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  #426    
Old May 10th, 2012 (01:40 PM).
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I basically started questioning the religion I had been (pretty lightly) taught because when I was a kid I freaking loved dinosaurs... Yeah. In my dinosaur/prehistoric books, it talked about the first organisms and early mammals and (obviously) dinosaurs..and all that.. Really, my turn from really liberal Christianity to atheism had a lot to do with me being like "lol this makes no sense." Besides that, the way my family approaches their religion is pretty inconsistent, so.
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  #427    
Old May 10th, 2012 (03:25 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
"Religion is true inb4 atheist counter-arguments"

So we non-believers like to talk about science being the best way of learning about the universe and all that, but how many of us have a scientific background/understanding/interest? How many of us came to atheism through science compared to those of us who were confronted with religion and rejected that?
I do.. I have a really good scientific understanding and Im very interested in science, especially physics and chemistry.
I would say it was half half, when I was younger I wasn't atheist I was more just like "this seems kinda like my bedtime stories not a true story" and didnt really have an opinion on it but as I got older and into science and such more I was just like "None of this makes sense at all." and became full atheist.
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  #428    
Old May 10th, 2012 (06:04 PM).
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I have very little scientific knowledge or background lol. It was one of my worst subjects in high school; I was just terrible at it. I definitely came to atheism through rejection of religion, because in the end I'd rather put my trust in something that can be proven rather than something that can't. The idea of faith - believe without proof - is utterly terrifying. It opens the door to brainwashing and cults and the thought that faith is enough... that's horrific.
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  #429    
Old May 11th, 2012 (07:21 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Shining Raichu:
I have very little scientific knowledge or background lol. It was one of my worst subjects in high school; I was just terrible at it. I definitely came to atheism through rejection of religion, because in the end I'd rather put my trust in something that can be proven rather than something that can't. The idea of faith - believe without proof - is utterly terrifying. It opens the door to brainwashing and cults and the thought that faith is enough... that's horrific.
I had a moment like that when I was in high school. I wasn't raised with religion in any way so I kinda didn't even know the first thing about it for quite a while and was one of those atheists-by-default (I didn't have a science-y background or anything either). Then in high school I learned that my two closest friends (not actually that close) were Mormons and I was basically dropped into the deep end of the religion-vs.-science argument in biology class when evolution came up. If the religious types hadn't been so adamant that evolution wasn't possible I probably would have a better impression of religion in general now, but from then on it seemed like it just made people really selective in what they wanted to accept as real.
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  #430    
Old May 14th, 2012 (05:15 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
"Religion is true inb4 atheist counter-arguments"

So we non-believers like to talk about science being the best way of learning about the universe and all that, but how many of us have a scientific background/understanding/interest? How many of us came to atheism through science compared to those of us who were confronted with religion and rejected that?

I, for one, find scientific reasoning for how the universe was created (The Big Bang) to seem more logical than religion's point of views (God created the universe out of dust? ..I never really understood).

I've always been into science and everything, yeah. Even as a kid, it was one of my favorite subjects. I have a giant book titled The Atlas of the Universe. It has a bunch of galaxies in it...and people wonder why people think there's no God. The world we live in is just a speck in this vast universe..I highly doubt a God made the entire universe just to make ONE planet for his people. No.

I was raised Catholic (as I've stated in this thread already) but overtime I've felt as if it isn't ... true. I felt this way whenever I found out Santa wasn't real. I was 8 when I started my doubts..!

It's quite difficult because my family is filled with religious people. The other day I was with my mom, grandma, step-dad, sister, and cousin, and we passed in front of a Catholic church. When you pass in front of a Catholic church and you're Catholic, you're apparently supposed to "make the sign of the cross." My grandma noticed I didn't do it, and she started automatically asking me if I was Atheist. I didn't want to make a scene in front of my family, so I just said that I never said that. If I could tell my family about this, everything would be easier.. lol

Okay so I was talking to my friend in class Friday, and she said that, because of her religion, she doesn't approve of homosexuals. I was utterly shocked at this because I always thought she wasn't one to judge because of things like that..!
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  #431    
Old May 14th, 2012 (05:19 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Mockingjay:
I, for one, find scientific reasoning for how the universe was created (The Big Bang) to seem more logical than religion's point of views (God created the universe out of dust? ..I never really understood).
God didn't create it the universe out of dust. He just created it out of his own power.

