Escape Artists
July 29, 2014, 03:51:43 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8
  Print  
Author Topic: How do you get to heaven split from EP129  (Read 42545 times)
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4543



« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2008, 06:55:20 AM »

Included under the 6th commandment (adultery) was fornication, masturbation, pornography, rape, incest, homosexuality, etc. 
I know there are verses of the Bible that make its anti-homosexuality stance quite clear, but I don't think masturbation is mentioned even once.

And eytanz, it is not me taking that view; it is simply the view that I've heard expressed by everybody I've ever known who professed to be a Christian (as I said before).  I do not profess to be a Christian (nor do I play one on TV  Grin) so in their view, I am most assuredly damned to hell.

I meant the view you are taking of Christianity, not the view you are taking of what it actually takes to get to heaven.
Logged
Thaurismunths
High Priest of TCoRN
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1415


Praise N-sh, for it is right and good!


« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2008, 08:52:36 AM »

Okay, I'm really curious: Did the person who told you that give you any rationale or basis for believing it?  They obviously weren't citing the Bible, since there is a complete dearth of Catholic Priests therein.  Where does that stuff come from?
Roman Catholicism.
Logged

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?
Czhorat
Peltast
***
Posts: 135


« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2008, 09:19:42 AM »

Included under the 6th commandment (adultery) was fornication, masturbation, pornography, rape, incest, homosexuality, etc. 
I know there are verses of the Bible that make its anti-homosexuality stance quite clear, but I don't think masturbation is mentioned even once.

Not really true. It's as much a stress to make the Bible anti-homosexuality as it is anything else.


No, you're not wrong, and that precisely illustrates my point about loving God.  The most moral person in the world can go to Hell, because going to Heaven or Hell is not a matter of how moral one is (which addresses what TAD was saying).  Anyone can follow rules: God isn't please by simply following a set of rules, as illustrated by the numerous times in the prophets (ex: Isaiah 1) when God declares that the Jews' observance of the religious ceremonies and festivals–which God ordained–are disgusting to Him unless they are motivated by love for God and accompanied by love for neighbors.

I've always thought this seemed to indicate a God with a very fragile sense of self-worth. The most important standard for someone to live by is to love and worship him? That's part of my problem with the morality of the monotheistic faiths; it seems very self-serving on God's part.

My bigger question, and one that we might not be able to answer here, is why one should think that one religion is "right" and the others are wrong? Why accept Jesus and not Mohammed? Why not Islam or Buddhism? When it comes down to it religious faith is, almost by definition, things one believes without proof.

Okay, I'm really curious: Did the person who told you that give you any rationale or basis for believing it?  They obviously weren't citing the Bible, since there is a complete dearth of Catholic Priests therein.  Where does that stuff come from?

Not to be argumentative, but why is the Bible a legitimate rationale for believing something to be true? How did you decide the Bible to be the answer?

I fear that we're wandering into areas in which there are no real answers. If anyone wants to say that that's what they believe without proof and that other people's beliefs have equal chances to be true or false then I'll respect that. Where I have an issue is when people declare their system to be "the only way" without any evidence.
Logged

The Word of Nash is the word of Nash and it is Nash's word.
Tango Alpha Delta
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1183


Drawn to the forum...


WWW
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2008, 10:20:55 AM »


My bigger question, and one that we might not be able to answer here, is why one should think that one religion is "right" and the others are wrong? Why accept Jesus and not Mohammed? Why not Islam or Buddhism? When it comes down to it religious faith is, almost by definition, things one believes without proof.


This is the real question, isn't it?  I came to the thread late, but if the title is "How do you get to Heaven", then the answer is, "Figure out which group has THE answer, and join it."  That's not MY answer*, of course, but it is why they all mistrust and fight each other.  And since they are all based on faith, and not on verifiable fact, you will always have conflict between the groups because of that old, instinctual fear of the Other.

