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5:10 AM
@waxeagle, thanks, I'm happy to leave it for now. Appreciate your re-reading (2x!) and comment here.
4 hours later…
9:33 AM
A: How is it that someone who lived thousands of years ago can "represent" me?

warrenI didn't get to vote or have any say in my forebears leaving their homelands and emigrating to the United States (or, The New World, as it was then known in Europe); nor did I have any say in whether or not to participate in their bloodline. Yet they represented me when they did it. If we take t...

why was my comment to that answer removed?
2 hours later…
11:15 AM
@TRiG I'm not a fan of religion either. I'm an advocate of non religious Christianity
@Waggers By what definition of religion can there be such a thing as non-religious Christianity?
@TRiG That can only be a meaningful objection inside a humanistic (relative to your social norm) view of morality. Furthermore you don't define 'sin' the same way those making that statement do.
@TRiG Note also that while I think the statement that 'all sins are equal' can be legitimate, it is only legitimate in a very specific context. In other contexts there is both Biblical and rational proof that they are not in fact the same. My point was that the person I was responding to was taking that to mean something the opposite of what it was supposed to mean.
11:40 AM
So far my little side-track into secular philosophy is somewhat amusing but not very enlightening.
@Caleb I find it a bit strange, I would have figured you are challenging the humanist's perspective.
@waxeagle How do you mean?
@Caleb Isn't the assumption of the humanist that man at his core is good?
I find the way humanists reason in objection to theistic religion to be utterly baffling. I'm trying to get my head around what they mean by the terms they use because we clearly don't mean the same thing.
@waxeagle I think it basically is, but how do they define 'good'?
@Caleb that does seem to be the crux of it.
yeah downvotes!
11:54 AM
@waxeagle The picture in my head right now has the logical conclusion of their world view nullifying one of the primary premises required to build it -- yet they love to cry foul at any number of alleged fallacies in our arguments or premises.
@Caleb I think I'd worry less about goodness.
17 hours ago, by TRiG
I'm not sure that intrinsically good is a useful, or even meaningful, measure. I'd go with intrinsically valuable. Humans are valuable (to humans, which is what we are). Hence we should seek to minimise pain. And there's the basic foundation of a consistent ethical system.
Can't login to chat on my pc, sending this from my phone
@Caleb I think I have to go back to the quote Trig posted yesterday about Liberals being more concerned with fairness and harm than purity, loyalty and authority. Once I got there things started to make more sense
@Waggers I couldn't get in either. There's a workaround.
@TRiG Ok. But how exactly is that feasable? You've raised numerous objections yourself to things you claim to be 'immoral', but if there isn't a good/evil reference point how are your objections meaningful?
11:57 AM
@Waggers. If you cannot log in to chat, go to christianity.stackexchange.com/users/chat-stackexchange-login
@Waggers have you tried logging out?
@Waggers Ya chat uses some crazy auth scheme and sometimes you get stuck in limbo. Logging OUT from the main stackexchange.com site should clear the data it saves using an HTML5 local data store and let you start over.
@Caleb I don't think categorising people as good or bad is very useful. Actions, yes.
Thanks all, I'll give those suggestions a go.
@TRiG our point, and the one that seems the most counter to humanism is that all people are bad. No need to categorize
12:02 PM
@waxeagle In which case it's a tautology, and therefore uninteresting.
Nope, still struggling.
@Waggers clear browser cache? I'm just throwin stuff out here. If still doesn't work post on a meta
@caleb Gerald Coates' book "non-religious Christianity" is probably worth a read if you can get hold of it
amazon link posted for completeness :)
12:13 PM
@waxeagle Waggers: clear cache, cookies, and HTML5 data storage, then try the link I posted above. It worked for me.
16 mins ago, by TRiG
@Waggers. If you cannot log in to chat, go to http://christianity.stackexchange.com/users/chat-stackexchange-login
@Waggers I'll check it out. I understand the argument that Christianity is altogether different than what most people expect from a religion because it is altogether different, but at the same time the dictionary definition seems to sum up Christianity just fine. I could also go through line by line at least the intro on the wikipedia page and call out what part of Christianity the definition they give applies to.
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in...
@Waggers Bah to not having a Kindle version.
@Caleb amen to this, I noticed that and was disappointed
I guess it's pretty old now
The book summary makes this statement "Jesus set Himself on a course where He continually clashed with the religious leaders and practices of His day." From that I am surmising that the book defines religion as a "works based system of salvation" such as Judaism was, then argues that Christianity is nothing like that. Is it something along those lines @Waggers?
I.... er... haven't... er... actually read it
The church I belong to is part of a national network that Gerald used to lead
12:23 PM
@Waggers Well that makes all of us.
But yes I think your summary is largely accurate. That and the fact we've added a lot of "traditional extras" to what it means to be a Christian
@Caleb Wow. That's a bold line to take.
@Waggers I noticed the distinction high church v low church was made in the review. IE tradition vs more modern church with less church hoopla
I think the "non religious" means anti-religiousness not anti-religion in the dictionary sense
@Waggers Getting rid of some "traditional extras" I can advocate for, but I don't see anything about that approach that makes Christianity fall outside the definition of the modern English term "religion". It might be valuable thing to self-examine what we've got, but whether you strip it bare or overload it with details it's still a religion.
@Richard Eh? Me in speculating what a book I've never read is about or the book in running with that line of thought?
12:32 PM
@Caleb Hehe. The line of thought that book is taking. Works based on salvation and stripping away all the "other stuff" is a bold way to go.
@Richard no specifically contrasting Christianity vs works based salvation.
Oh wait... I see now. It's the opposite direction. Gotcha.
Guess I should've clicked the link earlier. ;)
Still can't log in, I've even tried using a different browser. Oh well
@Waggers I'd post on a meta. take your pick, generally encouraged to use one you regularly participate in...
1:05 PM
For that matter, religion isn't necessarily based on belief, either.
@TRiG very true
@waxeagle As in pagan covens are split by practise, not by belief. I found the Paganism 101 at The Slacktiverse fascinating. It's so different to my background.
First comment also mentions that Judaism is in some ways similar.
I think you have to take a fairly broad definition of "religion", and I really can't see one which excludes any form of Christianity.
@TRiG agreed on this
1:25 PM
@Richard great question, I've heard it argued that it was indeed blood and that its evidence he died of a "broken heart"
@waxeagle LOL >< Wow! I think it was probably the crucifixion that killed him...
@waxeagle I've heard that to but think it's pretty silly speculation.
@Richard ...but I don't think he died of crucifixion either.
@Richard yeah I'm on that side, but I heard some very interesting teaching in various chapels during my ~9 months at an interdenominational language school in CR...
I mean yes he died while being crucified, but he kind of popped off early. The Romans were experts at dragging it out and he gave up the fight kind of prematurly.
@Caleb Really? I thought they were breaking their legs to speed it up.
1:28 PM
@Richard yeah, but they didn't have to break his
@Richard If I recall correctly, they would do that when something important was the next day, like the Sabbath.
Yeah... It was the Sabbath, so they were trying to speed it up:
@Richard Ya but why were they breaking legs in the first place? Because something happened that inturrupted the normal timeline and they needed to make sure it came to a sure end rather than playing out the long way.
But he was already dead.
@Richard right
which means there may have been some reason he died more quickly than intended...
who knows
1:30 PM
Hmmm.... Yeah, I can kind of see it. He did, to a degree, "pop off early".
Question time!
@Richard But my guess is that if his "heart was broken" in the garden he would have died a lot sooner...
@waxeagle Well, he DID have massive blood loss prior to being put on the cross.
@Richard Yup. Even faster than the accerated schedule. I think he surrendered his own life (in fulfillment of prophecy)
@ElendiaStarman no doubt, but I'd imagine this wasn't atypical of crucifixion vics
@Caleb That too.
1:31 PM
@ElendiaStarman True, more than many others crucified. But we still have a clue in the text that that wasn't the crux of the matter.
Q: Did Jesus die earlier than expected?

