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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #180 on: December 13, 2010, 03:27:34 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
TtC, believe it or not, most Eastern Christians are quite comfortable saying "I don't know" - it's one of the things I found attractive and refreshing when I discovered them.

Amen Amen! The Orthodox is founded upon true, sincere and absolute humility, the teaching of the Sacramental Mystery of God's activity and economy in the world and our own limited, inability to fully understand ANY of it, which is why we pray, "Father, Thy Will be done and not our own" and also "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy on us, sinners!"

I agree with all of that.  Rather than the self's dissolution, I pursue its actualization.  I would like to be more me today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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But somehow some atheists satisfy themselves otherwise.

As if the whole goal is self-satisfaction. I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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As noted in quite a few posts recently, I reject any notion of objective morality, and since I see no point in a subjective morality, I reject the whole kit and kaboodle, and focus instead on good and evil as defined by practicality rather than morality; I.e., as providing earthly benefit to earthly creatures for the sake of some of that benefit accruing to myself directly or indirectly, and also for the sake of the sense of accomplishment I get from making a positive material difference here in the material world.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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You say that like it's a bad thing.  I, for my part, announce it as a triumph of reason.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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Like it's a bad thing, you say that.  As a triumph of reason, I, for my part, announce it.  I want a Yoda icon. Cool

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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Since moral outrage neither fills my belly nor beautifies my days, I don't miss its absence.

I, I, I, I. Me, me, me, me.

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I agree with his statement.  Eating people is grotesque and vile, however.  Yuck.  Incidentally, we don't need morality to deter people from what Dahmer did.  We have legislation and enforcement.  Bullets in a cop's gun and meeting Bubba in the prison shower are prospects more real and sobering by far than any imagined hellfire.

Quite the Macchiavellian, you are.

Amen amen! Until all folks, Christian or otherwise come to realize in their hearts and accept the true spirit of humility and repentance, then all this love of God will appear mysterious, unobtainable and even foolish! But once we in Christ grow out of that two-year old "me me" stage, then we truly begin to glimpse into complexity of God.  In our lives, we need it to always be about us all the time, but there are more than 7 billion living "us"s and 7 billion spirits of dead folks, all who have their own interests and free will, and God has to make ALL of these parameters somehow work together.. truly baffling, this is the Mystery of God.  Science thinks it has some clever observations, in answering a plethora of "how" questions and yet never ONCE even attempting the most significant question of "why"

"Why" is answered in Christian self-less love, not in dogmatic practice of writs and rights, but sincerely from the heart, in that we must love our associates as ourselves, which sums up all and any law, be it theological, Mosaic or scientific.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #181 on: December 13, 2010, 04:25:52 PM »

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.
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« Reply #182 on: December 13, 2010, 04:40:49 PM »

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible?
Yes, Orthodox Christians would definitely not say this.  This doctrine is known as Sola Scriptura, one to which the Orthodox do not subscribe.

You didn't know this already?
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« Reply #183 on: December 13, 2010, 05:14:17 PM »

Yes I did. But I am trying to get a gauge on how you can claim the existence of a God in the Orthodox realm.
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« Reply #184 on: December 13, 2010, 05:21:54 PM »

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

Actually Orthodox Christians (as well as Roman Catholics) would point out to you that the Church existed *before* the Bible; and plenty of Christians were born, lived and died without ever encountering a Bible in the way we know it today. 

Somehow that didn't stop them from believing in God or being Christians.  Why?  Cool
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« Reply #185 on: December 13, 2010, 06:50:59 PM »

Yes I did. But I am trying to get a gauge on how you can claim the existence of a God in the Orthodox realm.

History, philosophy, personal experience, so and so forth.
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« Reply #186 on: December 13, 2010, 07:31:02 PM »

When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?
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« Reply #187 on: December 13, 2010, 08:42:48 PM »

When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?
TtC, I very much respect what you are doing here. I think that it is admirable for you to ask questions to challenge your preconceived notions. And to challenge us as well. You must not ignore what Sleeper also said regarding experience. While it is not always good to base everything on experience, I would almost bet that all the OC on here have had experiences that have made the historical AND the philosophical arguments for God/Christ even more meaningful. Please do not forget that Important point. We come from a whole other mindset within Orthodoxy. It isn't all science and microscopes. It is the experience and communion with the Living God spoken of by the prophets, and revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #188 on: December 13, 2010, 10:24:38 PM »

