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  2. Fair enough Steve. But my point remains the more well defined Gods like those of the Norse, Greek, Roman and Abrahamic versions, or at least the literal interpretations of them can be discarded. I suspect we hang on (as progressives) to the various labels for a variety of reasons. We take the stories and interpret them as metaphor and debate which interpretation is better. With the science being in the "knowledge business", the knowledge is always provisional and in fact could be seen as fundamentally as agnostic to the understanding it produces. And the eighth and fina
  3. Last week
  4. Yes belief is like that. Until it fades. Welcome again.
  5. Thanks, romansh. Maybe it’s my upbringing, but I just can’t shake the belief that there is something out there.
  6. Welcome fuzzy ... and I must admit I like the concepts of fuzziness and chaos. I transitioned to atheism/agnosticism in my mid twenties and haven't looked back. Having said that I never was a strong believer. For awhile I looked at God as a loving God, but there was too much evidence against that. Anyway, glad to share a path with you for a while. I live in Canada and find the politics in the USA completely bewildering, makes our nonsense seem sane rom
  7. Could the world be other than what it is? The universe is unfolding and our actions are part of that unfolding. This is all part of the free will debate. And a quote by Joseph Campbell: You yourself are participating in evil, or you are not alive. Whatever you do is evil to someone. This is one of the ironies of creation. I'm not suggesting Campbell believed in evil, but that seeing the world through the lens of good and evil (better and worse) is where the mistake is made. Genesis 3:22 gives us a clue to this point of view, if we are inclined that way.
  8. Hi everyone, and greetings from Ohio. I have been a Christian since I was a teenager of 17 (now 53) and had spent most of my adulthood in Evangelical churches. Most of the time I felt at home with the Christian lifestyle in those churches, but over the last few years, starting prior to the last political administration but amplifying exponentially during the previous four years, I have grown disillusioned by the Church. I’m not trying to make this political, I am just trying to paint a picture of my pan. The last two years I have even considered myself an Atheist, or at least an agnostic. The
  9. I think we can all agree that conservative religion in general and Christianity in particular has been on the wrong side of history at virtually every crossroads. Whether it has been women, racial, sexual identity or semitism the conservative church has always chosen oppression over love. So why is the church still around? I like to think it is because more moderate church sees it and pushes for social change and support for the less advantaged and eventually win out. I am old enough to remember segregation and remember our church sending marchers to Selma. I am old enough to have spoke t
  10. Religion whether it be Christianity or any other tradition is simply a tool for humans to strive for a better world . Simple as that! steve
  11. "science is not in the proof business." this is exactly right but is is in the knowledge business. This is a book my Phd Chemist mostly atheist father read and recommends . It mostly views religion from social science standpoint. steve
  12. this was obviously an advertisement for his book. Its too bad he hasn't shared a little more about himself and his perspective. Much of what he says has some relevance for the bible literalists but ignores the fact that all Christians and maybe even most Christians don't fall in his neat characterization. steve
  13. Exactly. That's sort of my point. You *can't* really read the Bible literally. The people who claim to do so are actually being taught an interpretation of the Bible and then being sold on the concept of that interpretation being literal. If I took a person who had no exposure to Christianity, gave them a Bible, and asked them to interpret it, there's no way they would come up with the same "literal" interpretations as most of the churches that claim literalism. It's ideology, plain and simple.
  14. Particularly as the Bible itself is a bitterly-disputed selection of books out of many others over a thousand year period by flawed people (and different Churches still have different Bibles).
  15. agree, though think it's also done the opposite. And historically-speaking, for most Christians, the Bible hasn’t been all that significant. For the first few centuries AD it didn’t even exist, as such. For a millennia after that it was only available in Latin, which most people (including priests) couldn’t read, even if they were literate (which most weren’t). It was rituals, the sacraments, that were important on a daily basis. It was very much in the interests of the Church to interpret and mediate the Bible. The clergy walked in lockstep with the kings, who ruled by divine right, and
  16. Earlier
  17. patrolwagon, In context of the entire Bible writings, it seems to me, the Mark of the Beast is invisible to the natural eyes and nothing more than the mind that minds the things of man and the flesh (the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life) , and those whose right hand of fellowship is with such. The Beast itself is nothing more than the thinking mind of man that is no longer used as a tool but rather sits in the temple (body) of man as if it is god directing ones path thinking it is in control. However it fears knowing it has a short time to live and perishe
  18. In reality, it is no more or less meaningful. Yes, it is usually more favorable to one to feel satisfied with the living of his/her life. What that encompasses can be different for each individual. Life in this body is subjective at best and ones desires and fulfilments usually affect ones satisfaction with ones living. Having said that, i have found, the only lasting satisfaction while living here, disregards self in favor of the whole.
  19. Funny, I was just mentioning this in another thread, but I find this type of Bible worship to be a pretty blatant form of idolatry. It's a book, written, edited, and translated along the way by humans. That would require the belief that God directly wrote through the hands of every writer, editor, and translator of the Bible. Also, how does it account for the multiple different versions? Changing words does change meanings, also the meanings of words changes over time. So even if it does stay perfectly the same, then those words read 100 years ago can literally mean something
  20. I'm not sure exactly what you are asking, but based on what you quoted, yes, all religious interpretation is human, made up by people, and deeply affected by context. Truth is never permanent. You need both facts and context to ascertain any degree of truth, and understanding of both tend to erode over time. Is the story of David and Goliath about a small man standing up to a giant, or is it about an expert marksman basically bringing a gun to a knife fight? Depends on the facts and the context. The story is just a short, and there's rarely one reasonable interpretation of any stor
  21. Is this true for the metaphorists as well? Or are they OK to make up their interpretations as they go along?
  22. Lol, even people who claim to "take the Bible literally" only pick and choose what to take literally and how to interpret it "literally". I written text had one way to be interpreted, as wouldn't have lawyers. So even things that are meant to be taken literally are up for interpretation, and debated at the highest levels of subject matter experts, and even then, they often disagree. AND, their meanings change over time. So anyone who thinks that the Bible is "facts" and that that entitles them to be the arbiters of truth as to how other people should behave, well, they're jus
  23. Well ... if we define God in some substantial way or with properties we can interact with, then we could argue we can disprove the well defined God. For example the "God is Love" brigade, would seem to imply God is fairly limited, unless we delve into some heavy semantic shell game. Now of course some people will point out quite accurately (I think) science is not in the proof business. But disproof, is slightly different. Take the Morley Michelson experiment for luminiferous ether or do we still need to consider the concept of phlogiston as a viable prospect. I think when "metals" get h
  24. I have been "Banned for life" many times, usually for questioning fundamentalist views such as the Bible being "God's Word" or worship of the Bible over God. I also once got "Banned for life" for questioning Paul's sanity It is easy to beat the ban, but in all honesty, why? That website has a lot of very hate-filled people and yes, many with extreme Fundy/Biblian views. I find little use for the people there.
  25. I am late to this discussion but would like to chime in. First...On the discussion of science and medicine. Physicians are not scientists and seldom produce science. We live in the world of anecdote... we are practitioners , we try and use the science of others to provide the best outcomes for our patients but don't confuse that with science. As a general rule medical science is done in the schools and research centers. Second.... Science is not a way of knowing its a way of finding things out. Religion is not a way of knowing its a way of living. Knowing is an abstract sense th
  26. This book might be of some interest Why Science Does Not Disprove God https://www.amazon.com/Why-Science-Does-Not-Disprove/dp/B00IA68UCG/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=science+disprove+religion&qid=1620313638&sr=8-1 steve
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