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A spiritual practice not discussed much in religious discussion.

I'm curious as to the thoughts on atheists on this subject.

To obtain proof of the bible, unless someone has a road to Damascus experience, one has to take certain steps to obtain proof for themself (as opposed to demanding it on-line in discussion forums).

With the occult, there's no question one has to literally practice the art. Otherwise, there's just no grounds for demanding proof.

I never practiced the art, but when I was a teen, I dabbled with a Ouija board. I thought that we had contacted a woman who died at the age of 30 in Spain. The object that moved around the board spelling out names and ages actually lifted off of the board at one moment, which is impossible since our fingers were barely touching the object. While I believe this to have been (for lack of a better term) spiritual experience, I know it wasn't a deceased woman from Spain that moved that object around on the board. I believe it came from the same origin as human contacts with the alleged deceased, ETs, and any other entity that appears to contact humans mentally, or telepathically.

What do you, atheists, from what you know consider the occult to be a product of?
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One of the greatest rock bands in the world.

But that's not what this thread is about.

This thread is not about what are they? either (not the rock band). Although I don't mind the conversation going in that direction as long as the main point is confronted.

I will say that I do not believe for a moment that they are interplanetary travelers.

The thread is actually a response to a recent thread called God and Dreamtime stories. I thought I should create a separate thread for the reason of not wanting to veer a thread off topic in that one.

The thread in question basically challenges the notion of non observable phenomena (like a god-experience) as being valid, and worthy of consideration since we can't place them in the category of natural observable science.

So now we have an interesting scenario that moved from tabloid hype, movies, and conspiracy theories to a valid disclosure from various governments who take serious certain claims from those considered reliable sources. Those who've observed phenomena that defy natural science (as we know it) logic. These UFOs should not have the ability to do what they have been in some cases recorded to do.

The phenomena defies natural science (so to speak) to the point where the theories require out side of natural science potential explanations. One of the stronger theories is that they are inter-dimensional travelers. The idea that they would bother to come from far off distance planets seems unlikely to a lot of folk (like myself). And the way they seem to disappear seems to suggest to a lot of people that these are beings that can travel in and out of our dimension.

Feel free to give a more natural explanation if you can, but to run with what alleged experts say, there's potential life outside of our natural environment.

If one can accept this, how about an actual creator of our universe interacting within our environment from somewhere similar to a parallel, or alternate dimension? I say similar because I don't want to minimize the Creator's realm by suggesting it's just a parallel or alternate dimension. But I think you get the point.
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My opinion is no. That is, children do not determine that there's no God based on lack of evidence.

The only exception I've seen would be atheists who train their children to be atheists. Other than that, it seems far more natural for children to accept the existence of a creator. Particularly a loving one.
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It's a bit baffling the absolute insistence that Christians cherry-picked the (for lack of a better term) Jesus-peace-and-love NT era over (again for a lack of a better term) a polar opposite fascist-style OT era. My guess is that if the book wasn't labeled a religious document, or represented a political rivalry, I think people would understand this to be another example of simply solving a puzzle through among other sciences, the science of linguistics.

It's true Jesus never changes, but this does not mean nothing as expressed in the bible changes. There are seasons of change. The book of Ecclesiastes makes this clear.

Right now, if you're living in the free world, you're in a place for opportunity. You're not subject to any religious theocratic dictatorship. If you're looking for religious oppressors to harass you, particularly in America, you'll probably have to search far and wide. Maybe you can find some snake handler in the deep south to oppress you. But, don't cross your fingers.

What you're facing now is an opportunity to find God for yourself. No one is ultimately going to do that for you. The problem with doing this though, is you might actually find him.

I like to believe though, that those who participate on debate forums arguing against Christianity are actually seeking.

A question.

Which is preferable?

Living in a free pluralistic society where you butt heads with people you disagree with?

Or, a totalitarian dictatorship that tells you that you had better not even consider the existence of God?

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No. That is, not anymore than the bible causing fornicatophobia, adulteraphobia, liarophobia, stealophobia (a lot of red dots), etc.

This is a continuation from a discussion that veered off topic in the better explanation/origin universe thread with Theweakeredge.

--> @RoderickSpode

Perhaps this is the case, but homosexuals were one of the more persecuted groups by the church, people practically ignored the old testament, except for the popular stories and that it was evil to be gay. In fact, the god of the bible still hasn't changed their mind, it is still a sin to be gay according to the bible.
It's a sin to practice homosexuality (and heterosexual adultery), yes.

As far as persecution, I don't deny it at all. But persecution of homosexuals is universal, and not tied to any religion or ideology. The Bible doesn't make people homophobic. And if someone is homophobic, it doesn't matter whether they believe in God or not.
Um.... as Stephen (though I do not agree with them on most things, these specific things is true) pointed out, there are multiple verses in the bible that demonstrate, yes, the bible is a specific cause of homophobia. What matters is that the bible spreads homophobia, by calling it a sin. It is homophobic to consider someone's sexuality evil. Does that necessarily make the person homophobic? No. It means they are doing something homophobic, and that they should stop that, before they actually buy further in and become fully homophobic. 
Do you know anyone who became homophobic specifically due to reading the Bible?

If so, how would you know they weren't already homophobic?

Some things to consider, particularly if you're American.

