Seperation of Church & School

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Arathena » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:42 pm

From an online die roller:
100D100 => [ 97 +6 +95 +81 +63 +81 +24 +100 +69 +28 +75 +77 +52 +74 +44 +80 +78 +37 +74 +72 +87 +72 +1 +93 +4 +78 +36 +46 +22 +78 +3 +18 +84 +97 +99 +47 +77 +23 +46 +46 +50 +20 +22 +1 +94 +65 +80 +72 +1 +54 +44 +88 +26 +45 +80 +29 +22 +15 +74 +43 +93 +77 +61 +76 +73 +59 +23 +50 +82 +68 +95 +31 +88 +17 +31 +82 +81 +11 +53 +82 +64 +97 +69 +89 +41 +49 +18 +62 +63 +92 +4 +56 +68 +64 +31 +41 +23 +53 +90 +4 ]
The chance of that happening is 1 in
100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

... but it just happened. Is it going to happen again? Probably not. Was that die roll lucky?
Pascal said that every man has a God-shaped vacuum.
Every man has social, emotional, and "understanding" needs, this is true, but the counter point to this is:
Douglas Adams wrote: Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!"
Out of context, perhaps, but as the situations that we find ourselves in are so very different, the shape of that hole in the human person so fantastically variant, and the plugs that we put in them equally variant - asking if the source of the shape is the human, or the plug is quite the critical question.

I would hold that your god-shaped hole is not god-shaped at all, but that your god shapes to the hole freely. And the source of it starts from the human need to ascribe agency to events, (Hi, President Washington!) combined with the human needs for certain kinds of fulfilling relationships. God is one way to fill the gaps.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:46 pm

Apparently sharks are the apex of God's creation. This is all the proof we need!
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:36 pm

Any successful politician or revolutionary has had elements of luck in their rise to power. Stalin was incredibly lucky that Lenin died when he did so Trotsky wasn't unassailable (for example). Does that mean Stalinist Russia was divinely created? I hardly think so.

Why would God have allowed a large number of people to die and just protect Washington instead of triggering some small political shift to avoid the entire war altogether? If God really wanted to create the US, why not trigger changes in the English politicians to allow a secession instead of killing all those people in the Revolutionary War? Why allow slavery if it was going to result in the most bloodthirsty warfare of all time in the US Civil War? No - Washington was just plain lucky and the thousands of people that came out with one bullethole in their clothes and a matching one in their skin were just plain unlucky.

Besides, if I was God and I was creating a nation, I'd do a hell of a lot better than the US.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Arathena » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:49 am

Ddrak wrote:Besides, if I was God and I was creating a nation, I'd do a hell of a lot better than the US.

Dd
You make assumptions that a nation created by a God is supposed to be 'good'. If God created Israel, then He made Gog and Magog, too.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:33 pm

Perhaps that's because god isn't all good. If you accept the concept of a divine and semi-disinterested being that is incredibly powerful, perhaps omni-powerful, but not necessarily either good or evil, a lot of things begin to make sense.

As a side question here... I think most on this board accept the fact that the existance of other intelligent life in this universe is damn near a statisitical certainty. If Jesus is the only Son of God, and only through Him can salvation be acheived, what does God have against all the other intelligent life in the universe? There can't be more than one Jesus, the bible says he's the ONLY son of God. He didn't just appear.. he was born of a virgin (if you're Catholic, anyway).

The bible makes no allowance for the existance of two or more sons of god. And when we find evidence of other intelligent life, the Christian religion will find itself in a pickle. Unless they say that all other intelligent life are animals, and have no souls to save, which is their only way out.

They already are in a pickle with cloning. Christian belief is that a soul is placed in a person at the moment of conception. That sure would suck for any clone made from that person afterward, since thy would be souless bastards with no chance at salvation.

I'll give god a pass on twins, which are just nature's way of cloning an organism. At the point of conception, its just one cell, and supposedly one soul. But at some point later, after that cell splits a few times, it can reset itself and start to form twins. Its clearly past the point of conception, so I guess the Church's answer must be that a person can hold more than one soul for a while...
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:38 pm

Why would they find themselves in a pickle? I think you need to understand why Jesus was sent here before you make statements like that.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:06 pm

Kulaf wrote:Why would they find themselves in a pickle? I think you need to understand why Jesus was sent here before you make statements like that.
My understanding (from a Catholic perspective, which is the religion I grew up in), is that Jesus, the only son of god, part of the holy trinity, was sent as a sacrafice for the salvation of men, such salvation needed because they fucked up in the garden of eden (original sin), and carried that fuck-up with them through the ages.

So...

Either all the intelligent life in the universe never sinned, and therefore they don't need a sacrafice like Jesus because if they haven't yet sinned, they are perfect in the eyes of god.