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

The Bible is not read by a scholarly way.  Sure, there is a scholarly way to read the Bible if you want to study it in a scientific manner.  But there's also a spiritual way, as was its true intent, since it's not primarily a history book (although it has some historical elements that can't be ignored) or a science book, but a book of spirituality.  So we acknowledge that some mistakes can be made, but its spiritual essence is infallible).  We "prayerfully" read the Bible searching for lessons and teachings in our lives, and sometimes passages are taken allegorically for these teachings to be made manifest for us personally as well as strengthening our faith in Christ.  There are tough passages no doubt, but I think most of these touch passages people deal with is in the Old Testament.  The way Christians read the OT is through the lens of the NT, not alone.  The OT at its time is believed to be a time of the veil that covered the true spiritual meaning of the text, which is the NT.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 10:27:18 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #189 on: December 13, 2010, 11:42:10 PM »

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

The Bible is not read by a scholarly way.  Sure, there is a scholarly way to read the Bible if you want to study it in a scientific manner.  But there's also a spiritual way, as was its true intent, since it's not primarily a history book (although it has some historical elements that can't be ignored) or a science book, but a book of spirituality.  So we acknowledge that some mistakes can be made, but its spiritual essence is infallible).  We "prayerfully" read the Bible searching for lessons and teachings in our lives, and sometimes passages are taken allegorically for these teachings to be made manifest for us personally as well as strengthening our faith in Christ.  There are tough passages no doubt, but I think most of these touch passages people deal with is in the Old Testament.  The way Christians read the OT is through the lens of the NT, not alone.  The OT at its time is believed to be a time of the veil that covered the true spiritual meaning of the text, which is the NT.

Prayer leads believers to interpret the Bible - or any Holy text for that matter - many different ways. So I don't really see how that can be the source for knowing the "true meaning" of anything.
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« Reply #190 on: December 13, 2010, 11:58:11 PM »

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.
LOL. Since you think we believe in sola scriptura, it is obvious you do not know what you are talking about. Which means your humble-oops! sorry, I see you didn't have an "h"-opinion is worth just as much.
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« Reply #191 on: December 14, 2010, 12:32:34 AM »

When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?

Sure, among other things.

I think the hard part for seekers (not calling you one, just speaking generally) is that they really can't accept the fact that reason and logic will only take them so far in terms of "finding" God.  But it's true.  And many get hung up there and refuse to accept such a thing on those grounds.  But it must be noted that it isn't anti-reason or anti-logic, but is rather farther up and deeper in, than either of those could ever take you.

It's a mysterious journey and it requires humility and honesty.  Some just can't bring themselves to do it.  I was that way once myself.
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« Reply #192 on: December 14, 2010, 12:39:49 AM »

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

The Bible is not read by a scholarly way.  Sure, there is a scholarly way to read the Bible if you want to study it in a scientific manner.  But there's also a spiritual way, as was its true intent, since it's not primarily a history book (although it has some historical elements that can't be ignored) or a science book, but a book of spirituality.  So we acknowledge that some mistakes can be made, but its spiritual essence is infallible).  We "prayerfully" read the Bible searching for lessons and teachings in our lives, and sometimes passages are taken allegorically for these teachings to be made manifest for us personally as well as strengthening our faith in Christ.  There are tough passages no doubt, but I think most of these touch passages people deal with is in the Old Testament.  The way Christians read the OT is through the lens of the NT, not alone.  The OT at its time is believed to be a time of the veil that covered the true spiritual meaning of the text, which is the NT.

Prayer leads believers to interpret the Bible - or any Holy text for that matter - many different ways. So I don't really see how that can be the source for knowing the "true meaning" of anything.

It's not something you can do alone.  One needs guidance.  That's the point of a spiritual adviser or priest in your life.  This way the whole Church can be of one mind.