RichardThe Bible seems to indicate that Jesus died before the others that were being crucified. John 19:31-33 (NIV) 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they as...

@Richard my understanding was that this was at least in part to fulfill a prophecy, is this correct?
From the Wikipedia article on hematidrosis:
> Another effect is that the skin becomes extremely tender and fragile, so that any pressure or damage to the skin is more than ordinarily painful.
@waxeagle Aah, maybe so.
Arg. I've got to leave for class soon, otherwise I'd be writing up my own answer now.
Seeya guys! :)
1:39 PM
Q: Did the Romans not breaking Jesus' legs fulfill a prophecy?

wax eagleI seem to remember that Jesus having already died and not needing his legs broken fulfilled an OT prophecy. Where was this prophecy recorded and what did it say?

1:51 PM
@Caleb or princess bride too :)
@waxeagle Actually that IS what I meant. I'll fix it, I'm adding verses now anyway.
@Caleb :)
2:07 PM
Now, with references both biblical and ... um ... not.
@Richard I believe the Lamb was the specific thing I was thinking of.
@waxeagle Aah. Yeah, most people point out one or the other. The NIV has a reference that points to the three different places (two for the passover lamb and one for Psalms).
2:29 PM
Woo hoo I'm back on chat properly :)
@Waggers excellent
Here's what caused the problem... meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/108439/…
Not sure why chat worked on my phone though!
@Waggers /me wonders if that will fix the issues I was having on my phone...
nope, droid stack still doesn't work. pretty sure its related to the default browser on my phone :(
I haven't tried any SE apps on my phone, just use the mobile site in a browser. Is DroidStack any good (when it works)?
@Waggers it seems like the nicest one, but I can't get chat to function through the app, it works fine on my regular browser
however Caleb uses it for chat
4 hours later…
6:31 PM
@Richard how many 200+ rep days do you have now?
wow nearly halfway to epic...
@waxeagle I think I'm up to 17. However, when questions get deleted, it drops me. So, I think I'm down to 12-13 at this point. :\ I hate seeing those 196s and 183.
@Richard I counted 22
Huh. I count 14.
there are 2 pages :)
Woh! That makes me smile. =D
6:54 PM
A: What are we going to ask Grammar Girl?

