Giving Up Darwin

Duke Silver

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He was adversarial with the Jewish priests and he publicly embarrasses them on several occasions. He called them a brood of vipers to their faces. He mocked them for how they observed the sabbath. He mocked them for how they prayed. He mocked the pagan idols/monuments on multiple occasions. He denounced whole towns of people in Chorazin, Capernaum and Bethsaida. He directly quotes Daniel at the priests when they ask him if he's God. That was a giant slap across their face (they started beating him after). There are others, this is just off the top of my head.

Jesus was most definitely adversarial. Most churches gloss over this stuff.
He sounds like a real asshole. I guess JC and I aren't so different afterall.
 
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HornsWin

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However there are sincere Christians who think I’m a terrible person, possibly not even a Christian at all, for saying the universe looks to be several billion years old.
I applaud you for this. I have been surprised to learn in recent years how many friends of mine, many of whom I highly regard for their intellect, have come out as young earth'ers, or at least sympathizers. Curiously, several of them are in pastoral positions.

I've just ordered a book that I am excited to receive, Particles of Faith: A Catholic's Guide to Science. It's point, so far as I can tell from the abstract, is that scientific development is moving much more quickly than apologetics can keep up with, but that Christians need not interpret science as a threat. I hope that it will go into the scientific history of the Church, e.g., how many of the early discoveries of the era of modern science were made by those within the Church. Finger's crossed.
 
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HornsWin

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Why is it a contest? I believe in my Savior Jesus Christ and I can’t begin to prove His divinity or even His actual existence. So what?
In a way, it is a contest - a contest for the human soul which I think you and I will agree is pretty high stakes. As for evidence and proof and all that, it's a false flag. Christians are told to provide evidence of the divine (which contrary to popular belief, can be done), but out interlocutors never provide evidence that the divine does not or cannot exist.

But the larger need for evidence is do to the world we live in, which is highly materialistic and lacking in imagination.
 
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HornsWin

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The last guy that posted as many bible verses as you was the poster that shall not be named. You kinda remind me of him.
Is it narcissistic of me to wonder if this is referring to me?
 

Duke Silver

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Maybe, maybe not. Why does it bother you, though, for someone to firmly believe what they believe? It doesn't affect you either way.
I don’t like when people are wrong and firmly believe things. Trannies firmly believe they’re a different sex. They aren’t.

Being good doesn’t need a connection to Jesus Christ.
 

HornsWin

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I don’t like when people are wrong and firmly believe things. Trannies firmly believe they’re a different sex. They aren’t.

Being good doesn’t need a connection to Jesus Christ.
Fair enough. All the same, why can't you let others be wrong in such a way without it bothering you? Again, it doesn't have any impact on you except that which you allow it to have.
 

Duke Silver

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Fair enough. All the same, why can't you let others be wrong in such a way without it bothering you? Again, it doesn't have any impact on you except that which you allow it to have.
Ask my wife; she doesn’t like it either. It’s a personality trait.

Also, it’s not like I’m running into churches yelling at people about how they’re wrong or writing books about it.
 

PFD

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I was replying specifically to your comment about Christians embarrassing atheists in a debate or something. I just don’t understand the concept of making Christians vs Non-Christians an adversarial situation.
To be clear, neither of the authors whom I cited—atheist Gray and Christian Day—resorts to the Bible or Judeo-Christian beliefs in their refutation of the New Atheists. Instead, Gray and Day take them down solely with the logical flaws inherent in their own philosophy.

And, I completely agree that there does not need to be an adversarial relationship between Christians and non-Christians. I would say (and I certainly hope) that my posting history here on religious topics bears that out.

But, as @bHero said, when militant loudmouths like the New Atheists come looking for a logical or philosophical fight, there’s no reason why we as Christians can’t or shouldn’t engage them, as long as we do it respectfully (see, e.g., 1 Peter 3:15).
 