The founding fathers spoke very little, if anything about homosexuality. More than likely, it was so taboo that it wasn't discussed publicly. There were more Christians in America amongst European immigrants than anything else, so we could have become a religious state akin to Islamic nations. Instead, the finding fathers decided to allow freedom of choice in terms of religious (or lack of) belief. And homosexuals could have been ostracized like today like they are in the Middle East. Instead, Christian Americans determined through the years that what people do in their bedroom is their business. And eventually we now have same sex weddings. It would certainly appear that Christians are more tolerant than our founding fathers were.

Do you really think you have cause for worry? I've seen these references often about the potential danger (a danger that isn't even present) of the bible, Christianity, and religion. You seem to be saying something like "You need to stop reading the bible because it might turn me into a homophobe".

And there's kind of a catch-22 here as well. It seems like some people are disappointed that Christians don't try and carry out, or claim contemporary need for OT punishments. And I think logically the reason would be because if we did, it would provide great reason to claim Christianity a detriment to society.

When some atheists read the OT, they see it as cannon fodder for claiming the bible is evil. The Christian (generally speaking) sees it as God showing us how serious sin is, and how much grace is being extended to us. And then we also can't help ignore the verses (that some atheists ignore) admonish us to not judge others, and to focus primarily on our own faults (and sins).

We also understand that certain laws are applied in certain circumstances where they are not in other circumstances. For instance, laws for civilians are not the same as is
within the military.

So you probably don't have much to worry about as far as American or western religion is concerned.

No, I would disagree, it's because they decide to say, "Hey what if the bible god wasn't a complete and utter arsehole?" then they cherry-pick verses or statements of god just as you have. Don't get me wrong, I love that people are becoming more and more tolerant of gay people, but the fact is, they have opposing ideas from their supposed creator. There is no struggle intellectually, god hates a group of people for something as inherent as one's ethnicity. 

Sorry, you lost me. Particularly (but not limited to) the reference to one's ethnicity.

My point was that someone does not choose their sexuality any more than they choose their ethnicity.  My points previously are that churches who accept gay people are cherry-picking verses, and while I love the fact that they are being less homophobic, it is factually correct that they are not interpreting gods will correctly. 
Again, that catch-22. If we don't persecute homosexuals, we're not doing our job, and are a big disappointment for those looking for people to play the role of the evil religious oppressors. We must be cherry-picking.

My sexuality is something I refuse to ever ask forgiveness for. Not to mention - why the h*ll am I asking that god for forgiveness? That dude is evil according to her own rules!
I think you have to admit though. You have changed your tone a bit here. In a prior post you suggested your view that God is evil was maybe subjective, or personal opinion.
When I said my morality, I meant the moral philosophy that I applied to, while it is subjective - so it all morality - and that what I meant wasn't to claim that god was objectively evil in some kind of tonal difference, but point out that even according to god's own rules, she is immoral.
One of the magnificent things about our free pluralistic (so far) society is that you have freedom to draw that conclusion. And you probably won't ever lose it.

What more could you ask for?

What? Homosexuality isn't a lifestyle, even if I were to never get married and just do a bunch of dudes my entire life, that still wouldn't be a lifestyle of homosexuality. That would just be one free of exclusive relationships.

I think you're misunderstanding me (emphasis on I think).

If 2 people of the same gender are married, and at a still young age one of the partners had an accident or became ill to where they couldn't have sex together, would the healthy partner remain faithful?

If the healthy partner needs to have sex with someone else (another person of the same gender), then I would say that yes, it's a lifestyle. The person can't do without it. It may not be as much of a lifestyle to them as the bar-hopping one-night-stand person. But still.
I thank you for your humbleness, but I must digress:
I think it sounded a bit arrogant myself.

In some cases no, but this also applies to heterosexual relationships. Is a relationship between two men or two women any less likely to fall apart than one between a man and a woman due to cheating? I do not think so, and since this is a claim that is indicative of a change in status, it should be backed up with evidence. 
I don't make any claim that a man and woman relationship is less likely to fall apart.

To your second claim, how is someone doing (what you assert as necessary) a necessary function a lifestyle? That's like saying someone who needs to eat and therefore is an eater
by lifestyle. I suppose you could semantically argue the point, but it wouldn't be true.
Eating can certainly be a lifestyle. I think it quite obviously is for a number of people.

This also presumes that the ideal relationship is marriage. Which is false, marriage, as a concept is broken. The only real difference is that you threaten each other into staying with the other. Civil unions are much more my speed. And yes, if I found a guy whom I loved, I would be willing to stay with that guy until one of us died, as long as the relationship isn't toxic of course. 

No, I make no suggestion at all that marriage is the ideal relationship. To myself, platonic relationships would be ideal. But what I'm doing is simply giving you the biblical model of marriage, which pretty much coincides with the traditional marriage vow. After all, it's the bible we've been talking about, right?
Perhaps it was a misinterpretation from me, but the point is, using marriage in your premises would imply that your points and impacts are based on the relationship model of marriage, I was simply pointing out that Marriage is not at all ideal, and therefore not a good piece of information to have in one premise. 
What I was inferring was that faithful monogamous marriage is the standard for the love that encompasses the examples you gave earlier in terms of a biblical model.

I am curious, why is a platonic the most ideal relationship platonic? Not saying I disagree or anything, I'm just curious as to your reasoning. To the last question, I suppose? I thought we were talking about god in general. I just so happened to believe in the one of the bible. 
What I meant was, for me, in a selfish sense would consider platonic relationships more ideal (or convenient). But what is ideal or convenient is not a good standard as far as unconditional love is concerned.

