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BryanS

Vatican Adds 7 More Sins

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I can't answer for all those, but in the case of the barbarians who invaded Rome, it meant people who were lawless.

No, it meant people who didn't speak Latin. "Bar bar" was how the Romans heard Germanic languages, so they called them "barbarians". The term was used for any non-Roman. The Visigoths and Vandals all had laws.

The Bible is not "pieced together of different gospels." The Bible contains four gospels, in addition to many other books that are not gospels. Do you know what a gospel is? The four books contained in the Bible all date from the first century. The other so-called gospels that aren't included were written 150-200 years later, by anti-Christian sects who were trying to falsify Christianity. There was nothing "rough" about the editing.

Do you have a source for that? I've read that Luke made it in by one vote, and I've never heard of "anti-Christian sects" trying to falsify Christianity by writing spurious gospels.

Domesticate in the sense of taming. Teaching such ideas as marriage, chastity, and charity. Also obedience to a higher spiritual law above merely physical indulgence. Some of the peoples who invaded Rome perhaps already had these ideas to varying degrees, but most did not.

The Visigoths and Vandals had the ideas of marriage, chastity and charity. By the 5th century they were already heavily influenced by Roman culture, but even going back into their Celtic and Scandanavian roots, we see these ideas. Someone has lied to you.

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To my knowledge, it doesn't. This is why I said that it was unfortunate to have pre-dated Adam Smith.

Had its original writers had knowledge of modern economics, they'd surely have recognized that an individual's creation of wealth is symptomatic of the elimination of societal poverty and that it is to be encouraged. And although I'd allow for the advice that a wealthy individual might choose to share his wealth, surely the unholiest thing conceivable is that socialists and Democrats would eliminate the incentive for wealth to be created in the first place by engaging in systematic theft.

One way or another, socialists and Democrats would appear to be devil incarnate (or just very ignorant). They must be stopped (or become better educated).

Wealth can eliminate material ills but not spiritual ones (see above post). In fact, it only exacerbates them, tearing people away from God and each other. The Bible is full of teachings and stories that illustrate this fact. It also makes quite clear that people can live happily despite not having wealth.

It's funny that you say socialists are the devil incarnate - from a certain standpoint, Marxism could actually be seen as doing the devil's work because it equates utopia with material well-being. All wrongdoing, according to Marxism, is just a result of deprivation of wealth; distribute wealth equally and we will all be happy. God and spiritual happiness are taken completely out of the equation (Marx once wrote "my philosophy begins with the rejection of God"). Christianity extols charity, but charity can only truly exist if it's voluntary. Forced charity, of the governmental type, really just amounts to materialism.

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No, it meant people who didn't speak Latin. "Bar bar" was how the Romans heard Germanic languages, so they called them "barbarians". The term was used for any non-Roman. The Visigoths and Vandals all had laws.

Okay, fair enough. But I think the implication was that the non-Roman peoples were less bound by law, although certain groups may have had laws of a sort. The word "civilized" originally meant "law-abiding."

Do you have a source for that? I've read that Luke made it in by one vote, and I've never heard of "anti-Christian sects" trying to falsify Christianity by writing spurious gospels.

The sects I refer to were the Gnostics. Sorry you never heard of them. For a source, try "The Early Church" by Henry Chadwick."

The Visigoths and Vandals had the ideas of marriage, chastity and charity. By the 5th century they were already heavily influenced by Roman culture, but even going back into their Celtic and Scandanavian roots, we see these ideas. Someone has lied to you.

Lol, someone is not reading what I write. In the very quote you responded to I said "some of the people who invaded Rome may have had these ideas to varying degrees." I don't think anyone would suggest that the invaders of Rome held the ideas of chastity and charity in the some lofty position as they would be held in the Middle Ages, after the Church's influence had taken hold.

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I think you're right. I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not. But it's actually a heavily debated subject. But we do know from various verses that God has no sin, so it's actually impossible for him to have created it.

I might say it's simply disobedience to God; or contradictory behavior/thinking to God's. We see the first recorded sin in Lucifer as he was prideful.

Yes, I was being facetious. Contradictory behavior towards god's contradictory rules sure is contradictory.

But then again, I was once told by a christian, "You can't apply logic to god's rules; you simply have to have faith."

And to have faith in such contradiction, seems to contradict common sense, much less logic.

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Wealth can eliminate material ills but not spiritual ones (see above post). In fact, it only exacerbates them, tearing people away from God and each other. The Bible is full of teachings and stories that illustrate this fact. It also makes quite clear that people can live happily despite not having wealth.