In other places, text can be interpreted in different ways without compromising the central faith that unites the Church.
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« Reply #193 on: December 14, 2010, 01:13:34 AM »

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Are these Christians Orthodox? Does it matter what they say...?  What matters is what Heaven is. Heaven is the unescapable presence of God as experienced by a repentant person trodding the narrow path.
Many Christians are quick to denounce others as false Christians and as an outsider looking in I don't really take sides. In the matter of the afterlife I see all religions as false. In essence I see heaven as an imaginary local.  Consequently I think differing views of heaven should be common place.  Given that diversity of belief in religion is a reality I feel pretty safe taking this stand. What surprises me is that considering the amount of time Christians expect to spend in the afterlife it isn't very well fleshed out. Is there scripture detailing daily life in heaven? I don't think there is. There is lots of information on how to get to heaven but not much on what to expect once you get there.

Quote
Does the perception of JWs on matters of theology matter to an Orthodox? I am not a JW, and they are not me.
I may be more interested the the Witnesses than most because I have family members who are counted among the 144,000. My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
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« Reply #194 on: December 14, 2010, 01:32:46 AM »

Quote
Are these Christians Orthodox? Does it matter what they say...?  What matters is what Heaven is. Heaven is the unescapable presence of God as experienced by a repentant person trodding the narrow path.
Many Christians are quick to denounce others as false Christians and as an outsider looking in I don't really take sides. In the matter of the afterlife I see all religions as false. In essence I see heaven as an imaginary local.  Consequently I think differing views of heaven should be common place.  Given that diversity of belief in religion is a reality I feel pretty safe taking this stand.

Because you can't tell the difference between the imitations and the real thing?

Quote
What surprises me is that considering the amount of time Christians expect to spend in the afterlife it isn't very well fleshed out. Is there scripture detailing daily life in heaven? I don't think there is. There is lots of information on how to get to heaven but not much on what to expect once you get there.
LOL. You sure don't know much about Orthoodxy.

Quote
Does the perception of JWs on matters of theology matter to an Orthodox? I am not a JW, and they are not me.
I may be more interested the the Witnesses than most because I have family members who are counted among the 144,000.
LOL. Meaningless.

Quote
My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
Explains a lot.

You can be interested in your family, but as far as interest in what the Bible teaches, the JWs aren't going to help you any.
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« Reply #195 on: December 14, 2010, 02:10:59 AM »

There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   Sad
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« Reply #196 on: December 14, 2010, 09:26:02 AM »

There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   Sad
JWs believe do not believe in an eternal hell; they believe that the unrighteous will simply be annihilated.
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« Reply #197 on: December 14, 2010, 09:31:41 AM »

There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   Sad
JWs believe do not believe in an eternal hell; they believe that the unrighteous will simply be annihilated.

Ouch. Better than eternal damnation I suppose.
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« Reply #198 on: December 14, 2010, 02:08:42 PM »

There must be more than 144,000 JWs of all nationalities by now; I wonder what criteria will be used to determine who is "elected" and who is "disfellowshipped?"

For those JWs who are ultimately "disfellowshipped" by not being among the 144,000, seems like the afterlife will be bad.   Sad
JWs believe do not believe in an eternal hell; they believe that the unrighteous will simply be annihilated.

I was trying to use a nicer term than annihilated by making reference to how JWs "disfellowship" those who do not follow their ways.   angel
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« Reply #199 on: December 14, 2010, 02:30:36 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I'll reply to you minsoalmin when I get a chance, but Orthodox Christians wouldn't say the only source for knowing about that god is from the Bible? The bible has numerous problems many of which should be enough on their own for any reasonable person to drop the belief IMO.

We do not rely on the Bible, neither solely nor even primarily.  We take in the entire Tradition in all its cohesion and complexity, and this Tradition includes a rounded approach to worship based upon 1) organized, poetic prayer 2) religious texts such as the Bible but also including the Patristic Writings of the Church Fathers, the Canons, the Synaxarium (calendar of Saints' days), the Narratives of the Saints, the Psalter, the Divine Liturgy, the Hymnals, the Church music, the clothing, the dietary calendar/requirements, the socio-cultural expressions such as hugs, hand shakes and politeness, etc etc etc

Our Church is not caught up entirely in the Scriptures, because quite honestly our Church lives every aspect of the Scriptures through the mechanisms I posted above and a lifetime worth of more, indeed an eternity more!

