Why defend ourselves

jarr

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the only reason Christians find themselves 'defending' anything - is because deep down, they know
that what they're believing in, is an absurd, insane and downright laughable collection of fairy stories.

And this going to make those folks very very very insecure, defensive, and inherently threatened
(not surprisingly, given a reliance on imaginative fairy tales without proof, in order to sustain their
reality) - causing threads like this, where the 'attackers' try and paint themselves as being 'the victims'..

Aww, the poor Christians are under attack? Are being 'forced' to defend themselves? Well there's a simple answer and solution..

Don't defend yourself. Forgive your 'attackers' (as you call them)
and
Turn the other cheek. Just like someone in your religion once said everyone who believes in him, should do.
:p

If your fairy story has 'rules' - please obey them - or give up your fairy stories.
Don't try twisting reality around to make yourself feel better, that's not going to work :)
you know, if christians were merely people who believed some supernatural stories because that is what they were taught when they were young, or because of some cult-like indoctrination, we would, rightly (to quote paul out of context), of all people be the most pitiable (1 Cor 15:19). and sadly, in some cases, this is the truth. the bible would call this 'having a form of godliness but denying its power' (2 Tim 3:5) - ie religion which is just a set of beliefs and rules, and nothing else.

but, christianity is not blind faith in the stories of some old book, it's a living relationship with the god who created us. a god we can experience and interact with (1 Cor 2:5). so no, i'm not insecure or threatened, because my faith is in a reality that i can experience every day. that is what i know deep down ;)

as for why christians are called on to defend themselves so often, i think it is because of christianity's claim to be the only truth - anytime you do that, i think you set a huge bullseye on your back, and people will go for it... ;)

edit: @ nanfeishen: nice post
 
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Kalvaer

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WOW Nanfieshen, that was the most logical and well thought out and explained posts of the whole damn lot. Loved yours as well Jarr

I'm one of those who never used to believe in anything, and now I do.. Why I do, and why I believe I'm right is an impossible task to try and explain in words.. it is just a feeling... thats there and makes you smile inside.

Maybe I used the wrong wording because I see people who dont really know what they are talking about (IMO) use the same arguments over and over again. Specifically.. I dont have a Belief, its a non-belief. Are people prehaps hung up on the words "belief"

If we look at what the EOD says about the words:
belief n. 1 firm opinion; acceptance (that is my belief). 2 religious conviction (belief in the afterlife; has no belief). 3 (usu. foll. by in) trust or confidence. [related to *believe]

believe v. (-ving) 1 accept as true or as conveying the truth (I believe it; don't believe him). 2 think, suppose. 3 (foll. by in) a have faith in the existence of (believes in God). b have confidence in (believes in homoeopathy). c have trust in as a policy (believes in telling the truth). 4 have (esp. religious) faith.  believable adj. believer n. [Old English]
To believe something or to have belief is to accept something as true. Thus if Athiests/Agnostics think that they are right, then truely that is a Belief in its own right, Why do people try to side step the question though, is if fear of being wrong?

Maybe If I had said "Why is my Theory of God, Different to your Theory of a Non-God?" We both can not deny that both are Theories, which on both sides we have arguments to try substantiate our Theories, though niether party can however give conslusive evidence as to why we are right. Its the same discussion I've seen my Wife have with others about string theory. I've even sat with her having a conversation with an Atomic Physicist (she is a High Energy Nuclear Physicist BTW) and asked them why and if the believe in God. Thier answer was Yes..that at their level of understanding of Physics, it was the only "logical" explaination to the unexplainable that there had to be something else out their

Debates and Discussions are great, and as you said are enjoyed.. Maybe I dont enjoy them on these forums because people become arrogant in their replies which is also why I said I would gladly like to discuss this with anyone over a few beers. I guess niether of us will ever have the other party's answer, until our death, but hopefully we can remember that in our discussion, before we blindly shoot down the other party in these "discussions"

I leave you all with 2 quotes from Albert Einstien:

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human understanding, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."
"I was barked at by numerous dogs who are earning their food guarding ignorance and superstition for the benefit of those who profit from it. Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source. They are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional "opium of the people"—cannot bear the music of the spheres. The Wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims."
 
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PostmanPot

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IMO all prior posts were also logical, and based on the exact same thoughts of Nan.. it's just you needed it to be explained in the most basic way possible to grasp the concept.

what is the exact purpose of the quotes? to show that he was a religious man?

einstein the atheist:

Einstein was an Atheist, but the press and the church wanted people to believe that he was a man of faith, and they succeeded.
http://skeptically.org/thinkersonreligion/id8.html

Claim: While a student, Albert Einstein humiliated an atheist professor by using the "Evil is the absence of God" argument on him.