This entire section discounts polygamy, which is a perfectly valid area of relationships, not to mention, it once more assumes that marriage is the ideal relationship state: I can not stress enough that it is not.
I'm sorry, but I'm a bit confused. Why do you think polygamy is a perfectly valid area of relationships?
Why isn't it? First of all, if we're talking about the bible, then you should know that in genesis it explicitly favors polygamy, or at least a descendent of adam is not punished for having two wives.
The bible doesn't favor (or condone) polygamy. It refers to specific individuals who practiced it. But that's not condoning it.

Second of all - as long as it's a healthy relationship between consenting adults, and isn't toxic, it really isn't a bad thing at all, in fact, I would argue that polygamy can be more ideal than monogamy, as each partner is given more love and affection (in a healthy relationship anyway). 
How is each partner given more love and affection?

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Or are there any?

Would they depend on whether or not the creator is associated with a religion.?

For instance, would Yahweh's responsibility to mankind (whatever that may be) be the same for the god of deism?
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Exodus 21:20-21
King James Version
20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

The Bible refers to a number of laws meant to resolve issues where someone takes an action that puts them into certain predicaments. These references often started out using the term "if". 

If a man commits A, then he should do B. And the only reason for the suggestion to do B is because he committed A. Had he not committed A, then he wouldn't have need to do B. But sometimes these verses get taken to imply that the act of committing A is justified.

Two parents allow their kid to stay home alone for the first time. They tell him "If you make a mess, clean it up". The having to clean up is conditional.  The parents are not advocating making a mess. I'm sure they prefer he doesn't. But they are providing the solution, or the next step IF he should make a mess.

 Many read this passage as an assumption that the law is trying to make it easy on the Israelites to beat their slaves by suggesting a very weak reference to a death penalty for killing a servant, and a quick out by suggesting the servant only need survive one or two days. And after 3 days if they die, the master would supposedly be free. So all the master need do is count the minutes to the 24th (or 48th) hour, and he is free!!!!

So the one or two days (24 or 48 hours) would be similar to the seven year law where if a criminal remains uncaught for seven years, right at midnight of the seventh year they are free.

But, this is not the case.

One question needed to be addressed, is why weren't they specific about the length of time before their freedom? Remember, if the servant dies, it's a death penalty for the master. Wouldn't you think something as important as one's life they should make it crystal clear how long they have to wait before they are safe from a death penalty? This law was meant to prevent abuse. Somehow it's being read as an encouragement.

They had judges back then. They also had methods for punishment designed to prevent death. Typically the head was to be avoided. So if the servant's head is bashed in, this would be taken into consideration. What they were trying to do was avoid wrongfully sentencing the master if the servant died from another cause. This would mean that there wouldn't be any visible evidence that the servant died from beating wounds. A bashed in head would make it fairly obvious that the servant was abused, and may have died directly from the blows.

So basically, again, the intent was to punish the master if the servant died as a result of the beating, and to avoid a false sentencing if not.

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Could fallible humans successfully produce the message God intended for man in the form of literatute?

Fallible humans built the great pyramid, from the bond servant who placed the last brick in the wall, to the authority figure who commanded it's construction. Does anyone have any complaints about the great pyramid? Is there any imperfections that cause you to do a face palm when thinking on that 7th wonder of the world?
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Is it real?

Yes! It's probably been around for ages, profoundly manifested when Darwinian evolution came on the scene, and exists subtly today.

Not to be confused with the question of science itself being racist, which is not the case as science is not a personality.

Yes, theoretically from a natural evolutionist standpoint, if objectively observed evidence pointed to some race of humans being higher evolved than others, we would have no choice but to accept it. There would be no reason to cry racism because science in principle is neutral.

However, this will never happen. Any scientist, even the most sincere picture perfect Michael Stivic type liberal will get fheat for making any racial suggestion of evolutionary superiority. Why is this?

Numerous verses in the Bible make clear that all men are (created)equal. Like Romans 10:12

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,

The problem for the naturalist evolutionist who attempts to go in that direction, like James Watson, is that humans have an inner understanding that they are equal with all other humans. Human justice demands equality, not acceptance of social status based on race/ethnicity.
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Absolutely not!

Well, there actually wouldn't be any "Utopia" at all.

Some people seem to get upset when atheists (of the western humanist variety) are associated or equated with communist atheists (in response to equating 9/11 and the Spanish inquisition to Christianity).

American atheist activists are pro-atheism. Communist atheists, like in China are anti-religion. So there's really no difference other than a reshuffling on emphasis. And that's exactly what an atheist society in America would become. A totalitarian society that would be forced to use communist tactics to control religion.

There's this idea that because church attendance may decline at times, Christians will faze out eventually through lack of Christian reproduction. Christianity is not a racial/ethnic group, and the thorn-in-the-flesh for atheists would always be conversions. At best, cultural Christianity might become extinct, but what's to stop recurring conversions that constantly have frustrated communist States like China?
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Or, most Christians don't read their Bible.

I see this statement from time to time, including in this forum, and would be interested to see what might lead someone to conclude this. I know why some high profile atheists like Richard Dawkins say it. But with most of them it seems more hyperbole based on political rivalry. So I think the statement has become a cliche.