It's funny that you say socialists are the devil incarnate - from a certain standpoint, Marxism could actually be seen as doing the devil's work because it equates utopia with material well-being. All wrongdoing, according to Marxism, is just a result of deprivation of wealth; distribute wealth equally and we will all be happy. God and spiritual happiness are taken completely out of the equation (Marx once wrote "my philosophy begins with the rejection of God"). Christianity extols charity, but charity can only truly exist if it's voluntary. Forced charity, of the governmental type, really just amounts to materialism.

I hope it came across that I was being snarky. I was just having sort of an Eric Cartman / Karl Rove moment, trying to rally the followers of a religion against my own personal nemeses. >:)

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Not only do we have to understand the Bible in it's immediate context, but in the context of the entire Bible. The Bible does not teach salvation by works. It teaches salvation by grace (unmerrited favor) through faith. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." - Ephesians 2:8

So if Jesus was saying that eternal life(not to be perfect, as yous stated) was gained simply by doing a good deed, that verse I just mentioned would be contradictory. That's why we understand the passage as meaning that he needed to give up what he esteemed most,all his posessions, AND follow Christ.

When did I say that Jesus said eternal life was gained simply by doing a good deed? I never said that salvation comes from works, and neither incidentally does the Catholic church.

You seem very confused here. Jesus is saying that it is better to not be wealthy, i.e. if someone wants to try and be morally perfect, they can start by getting rid of their possessions. Of course we both know that no one can ever be morally perfect, but that does not take away the fact that if one were to be perfect, it would involve giving up one's possessions. Because we all fall short of perfection, we need his grace for salvation. But it is still better to not be wealthy, just as it is better to not commit adultery, not steal, and not murder (even though we won't achieve eternal life by merely following these rules).

The verse never states that his possessions are what he "esteemed most." You are trying to read a situation into this passage that isn't there.

Again, both these statements are counter intuitive. The real need is food. Without food you can't do much of anything. Increasing crop yield would only serve to make a more robust, healthy society, thereby increasing the number of individuals available to spread the word and worship god. Why make life in the first place if It's going to then tell this creation that they are not supposed to focus on life and, in lockmat's words, "[look] forward to when death comes."

I never said that people didn't need food. I said it wasn't the chief need, or the "real" need as you say, but that the needs of the spirit, i.e. the word of God, is what people really need. And as I also mentioned, the Bible teaches that if you put the word of God first, he will satisfy your spiritual need and your material need.

"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14

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I hope it came across that I was being snarky. I was just having sort of an Eric Cartman / Karl Rove moment, trying to rally the followers of a religion against my own personal nemeses. >:)

Alright, I see it now. ;)

I disagree. The death of cells ultimately causes the demise of a human. I'm sure certain types of sin may speed up the process, but sin, in and of itself, is inert. :P But god created both cells and sin, so....

That's kind of a shortsighted way of looking at it. Sin is what made us mortal; the fact that we die from the death of cells is true as we are now constituted, but who knows what we were like before?

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Okay, fair enough. But I think the implication was that the non-Roman peoples were less bound by law, although certain groups may have had laws of a sort. The word "civilized" originally meant "law-abiding."

Then the implication was wrong. The people who invaded Rome (in 410 and 455, the Visigoths and Vandals), were just as bound by law as the Romans.

The sects I refer to were the Gnostics. Sorry you never heard of them. For a source, try "The Early Church" by Henry Chadwick."

I've heard of them. I have a copy of the Nag Hammadi library at home and have read the entire thing. They weren't "anti-Christian", and they didn't write their gospels to "falsify" Christianity. Some of them were in competition with other Christian sects.

Lol, someone is not reading what I write. In the very quote you responded to I said "some of the people who invaded Rome may have had these ideas to varying degrees." I don't think anyone would suggest that the invaders of Rome held the ideas of chastity and charity in the some lofty position as they would be held in the Middle Ages, after the Church's influence had taken hold.

All of the people who invaded Rome had those ideas, though. I suggest that they may have held those ideas to a higher position than Romans did. And the Roman Catholic Church's influence had already taken hold (in the Western Empire) by the 5th century.

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When did I say that Jesus said eternal life was gained simply by doing a good deed? I never said that salvation comes from works, and neither incidentally does the Catholic church.

