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EVOLUTION - Page 3

User Thread
 38yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
WARNING!!! THIS IS LONG!!!

Like I said before, Aura, I'm definitely not scholarly on the subject of evolution. So I'm sorry if I don't know what I'm talking about and add opinions here and there from my uneducated mind. For me, taking the route of going to school to gain a better understanding of the topic is not an option. But, I would like to make an effort in understanding the theory of evolution and study it in my own time.

Would you happen to know of any books that would give me an oversight of the history and science of evolution? I've always wanted to pick up Darwin's books, but I would rather get a basic understanding of how evolution is considered to work today. I would also like to read about the discoveries and how the theory has changed since Darwin's time. If you know of any that would be great.

Whereas you have a basic understanding or formal education in the theory of evolution, my own personal study for the past few years now has been in religions, especially the Christian faith, as I am a Christian. I hope that you can hold to the advice you gave me, because as you know, being ignorant of any subject makes it hard to have a conversation on it. Opinions aside, (since we are all going to have opinions, one way or another) we must hold ourselves in a neutral state before drawing conclusions, that is, if we have not looked at all the facts. This is something I need to do more.

Aura wrote:
quote:
'I wouldn't be so quick to defend any religion (Christianity included) by 'logic,' and 'truth'. At some point those things become inapplicable because unless someone has met God, and that can be objectively confirmed, your logic and truth will eventually have to give way to faith (the opposite of logic) in order to keep believing what you do'

First off, we must all agree – and I mean everyone – that no one can know anything about God unless He has revealed Himself to us. Like Aura said above, 'unless someone has met God, and that can be objectively confirmed, your logic and truth will eventually have to give way to faith.'

It is a misconception that 'logic' and 'truth' become inapplicable when finding the absolute truth in any one religion. It is logical to believe that if one knows God, he/she must have met God, or God must have revealed Himself to him/her. If someone claims that they have met or talked to God, they must be tested. This is a hard thing to do – to test someone on how truthful they are – but here in America, as well as in many parts of the rest of the world, this happens every day in civil court. The many different religions can be tested in the same way to find their reliability, trustworthiness, and truthfulness. The fact is though, not many people will take the time to search them thoroughly.

Another misconception is that 'faith' is the opposite of logic, which is untrue. The act of 'faith' is more than merely the act of 'belief.' The act of faith is based on its object of faith. And to a rational person, that object must be trustworthy and true. Although it is typical for someone to believe in something supernatural blindly, this is only an exception. Having faith and trusting in something blindly gives you no reason to believe in that object at all, because you will have no reason or any facts as to whether it is true or not.

Aura stated:
quote:
' 'I just know it's the truth' or 'I feel that it is true' are more faith statements that truth statements.'

These statements are related to a person's faith, but to be more accurate, they are not 'faith statements.' They are only statements based off of emotions and feelings. The people who make these kinds of statements do not know why they're faith is true and cannot give examples to corroborate these statements. Plainly stated, this is just believing in something blindly. I don't think it is wrong to believe in something blindly; it takes a great deal of trust to put faith in something you know nothing about. But, it would be dangerous to do so if what you are believing is untrue. What if there were harsh consequences to believing in something that was not true?

Aura stated:
quote:
'In my opinion, the teachings of Buddhism – an eastern religion – is more logical and practical than Judaism, Christianity, and Islam...whose teachings, by the way, originate from the same texts – the Hebrew Scriptures. Common sense, eh? Those three religions are the source of some of history's biggest massacres (i.e. the Crusades) and political manipulation (i.e. the Papacy).'

Not to be a 'know-it-all', but I must point out that there are some mistakes in your last paragraph. Not all the teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam originate from the Hebrew texts. Judaism uses what you are calling the 'Hebrew Scriptures.' This is the Old Testament (as Christians call it). It contains the five books of Moses, books of Jewish history, Psalms and Proverbs, and the many books of the Prophets. Christians have the same books in their Bibles, plus the New Testament – which includes the four Gospels of Christ, Acts, letters from the apostles, and the book of Revelation - which was originally written in Greek. The people of Islam claim that their holy book, the Qur'an is copied from an original in Arabic, which is in Heaven. Although Judaism and Christianity share the Old Testament, Islam shares nothing. Islam claims that the Bible, is filled with contradictions and lies and do not specifically hold to it as God-inspired scripture, though they do share many beliefs about Abraham and the other prophets that come from the Old Testament. They do not hold that Christ was the chosen Messiah.