I suppose if we considered every church member and attender the idea might be conceivable. But even there, it's an iffy assumption.
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The answer is no. That is, hearing God's voice, being lead by the spirit is not hearing voices in our head.

To hopefully give an idea what a Christian may experience when we believe God communicated with us, I'll pose a question:

Have you ever had an intuition? You somehow knew you shouldn't go into that house, drive down that road, eat that food, etc.?

If you have, I'm not saying this was God. And whether or not you found out your intuition was correct is not significant to the question (although it could certainly be significant as far as a possible connection with God).

If you answered yes to having an intuition, did you hear a voice in your head? Assuming no, then this should shed some light on the subject.
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Imagine we just sent an unmanned spacecraft further than we've ever sent any craft before. Everything seems to be going smoothly, until the craft hits an invisible wall. We're able to see what happened from camera footage, but not able to identify what caused the prevention of the craft from going further.

We send another unmanned craft the same distance in same approximate location, but equipping the craft to become stationary if/when hitting the invisible wall, and possibly study it's content.

The second craft comes in contact with the wall, but is not able to make out it's content. It's just a seemingly transparent solid wall like a thick window.

Would you consider this evidence of a higher intelligence (God, a god/deity, extraterrestrials)?

If so why? If not why?
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Romans 10:14-15 New International Version (NIV)
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”[

Sometimes these verses are used to suggest that there are and have been remote peoples who never heard of Jesus and the Bible, and thus  had no chance of being saved. This idea would definitely be contrary to this verse:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

And doesn't sit well with this verse

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

For one, the original verses do not directly ask how will they be saved, but even if it did, as the implication may be there, I don't see a problem.

If I ask you how will your uncle get to the hospital to get his meds if you don't drive him, I'm not suggesting your uncle will never get to the hospital. I'm probably suggesting that if you don't drive him, no one will. So, he may have to take a bus, hitch hike, or spend money on a cab or personal vehicle service. In other words, the comfort and
convenience of getting a ride from an acquaintance would be denied him.

In the Bible, messages are given by man, and also angels (both being messengers). Some missionaries have found that in some parts of the world removed from modern society, or far removed from western influence, a number of historical references to divine messages that are remarkably similar to the Gospel message have been identified. Ironically, many, most, or all may date well before the Bible was written, but there's no way to accuse the writers of the bible to have stolen from these historic accounts. So if no preacher reaches a remote corner of the world where there's no knowledge of the bible whatsoever, then they would need to from another source other than a preacher of the Gospel message (an angel, messenger of an angel, personal conviction of a righteous creator, etc.).

Here's a link.

Sorry for the mistake in the thread title.

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Example I used from a post I made in an earlier thread.

After the 9/11 attack Richard Dawkins made a public statement chastening the general public for not condemning Abrahamic religion. Although he was specific in terms of what group he felt responsible, it was inappropriate to lump all Abrahamic religions into one terrorist group involving an attack made by terrorists from a specific Islamic sect. I would go as far to say that it would have been inappropriate to lump all Muslims in a terrorist category. This is obvious because most Muslims, at least certainly in the western world were appalled.

Often times the word religion is used when identifying a negative situation involving a specific religion.

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The irony of the "God is evil" franchise threads emanating from this forum, is that whatever the accusation of barbarity is, our society actually practices the same. I'll hit on two major ones.

Eternal Punishment.

There are different views on what this means, whether or not punishment is temporal, involves fire, endless black darkness, etc. Ethan made an interesting comment on it that I'd like to hear more of once he (hopefully) returns. But for now, we'll go with the common view that the after life extends eternally, either in the presence of God, or separated.

Our society understands justice. We understand that certain actions our society considers a threat to the well-being of others should be met with penalties that hopefully will deter the criminal from repeating the infraction again, and warn others against doing the same. So I don't think anyone should be too shocked to find the creator of the universe has a similar sense of justice. That infractions have consequences both in this dimension, and the next.

Should anyone deserve to be punished eternally?

Imagine if humans lived eternally on earth (And figured out a way to handle over-population). That the only way a human could die was by unnatural means (natural disaster, fatal accidents, murder, etc.). Other than that our bodies would just continue on. Our hearts would never stop beating.

What do you think the penalty for murder would be?

It might be relatively similar to how it is now, but probably more severe. If someone murders someone, they're not taking a life that was already physically dying.

They would have taken a life that would under normal circumstances, just continued on. Now that never-ending life has just come to an abrupt, and complete end, never to come back again. I think there would be less courtroom shenanigans, and far more scrutinizing to make sure the guilty are properly punished, and the innocent (falsely accused) set free. The obvious penalties would be execution, and quite possibly (eternal) life imprisonment. To some, the latter might be considered worse. The problem with temporary confinement in prison would be that no matter how long the sentence, once the incarcerated is set free, he has all of eternity to make up for time lost. To some, that might making killing someone they hate worth it. And as I stated, the idea behind punishment is not just aimed at the offender, but to everyone else as a hopeful preventative. So, is God at fault for implementing justice within His creation, seeing we do the same?'s not that much different in our temporal society. We still end the life of someone when implementing execution. And sentencing some people to life imprisonment, never to see civilian life again.


One of the common statements made in the various God is evil franchise threads is that God did something aweful for no reason at all (fill in the blank with accusation). And fauxlaw often points out that there was a reason. Which is true. No matter the allegation, there was always a reason. And a valid reason at that.