Or... if the have sinned, then they are imperfect in the eyes of god, and (through Christian reasoning) would need a sacrafice on the magnitiude of Jesus in order to acheive salvation.

Or.... all the intelligent life in the universe with the excpetion of humans are not capable of free will and therefore are not capable of sin.

Or.. all intelligent life in the universe with the expection of humans, don't have souls.

So which of the above do you think is more probable (if you accept prima facie that there is intelligent life in the universe capable of free will)?
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:34 pm

Either all the intelligent life in the universe never sinned, and therefore they don't need a sacrafice like Jesus because if they haven't yet sinned, they are perfect in the eyes of god.
As an interesting note, my mother taught me about the writings of a woman named (Ellen?) White, who the Seventh Day Adventist church regard as a prophet. I never read any of her books, but as I understand it she received "visions" of extraterrestrial life, and that God created man on many worlds other than earth. According to Mrs. White, ours was the only planet which failed the test in our Garden of Eden, and on all of the other worlds, man was perfect and sinless.

A google search didn't turn up anything for me on this. It did, however, turn up some interesting claims from Mrs. White that amalgamation between man and beasts produced gorillas, chimpanzees, and the wild bushmen of Africa. Cute. With slightly more searching, it seems she got most of her ideas from the Book of Jasher, which appears to be a work of total fiction.

Point is, there are people out there who believe in ET life and still reconcile that belief with the Bible. My mother (And I would wager many of her denomination, minority that it may be) are among them.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Embar Angylwrath » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:43 pm

Wait until the "men" created on other planets look like large mushrooms with dextrous appendages, move about on pod feet, require a CO2 atmosphere and have tri-sex mating.

I suppose the most ignorant of the Christians would claim that ET life isn't human if it doesn't look like a human. Therefore that would make it an animal with no soul.

Those on this board, however, I would think might have a different opinion on that. But I'll put the question to Kulaf and Dd.

Does ET life have to look generally like a human for it to be considered a being that may be in need of salvation? Or does it just have to show the capacity for free will?
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:36 am

I would say "self awareness" would be the criteria.

Similarly, I would have to say that such life would either not have sinned or require a form of redemption. Nothing would prevent God from entering into a different contract with them, I'd guess?

Personally, I'd be more interested in their religious belief systems that worrying about their souls.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:49 am

Nothing would prevent God from entering into a different contract with them, I'd guess?
What of the billions of humans throughout human history who never had the opportunity to learn of Jesus? Or exist(ed) in cultures virtually devoid of God concepts? Certainly, before the first century (And for hundreds of thousands of years before any recorded history) humans existed, worshiped the sun, nature, or other gods with entirely different concepts absent the understood need for "salvation." What of the indigenous tribes existing today? What of cultures isolated from Christian or Biblical influence? What of their salvation in the grace of Christ?

I really do have difficulty understanding how you (Who seems to be extraordinarily rational in virtually every other subject I've seen you speak on) come to believe in any degree of superstition. I'm very curious how you reconcile your religion with, well, reality.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:41 am

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:What of the billions of humans throughout human history who never had the opportunity to learn of Jesus? Or exist(ed) in cultures virtually devoid of God concepts? Certainly, before the first century (And for hundreds of thousands of years before any recorded history) humans existed, worshiped the sun, nature, or other gods with entirely different concepts absent the understood need for "salvation." What of the indigenous tribes existing today? What of cultures isolated from Christian or Biblical influence? What of their salvation in the grace of Christ?
Honestly - it doesn't really matter to me. I view religion as a personal thing and I can't really comment on those people's personal relationship with God (if they even have one). I'm pretty crap at evangelizing because I really don't want to force my views on anyone else, or even really believe they apply to anyone else. It's just a crazy thing inside of me that's like my love for my wife and kid which really doesn't have a logical explanation.
I'm very curious how you reconcile your religion with, well, reality.
Reality trumps religion. If there's a conflict there then you've screwed up your religion.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Kulaf » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:00 pm

Embar Angylwrath wrote:Wait until the "men" created on other planets look like large mushrooms with dextrous appendages, move about on pod feet, require a CO2 atmosphere and have tri-sex mating.

I suppose the most ignorant of the Christians would claim that ET life isn't human if it doesn't look like a human. Therefore that would make it an animal with no soul.

Those on this board, however, I would think might have a different opinion on that. But I'll put the question to Kulaf and Dd.

Does ET life have to look generally like a human for it to be considered a being that may be in need of salvation? Or does it just have to show the capacity for free will?
I think the bigger question is.....why would we think that messages delivered to Humans on planet Earth are meant to incude anyone but Humans on planet Earth?

