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Thread: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Humanity has clearly developed a moral code during the course of our existence. You think it came from a divine being and I think it is something our species created.
    Perhaps the moral code was created by rulers (or people who want to be rulers) to control the masses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    ...You think it came from a..... .
    I seriously doubt that you know what I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    If you need a heavenly Santa Claus like figure keeping tabs on you and promising you a reward for good behavior, well, that is very sad.
    Interesting use of shaming language. Obviously, you are hoping to control me. I won't work. Nature is full of sad events, e.g. lion killing a gazelle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    , ....well, that is very sad....
    And nature doesn't care that you are sad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    If it turns out that you are right, don't you think that god will know that goodness doesn't really exist in your heart. He might even pull up that post you just made on judgement day as evidence against you.
    I'm just asking questions. There is no commandment against trolling (as far as I know).

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    I look at the bible as proof that man created his own morals, you can actually see those morals evolve over the course of the text.
    Again, perhaps those so-called morals were created by the rulers to control the masses. Many people believe that Constantine embraced Christianity in the 3rd century because he knew that he could use Christianity and the morals of Christianity to control the masses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Would not a perfect entity such as a god be able to get it right the first time?
    Perhaps God is just testing us.... If life were easy, it wouldn't be much of a test.

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Taking care of the weak and sick is a set of behaviors that our species developed, .
    Are those "set of behaviors" mandatory or optional?

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    Are those "set of behaviors" mandatory or optional?
    We try to enforce some of them as a group, but I would not consider them mandatory in the mind of each individual since many us them break them all the time.

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    Perhaps the moral code was created by rulers (or people who want to be rulers) to control the masses.



    I seriously doubt that you know what I think.
    You seemed to be defending Christianity tooth and nail, but you are right, I don't know what you think. If it is something other than what you are posting here, then it is your fault that you are being misunderstood.

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    Interesting use of shaming language. Obviously, you are hoping to control me. I won't work.
    Why is it shaming that I made a comparison between god and Santa Claus?

    They have a lot more in common than they have differences. Granted, Santa is merely omniscient, while god is purported to be omnipotent. If you feel shamed that I pointed that out, I suggest you evaluate your belief in Santa like deities.

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    Nature is full of sad events, e.g. lion killing a gazelle.
    And nature doesn't care that you are sad.
    I never made a claim to the contrary.

    What I claimed was sad, is your apparent need for a reward in order to behave in a kind and gentle manner toward the sick and weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    I'm just asking questions. There is no commandment against trolling (as far as I know).
    Don't have a clue what you are talking about here.

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    Again, perhaps those so-called morals were created by the rulers to control the masses. Many people believe that Constantine embraced Christianity in the 3rd century because he knew that he could use Christianity and the morals of Christianity to control the masses.
    Ok, but codes for human morality go back much further than the 3rd century.

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    Perhaps God is just testing us.... If life were easy, it wouldn't be much of a test.
    Or perhaps humanity is just a wonderful mistake; if it is a being, like the god of Abraham that toys with us and asks us to kill our sons, in order to test us, well, then I think he is a big jerk.

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Do not think I am joining this fray, because I am not. These discussions are nothing more than individuals expressing their deeply entrenched beliefs and refusing to budge in the face of others' opposing, deeply entrenched beliefs. Religious belief and faith is just that -- belief and faith. It cares not for logic or science or empirically derived facts. If that were the case, we would have proven/disproven the existence of God a long time ago.

    But irks me to see misinformation go unchallenged.

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    If we get rid of the Bible and also the Christian religion in our country, then all we have left is Darwin's theory of natural selection - the strong live and the weak die. It is the way of nature. A poor, i.e. weak, person is a person who has substandard/weak genes and should be left to die. Don't blame me. Blame nature. It goes against nature to help a weak and poor person live because that person's inferior/weak genes will just degrade the human species and may lead to our extinction. Name another species that takes care of their poor and their weak (excluding species that take care of their healthy offspring).
    First of all, if we "get rid of the Bible and also the Christian religion in our country" we aren't left with nothing but Darwin's natural selection. We will still have Judaism and Islam and Hinduism and Confucianism and Mormonism, etc., etc.

