Religion

Discuss anything interesting but not remotely Countdown-related here.

Moderator: Jon O'Neill

Do you believe?

Yes, I am very religious
11
14%
Yes, but not in a big way
7
9%
Unsure, I am agnostic
12
16%
No, I am an atheist
47
61%
 
Total votes: 77

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Jon O'Neill
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Re: Religion

Post by Jon O'Neill » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:09 pm

Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
I'm a Christian.

(snipped)
This is a great post and I agree with the way you present the dichotomies of this debate.
Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
I've arrived at this point having considered the evidence, but also having met with God personally.
Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:44 pm
(Perhaps the word 'personally' was a bit unusual, but if prayer is talking to God, and prayers are answered, then it is personal. In fact, that's what the definition of Christianity is - a relationship with a living God!)
I think it's the word "met" here which is odd. I can talk to someone on the phone and see the results of their actions as a direct consequence of our conversation, but I wouldn't say that I'd met them. To say that you've "met" God will probably set off a lot of alarm bells with non-believers.

Anyway, I'm more interested in hearing about this:
Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
Moving on to the 'experience' side, I have seen far too many lives completely transformed, and seen too many prayers answered for it to be a coincidence (and I'm a mathematician, so I can understand that coincidences can sometimes happen!) - I've seen people who have been healed through prayer, and seen people prophecy over others' futures with ridiculous accuracy.
Do you have some examples? Growing up as a Catholic, and from speaking to Christians of many different varieties in my life, I've seen numerous examples of prayer not working, including a couple of deaths from (medically) treatable cancers. The hit rate of cases of prayers being answered is roughly the same as the probability of all of those events happening without any divine intervention, for all prayers that I am aware of. I've also seen healings that are just pure fakery. I've seen, first-hand, prophecies that would appear impressively accurate to someone who did not understand the techniques employed by the person making them.

I'm ready to be convinced but it's an extremely high bar when you consider that we are looking to overcome every single thing that has been reliably observed or measured, ever.

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Re: Religion

Post by Phil H » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:56 pm

Probably the 'checkmate' moment in my ceasing to be a Christian was reading a site called "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" I too have spent a long time in church and come across people who seem to have overcome addictions and other mental health problems, or even experienced improvements in their physical mobility. However, as the author of that site asks, why does God choose not to miraculously heal in the situation where a miraculous healing would perhaps be least disputable?

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Jennifer Steadman
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Re: Religion

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:21 pm

Former churchgoer (not by choice) of 15 years checking in.

Absolutely hated going by about the age of 8 or 9 - same stories every year, not allowed to ask questions about Bible plotholes, told that if you didn't go to church you went to hell. (Really lovely to hear when you have a parent who doesn't go to church. Incidentally, the Sunday School leader who shared this idea with me ran off with a married parishioner a decade later and was ostracised from the church community.)

Had a great youth worker in my tweens who was very patient and honest about his own doubts and lack of answers, and attended the adult Alpha Course aged 14; both were positive and respectful experiences that helped me to understand why faith was important to people. I also inadvertently ended up experiencing some of the Youth Alpha course, which was absolute shit - patronising, brainwashing, smug - and heralded a several year long angry atheist phase, which could be described in the same adjectives :?

By about 14, I'd come to the conclusion that I was certain there was no god, but also that others were certain that there was at least one god. Schrodinger's certainty, I guess. Generally at peace with it all now - for as long as it's a vague construct somewhere in the distance, the odd carol service aside. I know people whose lives are stronger and happier for having faith, and people who have been tortured and poisoned by their faith. All things considered, religion has been a negative influence in my life, but unless someone specifically brings it up I'm not going to shout about it.

While I can't stand aggressive atheists, I'm definitely not judgement-free on some stuff: cultish stuff disturbs me (missionary work, social media feeds full of Bible verses, neo-evangelical churches), vicars who won't marry those who have been divorced before (it makes me sick to know that some people who escape domestic violence from a former spouse and rebuild their life with someone new can be denied the right to marry), those who reject marginalised people based on scripture... These are things I'm generally insulated from, and I'm lucky that my Christian friends and family are generally very progressive and not too intense (with me at least), but through them I hear of some disturbing stuff being enabled by people's interpretation of faith.

I've only ever come across 'prophesying' in conversation with a sober Christian at the pub 3 weeks ago who told me that she prophesied 9/11 (and saved several people's lives through prayer) and also that I was a lesbian. I am not aware of this being accurate.

