Belief Systems and discussions thereof

   #21  

PetrolDave

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Life is about what you do by GIVING FREELY of lifelong knowledge learned & not just making a buck to me!
That's always been my philosophy too, the knowledge I have accumulated through experience and hard work I don't regard as mine but to be shared with those in need of assistance.

That sharing isn't done by telling the solutions (as that doesn't teach analytical thinking) but by questioning and hinting - which, to me at least, appears to be part of your methodology Jack?

As the saying tells "Teach a man how to fish, don't give him a fish".
 
   #22  

Bruce

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with reference to Dieseldubs' post #16:

Hi Dieseldub,

I totally hear from where you are speaking. Too many preaching their style and thinking they have all the answers. It is my hope you will never find me to be one of the same.

A couple points related to my beliefs:

I believe God wants all to know and have a personal relationship with him/her. (Is it okay if I assume the masculine form as most bible translators have acknowledging that God's form may be non-gender?) That is, what Christ taught was that a personal relationship with God was possible and that God, being as a father to all, desired that relationship. Most of us who have kids can relate to that concept.

I believe that evangelizing is not what God desires or requires. Yes, Christ told us to go out into the world and make disciples but did he teach ever that we were to shame and cajole people into believing? He told us to be an example in how we conduct ourselves - to show love and mercy, to apply that Golden rule. Further, he taught that the relationship each has with his father (his words if I translated correctly) was between that person and God - it was not for others to step into.

Christ did say that "no one comes to my father except through me." Extremely exclusive... but what is it he was talking about? "The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. " How often have I seen others pervert the words and use them for their own purposes of excluding. I hear words of inclusion not exclusion. Do as I do and you will be included!

What exactly was Christ's work? (to Jack and Petrol Dave - i think this goes to your most recent points) His work was to be with people. To share with them revealing what he believed. To let them question him, searching for the same answers for which we find ourselves searching. He did good to others and encouraged those listening to do the same. He told all to love, to care, and most of all, he told that they should come and know his Father. Not only did he tell, he demonstrated all that he was telling. When asked how others could know his father, he said, (allow my paraphrase) "you know me. I came from my father. If you know me, you know my father."

And yet, while he told all of these things and many more, he did say, the road to eternal life passes through him. That he is the way, the truth and the life. Exclusive... Conundrum..

For me, I find comfort in believing Christ. I find comfort in the idea that there is life beyond this life. I find comfort that I can spend eternity in a better place. Owing to that comfort, I am able to give more of myself to others, to risk more, to love/care more, to do more, to be more like the one I follow.

I believe that all have the right to their belief. I am not trying to convert any. Rather, I am again speaking of what resonates in my heart. I am not a good person by the standard of the one I follow. I sin and fall short of the mark he set. Of my own power, I can never be as good as he was/is and I cannot on my own earn my way to an eternal presence. So it is by my faith in his goodness and in his statement that I can be saved through him, that I live in the comfort of the knowledge that I have been forgiven and that there is a place for me with him in his eternity. Will I have a body? Not sure. Will I know others? The good book says yes. Is his eternity that of alien beings and their ways? I don't know. The promises made are simple and they resonate for me where no other means resonate.

I continue to seek answers.. that through my study, things might be clear through gained knowledge. I have been frustrated that many answers I find just led to more questions, questions that keep drawing me back to where I started, with the faith system instilled in me as a boy. Some might say that I never let go of that system and that is the reason I cannot find solace through science, math, knowledge. I accept that criticism. I cannot know.

None of the answers I have found are more complete than the picture of God as the Father reaching down to his little boy, telling him that he loves me so much, that my wrongs have been made right and that He is with me each day. He assures me that I have to live my life but I don't have to live it alone. God is with me - the God Force surrounds me and is within me - not making me a God but holding me as a child of God, one who is cared for by the most high of the universe. Simple faith right Don?

It is what I believe and what works for me. I find that in all the complexity of the words we study, sometimes we miss the simplicity of an idea. When the simplicity is discovered, our intellect oftens says , "Nah - can't be that simple. Life is far too complicated for it to be so simple." Each of us has to struggle with the meaning of our existence. I am into the last third of my life.. as I travel there, simple is good.. just getting out of bed in the morning is hard! I find pains in places I didn't know existed.