In every situation where God commanded the destruction of an entire nation as a for instance, there was plenty of warning ahead of time. We're talking in some cases centuries of warning. We're talking about nations that intended to wipe the Israelite nation off the face of the planet. If a nation has a nuclear bomb pointed right at us, leaving us with only 2 choices to either retaliate which unfortunately means killing women and children, or letting them kill all of us, what would be the better choice?

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Of course I can only speak for myself. But to be honest, it can be. But not in the way some people think.

I think most of the suggestions of the God of the Bible being a tyrant revolves around laws. And since there are numerous laws presented in the Bible, it would stand for reason that many people would take this view since man-made laws produce conflict all of the time.

The misconception would be an assumption that Christians are uncomfortable with biblical laws (or whatever else) due to embarrassment. This  however is not the case. For instance, even if I agree with every American law in principle, it doesn't mean I won't face a certain amount of discomfort. For instance, I want to make a U-Turn at a stop light, but the sign reads "No U-Turn", so I have to drive further down the road until I can make a U-Turn, or make a left turn into the shopping center to make a turn around in there. I know I have enough room to make the U-Turn, but unless I break that law, I'm going to lose time. So due to that law, I'm faced with an uncomfortable, or certainly inconvenient situation. But.....I'm not embarrassed by the law. I trust that there's a good reason for not allowing U-Turns at that stop light, and know that it's not placed there to aggravate me.
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A different twist to "If you were born in America, you will be a Christian", "If you were born in Iraq, you will be a Muslim", etc., that is focused on religious folk.

How about one for atheists.

"If you were born in America, you will be a pluralist". "if you were born in China, you will be totalitarian".
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This thread is not meant to suggest the only, or ultimate reason for water baptism. But like many commands in the Bible, suggest a lesson.

First off, when a convert accepts the call to be baptized, they are not submitting to being cleansed by the H2o they will be submerged in. If someone is baptized in a swimming pool, the water doesn't transform into a divine detergent. It remains the same water with the same  chlorine. If it's a river or lake, it will remain the same murky water, and probably won't make much difference to the nearby fish. Water baptism itself won't save anyone's soul. It's not ultimately necessary for salvation. If it was, the thief on the cross who repented would not have been allowed entrance into paradise.

It is a symbol of being washed, cleansed, and made pure. But the water itself does no spiritual cleansing. Baptism is symbolic, and an act of obedience.

When one becomes a believer, the point where God meets them in a divine way, they find they have a calling.

Ephesians 4:1 New International Version (NIV)
Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

To embark on that journey requires obedience and to follow a spiritual leading. Whether that calling is to become a minister, or a witness in a secular field, etc., it's a spiritual journey that requires the aforementioned. If someone encounters the living God, gives their life to Him, etc., logically if that person refused to be baptized, there would probably be something seriously wrong. Why would they refuse a commandment which is often made in public to some degree, usually relegated to other believers? If that person, for instance, expressed a desire to get involved in a ministry that's part of the church that would be baptizing them, it would certainly be a red flag for the church leaders because it would appear that this person would ultimately refuse leadership. And of course ultimately, it would be a pretty sure sign that the person would not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in terms of fulfilling their calling (running the race).

This principle of relatively simple obedience can be applied to a number of ceremonial practices and observances mandated in the Bible, like communion. Again, nothing magical about the juice and wafers. They do not transform into the literal body and blood of Christ (are you listening Deb8able?). But the obedience serves a similar purpose of simple obedience to Christ, and the Body of Christ. And serves a purpose of obedience in
examining our hearts.

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Without going into detail, we all know it would result in disaster. If that happened as read in Joshua 10:12-14, we wouldn't be here right now.

Joshua 10:12-14 New International Version (NIV)
12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”

13 So the sun stood still,

    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on[a] its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

There are a number of theories (the NASA missing day, an eclipse, different culture's reciting a similar event, poetic language). And of course each have their problems.

I don't actually see a real problem at all.

A friend of mine sometimes uses a term kairos (or kairos moment). The biblical meaning being

In Christian theology
In the New Testament, "kairos" means "the appointed time in the purpose of God," the time when God acts (e.g. Mark 1:15: the kairos is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand).

I experienced something unusual upon my conversion. I was actually in the apartment I was living in, and for some reason I tried to convince myself that the Gospel is not true. I had been an agnostic all my life. I found that I could not do it. I didn't proclaim belief there, but decided to hike up a hill I often did for exercise at the edge of town. When I got to the top, it was there I made my proclamation of faith/belief. At about that point, my surrounding as I remember may have appeared brighter than usual, but more than that in the sky I saw a vision of Christ that lingered for quite awhile. I was filled with extreme joy. The hike up to the top of the hill was fairly long and steep enough to require utilizing a lot of energy. It would generally result in sweating, and feeling like you jogged something along the lines of a 10k. It seemed however that there was no effort in hiking back down. The hike up seemed effortless as well. The feeling was more like I floated. Time seemed insignificant.

But more than all of that, as adrenaline rushes can answer for something like that, the blissful feeling and the vision I had is what was particularly astounding. It was way out of the norm. I believe it was a kairos moment for me. A situation where an outside (of our dimension) agent (Jesus) intervened into my (created) world. And for those around me either on the trail or the nearby city, nothing unusual happened. God was able to limit the
kairos moment to myself.

