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General Chat Thread, Atheism will eat itself in General; Originally Posted by gwendes I think I have a very good idea of the subject we are discussing. I've listened ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I think I have a very good idea of the subject we are discussing. I've listened to many different points of view and am interested in the discussion more than reaching a conclusion.
    I think you're interested from a limited perspective, imposed by yourself. I know you won't understand some things, and some things won't make sense. That is NOT due to any failing on your part, it's just a fact.

    Some discussion wont ever lead to your understanding. You have a lot of strongly held misconceptions. Those common naive/ counter basic logic rebuttals found in the atheists armoury on Dawkins.net don't help either. They only serve to entrench. You keep digging them up and it's very frustrating.

    I don't think you know how basically insulting I find what you say is, or how infuriating TGD is.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I think I've been very respectful of your faith.
    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I think that education and faith should have a very high wall between them and society would benefit from all schools being open to all children and teachers regardless of faith- kids don't have prejudices until they are taught.
    I'm not talking about having that system enforced on anyone. You seem tto be. Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I think it's important to ask who is choosing these perfect rights and wrongs. And why.
    So do I. Very much so. I have to pay to have my opinion taught. You don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    If religion made for more a better society I would probably be in favour (whether I could be faithful myself or not). We can look at the worldwide statistics and observe that religion does not improve any aspect of society - health, wealth, education - anything. I think it's fair to ask why.
    I disagree and think that it makes for a 100% improvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I think it's positive for both sides to listen to each other - ultimately I couldn't care less how you choose to live your life - I'm interested in why and will become much less 'tolerant' if your rights infringe on mine or those of my children.
    I completely tolerate you even though the assertion of your rights infringes on the rights of my children.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    The idea that religion is untouchable, unquestionable because it might offend somebody is simply wrong. Nothing is above the question - that breeds dangerous certainties.
    Absolutely.
    Last edited by mark; 22nd January 2009 at 10:30 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    I think you're interested from a limited perspective, imposed by yourself. I know you won't understand some things, and some things won't make sense. That is NOT due to any failing on your part, it's just a fact.
    Right. That's not a failing on my part. I don't understand a lot of things that people do and I'm glad that I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Some discussion wont ever lead to your understanding. You have a lot of strongly held misconceptions. Those common naive/ counter basic logic rebuttals found in the atheists armoury on Dawkins.net don't help either. They only serve to entrench. You keep digging them up and it's very frustrating.
    I don't take part in discussions at RDF. Help me to understand? I think I have a good understanding of what you consider to be misconceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I don't think you know how basically insulting I find what you say is, or how infuriating TGD is.
    Why do you find anything I say insulting? What have I said exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I'm not talking about having that system enforced on anyone. You seem tto be. Why?
    Because you said that you agree with Adrian Hawkes. He supports that 'system' - it is enforced - the children have no choice or balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    So do I. Very much so. I have to pay to have my opinion taught. You don't.
    Why is this? Because there are many potential faiths at the moment and there will be new ones in the future. Faith has no place in schools - ethics and philospohy do. I'm not saying we should not teach any form of morality just that any single faith has very different ideas and there is no evidence to suggest that any are positive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark

    I disagree and think that it makes for a 100% improvement.
    I'd love to see even a single study that supported this idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I completely tolerate you even though the assertion of your rights infringes on the rights of my children.
    The difference is that you are still free to teach whatever you like at home. Indoctrination is much harder to reverse - if faith is compulsory (which it is) it leaves children very confused.

    Don't teach anything and make all schools open to all - how can you possibly oppose this attitude of tolerance? If Christianity is the best then children will find it by themselves - surely?

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    You agree that the idea that religion is untouchable is wrong.

    Why are you offended?

