have faith in a friend, but because they want to avoid pain and suffering.

That being said, I’m not sure I can refute that argument. I will say, however, that if we think of the way a human parent might seem inconsistent to a child, it can be easy to see why God might seem inconsistent from a limited human perspective. For instance, a kid might ask their mom if they can have a friend over on a certain day, and the mother might say no (for example, because she won’t be home and doesn’t feel comfortable leaving another person’s kid with their babysitter), despite having encouraged the kid to be more social and invite friends over more often. It seems inconsistent to the child, but perfectly reasonable from the point of view of the mother.

Regarding your first paragraph, I don’t think that any of that is measurable, so science would have nothing to say about it. That’s convenient – by always couching things in ways that aren’t measurable, religion is thus able to demand faith. And this is why I have a hard time understanding how anyone would go about choosing from amongst the hundreds of religions – all of them require faith, and none of them offer anything tangible on which to give confidence in that faith. Thus most people follow the religion in which their parents raised them, or whichever religion they happen to be exposed to. Isn’t that odd, given that God is supposedly everywhere, one of the religions is supposed to be correct, and yet religions are so localized?

Regarding your second paragraph, I agree with you. However, I don’t think that has anything to do with scientific study of prayer. Studies haven’t shown that the effects of prayer are inconsistent. Rather, science has yet to find any effect whatsoever.

This scientific article does a good job explaining the difficulties involved in the scientific study of prayer:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802370/

It also indicates that all studies to date have been inadequate. Note that the data are far from conclusive. It mentions studies in which the group that was prayed for did in fact show significant improvements compared with the group that was not prayed for (fascinatingly, one study did this with bush-babies). That doesn’t necessarily rule out a placebo effect though.

Wikipedia also has a pretty good article on this, overlapping a lot with the one I mentioned above. Here’s a link to a section on a study that found prayer to have positive effects on people undergoing treatment for AIDS:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studies_on_intercessory_prayer#Sicher

I think whether prayer is efficacious or not involves too many variables, including many that cannot be quantitatively measured, and as such, I doubt science will ever be able to answer the question.

I understand why you might think this “convenient,” but I don’t think Catholicism is beyond the reach of science. We have things like Eucharistic miracles which can and have been scientifically analyzed. Reason can also be used to determine whether certain philosophical aspects of a given religion make sense or are probable. Then, there is the testimony of hundreds or thousands of people who claim to have had direct experience with the divine (and which, as far as I can tell, is much more reliably documented in Christianity than in other faiths).

As for religions being localized, I don’t think that’s true of Christianity anymore. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_by_country (the Catholic Church is a bit more localized, but if Orthodoxy, which is almost identical, is included, we’ve got most of the world covered).

Post
#1257996
Topic
Religion
Time

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

Ok, thanks for pointing out the clarification, and sorry for directing my comment specifically to you. I’ll change my “YOU” to point towards a larger swath of zealous missionaries, you specifically not necessarily included. (although some of your other posts do seem to fit the 2nd sentence - that is, being the lucky bearer of ultimate truth).

Thanks, and apologies, as I realize some of my posts were unclear. And I do in fact believe I am the (very) fortunate bearer of ultimate truth…I wouldn’t be Christian if I didn’t.

BTW, this is exactly why science is not a religion. Scientists do not claim to know the truth; they only argue what they believe to be the current best explanations for things, given the limitations of available measurement technology. Being proven wrong is how science advances. By contrast, religion claims absolutely to know the truth (sometimes in spite of measurements and scientific reasoning), and those truths are immutable - like axioms in a mathematical system.

Certainly, but we don’t claim to know the truth about absolutely everything either. Out of curiosity, what scientific reasoning and measurements do you think contradict Christianity (and specifically Catholicism)?

Well, for one, the power of prayer. Scientific studies have repeatedly failed to find any evidence that prayer has any effect whatsoever, while Christianity (and other religions) insist that it does.

