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Author Topic: Cool Comic Booklets.  (Read 62378 times)
Lukipela
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #255 on: August 20, 2006, 08:58:04 pm »

what i meant was that while JCI had sideffects in certain areas (the dark ages were specific to europe, were they not?) it did provide a long lasting preservance of the ideas. however, i will concede that you have a point in the second part i quoted. let's try something else, would you agree that JCI spread those ideas much better than the memory of greece and rome did?

Assuming JCI means something along the line of judaechristendomislamism (or whatever), I fail to see the relevancy of your question. You're essentially arguing that JCI both preserved ideas of ancient times, and spread those ideas more efficiently then they would otherwise have been spread. The problem here is that we have no idea how they would've otherwise been spread. We know a lot of Greek history was preserved only in Muslim culture, and that other parts were preserved mostly in monasteries in Europe. How/If it would have been preserved had JCI not risen to supremacy, we'll never know. Also, I think that you may well be (partially) committing the same error of thought as Lance did earlier. That these texts were preserved through the dark ages does not necessarily mean that JCI was the cause of their perseverance.

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but that wasn't my argument.

My mistake, I misread your text.

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i claimed that the idea: "one law for all / a set of base laws which cannot be changed by whim of one man" didn't exist beforehand. now, how could i prove that? it woud seem that i would have to prove it by way of negation - showing that no culture before hand possesed such ideas.

And you are essentially correct. It is impossible to prove your point, but it might not be impossible to disprove it. Providing that any previous culture can be shown to have had such a concept of course.

Quote from: Ivan/Vania/Babushka
It didn't really bother me. You saved me the effort of writing half my post Wink
Plus, you seem to be good at keeping your temper, while I was a bit... excited about the whole thing even after I had a good night's sleep after reading Lance's post.

Tempers tend to flare in debates like these. After all, the basis of all argumentation on religion tends to be fairly emotional and opinion based, so it's no wonder that people reach boiling points.

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You might have a point but the way I see it is when people are beeing unified then at the same time they are being divided, but on a different scale.
On the other hand, the example with marriage is a good one, tough I'm having trouble imagining how you could relate it to religion.

I think you may be over-reading what I mean by unifying here. All men are individuals, and therefore divided. When I talk about unity, I don't mean a happy utopia where everyone agrees on everything. That'd be horrible. With unity, I mean that people have something in common that is important enough to them to allow them to tolerate other differences in opinion. This something might be love, faith, culture, or anything else. As a personal opinion, I hold love and faith as the two most unifying concepts on the planet, closely followed by culture.

To illustrate the concept, let’s go back to the two lovers. They have their love for each other in common, but that doesn't mean that they are always of the same opinion. One might recycle the other not. One is a vegetarian, the other isn't. The point is, that as long as these dividing issues are overshadowed by the unifying force of love, the couple stays together. So the unifying force allows for considerable dissent in the relationship.

Another example is again the small congregation. Their unifying beliefs will allow people from different social standings and from different backgrounds to come together around something that they all believe in. In this case, it is a religion of some sort. Not all of these people need agree with, or even like each other. Maybe someone drinks a bit too much. Maybe someone screws around a bit too much. However, as long as their common faith unities them, they will try to help each other the best they can (assuming their not Satanists or something, in which case they'll obviously feast on each others entrails).
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #256 on: August 21, 2006, 04:05:28 pm »

From RTyp06"

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But what do you make of the fact that every society on earth has religious beliefs and rituals passed down from generation to generation? From ancient times to the 21st century, religion is a large part of the human experience for many.

I just told you, It probably serves as an evolutionary advantage. In fact, one might consider it the third layer of evolution for us- biological, technological, and now religious. Now this crazy world has religions fighting, competing and evolving across the world. Smiley

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Perhaps it is due to our misunderstandings of the world around us. Fearing natural phenomena and needing to explain it I can understand,

More like using metaphors to explain how to get out of a dicy situation for the smarter religions. Explanations do provide comfort and control in the dummer ones, imho. I remember I documentary on the tsunami incident in the indian ocean. There was this one group of aborigines living on the coast of sourthern, eastern india or something like that. When they saw the waters recede the first time, they believed that there was an imbalance in the universal tree (amazing how many religions have this great tree concept) and that the water spirits were about to make war on the land. So the headed for the hills (and survived.) The more populace muslims and hindus never saw it coming, and afterwards, I think they just did a lot of praying because they believed god(s) were pissed with them and had brought punishment. They would seem to have dummer, less adaptive religions. However, the two big religions have advantages in that they are more unified, work better on a large scale, and more expansionistic (mostly islam on this count.) So they can afford to lose some members, and keep on surviving, while offering they're believers some evolutionary advantages in other areas. These are two religions with vastly different adaptions, almost like seperate species-kingdoms of organisms.


