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Volbrigade
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:35 pm  Resurrections and hyperdimensions Reply with quote

Divine Insight wrote:

[Replying to post 169 by Volbrigade]

The problem with your replies is that you aren't providing rational evidence for any of your religious beliefs or claims.

All your posts amount to are the standard "preaching" techniques of this religious cult that tries desperately to denigrate anyone who refuses to join and support it.

It's not going to be productive to simply attempt to denigrate people who refuse to be convinced. In fact, that is actually in direct violation of the teachings of Jesus anyway. Jesus never instructed his disciples to argue with or accuse anyone of anything. To the contrary, he clearly instructed them to move on if people aren't interested in hearing the message.


I'm not sure whether you're lecturing or preaching here. A bit of both?

I fail to see where I have denigrated anybody. I did mention the "vague beliefs" expressed by those with opposing arguments. Is that what you refer to?

But that is exactly what they, themselves, express. "I don't claim to know what our origins are, or what our destiny is..."; "I am comfortable with not knowing...". Sound familiar?

Quote:
So when a theist does nothing but argue to the bitter death with non-believers I don't see where they are paying attention to the teachings of Jesus.


All due respect, but if I am looking for insight into the "teachings of Jesus", I will look elsewhere than to a non-theist.

"Argue to the bitter death"? That's a colorful way of putting it, isn't it? From my perspective, I'm just visiting a message board dedicated to the discussion and debate of Christianity. And expressing my reasons for being a Christian. Which generates oppositional views, which I then address.

If by "bitter death", you mean until both parties begin to repeat themselves -- well, yes. am willing to engage to that point. A point we seem to have reached, in our discussion.

Quote:
If I were going to preach to people I would at least follow Jesus' instructions and only preach to those who are interested in hearing the message. Very Happy


Is that a nice way of saying "shut up"?

Again -- it is perhaps a good thing that the prohibition against "preaching" (however defined -- apparently, it means "sharing the Good News"; which is an odd injunction on a site devoted to Christianity...) does not extend to "lecturing", of which I cetainly have been the recipient of my share -- as here.

I think, in general, theists "preach" (against the rules);
non-theists "lecture" (within the rules).

Perhaps that has a bearing on the subject of the OP?

Quote:
In the meantime, if you are attempting to argue or debate for why the religion has merit, I haven't seen where you have supplied any compelling arguments.


I certainly regret to hear that.

But I don't see where that is a compelling argument that I haven't made any. Wink

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 101: Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:29 am
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[Replying to Volbrigade]


Volbrigad wrote:

The great Christian teacher, Dr. Chuck Missler, who is a "man's man" -- built a computer in his parents' garage at 17, turned down Cal Tech for Annapolis, and a Naval career that placed him in the field of information science and cryptology during the Cold War technology boom, from where he landed in the corporate world, serving on the boards of think tanks and hi-tech companies (e.g., Rand) and military contractors, all the while pursuing his intense interest in, and precise study of, the Bible, born of his justification (with God -- i.e., salvation, "faith in Jesus") as a teenager, which led to his leading Bible studies in his maturity that incorporated his encyclopedic knowledge of science, technology, language, history, and the Bible, the cassette copies made by participants copied so prodigiously that they became a sort of cottage industry, and in turn led to his establishing the Koinonia House ministry; his presentation unique not only in content, but in style: warm and humorous, as expressed in the self-deprecating quote "everybody has a spiritual gift. Mine is sarcasm" (I just wanted to see how long I could make a run-on sentence -- that'll do Wink ) --

at any rate, Dr. Missler tells the following amusing (to me) story (I don't recall all the details. I'll do the best I can):

He was sitting on the board of a hi-tech concern during a presentation of the latest in atomic clocks. The claim made regarding the clock was that it was accurate to within one-thousandth of a second every 100 million years, or some such astronomical claim.

The claim prompted a couple of questions from Chuck (and as he tells the story, a sort of impish smile creeps across his face): "How do you know? And who cares?"

The answer to the first question has to do with the vibration of the Cesium atom.

The answer to second question is that such precise time-keeping is necessary for the implementation of accurate GPS technology, and other applications.


The extraordinarily precise vibration of the cesium atom was of no particular importance to humans for most of human history. Until it became important. As it turns out extraordinarily precise clocks are needed for much of modern technology to function correctly. And the extraordinarily precise vibration of the cesium atom fills the bill.

Volbrigad wrote:

I think you're a tad hyperbolic to claim that quantum theory is responsible for ALL of our working technology. But it has had a dramatic impact, especially when coupled with the more generic "atomic science".


Quantum mechanics in action is responsible for everything that occurs. Understanding quantum mechanics was not necessary for producing, as an example, steam engines. But quantum mechanics in action is necessary for causing them to function.

Volbrigad wrote:

Which is why it is friendly to Christianity. Everything that corresponds with ultimate truth is.


It is not the nature of the truth to be either friendly or unfriendly. Truth simply is whatever it is. And it must be discovered to be true. Declaring it to be true is meaningless.

Volbrigad wrote:

And isn't it interesting that the "fairy tale for grownups" -- the microbes-to-men evolutionary myth -- cannot boast of one single technological advance associated with it?


I already pointed out that it wasn't long ago that the fact that mountain ranges obviously still exist, even though if the earth is billions of years old they should have eroded away to nothing, was a very pertinent question asked by believers. Proof, according to believers, that they earth can not possibly be millions, let alone billions, of years old. Alfred Wegener proposed the occurrence of what he termed "continental drift" in 1912, but the idea that continents moved was considered something of a "fairy tale for some grown-ups" for the next fifty years, until the evidence for continental drift finally became overwhelming. Along came plate tectonics and the mystery of the existence of mountain ranges was solved. At which point believers simply packed up their tents and moved on to a new unexplained scientific question. This is known as "the God of the gaps" argument. Believers tend to park their tents in the grey areas of current knowledge and declare that evidence for God can be found in those things we do not yet fully understand.

Biologists have been conducting research for years into the question of the origins of life, in an attempt to understand the process of just how complex compounds evolved into proto-life, and how proto-life then evolved into the simple single celled bacterias. And their understanding of the process has been progressing one step at a time.

So the question becomes, once biologists fully understand the exact process by which these processes occur, what will believers do? Those believers with the technical scientific background to understand the biological explanation will be forced to pack up their tents once again and attempt to set up up shop in the next grey area. The problem is, the grey areas are becoming fewer and fewer. Those who do NOT have the technical scientific background to understand the biological explanation will simply deny that the science is valid. Just as they are currently doing with evolution. And the gap between those who comprehend the physical sciences and those who still cling to ancient superstitious answers will widen even more.

In the last election the number one issue for most people was the economy and jobs (it's the economy stupid). During the Obama years many new jobs were created. The problem is that jobs come in two forms... skilled and unskilled. More and more, American workers are falling behind in the skills necessary to land the high paying skilled jobs. Tech firms are forced to seek out and hire foreign workers with the necessary skills to fill the skilled positions they require. Which is one reason that Trump's attempt to limit foreigners from entering into the country has created such panic. Many tech firms are moving to open up branches in Canada for the foreign workers that they need. Unskilled American workers are left with low paying service jobs, which often do not even pay their bills. And yet the move by believers has been a continued attempt to dumb down the teaching of science in U.S. schools. Currently the U.S. has already lost it's position as the leading scientific light in the world. Most of the leading scientists today are being attracted to places like CERN in Europe, and the large hadron collider. For many Americans, the existence of the large hadron collider is not even on their radar, much less understanding what a hadron is. "Who cares," right? They're too busy pulling their shift at McDonalds.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 102: Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:08 pm
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The extraordinarily precise vibration of the cesium atom was of no particular importance to humans for most of human history. Until it became important. As it turns out extraordinarily precise clocks are needed for much of modern technology to function correctly. And the extraordinarily precise vibration of the cesium atom fills the bill.