Status: False.
some propaganda it seems, perhaps you've read about it?

http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

einstein the agnostic:

"My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment"
it's rather ambiguous as to what einsten believed. it's strange because you quote him as if you're sure you know what he believed.
 

Kalvaer

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Read carefully what you posted... and what I did before trying to assume you know what I posted and why

You claim Einstein was a Athiest, in one link, and in another you post he is an agnostic, yet the difference between the two has clearly been explained here by all sides, or should we repeat ourselves again? :rolleyes:

Yet in the quote I gave above he says himself HE IS NOT and HATES athiests who tried to use him as proof of their existance. Einstein might not of been a religious person, I never claimed him to be. I would of loved to of asked him things, but since he is dead I cant. So I will rather believe his own words out of his mouth from when he was alive and could speak for himself.

But you seem to think that science is your answer when certain people who are true scientists, (not google search bots) in fact also believe in "something". Even Einstein was such a man, that was my reason for posting what I did.

Something else he said if it explains it to you:
Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man.... In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence, for he finds it impossible to imagine that he is the first to have thought out the exceedingly delicate threads that connect his perceptions.

I have found no better expression than "religious" for confidence in the rational nature of reality, insofar as it is accessible to human reason. Whenever this feeling is absent, science degenerates into uninspired empiricism. Einstein
My reason for the second quote was to show how Einstein himself said that "certain" Athiests are worse than Religious Fanatics,

Use that google search everyone loves so much and find a converstation between Einstein and Peter A. Bucky, to give you an idea of what he meant in his own words.. not some 1997 babble by an unknown source

A true scientist will NOT sit back and believe the first article they "google" they will do some research and experimentation into the matter until they have conclusive prove, anything less would be the same as lying to oneself

Nan's Post gave a clear logical explaination to his believe, all you are trying to do is say.. "see told you so, your just to stupid to understand", Nan's reply replied to the question, not to my integrity of which you know nothing Or are you one of those "fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source" Einstein spoke about.

Play the Ball.. Not the Man, or else I'll return the favour but that is not going to help our discussion, only prove our arrogance
 
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noxibox

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It always seems like the Athiests and Agnostics are asking us Christians to defend ourselves. (Agnostics BTW I dont really understand at all. At least Athiests have the balls to stand up for what they believe in, ie: that there are no gods at all. yet Agnostics seem to sit on the fence defending what ever side they they want to at any given point in time.. is it fear that you might just be wrong and are to scared to admit it?)

Why must we (as Christians) always prove to you that God exists?
Instead, please prove to me that God doesn't exist! (and 100% conclusive proof as is always asked of us)
Theist means having a belief in god(s), otherwise you're an atheist. You can be an agnostic theist - you believe that there is a god, but you have no knowledge one way or the other. You will also get gnostic atheists - someone who declares that they know without a doubt that there is no god. Most atheists are agnostic - they have seen no evidence for a god and therefore do not have a belief in one.

Generaly scientific claims are required to be falsifiable. i.e. a way to prove it wrong. When it comes to gods there are always a lot of excuses - didn't pray enough, can't see him all the time, he chooses to whom he'll reveal himself. Psychics and astrologers have their own variations on these excuses. Evolution for instance is falsifiable - just present evidence of something else.

Because the concept of God requires the use of an imagination. Athiests cannot see anything except nature and other real things.
On the contrary religion requires no imagination. Seeing and investigating the world as scientists do requires great imagination.
 

fivelza

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Kalvaer, I think that most Christians try to get stuck into such debates/discussions without truly having the ability or knowledge to properly do it.....I know you have studied much which is evident from your posts.

For example, in my case, I am in no position to have a proper discussion with anyone who wants to discuss evolution etc, many topics which are out there and 'appear' to contradict the Bible.

What I have appreciated the way the majority of forumites have on balance been very mature about this. I have no problem discussing and debating, but I don't feel the need in anyway to defend my faith...it remains deeply personal. I have been challenged in many ways to understand a lot of stuff a whole lot more which relate to my faith ;)

I attended an Alpha course at church which deals with the basics of Christianity and the first topic was 'Did Jesus really exist' which referred to the work by FF Bruce http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/ffbruce/ntdocrli/ntdocont.htm which talks to the authenticity of the New Testament from historical sources.
 
