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What did you want to be when you were little?

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If you suppose the hypothesis of this Weltanschaung theory, then it would be more interesting to figure out the convictions that undergird the beliefs of the religious in how they accept their religions, and try to formulate evidence that they are unsound. But that's not likely to work, because most people, when confronted with evidence that their foundational assumptions about the world and human nature are wrong, will be put into a kind of cognitive dissonance that is much easier to resolve through ceding the argument but keeping the beliefs, or attacking the evidence against those beliefs, than by replacing those beliefs with a different set. The way to erode superstition and faith of that nature is not to turn the hardened adults, but to permeate the public discourse enough such that young people will be able to find and hear your opinion early enough so that they are amenable to listen to it. The development of secular society have disconnected many people from the traditions of their parents and caused a general loss of faith over the past generations, which is probably why many people of faith are so frightened of it and try to subvert it in the USA.

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Excellent point, but you cannot escape your worldview. You can only exchange it for a different one. Once you start looking at the worldviews your associates/antagonists adhere to, you may start to find fallacies in your own.

... it would be more interesting to figure out the convictions that undergird the beliefs of the religious in how they accept their religions, and try to formulate evidence that they are unsound.

This statement presupposes that your opponent's worldview is unsound. But how is it that you are sure that your own worldview is sound and that theirs is not?. There is a set of rules, called logic, that are (or should be) independent of your or any worldview. If a given worldview is inconsistent by the rules of logic, then you might say that it cannot support itself logically. That would give you an independent set of rules by which to judge a particular worldview. However, if your own worldview becomes threatened, I can guarantee that you will react with emotion and not logic. You just have to see the exchanges over the 'global warming' arguments to see this in action. Watch for 'ad hominem' attacks, as they usually arise first when people's worldviews are threatened.

Ian

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I'm curious though. What branch of engineering did you study?

 

Mechanical engineering. My program sort of had a focus on developing countries though, so we spent a month in a factory in Kenya, and I did my Bachelor's degree project in Tanzania.

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Yeah, that's my main area of interest.

It's my main area of interest as well. Perhaps you could become a scientist. ;)

 

 

At the moment, I'm studying to be an engineer, but I still have my eyes set on becoming a world-class poker player. (A beautiful blend of probability, logic, and psychology; my three favourite disciplines <3)

Now I must ask you. Which branch of engineering are you studying?

 

I would want to prove any religion wrong, being athiest, but Buddhism and Christianity are the two that I'm most influenced by. Sometimes I can't believe Mom believes in such statements like "Desire = Suffering" and the existence of 2,000+ gods... It just doesn't make sense to me, especially that she converted just a few years ago. I just let her be though, as I can only constructively oppose her arguments.

Being an athiest don't necesarily imply the desire to disprove religions (I'm sure you agree). I think the important thing is critical thinking.

 

Excellent point, but you cannot escape your worldview. You can only exchange it for a different one. Once you start looking at the worldviews your associates/antagonists adhere to, you may start to find fallacies in your own.

 

This statement presupposes that your opponent's worldview is unsound. But how is it that you are sure that your own worldview is sound and that theirs is not?. There is a set of rules, called logic, that are (or should be) independent of your or any worldview. If a given worldview is inconsistent by the rules of logic, then you might say that it cannot support itself logically. That would give you an independent set of rules by which to judge a particular worldview. However, if your own worldview becomes threatened, I can guarantee that you will react with emotion and not logic. You just have to see the exchanges over the 'global warming' arguments to see this in action. Watch for 'ad hominem' attacks, as they usually arise first when people's worldviews are threatened.

Ian

Can't disagree here. I think the best I can do is try to challenge myself and try not to be too attached to my beliefs that aren't grounded in solid reason and evidence. I don't think I hold many strong views because I'm so uncertain about everything. Still, I can't deny that I hold a world view and would feel emotionally uncomfortable if it were threatened. Maybe this is one down side of being a human. :(

 

Mechanical engineering. My program sort of had a focus on developing countries though, so we spent a month in a factory in Kenya, and I did my Bachelor's degree project in Tanzania.

Nice! Sounds like an "Engineers Without Borders" type of project.

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Maybe I should change that argument a bit - I want to FIND what IS true. As I said I think Buddhism and Christianity both have ideas that are absolutely ridiculous (Bible = no eating ham sandwiches, seriously?), as well as valuable teachings which help us to become better people, and thus no one religion gets it totally right in my opinion. Whether or not that is truly the case it what I want to know, and why I hope the world does not truly lean strictly on one religion.

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Maybe I should change that argument a bit - I want to FIND what IS true. As I said I think Buddhism and Christianity both have ideas that are absolutely ridiculous (Bible = no eating ham sandwiches, seriously?), as well as valuable teachings which help us to become better people, and thus no one religion gets it totally right in my opinion. Whether or not that is truly the case it what I want to know, and why I hope the world does not truly lean strictly on one religion.

I see eye to eye with you on this. (Y)

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Regarding Bible = no eating ham sandwiches.

I think you are referring to the dietary laws that were given to the Jews in the Old Testament while spending 40 years in the wilderness. It doesn't apply to Christianity. There were good reasons for all of the dietary laws regarding community health in the environment the people lived in. At that time, they were instructed in laws that were for the good of their society, including the first quarantine regulations.

By the way, I recommend you read the book of Exodus in a modern language. It is a great demonstration of the power (read stupidity) of the crowd. And if you want to see humor in the situation of a Jewish king trying to ignore the authority of God's prophet, I highly recommend 2 Kings chapter 1 (my favorite chapter in the whole of the OT).

