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Greg P H
05-13-2008, 07:20 PM
http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/printer_friendly/news_logo.gif
Vatican says aliens could exist
By David Willey
BBC News, Rome
The Pope's chief astronomer says that life on Mars cannot be ruled out.
Writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, said intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space.
Father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, is a respected scientist who collaborates with universities around the world.
The search for forms of extraterrestrial life, he says, does not contradict belief in God.
The official Vatican newspaper headlines his article 'Aliens Are My Brother'.
'Free from sin'
Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God. And some aliens could even be free from original sin, he speculates.
Asked about the Catholic Church's condemnation four centuries ago of the Italian inventor of the telescope, Galileo, Father Funes diplomatically says mistakes were made, but it is time to turn the page and look towards the future.
Science and religion need each other, and many astronomers believe in God, he assures readers.
To strengthen its scientific credentials, the Vatican is organising a conference next year to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the author of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/7399661.stm

Published: 2008/05/13 22:08:27 GMT

© BBC MMVIII

***********

I suspect they know a whole lot more........ :D

Nicholas Scheuer
05-13-2008, 07:29 PM
Like this is a pressing problem for humanity. Sounds like they have a couple of Space Cadets in Rome.

Moby Nick

Memphis Mike
05-13-2008, 07:31 PM
Like this is a pressing problem for humanity. Sounds like they have a couple of Space Cadets in Rome.

Moby Nick

Here's one......

[IMG]http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/pope_350.jpg

skuthorp
05-14-2008, 03:50 AM
Aha! Thats what explains what happened in Boston, and Melbourne, and allover............. They were aliens, like the ones that abduct people from the mid west and 'do things' to them. It's probably more energy efficient than beaming them up all the time.

Now, do you regard that as satire?, Or is it offensive? And if so who to?

Shang
05-14-2008, 07:53 AM
Space Aliens Say Vatican Could Exist.

Pernicious Atavist
05-14-2008, 08:23 AM
Aha! Thats what explains what happened in Boston, and Melbourne, and allover............. They were aliens, like the ones that abduct people from the mid west and 'do things' to them. It's probably more energy efficient than beaming them up all the time.

Now, do you regard that as satire?, Or is it offensive? And if so who to?

Sku, a correction, if I may....it's "...to whom," not 'who.'

Popeye
05-14-2008, 08:34 AM
to say science and religion can not coexist, are not intertwined and don't support each other is the silliest proposition i have ever heard

Tom Montgomery
05-14-2008, 08:53 AM
Just as there are multiple forms of life on earth, so there could exist intelligent beings in outer space created by God. And some aliens could even be free from original sin, he speculates.WHAT? :confused:

Despite their constant and continuing anal-probing of human abductees? Food for thought....

Tom Montgomery
05-14-2008, 09:32 AM
Here you go, Norm. The Catholic News Agency provided a bit more of Fr. Funes' views concerning space aliens vis a vis Christ. He thinks space aliens may not have ever been in need of a savior:

When he was asked about the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the Director of the Vatican Observatory responded that "it is possible, even if until now, we have no proof. But certainly in such a big universe this hypothesis cannot be excluded."

Asked is he sees a contradiction between the Catholic faith and believing in aliens, he said, "I think there isn't (a contradiction). Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures over the earth, so there could be other beings, even intelligent (beings), created by God. This is not in contradiction with our faith, because we cannot establish limits to God's creative freedom. To say it with St. Francis, if we can consider some earthly creatures as 'brothers' or 'sisters', why could we not speak of a 'brother alien'? He would also belong to the creation."

Fr. Funes says that taking the image of the lost sheep in the Gospel, "we could think that in this universe there can be 100 sheep, equivalent to different kinds of creatures. We, belonging to human kind could be precisely the lost sheep, the sinners that need the shepherd. God became man in Jesus to save us. In that way, assuming that there would be other intelligent beings, we could not say that they need redemption . They could have remained in full friendship with the Creator."

"But if they were sinners?" L'Osservatore's journalist asks.

"Jesus became man once and for all. The Incarnation is a single and unique event. So I am sure that also they, in some way, would have the chance to enjoy God's mercy, just as it has happened with us human beings."

http://catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=12628

Rigadog
05-14-2008, 09:41 AM
As our first extraterrestrial Nazi Pope, Ratizinger should know.

Tom Montgomery
05-14-2008, 09:49 AM
And why would we presume space aliens be any less prone to error, heresy, cults, and the worship of false gods than human beings?

If we were to discover intelligent life on another planet worshiping a pantheon of gods, by what criteria could we determine their belief to be True or Untrue? What if the aliens - like us - were comprised of a multiplicity of distinct cultures and beliefs?

The Bigfella
05-14-2008, 09:57 AM
Yeah - I went to the Vatican once. Its definitely populated with aliens

Paul Pless
05-14-2008, 10:03 AM
http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/pope_350.jpg

Nice hat!

Tom Montgomery
05-14-2008, 10:10 AM
My favorite:

http://templars.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/pope-benedict-saturno-hat.jpg

Syed
05-14-2008, 10:43 AM
Nice hat!
Sailing friendly !

peb
05-14-2008, 12:48 PM
Sounds like he's suggesting there could be 'other' Jesuses, other revelations or miracles, for other non-earthly civilizations.

Actually, I would thing that is he saying there cannot be other "Jesus's". Jesus is the second person of the trinity, fully man and fully divine. He is unique to this universe. What he is saying, is if another world was in need of salvation due to sin, that God would have chosen some other means of salvation, rather then incarnation.

What this would be is unknown. For what its worth, I do not believe in the existence of other intelligent life in the universe. I have never seen any scientific evidence that it exist. The reasoning of its existence: its a huge universe, is rather lacking to me. When I combine this with my religious beliefs of a single incarnation and a definite implication in scripture that we are epitomy of God's material creation, I become rather skeptical.
Having said that, I think Fr. Fune's thoughts on the matter are very well thought out and I cannot disagree with anything he says. He addresses my religious points w.r.t. the issue at hand and I agree with him that we should not limit God's creating power.

Sam F
05-14-2008, 12:59 PM
Careful there peb - you simply can't rely on evidence for a thing like that. Everyone has seen Star Wars you know. ;)

Sam F
05-14-2008, 01:00 PM
Based on the headgear, here's another obvious alien:

http://www.nydailynews.com/img/2007/06/23/gal_firefighter25.jpg

Sam F
05-14-2008, 01:11 PM
Here's another alien with the typical peculiar head gear. I think the thing behind him is his ship.

http://www.proof7.com/p7nyc/images/r752185402-thumb.jpg

Sam F
05-14-2008, 01:14 PM
But nothing so far can match these depressingly weird dresses ...
http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/tmarshall/marshall_justices.jpg

Rigadog
05-14-2008, 03:32 PM
But would it be a sin to abort one?

Sam F
05-14-2008, 04:16 PM
...Ahhh, but you are! You're limiting God to a single Savior for the entire universe!

Norm, he's already insisted on one God - why balk at one savior?

Tom Montgomery
05-14-2008, 04:19 PM
How could we possibly determine whether an alien's deity/deities was/were a "savior/saviors?"

Keith Wilson
05-14-2008, 04:22 PM
Not only does he insist on one God, he can figure out precisely what that God would do about beings which may or may not exist on other planets. It must be nice to know so much.

Greg P H
05-14-2008, 04:59 PM
It's fascinating for me to see how this belief in 'original sin' has permeated the western culture. It's such a dis-empowering idea for most of mankind, and yet quite empowering for those that wish control. In my opinion, if anything, that bit of deception is the original sin, the idea we were born evil and need to be saved by someone outside, be it a priest, a government, a savior or an ET.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
05-14-2008, 06:39 PM
Of course Jesus is unique in the universe. Just as the Pope is the divine messenger of God.

and so on.

paladin
05-14-2008, 08:50 PM
Yup...I like their thinking.....I got the sword...I got the guns...either you believe in my God or I'll kill you! We're a thousand times stronger than you or your people..

The Bigfella
05-14-2008, 09:26 PM
we are epitomy of God's material creation


s/he didn't do a very good job then did s/he?

Tom Montgomery
05-14-2008, 09:44 PM
Noodly appendages have already been observed in space:

http://www.scq.ubc.ca/wp-content/NASAFSM.gif

skuthorp
05-14-2008, 09:53 PM
"Noodly appendages have already been observed in space"

Aha! String, or noodle, theory in action. Pix from the Hubble-bubble space craft Tom?.

I reckon this a pre-emptive strike by the vatican, just in case, planting the papal flag on Mars, Io, et al and claiming territory for their particular belief system and power base. Before those pesky proddy's get a jump on them. Hmmm, wonder if the Mormons are building an ancestral data base for Mars, just in case there is something there to be saved?

peb
05-15-2008, 12:05 AM
But that 'other means' you're referring to could indeed be yet another 'Jesus', could it not? The good Fr. argued that it would be wrong to limit God's creative freedom... what if another non-terrestrial civilization had it's equivalent Savior? (I'm not really asking this question, just musing about whether Christianity would be in any way 'disturbed' by the revelation of life on other planets).



From an orthodox Christian perspective, there could not be another Jesus. There is one God for the entire universe. There are three persons in that one God, Jesus being the second. So there could not be another Jesus, as Fr. Fune said, the incarnation was a singular event.

Could another civilization have a non-divine savior? As to your musing, if the existence of intelligent life on other planets was determined to have happened, I suspect that one of Fr. Kune's explanatoin would become apparent (ie no need for a savior or God chose a different plan for salvation). However, as I said, I happen to think that Christian belief points to other life not existing.




In other words, when you apply your theological filter to science, you get the result you were looking for? :p

No. If I was a scientist trying to determine if life exists or not, I would not apply my theological beliefs to the question. But I am not, I am much more approaching the question from a philosophy standpoint, so I use both my religious beliefs and other evidence to support my conclusions.



Ahhh, but you are! You're limiting God to a single Savior for the entire universe! :rolleyes:
No, you are misunderstanding my point of view when I say there is not another Jesus. By that I mean, there is not another case where God became man (or vulcan, kligon, whatever). God could have supplied an alien culture with another means of salvation, perhaps even a different type of savior.

skuthorp
05-15-2008, 12:08 AM
SamF?, SamF?, where are you Sam, the Martians need to be saved.............Sam?

peb
05-15-2008, 12:08 AM
It's fascinating for me to see how this belief in 'original sin' has permeated the western culture. It's such a dis-empowering idea for most of mankind, and yet quite empowering for those that wish control. In my opinion, if anything, that bit of deception is the original sin, the idea we were born evil and need to be saved by someone outside, be it a priest, a government, a savior or an ET.
That represents a big misunderstanding of original sin. We are not born evil (well, as I type I am watching a Charles Manson special, perhaps some of us are), we are simply not born sanctified. There is a big difference. And we are not saved by a priest, or a government, or an ET. We are saved by God.

The Bigfella
05-15-2008, 12:14 AM
We are saved by God


I'd rather be saved by a Dog

brad9798
05-15-2008, 12:21 AM
Kind of a disturbing thread on many levels ... :(

Kaa
05-15-2008, 12:25 AM
That represents a big misunderstanding of original sin. We are not born evil (well, as I type I am watching a Charles Manson special, perhaps some of us are), we are simply not born sanctified. There is a big difference.

Is there really?

A popular interpretation of evil is treating it just as absence of God (or grace, or faith, etc.) Non-baptized children are certainly suffering from that absence.

Besides, all humans are born with the imprint of the original sin on them. Sin is evil, is it not?

Kaa

skuthorp
05-15-2008, 12:31 AM
"Non-baptized children are certainly suffering from that absence."

What? Suffering? What rubbish! And as for "Original sin", you seem far more intelligent than that, or is this an attempt at satire?

