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bigjim36

Why do people believe the bible?

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Sherapy
14 minutes ago, simplybill said:

I agree, the framers were brilliant in ensuring that individual Churches wouldn’t be able to declare themselves a State Religion. No one wants a repeat of the Middle Ages. But now we’re in a situation where the pendulum is slowly approaching the other extreme. Whereas American society was once immersed in Judeo/Christian ideology, we’re slowly becoming a society immersed in a secular ideology that doesn’t have a history behind it. We’re entering new territory. We may discover that the Constitution is only as good as the foundation beneath it.

 

I think it is a good thing, but I am not bound by traditon. 

I also live in a society that is diverse and forward moving,; I love change.

One day our kids will look back on us and think our religions were barbaric and our secularism old fashioned. Lol 

Thanks for answering my post, always a pleasure Bill.

I also want to thank you for your service to our country. Major respect to you.

 

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Sherapy
1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

You are entitled to your opinion  but it is fairly biased 

As one example  You might agree with people who say that fairy tales  from the 1800s should not  be told to modern children because modern ethics values and moralities are different.

Another might argue that basic moralities and ethical standards always stay the same even though  the  cultural circumstances in which the y are applied may differ 

I have to differ from you.

I, and many people I know, live today, very successfully and harmoniously using the basic moralities and ethics of the bible.

In many ways, we are happier, more law abiding, peaceful and better citizens than those without similar values 

Eg we would not steal or harm another person without just cause,  and obey the laws of Ceasar /govt  We care for others as our selves and thus give to, and work for, community and humanity around the world  (an atheist can of course have a complete framework of ethics and moralities based on a productive set of underlying values and be just a s good a citizen)

  We are not faced with many of the scenarios those people were faced with  But indeed if faced with the extinction of your own family, tribe, clan, or nation; or  the extinction of those trying to kill you all,  what is the moral decision? 

That is an extreme example of course but it shows how laws and rules are constructed to fit the time they are written in

 Even such an extreme example can be applied to the modern world.   For example ,you are the president of the USA and you are informed with absolute certainty that tomorrow N Korea will launch every one of its ballistic missiles at the usa  You are not certain how many there are or how  accurate and effective the y will be.  What do you do given that your responsibility is to the people of America, not those of N Korea?  What personal ethics, and morals and values, do you use in making your decision? 

Until the late 60s, only two counties in the world (one aws russia )  had any legal framework for rape in marriage All the world's laws recognised a moral and legal  assumption that a marriage conferred an ongoing and irrevocable consent to sex on demand

  Today we consider forcing a partner in a marriage to have sex, to be rape, but was it morally and ethically wrong for all those centuries?

How do you defend your opinion using logic and reason?

What makes something right or wrong? 

Today we put our elderly in nursing homes and forget about them. In earlier cultures the y were often cared for at home,  but in some they were allowed to die, to preserve resources for younger people.  Tomorrow we might begin euthanasing them, first with their consent and, possibly, later without it.  What is moral/immoral ethical/unethical in each of those choices? 

You and your sister are the only survivors of a disaster  Which is more wrong?  To have a baby with your sister or not to do so, and allow the human race to die out ?  (Yea i am aware of the genetic unreality of this but answer it as a moral question, or think about it as a pair of castaways on an island way off the trade routes. ) 

"In many ways, we are happier, more law abiding, peaceful and better citizens than those without similar values"

How so MW? How are bible based people happier, more law abiding, more peaceful and better citizens? 

Today we have choices and the finances to get our elderly better care; we have the resources to give choice where once due to the depression and its lingering effects we didn't have those choices. 

My grandmother who is 99 is in assisted living, has been for years,  for her it was her biggest dream to not be a burden to her kids and grandkids, so she worked hard and saved and has the money to give herself the best when she needs it the most. She is old country Italian and she had to take care of her sick father for years and knew how hard it was and didn't want to do the same to us. 

I will never be a burden to my children; we have set ourselves up to provide for ourselves when the time comes.

I have been a live in caregiver twice, ( paid) their are those that prefer to die at home, yet they were able to afford live in caregivers. So while it is an option it is still done with respect and regards for there families too. 

 

 

Edited by Sherapy
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simplybill
1 hour ago, Sherapy said:

Thanks for answering my post, always a pleasure Bill.

I also want to thank you for your service to our country. Major respect to you.

 

Same here, Sherapy. I have a lot of respect for you.

i have to clarify - I’m not a Vietnam veteran. In 1993, I accompanied a friend who was returning to visit her family in Vietnam for the first time since her escape in 1973. She was one of the people evacuated from the roof of the American embassy during the fall of Saigon. Her parents and siblings were unable to leave Hue due to the invasion.

If you’re interested, here’s a short blog story I wrote about my friend after Frank Merton told us about the education system in Vietnam. You know, I’m afraid we may have lost Frank. He was in pretty poor health after moving to Cambodia. I was hoping to visit him some day. I wanted to see the new highway that starts in Ho Chi Minh City, swings west through Cambodia and ends in Hanoi. It really would’ve been cool to hang out with Frank for a while.

 

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Sherapy
10 minutes ago, simplybill said:

Same here, Sherapy. I have a lot of respect for you.

i have to clarify - I’m not a Vietnam veteran. In 1993, I accompanied a friend who was returning to visit her family in Vietnam for the first time since her escape in 1973. She was one of the people evacuated from the roof of the American embassy during the fall of Saigon. Her parents and siblings were unable to leave Hue due to the invasion.

If you’re interested, here’s a short blog story I wrote about my friend after Frank Merton told us about the education system in Vietnam. You know, I’m afraid we may have lost Frank. He was in pretty poor health after moving to Cambodia. I was hoping to visit him some day. I wanted to see the new highway that starts in Ho Chi Minh City, swings west through Cambodia and ends in Hanoi. It really would’ve been cool to hang out with Frank for a while.

 

Oh I misread, thank you for the blog. I will read it.

Yes, I miss Frank dearly too; I hope life finds him well. 

 

 

 

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Guyver

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
It's one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls

Look around at this world we've made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh, what a nice, contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls
 

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GlitterRose
3 hours ago, simplybill said:

Same here, Sherapy. I have a lot of respect for you.

i have to clarify - I’m not a Vietnam veteran. In 1993, I accompanied a friend who was returning to visit her family in Vietnam for the first time since her escape in 1973. She was one of the people evacuated from the roof of the American embassy during the fall of Saigon. Her parents and siblings were unable to leave Hue due to the invasion.

If you’re interested, here’s a short blog story I wrote about my friend after Frank Merton told us about the education system in Vietnam. You know, I’m afraid we may have lost Frank. He was in pretty poor health after moving to Cambodia. I was hoping to visit him some day. I wanted to see the new highway that starts in Ho Chi Minh City, swings west through Cambodia and ends in Hanoi. It really would’ve been cool to hang out with Frank for a while.

 

I sure hope we haven't lost Frank. 

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Mr Walker
4 hours ago, Sherapy said:

"In many ways, we are happier, more law abiding, peaceful and better citizens than those without similar values"

How so MW? How are bible based people happier, more law abiding, more peaceful and better citizens? 

