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Old 10-10-2012, 08:08 PM   #3201
Demon Wolf
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My daily Hitchens dose

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwiHkM126bk&sns=em

Some great stuff in there.
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sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #3202
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Originally Posted by Demon Wolf
My daily Hitchens dose

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwiHkM126bk&sns=em

Some great stuff in there.


One of Hitchen's greatest work is his talk on free speech. The problem with his religious debates and the like is that it's so sophomoric compared to what he's capable of.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:19 PM   #3203
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It's actually a Hitch clip I haven't seen. There can't be many of those.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:20 PM   #3204
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Originally Posted by willT08
It's actually a Hitch clip I haven't seen. There can't be many of those.


It is superb. Very relaxed and funny since it isn't a debate, more of a conversation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Hart
One of Hitchen's greatest work is his talk on free speech. The problem with his religious debates and the like is that it's so sophomoric compared to what he's capable of.


I have been watching a lot of his stuff lately but mostly his religious debates. I like them because he delivers a sharp observation or teaching even when faced with the most moronic questions.

And in the words of Bill Bailey

"Thank God for Darwin, eh?"
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Originally Posted by Ichikurosaki
sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"

Last edited by Demon Wolf : 10-10-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:28 PM   #3205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon Wolf
It is superb. Very relaxed and funny since it isn't a debate, more of a conversation.
Actually mate, judging by the camera angles and what he's wearing, isn't this the talk where he says "Religion should be treated with hatred and contempt"? It may not be, but if it is I wouldn't categorize it as relaxed
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #3206
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Relaxed as in no heated debate, just Hitchens laying down the hammer on stuff.

Favourite bit was his anecdote about his old school teacher (Nice lady, silly old trout...) and how he after hearing her say "the trees are green because its a nice color and whoever created them must've thought of that" just went "That's bullshit!"

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sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:02 AM   #3207
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Originally Posted by darkstar2466
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Originally Posted by FrenchyFungus
It's inevitable (following only the NT and ignoring the OT is picking and choosing).
^ trudat Frenchy.

If you're gonna follow anything as the ultimate truth (like a book, for example), you better follow it to the tee. Otherwise you're swimming in hypocrisy.

One can then ask on what basis a Christian picks and chooses the verses to follow. If this basis exists separately from the Bible, then it is clear that morality is not derived from the Bible.

Precisely, couldn't have put it better myself.
But it's interesting to note that Jesus apparently said "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17)... which I think can only realisticaly be interpreted as Jesus instructing people to continue to follow the OT.
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I see, but then that brings me back to my question (Although now I'm not so sure what it is I'm looking for in an answer) which is where it leaves the aspect of picking and choosing? Because surely at some point when you find two verses that directly contradict each other, you'd pick one over the other?

Well, normally, yes, but Christians have two more choices, they can either consider that God can do anything, even the impossible, so contradictions don't really count, or they can attempt to re-write history and try to make both versions work together.

Let's consider the problem of the date of Jesus' birth in the Gospels for example, the Gospel of Matthew states that he was born during the reign of Herod the Great, who is recorded as dying in 4BC, but the Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was born during the Census of Quirinius, which historicaly started in 6AD with the appointment of Publius Sulpicius Quirinius as the governor of Syria, 10 years after the death of Herod the Great. They can't both be true, unless of course Jesus was born twice, at least 10 years apart.

So how do Christians get around this? Well, they usualy just consider that Quirinius must have arranged an earlier census to the one recorded in the history books.

The problem with that is that the life and career of Quirinius is quite well documented by Tacitus, who is considered as the most trustable source on Roman history and who has him serving as governor of Galatia, which was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia in modern day Turkey, during the time that the Christians would have him arranging the census in the province of Syria. (His actual title at this time was 'legatus propraetor' of Galacia, which is basicaly a military leader that has been given the power of governorship over a province, usualy an unruly and rebelious province that reqires a firm approach, which the local tribe in Galacia, known as the 'Homonadenses', certainly required by all accounts) And to add to that, it was completely illegal under Roman law for any governor to be involved in the politics of any province but their own. (Roman provinces were kept small and politicaly isolated from each other to prevent any governors from holding too much power or combining their powers and possibly becoming a threat to Rome itself.... totaly paranoid but strategicaly brilliant.)