"Important"? Define "important", as it applies to temporary patterns of quantum foam.

Whether human beings have accurate GPS or not -- what difference does it make? In fact, whether a species of deranged ape, possessing a genetic aberration that produces self-consciousness and abstract thought, exists on one little planet in a vast ocean of quantum foam -- what of it? The foam don't care.

I have to keep turning back to this point, from time to, because...

Quote:
Quantum mechanics in action is responsible for everything that occurs. Understanding quantum mechanics was not necessary for producing, as an example, steam engines. But quantum mechanics in action is necessary for causing them to function.


...because of this. In your worldview, everything that exists, and happens, is simply the product of mindless, random, indifferent quantum mechanics.

And yet you merrily traipse along, talking about "importance" and "meaning(lessness)" and so forth, as if these things actually exist. When from your own "mouth" they simply cannot.

You borrow these things from "my" worldview. Along with morality, ethics, values, principles, reason, and rationality.

So I'm charging interest.

Because you -- that is, "we", as in "none of us" -- can live without those items mentioned. Along with "hope", which may be the most important one.

So you (ubiquitous) have to pretend they exist. And the impulse to do so is so ingrained, you don't even realize you're doing it. That's why I have to continually redirect you to the reality that you are.

It reminds me of being in a college fraternity or something, which has "mystic" knowledge that only the initiated may have access to, and are sworn to secrecy regarding. And it's all very exiting to the young freshmen, who are encouraged -- sometimes strenuously -- to take it all seriously. But some of the wiser, knowing seniors come to understand it's really just a bunch of BS, that everyone agrees to pretend is important.

So here is the "well-adjusted", well-meaning secularist, dutifully following the rules, watching his weight, his cholesterol, refraining from fornication with his neighbor's voluptuous wife, and buying season tickets to the local symphony. With various degrees of "happiness" (whatever that is) and self-satisfaction.

He is the "freshman".

And here is the "senior": the secularist who says "it's all BS, boys. We're all just bags of chemicals, and our pattern of quantum foam will alter soon enough into a disassociated state. And none of it makes one bit of difference, by any rational standard -- and rationality itself is just a sort of illusion."

And he proceeds to do precisely what he pleases; whatever brings him pleasure; along with the money that it takes to buy those pleasures. Maybe "legally" (whatever that is, a bunch of rules made up by a bunch of other bags of chemicals), maybe not.

Or perhaps he simply says "this is all absurd", and like the character in Tolstoy, respectfully returns his ticket. I.e., swallows a bullet.

And you know that is simply the reality we face. And that neither the "freshman" nor the "senior" is "better" than the other, or "right" or "wrong". And if you disagree -- on what basis do you disagree?

And if you can read the reality that I just described, and not think "but that's not the way it SHOULD be" -- then I submit that you SHOULD think that. Cool

Because everything in your "psyche", or "mind" -- or whatever you want to call it; I prefer "soul" -- tells you that this life DOES have meaning, and things ARE important. You could not live as a "well-adjusted" bag of chemicals, and expression of quantum foam, otherwise.

And here is part of the Good News:

It really DOES have meaning. It really IS important.

Each quanta of foam is fraught with meaning and importance.

That's because God DOES exist, and we are part of a cosmic drama that is outside the scope of our limited reality and knowledge. But it presses in on our reality at every point.

Those with the most sensitivity to this fact are called, variously, "seers" or "mystics" or "prophets" or "saints".

Quote:
It is not the nature of the truth to be either friendly or unfriendly. Truth simply is whatever it is. And it must be discovered to be true. Declaring it to be true is meaningless.


See what I mean?

Quote:
Quote:
Volbrigad wrote:

And isn't it interesting that the "fairy tale for grownups" -- the microbes-to-men evolutionary myth -- cannot boast of one single technological advance associated with it?


I already pointed out that it wasn't long ago that the fact that mountain ranges obviously still exist, even though if the earth is billions of years old they should have eroded away to nothing, was a very pertinent question asked by believers. Proof, according to believers, that they earth can not possibly be millions, let alone billions, of years old. Alfred Wegener proposed the occurrence of what he termed "continental drift" in 1912, but the idea that continents moved was considered something of a "fairy tale for some grown-ups" for the next fifty years, until the evidence for continental drift finally became overwhelming....




Yada yada. More "freshman" talk. Wink

Quote:
In the last election the number one issue for most people was the economy and jobs (it's the economy stupid). During the Obama years many new jobs were created. The problem is that jobs come in two forms... skilled and unskilled.


Now here is an opportunity to move the conversation to untilled ground.

Leaving aside the obvious "what difference does it make whether someone has a skilled or unskilled job? Or whether America 'succeeds' or not?", and gleefully joining in with your fabrication of meaning, value, and purpose in a sea of indifferent quantum foam (because, as mentioned, I know those things actually DO exist, and don't have to pretend they do -- and so, in your heart of hearts, do you):

I'll be happy to move on to the the more practical matters of social/economic/political realities and policies.

In that vein, let me throw out a couple of things, which you can bat back over the net, if you so choose. This area is, obviously, huge. We could probably discuss it until our foam disassociates. Wink

Your complaint is that Christianity is responsible for America losing her "science mojo"?

You are 180 degrees out of phase with the truth, my friend.

It is the embrace or intellectual irrationality, which started with "God is dead", and quickly entered through the door of "so microbes must have become men", and the attendant cultural fatalism and nihilism associated with that fabrication, that is responsible for the woeful state of our culture, and the education/media/statist hegemony that perpetuates that woeful state.

A culture with no absolutes, that slaughters its babies on the altar of sexual promiscuity, and puts primacy on teaching "Heather has two mommies" over teaching the building blocks of science and math and language that are necessary to produce the scientists capable of colliding hadrons.

All of which -- the absolutes, and the building blocks -- were instilled into our education, when this country was still (nominally) "Christian" -- before the systematic jettisoning of our Judeo-Christian heritage, for a bunch of vague, secular, Whateverist nonsense.

You mention Europe? Why is Europe surging to the fore in science? (along with, arguably, China and India...).

For the same reason Soviet Russia was able to compete with America militarily -- the nuclear and space "races". Being a statist regime (in the case of the USSR, totalitarian), they were able to control the development of their scientific talent. Early on, the state determined the path of that development: i.e., "you, we will send the science academy; you, you are fit for the factory."

The statist governments of Europe, particularly northern Europe, have exercised a similar process for generations.

Much more so than in the USA, where we have cherished "individual autonomy", as a vestige of our J-C heritage. Only we have taken the absolutist fuel necessary for "well-adjusted" individual autonomy, and replaced it with the relativism that (because man is fallen), always follows the "gravitational pull" toward "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll."

What to do?

Become more like Europe of course.

Which is rapidly committing cultural suicide, with the infusion of hordes of barbarians who follow a perversion of Christianity in which there is no grace, no forgiveness, and no Jesus.

More later...?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 103: Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:46 am
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[Replying to Volbrigade]

Volbrigade wrote:

"Important"? Define "important", as it applies to temporary patterns of quantum foam.

Whether human beings have accurate GPS or not -- what difference does it make? In fact, whether a species of deranged ape, possessing a genetic aberration that produces
self-consciousness and abstract thought, exists on one little planet in a vast ocean of quantum foam -- what of it? The foam don't care.

I have to keep turning back to this point, from time to, because...