Today we have choices and the finances to get our elderly better care; we have the resources to give choice where once due to the depression and its lingering effects we didn't have those choices. 

My grandmother who is 99 is in assisted living, has been for years,  for her it was her biggest dream to not be a burden to her kids and grandkids, so she worked hard and saved and has the money to give herself the best when she needs it the most. She is old country Italian and she had to take care of her sick father for years and knew how hard it was and didn't want to do the same to us. 

I will never be a burden to my children; we have set ourselves up to provide for ourselves when the time comes.

I have been a live in caregiver twice, ( paid) their are those that prefer to die at home, yet they were able to afford live in caregivers. So while it is an option it is still done with respect and regards for there families too. 

 

 

If you read the post you would see two things 

First, i explained why people with inner values and principles are more law abiding than those without them,  and second i explained that an atheist with a similar ethical and moral value system would be just as good a citizen.

 

I don't break the law and so i have never been arrested, or gone to gaol. i dont get violent drunk or drugged and so  i don't hurt anyone, am not a danger to others and not a nuisance to neighbours, community or police,  meaning my life is a lot less stressed  and circumscribed. I respect other people and would not steal from them, con them, lie to them, or harm them  This is known and reflected back, in the communities where we have lived  and so I am trusted.  It is really very simple  I never have to worry about health, money, or possessions, because they are only material things which do not impact on my inner sense of self. I am (basically)  always happy, content, and unafraid, and have been so for over half a century.   I love my wife and treat her with love honour respect and dignity ad this is reflected back by her so we live together with no worries about unfaithfulness, or mistrust, or deceit    (3 more days to our 42 wedding anniversary) 

Atheism does not guarantee any values principles or beliefs, whereas, for good or bad, a religious  belief always does   The problem arises when people either HAVE no inner sense of values and ethics OR they a re ones which produce negative and harmful effects on people You are still making assumptions based on the person you BELIEVE i am rather than reading my posts. If you read my next post about the 4 principles  of Christianity i find important this will be explained more fully to you  

We ALWAYS have choices  but sometimes we decide some are too hard for us. 

Today we have wealthy  indulgent adults who never visit their parents for years and would certainly neither have them in their home nor   pay for their care   In some places the govt cares for the elderly, but not in all.

However it is not about  what society does for your parents, as this has varied over the years  but about what the   adult child decides.  This will reflect their real values and willingness to sacrifice self for other. 

The point in my post was about what is ethical and moral, and about how, while some things remain constant, others change.   It is ALWAYS ethical and moral to care for your parents. However depending on your society the form that care takes may vary.   it would only be unethical or immoral to argue that you had no responsibility to your parents when the y had loved you, cared for you, supported you, and sacrificed for you as a child . The sort of child who says "well i never asked to be born, so i owe my parents nothing" 

 If your parents were unloving and uncaring, then how you react is up to you. I never had to face that choice but i hope i would have still loved and cared for them because that would be MY ethical choice,  and the sort of person I am. 

Edited by Mr Walker

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bigjim36
5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

You are entitled to your opinion  but it is fairly biased 

And yours isn't? Advocating rape, incest and murder because it's in the bible smacks of desperation, you know these things are wrong and yet because the bible says they're right you flounder to find a justification for them.

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

As one example  You might agree with people who say that fairy tales  from the 1800s should not  be told to modern children because modern ethics values and moralities are different.

My point about actual fairy tales is that we don't build religions around them. 

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Another might argue that basic moralities and ethical standards always stay the same even though  the  cultural circumstances in which the y are applied may differ 

I have to differ from you.

I, and many people I know, live today, very successfully and harmoniously using the basic moralities and ethics of the bible.

In many ways, we are happier, more law abiding, peaceful and better citizens than those without similar values 

Except that you're not. Statistics constantly prove that atheists are happier, commit less crime, are more peaceful and do more/give more to charity the world over. Countries with the lowest crime rates tend to have an atheist majority population. These are facts and as we know you seem to have trouble acknowledging facts as they have no place in the bible.  

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Eg we would not steal or harm another person without just cause,  and obey the laws of Ceasar /govt  We care for others as our selves and thus give to, and work for, community and humanity around the world  (an atheist can of course have a complete framework of ethics and moralities based on a productive set of underlying values and be just a s good a citizen)

Just as good? We're better! We don't need the threat of eternal damnation or the promise of an everlasting reward to do good deeds.

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

  We are not faced with many of the scenarios those people were faced with  But indeed if faced with the extinction of your own family, tribe, clan, or nation; or  the extinction of those trying to kill you all,  what is the moral decision? 

That is an extreme example of course but it shows how laws and rules are constructed to fit the time they are written in

And as such don't apply to todays society. You yourself keep mentioning the time they were written in and how times have changed. Just admit that incest and warmongering are wrong ffs! 

 

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

 Even such an extreme example can be applied to the modern world.   For example ,you are the president of the USA and you are informed with absolute certainty that tomorrow N Korea will launch every one of its ballistic missiles at the usa  You are not certain how many there are or how  accurate and effective the y will be.  What do you do given that your responsibility is to the people of America, not those of N Korea?  What personal ethics, and morals and values, do you use in making your decision? 

First of all I'm English but taking your question at face value, I'd have sent a sniper in a long time ago. If in the case of your question then obviously I'd bomb N korea, it would result in a far reduced loss of life than the other way round. That's all there is too it. The fact that a dangerously unstable christian has control over the worlds most powerful nuclear arsenal and the belief that god guides him is truly terrifying. 

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Until the late 60s, only two counties in the world (one aws russia )  had any legal framework for rape in marriage All the world's laws recognised a moral and legal  assumption that a marriage conferred an ongoing and irrevocable consent to sex on demand

  Today we consider forcing a partner in a marriage to have sex, to be rape, but was it morally and ethically wrong for all those centuries?

Yes it was wrong. Just because something wasn't illegal doesn't mean it wasn't wrong. There were opponents to slavery all the time it was legal as they knew the value of a human life. The christians used the bible as justification FOR slavery. Care to justify it as a sign of the times? Ignoring the previous sentence as you often do as it doesn't fit your ideology.

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

How do you defend your opinion using logic and reason?

Using logic and reason. If one person is causing harm to another it is wrong. 

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

What makes something right or wrong? 

Today we put our elderly in nursing homes and forget about them. In earlier cultures the y were often cared for at home,  but in some they were allowed to die, to preserve resources for younger people.  Tomorrow we might begin euthanasing them, first with their consent and, possibly, later without it.  What is moral/immoral ethical/unethical in each of those choices? 

That's a huge leap, putting them in a nursing home to involuntary euthanasia! Maybe we should just let them live to 600 like moses? Obviously our modern lifestyle forbids this. 

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

You and your sister are the only survivors of a disaster  Which is more wrong?  To have a baby with your sister or not to do so, and allow the human race to die out ?  (Yea i am aware of the genetic unreality of this but answer it as a moral question, or think about it as a pair of castaways on an island way off the trade routes. ) 

You let the human race die out. We have no more right to life as any other sentient being. If all of mankind dies out then so be it, creating an incestuous genetic race of mutants with severe health issues would solve nothing and what quality of life would they have? Animals would rule the earth again, just as they did for millions if years before we evolved. 