The Bigfella
05-15-2008, 12:32 AM
Look at image 31 and then tell me about God again:

http://media.theaustralian.com.au/multimedia/2008/05/13-quake/index.html

Greg P H
05-15-2008, 01:40 AM
That represents a big misunderstanding of original sin. We are not born evil (well, as I type I am watching a Charles Manson special, perhaps some of us are), we are simply not born sanctified. There is a big difference. And we are not saved by a priest, or a government, or an ET. We are saved by God.

I admit not knowing all the details of the Christian churches, and maybe evil wasn't the right word (although it is thrown around a lot).
Evil is a judgment.


The Inquisition might try to get me, but
from my perspective, we are not apart from God, I AM an aspect of him, as are you, as is Master Jesus, The Dalai Lama, Buddha, Bush and OBL.. as is the whole of creation (even the noodley appendages). And that being the case, sanctification is not needed.
This doesn't mean we can do just anything we want to and call it Gods will. It means that the realization of ones divine nature carries the responsibility to walk that realization. To live in ones integrity to the best of ones ability, regardless of outside approval. That's to say It's not an intellectual idea built upon dogma and second hand information, it's a transformation.
Possibly, the realization is the sanctification???

6.5 billion paths all leading the same place.....

Kaa
05-15-2008, 02:11 AM
..or is this an attempt at satire?

Nope. It's a question within the assumed (for the purpose of the question) framework of the Catholic theology.

Peb's post contradicts my, admittedly vague, impressions of how things such as the status of unbaptised children work out in Catholicism. If my views are in error, I'd like to know about it :-)

Kaa

Sam F
05-15-2008, 09:19 AM
I guess nobody ever read the Perelandra trilogy, huh?
Or Voyage to Arcturus
Or A Case of Conscience...
It's not like this issue hasn't been brought up and discussed many times before.

Sam F
05-15-2008, 09:26 AM
I admit not knowing all the details of the Christian churches, and maybe evil wasn't the right word (although it is thrown around a lot).
Evil is a judgment.

Evil ends in judgment. It is not judgment.



The Inquisition might try to get me,
And so might the boogie man. :D


... but
from my perspective, we are not apart from God, I AM an aspect of him,...

So you are "I AM"?
I doubt it.
But we can at least put a name to this condition. It's Pantheism...
"The view according to which God and the world are one."


6.5 billion paths all leading the same place.....

That's highly improbable. Charlie Manson's and Mother Teresa's paths leading to the same place? Only if one considers Atheism true.

Paul Pless
05-15-2008, 09:46 AM
But nothing so far can match these depressingly weird dresses ...
http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/tmarshall/marshall_justices.jpg

ahem... AHEM!!!

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/11/bushputin191106_502x700.jpg

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-15-2008, 09:48 AM
Are those Masonic symbols?

Paul Pless
05-15-2008, 09:55 AM
Dunno... maybe ask Tanbark Spanker?:D

Saltiguy
05-15-2008, 09:57 AM
I reckon this a pre-emptive strike by the vatican, just in case, planting the papal flag on Mars, Io, et al and claiming territory for their particular belief system and power base. Before those pesky proddy's get a jump on them. Hmmm, wonder if the Mormons are building an ancestral data base for Mars, just in case there is something there to be saved?[/quote]

Yes, I agree, and another thing; I hadn't thought of this until this very moment, but how about this:
There are many scholars who believe that earth was visited by aliens many many years ago, and numerous good books have been written on the subject. It would not surprise me one bit if the Vatican has evidence of this history and has supressed it or destroyed it. The modus operandi of the church has always been to keep people in ignorance as much and for as long as possible. The Dark Ages and the inquisitions are the most notorious examples of this effort, when the church destroyed, supressed or kept from the people all knowledge - all ancient Greek and Egyptian knowledge, language, arts, science, etc, etc, etc. Hell, if it wasn't for Gutenberg and Martin Luther, we'd all be living as ignorant illiterate peasants in little villages working for "God"

peb
05-15-2008, 10:35 AM
Is there really?

A popular interpretation of evil is treating it just as absence of God (or grace, or faith, etc.) Non-baptized children are certainly suffering from that absence.

Besides, all humans are born with the imprint of the original sin on them. Sin is evil, is it not?

Kaa

I may be on getting a little past my limits of knowledge, but I will try. I will take some help from SamF or sharpie.

Sin is source of evil. Humans are born with the imprint of an evil might be correct, but I don't like the terminology. But even that is not the same as saying they are evil.

You "popular interpretation" of evil as simply the absence of God is not correct IMO. Here is the first sentence from the old Catholic encyclopedia:


Evil, in a large sense, may be described as the sum of the opposition, which experience shows to exist in the universe, to the desires and needs of individuals; whence arises, among humans beings at least, the sufferings in which life abounds

Also, the absence of God is not equivilent to the absence of grace or the absence of faith. And non-baptized people are suffering from the absence of sanctifying grace, not necessarily the absence of God.


edited to add:
I will have said many times that one's faith should reflect our human experience. I believe that is one of the great strengths of orthodox Christianity. No one would hold a new born baby and feel like he is holding an evil person, quite the opposite. If the church taught that new born babies were evil, that would not reflect our human experience.

Nanoose
05-15-2008, 10:41 AM
And non-baptized people are suffering from the absence of sanctifying grace...

If this is true, we need to account for Jesus' statement to the thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise. Also, we need to account for many of the passages in Acts where God's sanctifying grace was given before baptism.

Greg P H
05-15-2008, 10:52 AM
Evil ends in judgment. It is not judgment.
Good/Evil is part of the duality.. this is the structure of this world of forms, opposites, one does not exist without the other. So they are in essence the same just like yin/yang.


And so might the boogie man. :D

Nah, I met him, we're cool



So you are "I AM"?
I doubt it.
But we can at least put a name to this condition. It's Pantheism...
"The view according to which God and the world are one."

You can call it anything you want, I call it living ;)
Names are like boxes, but this is what the mind does and does it very well. Turns things into a concepts and argues the concepts, excellent for the tangible. The limitation is that It's easier to dismiss (by choice or by programing) or alter the things that don't fit in the box. Why impose limitations rather than explore the potentials?
You are I AM as well, look in the mirror, in your eyes, look into any eyes, people, animals, what do you 'see' looking back?



That's highly improbable. Charlie Manson's and Mother Teresa's paths leading to the same place? Only if one considers Atheism true.

Or if you limit what we are to the personality we wear, and the thoughts we think. Are you a mind, a body, an ego identity, or do you have a mind and a body and an ego?
God experiences itself through every aspect of itself. But you're judging good or evil from a dualistic perspective.
It doesn't matter to me one way or the other :D

Sam F
05-15-2008, 11:01 AM
If this is true, we need to account for Jesus' statement to the thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise. Also, we need to account for many of the passages in Acts where God's sanctifying grace was given before baptism.


You might want to account why Jesus was Himself baptized.
That certainly points to its necessity.
But baptism by water isn't the only way. There is the baptism of blood and of desire. From the Catholic Catechism:

VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM
1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.[59] He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.[60] Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.[61] The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."[62] Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

peb
05-15-2008, 11:10 AM
If this is true, we need to account for Jesus' statement to the thief on the cross that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise. Also, we need to account for many of the passages in Acts where God's sanctifying grace was given before baptism.

No need to account for these at all. The church does not teach that baptism by water is always necessary for salvation. It is the "normal way" which was given to us by Jesus, but the church would never place limits on God's means of salvation and mercy. As Catholics, we rarely need to get caught up in fitting our doctrines around every little passage in the bible. The doctrines of the church and the bible fit together quite well and this becomes unnecessary. We can then use the church teaching to understand the bible and the bible to understand church teaching.

In this particular case, it is taught that the effects of the sacrament of baptism can be effected by a person's desire for Christ and salvation. It is obvious that the good thief on the cross had a deep desire for Christ and the sanctifying grace was granted to him. That scriptural passage has been one of the foundations for the concept of "baptism of desire" since the early church fathers.
And of course, the Catholic church condemns no one. There can be an invasion of grace at the moment before death that can lead one to this desire for to be with Christ.

Sam F
05-15-2008, 11:10 AM
...Only if one considers Atheism true.
Or if you limit what we are to the personality we wear, and the thoughts we think.

No. Only if you believe, as Atheists do, that all paths lead to death.


Are you a mind, a body, an ego identity, or do you have a mind and a body and an ego?

"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis



...Charlie Manson's and Mother Teresa's paths leading to the same place?


God experiences itself through every aspect of itself. But you're judging good or evil from a dualistic perspective.
It doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

So it doesn't matter one way or the other if I'm a Charlie Manson or a Mother Teresa?
As peb said, one strength of orthodox Christianity is that it coincides with human experience. That "it doesn't matter to [you] one way or the other" neither reflects the experience of humanity in general, or of yours in particular.
Unless... which would you rather meet in a dark alley? Manson or Mother Teresa? ;)

Greg P H
05-15-2008, 11:13 AM
All paths lead to life!

peb
05-15-2008, 11:22 AM
All paths lead to life!

That is a very strange statement and an example of why one's philosophy should reflect human experience. Our experience would definitely indicate this is not the case. We have countless examples of human actions that don't lead to life, but lead to evil, death, suffering.

TimH
05-15-2008, 11:33 AM
They are preparing us for the truth.

Kaa
05-15-2008, 11:37 AM
Sin is source of evil.

Well, I think it's more accurate to say that they're feeding each other. Though historically (ahem), if you think evil began with the fall of Lucifer, it was preceded and caused by the sin of pride.

But in any case, I'm not sure how useful is the distinction between sin and evil (besides the fact that the former is an action, physical or mental, or a state, while the latter is a more wide-ranging concept).


Humans are born with the imprint of an evil might be correct, but I don't like the terminology. But even that is not the same as saying they are evil.

Let me try to bounce off you my -- again, limited -- understanding of what I think is standard theology.

Humans are born with a capability for evil. In the absence of grace, humans' natural tendency (because of the original sin) is towards evil and it's only through God/Jesus/grace that they are able to overcome it. Unbaptized children lack a certain umm... link and connection to God created by the baptism sacrament and thus are vulnerable to evil and likely to fall to it. Likely, but not doomed, for clearly it's possible for the unbaptized to become Christians later in life.

The original sin has been described as a taint. Children are born tainted by evil and need to be protected against this taint by baptism.


You "popular interpretation" of evil as simply the absence of God is not correct IMO.

I believe there are several views on the matter. Treating evil as a lack, absence, emptiness has the advantage of ameliorating the theodicy problem. :-)


I will have said many times that one's faith should reflect our human experience. I believe that is one of the great strengths of orthodox Christianity.

Aren't you getting it inverted? Since faith is access to the higher truth, it's human experience that should reflect the faith, not vice versa. Faith, being a limited link to God, is primary and the human experience is secondary.

Kaa

Kaa
05-15-2008, 11:43 AM
And, speaking of aliens... :D :D :D


If all goes well—or very wrong—Earth may receive a message from aliens from the Altair solar system as early as 2015. Japanese astronomers Hisashi Hirabayashi and Masaki Morimoto sent an email there back in 1983, which was lost and has just been re-discovered by the latter at the Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory. Hirabayashi says they were drunk at the time, which explains why some of the 13 71 x 71 pixel images are the molecular formula for ethanol, the kanji characters for "kanpai!" (cheers!), and the English word "toast." Check out some of the pictures and play drunk alien yourself after the jump.

According to Hirabayahsi, he "came up with that idea while drinking. The aliens probably won't understand that (kanpai and toast) part." We can only hope that whoever is looking for life at their radio telescope up there won't be drunk as well, if only to ensure good inter-planetary relations from the start. Example:

http://gizmodo.com/assets/resources/2008/05/acd0805120804006-p1.jpg

Obviously, this means: "Dear People of Altair, We are organisms who reproduce sexually to form families. Life on Earth started in the water." Kind of scary, but better than the alternative—after five whiskies: "Hey alien dudes, here on Earth we are all nudist. Some of us are giants with big tits. Others are giants with tiny penises. Fishes like to suntan on the beach. Turn the page to see us drunk. Kanpai!"

http://gizmodo.com/assets/resources/2008/05/acd0805120804006-p2.jpg(http://gizmodo.com/390304/earth-set-to-receive-alien-reply-invasion-in-2015)

Kaa

Keith Wilson
05-15-2008, 12:02 PM
. . . Christian belief points to other life not existing. Isn't this an example of using religious belief incorrectly? If life exists elsewhere (and my guess is as good as yours whether or not it does) it is a physical reality, something existing in the normal world, like planets and mountains and aardvarks. How can Christian, or any other religious belief tell us whether or not some physical thing exists? Methinks the magesteria are overlapping a bit this morning.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-15-2008, 12:08 PM
If space aliens could exist, could they be people?