Given how reliant modern society has become on communication systems, pretty darned important. As it turns out, communication satellites and ground based companion systems necessarily need to be in agreement on the exact time to within very close specs. Very accurate measurement devices are therefore absolutely essential. As it turns out there is a further potential monkey wrench in the communications system that has to be addressed, however. Communication satellites are in geostationary orbits thousands of miles above the earth's surface. Even though they exactly match the movement of the earth's surface they are actually traveling at a significantly greater speed than the surface of the earth, which is necessary to maintain their fixed position. And being thousands of miles above the earth, they are influenced less by the gravity of the earth. Both of these factors mean that time passes at a different rate for the satellites relative to the ground based systems, just as Einstein's theory of relativity predicts. This difference must be continuously adjusted for, or the system will crash. Accuracy, you see, can often be critically important in ways not immediately obvious to people who do not possess the necessary technical savvy.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:

Quantum mechanics in action is responsible for everything that occurs. Understanding quantum mechanics was not necessary for producing, as an example, steam engines. But quantum mechanics in action is necessary for causing them to function.


Volbrigade wrote:

...because of this. In your worldview, everything that exists, and happens, is simply the product of mindless, random, indifferent quantum mechanics.


Something like that. I am not a car salesman offering a better deal on a car. Things simply are what they are.

Volbrigade wrote:

And yet you merrily traipse along, talking about "importance" and "meaning(lessness)" and so forth, as if these things actually exist. When from your own "mouth" they simply cannot.


Humans do get to make decisions concerning their lives. Importance is simply an individual concept, however.

Volbrigade wrote:

You borrow these things from "my" worldview. Along with morality, ethics, values, principles, reason, and rationality.


Morality, ethics, values, principles, reason, and rationality are human contrivances and are important to humans for valid personal reasons. These concepts existed long before Jesus was born. Quantum mechanics did not create these concepts. Quantum mechanics IS responsible for the existence of the humans who created these concepts.

Volbrigade wrote:

Because you -- that is, "we", as in "none of us" -- can live without those items mentioned. Along with "hope", which may be the most important one.


There are various types of "hope." We all have our hopes. Many people maintain the "hope" that there is more to life after we die. Other people hold no such "hope." And seem to do just fine without it. Because there are reasonable hopes, and then there are fanciful hopes. Fanciful hopes clearly are NOT necessary for one to lead a perfectly happy and fulfilling life. Belief in Santa for example was a fanciful hope that I once held. But then I moved on from my fanciful beliefs as I matured. I am currently well past marure, and all the way to well seasoned. But I have managed just fine without my youthful fanciful beliefs.

Volbrigade wrote:

It reminds me of being in a college fraternity or something, which has "mystic" knowledge that only the initiated may have access to, and are sworn to secrecy regarding. And it's all very exiting to the young freshmen, who are encouraged -- sometimes strenuously -- to take it all seriously. But some of the wiser, knowing seniors come to understand it's really just a bunch of BS, that everyone agrees to pretend is important.


In science, the "initiated" are represented by those who have taken the time and trouble to attempt to keep up. Science isn't being kept secret. Mystic rituals inevitably involve some form of supernatural mumbo-jumbo. Whether or not an individual recognizes that mumbo-jumbo is in reality nothing but nonsense, quite often is contingent on whether or not that individual was raised to believe in the truth of mumbo-jumbo.

Volbrigade wrote:

So here is the "well-adjusted", well-meaning secularist, dutifully following the rules, watching his weight, his cholesterol, refraining from fornication with his neighbor's voluptuous wife, and buying season tickets to the local symphony. With various degrees of "happiness" (whatever that is) and self-satisfaction.


"Well-adjusted secularists" do not spend time beating themselves up over the "sin" of being born and having existence. It's an excellent starting point to being well adjusted.

I got to go to Disneyland for the the first time in 1958. I was 10, and was delirious with happiness. As it has turned out, I have experienced that feeling of joyful happiness numerous times over the course of my lifetime. Even on occasions when Disneyland wasn't involved.


Volbrigade wrote:

And here is the "senior": the secularist who says "it's all BS, boys. We're all just bags of chemicals, and our pattern of quantum foam will alter soon enough into a disassociated state. And none of it makes one bit of difference, by any rational standard -- and rationality itself is just a sort of illusion."


I am 68 years old, which makes me a senior by definition. What makes a difference to each of us is up to each of us to reconcile. Our rationality, admittedly, is limited by our senses. So we have invented tools to extend the ability of our senses to attain information. Information we use for the purposes of reasoning. Our senses (observation) and reason indicates that things are physically a certain way. Denying physical reality does not serve to change physical reality. Living in an entirely delusional state is possible. But observation indicates that delusional people can often be a threat to themselves and others around them. Most people would probably agree that living in a delusional state is not desirable. The controversy arises over defining just what delusional is. There are definitions however which can help to resolve that question.

Wikipedia
Delusion
A delusion is a belief that is held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion

Believing that a corpse came back to life and then subsequently flew away, for example, is a classic definition of a delusion. It also happens to be the core belief of most Christians. The recognition that life becomes increasing more simple the further back in time one investigates, on the other hand, is purely an observation.

Volbrigade wrote:

And he proceeds to do precisely what he pleases; whatever brings him pleasure; along with the money that it takes to buy those pleasures. Maybe "legally" (whatever that is, a bunch of rules made up by a bunch of other bags of chemicals), maybe not.

Or perhaps he simply says "this is all absurd", and like the character in Tolstoy, respectfully returns his ticket. I.e., swallows a bullet.

And you know that is simply the reality we face. And that neither the "freshman" nor the "senior" is "better" than the other, or "right" or "wrong". And if you disagree -- on
what basis do you disagree?


All you have done is present an unfounded generalization that may in some cases apply to believers and non believers alike, or may apply to neither. In fact, the above statement is the perfect example of a strawman construct. Essentially, it is simply more of your make believe view of reality.

Volbrigade wrote:

And if you can read the reality that I just described, and not think "but that's not the way it SHOULD be" -- then I submit that you SHOULD think that.


This is really the heart of the matter, isn't it! You have concluded that things should be the way you prefer them to be, because that is what serves to give you comfort.

Much as children prefer their favorite stories to end with "And they lived happily ever after." To that end you will construct an intricate reality in your imagination that suits to serve your emotional needs, and then you will fight to studiously maintain that illusion because it is what you prefer to believe. Many of us however are only interested in understanding how things really are. "Happily ever after" is not really a part of the equation.


Volbrigade wrote:

Because everything in your "psyche", or "mind" -- or whatever you want to call it; I prefer "soul" -- tells you that this life DOES have meaning, and things ARE important.

You could not live as a "well-adjusted" bag of chemicals, and expression of quantum foam, otherwise.

And here is part of the Good News:

It really DOES have meaning. It really IS important.

Each quanta of foam is fraught with meaning and importance.

That's because God DOES exist, and we are part of a cosmic drama that is outside the scope of our limited reality and knowledge. But it presses in on our reality at every
point.

Those with the most sensitivity to this fact are called, variously, "seers" or "mystics" or "prophets" or "saints".


You forgot to include voodoo priests, witch doctors, shamans, and Levite priests. And these sorts of religious medicine men have been selling their ancient superstitious mumbo-jumbo to the masses since before recorded history. Some of them even seem to have contrived to subscribed to their own nonsense. Many modern medicine men have made themselves incredibly wealthy peddling "prayer cloth," and the like to the gullible.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:

It is not the nature of the truth to be either friendly or unfriendly. Truth simply is whatever it is. And it must be discovered to be true. Declaring it to be true is meaningless.


Volbrigade wrote:

See what I mean?