 

5 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Your plane crashes in the Andes and half your soccer team are killed  Eventually you must either eat the  flesh of your team mates and friends  flesh, or die  What is the ethical or moral solution, (for you)  and why? 

You eat their flesh, what harm is it doing to them? None. If you have a way to preserve your life without causing harm to others then take it. I genuinely don't see where the dilemma is in this. Your life is precious but no more than anyone elses. If eating someone who's already dead saves your life then pass me the knife and fork.

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Davros of Skaro
22 hours ago, FFA said:

I will show you a few things in “Origins of the Old Testamate” just to discredit it. 

Section II, second from the last paragraph. Stating the Dead Sea Scrolls are very different from what is are not at odds with Masoretic and Septuagint texts. The content from the Bible that is in these text are very close. Granted there is additional content in the scrolls than what is in the Bible as it is known today. The catholic church removed a large part of what call the Bible today starting at the Council of Trent https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Trent  . What is still present in today's Protestant Bible is very close. A good example is Isaiah. Both scrolls and Bible match predominately. This does nothing but verify the accuracy of the Bible with a completely independent source.  

The scrolls are available at Amazon and we can gladly split hairs if you would like. I have a copy of all of them. How about you?

Section II, The first paragraph. The claim that Genesis 1 and 2 are different creation, meaning they are written independent of each other. They are not two independent creation accounts but two different accounts but part of the same story. This can be shown in particular in Genesis 7: (14,15, 16). We see the first creation entering the ark with Noah and we see the second entering latter. This can be expanded if you like. I have written a book on the subject. How about you?


I’m not arguing with over credibility of my source. Unlike yours, people have heard of mine. It speaks for itself and its is not just for kids. You obviously didn't spend much time looking through the various exhibits and reviewing the large  collection of actual of historical document images. Its not just a giant collection of text taken out of context. 
 

What an arrogance filled strawman misrepresentation of the link I provided. 

There's differences in the Qumran, and the Masoretic texts, but they are minute in the comprehension of the texts.

http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/m/bible_isaiahscroll.html

You misrepresent the Documentary Hypothesis. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_hypothesis

Do you believe the Bible to be the word of God?

http://godlesshaven.com/the-historical-errancy-of-the-bible/

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Mr Walker
6 hours ago, bigjim36 said:

And yours isn't? Advocating rape, incest and murder because it's in the bible smacks of desperation, you know these things are wrong and yet because the bible says they're right you flounder to find a justification for them.

My point about actual fairy tales is that we don't build religions around them. 

Except that you're not. Statistics constantly prove that atheists are happier, commit less crime, are more peaceful and do more/give more to charity the world over. Countries with the lowest crime rates tend to have an atheist majority population. These are facts and as we know you seem to have trouble acknowledging facts as they have no place in the bible.  

Just as good? We're better! We don't need the threat of eternal damnation or the promise of an everlasting reward to do good deeds.

And as such don't apply to todays society. You yourself keep mentioning the time they were written in and how times have changed. Just admit that incest and warmongering are wrong ffs! 

 

First of all I'm English but taking your question at face value, I'd have sent a sniper in a long time ago. If in the case of your question then obviously I'd bomb N korea, it would result in a far reduced loss of life than the other way round. That's all there is too it. The fact that a dangerously unstable christian has control over the worlds most powerful nuclear arsenal and the belief that god guides him is truly terrifying. 

Yes it was wrong. Just because something wasn't illegal doesn't mean it wasn't wrong. There were opponents to slavery all the time it was legal as they knew the value of a human life. The christians used the bible as justification FOR slavery. Care to justify it as a sign of the times? Ignoring the previous sentence as you often do as it doesn't fit your ideology.

Using logic and reason. If one person is causing harm to another it is wrong. 

That's a huge leap, putting them in a nursing home to involuntary euthanasia! Maybe we should just let them live to 600 like moses? Obviously our modern lifestyle forbids this. 

You let the human race die out. We have no more right to life as any other sentient being. If all of mankind dies out then so be it, creating an incestuous genetic race of mutants with severe health issues would solve nothing and what quality of life would they have? Animals would rule the earth again, just as they did for millions if years before we evolved. 

 

You eat their flesh, what harm is it doing to them? None. If you have a way to preserve your life without causing harm to others then take it. I genuinely don't see where the dilemma is in this. Your life is precious but no more than anyone elses. If eating someone who's already dead saves your life then pass me the knife and fork.

lol 

You have a fairly incoherent or inconsistent  set of values  But that's  ok.  Most people do 

I mean, you would let the human race die out rather than have sex with your sister, yet  you find it ok to eat dead people ?

Morals are value based, but values need to be logical, and consistent, and outcome based 

Basically, you are wrong in arguing that certain things have always been wrong or immoral or unethical.

  Values ethics and moralities are culturally based,  or even individually based There does not exist a constant and universal code of human values ethics and moralities which exists across time Humans decide wht is right or wrong and opinions about wht i right and wrong change You cant assume current values and ethics are a norm or correct  for all time.

  For example things will change in the  future and values and moralities we find normal today will be unacceptable in the future 

 I have seen this change even in my life time.

As a teenager i hunted rabbits with guns and traps   This was seen not just a s ethical but as essential to feed a family and eliminate a pest. Now traps are banned  and  you will be fined or even gaoled for using one    The treatment of animals is one major ahnge inthe last 50 years The treatment of children and women is another although not as radical as with animal rights.

  So NO there was nothing immoral, unethical, or wrong with  people being able to expect sex within a marriage, if that was both the social expectation and the legal /contractual  framework around a marriage.

There was nothing immoral or unethical about banning gay marriages when this was unacceptable to a society and was illegal  There is nothing immoral or unethical about abortion once a society accepts it and endorses it  or with euthanasia which was once considered totally evil   

Up until the middle of last century a man who promised to marry a woman and the broke that promise was subject to either a heavy fine or a gaol term, under what was known as breach of promise   This was to protect women  from predatory men . As women gained equality in the second half of the century and the oral contraceptive became widespread,  this law was abolished and men were free to have sex with a woman and then choose not to marry her  even if she was with child.   

Lastly capital punishment is probably the biggest change in morality. While some countries still have it ,most western countries abolished it last century   It was NOT immoral or unethical or wrong to execute a killer  before then, but now it might be seen to be so.  

Ps while there would probably  not be enough genetic diversity among two people to maintain a viable population  there is very little real genetic danger with sporadic incestuous relationships .  Generally it takes considerable inbreeding to create a problem  This is a case  of historical moral bias more than modern genetic knowldge  You are NOT going to produce weird mutants or even necessarily  physically or mentally deficient humans, at least in the short term.  A lot depends on the previous genetic diversity of the brother and sister eg if their mother was from Iceland, and their father from Polynesia, They would already y have a greater genetic diversity than two peole form a common  geographical area. which experienced limited population movement.  

. Statistics constantly prove that atheists are happier, commit less crime, are more peaceful and do more/give more to charity the world over. Countries with the lowest crime rates tend to have an atheist majority population. These are facts and as we know you seem to have trouble acknowledging facts as they have no place in the bible.  