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    @Mark: Do you agree that religious faith is a decision that an individual has to make for themselves? If so, do you see anything wrong in making schools agnostic toward religion in general, so that the pupils can make up their own mind as to their leanings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    I am defending myself from continuous relentless attack tho' Localz. Just because you agree with gwendes doesn't make it go away. You may not understand my point of view, and that is perfectly ok, but you can't tell me what I think
    Attack is a bit strong, besides you activly provoke these discussions in order to trot the same haggard concepts around again. You started this thread and set the tone by taking a swipe at atheism and other peoples viewpoints.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    Depends how you read it. The linked persons' site shows he is naive of religion and knowledgable on the atheist argument.
    The link that you refer to was a responce to this post that was written accusing Atheism of being morally bankrupt:

    Ben Shapiro : Why Atheism Is Morally Bankrupt - Townhall.com

    hence the viewpoint conveyed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I don't understand a lot of things that people do and I'm glad that I don't.
    I try to understand everyone. We're not talking about people though, but a concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I don't take part in discussions at RDF. Help me to understand? I think I have a good understanding of what you consider to be misconceptions.
    God is a myth. Jesus clones. Out of context quote from OT/ outrage at morality. God is cruel because It says it in OT. Give me empirical proof of God (even though logically it's a non question)... the list of these common arguments is quite lengthy, and commonly repeated all over the web. The logic is very simplistic and doesn't hold up to any scrutiny, but it's rolled out like cannon fodder to prevent any serious discussion and kill original ideas.

    (I think we should list our ideas so we don't have to keep repeating them)

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Because you said that you agree with Adrian Hawkes. He supports that 'system' - it is enforced - the children have no choice or balance.
    You don't agree that there is any moral choice outside your own. You disagree that moral guidance is extremely strongly secular and ill advised. My children are subjected to this moral bankrupsy. You speak like a person without morals when you say that children are fully responsible for their own. A Christian education is a very limited choice and not the norm. It's me that should be objecting and not you.
    Disclaimer: I'm not talking about a primitive Dawkins construct of Dickensian cruelty.. where children are force fed anything against their will, or told horror stories and beaten to within an inch of their lives and constantly live in fear from the grotesque stories they're fed.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Why is this? Because there are many potential faiths at the moment and there will be new ones in the future. Faith has no place in schools - ethics and philospohy do. I'm not saying we should not teach any form of morality just that any single faith has very different ideas and there is no evidence to suggest that any are positive.
    So you're saying that all of the ideas of Jesus, which your society seems to embrace, are the opposite of what you think your society should actually embrace? You deny evidence IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    The difference is that you are still free to teach whatever you like at home. Indoctrination is much harder to reverse - if faith is compulsory (which it is) it leaves children very confused.
    The trash spouted by society is the strongest indoctrination there is. Again your talking about RD's fairytales. (now these ARE myths that HE's perpetuating. For what purpose? So that he can defend his science? Doesn't seem very intelligent to me... except of course he's making a living from it.)

    Faith being compulsory is a misleading statement. How can that ever be possible? Non religious children from Catholic schools (and I presume any other faith school) are the most strongly rebellious I've encountered because they're well informed. It's your moral duty to lead a child. The child is free to go there own way after that. IMHO it is not OK to teach a child Amorally. It simply isn't possible and denies human nature. (Please don't respond with Dawkins Dickensian faff).

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Don't teach anything and make all schools open to all - how can you possibly oppose this attitude of tolerance? If Christianity is the best then children will find it by themselves - surely?
    If only that were possible. Look at the example Hawkes gives. I think that's a completely morally bankrupt stance, that you should leave people to the right path by themselves, as I said above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    You agree that the idea that religion is untouchable is wrong.

    Why are you offended?
    If I believe something is right I think the right thing to do is say so. Don't you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    @Mark: Do you agree that religious faith is a decision that an individual has to make for themselves? If so, do you see anything wrong in making schools agnostic toward religion in general, so that the pupils can make up their own mind as to their leanings?
    RF is by definition personal, nothing anyone says can make you believe anything.

    Schools being agnostic, from a Christian perspective, is immoral.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Attack is a bit strong, besides you activly provoke these discussions in order to trot the same haggard concepts around again. You started this thread and set the tone by taking a swipe at atheism and other peoples viewpoints.
    I let gwendes hijack the thread that way again yes. I responded, sorry. "trot the same haggard concepts" ..are you in denial here SYNACK? The point of the OP was very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    The link that you refer to was a responce to this post that was written accusing Atheism of being morally bankrupt:

    Ben Shapiro : Why Atheism Is Morally Bankrupt - Townhall.com

    hence the viewpoint conveyed.
    Yeah I don't think her response holds any water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    RF is by definition personal, nothing anyone says can make you believe anything.
    But that's simply not true, as countless studies have shown. For a start, humans are programmed by default to respond to authority figures. Children also have a natural compulsion to believe what they are told by adults. When you combine the two, and begin to pass off theological arguments as undisputed facts in schools, I think that is unethical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    God is a myth. Jesus clones. Out of context quote from OT/ outrage at morality. God is cruel because It says it in OT. Give me empirical proof of God (even though logically it's a non question)... the list of these common arguments is quite lengthy, and commonly repeated all over the web. The logic is very simplistic and doesn't hold up to any scrutiny, but it's rolled out like cannon fodder to prevent any serious discussion and kill original ideas.
    I would agree that the logic is simple. You seem to miss the point that these are philosophical questions and they're not designed to have definate answers based on empirical proof - it's the questions that are important and the questions aren't designed to offend.