And how could you tell?

peb
05-15-2008, 12:14 PM
Isn't this an example of using religious belief incorrectly? If life exists elsewhere (and my guess is as good as yours whether or not it does) it is a physical reality, something existing in the normal world, like planets and mountains and aardvarks. How can Christian, or any other religious belief tell us whether or not some physical thing exists? Methinks the magesteria are overlapping a bit this morning.

Not at all. In the absence of concrete physical evidence one way or another, if one is to "speculate" on a question, even if the question purely deals with the physical world, using all of one's knowledge (and I know you will take exception to that word) as to one's speculative answer is perfectly reasonable. Why would some one even take the time to speculate on an "unknowable" question, if one was not going to use all of one's beliefs .
Obviously, it is a speculative two way street. One then considers what it would mean to one's religion if the other answer was found to be true. That is what Fr. Fune did so well, IMO.

Nanoose
05-15-2008, 12:17 PM
Then, peb, it appears you either have a contradiction or need to edit an earlier post in which you stated "non-baptized people are suffering from the absence of sanctifying grace..."

peb
05-15-2008, 12:21 PM
Then, peb, it appears you either have a contradiction or need to edit an earlier post in which you stated "non-baptized people are suffering from the absence of sanctifying grace..."

Could you do a better job of pointing out my contradiction? Which other statement did I make that conflicts with this? I will fix it, explain, or acknowledge being wrong if you point out the exact contradiction.

Greg P H
05-15-2008, 01:06 PM
That is a very strange statement and an example of why one's philosophy should reflect human experience. Our experience would definitely indicate this is not the case. We have countless examples of human actions that don't lead to life, but lead to evil, death, suffering.

It depends upon what you identify as 'you'. The mind dies, the body dies, they can suffer, they can feel, they have a beginning and an end, as part of the dual nature of the physical incarnation(death/birth). But the soul that projected itself through the mind and body in order to experience a physical reality continues as an aspect of a greater awareness, aware of it's individuation and it's connection to the whole.
The body becomes food for new life, the individual experiences of the mind become part of the I AM consciousness.
Maybe.. and I say maybe because words are poor tools in this case, or it could be the operator. ;)

Nanoose
05-15-2008, 02:11 PM
Could you do a better job of pointing out my contradiction? Which other statement did I make that conflicts with this? I will fix it, explain, or acknowledge being wrong if you point out the exact contradiction.

Your post #55.

Tylerdurden
05-15-2008, 03:38 PM
I was leaving this alone until I started seeing a trend.

Lots of "They are here" or "could be here" crap in the news lately.

Is this the new boogey man to usher in world government?

Osama(Tim Osman) being dead and all isn't playing like he used too and most of the world is up with the jive. But if we could tell everyone Alfa-Centurians with big penis are attacking we would accept even more loss of rights worldwide.

Problem-Reaction-Solution.

Enough wild arsed speculation for now.:D

peb
05-15-2008, 03:43 PM
Your post #55.

I reread the post, I see no contradiction.

If you are saying
"non-baptized people are suffering from the absence of sanctifying grace" contradicts the second sentence of #55:

"The church does not teach that baptism by water is always necessary for salvation."

I thought the rest of post 55 would have explained it well. That is why the church calls it "Baptism by desire".

Of course, the words "Baptism by Desire" is not in scripture, so i am sure you have a tough time with it. I can't help that.

Here would be a more precise understanding:

From the CCC:


1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

Bob Cleek
05-15-2008, 03:46 PM
ROTFLMAO! Funny how Vatican "pronouncements" are gleaned from off handed comments by anybody "inside the walls." It isn't like the guy working at the Vatican observatory has any rank. Anything that is published by L'Osservatore Romano gets reported in the world press as a "Vatican announcement." What a hoot. Guido Sarducci was so right on!

There's nothing controversial about the reported statement. There's nothing that would contradict Catholic theology about positing the possibility of "intelligent life" anywhere else. (Albeit that the presence of "intelligent life" on earth is itself often open to question!) Neither is there any theological inconsistency with the observation that such life might be "without original sin" as that term is understood theologically. Nothing about the statement contradicts the theological premise that human beings on earth are unique with respect to their relationship with God, that being the "creation" commencing with "Adam" however that may have actually occurred. (Everything in the bible is true. Some of it actually happened.) Heck, chimpanzees are "intelligent beings" not subject to "original sin."

That said, I'd love to hear the "Pope's astronomer" answer me this one...

Church doctrine holds that Christ "ascended" and his mother was "assumed" into heaven, from earth, "body and soul." These doctrines appear to posit that their physical bodies actually left here and went someplace else. I think that's pretty much the "party line." As a Catholic, I "take it on faith," which is to say, I'm not losing sleep over the question one way or the other. God can do anything and who am I to dispute that just because I don't understand it? Anyway, though, since bodies are made of matter, and matter can travel no faster than the speed of light, either heaven is a physical place somewhere closer than a couple of thousand light years from here, or else Jesus and Mary are still "in transit" somewhere in outer space... right? I've never been able to reconcile the science and theology of this on my own. Then again, I'm no astronomer.

Kaa
05-15-2008, 04:43 PM
Anyway, though, since bodies are made of matter, and matter can travel no faster than the speed of light, either heaven is a physical place somewhere closer than a couple of thousand light years from here, or else Jesus and Mary are still "in transit" somewhere in outer space... right? I've never been able to reconcile the science and theology of this on my own. Then again, I'm no astronomer.

That's silly. God is not limited by laws of nature. In fact that's precisely what a miracle is -- it's something that is impossible according to these laws.

And anyway, you don't find, say, walking on water or multiplying of bread loaves strange, but think that the speed of light is a limit even God cannot pass? :D

Kaa

peb
05-15-2008, 05:44 PM
Church doctrine holds that Christ "ascended" and his mother was "assumed" into heaven, from earth, "body and soul." These doctrines appear to posit that their physical bodies actually left here and went someplace else. I think that's pretty much the "party line." As a Catholic, I "take it on faith," which is to say, I'm not losing sleep over the question one way or the other. God can do anything and who am I to dispute that just because I don't understand it? Anyway, though, since bodies are made of matter, and matter can travel no faster than the speed of light, either heaven is a physical place somewhere closer than a couple of thousand light years from here, or else Jesus and Mary are still "in transit" somewhere in outer space... right? I've never been able to reconcile the science and theology of this on my own. Then again, I'm no astronomer.


Bob, your statement "I take it on faith" is very refreshing to hear. Jesus and Mary are not "in transit" anywhere, they are in heaven body and soul, just all who are saved will be at the end of time. So to me, this definitely implies there is some type of physicality to heaven. How that is, I don't know nor does the church claim to know. If it is part of this universe, the limitation of speed, does not apply. Our bodies in heaven will be glorified and will have several preternatural gifts: impassibility, subtility, agility, clarity.

Impassibility: free from suffering
subtility: the power to penetrate, ie a physical material cannot limit the body's ability to move anywhere
agility: ability to move easily and quickly at the soul'd bequest
clarity: brilliance

Sounds like fun :)

Nanoose
05-15-2008, 06:42 PM
Man, Catholicism sure has some interesting interpretations of scripture. :rolleyes: No wonder Luther acted as he did.

peb
05-15-2008, 07:10 PM
Man, Catholicism sure has some interesting interpretations of scripture. :rolleyes: No wonder Luther acted as he did.

Nanoose, is the idea of a bodily resurrection not part of your Christian belief? And I am almost positive that Luther would have agreed with almost everything in my post to Bob Cleek. I am pretty sure that the belief in a bodily resurrection and the idea of a glorified body after the resurrection is accepted by almost all mainline protestant denominations.

As to scriptureal reference of a glorified body:

Philipians 3:21
But our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself.

1st Corinthians 15:49
And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

So we will have a body like Christ's resurrected body. Do I need to show you passages from scripture that show Christ's body possessing the qualities I described above?

Man, protestants sure lack some basic knowledge of scripture :) No wonder Newman acted as he did.

The Bigfella
05-15-2008, 07:18 PM
If bodily resurrection is such an element of Christian belief, why do more than 90% of Americans allow their bodies to be pickled (embalmed) after death - which certainly delays the physical elements of bodily resurrection?

Sam F
05-15-2008, 08:46 PM
Nanoose, is the idea of a bodily resurrection not part of your Christian belief? And I am almost positive that Luther would have agreed with almost everything in my post to Bob Cleek. I am pretty sure that the belief in a bodily resurrection and the idea of a glorified body after the resurrection is accepted by almost all mainline protestant denominations.

So far as I have observed, that is so.


As to scriptural reference of a glorified body:

Philipians 3:21
But our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself.

1st Corinthians 15:49
And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

So we will have a body like Christ's resurrected body. Do I need to show you passages from scripture that show Christ's body possessing the qualities I described above?

Man, protestants sure lack some basic knowledge of scripture :) No wonder Newman acted as he did.

Here's another one for our resident Protestants who curiously, don't read scripture:


John 20:19. When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

So the glorified body can move through solid matter, i.e. a locked door. Whatever the exact nature of such a being is - the Universal speed limit should be no obstacle.

Bob Cleek
05-15-2008, 09:21 PM
Oh, gosh... I really didn't mean to start one of these again! LOL

Hey, consider this: IT DOESN'T MATTER!

You see, in the presence of the Almighty, NOTHING else matters. Why worry about whether you can walk through doors when you get to heaven? Just BEING THERE is going to occupy all your attention for all time. Right? It's like, if that isn't so, are you saying "contemplating the face of God" for all eternity is going to get boring and you'll be looking for something else more fun to do? Is it like God's going to give you all these "super powers" to entertain yourself on some kind of cellestial "Carnival Cruise Ship" with St. Peter as the social director because He doesn't want you to get bored sharing His company? Considering the length of "eternity," having to plan your day would soon become a real "hell!"

Don't make yourselves crazy with what one denomination or another believes... doctrine is only like the road signs on the highway. All road signs are intended to give you some direction about how to get where you want to go. Some are helpful, some are not. We read some. Some we overlook. So long as we read and follow enough of the right signs, we eventually get where we want to go. Sure, we can expect to get lost along the way sometimes, but that's okay, as long as we eventually get where we want to be. Arguing about which religion is "better" or "right" is like arguing about whether "google maps" or "yahoo maps" or "mapquest" is right. You really have no idea of whether one of them is right or wrong or shows the best route or not... you just have to pick one and see if it gets you there.

I expect that our "report cards" on Judgment Day are going to be graded soley on EFFORT, not whether or not we got the right answers on some multiple choice test.

Tom Montgomery
05-15-2008, 09:39 PM
Yep. God's gonna forgive us. That's His job.

S B
05-15-2008, 09:41 PM
ahem... AHEM!!!

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/11/bushputin191106_502x700.jpg

birds of a feather..........

glenallen
05-15-2008, 11:04 PM
Yep. God's gonna forgive us. That's His job.

And Love us!
We can't trust plain ole earthly love. It can go bad on us in a heartbeat. Just ask any of us around here.
But God's love, now that's the real thing!
God's love makes all other love insignificant.
Of course, that's only when He's not pissed off and persecutory and judgemental and jealous and lonely.
When He's in one of those moods we don't want to draw any attention to ourselves because He just might throw a dose of Wrath at us. Best not to bother God when He's in a Foul mood.

