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Source: (consider it) Thread: Millennials and the Church
Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
There is the possibility that the "growing" churches preach a return to some imaginary version of the 1950's, when Everything Was Just Alright (while ignoring the huge disparities in the Western cultures). This provides a comfortable space for people who feel threatened by the world as it is. Lord knows, we all feel that need at the moment - it's just that most people don't want to be that hateful.



To me, Pancho's clips seemed to be saying that the growing churches are teaching that belief in Jesus is the way to eternal life (a certainty) and that God can and does perform miracles in our lives.

From that you took away a desire to be hateful.

Well there we have it. A whole lot of people today seem to see all Christians as homophobic, xenophobic,politically right wing Trump supporters and they will see that even where there's no actual evidence.

Liberal church's like my own ECLA & Episcopalian are trying so hard to distance themselves from that perception that they often have pastor's who pretty much preach that being a kind person who recycles is quite good enough. So of course their numbers are diminishing because, what difference does it make whether we go to church on Sunday or just volunteer at the food pantry once in a while?

I think the single biggest issue that's causing Millennials to drop out of the church is the perception that Christians hate gay people. The church is simply going to have to catch up with social norms on this, before it is too late. Without going into dead horse territory about whether Jesus wants us to practice homosexuality or not, I just want to say, the church has to quit making it a big issue if it wants to keep the younger generation. For example, I know Jesus thinks I'm wrong to divorce and remarry, yet I never felt unwelcome from my church because of it. The churches should be teaching Christ as savior, forgiveness, charity and love and quit preaching about sexual orientation as if it really matters to our salvation.

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Mark Wuntoo
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I am having some difficulty in following the argument in this thread so what I now say may not make sense or be relevant - but I'll say it anyway because, for me, it makes sense and it's relevant.
I suspect that we may be addressing two different ‘why's’.
The ‘why’ that I found difficult to answer and which SusanDoris has suggested is not a question, is "why are we here" as asked by my (evangelical) Christian friends whose answer to the ‘why’ is something along the lines of ‘to love God, to obey his commandments, to save the lost and to prepare for eternal life in heaven’. This is an impossible answer to the impossible question, as I see it. The question has confused me (until SusanDoris spoke) and it simply didn't occur to me to challenge the validity of the question.
The ‘why’ with which I have no problem is ‘why are we here’ meaning ‘what are we here for?’ . My response to that would be along the lines of ‘to love others as we love ourselves’ with all that that involves. This, for me, is certainly not aimless or without purpose or meaning.

Twilight: what difference does it make whether we go to church on Sunday or just volunteer at the food pantry once in a while?
Don't tempt me! [Razz] [Big Grin]

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Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:

Twilight: what difference does it make whether we go to church on Sunday or just volunteer at the food pantry once in a while?

quote:

Don't tempt me! [Razz] [Big Grin]

Of course, a lot of Christians do both, and there many churches that facilitate this kind of provision.

But Twilight's point is a good one. The liberal-leaning churches have ended up offering a pared down form of Christianity that doesn't necessarily inspire much engagement, except among a certain kind of sophisticated person, or among the most loyal.

Homosexuality is the issue of the moment, but in the British case I don't think religious attitudes towards it have discouraged many young people from joining churches because few would have wanted to join anyway. Perhaps it's encouraged some to leave, but many were already likely to leave.

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Brenda Clough
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I read into day's paper that 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. So OK, I'm done. Never been white, and now I know I'm not evangelical. Christianity is on the bubble.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
I am having some difficulty in following the argument in this thread so what I now say may not make sense or be relevant - but I'll say it anyway because, for me, it makes sense and it's relevant.
I suspect that we may be addressing two different ‘why's’.
The ‘why’ that I found difficult to answer and which SusanDoris has suggested is not a question, is "why are we here" as asked by my (evangelical) Christian friends whose answer to the ‘why’ is something along the lines of ‘to love God, to obey his commandments, to save the lost and to prepare for eternal life in heaven’. This is an impossible answer to the impossible question, as I see it. The question has confused me (until SusanDoris spoke) and it simply didn't occur to me to challenge the validity of the question.
The ‘why’ with which I have no problem is ‘why are we here’ meaning ‘what are we here for?’ . My response to that would be along the lines of ‘to love others as we love ourselves’ with all that that involves. This, for me, is certainly not aimless or without purpose or meaning.