I’m curious to know what they looked at specifically in those studies. In Catholicism, we believe a number of things about prayer that may not have been taken into account: (1) prayer is primarily about conforming one’s will to God’s will, not about obtaining favours, (2) intercessory prayer is more effective when one has conformed oneself to God’s will (because one is not praying for something that contradicts God’s will), and (3) that means that if someone decides to pray to God all of a sudden because they need help, God might not answer that prayer because they aren’t really asking because they have faith in a friend, but because they want to avoid pain and suffering.

That being said, I’m not sure I can refute that argument. I will say, however, that if we think of the way a human parent might seem inconsistent to a child, it can be easy to see why God might seem inconsistent from a limited human perspective. For instance, a kid might ask their mom if they can have a friend over on a certain day, and the mother might say no (for example, because she won’t be home and doesn’t feel comfortable leaving another person’s kid with their babysitter), despite having encouraged the kid to be more social and invite friends over more often. It seems inconsistent to the child, but perfectly reasonable from the point of view of the mother.

Post
#1257758
Topic
Religion
Time

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

Ok, thanks for pointing out the clarification, and sorry for directing my comment specifically to you. I’ll change my “YOU” to point towards a larger swath of zealous missionaries, you specifically not necessarily included. (although some of your other posts do seem to fit the 2nd sentence - that is, being the lucky bearer of ultimate truth).

Thanks, and apologies, as I realize some of my posts were unclear. And I do in fact believe I am the (very) fortunate bearer of ultimate truth…I wouldn’t be Christian if I didn’t.

BTW, this is exactly why science is not a religion. Scientists do not claim to know the truth; they only argue what they believe to be the current best explanations for things, given the limitations of available measurement technology. Being proven wrong is how science advances. By contrast, religion claims absolutely to know the truth (sometimes in spite of measurements and scientific reasoning), and those truths are immutable - like axioms in a mathematical system.

Certainly, but we don’t claim to know the truth about absolutely everything either. Out of curiosity, what scientific reasoning and measurements do you think contradict Christianity (and specifically Catholicism)?

Post
#1257676
Topic
Religion
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

RicOlie_2 said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Because eternal salvation is a lot more important than 80-or-so years on earth.

This mindset is why traditional Christianity is distasteful to me. It places evangelism over compassion for your fellow man, and it paints God as an asshole; the former is dehumanizing, the latter frankly blasphemous.

I understand where you’re coming from, but why is life more important than knowing truth? Not that all possible precautions shouldn’t be taken to prevent the loss of life before spreading the truth. Christianity rejects the modern premise that truth is either unknowable or unimportant, and because Christians believe truth to be inextricably tied to eternal life, knowing and living (or dying) according to the truth is the greatest good. And consequently, a short life with knowledge of the truth is better than a long life in ignorance of it.

I also reject the premise that truth is unknowable/unimportant. Difference between our perspectives, though, is that I believe spiritual truth can be discerned intuitively, and one doesn’t need to belong to any particular religion to discern it.

I believe that to some extent (natural law, and all that), but I don’t know if I would call it “spiritual truth.” What exactly do you mean by that, if I may ask?

Post
#1257674
Topic
Religion
Time

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

Ok, thanks for pointing out the clarification, and sorry for directing my comment specifically to you. I’ll change my “YOU” to point towards a larger swath of zealous missionaries, you specifically not necessarily included. (although some of your other posts do seem to fit the 2nd sentence - that is, being the lucky bearer of ultimate truth).

Thanks, and apologies, as I realize some of my posts were unclear. And I do in fact believe I am the (very) fortunate bearer of ultimate truth…I wouldn’t be Christian if I didn’t.

Post
#1257671
Topic
Religion
Time

RicOlie_2 said:

moviefreakedmind said:
and I think that everyone, including the Christians on this site would say that it’s disgusting to disregard the lives of these people just so that you can potentially spread your ideology to them.

Ah, here is where we diverge in our opinion. I, and any missionary, see the Christian faith as joyful good news that we badly want everyone to know about. The modern conception of Christianity, having come out of a Christian society that was filled with less than exemplary behaviour, has been perverted so that most people in our society don’t really know what Christianity is all about, or why we Christians believe what we do.