Oh and statistics show no such thing, but even if the y did I was comparing myself to others not to a statistic. :)

medical science shows that faith and belief prolongs life, improve s general health, especially cardio vascular,  heals wounds and trauma faster ,   increases psychological well being and happiness among the old (although this dpends on the nature of the belief)   it significantly reduces risky behaviour in the young, and even older people, such as sexual promiscuity and the use of alcohol and drugs  which, in turn, has a positive impact on both sexual health and on physical mental health, which can be affected by  the use of drugs and alcohol.  I would also dispute the figures on charitable giving There are studies which show tha t believers in many religions are more caring and giving than non believers   Taking total numbers might not be indicative as many of the wealthiest people come form western countries with a greater capacity to give and where the re are many wealthy atheists.  

The following is a comment with statistics, on  one finding that secular  children were more giving than christian and muslim children 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-13/smart-so-religion-makes-you-meaner-no/6938636

A new theoretical study might claim that non-religious kids are more altruistic and less judgemental, but the real-life evidence suggests that having faith provides an impetus towards generosity, writes Simon Smart.

The problem is, despite the theoretical experiment that produced these results, the weight of evidence for real world experience looks completely different. One might recall Robert Putnam's American Grace: How religion unites and divides us (2010), which emerged from two comprehensive surveys conducted into religion and public life in America.

Putnam reports that on every measurable scale, religious Americans are better volunteers, more generous financial givers, more altruistic and more involved in civic life, than their secular counterparts. Religious people are better neighbours, more community-minded, more likely to volunteer, and not just for church activities. They are more likely to give blood, to give money to a homeless person, to provide financial aid to family or friends, to offer a seat to a stranger and to spend time with someone who is "a bit down". The list goes on.

America is a generous nation, but there is a sharp difference between religious Americans and secular Americans in terms of giving. Putnam reports that:

Virtually every part of the American philanthropic spectrum benefits disproportionately from giving by religiously observant men and women, but this is especially true for organisations serving the needy.

Putnam is impressively credentialed and highly regarded in his field. He is not a religious believer in any conventional sense. Moreover, his findings were so striking he decided to repeat the research and indeed replicated the results - not a bad idea for this recent University of Chicago study!

The religious landscape is very different in Australia compared to the US and there is far less data to work with. What we do have, however, points in a similar direction to what Putnam found. In terms of measures of generosity religious believers score highly. A Roy Morgan poll of 2014, drawing on a sample size of 16,809 found:

The average Australian gave $288 to charity in the year to June 2014. Those who did not identify with a religion donated on average $221 while those who identified with a religion gave an average of $331.

That's 50 per cent more giving to charity by religious Australians.

In his book Disconnected (2010), which examines the fraying of Australia's social fabric, Labor MP Andrew Leigh, who is an atheist, with a PhD in social science from Harvard, writes of the undeniable benefits to the community of church attendance.

Among churchgoers (those who attended a religious service in the previous month), 25 per cent also participated in a community service or civic association over the same period. By contrast, among non-churchgoers, just 12 per cent participated in a community or civic association.

Regular churchgoers are 16 percentage points more likely to have been involved in a voluntary activity, and 22 percentage points more likely to have helped the needy...

...Churchgoers are more likely to build friendships with people from a different social class. Those who attend church regularly are more likely to say that they can count among their friends a business owner, a manual worker, or a welfare recipient. Few other institutions in America or Australia are as effective in fostering this "bridging" social capital between rich and poor.

   

Edited by Mr Walker

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bigjim36
2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

lol 

You have a fairly incoherent or inconsistent  set of values  But that's  ok.  Most people do 

I mean, you would let the human race die out rather than have sex with your sister, yet  you find it ok to eat dead people ?

Well first of all may I congratulate you on the smuggest, most condascending post I've read on here. Secondly please explain the inconsistencies, I can't see any. I've constantly said no human life is worth more than another and that doing no harm is of the utmost importance. Where have I contradicted myself? Yes I would let the human race die out and yes I would eat the flesh of the dead. How do the two contradict each other? They aren't remotely similar dilemmas at all.

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Morals are value based, but values need to be logical, and consistent, and outcome based 

Basically, you are wrong in arguing that certain things have always been wrong or immoral or unethical.

Nope I'm not wrong. I mentioned the slavery issue in the last post but again you ignored it because you couldn't defend it. Unlike your defence of incest and child murder.

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

  Values ethics and moralities are culturally based,  or even individually based There does not exist a constant and universal code of human values ethics and moralities which exists across time Humans decide wht is right or wrong and opinions about wht i right and wrong change You cant assume current values and ethics are a norm or correct  for all time.

  For example things will change in the  future and values and moralities we find normal today will be unacceptable in the future 

 I have seen this change even in my life time.

So like I have said from the start, the bible is outdated and as such has no place in todays society. What was relevant 2000 years ago is no longer relevant now. If it's not relevant then it's worthless. 

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

As a teenager i hunted rabbits with guns and traps   This was seen not just a s ethical but as essential to feed a family and eliminate a pest. Now traps are banned  and  you will be fined or even gaoled for using one    The treatment of animals is one major ahnge inthe last 50 years The treatment of children and women is another although not as radical as with animal rights.

  So NO there was nothing immoral, unethical, or wrong with  people being able to expect sex within a marriage, if that was both the social expectation and the legal /contractual  framework around a marriage.

There was nothing immoral or unethical about banning gay marriages when this was unacceptable to a society and was illegal  There is nothing immoral or unethical about abortion once a society accepts it and endorses it  or with euthanasia which was once considered totally evil   

I'm going to assume you attend gay weddings to stone them to death. I mean the bible demands it and you get your morals and ethics from the bible. If you don't stone them to death please explain why you don't. Is it because you know it's wrong? If you know it's wrong and the bible tells you to do it then please explain what is the point of it as a moral compass if you choose to ignore it's teachings? 

 

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Up until the middle of last century a man who promised to marry a woman and the broke that promise was subject to either a heavy fine or a gaol term, under what was known as breach of promise   This was to protect women  from predatory men . As women gained equality in the second half of the century and the oral contraceptive became widespread,  this law was abolished and men were free to have sex with a woman and then choose not to marry her  even if she was with child.   

Again the bible instructs you to stone women to death who have sex outside of marriage. Do you do this? If not why not? Again not much of a source of ethics or morals if you keep choosing to ignore it. Is it because they're not relevant today? Ouch, that logics got to sting.

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Lastly capital punishment is probably the biggest change in morality. While some countries still have it ,most western countries abolished it last century   It was NOT immoral or unethical or wrong to execute a killer  before then, but now it might be seen to be so.  

Ps while there would probably  not be enough genetic diversity among two people to maintain a viable population  there is very little real genetic danger with sporadic incestuous relationships .  Generally it takes considerable inbreeding to create a problem  This is a case  of historical moral bias more than modern genetic knowldge  You are NOT going to produce weird mutants or even necessarily  physically or mentally deficient humans, at least in the short term.  A lot depends on the previous genetic diversity of the brother and sister eg if their mother was from Iceland, and their father from Polynesia, They would already y have a greater genetic diversity than two peole form a common  geographical area. which experienced limited population movement.  

