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[quote name='stormrunner' post='18398' date='Oct 14 2008, 09:42 AM']philosophy=peace=good
This isn't a debate thread so I won't get into that here...but don't get me started on religion and wars. The two have nothing to do with each other other than religion being used to justify war, and being [b]twisted[/b] to motivate people to action.

Also, not all philosophies are peaceful.

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It's not a debate thread.

That said, I am an [b][i]atheist[/i][/b] as well as a classicist, archeologist, historian, and mythologist, and all I can say is that the formula religion=wars=bad is absurd on its face.

If you wish to continue this discussion, please 1) start a new thread and 2) draw on your knowledge of Paleontology to pinpoint the dates at which religion and organized conflict are, respectively, believed to have orginated.

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As everyone is talking about this, although it was said this topic is not for debate, I will just post this one...

Wars cannot be justified only because of one thing... All things work as a whole... Religion, economy, culture (very connected to religion), country resources (connected to economy), ethnicity of people... (etc...)...

The humans can always arrange an excuse to begin a war with another country...

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[quote name='Frosty' post='18439' date='Oct 14 2008, 03:36 PM']Ok if you want to have a debate, start another topic. Otherwise I will be forced to lock this one[/quote]
I don't want to debate here...I wanted another forum created in the university so that we could have a proper place to debate.

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[quote name='stormrunner' post='18404' date='Oct 14 2008, 10:13 AM']ok I have said my point I'll shut up but if you want to know more look up norseman while your at it check the rest of my bloodline,

p.s.franch, greman, italian, american indian[/quote]
what's your point? Today is Tuesday: discuss the etymology and meaning of Tuesday, and contrast with the French, Spanish, and Italian words for Tuesday.

[quote name='xPo' post='18436' date='Oct 14 2008, 02:47 PM']Wars cannot be justified only because of one thing... All things work as a whole... Religion, economy, culture (very connected to religion), country resources (connected to economy), ethnicity of people... (etc...)...

The humans can always arrange an excuse to begin a war with another country...[/quote]
I agree. And why is that? I offer this opinion: we are not only killers, but very probably the most highly evolved killers this planet has ever seen.

That we kill is not remarkable; all animals kill. That we find reasons [u][b]not[/b][/u] to kill is highly remarkable.

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First of i dont think it should be created something like a school of religion,religion is a frail aspect for everyone and we really dont want something as heavy as that making fights in here everyone has their opinions,there are already philosofy topic no need for another topic as heavy as that,we really shouldnt make this since this is supposed to be fun and inteligent and as far as i read here this type of topic would only make fight and arguments.

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IMO philosophy started as the mother of all sciences and is sorta still like that.. except for the exact sciences ofcourse :P

So, religion could be treated as a seperate thing that falls under philosophy, I mean, that's how I learned it in school..

religion was part of it, so were other things, like behavior, ways to debate, etc (I kinda forgot, I'm ashamed too you know :() Anyway, what I wanted to say was that perhaps it would be best to let someone let it all find out on wiki, or something else like it, and then post inside those sections? or would that make the forum look even more empty? :D

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Since it's a little slow going around here, I figured I'd post something that I blogged on another forum. I would commonly use blogs as a resource for myself so I didn't have to continuously repeat common arguments. Enjoy...

This blog is more of a resource for myself. As many of you know, I spend a great deal of time in the Religion Thread where I am frequently asked to repeat past arguments on common points of interest.


Some of these points will likely presuppose some of the arguments I've already made in my blog about God Paradoxes.

The most notable of which I will repeat here in simple terms because it is often misunderstood and will be the focal point of some of my arguments. I am, of course, talking about free will. Let's first look at what we know as fact, accepting of course that the Abrahamic God exists and that He is the creator of the universe as the Bible claims.

God created matter, space, and time.

This is a simple statement, but with heavy implications. If God in fact did create matter, space, and time then it logically and necessarily follows that He could not be contained or bound within them.

From this we can conclude that God is not affected by time. From His "outside" vantage point, wherever that may be, He is free to view all of the time in the universe simultaneously. From beginning to end and all of the places in between, our time is always the present to God.

Having established this, we can come to realize that not only does God's omniscience not hinder free will, but His ability to so view our universe from an outside perspective likely grants Him that omniscience. He knows what our future actions and choices will be, not because He has preordained them, but because He has already seen them happen as a result of our own free will.

Basically, God looks at our future as His present. Even though you haven't decided what to eat for breakfast tomorrow, God knows what you will choose to eat because He watched you make the choice in the future.

This is a bit abstract, but I really don't know how to simplify it any more. Now that we've hopefully established that free will does exist and may actually necessitate omniscience, let's move on to the real reason for this blog.

