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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Lawrence
    'What religion are you?' poll discussion
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 10, 5:17 PM
    'What religion are you?' poll discussion 20th Sep 10 at 5:17 PM
    Poll started 20 September 2010:

    What religion are you?

    On his visit the Pope declared his worry the UK is becoming a secular society.

    As we've previously found out who MoneySavers are, where they live, and what papers they read, it'll be interesting to see the religious makeup.

    Are you a practising member of any faith (or belief)?

    A. Not practising - 3,142 votes (21 %)
    B. Anglican - 1,401 votes (9 %)
    C. Catholic - 1,796 votes (12 %)
    D. Other Christian - 2,128 votes (14 %)
    E. Muslim - 590 votes (4 %)
    F. Hindu - 258 votes (2 %)
    G. Sikh - 132 votes (1 %)
    H. Jewish - 127 votes (1 %)
    I. Buddhist - 148 votes (1 %)
    J. Other - 367 votes (2 %)
    K. Atheist (deities do not exist) - 3,176 votes (21 %)
    L. Agnostic (the existence of deities is unknowable) - 1,845 votes (12 %)

    Total Votes: 15,110


    Voting has now closed, but you can still click 'post reply' to discuss below. Thanks


    IMPORTANT NOTE: If you do engage in a discussion here, please show tolerance to others beliefs.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 28-09-2010 at 5:32 PM.
Page 18
  • adrian clark
    You're making out like I'm stating that all religious people are insane, that's not the intention of what I'm saying, I'm just putting an argument to you because you said if it went to court the evidence is overwhelming.
    I guess you say that because there are an overwhelming number of people that believe it, that doesn't mean it's true.

    Basically what I'm getting at is you can't compare the two, you can't say that a court would rule in favour of the stories because of overwhelming evidence, because the evidence would be inadmissable - nobody would use 2000 year old scribblings as proof of anything, especially if it's been re-written and translated by lots of people since. If you want to believe it then fine, and if countless other millions want to base their lives on it that's fine as well, but that's your belief in those writings, it doesn't make them 'evidence' of anything.
    My analogy of a delusional person may have been misguided but the principle is there.
    Originally posted by tbourner
    You were not misguided. It is perfectly rational, by the world's standard, to consider Jesus' claims as lies and the people who follow him as deceived fools. The Bible says that what Christians believe would be seen as foolish.

    The point is that you are dealing with people who sincerely believe that a man was brutally tortured and died, to take the punishment we deserve, and then came back to life? To the world those are not beliefs of the mentally stable, are they? Is it compassionate, kind and considerate to see people believing such nonsense and dismiss it as fine?

    Moreover, is it wise to have people who believe such things who are in position where they make judgments over peoples lives and liberties such as Lord Darling who was Lord Chief Justice of England, soldiers, policmen, teachers, or for that matter, the lollipop lady seeing our children across the road?
  • Gareth_Lazelle
    Moreover, is it wise to have people who believe such things who are in position where they make judgments over peoples lives and liberties such as Lord Darling who was Lord Chief Justice of England, soldiers, policmen, teachers, or for that matter, the lollipop lady seeing our children across the road?
    It might be,

    In many cases it's not like their beliefs are harmful, and at least their beliefs are well documented (so to anyone else, they will likely know where you are coming from, and understand where your beliefs may be a problem),

    So, no, it isn't necessarily a problem for anyone with strong religious convictions to hold positions of power and/or authority. Of course, that changes when they are using their position of power to further their beliefs and/or enforce them on the unwilling.

    And it would be just as wrong for a Muslim, Hindu, Christian or even a atheist to do so.

    However, it is also not necessarily for others to accept the testimony of believers in different faiths as true (given so much of it is contradictory, why would they?), and given the quality of evidence that exists (a couple of thousand years ago a lot of crazy stuff was believed to be true - try taking a look at a historical bestiary or medical reference!) it would be quite unreasonable for anyone other than members of that sect to give that evidence much credence. And as a consequence it should not really be appropriate in a court of law,
    To the world those are not beliefs of the mentally stable, are they? Is it compassionate, kind and considerate to see people believing such nonsense and dismiss it as fine?
    Is it compassionate, kind and considerate to pass someone's beliefs off as rubbish off the cuff?