So Don, maybe I have come to grips with what you meant by "my simple faith". Thank you all for having me continue to examine what I believe, explaining those beliefs.
------------

Jack and Dave, finding ways to help others with the skills we have gained, is exactly what all of us are called to do. It is right and good for us to use what we have learned and the resources we have accumulated to help others. That is one of the measures by which people can know we care. The more we demonstrate such care for others, the better this world will be.

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Don - I'll next try to respond to your posts.. not sure if I will get to that tonight. I have a meeting tonight on zoom.. I am beginning to hate zoom meetings!

Again my thanks for the discussion here.
 
   #24  

Bruce

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The Pope's complete message according to the web site quoted was:
We pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind.
Without more of what his thought was, do you think that he was asking that we seek wisdom for those who work in these fields of progress to ensure that the work they do will not create situations where man ends up serving the technology?

The article speaks of inequality of people and that technology continues to exacerbate these inequalities. Is it not right that the Pope would call the people to pray that God would influence those pursuing this science and technology?

Historically, this is nothing new. The Roman Catholic church and science have always been at odds with one another. Science has often been seen by the church as replacing religion. The "church" has been fighting for what they hold as true while science searches for the factual truth.

I see the Pope's call as a call to the scientists to have the wisdom to advance while doing no further harm to the inequality of people. (That assumes the reports in the article were accurate for the web site that showed the actual call to prayer said none of what the article said.)
 
   #25  

Jack@European_Parts

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I want to know why the Catholic Church being the richest on the planet, fails to implement a Canon law & that forbids poor people from being solicited by collection basket etc., to below the poverty line to practice what it preaches?

I mean seriously are not the poorest of individuals the least likely to be educated and squander savings by belief their life is so bad now, somehow the golden ticket is by such paid sacrifice to the Catholic Church?

Is not the Catholic Church pervasively guilty in past and now for such pay to play behavior?
 
   #26  

Bruce

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Jack, I have the same issue with the Catholic systems where it certainly seems they teach you have to pay to earn your entry into the Pearly Gates. I don't understand from where the Catholic church derives this system. I do not find it biblical.

The Biblical principle is that giving (both monetary and service) is done to worship God. There is no commandment from God to give to organized churches. Rather, there is a commandment to love your neighbor as you do yourself. In that regard, as many wish to respond to the many gifts they have received (or perhaps some might argue have earned), they give. That money does pay for brick, mortar, programs, salaries but is also used to help those less fortunate.

I can speak specifically to my church as I happen to be the lay leader responsible for the finances of the church at present. (Certainly, I am not responsible alone. ) Our brick, mortar, programs and salaries consume 80% of what is given to the church. The balance is given away to those less fortunate.

There is a principle mentioned in the Bible concerning a "tithe" - 10% of one's income should be given back to God for use to help those in need. Our church attempts to do more than the 10% each and every year. I would like to see us push our numbers higher.. giving away 33% or more. We have been working for many years to move in that direction.

Our support of programs around the world, among others, have included building, teaching, and continuing to support water purification systems in really poor countries. We are now operating 3 in Honduras and we just started building another in Guatemala. We support local missions where we have helped to start and then sustain a program in our town and country for families who find themselves homeless. That program has been running for 30+ years and has grown. We helped buy an apartment building with 10 other churches in town. I think there are 20 apartments there. We supported the staff needed to help council people to get them back on their feet - helping them find jobs, manage debt and so on. 2 years ago, we bought a large house and converted it into 4 more apartments. We regularly give to the community food cubbard helping to feed those who are in need. People come to the church for help to pay their bills and often we are able to help them. I can go on for sometime how we see the call to help.

Having said that, we still have a place we meet for worship that we open to the town for all sorts of functions for which they pay nothing. The building is large and has large costs to keep going. My point: we have to balance all the things that call for our support. There have been times when we decided to re-model or build on that building causing stress about the spending on ourselves. In the main, I think we are doing ok with how we do this and we are trying to do what you mentioned- helping others. We will never demand that our members contribute. All are welcome. But sure, we have to ask for money for we operate solely on that which is given. We do pass a collection basket because we want people who wish to respond, to be able to respond with a gift. The gift must never feel as if it is an obligation. Today, so many give their gifts online that is quite often that most members place nothing in the offering basket. Times, they are changing.

Edit: I just found an excellent article on tithes and offerings.. I believe Mr. Ramsey has presented things clearly:
Tithes and Offerings: Your Questions, Answered
 
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   #27  

DV52

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Jack: A problem that I have long had with deeds that claim authority via the words in the Bible is the fact that only a handful of people (if that) have actually read the Bible. In truth, everyone else has merely read a book that purports to be a translation of the Bible.