From what I've heard, Praying is the way we draw God's attention to our own little corners of the universe so that He can help us out with our petty problems such as pain, heartache, anguish, loss, eminent death, poverty, etc.

If God can keep watch over 6.5 billion Earthlings and hear their prayers, then surely he can Love many billions more from other Worlds with the same great attention to details that He shows us.
If Christians actually thought there were Aliens out there they would have already mounted search parties to bring them into the Fold and teach them to love God and worship him and pay tribute to Them, er, I mean Him.

Tom Montgomery
05-16-2008, 11:45 AM
http://www.wunderkabinett.co.uk/gallery/albums/userpics/10003/alien_icon.jpg

Sam F
05-16-2008, 01:13 PM
...I expect that our "report cards" on Judgment Day are going to be graded soley on EFFORT, not whether or not we got the right answers on some multiple choice test.

That's very Catholic of you Bob.
I'm reminded of the old joke...
"The Catholic God grades on a curve.
The Protestant God grades on a pass fail system.
But everyone deserves to fail." ;)

And naturally, if one is a Calvinist - you get zip for effort.
So, like it or not, it does matter what one believes about such things.
An Atheist needn't put forth any effort at all.
A Calvinist knows your fate is predestined.
A Fundamentalist, like the Pharisees, just has to follow the letter of the law.
While all those Catholics are worried about if they've put forth enough effort or not. :)

The Bigfella
05-16-2008, 07:49 PM
OK, I'll try again. It was a serious question:

If bodily resurrection is such an element of Christian belief, why do more than 90% of Americans allow their bodies to be pickled (embalmed) after death - which certainly delays the physical elements of bodily resurrection?

SamSam
05-16-2008, 08:34 PM
Hell, if it wasn't for Gutenberg and Martin Luther, we'd all be living as ignorant illiterate peasants in little villages working for "God"
Oh oh, you rang the Martin Luther bell. You might want to reconsider his contributions to erasing ignorance and illiteracy.


"Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason."
— Martin Luther
"Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God."
— Martin Luther
"Reason should be destroyed in all Christians."
— Martin Luther
"Reason is the Devil's greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil's appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom ... Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism... She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets."
— Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148
"Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and ... know nothing but the word of God."
— Martin Luther
"What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church? [...] a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."
— Martin Luther
"Drive them [Jews] like mad dogs from our land... let not one of them live..."
— Martin Luther

Sam F
05-16-2008, 09:10 PM
Oh oh, you rang the Martin Luther bell. You might want to reconsider his contributions to erasing ignorance and illiteracy.

Awww... you missed the best part. Herr Luther abridged the Bible too.
Now maybe that was OK to do on his own authority, but he could at least have asked first. ;)

Tom Montgomery
05-16-2008, 09:11 PM
You've gotta love the Reformation.

Sam F
05-16-2008, 09:13 PM
OK, I'll try again. It was a serious question:

If bodily resurrection is such an element of Christian belief, why do more than 90% of Americans allow their bodies to be pickled (embalmed) after death - which certainly delays the physical elements of bodily resurrection?

What difference would it make whether one were embalmed or not?
It's not delaying anything.
Heck I see folk all the time already pickled - and they're very much alive, if a bit unsteady on their feet. :D

Lots of folk think (perhaps correctly depending on the state - I don't know) that embalming is required by law. Funeral directors aren't about to correct them either since that's a profit center for their establishments.
Personally I rather just rot. People say I'm rotten already... so why not? :D :D

Nanoose
05-16-2008, 09:15 PM
OK, I'll try again. It was a serious question:

If bodily resurrection is such an element of Christian belief, why do more than 90% of Americans allow their bodies to be pickled (embalmed) after death - which certainly delays the physical elements of bodily resurrection?

And, added to that thought, what of all the Christians over the past 2000 years who have no bodily remains? those vaporized at Hiroshima? those lost in the depths of the sea?

Obviously, embalming won't be an issue considering the above.

Sam F
05-16-2008, 09:17 PM
I've heard about how well read the Forumites are... and nobody's read these?

I guess nobody ever read the Perelandra trilogy, huh?
Or Voyage to Arcturus
Or A Case of Conscience...

Sam F
05-16-2008, 09:19 PM
And, added to that thought, what of all the Christians over the past 2000 years who have no bodily remains? those vaporized at Hiroshima? ...

That would most likely be Nagasaki.

Tom Montgomery
05-16-2008, 09:20 PM
From the Chicago Tribune:


Enthusiasts say 'Amen' as Vatican allows alien belief
By Rex W. Huppke
Tribune reporter
May 16, 2008

Word that the Vatican had declared devout Catholics free to believe in aliens traveled at warp speed this week, around the globe and, quite possibly, to points unknown.



Earthbound theologians and astrophysicists debated it, online "Jedi Council" forums erupted in geeky chatter, and many who have long dared to believe that life exists beyond our terrestrial confines felt some small measure of vindication.



"If you're sitting in a room that's totally dark and you can't see anything, and the door is cracked just a millimeter to let a little light in, that can be extremely useful," said Peter Davenport, head of the National UFO Reporting Center in Washington state.



In other words, in the lonely world of alien believers, visitors are always welcome.



The Catholic Church has never been considered anti-alien. In fact, Catholic priests and scholars have written about the issue of extraterrestrial life since at least the Middle Ages. What made this week's statement significant, several experts say, is that the comments by Rev. Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, were printed in the Vatican's own newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. That gave his words a certain papal heft.



It has also made for some lively discussions between liberal and conservative theologians. Rev. Christopher Corbally, vice director of the Vatican Observatory, said he has been bombarded with e-mail from colleagues pondering whether God could have created more than one world and whether other beings could be granted redemption via a Christ-like savior.


Chaining God?

If God created human beings in his own image, how could there be others who don't look like us? Little green men, Corbally noted, certainly do not fit the popular image of God.

"It's a fun way to catch people's imagination," he said jubilantly. "How wonderful it would be to have other life beyond our own world, because it would show how God's creation just flows out without abandon.

"We are always trying to restrict God's creativity, putting theological difficulties in the way. But I don't think God bothers with theological difficulties."

Some human beings, on the other hand, can be a bit literal when interpreting the teachings of their faiths. Proof of that can be found in the Puritanical pudding of the Salem witch trials in 1692, not to mention countless history books or even today's headlines. Many a faithful soul today would be aghast at talk of other forms of intelligent life.

"Any kind of literalist in Christianity would be barring these sorts of beliefs," said Thomas O'Brien, a professor of religious studies at DePaul University. "If you were to go to some fundamentalist Christian churches, you'd hear some pastors say belief in UFOs is tantamount to a non-belief in Jesus Christ."

Such pooh-poohing of cosmic possibilities runs quite counter to this week's comments in the Vatican Observatory. Funes said that to not believe life exists beyond our planet would be to "set limits on the creative liberty of God."

As Rev. Thomas O'Meara, a visiting theology professor at Boston College, puts it: "If you have a mature view of God, God can do what God wants."

So the question becomes: Will this declaration from the Vatican be of any help to those who truly believe in visiting spacecraft and worlds beyond our own?

"Religion does play a big part in the UFO phenomenon," said Julie Shuster, director of the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, N.M., the shrine for alien enthusiasts. "A lot of people feel it's a very demonic thing. They'll come with a family member, but they won't set foot in the door because they don't believe in any of it, and don't think they should."

Not seeing, but believing

Still, a sudden bump in the 160,000 visitors the center gets each year isn't expected. And Shuster sounded a bit skeptical of why the Vatican — which, she understands, has "a wide array of books on UFOs" — picked this particular time to bring up aliens.

"Maybe they felt that, for whatever reason, the timing is right," Shuster posited.

So what's next? A canonical embrace of ghosts, psychic powers, fairies and, perhaps, the Easter Bunny?

Turns out that's not necessary.

"There are no problems with ghosts and the paranormal because a lot of the personages that populate the cosmic world of Catholicism are precisely those kinds of figures," said O'Brien, the DePaul professor. "So there's nothing against that kind of belief."

In fact, O'Brien and other experts agree that the Catholic faith — and many others, for that matter — is based not on things a person can't believe in, but on the things a person must believe in.

So believe what you wish. As long as you buy into the basic tenets of your religion, the sky, or in this case the universe, is the limit.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-god_vs_alienmay16,0,3740227.story

Nanoose
05-16-2008, 09:21 PM
Either one will do, Sam.

Nanoose
05-16-2008, 09:23 PM
As Rev. Thomas O'Meara, a visiting theology professor at Boston College, puts it: "If you have a mature view of God, God can do what God wants."

Actually, whether you have a mature view of God or not, God can and does do what God wants.

Tom Montgomery
05-16-2008, 09:35 PM
I've heard about how well read the Forumites are... and nobody's read these?

I guess nobody ever read the Perelandra trilogy, huh?
Or Voyage to Arcturus
Or A Case of Conscience...
Are you suggesting that anyone who has not read these novels is not well-read?

Science fiction is not to everyone's taste, Sam. I'd hazard the guess that Christian-oriented science fiction is a niche within a niche.

Why don't you give us all a book report?

SamSam
05-16-2008, 11:19 PM
So to me, this definitely implies there is some type of physicality to heaven....Our bodies in heaven will be glorified and will have several preternatural gifts: impassibility, subtility, agility, clarity.

Impassibility: free from suffering
subtility: the power to penetrate, ie a physical material cannot limit the body's ability to move anywhere
agility: ability to move easily and quickly at the soul'd bequest
clarity: brilliance

Sounds like fun :)

And what will "you" do for eternity? Will the novelty of subtility not wear off after a few dozen millennium? Earthly pursuits like sex, food, reading or boating can't be the goal of Heaven. Surely the rewards of Heaven wouldn't just be more of the same, but only better. Will you just smile and be happy for infinity? It would seem there would be no sadness, so how could there be happiness? After awhile of eternity, bliss would become the norm and seem meaningless. Is Heaven a cessation of feelings, thoughts, hopes and wishes? A cessation of consciousness and awareness? Is being in Heaven the same as being dead?

If there is a physicality and a resemblance to life on Earth in your Heaven, I'd like to hear some of the mechanics to the situation. How will the chores be divided up? Who grows the food? Who sweeps the streets? Gold paved, I might add. Who tunes the harps? Who picks stuff up and cleans the toilets? Do you ever sleep? Do you need light as in lightbulbs, or is it forever light? Do you need to brush your teeth? Is there soap in Heaven? Is there dirt in Heaven?

My neighbor down the road, in Wisconsin, was a Jehovah's Witness. He was a respectable dairy farmer, 4-500 acres, bunch of kids, a wife, etc. He'd bring me a Watchtower and try to convince me. We got to talking about The Chosen or whatever, the 144,000 lucky stiffs that are going to rule with God after the Apocalypse. He said " After the End there won't be any cars or things like that, you know." Okay, I says. "You know what I'm going to use to get around with then?" Well, maybe a horse? says I. He hesitated, I don't think he had thought of that. "No" he says. "I'm going to ride an ostrich." Where are you going to get that? " I'm going to where they are. In Australia. Do you know how I'm going to get there?" Well, noooo says I, becoming alert and taking notice of what is between me and the door. "I'm going to ride on the back of a whale." Whoa! Cripes! A whale!?!? Where you going to find a whale? "I'm going to go to the sea and call him." What are you going to eat? What if he submerges? " He will listen to my commands." Okay, man, sounds like a plan to me. Say, I got things to do, it's been nice talking to you.

I hope you have a more rational plan than he did.

Nanoose
05-16-2008, 11:22 PM
Most of your questions are answered at the end of Revelation - that, and what we know of Christ post resurrection.

Sam F
05-17-2008, 07:43 AM
Either one [Nagasaki or Hiroshima] will do, Sam.

Not quite:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urakami_Cathedral

The Bigfella
05-17-2008, 09:54 AM
And, added to that thought, what of all the Christians over the past 2000 years who have no bodily remains? those vaporized at Hiroshima? those lost in the depths of the sea?