TRiGOn a note somewhat related to the question about gyrl, how about, What do you think of gender-neutral pronouns? I am used to areas where they are used commonly, even of and by cissexual people whose gender is unambiguous. And I have used them in that light here at Stack Exchange, as, for example,...

Let's reopen that old fight.
Everything's been far too polite recently.
@TRiG :) lol you haven't been in the side rooms :)
@waxeagle I popped my head into Creationism chat once or twice, but not in the past couple of days.
@TRiG some of the discussions that spawned from comment streams have been tense at times...
not too bad...but more argumentative than the main chat has been
@waxeagle If I was less busy, I'd ask for links, so I could revel in other people's vitriol. :)
@TRiG lol
just atheist and beatme being theirselves mostly :)
6:59 PM
@waxeagle Well, it would make a change from my own. ;)
@waxeagle Ah. I had a short run-in with Atheist. I was largely agreeing with him, but it was still a bit fractious. I've not seen him at all on the main site, yet.
@TRiG he hasn't said much in the main chat, has been active in some posts and comment streams on the site...
@waxeagle BeatMe (what I saw of him) was more reasonable. I saw that one of them (Atheist, I think, but I forget) had put up a whole series of videos. I don't know whether they were any good, because I'm no good at taking in information that way. I get information from reading, or from a good radio documentary, not from videos. YouTube is for entertainment, in my book.
@TRiG lol, I just don't have time or energy to watch videos. I'd rather learn from radio or reading as well.
That said, I'm hardly a shrinking violet afraid of conflict myself.
@TRiG conflict isn't a big deal, although I'm not sure I see a huge amount of value in unresolvable debate...
7:13 PM
@waxeagle It's a matter of attitude, I suppose. I try to avoid poking people for the fun of it.
@TRiG makes sense to me
Sep 12 at 22:48, by Flimzy
I think it's clear that some of TRiG's posts (both on this matter, and others) indicate a tendency for him to fight.... but that doesn't mean that everyone involved in the conversation is "fighting."
Did that post twice? I'm having timeout problems here.
Anyway, yes, I do have, perhaps, a "tendency to fight", but I try to avoid it getting personal. When someone really gets on my goat I just ignore them altogether.
8:09 PM
8:25 PM
@Flimzy you're right, and I've deleted my answer
8:37 PM
I hope this site eventually goes live if for no other reason than I want to get a copy of the data dump to do some analysis on. I think I could write something that pretty accurately predicts people's belief systems based on the way they GET voted/commented in what places. Just the votes on questions vs. votes on answers metric seems to pretty consistently place people closer to one end of a particular spectrum than another.
Combine that with knowing what questions are tagged and I think I could place people pretty close without even analyzing content.
That would be interesting.
I have 3 questions, 2 answers and lots of comments. I made 83 votes, 69 up, 14 down. 38 votes on questions, 45 votes on answers. What am I?
8:53 PM
@TRiG I'm going to have to ask that you refrain from that kind of name calling around here, particularly when directed at specific people. See the Chat FAQ.
@Caleb And how would you then check the accuracy of those predictions?
One topic at a time. Savvy on the other topic @TRiG?
@Caleb Excuse delay. Waiting for browser to finish crashing. Yeah. As I said, I mainly ignore him. There's only so much dehumanising language I can take in a day.
@TRiG That's not the point. The point is you didn't just make a general statement of your chat methodology, you went on to condemn a specific user for his views and call him names. That is not allowed here. Got it?
@Caleb Okay.
9:06 PM
@TRiG Alright deal. I'm going to delete/edit that bit out for you rather than flag as offensive. Consider this a warning on that topic.
And, to be clear, I don't ignore him just in chat.
@Richard I am sorry Richard, but you have completely turned around the meaning of my question by editing it. My point was all about the
definition of a "Christian" or "a brother in Christ" You have turned it into whether a prayer is enough for salvation. I was not interested in
discussing the matter of salvation in my question, my main point was the definition of a Christian - earlier I asked this question, but
@TRiG You do know about the ignore function in chat (click on the user to get the menu)?
it turned out that it was too broad, so now I am asking smaller ones to refine the definition of a "Christian" or "a brother in Christ". I am NOT asking
about salvation - it's totally another topic. After all, some believe that there are a lot of genuine brothers in Christ who may not be saved, yet they are real Christians. Thus, the matter of
@TRiG You can ignore him or anyone else anywhere you like, that's your prerogative in these parts, but you can't call people names like that.
9:08 PM
salvation is irrelevant to my question. So, I had to roll back. No offense is meant here. It's just that you have turned my question into
something that I was not planning to ask and is not interested to discuss at the moment.
@Fabian He's not in chat often enough to annoy me. And if he ever is, I'll simply leave. I'm not interested in reading half a conversation.
@Caleb Because calling out someone's bigotry is worse than actually, you know, being a bigot?
@brilliant I haven't seen the question or edit yet, but any question of a definition of Christian is likely to be off topic here. Maybe he was trying to salvage a part of the question that would be on topic by editing.
Though I admit that such calling out should be done properly, in context, and not as an aside to another conversation, which was the way I did it.
So scratch that.
@brilliant Per the faq, anyone who calls themselves a Christian is a christian. It seemed that your question was related to salvation (which was my misunderstanding).
I was simply trying to clarify the question. Thank you for clarifying here.
@Caleb Why such a crucial question as the definition of Christian, which lays almost in the basis of the notion of Christianity is off topic? It's like studying Chemistry while being forbidden to specify what the scope of chemistry studies is!
@Richard Thanks for your understanding. I don't want to make an impression here that I am always against any revision of my questions
9:15 PM
@brilliant No, that's totally cool. I misread the question and was just trying to reword it.
@TRiG That is neither here nor there according to the FAQ and it's not his messages I just had to delete, they were yours. As far as his conduct goes I haven't seen any instances in his writing where he was a bigot as defined on wikipedia as "one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs". He's belittled a few views and been corrected for it, but that's not the same as animosity. If you see the latter flag them for a moderators attention.
@brilliant This was discussed on meta, actually:
Q: What is the definition of "Christian"?