And as we all have found to our chagrin with the much simpler task of translating the names of adaptation channels from modern day German into modern day English - there are many equally valid interpretations for every word.

The intricacies and permutations when translating ideas and complex sentences across languages is infinity more prone to error - especially when it involves a number of different obsolete languages which are written on fragmented parchments that have been ravaged by age!

By all means, give money to the various churches if you want - but do it as a charitable donation in the full knowledge that it comes from your own kindness. If the act of giving takes its authority from the words of a book that claims to accurately reflect ideas that originally had many authors and were written in numerous archaic languages on rotting goat-skin scrolls - for communities that existed at the latest, over 2,000 years ago (the old testament was thieved from Hebrew writings from 1200 and 165 BC), then I respectfully suggest that you examine more closely your reason for giving!!

Don
 
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   #28  

Bruce

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Don, your point is accurate but the conclusion is not quite right. When numerous experts in language, history and culture are assembled to make a translation, is that not like assembling a body of scientists to study a problem? You seem to accept conclusions of scientists to be factual and accurate but you find the work of other professionals circumspect.

Translations of the original manuscripts have undergone extensive testing for their veracity. I am wondering why you reject the work of such respected professionals?

English Translations of the Bible

In the fourteenth century, a man named John Wycliffe produced the first complete English translation of the Bible (translated from the Latin Vulgate, not from the original Hebrew and Greek writings). In the seventeenth century, the king of England authorized scholars from Oxford and Cambridge to produce a new and official English translation from the original Greek and Hebrew languages, which became known as the King James Version (KJV) or Authorized Version (AV).3


The King James Version remains popular among many English-speaking people. Nonetheless, a variety of English translations have appeared in recent years for three important reasons.


First, scholars and archaeologists have made amazing discoveries in the past two centuries. Today, we have Hebrew and Greek manuscripts that are much older and closer to the originals than those available to the scholars who originally translated the King James Version.


Second, the English language itself has evolved in the last four hundred years. While the Shakespearean prose of the King James Version may feel more traditional, eloquent, and sacred, it does not represent the way people communicate today (nor in Jesus’ day).


Third, numerous English versions exist today simply because different teams of scholars take different approaches to translating the texts. These approaches are generally described on a scale of formal equivalence (word-for-word translations) to functional equivalence (thought-for-thought or meaning-for-meaning translations). In order to be accurate and communicate well to their target audiences, translations have to mix formal and dynamic elements.4


Translating the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English is no easy task. It is time consuming and tedious. Scholars admit that no translation can ever fully convey what the original language intended. For example, there are some words and expressions in Hebrew and Greek that simply don’t have English equivalents. Therefore, every translation team must be creative in their endeavor to convey the Bible’s meaning across cultural and linguistic distance.


This is why the best scholars in the world are assembled to produce accurate and readable versions of the Bible. Publishers are careful to check and recheck their translations with various experts, as their professional reputations are on the line when producing a new Bible version. As a result, we can trust that the current English translations we read are faithful to communicate the overall meaning of the Bible’s original message.

Quoted from: https://www.exploregod.com/articles/why-are-there-so-many-bible-translations
 
   #29  

DV52

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@Bruce: thanks for the reply. Your analogy of the translation of the Bible as a scientific exercise in which facts are confirmed (or not) according to observable, or proven principles is just a tad "romantic" (including the sanitized description of Bible's history in your link) - IMO.

Do you honestly believe that a single thing that has wielded such power (both political and theological) since the Septuagint in the 2nd century BC and which has been used by successive Kings, Popes, Zealots and Despots to wage countless wars and to rule huge portions of humanity is the result of a science-like discovery?

From the BBC: The murderous history of Bible translations

Don
 
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   #30  

Jack@European_Parts

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I will never trust the Catholic Church again and for my own reasons, no different than a large/small Corporation's.

As far as giving & directly I use my own discretionary ideas.

I trust very few people that have earned such credibility by action's observed. Science.......... people that know me or laws of physics are to be broken and challenge everything & do so with research, not just to be an argument.

Now don't get me wrong I like to debate if I believe I know what I'm talking about but I also like to break balls too.