[size=4][b]Regarding the Old Testament:[/b][/size]

How does the Old Testament fit into modern day Christianity:

I am frequently asked to reconcile God's actions in the Old Testament with the New Covenant established by Jesus in the New Testament and even with modern society. Many people, atheists and Christians alike, lack understanding of the Old Testament law, and believe the God of the OT to be full of vengeance and wrath. This is viewed as standing in stark contrast to Jesus, and becomes a contradiction in light of God's perfect and unchanging nature. This is before you consider that the Old Testament seemingly justifies murder and slavery, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

The first thing that I would like to establish is that the Old Testament is merely a history of Israel, God's chosen and holy people who would eventually give birth to the Messiah. It is impossible to place Old Testament law or commands in a modern context because they apply directly and specifically to the Israelites in that time period. To help make this point, allow me to quote from first the Old and then the New Testament.


[quote]Jeremiah 31

32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,"
declares the LORD.

33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.[/quote]

[quote]Exodus 19

3 Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, "This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."[/quote]


[quote]Matthew 26

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.[/quote]

[quote]Galations 3

15 Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.[/quote]

This is not to say that God changed His mind. Reading everything in context, you will find that God's plan, to which the author of Galations was alluding, is consistent throughout the entire Bible. To illustrate this, let's again take a look at some Old Testament scripture, this time foretelling or giving us a glimpse at the theme of the Bible and God's master plan.

[quote]Genesis 18

17 Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."[/quote]

In the above verse, God tells Abraham that his descendants will become the nation of Israel, and that all of the nations on Earth will be blessed through him. We know now that the blessing or Messiah that God was speaking of is Jesus.

[quote]Isaiah 51

4 "Listen to me, my people;
hear me, my nation:
The law will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.

5 My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way…[/quote]

The prophet, Isaiah, reminds Israel of God’s plan for their holy nation.

[quote]Matthew 28

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."[/quote]

Thousands of years later, Jesus reveals that He is the Messiah that God and the prophets had been preparing Israel for, and that the blessing for all of the nations on Earth is salvation through Jesus Christ.

So far we’ve established that God delivered the Old Testament law to the Israelites in order to make them a holy nation who would be worthy to be the lineage of the Messiah. Since Jesus died on the cross for us, we no longer offer blood sacrifice for the atonement of sin or follow any of the other OT rituals, and many of the OT laws were repeated to all of the nations of Earth in the New Testament (such as the Ten Commandments). However, why should the Israelites get away with killing Canaanite men, women, and children or with keeping slaves?

[size=4][b]Was the Old Testament God a Hypocrite?[/b][/size]

This is the next thing I am repeated asked to justify. Let’s look at the issue of murder first. Many people consider God’s actions against Sodom and Gomorrah or the nations of Canaan to be murderous. The first thing I always remind them is that the law is “thou shall not murder”. The word murder implies that the victim is innocent, and the people whom God brought to justice through the hands of the Israelites were far from holy.

[quote]The book of Jasher is an ancient book mentioned in the Bible. It gives details about the evil in Sodom. For example, strangers and travelers who came into the city would be robbed, stripped, and held captive within the city. They would wander the streets slowly starving to death to the great amusement of the citizenry. Another account relates that visitors to Sodom were offered a bed according to the Middle Eastern laws of hospitality, but it was a bed of torture. People too short were stretched. People too long had their legs cut off. If a traveler had no money, he would be offered bricks of gold and silver with his name on them! Only nobody would sell him bread and water, even for all that gold and silver. So the traveler slowly died of starvation.

These stories just give us a hint of how bad things had gotten in Sodom. It was probably worse than our imaginations can conceive. The Canaanites knew about the destruction of Sodom. They knew that God would judge evil. They also knew about Melchizedek and Abraham. They had access to truth. They weren’t ignorant or innocent. Egypt and other nations, despite their great sin, were not completely destroyed, so the sin of the Canaanites must have been much more serious. God restricted Israel from attacking Edom, Moab and Ammon, so they must not have deserved such a severe judgment.

Archeology gives some hints about what the Canaanites did. On one of the High Places, archeologists found several stone pillars and great numbers of jars containing the remains of newborn babies. When a new house was built, a child would be sacrificed and its body built into the wall to bring good luck to the rest of the family. The firstborn were often sacrificed to Molech, a giant hollow bronze image in which a fire was built. Parents would place their children in its red hot hands and the babies would roll down into the fire. The sacrifice was invalid if the mother showed grief. She was supposed to dance and sing. The Israelites later copied this practice in a valley near Jerusalem called Gehenna. Hundreds of jars containing infant bones have been found there.

There was a great deal of sexual sin among the Canaanites. They believed that cultic prostitution was important to encourage their gods, Baal and Ashtoreth to mate so that the land would be fertile and rain would come. VD was probably rampant. Many young people forced into prostitution were abused to the point of death. Even the surrounding pagan nations were appalled by Canaanite religious practices.

Yet God did not hurry to judge the Canaanites. In Genesis 15, God tells Abraham:

In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

God gave the Canaanites 400 years while Israel was in Egypt. After Israel passed through the Red Sea, He waited 40 more years while Israel wandered in the wilderness. The people knew Israel was coming, and that God had given the land to them, according to the Canaanite Rahab in Joshua 2:9:

“I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you."