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Duke Silver

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In a way, it is a contest - a contest for the human soul
Hell if that’s all you want, I’ll leave it my will. It ain’t worth ****.
Christians are told to provide evidence of the divine (which contrary to popular belief, can be done)
No ****? This is what I’ve been waiting on my entire life.
But the larger need for evidence is do to the world we live in, which is highly materialistic and lacking in imagination.
Lacking imagination? That’s a new one.
 

PFD

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No, I'm saying I'm sure their arguments are not going strike me quite like the pwnage you do. Regardless, even if these guys do "dissect and embarrass" some other guys, that does not mean that Jesus christ rose from the dead. I have much better ways to spend my time.
When I compare your responses on this topic to @JG, this is what I mean.

You’re arguing reflexively against me when I cite to the work of renowned atheist (and professor of philosophy and political thought at the London School of Economics) John Gray. And you go so far as to say that you can discount the ideas presented by those thinkers without even reading or considering them. That’s kind of the opposite of intellectualism, isn’t it?

If, however, you actually took the time to read (or even skim) Gray’s Seven Types of Atheists, I suspect that you would agree with much of what he has to say. Based on your posting history, it seems that your beliefs fall somewhere between Gray’s classical atheist model (which he himself espouses) and his “God-hater” model (the Marquis de Sade is one of his textbook examples).

The point of all this is to think more deeply about what we believe. I believe in essentials of the Christian faith. I therefore enjoy reading books, listening to speakers, and engaging in discussions which require me to examine and think deeply about what I believe.

Which sometimes involves reading or hearing from people who have fundamentally different beliefs than I. It’s why I’ve read Gray. And Harris. And Dawkins. And Hitchens. I intentionally choose not to occupy an echo chamber.

As Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” My faith is deeper and richer precisely because it has been battle-tested by comparison to competing philosophies.
 

PFD

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You don't need Jesus to do any of that. And it's the arrogance of Christians who think you do that annoys the piss out of me.
I’m willing to entertain the idea that you don’t have to believe in the essentials of the Christian faith in order to live out those values.

So, who are the non-Christians who consistently live out those kinds of values?

Being good doesn’t need a connection to Jesus Christ.
If you reject the Judeo-Christian moral code that finds its source in the Bible, then how do you determine what is “good” or “being good”?
 
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40A

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He put on a bit of theater at the Temple by turning over some tables at the marketplace but other than that no. And I definitely don’t think Jesus ever intentionally tried to embarrass anyone.
His interactions with the Pharisees was certainly adversarial on several occasions.
 
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40A

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That's correct, but I meant the Sethite Heresy. Not really sure why I said Levite Heresy (different issue). Short version is that very few believed in the Sethite vs Cain lineage stuff until long after Jesus had died (late 3rd century it started picking up steam), and it's adoption was based on political views to increase church membership, prevent "angel worship" and avoid embarrassment. So they changed the interpretation of the bible to suit.

It required a lot of mental gymnastics to change the reading of the Hebrew and strip the supernatural from the elohim and nephilim parts, but they did. And by the way, this is still taught today in many seminaries. Why? Same reason as 1700+ years ago. In the end, some Christians, back then and today, just don't want to believe the bible means what it says when it talked about divine beings, even in the new testament when Jude and Peter talk about it literally. So people say the apostles are wrong or the authors were being metaphorical.
Nah man it's simply about people falling away.
 
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Duke Silver

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When I compare your responses on this topic to @JG, this is what I mean.

You’re arguing reflexively against me when I cite to the work of renowned atheist (and professor of philosophy and political thought at the London School of Economics) John Gray. And you go so far as to say that you can discount the ideas presented by those thinkers without even reading or considering them. That’s kind of the opposite of intellectualism, isn’t it?

If, however, you actually took the time to read (or even skim) Gray’s Seven Types of Atheists, I suspect that you would agree with much of what he has to say. Based on your posting history, it seems that your beliefs fall somewhere between Gray’s classical atheist model (which he himself espouses) and his “God-hater” model (the Marquis de Sade is one of his textbook examples).