I have indeed read the Bible among many different old and new testament contexts, I'm no scholar. I been finding an awful lot of discrepancies and see where literal versus figurative meanings or flat out violence for instruction are probably not the way I want to live my life.

In all I'd rather make my own choices, not what some dumb ass clergyman said to manipulate an agenda. I learned early on about such agenda's that hold embarrassing situations for me. Thinking often was I really this dumb to believe or trust, were people just really that bad, was it the organization, trying to rationalize it all as a child growing up and even now is not easy?

It makes me angry and it makes me want to strike a commandment instantly or a few.
Pretty much found myself aligned with George Carlin, which is why, is a go too for clips, further since he was Catholic and is funny about the interpretation of word's & control ideas.


 
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   #31  

Bruce

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So let me understand: Owing to the political backlash of the Roman Catholic church against those who tried to make the bible accessible to all, your premise is that it cannot be trusted as a source of information about the Hebrew, Muslim, and Christian God.

The Roman Catholic church of medieval times was a Theocracy who wanted absolute power. Do you think the men who were in power would stand for one who wrote about the things pointed to in your article?

Wycliffe began publishing pamphlets arguing that, rather than pursuing wealth and power, the church should have the poor at heart. In one tract he described the Pope as “the anti-Christ, the proud, worldly priest of Rome, and the most cursed of clippers and cut-purses”.
As to romanticizing, once again, I find the hair on the back of my neck bristling. Again, you have taken to stating feelings - making me look simple minded, labeling my words. Take the personal from the debate and make it about ideas and things you hold to be true. Stop using adjectives that condemn my beliefs and my attitudes. Debate the topic not the person. You have offended.

@Bruce: thanks for the reply. Your analogy of the translation of the Bible as a scientific exercise in which facts are confirmed (or not) according to observable, or proven principles is just a tad "romantic" (including the sanitized description of Bible's history in your link) - IMO.
The analogy is totally fair. The people who did the work of translation of the most accepted versions on the bible were considered to be the premier scholars of the time. Taking years - usually more than 10 - they painstakingly researched the original manuscripts. In recent years, more premier scholars have taken on the work to be certain that the translations are accurate to original scripts and as much as they can be, accurate to the social norm of the time in which the original was recorded.
Mind we are yet to argue whether the original recorders of this information were in fact speakers from God. If that is the fact you wish to argue about, then let's take that argument up. But to argue that the translations are circumspect and not like a scientific effort is an inaccurate portrayal.

Do you honestly believe that a single thing that has wielded such power (both political and theological) since the Septuagint in the 2nd century BC and which has been used by successive Kings, Popes, Zealots and Despots to wage countless wars and to rule huge portions of humanity is the result of a science-like discovery?
This point resonates with many. The Roman Catholic church most certainly used the bible for power and control. That's man's doing. Consider that the power of knowing what was in the book was feared by those in power. If the common man knew the content, the church knew the things they were doing that were not according to the book, would be challenged by the people. They clung to their power and silenced those who would have the audacity to challenge their established ways.

How is it that the corruption of the content by one organization makes the translation wrong or circumspect? Getting that translation out to the many changed the Roman Catholic Theocracy and led to its eventual end. The governments of the countries evolved and moved away from the Catholic Church centered power giving the people the power after many long years..

Are there still Theocratic governments that control people today? There are. I am sure we both agree that such is wrong. People should have the freedom to choose their form of government and no power to oppress should be derived from the Bible.

Or is that too a romantic notion?
 
   #32  

Bruce

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@Jack, I am sorry that you have had such experiences caused by clergy. You do realize they are the same as you and me - men. They are no better than we are. As Paul wrote, "All sin and fall short of the mark." He was speaking about himself - one of the first clergy in the Christian church knew he was no better than any other.

So then how did clergy come to believe they are better? Same way any other man does. Ego.

I hear you on making your own choices. I too make my own choices. I think all men should make their own choices.
 
   #33  

Jack@European_Parts

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Of course....... absolutely!


When you are a kid, these things are as real or more real than Santa Claus!
When a kid see's their own parents revere and fear Clergy, they follow suit because it is what is taught.

I was taught an experimental alpha phonetic in Kindergarten and first grade, had a good handle on that and Church, those were immediate environment.

When I know something or believe I knew something, I'm pretty proud of that, because I like being right, even now? :D

Half way through 1st grade my parents moved because they bought their first house.
With that schools and Parish changed.