Obviously, embalming won't be an issue considering the above.

Not true - since matter can't be created or destroyed - its just converted to some other form. I'm willing to bet that a great number of the vaporised folks in Japan in 1945 have atoms happily walking around in other folk in Japan now. They got their chance at resurrection a lot sooner than someone attempting to stall decay (and hence the shot at physical resurrection)

Yep - since the invention of refrigeration, embalming has just been there to line the pockets of the funeral industry

Tom Montgomery
05-17-2008, 09:56 AM
Sam, are you saying there were no Christians in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945?

You are simply nit-picking with Deb because Nagasaki had an unusually large Christian population.

Twelve American airmen died in the Hiroshima blast. As did thousands of Koreans. I guess you figure none of them were Christian, as were no Japanese. :rolleyes:

peb
05-17-2008, 10:24 AM
And, added to that thought, what of all the Christians over the past 2000 years who have no bodily remains? those vaporized at Hiroshima? those lost in the depths of the sea?

Obviously, embalming won't be an issue considering the above.
Nanoose, I am honestly confused about your position. Do you not belief in the resurrection of the body?

Bob Cleek
05-17-2008, 02:54 PM
Where is all this going? Could L.Ron Hubbard be right?

Tanbark Spanker
05-17-2008, 02:59 PM
Fake alien invasion, false flag operation, I see.

Tanbark Spanker
05-17-2008, 09:23 PM
I know for fact that there is a clip of Reagan suggesting that an invasion of space aliens would hasten a one world government. I think he gave a wink to a person that was just offstage, but I can't be sure.

Tom Montgomery
05-17-2008, 09:33 PM
Ronnie longing for a space alien threat to unite us. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iDmaB5BxzA&feature=related)

glenallen
05-17-2008, 10:03 PM
Where is all this going? Could L.Ron Hubbard be right?

Nope! But then, neither is the Pope nor all his Priests and Sycophants.
The only place in the universe to find "right" is between our own ears.
But I figure you already know that.

Sam F
05-18-2008, 11:22 AM
Nope! But then, neither is the Pope nor all his Priests and Sycophants.
The only place in the universe to find "right" is between our own ears...

Ah the old Atheist dogma of moral relativism! The problem Glen, is that between your ears is an Achilles heel. That makes for an interesting anatomic contortion involving the insertion of a foot into a mouth.
But I figure you already know that. ;)

Nanoose
05-18-2008, 11:37 AM
Sounds more like humanism.

glenallen
05-18-2008, 04:39 PM
Ah the old Atheist dogma of moral relativism! The problem Glen, is that between your ears is an Achilles heel. That makes for an interesting anatomic contortion involving the insertion of a foot into a mouth.
But I figure you already know that. ;)

Of course it's an Achilles heel, Sam, but it's nonetheless real. It's all we've got, despite your wishful belief that God decides what's right and what's wrong for us.
We're not God's little mindless robots, never were and never will be. You know fully well that it is you who decides what you will do, right or wrong. Same with everybody else!
Humanism? Maybe! Isn't that what we are, Humans?
You can believe God has you safely in His hip-pocket or any other darn fool thing, but that does not make it so.
I've told you that before. When will you get that foot out of your ear and start listening?:D

Sam F
05-18-2008, 09:15 PM
Of course it's an Achilles heel, Sam, but it's nonetheless real. It's all we've got, despite your wishful belief that God decides what's right and what's wrong for us.

So right and wrong being only between my ears it'll be OK with you if I came and took all your stuff. But you already know that. ;)


We're not God's little mindless robots, never were and never will be. You know fully well that it is you who decides what you will do, right or wrong. Same with everybody else!

Of course we're mindless robots Glen:
"We are survival machines--robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes." Richard Dawkins.


...You can believe God has you safely in His hip-pocket or any other darn fool thing, but that does not make it so.
So right! But if I decide to take your stuff I can decide that it's so.


I've told you that before. When will you get that foot out of your ear and start listening?

I'm not the one agreeing that I have an Achilles heel between my ears! :D

glenallen
05-19-2008, 01:44 AM
It's OK with me if the Achilles heel between your ears tells you to come take my stuff. I can't control your thoughts.
But I can regretfully shoot you with the 12 gauge.
Your Achilles heel between your ears led you in a dangerous direction.

Dawkins often uses hyperbole to stun the ignorant out of their notions that some gods are keeping us going rather than our own biological Selves.

Once again, you can't take my stuff, not because it's wrong for you to take, but beacuse I won't let you take it.

You need to acknowledge the Achilles heel between your ears. It's keeping you locked into the delusion that there is a God directing your life rather than a purely biological creature called Sam F.

Tom Montgomery
05-19-2008, 07:38 AM
So prior to Moses descending Mt. Sinai with God's commandments men were congenital thieves? I guess when the Hebrews were taking a break from building pyramids they amused themselves by stealing each others stuff. No wonder God periodically wiped them out.

Sam F
05-19-2008, 10:22 AM
Quote order slightly re-arranged for clarity...

It's worthwhile to remember that an Achilles heel is a fatal flaw.


It's OK with me if the Achilles heel between your ears tells you to come take my stuff. I can't control your thoughts.
But I can regretfully shoot you with the 12 gauge.
Your Achilles heel between your ears led you in a dangerous direction... Once again, you can't take my stuff, not because it's wrong for you to take, but beacuse I won't let you take it.


Hardly. Your Atheist mythology leads you to a Darwinist nightmare.
Sure you can use your 12 gauge, but so can anyone else. It's nature red in tooth and claw. I hope you're in good enough shape for the contest!
Unless you want to be imprisoned in your very own "green zone", that denial of transcendent morality doesn't work very well.
In fact, this is another example of how Atheism doesn't reflect human experience, but orthodox Christianity does.
And speaking of human experience I doubt that any robbery victim ever said: "The robber's morals were decided "between his ears", and since it was right to him, I'll not bother to call the police." But that's the logical end to your beliefs.
The fact is that if you rob, beat, cheat or otherwise molest an Atheist, and you'll find he's as ardent a supporter of Christian morality as any Fundamentalist.


Dawkins often uses hyperbole to stun the ignorant out of their notions that some gods are keeping us going rather than our own biological Selves.

No Glen, Dawkins isn't using hyperbole. He calls it science.
Here's the rest of the quote in context:


Start of preface to 1976 edition
This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction. It is designed to appeal to the imagination. But it is not science fiction: it is science. Cliché’ or not, 'stranger than fiction' expresses exactly how I feel about the truth. We are survival machines--robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment. Though I have known it for years, I never seem to get fully used to it. One of my hopes is that I may have some success in astonishing others...

So according to Dawkins what he said is "science" and "a truth". Those things are not generally considered hyperbole. And it's perfectly obvious that ignorance of his stated position isn't a factor - it's quite the opposite of ignorance: it's knowledge.


You need to acknowledge the Achilles heel between your ears. It's keeping you locked into the delusion that there is a God directing your life...
If there's an Achilles heel in my position you've not discovered it.


...rather than a purely biological creature called Sam F.

Purely biological creatures don't concern themselves with right and wrong - even if such concepts are created only between their ears... or tentacles. ;)

glenallen
05-19-2008, 10:56 AM
Sam, here is the totallity of my atheist mythology and dogma:
I don't believe in gods.
That's it.
Consequently, I believe humans invented gods and morality, not the other way around.
You should know by now that your parents were telling you the truth when they told you there are no gods. It is the priests, not your parents who have lied to you.

"Purely biological creatures don't concern themselves with right and wrong"...
Of course they do! You and I and all other people are proof of it. Don't you think our minds are part of our Biology? No gods handed us our minds on a silver platter. They evolved in a long biological process you know.

Sam F
05-19-2008, 11:41 AM
Sam, here is the totallity of my atheist mythology and dogma:
I don't believe in gods.
That's it.

I can't fault your faith Glen!



Consequently, I believe humans invented gods and morality, not the other way around.

And consequently, you won't bother to call the police if robbed.
After all, your robber's morality is just as good as yours.
Right?

"Purely biological creatures don't concern themselves with right and wrong"...


Of course they do! You and I and all other people are proof of it. Don't you think our minds are part of our Biology? No gods handed us our minds on a silver platter. They evolved in a long biological process you know.

Uh, the "tentacles" reference was to a purpose. I trust you don't have any!
Even if your faith in Materialism is correct and humans are only "pure biology", a unique set of one isn't very convincing.
If you know of any other purely biological creatures that concern themselves with morality, let me know... and let me know how you know. ;)

glenallen
05-19-2008, 12:04 PM
Only one "tentacle" here, but it has No mind!:D
All creatures, including humans, have built in integrity common to their species. I wouldn't call that morality.
I just watched another "moral" Baptist preacher arrested last week for travelling to meet a 13 year old girl he met on the net.
He has a congregation of 26,000 in the Dallas area that he's been preaching morality to for years. Poor devil!

Tom Montgomery
05-19-2008, 12:27 PM
...speaking of human experience I doubt that any robbery victim ever said: "The robber's morals were decided "between his ears", and since it was right to him, I'll not bother to call the police." But that's the logical end to your beliefs.
The fact is that if you rob, beat, cheat or otherwise molest an Atheist, and you'll find he's as ardent a supporter of Christian morality as any Fundamentalist.:confused:

How are societal prohibitions against cheating, theft, assault, and molestation construed to be "Christian" morality? It seems to me these acts threatening the good order of society are prohibited in every culture regardless of religious belief or lack thereof. And trace back far longer than 2000 years.

Certainly there are prohibitions that trace to Judeo-Christian morality. But cheating, theft, assault, and molestation?

Explain please.

peb
05-19-2008, 02:21 PM
:confused:

How are societal prohibitions against cheating, theft, assault, and molestation construed to be "Christian" morality? It seems to me these acts threatening the good order of society are prohibited in every culture regardless of religious belief or lack thereof. And trace back far longer than 2000 years.

Certainly there are prohibitions that trace to Judeo-Christian morality. But cheating, theft, assault, and molestation?

Explain please.
Tom, I will try to answer this question wrt the conversation between glenallen and samf.

Certainly those morals you specify, although part of a Christian morality, are common to all. They would be part of what we christians call the natural law.
Of course, one could take the approach that of glenallen and say that natural law is "built in integrity common to their species". Some type of "hard-wired" aspect of thinking. This is probably the only way an atheist could answer C.S.Lewis's assertion in Mere Christianity that the common moral code across all societies is evidence of a creator. But the materialistic atheist have a higher bar, they cannot make that assertion without some type of scientific evidence, and this they are lacking. So they assume this "built in integrity" as part of their faith in the non existence of God.

But of course when they do this, they are definitely contradicting this claim:
"Consequently, I believe humans invented gods and morality, not the other way around". If it is "built in" then certainly it wasn't invented. If it was invented, then it seems impossible that the moral code would have such similarity across different cultures.

SamSam
05-19-2008, 02:50 PM
Most of your questions are answered at the end of Revelation - that, and what we know of Christ post resurrection.
The only question I found answered was light will be eternal, so candles won't be needed. Well, I guess I also found out there won't be any sadness or sorrow, so, as far as I can tell, no happiness either.

I found there is a definite size to Heaven...
And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.I'm not sure whether that's 12,000 furlongs per side, or alltogether. I'm thinking per side makes more sense, since if you created the whole universe, why scrimp when it comes to Heaven.

I find it a little puzzling that since Earthly desires and hangups won't apply to "Heavenites" or "Heavenicians" (?), why is the description of Heaven pretty much couched in terms that excite human material wants, such as
And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19: And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20: The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.And if the
fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.is true, I can see why the gates to "The City" would never be closed, but why would there be walls and gates to begin with?

I really don't think Revelations answered my questions very well, if at all. I'm still wondering what it is you all will actually be doing for eternity.

Tom Montgomery
05-19-2008, 03:22 PM
OK peb. I'll take your word for it that when Sam wrote "Christian morality" he actually meant to say "natural law."