Quote originally posted by Mockingjay:
I've always been into science and everything, yeah. Even as a kid, it was one of my favorite subjects. I have a giant book titled The Atlas of the Universe. It has a bunch of galaxies in it...and people wonder why people think there's no God. The world we live in is just a speck in this vast universe..I highly doubt a God made the entire universe just to make ONE planet for his people. No.
Humans were originally meant to live forever, thus an infinite universe would be necessary to account for our infinite expansion.
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  #432    
Old May 14th, 2012 (05:32 PM).
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Quote originally posted by QuilavaKing:
God didn't create it the universe out of dust. He just created it out of his own power.


Humans were originally meant to live forever, thus an infinite universe would be necessary to account for our infinite expansion.
I don't quite remember my bible quotes or anything, so I'm not the one to talk. However, I was always told it was "dust" He made it out of or something. There's also that thing where he needed Adam's rib to make Eve..yet he created the entire universe without anything..?

Anyway, if what you're getting at is true, then why would there be uninhabitable planets? It seems like a waste of energy, mass, etc. I can understand for gravitational purposes (for other planets to be able to be in the "Goldilocks zone") but otherwise I don't see a point. Why wouldn't he supply us with the ability to zoom out of the planet with ease to other planets? Or is the Earth good enough?
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  #433    
Old May 14th, 2012 (05:40 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Mockingjay:
I don't quite remember my bible quotes or anything, so I'm not the one to talk. However, I was always told it was "dust" He made it out of or something. There's also that thing where he needed Adam's rib to make Eve..yet he created the entire universe without anything..?

Anyway, if what you're getting at is true, then why would there be uninhabitable planets? It seems like a waste of energy, mass, etc. I can understand for gravitational purposes (for other planets to be able to be in the "Goldilocks zone") but otherwise I don't see a point. Why wouldn't he supply us with the ability to zoom out of the planet with ease to other planets? Or is the Earth good enough?
Keep in mind that 90% of the Old Testament isn't meant to be taken literally. The Genesis account isn't meant to be taken as science, it's meant to be taken in parallel with things such as the Babylonian creation narrative since it was written during the Babylonian exile, and with each point a hidden meaning that shows why it was written in that way and not any other. Adam's rib wasn't 'required' to make Eve, but making her in that way was meant to prove a point. Same as how in the beginning it was just God, who created from nothing, but then he created Adam from earth. He didn't have to use earth, but it was a metaphorical point about how we are part earthly, with our bodies, and part with God, with his breath that he used to make humans. You can't look at Genesis and pick it apart literally.

I'm still agnostic, it's just hard for me as someone who's been to Catholic school for 5 years now (3 in high school, 2 in college) and has taken 3.5 years of Theology to hear people make their opinions without knowing all the facts. Even if it's not believed in, Christianity and the Bible are surprisingly interesting and complex when you get into it, from a literary standpoint.
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  #434    
Old May 14th, 2012 (05:51 PM).
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If I understand correctly, the Bible isn't necessarily always to be taken at its word. Just like any other book, it uses creative writing techniques to put across a point. So when it says that Eve was made out of Adam's rib, I'm not sure if that was meant to be taken literally (since it's well established in this universe that a God would have infinite power and is therefore capable of creating a woman from scratch, just as he created the man from scratch) or figuratively to make a point. The point in this case, I believe, would be man's dominance over woman.

EDIT: ...ninja'd damnit toujours
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  #435    
Old May 14th, 2012 (05:55 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:


Keep in mind that 90% of the Old Testament isn't meant to be taken literally. The Genesis account isn't meant to be taken as science, it's meant to be taken in parallel with things such as the Babylonian creation narrative since it was written during the Babylonian exile, and with each point a hidden meaning that shows why it was written in that way and not any other. Adam's rib wasn't 'required' to make Eve, but making her in that way was meant to prove a point. Same as how in the beginning it was just God, who created from nothing, but then he created Adam from earth. He didn't have to use earth, but it was a metaphorical point about how we are part earthly, with our bodies, and part with God, with his breath that he used to make humans. You can't look at Genesis and pick it apart literally.

