How do Christians possibly rationalize these things?

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midas77
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 05:39 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Literal interpretations of the Bible is a very modern development. In response to increased secularism, and the feeling that religion is losing it's place in society, some react by demanding extreme interpretations of religious texts. People fear losing their faith tradition and react by clinging to the tradition.


I will not contend with you in this DT since I feel you're more advanced than me in this matter. Care to give me a round down of this claim? Links will be appreciated.
 
sue phil
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 07:10 pm
@midas77,
I found this thread quite interesting since I was an evangelical fundamentalist for over 20 years. There were always ways of explaining passages of the Bible that seemed wrong or cruel. I personally only know 3 born again Christians that do not believe that Jesus is God and part of the Trinity and they would not be accepted by most of the Christians I know.
It is a strong mindset that is continually, week after week, month after month, year after year, taught within a very narrow frame. Every word of the Bible is true (according to them) even the contradictions. Logical discussion is not encouraged, and tradition is hard to combat.
I have a friend (one of the above mentioned) that wrote a book stating that Christianity is a cult. I am not advocating this belief, but I do understand how he logically came to this conclusion.
I can't speak for anyone other than myself, but I found that thinking irritated people at church and any time I would bring up a problem in the Bible, I was not received warmly. Needless to say, I left the entire religion.
 
FatalMuse
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 07:24 pm
@sue phil,
I think that's a big part of the problem - many Christians seem to rely more heavily on the Old Testament Bible than on their own faith and the Gospel of Christ. I think Christianity could make a lot more headway today if they just adopted a progressive stance of spreading what Christ taught - human compassion above anything else - and stopped trying to defend Biblical dogma, much of which they inherited from a previous religion anyway. Christ was a symbol of progressive change, and not stubbornly clinging to old belief systems. I tend to view Jesus as a radical liberal, not a staunch conservative.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 09:18 pm
@sue phil,
sue wrote:

I can't speak for anyone other than myself, but I found that thinking irritated people at church and any time I would bring up a problem in the Bible, I was not received warmly. Needless to say, I left the entire religion.


Thats silly. I think God wants us all to think. Its the fact that the people who go to church consider themselves too old to think, oh well. (a lot of them).

It's wrong to sin, but in order to not sin I have to think, and often times rationalize the situation. So the roman catholic church are hypocrites for not crediting Aquinas with the work he did to try to rationalize the christain perspective. (I think it was Aquinas anyways).
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:00 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Quote:
I will not contend with you in this DT since I feel you're more advanced than me in this matter. Care to give me a round down of this claim? Links will be appreciated.


First, I wasn't trying to disagree with the whole of the post. Fundamentalism as a major religious movement does have roots in more extreme Protestant groups, Protestantism having come up in the dawn of the modern period. We can even find instances of fundamentalism dating back thousands of years. But today's fundamentalism is a world wide movement that has touched every major faith tradition. We even find fundamentalism in some of the Buddhists now fighting in northern Ceylon.

Scholarly study is not essential in interpreting the Bible. Not every soul needs to, or even can, pursue the path of scholar monk. For most people, congregation is invaluable. What is essential for a faith tradition is that the clergy, the teachers, pursue honest and open scholarly study of their scripture. These are the men who instruct and lead the congregations.

Don't get me wrong, I encourage scholarly study of scripture by everyone - even people who do not see themselves as spiritual. But the real issue is the education of the teachers - the idea is that you have the adept do the serious scholarly work that not everyone can do, and then have these learned souls instruct the congregation in a way that is relevant to the congregation. With proper spiritual guidance, the individual practitioner can read and interpret the Bible just fine for the sake of their spiritual path.

As for my post:

That's basically the run down. As far as links go, you might start with the relevant Wiki entries. Karen Armstrong has two books worth looking into, that I've read, and probably several more - The History of God and The Battle For God: A History of Fundamentalism. She begins the second book with a chapter on Jewish religious change after Isabella and Ferdinand issued the Edict of Expulsion in 1499.

If we want to discuss the trend towards Fundamentalism in a particular faith tradition, the historical events of influence will obviously change from tradition to tradition. In Europe, for example, the plague and similar deflating events like the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans played a role in the trend towards fundamentalism. But the underlying, unifying issue is the modern era of hyper-science, global perspective, and aggressive secularism.