The point of all this is to think more deeply about what we believe. I believe in essentials of the Christian faith. I therefore enjoy reading books, listening to speakers, and engaging in discussions which require me to examine and think deeply about what I believe.

Which sometimes involves reading or hearing from people who have fundamentally different beliefs than I. It’s why I’ve read Gray. And Harris. And Dawkins. And Hitchens. I intentionally choose not to occupy an echo chamber.

As Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” My faith is deeper and richer precisely because it has been battle-tested by comparison to competing philosophies.
It’s just not that important to me outside this message board. I have a huge list of unread books to get to and philosophical masturbation doesn’t interest me. I looked at the blurb about one of the guys and he apparently talks about how communist governments killed millions and the Spanish Inquisition didn’t kill as many. OK. These seem like very specific arguments with those four guys. And if I haven’t read them, why would I read a rebuttal?
 

Duke Silver

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If you reject the Judeo-Christian moral code that finds its source in the Bible, then how do you determine what is “good” or “being good”?
Yeah, I admit it takes some thinking for oneself. But the fundamentals are pretty hardwired and obvious. They are also revealed in historic religious texts, so their utility can be considered independent of any god claims.
 

bHero

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To be clear, neither of the authors whom I cited—atheist Gray and Christian Day—resorts to the Bible or Judeo-Christian beliefs in their refutation of the New Atheists. Instead, Gray and Day take them down solely with the logical flaws inherent in their own philosophy.

And, I completely agree that there does not need to be an adversarial relationship between Christians and non-Christians. I would say (and I certainly hope) that my posting history here on religious topics bears that out.

But, as @bHero said, when militant loudmouths like the New Atheists come looking for a logical or philosophical fight, there’s no reason why we as Christians can’t or shouldn’t engage them, as long as we do it respectfully (see, e.g., 1 Peter 3:15).
Paul was pretty good about it as well. He was in Athens in the mid 1st century, saw the town full of idols and all the greek mythology, and decided to start reasoning and debating with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. They taunted him at first, calling him a "babbler." This was a colloquialism that basically meant empty headed moron. Basically normal trash talking the new guy like the message boards here.

But some found him skilled (and scandalous) enough to bring him to their philosophical thunderdome, the high court of Areopagus, aka Mars Hill. This meant he was not only walking into an invite to reason with the best scholars and philosophers in all of Athens, but since it was illegal to preach about foreign Gods, he was also likely walking into a trial.

Of course he knew the stakes, and he engaged them not by mocking in return, but by giving a sermon on their idol to the unknown God. He said they are ignorant of what they worship, and then debated the gospel with them. He was good enough that not only did they invite him back to talk again, this the high council we're talking about, but it's also where Dionysius converted, a member of the council.

Speaking outside of the bible now, Dionysius' conversion is verified by himself, as well as by Eusebius. Dionysius' story is that as a younger man he was in Cairo, Egypt at the time of Jesus' crucification, and remembered the darkness that took place during the day for a few hours. Fast forward almost 20 years later and Dionysius is a judge in the Areopagus listening to this "babbler" talk about Jesus, his crucification, the darkness and the resurrection.

He converted, and was baptized in AD 52. Becomes the first Bishop of Athens. Does the bishop thing, gets famous. Goes and visited Jesus' mother, Mary, in Jerusalem, and was also at her funeral with the surviving apostles and church leaders. He was later burned to death. And since @Duke Silver likes sources; Acts 17, Matthew 27, and the writings of Eusbius (linked above). There are a few others, but I'm too lazy to get the links.

The point being, that engaging the militant anti-Christians can serve the "greater good," to include converting others present or even the judges themselves.
 

bHero

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You don't need Jesus to do any of that. And it's the arrogance of Christians who think you do that annoys the piss out of me.
Agree. But that's what's happened with American Christians. They think it's about being a good person. You don't need Christianity to do that. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing and we should all try to be good people. It's just not the point.
 