It isn’t a matter of wanting people to accept our “ideology” in the way we might want people to share our political views. Not at all. We want people to know and love a person whom we know and love, and whom we believe loves everyone. And this happens to be the person we believe we will spend eternity with, whether it causes torment because you hate that person and God and close yourself off from him, or eternal happiness, because you love him.

Sorry, mfm, I see the source of your confusion regarding my views. I was specifically replying to the “just so that you can potentially spread your ideology” part of your sentence, and I wasn’t clear about that.

Post
#1257667
Topic
Religion
Time

Puggo - Jar Jar’s Yoda said:

RicOlie_2 said:

screams in the void said:

unless of course you are a Bhuddist , or myriad other religions or belief systems who have a different point of view

In which case you don’t believe in eternal salvation, so it’s a moot point. I happen to believe in it, and so by definition, I reject the alternative point of view as false.

Basically, you think it is ok to endanger people because your religion is better than their’s. YOU are the vessel of ultimate truth.

No I don’t. As I posted above:

RicOlie_2 said:

By the way, I’m not necessarily condoning that individual man’s actions. I’m simply explaining the principle. I have mixed feelings about what he did, and I think it’s seriously wrong to take another life. If you know that what you are doing could cause innocent people to die, it had better be pretty serious. The ends don’t justify the means.

Post
#1257459
Topic
Religion
Time

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Because eternal salvation is a lot more important than 80-or-so years on earth. And now that we’ve minimized the spread of so many diseases, the risk of spreading disease is a lot less than it once was.

I see no reason to respond to the first nasty, rotten, disgusting sentence of your nasty, rotten, disgusting post

Clearly you did, because you did. 😛

because I think it’s obvious bullshit to any rational person

That eternal life is of greater importance than our finite lives on earth? I’m not sure I follow…

and I think that everyone, including the Christians on this site would say that it’s disgusting to disregard the lives of these people just so that you can potentially spread your ideology to them.

Ah, here is where we diverge in our opinion. I, and any missionary, see the Christian faith as joyful good news that we badly want everyone to know about. The modern conception of Christianity, having come out of a Christian society that was filled with less than exemplary behaviour, has been perverted so that most people in our society don’t really know what Christianity is all about, or why we Christians believe what we do.

It isn’t a matter of wanting people to accept our “ideology” in the way we might want people to share our political views. Not at all. We want people to know and love a person whom we know and love, and whom we believe loves everyone. And this happens to be the person we believe we will spend eternity with, whether it causes torment because you hate that person and God and close yourself off from him, or eternal happiness, because you love him.

As for your second nasty, rotten, disgusting sentence, these people don’t have immunity to the diseases that we all have immunity to. A simple case of the flu could potentially kill every man, woman, and child on that island. Of course, as you said, who gives a shit about that though when we’re dealing with eternal salvation?! Fuck your eternal salvation. Cool people rot in hell.

By the way, I’m not necessarily condoning that individual man’s actions. I’m simply explaining the principle. I have mixed feelings about what he did, and I think it’s seriously wrong to take another life. If you know that what you are doing could cause innocent people to die, it had better be pretty serious. The ends don’t justify the means.

Post
#1257458
Topic
Religion
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Because eternal salvation is a lot more important than 80-or-so years on earth.

This mindset is why traditional Christianity is distasteful to me. It places evangelism over compassion for your fellow man, and it paints God as an asshole; the former is dehumanizing, the latter frankly blasphemous.

I understand where you’re coming from, but why is life more important than knowing truth? Not that all possible precautions shouldn’t be taken to prevent the loss of life before spreading the truth. Christianity rejects the modern premise that truth is either unknowable or unimportant, and because Christians believe truth to be inextricably tied to eternal life, knowing and living (or dying) according to the truth is the greatest good. And consequently, a short life with knowledge of the truth is better than a long life in ignorance of it.