Fundamentalism is just one reaction to the modern era. The Baha'i faith is, in my estimation, a very positive reaction to modernity.

Quote:
I tend to view Jesus as a radical liberal, not a staunch conservative.


If Jesus lived, he was. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for the 'conservatives' to pirate the church of Christ. Constantine was a bright politician, from what I can tell.

Quote:
So the roman catholic church are hypocrites for not crediting Aquinas with the work he did to try to rationalize the christain perspective. (I think it was Aquinas anyways).


Aquinas was one of the great scholastics. I have to be honest, I'm not terribly familiar with the Roman Catholic Church and her particular doctrines. But I was under the impression that the Church deeply reveres these men - St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:09 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

Aquinas was one of the great scholastics. I have to be honest, I'm not terribly familiar with the Roman Catholic Church and her particular doctrines. But I was under the impression that the Church deeply reveres these men - St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas.


Revered:eek: :nonooo:... the RCC would accustom the philosophers as heretical. I thought it was the dominican that revered the thinkers of that time.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:17 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Quote:
Reveredhttp://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/../images/smilies/eek.gif http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/../images/smilies/nonooo.gif... the RCC would accustom the philosophers as heretical. I thought it was the dominican that revered the thinkers of that time.
Only if you disagreed with the ones they called Saints. Well, maybe not exactly, but basically.

I have no idea how the RCC approaches these things today. Peter Abelard was often under fire from the religious authorities, but Camila was reading Abelard and Heloise in the Sopranos and seemed to me to be a devout Roman Catholic.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:19 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Yeah there were too many anomalies in the religious influences of that time.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 10:27 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Quote:
Yeah there were too many anomalies in the religious influences of that time.


Yeah, it's a complex history, and I'm hardly an expert.
 
socrato
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:03 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
Thats silly. I think God wants us all to think. Its the fact that the people who go to church consider themselves too old to think, oh well. (a lot of them).

It's wrong to sin, but in order to not sin I have to think, and often times rationalize the situation. So the roman catholic church are hypocrites for not crediting Aquinas with the work he did to try to rationalize the christain perspective. (I think it was Aquinas anyways).



Aparently my minister is at rivalry with the catholics. But we are both christians, I don't understand. So, are the catholics evil? In comparisson?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:13 pm
@socrato,
Quote:
Aparently my minister is at rivalry with the catholics. But we are both christians, I don't understand. So, are the catholics evil? In comparisson?


We're all evil at some point in time, in certain circumstances.

I don't think anyone one faith tradition is any more evil than any other - or any more good than any other faith tradition. 'Good and evil' have nothing to do with your associations.
 
socrato
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:16 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
So good and evil are about how I think and act from it, not acting based on what I should follow from somebody else? I can judge right from wrong? Nobody should set rules or limits? If good and evil had nothing to do with associations then nobody follows that.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:22 pm
@socrato,
Quote:
So good and evil are about how I think and act from it, not acting based on what I should follow from somebody else?


Good and evil are descriptive terms. It's all about circumstance. For example, if I go out into the street and strangle the first person I meet, that's fairly evil. But if I strangle some lunatic with a gun threatening to slaughter a room full of children, I'm a hero.

It's about how you think and act.

Maybe you follow some good advice. That's fine. But following bad advice, which leads you onto a bad path; this too is your responsibility.

Quote:
I can judge right from wrong?


As best you can, anyway. These sorts of judgments require cultivation, but, yes, I would suggest that we are responsible for these judgments and for cultivating these judgments.

Quote:
Nobody should set rules or limits?


The 'rules' and 'limits' should be self evident with enough cultivation. Hence the value of studying ethics, practicing your faith tradition, ect.

Quote:
If good and evil had nothing to do with associations then nobody follows that.


Ever seen the Cusack film Max? A Jewish art rep befriends Hitler just after the First World War. Cusack's character associates with the most evil man in history, but the way in which he associates with Hitler is admirable, and good. He positively influences a very disturbed man.

It's all context, circumstance.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 09:31 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
But following bad advice, which leads you onto a bad path; this too is your responsibility.


Yeah, for example, rules tend to be followed literally, and as such, we could never follow 2000 year old rules considering it to be good advice, let alone valid.