That was poorly written on my part. What I meant to indicate was a thing is either true, or it is not. Declaring a thing to be true is meaningless unless physical evidence is
provided.

Volbrigade wrote:

Now here is an opportunity to move the conversation to untilled ground.

Leaving aside the obvious "what difference does it make whether someone has a skilled or unskilled job? Or whether America 'succeeds' or not?", and gleefully joining in with your fabrication of meaning, value, and purpose in a sea of indifferent quantum foam (because, as mentioned, I know those things actually DO exist, and don't have to pretend they do -- and so, in your heart of hearts, do you):

I'll be happy to move on to the the more practical matters of social/economic/political realities and policies.

In that vein, let me throw out a couple of things, which you can bat back over the net, if you so choose. This area is, obviously, huge. We could probably discuss it until our foam disassociates. Wink

Your complaint is that Christianity is responsible for America losing her "science mojo"?

You are 180 degrees out of phase with the truth, my friend.

It is the embrace or intellectual irrationality, which started with "God is dead", and quickly entered through the door of "so microbes must have become men", and the attendant cultural fatalism and nihilism associated with that fabrication, that is responsible for the woeful state of our culture, and the education/media/statist hegemony that perpetuates that woeful state.

A culture with no absolutes, that slaughters its babies on the altar of sexual promiscuity, and puts primacy on teaching "Heather has two mommies" over teaching the building blocks of science and math and language that are necessary to produce the scientists capable of colliding hadrons.

All of which -- the absolutes, and the building blocks -- were instilled into our education, when this country was still (nominally) "Christian" -- before the systematic jettisoning of our Judeo-Christian heritage, for a bunch of vague, secular, Whateverist nonsense.

You mention Europe? Why is Europe surging to the fore in science? (along with, arguably, China and India...).

For the same reason Soviet Russia was able to compete with America militarily -- the nuclear and space "races". Being a statist regime (in the case of the USSR, totalitarian), they were able to control the development of their scientific talent. Early on, the state determined the path of that development: i.e., "you, we will send the science academy; you, you are fit for the factory."

The statist governments of Europe, particularly northern Europe, have exercised a similar process for generations.

Much more so than in the USA, where we have cherished "individual autonomy", as a vestige of our J-C heritage. Only we have taken the absolutist fuel necessary for "well-adjusted" individual autonomy, and replaced it with the relativism that (because man is fallen), always follows the "gravitational pull" toward "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll."

What to do?

Become more like Europe of course.

Which is rapidly committing cultural suicide, with the infusion of hordes of barbarians who follow a perversion of Christianity in which there is no grace, no forgiveness, and no Jesus.

More later...?


If I may summarize here, what you seem to be saying is that the U.S. in in danger of losing its technological and scientific edge, essentially, because that is God's judgement on America for banning prayer from the schools and turning it's back on God, and the fact that efforts to teach that dinosaurs and humans walked the earth together and the like as valid science has nothing to do with the decline. Is that about right?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 104: Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:53 pm
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[Replying to Tired of the Nonsense]

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Volbrigade wrote:

And yet you merrily traipse along, talking about "importance" and "meaning(lessness)" and so forth, as if these things actually exist. When from your own "mouth" they simply cannot.



Humans do get to make decisions concerning their lives. Importance is simply an individual concept, however.


Exactly.

And since a consistent application of your worldview means that things such as reason, rationality, morality, importance and meaning have no absolute, objective standard, then they are simply what each individual decides for themselves.

Which, of course, will be determined by what’s popular, expedient, attractive, agreed upon. Or what the person or group with the most arms, and best ability to use them, wants or likes or "decides for themselves". And will then be programmed into the individual, and enforced formally by laws and guns, and informally be peer pressure.

None of which can be said to adhere to any standard of “truth”, because there is no truth with regard to the items mentioned. Quantum foam, you might say, produces everything there is. EXCEPT for objective, absolute truth regarding such things as meaning, morality, and importance.

Those are merely concepts, which themselves are merely vibrations which occur solely in the brains of one troublesome species on one lonely planet.

A species known for killing each other and other species for pleasure, and soiling its own nest.

Those are the unpleasant facts, according to your stated beliefs.

Another one is that it doesn’t make any difference, anyway. Which is such an encompassing reality, that it is apparent that you are unable to grasp it. I find it humorous that your response to “what difference does it make if we have GPS?”, amounts to “we wouldn’t have GPS”.

I also find it humorous that you characterize as a “straw man” arguement my pointing out that shooting a man in the street for no reason, and administering first aid to that same man (i.e., living a “well-adjusted” secular life, or living the life of a self-gratifying exploitative monster) are morally equivalent actions, if all there is is quantum foam. And then proceed to present, for the umpteenth time, your tiresome “flying corpse” straw man.

But then, such inconsistency and incoherency are perfectly consistent and coherent within the context of a belief system in which there are no absolutes: merely the belief that the constant change of quantum foam can make dirt come to life, and turn that living dirt into microbiologists and quantum physicists over time.

All of which is simply absurd. Humorous (in an ironic, melancholy way) — but absurd.

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Volbrigade wrote:

And if you can read the reality that I just described, and not think "but that's not the way it SHOULD be" -- then I submit that you SHOULD think that.



This is really the heart of the matter, isn't it! You have concluded that things should be the way you prefer them to be, because that is what serves to give you comfort.


How wrong can you be?

I am simply pointing out what SHOULD be obvious:

If we live in a world where a woman nursing a baby, and a man splitting that woman and baby in two with an axe, are equivalent actions according to the only “standard” that exists, indifferent and mindless quantum foam:

Then it is proper for us to say “that’s not the way it SHOULD be!”

And we do. Because it is NOT the way it should be.

Because it is not the way it is. We live in a world that is governed by laws: natural, and moral.

And that is because there is a Law-giver. We call Him “YHWH”.

And He created quantum foam.

Quote:
If I may summarize here, what you seem to be saying is that the U.S. in in danger of losing its technological and scientific edge, essentially, because that is God's judgement on America for banning prayer from the schools and turning it's back on God, and the fact that efforts to teach that dinosaurs and humans walked the earth together and the like as valid science has nothing to do with the decline. Is that about right?


Close enough for government work.

There’s quite a bit more to it than that. We’ll see if the ever-changing pattern of quantum foam that comprises your brain, and the thoughts within it, arranges itself into a pattern of recognition of that “quite a bit more”. It’s possible, given enough time.

But time is finite, my friend… Wink

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 105: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:50 pm
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Volbrigade wrote:

And since a consistent application of your worldview means that things such as reason, rationality, morality, importance and meaning have no absolute, objective standard, then they are simply what each individual decides for themselves.

Who, exactly, has an 'absolute, objective standard'? How can it be shown (not just claimed) to be absolute and objective?

What individuals are independent of the societies in which they live?

Volbrigade wrote:

Which, of course, will be determined by what’s popular, expedient, attractive, agreed upon. Or what the person or group with the most arms, and best ability to use them, wants or likes or "decides for themselves". And will then be programmed into the individual, and enforced formally by laws and guns, and informally be peer pressure.

That is how the world operates – whether 'gods' are worshiped or not.

Volbrigade wrote:

None of which can be said to adhere to any standard of “truth”, because there is no truth with regard to the items mentioned. Quantum foam, you might say, produces everything there is. EXCEPT for objective, absolute truth regarding such things as meaning, morality, and importance.

I agree.

Then someone comes along waving a book and claims to know 'Absolute Truth and Morality' after reading what was written by ancient storytellers. When asked to substantiate their claims, they wave the book higher, make emotional appeals, and perhaps claim personal information directly given them by supernatural entities – none of which can be shown to be anything more than overworked imagination and emotion.

