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Switch to Forum Live View Was America Always a Christian Nation?
12 months ago  ::  Oct 29, 2015 - 4:51PM #1431
El Cid
Posts: 2,553

Oct 21, 2015 -- 10:43AM, amcolph wrote:



ec: Yes sometimes, but animals also rape and kill each other all the time. And cats and foxes play with and kill mice just for fun even when they are not hungry.


amc: Of course they do it for fun.  Such creatures do everything for fun.  That's how instinct is carried out. Domesticated cats hunt because it gives them pleasure in itself to do so.  There is no chain of reasoning: "I will hunt because I am hungry."  That is why they hunt even when they are not hungry.  As for "playing" with their prey, this is a safe procedure for dispatching a creature who, while small, might still inflict potentially dangerous wounds.



Well I admit that the term fun may not be exactly understood the way that humans as personal beings experience fun, but there are signficant differences in the behavior of cats and other animals when they are serious about finding food and when they kill for fun. Cats have been known to "play" with a prey and then leave it unharmed. And they have also been known to kill an animal and then just leave the carcass untouched. But when they are actually hunting for food and are hungry, they don't waste time and precious energy "playing" with the prey animal.




amc: They are not able to contain their appetites for abstract reasons like we are.  Consequently raping and killing are not possible for them, for there is no sin or death in their world




I agree that they are not able to contain their appetites when they are actually hungry, but when they do not have an appetite for food, they definitely will kill and play with their prey for some other purposes whether it is fun, pleasure or practice. Raping and killing is possible for them, but since they are not moral beings, they of course, are not doing anything morally wrong. And that is my point with Thomas. He claims that he gets his morality from reason and nature, and I am just pointing out to him that other animals (he seems to believe that humans are just another animal) do things that we consider horrible so why are they objectively wrong for humans to do such things and they are not for other animals when we are animals too. He has yet to come up with an answer that makes logical sense or follows from even his own philosophy. 

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12 months ago  ::  Oct 29, 2015 - 5:37PM #1432
El Cid
Posts: 2,553

Oct 21, 2015 -- 3:27PM, TPaine wrote:


ec: Nevertheless it is true, read the biography I referenced.


tp: I've read several biographies of Montesquieu and they all say he was born in a Roman Catholic family and was baptized in it as a child, but as an adult he left the church because he opposed their policies. Like Voltaire he became disillusioned with Christianity because of all the fighting and killing that went on between Christian sects and also like Voltaire became a Deist.



Not according the bio I referenced. He did question some of the church's teachings for a time but as he grew older he went back to the church. If he rejected Christianity why would he say in his "The Spirit of Laws" that "The Christian religion, which ordains that men should love each other, would, without doubt, have every nation blest with the best civil, the best political laws; because these next to this religion, are the greatest good that men can give and receive.." 




Oct 21, 2015 -- 12:41AM, El Cid wrote:

ec: I don't remember you answering this question, and you did not answer the questions I asked in the post just above this one either. You say I don't know what deists believe, well then enlighten me.


tp: I don't know why I should bother because I know you will just say that I am wrong, but here goes. Homo Sapiens are the only species on the planet that have the ability to reason. That ability had to come from somewhere. Reason tells me it didn't come from Tinkerbell, Peter Pan, or R2-D2. It wasn't brought to Earth by aliens in a flying saucer. None of the great apes we are descended from have that ability. Therefore, reason tells me it had to come from the Creator (God). We (who we call Enlightenment Deists) don't believe God just started the universe and went away. Why would we say prayers of thanksgiving to a deity that was no longer there?



None of that explains why humans should be treated any differently from other animals. Just because we can reason does not mean that we are any better than other animals. Because then you have to explain why reasoning is better than other behaviors and why.  And you have not provided any evidence that your god listens to prayers or hears them.


Oct 21, 2015 -- 12:41AM, El Cid wrote:

ec: It is embedded in almost all human consciences because we are all created in the image of the Christian God,  read Genesis 1:27. But it is based on humans being intrinsically valuable for that reason, but where does such value come from for the deist?


tp: No, you believe it was embedded by the Christian God. Hindus believe it came from their Gods, Sikhs believe it came from their God, Zoroastrian believe it came from their God, Shintoists believe it came from their Gods and so on. They all say that because that is what's in their holy books, and that their holy books are right and all the rest are wrong.



All of those other religions can be shown using logic, science, and historical evidence to have serious problems. For one thing since hinduism believes that ALL is god, then evil does not exist since all actions are ultimately being done by god, including he holocaust. Therefore the holocaust was not evil.




tp: We Deists believe it came from the Creator because there is no other logical cause. We believe that all holy books were written by priests as a way to control their followers and God had nothing to do with them.