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why does religion go so much further than that and how did we evolve this need to explain the universe around us in the first place?

To either:

1) Help you survive events you don't fully understand.

2) Keep peoples fear from making the problem worse, if there is no known method of avoidance.

And sometimes maybe a combination of the two.


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How does natural selection select for happiness , sadness, jealousy, hatred (or a combination there of)?

By killing off (on average) those whose emotional frameworks on not advantageous in the current environment.


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Are there selection pressures to push a species in this evolutionary direction?

Yes, a million and one. Perhaps mostly for human-to-human situations but also some religious adaptions for great disasters and such.


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If spirituallity is a new emotion would it really work in favor of homosapiens  to out compete neanderthals?

It could have. Along with other factors, like us having longer legs (another theory of mine, and an obvious one too.)


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What's weird about it is that they work in teams and know exactly what they are doing, behaving in a well orcastrated manner where each dolphin has a role.

I guess that's just one of the advantages to having a language (and a spoken one at that.) Wink


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The very fact that biological beings can learn, modify their behavior accordingly and work in fairly complex teams is difficult for me envision through a random mutaion / natural selection mechanisim..

Well get used to it, because if they were created, then you will find it difficult to envision how their creator came to be (or be so complex and powerful,) or how its creator came to be, or its. . .etc.,etc.,etc.
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Lance_Vader
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #257 on: August 27, 2006, 02:59:24 am »

I'm back for a bit.  Didya miss me?  No?  Oh.  I see.

But why would god make those animals? What is the purpose? Why would he make skin bacteria (Leprosy )as a scourge on mankind before they had antibiotics? Then instruct moses in the book of Leviticus to sacrifice animals in order to cure men from leprosy? Why didn't god tell him how to culture penicilin instead?

And if all animals ate plants and were instructed by god not to kill (until man's sin) why is the complete animal kingdom made up of prey / preadtor relationships? Did sharks really feed off seaweed? Did lions eat flowers as a dietary staple?
This world wasn't intended to be easy.  If it were, then we wouldn't learn jack squat from living here.  It would be a joke.  Like if I went to grade school and attended the 2nd grade, I wouldn't learn anything.  Why not?  They don't teach stuff that I don't know yet.  Just stuff I've already learned.  In order for me to learn, school has to challenge me.  So does the world.

As for the animals, I'm not sure what they were like at that time, only that they're different now.  Maybe sharks DID eat seaweed, and they've been retooled to keep fish populations in check.  Your guess is as good as mine.  It's not important, anyway.


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Again, why? Why would god need to show satan... anything? If god loved Job why would he allow such horrible things? Would you allow sombody to abuse your Dog to prove a point of loyalty? Or does god not love Job, his faithful servant, as much as I care for my pets?

There are so many WHY questions in the bible it becomes almost absurd..

Why did it take an omnipotent being six days, (or any amount of time at all) to create the heavens and earth?
Hey, he made the earth, didn't he?  That's more power than I've got.  I don't think God is omnipotent as in "*snap,* it's done."  I think he's omnipotent in that God can do anything he sets his mind to do.  THAT is real power.

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Why did god need to destroy life with a world wide flood which achieved absolutely nothing? Are there not just as many wicked people today as in Noah's day? And wouldn't god know ahead of time that he would have to eventually kill everyone and then allow the earth to repopulate? Why not just do it right the first time?
I wouldn't say it achieved nothing.  A lot of people who would have raised their children in stupidity and wickedness were wiped out, and there was once more a decent amount of good people.  I don't think good people have ever really been the majority, but if the people as a whole are too evil, God will destroy them.  I think that's what the Bible is trying to say, anyways.

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Why would god, capable of designing DNA and every creature on earth, ever need to have animals sacrificed to him? The book of leviticus is completetly about the lord's instructions on how to prepare animal sacrifices from many different species of animals for various sins and ailments.. I know that Leviticus is old testament and that Jesus is supposed to eliminate all need for animal sacrifice, but why would god ever need it for atonement of sin in the first place?
God doesn't need the animals.  We need to sacrifice.

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Perhaps we are looking at ancient mythic text, written by many fallible human authors who all contributed thier own spin on god rather than god's absolute word to us?
Yup.  I think that's a pretty good assessment.  I also think that they really did talk to God, and that there's a lot we can learn from
A) The mistakes of our anscestors and
B) The advice of God.

Even if you don't believe this particular God is true, it's good advice.

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1)Why does God care whether people believe in him or not?

2)Why didn't God make it so that the bible was unambiguous?

3)Why does God punish the descendants of people he disagrees with?

4)Why did God make people so terribly flawed?

5)Why don't demons possess people anymore like they did in the Bible?
Here's my answers.  Let's see if you like them.