Although...

The fact is that if you rob, beat, cheat or otherwise molest an Atheist, and you'll find he's as ardent a supporter of natural law as any Fundamentalist.
...doesn't really seem to work, does it?

skuthorp
05-19-2008, 05:17 PM
"........Your Atheist mythology leads you to a Darwinist nightmare"

Still peddling your fraudulent twaddle I see SamF, there is no 'athiest mythology', just nothing. I note you seem to be promoting Dawkins writings as a sort of 'athiest manifesto', or perhaps an un-holy book? I think as a person so committed to your version of christian dogma an unstructured un-belief is beyond your capacity to comprehend. Dawkins is one man, one man's opinion, there is no dogma just unbelief. But you certainly keep the wheels turning, and I hope you are well and might even get on the water this US summer.

glenallen
05-19-2008, 05:21 PM
Sam seems obssessed with robbing, beating, cheating, and worst of all, Molesting atheists.:D
Notice how he continues to capitalize atheist although it is not a proper noun?
Reckon he does that just to make them seem somehow Bigger and Badder and Scarier?

Tom Montgomery
05-19-2008, 05:23 PM
Scarier.

SamSam
05-19-2008, 05:26 PM
Sam seems obssessed with robbing, beating, cheating, and worst of all, Molesting atheists.:D
Notice how he continues to capitalize atheist although it is not a proper noun?
Reckon he does that just to make them seem somehow Bigger and Badder?
I think it's part of the claim that atheism is a religion.

peb
05-19-2008, 05:31 PM
OK peb. I'll take your word for it that when Sam wrote "Christian morality" he actually meant to say "natural law."

Although...

...doesn't really seem to work, does it?

SamF would have to say, but I went back and reread his post, and your modifications seem not to change his point at all. So it does seem to work.

The issue is actually glenallen's logic, not samf's. This statement:
"Consequently, I believe humans invented gods and morality"
and this statement:
"All creatures, including humans, have built in integrity common to their species. I wouldn't call that morality."
simply don't work together. Either the integrity/morality is invented or it is built in, choose one of the other. If it is invented, then why is it the same across cultures. If it is built-in, where is the scientific evidence that atheist rely on for everything.

I will say, that an atheist accepting by fait that it is built-in is a definite improvement from the denial of natural law that was so common among atheists for the past 200 years. At least they are no longer ignoring the evidence of its commonality.

Tom Montgomery
05-19-2008, 05:40 PM
Evidence that altruism is 'in-built' in humans (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4766490.stm)

Evidence of altruism in plants (http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20070513183118data_trunc_sys.shtml)

Tom Montgomery
05-19-2008, 05:46 PM
"The idea of law includes fundamental rules of behavior, as well as institutions and devices for changing, clarifying, refining, and applying the rules. Law is a natural outcome of people living and working together. If people are to live among others, there must be a way to resolve the inevitable disputes. Law can be seen as the activity of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules."

"The evolution of law began before history was recorded with laws built up one by one as disputes were settled. In fact, the development of rules in society predates both courts and the written law. For thousands of years, customary and private legal systems alone ordered human activities. The power of customary law is found in the fact that it is reflected in the conduct of people toward one another. The further a society moves away from customary and private law systems, the greater the need for laws coercively enforced by the state."

"The law is essentially discovered, not made. Law is a systemic discovery process involving the historical experiences of successive generations. Law reflects and embodies the experiences of all men who have ever lived."

"Anglo-Saxon customary law involved a group individuals often referred to as a bohr, pledging surety for each of its members. In such a arrangement, each person secured his property claims by freely accepting an obligation to respect the property rights of others, who were expected to reciprocate. The group would back up this pledge of surety by paying the fines of its members if they were found guilty of violating customary law. The surety group had financial incentives to police its members and exclude those who frequently and flagrantly engaged in undesirable behavior. Individuals would deal cooperatively with those known to be trustworthy while refusing to interact with those known to be untrustworthy. These solidarity rules evolved spontaneously as individuals utilized ostracism instead of violence."

peb
05-19-2008, 06:13 PM
Evidence that altruism is 'in-built' in humans (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4766490.stm)

Evidence of altruism in plants (http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20070513183118data_trunc_sys.shtml)

Well, if I understand the first article, if you accept that chimps and people had a common ancestor 6 million years ago, then that implies that altruism developed at that time in that common ancestor.
Didn't see much in the article that had to do with cheating, theft, assault, and molestation. So it is pertinent to natural law how?

I will add, it is very possible that natural law did evolve and that possibility does not contradict the idea that natural law was "written onto man's heart by God". I simply haven't seen the evidence of its evolution.

skuthorp
05-19-2008, 06:20 PM
I think you have to keep in mind the tribal or family group still when extrapolating the concept of altruism to us or to chimps. Chimps steal, are violent and even kill other chimps, but not from their own family group often. Female chimps are sometimes violent towards the offspring of other females from the same dominant male. Gene survival at work. If you look at 'civilised' man in some lights you can see the same trends in spite of our development and civilisation.

glenallen
05-19-2008, 06:53 PM
I think you have to keep in mind the tribal or family group still when extrapolating the concept of altruism to us or to chimps. Chimps steal, are violent and even kill other chimps, but not from their own family group often. Female chimps are sometimes violent towards the offspring of other females from the same dominant male. Gene survival at work. If you look at 'civilised' man in some lights you can see the same trends in spite of our development and civilisation.

Very true! We've been conditiond to undervalue and even subvert our instincts. What religion has tried to do is demonize our animal self and replace it with the hope and belief that we will be an Angel one day.
It's easy to see why people invented gods, but we don't need them, and in this modern world, they really get in the way of Reality.

skuthorp
05-19-2008, 07:12 PM
"but we don't need them"
Can't agree there glenallen. Fiction it may be but for millions it is, as it has always been, their consolation and hope. Rather like animal rights, clean politics and rule of law, intellectual pursuits for those on the edge are luxuries too. Who are we, somewhat smug I'll admit in our critical view of faith, to deny them these comforts.
On the news today a Chinese man trapped under concrete slabs telling his wife by phone that all he wanted was to spend the rest of his life with her, then he died. What consolation is there for her? Even if we regard it as a fiction.
SamF OTOH, intellectuallises belief, it's a game to him too, combatative, point scoring, something to 'win'. There are 'athiest' sites on the web like this and I can see how they could be read as a 'religion' as that is their operating method.

glenallen
05-19-2008, 07:56 PM
SamF would have to say, but I went back and reread his post, and your modifications seem not to change his point at all. So it does seem to work.

The issue is actually glenallen's logic, not samf's. This statement:
"Consequently, I believe humans invented gods and morality"
and this statement:
"All creatures, including humans, have built in integrity common to their species. I wouldn't call that morality."
simply don't work together. Either the integrity/morality is invented or it is built in, choose one of the other. If it is invented, then why is it the same across cultures. If it is built-in, where is the scientific evidence that atheist rely on for everything.

I will say, that an atheist accepting by fait that it is built-in is a definite improvement from the denial of natural law that was so common among atheists for the past 200 years. At least they are no longer ignoring the evidence of its commonality.

I don't see much conflict between my two statements, peb, but I can see how you might.
Remember, it ain't so easy talking to Sam. While you're talking you're also dodging his arrows and sling-shot pebbles and high-powered verbal abuse. Sam ain't easy!
Given that, I stand by both statements as they are.
Maybe a clue to your problem with my statements is that you consider integrity and morality to be the same thing, whereas, I don't.

An acorn has at least as much integrity as any human but absolutely no morality. Oak trees get along just fine without worshiping any gods or ever having a single thought, and a single tree can live through ten human generations peacefully.
Likewise, our human biological system has integrity that causes cells to divide, hearts to beat, and breaths to flow.

Biological integrity in male humans causes sexual activity that results in babies. Biological integrity in female humans inspires them to love that little soggy wet red lump of flesh more than their own life itself.
But none of that has anything to do with morality in my view. And it has nothing to do with gods. It has only to do with biology. Call it science if you must, but that integrity within humans is the reason we are still a species on Earth. The grace of God has absolutely nothing to do with it, IMO.
Morality, on the other hand, is nothing more than a contrived standard of human behaviour.
I spent a week last year in very deep discussions with philosophy students at a Dallas university on this same subject. Poor little bastids grow up hearing about God and can't seem to get it out of their minds any more than the most Orthodox Catholic.:D

peb, you're a kind gentleman, not that Sam is not also, and I appreciate your mellow tone.

glenallen
05-19-2008, 08:29 PM
"but we don't need them"
Can't agree there glenallen. Fiction it may be but for millions it is, as it has always been, their consolation and hope. Rather like animal rights, clean politics and rule of law, intellectual pursuits for those on the edge are luxuries too. Who are we, somewhat smug I'll admit in our critical view of faith, to deny them these comforts.
On the news today a Chinese man trapped under concrete slabs telling his wife by phone that all he wanted was to spend the rest of his life with her, then he died. What consolation is there for her? Even if we regard it as a fiction.
SamF OTOH, intellectuallises belief, it's a game to him too, combatative, point scoring, something to 'win'. There are 'athiest' sites on the web like this and I can see how they could be read as a 'religion' as that is their operating method.

I don't want to take the crutches away from a lame man. I'd just like to hear him admit one time that he is in fact lame.
It gets pretty old hearing from the lame man with crutches that I need to get myself a pair of crutches also, as well as worship the Guy who made the crutches.
I don't need no stinking crutches.
Maybe someday I will, who knows. Maybe someday I'll suffer so greatly that I'll beg for mercy in my delirium and lose my connection with reality. I've seen lots of people do it. God bless them!

skuthorp
05-19-2008, 08:40 PM
Don't let the malign influence of SamF and his ilk blind you to the humanity of the world, after all it may be that we may be the ones who have got it wrong. I suspect that without the power play of organised religion and dogma based belief system the argument may not have ever needed to be made.
But plain personal faith is a bigger enemy to organised religion than a few dissonant unbelievers ever were. Hence persecution, dogma, the inquiisition, military missionaries, and the political twisting over the ages of the major beliefs to make sure they retain their power. Some sections Christianity and Islam are amongst the major offenders in this behavior.

Nanoose
05-19-2008, 08:42 PM
.. after all it may be that we may be the ones who have got it wrong.

There is a wise man. Thank you, skuthorp.

Keith Wilson
05-19-2008, 09:05 PM
I will add, it is very possible that natural law did evolve and that possibility does not contradict the idea that natural law was "written onto man's heart by God". Another wise man. Excellent point.

Evidence is scarce, evolutionary psychology being a very young discipline. However, try this thought experiment: Imagine what behaviors would be advantageous to the survival and prosperity of a band of hunter-gatherers on the African savannah 500,000 years ago, where living in isolation was nearly certain death. Loyalty, fairness, kindness, bravery, industry, care of children and the old or injured, and cooperation come to mind; elements of every human ethical system, and of "natural law". God or evolution or both; who can tell?

glenallen
05-19-2008, 09:09 PM
There is a wise man. Thank you, skuthorp.

Don't be too smug there, Deb. You have a great chance of being wrong too. As I suspect you are.:D I love you nonetheless!

glenallen
05-19-2008, 10:08 PM
Don't let the malign influence of SamF and his ilk blind you to the humanity of the world, after all it may be that we may be the ones who have got it wrong. I suspect that without the power play of organised religion and dogma based belief system the argument may not have ever needed to be made.
But plain personal faith is a bigger enemy to organised religion than a few dissonant unbelievers ever were. Hence persecution, dogma, the inquiisition, military missionaries, and the political twisting over the ages of the major beliefs to make sure they retain their power. Some sections Christianity and Islam are amongst the major offenders in this behavior.

I've not been able to see Sam as a "malign influence" despite his basic dishonesty in conversation. I say dishonest, because Sam tells us only bits and pieces of his Truth, never the truth behind the truth nor the Whole truth.
Rather than blinding me to the humanity of the world, I have to say that Sam has drawn a certain amount of compassion from me(not here in public, just in private. I'm not about to show him compassion in public cuz he would take it as a sign of weakness and try to eat me up like a slab of jerky).