    As to Darwin; evolutionary theory has far outstripped what Darwin first proposed and to call it "Darwin's theory of natural selection" is like calling quantum mechanics "Plank's theory of physics." Evolutionary theory never proposed that, as you say, "the strong live and the weak die," -- not today and not in Darwin's time. You might be thinking of Herbert Spenser's use of the phrase, "The survival of the fittest." Darwin did eventually use the same phrase, but "fitness" in evolutionary theory refers to a specie's capability to out-reproduce it's competitors over thousands of years, and to adapt mutations that promote this favorability. This doesn't happen within the lifespan of any individual organism, hence, no one is "left to die" because within our own short lifetimes we don't know who has the advantageous or disadvantageous mutations that will lead to reproductive advantage or disadvantage over the next few millennia. Oh, and just because a person is sickly doesn't mean he carries bad genetics -- he could also be carrying some mutation that will eventually lead to the overall strengthening of the entire human gene pool. You could put the sickly person to death, but only out of ignorance.

    Here's a list of animals who care for the less fortunate among them. (Yeah, it's Wikipedia -- go ahead and pretend it doesn't count.):

    Dogs often adopt orphaned cats, squirrels, ducks, and even tigers.[10]
    Wolves and wild dogs bring meat back to members of the pack not present at the kill.[citation needed]
    Mongooses support elderly, sick, or injured animals[citation needed]
    Meerkats often have one standing guard to warn whilst the rest feed in case of predator attack.
    Raccoons inform conspecifics about feeding grounds by droppings left on commonly shared latrines. A similar information system has been observed to be used by common ravens.[11]
    Male baboons threaten predators and cover the rear as the troop retreats.[citation needed]
    Gibbons and chimpanzees with food will, in response to a gesture, share their food with others of the group.[citation needed] Chimpanzees will help humans and conspecifics without any reward in return.[12]
    Bonobos have been observed aiding injured or handicapped bonobos.[13]
    Vampire bats commonly regurgitate blood to share with unlucky or sick roost mates that have been unable to find a meal, often forming a buddy system.[14][15]
    Vervet Monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked.[16]
    Lemurs of all ages and of both sexes will take care of infants unrelated to them.[citation needed]
    Dolphins support sick or injured animals, swimming under them for hours at a time and pushing them to the surface so they can breathe.[17]
    Walruses have been seen adopting orphans who lost their parents to predators.[18]
    African buffalo will rescue a member of the herd captured by predators.[citation needed]

    In numerous bird species, a breeding pair receives support in raising its young from other "helper" birds, including help with the feeding of its fledglings.[19] Some will even go as far as protecting an unrelated bird's young from predators [20]


    Some termites and ants release a sticky secretion by fatally rupturing a specialized gland. This autothysis altruistically aids the colony at the expense of the individual insect. For example, defending against invading ants by creating a tar baby effect.[21] This can be attributed to the fact that ants share their genes with the entire colony, and so this behaviour is evolutionarily beneficial (not necessarily for the individual ant but for the continuation of its specific genetic make-up).

    An interesting example of altruism is found in the cellular slime moulds, such as Dictyostelium mucoroides. These protists live as individual amoebae until starved, at which point they aggregate and form a multicellular fruiting body in which some cells sacrifice themselves to promote the survival of other cells in the fruiting body.[3]

    Quote Originally Posted by USN - Retired View Post
    Without Christianity and other organized religions, there is very little standing in the way of a potential leader/tyrant like Caligula. Caligula was the type of leader that commonly ruled in the world back before Christianity was accepted by the leaders in Rome in the 3rd century, and Caligula is the type of leader that would again commonly exist in a world without religion. Caligula embodies Darwin's theory of natural selection - the strong live and the weak die.
    Not sure which way you want it -- you say, "Without Christianity and other organized religions" we're doomed to suffer under tyrants such as Caligula. For ancient Romans, religion was a part of everyday life and they considered themselves to be quite pious. So why didn't their religious beliefs prevent Caligula's accession as Emperor? But I suppose their polytheistic religion doesn't count in your view. But Caligula has reappeared many, many times during our Christian era. He reappeared as Hitler and Stalin and Ceaușescu and Mugabe and Amin and al-Assad and Pol Pot and Nicholas II and Leopold II and the list goes on and on.

    That's all I wanted to say. Now y'all go back to ignoring each others' comments and believing what you already believe.
    "Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers."
    ~Mignon McLaughlin

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    Have you ever heard the phrase "not of this world," without quoting Jesus? Many Christian denominations use this phrase to substantiate a practice of separating themselves from the rest of society, and rejecting anything secular. For example, some denominations forbid listening to secular music. Others forbid watching TV or using computers.