1) He's offering us advice that will make us happier.  He also wants us to accept it of our own, free will, but you have to admit, it's sad to see anger, treachery, hatred, and other such things.  Disobedience to God's commandments creates unahppiness.  Obedience generates happiness.

2) I think it's because that's impossible.  Humans will misconstrue things according to what they want to believe.  What the world needs and has always needed is CONTINUING revelation from God.  Wouldn't that clear things up a bit?

3) I think more often it's natural laws that punish those descendance, though God takes the credit because he warned us about it in the first place.  Also, they're people who disagree with God, not the other way around.  If we are to believe anything in the Bible, or the Qur'an or whatever you fancy, God was here first.

4) People are so terribly flawed, in my personal belief, because they're inexperienced.  I don't believe God can give anyone experience.  That's why God has to tell us what to do.  He's got much more wisdom and experience than us, and God also understands the natural laws upon which things like happiness are based.  We don't.

5) It isn't as effective, in most situations, as it used to be.  People used to be much more superstitious.  I think such possession does happen occasionally, mind you, but it's terribly uncommon.  Always has been, though a look at four thousand years or so of purely spiritual history (like in the Bible) will make you think it's more common than it is.

I have a counter-question for you:  Why can't you answer these questions?  Have you looked for answers on your own?

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And as an observation, it is totally correct. I'm not sure how "the chinese did some bad things" is supposed to prove the inherit superiority of christianity though. I mean, sure, if you could follow up with ".. while christians did not.", you'd be on firmer ground. But you're not.
The Christians did not and do not.  Catholics did, at one point,  but that was the time that Christianity was really losing its roots.  Then the Reformation happened, and was fairly successful, in my estimation.  Not totally, but it was better than nothing.  Besides, look at where the original argument was placed, and what it was meant to answer.  It was not intended or crafted to say "Christians are better than everyone else."  It was intended to refute the argument that the Chinese are somehow more civilized than Christians.  Sheesh.


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Out of curiosity, how can you be sure of this?
Because it's exactly what happened to the Christian nations.  And because the Chinese lost their dominance due to ISOLATIONISM.  If they had been evangelical, then they wouldn't have been isolationists.  At all.

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What you're doing here is looking at a lot of successful countries, and deciding that one factor they have in common is what made them superior to everyone else. If you're interested in the subject of why the christian countries of europe were so successful in defeating their neighbours and exporting their influence and beliefs, I'd recommend taking a look at this. The factors that enabled europeans to conquer and convert the rest of the world were present long before christianity made it's appearance, and very probably any aggressive religion would have served them equally well.
Maybe any other aggressive religion would have served them equally well.  You act as though this refutes me somehow.  My point is that Christianity seems to have served very well.  If you're going to refute me, tell me that Christianity did not serve them well, and back it up with examples.  Then you can disagree with me intelligently.

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Er.. what? The Russian tsardom was working horrifyingly badly at any rate. They had a weak tsar, and internal strife. It's not like if a modern day US suddenly and without warning dismantled religion and democracy.
Yes, you're right.  It was a gradual descent from Christian Russia to Communist Russia, and not a quick drop down an elevator shaft.  But Russia did fairly well for itself for a couple hundred years at least as a Christian nation, did it not?

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No, in order for your point to hold true, there has to be some sort of evidence that it was the christianity that gave them these advantages. Otherwise you're just playing with statistics. For example, if I have 10 cubes that are made out of different  hard materials (steel, iron, diamond and so forth) and paint them all grey, I could similarly claim that all grey cubes are hard, and that the grey colour must thus make them hard.
  Yeah, but if the diamond one beat all the other ones up, I'd have to rethink THAT hypothesis.  :-)

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In an analog fashion, I could even claim that almost every successful culture on earth has had a lot of contact with white europeans, and that this thus proves that no country can be succesful without the help of white europeans. Thus white europeans must be superior to any other race. Go white power!
And why are the white people so successful?  I think their religion plays a large part in it.  I don't really care if you disagree.  If you want evidence that religion can do that sort of thing, look at Islam.  Before Muhammed, no one really cared about the Arabs.  After Muhammed, they had estabished an empire and conquered Spain.  Coincidence?  You can think so.  I don't care.

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I'm glad that you are objective enough to decide that noone else is. Especially since you are fairly clearly taking sides on the issue.
Fairly clearly.   That's a good one, I'll have to remember that.

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Can you provide any sort of references to this mesoamerican dark age? It soudns quite interesting, though I've never heard of it. I'm also confused about the "successful culture" part. Originally, you seemed to be making the point that chrisianity has made our culture as successful as it is. Now you're making the point that other religion may serve equally well.  This seems illogical.
I don't think it is.  Just because A is good, does that mean B-Z are bad?  I don't think it does.  It's true that I don't think any religion is AS good as Christianity, though I can't prove that to any degree of satisfaction, but I also think that many other religions are good. 