In my experience, every group - no matter how ecumenical they claim to be - HAVE to identify some trait that separates them from the general population.  Look at all the arguing about the differences between "science fiction" and "fantasy" that used to go one here before PodCastle, for example.  Some groups take their arguing to extremes, others are more accepting of differences of opinion.  Groups that base their criteria for membership on the Bible have a LOT of litmus tests they can choose from, depending on how they interpret the "instructions". 

Someone asked earlier what the Catholics based their definitions of Mortal Sin on.  There are loads of examples in the scriptures of either specific acts or general "immorality" being called an abomination to God, worthy of death; Catholic doctrines evolved from a process of catholic thinkers coming up with interpretations of those scriptures and putting them through a kind of "peer review" that would eventually get to the Pope, who would decide whether it was true or not.  (You could almost claim they invented scientific method, eh?)  The problem with this method is the passage of time; even assuming a) the original texts were actually the recorded Words of God, and b) accurate copies of the original texts were really passed down -- two assumptions I don't hold to be true -- later interpretations are bound to be flawed due to cultural and linguistic drift, changing the meaning and context of the words.

Protestant thought came from a rejection of that human fallibility that they felt had corrupted the authority of the church, and a desire to make their own rules based on common sense interpretations of the scripture.  The problem there is that they also based their interpretations on new translations (translations from the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek, into Latin, and then into English or German, usually), which adds a significant amount of noise to the God Signal.

Mormons will tell you that their personal conviction of the validity of their beliefs IS proof ... sort of the "15 million Elvis fans can't be wrong" theory.  Muslims will tell you that anyone who believes in The Book (referring to the Bible) is okay... but that expressing any doubt in the Quran or Muhammed is punishable by death and eternal damnation (so saith the Koran for Dummies, amen).  I could go on with examples, because I was raised Southern Baptist, and our hobby was identifying what was "wrong" with any other given group, and explaining to members of that group why they were going to Hell.

Even the most accepting of groups... Unitarians, Taoists, etc. ... have their own hang-ups.  Every Unitarian Universalist I have met has described hirself as a "recovering" something, be it Catholic, Baptist, whatever.  (But they are a lot of fun to spend time with.)  Their purpose is to get people in their group to stop fearing the other groups, though, which I find to be a very noble pursuit.

So, if you need a group to keep you in line and prevent you from being an amoral jerk, please do pick one.  I'd rather you pick one that is more tolerant and accepting of others; stay away from evangelism, because they will send you to my door to bother me.  If you don't need a group to feel safe, more power to you.  I can tell you it can be awkward to think of things to say when someone sneezes, and it makes for some uncomfortable dinners with your religious family members, but it makes life generally much more enjoyable.

*MY answer is: f*&k 'em all; to get to Heaven, take the second star to the left, and head straight on 'til morning.
Logged

Now on  FaceBook, and Twitter. Not as productive as I used to be!
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2008, 10:30:46 AM »

When it comes down to it religious faith is, almost by definition, things one believes without proof.
No "almost" about it.  Belief in the absence of evidence is the very definition of faith.


If you don't need a group to feel safe, more power to you.  I can tell you it can be awkward to think of things to say when someone sneezes, and it makes for some uncomfortable dinners with your religious family members,...
... to say nothing of what to exclaim when you're having an orgasm  Grin
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
Czhorat
Peltast
***
Posts: 135


« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2008, 10:36:43 AM »

If you don't need a group to feel safe, more power to you.  I can tell you it can be awkward to think of things to say when someone sneezes, and it makes for some uncomfortable dinners with your religious family members,...
... to say nothing of what to exclaim when you're having an orgasm  Grin

Names are OK, so long as you remember to use the name of the right lover.
Logged

The Word of Nash is the word of Nash and it is Nash's word.
Tango Alpha Delta
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1183


Drawn to the forum...


