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Reconciling science and religion


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15 minutes ago, Strange said:

Is anyone pretending it isn't? You seem to be pretending that it is the only message. 

OK, which is it?  Do the scriptures provide a cogent  viewpoint, or are they self-contradictory?
Ok that's a rhetorical question because they clearly contradict themselves.

If the scriptures say both, that you should turn the other cheek and also, that you should seek an eye for an eye, what the hell use are they?

They tell you nothing, but let you justify your choice by saying "The Book says...".

Essentially, finding any  idea in the scriptures is cherry pickling- because there's a good chance you can find exactly the opposite idea too.

Can we replace them with a single line that says " Yes, but then again, no"?

Then people "seek guidance" they can say "Oh Great book should I do such-and-such?" and the book will give them the solace and guidance they seek.
What's the point of a book that tells you that revenge is both right and wrong and you get to choose what bit to believe?

It's not a guide to morality- for two reasons- firstly it is immoral and more importantly, you get to make up your own mind what bits to obey.

You don't like the bit about not eating shellfish- no problem- just ignore it.

You don't like the bit about not committing adultery- no problem (ask any of a number of prominent politicians etc who claim Christianity).

You don't like the bit about the universe being made in 7 days- that's OK we can just pretend that "7 days" means something else.

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Most of your posts are also nonsense most of the time because I realize you really post a lot of nonscientific bullshit.

It's impossible to reconcile science and religion because religion is bullshit while science is not. Any moderately intelligent person can see that religion is total bullshit.

The irony is that you have been saying the same thing, even although multiple members have refuted/destroyed/countered your arguments/evidence/assertions.

7 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

If the scriptures say both, that you should turn the other cheek and also, that you should seek an eye for an eye, what the hell use are they?

So ignore them then. What's the big deal. 

7 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

Essentially, finding any  idea in the scriptures is cherry pickling- because there's a good chance you can find exactly the opposite idea too.

You are cherry picking because you are only quoting the bits that support your opinions. If one were to quote sections that present both sides, that wouldn't be cherry picking, would it. Sheesh.

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1 minute ago, Strange said:

So ignore them then. What's the big deal. 

You are cherry picking because you are only quoting the bits that support your opinions. If one were to quote sections that present both sides, that wouldn't be cherry picking, would it. Sheesh.

I'd ignore them- except that people are using it as a reason to kill each-other. We are, as a species, good enough at doing that without  a book telling us it's "Right".

You ask me what's wrong with religion.

I say "well, for example, it says that you should kill gay men" and your response is "you are cherry picking".

What am I meant to do?

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4 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

What am I meant to do?

Stop cherry picking?

As you seem to be struggling with this simple concept, I will just point out that it also says "don't kill people".

In other words, you can't blame the words in the book. It is the attitudes of the people you need to address.

(Unfortunately, that sounds a bit like the "guns don't kill people, people do" line.)

Edited by Strange
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4 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

OK, which is it?  Do the scriptures provide a cogent  viewpoint, or are they self-contradictory?
Ok that's a rhetorical question because they clearly contradict themselves.

If the scriptures say both, that you should turn the other cheek and also, that you should seek an eye for an eye, what the hell use are they?

They tell you nothing, but let you justify your choice by saying "The Book says...".

Essentially, finding any  idea in the scriptures is cherry pickling- because there's a good chance you can find exactly the opposite idea too.

Can we replace them with a single line that says " Yes, but then again, no"?

Then people "seek guidance" they can say "Oh Great book should I do such-and-such?" and the book will give them the solace and guidance they seek.
What's the point of a book that tells you that revenge is both right and wrong and you get to choose what bit to believe?

It's not a guide to morality- for two reasons- firstly it is immoral and more importantly, you get to make up your own mind what bits to obey.

You don't like the bit about not eating shellfish- no problem- just ignore it.

You don't like the bit about not committing adultery- no problem (ask any of a number of prominent politicians etc who claim Christianity).

You don't like the bit about the universe being made in 7 days- that's OK we can just pretend that "7 days" means something else.

You're determined to conflate the OT with the NT, but they represent two very different cultures.

In a culture that's resolute in seeking revenge and all the problems that attitude presents, an eye for an eye is a method of reducing the suffering (primitive justice), but in a more enlightened culture it doesn't go far enough and so it's replaced by loving your enemy; forgive them for they know not what they do.