There is a view in the world that the beliefs of Christianity cannot be true because of all the horrible things that have been done in Christ's name. The ongoing opinion is: 'how can you believe in something that is supposedly good, that claims to be the truth, but has done so many horrible things?' This is just an excuse. Many people, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and atheists do horrible things on a daily basis. This has gone on throughout human history no matter what faith anyone took. Everyone has a right to choose what they want to do. Some choose to fight wars for non-noble causes, some don't. People don't want to realize that this has always been humanity at its finest.

Let's say a vacuum cleaner salesman comes to your door and tells you that the product he is selling is reliable and is the best on the market. You trust him and decide to buy one based on the facts he gave you, but when you decide to use it, it breaks down. This man told you this vacuum cleaner was reliable, but it's not. Does that make all vacuum salesmen liars? Does that make them all untrustworthy? No! The only fact is that there was one person out of the many representatives of vacuum sales that wasn't doing what he should have been doing. Not all representatives of a specific organization are going to do what's right, all the time. You all know this. So it's not fair to say that all representatives of Christ are going to do what's right all the time. Even Christ knows this. That's why we're imperfect as human beings. Christ predicted that there would be wars and all sorts of bad things carried out in his name.

What I meant by "common sense" is, those in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have the same kind of common sense logic that the majority of people have -- like those in the U.S. When it comes to viewing the world, "what you see is what you get." And we know that for there to be a God, and for us to have any kind of knowledge or information about Him, we must have seen, and talked to Him. Isn't that "common sense"? (what I mean by having "common sense" is: having knowledge of the "real" world)

The Crusades and the Papacy are the result of Catholic Christianity, which doesn't hold to the earliest traditional form of Christianity. Realize that the Catholic Church is always having power struggles and problems. But then again, what imperfect human organization doesn't have problems?

Why do you believe that Buddhism is more logical and practical?

Aura stated:
quote:
'I really don't believe that you need to follow a religion in order to have meaning or purpose in life. Again, no disrespect, but in my opinion the draw of religion is a predetermined 'life guideline,' 'something to believe in,' and for some – mediums through which people with the same beliefs can socialize and/or make plans to evangelize.'

Anyone can have 'meaning' or 'purpose' in life apart from organized religion when it is a fact that the typical person believes that 'life is what you make of it.' And it is true for the person who believes that statement. They can do everything they want to in life and do as they wish and feel fulfilled. But then they die. Life stops and we know of no human who has been reincarnated or is immortal. The only one who boasts such a claim is Christ, who Christianity claims to be God's Son, who defeated death by rising from the grave. Christianity doesn't claim to be only 'life's guideline', or just 'something to believe in.' Christ claims that you will die if you do not trust in God. 'Trusting in God', means believing in the one God sent.

'...he who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.' Luke 10:16

It doesn't matter to God what you personally believe in. God only cares that you believe the truth about Him. God claims that if you deny the truth about Him, He will deny that He ever knew you. People are often scared away by words like these; they think this view of God is either wrong, or cruel. But what people don't think about is whether or not it is true, because they've already made up their minds that they don't like it. Can you honestly say that you've looked at all the facts and made the wisest decision? Maybe if you tried to look down on the world through God's eyes (that is, if you think there might be a God) you might be able to understand, why people 'make plans to evangelize.' To us, it's not about numbers, it's about souls.

The Bible, the Qur'an, and any of the mainstream or underground religions, cults, or New Age beliefs can be tested to see what might be true or not. Like Evolution, this is the science of probability.

Aura asked:
quote:
"Um, what eastern religion is that?"

Mainly Hinduism, of which Buddhism is a derivative. Hinduism compares to what I said about eastern religions in my above post. To pantheists like those in the Hindu faith, All is devine, or all is God. Typically Eastern religions emphasize that everything in the world is temporary, changing, ephemeral and unreal and that our perceptions of the world are most often misleading and illusory. The physical universe is not seen as a rational, ordered universe revealing God's glory (see Psalms 19:1-4), but as a hinderance to experiencing "Ultimate Reality."