    What if God is a myth. What are the potential roots of this myth? For what purposes.

    We can't know, by your reasoning, if there is a God but we can ask if the attributes are compatible and if they aren't we can assess why this might be. I don't seek to wipe religion from history - it just happens to be my considered opinion that religion is not a force for good in the world and that leads to the question, why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    (I think we should list our ideas so we don't have to keep repeating them)
    I don't believe in any God or gods and I live my life on that assumption.

    I don't believe that there is any divine justice or scales, no judgement, no sin.

    I believe that good and evil are human interpretations based on the society you happen to live in.

    I think that Jesus probably existed but was given the attributes of earlier gods at the beginning of Christianity - St Paul considered Jesus as mythical - or at least certainly not has having been alive during his lifetime.

    I think the Bible should carry an (18) sticker.


    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    You don't agree that there is any moral choice outside your own.
    Exactly right. There is no divine morality - different people, even those that are members of the same sect of church have different levels of right and wrong.

    I can answer a question based on instinct as a product of evolutionary drives - you, as you've stated, sometimes need to look for guidance from the Bible.

    In one room are twenty children, perhaps a class of kids at your school.

    In the other are your own children.

    You can only save one group - which do you save?

    The bible is very clear on this and any true Christian must answer the same.


    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Disclaimer: I'm not talking about a primitive Dawkins construct of Dickensian cruelty.. where children are force fed anything against their will, or told horror stories and beaten to within an inch of their lives and constantly live in fear from the grotesque stories they're fed.
    Hell is a very real place, or at least it was, to friends that went to RC schools. Religion in school is always force-fed.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    So you're saying that all of the ideas of Jesus, which your society seems to embrace, are the opposite of what you think your society should actually embrace? You deny evidence IMHO.
    So morals we introduced to the UK when Christianity fought it's way to these shores? Innate morality shaped religion. Judaism is much, much older than Christianity - how can you accuse me of denying evidence - your religion is very modern and there was morality long before it was invented.

    Why do you think that being bad would be the default setting for a human and we need to have this behaviour corrected by religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    The trash spouted by society is the strongest indoctrination there is. Again your talking about RD's fairytales. (now these ARE myths that HE's perpetuating.
    Trash? You mean that people are openly atheist? I don't think Richard Dawkins deserves a capital 'H' just yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    For what purpose? So that he can defend his science? Doesn't seem very intelligent to me... except of course he's making a living from it.)
    Of course, religion is non-profit.

    Defending what he has invested a lifetime working on and making money are two drives I'm sure. Nobody would be happier than Richard Dawkins if you could find evidence that he was wrong and had been wrong his entire life. You would defend evolution too though- you have just chosen not to see a conflict - your God coexists with evolution. That's a difficult God to teach about.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Faith being compulsory is a misleading statement. How can that ever be possible?
    Well, it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Non religious children from Catholic schools (and I presume any other faith school) are the most strongly rebellious I've encountered because they're well informed. It's your moral duty to lead a child. The child is free to go there own way after that. IMHO it is not OK to teach a child Amorally. It simply isn't possible and denies human nature.
    You feel it's a moral duty to introduce faith. That is the height of irresponsiblity as far as I'm concerned. Ethics and philosophy provide guidance by asking questions - not by frocing children to accept the 'truth'

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    If only that were possible. Look at the example Hawkes gives. I think that's a completely morally bankrupt stance, that you should leave people to the right path by themselves, as I said above.
    I think it is completely possible. A single peice of legislation based initially on employment law - prevent schools from discriminating teachers based on religion. The same should apply to students. Completely reasonable.