Sam has told us in very few words about his childhood. From what he said I felt sympathy for him personally. At the same time, I think Sam was unfortunate to have judged his parents, neighbors, academia, liberalism, and atheism so harshly and to have begun at some time to use religion as a weapon against his personal demons. I'm afraid Sam is still wallowing in those childhood delusions.
That makes a humanitarian like myself almost cry.

Nanoose
05-19-2008, 10:19 PM
Don't be too smug there, Deb. You have a great chance of being wrong too. As I suspect you are.:D I love you nonetheless!

Thanks, ga...I love you too! :) No smugness here....I just appreciated that honest note.

Yes, I have a chance of being wrong too, as I know you suspect. However, as you also know, I believe the body of historical events and my experience of God are in my favor, not yours. But, as you so rightly point out, only time will tell.

Blessings on you, ga! :D

Sam F
05-20-2008, 10:27 AM
…Who are we, somewhat smug I'll admit in our critical view of faith, to deny them these comforts.
On the news today a Chinese man trapped under concrete slabs telling his wife by phone that all he wanted was to spend the rest of his life with her, then he died. What consolation is there for her? Even if we regard it as a fiction.

While that’s a very nice sentiment, it essentially means that a comforting fiction (i.e. a lie) is better than the truth.
The arrogant elitism in that position – “We in the know will not disenchant the ignorant from their foolish comforts”- is not intellectually respectable, but it continues to be thoroughly smug.



SamF OTOH, intellectuallises belief,…

Well yes, there is an intellectual aspect to Christianity. If it doesn’t fit your stereotype of simpleton belief, that’s a problem for you, not for Christians.
OTOH, the assumption that other’s beliefs are just “fiction” requires a cascade of un-provable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief.



…it's a game to him too, combatative, point scoring, something to 'win'.

I “play” defense and that’s what ya’ll find so offensive. :D
It’s inexcusable that an orthodox Christian should be able to do so at all. After all, our beliefs are just comforting fiction and there’s no way one can support them intellectually.
Right?


There are 'athiest' sites on the web like this and I can see how they could be read as a 'religion' as that is their operating method.
Yep. If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck…


Don't let the malign influence of SamF and his ilk blind you to the humanity of the world, after all it may be that we may be the ones who have got it wrong.

And you may have got it wrong about “malign influence” too – unless it’s by definition malign to defend something you disagree with. To you, perhaps it is.

Here’s something else you may not have right:

…But plain personal faith is a bigger enemy to organised religion than a few dissonant unbelievers ever were…

Plain personal faith built the Church.
Your dogma, these days a quite popular one about organized religion, doesn’t hold up to any sustained analysis. Where do you suppose organized religion came from in the first place, if not from plain personal faith?

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 10:40 AM
OTOH, the assumption that other’s beliefs are just “fiction” requires a cascade of un-provable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief.The Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Baha'is, Jains, Zoastrians, Scientologists, and Mormons of the world thank you.

Keith Wilson
05-20-2008, 10:48 AM
And don't forget the Rastafarians and Pastafarians!

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 10:49 AM
I think Sam has finally seen the light!

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 10:53 AM
http://www.arar93.dsl.pipex.com/mds975/Images/homer_simpson_doh_01.jpg

Sam F
05-20-2008, 11:00 AM
I've not been able to see Sam as a "malign influence" despite his basic dishonesty in conversation. I say dishonest, because Sam tells us only bits and pieces of his Truth, never the truth behind the truth nor the Whole truth.

I swear to tell the truth.
The whole truth.
And nothing but the truth
So help me God.
And the joke is... if I could do that, I'd BE God.

But what you perceive as dishonesty is an artifact of your own belief system.*
You’re getting the whole truth up to the limits of my understanding.
Besides…
Frankly, I don't care enough to lie. :D



Rather than blinding me to the humanity of the world, I have to say that Sam has drawn a certain amount of compassion from me(not here in public, just in private.
That’s a fairly public sort of privacy you’ve got there Glen!
While I appreciate your compassion, it may be misplaced



I'm not about to show him compassion in public cuz he would take it as a sign of weakness and try to eat me up like a slab of jerky).
The less said about that image, the better! ;)


Sam has told us in very few words about his childhood. From what he said I felt sympathy for him personally. At the same time, I think Sam was unfortunate to have judged his parents, neighbors, academia, liberalism, and atheism so harshly and to have begun at some time to use religion as a weapon against his personal demons. I'm afraid Sam is still wallowing in those childhood delusions.
That makes a humanitarian like myself almost cry.

Shed no tears Glen. I grew up like a weed. As childhood’s go, mine was reasonably happy.
True enough that’s not to say I didn’t have problems in school – I was a blessing to knowledgeable teachers, and a bane to the incompetent. And despite all the trouble that caused, I wouldn’t change a thing. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have been an even bigger PITA. :D


*On this peb has it exactly right:

The issue is actually glenallen's logic, not samf's. This statement:
"Consequently, I believe humans invented gods and morality"
and this statement:
"All creatures, including humans, have built in integrity common to their species. I wouldn't call that morality."

This is a clear violation of the rule of non-contradiction.
An Atheist should, at a bare minimum, avoid such unreason.

Of course, you’re free to violate that rule any time you will – but to do so is generally the province of guys who live in the woods with a bone through their nose or guys who live on the streets with metal rings in their noses – in either case, is it not a characteristic of reasonable individuals and societies.

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 11:08 AM
So Sam, do you consider glenallen's atheism to be a "fiction?" You have certainly made it abundantly clear that you consider atheism to be a "belief." How dare you bring to bear a cascade of unprovable assumptions to ridicule him?

Sam F
05-20-2008, 11:10 AM
And don't forget the Rastafarians and Pastafarians!



SamF OTOH, intellectuallises belief,…

One might have figured out by now from the context that the subject is” SamF’s belief.
But you knew that, didn’t you?

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 11:15 AM
So when you wrote "others beliefs are" you actually meant to write "Roman Catholic Christianity is?"

As in:
OTOH, the assumption that Roman Catholic Christianity is just “fiction” requires a cascade of un-provable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief.You seem to make this kind of mistake often. :rolleyes:

So I can assume you have yet to see the light?

Keith Wilson
05-20-2008, 11:16 AM
Oh, now I understand. The assumption that Sam's beliefs are just fiction "requires a cascade of un-provable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief." That other people's beliefs are just fiction can be easily demonstrated. OK.

Sam F
05-20-2008, 12:40 PM
Oh, now I understand. The assumption that Sam's beliefs are just fiction "requires a cascade of un-provable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief."

Well yes, that's been demonstrated more than once here.
Additionally, the objection to anyone's beliefs because they're intellectualized is absurd on it's face.


That other people's beliefs are just fiction can be easily demostrated. OK.

Why would you think that?
"Other people's beliefs" are not specified and therefore one can say nothing about them.
Pick one and we'll see...
Why not start pick one you know something about... your own theism?

Keith Wilson
05-20-2008, 12:52 PM
Sorry, I won't bite. Tom listed a whole bunch of other people's beliefs. It's easy to find enough information about them to say quite a lot if you wish. Have at it. I won't be listening.

SamSam
05-20-2008, 12:59 PM
"Other people's beliefs" are not specified and therefore one can say nothing about them.
Pick one and we'll see...Oh, boy. Another chance for me to claim the 1,000th post of a thread.

Sam F
05-20-2008, 01:15 PM
Sorry, I won't bite.

No wonder. You start with a mischaracterization of my position:

That other people's beliefs are just fiction can be easily demonstrated...... and end with not being willing to defend your own beliefs.
Which goes to show that it's never a good idea to erect a straw man - there's too great a risk of having it exposed.


Tom listed a whole bunch of other people's beliefs.... about which I said nothing.


...It's easy to find enough information about them to say quite a lot if you wish.

...to which you added a group of dopers and an imaginary religion... I fear that I must remind you that even "a whole bunch" of imaginary faiths is still not specified.
One can't possibly determine an unspecified bunch as anything at all.

So it started with a straw man argument and ends with a chaff strewn mess. Not a pretty picture!

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 01:23 PM
http://www.justindauer.com/wp-content/homer-drool-702026.gif

Keith Wilson
05-20-2008, 01:48 PM
OK, I was being sarcastic, but in this case I'd be glad to be wrong. So would you agree that calling the beliefs of the Parsees, or the Jains, or any of the others on the list, "just fiction" requires a cascade of unprovable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief?

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 01:52 PM
I find it telling that SamF equates "fiction" with "lies." Stories do not exist to convey the facts, but to convey the truth. As in this one, an old Yiddish tale:

Nearly a thousand years ago in the town of Mayence, on the bank of the Rhine, there dwelt a pious Jew of the name of Simon ben Isaac. Of a most charitable disposition, learned and ever ready to assist the poor with money and wise counsel, he was reverenced by all, and it was believed he was a direct descendant of King David. Everybody was proud to do him honor.

Simon ben Isaac had one little son, a bright boy of the name of Elkanan, who he intended should be trained as a rabbi. Little Elkanan was very diligent in his studies and gave early promise of developing into an exceptionally clever student. Even the servants in the household loved him for his keen intelligence. One of them, indeed, was unduly interested in him.

She was the Sabbath-fire woman who only came into the house on the Sabbath day to attend to the fires, because, as you know, the Jewish servants could not perform this duty. The Sabbath-fire woman was a devoted Catholic and she spoke of Elkanan to a priest. The latter was considerably impressed.

"What a pity," he remarked, "that so talented a boy should be a Jew. If he were a Christian, now," he added, winningly, "he could enter the Holy Church and become famous."

The Sabbath-fire woman knew exactly what the priest meant.

"Do you think he could rise to be a bishop?" she asked.

"He might rise even higher--to be the Pope himself," replied the priest.

"It would be a great thing to give a bishop to the Church, would it not?" said the woman.

"It is a great thing to give anyone to the Church of Rome," the priest assured her.

Then they spoke in whispers. The woman appeared a little troubled, but the priest promised her that all would be well, that she would be rewarded, and that nobody would dare to accuse her of doing anything wrong.

Convinced that she was performing a righteous action, she agreed to do what the priest suggested.

Accordingly, the following Friday night when the household of Simon ben Isaac was wrapped in slumber, she crept stealthily and silently into the boy's bedroom. Taking him gently in her arms, she stole silently out of the house and carried him to the priest who was waiting. Elkanan was well wrapped up in blankets, and so cautiously did the woman move that he did not waken.

The priest said not a word. He just nodded to the woman, and then placed Elkanan in a carriage which he had in waiting.

Elkanan slept peacefully, totally unaware of his adventure, and when he opened his eyes he thought he must be dreaming. He was not in his own room, but a much smaller one which seemed to be jolting and moving, like a carriage, and opposite to him was a priest.

"Where am I?" he asked in alarm.

"Lie still, Andreas," was the reply.

"But my name is not Andreas," he answered. "That is not a Jewish name. I am Elkanan, the son of Simon."

To his amazement, however, the priest looked at him pityingly and shook his head.

"You have had a nasty accident," he said, "and it has affected your head. You must not speak."

Not another word would he say in response to all the boy's eager queries. He simply ignored Elkanan who puzzled his head over the matter until he really began to feel ill and to wonder whether he was Elkanan after all. Tired out, he fell asleep again, and next time he awoke he was lying on a bed in a bare room. A bell was tolling, and he heard a chanting chorus. By his side stood a priest.

Elkanan looked at the priest like one dazed. Before he could utter a word, the priest said: "Rise, Andreas, and follow me."

The boy had no alternative but to obey. To his horror he was taken into a chapel and made to kneel. The priests sprinkled water on him. He did not understand what the service meant, and when it was over he began to cry for his father and mother. For days nobody took the slightest notice of his continual questionings until a priest, with a harsh, cruel face, spoke to him severely one day.