To give a simplistic example, a fish in a human made fishbowl can only eat what is contained in it's small/confined world. Unless something from nothing (food) manifests, that fish will die if all that's in it's world is water, sand, and a seashell. So the fish needs an outside agent (of it's tiny world) to intervene by dropping fish food into the bowl. The fish doesn't doesn't know where the food came from. And if all that existed was it's tiny world,
there would be no avenue for obtaining food.

It's common for people to look for scientific evidence for events in the bible which is great (like the flood covering the earth in Genesis). In this case, I would like to steer the event recorded in Joshua to the event in the book of Luke where a mob attempted to throw Jesus off a cliff. As you may recall, it was not successful. As described, Jesus simply walked right through them. I've never heard any attempts to explain this one on natural terms. I can't even imagine what that would look like. I might call the event a kairos moment. An appointed time where God manipulated the environs of a
small location (the area of the cliff) that somehow allowed Jesus to walk through a mob that intended, and should have had the ability, to throw him off a cliff.

I would argue that the event in Joshua was a similar kairos moment. An appointed time where God intervened as an outside agent that affected those within a certain geographical location, like the fishbowl, my faith/belief conversion that only I experienced, Paul's incident on the road to Damascus that affected him and those following him, Jesus' cliff incident that affected him and the mob, and all those on the battlefield in the book of Joshua.

I believe these are instances where God somehow extends His timeless realm into ours allowing us to get a tiny glimpse of what his heaven/kingdom is like. I would go as far as to say everyone experiences a small taste of heaven on Christmas day. I don't think it's a coincidence many depictions of
Christmas in art consists of snow. The cheerful beautiful sight of white snow, a humble cabin, peacefulness, etc. It's a day where many are more generous than usual (although it should be that way everyday). It's a holiday where two opposing armies during WWI stopped fighting, and broke bread together. I don't know if that's the only time that has happened. But I think we have to admit that something like that is way out of the norm.

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Here's a video addressing the currently controversial issue of robots produced for the purpose of sexual intimacy and companionship. You will have t sign in to confirm your age.

Towards the end of the video, there's some interesting comments made by a woman named Kathleen Richardson, professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI at De Montfort University in Leicester, England. She is an opponent of AI sex and companionship. She describes herself as a feminist humanist, so she's probably not religious. At least certainly not an evangelical Christian.

Of course her main focus is on the objectification of women, although the production of love or sex robots include male figures.

The interesting part is that Ms. Richardson is giving an argument that an evangelical Christian would. Thus the trend I'm referring to. In the past, there have been a number of ethical issues like abortion that were simply ethical in nature as opposed to religious. So when say, abortion became a public issue, it's morality was based not on religion but from just a simple general (or secular) standpoint. Basically, is it murder? Eventually, as the viewpoint
gravitated towards the right for the woman to choose, abortion became a religious issue. Not all proponents of anti-abortion are religious, but for the most part it's considered a battle between the religious right, and the liberal left who allegedly sympathizes with the free-will of a woman.

Moving forward into the future, let's view a very possible scenario where the sympathy is now gravitating towards lonely men (or women) who just cannot find love with a fellow human being. The (for lack of a better term) liberal left begins to argue that a lonely man or woman can genuinely love a robot, and the robot is not actually human, thus not a slave, and robots purchased as mates should be completely accepted. Even feminist activists sympathize with the lonely man or woman who simply want love, but not able to obtain it from a fellow human. Now many of the voices against robot sex that have replaced Ms. Richardson are evangelical Christians. Now, it's a religious, or secular vs. religious issue. As of right now, it doesn't seem to be a religious issue. Possibly because of it being in it's infancy stages. An issue not yet on the forefront.

Anyone see a trend here?

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What happened to the good old TV Dinners?

Well, the TV Dinners of old may still exist to some degree (in any frozen dinner section of a market). The concept of the TV dinner is what's dead. But the "TV Dinner" as we once knew it is gone. And should be. And not just because they were considered unhealthy.

The concept of the TV dinner was to relax, sit at a small table in front of the TV, and enjoying dinner while watching one's favorite TV show. How could things be better?

Well, watching TV and eating dinner is no longer compatible. Not because of the sex and the violence. Of course, if someone has a problem with sex and violence, there's usually a warning now at the beginning of each program, stating what may cause potential offense. So, if say someone was particularly squeamish about violence on the screen, they can avoid watching it, or avoid eating while watching it.

But......where's the forewarning of scenes containing vomiting?

It's to the point now, where watching current movies and even comedy TV shows will almost guarantee seeing an assimilation of someone getting
sick within a couple hours of viewing. Movies are probably the biggest culprit, but TV shows, and even TV commercials are not far behind. So someone could sit down with a nice meal, and get treated to seeing multiple people vomiting on an airplane on the TV show "House". Of course "House" is about a doctor, and a hospital, so it can be argued that it's usage falls along the line of reality. But again, today it's a common thing in comedy shows, commercials, and even Disney shows (for crying out loud).

I remember seeing an Adam Sandler movie at the theater (someone who seems to cater to the more grotesque side of comedy). In the movie he basically adopts a young boy around 3 or 4 years old. There's a scene where the boy goes into spinning around mode in the living room, and of course gets sick all over his nice rug. And I honestly don't recall anyone in the theater actually laughing. I do remember one loud "ewwwwwww!" from
one of the gentlemen in attendance.