    You can still tell kids it's a good idea to share (though I would argue they're completely aware of this) and be kind to others (this is learnt very early on!). Moral guidance does not need a super-being.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    If I believe something is right I think the right thing to do is say so. Don't you?
    I wouldn't want it any other way. We have quite a lot of freedom from religion here - the very fact that we can have this discussion, when not very long ago I would have faced prison or worse, is great. I'm just concerned as to why you would be offended - that isn't my intention.

    I'm not offended by anything you say I just hope that some of your ideas are never put into practice. Hey, it would be boring if we all agreed on everything!

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Schools being agnostic, from a Christian perspective, is immoral.
    Schools being Christian from any other perspective of faith or atheism is immoral or simply wrong. I don't want you to think that schools should not be built around a whole education - but teaching your particular idea of morality because it has a large following is non-sensical. Children can learn through case-study, for example, current affairs - Gaza...

    Morality doesn't come from religion. Christianity (in part) was an attempt to write down what was moral (a couple of thousand years ago) - otherwise there would be no need to interpret - you'd just read the truth as it had always been and always will be.
    Last edited by gwendes; 23rd January 2009 at 09:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    We can't know, by your reasoning, if there is a God but we can ask if the attributes are compatible and if they aren't we can assess why this might be. I don't seek to wipe religion from history - it just happens to be my considered opinion that religion is not a force for good in the world and that leads to the question, why not?
    Then you're not able to really ask questions only from a non understanding point of view. Somewhat limiting.



    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Exactly right. There is no divine morality - different people, even those that are members of the same sect of church have different levels of right and wrong.

    I can answer a question based on instinct as a product of evolutionary drives - you, as you've stated, sometimes need to look for guidance from the Bible.

    In one room are twenty children, perhaps a class of kids at your school.

    In the other are your own children.

    You can only save one group - which do you save?

    The bible is very clear on this and any true Christian must answer the same.
    There is no such thing as a true christian.
    I would save my own children every time. It would be impossible to override my natural instinct - so if the moral answer was different, then learnt behaviour is superceeded.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Hell is a very real place, or at least it was, to friends that went to RC schools. Religion in school is always force-fed.
    Never ever in my experience/ to my knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    So morals we introduced to the UK when Christianity fought it's way to these shores? Innate morality shaped religion. Judaism is much, much older than Christianity - how can you accuse me of denying evidence - your religion is very modern and there was morality long before it was invented.
    Christian morality superceeds Judaic morality. You can't read the OT on it's own as a Christian. Christian morality superceeds naturally gained morality by quite some way. To try to explain: As a non Christian I was fearful of laws. After becoming a Christian those laws followed my own beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Why do you think that being bad would be the default setting for a human and we need to have this behaviour corrected by religion?
    "Bad" isn't how I'd describe it. It looks perfectly good until you consider it from a Christian perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Trash? You mean that people are openly atheist?
    No. That people live outside Christian morals.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Of course, religion is non-profit.
    Self profit in genuine religion is against the concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Defending what he has invested a lifetime working on and making money are two drives I'm sure. Nobody would be happier than Richard Dawkins if you could find evidence that he was wrong and had been wrong his entire life.
    Funny I know nothing of his real achievements.
    Dawkins dilemma there is a scientific impossibility. Folly of the highest order, as atheists have agreed with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    You feel it's a moral duty to introduce faith. That is the height of irresponsiblity as far as I'm concerned. Ethics and philosophy provide guidance by asking questions - not by frocing children to accept the 'truth'
    You can't force anyone, it isn't possible. I think you're being alarmist there. Show me one example.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    You can still tell kids it's a good idea to share (though I would argue they're completely aware of this) and be kind to others (this is learnt very early on!). Moral guidance does not need a super-being.
    Lets divide secular and Christian morality. I agree with you about secular morality. Christian morality is a whole new layer and introduces freedom not possible without it. You couldn't possibly appreciate that without accepting the concept, but I tell you truthfully that this is the case. Secular morality is confused and without guidance. Many poeple live their lives without a clear moral framework and to denounce the Christian stance, which is very similar to what our society practices, is asking to regress IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Schools being Christian from any other perspective of faith or atheism is immoral or simply wrong. I don't want you to think that schools should not be built around a whole education - but teaching your particular idea of morality because it has a large following is non-sensical. Children can learn through case-study, for example, current affairs - Gaza...
    So again, you disagree with Jesus' stances. I'd like to see you create a list of what was wrong and so bad sometime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    But that's simply not true, as countless studies have shown. For a start, humans are programmed by default to respond to authority figures. Children also have a natural compulsion to believe what they are told by adults. When you combine the two, and begin to pass off theological arguments as undisputed facts in schools, I think that is unethical.
    What you think is the result of your conditioning by your surroundings, as I said above. That may or may not be very good morally.

