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My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-04-2005, 02:41 AM   #1
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Do I think the US government is as bad as China?* No. Do I think we are some shining beacon on how a government should treat minorities and dissidents?* No.
Then we agree.

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However, I think the Chinese jail Christians because they are potentially subversive nonconformists that hold loyalty to something other than the government.
The Romans felt the same way, and threw Christians to the lions because they refused to worship the Roman emperor.* Telling Christians that they will be tolerated as long as they do things the Bible forbids (or refrain from doing things the Bible mandates) is pretty much a useless form of tolerance.* Many Islamic countries are the same way, in that they forbid proselytizing.* The Bible mandates proselytizing, so Islamic tolerance of non proselytizing Christians is also a useless form of tolerance.

Christians in China simply are not free to do what the Bible tells them to.* (I talked with a missionary to China who had to be very secretive lest his family be in danger.) In the United States they are free.* I like the United States much better.

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...a shouting match.
I wasn't intentionally shouting.* I am sorry if I inadvertently came across this way.
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My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-08-2005, 09:59 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Michael
Then we agree.

Telling Christians that they will be tolerated as long as they do things the Bible forbids (or refrain from doing things the Bible mandates) is pretty much a useless form of tolerance. Many Islamic countries are the same way, in that they forbid proselytizing. The Bible mandates proselytizing, so Islamic tolerance of non proselytizing Christians is also a useless form of tolerance.
Really....Islam forbids proselytizing and the bible mandates it? I suspect this is some fundamentalist typical twisting of the language. However, if true, gives me a new respect for Islam!!

Before Christians get on any sort of high moral horse, they would do well to read a little history. Read about the crusades. Read about the inquisition. Read about witch-burning. Read the writings of some of the apologists (Teutillion sp? for example) who wrote (meek as a lamb) something to the effect that "one of the rewards of Christians in heaven is watching the torturing of the sinners down in hell." As for persecution, Christians historically have given it at least as much as they've gotten it.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm just an innocent atheist caught in an immature war between an army of Christian fanatics and an army of Islamic fanatics. Wish both sides would grow up
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bosco
As far as I'm concerned, I'm just an innocent atheist caught in an immature war between an army of Christian fanatics and an army of Islamic fanatics.* Wish both sides would grow up
Would that make you an agnostic?
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Old 08-08-2005, 07:33 PM   #4
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Read about the crusades.
I read Charles Mackay's version of it. Peter the Hermit was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He noticed that Christian pilgrims were being mistreated. He went back to Europe, and convinced a bunch of people to go and insist that Christians not be mistreated.

Unfortunately, the mobs that went were so poorly organized and supervised that they hurt more people than they helped. The follow up armies added many more agendas to the original purpose, and the whole thing turned into a mess.

To help people, more than good intentions are needed. The strategy must be well thought out, competently executed, and adaptable as the situation unfolds. Otherwise, disaster can result.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:08 AM   #5
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To help people, more than good intentions are needed.* * Otherwise, disaster can result.
The road to hell, etc etc.

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Old 08-09-2005, 12:16 AM   #6
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Michael
I read Charles Mackay's version of it. Peter the Hermit was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He noticed that Christian pilgrims were being mistreated. He went back to Europe, and convinced a bunch of people to go and insist that Christians not be mistreated.

Gee, that's not the version I heard--that meek-mannered Christians who just wanted to help but ended up killing a lot of people and being killed (sounds more like Bush's spin on Iraq). The version I heard was that the purpose was to rid the holy city of Jerusalem from the infidel Muslims (sounds eerily similar to what the Muslims want in Saudi Arabia).

Either way, lots of people of both religions died. BTW, if you read the Koran (assuming you don't think you will go to hell for doing so ), Christians and Jews are referred to as "people of the book" and are not to be persecuted. The bible says that Arabs were the offspring of Abraham and shouldn't be messed with (when Abraham got frisky, he knocked up his chambermaid. This gave God his first truly moral dilemma since the apple--he had already promised that all offspring of Abraham would be special. So he decided that the Arabs would be "sorta special" Ok, my tranlsation is not exact, but I'm not making this up.). Looks to me like neither religion takes their own scriptures too seriously. At least Muslims acknowledge the divinity of Christ. The Christians are unwilling to return the favour.

