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12:00 AM
To use an example from physics, Newton's laws are physical truths on their own level, and within their purview they are still the basis of much of what we do in science. But for some technological pursuits, such as interplanetary travel, they are not sufficient, and it is necessary to use the principles of relativity.
@LeeWoofenden That makes no sense. If you believe it, it's truth, until such time that you believe otherwise. Actually knowing if it's objectively true is impossible, and we know that, so we pretend we do know, because that keeps us functioning.
Newton's laws are not false. They are simply limited in their application.
@fredsbend It may not make sense to you. But it makes sense to me. I do not believe that the human mind must be forever in the dark as to whether what it knows is actually true. But I do take your point that people commonly do believe they have the truth, even for many centuries on a particular point, when in fact what they believe is false.
@LeeWoofenden Actually, you've just substituted purview for function. We use Newtonian physics because they work. And when they don't work, we use something else. And these ideas are mutually exclusive, yet we believe both to be "truth". Nay nay. Neither is truth, as apparently both represent reality, but are mutually exclusive.
@fredsbend Newton's laws work because they represent a physical truth about how objects behave within certain physical conditions and parameters.
@fredsbend If I say, "that barn is red," and it actually is red, than I've spoken a truth. But it is a truth limited to a specific situation. It doesn't say anything, for example, about whether the sun's radiant energy comes from nuclear fusion reactions.
@LeeWoofenden That's like saying blue is blue when it's blue. Yes, that right, except when we actually start seeing green. Can you draw the line between green and blue?
12:05 AM
@fredsbend Folks do it all the time, yes. And that's true even if there's a "gray area" of bluegreen in between the two of them.
A truth doesn't have to be a universal truth to be a truth.
Particular truth can have limited application.
In fact, pretty much every truth humans are capable of perceiving has limited application. Only God inhabits and comprehends universal truth.
Having said that, I think it is possible for humans to comprehend some truths that are, for all practical purposes, universal because they apply to every situation we can perceive.
Much of it is a matter of understanding that we see truth within particular frames.
Only God has a universal frame of reference.
@fredsbend And I do think it's possible for us to know that the barn actually is red.
3 hours later…
3:40 AM
@LeeWoofenden That's what I've been saying. Drawing that line is practical and subjective. And deciding to move it one way or the other is a subjective call. Further still, in some rare instances insisting blue is still green is the most practical approach, however Orwellian that decision might be.
4:20 AM
@LeeWoofenden So sins are only sins if they cause any damage, e.g. the harm principle?
5:11 AM
Q: Does Trinitarian seem too broad to you?

Peter TurnerI may be a dopey dumb Catholic, but if I had to say something about "most Christians" it's that they're Trinitarians. I realize that there are non-Trinitarian Christians out there. But how on earth can you scope a question for Trinitarians? There's no moral authority for Trinitarians. (Except...