Twilight: what difference does it make whether we go to church on Sunday or just volunteer at the food pantry once in a while?
Don't tempt me! [Razz] [Big Grin]

I think it's even more complicated, since 'why' is one of those bendy stretchy words, like a piece of chewing gum. Hence, the famous question, why is the kettle boiling, has at least two answers, because I want a cup of tea, and because water turns to steam at a certain temperature. And there are probably others, e.g. because I switched it on.

The ultimate why questions leave me cold. I mean, why am I here, is like asking what is the square root of sugar? But I suppose some people enjoy answering it.

'Purpose' is also very stretchy. My purpose right now is writing this post. Later, I will cook a meal and watch some TV, and eat some more chocolate. Talking about ultimate purposes just makes me feel tired. No such thing.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I read into day's paper that 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. So OK, I'm done. Never been white, and now I know I'm not evangelical. Christianity is on the bubble.

AFAIUI, though, Hillary Clinton didn't even try to reach out to evangelicals. She didn't visit any churches or ministers. She didn't pretend to care about them. When I read that, it struck me as politically unwise. Her evangelical supporters should have advised her to take the disgruntled evangelical vote more seriously.

But it's water under the bridge now.

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Hi SusanDoris. I hope you had a happy Christmas morning walk with the "bells" in the distance.

Yes, thank you , I had a very pleasant day. There was far less traffic and so, new hearing (very good, but I don’t like the design, NHS) hearing aids on, I could hear more of the birds more often! Several joggers were out, millennials, maybe?!
quote:
I suppose how you approach the question of the supernatural you will come to different questions as to whether there is a why, a value, or a purpose to life. My point is that the mere recitation of facts, or data, does not completely give us all knowledge. There is also philosophical knowledge in addition to natural and social knowledge.
Recitation of facts without a reasonably good understanding of them of course does not imply or, I suppose, impart, knowledge and there are not many I think who would do that.
All the philosophical, ,natural and social knowledge is made up of ideas, ranging from the quite useful, to those which have been found to be supremely useful for the survival, and present sophistication, of humans.
quote:
When I referred to the first story of creation from the Bible I purposely used the term "affirms" because I see the story as a creedal statement of faith in answer to the chaotic creation stories of the surrounding cultures.
Yes, that is quite understandable and I see what you mean, but the writers could not and did not contemplate, let alone consider, that all this had happened naturally without any God involved.
quote:
While you say the question of why is the wrong question for you, it is only for you. Many people do ask that question.
I wonder whether there is research which shows that millennials are less likely to ask the question why, since they have been, one hopes, brought up, educated and lived in a world where, testable, verifiable knowledge is available to them with a mouse click. A much greater amount of critical thinking teaching could well be a very good thing, I think. If they ask you the question why, what can you tell them that is true, and where a method is available to be used to show how this is decided? [
quote:
Many people still seek value. Many people still wonder if there is purpose. People look for answers through their spiritual practices.
I don’t suppose there are many people who do not seekvalue and purpose, but there is nowhere outside of human thoughts, words, writings, ideas and others’ examples from which such values and purposes can be seen, are there?.
quote:
One other reason religion is still relevant is that it offers an ethical approach to the world. We can see how unethical people have used science and technologies to advance their own goals. Religion offers a counter-balance to an amoral science or technology.
I assume we both mean amoral people, not the materials.
quote:
Anyway, I know we will remain at polar opposite ends when it comes to the supernatural, but I have enjoyed your insights on many questions--there can still be a lot of middle ground.
Certainly! The discussion is the thing, every time.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Gramps49
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For me, the question of "why" is not about why we are here, but why creation happened in the first place. Now, I would grant a nonbeliever can just say creation just happened, a wrinkle in the space/time continuum that kind of got out of control. For a believer the why is because God is love. Did you know the word the Apostles creed for creator is the same world we get our English word for poet? Kind of puts an interesting twist on the concept of the why of creation.

I do not see the liberal churches having to pare down Christianity at all. No, I see liberal churches having to stand up to the corrupt teachings of "Evangelicals." It is a known fact the modern evangelical movement in the US got started as a reaction to the integration of blacks into American society. It was not until public schools were integrated did you see a movement to keep the races separate which began in reactionary churches.

If you look at it, you will find the Evangelical teachings are basic human prejudices cloaked with a religious veneer.

On the other hand, it takes guts to challenge the homophobia of evangelicals. It takes guts to question the radical capitalism of Ayn Rand. It takes guts to cross whatever line general society places between "us" and "them."