As for the mesoamerican dark age, it seems to be fairly well-accepted.  It was not at all hard to find the following:
Wikipedia: Toltecs
You can see that some civilizations, like the Toltecs and Mayans, died out before the Spanish ever arrived
"Dark Ages" pdf
Aztec myth/record of history
Dark Ages Cold Period


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I think "I firmly believe" are the key words here. Unless that you can present some sort of reference that states that the ONLY reason the roman empire fell was their moral decay, that really only is your opinion. A tale about how the soldiers were having homosexual intercourse instead of fighting the enemy at the gates would be acceptable.
Are opinions not allowed?  I was under the delusion that they were.  That was one of them.

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So explain to me what choice his followers, supposedly following his commandment gave the rest of the world when they conquered them and forced them to convert?
I don't think God ever commanded anyone to forcibly convert anyone else.  That was a gross misconstruction based on a real commandment, but, you know what?  "Based on a real story" is not a real story.

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I notice you'tre not actually answering the question. But tell me, how did you determine, through your own research, which books that were real and which were false? Have you actually read all the books from that time period, and used some method to find out which are really the word of god, and which are just the opinions of some writer. And if you've really done this, and drawn the conclusion that exactly the right books were chosen, why haven't you published  a paper on this? It is an enormous amount of research to undertake after all, surely the rest of the world could benefit from it.
Oh, be nice.  I just happen to be of the opinion that many of the books that DID make it are real.  If you must know, I prayed about it.  Go ahead.  Try it.  It's good stuff.

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To finish this off, I'd like to state that I'm only critical to Lance's opinions here, and not to the christian faith as a whole. I believe that christianity, as any religion can be a unifying force, and bring forth much good. Of course, in the wrong hands it can equally well bring forth darkness.
Good.  I can skip that lesson.   Wink

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I simply don't agree with the premise that christianity in specific is responsible for our culture being as stable as it is. If nothing else, the dark ages, with their strong religious presence and total lack of any progress are a clear indication of this.
I move that there was a LOT of progress in the dark ages.  But you're not going to listen to that.  I also move that our civilization REALLY took off right about the time of the Reformation, beginning with Martin Luther.  This was some time after the so-called "Dark Ages."



There's also a lot of talk about atheists in this thread recently.  I believe it was Terry Pratchett who said that there is no believer so firm as the atheist, for he believes in gods so strongly that he feels the need to deny them.  He's always good for a laugh, but I don't think he's stupid.

I, on the other hand, don't believe in atheists.  I think that everybody deifies something, it's just not always something supernatural.
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #258 on: August 27, 2006, 05:01:45 am »

Deus_Siddis:
Religious evolution is just one example of evolution of a concept (see meme). Also, what counts here is not whether the believer survives, but whether the idea survives. More believers gives the idea a better chance to survive, but they're not the central issue.
Other things that give a relion a bigger chance of survival are for instance the meme that sinners go to hell, or that even considering that the religion is false is a sin, or that you should go out and spread the faith, or that you should worship no other gods, or that your "tribe" is more important than the others.
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #259 on: August 27, 2006, 06:00:26 am »

I'm repeating this question from RTyp06, because you conveniently didn't answer it:
Again, why? Why would god need to show satan... anything? If god loved Job why would he allow such horrible things? Would you allow sombody to abuse your Dog to prove a point of loyalty? Or does god not love Job, his faithful servant, as much as I care for my pets?

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Why would god, capable of designing DNA and every creature on earth, ever need to have animals sacrificed to him? The book of leviticus is completetly about the lord's instructions on how to prepare animal sacrifices from many different species of animals for various sins and ailments.. I know that Leviticus is old testament and that Jesus is supposed to eliminate all need for animal sacrifice, but why would god ever need it for atonement of sin in the first place?
God doesn't need the animals.  We need to sacrifice.
And now to answer question that he asked, why?

And now my questions; I've placed your answers directly below each question, to make this more readable.
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1)Why does God care whether people believe in him or not?
He's offering us advice that will make us happier.  He also wants us to accept it of our own, free will, but you have to admit, it's sad to see anger, treachery, hatred, and other such things.  Disobedience to God's commandments creates unahppiness.  Obedience generates happiness.
1.1) That would mean that people shouldn't believe in God if it makes them unhappy.
1.2) If believing in God is for our own good, then why does God cast unbelievers into hell? (sinning by violating the 1st commandment + not accepting Jesus to bail you out)
1.3) If God wants us to be happy, then why didn't he wire our brains so that people would always be happy?