FlimzyFor the purpose of answering questions along the lines of "Is X Christian?" (several examples of which have already come up--and undoubtedly will continue to come up, especially once the site is public), I wonder if we need a definition of "Christian." As I mentioned in one of my own answers, th...

@Caleb Or it's like programming without defining variables and functions
@Caleb It was dehumanising language which put my back up.
@Richard Thanks, going to read it now.
9:17 PM
@brilliant The problem is that if we try to say this group/person is or is not a Christian, we run into a slippery slope. The only way we can avoid that is by accepting anyone who calls themselves a Christian. I think everyone agrees this is a poor definition, but we had to draw the line somewhere and this is the only thing that made sense.
@TRiG That would have to be up to users to identify whether the results were correct for themselves.
@Richard I disagree. I think it should be remembered that Christian is an English word. And words have different meanings in different contexts. And in secular context, "someone who considers zirself a Christian" is an excellent definition.
@TRiG Fair enough.
@brilliant No it's more like running a bunch of programming interpretors on an unknown system architecture, but all you can work with is the different languages you cannot actually scope the system you are running on.
In any event it's been decided that questions that try to define whether X is or is not Christian are off topic. We all have lots of ideas on the matter and most of us agree that only one set of our ideas is ultimately right (usually our own) but this site is specifically NOT the place to work out that definition.
And over on EL&U chat the other day they were discussing pictures of penises and I missed it. One wonders why I hang around here instead.
9:26 PM
@Richard What kind of slippery slope do you mean?
@Caleb Why was this question not closed then? christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1338/…
@brilliant Well one reason was it was a month ago and we were just getting started and not very good at identifying things that did or didn't cross the undrawn lines in the sand.
@Caleb Sincerely, I don't understand you here. How can I ever progress in, say, my understanding of arithmetic if I don't know that it is about numbers and not words?
Secondly that does scope itself a little bit in that it rules out some of the trickiest issues by limiting itself to a specific text.
@brilliant It's like this: Clearly main-stream Christianity would define Jehovah's Witnesses as non-Christians. But if you can exclude one group, then the majority will overrule the minority and begin excluding Mormons. And since the majority around here are Protestants, they may end up deciding to exclude Catholics.
@brilliant If we start excluding anyone, then we may end up excluding almost everyone.
@Caleb Isn't it that befor you approach any topic you need to define that topic's main basic notions, otherwise we'll be just flying in the air without understanding each other.
9:30 PM
Just found this on Wikiquote. Now I have to wait for a chance to use it.

> Your argument is buttocks; it stinks, it has a large crack up the middle, and frankly it's beneath you.

@brilliant We have defined the main basic notion: For the scope of asking/answering questions on the only thing that makes something Christian is that some group identifies it as so. After that you need to specifically scope your questions and answers to identify what view you want to hear from or claim to speak for.
@brilliant The point is some of us say one thing about it and some another. You can ask questions about words or about numbers here, you just have to specify which group you want to hear from.
@Richard Well, let me ask you: does excluding here means banning from participating on Christianty.stack? If not, what are we afraid of then? Why not letting people know who considers whom to be a Christian?
@brilliant This concept was covered here:
Q: What translations do we accept?

