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Red Biddy
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JT, I was wondering why you considered Bill's theology "weak" to-day ? You haven't really explained. Bill stated in one of his blogs that he was a Trinitarian. So I thought this meant that "God" was divided into three: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.....so what's your problem with that ? Jesus's last words were "Father forgive them, they know not what they do" and "Abba (father again) into your hands, I commend my spirit" If Jesus was God who made himself flesh (human) and lived among us, was he talking to himself on the cross ?
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Frank Schaeffer (on the Rachel Maddow show) talked about evangelical fundamentalists using biblical verses against President Obama. Psalm 109.v 8 "Let his days be few; and let others take his office. v 9 "Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow." These words are being marketed as bumper stickers, T shirts - even a Teddy bear ! Hear all about it on:- http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385x403386
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Sounds as if the Jesuits are already planning on sending missionaries to outer space if intelligent life is ever discovered on another planet ! But what if life on other planets has evolved way ahead of ours and have no religion at all or some kind of religion very, very different from ours ? A new theory of religion was expounded on by anthropologist Stewart Elliott Guthrie in his book "Faces in the Clouds". Guthrie says religion is best understood as systematic anthropomorphism - that is, the attributes of human characteristics to nonhuman things and events. i.e. we created God in our image - not the other way round, because we don't have any other frame of reference, except ourselves ! Poor Will G is already getting in a panic that "those intelligences are hostile to God AND the human race" because the Bible says so ! I think it would be tremendously exciting if we found intelligent sentient beings somewhere "out there". But the universe is so vast it's unlikely we'll ever find them or that they will every find us.
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You gotta love it when Christians start criticizing one another's theology ! JT to-day: Jesus is not a man, Bill. Jesus is part of God. And that part of God became flesh and dwelt among us. Clearly, the only way to God is through God Himself, not through some man who was appointed the job of reconciling man to God. Your theology is incredibly weak on this, Bill. I don't think it is "clear" at all JT, that "the only way to God is through God himself........don't you end your prayers with the words "THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord".....rather implies you are in need of an intercessory doesn't it ?
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Bill said that he feels that he is never "beyond the reach of God's love". It's one of the things that tends to come up when people knock on my door to proselytize about their faith, and invariably make me feel guilty because I am incapable (and say so) of loving God back ! I'm sure feeling that the "God loves you" thought is very comforting to some, but does not compute at all with "Nature and Nature's God" as Thomas Jefferson put it in the Declaration of Independence. Cole's seal video was delightful.....the seal obviously "thought" that the camera man was one of her "kind" maybe even a baby seal and needed looking after. Sweet ! But not so sweet for the penguins she kept killing to feed him with ! It was the cruelty and indifference of nature (red in tooth and claw !) that really bothered Charles Darwin when doing his research into natural selection.
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Neat post, isnrchrd ! Although I think atheists would be more inclined to ask "WHAT created the Universe ?... rather than a WHO ! This, of course, doesn't alter the proper answer of "I don't know". Meanwhile......Jesus Saves while Moses Invests.
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This got in yesterday's blog. I keep doing that ! It seems to me that one of the problems with successful interfaith dialogue, are the divisions wihin the religions themselves. I'm presently reading Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam after Iraq by Michael Scheur, in which he comments on the complete lack of understanding (by America) of the historic confrontation between Shia and Sunni Moslems - groups who appear, entirely content - as events in Iraq have shown - to blow up one another's mosques with impunity ! I'd like to know if Eboo Patel addressed this issue as a problem within his own faith here in America, and whether in the U.S. this antipathy is still going within his religion here, and what they are doing about it. Seems as if (and I may be entirely wrong about this) that it is the Sunni side of Islam that is encouraging the present world wide spate of suicide bombers but not the Shia, as much, if at all. It's always seemed to me that the Sunni/Shia split resembles in many respects the historic Catholic/Protestant split although they happened for different reasons, of course. Can't say that the Shia beating their backs into a pulp, as a mourning ritual for a long dead leader, is any more appealing (to me) than symbolically eating body and drinking blood in remembrance of a long dead Jesus. But there are similarities there.