I'm still agnostic, it's just hard for me as someone who's been to Catholic school for 5 years now (3 in high school, 2 in college) and has taken 3.5 years of Theology to hear people make their opinions without knowing all the facts. Even if it's not believed in, Christianity and the Bible are surprisingly interesting and complex when you get into it, from a literary standpoint.
I've tried to sit down and read the Old Testament, but I just couldn't. I've never really been able to grasp a lot of what the Bible's "trying to say"..I guess some people just don't get it. *shrug*

Well, I was in Catholic schools from ages 4~9, and from 10~14, I was in after school Catholic classes. I was taught how to be a good little Catholic girl and whatnot xD

If we had a copy of the Bible in my house, I'd check out some parts. The only thing I've ever really read into was the Revelation part..although I don't quite remember it all. Also I tried to read this one part a few years ago that was basically saying "(insert name here) who was the son of (insert name here) who lived to be 924 and had 32 other children.." and I was so lost. Whoever knows what that may be, let me know. :D
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  #436    
Old May 14th, 2012 (06:05 PM).
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I think the book you're talking about is part of the Pentateuch but I'm not sure. Numbers maybe?

Yeah I looked it up and you're thinking of Numbers. The thing about the Bible is it's a lot like other really heavy literary works; you can't just read it and 'understand'. You have to study it, and probably with a teacher or a scholar to even begin to scratch the surface. I've learned more in this past semester in college in Theology than I did in all 3 of my high school years, and more than the year and a half of RCIA I took to become Catholic way back in high school.

If you do read a book from the Bible though, I would recommend Exodus. It's actually a really interesting story. Job is interesting too, but you have to keep in mind reading it that it's written as a fairy tale, with the Hebrew equivalent of "Once upon a time" starting it, so you don't feel like God is punishing Job unfairly or something like that haha.
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  #437    
Old May 14th, 2012 (07:10 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:

If you do read a book from the Bible though, I would recommend Exodus. It's actually a really interesting story. Job is interesting too, but you have to keep in mind reading it that it's written as a fairy tale, with the Hebrew equivalent of "Once upon a time" starting it, so you don't feel like God is punishing Job unfairly or something like that haha.
I don't think I'm reading this correctly but everytime I look at it, it seems to me that you are saying that part of the Bible is just a made up story (Fairy Tale) and if you think of it that way anything in it is no more relevant to the creation of everything then saying Harry Potters war with Voldemort actually happened and wasnt just a made up story.

Eh if that didnt make any sense what I'm trying to say, how can we possible take something as god's word and the truth if you admit that a part of it is just a fairy tale?
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  #438    
Old May 14th, 2012 (07:20 PM).
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Quote originally posted by CarefulWetPaint:
I don't think I'm reading this correctly but everytime I look at it, it seems to me that you are saying that part of the Bible is just a made up story (Fairy Tale) and if you think of it that way anything in it is no more relevant to the creation of everything then saying Harry Potters war with Voldemort actually happened and wasnt just a made up story.

Eh if that didnt make any sense what I'm trying to say, how can we possible take something as god's word and the truth if you admit that a part of it is just a fairy tale?
It's like a fable, in which a moral is conveyed. In Job, Satan tells God that Job is only pious because Job is happy, healthy, has a wife and kids and a lot of money. In reply, God allows Satan to take everything from Job to test what Satan claimed. In that time, it was believed that if you were afflicted with tragedy, it was basically a result of your own personal sin and not random happenstance as happens to everyone. His wife tells him to curse God, his friends accuse him of sinning, his family dies, his fortune is lost, but he still remains pious and praises God and claims he did not sin terribly to deserve what happened to him. At this point, God comes to speak to him and his friends and rebukes the friends for their accusations to Job, and puts him in good health with twice what he had before.