Season 2 of Fleabag made me consider religion in a more interesting way than anything I've come across from Christians themselves.
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:16 pm
I do respect Christian values
What does 'Christian values' actually mean? Don't think I've come across the concept in a capacity that isn't dogwhistle vacuity at best (Breitbart etc), where tenets like 'love thy neighbour' don't seem particularly compatible.
Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
It is conceivable that Jesus is not God, but then who is he? Is he a conman? Has he lied to everyone to go down in the history books? But then how could he be the wisest, humblest most loving man to have existed. Perhaps he is mad then? But reading his biographies suggests to me that he isn't..
This came up at Alpha and was (imo) the weakest argument put forward - I've never understood why this is meant a convincing argument to a non-believer. Charismatic snake oil salesman/pathological liar/fantasist is infinitely more believable than the Christian interpretation of Jesus.
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Mark James
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Re: Religion

Post by Mark James » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:40 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:21 pm

Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
It is conceivable that Jesus is not God, but then who is he? Is he a conman? Has he lied to everyone to go down in the history books? But then how could he be the wisest, humblest most loving man to have existed. Perhaps he is mad then? But reading his biographies suggests to me that he isn't..
This came up at Alpha and was (imo) the weakest argument put forward - I've never understood why this is meant a convincing argument to a non-believer. Charismatic snake oil salesman/pathological liar/fantasist is infinitely more believable than the Christian interpretation of Jesus.
Also why couldn't Jesus just be the wisest, humblest most loving human ever without having to be the son of God.

I'm sure we can all agree that humans can be absolute douche bags but wouldn't it be more plausible that there could have been at least one really sound dude who tried to live his life being as loving as possible to all things without invoking the supernatural?

Humanity often deserves to have the reputation of a virus with shoes. Donald Trump's doing us no favours and we're probably going to destroy ourselves through global warming or nuclear holocaust but then look at all the cool stuff we've done.

It's like when people think aliens must have built the pyramids. They never talk about the road network or sewage system, far grander feats of engineering if you ask me. Humans actually raised the entire city of Chicago to install piping but we couldn't have aligned some bricks in the desert? Give us some credit. It only took 66 years from the first powered flight before we got to the moon. We're pretty amazing really. Couldn't one dude have been just that bit more amazing than everyone else?

When Christians bang on about Jesus I can kind of get on board. He had some pretty cool ideas. And the good ideas are good whether whoever is supposed to have come up with them existed or not. But when you start going on about prayer working or having personal relationships with non physical entities that practically defy description I'm sorry, you've lost me.

I'd rather believe Jesus was just a man. It would make me more inclined to believe I could live up to his example.

P.S. the so called "new atheist" movement is a monumental shit house of wankery which has done immeasurable harm, possibly on a par with religious extremism.

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Re: Religion

Post by Thomas Cappleman » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:04 pm

Mark James wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:40 pm
Also why couldn't Jesus just be the wisest, humblest most loving human ever without having to be the son of God.
Except he then comes out with statements like "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" and "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven", and claiming to be able to forgive sins (see Mark 2). Sure you could go with the idea where all the bits that seem acceptable were his, and the God-related bits were from his disciples (I remember Philip Pullman doing a whole book on that a few years ago), or something similar. But without picking and choosing from the only source of what he said, you end up with him making a lot of controversial claims if he isn't what he says he is.

Similarly with Marc's respecting "Christian values" and the Ten Commandments, that's probably selecting ones like "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Do not murder", but skipping the fact that they're preceded by (both sequentially and in importance) by "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before[a] me." and "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." respectively.

(For those who don't know I am a Christian, on a similar basis to Dan).

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Re: Religion

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:13 pm

It seems to me that a lot of what's believed is simply down to whatever was the official belief of the most powerful political groupings in the 4th century CE. As far as I've seen, there's nothing less believable about such things as Arianism as there is about orthodox dogma; quite what the bloke himself said or didn't say seems to me irrelevant, given that much of it was written/rewritten/edited/lost/ignored long after the fact. Jesus's wife as an inconvenience to be left in the Apocrypha? Why are only four gospels considered canonical?

