Today's massacre in Colorado could have been avoided altogether if the children in the audience had guns to defend themselves. Anyone over the age of ten should be licensed to carry any weapon they can lift.
"I don't know what has happened to you, or what has NOT happened to you, to turn you into a person who is so intolerant of Christians"
Whoa, cowboy! Who said I was intolerant of Christians? I challenge you to cite anything I've said that indicated the false charge you are making. I am totally "tolerant" of what Christians might believe, as long as they don't judge me by THEIR RULES! Quit telling me I have sinned, quit telling me that the source of my sin is pride. You know me not! You offend me over and over with your egotistical self-righteousness. BTW - what happened to me is called "Enlightenment". You probably won't understand.
"I do believe there was a Garden of Eden, and I do believe that a serpent beguiled Eve (and Adam)..."
OK, your intellectual level has been established.
"..that was the origin of sin in man"
There you go again!
" And you certainly must admit there is plenty of evil in the world: where does it come from? where did it begin?"
Who ever said it had to come somewhere, or that it had to begin? See how narrowly restricted your mind is? You can't even recognize the evil that is before you.
Answering your rant will be easy as the same egotistical attitude and free licence to condemn me and others repeats over and over again.
<A bigot is someone who treats people with hatred and intolerance.>
Sorry you can neither define our universe nor create your own language.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
Bigot [1913 Webster] 1. A hypocrite; esp., a superstitioushypocrite. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]
A person who regards his own faith and views in matters of religion as unquestionably right, and any belief or opinion opposed to or differing from them as unreasonable or wicked. In an extended sense, a person who is intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in politics or morals; one obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion. [1913 Webster]
"Show me where in this thread I have been guilty of that toward you (where I have not included myself also)"
Again , for some reason you think by criticizing yourself, it gives you licence to judge others! It doesn't! But it is CYA excuse often mouthed by zealots to excuse their condemnation of non-believers.
"I'll show you several statements you have made which are pregnant with (possible hatred) and a lot of intolerance."
Really? "Pregnant with". You disingenuous slime ball, why not just show me in a post the evidence of hatred and intolerance?
"Those who pull the "intolerance" card are often blindly guilty of it themselves."
So your judgement of others also condemn me? How Jesus of you! LOL
"... the source of my faults is sin, and yes, that imperfection affects every one breathing. No one is perfect,,,, because of sins presence in all of our hearts." " ... our effort will always fail because we are all laced with sin."
"Sin", that Judea-Christian concept, without a single scrap of evidence of it's very existence, you are determined to lay upon all others, because "My Bible tells me so". Can you possibly grasp the idea that not everyone who believes in God, also believes in sin? And that maybe, just maybe they don't associate THEIR faults and failings to a failure to follow YOUR God's rules, and resent you laying your interpretation of the Universe upon them?
"I am figuring out that you have a deep-seated, rather strong disdain for religion..."
You're not figuring anything, you are just continuing the sniping you have in every post with accusations of hatred, anger, irritation, just so you can try to demean the validity of my argument stripping off the veneer of your conceit.
A bigot is someone who treats people with hatred and intolerance. Show me where in this thread I have been guilty of that toward you (where I have not included myself also), and I'll show you several statements you have made which are pregnant with (possible hatred) and a lot of intolerance. Those who pull the "intolerance" card are often blindly guilty of it themselves. I don't claim to be a superior being (that actually made me laugh) but I do claim to have a lot of faults; we're all only human, right? My greatest and most obvious imperfection and the source of my faults is sin, and yes, that imperfection affects every one breathing. No one is perfect, B, because of sins presence in all of our hearts. I read where Mitt Romney came out and said the very same thing yesterday.
I am figuring out that you have a deep-seated, rather strong disdain for religion.......as well you should. You are certainly right, there were the Crusades and there was the Inquisition, where many people lost their lives in the name of religion. That was all WRONG, and I'm on your side....things that were done were hideous and atrocious even though done in the name of religion. Agree with you 110%. But religion is mans effort to work his own way up to God, and our effort will always fail because we are all laced with sin. Whenever we are behind the wheel and try to navigate to our own righteousness, well, it will always end in a wreck. That's why God sent (dare I say his name?) Jesus TO US, he is the remedy for this.
Now, I don't hear you mention the fact that today 450 Christians around the world lost their lives due to persecution, and that this is the average of how many Christians die EACH AND EVERY DAY. Why are they being killed? Is it because they are out killing other people? No, not hardly. It's simply because they believe in Jesus and people don't like that. It's crazy. So should we be mad at the intolerance of those people who are killing Christians at that number every day? Are you mad about that?
You "consider zealots such as (myself) to be the primary threat to the health and safety of millions of human beings". Really? You should know that 4 young families from my church have sold all their possessions, amd moved themselves and their very young children to Kenya to build and serve in a feeding center for orphans with no one to sustain them. We support that work. They can only feed 100 kids at a time, and every day have to look around at the fence that surrounds the feeding center at 100's of other kids faces who they can't let in due to lack of resources, and they weep that they can't do more. Google "Team Kenya" to look at those zealots and their children who are so filled with hatred and intolerance. How priggish of them to leave America to serve others, and how priggish of us back here in the states to send and support them!