In the East, Ultimate Reality is thought of as attainable within each individual by realizing intuitively that the "self" is Divine, or at least part of the Divine. God is, for the most part, seen as an impersonal unifying force who takes no personal interest in individuals. The idea of a creator having authority over the universe and making universal moral demands is, by and large, rejected. To the pantheist, God did not create the world; God is the world, along with everything in it.

Hinduism is not really one religion, but many religions crammed into one. To be a good Hindu, one can believe in one god, many gods, or no god at all! This is because for Hindus, contradictory ideas are not a problem. All reality, contradictory or not, is seen as "one".

Buddhism is pretty much a derivative of Hinduism, but it denies some of it's core beliefs. I can go into this later if you like. But, mainly with my example, what I was trying to state is that since Eastern religions see the world and everything within it as illusory, and since contradicting beliefs don't really make any difference, it is hard for them to make any standards or state what their foundational beliefs are. If all the world is illusory (even your thoughts and everything you see) there is no way to make a truth claim since it is an illusion itself. And this belief cannot be completely held onto because it is impossible since logic cannot exist when all is illusory.

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think we've drifted from evolution.. but what the hey

"It is a misconception that 'logic' and 'truth' become inapplicable when finding the absolute truth in any one religion. It is logical to believe that if one knows God, he/she must have met God, or God must have revealed Himself to him/her."
True. However, whatever logical conclusion you derive from meeting God cannot apply to anyone else, unless they believe in God.

"Another misconception is that 'faith' is the opposite of logic, which is untrue. The act of 'faith' is more than merely the act of 'belief.' The act of faith is based on its object of faith."
Perhaps the only thing I strongly disagree with. Faith by definition is the act of ignoring other evidence, of sticking with your old beliefs despite what might make you think otherwise.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 60yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
For some reason I never got notified that my post had been answered - Now I'm way behind - but I'm still here.

I'll have to come back and catch up.

Let me throw a few more sticks in the fire. We are the only animals who do that - all the other animals are afraid of fire.

Let me ask God to grant us wisdom - once again - we are the only animals who practice religion, probebly because we're ashamed of our nakedness and feel guilty.

Some people say we're smart, but the whales are smarter than us, and they've been here longer. Why havn't they built great cities or launched ships to the moon.

I bet we are the only animals on this earth who can say to themselves, "I don't know - I just don't know."

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
And why couldn't these things which make us so special happen naturally through evolution?
Bonobo chimps have very human behaviour, unlike most animals they mate a lot not only for reproduction but also as a sign of submitance. In bonobos, homosexuality and pedophilia aren't uncommon.
Elephants are known to care somewhat for their dead, and to dwell on the remains of their predecessors (if they find dead elephant bones, they will often pick the up, look at them etc..).

We are unique in some ways, and yet the vast majority of us are very animal in others, I see no reason why this couldn't have happened naturally.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 40yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Aura is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
*looking at strongclad's post*

Whoa!! I'd reply, but not right now because I don't have much time. Just quickly browsing thru topics. Hee hee.

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"I'm here to live... OUT LOUD!"
 60yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Dumbteen: Today I was looking at all the hair on my arms and wondering - "where did all that hair come from?" Evolution is very possible, and that's not really what I'm questioning. Let me get to the point. If you get it, you get it; if you don't, you don't. In nature, all things work together. It's not always nice, but no race dominates. But in our world, apart from nature, we dominate. If we were a part of nature, it would not be so nice. A woman would have five children in her life time and only two would live to old age. (just an example). But just like all other animals, our population would be regulated if we were a part of nature. But we are not. Whether or not evolution is or is not true, it does not explain why this is so, nor does it explain why we are so different (advanced as some would say), above nature. Evolution does not answer this. The alien theory comes closer to this. But even that does not fully answer this riddle. Because, how did the aliens get to be so above nature? It's even easier to believe that God (A great supernatural intelligent force) created us from the dirt of the earth. But this I believe is true. I said this once before somewhere else and insulted someone. But they didn't understand. Our mind is too little to understand, so maybe we just can't know the answer. Evolutionism, Creationism, or Alienism is about as close as our little mind is going to get.