    Of course not, and whatever I may believe, I can happily accept that I may be wrong (only a fool would consider otherwise without much better evidence than currently exists).

    Consequently, why would I try to belittle someone else's beliefs simply because I happen to believe differently (it's not like I have any better evidence to support my beliefs)?

    I would certainly find it offensive if someone tried to do that to me - so why shouldn't they be justifiably offended if I where to try and do the same to them?

    -

    Look, I'm not trying to argue down your beliefs here, I'm just saying that given the very poor evidence in circulation (and it is poor), it would be foolish to simply assume that anyone who disagrees with your (or my) conclusions is wrong, and anything other than doubt is ridiculous,
    Last edited by Gareth_Lazelle; 15-05-2011 at 8:46 AM.
    - GL
  • adrian clark
    You tell me, it is your blueprint for a supposed better world.
    A lot of the scriptures were written a long time after the death of Christ, so you could use the same argument, and to say the scriptures that actually exist in the Bible are 'faithful records' is a bit laughable.
    Originally posted by k.o.d
    I was just asking a couple of questions to show where popular wisdom about Chrisianity and the Bible is inaccurate. So, for example, most of the Bible was written before Jesus, foreshadowing His arrival, and the reports about Him and the letters to the early church, found in the New Testament, were written within 100 years of the resurrection. The Gospel of Luke was written around 40 years after, and the physician who wrote it interviewed people who had been with Jesus. You simply couldn't publish those kind of records, with witnesses alive with which people could check the facts, and get away with it. It's the the modern popular cultural wisdom about Jesus and the Bible that, on closer inspection, end up as being laughable. But isn't that so often the way with popular culture?
    Last edited by adrian clark; 16-05-2011 at 11:44 AM.
  • adrian clark
    It might be,

    In many cases it's not like their beliefs are harmful, and at least their beliefs are well documented (so to anyone else, they will likely know where you are coming from, and understand where your beliefs may be a problem),

    So, no, it isn't necessarily a problem for anyone with strong religious convictions to hold positions of power and/or authority. Of course, that changes when they are using their position of power to further their beliefs and/or enforce them on the unwilling.

    And it would be just as wrong for a Muslim, Hindu, Christian or even a atheist to do so.

    However, it is also not necessarily for others to accept the testimony of believers in different faiths as true (given so much of it is contradictory, why would they?), and given the quality of evidence that exists (a couple of thousand years ago a lot of crazy stuff was believed to be true - try taking a look at a historical bestiary or medical reference!) it would be quite unreasonable for anyone other than members of that sect to give that evidence much credence. And as a consequence it should not really be appropriate in a court of law,
    Is it compassionate, kind and considerate to pass someone's beliefs off as rubbish off the cuff?

    Of course not, and whatever I may believe, I can happily accept that I may be wrong (only a fool would consider otherwise without much better evidence than currently exists).

    Consequently, why would I try to belittle someone else's beliefs simply because I happen to believe differently (it's not like I have any better evidence to support my beliefs)?

    I would certainly find it offensive if someone tried to do that to me - so why shouldn't they be justifiably offended if I where to try and do the same to them?