As for Nord's question of whether I'm an atheist or an agnostic, maybe I'm an agnostic. Except that if there is a God, I see no reason to believe he'd consider humans much more than a mosquito worthy of a half-hearted swat or two. To believe that human beings were created in God's image is a level of arrogance that offends my sense of aesthetics, as well as logic.

But what does this have to do with FIRE? Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if true believers live longer, so have a lower SWR, possibly due to the sense of community around their churches etc. This is the one thing I do feel I miss out on with my belief system, although I try to find it in other places. Maybe Firecalc should add a toggle--"reduce SWR to account for religious faith <y/n>? "

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Old 08-10-2005, 01:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bosco
too seriously. At least Muslims acknowledge the divinity of Christ. The Christians are unwilling to return the favour.
My understanding of the Koran is that Muslims acknowledge the existence of Christ and call him a prophet but do not bestow any sort of divinity on him. When you say "Christians are unwilling to return the favor" are you implying that Christians should acknowledge the divinity of Mohammed? Or something else?
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Old 08-10-2005, 01:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by WanderALot
My understanding of the Koran is that Muslims acknowledge the existence of Christ and call him a prophet but do not bestow any sort of divinity on him.* *When you say "Christians are unwilling to return the favor" are you implying that* Christians should acknowledge the divinity of Mohammed?* Or something else?
"Can't we all just get along?" (Rodney King, prophet and philosopher)

JG
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:51 PM   #10
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Except that if there is a God, I see no reason to believe he'd consider humans much more than a mosquito worthy of a half-hearted swat or two.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV
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Old 08-10-2005, 04:25 PM   #11
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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.* John 3:16 KJV
I'd swat the people first. The mosquitos are only doing what they
were designed to do. It's the people that are destroying the planet.

JG
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:51 AM   #12
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My understanding of the Koran is that Muslims acknowledge the existence of Christ and call him a prophet but do not bestow any sort of divinity on him. When you say "Christians are unwilling to return the favor" are you implying that Christians should acknowledge the divinity of Mohammed? Or something else?
My understanding is that Muslims believe that Mohammed is an apostle of God. Christ, Moses, Abraham and Adam were prophets. Mohammed is more recent, and therefore the one to be "obeyed" now. Yes, he does have special status according to Islam, compared to other prophets.

What I am saying is by this interpretation, the Muslims (at least the moderate ones) consider Christians to be people of the book, who follow a valid prophet, but they are just slightly out of date. All the talk about infidels etc. is not really supported by the Koran. Infidels to Allah, were the desert tribes that worshipped idols and deities, not Christians and Jews who were to be left alone because they also worshipped Allah. Many Christians, on the other hand, believe that anyone who does not share their beliefs will burn in hell. So who is more intolerant? I think both groups have their share of frothing fanatics. And I doubt if any sane God would much care if carnage is wrought via suicide bombs, or via tanks and bombs under the flag of a nation.

I find people that attempt to interpret the bible literally curious. It takes some serious side-stepping and head-in-the-sand behavior to succeed, IMO. What is interesting is the passages they choose to ignore. How about "those who have been wounded in the stones shall not enter the temple of the lord"? Yes, it's in Deuteronomy, or one of the books with all the archaic rules. If you believe the bible literally, and had a vasectomy, you should not go to church It seems fairly obvious that this rule harkens back to an era when reproduction was essential to the survival of the Jews. Now, inhibiting reproduction is essential to survival of the planet. Maybe the pope should rethink a thing or two.

Ultimately, I would like to see us all learn to respect one another's beliefs, and, yes, laugh at our own. However, it's been my observation that mass carnage seems to follow closely behind fundamentalist ideological beliefs of any stripe (German soldiers in WWI all wore medallions that said "Gott mit uns" or "God is with us.")

Q. Did you hear about the insomniac dyselxic agnostic? He lay awake all night wondering if there is a dog!

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Old 08-11-2005, 10:53 AM   #13
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I'd swat the people first. The mosquitos are only doing what they
were designed to do. It's the people that are destroying the planet.