RichardI was half-considering answering a question by creating my own translation of the Bible. I decided against it (for the time being), but it brought up an interesting question in my mind: What translations do we accept? Let's follow the logical train: Clearly, we accept the original language (...

although it sounds off topic...
@brilliant Viewpoints that aren't acceptable could have been closed as off-topic, deleted, down-voted, etc.
It was a very big topic when we first went into beta and something that I worked hard to keep as open and unrestricted as possible.
@Caleb "you just have to specify which group you want to hear from" - isn't it exactly what I did here? christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/3814/… However that question still remains closed
@Richard Well, I am not talking about different translations of the Bible, I am talking about definition of the word "Christian" being a fundamental thing for this very website
Actually, you were asking what "excluding" means here. That topic was covered in the meta post. Also in my text just below that... That was the question I was addressing.
9:41 PM
@Richard I still don't understand: what are we afraid of? Let all kinds of people claiming to be a Christian answer specifying first their association. For example, "I am a member of LDS, according to our view the right way of answering this question would be..."
@brilliant That particular question is closed because it's a duplicate. The original is still closed because it still asks in such a way that begs the questions of why LDS are not Christian. You can ask how they are different but not in that tone. I tried to fix that for you already.
@brilliant If you can get our LDS folk (and anybody else for that matter) to actually do that, more power to you.
@Richard Yes, thanks for brining me back on track. But I still don't understand how the matter of excluding is related to different translations of the Bible.
@brilliant No, no. It's worse. We're not afraid of opening things up, we're afraid of closing things down. As I mentioned above, we have to define a Christian as anyone who calls themselves a Christian. Otherwise, we may end up beginning to exclude specific groups.
@brilliant We have a couple Eastern Ortodox guys who do it regularly and a handful of Catholics, but it's pretty rocky after that. Everybody just wants to say their view is the right Christian view.
It's all about what we allow and what we exclude. In the end, we have to allow everything or else we start down that slippery slope again.
9:45 PM
@Richard Okay, here is one "twist" for you: today I was talking to one Albanian and he told me that while being a Muslim he also considers himself and all other Muslims a Christian, because they also believe in Christ (alas as a prophet only)
so would you also consider him to be a Christian?
have you seen this tag?
Realistically, would a Muslim come to Christianity.SE and ask about the Qu'ran?
@Richard "but it's pretty rocky after that. Everybody just wants to say their view is the right Christian view" - I don't understand what's so bad about it? What if I want to know all possible views in Christianity on one particular topic - no matter how controversial they are - why are we restricting people from doing that?
@Richard "Realistically, would a Muslim come to Christianity.SE and ask about the Qu'ran?" - He may come or he may not, it really has no relevance to my question.
@brilliant We're not! That's the point I've trying to make. We fought since early beta to keep things as unrestricted as possible.
@Richard That's also why I said this.
:2099910"but it's pretty rocky after that. Everybody just wants to say their view is the right Christian view" - I don't understand what's so bad about it? What if I want to know all possible views in Christianity on one particular topic - no matter how controversial they are - why are we restricting people from doing that?
9:51 PM
@Richard Ooops! I am sorry - that one was meant for Caleb
@Richard I am totally confused now. Really. I don't understand anything here now.
I am kind of going crazy now. I need to stop and rethink all the things we have discussed here.
It boils down to this: We try to be as liberal as possible--as accepting as possible--to the definition of Christianity. Because of that, anyone who declares himself a Christian is a Christian per this site. Also, all questions regarding the definition of Christianity is off topic (since it's covered by the FAQ).
Also, we close the questions regarding the definition of Christianity as Not Constructive since we already have a definition of Christianity. Any further discussion of this topic tends to be divisive (for the reasons I've talked about above).
@brilliant There are a handful of Muslims that talk like that, but it's not an official teaching of Islam.
@brilliant And we aren't talking about whether Richard or I or anybody else would consider anybody here Christian or not, only whether questioning so is an on-topic issue on this site.
@Caleb I know one guy on h2g2 who talks like that, but I don't think he's an orthodox Muslim. He has some weird kind of fusion religion.
9:58 PM
@TRiG I call that grocery store religion, and it makes him a "Bargain Shopper" not a Christian or a Muslim or anything else :)
@Richard Eurica! I got it. The problem here is this: we are confusing "a Christian suitable for christianity.se" with "a Christian". You see that? FAQ covers the first one, but in the question we should still be allowed to discuss the second one, having previously stated what kind of "a Christian suitable for christianity.se" we are.
@brilliant Basically we are all here pulling the classic secular stunt of being tolerant of everything except intolerance.
@Caleb "There are a handful of Muslims that talk like that, but it's not an official teaching of Islam" - and so? He still claims to be a Christian,which means that according to FAQ we should consider him to be a Christian, isn't it?
@Caleb Well, there's fusion and fusion. The people who go on about Native American dreamcatchers and the like are just annoying (to everyone, not least the Native Americans), but Christianity and Islam do share roots, and it's certainly possible to build up a coherent Christianity/Islam fusion.
(Well, as coherent as any other religion.)
@Caleb Christians including myself object to this all the time when it's the culture vs the church, but in this case we're all playing the role of culture and there ARE NO CHRISTIANS.
10:00 PM
@Caleb ???
Q: Brothers, we are not Christians

CalebI am a Christian. You say you are. But we are not. It seems that a lot of folks are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the scope of this site. While I respect the SE staff* and have been impressed with the effort they have taken (and judgement they have shown) in nurturing this site ...

