On the Road to Weapons of Mass Destruction

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AuthorTopic: On the Road to Weapons of Mass Destruction
Lifecrafter
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quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

[QUOTE]Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:
[qb]I do think it's a very worthwhile book to develop a thorough understanding of, though.

a) Why?

b) Why is that understanding more worthwhile than an understanding of the Koran or the Analects?

c) Why is that understanding attended by reverence?
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E Equals MC What!!!!
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I'm not actually looking to get into a debate here, but the short answer is that even though I don't regard it as a direct message from God to me, I do think it's pretty much accurate and I do think it says a lot of tremendous spiritual signifigance.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
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I'll answer despite being largely unqualified to do so as someone with only the most tenuous of connections to the Bible.

quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:


a) Why?

Because among the historical oddities and rantings there are genuine moral truths in there. You can do worse than using the Bible for advice. The only problem is having to filter it through a modern understanding. Love thy neighbor isn't a bad idea, but smiting and obliteration aren't socially acceptable anymore

I guess that's my problem with the Bible. To make it useful you need to already have a developed sense of morality. If you've got that you don't need the Bible except to bolster your claims and possibly to bludgeon the immoral into mending their ways.

[quote]b) Why is that understanding more worthwhile than an understanding of the Koran or the Analects?[/quote]It isn't inherently, but you can pick your creed as long as it has the right messages in there somewhere. Again, the books only become necessary because somehow humans seem to need books to legitimate their beliefs and ethical codes.

quote:
c) Why is that understanding attended by reverence?
Treating morality with reverence makes sense to me. It's getting it mixed up in mysticism that makes me uncomfortable.

[Edit: Here speeching American.]

—Alorael, who notices that he's defending using the Bible as a heavily adulterated metaphorical guide to living a good life. In other words, he's either playing a weak apologist or failing to defend any point at all.

[ Sunday, March 04, 2007 10:34: Message edited by: Rising Cycle Five ]
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Agent
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[ Sunday, March 25, 2007 12:09: Message edited by: Excalibur ]

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WWJD?
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Shaper
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Experience strongly suggests that any God is not forcing human behavior or possessing anyone to do something as a puppet. Have you ever experienced God forcing you to see or say or write something a certain way? What makes you think it happens to anyone else in order for there to be a Bible?

My question here is why do you believe what you believe, not what is theoretically possible.

-S-

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Agent
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[ Sunday, March 25, 2007 12:10: Message edited by: Excalibur ]

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WWJD?
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Shaper
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Care to elaborate on that?

-S-

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Guardian
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God talks to people.

Sorry, I just HAD to do that.

And if God was making people say things, I'd be worried less about what they're saying and more about why He's doing this.

Personally, if I created a universe, I wouldn't interfere with it. I'd watch it. Okay, maybe I would interfere, but not to create a religion!

[ Sunday, March 04, 2007 16:35: Message edited by: Zephyr Tempest ]

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-Zephyr Tempest, your personal entertainer
Posts: 1779 | Registered: Monday, December 9 2002 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Or do you think God is weak?
Yes.

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

I noticed that some of you had a little doubt about the credibility of the Bible. Really, if God is an all-powerful being, then he could control what humans say he said. So if you believe in God, why don't you believe in the Bible. Or do you think God is weak?
The question isn't what God could do, it's what he did do. I, for example, say he could have created the world and everything inhabiting it in six days, but he didn't. He could have made a gigantic obelisk with the Bible written in every language and with angelic readers to help the blind and illiterate, but he didn't. He could have made the Bible immutable, but I don't see enough evidence to believe he did.

—Alorael, who can also see God just being mean for the sake of being mean. He wasn't all that forgiving to Adam and Eve, after all, and everyone but Noah and his immediate family got a pretty bad deal with the flood. Why wouldn't God let people squirm over imperfect scripture?
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Really, if God is an all-powerful being, then he could control what humans say he said. So if you believe in God, why don't you believe in the Bible.
Such a god is clearly not interested in controlling everything that humans say that he said, because humans say completely contradictory things about what he said. Therefore, it's hard to say on those grounds alone that the Bible is better than any other written work in terms of God's word.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Rising Cycle Five:

Because among the historical oddities and rantings there are genuine moral truths in there. You can do worse than using the Bible for advice. The only problem is having to filter it through a modern understanding. Love thy neighbor isn't a bad idea, but smiting and obliteration aren't socially acceptable anymore

I guess that's my problem with the Bible. To make it useful you need to already have a developed sense of morality. If you've got that you don't need the Bible except to bolster your claims and possibly to bludgeon the immoral into mending their ways.

The 'developed sense of morality' and 'modern understanding' you reference is the Enlightenment. The Jesus you would recognize (especially as a Jew, who has no reason to view Jesus as divine at all) is a product of Enlightenment morality, and is present exactly the same in modern Hinduism and Islam.

