View Poll Results: What do you believe the future will bring in the long run? A world...

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  • where truth and justice prevail.

    4 14.29%
  • that is better, but still no permanent world peace.

    6 21.43%
  • that is essentially the same.

    6 21.43%
  • that is worse than ever.

    12 42.86%
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Thread: World Peace--Is It Possible?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgul View Post
    Then they should be able to be explained through reason. The religious people I have met have not been able to do this. The discussion always ends with them quoting the bible but not being able to explain the reasoning or facts behind it. To believe that something is a revealed truth but to not have proof of it means that it is still just an opinion. Perhaps it is a divine opinion but I do not make such distinctions among opinions.
    If something is a revealed truth, it is not verifiable. You are asking for the impossible, a contradiction in terms. However, the path of reason that leads one to accepting the words of another, say, Jesus Christ, are verifiable. Reason leads to faith in the belief or person. What is revealed after faith is not directly verifiable, although it must be consistent with the other tenets of the faith, and it cannot contradict true reason, although it does transcend it.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgul View Post
    But isn’t the very concept of faith at odds with the concept of reason? Wouldn’t a rational human want to avoid taking large risks in their life based on reasons that are unknown, unsubstantiated, unproven and possibly inaccurate? Faith may pick up where reason ends but it takes someone in the opposite direction. When something is rational it does not require faith. What you call a leap of faith I call a gamble.
    I believe that the larger risk is the one you are taking. If my belief is wrong, I have perhaps wasted my life. If your disbelief is wrong, you have perhaps wasted your eternity. Faith does not take you in the opposite direction. When you believe is Christ, you do not suddenly suspend all your reasoning faculties. You can, and in fact, should, test your faith. Blind faith is stupid faith. I have many times in my life revisited the bases for my religious faith. If I ever become convinced that my faith is no longer reasonable, I will abandon it. So far it has only made my life more meaningful and rewarding.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by aslan View Post
    I wish the right thing to do, the moral thing to do, were as easy as 2 + 2 = 5. Try that in issues like abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, what constitutes a just war, the morality of homosexual behavior, torture in the context of saving lives, incest, polygamy, stem cell research, etc., etc. These issues cannot be validated. They can be argued. Reason can be piled high on both sides. They can be voted on. But in the end, it is sometimes one man or one vote that decides the course of action. I would rather have a true, practicing Catholic make decisions in any of these areas using both his reason and his religion-derived morality than the 10 most brilliant atheists in the world relying on their reasoning power alone.
    Wait just a minute here, you are claiming the rights to morality on the basis of what, being a catholic? Which is not exactly the most honest form of christianity based on strictly bible scripture and beliefs. You claim that atheists do not have a working knowledge of the bible to actually understand it, in my case that is absolutely false. I would be willing to bet that I have read and studied the bible more than most any christian who blindly follows words on a page and accepts them for what they read and what is told to them by there priest or pastor.
    The bible is a piece of literature that most never realize has many different authors written over the course of centuries. Not all the books are in chronological order, as well as the fact that there are many authors of the book that are not credited while others are given too much. The average christian can only understand scripture as taught by there clergy, when in fact most clergy are not as educated in the origins and translations of the bible as most biblical scholars and theologists who find try to find truth in religion .

    One of the most educated scholars today in historical biblical study and translation, with an expertise in New Testament scripture is Bart D. Ehrman. Unfortunately for him the truth he found through being one of the most educated men in the world on the subject of christianity and the bible, was that he no longer could warrant faith in what is thought of as the biblical god. This is a man raised christian, born again as a teenager, attends the Moody Bible Institute, moved on to a top ranked evangical college Wheaton, from there goes on to the Princeton Thelogical Seminary learning greek and hebrew as well as all ancient languages used for translations of the bible, before moving on to be a Rutgers professor in theology as well as a Baptist minister. This man did not want to lose faith, it was so stong he tried to embrace every aspect of it and spread it to as many as possible. But a funny thing happened along the way, he learned too much. He saw what was really the work of man. He saw how easy it was to fufill prophecies if the books were written decades, even centuries after the events took place. He examined suffering and the contradictions the bible gave as reasons for this. He deciphered wrongly translated passages and words of the bible that are not corrected due to the fact that it would weaken the misguided message.