Over the past 20 years the US has made great strides in human rights through court decisions that have opened up equal marriage and non-discrimination in the work place. Any time you
you have such a radical movement you will have an opposite reaction. I think that is what has happened in the last election.

Three issues had an impact on the vote from my perspective.

1) Is the projected increase in Obamacare premiums. These were announced in the last few weeks before the election.

2) The fear of Muslim immigration along with a misperceived problem with undocumented aliens.

3) The strong opposition against abortion

The issue of homosexual rights is a distant fourth.

The Trump campaign brilliantly targeted these fears in key states. Evangelical leaders endorsed Trump because of his stated opposition to abortion and muslim immigration. But I think it will not take long before the 81% evangelicals will regret putting their eggs into his basket.

It all goes back to the need for millennials to hear the Gospel clearly and to see it lived in the community. We have certainly seen benefits when we officially became open and affirming.

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Stetson
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Gramps wrote:

quote:
But I think it will not take long before the 81% evangelicals will regret putting their eggs into his basket.

I'm not sure why evangelicals would turn against Trump. During the campaign, there was some talk that his rather unseemly personal life might alienate a lot of them, and we had all these media reports about students at Liberty Baptist outraged that Falwell jr. was endorsing him etc. But then election day rolls around and, well, 81%.

I suspect most evangelicals just found some reason to rationalize away Trump's personal infelicities, eg. "Hey, at least he's not a queer like most of those Democrats are"; "Well, you know, King David wasn't perfect either, but he led Israel to greatness", and will continue to do so throughout his term and into the next election.

The only way I could see the fundies abandoning Team Trump is if he turns out to be way more liberal on social issues than his Republican affiliation would lead one to believe. That's possible, but, even then, he'd probably have to actually get up and announce that he's liberal for it to hit home with people. If he appoints Souter or Kennedy clones to the SCOTUS, but doesn't make a big deal about it, the evangelicals will probably just pay more attention to his macho tweets and tough-guy posturing, which they'll somehow equate with biblical principles.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
For me, the question of "why" is not about why we are here, but why creation happened in the first place. Now, I would grant a nonbeliever can just say creation just happened, a wrinkle in the space/time continuum that kind of got out of control. For a believer the why is because God is love.

Yes, that's it.

The thing that I don't understand is that purpose, cause and effect are inherent aspects of existence. We expect that everything has a point, and the how's and why's of life are the subject of unending inquiry. So why would this be the case for everything except existence itself?

It is not hard to see the logic behind saying "There is no point." It is obvious that the question is outside of our normal ability to find empirical certainty.

But it should be equally easy to understand that this answer is neither explanatory nor satisfactory. It requires seeing ultimate questions as anomalous - every question can be asked except those kind.

I would expect that if there was a logical paradigm that did answer ultimate questions, it would be preferred to one that did not answer them.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Net Spinster
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:

I do not see the liberal churches having to pare down Christianity at all. No, I see liberal churches having to stand up to the corrupt teachings of "Evangelicals." It is a known fact the modern evangelical movement in the US got started as a reaction to the integration of blacks into American society. It was not until public schools were integrated did you see a movement to keep the races separate which began in reactionary churches.

The idea of separation of the races dates well before the integration of public schools. AME and AME Zion were founded back in the early 1800s because the Methodist churches were separating whites and blacks. Even the Catholic church segregated. The Black Catholic History (diocese of Charleston) site details some though it glosses over a few facts (for instance it implies the the first Black Catholic priest in the diocese was circa 1967, Egbert Figaro, but in fact he did not become a priest in the diocese until 1978 (his obit; the obit also mentions that the Diocese of Camden, NJ, was not accepting 'colored' seminarians as late at 1947).

The various laws banning interracial marriage also existed early.

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spinner of webs

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
I am having some difficulty in following the argument in this thread so what I now say may not make sense or be relevant - but I'll say it anyway because, for me, it makes sense and it's relevant.
I suspect that we may be addressing two different ‘why's’.
The ‘why’ that I found difficult to answer and which SusanDoris has suggested is not a question, is "why are we here" as asked by my (evangelical) Christian friends whose answer to the ‘why’ is something along the lines of ‘to love God, to obey his commandments, to save the lost and to prepare for eternal life in heaven’. This is an impossible answer to the impossible question, as I see it. The question has confused me (until SusanDoris spoke) and it simply didn't occur to me to challenge the validity of the question.
The ‘why’ with which I have no problem is ‘why are we here’ meaning ‘what are we here for?’ . My response to that would be along the lines of ‘to love others as we love ourselves’ with all that that involves. This, for me, is certainly not aimless or without purpose or meaning.