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2)Why didn't God make it so that the bible was unambiguous?
I think it's because that's impossible.  Humans will misconstrue things according to what they want to believe.  What the world needs and has always needed is CONTINUING revelation from God.  Wouldn't that clear things up a bit?
2.1) Wouldn't you agree that the bible could be less vague?
2.2) and that that would be better?
2.3) If so, then why didn't he?

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3)Why does God punish the descendants of people he disagrees with?
I think more often it's natural laws that punish those descendance, though God takes the credit because he warned us about it in the first place.  Also, they're people who disagree with God, not the other way around.  If we are to believe anything in the Bible, or the Qur'an or whatever you fancy, God was here first.
3.1) In the bible, god curses (or blesses) people to the n-th generation, and places certain tribes above others (not just individuals). These are not natural laws that do the punishing.
3.2) With "disagree" I meant "find disagreeable". No need to further comment on this (3.2).

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4)Why did God make people so terribly flawed?
People are so terribly flawed, in my personal belief, because they're inexperienced.  I don't believe God can give anyone experience.  That's why God has to tell us what to do.  He's got much more wisdom and experience than us, and God also understands the natural laws upon which things like happiness are based.  We don't.
4.1) Why couldn't give God people the wisdom from experience? Babies have pre-born abilities to breath, and drink. Many animals are born with much more complex behavior.

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5)Why don't demons possess people anymore like they did in the Bible?
It isn't as effective, in most situations, as it used to be.  People used to be much more superstitious.  I think such possession does happen occasionally, mind you, but it's terribly uncommon.  Always has been, though a look at four thousand years or so of purely spiritual history (like in the Bible) will make you think it's more common than it is.
5.1) Effective to what purpose?
5.2) Well, Jesus supposedly cast out quite a number of demons. And he didn't last 4000 years.

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I have a counter-question for you:  Why can't you answer these questions?  Have you looked for answers on your own?
In here I think lies the most important cause of misery in this world. People answering questions for themselves, and then holding them as true (= believing). I've often heard intelligent people say thinks like "If only people would think for themselves", but it seems to me that they do. They just don't look at their own answers with the same criticism as they look at those of others. If only they did that...
So to get back to your questions, yes, I can answer those questions, and I can answer them in a variety of ways (pretty easilly with "the Bible is a work of fiction"), but it wouldn't mean anything. I'm not asking these questions because I want to know the answers, but because I want to demonstrate that the Bible, and God as described by that Bible in many ways simply do not make sense. And I'm giving you the advantage of getting to choose the interpretation.
Btw, I do not expect to change anyones mind with this demonstration, so it's pretty much for my own (and perhaps for other readers') amusement.
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #260 on: August 27, 2006, 06:09:27 am »

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Religious evolution is just one example of evolution of a concept (see meme).

Yes, but I never said neanderthals did not have evolutionary ideas and concepts, or even culture, outside of religion/art. That would be another debate.


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Also, what counts here is not whether the believer survives, but whether the idea survives.

No, because if the believer doesn't survive, then his genes that are receptive to religious/spiritual instincts go with him and the religion doesn't do as well. The idea MUST give the believer some sort of survival advantage or else it is parasitic and will eventually be weeded out by others with better adapted ideas.l


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Other things that give a relion a bigger chance of survival are for instance the meme that sinners go to hell. . .

Yes, those are important because they help use fear drive to overpower other instincts which, while useful, are better off (evolutionarily) being managed in a more precise and adaptable manner (religious ideas are more precise and can be changed faster than genetically based instincts.)


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or that even considering that the religion is false is a sin

Because having individuals stray from a well adapted religion makes the group a little weaker.


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or that you should go out and spread the faith

This is a good adaption for large scale civs. Less enemies, more allies. Not as good in a tribalistic society, where unity with people you'll never be able to get to see in your lifetime, isn't going to increase the deer supply or make you a faster runner.


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or that your "tribe" is more important than the others.

So that you will help those who can/will help you, and not waste your time helping the competition. It also helps reduce fear drive in case you need to go to war with an aggressor or perhaps a truly weaker tribe whose territory be partially absorbed through conflict or to create small scale conflicts that might make the local population smaller (less demand for food) and to weed out those who are not as quick/strong as some others.


Basically, religion/spirituallity gives one more quickly (and mayhap intelligently if you have priests who are good strategists) adaptable drive systems than genetic instincts.

You also have sort of a DNA for multi-individual pseudo-organisms in the form of a tribe or nation or just followers of a certain religion (different sizes, for different niches and environments.)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2006, 06:16:18 am by Deus_Siddis » Logged
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #261 on: August 28, 2006, 10:21:45 am »

The Christians did not and do not.  Catholics did, at one point,  but that was the time that Christianity was really losing its roots.  Then the Reformation happened, and was fairly successful, in my estimation.  Not totally, but it was better than nothing.

