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apothanein kerdos

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About apothanein kerdos

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  1. Not only that, the argument doesn't make any sense. The Bible rounded off, which is what A LOT of people do when dealing with Pi...especially in ancient cultures.
  2. Isn't his the lowest of all? I don't know of anyone that has a lower approval rating than Reid. What is so funny about this is he had just gotten through attacking Cheney and his low approval ratings, and then his own numbers came out and they were even lower. That is why I am conceding nothing when it comes to the 2008 election. All the liberal media wants to focus on is the low approval numbers of Bush, but the approval of Democrats are just as bad, and in some cases worse. Both political parties have done things that have angered the American people, and turned them sour towards the government in general. If there were a viable 3rd party, I believe many would bolt the Republicans and Democrats. Since there is not, our best hope for change is during the primaries. I'm convinced that if there were a Libertarian party that was well funded and well advertised, they would draw enough votes away from both parties to be a contender.
  3. spblat, First, thank you for the recommendation. And if I remember correctly, you admitted that you could not adequately deal with this problem posed to your belief system. The reason is it doesn't allow for cultural anomalies that allow for murder...and this is simply accepting a basic term for culture. If I really wanted to, I could go in and ask you to define what a "culture" is - is it the overall structure of a nation, is it the subsets, or is culture just related to the family unit? The point being, when you work from a non-absolute basis, you lack a strong foundation. Just like my analogy, if you try to build a building without a strong foundation, the building will collapse. Likewise, if we begin to build a belief system around that which is uncertain, our belief system will ultimately collapse, either under scrutiny or in practice. The point of naturalism is to prove things by using our senses. The problem is, emotions, love, and all other aspects can't be tested. We can find the parts of the brain that might control them, might hamper them, etc, but this does not actually show how they originate within the brain. In other words, if I come to a dam, does this mean I have found the source of the river? Does it mean I have found where the water comes from? Not at all - it merely means I have found the controlling agent for the source. Scientifically, we can prove that the brain functions as a "dam" for emotions, love, and morality, but we cannot prove that any of these items originate out of the brain. This, of course, causes quite the problem for the naturalist. As Sartre, an atheist, stated, the first philosophical problem is that something exists. What this means is we can look at our human experience and realize that there is more to man than chemicals and DNA. Sartre, and many other naturalists, realized that if they accepted naturalism completely, man would become nothing more than a machine. This syncs up with what scientists call the "ghost in the machine" - man has qualities and attributes that cannot be scientifically explained. Sartre, realizing this (along with Camus), began to develop existential philosophy for atheism. It required the follower to reject the naturalistic world and live above it. The problem with this is that it relies solely on a leap of faith, not relying on scientific inquiry for why we should reject the naturalistic world - in other words, it is atheism without naturalism. It is my firm belief that atheists have to accept one or the other and cannot accept both. Though both will begin with naturalism (the world came about without purpose), they will eventually branch off. The question is, can either adequately solve the problem of man? As we saw, naturalism eventually collapses on itself. But what of atheistic existentialism? As we saw at the beginning of the post, it still lacks an absolute beginning for morality. That is to say, even if it tells us to reject that we are a machine and live as though we are more, it still lacks a justification to do so, or more importantly, a justification to levy its morals upon others in society. The problem with your worldview, as I pointed out, is it eventually turns on itself. Humanism eventually betrays itself, because it cannot allow for a priori thought. Though it was begotten out of philosophy, it eventually destroys the philosophical field of knowledge. You state that the world is known by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. This, however, works in that order: I observe what I think is an ant -----> to be sure it is an ant, I test it in a laboratory ------> based on my findings, the evidence shows this is most likely an ant This might seem workable to you, but I must ask - how is this belief scientifically proven? How can you prove humanism through observation, experimentation, and rational analysis (based on what is before). Without going into a long dissertation, the summarized version is, "You can't." In other words, humanism fails to meet its own criteria. There are indicators of if a philosophy is true or not - if it is self contradictory (the most telling one), if it cannot be applied to the real world, or if it fails to meet its own criteria (there are others, but these are the main three). In other words, humanism cannot be proven by what it requires and what it believes - if man truly functioned as humanism says he does, then man would have never discovered or thought of humanism. As for what I believe, I do believe that I have more of a solid foundation than any other thought system. I believe all Christians do. I would also venture to say that Jews and Muslims have more of a solid foundation than Hindus or Buddhists (but not as strong as Christians). I would say that Hindus and Buddhists have a weak foundation, but it is not nearly as weak as atheists and agnostics. In other words, in terms of discovering an absolute foundation for ethics, strength would rest in the theists first (with Christianity on top), in the polytheists second, and the naturalists last. I invite you to open a topic challenging me on the Christian worldview. I would have no problem explaining it to you, but it would need its own topic.