Jericho had six additional days to repent while Israel did laps around it. The day judgment finally came to Jericho, Israel marched around the city seven times. God judges swiftly when He finally acts, but He patiently warns and waits for repentance.[/quote]

Source - [url="http://www.susancanthony.com/Resources/Dennis/canaan.html"]http://www.susancanthony.com/Resources/Dennis/canaan.html[/url]

From that abstract, you can imagine the kind of activities that were commonplace in the Old Testament nations that God judged. This is typically the time in the argument when people will ask about God’s omniscience and benevolence. Why would God kill children along with adults in His judgment? If you skipped my introduction about free will, you’d best read it more thoroughly.
Being omniscient and outside of time, God is free to judge perfectly and benevolently for infractions that we haven’t even committed yet. The nations that were destroyed were so indoctrinated with evil, that had God not stepped in, the children that were destroyed would have gone on to live the same destructive and malicious lifestyle as their parents. God’s timelessness allows Him to see the future acts that they would have committed of their own free will and maintain both perfection and justice.


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Part 2:

There are many passages in the Bible that deal with slavery. It doesn’t outright condone it, but it doesn’t condemn it either. My argument is that Israel actually had very progressive and revolutionary laws and rights reserved for slavery, which was very entrenched in the social system and remained so throughout the Middle Ages. Slavery then was much like the peon of the feudal caste system. It was a legitimate occupation and a way to repay a debt. People would often sell themselves to slavery.

All slaves in Israel had not only human rights, but spiritual rights as well. Although Hebrew slaves had even greater protection aliens still ate the same food as their master, they were protected from abuse and oppression, they could own their own property, many times the master would give his daughter to marry a slave. Slaves, once circumcised, were allowed to enter in to worship with God. They would rest on the Sabbath (Jewish holy days), they could file grievances with their masters, and if they ran away they were to be given sanctuary and not returned to their master...etc. The Bible also restricted forcing someone in to slavery or kidnapping them. Furthermore, the slavery in the Old Testament was not the oppressive slavery that the modern world has come to know.

Here are some Biblical resources for my points above:

[quote]Esther 7

4 For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king."[/quote]

Here an Israelite woman, Esther, tells a king that she would not be pleading with him on behalf of her people if they were merely sold into slavery. From this verse alone, we can gather that slavery was vastly different in that time period.

[quote]Exodus 12

43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover...

44 Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, 45 but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.[/quote]

[quote]Exodus 23

12 "Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.[/quote]

[quote]Exodus 21

26 "If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.[/quote]

[quote]Job 31

13 "If I have denied justice to my menservants and maidservants

when they had a grievance against me,

14 what will I do when God confronts me?[/quote]

[quote]Deuteronomy 23

15 If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand him over to his master. 16 Let him live among you wherever he likes and in whatever town he chooses. Do not oppress him.[/quote]


68 The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.[/quote]

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Sorry, Wynken I just can't read that much while scanning the Thread...

I don't think Religion really needs its own Category, I feel Philosophy pretty well Covers a Majority of the Subject. I can Agree to having a SubCatagory in Philosophy, I'd suggest the Name "Theology" rather than Religion (tends to avoid sweeping statements like stormrunner's)

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Oh please, try not to be ethnocentric..
Why is it that every single person I meet, even non caucasians, talk about Christianity only, when they talk about religion, as if it's the one true religion. Whereas I speak about a system, wherein there is a belief of a higher placed cosmic hierarchy, which transcends even above life after death, such as teaching morals and ethics and in the past (with the exception of modern day 'creation scientists' and other religion-esque legends) tried to explain the world with their religion (Durkheim if people are interested), and have a fixed system of traditions and rituals?

Seriously, this may look like I am bashing you Wynken, but I am not, sorry if it seems that way. It's just that every single person in the western society is just fixed upon it.. Which is really annoying as people tend to forget other religions and then make nonsense remarks, such as stormrunner's. For instance, the religion Buddhism (propagates peace and goodwill towards every being, not just fellow members and those who you think might be persuaded to your side) made sure that the Tibetans no longer raided and pillaged the Silk Route.

Then again (and this is why I like philosophy better than religion, as it holds a much broader ground) Tibet held quite the feudal system with slave-like serfs. Pointing at a monk would be punished with cutting off your finger. Not allowed to directly look at one, etc etc. This is the opposite of being peaceful against other beings. With theology one goes on about wrong interpretation etc. With philosophy one can just say that problem lies with humans as well ( in a biological way), you go beyond theology.

And yeah, I agree with Bootes here, Theology would be way better.

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^ I take no offense, however in my defense, I typically reference only Christianity because it's what I believe to be truth. Also, my knowledge of other religions is nowhere near as expansive as my knowledge of Christian doctrine, and it is wise to speak only on topics that you know, hence my apparent bias. I have nothing against other religions, which is why I didn't opt for a "Christianity Thread". I just tend to debate and theorize within my area of expertise, as we all do or should.

Another reason that Christianity gets the most mention is that the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam hold the world majority at about 50%, while [b]maybe[/b] 8% of the world population follows Buddhism.

If anyone else would like to strike up a topic for conversation, I'll be glad to carry the other end. It's easy to single me out as an ethnocentrist when I'm the only one posting :D

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