    You're assuming that adults teach Children irresponsibly. That's exactly what happens in secular education. A Christ centred education would provide facts that a child could consider for themselves. Again we're talking bad Christian/ good non Christian - that's not a balanced argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    Then you're not able to really ask questions only from a non understanding point of view. Somewhat limiting.
    Only in your opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    There is no such thing as a true christian.
    I would save my own children every time. It would be impossible to override my natural instinct - so if the moral answer was different, then learnt behaviour is superceeded.
    Sure, there isn't a true Christian - it wasn't well put. The Christian thing to do is save the majority of lives - again, it's the question that's important. Why is this the case?

    Can Christianity be a source of morality with absolutes causing problems like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Never ever in my experience/ to my knowledge.
    You have to admit that it would be very likely that some people have had a very real Hell imposed on them. I know people that have - believe me or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Christian morality superceeds Judaic morality. You can't read the OT on it's own as a Christian. Christian morality superceeds naturally gained morality by quite some way. To try to explain: As a non Christian I was fearful of laws. After becoming a Christian those laws followed my own beliefs.
    In your opinion. By your logic we should allow every culture to impose it's religious morality on it's own children. All religions consider themselves better than each other with a monopoly on truth. The only balance is an atheistic point of view. Why not support my ideal of no underlying agenda or bias.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    No. That people live outside Christian morals.
    Even the poor people like me that live within your modern interpretation of Christian morals (which just so happens to be very similiar to the law) but that are spiritually dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Self profit in genuine religion is against the concept.
    It's a valid critisism.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Funny I know nothing of his real achievements.
    If you read 'The Selfish Gene' you'll learn a lot about the work he was doing leading up to it's publication.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    You can't force anyone, it isn't possible. I think you're being alarmist there. Show me one example.
    It's easy to 'force' children. So easy you don't even need to force. I told my friend's kid last night that I was one hundred years old - no problem! (I corrected my 'mistake' and the intention was not to mislead - it was to educate!)

    Children are programmed to believe. Just look around you.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    So again, you disagree with Jesus' stances. I'd like to see you create a list of what was wrong and so bad sometime.
    I don't believe they are Jesus' stances. I believe they are innate human stances.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    You're assuming that adults teach Children irresponsibly. That's exactly what happens in secular education. A Christ centred education would provide facts that a child could consider for themselves. Again we're talking bad Christian/ good non Christian - that's not a balanced argument.
    An interesting argument but that isn't what I'm arguing. I'm arguing that 'Christian morality' isn't the best option simply because it is Christian. A much better approach, in my opinion is to reject the idea that there is a divine good and bad.

    An atheist and Christian individual could make equally good or bad teachers of morality - therefore it isn't a matter of faith. Therefore, as we need an external measure all schools should be without faith and morality should be derived from the world around us, discussion and questions.
    Last edited by gwendes; 23rd January 2009 at 01:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I don't believe in any God or gods and I live my life on that assumption.

    I don't believe that there is any divine justice or scales, no judgement, no sin.

    I believe that good and evil are human interpretations based on the society you happen to live in.

    I think that Jesus probably existed but was given the attributes of earlier gods at the beginning of Christianity - St Paul considered Jesus as mythical - or at least certainly not has having been alive during his lifetime.

    I think the Bible should carry an (18) sticker.
    I'll add a few for now..

    You can't prove God's existence, it's contrary to simple logic, and the Bible points it out.

    There is no "true Christian". Christianity is an aim & not a destination.

    The logic of Christianity is not going to compute if you don't accept the concept.

    To Christians, the bible has to be read in the context of Jesus' teachings.

    The Bible has to be read as a whole. Taking snippets at random it's possible to assume anything, most probably wrongly.

    The Bible states that the most extreme questioning of everything, including God is a basic requirement. It also states that non questioning is abhorrent to God.

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  1. 20K and all the chicken you can eat?
    By ITWombat in forum General Chat
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 3rd March 2007, 07:51 PM

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