The point of the book is to refute the idea of the time that if something bad happens to you, it's a direct result of your own sin. It's also meant to encourage people to suffer without blaming or cursing God, as if you suffer and still praise God then you will be rewarded in the end.

Saying that you can't take it as important because it's not a true fact is like disregarding every parable Jesus ever said as unimportant because they didn't actually happen.

Edit: the reason I used the term "fairy tale" is because of the phrases used to open it and end it, which would have signified to people back then that the story wasn't real, but something that we don't see nowadays because of translation and changes in colloquial language. The closest approximation is the idea of the beginning of a fairy tale, which has a formula that everyone knows.
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  #439    
Old May 15th, 2012 (02:35 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
"Religion is true inb4 atheist counter-arguments"

So we non-believers like to talk about science being the best way of learning about the universe and all that, but how many of us have a scientific background/understanding/interest? How many of us came to atheism through science compared to those of us who were confronted with religion and rejected that?
I r scientist.

Technically a Bachelor of Science in a few months so that best explains my route. I went to a Church of England school, we weren't taught the bible but it was often referenced - and we made a prayer before each assembly. Well I say we, I didn't like it so just sat and watched, even as a 7 year old.

God was just never the option for me.

------------

As to all the Bible shizz, from what I know about the Bible I would say it's more a collection of horror stories than fables. All are simply to demonstrate the power that God has and/or to say that if you sin then you will go to hell. It's just a scare tactic to gain power over people.

To me, God just comes across as a bully.
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  #440    
Old May 15th, 2012 (06:28 AM).
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Quote originally posted by SwiftSign:

As to all the Bible shizz, from what I know about the Bible I would say it's more a collection of horror stories than fables. All are simply to demonstrate the power that God has and/or to say that if you sin then you will go to hell. It's just a scare tactic to gain power over people.

To me, God just comes across as a bully.
You don't know much about it at all then.
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  #441    
Old May 15th, 2012 (06:53 AM).
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I wouldn't be so quick to write that off as a lack of knowledge. Just off the top of my head I can think of one story - Sodom and Gomorrah - where God came off looking like a bit of a bully. Considering two cities were consumed in fire and brimstone, I think that's a horror story James Cameron could do something with.
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  #442    
Old May 15th, 2012 (08:53 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:


You don't know much about it at all then.
The bible has multiple meanings to many different people, to say I'm wrong is just ignorant. My opinion is perfectly valid - considering the Church used the bible/God as a bullying tactic through the Dark Ages, etc.

If there was a perfect answer to what each section of the bible meant then the Christian religion as a whole wouldn't be so flawed.
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  #443    
Old May 15th, 2012 (10:27 AM).
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I subscribe to the view that all literary texts are open to the audience's interpretation, but that there are better and worse arguments, deeper and shallower understandings based on how much one reads and thinks about the text. Certainly the person who wrote (or wrote down) one of these Jesus fables probably had their own ideas, but that doesn't preclude the possibility that they differed from the person they heard the story from, and certainly whoever first came up with the story could not control how people read it.

I haven't really read the bible, but when I first transferred to university I met with a professor who taught some literature (my focus) and also some theological/religious stuff and as an intro to the kinds of assignments we'd be doing he had us read a biblical fable and try to find out what we might be able to tease from the text. Can't remember what it was, but it involved an a couple of people and some mundane kind of exchange or argument (lol, so specific) and the half dozen of us students tried to "find" the "moral" of the story and then after listening to us the professor suggested we think about it with one of the characters as god and the exchange as a parallel to a person's relationship with god, etc. etc. THE POINT OF MY STORY is that you can look at the surface of something and it can look like a bully, but if you look more at it you can see something different. OF COURSE in another class I took the teacher read us something from an old Buddhist guy in ye olde China who said "When I got here all I saw was a mountain. After 20 years studying I saw there was no mountain. After another 20 years I saw there was a mountain again." Or, in other words (or at least my interpretation), don't get all bent out of shape trying to find "the truth" or things.