The offspring of me and my sister would then have to have sex with one of its parents depending on its gender. That babies offspring would have been the result of incest and would have an even smaller genepool, and so on and so on. They would eventually get deformities and mutations due to this. What type of human race would that be? One that I don't want to be a part of.

 

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

. Statistics constantly prove that atheists are happier, commit less crime, are more peaceful and do more/give more to charity the world over. Countries with the lowest crime rates tend to have an atheist majority population. These are facts and as we know you seem to have trouble acknowledging facts as they have no place in the bible.  

Oh and statistics show no such thing, but even if the y did I was comparing myself to others not to a statistic. :)

Oh but they do and even if you weren't comparing yourself to a statistic it doesn't mean they don't apply to you.

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

medical science shows that faith and belief prolongs life, improve s general health, especially cardio vascular,  heals wounds and trauma faster ,   increases psychological well being and happiness among the old (although this dpends on the nature of the belief)   it significantly reduces risky behaviour in the young, and even older people, such as sexual promiscuity and the use of alcohol and drugs  which, in turn, has a positive impact on both sexual health and on physical mental health, which can be affected by  the use of drugs and alcohol.  I would also dispute the figures on charitable giving There are studies which show tha t believers in many religions are more caring and giving than non believers   Taking total numbers might not be indicative as many of the wealthiest people come form western countries with a greater capacity to give and where the re are many wealthy atheists.  

 

Except that it just isn't true. Please read the most recent study, a mere ten days old and then ignore it as you have done like every other fact I've given you ☺ 

Several weeks ago, a ground-breaking study on religious belief and social well-being was published in the Journal of Religion & Society. Comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand, author Gregory S Paul quietly demolished the myth that faith strengthens society.

Drawing on a wide range of studies to cross-match faith – measured by belief in God and acceptance of evolution – with homicide and sexual behavior, Paul found that secular societies have lower rates of violence and teenage pregnancy than societies where many people profess belief in God.

Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation.

(Teenage pregnancy has less tragic consequences than violence but it is usually unwanted, and it is frequently associated with deprivation among both mothers and children. In general, it is a Bad Thing.)

Next in line are the Norwegians, British, Germans and Dutch. At least sixty percent accept evolution as a fact and fewer than one in three are convinced that there is a deity. There is little teenage pregnancy , although the Brits, with over 40 pregnancies per 1,000 girls a year, do twice as badly as the others. Homicide rates are also low -- around 1-2 victims per 100,000 people a year.

At the other end of the scale comes America. Over 50 percent of Americans believe in God, and only 40 percent accept some form of evolution (many believe it had a helping hand from the Deity). The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Japan.

All this information points to a strong correlation between faith and antisocial behavior -- a correlation so strong that there is good reason to suppose that religious belief does more harm than good.

At first glance that is a preposterous suggestion, given that religions preach non-violence and sexual restraint. However, close inspection reveals a different story. Faith tends to weaken rather than strengthen people’s ability to participate in society. That makes it less likely they will respect social customs and laws.

All believers learn that God holds them responsible for their actions. So far so good, but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are "born again" or "chosen" have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers "truth", they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves.

The more people prioritize themselves rather than those around them, the weaker society becomes and the greater the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Hence gun laws which encourage Americans to see each other not as fellow human beings who deserve protection, but as potential aggressors who deserve to die. And hence a health care system which looks after the wealthy rather than the ill.

As for sex… Faith encourages ignorance rather than responsible behavior. In other countries, sex education includes contraception, reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies. Such an approach recognizes that young people have the right to make their own choices and helps them make decisions that benefit society as a whole. In America faith-driven abstinence programs deny them that right -- "As a Christian I will only help you if you do what I say". The result is soaring rates of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Abstinence programs rest on the same weak intellectual foundation as creationism and intelligent design. Faith discourages unprejudiced analysis. Reasoning is subverted to rationalization that supports rather than questions assumptions. The result is a self-contained system that maintains an internal logic, no matter how absurd to outside observers.

The constitutional wall that theoretically separates church and state is irrelevant. Religion has overwhelmed the nation to permeate all public discussion. Look no further than Gary Bauer, a man who in any other western nation would be dismissed as a fanatic and who in America is interviewed deferentially on prime time television.

Despite all its fine words, religion has brought in its wake little more than violence, prejudice and sexual disease. True morality is found elsewhere. As UK Guardian columnist George Monbiot concluded in his review of Gregory Paul’s study, "if you want people to behave as Christians advocate, you should tell them that God does not exist."

I might express that another way. The flip side of Monbiot's argument is that God would be an atheist,

i think this shatters the thinking that morality is lost when societies become secular.

http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews/index.html?id=219&article=7

2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

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Guyver
15 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Could i have a go at that question? Going to anyway :) 

Spiritual well being is more important than material well being, and happiness, contentment, peace etc comes from  within not external things.

Second, all humans are "brothers/sisters"  and we should love all humans as ourselves   Today every human is a neighbour. The bible goes on to explain that, in the real world we still need ceasar's laws to regulate behaviour but that, in our lives,, we should act towards others from love, and obey all god's laws which were given in love, out of love of god.  

In life there are secular and spiritual matters  (christ goes into this a bit)

Laws regarding  spirtual matters do not really change because they go to the unchanging psychological make up of self aware beings  (Their needs desires and hopes etc)

However secular laws which must be obeyed unless they contradict gods laws are changeable and indeed will often change.

One example is the treatment of slaves Where a secular law allows the keeping of slaves, the bible says  that a slave owner must treat  the slave a s a human being, with love kindness and respect. (Basically a s one of the family)   ANd indeed must free the slave after a period of service   

 

I don't have any criticism for the things that you believe and practice Mr. Walker.  I do take some issue with a few of your points.  I'll start with slavery.  The New Testament does encourage a respectful treatment of slaves, but the Old Testament does not.  So, Christianity and Judaism directly contradict on this point, yet they both support slavery as an institution.  We (advanced societies at large) now consider this to be a terrible wrong (and rightly so). 

Christianity does not support the idea that all men are brothers.  In fact, it distinguishes between the saved and the non-saved.  It does state that a Christian should strive to live in peace with all people though.....I do grant that.  The problem is that a person can make the bible say whatever it is they wish it to say, and they pick and choose what they wish to believe and practice from the text.  

In any event, I would offer that taking care of one's self and treating other people with respect is not limited to Christianity.  While I'm no expert, I would guess these principles can be found in any/every religion including Satanism.  

 

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Guyver

Christianity promotes the idea that all people are evil.  We are children of the devil, and worthy of the flames of hellfire if not saved by Jesus (in a religious fashion).  This is not a positive value and it really makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.  I could explain why I think this but....eh.  What's the point?  A person is going to believe what they wish anyway.  

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Guyver
15 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Cant resist throwing in a fourth practical christian principle.

Your body (and mind) are the temple of your god, because god dwells within you.

Thus, in everything you do and say, and everything you even consciously think, you should keep that temple clean and healthy.

I'm really interested in this.  I wonder if it's wishful thinking, superstition, or if there is any way to know whether it be true?