Now - let me try to read all these other posts

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 60yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Strongclad: I didn't read all of your posts, just briefly brushed through them as they weren't all written to me. I've come to this conclusion. Logic and Religion are like Oil and Water. Religion is about believing in things you cannot prove. And there is so much still left in this world unproven that there is still lots of room for religion. Even the scientists are becoming religious. There are things they cannot answer.

Logic is about things you can explain. The bible tells us that the wicked need proof. This is not an area where one finds faith in any religion. Faith is when you say. "I don't know what you are God, I don't know what you are doing, and I don't know how you did it, but I believe in you."

You're having trouble believing - and that's not hard to do. You're not alone. You are trying to save yourself from this missbelief by use of logical understanding. It's like a dog chasing its own tail. You're never going to get it.

The reason your posts are so long is that you're trying to mix water and oil. You're going to argue with everyone in the science community and the religious community, and everyone is going to disagree with you, and you just won't get it because it just won't happen.

For your benefit I'm not asking you to change any of your beliefs. Just faith and logic - Like a child watching the sunup - and a boy and his microscope: Don't argue with those who believe in logic and those who have faith, separate the two and know the difference and the hell with whatever everyone else thinks. In the name of Jesus Christ who I know you believe in.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 60yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Aura: "Ascent of the Mind" Thanks - I'll look that book up. Both you and Dumbteen have really studied this subject. I think you explained it better - but, even according to your definition. It was by the role of dice that we are what we are. (my paraphrasing). Dumbteen will disagree, certain things led to certain things, etc. Still - we are way different then any animal on this earth. By role of dice, or certain things led to certain things. I might buy it if we weren't so remote from the others. And again - the whales.

The only proof I have to offer on my alien theory is the Chariot of the Gods. It was a book written before you were born. It offered proof. But - just like some of your evangelical evolutionists (some of the proof ain't real). And the other thing I have to offer is the Hopi indians. They teach that they were created by the ant people. The ant people saved them from the flood, and also the ant people led them to the promised land where they now live and await for the return of *Drum Role* the ant people.

But in reality our minds are little tiny things compared to the miracles of creation. Whether you believe in God or not - God Bless You.



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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 41yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that rossetti is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'm not Christian, but I know enough about the religion to say this: To a Christian mind, faith and logic are the same exact thing! Faith is not this sappy, sentimental feeling Christians get about God or anything else regarding their religion. It is knowledge that can not be reduced by eighteenth and nineteenth-century logicians; rather, Christians view humankind as reasonable, logical beings, and it is these qualities that separate them from other creatures. I am sure that to a medieval Christain mind, "faith" and "logic" would be interchangeable. But....the semantical value of the two words have changed since then. Now, faith appears to be the antithesis to logic and vice versa.

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"Les enfers sont les autres."
 60yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Rossetti: I would have to agree - most Christians could not seperate the two. And very long ago to speak of such things would probebly get you killed or in prison.

But today I think you have to be able to seperate the two and not get stuck on facts. Because the fact is, Nobody really knows. It would be so nice if we could just discuss what we think we know without having to prove it, when in fact, we really can't.

Reading my own posts - I might sound harsh - I don't mean to

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"Today I was looking at all the hair on my arms and wondering - "where did all that hair come from?" Evolution is very possible, and that's not really what I'm questioning. Let me get to the point. If you get it, you get it; if you don't, you don't. In nature, all things work together. It's not always nice, but no race dominates. But in our world, apart from nature, we dominate."
This has happens all the time in nature. The only difference with us, is the rate at which we dominate.
When North and South America joined up, there was a great ecological imbalance in the south. Marsupials lived in the south, ordinary mammals in the north, the northern ones eventually drove the marsupials to extinction (barring a few... opposums).
It was not a conscious act, but it was domination and survival of the fittest.

"They teach that they were created by the ant people. The ant people saved them from the flood, and also the ant people led them to the promised land where they now live and await for the return of *Drum Role* the ant people."
Who says aliens look like ants?
But I get the point, it is true that ancient peoples occasionally have references to what might be alien. I think it was an aztec fresque who showed a King in what looked like a spaceship? Well, its possible aliens are responsible, but I'd need more proof myself.

" But just like all other animals, our population would be regulated if we were a part of nature."
Things are not always regulated, and that is not a prerequisite to be natural. Locust populations can spiral out of control while if rats and mice by chance insert themselves in another ecosystem (by natural or artificial means) then they can similarily cause mayhem and screw like rabbits.