Basically, it all smacks of post hoc convenience for whatever group that found such ideas most useful at any given time, and to follow such dogmatic bits and pieces feels utterly illogical in the context of the way we live many centuries later.
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Re: Religion

Post by JimBentley » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:40 pm

Thanks Dan for your very interesting and thought-provoking post. It was fascinating to read it. But, a couple of things:
Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
To suggest that there is no credible evidence at all for Christianity
I don't think that anyone is disputing that Christianity exists, it's the basic tenets that people have problems with. You say that there are many accounts of Jesus, but all of these were written centuries after his supposed existence. Why are there no contemporary accounts?
Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
multiple books written well before Jesus' life that predict Jesus' coming
No, they predicted the coming of a god (or godlike being), which is pretty much a universal trope in the writings of early civilisations. Nothing is specific about an incarnate "Jesus". That was invented centuries afterwards.
Dan Byrom wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am
It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of a God using logic and science and reason
It's not possible to prove the non-existence of something that doesn't exist, though, isn't it? Surely the onus is on the people who think that God does exist to prove that he (or she or it or whatever) does exist? Pretty sure that's how this sort of thing works.

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Re: Religion

Post by Adam Gillard » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:18 am

My perspective on religion...

I'm a Jew by accident of birth, through matrilineal descent over who knows how many generations. I believe in God largely because I want to, and because I've been conditioned to do so in my upbringing, not because anyone has delivered a particularly compelling argument or evidence. This is what one might call "faith". I'm quite happy to trust to this faith to an extent (almost blindly), because my religion is a core part of my identity and my daily life and I don't want to lose that. So I *want* to believe, because it provides an amount of comfort and meaning to my life, prayer being a big part of that, as others have said.

I'm sure others can find the same comfort and meaning in being a good person while also being certain there is no God, and that's a good thing, too. On the other hand, a Rabbi or a Priest or an Imam is probably about as likely to be found shagging someone else's wife or kiddy fiddling as anyone else, and this happens all too often as a perversion and abuse of authority. It does irk me when religious figureheads are treated as living saints by a feverish cult following.

The best things about religion are pretty much universal from the little I know of other religions. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism to name but a few all preach charity and lovingkindness (as do non-religious people who aren't pricks, admittedly). They also seem to borrow from each other culturally in religious rituals and scriptures, probably because they either come from the same ethnic / geographical background or because they've had a lot of trade dealings, intermarriage etc. over the centuries, or perhaps just simple plagiarism.

The worst things about religion are generally tribalistic but probably less universal, such as doctrines to evangelise / oppress / murder those not of the faith. This is something that has dogged centuries of conflict between most of the religions I've mentioned, and is not unique to religion but occurs with other tribalistic divisions, from someone's race to which sports team they follow. Religion has historically been and still is one of the worst culprits for this kind of division and militancy though.

If I had been born into another faith, I'm pretty sure I would have had similar beliefs and lifestyle, and would be similarly happy with my lot. If I had been born into an atheist / agnostic family / community then I'd probably follow that too; I can't imagine that I would have "found" God. I don't think I'm better than anyone else by having a faith, or by virtue of that faith being Judaism rather than any other.

Now for a perspective on Judaism specifically, seeing as that's the religion I know most about. Like most religions, there's a whole spectrum of different levels of observance based on different interpretations of religious laws. My sect is generally labelled "Modern Orthodox" in this country, but isn't entirely "modern" in taking a strict Biblical view on things such as gay sex and having religious rituals that are not open to women. These are key issues that have been addressed more in other Reform / Liberal / Progressive sects, and are only slowly beginning to be addressed in Orthodox sects (we're behind the curve on this). Each person is entitled to their own views of course, and for myself, I hope that we can promote respect and equality before we lose people from the faith because of these shortcomings and exclusionary views.

In terms of the "truth" of Judaism, one of the main arguments that is repeated is that most religions had "one man" experience a prophetic revelation, whereas Jewish tradition holds that around 2.5 million people (the "Children of Israel") experienced God's revelation at Mount Sinai for the giving of the Torah (aka Bible / Old Testament) following the Exodus from Egypt. The basis of this argument is essentially "you can't make up such a bold claim; surely this would have been refuted at the time".

However, there is more concrete evidence of plagiarism in the Bible, not least the story of Noah and the Ark being predated in writing by an almost identical story in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The apologist position for these difficulties is that the Bible is a mixture of literal and allegorical passages, and some of the allegories (e.g. the Creation story) are quite naturally written in a style that would have been familiar to people in that geographical region / culture at the time, or that are palatable for finite human beings who can't comprehend the workings of an infinite God. The view is maintained in Judaism that the Bible is authored by God, and I like to believe that, because if it wasn't, then it would be a bit awkward for my whole faith-based lifestyle.

tl;dr: I'm happy and proud of my religion but I can't pretend it has all the answers or that I don't have doubts. It's important to respect people of all backgrounds, and of course anyone can be a good or bad person.