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simplybill
19 hours ago, Guyver said:

Thanks, but that doesn’t answer my question.  You said Christianity works in real life.  I think it doesn’t.  I asked you to explain how it works, you didn’t answer.  You also claimed that Judeo Christian values work for society.  I asked you to list the top three principles you’re referencing and you didn’t answer that either.

So that’s no good.  Maybe it would be better for you to just say that Christianity works for you because you believe it and you like going to church?

Guyver,

First off, I apologize for being so blunt yesterday.

Did you ever see the movie, "5 Minutes of Heaven" with Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt? It's one of my all-time favorite movies. James Nesbitt's role as the brother of a murder victim during "The Troubles" in Ireland was the most stunning performance I've ever seen. Anyway, in the opening scene, Liam Neeson says, "For me to talk about the man I've become, you need to know about the man I was."   (I'm telling you that in hopes it will add some gravitas to my post...) Lol

My confidence in the statement "Christianity actually works in real life" is the result of a life-long endeavor. I've always been an avid reader, but I decided at a young age to go out and live the experiences I was reading about. I've been fortunate to have been able to travel and meet interesting people (and fortunate to survive some of those experiences).  

I've had a long-time interest in totalitarian governments. It sounds weird, but I've probably read over 100 books on subjects like the Cultural Revolution in China, the Cambodian Khmer Rouge, Joe Stalin's Russia, Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust, and so on. Many of those books were written by people who escaped from those regimes, which adds the balance of human perspective to textbook history lessons.  

And I've gone in person to see some of those places. My experience in Vietnam opened my eyes to the corruption of government officials and the repression suffered by the citizens. Within 30 minutes of landing in Ho Chi Minh City, my Vietnamese friend, Tuyvan, was threatened into paying a bribe to the Customs Officer who was inspecting our luggage. As we traveled around the country, we were pulled over twice by cops who wanted a bribe. Our Vietnamese driver wouldn't even wait to hear why we'd been pulled over; he just handed the officers a $10 bill, and we were on our way. It was experiences like those that made me pay attention to the results of ideology. I've been able to watch ideology play out in real life, and see with my own eyes the results of ideologies, and I can confidently say, "Judeo/Christian ideology leads to the greatest amount of freedom and justice for the greatest number of people." 

I've observed that same concept in action on a societal level. One day about 30 years ago, I was reading Galatians 5:19-21, which says:

"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

So, I asked myself, "Why? Why do people who practice those things not inherit the kingdom of God?". So, over the years, I've made a point to observe people (myself included) and draw some conclusions. I'll use myself as an example: I drank a lot in my younger days. Drunkenness was an almost daily event for me. It became such a big part of my personality that even my jokes were about drinking. It wasn't until I stopped drinking that I realized that my constant drunkenness had turned me into a self-centered, self-righteous man. As I said in my earlier  post: at 64 years old, I've lived long enough to see the beginning and the end of people's lives. I've observed that same self-centeredness in people who practiced the behaviors listed in Galatians 5. We had become our own gods. We purposely chose to follow our own inclinations rather than follow in the steps of Jesus. The fruits of our lifestyles led to anger, despondency, and hopelessness.

You asked me:

"Maybe it would be better for you to just say that Christianity works for you because you believe it and you like going to church?"

Consider the Creation story in Genesis. There's been a lot of discussion about the topic, but I truly believe people are missing the point: God started us out in a Garden, not a Church. Adam and Eve were given a job to do. Right there, in the first book of the Bible, God made it clear that we're meant to be active doers, not sedentary pew-sitters. It's a theme that runs throughout the entire Bible, like in Luke 6:48: "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock." There's a sense of action involved, contrary to the misconception of many people who think: "He is like a man sitting in Church on Sunday, listening to a good sermon."

So, to answer your question about the benefits of Christianity from that perspective, I'll give an example of one way in which following the Bible has benefitted me, and it involves action, not merely time spent in church:

 Towards the end of my drinking days I was becoming angry and bitter. I was missing so much work that I was literally 3 minutes  from being fired. One day my Boss approached me about something I'd done, and we ended up in a face-to-face yelling match. I could see that I had frightened him, and it made me feel deeply ashamed. I went home that night, dusted off my Bible, and searched for a specific verse: Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men."  I wrote down that verse on a piece of paper and took it to work with me the next morning. I made a commitment to begin living my life that way.

A year later, the same boss I'd had the shouting match with walked up to me and said, "Bill, I just wanted to tell you that you've been voted Employee of the Year." I was given a nice, framable letter on the Company letterhead, and 4 extra days of vacation. It was the first time ever that the Company presented an Employee of the Year award. They had begun the award to give it to me. I suppose it was at that point I said to myself, "Wow, this stuff really works". Let me know tell you, that award looks good on a resume!

That's just one example, but I chose that particular one because, when I started following that Biblical advice, I had no idea it would change my life. In other words, it wasn't just confirmation bias, it was a fundamental change in my attitude and my life.

I know this a long post, but Sherapy and Stubbly Dooright encouraged me to give you a proper answer, and so I did. And again, I apologize for yesterday's bluntness.

 

 

 

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Guyver

Simplybill, I read your post above.  I'm glad you've found a religion that works for you.  I have also contemplated the passage you referenced from Galatians to a great degree.  I'm not going to say much more about it, as I don't know that it would be helpful to you.  I just want to say that your experience (while positive) is not limited to Christian people.

Any person can make a decision to change and actively work to improve their own life in the manner they see fit.  A great example of this can be seen in the 12 step programs like AA or NA.  These programs really work, and the people in them have a true faith in God....they have seen similar changes in their lives, and they are not Christian.

Peace be with you.  

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simplybill
1 hour ago, Guyver said:

Any person can make a decision to change and actively work to improve their own life in the manner they see fit.  A great example of this can be seen in the 12 step programs like AA or NA.  These programs really work, and the people in them have a true faith in God....they have seen similar changes in their lives, and they are not Christian.

This coincides with what I posted earlier, and it illustrates the value of Christian ideology. Teen Challenge addresses addiction at all levels of a person's existence: physical, mental and spiritual:

"By the time someone enters Teen Challenge, almost every relationship and family tie that might have been helpful in recovering has been shattered, and the individual has usually formed strong relationships with people and/or groups that actually perpetuate the addiction spiral. Those who go to Teen Challenge for treatment typically score far lower in the quality and depth of healthy relationships than those who go to STIs or AA. In spite of the fact that those entering Teen Challenge are generally far less equipped to deal with the daily issues of life, are far more addicted to a greater range of substances, often come from groups that are extremely difficult to treat, and have few or no productive relationships, Teen Challenge graduates after treatment score as high or higher compared to their STI/AA counterparts in every area studied."  (Italics added)

https://www.teenchallengeusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/1999_NW_review.pdf

Edited to add: I'm not implying that the leadership, sponsors and participant's of other addiction-treatment facilities are less dedicated or less passionate about recovery. I'm making a point that Teen Challenge has another tool in the toolbox to get the job done. Addressing a person's spiritual component may provide the missing piece that an addict is searching for in drugs or alcohol.

