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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 705
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 14/09/10, 10:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rev wrote:
I always get a few shocked people in church when I point out that Jesus wasn't a Christian (and there's always the odd few who are shocked that Jesus wasn't an Anglican) - lol.


Never thought of that - good point. So he would have been jewish ?

Rev wrote:

...I think we look a lot like our parent, God - we have his features, and so on


How can you possibly assert such a fact - where is your evidence please ?

G
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Peter.Single



Joined: 17 Aug 2010

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PostPosted: 15/09/10, 08:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rev wrote:
I think we look a lot like our parent, God - we have his features, and so on.

I wonder if I look more like Thor or Odin, or Mithra?
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Peter.Single



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PostPosted: 16/09/10, 12:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think I look more like 'Ganesh' actually !
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: 18/09/10, 12:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, Jesus was very much Jewish.

You cannot 'prove' that God exists using science, no more than Hawking can 'prove' that there are multiple dimensions (if you assume proving to mean convincing tangible evidence). You can assert that the maths points to multiple dimensions, but talking about tangible evidence is meaningless. In the same way that Hawking argues that the mathematics points to multiple dimensions, I assert that the nature of humanity bears some of the characteristics of God - for example, that we as humans appear to have a 'hole' missing in that we seek to find our identity in other people or things, that a huge percentage of humanity seem to express something loosely labeled spirituality and claim to be 'spiritual', that we are creative, loving, etc.

For me, my spirituality isn't based on some book, but in a real, tangible and living experience of some kind of relationship with this very 'other' that we call God. There appears to be something outside of myself that directs, guides, interacts with me in a way that is irrational and very unscientific - certainly in terms of science that we currently understand. It would come as no surprise to me if this 'other' uses very scientific and measurable methods with which to communicate and relate but that we just haven't found them yet, as I am very much a created and physical being. (I'm not convinced that there is this great spiritual and physical divide expounded by our medieval forebears).

For me, if my spirituality, this relationship with something 'other', had no real-life application in the here and now, if it was simply theoretical or hypothetical, then it would have absolutely no relevance and personally, I would, like many, have difficulty subscribing to it.
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

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Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 20/09/10, 11:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

As always Rev, you make a good case and it is no doubt a great comfort to you that you believe there is something 'other'. I would in no way want to change your beliefs or to try to persuade you that atheism is a more wholesome form of belief. It may surprise you, but despite my 'scientific' background, I too have a belief that there is something more to all this than we can ever possibly understand.

I think my point is more that I think it is wrong to force one's beliefs onto other people - especially those who are not in a position to be able to question it, for example children - is this any better than a form of spiritual bullying ?

So, how would an Anglican vicar justify such indoctrination within the church ? Should not children's naturally inquisitive minds be encouraged to challenge things and to seek and examine evidence before making up their own minds about what to believe ?

G.
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: 21/09/10, 17:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

The End of God?: A Horizon Guide to Science and Religion

On BBC_4 9:00 pm, Tuesday 21st September 2010

and then for a week on the iPlayer
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: 26/09/10, 07:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Geoff - I agree with you. (And thanks for the tip Rhodie - I've always been a Horizon fan)

I recently read a novel by Dean Koontz and there is a lovely quote in it:

"When a scientist tells you that 'the science is settled' in regard to any subject, he's ceased to be a scientist, and he's become an evangelist for one cult or another. The entire history of science is that nothing in science is ever settled. New discoveries are continuously made, and they upend old certainties."

I think the same is true for us who are 'religious'. New ways of looking at the Bible, Jesus, faith, and so on influence our understanding. Just when we think we have 'God in a box' he seems to not fit it anymore.

Thankfully we no longer think that the world is flat or burn witches at the stake. Although there are a few difficult old ladies in the church who..., no I won't go there! Wink

And I totally agree with you about indoctrination. There's a whole 'nother bag of kettles of fish and worms with many shades of grey to discuss...!
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Rhodie



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PostPosted: 01/10/10, 06:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rev wrote:
I recently read a novel by Dean Koontz and there is a lovely quote in it:
".......New discoveries are continuously made, and they upend old certainties."

Certainties such as “that the world is flat”, that man began in the Garden of Eden, the world was created 3,000 odd years ago. I won’t go on. One after the other the old religious certainties have been abandoned.

Religion and science are two opposing weights on a pair of scales. As substance is added to our scientific knowledge we become aware of the flimsiness and lightness of religion. In fact the faithful have been backed into a corner where all they can now argue is that God created the universe giving it a kick start and then left it to its own devices.

It will prove extremely difficult for science to explain this one for we are conditioned throughout our lives to think that everything has a beginning, an end and is contained in something even bigger. When we come to contemplating the universe we ask the same questions. How did it begin and in what is it contained? These questions are probably irrelevant but we have this urge to want them answered.