Volbrigade wrote:

Those are merely concepts, which themselves are merely vibrations which occur solely in the brains of one troublesome species on one lonely planet.

A species known for killing each other and other species for pleasure, and soiling its own nest.

Those are the unpleasant facts, according to your stated beliefs.

There is evidence that humans kill one another – including killing by those who claim to represent 'gods', and claim to have superior morals. So what?

Volbrigade wrote:

I also find it humorous that you characterize as a “straw man” arguement my pointing out that shooting a man in the street for no reason, and administering first aid to that same man (i.e., living a “well-adjusted” secular life, or living the life of a self-gratifying exploitative monster) are morally equivalent actions, if all there is is quantum foam.

Readers will decide for themselves whether shooting someone and rendering first aid to someone are 'morally equivalent actions' – regardless whether any of the 'gods' have anything to say in the matter.

I truly appreciate Theists making this kind of 'arguments' to support their cause. Carry on.

Volbrigade wrote:

And then proceed to present, for the umpteenth time, your tiresome “flying corpse” straw man.

The 'flying copse' isn't a straw man – that is a mainstay of Christianity. Without tales of a reanimated corpse flying into the sky, the icon of Christianity is just another wandering preacher who got himself executed for bucking authorities.

Volbrigade wrote:

But then, such inconsistency and incoherency are perfectly consistent and coherent within the context of a belief system in which there are no absolutes:

Do there exist belief systems in which there ARE absolutes? (Absolute is defined as: a value or principle that is regarded as universally valid or that may be viewed without relation to other things. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/absolute

If so, kindly identify the belief systems and the absolutes they provide.

Volbrigade wrote:

merely the belief that the constant change of quantum foam can make dirt come to life, and turn that living dirt into microbiologists and quantum physicists over time.

All of which is simply absurd. Humorous (in an ironic, melancholy way) — but absurd.

Does dirt to man become TRUTH if ancient storytellers said that one of the 'gods' did it?

Does a rib become woman if storytellers say so?

Volbrigade wrote:

If we live in a world where a woman nursing a baby, and a man splitting that woman and baby in two with an axe, are equivalent actions according to the only “standard” that exists, indifferent and mindless quantum foam:

Perhaps those who fixate on 'mindless quantum foam' have difficulty comprehending that many who do not adhere to religious beliefs are capable of making distinctions WITHOUT assistance from 'gods', preachers and 'holy' books.

Volbrigade wrote:

Then it is proper for us to say “that’s not the way it SHOULD be!”

And we do. Because it is NOT the way it should be.

Because it is not the way it is. We live in a world that is governed by laws: natural, and moral.

We live in a world that is governed by laws made by human societies.

Some of the laws may be regarded as being 'moral' or 'immoral' depending on who is asked.

Volbrigade wrote:

And that is because there is a Law-giver. We call Him “YHWH”.

That is known as a CLAIM, which in debate, requires substantiation if challenged. I challenge the claim.

Volbrigade wrote:

And He created quantum foam.

Challenge again.

Volbrigade wrote:

Quote:

If I may summarize here, what you seem to be saying is that the U.S. in in danger of losing its technological and scientific edge, essentially, because that is God's judgement on America for banning prayer from the schools and turning it's back on God, and the fact that efforts to teach that dinosaurs and humans walked the earth together and the like as valid science has nothing to do with the decline. Is that about right?


Close enough for government work.

Perhaps 'God' has decided to favor nations with the greatest number of resident Christians (after the US falls from favor). Here they are in order:

Brazil 183,833,831 90.0% Roman Catholicism
Mexico 111,997,864 92.0% Roman Catholicism
Nigeria 88,965,407 49.0% Protestantism
Russia 88,017,892 61.8% Eastern Orthodoxy
Philippines 85,848,620 85.0% Roman Catholicism
Democratic Republic of the Congo 73,183,875 92.2% Roman Catholicism
Ethiopia 63,658,124 64.0% Oriental Orthodoxy
Italy 51,339,750 83.0% Roman Catholicism
Germany 50,938,277 63.0% Protestantism
http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/which-countries-have-the-most-christians-arou...

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 106: Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:57 pm
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[Replying to post 105 by Zzyzx]

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Who, exactly, has an 'absolute, objective standard'? How can it be shown (not just claimed) to be absolute and objective?


We all do.

It's called "The Word of God".

If it's true, then it is self-evident that it the ultimate, absolute standard.

If it is not true -- i.e., if everything is the product of the vibrations and changes of eternal quantum foam, then we have to manufacture our own standards -- individually, culturally, what have you.

But since those standards are not, and cannot be, absolute, objective, or ultimate --

and since the quantum foam, being mindless, don't care --

then standards for morality and meaning are themselves amoral and meaningless. Arbitrary. "We have to perpetuate the species". Sez who? "We should be kind to one another". Sez who? "We should not use, exploit, or oppress each other. All people have worth, and possess 'unalienable rights'" Sez who?

Sez "someone", that's who. Some person or people.

Others may dispute those views. And there is no standard by which to determine who's "right" or who's "wrong" -- both of which are completely subjective, in non-theist world.

And appealing to readers of a message board does nor solve this dilemma.

This is so basic, and so self-evident, that I really don't know why I have to keep pointing it out.

It is obvious, if unprovable, that a standard DOES exist. I will concede that it is not as obvious that the Bible is the revelation of that standard.

But it is.


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Volbrigade wrote:

Which, of course, will be determined by what’s popular, expedient, attractive, agreed upon. Or what the person or group with the most arms, and best ability to use them, wants or likes or "decides for themselves". And will then be programmed into the individual, and enforced formally by laws and guns, and informally be peer pressure.


That is how the world operates – whether 'gods' are worshiped or not.



Exactly. I'm glad you recognize that.

Now. A question:

Are some nations "better" than others? Are some political systems better than others? Say, in a comparison between North Korea and the USA (or a European nation of your preference?)?

If your answer is "yes" -- by what standard do you judge one better than the other?

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Volbrigade wrote:

Those are merely concepts, which themselves are merely vibrations which occur solely in the brains of one troublesome species on one lonely planet.

A species known for killing each other and other species for pleasure, and soiling its own nest.

Those are the unpleasant facts, according to your stated beliefs.

There is evidence that humans kill one another – including killing by those who claim to represent 'gods', and claim to have superior morals. So what?



So this is the point:

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Volbrigade wrote:

And yet you merrily traipse along, talking about "importance" and "meaning(lessness)" and so forth, as if these things actually exist. When from your own "mouth" they simply cannot.



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Volbrigade wrote:

And then proceed to present, for the umpteenth time, your tiresome “flying corpse” straw man.


The 'flying copse' isn't a straw man – that is a mainstay of Christianity.


That statement is a (I'll let you choose which of the following you prefer):

misunderstanding
mischaracterization
misrepresentation
falsehood
canard
untruth
lie

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 107: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:55 am
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[Replying to Volbrigade]

Volbrigade wrote:

And since a consistent application of your worldview means that things such as reason, rationality, morality, importance and meaning have no absolute, objective standard, then they are simply what each individual decides for themselves.

Which, of course, will be determined by what’s popular, expedient, attractive, agreed upon. Or what the person or group with the most arms, and best ability to use them, wants or likes or "decides for themselves". And will then be programmed into the individual, and enforced formally by laws and guns, and informally be peer pressure.