    I could go on and on about this but my point is simple. You challenge atheists to learn more about the bible and christianity, I challenge you to do the same. This man Ehrman I speak about has written a couple of books I dare you to read. One is, Misqouting Jesus, the story behind who changed the bible and why. The other is called Gods Problem, How the bible fails to answer our most important question-why we suffer. I ask you to read these books instead of the books by Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett or Harris, because Ehrman speaks your language and does not try to destroy your faith, just gives the facts through scripture and translation with plenty of references and notes to do fact checking on. I'll tell you what, you read those books Aslan and I will give you a professional hole carding secret and a casino to use it at. How about it, are you ready to test your faith with knowledge?

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgul View Post
    That is another very slippery slope. How do you determine which texts do not follow the “nature” of the bible? How do you exclude the portions that do not condone the spirit of His intentions but retain all of the morally correct material? If it’s that easy why don’t we just rewrite the bible in order to avoid all the confusion? Should we just drop the Old Testament? Who decides? And what if they’re wrong? Since all humans are imperfect and everyone has a different version of the bible in their head, how can we establish which opinion is correct?
    Don't exclude any portion of the Bible. The trick is to only read it for the spiritual truth it contains. As a religious book, don't pay attention to the history, the culture, the genealogies, the local practices, etc., etc. It is fairly easy to focus on what God is saying, and ignore the writers' opinions and biases, the customs of the day, the peculiar perspective of ancient people, etc.

    The early Christian church had to grapple with the question of keeping the teachings of Christ intact and free from misinterpretation. Christ had said to Peter, the first leader of the Christian community after His death:
    You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

    I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    This is viewed in part as conveying the teaching authority of the church. Men are fallible, so Christ promised to safeguard His church. If Christ was God as they believed, and if He wanted them to continue His church as He said, and if He promised that nothing would prevail against His Church as he did, then they reasoned that He would keep His Church free from error. The Church has been amazingly constant and unchanging in its teaching from day one. Scandals like the selling of indulgences and the like have come up from time to time, but they were never approved by the teaching authority of the Church, and eventually these local practices were swept out of the Church. The Church still takes many unpopular stands (truth doesn't change) in such areas as abortion, euthanasia, what constitutes a just war, the immorality of homosexual practice, the permanence and sacredness of marriage, birth control, etc. It has faced immoral behavior within its own ranks among its priests, mainly in this country where materialism and immorality abound, and it strongly condemned their failings. The American Catholic Church is relatively small (75,000,000) as compared to its worldwide membership (1,000,000,000).
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgul View Post
    As you pointed out these beliefs are not exclusive to religious people. I would make the argument that all humans have at least a few irrational beliefs and more than a few unconfirmed opinions. A rational person will be able to tell the difference between facts and opinions, and between fantasy and reality. Most religions encourage the opposite. Most religions are a bizarre mix of morals and mythology. Students are encouraged to believe its truths and accept that the proof may come later. And even if the proof never comes they should continue to believe, to spread the word to other impressionable people and to punish those with differing opinions. That is not a system that breeds intellectual growth or rational thinking. That is why I believe it is dangerous and destructive to mankind. History has shown this.
    My religious beliefs are not irrational. That's just your way of viewing them. I find them quite reasonable. I also find them more reliable than your reasoned beliefs. As I have said repeatedly, reason leads to religious faith. The world has far more to fear from atheist religions and atheist doctrines than from Christianity.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by zengrifter View Post
    Can't imagine... reason suggests that there may not have even been a historical Yeshua.

    So give us an example of how REASON led to belief in Jesus, please zg
    Credo quia absurdum , “I believe because it is absurd" --Tertullian


    Having read the biblical accounts of Jesus' life and teachings, I find the accounts reasonable and credible. The accounts have been meticulously preserved and free from error over the centuries. From all the evidence they appear truthful, sober, accurate, and reliable.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by zengrifter View Post
    More like fear of God, Death, and Devil leads to the embrace of the dominant cultural mythology,
    and the basis of hope for the survival of the illusionary independent ego-self. zg
    Go back and study the New Testament writings. To deny their authenticity is irrational. I can see where fear of death might lead to your belief system, but not Christianity. In fact, in the early church, being a Christian put one in imminent danger of death. Christianity is no religion for cowards.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  8. #68

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    I appreciate the discussion, but it's much simpler.

    We will have world peace when we follow Bill and Ted's profoundness:

    1) Be Excellent to each other.
    2) Party on dudes.