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:19 pm

Reality trumps religion. If there's a conflict there then you've screwed up your religion.
The reality of people who've never heard of Christ doesn't conflict with the religious teaching that we can only achieve salvation through him?

Edit: Side question - How does love not have a logical explanation? Love inspires protection of one's family and community, aiding in the survival of the species.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:49 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:The reality of people who've never heard of Christ doesn't conflict with the religious teaching that we can only achieve salvation through him?
No. How would it?
Side question - How does love not have a logical explanation? Love inspires protection of one's family and community, aiding in the survival of the species.
So do religious groups, in fact they tend to do so even more strongly than family love which is why there are so many wars over it.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:09 pm

Ddrak wrote:
Jarochai Alabaster wrote:The reality of people who've never heard of Christ doesn't conflict with the religious teaching that we can only achieve salvation through him?
No. How would it?
It wouldn't conflict if God simply didn't care about the billions of humans who had/have never heard of Christ, as without knowing and accepting Christ they cannot achieve salvation. That's literally the only way there's no conflict, and apathy towards any number of humans (Be it one or one billion) conflicts with the concept of an all-loving God.
Ddrak wrote:
Side question - How does love not have a logical explanation? Love inspires protection of one's family and community, aiding in the survival of the species.
So do religious groups, in fact they tend to do so even more strongly than family love which is why there are so many wars over it.

Dd
That doesn't discount the logical/biological explanation for love, the existence of which was my point.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:40 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:It wouldn't conflict if God simply didn't care about the billions of humans who had/have never heard of Christ, as without knowing and accepting Christ they cannot achieve salvation. That's literally the only way there's no conflict, and apathy towards any number of humans (Be it one or one billion) conflicts with the concept of an all-loving God.
That depends on your definition of "love" really, doesn't it? Are you suggesting that immigration guards that reject people without visas are unloving?
Ddrak wrote:That doesn't discount the logical/biological explanation for love, the existence of which was my point.
Right, then your point must also encompass a logical/biological explanation for religion given that it has an equally or more strong effect on the survival of the individual's genetics.

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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:28 pm

That depends on your definition of "love" really, doesn't it? Are you suggesting that immigration guards that reject people without visas are unloving?
This is a complete non-sequitur - the guards don't make the rules. Regardless, in your example the guards are simply performing their sworn duty - love (Or its absence) plays no part in that.

If God wants to extend to every human the opportunity for salvation, and that salvation can only be reached through Christ, then by allowing some humans to exist in an environment absent knowledge of Christ, he's condemning them to hell. This is the conflict I see. If God doesn't want or doesn't care to extend the opportunity for salvation to all humans, the conflict disappears, but I'd hardly call that God fair or loving.
Right, then your point must also encompass a logical/biological explanation for religion given that it has an equally or more strong effect on the survival of the individual's genetics.
Why does my point need to encompass something that has nothing to do with it? Personally I do understand how religion could have emerged naturally as a product of biological forces, but since that's not relevant to my original point of love's biological origins, I see no need to expound upon it. Unless you're interested in my beliefs on the matter.
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Jarochai Alabaster » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:36 pm

Additionally:

What of the dozens of non-human hominids that existed tens-hundreds of thousands of years ago? Many of them had music, buried their dead, protected their infirm, were similarly developed intellectually and technologically as humans...and were clearly not human, as DNA comparisons have discovered. Were they animals incapable of free will (Not that animals don't actually, you know, make choices)? Were they unworthy of salvation?

What happens in a few 10-100k years if/when dolphins, other great apes, elephants or other higher mammals evolve varying levels of comparable sentience (Assuming we don't wipe them out)? Purely hypothetical, but what would your reaction be to other sentient organisms arising on earth?
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Re: Seperation of Church & School

Post by Ddrak » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:43 pm

Jarochai Alabaster wrote:In your example the guards are simply performing their sworn duty - love (Or its absence) plays no part in that.
Exactly, If God maintains his own rules then love, or the absence of it plays no part. You can't say he's not a God of love just because he follows some rules.

Having said that, what rules would you consider "fair" for a God to make in who gets to be in his afterlife? I don't see any logical way to go about it other than salvation through the Christian (or similar) method.

Honestly, in my mind, what goes on between people who haven't heard of Christ and God is something between them and God and not really my personal problem. Like I said - I see religion as personal so I don't really try to apply it to other people.
Why does my point need to encompass something that has nothing to do with it? Personally I do understand how religion could have emerged naturally as a product of biological forces, but since that's not relevant to my original point of love's biological origins, I see no need to expound upon it. Unless you're interested in my beliefs on the matter.
So I said religion makes as much logical sense as love. You told me love was a product of natural forces, so religion is too. The fact that neither makes any logical sense as a concept outside of that was my entire point.

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