I nod in agreement. Essentially, though, we are here because evolution has produced life which does or does not survive, and we are the luckiest species, descendents of an ancient ancestor ape. We evolved to have languagetoo, which has enabled us to develop, refine, use, unfortunately for good or ill, but mostly good, our lives and behaviours which have been organised into laws. We are not here in order to love others – most of us do it because we canot help it and such behaviours, however, altruistic they may be, give us our greatest happiness and contentment.

Another thought: Do the churches who want to attract the millennials to their congregations tell and encourage them to know and understand the TofE, or do they downplay it in favour of the beliefs of their denominations?

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Stetson
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Susan wrote:

quote:
Do the churches who want to attract the millennials to their congregations tell and encourage them to know and understand the TofE, or do they downplay it in favour of the beliefs of their denominations?

I haven't been inside churches of every denomination, but I suspect you could more or less answer that question by finding out what the overall denomination's teaching is on evolution.

The Roman Catholic Church, for example, has taught for decades now that evolution is compatible with Catholic theology. So, I would assume that, in most cases, millenials(or anyone else) getting involved with RCism are free to study evolution if they'd like, unless(as sometimes happens) their particular parish priest is off on his own little hobbyhorse, irrespective of what is being handed down from the Church.

Though I suppose that doesn't mean that those churches actively ENCOURAGE their flock to study evolution, just that they don't actively DISCOURAGE it. But they probably don't really encourage you to study the laws of gravity or the theory of relativity either, simply because it's not their mandate to teach those things.

[ 26. December 2016, 17:48: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I read into day's paper that 81% of white evangelical Christians voted for Trump. So OK, I'm done. Never been white, and now I know I'm not evangelical. Christianity is on the bubble.

I'm never sure what's meant by evangelical. The exit poll religion question asked people if they were "born-again/evangelical." I don't consider myself "born-again," and my very liberal, ELCA Lutheran church has evangelical in it's name. I wonder how the other Christians voted?

I do think that Trump's promise to put anti-abortion people in the supreme court might be why they voted for him and not because they thought he was a great man. Putting Pence on the ticket might have made a positive difference for some of them, too.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I'm never sure what's meant by evangelical. The exit poll religion question asked people if they were "born-again/evangelical." I don't consider myself "born-again," and my very liberal, ELCA Lutheran church has evangelical in it's name.

And the German Democratic Republic's name had "democratic" in it.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Brenda Clough
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From toda's POST, in an article about Christian opposition to trump, the writer quotes a friend:white identity values triumphs Christian values. Character clearly does not matter, not if political access is the prize.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
When you do ponder the questions that matter more to you, is there a sort of format you use? That sounds like a daft and too vague a question, I suppose, but do you start with the assumption that your beliefs are a given?

I don't know that I have a "format" as such, but no, I do not necessarily start with an assumption that my beliefs are a given. Not saying I always question my assumptions, but I think it's fair to say that I do question them with some regularity—including questioning the existence of God. For me, giving thoughtful consideration to anything includes asking the question "what if my assumptions are wrong?" and "what if my conclusions are wrong?"

quote:
When I contemplate existence, life, the universe and everything, I do not give any time or credence to the possibility that there might be a God.

So why do you start with the assumption that your beliefs—specifically your belief that there is no God—are a given? Why do you not questions the assumptions you start with?

quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
. . . but the writers [of the Gensis creation stories] could not and did not contemplate, let alone consider, that all this had happened naturally without any God involved.

Why couldn't they consider it? The existence of people who didn't believe in gods in the ancient world aside, there are creation myths from many cultures that either don't involve gods at all or don't involve gods directly creating, much less creating out of love. In fact as I understand it, the Genesis myth (for it is myth, in the proper sense of the word) is the exception in that regard.

quote:
wonder whether there is research which shows that millennials are less likely to ask the question why, since they have been, one hopes, brought up, educated and lived in a world where, testable, verifiable knowledge is available to them with a mouse click. A much greater amount of critical thinking teaching could well be a very good thing, I think. If they ask you the question why, what can you tell them that is true, and where a method is available to be used to show how this is decided?
I'm afraid I don't understand at all why education and testable, verifiable knowledge would make millenials, or any one else, less likely to ask "why" questions. That just makes no sense to me, and I suspect it would be equally baffling to my children, both of whom are well-educated, intelligent millenials with very good critical thinking skills.

