Prayer Partner
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Everything posted by mererdog

  1. Sure. And I do like word games. A lot. But this goes to the core of your original post. Dan and I have seen the same evidence and believe different things. The evidence is clearly not why we believe what we do. It is certainly part of it, but not even the main part. When these people ask you why you don't believe, they are asking why you see the evidence differently than them. They are asking why you dont think there is enough cinnamon. Simply repeating that you don't think there is enough cinnamon doesn't really answer the question, you know? You don't find the evidence compelling. Why that is true is massively complicated. They may as well ask why you don't have a completely different personality. In attempting to answer, all you can really do is confuse the issue and frustrate yourself and the asker.
  2. No. I am comparing the concept of "enough evidence" with the concept of "enough cinnamon." Neither is objective.
  3. On the subject of lack of evidence.... Two people share a cake. One says "There is not enough cinnamon." The other says "There is enough cinnamon." Can either prove he is right? Objectively speaking, we know there is cinnamon. But what, objectively speaking, is enough cinnamon? Or is our common mode of expression simply hiding the truth that the real issue is how we experience the cinnamon as an individual, rather than the amount (or quality) of cinnamon.
  4. How so? Normally, when I have no way to prove a thing false or true, the only thing it tells me is that I don't know the truth about it. I dont see how my ignorance suggests anything about the rest of the world?
  5. Not even any bad ones? All evidence is subjective. A fact is objective. A fact becomes evidence when someone infers something about the fact saying "This thing I can see suggests something I can't see." The Bible is a source of information. It is as real as a reciept, and just as objective. If someone produces a receipt, they have evidence. That evidence isn't conclusive but it also isn't nothing. And while you may not find it persuasive, persuasion is a deeply personal process.
  6. You are. Perhaps not intentionally, but you are. When you tell people there is no reason to believe as they do- when you insist that their beliefs are silly- these are attacks. Over and over again, you are calling all Christians stupid, or worse.
  7. You're welcome. You got me curious about the Lutheran position. A quick search makes it look like praying to saints is prohibited by church doctrine, but that the church actively encourages invoking saints within prayers. An artful distinction...
  8. As a matter of doctrine, Baptists do not believe in praying to, or through, Saints. This is also going to be an emotional landmine with many of them, as they have been taught that doing so goes against the commandment against idolatry. Offering to pray to a saint for them would be viewed by those people the same as offering to slaughter a goat to the Devil for them.
  9. You have actually been moving the goalposts during the thread. You started with "1. because there is no reason for such a belief. None at all" For the record, there is no such thing as objective evidence. Facts are objective, but those facts must be filtered through an interpretive process for us to form opinions regarding which of those objective facts are evidence of what. Interpretations and opinions about objective facts are not, themselves, objective.
  10. Also, we (people, generally) tend to disagree on what something is evidence of. What you see as evidence that there is a God, someone else will see as evidence that there is no God. When you add a new ingredient to a soup, what you end up with is usually determined more by what was already in the soup than by what you added....
  11. Which means, in this case, that you are wrong. I am an atheist. I believe in things I do not understand and cannot explain. I will give you no examples. You must either call me a liar, tell me you know my thoughts better than I do, or admit you aren't really qualified to judge what is in the hearts of atheists. I'm a bit curious to see which happens.
  12. I agree. It begs three questions- How do we keep it from escalating? Once it escalates, how can we deescalate? Will we agree about what is or is not derision, when confronted with a specific example?
  13. Matt 19 16-22 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?”Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” "Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'" “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”
  14. Matthew 22:35-40 King James Version (KJV) "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." These are not presented as new commandments, but simply as distilations of the previous ones. The notion seems to be that as long as you are doing these things, the rest will take care of itself. If you love your neighbor, you won't murder him... That sort of thing. Also...
  15. By definition, bad behavior is a matter of opinion. Bad anything is a matter of opinion, because bad is not an objective, measurable standard- just an emotional response. This is why what qualifies as bad manners is culturally dependant.
  16. I am not accusing you of anything. I am not attacking you. I am not calling you pushy. I am not your enemy. I disagree with the premise that if a post seems to be preaching it belongs in the Pulpit. I think the topic categories leave a lot more leeway than that. I think, further, that enforcement of such a rule would have a disproportionate negative impact on members of specific religious traditions.
  17. They would not be behaving badly simply because they came in and preached at us. That would be a false assumption on your part. Note that your words here could easily be considered preaching. You have a point of view, and you are expressing it in strident black and white terms, leaving no room for argument or disagreement. You are making it clear that you consider your way to be the only right way, and that you consider any other way to not only be incorrect but wrong. I assume this is simply because you care. I assume you think it matters what decisions we make about this subject, so you want us to get it right. Am I wrong?
  18. And yet, if someone comes into a forum and immediately starts insulting everyone, it is common for everyone to start insulting them. We start with one or two posts that are abusive, and suddenly we have twelve. We start with one person breaking the rules, and suddenly we have five. We go from 5% of new content being about one guy's grudges, to 90% of new content being about that guy's grudges. And all that extra content is hosted on servers paid for by someone who specifically said he doesn't want to pay to store that kind of content. It gets uploaded and downloaded across bandwidth paid for by someone who specifically said he doesn't want the bandwidth he pays for to be used for that stuff.
  19. When we respond to things, our responses come from within, not from without. We have the ability to moderate those responses. To do this requires owning them. We have to say "I choose how I respond. I may not choose my emotions, but I can choose how and when I express them." This means we have to avoid blaming our responses on others. We can't say "I did it because he made me mad." Imagine your child is driving and has an auto accident. Imagine it is ruled that both drivers are equally at fault. How much time would you spend talking to your child about what the other driver did wrong? Wouldnt you focus on what your child did wrong, to help them learn how not to repeat the mistake? Doesn't it make sense that we would want to focus on our own part in things, rather than on the actions of others? The forum is open to the public. People will come in and they will piss on the walls. It will happen. If everyone responds by peeing on the walls in kind, it just makes the place smell that much worse
  20. Its one of those things that gets brought up by someone new every year or two. They come to a church forum with a set of expectations. They are expecting to be "preaching to the choir." They expect easy agreement. When they face challenges and disagreements, they try to make them go away- to make the forum fit their expectation of "church." Sometimes, it has been Christians who dont think non-Christians belong. Sometimes, it has been non-Christians trying to run off the Christians.
  21. The ULC accepts all without question of faith. There is no litmus test to belong. His beliefs do not disqualify him. This is a dangerous and ugly road you have turned down. I have been told on more than one occasion that atheists and agnostics have no place here, because this is a religious forum and we have no religion. It was implied several times that we must only be here to cause trouble- because "why else?" This is not an attempt to be even-handed. When we don't insist that our enemies are treated morally, we eventually find that our friends are treated immorally. Call it karma. call it the Golden Rule. Call it priming the enviroment to produce a predictable result. Whatever. Wheels spin and pendulums swing, and what is bad for the goose will be bad for the gander.
  22. What if they are right? What if it would be more accurate to say that others refuse to accept the possibility that this one way is the only way?