"Whether or not evolution is or is not true, it does not explain why this is so, nor does it explain why we are so different (advanced as some would say), above nature. Evolution does not answer this."
Evolution explains how the "basic man" was made. Because if you remove all the cultural and historical stuff of man (ie a wild man) then we really aren't that different from chimps, the main differences are :
- anatomical, we walk on two feet and are more inclined towards meat
- brain structure, we have 3 big qualities, we can listen (receive information) and we can remember and we can then teach that information
The brain differences aren't that big. What makes us so different today is explained by history but are linked to these brain differences.
Because of these changes, whenever a man tried something new (by accident or on purpose) and was useful, that man would tell someone else who tell his children who would tell his children and so forth.
Do this for 100000 years and we have huge amounts of knowledge being passed down and has created the societies we live in today, so diffrent from before.
But the fundamental biological change, which lead to this almost new form of evolution (societal?) so much faster then biological evolution, was not so big.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 40yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Aura is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Okay, I'm back.

First off, let me clarify where I'm coming from about the whole logic and faith thing. To make it simple, I'll go by dictionary definition:
quote:
faith P Pronunciation Key (f th)
n.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. ief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief. See Synonyms at trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.

log•ic P Pronunciation Key (l j k)
n.
1. The study of the principles of reasoning, especially of the structure of propositions as distinguished from their content and of method and validity in deductive reasoning.
2.
a. A system of reasoning: Aristotle's logic.
b. A mode of reasoning: By that logic, we should sell the company tomorrow.
c. The formal, guiding principles of a discipline, school, or science.

Inductive Logic.
1. The process of deriving general principles from particular facts or instances.
2. A conclusion reached by this process.


By the 2nd def. of logic, sure, you can say any school of thought (i.e. Christian or Muslim) can have their own set of logic. In my original post, the type of logic I'm referring to and go by more often than not, is more specifically described as 'inductive logic' based on objective facts. Currently, there is no way to objectively prove god exists, and which god is true... just as there is no way to prove that there is no god.

Strongclad: I don't hold the fact that you chose not to spend not to spend your time on evolution against you at all. It's just that I'm just not into answering lengthy technical questions that could be answered through your own study of the subject, as that kind of conversation has the potential to unnecessarily go on and on.
quote:
Opinions aside, (since we are all going to have opinions, one way or another) we must hold ourselves in a neutral state before drawing conclusions, that is, if we have not looked at all the facts.

Sure, I'll agree with that.

As for your description of Christ's claims, Christianity, and God's view... that is your personal beliefs. You have yours, I have mine. I will leave it at that as I have been through enough discussions regarding religion to know that this is another topic that can be quite lengthy. I have already explored this area thoroughly and feel no need to justify my own beliefs regarding spirituality to you. I don't claim to know everything, and am certainly open to changing my viewpoints, but only upon being presented with evidence that far outweighs other considerations on the subject.

On that note, don't be so quick to assume that I have not looked at religion from the eyes of the religious. I grew up in a religious family... went to Catholic school all my life until highschool, went through Bible studies, and was very active in the church myself... going as far as to teach confirmation classes after I myself was confirmed as a teen. In university, I became a part of a non-denominational Christian Church - so far the Christian group I have the most respect for in regards to their simple 'going back to the basic teaching of Christ,' having the Bible as their main source of God's teachings, and actually applying those teachings daily, with constant effort, in their lives.

After 3 years of involvement with Christianity, I had the opportunity to do my own self-searching. In the process, I came to hold the beliefs I do now. I'd bring up some concerns I had about Christianity that contributed to this decision, but no doubt you will reply with answers according to your beliefs that I've probably heard before.

Now enough of personal experience, let's get technical as I've had the opportunity to take at least one class on theology.

I called the basis of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as 'Hebrew Scriptures.' Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament, God, Allah, call it what you want. I was inferring that they are related. Judaism sees Abraham as the 'father of the Jews', Christianity sees him as the founder of the "people of God" - or Israel, Islam considers him the 'first Muslim.' The Qur'an is believed to be a revelation of teachings of God given to Muhammad... the last of a long line of prophets beginning with Abraham and including Moses and Jesus.