And that Jesus in the New Testament who claimed to be God in human form, and dared to rise from the dead also claimed, as recorded in the book of John, chapter 14, verses 6 to be the only way for anyone in the universe to truly know God. That excludes all other faiths. Sort of an exclusive claim there, and sure to raise the hackles of those with other worldviews. This is not intended to raise an argument, just to let you know my biases on the subject of truth.

ian

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If you take the view that Jesus's new covenant overturned at least some Mosaic law, regarding dietary rules and circumcision and such, based on what Jesus said, which Mosaic laws are not overturned? If I remember correctly, Jesus exhorted people to "follow the commandments". Which commandments did he mean? The commandments that he had pronounced in other places in the Bible, the 600-some mitzvot of Mosaic law, or (as many Christians might interpret it) the ten commandments brought down by Moses on stone tablets? The first one makes the most sense in light of Christian thought, but it also seems to beg the question why Christians keep those books of laws that don't apply to them around, or quote them to justify what kinds of behavior Christians should follow (thinking about Leviticus's proscription against various sexual relations).

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I totally agree - religion is not all about following the exact rules and beliefs by the book, but rather believing what you truly believe of it. This is why I find it so ridiculous that many, many churches in my area are boycotting Starbucks for supporting gay rights just because the outdated rules say so.

 

About that ham sandwich thing, I was trusting a source that could easily have been exaggerating the truth. This just shows my lack of knowledge for this stuff. :blob:

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I apologize for the length of the answer, but it includes quotes as well as references. I am a person who holds to the authority of scripture, with a pre-tribulation, dispensationalist, young earth creationist viewpoint. (don't be concerned if the terms are meaningless to you. Quotes are from the NIV)

 

There were some 613 laws given, of which the 10 commandments are but ten. (Matthew 22:34-39) Jesus said that 2 of them summed them up; #1 of the 10 commandments; "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." and "Love your neighbor as yourself." (which is found in Leviticus 19:18). Jesus said that the entire Law, all 613 rules, are still extant in Matthew 5:17-48. It starts in verse 17 with:"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." and it ends in verse 48 with "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

 

Now the key here is that the Law has not been abolished, and that Jesus obeyed them flawlessly. In fact, Jesus is the only one that ever has or ever will do so, that is, Jesus is the only one without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. (I Peter 2:22). Also found in 2 Corinthians 5:21 and I John 3:5. This was only possible because, being God in the flesh, he was born (of a virgin) without the effects of 'original sin'.

 

The purpose of the Law is central. The Law was created to show that it was not humanly possible to be "good" at all times. (Galatians 3:23-25, Romans 3:19-31) Its purpose was to make us give up trying to do it on our own, and instead to rely on what God has done for us in Jesus. The sacrificial system was created in the Old Testament to form a "temporary" way to regain a sinless standing with God until the perfect sacrifice could be made, that is the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus to pay the death penalty we incur with our sins.

 

Not one of the 613 laws have any hold on the Christian who has put his faith in Christ, because our "standing in God's eyes" is not found in what we do, but in whom we trust. That by no means means that we are sinless!!! It only means that we are forgiven. Colossians 2:9-23 covers it fairly well. verse 13,14; "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross."

 

The secondary topic is what rules do we obey now, since the Law no longer condemns us. Can we commit sins? And the answer is yes. Jesus left us one command: John 13:34,35 'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

 

Whenever we don't show the Love of God, we sin, and this can be both by what we do, and what we don't do. Remember the two greatest laws that Jesus quoted had to do with love? All the Law flows from them. We have freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."), but an obligation to act in love because we have been bought with the priceless gift of the sacrifice of Christ. (James 2:8-10 "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.)

 

This is rather a lengthy answer, but it is a fairly complex subject. Do not consider this a full treatise on the subject, but rather a summary.

 

Ian

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Seems like a religion topic would get a lot of activity...could get a bit fiery too, though. Thoughts?

 

As long as it's not about the upcoming end of the world, I'm cool with that. (Y)

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Yeah, I don't necessarily want to get into a religious debate. Even though I would try and prove Christianity, this could get very fiery, and I don't want that.

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I only intended to answer questions, or clarify understandings, the same as I would on any other topic. If someone wants more than that you have to contact me. And I don't expect that to happen. I don't intend to 'proseletyse' on the board.

Religious (and political) discussions (arguments) are "fiery" because they involve worldviews which undergird how we see our position in relation to the universe. If they are attacked or crumble, we feel exposed, threatened, lost ... It gets messy and divides people into camps. If an attack occurs, I think that the moderator should shut the topic down. But banning political/religious comments entirely might not be necessary.

 

ian

 

(added: It isn't possible to 'prove' a worldview to someone who isn't an adherent to it already. You can only show how it is logically consistent.)

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Likewise, it's possible for multiple worldviews to be "right" and logically sound and I find it extremely annoying when I see people trying to force theirs on others. Only a few worldviews are demonstrably wrong in some way, and they're on the far extreme ends of extreme.

 

I do not think political / religious discussions should be disallowed, but they should be zero-tolerance for personal attacks.

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Very interesting stuff in here! Sort of off-topic, but who cares?

 

Let me quote just a few things:

 

"The only true freedom is freedom from the heart's desires/ And the only true happiness this way lies." -- The The

 

"Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." -- King David (I think)

 

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" -- Paul

 

 

These are huge topics. We could have many many threads that would be fun to comment on.

 

Full disclosure: I am a protestant Christian, with an eclectic belief system that includes some socialism, some zen, some mysticism, some rationalism, some libertarianism, some cynicism, and some other things I can't name. I'm also a classic Skeptic, in that I don't HAVE to have an answer for everything. For example, I think young-earth-creationism doesn't hold with the evidence, and neither does athiestic-evolutionism. But that doesn't mean I have found a theory that does fit the evidence. There's always aliens.....

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