Whoa. What did I just write?
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  #444    
Old May 15th, 2012 (11:36 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:
You don't know much about it at all then.
Quote originally posted by SwiftSign:


The bible has multiple meanings to many different people, to say I'm wrong is just ignorant. My opinion is perfectly valid - considering the Church used the bible/God as a bullying tactic through the Dark Ages, etc.

If there was a perfect answer to what each section of the bible meant then the Christian religion as a whole wouldn't be so flawed.
Neither would there be literally hundreds of different denominations of Christianity which exist because they can't agree on what The Bible actually says. Catholicism, Protestants, Baptist, Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Anglican, Pentacostal, Latter Day Saints, Methodist, Jehovah's Witness, Unitarians. The list of one true interpretations goes on and on. All of these different denominations of the Christian faith exist largely because they have interpreted The Bible differently.

Some believe The Bible is a historically accurate depiction of events, others believe it's a collection of stories with moral guidance. Some believe the Virgin Mary should be worshipped., others consider this idolatry. Some believe hell is a place of fiery torture, others describe it as being nothing.

To say someone doesn't know much about The Bible and suggest that they're objectively wrong when there are so many interpretations is ridiculous. If Swift has missed the mark, there has to be a mark to miss, but Christianity seems to be all over the maps.
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  #445    
Old May 16th, 2012 (08:47 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Shining Raichu:
I wouldn't be so quick to write that off as a lack of knowledge. Just off the top of my head I can think of one story - Sodom and Gomorrah - where God came off looking like a bit of a bully. Considering two cities were consumed in fire and brimstone, I think that's a horror story James Cameron could do something with.
Read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the story God specifically says that if there is one good person in the city, he won't destroy it. Note that no one is sinless, this is still Old Testament; he didn't want a sinless person. Just not the terrible people that populated Sodom and Gomorrah. That's how Lot was saved.

Quote originally posted by SwiftSign:


The bible has multiple meanings to many different people, to say I'm wrong is just ignorant. My opinion is perfectly valid - considering the Church used the bible/God as a bullying tactic through the Dark Ages, etc.

If there was a perfect answer to what each section of the bible meant then the Christian religion as a whole wouldn't be so flawed.
Quote originally posted by Blue Nocturne:



Neither would there be literally hundreds of different denominations of Christianity which exist because they can't agree on what The Bible actually says. Catholicism, Protestants, Baptist, Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Anglican, Pentacostal, Latter Day Saints, Methodist, Jehovah's Witness, Unitarians. The list of one true interpretations goes on and on. All of these different denominations of the Christian faith exist largely because they have interpreted The Bible differently.

Some believe The Bible is a historically accurate depiction of events, others believe it's a collection of stories with moral guidance. Some believe the Virgin Mary should be worshipped., others consider this idolatry. Some believe hell is a place of fiery torture, others describe it as being nothing.

To say someone doesn't know much about The Bible and suggest that they're objectively wrong when there are so many interpretations is ridiculous. If Swift has missed the mark, there has to be a mark to miss, but Christianity seems to be all over the maps.
@both of you: the original quote was "All are simply to demonstrate the power that God has and/or to say that if you sin then you will go to hell. It's just a scare tactic to gain power over people." Note the "all". That is objectively wrong. It just is. If you think every story in the Bible is meant as a scare tactic then you're ignorant of the Bible. It's as simple as that. It has nothing to do with interpretation. Can you possibly say that this is a scare tactic in any interpretation?

Quote:
Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
This is even in the Old Testament. You can claim many verses are harsh or uncalled for or whatever (God tried to kill Moses, lol), but not the entire thing. That's what's ignorant.
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  #446    
Old May 17th, 2012 (02:54 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Mockingjay:
I don't quite remember my bible quotes or anything, so I'm not the one to talk. However, I was always told it was "dust" He made it out of or something.
I just wanted to point out, Adam was made out of dust. The universe was made out of... nothing, really. Probably out of God's power, as stated somewhere above.