It is quite possible, however, that because these people have never known about God, they could never reject him, and wouldn’t condemn themselves to hell because of it, but that’s a risk that many Christians wouldn’t want to take. Not to mention that one’s capacity for happiness in heaven is dependent on the way one increases that capacity by growing in one’s relationship with God on earth.

But I certainly understand the dilemma, and haven’t entirely resolved it in my mind either.

Post
#1252070
Topic
Ask the trans woman (aka interrogate the trans woman)
Time

moviefreakedmind said:

What is SSA? And fuck any attempt to compare or link LGBT orientations to pedophilia. I have no tolerance for that.

Why? He’s not linking them on a moral level, he’s linking them on a psychological level. Clearly, there’s a difference. Both are attractions that are not evolutionary beneficial (neither can lead to procreation if pursued). Are we basing whether or not something is a disorder on whether or not it is “moral” in and of itself? That’s seems awfully arbitrary to me.

Post
#1251249
Topic
If you need to B*tch about something... this is the place
Time

Jay said:

DominicCobb said:

Jay said:

DominicCobb said:

Jay said:

DominicCobb said:

dahmage said:

Jay said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

This past year has seen this forum turn to ass.

Off Topic has been ass for years.

The rest of the forum is fine.

Different strokes and all.

so then maybe leave off topic alone… just saying.

Hard to argue things weren’t more enjoyable here when off topic was unmoderated and we were allowed to have silly fun threads without fear of an admin locking them for seemingly no reason other than he can’t handle some joking criticism.

Unmoderated Off Topic was a caustic shithole that turned new members away.

You guys lived and breathed it for so long that you didn’t see it.

Right, moderated off topic is now incredibly inviting to new members.

The only “new member” who’s had difficulty recently is Collipso, and it should be obvious why.

You can point the finger at me all you want; it doesn’t erase the fact that for years you guys ran Off Topic like it was your private club and membership was based on your approval. That ended a while back and some of you have been salty ever since.

I actually wasn’t much of a frequent poster in off topic until around the time it became moderated, but when I was new here I always appreciated the goofiness that populated the section. So you lumping me in with this nefarious “you guys” generalization is not just condescending, but inaccurate. Not to mention most of the “hazing” you’re talking about was limited to the myspleen thread, which you locked anyway. But you’re free to make up whatever you like to justify your reasoning, it’s your site of course.

I’m not making things up. The overall behavior in Off Topic when it was unmoderated was poor. Your characterization of that behavior being limited to a few threads is inaccurate.

If you didn’t actively participate in that behavior, you have my apologies. I don’t have a running catalog in my brain of every post by every member.

In fairness to what they’re saying, the lack of moderation and amount of ridiculousness in Off Topic was the main reason I stuck around. I get where you’re coming from, though, since that’s not what you intended this site to be. I think it got ugly when the new movies came out and the established community didn’t do a good job adapting to the reality of newcomers who had different expectations for the site (and the Frink-Fo Wars and Darth IDiocy were pretty frustrating as well).

Post
#1251172
Topic
Going away? Post so here!
Time

I didn’t have a chance to read the relevant political discussions, but in the past, Jay has seemed much more level-headed and pleasant to debate than Frink, Possessed, etc., so I’m not sure what to make of all this. It’s a shame the funnest contributors all got banned, but at the same time, people certainly do seem to be acting “like babies.”

Hopefully we’ll see a return to normalcy though. I’d be quite sad if the people I’ve gotten to know over the last few years end up permabanned because of all this ridiculousness.

Post
#1247995
Topic
Going away? Post so here!
Time

I’m glad to hear it, Warb. I hope you stay.

To everyone else:

I think a number of us can work on making it easier for Warb by simply responding with “I’m sorry you took it that way, that’s not what I meant” when he takes offense at someone’s comment. Ganging up on him or criticizing him is not going to help him overcome something that isn’t entirely his fault. It will only create more conflict and misery for everyone involved if our response to him retaliating against a perceived attack is to do the same in turn, creating a real conflict out of an imagined one.