To quote a local lad, John Fowles said, “I am talking about the general psychological health of the species, man. He needs the existence of mysteries, not their solution”. So for the benefit of our mutual psychological wellbeing can we agree on a truce and forget about the likes of Hawkin’s parallel universes. I’m happy with you believing in the kick start theory if you are happy with my believing that some things just cannot be answered or even need to be. Let’s abandon such outrageously expensive projects as the Large Hadron Collider, deep space projects and concentrate on real problems closer to home such as climate change, at least until this bottle neck in life on earth is overcome.
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: 02/10/10, 08:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post Rhodie. Smile

I don't think of religion and science being on opposite ends of a scale - I don't think they are mutually exclusive at all - more like two siblings or branches on the same tree - otherwise people like John Polkinghorne would no doubt implode under the stess!

However, I agree with you that certain aspects of faith and religion are as daft as brushes. You won't find me arguing that the world is 3000 years old, or for literal creationism, or for many things some American TV Evangelists spout.

As you say, perhaps some things cannot be answered and therefore it is good to focus on the things that really matter. It's been a useful and interesting conversation! Thanks.
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Peter.Single



Joined: 17 Aug 2010

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PostPosted: 14/03/11, 16:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just been rereading an old post where I said
Quote:
... Mithra was, as I'm sure you know, known as the 'shepherd', or the 'son of god', born of a virgin, born on Christmas day, had desciples, had a last-supper before ascending to heaven. (centuries before Jesus was born and they ascribed these stories to him).

And you asked:
Rev wrote:
... on the whole Mithraism thing ... I'd like to see the reputable sources of your information on this....

And then I found this link.http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen048.html
It say sthat
-Mithra was born on December 25th
-He was considered a great traveling teacher and had twelve companions
-Mithra was called "the good shepherd, "the way, the truth and the light, redeemer, savior, Messiah."
-He was identified with both the lion and the lamb.
-it seems that 'the most important of his many festivals was his birthday, celebrated on the 25th of December',
-He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. His resurrection was celebrated every year.
-Mithra had his principal festival on what was later to become Easter, at which time he was resurrected.
-His sacred day was Sunday, "the Lord's Day."
-The Mithra religion had a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper."

Interesting quote which says "Some writers ... have not hesitated to pronounce the Gospel simply a branch of Mithraism".

Now I'm quite sure that you'll think this, and the many hundreds of similar such statements on the interweb, wrong, but it does suggest to me that christianity is just a copy of the bits they wanted from other religions; mithraism being one of them.
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: 15/03/11, 09:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is important to check out the sources and references for your quotes. Again, in the link that you gave, half of the quotes don't seem to have any source, let alone a scholarly or reputable source.

Some the assertions about Mithra (as used by some atheists in an attempt to debunk Christianity) are plain wrong (or at least extremely tenuous). For example, Mithra was not born of a virgin, but was born out of a rock. And some of the assertions about Jesus are also plain wrong. For example, Jesus wasn't born on 25th December. However, later Roman Mithraism did bear some similarities with the earlier Christianity.

It is worth noting that there is not a single example of textual evidence from any text from within Mithraism itself. Any textual evidence that bears any similarity to Christianity comes later than the biblical Christian texts (and ironically from later Christian texts such as the early church fathers). All the textual evidence suggests that the Roman version of Mithraism (as distinct from earlier persian forms) emerged after Christianity.
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Peter.Single



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PostPosted: 25/03/11, 09:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another interesting article about Mithra, for anyone still interested.
http://tinyurl.com/5tbjfve
With a few references/citations for the rev.

It includes;-
-Mithra was born on December 25th sometimes in a stable or cave but traditionally from a rock. The emperor Aurelian declared December 25 to be the official birthday of Mithra, circa 270 CE
-it was attended by shepards who brought gifts.
-Mithra was a traveling teacher.
-Mithra had 12 disciples.
-He performed Miracles.
-He was buried in a tomb.
-In three days he was resurrected.
-He was called the "Good Shepard".
-He was considered ""the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah."
-His sacred day was Sunday.
-His resurrection was celebrated on Easter.
-He had a Last Supper when he returned to his father. Also called the Eucharist or the Lord's Supper.
-He was believed not to have died, but to have ascended to heaven where it was believed he would return at the end of time where he would judge the living and the dead.
-He granted immortal life of his followers through baptism.
-Followers of Mithra were lead by a 'papa', the Greek word for 'father' and what 'pope' is derived from,who ruled on Vatican Hill in Rome.
-Followers of Mithra celebrated "sacramenta", a consecrated bread and wine, using chanting, incense,bells, candles and holy water just as is found in the Catholic Mass.
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Peter.Single



Joined: 17 Aug 2010

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PostPosted: 25/03/11, 09:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another one which includes this quote from Justin, one of the early Church Fathers, discussing Mithraist documentation http://tinyurl.com/5vg8f3e

"...The Zardusht speaks to his pupils in these words: 'He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation..."

Sound familiar?
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: 25/03/11, 19:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude - I can point you to a gazillion websites too. Please point us to some respected scholarly work - not a dodgy website that makes a whole bunch of claims... Smile
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