Reason remains reason and rationality remains rationality. The only absolute standard of morality however are the ones that a majority consensus of humans agree on. As an example, for most of human history slavery was simply a fact of life. And then about 200 years ago that consensus opinion began to change. Now slavery is overwhelmingly considered immoral and has been outlawed around the world. I consider that to be a good thing, and I am in the consensus majority on that that opinion. Slavery itself did not change however. It's still just an event. And it still occurs surreptitiously, except that now it is considered repugnant and illegal. What has changed is majority opinion.

What we notice is that there IS NO absolute moral standard of morality. If there was, then slavery would still be practiced. Because the God of the Bible whom you believe is the source of absolute morality, condoned slavery in the Bible as perfectly natural and moral. And even set rules for the practice of slavery. We humans however are perfectly capable of moving beyond those ancient standards of morality, and aspire to new and higher standards of morality. If slavery was actually an absolute standard of morality established by God, we could not have succeeded in almost entirely eliminating it from the world. But slavery was simply a system that benefitted those in ancient times who happened to be in power. And so they justified it and codified it into their ancient book of superstitious beliefs. We have moved beyond that ancient book of superstitious beliefs however. We are perfectly capable of aspiring to a better and higher level of morality then the one found in that ancient book of superstitious beliefs. And of course there are always those who would seek to drag us right back into ancient ignorance and practices.

Volbrigade wrote:

Which, of course, will be determined by what’s popular, expedient, attractive, agreed upon. Or what the person or group with the most arms, and best ability to use them, wants or likes or "decides for themselves". And will then be programmed into the individual, and enforced formally by laws and guns, and informally be peer pressure.

None of which can be said to adhere to any standard of “truth”, because there is no truth with regard to the items mentioned. Quantum foam, you might say, produces everything there is. EXCEPT for objective, absolute truth regarding such things as meaning, morality, and importance.


The best standard of truth is that which can be observed to be true. Anything else is an assumption. The best standard of morality has always been the golden rule. And still is.

Volbrigade wrote:

Those are merely concepts, which themselves are merely vibrations which occur solely in the brains of one troublesome species on one lonely planet.


Morality is a concept, yes. But the cooperation among humans it engenders provides many obvious long term survival advantages.

Volbrigade wrote:

A species known for killing each other and other species for pleasure, and soiling its own nest.


Humans aren't the only species that kills for sport. We are the one species that we know of however, that has a concept of how simply killing for sport depletes resources and can eventually work to put our own survival at risk.

Volbrigade wrote:

Another one is that it doesn’t make any difference, anyway. Which is such an encompassing reality, that it is apparent that you are unable to grasp it. I find it humorous that your response to “what difference does it make if we have GPS?”, amounts to “we wouldn’t have GPS”.


Without all of the requirements necessary to produce and maintain high technology, we wouldn't have high technology. And only high technology is going to feed the exploding population of humans. And then of course there is medical science to consider.

Volbrigade wrote:

But then, such inconsistency and incoherency are perfectly consistent and coherent within the context of a belief system in which there are no absolutes: merely the belief that the constant change of quantum foam can make dirt come to life, and turn that living dirt into microbiologists and quantum physicists over time.

All of which is simply absurd. Humorous (in an ironic, melancholy way) — but absurd.


If I am not mistaken, it is an intrinsic part of your belief system that the first human was magically CREATED from dirt.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:

This is really the heart of the matter, isn't it! You have concluded that things should be the way you prefer them to be, because that is what serves to give you comfort.


Volbrigade wrote:

How wrong can you be?


Your belief system promises you an eternity of life in paradise, a reunion with your deceased loved ones, and the forgiveness of all of your perceived sins. It also promises to protect you from being forced to suffer through an eternity of pain and suffering. Is it your honest statement now that believing this is has no effect on causing you great relief and comfort?

Volbrigade wrote:

If we live in a world where a woman nursing a baby, and a man splitting that woman and baby in two with an axe, are equivalent actions according to the only “standard” that exists, indifferent and mindless quantum foam:


In your worldview, this sort of action is perfectly justifed as along as a religious shamen declares it to be God's will. In my worldview, these sorts of actions are not justified under ANY circumstances, period. Quantum mechanics (the universe at large) does not have a worldview.

Volbrigade wrote:

Then it is proper for us to say “that’s not the way it SHOULD be!”


Just as we (majority consensus) have decided that slavery is not the way things should be. This in total contradiction to the rules and practices established by the Bible. Majority consensus can be a powerful force as long as it can be maintained.

Volbrigade wrote:

And that is because there is a Law-giver. We call Him “YHWH”.


YHWH also gave us deformed babies, and slavery. Among various other things.

Volbrigade wrote:

And He created quantum foam.


Quantum foam is a descriptive term used to conceptualize the process by which energy interacts with itself. If YHWH was necessary to create energy in the first place, then by the same rule of logic YHWH necessarily must have been created in the first place as well. I nominate Popeye for the job. How did Popeye go about creating YHWH? He ate his spinach of course. And where did Popeye get the spinach? He created it with a word. All very neat and tidy. Of course, all of this must be imagined to be true, since NONE of it is obvious. But since this is an exercise of "make it up and declare it to be true," why let that stop us?

Volbrigade wrote:

There’s quite a bit more to it than that. We’ll see if the ever-changing pattern of quantum foam that comprises your brain, and the thoughts within it, arranges itself into a pattern of recognition of that “quite a bit more”. It’s possible, given enough time.

But time is finite, my friend…


Upon what do you base THAT claim?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 108: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:25 pm
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What we notice is that there IS NO absolute moral standard ofmorality. If there was, then slavery would still be practiced. Because the God of the Bible whom you believe is the source of absolute morality, condoned slavery in the Bible as perfectly natural and moral.


Wrong.

Slavery was a reality, a fact of life, in the ancient world. Of course The Bible mentions it.

And it exists today, under the guise of “wage slavery” that is the reason Wal-Mart is “the world’s largest company”, according to "Fortune". Not to mention more direct forms of slavery that are virulent, including sex trafficking.

I won’t get side-tracked on the “according to what you believe, there is no absolute standard by which to decry this.” But it is true.

The Bible does not “condone” slavery, simply because it mentions it.

You might just as well say it “condones” gang rape, both homosexual and heterosexual varieties, because of Genesis 19 and Judges 19.

The Bible is hard-hitting in describing the depths of depravity involved with man’s decision to “go it alone” — to choose his way’s over God’s “Way”.

Has ever occurred to you that even the Bible’s “heroes” — with one notable exception, arguably two (Jesus, of course; and Joseph, who is a “type” of Jesus) — are “warts and all”? Feet of clay, massive character defects? Even the 12 Patriarchs (actually, 13 — an interesting study) — with the exception of Joseph, and arguably Benjamin — were, to be purposely euphemistic, “sorry sumb*tches”. And the 12 Apostles were a generally sorry lot, in many ways — “I’ll be greater than you in the Kingdom”, etc.

I don’t think the books that comprise the Bible get enough credit for this unwavering clear-eyedness, and unapologetic objectivity. Most of the Kings of Israel and Judah are presented as rascals, knaves, and worse. David, a “man after God’s how heart”, is a philanderer, adulterer, and murderer. But, importantly — a repentant one.

To say The Bible condones slavey rather carelessly overlooks that God’s chosen people were rescued from slavery.

Slavery was the major source of labor in antiquity. Slave labor was obtained through conquest, but also through economic necessity. It wasn’t as if a laborer in, say, rural Italy could say “I hear the job market is better over in Tyre…”, or somesuch. People often sold themselves into slavery, as a means of security. Sometimes slaves were treated quite well, even as members of the family. It was not uncommon, in some cultures, for slaves to purchase or otherwise earn their freedom.

The important thing is that God did not institute slavery, as he did marriage.

It came about as a result of our fallen condition.