WWW
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2008, 10:41:45 AM »

If you don't need a group to feel safe, more power to you.  I can tell you it can be awkward to think of things to say when someone sneezes, and it makes for some uncomfortable dinners with your religious family members,...
... to say nothing of what to exclaim when you're having an orgasm  Grin
[/quote]

I don't recommend (unless you are trying to guarantee no repeat visits):
* By the beard of Odin!!
* Kali, Kali, Kali!!  (either they get the reference, or they want to know just WTF "Callie" is!)
* Oh, Buddha!!

Do recommend:
* Sweet Goddess!
Logged

Now on  FaceBook, and Twitter. Not as productive as I used to be!
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4543



« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2008, 10:44:29 AM »

When it comes down to it religious faith is, almost by definition, things one believes without proof.
No "almost" about it.  Belief in the absence of evidence is the very definition of faith.

We had this discussion already, where it was pointed out that whether or not that is true depends a lot on what you mean when you say "evidence". If you mean "Belief in the absence of objective facts that can be pointed out to other people is the very definition of faith" I agree with you, but if you mean "Belief in the absence of cause to believe" I think that's a mistaken view of faith.

Quote
If you don't need a group to feel safe, more power to you.  I can tell you it can be awkward to think of things to say when someone sneezes, and it makes for some uncomfortable dinners with your religious family members,...
... to say nothing of what to exclaim when you're having an orgasm  Grin

Heh Smiley

That said, I've never had trouble thinking of what to tell people when they sneeze - I'm perfectly content to say "God bless you" (though normally I'd just say "bless you"), precisely because that string of words is pretty meaningless to me. It always surprised me that people who believe in that sort of thing would be able to say that, since doesn't that count as using God's name in vain?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 10:46:44 AM by eytanz » Logged
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4543



« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2008, 10:45:40 AM »

Names are OK, so long as you remember to use the name of the right lover.

What if you are an atheist having sex with someone named Jesus? That might get awkwardly ambiguous.
Logged
Czhorat
Peltast
***
Posts: 135


« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2008, 10:48:48 AM »

Names are OK, so long as you remember to use the name of the right lover.

What if you are an atheist having sex with someone named Jesus? That might get awkwardly ambiguous.

That's why I avoid having sex with people named Jesus. Well, that and that my wife would most likely not understand.
Logged

The Word of Nash is the word of Nash and it is Nash's word.
Czhorat
Peltast
***
Posts: 135


« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2008, 10:52:44 AM »

When it comes down to it religious faith is, almost by definition, things one believes without proof.
No "almost" about it.  Belief in the absence of evidence is the very definition of faith.

We had this discussion already, where it was pointed out that whether or not that is true depends a lot on what you mean when you say "evidence". If you mean "Belief in the absence of objective facts that can be pointed out to other people is the very definition of faith" I agree with you, but if you mean "Belief in the absence of cause to believe" I think that's a mistaken view of faith.

Most likely true, but I'm not sure what the cause to believe is in most cases. I know it probably comes across as argumentative, but this is a legitimate gap in understanding. Why, for instance, does Mr. Tweedy believe the Bible while rejecting the teachings of the Catholic church, the Koran, or the Buddha? Why does a Muslim accept the Koran but reject the book of Mormon? And, more to the point, what makes you so sure that you're right and everyone else is wrong?
Logged

The Word of Nash is the word of Nash and it is Nash's word.
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4543



« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2008, 11:19:07 AM »

Most likely true, but I'm not sure what the cause to believe is in most cases. I know it probably comes across as argumentative, but this is a legitimate gap in understanding. Why, for instance, does Mr. Tweedy believe the Bible while rejecting the teachings of the Catholic church, the Koran, or the Buddha? Why does a Muslim accept the Koran but reject the book of Mormon? And, more to the point, what makes you so sure that you're right and everyone else is wrong?