    So... it IS indeed possible for people to be living a religious life in a vacuum. In this day and age, it is STILL happening. And you KNOW this. Quit acting like you don't.
    Absolutely people live that way, without the music, technology, etc. I still can't figure out what your issue is with that. But you were discussing the rampant rapes that are taking place in these religions.



    I'm not going to debate the semantics of the terminology and/phraseology of things like "a large number," but do you at least acknowledge that it's happening? Hell, Christians have been pointing the finger at Muslims for years for this, while ignoring other denominations within their own religion.
    I'm not debating that at all. Of course it happens. Just as there is voter fraud and welfare fraud there is also religious fraud. There are people in all walks of life that will take advantage of any system in place for their own personal gain.



    Aren't Christians supposed to believe that the Bible is "The Word of God," and therefore inerrant? And that ALL of the authors were under the influence of the Holy Spirit when writing these texts?
    Ok?

    To say what you're saying would be to deny all that. You might want to keep your words on this short and sweet, in case you have to eat them later.
    Not once did I deny any of it happening. I'm just stating that there are people who enjoy this sort of lifestyle and you can't seem to understand how that could happen without it being forced upon them.

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Or perhaps humanity is just a wonderful mistake; if it is a being, like the god of Abraham that toys with us and asks us to kill our sons, in order to test us, well, then I think he is a big jerk.
    It's about faith. If everything in the bible was cut and dry, there would be no need for faith. Faith, in my opinion, is what is going to determine who is saved and who is not.

    And, let's assume I am wrong? Let's assume that there is no God, no afterlife, no reward. I've still lived my life, I believe, without intentionally hurting others and trying my best to treat others with respect. I'm law abiding, love my wife, take care of my family, pay my bills, etc. So, even if there is no God, how am I any worse off than if I didn't believe? If I didn't believe in God would I be out womanizing, stealing, etc? I would hope not because that's not the kind of lifestyle I choose to lead, even if there was no God.

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by BENDER56 View Post
    Here's a list of animals who care for the less fortunate among them. (Yeah, it's Wikipedia -- go ahead and pretend it doesn't count.):

    [I]Dogs often adopt orphaned cats, squirrels, ducks, and even tigers.[10]
    Wolves and wild dogs bring meat back to members of the pack not present at the kill.[citation needed]
    Mongooses support elderly, sick, or injured animals[citation needed]
    Meerkats often have one standing guard to warn whilst the rest feed in case of predator attack.
    Raccoons inform conspecifics about feeding grounds by droppings left on commonly shared latrines. A similar information system has been observed to be used by common ravens.[11]
    Male baboons threaten predators and cover the rear as the troop retreats.[citation needed]
    Gibbons and chimpanzees with food will, in response to a gesture, share their food with others of the group.[citation needed] Chimpanzees will help humans and conspecifics without any reward in return.[12]
    Bonobos have been observed aiding injured or handicapped bonobos.[13]
    Vampire bats commonly regurgitate blood to share with unlucky or sick roost mates that have been unable to find a meal, often forming a buddy system.[14][15]
    Vervet Monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked.[16]
    Lemurs of all ages and of both sexes will take care of infants unrelated to them.[citation needed]
    Dolphins support sick or injured animals, swimming under them for hours at a time and pushing them to the surface so they can breathe.[17]
    Walruses have been seen adopting orphans who lost their parents to predators.[18]
    African buffalo will rescue a member of the herd captured by predators.[citation needed]

    In numerous bird species, a breeding pair receives support in raising its young from other "helper" birds, including help with the feeding of its fledglings.[19] Some will even go as far as protecting an unrelated bird's young from predators [20].
    Apples and Oranges. The animals are not following a "moral code". They are simply behaving instinctively. Altruism in animals is not identical to the everyday concept of altruism in humans. In humans, an action would only be called "altruistic" if it was done with the conscious intention of helping another. But in the animal behavior sense there is no such requirement. Indeed, some of the most interesting examples of altruism in animals are found among species that are presumably not capable of conscious thought, e.g. insects. When apparent altruism is not between kin, it may be based on reciprocity. A monkey will present its back to another monkey, who will pick out parasites; after a time the roles will be reversed. Such reciprocity will pay off, in evolutionary terms, as long as the costs of helping are less than the benefits of being helped and as long as animals will not gain in the long run by "cheating" – that is to say, by receiving favors without returning them.

