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Old 12-06-2012, 02:58 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,286,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtango View Post
What is the use, my friend, of having believers read the Bible?
A few things actually.

The first is that I have managed in my life to convert people away from religion. I never did it by arguing facts and evidence or proving Evolution or any of that. I did it by making them actually read their Bible and they came out of that experience saying "I was meant to believe THAT? No thanks!!".

A second is that I believe that one misses out a lot on English Literature from Shakespeare to Milton if one does not have a grounding in English versions of the Bible. I am not saying one can not enjoy Milton and Shakespeare without it but there are certainly levels one misses out on all the same.

It is a book that has massive influences on our culture and literature and even if you are as vocally anti religion as I am I think one does well to have a firm grounding, knowledge and understanding of the Bible itself.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Athens, Greece
526 posts, read 580,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
It is a book that has massive influences on our culture and literature and even if you are as vocally anti religion as I am I think one does well to have a firm grounding, knowledge and understanding of the Bible itself.
I have no problem with religion. I only fight for the extinction of the priesthood.
People are free to believe what they choose to believe depending on the quality of their brains (some believe that they have to kill their sister for having made love with the wrong man and therefore believing in the resurrection of
Jesus is quite innocent. )

As regards understanding the Old Testament (there is nothing worth understanding in the Greek literature of the Christian religion) one has to first understand the older Ugaritic texts but, prior to it, understanding of the even older Sumerian texts is required and, of course, nothing can be accomplished without first understanding the older texts of humanity: the Egyptian Pyramid Texts!

Understanding of the Hebrew Bible is not an easy task (Einstein made a fool of himself by thinking that a top physicist could judge an ancient text without having studied the ancient texts).
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:53 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,942,522 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
The question of whether a square is a circle isn't a question of proving a negative, it is a confusion of two different positives.
Proving X can't exist is the very definition of proving a negative, whether X is a god or a square circle.

Quote:
You've given this a lot of thought and research time, haven't you?
Why assume that what you post requires a lot of thought and research time to dismiss?

Quote:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as

a
: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe

b
Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind

2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality


3 : a person or thing of supreme value


4 : a powerful ruler
Definition of EQUIVOCATE
1
: to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive

Quote:
What is his name?
We're talking about Zeus here, so his name is Zeus. Again, do you have a point here or are you just asking random questions and copying definitions off internet dictionaries?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:58 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,286,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtango View Post
I have no problem with religion. I only fight for the extinction of the priesthood.
Me, I have a problem with all public unsubstantiated claims. That includes much of religion. I have no issue with private beliefs or faith however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtango View Post
Understanding of the Hebrew Bible is not an easy task (Einstein made a fool of himself by thinking that a top physicist could judge an ancient text without having studied the ancient texts).
All the more reason to at least read the thing I feel.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
336 posts, read 282,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtango View Post
I have no problem with religion. I only fight for the extinction of the priesthood.
Religion is only dogmatic philosophy wrapped in ritual and myths and hierarchy. You seem to object only to the hierarchic part.

The thing is, new religions, which often start out objecting to hierarchy, soon find that without it leading religious people is like herding cats, and you end up with no end of sects.

So you need a priesthood and a Pope; just don't call them that, and, if possible, even let women in on it. Then you can give them training in counseling and a little pop psychology and, believe it or not, they can actually be of help and make people happier and relieve suffering.

I was in a hospital room a couple years ago in a small Missouri town, where an aunt was dying. Her pastor was there, sitting at her side, chatting with her and the others in the room, encouraging prayers every now and then. He even asked me to do so, and when I told him I was a Buddhist of the sort that has no one to pray to, he took no offense and offered a moment of silence. (I tactfully left out the fact that my Buddhism is of the atheist sort).

The man knew what he was doing, did it out of his calling, helped all in the room, including my aunt, and did so with no particular preaching except a simply framed hope of an afterlife. This may be a false hope, but in that kind of situation I am not going to argue.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Athens, Greece
526 posts, read 580,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
All the more reason to at least read the thing I feel.
I quite agree with you!

The problem I have with atheists (I consider my self an anti-theist, as I believe that pope is God and thus I cannot say that there is no God. ) is that they blame the book (the Old Testament) instead of blaming those who put the book to such an unsuitable use.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Athens, Greece
526 posts, read 580,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Merton View Post
Religion is only dogmatic philosophy wrapped in ritual and myths and hierarchy. You seem to object only to the hierarchic part.
Yes. You are right! (and thanks for the term “hierarchy” for I never used it in that sense).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Merton View Post
So you need a priesthood and a Pope; just don't call them that, and, if possible, even let women in on it. Then you can give them training in counseling and a little pop psychology and, believe it or not, they can actually be of help and make people happier and relieve suffering.
Or they would end up exploiting the naïve ones and getting rich.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Merton View Post
The man knew what he was doing, did it out of his calling, helped all in the room, including my aunt, and did so with no particular preaching except a simply framed hope of an afterlife. This may be a false hope, but in that kind of situation I am not going to argue.
There was no need, therefore, for him to be a professional pastor as he could very well be a volunteer and need not the support of bishops and archbishops.

We owe democracy not to the ancient Greeks (only a small part of them were democrats) but to the fact that no ancient Greek state had an hierarchy. There was no professional priesthood in ancient Greece. There was religion, of course, but the gods were serving the politicians not the priests (and it was the state the one doing the dirty work of the church: persecuting the infidels!).

So, there has been a religious state without hierarchy and it worked miracles!
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:19 PM
 
755 posts, read 632,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
I'm aware of those, and I think they are nonsense.
Irrelevant. I think deities are nonsensical, but I don't run around thereby insisting that there is no definition of a theism.

Feel free to elaborate upon what is nonsensical about not believing in a deity in the same way that one does not believe in leprechauns.

Or are you just going to stick with the easy, nebulous and meaningless dismissive claim of 'nonsense'?
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:42 PM
 
16,105 posts, read 17,923,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
I've said that here myself, but considering what the average theist knows that isn't saying a hell of a lot. I don't know who Teresa McBain is.
From Minister To Atheist: A Story Of Losing Faith : NPR
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:38 AM
 
Location: The Big O
590 posts, read 664,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Theist View Post
sounds a lot like the Dan Barker's Easter Challenge which I answered ages ago on the Skeptic's Annotated Bible Forum. Here
I was not aware of the Easter Challenge. I opened your link and read your writings and the following replies.
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