This goes back to my statement above that for my money, there are questions that science is completely ill-equipped to answer. What is beauty? What is goodness—not just in the abstract, but in the living of life? What is truth—not fact, but truth? I know of no method for testing those things, but I think questions like this are worth contemplating.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
We are not here in order to love others – most of us do it because we canot help it and such behaviours, however, altruistic they may be, give us our greatest happiness and contentment.

And why is that? Why can't we help it? Why does it make us happy and contented? To me that is the God part. Love and compassion can't be seen by scientific methods, but we feel them for some reason.

Is it "why we are here?" I have no idea.


I grew up Presbyterian, have been a member of several different main stream denominations and never heard a word against evolution. I'm always surprised to hear atheists or agnostics say, "I don't believe in God -- I believe in science," as though the two things are incompatible. With a few exceptions, Christians go to doctors when they are sick and believe everything their high school chemistry teacher told them. We thank God for new discoveries that help us.

I don't know why some churches have dug their heels in about evolution, but it's a very small arguing point to me. The umbrella of "science," covers masses of other information that no Christian is disputing.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I'm never sure what's meant by evangelical. The exit poll religion question asked people if they were "born-again/evangelical." I don't consider myself "born-again," and my very liberal, ELCA Lutheran church has evangelical in it's name. I wonder how the other Christians voted?

That's because the ELCA, and Lutherans generally, use "evangelical" in its original sense. Those whom the poll were talking about use it with a more recent meaning, albeit the more common meaning in English usage these days,

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:

I don't know why some churches have dug their heels in about evolution, but it's a very small arguing point to me. The umbrella of "science," covers masses of other information that no Christian is disputing.

When you dig into it, it turns out that the hardcore YECers actually dispute most of physics, chemistry, biology and geology because once you start questioning the age of the universe you have to pull down pretty much all the sciences. People really underestimate how well supported and how interconnected modern science is.
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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
We are not here in order to love others – most of us do it because we canot help it and such behaviours, however, altruistic they may be, give us our greatest happiness and contentment.

And why is that? Why can't we help it? Why does it make us happy and contented? To me that is the God part. Love and compassion can't be seen by scientific methods, but we feel them for some reason.

Is it "why we are here?" I have no idea.

I do think that it is pretty interesting to ask what it would take to arrange things on the planet so that there was universal peace, kindness and prosperity.

It is even more interesting to see the things that are happening now that are headed in that direction.

Dramatic increases in education, declines in child mortality, hunger, crime and disease, the "flattening" of the world, are more than I thought I would see in my lifetime.

While wars, injustice and bigotry persist, and even seem to increase, many trends work against these things in powerful ways.

I can get behind the overall phenomenon as a "purpose" for all of us.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:

I do not see the liberal churches having to pare down Christianity at all. No, I see liberal churches having to stand up to the corrupt teachings of "Evangelicals."

Fair enough. That's probably very true in the USA. I don't think it entirely reflects the situation elsewhere, though.
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Did you know the word the Apostles creed for creator is the same world we get our English word for poet? Kind of puts an interesting twist on the concept of the why of creation.

Sort of.

The English version of the Apostle's Creed is a translation of the Latin (which is probably the original language, but who knows for sure). The Latin word used that we translate as "creator" is Creatorem, which is not connected to any words, Latin or English, related to "poet."

The Greek version of the Creed, on the other hand, uses poieten, which is indeed directly related to both Greek and English words for "poet." That is also the Greek word used in the Greek version of the Nicene Creed.

Both "creator" and "poet" have roots in words meaning "to make."

Tangent: Seeing how different words are translated in other languages can often give new insights. My favorite is the German for "savior"—Heiland, which is related to the English words "heal" and "whole."

[ 27. December 2016, 01:05: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
The English version of the Apostle's Creed is a translation of the Latin (which is probably the original language, but who knows for sure). The Latin word used that we translate as "creator" is Creatorem, which is not connected to any words, Latin or English, related to "poet."

There is no reason to think it was in Latin. It was a Greek conference in Greek territory and the records we have are in Greek. We have some translated into Latin, it is true. But there is absolutely no reason at all to think the council was in Latin or the creed was written in Latin.

Further there is no one English translation, and plenty of them have been translated from and checked against the Greek.

Whose propaganda have you been sniffing?

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
The English version of the Apostle's Creed is a translation of the Latin (which is probably the original language, but who knows for sure). The Latin word used that we translate as "creator" is Creatorem, which is not connected to any words, Latin or English, related to "poet."