    The examples that you citied are misleading. Dogs often adopt orphaned cats, squirrels, ducks, and even tigers because of a parental bonding with a pseudo- offspring. A male baboons who threatens predators and covers the rear as the troop retreats is just protecting his mate and offspring. Dolphins usually only support sick or injured infants. Dolphins don't usually support other adult dolphins, and actually they often treat each other in a brutal manner, especially male dolphins. And the example about Bonobos is questionable at best. Your bird example is just another example of parental bonding with a pseudo-offspring, i.e., parental instinct.

    Quote Originally Posted by BENDER56 View Post
    For ancient Romans, religion was a part of everyday life and they considered themselves to be quite pious. So why didn't their religious beliefs prevent Caligula's accession as Emperor? But I suppose their polytheistic religion doesn't count in your view.
    Correct. Their polytheistic religion didn't really have a moral code to follow. More to follow about ancient Rome in my next post. Please stay tuned.

    Quote Originally Posted by BENDER56 View Post
    But Caligula has reappeared many, many times during our Christian era. He reappeared as Hitler and Stalin and Ceaușescu and Mugabe and Amin and al-Assad and Pol Pot and Nicholas II and Leopold II and the list goes on and on..
    Good examples of leaders who felt no obligation to follow a Christian moral code.

    So here's the question: what happens if Christianity disappears from our Western culture?

    Will we live in some kind of socialist utopia with benevolent and honest rulers? -Or-

    Will some tyrant take control and force us into some new dark age of terror? What does history suggest? Just askin'

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    You seemed to be defending Christianity tooth and nail, but you are right, I don't know what you think. If it is something other than what you are posting here, then it is your fault that you are being misunderstood.
    I'm just asking questions and making observations, i.e. trolling. A troll doesn't need to be understood. A troll usually wants to be somewhat of a mystery. The purpose of a troll is to ask questions and make observations that will cause chaos and pandemonium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    If you feel shamed that I pointed that out, I suggest you evaluate your belief in Santa like deities..
    I didn't say that I felt shame. I said that you failed in your attempt to use shaming language. Please try to keep up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    What I claimed was sad, is your apparent need for a reward in order to behave in a kind and gentle manner toward the sick and weak..
    Not just me. All humans.
    And nature still doesn't care that you are sad. Does that make you sad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Ok, but codes for human morality go back much further than the 3rd century. .
    Human morality was very sketchy back before Christianity was accepted by the Roman leaders in the 3rd century. Before the 3rd century, the Romans fed Christians to the lions, forced gladiators to fight to the death and saw nothing wrong with slavery. It was not a fun time for most people. In the Western world, human morality has developed significantly in the past 1700 years. In the past 200 years, the development of human morality has been especially strong and fast in the Western world (although it does appear to be leveling off or maybe even starting to decline).

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    Don't have a clue what you are talking about here..
    Do you really not know what an internet troll is?

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    Re: Bible Passages That Leave You Scratching Your Head

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    It's about faith. If everything in the bible was cut and dry, there would be no need for faith. Faith, in my opinion, is what is going to determine who is saved and who is not.
    I am unable to look at it from only that perspective; I have far too many questions and see too many flaws in Christianity to just ignore them, and then, call myself virtuous for it.

    I'll agree that faith is the only thing holding that belief system up; it certainly isn't an omnipotent and perfect god that is holding it up.

    He needs you to believe in him, in order for him to exist; in other words, you have the power to make the Christian god wink out of existence. Just like the Greek and Roman gods, the Norse gods, the Egyptian gods, and even Santa Claus, the Christian god ceases to exist the second you stop believing in him.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    And, let's assume I am wrong? Let's assume that there is no God, no afterlife, no reward. I've still lived my life, I believe, without intentionally hurting others and trying my best to treat others with respect. I'm law abiding, love my wife, take care of my family, pay my bills, etc. So, even if there is no God, how am I any worse off than if I didn't believe? If I didn't believe in God would I be out womanizing, stealing, etc? I would hope not because that's not the kind of lifestyle I choose to lead, even if there was no God.
    That is Pascal's Wager, my own father subscribes to that way of thinking, I can not.

    I see it as selling your mind for the mere possibility of a reward; to me, that is a very shallow and insincere philosophy.

    If an omnipotent god did exist, I would much rather be judged as an atheist than a proponent of Pascal's Wager.

    As far as turning into an immoral lawbreaking, womanizing thief, no, that does not happen when you stop believing in god.

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