PS - I'm quite taken aback to see how many people use a capital 'G' when writing 'God'; this is seen as a mark of respect among those who believe in God and I didn't realise it was so widespread. All the same, I appreciate the respectful tone in this thread of those who don't believe in God.
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:41 am

That was quite an interesting post so thanks for that. I might respond better later.
Adam Gillard wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:18 am
PS - I'm quite taken aback to see how many people use a capital 'G' when writing 'God'; this is seen as a mark of respect among those who believe in God and I didn't realise it was so widespread. All the same, I appreciate the respectful tone in this thread of those who don't believe in God.
I think people just do it out of "convention" because they see other people doing it. I often use lower case but if you search this thread I'm sure you'll find me slipping into upper case. Also people use "God" as a name for a god. And names normally have the initial capital so it can depend on the context.

And while he doesn't come here any more so probably won't be able to defend his position, I do think that Junaid writing PBUH every time he mentioned Mohammed was ridiculous and about as sycophantic as you can get. Surely it loses its effect if you abbreviate it anyway and shows you're not committed to it - like it's just an afterthought. Do it properly or not at all!

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Re: Religion

Post by Mark James » Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:05 am

I would imagine the word God is capitalised often because predictive text does it automatically.

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Re: Religion

Post by Mark James » Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:20 am

Thomas Cappleman wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:04 pm
Mark James wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:40 pm
Also why couldn't Jesus just be the wisest, humblest most loving human ever without having to be the son of God.
Except he then comes out with statements like "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"
Oh right. So he wasn't all that humble after all.

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:07 pm

Adam Gillard wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:18 am
My perspective on religion...

I'm a Jew by accident of birth, through matrilineal descent over who knows how many generations. I believe in God largely because I want to, and because I've been conditioned to do so in my upbringing, not because anyone has delivered a particularly compelling argument or evidence. This is what one might call "faith". I'm quite happy to trust to this faith to an extent (almost blindly), because my religion is a core part of my identity and my daily life and I don't want to lose that. So I *want* to believe, because it provides an amount of comfort and meaning to my life, prayer being a big part of that, as others have said.
If I had been born into another faith, I'm pretty sure I would have had similar beliefs and lifestyle, and would be similarly happy with my lot. If I had been born into an atheist / agnostic family / community then I'd probably follow that too; I can't imagine that I would have "found" God. I don't think I'm better than anyone else by having a faith, or by virtue of that faith being Judaism rather than any other.
This is quite interesting, but I also find it a little bit strange. I find myself wondering whether you do actually believe in god (note the lower case g!) or whether it's just some game you play just to be part of the community that you're in. If someone held a gun to your head and said "Is Judaism the objectively correct religion? Answer correctly or I'll shoot!" what would you say? We can assume that the guy with the gun somehow knows the truth himself.
Now for a perspective on Judaism specifically, seeing as that's the religion I know most about. Like most religions, there's a whole spectrum of different levels of observance based on different interpretations of religious laws. My sect is generally labelled "Modern Orthodox" in this country, but isn't entirely "modern" in taking a strict Biblical view on things such as gay sex and having religious rituals that are not open to women. These are key issues that have been addressed more in other Reform / Liberal / Progressive sects, and are only slowly beginning to be addressed in Orthodox sects (we're behind the curve on this). Each person is entitled to their own views of course, and for myself, I hope that we can promote respect and equality before we lose people from the faith because of these shortcomings and exclusionary views.
On this then, presumably you personally take a more "modern" view on things like gay sex even if your sect doesn't? A lot of people would say that religion is fine as long it doesn't cause you to interfere with other people's rights. And so presumably if you ever had a son, you wouldn't inflict the ritual barbaric form of amputation on him that followers of your religion have done for thousands of years?

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Re: Religion

Post by Fiona T » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:00 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:07 pm

On this then, presumably you personally take a more "modern" view on things like gay sex even if your sect doesn't? A lot of people would say that religion is fine as long it doesn't cause you to interfere with other people's rights. And so presumably if you ever had a son, you wouldn't inflict the ritual barbaric form of amputation on him that followers of your religion have done for thousands of years?
This is where I see the difference between faith and religion. If you follow a doctrine as truth, I don't see how you can pick and choose. And there's some very weird stuff in the old Testament. Whether or not there's a god/God, religion was a construct to make people, mostly illiterate, compliant \(and straight).