I don't think most people find this trend funny or entertaining. And the one's that do can watch movies and TV shows where fortunately we do know ahead of time are meant to entertain people taking gross dares, etc. So what gives? Why is this becoming such a common trend?

I think we're so programmed into thinking sex and violence in movies and TV shows a progression in our society (the willingness to deal in realism) that it's assumed that blatant grossness is also a progression. And that if it bothers anyone, that person is prude, has a weak stomach or constitution (thus being a weak person) so nobody really complains about it much. It's tolerated. But think about it. Although the concept of the TV Dinner has been killed, proper etiquette at the actual dinner table hasn't. If a guest is invited over to your place for dinner, and at the dinner table he talks about vomiting, how would you react? You're eating your favorite meal, and your knuckle-head guest shares his experience for you to visualize (or try to avoid visualizing) of himself over the toilet one morning from a hang over. Do you just say "Ahhhh, nothing like the freedom of expression even at the dinner table"? Or, "Please have the courtesy and respect to not talk about that at my dinner table"?

Show business
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is there some standard we can designate as to who is a good person vs. bad?

You may have heard the argument about Hitler being good, like to family members, pets, etc. But of course whatever goodness he possessed was outshadowed by his horrific inhumane actions.

You may have seen the movie "Silence Of The Lambs". If I have my movies straight, there was a scene where one of the mass murderers, I think it was Buffalo Bill had kidnapped a woman, held her hostage in a basement with a hole in the ceiling looking up into the living quarters. Obviously she was being prepared to be killed. The interesting part was when BB's little dog came up to the hole in the floor to look down on the lady. For a brief moment, this woman almost became the villain in a way because she attempted to lure the dog into jumping in so she could threaten harm to it because she knew BB had an obvious affection for it. But, she was obviously justified.

So we could say BB had some goodness about him because of his compassion towards an animal. But his tendency towards murdering humans made him a bad person.

Ghandi was, and still is considered a highly moral person. However, once certain alleged practices of his has come to light, this view has changed  by a number of people. To some, his goodness has been rendered void due to his alleged practices.

Is "good" subjective, or is there a definite line that divides good from evil on a balancing scale? if so, where is that line drawn?

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Topic of course being from a biblical perspective.

Ephesians 2:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Why doesn't God just save everyone whether they ask for it or not? If it's a gift, just give it unconditionally, right?

I think this question is looking at salvation the way we look at junk mail. I'm not choosing the term junk mail as a means to suggest devalueing salvation (although it might be). But, we receive, unconditionally, junk mail in addition to expected mail. But even if we eventually discard it, we initially received it. If there's something we like in the junk mail, we may take advantage of the offer. If not, we discard it. It goes in a stack, and/or the recycling bin.

The difference between salvation and junkmail, other than the obvious absurdity of the comparison in terms of value, is that with salvation it's a rejection issue.

Revelation 3:20 King James Version (KJV)

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Basically, it would appear that Jesus is honoring a breaking and entering law. The requirment here is the opening of the door. This verse is directed 
at the Church in Laodicia, but sometimes is used in reference to an invitation for salvation. So same principle applies. This is not something that can be shoved through a mail slot. We can't tell Jesus to leave it on the doorstep for us to attend to later.

You can give someone a free gift in the form of a Mazurati.  And (although unlikely), they can refuse the free gift. If you leave it on their driveway with a bow tied around it, they can demand you get it off their property. (We can't do this with junk mail that I'm aware of.) It may be a free gift, but not one that is accepted, therefore whatever benefits of owning a Mazurati will not apply.


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Joshua chapter 10 talks about an incident at one point when his army was at war with an
army, and he asked God to cause the Sun to stand still so they would have extended time in their battle with the opposing army. Of
this idea in the literal sense would have
havoc on our planet that would have killed all of life. I would say however, we have some clues that would suggest a literal stopping of the earth's rotation unnecessary. 

1. A smaller point, but even Hollywood has a concept of suspended time. Sometimes during a
between people within a movie, we will get a facial shot on camera of one of the individuals. Sometimes they may look into the camera, and talk to us the audience. Sometimes we may just hear what they're thinking during the scene when they're interacting with others. But during this extended period of time, the party they are interacting with has no clue of this. To them, time went on as normal, and time never stopped while interacting with the person we received a glimpse of their thought from. That extended period of time we witnessed didn't exist with that party present during that scene.

2. Hypnosis. Am I suggesting Joshua and his army were hypnotized into thinking the day was longer? No. But, it's another example of different perceptions in time. If someone was hypnotized for 2 hours, after awakening, they may not be aware they lost 2 hours whereas others around them would be fully aware of that time-frame as it wasn't lost to them. Of course we lose proper realization of time when we awake from sleep, or even just getting involved in activity that demands full attention.

3. Aircraft activity. We lose a very small fraction of time in a commercial airline, and an astronaught would age considerably less if they orbited for a long period of time. The latter scenario of someone remaining much younger than their contemporaries is something out of a fantasy story, but is a

real potential scenario. This is another example of time manipulation that doesn't require an earthshaking catastrophe.