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It seems to me that one of the problems with successful interfaith dialogue, are the divisions wihin the religions themselves. I'm presently reading Marching Toward Hell:America and Islam after Iraq by Michael Scheur, in which he comments on the complete lack of understanding (by America) of the historic confrontation between Shia and Sunni Moslems. Groups entirely happy - as events in Iraq have shown - to blow up one another's mosques with impunity ! I'd like to know if Eboo Patel addressed this issue as a problem within his own faith and whether in the U.S. this is still going on with his religion here, and what they are doing about it. Seems as if (and I may be entirely wrong about this) that it is the Sunni side of Islam that is encouraging the present world wide spate of suicide bombers but not the Shia, so much, if at all. It's always seemed to me that the Sunni/Shia split resembles in many respects the historic Catholic/Protestant split although they happened for different reasons. Can't say that the Shia beating their backs into a pulp, as a mourning ritual for a long dead leader, is any more appealing (to me) than symbolically eating body and drinking blood in remembrance of a long dead Jesus. But there are similarites there.
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Dolores, This might make you just a little more optimistic about the future of the planet http://www.earth-stream.com/Earth/Continents/Brazil-celebrates-45-reduction-in-Amazon-deforestation_18_197__216229.html Seems like, as if, at least some of us "misbred" humans are trying to preserve our planet for future generations.
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Yes, Traplock, I'll help you.... here's a good short history of the Eucharist I found on the web... http://www.americancatholic.org/newsletters/cu/ac1006.asp By the way the word is EuchArist not Euchrist......from the Greek word "eukristos meaning "thankful" "grateful". It's always been curious how the Passover Meal which Christians dubbed the Last Supper could have been so changed from its original intention as a Celebration of freedom i.e. the Exodus. As the Jewish Kosher (and Islamic - Halal) dietary laws absolutely forbid blood in any food it is very unlikely that Jesus would have offered his blood and body to be eaten and drunk (even symbolically) at, of all places a Seder meal !!!
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Goldstein, I did respond to your post of yesterday but it got put in yesterday also, even though I commented on it to-day. My mistake. So, please don't think I was ignoring yours...the image of Hitchens was hilarious ! Thanks.
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My response (last night) to Goldstein on Hitchens "crushing" debates, got lost. Sometimes happens late at night I've noticed ! Loved the image of the charismatic Chris Hitchens...I'm going to frame that ! I can't believe Hitchens would have allowed anyone to actually photograph him in the "altogether" with cigarette smoke.Funny ! Goldstein misunderstood my previous post - it wasn't ME saying that Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris were crushing the debates...I was quoting what Lisa Miller said about them and she used the word "conversations" not "debates". I think she meant that they were "dominating" the "atheist vs religion conversation" at the present time ! Of course I knew that Hitchens supported the Iraq war ! I certainly didn't agree with him about that....there's a lot of things I don't agree with him about ! Didn't know that Harris was also an Iraq war supporter. As for the debates themselves which Goldstein seems to think resulted in Hitchens being "crushed" by the likes of Wilson, William Lane Craig and Lennox (haven't watched him yet) - so far I can only respond by quoting Karl Barth (yet again!) "Belief cannot argue with unbelief, it can only preach to it." It's like listening to two different telephone conversations. They aren't really debating at all ! Hitchens is just as "preachy" as his opposition. They are on completely different wavelengths. There's only one thing I rather agreed with, with Wilson - that religion isn't all bad. His analogy of the good and the bad student was quite good.....but hardly "crushing" - just asking for fairness when dealing with the subject. i.e. the bad apples should not be allowed to define any faith. I rather agree with that.