Edited by simplybill
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Guyver
47 minutes ago, simplybill said:

This coincides with what I posted earlier, and it illustrates the value of Christian ideology. Teen Challenge addresses addiction at all levels of a person's existence: physical, mental and spiritual:

"By the time someone enters Teen Challenge, almost every relationship and family tie that might have been helpful in recovering has been shattered, and the individual has usually formed strong relationships with people and/or groups that actually perpetuate the addiction spiral. Those who go to Teen Challenge for treatment typically score far lower in the quality and depth of healthy relationships than those who go to STIs or AA. In spite of the fact that those entering Teen Challenge are generally far less equipped to deal with the daily issues of life, are far more addicted to a greater range of substances, often come from groups that are extremely difficult to treat, and have few or no productive relationships, Teen Challenge graduates after treatment score as high or higher compared to their STI/AA counterparts in every area studied."  (Italics added)

https://www.teenchallengeusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/1999_NW_review.pdf

Edited to add: I'm not implying that the leadership, sponsors and participant's of other addiction-treatment facilities are less dedicated or less passionate about recovery. I'm making a point that Teen Challenge has another tool in the toolbox to get the job done. Addressing a person's spiritual component may provide the missing piece that an addict is searching for in drugs or alcohol.

What you mean is you prefer a recovery program that is "Christian."  All recovery programs address a person's "spiritual" component.  Well, I shouldn't say all because I don't know that for a fact, but the two I mentioned do.  And it's interesting we are discussing this because you brought up the issue of principles in the first place.  There are different principles and that's why I asked you to clarify the ones you value or you think Christianity promotes.

The bottom line is that a program like AA, which is not Christian and is not teen challenge.....absolutely promotes spiritual principles as governing guidelines for a person's life.  And, they place God and a relationship with him at the center of their recovery program.  So, what I'm saying is that a person doesn't have to be a Christian to have righteous spiritual principles in their life or faith in God.  To me, that's the most important thing.  To a Christian, perhaps like yourself, you don't value any other spiritual prinicples except the ones you think are Christian.  At least, that's my guess.  I say this because that's the way I used to be.  

I've been through the 12 step program, and consider it to be one of the greatest things I've ever done.  I place it above all my years of service in the Christian Church because of it's positive impact upon my life and faith, and because the principles that it promotes are excellent even above those considered "Christian."  IMHO.  FWIW.  

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Mr Walker
4 hours ago, Guyver said:

I'm really interested in this.  I wonder if it's wishful thinking, superstition, or if there is any way to know whether it be true?

Well there is the spiritual side and material side  If you are a believer, then clearly,  both in a physical and mental connection, to your god  (or just to your inner conscience and sense of self) it is best,to have your mind and body in,the best condition possible to receive messages and to act on gods will ,but also to be sure you are not affected by tiredness, illness, drugs or alcohol, in your sensing or perception of gods words to you 

If you are not a believer, then in a material sense the ancient Greek ideal of a healthy mind in healthy body is still important. Both for you and for your community it is optimal to be sound in body and mind 

Thus i follow a biblical diet and code both because the diet is also the best that modern science can devise according to my cardiac specialists and nutritionists  and because  the code is a good fit with modern western laws and moralities, and keeps me both out of trouble withe law or other people,  and in a good relationship with community, neighbours etc 

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Mr Walker
4 hours ago, Guyver said:

Christianity promotes the idea that all people are evil.  We are children of the devil, and worthy of the flames of hellfire if not saved by Jesus (in a religious fashion).  This is not a positive value and it really makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.  I could explain why I think this but....eh.  What's the point?  A person is going to believe what they wish anyway.  

Not to me.

It promotes the idea that no human is perfect ie can reach the mark of gods standards, but humans are capable of both good and evil and we are responsible for the consequences of choices we make . We are always accountable, be it to a god, or to a community, or to ourselves Our brains are wired with neural feed back loops which create conscience; a feeling of doing right or doing wrong, and satisfaction in doing right,  or worry and guild in doing wrong . 

Christianity says, you are not perfect, but here is the standard or template to aim for.  If you fall short god has your back as long as you are genuine, and doing your best.

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simplybill
2 hours ago, Guyver said:

To a Christian, perhaps like yourself, you don't value any other spiritual principles except the ones you think are Christian. 

Well, that's a tricky question to answer. We Christians are expected to: "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." (Romans 12:18)

We also are expected to "Contend earnestly for the faith".  (Jude 3)

In a venue like UM, that's a difficult balance to find. 

To directly answer your questionThis is from 'Barne's notes on the Bible':  "The word  χάρισμα  (charisma) properly denotes any benefit which is conferred on another as a mere matter of favor, and not of reward." As a Christian, I believe God is the original source of each person's talents, but it's our obligation to develop and hone those talents. For example, If someone is using his or her talents "to look after orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27)  then I support them in their pursuits, whether or not they operate from a Christian perspective. I consider addiction-recovery programs to fall under that general category.

Here's James 1:27 in context:

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

   

Edited by simplybill
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Sherapy
8 hours ago, bigjim36 said:

Well first of all may I congratulate you on the smuggest, most condascending post I've read on here. Secondly please explain the inconsistencies, I can't see any. I've constantly said no human life is worth more than another and that doing no harm is of the utmost importance. Where have I contradicted myself? Yes I would let the human race die out and yes I would eat the flesh of the dead. How do the two contradict each other? They aren't remotely similar dilemmas at all.

Nope I'm not wrong. I mentioned the slavery issue in the last post but again you ignored it because you couldn't defend it. Unlike your defence of incest and child murder.

So like I have said from the start, the bible is outdated and as such has no place in todays society. What was relevant 2000 years ago is no longer relevant now. If it's not relevant then it's worthless. 

I'm going to assume you attend gay weddings to stone them to death. I mean the bible demands it and you get your morals and ethics from the bible. If you don't stone them to death please explain why you don't. Is it because you know it's wrong? If you know it's wrong and the bible tells you to do it then please explain what is the point of it as a moral compass if you choose to ignore it's teachings? 

 

Again the bible instructs you to stone women to death who have sex outside of marriage. Do you do this? If not why not? Again not much of a source of ethics or morals if you keep choosing to ignore it. Is it because they're not relevant today? Ouch, that logics got to sting.

The offspring of me and my sister would then have to have sex with one of its parents depending on its gender. That babies offspring would have been the result of incest and would have an even smaller genepool, and so on and so on. They would eventually get deformities and mutations due to this. What type of human race would that be? One that I don't want to be a part of.

 

Oh but they do and even if you weren't comparing yourself to a statistic it doesn't mean they don't apply to you.

 

Except that it just isn't true. Please read the most recent study, a mere ten days old and then ignore it as you have done like every other fact I've given you ☺ 

Several weeks ago, a ground-breaking study on religious belief and social well-being was published in the Journal of Religion & Society. Comparing 18 prosperous democracies from the U.S. to New Zealand, author Gregory S Paul quietly demolished the myth that faith strengthens society.

Drawing on a wide range of studies to cross-match faith – measured by belief in God and acceptance of evolution – with homicide and sexual behavior, Paul found that secular societies have lower rates of violence and teenage pregnancy than societies where many people profess belief in God.