The new school taught the normal alphabet, no more experimentation. My parents did not prepare me for this. I tried to engage answering questions. I knew it believed I was right on at new school. The teacher was a genuine Nazi. Mrs. Bachman and would put me in the corner for trying to debate her that she was wrong because I was taught otherwise.

I withdrew from engagement in protest and I'm a stubborn son of a bitch, even now.
With that aforementioned I was held back and that made me less interested in engagement due to ridicule & because no one took time to ask why or address it.

Plus I was learning to fight literally to the death by old man. Greek Roman wrestling, boxing, and US Airborne techniques etc.. Was good at it too, mother was in protest after choked out neighbor. So was locked into don't fight mode and would let others kick my ass because I wouldn't fight back out of fear of disobedience to Mom and fear of ass kicking from old man.

I then looked to what was consistent, first being Church and CCD. That trust in blind faith is what brought me to stage 2 and open to being led down a very dark path.

Only problem is my mom used the CCD & Church as a free babysitter & to go violate the ten commandments with whoever she happened to be doing whatever with.

I literally was told by clergymen to not worry about school because I was chosen for another path with God as their/His Disciple. After Communion and by 3rd grade only to figure out it was all bullshit and I had to fight these idiots off somehow plus keep it a secret.

Walking around my entire childhood and teen years thinking I had a disease and the scary feeling of embarrassment, it is still pretty embarrassing & makes me very angry!

Divine plan can kiss my ass!

To only find out it isn't just bad people and realize it's a pedophile club, being an organization of criminal RICO & being purported in an underground vail of the Catholic Church, further being pervasive with cover up, only makes me hate it more.

If these are the lessons one must learn in order to be tested by a superior being, I'm quitting that school and I'm doing my part to expose it.

I feel equally as betrayed by Jokeswagen!

 
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   #34  

PetrolDave

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What made me decide that I didn't accept that any of the established religions were for me was that as a young boy (around 8 years old if I remember correctly) was that my mother made it "compulsory" for me to attend Sunday School run by our local C of E church.

This compulsion ran totally opposite to the methods of my father who led by the example of exploring and learning for ones self and coming to ones own conclusions about what to believe.

So I came to the decision/conclusion that nothing compulsory is for me, and I point blank refused to attend the Sunday School any more.
 
   #35  

Jack@European_Parts

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Indeed was Compulsory for Me, up till about 7TH grade.

A kind Nunn saw that my mother was not picking my sister and brother or me up when we were left to be loitering around the property or streets of the City of Newburgh.

When Sister Francis explained to my mother " hey if she couldn't be there to pick up her kids, we could no longer attend ". My mother seemed to not like being told that, she hates being reprimanded or having to own responsibility and it was no longer "Compulsory". She denies this is why to this day , however, for me I can never forget since heard it and was set free to a degree because everytime we were in that cesspool it was pretty stressful + I liked watching my mother have to eat verbal shit!
 
   #36  

morris39

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What made me decide that I didn't accept that any of the established religions were for me was that as a young boy (around 8 years old if I remember correctly) was that my mother made it "compulsory" for me to attend Sunday School run by our local C of E church.

This compulsion ran totally opposite to the methods of my father who led by the example of exploring and learning for ones self and coming to ones own conclusions about what to believe.

So I came to the decision/conclusion that nothing compulsory is for me, and I point blank refused to attend the Sunday School any more.
My first read of these non-car topics and I'm impressed with the thoughtfulness and curtesy. So I will add my little story about going my way i.e. learning to think for my self.
In my province (in Canada) schools were either piblic or Catholic (many,many rears ago). In grade 7 I got a scholarship to a private Catholic highschool. That school taught Latin and calculus which appealed. Also compulsory catechism which did not , athough from a Catholic family. The catechism taught me how to think for myself and that (thinking) has been the rock of my life,
 
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DV52

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The catechism taught me how to think for myself and that (thinking) has been the rock of my life,
Morris: Hi and welcome to the forum's heresy/religious doctrine thread - depending on your view.

This place was @Bruce idea and yes, we are all a very polite (but forthright) lot here because no-one who contributes to discussion is silly enough to believe that an "off piste" thread on a forum about diagnostic cables is an appropriate place to evangelize to non-believers, or to disabuse a believer of his/her religious views. It's just a vehicle to exchange ideas!