5:27 AM
@Birdie Yes, of course. Why would something be a sin if it caused no harm? God doesn't make rules just for the fun of it.
@fredsbend So there really is no blue, and no green? They're just what we decide they are?
@LeeWoofenden Was there any harm in mixing linen and wool in clothing?
I disagree that masturbation causes no harm but even besides that, I don't see any evidence in the Bible to support the idea that all sins are sins purely due to harm caused.
And I don't think harm is so black and white.
@LeeWoofenden In actuality, yes, blue and green are labels we've assigned to them. In following the metaphor, blue theology verses green theology, with the assumption that the religion is true, yes, one of them certainly could be quite true. The only thing I've said is that we can never really know which, if either, is true.
8 hours later…
1:51 PM
@Birdie There is sin that is not deadly. 1 John 5:17. Is the mixing of threads of the same moral gravity as murder? As theft?
3 hours later…
4:22 PM
@Birdie As is clear from a number of statements in the Prophets and in the New Testament, many of the laws in the Law of Moses were given by Moses, not by God, and reflect cultural realities of the time rather than divine laws. That's why Christians don't follow those laws anymore. Do you personally observe the law not to mix linen and wool?
@Birdie Anything done at the wrong place and time, too much, too little, and so on, can cause harm. But medical science and psychology have by now solidly established that masturbation, done in moderation, not only causes no harm but actually has positive effects--though not as positive as mutual, consensual, loving sex.
@fredsbend Language doesn't determine reality. It reflects reality. Different languages have different words for "green" and "blue," but that has no effect whatsoever on the actual phenomena and existence of green and blue.
@fredsbend Green and blue don't represent "alternative facts," to use a recent meme. They are each descriptive of different parts of reality.
@fredsbend And I understand that it is your opinion that we cannot know which, if either, is true. I disagree.
There is such a thing as greater and lesser light, not only physically but also mentally. When there is greater light, there is greater ability to see clearly what is true and what is false.
4:48 PM
@LeeWoofenden 1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known
@KorvinStarmast What conclusions do you draw from that verse?
5:16 PM
@LeeWoofenden It was intended as a complement to your point on the light and perception.
@KorvinStarmast Ah. Okay.
5:41 PM
@LeeWoofenden Whereas Catholic teaching says that Masturbation is an offense against the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th commandments and probably the 4th, maybe the 1st depending on how much you love yourself.
There's something about this question that just doesn't sit right with me:
Q: According to Evangelicals, will the saved ever experience the magnitude of their sins?

Simply a ChristianOn another website, one person said this concerning Catholicism and Purgatory, My own vision of purgatory, for which I claim no doctrinal validity, has some interesting echoes in the platonic version (which I have never seen till now.) It is that we are shown for the first time the true evil ...

Does anyone else agree, but not quite strongly enough to VTC? Is it just inherently opinion based due to the nature of Evangelicalism, or is it because the OP is not defining his terms (especially "experience" and "magnitude") clearly?
6:28 PM
@PeterTurner And that, to me, underlines just how little the Catholic Church understands the Bible and human sexuality.
The Catholic Church is what got Western Christianity started on its horribly wrong understanding of sexuality, and its adding to the Bible all sorts of sexual strictures that the Bible never makes, nor even implies.
Or to put it in the vernacular: The Catholic Church has major hangups about sex.
@bruisedreed The question is a bit broad, because "Evangelicals" encompasses quite a wide variety of denominations and perspectives. But other than that, the question seems clear enough to me. The quote from the other website sufficiently describes by example what the OP means by "experience" and "magnitude."
7:07 PM
@bruisedreed I think if you're gonna make tag edits (which are legit) you probably should edit the title and a bit of the content too, otherwise if the comments are deleted the only think left'll be the tags and no one will remember why it was tagged as such.
7:31 PM
@PeterTurner 1. I was responding to a suggested edit of one additional tag. 2. I think the question is still unclear and the OP was engaging in a comment exchange with Lee. I wasn't going to pre-empt that process by trying to guess the OP's intent with a more significant edit.
8:20 PM
+ even if the comment is deleted (and I don't imagine that happening before the question is either closed or becomes well-formed), the reason for the edit is recorded in the edit history
2 hours later…
10:08 PM
@LeeWoofenden All of Leviticus is full of "And the Lord said to Moses", not "And Moses thought to himself". I don't see how you can turn that into Moses inventing the law, unless Moses was lying.
And if you think that Moses was lying and God allowed that into the canon of Scripture then there's even less of a common foundation than I thought between you and I.
10:25 PM
@Birdie Swedenborgians believe it all Canon, but whether Lee personally believes that, I don't know.
Q: What writings are held as "biblical canon" by Swedenborgians?

AndrewReading an article on Emanuel Swedenborg, I came across the following fact: It should be noted, however, that Corinthians is not included in the list of books that, according to Swedenborg, constitute the divinely inspired Biblical canon. (Source: Heaven and Hell (Swedenborg), on Wikipedia) ...