You seem very confused here. Jesus is saying that it is better to not be wealthy, i.e. if someone wants to try and be morally perfect, they can start by getting rid of their possessions. Of course we both know that no one can ever be morally perfect, but that does not take away the fact that if one were to be perfect, it would involve giving up one's possessions. Because we all fall short of perfection, we need his grace for salvation. But it is still better to not be wealthy, just as it is better to not commit adultery, not steal, and not murder (even though we won't achieve eternal life by merely following these rules).

The verse never states that his possessions are what he "esteemed most." You are trying to read a situation into this passage that isn't there.

I feel for the most part I've said all I can to state my case.

But you know, if one is not wealthy, the sin of coveting is there. And that's one of the explicitly stated ten commandments.

And this is the second time you've said something about 'being perfect' when those words are not stated once. The rich man asks how to attain eternal life, not perfection.

I feel like nobody has read the passage. I would think anyone who reads the entire account can easily see that the subject is eternal life, not wealth. I don't believe one needs to be a Christian to see that. Does anyone who wants to try and be objective here not currently in the conversation want to take the time out to read the entire chapter and/or passage to affirm what the subject is? To me, it's black and white that he asks, What must I do to attain eternal life?

I don't know grammar as well as I wish I did(I don't remember technical terms), but the wealth aspect is secondary to the main subject of eternal life. It's plain as day to someone who'd try to be objective for a moment and look at the passage for what it says.

And H-town man, and anyone else, I hope you're not thinking my tone is of anger or anything. I'm just not as good as someone like niche at being 'tonedeaf(?).'

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So sin is a man made concept.

What do you mean? Why do you say that?

I think it's kind of like gravity(bad analogy?). Because it happened/disobedience, it exists. It exists b/c we fall short of God's character.

EDIT: why does it keep breaking up my posts? I thought it's supposed to combine them?

Edited by lockmat

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What do you mean? Why do you say that?

I think it's kind of like gravity(bad analogy?). Because it happened/disobedience, it exists. It exists b/c we fall short of God's character.

EDIT: why does it keep breaking up my posts? I thought it's supposed to combine them?

Personal belief here...

...I think that IF there is a God (and this is the same force that I believe exists as gravity, wind, air ... universal laws) that created EVERYTHING ... EVERYWHERE ... before and after time itself...

... (again my thoughts here)

That he is really not concerned with whether or not I (little ole me) stole a candy bar, cheated on my income taxes, or had sex before I was married (with another man at that).

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Personal belief here...

...I think that IF there is a God (and this is the same force that I believe exists as gravity, wind, air ... universal laws) that created EVERYTHING ... EVERYWHERE ... before and after time itself...

I can understand where you're comin from macbro. Carefully consider this. What in this world procreates from nothing?

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I can understand where you're comin from macbro. Carefully consider this. What in this world procreates from nothing?

I am not an atheist. I am not agnostic. I just believe that we have religion and God all wrong. Religion has been used to justify many, many horrible things all done in God's name.

In fact, some of the things claimed in God's name are downright shameful (sinful?).

As for the procreation thing, I guess you're right on that point. But not sure what you're asking by it?

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As for the procreation thing, I guess you're right on that point. But not sure what you're asking by it?

We all must start from the beginning when thinking about this.

I don't know what you think about the beginning of things, but I'm guessing you believe in the big bang or something close to it.

If we see nothing in this world that doesn't procreate without coming from something else before, how can that be true? How can something come from nothing? We don't see that today, why would it all of a sudden just change?

The conclusion we must come to is that something/someone must have created the first person. And some Christians believe that God created the first cell/plant/whatever and let evolution take its course. That's not true, but that's for another time.

So we either believe someone who has the power to create without nothing created us/everything, or nothing created us/nothing. I believe it takes more faith to believe the latter.

We come to the conclusion that God created us/everything. We only see in this world things that obey/look up to/whatever the person/thing that 'created' it, as an example, mother and child. We expect sons and daughters to obey their mother and father.

Also, since God is the creator of us/everything, then he sets the rules. He created us, not us him. We don't make the rules. For an example from the Bible, Romans 9 says, "O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?" (It's speaking of salvation, but makes the same point)

---

So God does not allow us to believe whatever we want about this world. I think sometimes peopel think religion/God just wants to make life miserable for us by making up all these rules. But he's not. He promises that if we keep his commandments, we'll have more joy than anything in this world can bring us.

Edited by lockmat

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Then the implication was wrong. The people who invaded Rome (in 410 and 455, the Visigoths and Vandals), were just as bound by law as the Romans.