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The Rutter Requiem is beautiful Bill, also the Pearson "Requiem for Peace", although if you think about it - such a title is rather sad as it rather indicates that hope for "peace" is for ever a forlorn hope. Traplock wrote that Martin Luther "threw out" the apocryphal books -this isn't quite accurate. Luther just placed the books at the back of the Bible in his time, I think. I still have an old copy of the Apocrypha my mother a staunch Church of England used to read with great delight which would indicate that these books although excluded from the King James version, were always readily available to Protestants, despite Luther's disapproval. I dug out this info about the Apocrypha on the internet which might be of interest. http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS317US318&q=apcrypha+who+threw+out+these+books
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P.S. to Goldstein and Bill might be interested..... Lisa Miller (newseek religion columnist) had a couple of books to recommend this month.... Jennifer Hecht "Doubt: A History" (2004) and the Harvard humanist chaplain Greg Epstein comes out with a new book this week "Good without God" which sound interesting.
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Delores, I'm really glad that "Jesus will get his Female Clone when he goes with God/us to be the Leader on a New Planet....." Mary Magdalene perhaps ? After the way his Father and God/us treated him on this planet, not to mention having his blood and body perpetually consumed in remembrance ever since he left, I'm sure he deserves some compensation for all of that ! Doesn't quite fit with .....and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He'll come to judge the quick and the dead..... but your's is a better idea, and I'm sure Jesus will be grateful - although I hope you will let him stop being celibate on your new planet. I'd think he'd like that. LOL
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The Breakthrough, Bill is supporting to-day is performing a very useful service in KC. It used to be called St. Vincents. I've been there once, it was packed !! We really should support it. It's really sad that legislators in Jefferson City are so resistant to helping poor people, but then this seems to be usual Republican attitude. I'm sure if Sister Berta had spoken with our Jolie Justus, the Democrat Senator, from our district, she would have found a sympathetic ear. I wonder if Sister Berta has tried for Federal Funds from the "Faith Based Initiative" which Obama is keeping going. I would have thought Breakthrough would be a perfect candidate for help from that source, and with Michelle in the White House.....? Finding affordable day care for children for working Moms has always been difficult. Most day care centers are just baby sitting facilities and won't take kids until they are potty trained, and don't offer any pre-school education, so kids miss out on those wonderful formative years before 5 years old, when they could be learning something !
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Bill was complaining a few days ago (could be a week or two ?) about the lack of good "faith" reporting in the media. Newsweek is keeping good faith reporting going, however, in their columnist Lisa Miller. I thought this was interesting in Novemebr 2nd issue:- "Two White Guys Walk into a Bar.... http://www.bing.com/search?q=lisa+miller+newsweek+two+white+men+walk+into+a+bar&go=&form=QBRE&qs=n In view of the amount of "atheist vs religion" debates currently available on You Tube - and often recommended by posters to this page, I think her piece was very relevant. She writes that "Three charismatic men - Harris, Richard Dawkins and Hitchens (who is a Newsweek contributor)_ - have not just dominated the conversation, they've crushed it. I've listened to some of these "debates" which really aren't debates at all, because as Protestant theologian Karl Barth said: "Belief cannot argue with unbelief it can only preach to it."
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JT, I haven't noticed anyone talking about "magical" Scientific Law on this blog - except you. There's nothing magical about science which is simply a process of discovering the facts of our existence. There sure is something magical in regard to religion:- talking snakes, turning water into wine, raising people from the dead etc.... You really think it logical to believe that "the only person's fate that is sealed in advance is (a) the devil himself and (b) those who find salvation ? You really believe that the devil is a PERSON ? Is that logical ? I've always felt a bit sorry for the devil. As one of God's creation -fallen angel wasn't it? - he just wanted a share of the power and found it: "Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven" .....poor guy, why wouldn't God give him a bit ? As for your view that "Salvation determines your destiny in advance" there goes your free will arguement right there - doesnt it ?
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Goldstein, Did I really quote Pilate a while back ? Must have if you say so. It was a good question even it was a Roman pagan asking it. Maybe in scientific terms we should substitute "fact" for "truth" agreed ?