@fredsbend I know he thinks it's canon, but that doesn't mean he thinks it's true when it claims to be given by God to Moses (which is what he's suggesting when he says it was given by Moses not God).
@Birdie If I had to guess, from my extensive chats with Lee, he believes that the OT law's the Jews followed are not necessary because they were given to suit the ancient Jews, not modern Christians.
@fredsbend That doesn't solve the problem of it being sin in the OT time to mix linen and cotton. There's no harm that I can see in mixing them, but he claims that all sin is harm-based. Not only is harm impossible to accurately define (which is why the harm principle is a poor moral foundation), but the Bible doesn't speak of sin exclusively in terms of things that cause harm.
@Birdie Hey, I can't defend Lee once he's backed into a corner. I just thought it worth noting that Swedenborgians have a trimmed down Canon, and further hold some books of their canon in higher regard than others.
@Birdie In my studies, sin is harm and offense to God. It has nothing to do with yourself, or even other people. Sometimes they overlap, but sometimes not.
I find sin to be almost undefinable without a list of what actions/thoughts/etc. are sin and what are not.
I also find this an unacceptable way to live. I do not find authoritarian ethics suitable, livable, or even practical.
10:46 PM
@Birdie Then what do you do with this statement:
> Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel . . . . In the day that I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to them or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. (Jeremiah 7:21-22, italics added)
When there are actual ethical systems that can give you consistently moral decisions, authoritarian ethics seems ... infantile.
I mean, "dos and don'ts are exactly the kind of thing newbies try to find on any given subject. If your a child, literal dos and don'ts of life are easy to understand, if you could just remember them. But, to quote a famous author:
> When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
@Birdie And with Jesus' reply to the question:
> They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." (Matthew 19:7-8)
If you read Deuteronomy 24:1-4, where the statement about the certificate of divorce occurs, it is not presented as Moses speaking, but is in a series of laws given by God.
The complex intricacies of moral decision making cannot be adequately, accurately, or even helpfully covered by an authoritarian ethic (aka, list of sins). A synthesized protocol that can churn out consistently moral decisions proves necessary. You have a problem, you apply the ethical rubric, then exercise the decision.
Unless you believe that all of those laws are simply Moses speaking, and not God.
Further, if these were truly divine laws, they would be eternal. God's laws aren't temporary. Human adaptations to God's laws may be temporary. But those are just that: human adaptations. And both the Prophets and the New Testament make it clear that the system of Mosaic ceremonial and purity laws were adaptations to the "heard hearts" and "stiff necks" of the ancient Israelite people.
Most of the laws given in the Pentateuch were, as @fredsbend has alluded to, simply codifications of cultural codes that had already existed for many centuries, and that were not unique to the Hebrew people. Are you going to try to argue that all of the ancient Middle Eastern cultural codes of behavior were, in fact, divine laws?
Q: What is the biblical support for the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of Old Testament laws?

fredsbendI just asked this question looking for where this view point came from and when it was made popular. Ceremonial Law: This type of law relates to Israel's worship. (Lev 1:1-13) The laws pointed forward to Jesus Christ and were no longer necessary after Jesus' death and resurrection. Though we ...

Q: Where did the moral-civil-ceremonial distinction of Old Testament laws come from and when was it popularized?

fredsbendWhen answering this question: How many laws from Old Testament are still valid in New Testament? I was reminded that my answer is not Biblically derived in making the trinary distinction of Old Testament Laws described below: Ceremonial Law: This type of law relates to Israel's worship. (Lev ...