You can't solve the world's problems by blaming/banning religion because it's a political problem.

Ignorance isn't a lack of facts, it's a lack of understanding. 

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5 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

OK, they can live a life of hypocrisy if they wish; but let's not pretend that they are doing anything else.

As I said, it's like Trump pretending to follow the teachings of Christ. 

If they are able to pick ad choose from  the scripture, then why bother with it?

More  importantly, what's to stop them seeing the bit about keeping slaves and stoning adulterers to death and thinking "Now there's a good idea"?
More likely, what's to stop someone else telling them "You should kill he Westerners because the Book tells you so?

No, i'll continue to call Christians who don't eat shellfish Christians because that's how definitions work: it's not some authority on high telling the rest of us how to use a word, it's us using a word in certain contexts and some authority trying to find the common thread. This is how dictionary meanings and grammar is constructed.

If the vast majority of Christians act a certain way, then that's how Christians act. If that's different to historical Christians that's OK because definitions aren't written in stone.

 

5 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

If they are able to pick ad choose from  the scripture, then why bother with it?

I don't know and frankly i don't care. I guess because they can eke out some meaning from what seems an otherwise futile existence, but who knows. Why are you so obsessed with dictating other people's beliefs?

 

5 hours ago, John Cuthber said:

More  importantly, what's to stop them seeing the bit about keeping slaves and stoning adulterers to death and thinking "Now there's a good idea"?
More likely, what's to stop someone else telling them "You should kill he Westerners because the Book tells you so?

Um, the rest of the book (you know the part about loving your neighbour and turning the other cheek you keep conveniently forgetting - and then insisting you're not cherry-picking), the rest of humanity and the law. 

 

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59 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

I'd ignore them- except that people are using it as a reason to kill each-other. We are, as a species, good enough at doing that without  a book telling us it's "Right".

You ask me what's wrong with religion.

I say "well, for example, it says that you should kill gay men" and your response is "you are cherry picking".

What am I meant to do?

On a practical note related to this question, if you wanted to prevent radicalisation of young people (or reverse their indoctrination) or persuade people to be more tolerant of gay people then attacking their religion is likely to be counter-productive. It is more likely to strengthen their views - and possibly those of others around them who didn't have strong feelings on the issue before but who may now feel themselves under attack. 

A more effective route is probably to educate them about the other messages in their religion and why they are better ideals to live by, etc. 

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

You're determined to conflate the OT with the NT, but they represent two very different cultures.

 

I'm in good company

Matthew 5:18

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

 

5 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

...turning the other cheek you keep conveniently forgetting - ...

I cited that exact phrase earlier.

4 minutes ago, Strange said:

...

A more effective route is probably to educate them about the other messages in their religion and why they are better ideals to live by, etc. 

It's an interesting thought.

People are born atheist, and many are then taught  some religion or other.

The outcome of that is tat most atheists are former believers.

And they usually came to that position via some sort of study or education.

So, yes, I agree, education would be a great way to make progress here.

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4 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

I'm in good company

Matthew 5:18

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

 

It's quite strange that you continue to quote the scriptures whilst being adamant they have no meaning.

 

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2 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

I cited that exact phrase earlier.

Apologies, i obviously missed it. 

But now i'm more confused: you insist that Christians must follow the bad bits (stoning an adulterer), and presumably the good bits (turning the other cheek - forgiving the adulterer in this case), but insist they must follow both to be classed as a 'true' Christian. Your definition leads to the absurdity that there are no Christians on this planet, since it is impossible to do both of these contradictory things. If even the Pope is not a Christian by your definition you've got to start questioning your definition surely?

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

It's quite strange that you continue to quote the scriptures whilst being adamant they have no meaning.

 

I can give you are precis of the plot of the Lord of the rings- it doesn't mean I believe it.
The point is that those who do believe the NT must believe that Christ- in whom the believe- was quoted by Matthew- in whom they believe as saying that the OT is still current.

Of course that rather undermines your claim that I'm somehow wrong to conflate them,

In effect pt 2 says "see pt 1" for details.
It's not that I conflate them (or not) that matters- those who read and follow them must also do so.


 

2 hours ago, Prometheus said:

Apologies, i obviously missed it. 