As for your argument for false representation, I wasn't claiming that teachings of Christianity are 'wrong' because of all the horrible things done in its name. I was responding to the fact that you claimed teachings of western religions are more 'common sense' than eastern religions. If so, one would think that the followers of religions with 'more common sense' teachings are more likely to avoid the chaos of war. In my opinion, both east and west have their advantages and disadvantages. As for your definition of common sense, I think it's ludicrous that you imply eastern religion doesn't 'have knowledge of the real world.'

As for Hinduism, sure, I'll agree that it is pantheistic and quite open. However the view that food is illusory can have as much weight as it isn't under Hinduism, no?

I believe Buddhism is practical because the teachings concern itself with balance. It lies between the extremes of asceticism and license. Sure, I may be skeptical about some aspects of its teachings, but to me balance and compassionate practical living is quite applicable. Even physical expressions of Buddhist faith shows it, and here is a quote from Thomas Merton in a Theravada Buddhist setting:
quote:
Looking at these figures I was suddenly, almost forcibly, jerked clean out of the habitual, half-tied vision of things, and an inner clearness, clarity, as if exploding from the rocks themselves, became evident and obvious. The rock, all matter, all life, is charged with dharmakaya.. everything is emptiness and everything is compassion. I don't know when in my life I have ever had such a sense of beauty and spiritual validity running together in one aesthetic illumination.' Thomas Merton - Asian Journal P. 233,235)

I really don't know why you keep going on and on about illusion, because if I remember correctly, to Christians, life on earth - desires, wants, material wealth, pleasure etc. - is also illusory and this life is just a temporary testing ground to see if we're fit for the next life - upon death entering the kingdom of God, which is the ultimate goal. No?


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"I'm here to live... OUT LOUD!"
[  Edited by Aura at   ]
 40yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Aura is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Going back to evolution - some electronic sources I know... Nature Neuroscience, Scientific American (some you might have to subscribe to).

Otherwise, look up sources whose links originate from schools, maybe? ie. with .edu.

If you know someone in college/university, maybe they can give you electronic access (using student # and passwd, probably) to the school's database of electronic journals. This would be my choice recommendation.

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"I'm here to live... OUT LOUD!"
 38yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Strongclad is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Thanks Aura! I might have to check out those sources you mentioned.

Let me just reply to these few things you said:

quote:
"I really don't know why you keep going on and on about illusion, because if I remember correctly, to Christians, life on earth - desires, wants, material wealth, pleasure etc. - is also illusory and this life is just a temporary testing ground to see if we're fit for the next life - upon death entering the kingdom of God, which is the ultimate goal. No?"

Well, the reason I mainly commented on illusion is because most people believe they live in a world that is tangible and self evident. To believe, that what you see in front of you may not actually be what you think it is, tells us one thing about ourselves: We don't really know anything! But, people do not really believe that we can't know anything. Most often on topics of self evidence, people genuinely agree.

I believe Buddhism, in comparison to most worldveiws, is one of the most practical ways of teaching people how they should live. And I think that is great. I know Buddhists do not subscribe to the same kind of teachings that I mentioned above for Hinduism. Mainly, Buddhism is just a way of life, holding to strong morals, ethics, and wisdom. And, I think that it has a lot to teach us about how life really should be. But, in all my searching, it just doesn't answer that one big question: WHY?

I just want to clarify though, Christianity doesn't view the world as illusory. Desires, wants, material wealth, pleasure etc. are things that we believe are only temporary. They are the things in this world that should not really matter, because as you know, in the end we will lose them. These things are real, though they should not be important to us.

The world is not really a testing ground per se, but a time limit that has choices and consequences. Since you know from your past that Christians believe that our decision to follow and trust Jesus determines our entrance to heaven or hell, you should understand the reason for importance in such a matter. Love for God is most important. Enterance into heaven is what God gives to those who love Him and trust that Jesus blood saves them.

The reason for my persistence in anything regarding the truth of the Christian faith, is because just like ancient history, we can dig it up. The fact of the matter, is that it does adhere to the standards set for historical reliability.

When things of the supernatural or miraculous come into context of any logical discussion, they are instantly labeled illogical from the get-go, and cast aside.

okcitykid wrote:
quote:
"Logic and Religion are like Oil and Water. Religion is about believing in things you cannot prove. And there is so much still left in this world unproven that there is still lots of room for religion. Even the scientists are becoming religious. There are things they cannot answer."