    -

    Look, I'm not trying to argue down your beliefs here, I'm just saying that given the very poor evidence in circulation (and it is poor), it would be foolish to simply assume that anyone who disagrees with your (or my) conclusions is wrong, and anything other than doubt is ridiculous,
    Originally posted by Gareth_Lazelle
    Jesus said that if a blind man leads another blind man they both end up falling into a pit.
  • adrian clark
    You tell me, it is your blueprint for a supposed better world.
    A lot of the scriptures were written a long time after the death of Christ, so you could use the same argument, and to say the scriptures that actually exist in the Bible are 'faithful records' is a bit laughable.
    Originally posted by k.o.d
    I don't recall suggesting the Bible was a blueprint for a better world. Most Scripture was written long before Jesus even entered into human history.
  • adrian clark
    Encouraging
    Some of the same witness testimony also asserts that the world is only about 4000 years old, and what's more some religions do take that literally, despite extensive historical evidence that it's a lot older.
    Originally posted by redux
    Jesus was more interested in encouraging us to love each other well rather than arguing over the age of the heavens and the earth.
    Last edited by adrian clark; 07-06-2011 at 6:04 AM. Reason: Correction
  • adrian clark
    The "historical evidence" is provided by believers, ie people who had an axe to grind. There is NO independent evidence of a man walking on water, raising the dead and coming back from the dead himself. All there is are the "accounts" of those intent on spreading the faith centered on him.

    The reason PART OF human history (ie the West) revolves around this guy is that it so happened that his embellished story and exhortations to believe in him, as the answer to just about everything, circulated at a time of maximum Roman power, and appealed to the oppressed and dispossessed. As this belief grew among the populace, it became rather awkward for the Roman political machine to keep ignoring it. Eventually Constantine made it into the official religion of the Empire, and the fledgling church began to acquire ever greater powers until it came to be regarded as the sole soul-saver and king maker. In fact, no christian king had legitimacy without the Pope's seal of approval. With the reformation and the various splits within the church we begin to see the cracks in the religion, and the very same desire to break the shackles of papal power in the same way as early christian converts saw hope of release from imperial power.

    Shaping history indeed. But only because it became expedient to do so and because christianity's inception occurred at a fortuitous time of western history, and its laudable message to the poor was heard very clearly at that oppressive time.

    Believe me, if there WERE independent records (ie. outside those written by believers) the world and his wife would know them by heart because they would have been bandied around these past 2000 years. Instead... zilch, zero, zippo. All the "records" are what believers have written.

    You look at any other religion out there and there are plenty of "records" about them too, except that some of them have independent confirmation. Ie. the buddha, who was heir to a throne and therefore a record of his birth would have been made and kept as a matter of course. Mohammed was a historical figure too.

    Jesus was too, the sense that he was tried and crucified according to Roman Law, but that he was what his believers purport him to be, just won't wash for those who look for evidence dispassionately and without bias. The Romans would have had a field day in recording someone who could feed 5000 with a few loaves and fishes. Instead, nothing. There was the crucifixion of a troublemaker. No doubt the "true believers" have an explanation for this one too, except that's unlikely to wash either.
    Originally posted by Quasar
    It is good news that you accept Jesus' time with us in human history, his crucifixion, death and burial. Contrary to urban myth there are secular historical records available for example, Josephus (Jewish Historian) and Tacitus (Roman Historian). The Bible offers a faithful recording of Jesus life from people who were with him, and those who lived in the years that followed his life with us. It is the source document from where we can read what Jesus had to say about God, truth and justice, false gods, religion, hypocrisy, and adultery. Jesus loved people in a way that rocked the establishment. He upset the religious crowd by telling them they were ignorant fools, broke social conventions by going to parties that nice people didn't attend and got criticized for hanging out with prostitutes and social outcasts. And the intriguing part is 2000 years later he is still having a fundamental impact on peoples' lives.
    • piprod01
    • By piprod01 29th Jun 11, 5:52 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    piprod01
    Also, Theism comes from the greek word Theos, meaning 'God', and defines belief in at least one deity, so logically Atheism must mean the opposite, ie: complete disbelief in the existence of any deity.

