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PaulS

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Everything posted by PaulS

  1. I might not have much luck here, but I am just wondering if anybody has heard of a logical argument for original sin in the face of the science of evolution? So much of traditional Christianity relies on 'sin', typically expressed through the myth of Adam & Eve. But where was the 'sin' supposed to be when we were amoebas, or early mammals/apes/neanderthals? Not that I believe in sin, but I am just curious if anybody has any Christian arguments to share which try to explain this conundrum now that most of us don't believe that God physically formed the first man out of clay, a fellow who then went on to eat an apple and curse all of mankind for all eternity.
  2. PaulS

    Evolution and Original Sin

    Thanks Thormas. I don't have any issues with what you argue for/lay out. I am sceptical about 'love' being some sort of goal/driving force, but that's me. What I am interested in is the fundamentalist's argument for sin when stacked up against the science of evolution. When do they think sin was 'introduced' to the world, how do they think it came to be, who is responsible, when do they think this happened, etc. It's only just occurred to me that apart from denial of evolution, I've never heard a 'believer's argument concerning the fall which explains it against an evolutionary background.
  3. PaulS

    Evolution and Original Sin

    Thanks Possibility. An interesting take on the myth. But I'm guessing you don't see sin as 'evil' per se and something that 'each individual human shall pay for in an afterlife unless making certain faith statements and beliefs. Certainly taking the story as symbolism and myth allows plenty of interpretation (and your seems pretty valid). I guess what I'm trying to ask is if one was a Christian who believed that because of sin a person was doomed to hell unless they accepted the blood sacrifice of Jesus as a requirement for their entry to heaven, then where do they think this eternal 'curse' came from and when. The garden of eden story, if read literally, has a specific time and place, but even if they were to relax their view a bit and see it as myth, where/when do they think sin 'began'? Was it present when we were actually amoebas? Did it start when we started walking upright? Did it not eventuate until we were our present day species? Was Satan responsible for it?
  4. PaulS

    Evolution and Original Sin

    In that sense maybe I am using evolution in the wrong term. It just seems to me that as a species that lives in tribes we have adopted various moralities that best serves the tribe's purposes (usually). No drama. But yes, more specifically I am curious how a Christian who believes in sin/disconnection from God thinks this can be explained against evolution, taking into account that our species wasn't always our species, so when exactly do they think this sin came about that people needing saving from. Like I said, i don't expect many takers personally here, but I'm interested if anybody has heard any such explanation.
  5. PaulS

    Evolution and Original Sin

    Yes, from an evolutionary point of view 'sin' as morality makes perfect sense to me - if you weren't aiding the troupe then you were hindering its success and subsequently, you'd expect to be ostracised to whatever degree. What I'm really asking is for any known any explanation for the Christian view that sin was introduced by Adam & Eve (or even humankind in general) due to disobedience to God, in light of our knowledge that humans evolved and didn't just 'appear' as complete homo sapiens who then made a bad decision. I wonder what Christian arguments may be used to support the theory that humans are still 'separate' to God and need saving. I know very few people using this forum hold a 'needing to be saved' belief, but nonetheless I am curious if anybody has heard any justifications in light of understanding evolution.
  6. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    As silly as it sounds, I felt betrayed by the God I no longer believed in. A bit 'ripped off' so to speak. I can certainly appreciate the comfort of familiar surroundings.
  7. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    A not unnatural feeling I would suggest, having felt the same way toward my childhood Christian beliefs as I came to disbelieve them. Such a formative part of one's life and such a strong message which when we later arrive at a different belief, we feel so let down, even betrayed.
  8. PaulS