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PostmanPot

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Read carefully what you posted... and what I did before trying to assume you know what I posted and why

You claim Einstein was a Athiest, in one link, and in another you post he is an agnostic, yet the difference between the two has clearly been explained here by all sides, or should we repeat ourselves again? :rolleyes:

Yet in the quote I gave above he says himself HE IS NOT and HATES athiests who tried to use him as proof of their existance. Einstein might not of been a religious person, I never claimed him to be. I would of loved to of asked him things, but since he is dead I cant. So I will rather believe his own words out of his mouth from when he was alive and could speak for himself.

But you seem to think that science is your answer when certain people who are true scientists, (not google search bots) in fact also believe in "something". Even Einstein was such a man, that was my reason for posting what I did.

Something else he said if it explains it to you:


My reason for the second quote was to show how Einstein himself said that "certain" Athiests are worse than Religious Fanatics,

Use that google search everyone loves so much and find a converstation between Einstein and Peter A. Bucky, to give you an idea of what he meant in his own words.. not some 1997 babble by an unknown source

A true scientist will NOT sit back and believe the first article they "google" they will do some research and experimentation into the matter until they have conclusive prove, anything less would be the same as lying to oneself

Nan's Post gave a clear logical explaination to his believe, all you are trying to do is say.. "see told you so, your just to stupid to understand", Nan's reply replied to the question, not to my integrity of which you know nothing Or are you one of those "fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source" Einstein spoke about.

Play the Ball.. Not the Man, or else I'll return the favour but that is not going to help our discussion, only prove our arrogance
again, you miss the total point of my post. hopefully someone like Nan will be able to explain it to you in such a way that it makes sense to toddlers.

rather not going to get involved because you have gone way off path in your post, bringing other instances to the table other than what i asked about. if you are in denial, then please tell us!
 

nthdimension

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Religious people ultimately have to accept that their religious institutions violently forced their religion on society for a long time. Over a thousand years in the case of Christianity. Even today we have lunatics like George Bush who would love to once again have his religion forced on the people of the United States. And in many places Muslims are all still brutally forcing their religion on people. It is for this reason that there is a great deal of anger directed at religion. Looking at the past I would do everything possible to stop religion from once again gaining and exercising state power.
 

Kalvaer

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@Noxibox... your never to old to learn.. and thats whats great about who we are, I never realised there are so many different forms of Atheisim and Agnostics. Which of course should of been the logical explaination since there are also many forms of other Religion

And so true you are about Imagination, without it Science wouldn't exist at all

@ Fivelza, I've always tried to learn as much as I can about any subject before I stick my foot in my mouth, Of course I still do it often. But learning from our mistakes is what makes us Human, not learning or refusing to want to learn is just stupid (reminds me of somebody here it does). I love science and have a incredibly smart wife, who is involved in this field every day, so she wont let me forget it :) She is planning on doing her PHD in Cosmology this year as well which is a change from high energy nuclear physics, But is also a Catholic and can quiet easily explain both sides and give reason for how she can believe in both. I've also recently done part of a Degree leaning towards Computer Science and Nuclear physics (in order to understand the wife better for most parts), but have put it on hold until she has finished her PHD, we cant have two students in the house if we want to eat :)

Its maybe this that pisses me off immensely when I read certain peoples posts splitting Science and Religion in two seperate catagories and trying to use Science to back up their claims of "Non-Belief" To me its easy to see how Evolution and God fit in together and are one in the same, yet its hard to try get that across in certain of the debates held here with all the bashing of the "other side" and of course requires the understanding of both God and Science or else its a pointless task to discuss.Especially when you give valid reaons to somebodies stupid argument and the decide to attack you and show their lack of intellegence. I did however try with my Priest during my conversion.. and you know what.. he agreed

@ Postman.. you asked two questions. How much more must I read your post???.. I answered them both giving explainations as to why I posted what I did.. learn to read, or does this help

1) What was the point of my quotes, Answered and explained in detail
2) Am I sure I know what Einstein believed, I quoted his DIRECT words, not some babble I google searched.