We also know that no Roman census ever required people to travel to the place of their ancestors, as the Gospel of Luke states. Any Roman census required people to stay at home, the place where they normaly 'lived'. Even tradespeople who's job required them to travel were ordered to stay at home until the census had passed. They advised such people to "tend to their gardens" or in other words, 'grow crops', so that their families wouldn't starve while the breadwinner stayed at home waiting for the census to pass by.
Having people traveling to the places of their ancestors would be absolute insanity because the whole purpose of the Roman census was simply to find out who lives where in order to tax them. What would be the point of traveling from Nazereth to Bethlehem just to tell the Bethlehem authorities your address back home in Nazereth when Nazereth had it's own authorities that you could tell this to?
And speaking of taxes, we know that Herod maintained his own independent tax regime, which, as Rome's client king, he paid the Romans out of, so there would be no reason for a Roman census in the area during his reign anyway.

But, to many Christians, none of this evidence matters, they simply maintane that the records and history books must be wrong and that Quirinius must somehow have arranged a census in the province of Syria while simultaniously fighting off the Homonadenses tribe about 700 miles away during Herod's reign because they just cannot concieve of two of the gospels directly contradicting each other in this way.

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Originally Posted by Jehannum
Slacker ... I accept your argument. I would say that it's important that someone studies religion even if it's just to unearth things like the origins of the Noah's Ark story. Someone like you, that is.

I think I committed the failing of generalising my laziness and my antipathy toward religion to all atheists. My solution to limited brainpower is to learn just enough about something that I can dismiss it. The list of dismissable things is long for me. Astrology, homeopathy, spiritualism, telepathy and so on.

It is a selfish solution because it doesn't increase the sum total of knowledge of humanity in any way. It just means I can play more guitar or masturbate more (some would say they're the same thing) than if I spent that time learning about religion.

I suppose it boils down to the fact that, for me, religion is of no use or interest if it is not true and I've already settled that argument with myself.
I see what you're saying, but just because something isn't true doesn't make it useless or of no interest. Sometimes whether or not something is true is beside the point.

For example, many Crusaders believed that they found the lance that pierced the side of Christ, and it was the subject of many miracles. But when studying the Crusaders or the era, or the Crusades in general or just holy relics in general, whether or not it was a supernatural item or whether or not it actually did touch Christ doesn't matter. They believed that it did and it affected the beliefs and actions of people.

Same thing with studying religion. It doesn't matter that it's true or not, what matters is that most people do believe it's true.

Exactly, well put rockingamer2.
Y'see Jehannum, it's not a case of studying religion for religion's sake, it's more a case of studying the people of particular eras and what influenced their thoughts and actions, and if one thing can be said about religion, it certainly influences people's thoughts and actions, especialy in ancient times when there were very few atheists.

Incidently, did you know that your own username has religious connotations? 'Jehannum' is the Islamic equivalent to Hell.

The term comes from the Hebrew word 'Gehenna', which was originally derived from the name of one of the two principal valleys surrounding the old city of Jerusalem, known as 'Gai Ben-Hinnom', which literally means "Valley of the son of Hinnom". (Unfortunately, nobody knows who the f*ck Hinnom was, it's lost to history, but considering that his son had a vally named after him, he was probably the father of a great hero or warrior)



Garbage from inside the walled city was burned outside the walls there, but in more ancient times, (pre-Judaism) it is believed that children were sacrificed there by throwing them into the fires of furnaces built to resemble the Canaanite god 'Molech'.



Apparently, Canaanite priests would bang on drums so that fathers would not hear the groans of their children being sacrificed, so the whole place really does inspire a pretty horrific imagry.

For this reason, the place of punishment within the 'Jewish underworld' ('Sheol') was named 'Gehenna', which is how the Islamic version of Hell came to be named Jehannum, because like Christianity, Islam was also derived from Judaism, which is why all three religions come under the single heading of 'Abrahamic' religion.
The connection with fire also helps to explain why 'Hell' is considered as a fiery place.

Also, notice the head of Molech in the illustration, it's a bull's head. Bull worship was actualy very common in many ancient cultures, particularly around the Middle East. The Apis Bull for example was an object of worship in Egypt and in the Book of Exodus (which follows the exploits of Moses and the Israelite slaves that had escaped from Egypt) while Moses is up a mountain recieving the 10 Commandments from God, the Israelites make a golden statue of a young bull (known as the Golden Calf) which was intended to be an image of God. Unfortunately, one of the 10 Commandments that Moses had just recieved was "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.", so when he saw the statue, Moses considered this as a great sin. (So did God apparently, he wanted to wipe 'em out but Moses convinced him to spare them.) Moses' reaction to this 'sin' was to first throw down the tablets upon which the Commandments had been written, breaking them, then he burnt the golden calf in a fire, ground it to powder, scattered it on water, and forced the Israelites to drink it.