This scheme has been the basis to reject Levitical law for a long time.
10:56 PM
@fredsbend That's not just my belief. Christianity in general believes that the OT laws of ritual and sacrifice were for the Jews, but are no longer binding on Christians. Christianity in general also believes, based on the Letter to the Hebrews, that those laws embodied and symbolized things that would be fulfilled centuries later in Christ.
What traditional Christianity doesn't have, but Swedenborg does, is a detailed understanding of exactly how those ancient ceremonial laws prefigured and symbolized the deeper, spiritual and divine things that Christ accomplished during his lifetime on earth.
@LeeWoofenden I don't think the ten commandments are remarkable either. The first three are basically "respect your only god", the fourth "give God your time too", the next five are practically universal, and the tenth (which may have been novel at the time) "your thoughts lead to actions, so watch bad thoughts too."
Traditional Christianity has fuzzy notions about Christ shedding his blood as a sacrifice for sin. But it completely misunderstands the nature of the OT sacrifices, and it has no sensible rationale for how Christ's blood could accomplish atonement.
It has added onto the Bible a whole peripheral structure of satisfaction, substitution, and so on that has no biblical basis whatsoever, and that completely misses the point.
@fredsbend Obviously the point was not to reveal new ideas to humanity. The ancient Israelites were not so stupid that they didn't already know these things.
Q: Do 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity in Africa every year?

Mohammad Sakib ArifinThe internet is full of claims like "More than 6 millions muslims become christian every year in Africa only." The claim is made mostly in pro-Christian pages. Is there any truth to this claim?