    There isn't any religion which is 'scientist' and allows for changing beliefs depending on new evidence and proofs is there? Or is that what you're saying Atheist is?
    Originally posted by tbourner
    I tend to define atheism as the absence of a belief in god – in that way it's not really just inclusive for people with a positive belief that god does not exist. Agnosticism deals with what can be certainly known, and so doesn't really tell us anything about you're belief. It's possible to take the view that god's existence can’t be known with certainty, yet still believe in god. It's why many atheists use the term “agnostic atheist” to describe their position on the god question; what they mean is this, “I think it's not possible to determine where god certainly exists or does not, and I don't believe in god.”


    Also the "a" prefix, usually means "not", "anti" is usually meant as "against". People often confuse the word "antisocial" with "asocial".
  • adrian clark
    I tend to define atheism as the absence of a belief in god – in that way it's not really just inclusive for people with a positive belief that god does not exist. Agnosticism deals with what can be certainly known, and so doesn't really tell us anything about you're belief. It's possible to take the view that god's existence can’t be known with certainty, yet still believe in god. It's why many atheists use the term “agnostic atheist” to describe their position on the god question; what they mean is this, “I think it's not possible to determine where god certainly exists or does not, and I don't believe in god.”


    Also the "a" prefix, usually means "not", "anti" is usually meant as "against". People often confuse the word "antisocial" with "asocial".
    Originally posted by piprod01
    However, saying the existence of God cannot be proved is a specific truth claim. It is in opposition to the submission that God exists as a living creative entity, above and beyond time and the material expanding universe we know and inhabit.

    Jesus was uncompromising when he said we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength and love our neighbour as ourselves. There's no room in that statement for uncertain belief. Love is an action and a discipline before it's ever a feeling.

    Jesus put Love into action by going to the cross to be turtured and murdered taking the punishment we deserve for our sins. He didn't come to condemn the world but to save it and gift to those who repent eternal life. He left no middle ground for agnosticism. There are two teams. Those who believe in God who came into human history as the man Jesus Christ and the rest.
    • piprod01
    • By piprod01 4th Jul 11, 10:09 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    piprod01
    However, saying the existence of God cannot be proved is a specific truth claim. It is in opposition to the submission that God exists as a living creative entity, above and beyond time and the material expanding universe we know and inhabit.

    Jesus was uncompromising when he said we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength and love our neighbour as ourselves. There's no room in that statement for uncertain belief. Love is an action and a discipline before it's ever a feeling.

    Jesus put Love into action by going to the cross to be turtured and murdered taking the punishment we deserve for our sins. He didn't come to condemn the world but to save it and gift to those who repent eternal life. He left no middle ground for agnosticism. There are two teams. Those who believe in God who came into human history as the man Jesus Christ and the rest.
    Originally posted by adrian clark
    It really depends whether or not a particular belief system can hold an agnostic stance. But for the purposes of an on-line poll, where there is a lot of different views - not all will accept the dogma of absolute knowledge - and so can support the agnostic stance.

    Whether or not one can doubt and still be a Christian is a theological discussion. Not one that I'm equipped or interested enough to debate, but when presented with someone who accepts Jesus as his saviour and basic tenets of the faith, but doesn't claim to know (in an absolute sense). I'd be temped to label them a Christian.
  • adrian clark
    It really depends whether or not a particular belief system can hold an agnostic stance. But for the purposes of an on-line poll, where there is a lot of different views - not all will accept the dogma of absolute knowledge - and so can support the agnostic stance.

    Whether or not one can doubt and still be a Christian is a theological discussion. Not one that I'm equipped or interested enough to debate, but when presented with someone who accepts Jesus as his saviour and basic tenets of the faith, but doesn't claim to know (in an absolute sense). I'd be temped to label them a Christian.
    Originally posted by piprod01
    I have never heard of absolute knowledge as a dogma. Does this in someway seek to challenge the idea of true or false, lies and deceipt or truth and honesty? We all know that there are many lies and liars in the world. We know that lies are attractive and convincing or else none of us would believe them. Equally, there is truth and within truth there is no room of deceipt or falsehoods. People can believe lies and call them true however, that makes them no less lies and those that share them liars. Ignorance is no defence in law.
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