"I perceive, Andreas," he said, "thou hast a stubborn spirit. It shall be curbed. Thy father and mother are dead--all the world is dead to thee Thou hast strange notions in thy head. We shall rid thee of them."

Elkanan cried so much on hearing these terrible words that he made himself seriously ill.

How long he was kept in bed he knew not, but when he recovered, he found himself a prisoner in a monastery. All the priests called him Andreas, they were kind to him, and in time he began to doubt himself whether he was Elkanan, the son of Simon, the pious Jew of Mayence.

To put an end to the unrest in his mind, he devoted himself earnestly to his lessons. His tutors never had so brilliant a pupil, nor so intelligent a companion. He was a remarkable chess player.

"Where did you learn?" they asked him.

"My father, Simon ben Isaac, of Mayence, taught me," he replied, with a sob in his voice.

"It is well," they replied, having received their instructions what to say in answer to such remarks, "thou art blessed from Heaven, Andreas. Not only dost thou absorb learning in the hours of daylight, but angels and dead sages visit thee in they sleep and impart knowledge unto thee."

He could obtain no more satisfactory words from his tutors, and in time he made no mention whatever of the past, and his tutors and companions refrained from touching upon the subject either. Once or twice he formed the dea of endeavoring to escape, but he soon discovered the project impossible. He was never allowed to be alone for a moment; he was virtually a prisoner, although all men began to do him honor because of his amazing knowledge and learning.

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 01:53 PM
In due time, he became a priest and a tutor and was even called to Rome and was created a cardinal. He wore a red cap and cloak, people kneeled to him and sought his blessing, and all spoke of him as the wisest, kindliest and most scholarly man in the Church.

He had not spoken of his boyhood for years, but he never ceased to think of those happy days. And although he tried hard, he could not believe that it was all a dream. Whenever he played a game of chess, which was his one pastime, he seemed to see himself in his old room at Mayence, and he sighed. His fellow priests wondered why he did this, and he laughingly told them it was because he had no idea how to lose a game.

Then a great event happened. The Pope died and Andreas was elected his successor. He was placed on a throne, a crown was put upon his head, and he was called Holy Father. The power of life and death over millions of people in many countries was vested in him; kings, princes and nobles visited him in his great palace to do him homage, and his fame spread far and wide. But he himself grew more thoughtful and silent and sought only to exercise his great powers for the people's good.

This, however, did not altogether please some of his counselors.

"The Church needs money," they told him. "We must squeeze it out of the Jews."

But Andreas steadfastly refused to countenance any persecutions. Many edicts were placed before him for his signature, giving permission to bishops in certain districts to threaten the Jews unless they paid huge sums of money in tribute, but Andreas declined to assent to any one of them.

One day a document was submitted to him from the archbishop of the Rhine district, craving permission to drive the Jews from the city of Mayence. The Pope's face hardened when he read the iniquitous letter. He gave instant orders that the archbishop should be summoned to Rome, and to the utter amazement of his cardinals he also commanded them to bring before him three leading Jews from Mayence, to state their case.

"It shall not be said," he declared, "that the Pope issued a decree of punishment without giving the people condemned an opportunity of defending themselves."

When the news reached Mayence there was great wailing and sorrow among the Jews, for, alas! bitter experience had taught them to expect no mercy from Rome. Delegates were selected, and when they arrived at the Vatican they were asked for their names. These were given and communicated to the Pope.

"The delegates of the Jews of the city of Mayence," announced a secretary, "humbly crave audience of Your Holiness."

"Their names?" demanded the Pope.

"Simon ben Isaac, Abraham ben Moses, and Issachar, the priest."

"Let them enter," said the Pope, in a quiet, firm voice. He had heard but one name; his plan had proved successful, for he had counted upon Simon being one of the chosen delegates.

The three men entered the audience chamber and stood expectant before the Pope. His Holiness appeared to be lost in deep thought. Suddenly he aroused himself from his reverie and looked keenly at the aged leader of the party.

"Simon of Mayence, stand forth," he said, "and give voice to thy plea. We give thee attention."

The old man approached a few paces nearer, and in simple, but eloquent language, pleaded that the Jews should be permitted to remain unmolested in Mayence in which city their community had been long established.

"Thy prayer" said the Pope, when he had finished, "shall have full consideration, and my answer shall be made known to thee without delay. Now tell me, Simon of Mayence, something of thyself and thy co-delegates. Who are ye in the city?"

Simon gave the information.

"Have ye come hither alone?" asked the Pope. "Or have ye been escorted by members of your families--your sons?"

The Pope's voice was scarcely steady, but none noticed.

"I have no son," said Simon, with a weary sigh.

"Hast thou never been blessed with offspring?"

Simon looked sharply at the Pope before answering. Then, with bowed head and broken voice, he said: "God blessed me with one son, but he was stolen from me in childhood. That has been the sorrow of my life.'

The old man's voice was choked with sobs.

"I have heard," said the Pope, after a while, "that thou art famed as a chess-player. I, too, am credited with some skill in the game. I would fain pit it against thine. Hearken! If thou prove the victor in the game, then shall thy appeal prevail."

"I consent," said the old man, proudly. "It is many years since I have sustained defeat."

It was arranged that the game should be played that evening. Naturally, the strange contest aroused the keenest interest. The game was followed closely by the papal secretaries and the Jewish delegates. It was a wonderful trial of subtle play. The two players seemed about evenly matched. First one and then the other made a daring move which appeared to place his opponent in difficulties, but each time disaster was ingeniously evaded. A draw seemed the likeliest result until, suddenly, the Pope made a brilliant move which startled the onlookers. It was considered impossible now for Simon to avoid defeat.

No one was more astounded at the Pope's move than the old Jew. He rose tremblingly from his chair, gazed with piercing eyes into the face of the Pope and said huskily, "Where didst thou learn that move? I taught it to but one other."

"Who?" demanded the Pope, eagerly. "I will tell thee alone," said Simon.

The Pope made a sign, and the others left the room in great surprise.

Then Simon exclaimed excitedly, "Unless thou art the devil himself, thou canst only be my long lost son, Elkanan."

"Father!" cried the Pope, and the old man clasped him in his arms.

When the others re-entered the room, the Pope said quietly, "We have decided to call the game a draw, and in thankfulness for the rare pleasure of a game of chess with so skilled a player as Simon of Mayence, I grant the prayer of the delegates of that city. It is my will that the Jews shall live in peace."

Shortly afterward, a new Pope was elected. Various rumors gained currency. One was that Andreas had thrown himself into the flames; another that he had mysteriously disappeared. And at the same time a stranger arrived in Mayence and was welcomed by Simon joyfully as his son, Elkanan.

Bob Cleek
05-20-2008, 02:01 PM
"The only place in the universe to find "right" is between our own ears."

************************************************** **

Every act of reason and will in us is based on that which is according to nature, as stated above (Question 10, Article 1): for every act of reasoning is based on principles that are known naturally, and every act of appetite in respect of the means is derived from the natural appetite in respect of the last end. Accordingly the first direction of our acts to their end must needs be in virtue of the natural law.

Even irrational animals partake in their own way of the Eternal Reason, just as the rational creature does. But because the rational creature partakes thereof in an intellectual and rational manner, therefore the participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is properly called a law, since a law is something pertaining to reason, as stated above (Question 90, Article 1). Irrational creatures, however, do not partake thereof in a rational manner, wherefore there is no participation of the eternal law in them, except by way of similitude.

Human reason is not, of itself, the rule of things: but the principles impressed on it by nature, are general rules and measures of all things relating to human conduct, whereof the natural reason is the rule and measure, although it is not the measure of things that are from nature.

The practical reason is concerned with practical matters, which are singular and contingent: but not with necessary things, with which the speculative reason is concerned. Wherefore human laws cannot have that inerrancy that belongs to the demonstrated conclusions of sciences. Nor is it necessary for every measure to be altogether unerring and certain, but according as it is possible in its own particular genus.

Aquinas on Natural Law

.................................................. ..............

Objection 3. Further, human nature is more self-sufficing than irrational creatures. But irrational creatures have no Divine law besides the natural inclination impressed on them. Much less, therefore, should the rational creature have a Divine law in addition to the natural law.

Reply to Objection 3. Irrational creatures are not ordained to an end higher than that which is proportionate to their natural powers: consequently the comparison fails.

More Aquinas on Natural Law.
.................................................. ...............

Discuss among yourselves.

(Cheat sheet tip: This discussion was thoroughly set forth and exhaustively discussed in Aquinas' "Summa Theologica" [1265-1274]. The mind of man has been there and done that long ago. Odd that today's narcissistic relativists ignore the history of human thought, but then, I suppose it follows that their own analysis is, for them, the only Truth.)

Sam F
05-20-2008, 02:04 PM
OK, I was being sarcastic, but in this case I'd be glad to be wrong.

Well I guessed you were being sarcastic - but it remains to be seen if you'd be glad to be wrong.



So would you agree that calling the beliefs of the Parsees, or the Jains, or any of the others on the list, "just fiction" requires a cascade of unprovable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief?

All that straw is having a baleful influence on you Keith. Since I didn't say any such thing, I could hardly agree with it, could I?
Again you've got a list of varied and unspecified belief - one of which is imaginary! Unless one were an Atheist, who a priori rejects all faith (except his own), one simply can't make any statements at all about an unspecified something ... or is it a nothing?

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 02:24 PM
Since I didn't say any such thing, I could hardly agree with it, could I?Correct. What you said was:
OTOH, the assumption that other’s beliefs are just “fiction” requires a cascade of un-provable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief.But we have established that "other's beliefs" was hyperbole on your part and that what you actually meant to say was "my beliefs."

You do not believe that calling any religious belief -- outside of your own Christian belief -- "just fiction" requires a cascade of unprovable assumptions.

Why not simply acknowledge that Post #149 is correct and move on?

Keith Wilson
05-20-2008, 03:02 PM
Since I didn't say any such thing, I could hardly agree with it, could I?Eh? I asked you whether you would agree with a statement I made, which was a variation of one you made. No need to put much effort into it; yes or no will suffice.

Sam F
05-20-2008, 03:33 PM
Eh? I asked you whether you would agree with a statement I made, which was a variation of one you made. No need to put much effort into it; yes or no will suffice.

Let's see... I've explained that it's a straw man position that I never made.
That's on it's face, it's logically absurd to make any judgment about a non specified anything - especially an imaginary anything.
Given those characteristics, I don't think it rises to the level of being worthy of any answer at all.
It barely merits a reply - but that's only for it's humorous qualities.

Keith Wilson
05-20-2008, 04:28 PM
Sigh . . .

As I said before: Would you say that calling the beliefs of the Parsees, or the Jains, or the Buddhists, for example, "just fiction" requires a cascade of unprovable assumptions and is itself an intellectualized belief? Or does that statement apply only to your beliefs?

skuthorp
05-20-2008, 05:13 PM
Which only goes to prove that there is no point of contact with SamF.
and the quicksand of his shifting personal beliefs, and us unbelievers with whom he cannot deal with other than by corralling us into a structure that doesn't, and cannot, exist.
As usual a bit of fun though.

S B
05-20-2008, 10:49 PM
I don't know what all the excitement is about, hasn't the Vatican always believed there was a self made man living in the heavens. His son left here a couple of thousand years ago, went up to look after the house his father built.

skuthorp
05-20-2008, 10:54 PM
"His son left here a couple of thousand years ago, went up to look after the house his father built."

Hmm, think the old man has a touch of dementia these days? That would explain a lot!

Tom Montgomery
05-20-2008, 10:58 PM
Saint Peter's Square, Christmas season, 1953

http://www.ufoarea.com/pictures/fleetvatican.jpg

skuthorp
05-20-2008, 11:26 PM
I'd say they'd been watching early Sophia Loren movies and were trying to get the message across to the big cheese. Although I think Pius 18 was still about and was a bit dodgy really.