We do not have specific scriptures or narratives of heaven (though to be sure Jesus Christ hints around at it several places of the Gospel when He says things like "The Kingdom of Heaven is as.." or "In the Kingdom" or the "The Kingdom of God is like unto..") because our entire life in Orthodox is a dress rehearsal for heaven, and all the aspects of our Church are heavenly.  In Heaven we believe the Angels and the Saints continually cry before Our Lord chanting, "Holy Holy Holy."  All the other prayers, songs, dances, clothing, mannerisms, chants, iconography, etc etc are all considered to be glimpses into the heavenly routine, and we believe the perfection of God in heaven allows for the Saints to live continually in eternal participation with these Mysteries, where as here on the earth we are limited to things such as hunger, thirst, sex, and fear, our carnal needs which supercede at times our spiritual needs.  Heaven is complicated, we chose to focus on more realistic approaches, dealing with the present here and now where we are at today, as who can know tomorrow?

Yes I did. But I am trying to get a gauge on how you can claim the existence of a God in the Orthodox realm.
We do not claim an existence of God, we experience this existence, and we here can not reiterate enough to you and others, that we can not explain God neither do we ever sincerely attempt to.  All we can do is witness what we have seen, felt and known, regardless if it is logically explainable or makes any sense, or if it even proves to be accurate or not.  It is our experience and it is all we can share with you or anyone or ourselves, take it or leave it as it is. 

Let me ask you the question quizmaster, have you ever honestly prayed to God and asked Him to reveal Himself, or have you only settled for asking all of us?  Kyrie Eleison, ask Him yourself, He is much more eloquent at explaining Himself than any of us, its no wonder you aren't necessarily getting it, you keep wasting your breath on us, when God can easily speak for Himself if you give Him have as much chance you gave Newton or Einstein to explain quantum mechanics to you Wink

Much like in math or music, it either clicks or it doesn't, you either get it or you don't, and you have to actually work through the examples, play through the music, in order to come to a complete realization.  Thus it is also with God, we can tell you all the postulates, theorems, rules, laws, scales, harmonies etc etc, but in the end, until you go through the exercises yourself, its all merely hearsay, and honestly I understand completely why none of our hearsay makes sense to you and all seems absurd, until God reverberates in your own heart, all of it will seem nonsensical, and by the way, daily I must convene with God to reestablish these connections, because my life starts to get nonsensical to.  Never forget that Christians' lives are not perfect, we are flawed, troubled and afraid as anyone else, which precisely why we cling to God in the first place, to find healing and consolation.  It is not even or ever about the afterlife, it is about finding grace to get through today and hope for tomorrow.

When you say History, Sleeper, you point to the Resurrection correct?

Sure, among other things.

I think the hard part for seekers (not calling you one, just speaking generally) is that they really can't accept the fact that reason and logic will only take them so far in terms of "finding" God.  But it's true.  And many get hung up there and refuse to accept such a thing on those grounds.  But it must be noted that it isn't anti-reason or anti-logic, but is rather farther up and deeper in, than either of those could ever take you.

It's a mysterious journey and it requires humility and honesty.  Some just can't bring themselves to do it.  I was that way once myself.
^ amen amen

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #200 on: December 15, 2010, 05:02:03 AM »

Because you can't tell the difference between the imitations and the real thing?
If there was one truth writ large across the heavens would it not permit all seekers of religious truth to arrive at a more unified account? The enormous diversity of belief tells me the many interpretations are arrived at very subjectively. They are based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of religious texts. One believer's truths are another's false beliefs. It seems believers can't agree. It should be no surprise that an atheist would shrug and declare them all fal

Quote
LOL. You sure don't know much about Orthoodxy.
I don't claim to know much about the Orthodox Church, and I don't understand much better what your laughter signifies. Do you mean to imply that there are numerous accounts explaining daily life in Heaven or do you laugh because the question highlights my ignorance for a different reason?

LOL. Meaningless.
Only because you disconnected the sentence from the following one that it belongs with. I am not implying that I buy into the Jehovah's Witness theology. I don't. I am simply amused by the claim that my great-grandparents are considered, by the Witness, to hold this special honour.

Quote
Explains a lot.

You can be interested in your family, but as far as interest in what the Bible teaches, the JWs aren't going to help you any.
There isn't any belief system that can teach me anything about God, in my view, but each can inform me what they think their faith's theology reveals. As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to holding the truth than any other. I consider some more interesting than others, perhaps, but all are important in the history of Christianity.

All the reasons an Orthodox could give for holding onto faith, a Muslim could give, in precisely the same words.