I don't know what has happened to you, or what has NOT happened to you, to turn you into a person who is so intolerant of Christians, yet so quick and deadly to throw out that label on others. Let me ask you this simple question: if you are walking by yourself in New York city and have to walk down a dark alley to get to your destination, and out of a door very suddenly 10 young men step out and walk towards you with leather jackets and earrings and tattoos........would it matter to you to know that they had just left a Bible study? Do you think they would be intolerant of you being in the same alley with them?
B, I do believe there was a Garden of Eden, and I do believe that a serpent beguiled Eve (and Adam).....that was the origin of sin in man, which is what our whole discussion revolves around. And you certainly must admit there is plenty of evil in the world: where does it come from? where did it begin?
So if you meant what you said, then unfortunately our discussion is over.
So, you accept the Garden of Eden with a talking snake to be factually and scientifically accurate and correct? If you admit to this, then our discussion is finished, for to argue reason with one who is a stranger to the concept of truth is obviously never to end.
Make no mistake. I consider zealots such as yourself to be a primary threat to the health and safety of millions of human beings, and if that makes me seem irritable to Freakin' bad. Your mealy mouthing of sugary words does nothing to erase the thousands of years your Church has persecuted, tortured, and murdered millions of people over the last two thousand years all in the name of your God!
" My desire in giving you the last word was to not get you any more irritated ..."
Irritated? No, I'm deeply offended by YOU! By your bigotry, by your conceit, by your inconsideration, and most of all by your mindless intolerance. But of course if you can imagine that all the offense YOU cause by your pompous and priggish attitude is really only a FAULT in OTHERS, then you can go ahead pretending that you really are a superior being yourself, and that any imperfections you might have, must certainly also inflict everyone else, for no person could be more righteous and thus superior to you!
The type of pride you suffer is a sickness, however there are many other sources and expression of pride, and often in history a certain dedication and commitment to self-respect and self-esteem, call it pride if you wish, have led men and women on to make important advances in all areas of human endeavor. The simple-minded religious dogma that you parrot has not only retarded advancement (Church's long time prohibition on dissection of the human body) in the quality of human life, but has historically also been the number one cause of more human depravity, more human suffering, and more needless waste of life than any political or economic theory that I can recall.
I always got a kick out of the Byzantine Empire's Christians hiring Pagans to kill Roman Christians! See how easily hypocrisy is exposed, just learn a little history from something else than your Book of Fables! And you chide me for becoming "irritated"! LOL Why can't Christians get along? Because just like you, they think they alone are absolutely right ("The Bible tells me so") and everyone else is wrong - those other people have "problems in their hearts". Why not fess up, what you really mean is their souls.
You gave me the last word before - did you happen to notice what it was?
I know this OT thread is getting very, very long so it's reasonable to forget the context of discussion. I myself have to keep scrolling back and forth to try to keep my mind wrapped around all being discussed. Thanks for your responses, Tompaine and Bogfit.
My statement "I trust the reliance of the NT as being accurate for us today" was in the context of our discussions focused on Jesus and the Gospels, as well as corresponding to the specific example of comparing the NT with other contemporary writings of antiquity to address concerns over reliablity and accuracy. I fully accept, read, believe, and love the entire Bible. When you say "Bible" then to me that comprises 66 books, 39 in the OT and 27 in the NT. The OT is incredibly valuable for its lessons in history, for its portrayal of how God acted on behalf of His people, to learn about our origin, and for many, many other reasons (such as the 10 commandments you pointed out).
I'm just not sure where you made the quantum leap to say that I believe that ONLY the NT is the REAL BIBLE, nor do I understand how you ascribed the word "fictional" to how I feel about the OT. I read and believe that all 66 books comprise the complete word of God given to us by Him. If you could see my home, you would find at least 10 copies of the whole Bible here.
The OT and the NT were written by about 40 different human authors, but all under the inspiration/direction of God over a span of a couple of thousand years. The fact that God was the divine author explains why there is a single, common theme woven from Genesis all the way back to Revelation (as ordered in printed copies). That theme is ultimately redemption,and how God reaches out to us to accomplish this in those who can believe what He has given us and revealed to us through His word.
If I have come across as denigrating to you, my very sincere apologies. It was seriously not my intent. But to point out your use of words to describe me, I think, is fair and accurate since it's publicly availalbe on this thread for anyone to easily see. It's just surprising you don't see it.
Thanks again, Bogfit, for your reply.
"records of history and events are counted more reliable than the New Testament ..."