Those are the only religions I have close experiences with, but the enlightenment Messiah is basically one man with many different hats. Reverencing the hats is silly; we can regard the Enlightenment model of Jesus as worthy of reverence as the best man can be, but the same goes for the Enlightenment concept of Mohammed and the Hindu equivalent. Reverencing Jesus in particular, or being a Christian in particular, is silly.

And to wit, while Judaism doesn't exactly possess the same heroic figure, reform and conservative Judaism (e.g. the Judaism which has been affected by the Enlightenment) have largely adopted identical values to liberal Christianity. Less the Jesus thing, obviously.

quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

I noticed that some of you had a little doubt about the credibility of the Bible. Really, if God is an all-powerful being, then he could control what humans say he said. So if you believe in God, why don't you believe in the Bible. Or do you think God is weak?
What, am I supposed to be intimidated by your God now? :P

quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

I'm not actually looking to get into a debate here, but the short answer is that even though I don't regard it as a direct message from God to me, I do think it's pretty much accurate and I do think it says a lot of tremendous spiritual signifigance.
Well, why is it accurate? I'm not trying to get into a debate with you, I'm just trying to suss out why exactly you believe in the Bible.

What does it accurately predict, or accurately describe, which would demand that it has a divine origin? File this under 'prophecy', but in the broad sense - what does the Bible know that can't be accounted for by its human authorship?

[ Sunday, March 04, 2007 22:58: Message edited by: Protocols of the Elders of Zion ]
Posts: 794 | Registered: Tuesday, October 11 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Alec:

The 'developed sense of morality' and 'modern understanding' you reference is the Enlightenment. The Jesus you would recognize (especially as a Jew, who has no reason to view Jesus as divine at all) is a product of Enlightenment morality, and is present exactly the same in modern Hinduism and Islam

Hence my throwing up of hands and shrugging at the end. You can read the Bible and get out nearly any message you want. It's a huge, varied document. You can go on crusades and then make peace on Earth without ever putting it down because the text really isn't nearly as important as your cultural filter.

That's actually my hope for religion. Avowed, proselytizing atheists and foaming at the mouth fundamentalists butting heads are funny, but neither side wins converts. A gradual transition from conservative religion to loose religion to semi-religious humanism to secular humanism seeems much more plausible.

—Alorael, who has said elsewhere and maintains here that there's no need to prepend the secular. As long as your religion doesn't stand in the way of your brain or your relations with other human beings it's not a problem. (Believing in God is fine as long as you don't ask and don't tell?)
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Electric Sheep One
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quote:
Originally written by Now with Real Cheese:

the text really isn't nearly as important as your cultural filter.

The importance of filtering the Bible in this way is pretty much the traditional Roman Catholic line, though of course one might disagree that the authoritative filter is the Bishop of Rome.

If all you want is moral slogans, to express content pre-determined by your moral filter, then no book is anything but a moralist's rhyming dictionary. If your filter is good, your quest for slogans won't make you a danger to society.

But it's like anything: if you take it seriously, there's a lot more to it.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
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quote:
Originally written by Now with Real Cheese:

—Alorael, who has said elsewhere and maintains here that there's no need to prepend the secular.
There's no need to ponder/consider the secular? I am a little at a loss as to what you mean, here.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
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Prepend is the computerspeak antonym of append. The "secular" in secular humanism is nice, but you can leave it off without doing real damage.

—Alorael, who just has trouble swallowing, say, fundamentalist humanism.
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[nyah]

Tullegolar was trolled by Excalibur.

[/nyah]

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Lifecrafter
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quote:
Originally written by Now with Real Cheese:

You can read the Bible and get out nearly any message you want.
Then why bother with the Bible at all? All it does is bind you to a document that claims pi is 3, the earth is flat, bats are a bird, and polycotton is an abomination.
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I largely don't deal with the Bible, but I can see why it's tempting. Go to the Bible and you can be sure you'll confirm your beliefs. Everyone wants confirmation, and getting confirmation from not just a book but the Book feels great.

—Alorael, who imagines it also feels good to be able to get over those niggling little doubts about whether slaughtering all those schismatics was such a good idea after all. That's a really bad confirmation bias.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

All it does is bind you to a document that claims pi is 3, the earth is flat, bats are a bird, and polycotton is an abomination.
The first two are good approximations in certain limits, the third is fine by me, and the last is indisputable. :P

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
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But it does so with all the authoritative tone a millennia-old, repetitively translated and interpreted text of mysterious origin can muster.

The Communist Manifesto may be less ambiguous, but it sure doesn't command as much respect. :P

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Communism actually made sense and could probably have been used respectably, until the USSR and N. Korea.

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[ Sunday, March 25, 2007 12:10: Message edited by: Excalibur ]

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WWJD?
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

Will back out of conversation before it gets too out of hand.
You northern Nevadans and your precious Jesus. :P
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quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

I am outgunned and unwilling to answer any questions that have been posed to me.
FYT
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