@Caleb "Basically we are all here pulling the classic secular stunt of being tolerant of everything except intolerance." Using "stunt", should I assume you don't approve of that?
@Caleb Okay I think I will stop here for awhile and will come back on meta - I am not a native English speaker, I need to think twice before I can understand things in English, so chatting is kind of hard for me.
@Chelonian That one confused me too, and the follow up comment was even stranger. Generally, I agree with what he's saying in this conversation, but those two comments left me puzzled.
I just jumped in, so I haven't got the gist of what you're discussing and haven't had a chance to read the previous material. Is there a one line point you would give to summarize it?
10:06 PM
@Chelonian Nope. I went on to say that I object to that all the time :)
@Chelonian One line? To summarize an open debate that started before the site went into private beta and is still unresolved? If you can do that you are truly a master of precise language.
@Chelonian - One line: "a christian.se Christian" vesus "a real Christian" :)
@Caleb 1) Ahh, thanks, I now see the point where you objected to tolerance 2) Had no sense this debate was so longstanding and complex.
@Chelonian Actually it was "intolerance in the name of tolerance" that I object to. Does that make more sense?
@Caleb It would make sense, if I ever saw any evidence that it existed.
Meh. I'll tinyurl it and try again.
@Caleb Well, to help me more, can it be rephrased as "intolerance of intolerance"?
10:14 PM
@Chelonian - *Here is one line: "a christianity.se Christian" vesus "a real Christian"
@Chelonian To a degree.
@brilliant Yeah. I have no idea what that's supposed to mean either. Words have different meanings in different contexts. That is all.
@brilliant OK, thanks. Sounds like True Scotsman stuff, but I'm coming in stone cold to this of course (pardon my bumbling).
The goal that we are striving for is to be open regarding all denominations of Christianity. Anything that is attempting to tear that apart those denominations or criticize one of them or declare that one group isn't Christian isn't allowed. That's the essence of it.
@Richard Then Caleb and some Christians object to intolerance of intolerance, to a degree?
10:18 PM
@Richard "Anything that is attempting to tear that apart those denominations or criticize one of them or declare that one group isn't Christian isn't allowed" - but don't you think that by doing so you exclude a good number of Christians
@Chelonian yeah, absolutely--in a different context. When people are intolerant of any belief, it's frustrating (even if that belief is intolerance).
who are faithful to their believes?
@brilliant No, we're preventing Christians from excluding other "Christians".
Let's say for example, I don't believe that
@Richard That goal sounds reasonable and pleasantly inclusive to me. Good for you.
10:19 PM
a person who have never prayed in his life
to Jesus and who doesn't even want to
pray to Jesus and even teaches that to pray to
@Chelonian It's something that a few of us have pushed for since day 1 of Private Beta.
Jesus is wrong - such a person
can't be concidered to be
a Christian according to my belief
@Richard The point about intolerance gets perhaps a little paradoxical, it seems to me. I'd be curious to see how it cashes out in real life examples.
Now, it seems that now,having that kind of belief, I have no right
to participate here because my belief is kind of exclusive
@Richard That's how it looks to me now (see what I just wrote above)
@Chelonian And we do that by making them step across the line themselves and deal with things in a secular format so that their (our) normal exclusionary rules do not apply.
10:23 PM
@brilliant Not at all. There are many groups that consider themselves Christian that I believe are going to hell. However, I fight for their rights to participate here. It's not the participation that is excluded. It's questions (and sometimes answers) that declare one group of people as not Christian that are excluded.
@brilliant Yes sure we do. But it's not quite the same thing as what the other context that I object to because we are not forcing them to participate or even saying they are wrong for not doing so.
@Richard "we're preventing Christians from excluding other "Christians"" - which sounds to me like you are imposing your own views (on who is and who is not a Christian) on all those who want to participate here.
Q: Why was my answer deleted?

AtheistI posted an answer to this question. It basically consisted of a short comment on my interpretation of chapter from the Bible, followed by the chapter itself (Revelation 4). I closed out the answer with a scarcastic remark, which might have been the reason it got deleted by Richard ♦, with the f...