And the pope at the time when the catholics (roman) had power was named Innocent III. Laughing Ironic, eh. I mean, the papal state was evil in many ways. (Unfortunately I always get rejections if I make an absolute statement saying the papal state was simply evil. Oh well.):rolleyes:

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Ever seen the Cusack film Max? A Jewish art rep befriends Hitler just after the First World War. Cusack's character associates with the most evil man in history, but the way in which he associates with Hitler is admirable, and good. He positively influences a very disturbed man.


I heard about a soldier who confronted Hitler during world war I and was a jew but the soldier let Hitler go or something. Hitler got a lot of help from the Jews. People are really much the same, regardless of what religion they follow, so religions are stupid in that I believe they are a driving force for separation and reprisal. (Just basing that from the past of course)
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 10:01 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Quote:
Yeah, for example, rules tend to be followed literally, and as such, we could never follow 2000 year old rules considering it to be good advice, let alone valid.


Depends upon the rule, though. Don't kill people. Sounds as reasonable today as ever. I also think that specific rules of the past can teach us something even if the rule seems archaic. In Leviticus there is a rule against wearing clothes made of more than one sort of fabric. Seems silly today with polyester and these sorts of things. But think about it - don't wear flashy clothes. That's the meat of the rule. Not too bad.

Quote:
And the pope at the time when the catholics (roman) had power was named Innocent III.


Many Popes reigned during the Catholic Church's tenure as the center of European politics and power. Innocent III's family produced five Popes in all. All of which reigned during the period of unrivaled Papal influence in Europe.

Quote:
Ironic, eh. I mean, the papal state was evil in many ways. (Unfortunately I always get rejections if I make an absolute statement saying the papal state was simply evil. Oh well.)


Many of the names are darkly comedic from our modern perspective.
 
astrotheological
 
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 02:55 pm
@Mephistopheles phil,
man that is hilarious. Itr amazes me how christians, jews and islams are so daft.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 04:47 pm
@astrotheological,
Quote:
man that is hilarious. Itr amazes me how christians, jews and islams are so daft.


And it amazes me how quickly people will judge others without taking time to understand the others they judge.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:00 am
@astrotheological,
astrotheological wrote:
man that is hilarious. Itr amazes me how christians, jews and islams are so daft.


I've quoted Astro's post here, but this isn't necessarily directed at him/her. If I may; however, beg their patience to quote it, I think this a good opportunity to express something. I dont' want to waxe confrontational here, but I believe this must be said...

<mounts soapbox>

To my thinking, the best height of the considered atheist mindset is one where such statements aren't seen. Religious views, especially by the faithful, are *great* material for debate, bonding, talking, sharing and dreaming; but they are not to be directly pooped on. Why? Because the mature atheist seeks to know and places a high value on his fellow human (because, well, "we are all that we've got, there's nothing more"). He takes into consideration others feelings - perhaps moreso.

Yes, I too believe its all really, really silly. But what I want to say is, "C'mon, isn't there enough divisivness in this world? Isn't there enough judgment and hate run amuck? Must we give other atheists a bad name by perpetuating the very culture of disdain and judgment that we are very-often the butt of?"

Theists have, in many ways, put their neck out on the chopping block by saying, "Yes, I believe". No, I don't buy a bit of it. But look at the human element! Look at the possibilities for gaining just a tad bit more insight into how people think.

Yep, I've been guilty of this - I have no illusions of perfection; but the aspiration towards enhanced self-betterment, deeper understanding and truly-empathetic mutual respect lies - I believe - at the heart of the mature atheist's potential.

<dismounts soapbox and runs for cover>
 
astrotheological
 
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 07:54 pm
@Mephistopheles phil,
Mephistopheles wrote:
[CENTER]Ritual Human and Animal Sacrifice[/CENTER]