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PFD

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It’s just not that important to me outside this message board. I have a huge list of unread books to get to and philosophical masturbation doesn’t interest me. I looked at the blurb about one of the guys and he apparently talks about how communist governments killed millions and the Spanish Inquisition didn’t kill as many. OK. These seem like very specific arguments with those four guys. And if I haven’t read them, why would I read a rebuttal?
I think you’d particularly like Gray’s historical analysis of secular “state” religions, from the Jacobins and the French Revolution, to the Bolsheviks, to the Nazis, to the Maoists, etc.

I found that discussion to be particularly relevant, in light of the current machinations in the Democratic Party and its movement towards socialism and statism.
 
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Duke Silver

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I think you’d particularly like Gray’s historical analysis of secular “state” religions, from the Jacobins and the French Revolution, to the Bolsheviks, to the Nazis, to the Maoists, etc.

I found that discussion to be particularly relevant, in light of the current machinations in the Democratic Party and its movement towards socialism and statism.
That is a topic that interests me. I’m reading Twelve Who Ruled right now. I’ve also read mao’s little red book, communist manifesto, what is to be done, and the other sources of the religion of the state.
 
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HornsWin

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Hell if that’s all you want, I’ll leave it my will. It ain’t worth ****.

No ****? This is what I’ve been waiting on my entire life.

Lacking imagination? That’s a new one.
As has been asked countless times before, why don't you or other atheists provide evidence against the divine? That charge works both ways, which is why it needs to thrown out by all parties.

As fr the lack of imagination, I am not surprised that's a new one to you. The profound lack of empathy that you display on a daily basis, not just in matters of religion, but indeed in any and every opinion that you disagree with, serves very well to prove my point. To your credit, you're not alone in this.
 

bHero

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Yeah, I admit it takes some thinking for oneself. But the fundamentals are pretty hardwired and obvious. They are also revealed in historic religious texts, so their utility can be considered independent of any god claims.
I think you're hinting at something, and getting close to a core tenant of Christianity. Being good is something natural in most people. Sam Harris tried to argue it's evolutionary value and was knocked down by his peers. That's almost like getting disbarred as a lawyer for being incompetent.

Christianity believes we are "wired" as inherently good people, but our will ("the flesh") is weak, and we're unable to be truly good on our own. Our desires take control and we rebel against what we inwardly know is right (sin). And in this vein Jesus is a mirror, to show us what a completely good person is (read: not nice, but good), so that we can see that we can't "do it" on our own. We can't measure up, and we're completely helpless to fix our own hearts and overcome the desires of the will to rebel. It's like trying to wash a dirty bathtub with the dirty water still in it.

It's not until we know that we want to be truly good but realize that we can't do it on our own that God can come in to help us. Until then, we just don't give Him room. After that, it's simply a matter of asking for help, and forgiveness (prayer). We don't need signs of the supernatural. We just need to look into the mirror.
 
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mcb0703!

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As has been asked countless times before, why don't you or other atheists provide evidence against the divine? That charge works both ways, which is why it needs to thrown out by all parties.

As fr the lack of imagination, I am not surprised that's a new one to you. The profound lack of empathy that you display on a daily basis, not just in matters of religion, but indeed in any and every opinion that you disagree with, serves very well to prove my point. To your credit, you're not alone in this.
You’re wanting @Duke Silver or any atheist, or even agnostic, to prove or disprove a current invisible man, died more than 2000 years & rose from the dead? Providing “evidence against the divine...”

Is that what you’re asking? Just wanting to clarify
 

Duke Silver

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As has been asked countless times before, why don't you or other atheists provide evidence against the divine? That charge works both ways, which is why it needs to thrown out by all parties.