Quote originally posted by Mockingjay:
I've tried to sit down and read the Old Testament, but I just couldn't. I've never really been able to grasp a lot of what the Bible's "trying to say"..I guess some people just don't get it. *shrug*

Well, I was in Catholic schools from ages 4~9, and from 10~14, I was in after school Catholic classes. I was taught how to be a good little Catholic girl and whatnot xD

If we had a copy of the Bible in my house, I'd check out some parts. The only thing I've ever really read into was the Revelation part..although I don't quite remember it all. Also I tried to read this one part a few years ago that was basically saying "(insert name here) who was the son of (insert name here) who lived to be 924 and had 32 other children.." and I was so lost. Whoever knows what that may be, let me know. :D

Also, revelation is the last book of the bible... its the future, really, and is kind of hard to understand. Its interesting, but extremely hard to understand. Also, the Bible also has genealogies... which is probably what you flipped to that could actually be anywhere, Genesis, Numbers, even new testament (I think Joseph's genealogy was there in the new testament?) so I think that's what you stumbled upon.
Also, if you actually want to read it there are online Bibles available, in case you want to read it.
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Old May 17th, 2012 (09:18 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:


Quote originally posted by Shining Raichu:
I wouldn't be so quick to write that off as a lack of knowledge. Just off the top of my head I can think of one story - Sodom and Gomorrah - where God came off looking like a bit of a bully. Considering two cities were consumed in fire and brimstone, I think that's a horror story James Cameron could do something with.

Read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the story God specifically says that if there is one good person in the city, he won't destroy it. Note that no one is sinless, this is still Old Testament; he didn't want a sinless person. Just not the terrible people that populated Sodom and Gomorrah. That's how Lot was saved.
Excuse my ignorance, but... I don't really understand how no one in the cities can be good. I mean, they're cities, aren't they? And in cities, you have families, and in families you have babies. I think it'd be reasonable to assume a fairly typical newborn population in both, and those children wouldn't be bad or good - they'd be too young to have any concept of altruism. Seems a little unfair and extreme to me to kill babies just because their parents are 'terrible' people (and this is all without bringing up the problem of murder being seen as any kind of solution in the first place).

Quote:
God specifically says that if there is one good person in the city, he won't destroy it.
I thought I remembered it being ten... hang on, let me check that.

Yeah, it is. Ten people that have to be righteous in order for the city to be spared.

Quote originally posted by FrostPheonix:
Also, revelation is the last book of the bible... its the future, really, and is kind of hard to understand. Its interesting, but extremely hard to understand.
Revelations is brilliant. :D I highly recommend it for anyone stuck in a hotel room with nothing to do one night - even if you're not religious, you've gotta appreciate its sheer scale.
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  #448    
Old May 19th, 2012 (04:18 PM).
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Emile Hersch turned 30 today. Who the hell is Emile Hersch?
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It's time for the Red Shield Appeal, which means The Salvation Army is coming door-to-door asking for money. Mum saw them walking down the street and went to go get her purse and I said "Don't you give them anything." She stopped in her tracks and sat back down. The doorbell rang and nobody answered.

I feel very good about myself right now . Now that money can go to a charity that doesn't discriminate who they help because of their religious views.
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Old May 22nd, 2012 (01:19 AM).
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Hooray, exams are finally over!

Quote originally posted by Shining Raichu:
It's time for the Red Shield Appeal, which means The Salvation Army is coming door-to-door asking for money. Mum saw them walking down the street and went to go get her purse and I said "Don't you give them anything." She stopped in her tracks and sat back down. The doorbell rang and nobody answered.

I feel very good about myself right now . Now that money can go to a charity that doesn't discriminate who they help because of their religious views.
...how is the salvation army discriminating on who they help? I know they don't accept people into the army if they don't believe in what they believe, but... as far as I know, they don't discriminate on who they help.
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  #450    
Old May 22nd, 2012 (07:07 AM).
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Emile Hersch turned 30 today. Who the hell is Emile Hersch?
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Here's an article which outlines the Salvation Army's views on LGBT rights which poses a very interesting question on whether or not the good they do is enough to excuse the evil.

Here is one instance of them actually refusing to help a gay couple unless they agreed to break up.

You can Google "Salvation Army gay" and get millions of results. They're notorious for this, and with an organisation such as the Salvation Army, there really is no doubt that it stems from the religious aspect.
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