Good questions all. And all but the last one questions I can't answer since my own beliefs include a rejection of all those teachings. As for the last question - I'm not. I believe what feels right to me. As long as other people believe what they feel is right (as opposed to people who make themselves believe something that does not come naturally to them), I have no reason to believe that they are wrong. If we don't agree, I have no explanation of that, but I also don't particularly care. It's not my problem what other people believe (as long as they don't try to impose it on me), nor do I care about being right or wrong in any sort of absolute objective sense. I care about being true to myself.

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't have issues with specific faiths and their philosophies. I have major issues with Christianity, for example, even though I occasionally try to defend it here from what I consider spurious criticism. But I can't say with any sort of certainty that I am more right than any Christian on these issues.
Logged
Thaurismunths
High Priest of TCoRN
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1415


Praise N-sh, for it is right and good!


« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2008, 11:52:13 AM »

I don't mean to put down anyones views, or support any particular religion, faith, or creed, but why are you all doing this?
The fine points differ, but this is the same argument that's happened on this forum a half dozen times already. It never goes well and it never ends. It's amazingly frustrating for me to see another religion discussion firing up again. What is it you're getting out if it?

I know, I know; If I don't like it, I don't have to read it. What harm is it doing me? None.
But what good is it doing the forums? Aren't their whole forums dedicated to this kind of discussion?
Logged

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4543



« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2008, 12:09:42 PM »

I think the answer to why we keep on doing this is simple, actually. It's because these questions are important questions in our culture, and they arise again and again - sometimes directly and sometime indirectly - from the actual stories. And note that while a lot of the same people (including myself) keep getting involved in these issues, there are a lot of relatively new people to the forums, who have not previously participated in these threads, who not only got involved but, in this particular thread, are really the ones who started the discussion. What that means is that it's a topic that a lot of people want to keep debating.

As for myself, I'm fine with not discussing them, but if there is a discussion, I will participate, at least as long as the discussion hasn't devolved into personal attacks. Which this one hasn't, and hopefully won't.
Logged
Tango Alpha Delta
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1183


Drawn to the forum...


WWW
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2008, 12:12:47 PM »

I don't mean to put down anyones views, or support any particular religion, faith, or creed, but why are you all doing this?
The fine points differ, but this is the same argument that's happened on this forum a half dozen times already. It never goes well and it never ends. It's amazingly frustrating for me to see another religion discussion firing up again. What is it you're getting out if it?

I know, I know; If I don't like it, I don't have to read it. What harm is it doing me? None.
But what good is it doing the forums? Aren't their whole forums dedicated to this kind of discussion?

Good question; I asked it after spending twenty minutes writing a treatise on the difference between "proof" and "evidence" for this thread...

But the answer to your question (at least my answer) is that we judge the things people say based on what we know about them.  Or think we know.  This comes up a lot because our chosen passion touches on a lot of these questions anyway.  The place where science and the unknown join is turbulent and muddy... and it's a heck of a lot of fun to charge in and splash.

The attraction for me is that, like eytanz, I have rejected organized religion; not many people can take a pragmatic view of this, so I don't have a "group" to identify with.  Since I don't have a church to go to and talk about this stuff, I tend to get drawn in wherever I see the discussion taking place.

Not only that (and I mean no disrespect to any of you, but this is always in the back of my mind) religion IS a kind of science fiction.  There is world building, suspension of disbelief, and an interplay of character types wrestling with problems of varying depth; all the elements of good speculative fiction.  The fact that there are people who believe it is real complicates things (try explaining to a REAL Trekkie that there are no transporters), but to me, it's all good clean fun.
Logged

Now on  FaceBook, and Twitter. Not as productive as I used to be!
DDog
Matross
****
Posts: 185



WWW
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2008, 12:56:35 PM »

Every Unitarian Universalist I have met has described hirself as a "recovering" something, be it Catholic, Baptist, whatever.  (But they are a lot of fun to spend time with.)
Something my very existence can refute! Wink UU born and raised, if you count chatting around each other on a web forum as meeting. (Also I must compliment you on your use of "hirself.")

Quote from: Tango Alpha Delta
I can tell you it can be awkward to think of things to say when someone sneezes
Gesundheit.