But now i'm more confused: you insist that Christians must follow the bad bits (stoning an adulterer), and presumably the good bits (turning the other cheek - forgiving the adulterer in this case), but insist they must follow both to be classed as a 'true' Christian. Your definition leads to the absurdity that there are no Christians on this planet, since it is impossible to do both of these contradictory things. If even the Pope is not a Christian by your definition you've got to start questioning your definition surely?

Or it's logically impossible to be a true Christian, so why be a pretend one?

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I use this when anybody tries to preach to me. (Matthew 6)

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Verse 7 & 8 (my bold) work well on fundamentalists.

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9 minutes ago, Manticore said:

Who are quite often at each others throats.

Like so many of the pints made, I struggle to see the relevance. It is not as if non-religious people live in perfect harmony. 

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Just now, Strange said:

Like so many of the pints made, I struggle to see the relevance. It is not as if non-religious people live in perfect harmony. 

The point is that Christianity is so splintered that counting all of the (sometimes totally contradictory) sects as one whole religion is completely pointless.

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34 minutes ago, Manticore said:

The point is that Christianity is so splintered that counting all of the (sometimes totally contradictory) sects as one whole religion is completely pointless.

I don't think that was the point (I may be wrong). I think Prometheus was just pointing out that, despite John's impossible requirement, there are plenty of people who identify as Christian. I would not be surprised if, in the same way that everyone has their own dialect of English, each of them have their personal view of Christianity. 

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1 hour ago, Manticore said:

Who are quite often at each others throats.

They may well be. My only point is that there are some Christians. Any definition that says there are precisely no Christians is not rooted in the reality in with which several billion people in the world use the word 'Christian'.

 

Funny video John (his voice alone is enough). There are still about 2.2 billion Christians. Some really don't like others. Still Christians.

 

Crossposted with Strange: bang on. I'd only add that how the masses use a word determines it's definition rather than it being dictated by some authoority - this goes for all words: 'gay', 'decimate', 'prestigious' and 'Christian'.

Edited by Prometheus
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On 8/10/2017 at 1:38 AM, Area54 said:

Some posters here appear to conflate religion with fundamentalist views. All the religions I am aware of are much more nuanced than that. Just as the scientists who claim science has proven the non-existence of God are misguided and unscientific, so to the fundamentalists insisting on a Young Earth are misguided and the antithesis of Christian.

While it is perfectly true that scientists have not proven the non existence of any deity, isn't it also true that ID and deities are non scientific solutions to any questions? Which supports your first  statement thus........  

Quote

It strikes me that reconciling science and religion is akin to trying to reconcile avocado salad and the internal combustion engine - an amusing intellectual exercise, relatively easy to achieve, but ultimately rather pointless.

And of course nothing is really proven in science, a fact that some of our more ignorant fundamentalists will always hang their hat on. :) 

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It does sum it up.
He expresses the wishful thinking that is commonplace.
He says he wants an all powerful God.

Then he misrepresents the arguments about people killing people.

He says "people like to kill each other".

That's not true is it?

Do you know anyone who wants to kill people?

If so, please report them to the relevant authorities.

 

 

Most people find the idea of killing anther person hateful.
Studies show that even in war it's difficult to get people to kill.

One of the best ways to do it is to portray the opposition as "sub human" (Hitler was particularly good at that).- people don't mind killing what they see as vermin.

Anther is to say that the opposition are "evil". Well that's tricky- if they are so awful, how come they haven't destroyed themselves.

And of course the root of all this is to show that the enemy is "different".
Well, fundamentally all people are practically the same, so you have to lie to people about that.

So the "differences" are manufactured.

 

What better way to do that then to say that "God decrees them to be evil, different sub humans"?

 

It's not that religion is the only cause of slaughter- it's just uncommonly good at it.
 

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20 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

It's not that religion is the only cause of slaughter- it's just uncommonly good at it.

Just out of curiosity, is that just your opinion or is there some research to back it up?

 

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40 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

It's not that religion is the only cause of slaughter- it's just uncommonly good at it.

Well according to your definition there are actually no 'true' religious people, or at least Christians, so it can't be true religion can it? 

Edited by Prometheus
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48 minutes ago, Strange said:

Just out of curiosity, is that just your opinion or is there some research to back it up?

 

Read a newspaper.
You will find plenty of people killed in petty squabbles, but the mass killings by one individual (or small groups) are often religious.

33 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Well according to your definition there are actually no 'true' religious people, or at least Christians, so it can't be true religion can it? 

Not a problem; hypocritical religious people seem to work just fine.

 

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