  4. Yeah. Two points to emphasize. 1) Big "IF". I cannot absolutely deny God, but I'm pretty close to 100% positive that He (as defined by Christianity) does not exist. 2) If the good works in my life, and the humane and kind thoughts in my heart are insufficient to earn His blessing, then the 12 year old in me wants to stamp his foot and say He's not worth worshipping anyway. Please don't apply too much consideration to point #2; it's point #1 that overrides my thinking. Also please realize that I don't get my moral foundation from this "wager"; it's more of an illustration of my response to Pascal's Wager, which is so often argued by theists. So if I find myself before God, the first thing I will assume is that I am hallucinating. And it might be hard for Him to convince me that He is real! The problem with Pascal's Wager is that it only works as a "risk assessment" for believing in something. I would say there is enough evidence, both physical and nonphysical (philosophical), that some type of a theistic God exists. This would obviously narrow it down to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (and offshoots of all three). If you can accept that premise, we can work from there. If not, let's establish that premise. You may want to start a separate topic for this.
  5. They already are. I can't find the article, but CNN and FOX had an article where Abbas was quoted, saying something to the effect of "We were better off under the Israeli occupation."
  6. I thought when Israel left the Gaza Strip it was supposed to usher in a Utopian society where rivers turned into chocolate and unicorns roamed freely. All kidding aside, I would hope this would send a message to the rest of the world (though all media outlets are covering it up). If Israel were to give up the West Bank, or say East Jerusalem, this is what we could expect. When Israel controls these areas, there is peace. When they leave, all out war ensues.
  7. Of the many types of jobs I have worked in my short life, one of them is concrete construction. This type of job - working with concrete and laying foundations for buildings - is so bad that it actually ended up on the show "Dirty Jobs"...twice. The reason it is so grueling is that you have to dig into the earth, make sure the concrete solidifies correctly, make sure no cracks appear, etc. The reason is the slightest mistake will compromise the entire building that is to go upon it, and if that were to occur the entire building would collapse. We once had to redo an entire project because we had poured the concrete wrong, to the point it developed a hairline crack. The point is, the building had to be built on a solid foundation, so solid it was almost perfect, or else the building ran the risk of collapsing. Everyone has a worldview, a way in which they view the world. In fact, people who claim to have no worldview actually hold a worldview by denying they exist. We all have an opinion or a belief on how we came here, how we know things, how we experience the world, even down to what we should eat. Every worldview, however, has a foundation on what it views as truth. Truth, itself, can be broken down into two major fields of philosophy; epistemology and metaphysics. When someone makes a truth claim they usually appeal to how they can know it is true (epistemology) and there that knowledge/belief/truth came from (metaphysics). In this sense, every philosophy believes in universal truth, even if they seek to deny it. By seeking to deny universal truth, they are saying that no truth can apply in all situations, yet this truth (that no truth applies) applies to all situations. With this realization, as the original post seems to be indicating, we must realize that we are all seeking this truth. Thus, all truths are competing against each other. Atheists might think they have this market cornered, but that simply is not true. As we saw in this thread, they have said "Naturalism is testable, God is not, therefore we have the accurate claim to truth." This, however, is a logical error that causes the argument to go in circles. Naturalism's truth relies on itself. Before we can see this, we must understand how the epistemological view of universal truth works. Some epistemologists have what is called the "upper story" and the "lower story." The upper story are the things we enjoy, such as types of art, while the lower story is for facts, such as the sun rotates around the earth. Different worldviews place different things within each story, or gets rid of them all together. A naturalistic worldivew places science - what can be observed by the senses - into the lower story (the factual story). Anything supernatural, or that which cannot be proven by the senses, is subsequently placed in the upper story (subjective story). Therefore, all truth claims must relate back