There is no reason to think it was in Latin. It was a Greek conference in Greek territory and the records we have are in Greek. We have some translated into Latin, it is true. But there is absolutely no reason at all to think the council was in Latin or the creed was written in Latin.

Further there is no one English translation, and plenty of them have been translated from and checked against the Greek.

Whose propaganda have you been sniffing?

Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong, but what was a Greek conference in Greek territory? What council? Are you talking about the Nicene Creed? If you are, then you're not talking about what I was talking about.

Gramps49 specifically referenced words used in the Apostles' Creed, and I said (in the part of my post that you quoted) that the Apostles' Creed was probably written in Latin. Given that the earliest form of it was the Roman baptismal symbol, and given that it seems to have reached its current form in Gaul, Latin seems like a better bet than Greek.

The only mention of the Nicene Creed was to note that the Greek uses the same word for "Creator" that the Greek version of the Apostles' Creed does.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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Shit, you're right, I got the wrong creed. I repent in sackcloth and ashes. Sorry! Feel free to slap me.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Nick Tamen

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Nah, it's Christmas. Cheers.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Perhaps slap everyone whose into Latin or Greek. That is yhe sort of this that loses everyone. How does that make it more likely things they click 'like' and 'may attend'? (And I am hopelessly dating myself with such passé reference to old social media....)

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Perhaps slap everyone whose into Latin or Greek. That is yhe sort of this that loses everyone. How does that make it more likely things they click 'like' and 'may attend'? (And I am hopelessly dating myself with such passé reference to old social media....)

But we're not debating this on some invitation site, or some church website. We're debating this on the Ship of Fools, a place specifically set up, in part, for this kind of debate. One doesn't expect potential converts who aren't into this sort of shit to come here and seek it out. And any that come here and stay more than five minutes are probably the kind of nutjobs like ourselves who get off on this sort of thing.

Anyway, ITTWACWS. I claim my €5.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Perhaps slap everyone whose into Latin or Greek. That is yhe sort of this that loses everyone.

I don't think that's true at all. I'm sure it loses some people, but some people—including some millenials even—find it interesting and even potentially meaningful. Whether it's generations or any other cohort group, one size dies not fit all.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Though I suppose that doesn't mean that those churches actively ENCOURAGE their flock to study evolution, just that they don't actively DISCOURAGE it. But they probably don't really encourage you to study the laws of gravity or the theory of relativity either, simply because it's not their mandate to teach those things.

Thank you. When one comes to think of it, this is actually a major dichotomy, isn't it. If a child or young person is taught/learns, 'I believe in God,' and even more, 'maker of ....',
and also learns about our species' evolution, what should the answer be when s/he asks how both these answers can be true.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Perhaps slap everyone whose into Latin or Greek. That is yhe sort of this that loses everyone. How does that make it more likely things they click 'like' and 'may attend'? (And I am hopelessly dating myself with such passé reference to old social media....)

Does that apply also to everyone who's into correct English?

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
When one comes to think of it, this is actually a major dichotomy, isn't it. If a child or young person is taught/learns, 'I believe in God,' and even more, 'maker of ....',
and also learns about our species' evolution, what should the answer be when s/he asks how both these answers can be true.

Well the basic response is that the laws of nature are also brought into being by God, and are the means by which creation is achieved. Like all analogies this is imperfect, but the question is a bit like asking whether it was the spanner or the mechanic which tightened the nut.
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Martin60
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The laws of nature are independent of God, just like the laws of God.

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Love wins

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The laws of nature are independent of God, just like the laws of God.

Good one.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Though I suppose that doesn't mean that those churches actively ENCOURAGE their flock to study evolution, just that they don't actively DISCOURAGE it. But they probably don't really encourage you to study the laws of gravity or the theory of relativity either, simply because it's not their mandate to teach those things.

Thank you. When one comes to think of it, this is actually a major dichotomy, isn't it. If a child or young person is taught/learns, 'I believe in God,' and even more, 'maker of ....',
and also learns about our species' evolution, what should the answer be when s/he asks how both these answers can be true.

It's not really a dichotomy at all, unless one insists on a literal reading of the Gensis story, complete with 7 24-hour days, etc.—which most Christian traditions don't. The answer to that child is that the theory of evolution tells us the mechanics of how we developed as a species, while the Genesis creation myth tells us why and that our development as a species was not happenstance or accidental.