Are you in denial maybe as well as you claim me to be about being a "fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source?" I'll ask again.. play the ball not the man, or is that beyond your comprehension

@ Nth, you need to understand though, that not all Religious people are like that. Its like me saying all Athiests are like postman ;) One thing I learnt during my conversion is that the Catholic church knows and admits their mistakes.. they also know that simple saying sorry.. is not going to let them be forgiven and make 1000 years go away
 
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fivelza

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Religious people ultimately have to accept that their religious institutions violently forced their religion on society for a long time. Over a thousand years in the case of Christianity. Even today we have lunatics like George Bush who would love to once again have his religion forced on the people of the United States. And in many places Muslims are all still brutally forcing their religion on people. It is for this reason that there is a great deal of anger directed at religion. Looking at the past I would do everything possible to stop religion from once again gaining and exercising state power.
I agree that historically it was literally believe or be burned, but we are also seeing that for example church attendance in Europe is at an all time low indicating that people are possibly more enlightened and have total freedom in choosing what they want to believe. What irks me continually is the proposition that Christians are stupid or unable to make a 'sensible choice' because they have been indoctrinated from birth. Being brought up in a Christian home does not make you a Christian as much as being born in a garage does not make you a car ;)
 

noxibox

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In South Africa, until the end of the 80s, Christianity was the state-imposed religion. Yes you could choose not to be Christian, but there were many situations in which you were not given an option or where expressing the opinion that it was rubbish would lead to overt harassment.
 

LoneGunman

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in 1980 in the SADF, I got some severe beatings and yells of 'You still believe in Buddha now?' for having put 'athiest' as my choice under religion on the official forms when you first 'klaar in' to basic training..
aah, memories :)
 

fivelza

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In South Africa, until the end of the 80s, Christianity was the state-imposed religion. Yes you could choose not to be Christian, but there were many situations in which you were not given an option or where expressing the opinion that it was rubbish would lead to overt harassment.
in 1980 in the SADF, I got some severe beatings and yells of 'You still believe in Buddha now?' for having put 'athiest' as my choice under religion on the official forms when you first 'klaar in' to basic training..
aah, memories :)
I agree that is shameful :(
 

Kalvaer

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Kind of cheesy I know, but works for me :rolleyes:
Its also very true though.. Look what happens when you force something on somebody... they will hate it and pull away. It happens in hundreds of facets of life not just religion.

Could be why there are so many here that hate religion in the first place after having it forced down their throats for so many years in SA ???, Not sure how true it is, but i've heard the AGS church in SA used to preach that Catholism was a sect of the devil as well.. There is so much fighting between not only non-believers but within the Christian community itself, which is really funny, stupid and upsetting at the same time.

There is a book I read called "Christ Among Us" where the Catholic Religion and basic Christianity is explain. In this book ther speak about where at the Vatican Council II it was discussed and concluded that most teenagers brought up with a Christian backround would all rebel against the church at some point. It makes sense when you think as a teenager you dont want anyone telling you what to do, and you think you know better than your parents and everyone else around you.

The final outcome was to let them leave and go on with their lives, that forcing them to return to the church would only weaken the church from within, and let them return if they wanted to on their own accord, since that would be the choice of freewill as all mankind should have.. The end result.. most of these teenagers returned to the Church in later years, anything from 5 - 50, but return most did.

Now I know most think that this is another way the Church is fooling you, but in fact if you think about it, its given you exactly what you wanted.. the choice of freewill to make up your own mind.

As Fivelza said what has happened is shameful, The Church has much to do too correct its past mistakes, though sometimes I wonder if its to late.. Only time will tell I guess
 

noxibox

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The final outcome was to let them leave and go on with their lives, that forcing them to return to the church would only weaken the church from within, and let them return if they wanted to on their own accord, since that would be the choice of freewill as all mankind should have.. The end result.. most of these teenagers returned to the Church in later years, anything from 5 - 50, but return most did.
It's only a real free choice if you either told them about all the religions available while they were growing up or refrained from teaching them any religion. It is highly likely that many are just falling back into whatever religion was fed to them while they were growing up.

You don't commit atrocities for hundreds of years and expect to be forgiven overnight. The Catholic church in particular as they only stopped covering up pedophilia amongst the priesthood in the last few years. Even once it was exposed they carried on protecting the guilty priests.

And as long as there are politicians who attempt to or do ride into power on the back of their religious belief we should all be wary.
 

Kalvaer

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As I admitted in another thread.. I am one of those you speak about. I wasn't a christain all my life. I choose it. In todays information age if you dont try learn other things.. your damned to be stupid all your life and its your own fault.