As fr the lack of imagination, I am not surprised that's a new one to you. The profound lack of empathy that you display on a daily basis, not just in matters of religion, but indeed in any and every opinion that you disagree with, serves very well to prove my point. To your credit, you're not alone in this.
**** empathy. You’re the only millennial pussy here who can’t handle this.

What you’re requesting is evidence of something that is by definition outside the realm of normal observation and evidence. But for absence of the divine, it’s around us every day. Maybe my lack of empathy is part of it. Regardless, it is not my burden; it is yours.
 

Duke Silver

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You’re wanting @Duke Silver or any atheist, or even agnostic, to prove or disprove a current invisible man, died more than 2000 years & rose from the dead? Providing “evidence against the divine...”

Is that what you’re asking? Just wanting to clarify
I think he just means any supernatural divinity.
 

bHero

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I think you’d particularly like Gray’s historical analysis of secular “state” religions, from the Jacobins and the French Revolution, to the Bolsheviks, to the Nazis, to the Maoists, etc.

I found that discussion to be particularly relevant, in light of the current machinations in the Democratic Party and its movement towards socialism and statism.
Here's one for the pile that the two of you might like. I came across this during the paganism research and I'm pretty sure it will freak everyone out who reads it. @mytopia32 - you might find this interesting as well.

Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity

It's by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Okford PhD who wrote his dissertation on Nazi Occultism. That yielded his first book, which has been pretty popular since the 80's when it came out (The Occult Roots of Nazism). Black Sun is the 3rd book in the trilogy on Nazi Occultism.

This man was "THE" expert on Nazi Occultism for the past 30 years (died in 2012).

Black Sun goes into Himmler's root races ideology and how it actively shapes the politics of the world we see today. Himmler's the man behind the holocaust. He called God an alien basically, playing off Helena Blavatsky's theosophy and root races stuff. Himmler truly believed that the master race he was creating was a lineal descendant of a superior intelligence from outer space.

The TV show ancient aliens actually espouses much of this ideology today, and in the past we knew this as Gnosticism, or the Babylonian Mystery Religions, dating back to before written history. It all shares common threads from the ancient religions to modern occultism and horror literature.

My interest was partly in how it's a counter narrative to the biblical version of creation with roots to pre-dynastic Egypt. And while I don't think any Christians talking about this stuff and their theories are bad, it gets messy, and possibly dangerous, when they start interpreting the bible with any this in their worldview. This stuff primes people to fill in historical gaps for which there is no data.

Christians need to be researching these fringe topics, because we need to keep the theological vocabulary straight and shed light on the deception that's out there. Himmler controlled the masses not by showing them signs and wonders, but by changing the way people think. It was something so powerful that "even the elect were deceived."

This book is a very heady record of how something like this occurred and how the messaging is thriving today.

"More than half a century after the defeat of Nazism and fascism, the far right is again challenging the liberal order of Western democracies. Radical movements are feeding on anxiety about economic globalization, affirmative action, and third-world immigration, flashpoint issues to many traditional groups in multicultural societies. A curious mixture of Aristocratic paganism, anti-Semitic demonology, Eastern philosophies and the occult is influencing populist antigovernment sentiment and helping to exploit the widespread fear that invisible elites are shaping world events.

Black Sun examines the new neofascist ideology, showing how hate groups, militias and conspiracy cults attempt to gain influence. Based on interviews and extensive research into underground groups, Black Sun documents the new Nazi and fascist sects that have sprung up from the 1970s through the 1990s and examines the mentality and motivation of these far-right extremists. The result is a detailed, grounded portrait of the mythical and devotional aspects of Hitler cults among Aryan mystics, racist skinheads and Nazi satanists, Heavy Metal music fans, and in occult literature.

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke offers a unique perspective on far right neo-Nazism viewing it as a new form of Western religious heresy. He paints a frightening picture of a religion with its own relics, rituals, prophecies and an international sectarian following that could, under the proper conditions, gain political power and attempt to realize its dangerous millenarian fantasies."