Now, don't you find any of that to be at least slightly interesting?
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:46 AM   #3208
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Interesting stuff, cheers man
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sloth is hacking away feebly at the grass because he is a sloth but he was trying so hard ;_; hes all "penguin im HERE i am here to help you penguin"
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:26 AM   #3209
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Originally Posted by Demon Wolf
Interesting stuff, cheers man


Cheers bud, glad you liked it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:38 AM   #3210
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There's a parable at the back of the Lotus Sutra that says that if I study the book for 21 days without any distractions, this dude will turn up on a huge white elephant and tell everyone I'm awesome.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:45 AM   #3211
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you can't say something is impossible ,before you get to understand the truth of this world ,this universe,or this dimension,understand who we really are ,where we really come from,the Tao
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:56 AM   #3212
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Yes I can.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #3213
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Originally Posted by Goodathton
you can't say something is impossible ,before you get to understand the truth of this world ,this universe,or this dimension,understand who we really are ,where we really come from,the Tao

it's impossible to understand all that, I reject the notion completely!
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #3214
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Originally Posted by Goodathton
you can't say something is impossible ,before you get to understand the truth of this world ,this universe,or this dimension,understand who we really are ,where we really come from,the Tao


As a primate I disagree, there are a great many things that are impossible.

Slamming a revolving door, for example.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:44 PM   #3215
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Originally Posted by Todd Hart
As a primate I disagree, there are a great many things that are impossible.

Slamming a revolving door, for example.


All revolving doors are horrible, unsightly, and the cause of many head injuries to small children and absent minded adults! They're evil!

There. I just slammed every revolving door in the world.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:05 AM   #3216
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i think all the rising atheism/agnosticism has got something to do with lying to kids about santa claus

i mean there's got to be some connection
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:10 AM   #3217
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i think all the rising atheism/agnosticism has got something to do with lying to kids about santa claus

i mean there's got to be some connection

Are you suggesting that lying to kids about Santa Claus is a recent thing?
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:02 AM   #3218
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Originally Posted by Arthur Curry
i think all the rising atheism/agnosticism has got something to do with lying to kids about santa claus

i mean there's got to be some connection


I think it's more to do with the general cultural acceptence of the scientific method being a better way to aquire knowledge than the reading of ancient mythology.

Any form of deity is, by definition, a mythological being, because the standard definition of 'mythology' is a traditional story, usualy a sacred narrative and usually used to explain how the world or humankind came to be.

As Stephen Roberts once said
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

The reason why a religious person would dismiss other gods is because they consider them as mythological and therefore 'unreal'.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:12 PM   #3219
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he's joking, guys
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:49 PM   #3220
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Damnit, I hate talking to my Christian parents. Every single time I call, the conversation is going great until it's steered toward their faith. I think they've detected that I am not interested in it, so they've decided to talk about it even more, I guess to save me or something.

Many people here may not deal with christians as delusional as my parents. They believe that they are literally haunted by demons since my sister used to live there(she played with an ouija board at one point, which is apparently a gateway to Hell). They believe that, even though they are both suffering with serious medical conditions and have always had just a little more money than is required to survive, they are blessed by God. They literally have nothing more than someone on welfare, but they are blessed. Isn't that absurd?

And here's the kicker: my father is permanently disabled from debilitating injuries that he suffered over the course of 20+ years from HARD, MANUAL LABOR. He literally worked himself into permanent disability over the course of 20+ years. And somehow the fact that he gets barely enough money to survive from the government means that he's blessed. Never mind the fact that he has a permanent injury that will plague him for the rest of his life, which might actually be short pretty because of a serious heart condition which also plagues him.

Back to the haunting thing, both of them claim to see apparitions. They tell me stories of shadow figures and mysterious reflections in the mirror. They believe spirits talk to them in their sleep. Now, I'm not going to say this stuff is impossible, but it's really hard to take seriously given the complexities of the human mind. They've believed this stuff for many years, and supposedly it was going on when I was living there. The funny thing is that I don't remember anything like that. Their explanation for my lack of spiritual contact? That I am somehow less of a spiritual medium than they are.

Damn this shit drives me nuts. It's like talking to a 5 year old that wants to tell me about Santa Clause. All I can do is humor them. I can't say for sure how they would react if I were to tell them that I'm an atheist, but I'm guessing it would be even more unpleasant for me than it is now, unless I were to cut all ties with them.

This is just a rant, but I am wondering if anyone else has to deal with this? Or if you had to deal with it, what would you do? Not saying I want a solution for my problem, just curious.
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