Quote from: Tango Alpha Delta
* Kali, Kali, Kali!!  (either they get the reference, or they want to know just WTF "Callie" is!)
Ouch. You might soon find tornado, flood, and fire on your house to boot. She's more inclined toward giving you exactly what you asked for than your average god.
Logged

Ask a Tranny Podcast
"Watching someone bootstrap themselves into sentience is the most science fiction thing you can do." -wintermute
Mr. Tweedy
Lochage
*****
Posts: 497


I am a sloth.


WWW
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2008, 04:28:01 PM »

No, you're not wrong, and that precisely illustrates my point about loving God.  The most moral person in the world can go to Hell, because going to Heaven or Hell is not a matter of how moral one is (which addresses what TAD was saying).  Anyone can follow rules: God isn't please by simply following a set of rules, as illustrated by the numerous times in the prophets (ex: Isaiah 1) when God declares that the Jews' observance of the religious ceremonies and festivals–which God ordained–are disgusting to Him unless they are motivated by love for God and accompanied by love for neighbors.

I've always thought this seemed to indicate a God with a very fragile sense of self-worth. The most important standard for someone to live by is to love and worship him? That's part of my problem with the morality of the monotheistic faiths; it seems very self-serving on God's part.

If God were (like Philip Pullman's Authority) just some really big guy, then you'd be spot on.  But if God is the ultimate cause of the Universe and inventor of all the good things in it, then it's a very different story.  In that case, not only is God completely justified in expecting love and worship, it is also the only rational thing for His creations to do.  Loving and worshiping God is not a matter of massaging His ego so He'll like you and do you favors, it's a matter of appreciating, respecting, integrating with and ultimately enjoying Reality.  Conversely, failure to love and worship God constitutes the ultimate rejection of Reality.

Does God's status as ultimate Reality make God self-serving?  I don't know; maybe.  I don't think it's a relevant question.  If God is, then that is an ontological fact to be dealt with, a fact which has nothing to do with God's sense of self-worth.  The situation is what it is.

The idea that God is self-serving also strikes me as odd because loving and worshipping God is the surest route to fulfillment and happiness that I have personally witnessed or experienced.  If my worship makes God feel good, that's great; if I can return to God some of the benefit He's given me, I am eager to do so.

My bigger question, and one that we might not be able to answer here, is why one should think that one religion is "right" and the others are wrong? Why accept Jesus and not Mohammed? Why not Islam or Buddhism? When it comes down to it religious faith is, almost by definition, things one believes without proof.

Well, I've got lots of reasons.  Convergent lines of evidence, you might say.  I'm not going to enumerate them here for the simple reason that doing so would start its own debate as to their validity.

As to the general question: One must believe something, mustn't one?  As humans, we don't really have to option of having no beliefs in the same way that worms and toads do.  The universe does not permit contradictions: Two things cannot both be true if they oppose each other.  If a person is intellectually honest, they are forced to make an exclusive choice at some point.  You can't have both Jesus and Mohammed.  (This does not, of course remove from other the ability to make their own exclusive choices.)
Logged

Hear my very very short story on The Drabblecast!
DDog
Matross
****
Posts: 185



WWW
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2008, 05:48:16 PM »

As to the general question: One must believe something, mustn't one?  As humans, we don't really have to option of having no beliefs in the same way that worms and toads do.  The universe does not permit contradictions: Two things cannot both be true if they oppose each other.  If a person is intellectually honest, they are forced to make an exclusive choice at some point.  You can't have both Jesus and Mohammed.  (This does not, of course remove from other the ability to make their own exclusive choices.)
Do you mean, you can't be both Christian and Muslim? I believe the Qur'an mentions Jesus and many other prophets held in esteem by Judaism and Christianity. In the case of Christianity and Islam, you're probably right, since their terms of membership tend to be mutually exclusive. There are, however, nonexclusive religions and systems of faith that don't necessarily subscribe to the XOR brand of logic.