I don't deny that your reasoning regarding a cause is solid, but since you know nothing else about this god, you don't know that it has endowed us with value. You don't even know if the deist god is a personal being, he could just be an impersonal force.


Oct 21, 2015 -- 12:41AM, El Cid wrote:

ec: Yes sometimes, but animals also rape and kill each other all the time. And cats and foxes play with and kill mice just for fun even when they are not hungry.


tp: And some humans torture and kill other humans because they don't follow what they believe to be the "true" holy book, or because their skin is a different color, or they have affection for the wrong gender. Just because we have the EOR doesn't mean everyone follows it.



Exactly so how do you know that what these people do is wrong since the EOR for a deist is just based on feeling not any knowledge that that is actually a moral law of God?


Oct 21, 2015 -- 12:41AM, El Cid wrote:

ec: No, the creation event is ultimately an illusion for hindus. Most hindus are pantheists where they believe that the entire universe including humans are all god and part of god. The appearance of distinct individuals is an illusion. The bible does not teach that water existed before creation. It says God first created the heavens and the earth, ie the physical inorganic universe, including water. There is scientific evidence for an early possibly worldwide ocean on the earth. This has also just recently been confirmed for Mars too. This is what probably the verse in Gen. 1 is referring to.


tp: Have you read the Rig-Veda? It tells the Hindu creation story as I explained it. I realize you feel it necessary to denigration all non-Christian religions, but your doing so damages your credibility. I suggest you read the book A History Of The World's Religions by David S. Noss and John B. Noss. You might actually learn something. I understand your need to fit the Bible to your beliefs, but doing so doesn't necessarily make your beliefs correct.



But you are not looking at the Rig-Veda in the light of the Upanishads. They point toward a deeper spiritual reality, they teach that at the heart of Vedantic teaching is that there is only one true reality, Brahman or an impersonal all pervasive being. Everything else is an illusion. 




tp: Its common knowledge that the earth was covered with water at one point and both the Abrahamic and Hindu religions agree with that. It has been confirmed that there was once liquid water on Mars (and may still be) but not that Mars was totally covered with water. Genesis makes no mention of planets because they had no idea there were any. It only mentions Earth, the sun, the moon, and stars.



Well we now know from God's other book that what the hebrews called stars also included planets from their perspective.



Oct 21, 2015 -- 12:41AM, El Cid wrote:

ec: No, verse 1 is an action performed by God from the perspective of an observer of God. Then there is a perspective shift to the surface of the earth, so that from verse 3 things occur from the perspective of an observer on the earth's surface. The light coming to the surface of the earth is the result of the clearing of the early opaque atmosphere of the early earth caused by debris surrounding the earth.


tp: And you fit your interpretation of Genesis 1:1 to fit your beliefs. People who hold different beliefs interpret it differently. Since none of us can prove exactly what the author intended when he wrote it, we have no way of knowing who's right. One of the problems with ancient holy books is that they can be interpreted in different ways to suit different beliefs. If God wrote those books they would be perfect and have only one interpretation.




No, it can be determined using grammatico-historical information and the fact that God says that we can learn about Him through studying nature to supplement His written revelation we can come up with the most likely correct interpretation, also the Holy Spirit helps us in our understanding. But of course, your salvation is not based on your belief of How God created the universe, but WHETHER He did it. The bible was only perfect in its original texts, but we can get a very good idea of what the original text said because of its protection by the holy spirit thru the church. And if you accept the infallible authority of hte bible then on most essential teachings there is only one interpretation. Others require more work for our amazing brains that God created for us to use.

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12 months ago  ::  Oct 29, 2015 - 10:06PM #1433
El Cid
Posts: 2,553

Oct 22, 2015 -- 11:42PM, TPaine wrote:


ec: While it is not a requirement, it is one of the main reasons marriage came into existence. And one the main reasons governments got involved in it. We were not founded as a secular government as I demonstrated earlier in this thread.


tp: You wrote, "While it is not a requirement, it is one of the main reasons marriage came into existence." That is my point. Reproduction is not a requirement for marriage. Historically, some of the reasons people were married had nothing to do reproduction. Women were actually sold by their fathers for what was called the "bride's price." In other cases the family had to provide a "dowry" to get the man to marry their daughter.In many cases marriages were a way for commoners to become members of the nobility.