ORTHODOX: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

MUSLIM: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

ATHEIST: "Uh, guys, either one of you is right and the other wrong, or both of you are wrong, or both of you are right. Which do you think is most likely?"

ORTHODOX: "I'm right. He's wrong."

MUSLIM: "Go to hell. I'm right. You're wrong."

ORTHODOX: "No, you go to hell. You will, by the way."

MUSLIM: "Infidel!"

ATHEIST: "Bye, guys. I smell Crusaders and jumbo jets in your future. I'll keep my distance."
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« Reply #201 on: December 15, 2010, 06:09:17 AM »

If there was one truth writ large across the heavens would it not permit all seekers of religious truth to arrive at a more unified account? The enormous diversity of belief tells me the many interpretations are arrived at very subjectively. They are based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of religious texts. One believer's truths are another's false beliefs. It seems believers can't agree. It should be no surprise that an atheist would shrug and declare them all false.

Lack of agreement does not mean all are false. It simply means that man, limited and fallible as he is, can not comprehend truth on his own. This, of course, undermines any atheist who wishes to seek truth.

All the reasons an Orthodox could give for holding onto faith, a Muslim could give, in precisely the same words.

Except that a Muslim denies the Incarnation, while the Orthodox do not. Therein lies the difference.
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« Reply #202 on: December 15, 2010, 12:52:32 PM »

Why Christianity?  Because the Trinity and the Incarnation is central to our faith, which are essential for our salvation.  What does our salvation entail?  Living life as God Incarnate lived, dying with Him as He died, rising up with Him, and not merely eternal life, but growth and love being engrafted within the Triune relationship of the Godhead, from which my prayers have given.  God became incarnate so that I too may become a "son of God" by the life of the Holy Spirit living in me, putting me in direct relationship with the Father.  It is a profound and significant part of our theology.  It's blasphemy with the Muslims, unfulfilled with the Jews, incorrect with the Hindus, too much selflessness with the Buddhists, and contradictory to many other faiths.

Quote
Uh, guys, either one of you is right and the other wrong, or both of you are wrong, or both of you are right. Which do you think is most likely?

Both are right?  It would be deceiving to think so.  For religions to say that all religions lead to the truth, they would have to first say that some exclusive religions are wrong about something, which defeats the purpose.  In any case both can't be right.

One of them is wrong and one of them is right?  Well, you know what we'll say, so instead of looking at it from the outside perspective of disagreement, why don't you do study the two religions in more depth and see which one truly reflects selflessness and love in faith.

Both are wrong?  You don't even know anything about the religions and yet you convinced yourself both are wrong.  Does not that say that you are quite dogmatic in your thinking rather than being open-minded?
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« Reply #203 on: December 15, 2010, 12:57:29 PM »

Let's put all of his threads into one omnibus thread like we did with Dattaswami and let that thread die too.
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« Reply #204 on: December 15, 2010, 01:01:05 PM »

As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to...the truth than any other.
Let me ask you this: do you perceive any one world-view as closer to the truth than some other view? For instance, if world-view A says "humanity evolved from non-human primates" and world-view B says "humanity did not evolve from non-human primates", would you state that neither world-view is closer to the truth than the other?
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« Reply #205 on: December 15, 2010, 02:28:44 PM »

Let's put all of his threads into one omnibus thread like we did with Dattaswami and let that thread die too.

I think we could merge all of these threads and title it "Atheism vs. Christianity" which is basically what all these discussions devolve into anyways.
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« Reply #206 on: December 15, 2010, 02:38:28 PM »

As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to...the truth than any other.
Let me ask you this: do you perceive any one world-view as closer to the truth than some other view? For instance, if world-view A says "humanity evolved from non-human primates" and world-view B says "humanity did not evolve from non-human primates", would you state that neither world-view is closer to the truth than the other?

Good question!
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« Reply #207 on: December 15, 2010, 02:41:24 PM »

Let's put all of his threads into one omnibus thread like we did with Dattaswami and let that thread die too.
You mean weave his loose threads into a rope long enough to hang himself?
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« Reply #208 on: December 15, 2010, 03:24:31 PM »

Because you can't tell the difference between the imitations and the real thing?
If there was one truth writ large across the heavens would it not permit all seekers of religious truth to arrive at a more unified account? The enormous diversity of belief tells me the many interpretations are arrived at very subjectively.