In light of this FACT, what would you account for this wide-spread view of your Bible? "I trust the reliance of the New Testament as being accurate for us today." If you believe that only the NT is the REAL BIBLE, would you then please explain why Jehovah delivered his most important laws to Moses, but didn't get around to "inspiring the writing of the Bible" for another couple thousand years? Are you saying that the 10 commandments are simply the raving of an old man, and therefore are no longer sin? I guess you, like most Christians pick and choose those parts of the Bible that agree with your social views and reject those parts that a clearly ridiculous, i.e. swallowed by whales, flooding the earth, talking snakes and virgin births. What I don't understand is that if your God wanted to leave a blueprint for living, and used his unlimited powers to "inspire" the writers of the NT, why in the Hell didn't he make sure all the nonsense written in the OT was removed? If God wanted a book about his son that was "accurate" why didn't he make the church leaders to dump the OT, and instead they dumped those gospels that shown that women played as large a role in the story of Jesus' ministry as his 12 disciples. Remember these "gospels" were recorded decades after the church's alteration and re-writing of the story many times.
I wonder how those of the Jewish Faith feel about their part of the "Bible" being fictional in your view, and your part is the accurate truth? LOL
If it reassures you to denigrate those who have chosen another path with your armchair personality analysis,( i.e. anger, irritation, argumentative) that's fine, but when you use that to avoid the obvious holes in your story, then you are simply being disingenuous.
Look, time between when the originals were written and when the earliest extant manuscripts were written is almost irrelevant. What is more relevant is who is the author and what were his sources. In the case of "Gallic Wars" the author was Caesar himself, or perhaps a contemporaneous ghost writer writing under his supervision. None of the gospels were written by Jesus himself.
But actually, I think a more salient point would be that you talk as if historians uncritically believe every word in Caesar's and Tacitus' accounts, which I am sure is not true at all. Any historian worth a fig is going to parse the text for personal and partisan biases and internal and external contradictions, among a host of other factors.
When the same critical eye is turned towards the gospels it can be seen that they contain many contradictions between and even within texts. Also, just about every scholar that does not have a fundamentalist orthodoxy to rationalize at all costs has determined that not one of the gospels was written by an eyewitness, not even the two ascribed to eyewitnesses, i.e., Matthew and John.
You are 100% correct, Bogfit, I did extend to you the "last word". My desire in giving you the last word was to not get you any more irritated (I say irritated because I've just been re-reading your comments and my eyes are just picking out certain words you've been using :) !), but my response was in direct reply to Tompaine's comment. And I hope we're all not "arguing" but rather debating and discussing these issues. I like to learn, and hearing differing opinions and thoughts from different people only helps you to solidify your own beliefs, or to begin a journey which leads to truth.
I read from both of you that there is primarily an issue of trust in the accuracy of the Gospel/New Testament accounts due to the fact that these documents were "written so long after the fact" of the events and words they record. I hear you. So let's compare 4 different ancient writings in a couple of areas to see how they stack up againsst each other: the New Testament, Homer's "Iliad", "The Annals" by Tacitus, and Caesar's "Gallic Wars". Tacitus is considered among the greatest Roman historians, and his work is drawn upon without reservation to learn about Rome and it's emperors during his life. In fact, they are described as our "most reliable source" of history for this era. Caesar's work is of course a first-hand account of the Gallic Wars, and therefore the primary resource for this event.
"Gallic Wars": written some time between 100-44BC.....Our earliest copy: 900AD....That's approximately a 1000yr timespan between the event and the earliest copy, and there are ONLY 10 copies out there.
"History":.........written right around 100AD.....Our earliest copy: 1100AD......That's approximately a 1000 year span, and we only have 20 copies out there.
"Iliad": written 900BC...........earliest copy: 400BC,......a 500 yr timespan with a larger amount of 650 copies existing.
"New Testament": 27 diff books written between 40-100AD... Our earliest copy: 125AD....That's approximately only a 25 to 85 year timespan between original writings and existing manuscript copies available today. There are a mind boggling 24,000 copies of manuscripts in existence of the New Testament.
Here is where it gets interesting. You would think that with 24,000 copies of manuscripts that one could compare them AGAINST EACH OTHER and find all kind of variance, error, omissions, etc, since many different men would have had to been involved in making those copies. Yet in comparing the NT (24K copies) to the Iliad (650 copies) as an example, in all of the 27 books of the 24,000 copies of the NT there are only 40 lines that are in doubt, as compared to 765 lines that are doubtful when comparing the 650 Iliad copies against each other. And with "Gallic Wars" and "History" one only has 10 to 20 copies of each to compare to each other, which would give less reliance in accuracy.
Yet these records of history and events are counted more reliable than the New Testament is, even though the evidence would appear to favor reliance on the NT writings because of the sheer volume available for examination. It's even incredibly MORE interesting when you study the extremely disciplined methods of transcription used by the Talmudists and Massoretes in doing their work of copying the NT. Actually, their discipline explains the greater accuracy of these historical works when compared with contemporary literature. And the timespan difference between actual writings and first copies in possession also lies in favor of the NT writings.
To me, that's just very interesting..........and one reason why I trust the reliance of the New Testament as being accurate for us today.