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More on concerns that evolution is being used as a front for atheism....... I think the main concern should be the lack of decent science education in schools particularly in America. Remember the panic here when the Russians got ahead of us with Sputnik ? I think a lot of the opposition to evolutionary science is that popeople simply don't understand it as they are not having a proper education of the subject in schools here. Problem is, it involves many disciplines as Jerry Coyne points out in his book "Evolution. Is it True ?": paleontology, molecular biology, population genetics, and biogeography. Take those stupid abstinence only classes. Wouldn't it really blow the kids minds if they had instead a class on embryology and learned all about the vestigial phenomena that occurs as an embryo develops. They might think twice about getting pregnant if they knew that a developing embryo has at certain stages of its development:- gill like structures that become its ears, webbed fingers, fur (yes fur!) a tail, the laryngeal nerve of a typical fish (which we are still stuck with) and an egg yolk sac like a chicken !
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Yes JT - philosophers have indeed addressed such nonsense hundreds of years ago. It went something like this: If God (being omniscient, omnipotent etc... already has foreknowledge of everything that will happen, then he must have organized everything to happen in the way he had foreknowledge of. If this is the case , then how can it be maintained that humans have free will ? I don't think its unbelievers who have themselves "tied in knots" over that one - do you ?
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Goldstein wrote ".. what we have a problem with is evolution being used as a front for atheism." Yes, I rather agree - and so did Charles Darwin ! He knew that his theory of natural selection once published, was going to cause one hell of a furor among Christians (and other religions) and it certainly did. Dawkins has an original copy of The Origin of Species which leaves out the words "by the Creator" and reads like this:- "There is a grandeur to this view of life with its several powers, having been breathed into a few forms or into one; and that while this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." Of course there is still a problem with the word "breathed" as it rather implies a "breather" doesn't it ? I'll spare you Dawkin's explanation for that ! Point is, Darwin added the words "by the Creator" in later editions of Origins in order to somehow placate the Creationists of his day. I don't think Darwin wanted to upset the tenderly held beliefs of the people of his day he was after all a very kind man but as a scientist he felt he had to get the "truth" out even though it was going to change everything,as it certainly did.
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Coverage of Christian Science Practioners fees under the new Health Reform bill is nothing new. They have been listed as an allowable Medical Expense in the IRS tax code for a long time ! See IRS pamphlet #502. On the matter of prayer, being discussed to-day, I think it possible that prayer like yoga like meditation probably does the person doing the praying more good than those being prayed for.
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I wanted to thank Will G for the link to Michael Ruse's piece in the U.K. guardian. I hope that Cole and Iggy might read it so here it is again:- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/nov/02/atheism-dawkins-ruse Ruse, says "There are several reasons why we atheists are squabbling " 1) He doesn't think all religion is evil and corrupting 2) As a professional philosopher he's really mad at Dawkins for "running around like a first year graduate asking "What caused God ?" (I've always loved Voltaire's comment to that subject:" If God didn't exist it would be necessary to invent him.":)! 3) He doesn't think he's wrong (about his own atheism) but is calling for a little humility on the part of the so called New Atheists to acknowledge that there are religious philosophers of worth and integrity, who should be respected. 4) He wants evolution taught in schools but thinks there is "no way better designed to make that impossible, than to spout on about religion from ignorance and contempt." In other words (my words !)spouting anti religious invective is putting people off !! I'm rather in sympathy with all of the above particularly in view of Iggy's remark calling Bill irrational this morning "Aren't you too old to spread it around." 7.02a.m. That was very rude, untrue, ignorant and unecessary. How about some respect ?
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It was a great day when the Berlin Wall came down. I once spent a miserable couple of hours in East Berlin airport waiting for a plane back to Britain. I was later to have a couple of really fun filled trips to the West so was able to compare both sides. Strange place Berlin in those days, the difference between East and West was night and day. The West was all new plate glass windows steel buildings, shopping mall walk-ways, bright lights etc..while looking over the wall into the East all you could see were bombed out buildings - the East Germans didn't bother to rebuild anything after the WWII Blitz - no civic pride I guess ! Bill's description of the East being "dour" is an understatement !
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