No, that is what you want to see, so you 'see' it?

The history of science doesn't present a unified account, yet you seem to hold that they all have been looking at the same objective reality.

That a 1000 people each have a different guess on how many jelly beans are in the jar doesn't change the fact that there is only one correct answer in that contest.

Quote
They are based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of religious texts. One believer's truths are another's false beliefs.

So you keep on asserting, and have yet to commence the proving.

And you are very fond of dumping all "believers" into a very broad trough.  Like saying because Ptolomy and Copernicus disagree, all astromony is based on personal reflection, introspection, and interpretation of a bewildering variety of observations of the same sky.

Quote
It seems believers can't agree.

Nor should we, given your broad definition.  What concord to Christ with Belial?

Quote
It should be no surprise that an atheist would shrug and declare them all false

Of course. It's just a cop out that absolves them in their own minds. Atheism is the opiate of the dissolute.

LOL. You sure don't know much about Orthoodxy.
I don't claim to know much about the Orthodox Church, and I don't understand much better what your laughter signifies. Do you mean to imply that there are numerous accounts explaining daily life in Heaven or do you laugh because the question highlights my ignorance for a different reason?
I'm laughing because you come to an Orthodox forum to tell the Orthodox off, without a clue it seems about knowing about what the Orthodox belief.  

If this was just a general forum, I wouldn't laugh so heartily.  But to come where your ignorance on vital points is going to be seen right away, LOL. That takes hubris.

The Orthodox I trust know our attitude about the knowledge of the hereafter.

LOL. Meaningless.
Only because you disconnected the sentence from the following one that it belongs with. I am not implying that I buy into the Jehovah's Witness theology. I don't. I am simply amused by the claim that my great-grandparents are considered, by the Witness, to hold this special honour. [/quote]
I have family members who are counted among the 144,000. My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
I do believe that I bold faced it in the original response.
My great grandparents were members and introduced an entire branch of my family to the faith. So what they think matters to me. My father wasn't converted but my mother told me that many of his religious ideas sounded very similar to that of my great-grandmother, and I got a lot of my early Christian views from him.  So, I am interested in what they think.
I thought so.

Explains a lot.

You can be interested in your family, but as far as interest in what the Bible teaches, the JWs aren't going to help you any.
There isn't any belief system that can teach me anything about God, in my view,

Yes, and per the principles of invincible ignorance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invincible_ignorance_fallacy
you set out to "prove" that.

Quote
but each can inform me what they think their faith's theology reveals. As an atheist I perceive no religious group as closer to holding the truth than any other.

I've asked you several times if you hold to the existence of truth.  Have you posted an answer?

Quote
I consider some more interesting than others, perhaps, but all are important in the history of Christianity.

All the reasons an Orthodox could give for holding onto faith, a Muslim could give, in precisely the same words.

I know a thing or two about Orthodoxy, and, having passed the doctorate exams in Islamic theology at the U of C, a thing or two about Muslims, and no, they cannot. Wrong again. TtC.

Quote
ORTHODOX: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

MUSLIM: "I hold onto my faith because I was raised in it, it's how I think - and how I think isn't causing me any problems so why should I change? Plus the wise elders of my community live by this faith, and find meaning and happiness in it. I too live by it, and find meaning and happiness in it. My people for many centuries have lived by this faith, and have found meaning and happiness in it."

ATHEIST: "Uh, guys, either one of you is right and the other wrong, or both of you are wrong, or both of you are right.

No, both cannot be right.

Quote
Which do you think is most likely?"

ORTHODOX: "I'm right. He's wrong."

MUSLIM: "Go to hell. I'm right. You're wrong."

ORTHODOX: "No, you go to hell. You will, by the way."

MUSLIM: "Infidel!"

ATHEIST: "Bye, guys. I smell Crusaders and jumbo jets in your future. I'll keep my distance."
Do you use the same card-board characters and strawmen in your novels?

Seeing as many of us here, myself included, were not rasied in Orthodoxy-in fact, we have some members who were raised in Islam-and hence have changed, some of us more, some of us less, your little script seems a little out of place.

Btw, the atheists Stalin and Hitler killed more than even the Crusaders could dream of.
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« Reply #209 on: December 15, 2010, 06:10:05 PM »

ORTHODOX: "No, you go to hell. You will, by the way."