@LeeWoofenden Perhaps because it's stupid in the first place. Christ's death makes no logical sense to accomplish anything, yet with the Resurrection it is the mark of a Christian.
@fredsbend It makes no logical sense from the standpoint of traditional Christian theology, which has made the Crucifixion itself to be redemption and atonement. Based on that theology, you could just throw away the rest of the NT, tell the story about the Crucifixion, and you'd be done. It's a bone-headed theology.
And it has nothing to do with anything taught in the Bible. It was an accretion built up over many centuries of human theologians totally missing the point of the Bible stories, and in many cases simply ignoring them.
11:01 PM
@LeeWoofenden It makes no logical sense at all, with any theology. Why would the Almighty, the one obsessed with glory, die like a criminal, only to be resurrected?
If as some kind of example, why not just raise up people who were already dead?
@fredsbend I'm afraid you do not know every theology. Forget Swedenborg. Christus Victor has a much more sensible account of what Christ accomplished than either Catholic substitutionary soteriology or Protestant penal substitution theology.
@fredsbend Also, the Almighty is not "obsessed with glory."
@fredsbend The Crucifixion was Christ's final battle in a lifetime of battles against the Devil, hell, evil, and sin. It by itself didn't accomplish anything, any more than the final victory of a long war accomplished what the entire war accomplished.
@LeeWoofenden I think you don't know what "logical" means ... It fails the sniff test. It's stupid no matter what you do with it.
@fredsbend A human being cannot provide the example that God can. If God does it, it's divine. If a human being does it, it's merely human.
@fredsbend It's certainly stupid if you don't understand it . . . which you don't.
@LeeWoofenden He is, and there's dozens of verses and stories to show it.
@fredsbend You also don't understand how the Bible works. The Bible is written to communicate with rather stupid and idiotic human beings. It has to say many things in human cultural idioms and attitudes or we simply wouldn't understand it.
11:08 PM
@LeeWoofenden That's stupid too. An omnipotent God against a finite creation of his own has long battles with said creation? Only if it's for show.
God is commonly portrayed in the Bible as a king sitting on a throne. Does that mean God really is a king sitting on a throne up in heaven? I don't think so.
@LeeWoofenden Uhm ... human beings don't raise from the dead. Not usually, anyway.
@fredsbend It's more complicated than that. The Devil (a personification of evil) had infiltrated humanity. Sure, God could have easily wiped out all evil with a wave of a finger. God could do that right now, and all evil would instantly be gone. And so would all of humanity, because all of humanity is inextricably linked to evil.
@LeeWoofenden Understanding nonsense is a skill I don't have, true.
God had to fight evil in such a way that evil was overcome without destroying all humans who have some connection with evil--which is all of humanity. So it was a delicate surgical operation as well as an operation that required infinite power.
11:10 PM
@LeeWoofenden Literally or metaphorically, it's still the same image. He's the boss and you should do what he says.
@fredsbend Actually, it happens all the time, in hospitals all around the world.
@fredsbend That's one way of looking at it. But Jesus also said that we are no longer to call him master but friend. The relationship is not merely a boss / underling relationship.
No, medical practice has a hard time marking the point of death, if there is one.
Nobody anywhere has been dead for days or weeks, then come back to life.
"Dead" for an hour or two in a hospital, I'll grant that.
@fredsbend Right. So maybe Jesus didn't really die, as one recent questioner said, but just looked like he was dead, and revived on the third day. And maybe none of the people whose hearts stopped and brain waves stopped and subsequently revived were really dead.
@fredsbend Few NDEers claim any more than a few hours. For most it's a matter of minutes, though the experiential time during their experience is commonly much longer.
Anyway, we could quibble about death all we want. Back to the point, Jesus' death and resurrection was simply one part--albeit the final part, of a lifetime of accomplishing our salvation.
Attributing all of salvation and atonement to Jesus' death makes all the rest of his life completely unnecessary.
Traditional Christian theology is based on a few Bible verses taken out of context and misunderstood.
11:14 PM
@LeeWoofenden I there's a verifiable story of a days dead person, clearly rotting corpse, etc. that's a resurrection. "brain dead" (which we hardly understand what that medically means) for a few hours then suddenly not can be explained by the mystery still remaining about the body that we do not know. You can keep filling these gaps with God, but experience should tell you that you're going to be disappointed sooner or later.
@fredsbend It was just an aside. Virgin births are also quite common in nature, and scientists have now even managed to accomplish them in mammals. I wouldn't want to base a whole theology on that.
@LeeWoofenden Dreams that seem hours last seconds. And they're not dead or experiencing anything outside of their own heads.
@fredsbend Right. "Time" in our mental world does not correlate on any one-to-one basis with physical time.
@LeeWoofenden Yes, parthenogenesis. Consider the whiptail. I don't see how you can criticize the virgin birth, and not at the same time criticize resurrection.