FWIW, I've never encountered even subtle discouragement of studying evolution in my particular tradition of Chrustianity. The idea that there is conflict is simply not an issue. The scientists in various congregation I have had connection to over the years seem to have little trouble reconciling to two.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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Those are mutually exclusive positions.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Those are mutually exclusive positions.

Why?

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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We developed as a species was by happenstance and accident.

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Love wins

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Those are mutually exclusive positions.

Why?
I don't see them as mutually exclusive. All you have to do is understand that God created the laws that govern evolution. You can also say that God is the power that continually moves it forward, according to His laws.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Martin60
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The laws are nothing to do with Him.

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Love wins

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Freddy
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Their origin and purpose is not love?

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
We developed as a species was by happenstance and accident.

And why do you say that? My understanding is that's not really what evolutionary theory says.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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SusanDoris

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Thank you for an interesting post to sit and think about this morning. I apologise for the length and will quite understand if you think, TLDR! I usually try and remove my previous words, but I don’t think it would have worked here.
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
When you do ponder the questions that matter more to you, is there a sort of format you use? That sounds like a daft and too vague a question, I suppose, but do you start with the assumption that your beliefs are a given?

I don't know that I have a "format" as such, but no, I do not necessarily start with an assumption that my beliefs are a given. Not saying I always question my assumptions, but I think it's fair to say that I do question them with some regularity—including questioning the existence of God. For me, giving thoughtful consideration to anything includes asking the question "what if my assumptions are wrong?" and "what if my conclusions are wrong?"
Do you know what it is that always brings you back to the faith/belief answer?

quote:
quote:
When I contemplate existence, life, the universe and everything, I do not give any time or credence to the possibility that there might be a God.
So why do you start with the assumption that your beliefs—specifically your belief that there is no God—are a given? Why do you not questions the assumptions you start with?
I should have said that I ]no longer spend any time giving credence to the possibility of any god, however, I will be always ready to change my mind if one actually turns up.
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
. . . but the writers [of the Genesis creation stories] could not and did not contemplate, let alone consider, that all this had happened naturally without any God involved.

Why couldn't they consider it? The existence of people who didn't believe in gods in the ancient world aside, there are creation myths from many cultures that either don't involve gods at all or don't involve gods directly creating, much less creating out of love. In fact as I understand it, the Genesis myth (for it is myth, in the proper sense of the word) is the exception in that regard.
Yes, you are right, I was trying not to use too many words! I was thinking that all ancient peoples did not have the huge amount of accumulated knowledge we now have of the world and our galaxy, nor the technology etc to test and verify their religious beliefs. we must of course acknowledge the ways that knowledge builds up continuously.
quote:
quote:
I wonder whether there is research which shows that millennials are less likely to ask the question why, since they have been, one hopes, brought up, educated and lived in a world where, testable, verifiable knowledge is available to them with a mouse click. A much greater amount of critical thinking teaching could well be a very good thing, I think. If they ask you the question why, what can you tell them that is true, and where a method is available to be used to show how this is decided?
I'm afraid I don't understand at all why education and testable, verifiable knowledge would make millenials, or any one else, less likely to ask "why" questions. That just makes no sense to me, and I suspect it would be equally baffling to my children, both of whom are well-educated, intelligent millenials with very good critical thinking skills.
I was thinking particularly of the ‘why are we here’ question when it is followed by an answer something like, ‘God made us’. I was thinking, too, of the younger people who hav seen the scientific method at work, lived through the years since the launching of the Voyagers, watched a probe land on a comet, and seen how medical treatments are rapidly improving. They would, perhaps should, recognise that the possibility of any god or 2,000-year-dead person is still listening to prayers, etc must begin to be, in fact, incredible.
quote:
This goes back to my statement above that for my money, there are questions that science is completely ill-equipped to answer.
How can they even attempt to answer a question when there are zero observations to start with from which they might attempt a hypothesis?
quote:
What is beauty? What is goodness—not just in the abstract, but in the living of life?
Without language and evolved human thoughts and ideas, the world would still be as it is but our particular species would not have the ability to transmit our thoughts about, for instance, a glorious sunset, to our fellow humans. Similarly, with behaviours which enable us to live.
quote:
What is truth—not fact, but truth? I know of no method for testing those things, but I think questions like this are worth contemplating.
Yes, that is certainly a trickier, and probably never-ending, question, especially as definitions of words become so blurred at times. However, there are innumerable facts, concrete nouns, recognisable by all creatures and each can be given different names by different peoples, but the thing itself remains the same, whether named or not. With abstract nouns, there must be a majority acceptance of meaning, otherwise our human world would grind to a halt, but any idea, such as God, which is believed to be true by some is not as a result true for others.