Except that statement is contrary to Orthodox theology as I understand it. I know it is definitely contrary to Orthodox living, according to a rather heated homily I heard an abbot give on the subject of evangelism.


You have really got to stop trying to shoehorn Orthodoxy into your experiences with Evangelical Protestantism.
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« Reply #210 on: December 15, 2010, 06:56:03 PM »

unfulfilled with the Jews

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Judaism quite different today than it was during Jesus' time? If I'm not mistaken, the only remaiing Jewish group that remained were the Pharisees.
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« Reply #211 on: December 15, 2010, 08:01:53 PM »

I know a thing or two about Orthodoxy, and, having passed the doctorate exams in Islamic theology at the U of C, a thing or two about Muslims, and no, they cannot. Wrong again. TtC.
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

Btw, the atheists Stalin and Hitler killed more than even the Crusaders could dream of.
Wow. I have been taking you seriously right up until this point. Your PhD apparently didn't cover Hitler. He remained a believer in god right to his death. Although there is much inconsistency with regard to what his true beliefs were (mainly because Hitler, himself gave conflicting statements throughout his life), he remained a believer in god and the supernatural. That excludes him from the atheist label.

Regardless, here's the thing. It wouldn't matter if Hitler (or Stalin) professed any belief whatsoever. They were insane, and their atrocities were created and carried out because of their insanity, not any belief system of religion. So even if Hitler went to mass every week, and took communion, I would never say something so atrociously silly as, "He committed all those crimes because he was catholic."

You just lost a what credibility you had in my mind with this arrogant and inaccurate statement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY
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« Reply #212 on: December 15, 2010, 08:02:55 PM »

dup post
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« Reply #213 on: December 15, 2010, 08:12:10 PM »

dupe post
LOL. That it is.
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« Reply #214 on: December 15, 2010, 08:13:33 PM »

My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?
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« Reply #215 on: December 15, 2010, 08:35:33 PM »

My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?

 My guess is that it's really about no longer wanting to bother with the sisyphean endeavor of teaching you about Holy Orthodoxy.  It was obvious from the get-go that you weren't here to learn.   Wink
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« Reply #216 on: December 15, 2010, 08:37:56 PM »

I know a thing or two about Orthodoxy, and, having passed the doctorate exams in Islamic theology at the U of C, a thing or two about Muslims, and no, they cannot. Wrong again. TtC.
OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.
LOL. Ignorance on parade. No, they don't. At least the majority: there are Sufis would speak of "a personal relationship with Allah", but the shar'i minded majority of Muslims, in particular the Sunni majority, do not.  Their goal is submission to Allah, a being of absolute will, not having a relatiohship with Him.  Except slave.
Btw, the atheists Stalin and Hitler killed more than even the Crusaders could dream of.
Wow. I have been taking you seriously right up until this point.
why did my BS meter just go off?
Quote
Your PhD apparently didn't cover Hitler.
Hitler didn't teach Islamic theology.
Quote
He remained a believer in god right to his death.
Yes, I have seen the desparate attempts of atheists to prove this and no I don't believe they have succeeded.
Quote
Although there is much inconsistency with regard to what his true beliefs were (mainly because Hitler, himself gave conflicting statements throughout his life), he remained a believer in god and the supernatural. That excludes him from the atheist label.
Orthodox atheism. What a concept. Are you speaking ex cathedra on that matter of faith?

One might consider believers in dialectical materialism, progressivism, Enlightenment, the Human Spirit, whatever, a believer in the Supernatural.  Indeed by your broad definition you must.  So he might consider Hitler to have been a believer in god, but not in God.

Quote
Regardless, here's the thing. It wouldn't matter if Hitler (or Stalin) professed any belief whatsoever. They were insane,


You said you got a BA in English.  You didn't say anything about your MD in Psychology/Psychiatry.

Quote
and their atrocities were created and carried out because of their insanity, not any belief system of religion. So even if Hitler went to mass every week, and took communion, I would never say something so atrociously silly as, "He committed all those crimes because he was catholic."

One can, and many have, make that argument.  That there is no truth to it-the Vatican doesn't teach racialism-is how it fails.