God sends himself to die for himself to allow himself to change a rule he created himself. (Jesus, New Testament)
Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son to God (Genesis 22:1-18)
Kill first-born humans and animals (Exodus 13:2)
More human sacrifice (Leviticus 27:28-29)
Jephthah Burns His Daughter (Judges 11:29-40 NLT)
God Commands Burning Humans (Joshua 7:15 NLT)
Josiah and Human Sacrifice (1 Kings 13:1-2 NLT) (2 Kings 23:20-25 NLT)
Human Sacrifice (Wisdom 3:5-7 NAB The Book of The Wisdom of Solomon is mostly in Catholic versions of the Bible.)
Child Sacrifice (Wisdom 14:21-23 RSV The Book of The Wisdom of Solomon is mostly in Catholic versions of the Bible. This passage condemns human sacrifice but acknowledges that it did happen by early God worshipers.)
Humans are Fuel for Fire (Ezekiel 21:33-37 NAB)
Burn Nonbelievers (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
[CENTER]Rape[/CENTER]
Murder, rape, and pillage at Jabesh-gilead (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)
Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites (Numbers 31:7-18 NLT)
More Murder Rape and Pillage (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)
Laws of Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
Death to the Rape Victim (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)
David's Punishment - Polygamy, Rape, Baby Killing, and God's "Forgiveness" (2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB)
Rape of Female Captives (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)
Rape and the Spoils of War (Judges 5:30 NAB)
Sex Slaves (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
God Assists Rape and Plunder (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)
[CENTER]Slavery[/CENTER]
Slaves are clearly property to be bought and sold like livestock (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
How Hebrew slaves are to be treated (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)
It is moral to sell your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
You can beat both male and female slaves with a rod so hard that as long as they don't die right away you are cleared of any wrong doing (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
Slavery is still approved of in the New Testament (Ephesians 6:5 NLT) (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)
Beating slaves who didn't know they did any wrong (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)
[CENTER]Murder[/CENTER]
Kill People Who Don't Listen to Priests (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
Kill Witches (Exodus 22:17 NAB)
Kill Homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
Kill Fortunetellers (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)
Death for Hitting Dad (Exodus 21:15 NAB)
Death for Cursing Parents (Proverbs 20:20 NAB) (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)
Death for Adultery (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)
Death for Fornication (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)
Death to Followers of Other Religions (Exodus 22:19 NAB)
Kill Nonbelievers (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)
Kill False Prophets (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)
Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)
Kill Followers of Other Religions (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB) (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)
Death for Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)
Kill False Prophets (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT) (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)
Infidels and Gays Should Die (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)
Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)
Kill People for Working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)
Kill Brats (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)
God Kills the Curious (1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)
Killed by a Lion (1 Kings 20:35-36 NLT)
Killing the Good Samaritan (2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB)
Kill Sons of Sinners (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)
God Will Kill Children (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)
Kill Men, Women, and Children (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)
God Kills all the First Born of Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)
Kill Old Men and Young Women (Jeremiah 51:20-26) (Note that after God promises the Israelites a victory against Babylon, the Israelites actually get their butts kicked by them in the next chapter. So much for an all-knowing and all-powerful God.)
God Will Kill the Children of Sinners (Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT)
More Rape and Baby Killing (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)
More of Samson's Murders (The Lord saves Sampson from standing trial for 30 murders and arson by allowing him to kill 1000 more men.) (Judges 15:14-15 NAB)
Peter Kills Two People (Acts 5:1-11 NLT)
Mass Murder (1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB)
You Have to Kill (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)
The Danites Kill the Next Town (Joshua 19:47 NAB)
God Kills Some More (Jeremiah 15:1-4 NLT)
God Promises More Killing (Ezekiel 35:7-9 NLT)
The Angel of Death (Exodus 23:23 NAB)
Destruction of Ai (Joshua 8:1-29 NLT)
Killing at Jericho (Joshua 6:20-21 NLT)
God Kills an Extended Family (1 Kings 14:9-16 NLT)
Mass Murder (Judges 20:48 NAB)
The Angel of Death (2 Kings 19:35 NAB)
Kill Your Neighbors (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)
Kill the Family of Sinners (Joshua 7:19-26 Webster's Bible)
Kill Followers of Other Religions (Numbers 25:1-9 NLT)
Murder (1 Kings 18:36-40 NLT)
Kill All of Babylon (Jeremiah 50:21-22 NLT)
Micah Kills a Whole Town (Judges 18:27-29 NLT) (Note that God approves of this slaughter in verse 6.)


Look Christians enough of this believing in god to solve your problems because it won't solve your problems. God isn't watching you. He doesn't even exist. God! I mean gees! I mean dam*!
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astrotheological
 
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 07:55 pm
@astrotheological,
Sorry sorry I just get carried away sometimes.





:sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic::sarcastic:
 
 

 
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