Can you cite a reference that they were just as bound by law? When I said "Rome," I was referring to the Roman Empire in general, not to the specific groups that sacked the city. Better historians than I am have given me the impression that the barbarians were a very "willful" people, and were domesticated by the church.

I've heard of them. I have a copy of the Nag Hammadi library at home and have read the entire thing. They weren't "anti-Christian", and they didn't write their gospels to "falsify" Christianity. Some of them were in competition with other Christian sects.

They were a false sect posing as Christian with contrived gospels that undermined the ideas contained in the real ones. How much more anti-Christian can you get?

All of the people who invaded Rome had those ideas, though. I suggest that they may have held those ideas to a higher position than Romans did. And the Roman Catholic Church's influence had already taken hold (in the Western Empire) by the 5th century.

You are equating Romans with the Catholic Church. Although the Catholic Church became official, it never replaced pagan culture. No doubt there were many Romans who never held chastity in high regard. As to the barbarians, can you cite me something that would suggest that they had such high views of chastity and charity? Anything like what we see in so much medieval writing?

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So we either believe someone who has the power to create without nothing created us/everything, or nothing created us/nothing. I believe it takes more faith to believe the latter.

We come to the conclusion that God created us/everything.

I believe it takes just as much of a leap in logic to believe that SOMEONE created everything, as the scientific explanation (in fact, they are equally suspect). I think there are many process (physical, chemical, quantum) that happen without the intervention or even explanation of man. And when man tries to make sense of it by creating something (akin to a fairy tale) to explain how everything came to be, it is insulting (to my intelligence).

In my estimation, the bible tries to explain many things by using talk that is just as much fairy tale as the best tales of Greek mythology.

(I guess I grew tired of being treated like a child by 'the church' and its outlandish tales).

If religion is going to explain things to me (and this goes for science as well), it is going to do better than fairy tales and leaps of logic.

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I am not an atheist. I am not agnostic. I just believe that we have religion and God all wrong. Religion has been used to justify many, many horrible things all done in God's name.

In fact, some of the things claimed in God's name are downright shameful (sinful?).

As for the procreation thing, I guess you're right on that point. But not sure what you're asking by it?

Like I said in response to this early, Jesus actually foretold that people would do terrible things in his name. Of course many people only want to see the bad things when they think of religion and they tune out all the good, but to me it seems like an excuse. Read the Bible. Read what the Church teaches. The present pope's first encyclical was entitled "God is Charity." Doesn't sound very horrible to me.

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That's kind of a shortsighted way of looking at it. Sin is what made us mortal; the fact that we die from the death of cells is true as we are now constituted, but who knows what we were like before?

No, that's the logical and factual way of looking at it.

But I totally understand that logic and factual information aren't necessarily applicable to faith.

So sin is a man made concept.

Bingo.

And the catholic church just solidified this with their recent announcement.

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I believe it takes just as much of a leap in logic to believe that SOMEONE created everything, as the scientific explanation (in fact, they are equally suspect). I think there are many process (physical, chemical, quantum) that happen without the intervention or even explanation of man. And when man tries to make sense of it by creating something (akin to a fairy tale) to explain how everything came to be, it is insulting (to my intelligence).

In my estimation, the bible tries to explain many things by using talk that is just as much fairy tale as the best tales of Greek mythology.

(I guess I grew tired of being treated like a child by 'the church' and its outlandish tales).

If religion is going to explain things to me (and this goes for science as well), it is going to do better than fairy tales and leaps of logic.

One thing we must all come to grips with in this post modern world where everything is relative, is that there is truth. Some things must be right and some things must be wrong. Something cannot be right and wrong at the same time.

In thinking about these things, we must conclude that we are either right or wrong. There is zero wiggle room.

Bingo.

And the catholic church just solidified this with their recent announcement.

I wouldn't assume that what the Catholic church says is the standard or what the Bible says. Like anything, we need to find out for ourself, and Bibles are always readily available in our free country.

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IIn my estimation, the bible tries to explain many things by using talk that is just as much fairy tale as the best tales of Greek mythology.

That's funny, G.K. Chesterton once actually wrote a passage about fairy tales and how they so often embody truths that can't be expressed in any other way. Similar to what Jung and Campbell said about myth.

If you think books like Genesis are just simple-minded stories, you might check out a book by Leon Kass entitled The Beginning of Wisdom. Read a few pages and you'll start to realize there is a lot more going on in Genesis than just a fairy tale.