But God did institute strict rules regarding the institution: a slave must be offered his freedom after 7 years (many refused the offer, preferring to remain in the service of a good and loving “master”). Slaves were not to be mistreated. Paul’s letter to Philemon is an outstanding example of, and template for, the follower of Christ’s attitude toward slavery. As was his injunction that in Christ, there is neither “male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave or free.” But all are ONE in Christ, with the overarching Law being the Law of Love.

And let’s please remember who some of the strongest and most ardent opponents of slavery, and abolitionists, were in our own country (USA) — Christians. The same in Britain.

It is also worth noting that the chief crime involved with American slavery was not slavery itself. It was kidnapping. And the chief kidnappers were rival African tribes, and Muslim slave traders. The American and European slave traders and traffickers were accessories to that kidnapping. And kidnapping, under Mosaic Law, is a capital offense.



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Volbrigade wrote:

And He created quantum foam.



Quantum foam is a descriptive term used to conceptualize the process by which energy interacts with itself. If YHWH was necessary to create energy in the first place, then by the same rule of logic YHWH necessarily must have been created in the first place as well. I nominate Popeye for the job. How did Popeye go about creating YHWH? He ate his spinach of course. And where did Popeye get the spinach? He created it with a word. All very neat and tidy. Of course, all of this must be imagined to be true, since NONE of it is obvious. But since this is an exercise of "make it up and declare it to be true," why let that stop us?


Well that’s certainly very silly.

For anything to exist at all, there has to be something that is “uncaused”. Because everything that has a beginning must have a cause.

Therefore, there must be an “uncaused cause”: something that does not have a beginning, has always existed, is eternal.

For you, that something is mindless, unguided “quantum foam”.

I, along with every other theist, say “No. Quantum foam has a “cause”. It was created by an eternally existing Mind, with will and purpose".

The Bible declares Him to be “YHWH”, not Popeye. Not the flying spaghetti monster. And if you want the fullest expression of YHWH:

you find Him in Jesus Christ.

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Volbrigade wrote:

There’s quite a bit more to it than that. We’ll see if the ever-changing pattern of quantum foam that comprises your brain, and the thoughts within it, arranges itself into a pattern of recognition of that “quite a bit more”. It’s possible, given enough time.

But time is finite, my friend…



Upon what do you base THAT claim?


Well, I base it on the fact that every human being who has ever lived, so far, has died. So — with one notable exception — their time has come to an end, with regard to their self-awareness and consciousness.

And time itself had a beginning. It began, along with the creation of matter and space.

We know these things had a beginning, because if the universe were infinitely old, it would be uniformly cold — all heat having travelled to cold.

And we know that time and space are inexorably intertwined, thanks to the work of Dr. Einstein and others. That time is a physical property, affected by mass, gravity, velocity, and other factors.

What do I base the “end of time” on?

That God has promised to bring this space-time continuum to an end. That there will be a “new heaven, and new earth”, free from the possibility of sin.

That is my belief.

You are free to disagree.

It is part of my belief that those eternal beings that have accepted the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ will populate that “new heaven and earth” in perfect harmony with the God that created it, and them.

And the entrance to that eternal realm occurs when the spiritual “software” that is you, is no longer connected with the 4D, physical “hardware” of this material plane of existence. No longer is tied to the “quantum foam”, if you will.

We are all “eternal creatures”. We have a choice where to spend eternity.

And the steady beat of your heart is all that stands between you — any of of us — and our eternal destiny…

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 109: Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:24 am
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Tired of the Nonsense wrote:

What we notice is that there IS NO absolute moral standard of morality. If there was, then slavery would still be practiced. Because the God of the Bible whom you believe is the source of absolute morality, condoned slavery in the Bible as perfectly natural and moral.


Volbrigade wrote:

Wrong.

Slavery was a reality, a fact of life, in the ancient world. Of course The Bible mentions it.

And it exists today, under the guise of “wage slavery” that is the reason Wal-Mart is “the world’s largest company”, according to "Fortune". Not to mention more direct forms of slavery that are virulent, including sex trafficking.

I won’t get side-tracked on the “according to what you believe, there is no absolute standard by which to decry this.” But it is true.

The Bible does not “condone” slavery, simply because it mentions it.

You might just as well say it “condones” gang rape, both homosexual and heterosexual varieties, because of Genesis 19 and Judges 19.

The Bible is hard-hitting in describing the depths of depravity involved with man’s decision to “go it alone” — to choose his way’s over God’s “Way”.



Exodus 21
20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result,
21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

26"If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye.
27"And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.…

Lev.22:
11"But if a priest buys a slave as his property with his money, that one may eat of it, and those who are born in his house may eat of his food."


The Bible sets SOME restrictions, at least, on the manner in which a master might abuse his property.

What the Bible, the very word of God, according to believers, DOES NOT DO is prohibit, condemn or IN ANY WAY IMPLY, that slavery is wrong or immoral. Humankind has made that leap of morality entirely WITHOUT any prompting or encouragement from the Biblical God.

Volbrigade wrote:

Has ever occurred to you that even the Bible’s “heroes” — with one notable exception, arguably two (Jesus, of course; and Joseph, who is a “type” of Jesus) — are “warts and all”? Feet of clay, massive character defects? Even the 12 Patriarchs (actually, 13 — an interesting study) — with the exception of Joseph, and arguably Benjamin — were, to be purposely euphemistic, “sorry sumb*tches”. And the 12 Apostles were a generally sorry lot, in many ways — “I’ll be greater than you in the Kingdom”, etc.


It has indeed occurred to me that many of these guys were not in fact very nice people. Has it occurred to you that these same not very nice people were the SOURCE behind the stories that you believe in so readily and trustingly?

Peter is one of my favorite examples. The Catholic church refers to Peter as the "prince of heaven." Peter was a violent man who carried a sword and was prepared to use it... if the odds were in his favor. Peter, the great ear slayer ready to fiercely take on an unarmed servant but who, when faced with actual ARMED guards, ran like a dog and repeatedly denied that he even KNEW Jesus. And then of course there was the whole murder/extortion of Ananias and his wife Sapphira at the hands of Peter and his band of thugs for the crime of retaining some of their own money for themselves. Hard hitting depravity indeed.

And this is the same Peter whose stories told about Jesus to the author of Gospel Mark represent the basis for the three Synoptic Gospels, and therefore almost the entire basis for the story of Jesus.

Volbrigade wrote:

I don’t think the books that comprise the Bible get enough credit for this unwavering clear-eyedness, and unapologetic objectivity. Most of the Kings of Israel and Judah are presented as rascals, knaves, and worse. David, a “man after God’s how heart”, is a philanderer, adulterer, and murderer. But, importantly — a repentant one.

To say The Bible condones slavey rather carelessly overlooks that God’s chosen people were rescued from slavery.

Slavery was the major source of labor in antiquity. Slave labor was obtained through conquest, but also through economic necessity. It wasn’t as if a laborer in, say, rural Italy could say “I hear the job market is better over in Tyre…”, or somesuch. People often sold themselves into slavery, as a means of security. Sometimes slaves were treated quite well, even as members of the family. It was not uncommon, in some cultures, for slaves to purchase or otherwise earn their freedom.

The important thing is that God did not institute slavery, as he did marriage.

It came about as a result of our fallen condition.


Well we seem to have picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off, and have moved on to aspire to a better sense of morality than the one we find in the Bible.

Volbrigade wrote:

But God did institute strict rules regarding the institution: a slave must be offered his freedom after 7 years (many refused the offer, preferring to remain in the service of a good and loving “master”). Slaves were not to be mistreated. Paul’s letter to Philemon is an outstanding example of, and template for, the follower of Christ’s attitude toward slavery. As was his injunction that in Christ, there is neither “male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave or free.” But all are ONE in Christ, with the overarching Law being the Law of Love.