Good to read about your early education in Canada. Your history reflects my early education as well; my primary and secondary education was also under the tutelage of the Catholic system and I also benefited scholastically from the discipline and focus of the "currant-buns" (colloquial term for "Nuns"). However, when I left the Catholic system for tertiary education and I discovered that previously unknown (to me) species of human being called "females" - I vowed that I would never send any of my offspring to a single-sex school!

In my case, your admission that "catechism taught me how to think for myself" was also true - but for the very opposite reason. As I entered what some call the "age of reason", it became increasingly obvious to me that perhaps the religious dogma that had been crammed into the receptive and malleable minds of young children (invariably by rote) was wrong. Or, if it wasn't wrong, then at the very least it was incongruous with notion that religious conversion required an informed acceptance of God's teachings (i.e. it should not be based on the preconditioning of young children's minds)!

So yes - I too must acknowledge the value of catechism classes in awakening the "rock in my life" - that rock for me was the clear thinking of a born-again-agnostic; someone who believes that nothing is known or can be known about the existence of an onmipotent being that some call "God" (unless of course there is proof)!

Don
 
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   #38  

DV52

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Indeed was Compulsory for Me, up till about 7TH grade.

A kind Nunn saw that my mother was not picking my sister and brother or me up when we were left to be loitering around the property or streets of the City of Newburgh.

When Sister Francis explained to my mother " hey if she couldn't be there to pick up her kids, we could no longer attend ". My mother seemed to not like being told that, she hates being reprimanded or having to own responsibility and it was no longer "Compulsory". She denies this is why to this day , however, for me I can never forget since heard it and was set free to a degree because everytime we were in that cesspool it was pretty stressful + I liked watching my mother have to eat verbal shit!
Jack: Amazing- we had many Sister Francis(s) here in Australia in my early years too!! The big "G" must have made a job-lot of Sister Francis models and sent one to Newburgh and the rest to Australia- maybe? :facepalm:

I have much to thank the "currant buns" that educated me - but try as I did in those early years, I never did understand their belief that an all powerful, all knowing omnipotent being got her jollies by making these caring women devote their lives to paying homage. An absolutely bizarre concept which is completely antithetical to my understanding of their teachings!!

Don
 
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morris39

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Morris: Hi and welcome to the forum's heresy/religious doctrine thread - depending on your view.

This place was @Bruce idea and yes, we are all a very polite (but forthright) lot here because no-one who contributes to discussion is silly enough to believe that an "off piste" thread on a forum about diagnostic cables is an appropriate place to evangelize to non-believers, or to disabuse a believer of his/her religious views. It's just a vehicle to exchange ideas!

Good to read about your early education in Canada. Your history reflects my early education as well; my primary and secondary education was also under the tutelage of the Catholic system and I also benefited scholastically from the discipline and focus of the "currant-buns" (colloquial term for "Nuns"). However, when I left the Catholic system for tertiary education and I discovered that previously unknown (to me) species of human being called "females" - I vowed that I would never send any of my offspring to a single-sex school!

In my case, your admission that "catechism taught me how to think for myself" was also true - but for the very opposite reason. As I entered what some call the "age of reason", it became increasingly obvious to me that perhaps the religious dogma that had been crammed into the receptive and malleable minds of young children (invariably by rote) was wrong. Or, if it wasn't wrong, then at the very least it was incongruous with notion that religious conversion required an informed acceptance of God's teachings (i.e. it should not be based on the preconditioning of young children's minds)!

So yes - I too must acknowledge the value of catechism classes in awakening the "rock in my life" - that rock for me was the clear thinking of a born-again-agnostic; someone who believes that nothing is known or can be known about the existence of an onmipotent being that some call "God" (unless of course there is proof)!

Don
Why do you think that our conclussions were for opposite reasons? Maybe I was too subtle. One thing I am sure of is that we ought not tell others what to think and secondly it is quite impossible to convince people
 
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DV52

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So let me understand: Owing to the political backlash of the Roman Catholic church against those who tried to make the bible accessible to all, your premise is that it cannot be trusted as a source of information about the Hebrew, Muslim, and Christian God.

The Roman Catholic church of medieval times was a Theocracy who wanted absolute power. Do you think the men who were in power would stand for one who wrote about the things pointed to in your article?

As to romanticizing, once again, I find the hair on the back of my neck bristling. Again, you have taken to stating feelings - making me look simple minded, labeling my words. Take the personal from the debate and make it about ideas and things you hold to be true. Stop using adjectives that condemn my beliefs and my attitudes. Debate the topic not the person. You have offended.