Quote
You just lost a what credibility you had in my mind with this arrogant and inaccurate statement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY
LOL. So I've lost credibility with the plagerist. What will I do Shocked Roll Eyes.
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« Reply #217 on: December 15, 2010, 08:39:07 PM »

OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

The Tomb is empty.

I might add that it is categorically impossible for a Muslim to have a personal relationship with Allah, because Allah is not a personal deity.
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« Reply #218 on: December 15, 2010, 08:40:42 PM »

My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?
No arrogance. Your latest post is what popped up, and I started answering from the bottom up (though I find you posts all sort of settle at the bottom, among the dregs).  In the meantime, my coffee was ready.

My, aren't we impatient.
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« Reply #219 on: December 15, 2010, 08:44:14 PM »

My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?

 My guess is that it's really about no longer wanting to bother with the sisyphean endeavor of teaching you about Holy Orthodoxy.  It was obvious from the get-go that you weren't here to learn.   Wink
That doesn't mean we can't teach him a lesson, especially given his wooden posts.

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« Reply #220 on: December 15, 2010, 09:00:08 PM »

My such arrogance, avoiding the Hitler issue now?

 My guess is that it's really about no longer wanting to bother with the sisyphean endeavor of teaching you about Holy Orthodoxy.  It was obvious from the get-go that you weren't here to learn.   Wink
That doesn't mean we can't teach him a lesson, especially given his wooden posts.


But he hasn't shown any ability, let alone inclination, to listen.  Copy-and-pasters are the worst folks to try and have a conversation with. 
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« Reply #221 on: December 15, 2010, 09:09:21 PM »

something so atrociously silly
lost credibility
this arrogant and inaccurate statement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY
I see here you have gone from wet dreams of brilliance to mental masturbation.

If I am in the mood and have the time to kill, I might actually go through the silly skit. But off the top of my head:

Hitler can claim to be a "catholic."  I worked with a couple who were "catholic" and sent their children to "catholic" school for a better education and morals, but were very put out that they had to take the "supernatural" stuff too like first confession: they were agnostic/atheist in belief, but "catholic."  I've known atheists who insisted on having their children baptized for "cultural reasons" though they were "atheist" catholics, and I've known Jews in mixed marriages who were atheist but insisted on raising their children "Jewish" (oddly enough, two of them the gentile was devote Christians, the spent his childhood on mission in the Pacific atolls).  Like you said Hitler "gave conflicting statements throughout his life," but he was far from alone in that.

The phrase "Gott mit uns" "God with us" was on the belt buckles long before Hitler, who would have worn one like this

in WWI. It had been the slogan of the German military since at least 1876 (I've seen collections of military etc. from then with the phrase all over)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gott_mit_uns

No time for more. My dinner is ready.
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« Reply #222 on: December 15, 2010, 09:17:03 PM »

OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. Roll Eyes
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
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« Reply #223 on: December 15, 2010, 09:49:03 PM »

OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. Roll Eyes

Correct me if I am wrong, but in Islam the individual believer's "Yes or No" to Allah has no affect on what really happens. If this is true, that the believer has no free will in his actions and all is fated by Allah, then how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??

If my contact with an acquaintance was of the nature that that whatever I did or said is irrelevant, how is that a relationship?? A conversation which is only one way, where the other person doesn't listen nor provide any feedback, how is that a relationship?? How would that God be in any way considered personal??

(Of course, I am open to any correction on these matters)
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« Reply #224 on: December 15, 2010, 09:51:50 PM »

OK. I will ask you to state why you hold onto faith in words no Muslim could echo. Not what your faith is, but why you hold onto it. Thus, "a personal relationship with Jesus," if you offered that, would be echoed by, "a personal relationship with Allah," which many Muslims experience five times a day, on their knees.

...because Allah is not a personal deity.
Let's not get crazy now. Roll Eyes

Correct me if I am wrong, but in Islam the individual believer's "Yes or No" to Allah has no affect on what really happens. If this is true, that the believer has no free will in his actions and all is fated by Allah, then how is it possible to have a personal relationship with Allah??

If my contact with an acquaintance was of the nature that that whatever I did or said is irrelevant, how is that a relationship?? A conversation which is only one way, where the other person doesn't listen nor provide any feedback, how is that a relationship?? How would that God be in any way considered personal??

(Of course, I am open to any correction on these matters)
Umfortunately, most Muslims are not.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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