I know that you don't believe we can prove that Jesus rose from the dead, or said any of the things that are recorded in the Bible. And I know you don't believe that we should look at the Bible as history. But, I just want to ask, have you even given the evidence a chance? Is it safe for me to say that you haven't? I don't mean to sound offensive with my remarks, it's just that whenever someone tells me that the Bible (or anything else for that matter) cannot be proven trustworthy -- logically or historically -- I find that most people haven't looked in the right places for the anwers of its truthfulness.

I made a statement on a thread a while ago that I would show the reliability of the Bible, and show that the claims written inside it can be trusted as true. I did make an effort to do this, but when I got so far I realised that what I had written would be the length of the chapter of a book. Look for the evidence of Christ's claims, it's out there. If you don't look, how do you know you're not missing out?

okcitykid wrote:
quote:
"Faith is when you say. "I don't know what you are God, I don't know what you are doing, and I don't know how you did it, but I believe in you." "

So where does that leave the faith that I have in my family and friends? I think your definition for the word faith is a bit directed. You think that "faith" only has to do with those with a certain belief in God or "religion", but that's not what faith is. I can hold my family as reliable and trustworthy, and that's why I have faith in what they do and what they say. It's the same way with God. And why shouldn't it be?

okcitykid wrote:
quote:
"You're having trouble believing - and that's not hard to do. You're not alone. You are trying to save yourself from this missbelief by use of logical understanding. It's like a dog chasing its own tail. You're never going to get it."

Well, you are partly right. But all the things you mentioned here took place in the past. I did have trouble believing, and wanted to save myself from missbelief. And that's what I did. To believe what the Bible says about the hisory of God, Israel, the prophets, Jesus, and his disciples as true, all these things must be looked at in the light of history. If the events in the Bible are true, then they must have happened, shouldn't they? And if we can prove them as actual occurances in time and history, then we must find sources that speak about them and validate them, right? If these things are found, and if they validate the Bible's claims as truthful, do you have any grounds for dismissing them as untrue? Any logical person would say "no." Any historian or historiographer would say "no." If there was evidence for the claims, most would hold that there would be grounds for saying the claims were factual.

Let me use an example. The Bible claims that Jesus was God's Son, performed miraculous signs and wonders, healed the sick, and rose from the dead, amongst many other things. Now, the people who wrote these books and letters of the Bible were either Jews or Christians themselves. They were the ones who believed this stuff. Now, can we take their word for it? Can we trust that what they claim -- that such miraculous things happened -- is true? I mean, they were proposing that everyone should follow only "their" God, and that they had the only "true" belief. Do you believe just because they said so? Everything hinges on whether or not Jesus really did all the things the Bible says he did. That's the only thing that really makes these claims true, right? Well, what if someone who wasn't a proponent for these claims came forward and claimed that what the Bible said was true? What if a Jew, or a Roman soldier, or someone from that same time, who didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and didn't believe he would go to Hell if he didn't put his faith in Christ, confirms all the things said about Jesus in the Bible? What if this person confirms that there was a man named Jesus, who performed miraculous signs, healed the sick, raised the dead, was crucified on a cross, and rose from the dead on the third day? This man doesn't have anything to gain by saying these things happened. Can we believe someone who doesn't trust in Christ, but knows Jesus and confirms the things he did? Did you know that there are quite a few Non-Christian sources dated from the time of Christ that help confirm what the Bible says about Jesus is true?

There are many facts and evidences like this. There are evidences that show that the authors of the Old and New Testament were telling the truth. There are evidences that tell us that we can trust that the supposed authors of each book, are the true authors. There is evidence for Christ, the people and places of the Bible. There is evidence that prophecies from the Bible came true, and show that they were predicted well in advance of their fulfillment.

The question I want to ask is: Have you looked into this as well as you think you have?

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"All statements are false. The last statement is false.--One of these statements is true."
 60yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Strongclad - Why do I have to believe what you believe? Will it help you believe what you believe? Do you need my belief to believe it?

I believe what I believe. I have said what I believe. I have heard what you believe. What you believe is written - if I need to, I can read it again.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
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