One thing that I learnt last year was that, Yes, the Catholic Church has made many mistakes. Though one thing that is really interesting is that there are a few years where the church was what I would call "corrupt" Especially during the times of the reformation. Where popes and so on did many things against the church, and used it to their own benefit. The interesting part I learnt was that during these years.. NO MAJOR changes were ever made to the church. It was as if the corrupt people cared more about thier own benefit than that of the people. When this was realised and changes made to the structure, Nothing about the "faith" had been changed and in essense still remained as it was 100's of years prior.

I can not deny the pedophilia, but again that is not a fault of the church, it is a problem of the people. As to the covering up. That is to be expected. Can you however show in anyway that even though this has come about.. that the meaning behind the church has changed or its message has altered. They people themselves are wrong I agree 100%, The went against the teachings of an institute they were ment to uphold. That doesn't make the insitute evil or wrong.. it makes the people evil.

The same as people in SA covering up for Zuma. People protect what is theirs, You can not deny if the Athiests had a "church" they would not try to protect thier own. I have seen it here on these forums where people dont usually agree with other athiests, but put underfire, the still try change the subjects to make it disappear or give other perspectives.
 
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Nanfeishen

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The went against the teachings of an institute they were ment to uphold. That doesn't make the insitute evil or wrong.. it makes the people evil.
Why did you change the wording from church to institute? Any way it doesnt really matter.
Actually by association to those people, or by the fact that those people weren't removed, or excomunicated from that institute, it also places the blame on that very institute. That institute continued to harbour individuals, who committed offences, that went against the very core of that institute, they should have been removed, or in the old days "done away with".
The fact remains that , yes the core of the "apple" may be ok, but the outside is rotten, and that rot is eating away at the substance of the "apple", and will over time destroy it.
You said earlier , that the Church is more open minded about the youth, that is well and good , but that is one small gesture, and as i previously mentioned ,as well as another postee, growing up in a society, that follows a certain belief structure , people will graduate back towards it often through peer pressure, family pressure etc.
Personally , i believe in something completely different, but what i do feel is the "church", and probabily more so for the Catholic church, is that they have a lot to answer for, they need to answer for, or defend themselves against the accusations made by many people from many walks of life, as to why they permitted, or turned a blind eye to the destruction of books, scientific knowledge, and human rights violations and atrocities, through the ages, and through WW2.
It is situations like this, that make people question, if the people who belong to an institute, that is, or was founded on virtue and love for mankind, as is written, can become rotten or corrupt, then how real is this "message", how true is the idea of "salvation from sin", if the very people who are meant to uphold that message dont practice it themselves.
When a religious institute or group, becomes self serving rather than simply being a service, or no longer services the community purely from compassion, or goodwill, it becomes questionable, and its teachings and doctrines become questionable.
I mention the Catholic Church, because they have the history, and feature prominently through the ages.
 

Kalvaer

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I changed "Church" to "Institute" because I realised many people would jump on the word "Church" and begin bashing the word instead of the context of the post which seems to be a big problem and I am actually enjoying the discussion without having to fend of the fanatics. Plus I am learning at the same time as you put it :) I will also explained further below. It was meant to bring about further discussion, but well spotted none the less and here is what I meant.

What you have said.. I can not deny at all, The facts are there and that is what this whole thread started about.. FACTS.... Even if we have gone off the original question, but you answered that well enough and I doubt anyone else here will be able to as well as you did (yeah go ahead and try flame my intellegence if you want)

The Catholic "Institute" has a very bad history when it comes to what has happened in the past, as mentioned above, sometimes I think its gone to far, only time will tell. The "Church" however is made up of much more than this

My only real consolation (for me personally) is that it is not the "core that is rotten" The core to the "Church" is the faith. The faith has not changed, the message from Jesus has not changed.. It is this that I base my Religion on... Not the Institute, which was the same as Jesus said to the Rabbi's and why they hated him and in the end.. crucified him

There are few factors you mentioned that can and WILL destory the Insitute.. but never the faith. Something has to be done to cut those out before it will cause its destruction. Of cause again... There is nothing I can do about it.

I do know much is being done to change it, but if somebody suddenly had to jump up and throw down an entire new set of ideas can you imagine what it would to to the "Church", or what for example it would do to something like Athiesm if the same thing happend. (and to the trolls, think about what I mean, please dont jump on certain parts of my post), It would destory it all in an instant..

Sometimes I'm glad I can sit back in my corner and be happy in my belief, than to have to defend not only myself, but to sort out the crap from the past cause by a corrput institute

But it wont change my Faith or the "Church"

PS:(Off Topic) Doesn't this sound like the SA government :D (On Topic)
 
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