I also have a question for you about Pascal's Wager--does the motive matter? Do you "lose points" or whatever for loving Adonai out of the selfish desire to stay out of Hell, or just in case he really is the one calling the shots, instead of out of genuinely "appreciating, respecting, integrating with and ultimately enjoying Reality"?
Logged

Ask a Tranny Podcast
"Watching someone bootstrap themselves into sentience is the most science fiction thing you can do." -wintermute
Tango Alpha Delta
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1183


Drawn to the forum...


WWW
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2008, 07:54:37 PM »


One must believe something, mustn't one?  As humans, we don't really have to option of having no beliefs in the same way that worms and toads do.  The universe does not permit contradictions: Two things cannot both be true if they oppose each other.  If a person is intellectually honest, they are forced to make an exclusive choice at some point.  You can't have both Jesus and Mohammed.

1) I don't lack beliefs "in the same way that worms and toads do;" I reject what I see as flawed human understanding of the way things are.  I noticed that the world did not end when I renounced my childhood faith, so I ran with it.

2) The universe is not fully understood; it just might permit all kinds of contradictions that we don't grasp yet.  In my own worldview, the universe IS "God" - and vice versa - and has little or nothing to do with the belief systems that humans come up with to explain its nature.  There is a lot of room for explanations, and yours just might be the right one in the end... but God hasn't said anything to me about it.  (Sending messages through humans doesn't strike me as a reliable medium for communication.)

3) If a person is intellectually honest, they can recognize the possibility that both Jesus and Mohammed existed, both said the things they are credited with saying, and both have been horribly, horribly misunderstood by 1500+ centuries worth of followers.

Do you mean, you can't be both Christian and Muslim? I believe the Qur'an mentions Jesus and many other prophets held in esteem by Judaism and Christianity. In the case of Christianity and Islam, you're probably right, since their terms of membership tend to be mutually exclusive. There are, however, nonexclusive religions and systems of faith that don't necessarily subscribe to the XOR brand of logic.

I believe in Boolean Faith; and yea, my scriptures are filled with wild-cards.  I can't tell whether or not there is a God, but I can tell you what's wrong with your faith; therefore, I am di-agnostic.
Logged

Now on  FaceBook, and Twitter. Not as productive as I used to be!
Thaurismunths
High Priest of TCoRN
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1415


Praise N-sh, for it is right and good!


« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2008, 11:29:20 PM »

I'm just done with all the god threads on this forum. Every time one falls asleep another one gets fired up. They're just isotopes of the god/no god argument, a discussion that has no end. This isn't a comparative religions board and I think that allowing these kinds of arguments to be so prevalent (what is this, the 8th? 9th?) is hurting the forums.
I truly understand the allure of a debate where you can't be wrong and there isn't one better than over the existence and nature of Allah. It's quite seductive to be be in a argument where you are steadfast in your opinion, sure in your convictions, and know that your opponent can never prove you wrong. It's also immature and pointless. No matter how relevant to the human condition it may be, I don't think that a SF Forum is the appropriate place for it to happen.
I stopped posting for a while because I couldn't stand seeing these topics come up and try to "open peoples eyes". But I came back because I love the EP stories, and truly enjoy the depth and breadth of individuals who post here. Although there will always be friction between people with different views, why is it so often about religion here? Am I ignorant of how often these debates go on in other forums?
This time around I've been trying to watch what I say because I don't want to be the next spark in the next pointless ID debate, or be the object of intense scrutiny for my personal decisions but I still want to be a part of the forums. Discussion is great, I'm a pretty open person, but how many threads have been spun off from Episode Comments in to Gallmaufry? How many were religiously based? A disproportionate number I'd bet. Though I've yet to see a show of hands, I know Shwankie avoids the forums for the same reasons and I'm sure there are others.
Is there a solution to this?
Am I the only person who sees this as a bad thing?
Logged

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!