I'm confused.  On what basis do you decide who is christian, and who isn't? If you really wish to make the argument that catholics pre-reformation were not christian, then what were they? Also, if your argument now runs "Christians are not responsible for anything caused during the darkages because those were not christians", then why were you using ancient chinese dynasties as examples of how uncivilised the chinese were? Surely according to the same line of reasoning they weren't really chinese either?

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Besides, look at where the original argument was placed, and what it was meant to answer.  It was not intended or crafted to say "Christians are better than everyone else."  It was intended to refute the argument that the Chinese are somehow more civilized than Christians.  Sheesh.

The original argument that I responded to was:

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well, for one thing it gave us a moral code, in a time where there was relative immorality ( i'm talking about pre-greece).

To this, I responded that the chinese, mesoamerican and egytpitan civilisations might disagree with this assesment. Noone was arguing that the Chinese where somehow more civilised, only that they had a moral code and a civilisation in what distant watcher defined as a time of immorality. At this stage, you enter the argument, apparently completely misunderstand it, and decide to prove that the chinese are not more civilized, by listing atrocities commited by them through the ages. As we were arguing different things, I assumed this was somehow ment to refute that the chinese were civilized/had a moral code. I responded by pointing out that if one used such things as guidelines, christians would not fare well either. You then argue that any ancient christian (or any christian between some arbitary point and the reformation?) isn't really christian, which absolves the religion of blame. I realize that you are arguing something completely different, and write this paragraph. The end.

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Because it's exactly what happened to the Christian nations.  And because the Chinese lost their dominance due to ISOLATIONISM.  If they had been evangelical, then they wouldn't have been isolationists.  At all.

Good point. But a lot of the christian nations that spread and conquered other parts of the world were catholic. Just so I am clear,  is modern day catholicism christianity, or did it change during the reformation somehow? Also, I think you're missing a lot of factors here. European countries had very different frontiers than the chinese, who were surrounded by mountains, deserts and barbarian-filled plains. European conquerors had africa close by, and discovered america. Both these continents held technologically inferior civilizations which were easily dominated. You'll note that all that expansivity you attribute to christianity didn't really help it spread eastwards.

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Maybe any other aggressive religion would have served them equally well.  You act as though this refutes me somehow.  My point is that Christianity seems to have served very well.  If you're going to refute me, tell me that Christianity did not serve them well, and back it up with examples.  Then you can disagree with me intelligently.

I was not making the argument that christianity could not serve as well as any other religion. Rather, I was refuting your point that only christianity would serve, and that it is the single defining factor. I was making the argument that  religion is one of a multitude of factors that influence a civilisations development and culture, whereas you seemed to be stating that it is the defining factor for creating a successful state of any kind. Also, if you really feel the need to quabble about evidence, how about presenting some proper evidence instead of making large leaps of fate? Present to me, any nation in the world, which can be proven to be succesful only due to it's religion, and nothing else.

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Yes, you're right.  It was a gradual descent from Christian Russia to Communist Russia, and not a quick drop down an elevator shaft.  But Russia did fairly well for itself for a couple hundred years at least as a Christian nation, did it not?

Actually, it was a descent from Imperial Russia to Communist russia, unless you believe that it was a theocracy prior to communism. Again, I would ask you to present any shred of proof that Russia did well because it was a semi-chrisitan nation, and because of no other factors. Equally well, show that communism failed only because there was no religion, rather than because of any other factor.

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Yeah, but if the diamond one beat all the other ones up, I'd have to rethink THAT hypothesis.  :-)

This has nothing to do with my example, or with the erroneous nature of your original argument.

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And why are the white people so successful?  I think their religion plays a large part in it.

Or you could look at the link I provided in my previous post. There is a multitude of reasons for europe being as successful as it is, ranging from dumb luck to geographical placement. The seeds of success were sown long before christianity reared it's head.

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I don't really care if you disagree.  If you want evidence that religion can do that sort of thing, look at Islam.  Before Muhammed, no one really cared about the Arabs.  After Muhammed, they had estabished an empire and conquered Spain.  Coincidence?  You can think so.  I don't care.

Please tell me who you're referring to. There were large civilisations in the arabic part of the world before Muhammed as wel las after. Also, if you really don't care, why participate in a discussion at all?

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Fairly clearly.   That's a good one, I'll have to remember that.

Glad I could be of assistance. I only wish you'd remember my points as well as my phrasing.

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Thank you, I shall have a look-see.

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Are opinions not allowed?  I was under the delusion that they were.  That was one of them.

If you wish to make an argument on the demise of an ancient civilisation, it would carry a lot more weight if you used facts rather than opinions. Of course it is your right to believe whatever you choose. However, if you wish to debate wether something is true or not, just an opinion will not go far. I also congratualte you on completely side stepping every point I made about ancient Rome, choosing instead to create a faboulous strawman.