    I think the first is in the Christian bible. Not sure about the second.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAZ View Post
    Wait just a minute here, you are claiming the rights to morality on the basis of what, being a catholic? Which is not exactly the most honest form of christianity based on strictly bible scripture and beliefs. You claim that atheists do not have a working knowledge of the bible to actually understand it, in my case that is absolutely false. I would be willing to bet that I have read and studied the bible more than most any christian who blindly follows words on a page and accepts them for what they read and what is told to them by there priest or pastor.
    The bible is a piece of literature that most never realize has many different authors written over the course of centuries. Not all the books are in chronological order, as well as the fact that there are many authors of the book that are not credited while others are given too much. The average christian can only understand scripture as taught by there clergy, when in fact most clergy are not as educated in the origins and translations of the bible as most biblical scholars and theologists who find try to find truth in religion .

    One of the most educated scholars today in historical biblical study and translation, with an expertise in New Testament scripture is Bart D. Ehrman. Unfortunately for him the truth he found through being one of the most educated men in the world on the subject of christianity and the bible, was that he no longer could warrant faith in what is thought of as the biblical god. This is a man raised christian, born again as a teenager, attends the Moody Bible Institute, moved on to a top ranked evangical college Wheaton, from there goes on to the Princeton Thelogical Seminary learning greek and hebrew as well as all ancient languages used for translations of the bible, before moving on to be a Rutgers professor in theology as well as a Baptist minister. This man did not want to lose faith, it was so stong he tried to embrace every aspect of it and spread it to as many as possible. But a funny thing happened along the way, he learned too much. He saw what was really the work of man. He saw how easy it was to fufill prophecies if the books were written decades, even centuries after the events took place. He examined suffering and the contradictions the bible gave as reasons for this. He deciphered wrongly translated passages and words of the bible that are not corrected due to the fact that it would weaken the misguided message.

    I could go on and on about this but my point is simple. You challenge atheists to learn more about the bible and christianity, I challenge you to do the same. This man Ehrman I speak about has written a couple of books I dare you to read. One is, Misqouting Jesus, the story behind who changed the bible and why. The other is called Gods Problem, How the bible fails to answer our most important question-why we suffer. I ask you to read these books instead of the books by Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett or Harris, because Ehrman speaks your language and does not try to destroy your faith, just gives the facts through scripture and translation with plenty of references and notes to do fact checking on. I'll tell you what, you read those books Aslan and I will give you a professional hole carding secret and a casino to use it at. How about it, are you ready to test your faith with knowledge?
    Catholicism is the most honest form of Christianity precisely because it is NOT based strictly on Bible scripture. To ignore the tradition of the church passed down through the centuries is to close one eye and try to see clearly. Protestants did that in their departure from the Church, but for the first 1,600 years it was a combination of scripture and tradition. Now there are more Christian doctrines floating around than you can shake a stick at.

    I did not claim that all atheists did not have the background in the Bible to understand it. I was referring to the people I was talking to who showed a shallow knowledge of the Bible.

    I am well aware of the makeup of the Bible, and its being a conglomeration of many writers writing over the course of centuries and not always in proper chronological order, etc., etc.

    Of course most clergy are not as "educated in the origins and translations of the bible as most biblical scholars and theologists." The good ones rely on the work of bible scholars and theologians. But whatever, I am aware of that.

    Too bad Ehrman was already a product of a distorted belief in Christianity. I know all about the fact that some so-called prophecies were actually written AFTER the things that they were prophecying about. It really pays NOT to be a fundamentalist in your beliefs when it comes to things like this. Some of the writers of the bible wrote of prophecies after the fact possibly to reinforce the faith of the reader, particularly if it was during a time of great trial or persecution. I can see how such a finding would devastate a fundamentalist's faith, because they are trained to believe that the Bible is the literal word of God.

    You don't need to challenge me. I have and I am still satisfied. But I do not treat the Bible as something dictated by God, but written by human beings under the inspiration of God. Nothing you have said challenges the spiritual truth of the scriptures, but only points to the need for understanding the context in which to read it. In the case of the New Testament, you have an entirely new ball game. These are not ancient writings. These are not that long ago. These have been studied up pne side and down the other. These are in some cases eye witness accounts which when combined with the traditions of the church as carried down through the ages point to a clear and unambiguous record of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The oldest of texts on which the Catholic Church relies have been meticulously preserved and studied more than any other record on the face of the earth. There are no fake translations to serve this doctrinal differnence or that. I wonder if Ehrman dared to study the Catholic bible which is based on the oldest and most reliable texts, I doubt it, because htat would be heresy to him.