The seven year rule only applied to Hebrew slaves. Foreign slaves were property, and everything they owned, including their children, were property until they died. Slave owners were prohibited from murdering their slaves outright, but if they could be kept alive for a day or two after being cruelly abused, then it was alright. According to God.

READ IT AGAIN!
Exodus 21
20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result,
21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.



Volbrigade wrote:

And let’s please remember who some of the strongest and most ardent opponents of slavery, and abolitionists, were in our own country (USA) — Christians. The same in Britain.


Abolitionists used appeals to God and Christianity to justify the abolishment of slavery, this is true. But the slave owners used the very passages in the Bible that were are now discussing to justify the continuation of slavery.

Volbrigade wrote:

It is also worth noting that the chief crime involved with American slavery was not slavery itself. It was kidnapping. And the chief kidnappers were rival African tribes, and Muslim slave traders. The American and European slave traders and traffickers were accessories to that kidnapping. And kidnapping, under Mosaic Law, is a capital offense.


Early in the American slave trade, white slavers attempted to go out into the bush and capture slaves. That particular method turned out very poorly for numerous slavers. It quickly became apparent that the safest way to acquire slaves for the slave trade was to buy captives from rival tribes.

Volbrigade wrote:

Well that’s certainly very silly.


Yes it is. Make it up and declare it to be true is invariably very silly.

Volbrigade wrote:

For anything to exist at all, there has to be something that is “uncaused”. Because everything that has a beginning must have a cause.


What can you name that has an uncaused beginning and also has physical observable reality?

Volbrigade wrote:

Therefore, there must be an “uncaused cause”: something that does not have a beginning, has always existed, is eternal.

For you, that something is mindless, unguided “quantum foam”.

I, along with every other theist, say “No. Quantum foam has a “cause”. It was created by an eternally existing Mind, with will and purpose".

The Bible declares Him to be “YHWH”, not Popeye. Not the flying spaghetti monster. And if you want the fullest expression of YHWH:

you find Him in Jesus Christ.


Centuries of direct observation and experimentation has shown without fail that energy can neither be created or destroyed. If this observation is correct then energy had no beginning and will have no end.

Jesus died 2,000 years ago, and like everyone else who lived 2,000 years ago, is still quite dead. This is also a matter of direct observation.

Volbrigade wrote:

Well, I base it on the fact that every human being who has ever lived, so far, has died.


Undeniably true. All of the material that all of those people were composed existed prior to their conception, and then went on to be other things after they died.

Volbrigade wrote:

And time itself had a beginning. It began, along with the creation of matter and space.


Our universe seems to have begun at a particular moment in time, just as you began at a particular moment in time. But every part of what would become you existed for billions of years AT LEAST, prior to your conception. Everything that we observe is the result of something that occurred prior. Everything we observe concerning the nature of energy indicates that it cannot be created. Which emphatically implies that the big bang was the result of that which went before it. The observation that energy cannot be destroyed emphatically implies that no actual end is possible. Energy just keeps interacting with itself endlessly. Declaring a beginning, and declaring an ultimate end, serves no purpose.

Volbrigade wrote:

We know these things had a beginning, because if the universe were infinitely old, it would be uniformly cold — all heat having travelled to cold.


When energy spreads out and becomes diffuse it interacts with itself less and less. Everything becomes less active. This is what we call cold. When energy is in close proximity to itself it interacts with itself more and more. Everything speeds up. This is what we call heat. The universe was once compressed, and was once very hot. Currently the universe is expanding due to the momentum caused by the big bang. The original compression of the universe was the result of gravity. And gravity is still in operation. Don't give up on the effects of gravity.

Volbrigade wrote:

What do I base the “end of time” on?

That God has promised to bring this space-time continuum to an end. That there will be a “new heaven, and new earth”, free from the possibility of sin.

That is my belief.

You are free to disagree.


The idea of the end of days and final judgement go back to the second millennium BC and Zoroastrianism, making the concept 3,500 years old AT LEAST.

Last Judgment
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Judgment Day" redirects here. For other uses, see Last Judgment (disambiguation) and Judgment Day (disambiguation).

Stefan Lochner, Last Judgment, c. 1435. Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne
The Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Day of Judgment, Judgment Day, Doomsday, or The Day of the Lord (Hebrew Yom Ha Din) or in Arabic Yawm al-Qiyāmah (یوم القيامة) or Yawm ad-Din (یوم الدین) is part of the eschatological world view of the Abrahamic religions and in the Frashokereti of Zoroastrianism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Judgment

Wikipedia
Zoroastrianism

Renovation and judgment
Zoroastrianism also includes beliefs about the renovation of the world and individual judgment (cf. general and particular judgment), including the resurrection of the dead.
Individual judgment at death is by the Bridge of Judgment, which each human must cross, facing a spiritual judgment. Humans' actions under their free will determine the outcome. One is either greeted at the bridge by a beautiful, sweet-smelling maiden or by an ugly, foul-smelling old woman. The maiden leads the dead safely across the bridge to the Amesha Spenta Good Mind, who carries the dead to paradise. The old woman leads the dead down a bridge that narrows until the departed falls off into the abyss of hell.[75]

Zoroastrian hell is reformative; punishments fit the crimes, and souls do not rest in eternal damnation. Hell contains foul smells and evil food, and souls are packed tightly together although they believe they are in total isolation.[75]

In Zoroastrian eschatology, a 3,000-year struggle between good and evil will be fought, punctuated by evil's final assault. During the final assault, the sun and moon will darken and humankind will lose its reverence for religion, family, and elders. The world will fall into winter, and Angra Mainyu's most fearsome miscreant, Azi Dahaka, will break free and terrorize the world.[75]

The final savior of the world, Saoshyant, will be born to a virgin impregnated by the seed of Zoroaster while bathing in a lake. Saoshyant will raise the dead – including those in both heaven and hell – for final judgment, returning the wicked to hell to be purged of bodily sin. Next, all will wade through a river of molten metal in which the righteous will not burn. Heavenly forces will ultimately triumph over evil, rendering it forever impotent. Saoshyant and Ahura Mazda will offer a bull as a final sacrifice for all time, and all humans will become immortal. Mountains will again flatten and valleys will rise; heaven will descend to the moon, and the earth will rise to meet them both.[75]
Humanity requires two judgments because there are as many aspects to our being: spiritual (menog) and physical (getig)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism#Renovation_and_judgment

It's been 3,500 years and counting. Zoroastrians have been reduced to a few tens of thousands, mostly living in India. 3,500 years is an awful long time to be DEAD WRONG. At some point insupportable faith becomes mindless foolishness. It seems like believers reasonably passed that point centuries ago.

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[Replying to post 6 by Volbrigade]

Quote:
But I think the body that was resurrected was a 4D manifestation of a hyperdimensional mode of existence — again, at a minimum. A cube, if you will, manifesting as a square in our reality — an allusion to the Flatland analogy, with which I think everyone is familiar (surely).

He could therefore do any of the things that a corporeal body could do — eat, drink; touch and be touched — but He was not limited to those physical acts; He could appear in an enclosed 6-sided space, without penetrating any of its sides.


If you're going to bring higher dimensions into this discussion, surely you can supply the required mathematics? I'm not a mathematician myself, but I am aware of others who are, who talk about dimensions greater in number than the 3 dimensions of space and the 1 of time that I am familiar with. Whenever they do, they tend to bring equations with them, to show their work. Shall we expect of you to do the same?

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