@brilliant No we aren't imposing any views on anyone, we don't even claim that the views here properly represent Christian views!
10:25 PM
@brilliant It's like this: No one can post any content that declares that one group is not a Christian. That's the generic rule.
@Caleb I so totally agree with this.
@brilliant We are only scoping out a specific bit of ground for QnA in the way you would lay ground rules for a formal debate. Participants can choose to agree to those formal rules, but if they choose to participate they also choose to abide by the rules.
@Caleb You probably don't want to have two conversations at once, but when you've finished talking to @brilliant, could we have another chat about "tolerance of intolerance"? It sounds, to me, like the tragedy of the commons.
In doing so you do not impose the opponents view on a debator, you provide a forum where they can discourse in a certain way.
@Richard "It's not the participation that is excluded. It's questions (and sometimes answers) ... that are excluded" - Hmm! To me PARTICIPATION = THE RIGHT TO ASK QUESTIONS + THE RIGHT TO ANSWER QUESTIONS. If you take the latter too out what kind of participation will it be then?
@brilliant No, it's not the right to ask questions... It's the questions and answers that are excluded.
10:30 PM
@Richard Could it be, even putting a finer point on it, the right to certain questions and answers?
@Richard "No, it's not the right to ask questions... It's the questions and answers that are excluded" - I don't understand. Please, elaborate.
@Chelonian It's not "rights" that we're taking away. It's content. If the content is divisive, it gets removed or closed
@brilliant The right to ask and answer questions, in general, is given to everyone. It's the right to ask certain questions which we're talking about here, and that's withheld from everyone equally. I don't see this as a form of discrimination.
Just don't be a douchebag and everything is ok.
@Richard Got it; it's clear and reasonable.
10:32 PM
@CiscoIPPhone Well, that's a good starting point.
@TRiG "It's the right to ask certain questions that's withheld from everyone equally" - sounds like a censorship to me.
@TRiG I, too, am still unclear what the beef with intolerance of intolerance is. Sounds interesting.
@brilliant It sounds like it is, but so? It's their site.
@TRiG Plus, it's also like I want to study anatomy, but the teacher is telling me "we'll study anatomy of a human body, but don't you dare to sak a question about genitals - that is forbidden here!"
@brilliant Listen, if you ask a question like "Are Mormons Christian?", or "Are Jehovah's Witnesses Christian?", or even the broader and more open-ended (and hence less obviously offensive) "Who is a Christian?", are the answers you get going to be useful anyway? Really?
I mean, Mormons and JWs very certainly are Christian by some definitions (their own, for a start, and the inclusive one we use here), and very certainly aren't Christian by other definitions.
@TRiG "are the answers you get going to be useful anyway? Really?" - Of course, they will be useful! Why not? I will get a full scope of all possible answers on this particular matter that are present in the Christian world. Why not?!!!
10:38 PM
So, besides the problem that these questions are divisive, there's the additional problem that they're meaningless until we've worked out what definition of Christian we're using at the time. And once we've worked that out, the question is boring, with an obvious, straightforward answer.
I gotta go. Sorry guys.
So the simplest thing is to continue using the inclusive definition of Christian. That means that the answer to "Are Mormons Christian?" is Yes. Question asked; question answered. Happy?
@TRiG "and very certainly aren't Christian by other definitions" - and so what? I would be more then glad to know ALL THE POSSIBLE definitions - both those of LDS and of JWs, as well as others
@brilliant No SE site gives it's users a right to ask questions that are off-topic on that site per local site definitions. That's one thing that makes them different from most forums.
@brilliant "All the possible definitions": that's a list question, and hence unwelcome on any SE site.
10:40 PM
SE sites give users the privilege of asking on-topic questions and giving on-topic answers.
@TRiG "That means that the answer to "Are Mormons Christian?" is Yes. Question asked; question answered. Happy?" - Well, what we have now is different: "That means that the answer to "Are Mormons Christian?" is Yes. Question asked; question CLOSED" - Not happy at all!
@brilliant It's not censorship because it's not YOUR site. You can post your views on Christianity on YOUR site all you want, but SE has scoped out specific guidelines for what will and won't appear on THEIR sites.
@brilliant Well, you have your answer now. Also your answer to any other question on similar lines. It's there in the FAQ already: we don't need it on the site.
@Caleb "No SE site gives it's users a right to ask questions that are off-topic on that site" - Caleb, honestly, I don't understand how can a question about the definition of a Christan be off-topic on a site dedicated to Cristianity.
@Caleb The number of people who don't get that is outstanding. People whinging about being censored in blog comments.
@brilliant It's off topic because the answer is there already in the FAQ, so the question is just clutter. It's also off topic because it's divisive.
10:46 PM
@TRiG "It's off topic because the answer is there already in the FAQ" - I see. So, I think then you should write it out more clearly in FAQ: "Only those people can participate here who believe that any person claiming to be a Christian is a real Christian. Others are not allowed and their answers and questions will be closed"
@brilliant It's not "dedicated to Christianity" in the sense that it's given over to Christians to do what they want with. It's scoped as being "about Christianity" as THEY defined it and we can like it or not. They said it's off topic, so we have to live by it or go to some other site.
@brilliant No, even non Christians can participate. I do.