JG
there you go....we agree on something!!!

but if he doesn't swat bloodsuckers, do you think IRS agents would be spared

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Old 08-11-2005, 11:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bosco
My understanding is that Muslims believe that Mohammed is an apostle of God. Christ, Moses, Abraham and* Adam were prophets.* Mohammed is more recent, and therefore the one to be "obeyed" now.* Yes, he does have special status according to Islam, compared to other prophets.

What I am saying is by this interpretation, the Muslims (at least the moderate ones) consider Christians to be people of the book, who follow a valid prophet, but they are just slightly out of date.* All the talk about infidels etc. is not really supported by the Koran.* Infidels to Allah, were the desert tribes that worshipped idols and deities, not Christians and Jews who were to be left alone because they also worshipped Allah.* Many Christians, on the other hand, believe that anyone who does not share their beliefs will burn in hell.* So who is more intolerant?* I think both groups have their share of frothing fanatics.* And I doubt if any sane God would much care if carnage is wrought via suicide bombs, or via tanks and bombs under the flag of a nation.*

I find people that attempt to interpret the bible literally curious.* It takes some serious side-stepping and head-in-the-sand behavior to succeed, IMO.* What is interesting is the passages they choose to ignore.* How about "those who have been wounded in the stones shall not enter the temple of the lord"?* Yes, it's in Deuteronomy, or one of the books with all the archaic rules.* If you believe the bible literally, and had a vasectomy, you should not go to church* * It seems fairly obvious that this rule harkens back to an era when reproduction was essential to the survival of the Jews.* Now, inhibiting reproduction is essential to survival of the planet.* Maybe the pope should rethink a thing or two.

Ultimately, I would like to see us all learn to respect one another's beliefs, and, yes, laugh at our own.* However, it's been my observation that mass carnage seems to follow closely behind fundamentalist ideological beliefs of any stripe (German soldiers in WWI all wore medallions that said "Gott mit uns"* or "God is with us.")

Q.* Did you hear about the insomniac dyselxic agnostic?* He lay awake all night wondering if there is a dog!* * *

I have a neat book 'Great Eveents of World History'. It would fir in a shirt pocket easily. It starts with the beginnings of the earth and my copy ends
in 1961. Most of the book is devoted to wars, conflicts, killing, torture,
plagues, inquisitions, etc. Death and destruction, a whole lot of
it fomented by religious zealots. The carnage is spread around
pretty generally throughout the ages and the various religions. Looks
to me like very little has changed.

JG
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Old 08-11-2005, 02:50 PM   #15
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Many Christians, on the other hand, believe that anyone who does not share their beliefs will burn in hell.
This is true. Christianity does teach that there is no salvation apart from Lord Jesus.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:12 KJV
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-11-2005, 03:23 PM   #16
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

NOTE FROM MODERATOR:

Since the original theme of this thread (China and the Final War for Resources) has migrated to a religious discussion, the thread has been split to reflect the new subject.

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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-11-2005, 03:27 PM   #17
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Shouldn't this go under Other Topics?* I don't see what it has to do with FIRE* and Money.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-11-2005, 03:38 PM   #18
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

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Shouldn't this go under Other Topics? I don't see what it has to do with FIRE and Money.
Done.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-11-2005, 03:47 PM   #19
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

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Originally Posted by Michael

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:12 KJV
"God d@mn everything but the circus"
E.E. Cummings
(2 can play the quotation game)

Seriously, the problem I have is that you are complaining about how Christians are treated in China, but then turn around and state that you think everyone that doesn't believe just like you will burn in hell. You are certainly entitiled to your beliefs, and I would fight to the death for your right to hold them, but if I were you I wouldn't be wondering why Christians are not welcomed with open arms in some nations of other cultures. This is a level of arrogance that just doesn't fly in very many places in the world. And claiming that you are divinely inspired by some book doesn't mean it is not arrogance.
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...
Old 08-11-2005, 03:49 PM   #20
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Re: My God, Your God, or No God...Oh, God...

Quoting a bible verse as a fact to someone who does not believe in the bible is not a logical argument.

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