Parthenogenesis doesn't happen in humans, and you know this. Is a divine virgin birth more likely or that a young girl in a misogynistic society would lie about it?
@fredsbend Now that parthenogenesis has been accomplished in mice, however, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that it could be accomplished in humans.
@fredsbend That all depends on your perspective. If God had something to accomplish via a virgin birth, then that makes more sense than Mary (and Joseph) lying about it.
The Virgin Birth only makes sense if it's part of a greater plan by God to accomplish the salvation of humankind. And if God has that purpose, and being born of a virgin is a necessary part of that purpose, then that's really no problem for God.
11:20 PM
@LeeWoofenden Today, with serious scientific intervention, it's already been done in a petri dish. The scientist thought he cloned, so that unfortunately overshadows it as a hoax. It's still a breakthrough in embryology.
@fredsbend So then what are we arguing about?
If humans can do it, would it really be impossible for God to do it?
Last I checked, God was supposed to be more powerful, and also more intelligent, than human beings.
@LeeWoofenden We were talking about the ridiculousness of the whole thing, but that just queues your typical, "well, you don't understand it." This stuff, I find, continuously comes down to theodicy. Omnipotence doesn't mesh well with other traits God is claimed to have.
Make a virgin birth? Why? "Oh, there's some purpose." Sure, but he's omnipotent. Why something so weird and seemingly pointless? He could have done anything, but chose that. It makes you wonder if he's thinking straight.
@fredsbend Not if you have a reasonable theology of the Incarnation. Which, for the most part, traditional Christianity doesn't.
@LeeWoofenden The OT god also says he wants to be close to us. An incarnation is a great idea. But then part of the plan is to die and come back, but only for a few days? WTF? I thought you wanted to be with us, or us with you, or something. Why not have God on Earth? Why leave the kids unattended for so long? Haven't you seen what we've done to the place?
@bruisedreed This question makes me think of a quote that I thought was from Calvin, cited by Piper, but which I can't find now. Something along the lines of that we are not aware of even 1 percent of our sin. Anyone know of such a quote?
11:28 PM
It keeps failing the sniff test.
@fredsbend This gets into your whole reason for being an agnostic: You don't see God hanging around here.
Unfortunately, if God were hanging around here, it would be awfully hard for us humans to live our own life, make our own choices, and so on.
The disciples could hang around Jesus precisely because they didn't really experience him as God. And at that time, he was not fully God, because he still had a finite human nature from his human mother.
@LeeWoofenden Not an omnipotent and benevolent one, no. The two cannot coexist in one being if the world is the way it is.
Having God here all the time would be like never becoming emancipated from our parents. We would never really be our own man or woman.
To become an adult, you have to emancipate yourself at some point.
Hard to do with the parental units hanging around all the time.
@LeeWoofenden No, it wouldn't be hard to live a life. It would be easier without worrying about all the horrible things that could happen.
@fredsbend Those "horrible things" are precisely how we learn to be truly human.
God did not make a mistake in allowing horrible evil to happen.
11:31 PM
@LeeWoofenden Or like having a benevolent and magnificent king. A metaphor right out of the Bible, so you can't really argue with it.
No matter how much atheists like to gripe and complain about those poor gazelles and bunny rabbits. I think they should grow a pair.
The atheists, not the gazelles and bunny rabbits. ;-)
@LeeWoofenden Nope. I can reason murder is bad without having to murder, be murdered, witness a murder, or otherwise know that they happen with quite some frequency, and often to the most innocent of us, children.
@LeeWoofenden He did.
@fredsbend You could know that theoretically. But without any actual murders, it would be pure theory. And although you might have a fine, abstract, analytical mind, the bulk of humanity does not, unfortunately. They have to see it to believe it.
@LeeWoofenden Flattery won't win you points. You're still wrong.
@fredsbend That's your opinion. And I understand why you think that way. But if you're going to reject God on that account, you're just going to have to reject god.
@fredsbend It's not flattery. It's a fact. It's easy for armchair liberals to pontificate about all the beauteous beauties that our world should be. They generally have rich parents or good jobs and plenty of brains and connections to get them by. But that's not how most of the world is, or lives.
11:35 PM
@LeeWoofenden I'll accept him as he is, just like I do for anyone. But I don't believe he holds all of the typical Christian characteristics.
Deciding if I like him or not greatly depends on an accurate picture of him.
@fredsbend Precisely. And unfortunately, traditional Christianity has painted a very inaccurate picture of God.
@LeeWoofenden You address immediate concerns first ... You can't worry about the cost of rice in china when you can't even buy some right now in the USA.
When elevated above primal necessities long enough, many, perhaps most, start thinking a little more deeply about things.
@fredsbend Sure. But for most of human history, most people have not been elevated above primal necessities. And God had to speak to all of those people too. God doesn't speak only to rich, comfortable intellectuals.