    I versus i

    That explains fully why the older I get, the better I was! But seriously, very informative video which makes complete sense to me. It certainly helps better understand why we may think there is a 'more' to our existence, and why we think 'I' may be more than what it really is.
  9. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    I think that'd be right, Rom. I didn't set about to research something that I simply already believed to be true, but instead started to experience a degree of cognitive dissonance between what I had believed to be true up to that point in time and what I was then experiencing. This made me question previously held beliefs, which led me to read about different lines of thought, which lead to me being satisfied about new explanations for things, which then became my new beliefs.
  10. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    So if your mind isn't you, but that mind is making the choices, then 'you' are not choosing your beliefs?
  11. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    But belief isn't a decision, it's a recognition of what you now think is the truth. Again, I challenge this and ask you "can you, right now, believe that Jesus was born of a virgin? Are you able to choose that belief now, knowing what you do? No. Of course if something was introduced that change your mind, you may believe once again, but not by choice IMO. I just tried to keep it simple by using Santa. But let's use real life. I believe that I cannot fly. Can I choose to believe I can fly? Of course not, because I 'know' the truth. Now if new experiences/observations convinced me otherwise, my belief might change. Yet not by choice, but simply by conclusion of the new information. I presume you 'believe' your wife was a suitable life partner and hence why you selected her as your wife. You didn't have a choice, your experience told you that she was the one for you. Now if you believed that there were two women whom you identically thought either could be your life partners, then you'd have a choice to make.
  12. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    So when you say 'your mind makes a choice' are you saying that 'you' make the choice or are you saying that your mind is separate from you somehow when it decides as such? I think this is what Rom is alluding too - what makes us believe what we believe? Clearly, even though confronted with the same evidence, people still frame different beliefs. Why?
  13. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    Do you notice in the above Thormas, that you didn't 'choose' not to believe in Santa, but that just happened as a consequence of your actions and experience. You say you 'accepted' the consequences of your effort as against your previous belief, but what choice did you really have? The evidence spoke for itself so to speak, and thus you were left with no choice other than to accept what you now believed to be true (which was different to what you used to believe was true). Not being able to go back without new evidence clearly demonstrates you can't 'choose'. To freely choose would mean you could go back without new evidence - it's a choice!
  14. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    To the contrary, I don't think the word choice applies to beliefs, so I don't think I'm redifining it. Choice is to choose. I don't think one chooses to believe in something or not, but rather their conclusions make up their mind for them. You don't actively choose is my assertion. I didn't choose not to believe in Santa, I just stopped believing when I concluded he wasn't true. By referring to that as choice you are suggesting I could believe in Santa if I so wanted to. But I don't think that is possible. I 'know' the truth and so I have no choice other than to not believe in Santa. If evidence to the contrary convinced me otherwise, again I'd have no choice but to believe my new belief. Where is the choice?
  15. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    I don’t see it as a choice. For instance, do you really think you could believe in Santa now? I don’t think you could, so I don’t see how it’s choice. Now choosing to follow a line of thought, research, going against the grain - they all may be choices, and those choices may help lead you to new beliefs, but I don’t see you choosing those beliefs, rather they just come about as a result of your experience. To really have choice would be to knowingly choose not to believe what you know is true, to believe in what you know is not true. How can that work? To me, there is no choice.
  16. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    Yet, I couldn't choose to believe what I used to, even if I wanted to, so is that choice? I don't know if I can take credit for choosing not to believe - I simply couldn't believe any longer. Perhaps I did choose to investigate and challenge, but the beliefs I ended up with are just what came as a consequence. I don't think that's a choice.
  17. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    In this instance, it's simply my curiosity questioning 'why' we think we are choosing beliefs, when it would seem to me that we don't have a choice. How does that work?
  18. PaulS

    Open Borders?

    But that is the reality of what we are saying, every day. It's just not personal to us because it's conveniently not in our face. I, like you, accept the status quo, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that we are being compassionate - we're not. The reality is we try to salve our guilt with rationales and excuses. And we do a pretty good job of blocking out our feelings or being concerned about theirs.
  19. PaulS

    Open Borders?

    I think the middle of the road approach is pragmatic Joseph, I genuinely do. But I can't imagine staring into the eyes of a little child and saying "sorry, it's just not pragmatic for us to let you escape your war-torn country, your poverty, or your corrupt government oppressing you. Look, we were lucky enough to be born here, you weren't".
  20. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    Perhaps we do Joseph, I'm just not convinced. Then again, maybe being convinced is out of my control?
  21. PaulS

    How We Form Beliefs

    Certainly on the surface we appear to form our beliefs through our perceptions of what's going on and our experiences (what we read, what we're told, what we see and feel, etc). But I would be interested to know deep down what makes our brain work like that. Like you've discussed before Rom, concerning our lack of free will, I do wonder if we have lack of free will in determining our beliefs. We like to think we come to our own conclusions, but I can't help thinking that we have no control over what we believe, so what actually does make us do that?
  22. PaulS

    Open Borders?

    I'm not for open borders because I don't want my comfortable lifestyle to deteriorate. We've got it too good in this country to share uncontrollably with others who were unfortunate enough to be born in a crap country. Politicians and others may pretend that we care so much for these less privileged people that we will block them because we don't want them exploited, but that could be overcome if we simply changed the rules so they couldn't be exploited, so that's not really an argument in my opinion. I think the harsh reality is we have got it pretty good and we feel it will be ruined if we 'open the gates' so to speak. I think there is some credibility in that, particularly if numbers were unlimited. So perhaps our only choice is to be flooded and risk deterioration, or say 'too bad' to those less lucky - you have to stay in your crap country. Of course we can ease our conscience a little if we provide aid to these other countries and try to help them improve their lot in life.
  23. Just wondering of those who think there may be 'more' to this life and/or something 'beyond' our lives, if you think animals share in this? Do you think they have any idea of a 'more' or if they are included in this 'beyond'. If so, how does that speak to you - what experience do you think they may have? What 'beyond' do you think they may participate in?
  24. So do you think animals have any idea of this 'more' or are they clueless do you think? What experience do you think animals may have of any such 'more' to this life? What kind of 'beyond' do you see them participating in?
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