    On why there is suffering, C.S. Lewis's, The Problem of Pain, is the best I have ever read. If I get a chance I will read the books you suggested.

    The case you have presented so far is the strongest I have heard in the Forum, but it is nothing I have not heard before. I an not a theologian, but when I do have a question, I go to the theologians and Bible scholars to get answers. So far you have not raised any questions in my mind.

    I am interested in knowing why you had occasion to read and study the Bible. I wonder, too, if you were ever a Christian, and if so, what denomination and what was the reason for leaving.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by aslan View Post
    If something is a revealed truth, it is not verifiable. You are asking for the impossible, a contradiction in terms.
    I'm not quite sure I can agree with this. God seems to back up the revealed truth in scripture with fulfilled prophecy.

    The Bible can be verified because it is the only religious text which contains a wealth of long-range predictive prophecy.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by aslan View Post
    Go back and study the New Testament writings. To deny their authenticity is irrational.
    You mean its irrational to QUESTION their authenticity? zg
    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
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  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by moo321 View Post
    The Bible can be verified because it is the only religious text which contains a wealth of long-range predictive prophecy.
    The ONLY one, eh? You guys are two for two: The only true book and the only true messahia. zg
    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
    .....................The Zengrifter Interview (PDF) |
    The Zengrifter / James Grosjean Reputation Debate
    -----------------------------------------
    “Truth, like gold, is obtained not by growth, but by washing away all that is not gold.” — Leo Tolstoy........
    "Is everything a conspiracy? No, just the important stuff." ZG

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by moo321 View Post
    I'm not quite sure I can agree with this. God seems to back up the revealed truth in scripture with fulfilled prophecy.

    The Bible can be verified because it is the only religious text which contains a wealth of long-range predictive prophecy.
    I am talking about spiritual truths, not predictions of events to come or which have already come. If you're using the Bible as a crystal ball, I think you have the wrong idea. Number one, the prophecies are so fuzzy that scholars cannot decide whether they were referring to something long past or something yet to come. Number two, there is evidence that some prophecies were written after the fact as a means of bolstering the faith of the people in past times of trial or persecution. Number three, the purpose of the Bible is to provide spiritual guidance to those who believe, not a road map to the future, except in general and often cryptic terms. Number four, while some things validate the writings in the Bible, Christianity is called a religious faith for a reason--the truth of its tenets are a matter of belief, not verifiable fact. There would be no need for faith if everything were verifiable. I do agree that reason leads one to faith, but I would not hang my hat on the accuracy of Biblical prophecy--it's too ambiguous an area IMHO.

    PS--In a later post it occurred to me that there is one prophecy in particular that might be a good "general" verification of the Christian faith. That prophecy is that one day the Jews will be converted.
    I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not become wise (in) your own estimation: a hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, and thus all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come out of Zion, he will turn away godlessness from Jacob; and this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." Romans 11:25-27 (New American Bible)
    Last edited by aslan; January 8th, 2009 at 11:16 AM.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by zengrifter View Post
    You mean its irrational to QUESTION their authenticity? zg
    I am saying that if you make an honest study of the New Testament texts you will likely come to the conclusion that they are authentic. Find a knowledgeable Catholic priest who is in line with Vatican teaching, and he can help you approach it in a sensible manner. Materials that attempt to undermine the credibility of the NT texts are obviously biased, but would be a good way to test the texts if one has an open mind. Go at it with no preconceived ideas (easier said than done).

    To answer your question, it is rational to question their authenticity. But once you have examined all the evidence, I believe you will become convinced as I am. Still, there is no accounting for faith. It is after all a gift of God. No one can make you believe.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by zengrifter View Post
    The ONLY one, eh? You guys are two for two: The only true book and the only true messahia. zg
    I imagine God can inspire any author. It is the only true book approved by the Christian church as a spiritual guide for believers in the Christian faith. Books on spirituality that contradict it are judged false by Christians.

    Jesus is the Messiah. One day Jews will come to this realization and be converted. Now there's a prophecy that you can hang your hat on. But don't wait too long--it may be too late. lol
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

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