[ 27. December 2016, 12:22: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Martin60
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That 'was' is unforgivable.

Well said Freddy. Everything is predicated on love. But quantum mechanics isn't love.

Aye Nick, I deliberately missed out what Jacques Monod said: chance AND necessity. You didn't! You engaged in the false dichotomy first, I just ran with it.

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Love wins

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
We are not here in order to love others – most of us do it because we canot help it and such behaviours, however, altruistic they may be, give us our greatest happiness and contentment.

And why is that? Why can't we help it? Why does it make us happy and contented? To me that is the God part. Love and compassion can't be seen by scientific methods, but we feel them for some reason.
All these feelings and emotions are produced by chemicals etc in the brain and have evolved to perform those functions. The effect of well-being, contentnent and what we call happiness have been an essential part of our species' successful survival, along with the ability to use language to express abstract thought as a vital part of this. For me, this is sufficiently exciting, wonderful, amazing, etc in itself with no need to put forward the idea of a god to have started it. An the answer to how the universe started is not a complete don't know and will no doubt become a little less unknown as time goes on.
quote:
Is it "why we are here?" I have no idea.
Why do you think you need another reason apart from biology?
quote:
I grew up Presbyterian, have been a member of several different main stream denominations and never heard a word against evolution. I'm always surprised to hear atheists or agnostics say, "I don't believe in God -- I believe in science...
But that is not what they say. Atheists lack belief in all gods, rather than all gods except one, and believe in the verified Theories of Science, knowing always that they can be challenged and subsequently improved or changed if necessary.
quote:
..." as though the two things are incompatible. With a few exceptions, Christians go to doctors when they are sick and believe everything their high school chemistry teacher told them. We thank God for new discoveries that help us.

I don't know why some churches have dug their heels in about evolution, but it's a very small arguing point to me. The umbrella of "science," covers masses of other information that no Christian is disputing.

Thank you - I agree. Those who believe in God - and there is not going to be any but a very small change in that for a hundred or more years I think - add an unnecessary complexity to the world as it is anyway.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Aye Nick, I deliberately missed out what Jacques Monod said: chance AND necessity. You didn't! You engaged in the false dichotomy first, I just ran with it.

Still not seeing a false dichotomy, Jacques Monod's conclusion that human life emerged by chance notwithstanding.

And I think, at least in evolutionary theory terms, the operative words are "random" and "non-random."

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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The false dichotomy being (theistic evolutionary) creation or blind chance.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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I'm glad you found it worth thinking about SusanDoris. In an effort not to make things too long, I'll try to keep responses limited and to the point.
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Do you know what it is that always brings you back to the faith/belief answer?

No, I don't exactly, other than that I ultimately seem unable not to believe. It's what puts the puzzle pieces together for me. It's what rings true, despite the doubts.

quote:
I was thinking, too, of the younger people who hav seen the scientific method at work, lived through the years since the launching of the Voyagers, watched a probe land on a comet, and seen how medical treatments are rapidly improving. They would, perhaps should, recognise that the possibility of any god or 2,000-year-dead person is still listening to prayers, etc must begin to be, in fact, incredible.
I lived through all of those things, plus the first moon landing. Lots and lots of people did who still believe.

That said, yes I'd say it's incredible. And yet I still believe it to be true.

quote:
quote:
This goes back to my statement above that for my money, there are questions that science is completely ill-equipped to answer.
How can they even attempt to answer a question when there are zero observations to start with from which they might attempt a hypothesis?
But that's true of many things. Life is a mix of the biological and, for want of a better term, the beyond-biological. To pick up on another thread, why does some music give us chills, or why does some music give some people chills and not others? The scientific explanations about chemical reactions and the like are good as far as they go, but for many of us they don't go far enough.

It seems to me that for some people, the questions that matter are the ones that can be tested by the scientific method, and if a question cannot be tested by the scientific method it is not worth asking. For others of us, the questions that cannot be tested by the scientific method are the more interesting and meaningful questions.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

Posts: 2557 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
[QUOTE]I do think that it is pretty interesting to ask what it would take to arrange things on the planet so that there was universal peace, kindness and prosperity.

An impossibility, I'm afraid! We have evolved to survive and that means the maintenance of genes which would enable us, if the world became .such a hostile environment, to have enough of the fittest to survive.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2947 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged



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