4. Dimensions and multiverses. While none of these can be proven scientifically, and fall under the umbrella of speculations, they are natural-based speculations aimed to give us possible explanations to some of the mysteries of the universe. It's speculated that multiverses could collide, and maybe even overlap. Imagine what would happen if, particularly the latter happened. Another universe intermingling with our very own. I couldn't imagine what that would be like. There have been numerous sightings of what has been called UFOs. I personally don't believe in interplanetary
travellers, and the subject is so puzzling, that some suggest UFOs are inter-dimensional travellers. Well, substitute inter-dimensional ET activity with an all-powerful creator who understands and can operate in and through a time-less realm, what happened in Joshua chapter 10 may not be far-fetched.

Conclusion, the incident in Joshua 10 does not require tons of gravel and water to come to a complete halt wiping out all of life on earth.

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1. God is formed in the image of man.

The funny part of this statement is that it's at times suggested that if there is a god, he wouldn't have human traits, or bother with communicating with a mere human on an individual basis. The problem with this of course is that it's a preconceived notion of how a god would be. It's still a very human
idea that may have it's roots in the idea that people in power or are famous generally don't associate with the common man.

Another way to look at it would be, perhaps man being made in God's image is why we possess some of God's traits that actually originate from him.

2. Christians are afraid of death.

Well, some are, and some are not. Some atheists are, and some not. I guess the idea in some cases might be that it's a manhood issue. A bravado thing. It's a terrible argument because accepting provision for eternal life is no less cowardly than accepting provision given to us by law enforcement, the military, etc. Unless one really thinks that isolationists who hide out in a cabin in Idaho ready to attack anyone(s) including the law are braver than those residing within civilian law are braver. And even if we concede that they are braver, is that really an intelligent approach?

3. If God existed he would make everything crystal clear to where there would be no need for a Bible, or the Bible would be completely understood the same by everyone.

This is particularly interesting, because we humans tend to value study and hard work in general. For instance, most people given a hypothetical option of either going to school and learn via study, or having a computer chip placed in our brains giving us all the information we need to know, thus the school experience (the prom, playing sports, friendships, etc.) are no longer needed, most people would probably favor going to school and study. We value the ability to learn from experience and personal research, and the right to think for ourselves. Why would this be any different concerning the Bible and the study thereof?

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Not to be confused with deification of science.

Is this really happening? I think so, albeit in a very subtle way. I think we can see it in pop-culture.

If you watch old movies, you might notice a trend. In the 30's and 40's, scientists were often depicted as either mad (the evil mad scientist), or the A-sexual intellectual who has to be rescued numerous times by the alpha-male hero of the movie. This, often times due to his over-the-top scientific curiosity that sometimes even over rides humanitarianism. Typically the scientist in these B-movies movies might be played by someone with a name like Egbert Hoffmeyer, and the male hero played by someone with a name like Biff Jones (or Buff, Cal, Rip, Rock, Tex Jones).

When the cultural space-age (space-age pop) came around in the 50's, this began to change. The producers found a way to write movie scripts about the popular subject of the supernatural, with a scientific twist. Instead of, say, a demon possessed vampire, we would have a human becoming a blood craving mutant due to a h-bomb experiment, or radiation contamination. And instead of the scientist simply being an intellectual impotent side-kick needing rescuing all the time, the scientist is the alpha-male star of the movie played by Biff Jones. And he can kick anyone's a**.

Outside of pop-culture, the deification of scientists is a bit different. It's not aimed at specific individuals so much as a unit of scientists alleged to have no prejudices, no political influences, no ulterior motives, etc. And of course they must be Darwinian evolutionists.

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In the quest for finding the Christo Dirtylaundrius grail, someone came up with an idea that since they're so many denominations, us Christians just cannot get along. The idea is that each denomination has it's very own Christian doctrine that puts them at odds with everyone else. So basically, there are 45,000 different church denominations with their very own doctrine that puts them at odds with all of the other 44,999 denominations.

I think most of these gallant grail seekers understand that there are a given number of prominent denominations, and many sub-denominations. And this doesn't mean that there's any significant difference in many of them as their identification may only imply a different region or emphasis on a specific biblical truth. At least I'd like to think most of them do.

But even still, we could say that after eliminating the many sub-denominations, there's still a fair amount of denominations that do have a distinctive difference than others. And a fair question to ask is

First off, I would argue that there's really nothing wrong with denominations. The Bible doesn't directly condemn denominations. The Bible doesn't
even condemn having doctrinal differences. The Bible does condemn allowing doctrinal differences to divide. It also condemns placing a leader on a pedestal over others. Especially of course over God. Paul as an example was always careful to make sure he wasn't placed on a pedestal. When church leaders are placed in God's position, the danger is actually a cult being formed, not a denomination.

The history of denominations (the why they exist) is similar to how nations came into existence. They each have a unique historical background. A
unique spiritual foundation resulting in unique giftings and revelation designed to strengthen the entire body of believers. The names of each predominant denomination can give an idea of their spiritual heritage (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.).

So to argue against denominations is similar to arguing against independent nations within the EU. Dissing the member nations of the EU for having their own languages and ethnicity.

Another problem with the vilifying of denominations is that since doctrinal differences are inevitable, many of them are actually not the property of denominations. Many of them are actually personal. There's doctrinal differences between individual members of each denomination. So the accusation mentioned earlier is sort of like asking instead of why not just one denomination?, we have why not just one church? Of course the obvious problem there is that we wouldn't all fit. So we need numerous churches (places of gathering). And these numerous churches have their own names. And in addition, many are represented by a denomination.

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