It was a discussion I gently had with my mum a few times - If you (Christianity) are "right", how can the believers of Judaism/Muslim etc equally believe they're right too? A massive number of you who think your beliefs are right, must be wrong,

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:23 am

Or all wrong
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Re: Religion

Post by JimBentley » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:43 pm

Adam Gillard wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:18 am
tl;dr: I'm happy and proud of my religion but I can't pretend it has all the answers or that I don't have doubts. It's important to respect people of all backgrounds, and of course anyone can be a good or bad person.

PS - I'm quite taken aback to see how many people use a capital 'G' when writing 'God'; this is seen as a mark of respect among those who believe in God and I didn't realise it was so widespread. All the same, I appreciate the respectful tone in this thread of those who don't believe in God.
Not at all tl;dr, I thought it was really interesting (I know you don't post much in these sorts of threads but I was kind of hoping you'd post something here and am glad you did).

As to using a small "g" for god, I've always made a point of doing this, but nobody's ever noticed (or remarked on it) before. But I think for most people, even atheists, it's just a kind of convention.

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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:49 pm

You would probably call me an aggressive atheist. I don't have any quarrel with religious people who simply want to follow their own creed and try to be good people, but I do quarrel, very readily, with anybody who claims that their beliefs should govern the way other people behave.
Most religions were quite patently concocted by men to enable them to control the behaviour of their womenfolk. In many cases, “not letting women have any freedom” is still a major tenet of their belief. This is as true of South American Catholics and Bible-belt Texans as it is of Islam.
I have no patience with any of it.

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Re: Religion

Post by Phil H » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:25 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:41 am

I do think that Junaid writing PBUH every time he mentioned Mohammed was ridiculous and about as sycophantic as you can get. Surely it loses its effect if you abbreviate it anyway and shows you're not committed to it - like it's just an afterthought. Do it properly or not at all!
Would it have been OK if he had written "peace be upon him" the first time and then copied and pasted it, or should he have typed it in full each time?

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:53 pm

Phil H wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:25 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:41 am

I do think that Junaid writing PBUH every time he mentioned Mohammed was ridiculous and about as sycophantic as you can get. Surely it loses its effect if you abbreviate it anyway and shows you're not committed to it - like it's just an afterthought. Do it properly or not at all!
Would it have been OK if he had written "peace be upon him" the first time and then copied and pasted it, or should he have typed it in full each time?
Haha - I think a copy and paste would be acceptable in this case.

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Re: Religion

Post by Zarte Siempre » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:50 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:53 pm
Phil H wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:25 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:41 am

I do think that Junaid writing PBUH every time he mentioned Mohammed was ridiculous and about as sycophantic as you can get. Surely it loses its effect if you abbreviate it anyway and shows you're not committed to it - like it's just an afterthought. Do it properly or not at all!
Would it have been OK if he had written "peace be upon him" the first time and then copied and pasted it, or should he have typed it in full each time?
Haha - I think a copy and paste would be acceptable in this case.
Callum has an excellent story about PBUH, but I don't know how to attract his attention to get him to put it here....
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:09 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:50 pm

Callum has an excellent story about PBUH, but I don't know how to attract his attention to get him to put it here....
This might summon him:

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Re: Religion

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:26 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:09 pm
Zarte Siempre wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:50 pm

Callum has an excellent story about PBUH, but I don't know how to attract his attention to get him to put it here....
This might summon him:
I'd have tried a pentagram first.
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Re: Religion

Post by Elliott Mellor » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:34 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:00 pm

It was a discussion I gently had with my mum a few times - If you (Christianity) are "right", how can the believers of Judaism/Muslim etc equally believe they're right too? A massive number of you who think your beliefs are right, must be wrong,
This is one of the things that I have always struggled to understand. There are a multiplicity of different religions that and although there is overlap amongst some of them, by and large they are different.
Consider these statements:
I am 5'5.
I am 5'6.
I am 5'7.
They are all possible answers to how tall I am, they all have overlap (they agree that I'm 5 foot and some number of inches) and people may give different answers based on several factors, but really only one (or none) can be correct. If the entire population of the world was in conflict about how tall I was, though, at some point you'd think that I'd be requested to have a concrete measuring done to eradicate any doubt. With no definitive ruling which, if any, is correct why are people believing one over another instead of just taking the "none are correct unless proven otherwise" stance? I'm interested to hear why people chose a specific religion if they weren't raised in one and it "stuck".