The analogy is totally fair. The people who did the work of translation of the most accepted versions on the bible were considered to be the premier scholars of the time. Taking years - usually more than 10 - they painstakingly researched the original manuscripts. In recent years, more premier scholars have taken on the work to be certain that the translations are accurate to original scripts and as much as they can be, accurate to the social norm of the time in which the original was recorded.
Mind we are yet to argue whether the original recorders of this information were in fact speakers from God. If that is the fact you wish to argue about, then let's take that argument up. But to argue that the translations are circumspect and not like a scientific effort is an inaccurate portrayal.



This point resonates with many. The Roman Catholic church most certainly used the bible for power and control. That's man's doing. Consider that the power of knowing what was in the book was feared by those in power. If the common man knew the content, the church knew the things they were doing that were not according to the book, would be challenged by the people. They clung to their power and silenced those who would have the audacity to challenge their established ways.

How is it that the corruption of the content by one organization makes the translation wrong or circumspect? Getting that translation out to the many changed the Roman Catholic Theocracy and led to its eventual end. The governments of the countries evolved and moved away from the Catholic Church centered power giving the people the power after many long years..

Are there still Theocratic governments that control people today? There are. I am sure we both agree that such is wrong. People should have the freedom to choose their form of government and no power to oppress should be derived from the Bible.

Or is that too a romantic notion?
Bruce: again, my thanks for sharing your thoughts - I'll try to settle the hairs on the back of your neck.

As an ex altar-boy and one time believer, I can understand entirely your need to argue so; it would have been impossible for a young DV52 to entertain the possibility that part, most, or all of the Bible was influenced by the secular prejudices of successive translators, and/or by the political interests of those in power who saw the book as a tool to achieve their own personal ambitions, or the wider ambitions of the church. In those blissfully youth-filled days, my naivety knew no bounds!!!

Yes, a young and devout DV52 would have taken the more theological view that the content of the current Bible was the result of a completely island-ed process in which God effectively co-author the book stretching back to the original writings and subject only to God's guidance in the book's long journey to today's church shelves. And all of this - I used to believe - was done without any pollution whatsoever by the hand of man that was present at each step in the Bible's evolution.

But then I discovered critical thinking - and stuff changed!!

Don

PS: On a different, but related matter - don't you think it strange that J.C. didn't do a better job of managing the task of writing the Bible?

We would both agree that if the Bible is to be believed, J.C's principal purpose was to pass-on God's words - so quite separate to his oral sermons during the short time that he was alive, I would have expected a major emphasis by the son-of-God on the bigger task of teaching much larger numbers in countless subsequent generations. Why wouldn't the son-of-God take the long-view about his purpose on this fragile blue planet - seems eminently reasonable to me?

But oddly, that doesn't seem to have happened. For starters, J.C. didn't jot-down even one written word, himself as a first hand account of God's word - so that this important part of his purpose would not be subject to second hand interpretation (at least I don't think that there is anything in the Bible with direct attribution to J.C.).

Strange, don't you think?

It's not as if J.C. was illiterate - there's evidence in Luke 4:16-22 that he could read the scroll of the prophet Isaiah in the Jewish Synagogue and in John 8:6-8 it says that Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. So it does appear from the Bible that the Son of God could read and write - but nothing was actually written by his hand in the entire 33 x years of his preaching God's word - very peculiar indeed!!

And even if J.C. wanted to stick solely to the task of preaching by mouth, and only to the then current generation of converts - don't you think that he would have thought it prudent to appoint an official amanuensis (or perhaps two of these)? I mean, there would be immeasurable value in having a formal J.C. appointed scribe take dictation at his sermons and then to make copies that could be distributed to the other literate men among his disciples. Plus, the resulting "official" J.C. endorsed manuscripts could be passed-onto subsequent generations in much the same way as the books of the old testament. IMO - it's a bleedingly obvious solution, but apparently not so obvious to J.C.!!

To be frank (or, I'll be earnest if you want), there is absolutely no evidence that J.C. even recognised the importance of a Bible - and if he did consider its worth, there is no evidence that he put any direct effort into its development!

If I had to mark J.C's report book for this assignment work - alas I would be considering a low score! It's a bit like the "F" that my professor gave me after my first programming language assignment. I complained bitterly at the time and reminded my lecturer that I successfully solved the allotted problem! But my efforts were futile because I didn't provide any documentation!!
 
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