Top of the class, in both atheism and good behavior, come the Japanese. Over eighty percent accept evolution and fewer than ten percent are certain that God exists. Despite its size – over a hundred million people – Japan is one of the least crime-prone countries in the world. It also has the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy of any developed nation.

(Teenage pregnancy has less tragic consequences than violence but it is usually unwanted, and it is frequently associated with deprivation among both mothers and children. In general, it is a Bad Thing.)

Next in line are the Norwegians, British, Germans and Dutch. At least sixty percent accept evolution as a fact and fewer than one in three are convinced that there is a deity. There is little teenage pregnancy , although the Brits, with over 40 pregnancies per 1,000 girls a year, do twice as badly as the others. Homicide rates are also low -- around 1-2 victims per 100,000 people a year.

At the other end of the scale comes America. Over 50 percent of Americans believe in God, and only 40 percent accept some form of evolution (many believe it had a helping hand from the Deity). The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and homicide rates are at least five times greater than in Europe and ten times higher than in Japan.

All this information points to a strong correlation between faith and antisocial behavior -- a correlation so strong that there is good reason to suppose that religious belief does more harm than good.

At first glance that is a preposterous suggestion, given that religions preach non-violence and sexual restraint. However, close inspection reveals a different story. Faith tends to weaken rather than strengthen people’s ability to participate in society. That makes it less likely they will respect social customs and laws.

All believers learn that God holds them responsible for their actions. So far so good, but for many, belief absolves them of all other responsibilities. Consciously or subconsciously, those who are "born again" or "chosen" have diminished respect for others who do not share their sect or their faith. Convinced that only the Bible offers "truth", they lose their intellectual curiosity and their ability to reason. Their priority becomes not the world they live in but themselves.

The more people prioritize themselves rather than those around them, the weaker society becomes and the greater the likelihood of antisocial behavior. Hence gun laws which encourage Americans to see each other not as fellow human beings who deserve protection, but as potential aggressors who deserve to die. And hence a health care system which looks after the wealthy rather than the ill.

As for sex… Faith encourages ignorance rather than responsible behavior. In other countries, sex education includes contraception, reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies. Such an approach recognizes that young people have the right to make their own choices and helps them make decisions that benefit society as a whole. In America faith-driven abstinence programs deny them that right -- "As a Christian I will only help you if you do what I say". The result is soaring rates of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Abstinence programs rest on the same weak intellectual foundation as creationism and intelligent design. Faith discourages unprejudiced analysis. Reasoning is subverted to rationalization that supports rather than questions assumptions. The result is a self-contained system that maintains an internal logic, no matter how absurd to outside observers.

The constitutional wall that theoretically separates church and state is irrelevant. Religion has overwhelmed the nation to permeate all public discussion. Look no further than Gary Bauer, a man who in any other western nation would be dismissed as a fanatic and who in America is interviewed deferentially on prime time television.

Despite all its fine words, religion has brought in its wake little more than violence, prejudice and sexual disease. True morality is found elsewhere. As UK Guardian columnist George Monbiot concluded in his review of Gregory Paul’s study, "if you want people to behave as Christians advocate, you should tell them that God does not exist."

I might express that another way. The flip side of Monbiot's argument is that God would be an atheist,

i think this shatters the thinking that morality is lost when societies become secular.

http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews/index.html?id=219&article=7

 

Excellent counter on religion. 

Well done.

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Sherapy
2 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Well there is the spiritual side and material side  If you are a believer, then clearly,  both in a physical and mental connection, to your god  (or just to your inner conscience and sense of self) it is best,to have your mind and body in,the best condition possible to receive messages and to act on gods will ,but also to be sure you are not affected by tiredness, illness, drugs or alcohol, in your sensing or perception of gods words to you 

If you are not a believer, then in a material sense the ancient Greek ideal of a healthy mind in healthy body is still important. Both for you and for your community it is optimal to be sound in body and mind 

Thus i follow a biblical diet and code both because the diet is also the best that modern science can devise according to my cardiac specialists and nutritionists  and because  the code is a good fit with modern western laws and moralities, and keeps me both out of trouble withe law or other people,  and in a good relationship with community, neighbours etc 

You follow the diet you do because you had a heart attack and don't want another one. Lol  

 

 

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Guyver
3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Well there is the spiritual side and material side  If you are a believer, then clearly,  both in a physical and mental connection, to your god  (or just to your inner conscience and sense of self) it is best,to have your mind and body in,the best condition possible to receive messages and to act on gods will ,but also to be sure you are not affected by tiredness, illness, drugs or alcohol, in your sensing or perception of gods words to you 

Thus i follow a biblical diet and code both because the diet is also the best that modern science can devise according to my cardiac specialists and nutritionists  and because  the code is a good fit with modern western laws and moralities, and keeps me both out of trouble withe law or other people,  and in a good relationship with community, neighbours etc 

Again, I think your beliefs are positive in this sense, and I agree with you.  I completely support a healthy manner of living, with proper diet, nutrition, exercise, and spiritual fitness.  I don't necessarily practice it at a high level right now......but I do believe in it.  Anyway, just as a point of fact there is no "biblical dietary" requirements.  I mean, you can make some for yourself, but the dietary restrictions were part of the Old Covenant.  As a Christian, and being under the New Covenant those requirements were done away with and you are no longer required to follow them if you don't wish.  This is supported in the New Testament text by the Apostles Peter and Paul.  Just pointing that out.  

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Guyver
3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Not to me.

It promotes the idea that no human is perfect ie can reach the mark of gods standards, but humans are capable of both good and evil and we are responsible for the consequences of choices we make . We are always accountable, be it to a god, or to a community, or to ourselves Our brains are wired with neural feed back loops which create conscience; a feeling of doing right or doing wrong, and satisfaction in doing right,  or worry and guild in doing wrong . 

Christianity says, you are not perfect, but here is the standard or template to aim for.  If you fall short god has your back as long as you are genuine, and doing your best.

Yes.....that is Christian speak, if you don't mind me saying so.  It's just that the New Testament is primarily filled with the words of the Apostle Paul and his letters to the churches form the largest part of Christian doctrine as I understand it.  And while I can certainly argue (quite convincingly in my mind) that Jesus and Paul differ on this point......there can be no doubt that the Apostle Paul supports the doctrine of original sin.  It says basically, that all people who exist, except for Jesus, had been cursed as a result of Adam's sin and are the enemies of God doomed to hell.  

It's covered in several places, but Romans chapter 5 states it pretty clearly.  "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. "

"For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification."

"Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life."

So, without taking the time to post all the scriptures pertaining to this.....many Christians believe, and Paul clearly teaches that because of the sin of Adam all men were condemned.  Christians take this to mean that all non-Christians are condemned, that is not saved, and will go to hell unless they are saved by having faith in Christ.   So, it is proper for me to affirm that this is what Christians in fact do believe.  Maybe you don't, but many do.

Therefore, to a Christian, all men are not their brothers.....and they are wicked, unsaved, unrighteous, and unholy people.  The term "children of the devil" is used in the New Testament to refer to non-Christian people.  

I personally have a problem with this theology and this is why I speak against it.  I know that simplybill and others who are Christian may not appreciate this, but I believe that the truth of a thing should be spoken.  

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