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Oh, be nice.  I just happen to be of the opinion that many of the books that DID make it are real.  If you must know, I prayed about it.  Go ahead.  Try it.  It's good stuff.

I tend to be equally as nice as those I debate with. So, first you snip off IVan and tell him that "you've done your research". This implies that you've got an actual factual basis for your opinion. And when asked about it, your sole reasoning is "I prayed"? I pray quite often. That doesn't mean I go around calling my prayers "research", or claiming them as facts. My professors would very probably fail me if I did.

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Good.  I can skip that lesson.   Wink

Yes. Try focusing on the others, and learn something.

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I move that there was a LOT of progress in the dark ages. 

So, what kind of progress do you feel was made during the dark ages?

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But you're not going to listen to that.

A wee bit judgemental are we? Trying to paint your opponent as a narrow-minded person who wont listen to reason really isn't very conductive to a good argument.

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I also move that our civilization REALLY took off right about the time of the Reformation, beginning with Martin Luther.  This was some time after the so-called "Dark Ages."

Indeed. Again, feel free to prove that this was ONLY because of religion, rather than a multitude of factors.

In summation, before continuing this, you might want to reflect slightly. It's completely fine to have opinions of your own. You're free to believe whatever you want. Maybe the Romans were wiped out because they were immoral. Maybe the books in the bible are exactly the right ones. Maybe christianity is the defining factor of western civilisation. But unless you present some sort of fact, any sort of fact, that is still just opinion. You're welcome to voice it, but you don't really accomplish anything in doing so. And seeing as this is a discussion forum, you might want to consider that people just sprouting opinions and falling back on "God told me" aren't really very useful in a discussion. Livejournal might be a better alternative for that.

Also, just to ensure you don't manage to construct another strawman out of all this. I'm not arguing that religion had no part in our culture. I'm arguing that religion isn't the defining factor of a successful civilisation, in the way you are implying. A important factor, sure, but not the only one.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2006, 01:10:50 pm by Lukipela » Logged

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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #262 on: August 29, 2006, 01:38:04 am »

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This world wasn't intended to be easy.  If it were, then we wouldn't learn jack squat from living here. 

So what do children born with lukemia and die as a gradeschooler or toddler gain in this great "learning" experience? What is the lesson to be taught to crack addicted babys? Or the hopelessly poor people who have to dig through garbage dumps to make a living. Or children born with two sets of genitals? etc. etc. Is that the human experience?


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As for the animals, I'm not sure what they were like at that time, only that they're different now.  Maybe sharks DID eat seaweed, and they've been retooled to keep fish populations in check.  Your guess is as good as mine.  It's not important, anyway.

Watch Shark Week on discovey channel sometime, you'll see they were designed to eat meat. Their sharp teeth are so intrigual to thier survival, they have rows of backup teeth to spring into replace a lost tooth.


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Hey, he made the earth, didn't he?  That's more power than I've got. 

SO you will worship anyone with more power than you? If an alien civilization pulls into orbit someday you'd fall to your knees and worship?

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I don't think God is omnipotent as in "*snap,* it's done."  I think he's omnipotent in that God can do anything he sets his mind to do.  THAT is real power.

SO you're saying god is not omnipotent and has limitations? Can god build a rock so heavy he cannot lift it? Wink

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I wouldn't say it achieved nothing.  A lot of people who would have raised their children in stupidity and wickedness were wiped out, and there was once more a decent amount of good people.  I don't think good people have ever really been the majority, but if the people as a whole are too evil, God will destroy them.  I think that's what the Bible is trying to say, anyways.

Are you sure Noah's Ark isn't just a popular story designed to keep children inline? If you are wicked, god might come and kill you! Srry, I don't see god commiting homicide let alone genocide.

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God doesn't need the animals.  We need to sacrifice.

Why do we need to sacrifice?

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Perhaps we are looking at ancient mythic text, written by many fallible human authors who all contributed thier own spin on god rather than god's absolute word to us?
Yup.  I think that's a pretty good assessment.  I also think that they really did talk to God, and that there's a lot we can learn from
A) The mistakes of our anscestors and
B) The advice of God.

Even if you don't believe this particular God is true, it's good advice.

Well, the only real problem I have with christianity is the arrogance to suggest that Jesus is the one true way and all other religions are condemned to hell. But I do respect your conviction and faith. You take things on faith much more than I ever could..

[
« Last Edit: August 29, 2006, 01:39:56 am by RTyp06 » Logged
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #263 on: August 29, 2006, 07:44:12 am »

So what do children born with lukemia and die as a gradeschooler or toddler gain in this great "learning" experience? What is the lesson to be taught to crack addicted babys? Or the hopelessly poor people who have to dig through garbage dumps to make a living. Or children born with two sets of genitals? etc. etc. Is that the human experience?