Marriage often had mulitple reasons for its existence and almost always when possible it included the purpose to produce children. No one did those things for someone of the same sex.


tp: When the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation we became a secular nation. Article 6 states that there can't be religious tests for government employees and the 1st Amendment guaranteed the people to have the free exercise of religion despite what that religion that may be, but the government could not establish a religion or follow the beliefs of one religion over the beliefs of other religions. The United States government is secular whether you like it or not.



Freedom of religion is a Christian principle. So even your evidence for the US being founded as a secular nation supports my position. As far as at present, I agree that our nation now is a secular nation but it was not founded as one and even secular humanism borrows many of its moral principles from Christianity. But of course, its philosophical foundation does not support those principles.


Oct 22, 2015 -- 12:40AM, El Cid wrote:

ec: I don't think you are understanding what I wrote, because you didn't address any of my points in any rational manner. Do you understand what I am saying? Only heterosexual sexual intercourse can unite two persons, thereby reinforcing their personhood. All other sex acts do not, irresepective of reproduction.


tp: As I pointed out above, marriage wasn't always based on love or biology. It was often based on money or social status. These days in the United States it is based on both love and the rights married couples have that couples living together do not have, not biology.



No, you just demonstrated that in many cases it wasn't based on ONLY on biology, biology was always ONE reason for marriage. Because only sexual intercourse can unite two people biologically irrespective if the couple is fertile. As I stated before prior to the late 20th century, there was no such thing as gay "marriage".






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12 months ago  ::  Oct 30, 2015 - 2:34PM #1434
TPaine
Posts: 10,308

Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:


Not according the bio I referenced. He did question some of the church's teachings for a time but as he grew older he went back to the church. If he rejected Christianity why would he say in his "The Spirit of Laws" that "The Christian religion, which ordains that men should love each other, would, without doubt, have every nation blest with the best civil, the best political laws; because these next to this religion, are the greatest good that men can give and receive.."



If you read The Spirit of the Laws you would know that Montesquieu was comparing Protestantism to Roman Catholicism and Christianity to Islam. He said that Christianity was a better fit for democratic republics and Islam was more in tune with despotism. To understand his religious beliefs read his book The Persian Letters. You can find a summary of the book Here.


Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:

None of that explains why humans should be treated any differently from other animals. Just because we can reason does not mean that we are any better than other animals. Because then you have to explain why reasoning is better than other behaviors and why.  And you have not provided any evidence that your god listens to prayers or hears them.



Humans are the only animals that have the ability to reason. That gives humans the ability to know right from wrong. Humans are able to understand such concepts as the EOR and even your 10 commandments. All other animals have only instinct to go by. Its true that some animals kill other animals, however humans historically have often killed other humans, often for religious reasons, sometimes on a large scale. Examples are the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Sunni vs. Shia Muslim fighting that has been going on for 1300+ years, ISIS/ISIL, Al-Qaeda, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, etc. No one knows if God hears prayers, however it is likely that a being that has the ability to create the universe and everything in it would have the power to hear prayers. Besides, I feel better when I do pray.


Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:

All of those other religions can be shown using logic, science, and historical evidence to have serious problems. For one thing since hinduism believes that ALL is god, then evil does not exist since all actions are ultimately being done by god, including he holocaust. Therefore the holocaust was not evil.




Actually, using logic, science, historical evidence, and historical criticism of holy books it can be shown that all revealed religions including Judaism and Christianity have serious problems. You've proved that you know basically nothing about Hinduism. There are multiple Hindu sects, and the religion has multiple Gods and Devils. There is no ALL. Once again I suggest you read the book A History Of The World's Religions by Davis S. Noss and John B. Noss.


Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:

I don't deny that your reasoning regarding a cause is solid, but since you know nothing else about this god, you don't know that it has endowed us with value. You don't even know if the deist god is a personal being, he could just be an impersonal force.



Actually, no one knows anything more than what reason tells us about God. Revealed religions have books that claim they have the answers, but none of the authors ever met the God(s) they wrote about. What is written in them is only human belief. What we know is that God created a universe that runs by the laws of physics and other scientific laws. When we apply reason to the observation of nature we learn that everything in it was created for a reason and therefore everything has a value. Whether the Deist God is a personal or impersonal force is irrelevant. 


Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:

Exactly so how do you know that what these people do is wrong since the EOR for a deist is just based on feeling not any knowledge that that is actually a moral law of God?



As I've written above no religion actually knows that what we call moral law comes from God. We believe it does either based on reason or on the writing in an ancient book written by men who never met God.


Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:

But you are not looking at the Rig-Veda in the light of the Upanishads. They point toward a deeper spiritual reality, they teach that at the heart of Vedantic teaching is that there is only one true reality, Brahman or an impersonal all pervasive being. Everything else is an illusion.




There is no single Hindu belief. There are multiple sects with different beliefs. You should actually learn about the religion before you try to explain it.


Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:

Well we now know from God's other book that what the hebrews called stars also included planets from their perspective.




But to them they were all lights in the sky. They couldn't distinguish between stars and planets.

Genesis 1:16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.


Christians among most other religions up until the 17th century thought that comets were sent by the devil. Pope Calixtus III (1455-1458) even excommunicated Halley's Comet  as an instrument of the devil. Link


Oct 29, 2015 -- 5:37PM, El Cid wrote:

No, it can be determined using grammatico-historical information and the fact that God says that we can learn about Him through studying nature to supplement His written revelation we can come up with the most likely correct interpretation, also the Holy Spirit helps us in our understanding. But of course, your salvation is not based on your belief of How God created the universe, but WHETHER He did it. The bible was only perfect in its original texts, but we can get a very good idea of what the original text said because of its protection by the holy spirit thru the church. And if you accept the infallible authority of hte bible then on most essential teachings there is only one interpretation. Others require more work for our amazing brains that God created for us to use.



I believe that God created the universe based on studying nature, and I don't need a holy book to support that belief. How do you know that the original texts of the Bible were perfect since none of those manuscripts exist? There are only copies of copies of copies. Except for 7 of the 13 letters Paul wrote and the claim that John of Patmos wrote Revelation we don't know who the New Testament authors were. I certainly do not believe the Bible, or any other holy book for that matter, is infallible because they were all written by men and men are not infallible. However, based on the written reports I believe that Jesus of Nazareth preached the most positive message of all time.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture."-- Thomas Paine: The Crisis No. V (March 21, 1778)
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12 months ago  ::  Oct 30, 2015 - 4:15PM #1435
TPaine
Posts: 10,308

Oct 29, 2015 -- 10:06PM, El Cid wrote:


Marriage often had mulitple reasons for its existence and almost always when possible it included the purpose to produce children. No one did those things for someone of the same sex.



That doesn't refute the claim that often the wishes of the woman or girl involved were considered. Women should have the same rights men have. No male would accept being forced to marry the highest bidder, but women had no choice.



Oct 29, 2015 -- 10:06PM, El Cid wrote:

Freedom of religion is a Christian principle. So even your evidence for the US being founded as a secular nation supports my position. As far as at present, I agree that our nation now is a secular nation but it was not founded as one and even secular humanism borrows many of its moral principles from Christianity. But of course, its philosophical foundation does not support those principles.



Then why do you defend people like Gary DeMar who heads American Vision, a Christian Reconstruction organization that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center said:

Founded in 1978 by Gary DeMar, one of America's most prominent proponents of Christian Reconstructionism, American Vision produces a wide variety of "educational resources" designed to "restore America's Biblical foundation." Like R.J. Rushdoony, the founder of Reconstructionism (see Chalcedon Foundation), DeMar contends that the U.S. was founded as a "Christian nation" and that its democracy should be replaced by a theocratic government run by Christians who will strictly impose certain Old Testament prohibitions, including passages they interpret as opposing homosexuality and abortion.


and

While DeMar insists that homosexuals wouldn't be rounded up and systematically executed under a "reconstructed" government, he does believe that the occasional execution of "sodomites" would serve society well, because "the law that requires the death penalty for homosexual acts effectively drives the perversion of homosexuality underground, back into the closet."


and

Another "long-term goal," he writes elsewhere, should be "the execution of abortionists and parents who hire them."


If DeMar's interpretation of the Bible is correct it is one of the most evil books ever written.


Oct 29, 2015 -- 10:06PM, El Cid wrote:

No, you just demonstrated that in many cases it wasn't based on ONLY on biology, biology was always ONE reason for marriage. Because only sexual intercourse can unite two people biologically irrespective if the couple is fertile. As I stated before prior to the late 20th century, there was no such thing as gay "marriage".




If one reason for marriage is to produce children why should infertile men or women be allowed to marry? The can't do any more about having children than a same-sex couple can. In fact, a fertile lesbian couple can produce children by In vitro fertilization. I've shown proof that there was same sex marriage long before the 20th century.


This discussion ends tomorrow. The ability to post in the forums ends on Sunday.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture."-- Thomas Paine: The Crisis No. V (March 21, 1778)
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