@LeeWoofenden Inconsistent, but that's better than blurred, which your picture of him continues to be in my mind. You say seemingly contradictory things pretty often.
@fredsbend Of course it's blurred in your mind. Because you have only a slight awareness and knowledge of my theology.
11:39 PM
@LeeWoofenden That has nothing to do with is omnipotent decision to leave us all there. Meanwhile, we're rapidly heading to a post scarcity society that we built without God, assuming we don't blow ourselves up first.
@fredsbend I look forward to that post-scarcity society. I think it will deal the final blow to the travesty of "Christianity" that traditional Christianity has become.
@LeeWoofenden I don't see Christianity surviving it in any meaningful way.
@fredsbend I don't see Christianity as it now exists surviving in any meaningful way. And that includes the denomination I grew up in, and the other Swedenborgian denominations as well. My own denomination probably has only a few decades to go. And the big Christian denominations probably have only a few hundred years to go, if they're lucky.
If my extrapolation of my denomination's membership numbers is correct, I may well outlive it. I would only have to live into my mid-80s.
Well, the extrapolation is correct. The question is whether things continue to go the way they have been for the past century.
@LeeWoofenden Reconciling with death is the final blow. Or actually solving it.
If you think you can live forever, or readily accept that you will one day not exist, Christianity holds no further promise.
@fredsbend My denomination has not reconciled with death. And it's not as if the subject hasn't been brought up. I wrote about five or six years ago in a front-page article in the denomination's official magazine, published the chart projecting when the denomination would die if trends continue, and the whole nine yards.
@fredsbend It's fantastically unlikely that we would find Jesus' bones--or the bones of any of the other peasants he hung around with. 2,000 years is a long time.
@LeeWoofenden I meant on a personal level. If the individual reconciles with the immanence of his own death, then Christianity loses it's biggest power: solace for the ill, fearful, and dying.
@LeeWoofenden There's lots more in there.
And unless and until we do, that's a purely hypothetical speculation. How would we even know that they were Jesus' bones? Do we have a DNA sample we could test against?
in Would Christianity survive if ... , Nov 27 '13 at 17:35, by fredsbend
WOULD CHRISTIANITY SURVIVE IF ... we found the fountain of youth?
@fredsbend If you think that's all Christianity is about, then you really have missed the point.
@fredsbend Another pure speculation. We can cross that bridge when we come to it.
11:48 PM
@LeeWoofenden Without that, it stops being Christianity and starts being something else, easily supplanted by close to anything else.
@LeeWoofenden I think you're missing the clearly speculative point of that whole room ...
It's easy to come up with reductio ad absurdom scenarios to explode any idea, belief, or scientific theory. What if Dawkins met God? What then? Huh?????!!!!!
@LeeWoofenden It just becomes a simple system to live by, not die by. But then, there's many "live by" systems that reach the same results.
@LeeWoofenden You're really no fun at all.
@fredsbend And yet . . . it's still a hypothetical.
17 secs ago, by fredsbend
@LeeWoofenden You're really no fun at all.
Further, I think that real Christianity is one of the better systems for building a good human society in this world, regardless of any future afterlife.
@fredsbend How do you do those chat quotes with links?
11:50 PM
I think the world is better without it. I see societies consistently make better decisions when they aren't routed through the Bible or Christianity first.
@LeeWoofenden Just paste in the link. One box automatically.
@fredsbend That's because the "Christianity" we've had is not really Christianity. and the "Bible" those Christians teach is not really the Bible.
1 min ago, by fredsbend
@LeeWoofenden You're really no fun at all.
44 mins ago, by Lee Woofenden
@fredsbend It's certainly stupid if you don't understand it . . . which you don't.
Ah, I see! ;-)
@LeeWoofenden No true Scotsman, here.
@LeeWoofenden Hmm. I'm regretting telling you ...
@fredsbend Not. The basic teachings of the Catholic and Protestant churches about God, salvation, atonement, and so on simply aren't stated in the Bible. And most of them are flatly contradicted by plain statements in the Bible.
@fredsbend Two can play at this game! :-P
11:54 PM
@LeeWoofenden The Bible by itself still has the issue I brought up. That's why I said both the Bible and Christianity. I'm very familiar that they are not quite the same thing.
@fredsbend Which issue are you talking about?
3 mins ago, by fredsbend
I think the world is better without it. I see societies consistently make better decisions when they aren't routed through the Bible or Christianity first.
@fredsbend I would say routed through stuff that is claimed to be in the Bible, but actually isn't.
I understand that the Bible is a complex book. But if your most basic teachings simply aren't stated there, then that's a problem.
The bulk of Protestantism has no problem saying, "The Bible says we are justified by faith alone," despite the fact that it actually doesn't say that, and in fact clearly and specifically denies it in the only passage in the Bible that actually mentions faith alone. And so on.
@fredsbend Okay. ttyl.

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