@brilliant Are you wilfully misunderstanding what you're being told?
@CiscoIPPhone Well, according to what TRiG said just now they are not.
:2100590" Are you wilfully misunderstanding what you're being told?" - Not at all!!!!!! I sincerely don't understand! Please, bear with me!
@brilliant I'm not a Christian. I'm an agnostic atheist igtheist.
10:49 PM
Obviously I'm here because I think there is something to be gained from this approach --- it's an fun, engaging and challenging way to participate in a "public square" kind of way with other traditions. Even if I think they are going to hell if they don't get some beliefs straightened out I can still respectfully engage them as questioners and answers in a secular context and learn about them and even from them.
@TRiG igtheist? Is that different to ignostic?
You don't own the word Christian. You can define it how you like in your home, in your church, with your friends. But words have different meanings in different contexts. In the context of this site, specifically, the word has an inclusive definition.
@TRiG Just curious whom do you consider to be areal Christian?
@brilliant That's not in the FAQ because it's the opposite of true. 90% of our user base and 100% of our experts would have to leave if that was true!
@CiscoIPPhone It means I think the concept of God is poorly defined and self-contradictory, and that when someone asks me "Do you believe in God?" the most appropriate response is "What's that, then?" Most God concepts are incoherent. But let's not get too sidetracked.
10:51 PM
If fact we put the opposite in the FAQ: "Your own beliefs do not not preclude you from asking questions, but all questions must be directly related to Christianity."
@brilliant As an atheist, I think it would be rather bad form of me to tell anyone zie's "not a real Christian".
@TRiG this is not an answer to my question.
I don't think that the concept of "real Christian" is meaningful in general. It's certainly not useful in this specific discussion.
@Caleb would almost certainly disagree with my first sentence above, but I suspect he'd agree with the second.
@Caleb "90% of our user base and 100% of our experts would have to leave if that was true!" - well so far it sounds to me like you are banning them from answering or even discussing the most fundamental question pertaining to Christianity, that is who is and who is not a Christian.
@TRiG "I don't think that the concept of "real Christian" is meaningful in general. It's certainly not useful in this specific discussion" - To me it's the most meaningful and the most useful. However, I am more interested in the views (on this matter) of those who claim to be a Christian.
@brilliant That question is one to discuss. And SE sites are not built for discussion.
10:56 PM
@brilliant I just got here and their guidelines strike me as simple and crystal clear. I'm not sure why you are interpreting it otherwise.
@TRiG I wasn't familiar with that spelling of the word, I previously knew it as ignostic/ignosticism.
@brilliant Try to understand the concept of words having different meanings in different contexts.
Okay guys I need to go now. Need to send my children to school. It's already a morning time here in Taiwan. Thanks for answering my questions here. I still need to clarify this matter. I think I will ask it on meta. Chat is kind of hard for me.
@CiscoIPPhone We had a chat about this on EL&U chat earlier today. Igtheism is a bit different to agnosticism. It also has a bastard etymology, and we got sidetracked down those lines over on EL&U.
@brilliant Bye!
I need to cook. It's nearly midnight and I've not eaten yet.
Got to love time zones.
10:59 PM
(Well, lightly boil some cauliflower and reheat some chicken stew. Not exactly cooking, as such.)
Not, agnosticism, IGnosticism:
Ignosticism or igtheism is the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism) assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. The word "ignosticism" was coined by Sherwin Wine, a rabbi and a founding figure of Humanistic Judaism. It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God: # The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of god can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theol...
@Chelonian It gets weird.
Yes, that. I first met it as igtheism, but it's the same thing. I don't know where the different words come from.
Ignosticism or igtheism is the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism) assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts. The word "ignosticism" was coined by Sherwin Wine, a rabbi and a founding figure of Humanistic Judaism. It can be defined as encompassing two related views about the existence of God: # The view that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of god can be meaningfully discussed. Furthermore, if that definition is unfalsifiable, the ignostic takes the theol...
As in, Wikipedia redirects igtheism to ignosticism.
Apparently the ig- prefix is derived from ignore, which had the Greek and Latin experts over at EL&U wailing and gnashing their teeth.
@TRiG I would have thought it's from ignorance. Anyway both have a Latin etymology, so I don't understand the gnashing...
And both theos and gnosis are Greek, aren't they?
Am I allowed to call him a homophobic bigot?
11:17 PM
@TRiG touche! (I should be sleeping already)
@dancek > No good will ever come of television. The word is half Latin and half Green.
Sorry. That's the same video as above. Clumsy fingers. Oral Robert's grandson Randy.
(I still can't get used to the idea that Americans think Randy is a name.)
Is there any way to star messages that are out of the live chat (too far back) and only available in the transcript?
Aug 31 at 18:37, by Marc Gravell
It is of great relief to me that I am not alone in my observations on some answers, though. Evidence-based fact is great. Belief is great. Biblical reference/citation/view is great. Opinion is great. Just as long as the answer is clear as to which it represents.
@MarcGravell Because that's something I think should be starred.
11:43 PM
@TRiG Yes, follow the permalink, then use the menu on the chat line.

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