to the lower story instead of the upper story. This explains why it is vital for naturalists to show how emotions, morality, and the like evolved - if they fail to show that these truly belong in the lower story, then emotions and morality become completely subjective. Two people's preference for murder would become no different than their preference for ice cream. Getting back to the point, many atheists trump the debate before it occurs. They state their worldview can be proven by the senses whereas God cannot, therefore they automatically win. However, this is completely circular. Observe: Point A: Naturalism teaches that the only way to know something really exists is through our senses Point B: The ideas of naturalism (blind evolution) can be tested, God cannot, therefore naturalism is true In other words, naturalism is true because it can be tested, and the only way to know truth is through rationalism. It becomes a circle, or a game of Pong that is ad infinitum. Therefore, an atheist must prove that we can only know something through the senses before he can declare he has gained the edge in the debate. This, of course, will ultimately cause him problems as some things - such as love, emotions, and morality - cannot be explained via naturalism.
  8. Are you sure? What of Ahab? Herod? John Lennon? Note again: 3:15 - I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. Jesus is talking about their works being cold or hot, not their hearts. Which of course begs the question, How can one have cold works? Good observation Nebula.
  9. If you deal with youth, I'd highly recommend this book. If you want to read the "advanced version" you can find it here.
  10. Did they order the release? I thought they ordered that charges must be brought against him. I agree with the court that if the government is going to detain someone that is a suspected terrorist, they should bring charges against that person.
  11. I've read it and I loved it. Phil is a very good man and kind. Though his Darwin on Trial is one of his more popular books, he considers Reason in the Balance to be the most important. It covers the consequences of Darwinism left unchecked.
  12. The odd thing is it takes a burst of anger for them to let their guard down enough to reveal what is in their heart about the belief in God. For years, this man has offered respect to people of religion, so long as they don't tear apart science. OK, it gets difficult with the whole "origins" debate. But until then, his attacks were focused more on the "attacks against science." But at this juncture, he did directly attack the belief in God/Creator. This to me showed that the heart of the issue truly was about knowing God. Atheists will say, "Believe what you want." But if you push them just right, they will declare how much they cannot stand your belief in God, so much that they truly are trying to take it away from you. It is very eye-opening once you see it in action. Have either of you read Behe's new book "On the Edge of Evolution"? More applicable to what both of you are talking about, however, would probably be Allister McGrath's "The Dawkins Delusion" It's nice to be able to discuss ID with some people instead of debate it.
  13. This is all subjective, hinging on whether the person sending the PM really has an issue. They might not. It might just be a personality conflict that has gotten blown out of proportion by one person or the other. Your reply infers that the person sending the PM is justified and that may not be the case, they might be as wrong as the day is long. They should at least be willing to hear what the other person has to say. Matthew 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. It says "between the two of you", which implies a dialogue, not telling the other person what they did wrong and then running away. The problem needs to be solved between the two parties. There is no way to do that if only one person can do the talking. I think this is a point that keeps going ignored. If we're going to confront someone, we have to be willing to listen to their side of the story. Often times our confrontation can be wrought out of a misunderstanding. Likewise, if it got heated, chances are both people were wrong. There are very few instances where we can claim we are 100% perfect in our dealings with people. The "instigator" of the correction must realize that he or she may not always be correct in his or her correction. In fact, he or she could be open to a response from the other side. If it's nasty, then take it to a higher authority. However, Cobalt is correct - if you're going to rely on Matthew 18, you MUST let the other person respond...otherwise how do you know when to take it to the next step?
  14. How do you do that if the person ignores you?
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