God moves in mysterious ways. Perhaps what is bad on the physical plain prepares our souls in some way?

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Watch Shark Week on discovey channel sometime, you'll see they were designed to eat meat. Their sharp teeth are so intrigual to thier survival, they have rows of backup teeth to spring into replace a lost tooth.

But a purposeful mutation may well have changed them into a new species. They might have been timid seaweed munching dugongs once.

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SO you will worship anyone with more power than you? If an alien civilization pulls into orbit someday you'd fall to your knees and worship?

I seem to recall Arthur C. Clarke saying "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Maybe the same is true for religion?

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Are you sure Noah's Ark isn't just a popular story designed to keep children inline? If you are wicked, god might come and kill you! Srry, I don't see god commiting homicide let alone genocide.

However, it might be based on a true story.

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Why do we need to sacrifice?

What confuses me most is, why don't we need  to anymore. I mean, fair enough, God moves in mysterious ways, the smell of burnt animal offerings is somethign he deems necessary. Btu noone sacrifices animals at their local church anymore, do they. I sure as hell don't. So why doesn't he want us to do that anymore? Admittedly, I'm a bit vague on church history, possibly there was a saint or something that put  a stop to it, but was there a reason given?
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #264 on: August 29, 2006, 09:30:38 am »

What confuses me most is, why don't we need  to anymore. I mean, fair enough, God moves in mysterious ways, the smell of burnt animal offerings is somethign he deems necessary. Btu noone sacrifices animals at their local church anymore, do they. I sure as hell don't. So why doesn't he want us to do that anymore? Admittedly, I'm a bit vague on church history, possibly there was a saint or something that put  a stop to it, but was there a reason given?
Jesus sacrificed himself, so nobody needs to sacrifice anything anymore.
That's what I recall being taught at school in my youth...
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #265 on: August 29, 2006, 10:16:07 am »

Fair enough reason I suppose. Althogh I always thougth that Jesus died for our sins. To find out that he also died so we wouldn't have to sacrifice animals is... interesting.
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #266 on: August 29, 2006, 10:18:23 am »

There's also a lot of talk about atheists in this thread recently.  I believe it was Terry Pratchett who said that there is no believer so firm as the atheist, for he believes in gods so strongly that he feels the need to deny them.  He's always good for a laugh, but I don't think he's stupid.

Would you mind telling where did you spot that quote?
I'm a big fan of Pratchett, but I have never seen it.
I also did a few simple google searches and came up with nothing.

Not to mention it doesn't sound like something he would say, seeing as:
a) It's a great misrepresentation of atheist's position. He's too intelligent make such a misrepresentation unpurposefully. If he did purposefully decide to make a joke about atheists it would be much more accurate and funny.
b) As far as I know Pratchett is a non-believer himself, so it seems rather strange he would write something like that.

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I, on the other hand, don't believe in atheists.  I think that everybody deifies something, it's just not always something supernatural.

So it seems you know more about me, then I know about myself even tough we have never met.

By the way, on what do you base your opinion? Have you ever met an atheist?
How well did you get to know them, and what did they say or do to convince you that they do, in fact, deify something?
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #267 on: August 29, 2006, 01:03:33 pm »

Would you mind telling where did you spot that quote?
I'm a big fan of Pratchett, but I have never seen it.
I also did a few simple google searches and came up with nothing.

'To be fair, I dimly recall some similar quote on how atheists believe in the non-exsistence of gods by Mr. Pratchett. Or possibly something about how atheists actively deny the presence of a diety, which is similar to the way  deists believe in that presence. I can find any source for that though, and it's a long tiem since I read it.

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By the way, on what do you base your opinion? Have you ever met an atheist?
How well did you get to know them, and what did they say or do to convince you that they do, in fact, deify something?

Has the thought crossed your mind that he might be capable of independent research?

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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #268 on: August 29, 2006, 01:37:44 pm »

'To be fair, I dimly recall some similar quote on how atheists believe in the non-exsistence of gods by Mr. Pratchett. Or possibly something about how atheists actively deny the presence of a diety, which is similar to the way  deists believe in that presence. I can find any source for that though, and it's a long tiem since I read it.

Well, I wouldn't put it past Pratchett to make fun of atheists.
I remember, for example, when one of the characters from his book said "planes stay up in the air because of science".
But this and the quotes you recall are much different then the way Lance has worded it, and not quite what I would expect from Pratchett.
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Re: Cool Comic Booklets.
« Reply #269 on: August 29, 2006, 04:34:02 pm »

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By the way, on what do you base your opinion? Have you ever met an atheist?
How well did you get to know them, and what did they say or do to convince you that they do, in fact, deify something?

Has the thought crossed your mind that he might be capable of independent research?

Considering that he was asking if he had performed independent research, I'd say, 'yes'.
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