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Re: Religion

Post by Fiona T » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:47 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:34 pm
This is one of the things that I have always struggled to understand. There are a multiplicity of different religions that and although there is overlap amongst some of them, by and large they are different.
Consider these statements:
I am 5'5.
I am 5'6.
I am 5'7.
They are all possible answers to how tall I am, they all have overlap (they agree that I'm 5 foot and some number of inches) and people may give different answers based on several factors, but really only one (or none) can be correct. If the entire population of the world was in conflict about how tall I was, though, at some point you'd think that I'd be requested to have a concrete measuring done to eradicate any doubt. With no definitive ruling which, if any, is correct why are people believing one over another instead of just taking the "none are correct unless proven otherwise" stance? I'm interested to hear why people chose a specific religion if they weren't raised in one and it "stuck".
The people who think you're 5'5 have a measuring stick that says you are 5'5. They know they're right. Other measuring sticks are wrong.
The people who think you're 5'6 have a measuring stick that says you are 5'6. They know they're right. Other measuring sticks are wrong.
The people who think you're 5'7 have a measuring stick that says you are 5'7. They know they're right. Other measuring sticks are wrong.

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Marc Meakin
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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:20 pm

I have a measuring stick that says I am 167 centimetres.
Am I wrong if it also says 5'7
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Elliott Mellor
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Re: Religion

Post by Elliott Mellor » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:23 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:20 pm
I have a measuring stick that says I am 167 centimetres.
Am I wrong if it also says 5'7
No, the measuring stick is. 167cm is 5'6 (ish)

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Re: Religion

Post by Martin Long » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:11 pm

I don't believe in God but haven't given it an awful lot of thought throughout my life. I would be happy to be labelled as either agnostic or atheist.

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Callum Todd
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Re: Religion

Post by Callum Todd » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:22 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:09 pm
Zarte Siempre wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:50 pm

Callum has an excellent story about PBUH, but I don't know how to attract his attention to get him to put it here....
This might summon him:
It worked! Didn't even know that was a thing on c4c.


So I had an R.E teacher at school who was very nervous about treating all things Islamic with the proper respect when discussing them in his class. This was most obvious when he had to discuss The Prophet, as he would say "peace be upon him" or even "peace and blessings be upon him" at every single instance of referring to or naming The Prophet, even if he had to do so multiple times within once sentence.

Once, we were doing a class specifically about the history of Islam. After an opening 10 minutes of telling us about the life and times of Mohammed, in which he must have uttered the respectful platitude approximately 80 times, he realised that he had forgotten to take the register at the beginning of the class (presumably forgotten in his dizzying nervousness brought upon him by the thought of having to discuss Islam for a whole class without instigating an international religious furore). The first name on the register was that of a kid named Muhammad Ali. Still in full religious appeasement mode, he began the roll call:

"Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him..."

Cue laughter from the whole class, distraught shame from the teacher, and then indignant calls from Muhammad's classmates as to where their "peace and blessings" were when their names were read out without such tributes.
Mark Deeks wrote:Callum Todd looks like a young Ted Bundy.

Gavin Chipper
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:16 pm

Nice.

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Matt Morrison
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Re: Religion

Post by Matt Morrison » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:12 pm

Haha, ghreat.

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JimBentley
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Re: Religion

Post by JimBentley » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:42 pm

Ha, that is excellent.

When I was at school, R.E. used to be compulsory for the first two years of secondary school, but I dropped it as soon as I could. I don't think we ever got around to Islam, but that was in the mid-1980s and obviously things have changed since then. I'd be interested to hear how it goes now. Is it more about the history of the religion or does it also describe the ideology? If you start examining the ideology, then that's going to bring up a lot of conflict. I can't imagine that most girls in this country can be OK with Islam's attitude towards women, for example. Or gay people being cool with Islamic attitudes to homosexuality.

Matt, get Heather to reply here. She must surely be our go-to person on this.

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Matt Morrison
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Re: Religion

Post by Matt Morrison » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:39 am

She possibly is, though I think she a) hates C4C and b) tries to avoid doing work outside of work. But I'll ask!

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Marc Meakin
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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:16 am

Matt Morrison wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:39 am
She possibly is, though I think she a) hates C4C and b) tries to avoid doing work outside of work. But I'll ask!
How can you hate C4C.
Isn't it instrumental in you guys getting together ?
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Callum Todd
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Re: Religion

Post by Callum Todd » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:56 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:16 am
Matt Morrison wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:39 am
She possibly is, though I think she a) hates C4C and b) tries to avoid doing work outside of work. But I'll ask!
How can you hate C4C.
Isn't it instrumental in you guys getting together ?
Maybe that's why she hates it.
Mark Deeks wrote:Callum Todd looks like a young Ted Bundy.

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