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One thing we must all come to grips with in this post modern world where everything is relative, is that there is truth. Some things must be right and some things must be wrong. Something cannot be right and wrong at the same time.

In thinking about these things, we must conclude that we are either right or wrong. There is zero wiggle room.

Yes, but it's us who is deciding what is right or wrong. We are.

When is the last time the true God came down and spoke out loud. In factual, plain, unequivocable, and irrefutable terms to the entire world?

When He spoke and the whole world saw it? God does not speak to us, except in thousand year old texts ... written by man and pieced together over hundreds of years and most times in the 2nd or 3rd person.

I believe that we have fashion 'God' into what we want Him to be.

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No, that's the logical and factual way of looking at it.

But I totally understand that logic and factual information aren't necessarily applicable to faith.

Bingo.

And the catholic church just solidified this with their recent announcement.

Neither are logic and factual information inconsistent with it. It's how we interpret these "facts." David Hume showed long ago the fallacy of believing that the world is bound by any scientific law. When science asserts that nothing has ever happened or can ever happen that is not in agreement with what it has observed in its experiments, it has made a religion (and a faith) out of itself.

The Catholic Church did not invent any sins in its recent announcement. They just applied old teachings to new situations.

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Can you cite a reference that they were just as bound by law? When I said "Rome," I was referring to the Roman Empire in general, not to the specific groups that sacked the city. Better historians than I am have given me the impression that the barbarians were a very "willful" people, and were domesticated by the church.

You can start here: Celtic Law

Who are these "better historians"?

They were a false sect posing as Christian with contrived gospels that undermined the ideas contained in the real ones. How much more anti-Christian can you get?

They were no more "false" or "true" than the sects that ended up putting their gospels in the canon.

You are equating Romans with the Catholic Church. Although the Catholic Church became official, it never replaced pagan culture. No doubt there were many Romans who never held chastity in high regard. As to the barbarians, can you cite me something that would suggest that they had such high views of chastity and charity? Anything like what we see in so much medieval writing?

If the Catholic church never replaced pagan culture, why are medieval writings an example of Catholic influence and not pagan?

I do equate Romans with the Catholic church. The Roman Catholic Church was created by a Roman emperor and replaced the Roman state religion.

That's kind of a shortsighted way of looking at it. Sin is what made us mortal; the fact that we die from the death of cells is true as we are now constituted, but who knows what we were like before?

<raises hand>

I do.

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I believe that we have fashion 'God' into what we want Him to be.

If we did that, then why does He demand so many duties of us? Why is it so difficult to live a life of faith? Why are we taught to avoid so many of the world's pleasures?

Seriously, of all the arguments against religion, this one is the weakest.

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In my estimation, the bible tries to explain many things by using talk that is just as much fairy tale as the best tales of Greek mythology.

(I guess I grew tired of being treated like a child by 'the church' and its outlandish tales).

If religion is going to explain things to me (and this goes for science as well), it is going to do better than fairy tales and leaps of logic.

go study truth vs fact sometime.

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I wouldn't assume that what the Catholic church says is the standard or what the Bible says. Like anything, we need to find out for ourself, and Bibles are always readily available in our free country.

If you are a committed catholic, then yes, what the church says is considered doctrine and is to be followed. It is the standard for catholicism.

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You can start here: Celtic Law

Who are these "better historians"?

My professor, who taught Western Civilization at the University of Chicago for 47 years, suggested that the church was largely responsible for "domesticating" (his term) the invaders (he was non-Christian, so I don't think there was bias involved). I think the point about the barbarians' willfulness was first made by Guizot in his History of Civilization in Europe.

They were no more "false" or "true" than the sects that ended up putting their gospels in the canon.

Yeah, their texts were just written over a century after the original ones. I'm sure they couldn't have been motivated by the desire to undermine a fast-growing religion.

If the Catholic church never replaced pagan culture, why are medieval writings an example of Catholic influence and not pagan?

It never replaced it in the Roman Empire. Check out a book called Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown - he discusses how even in Augustine's time, there was still a strong pagan culture that tried to revive itself as the main culture of the empire. It was against them that Augustine wrote his City of God Against The Pagans.

I do equate Romans with the Catholic church. The Roman Catholic Church was created by a Roman emperor and replaced the Roman state religion.

Just because it became the official state religion does not mean that the Romans should be equated with the Catholic Church. That is very naive. Augustine, writing after Catholicism became the official religion, was indifferent to the possibility of the downfall of the Roman state because it was so based on secular values and culture. Sure seems funny that a Catholic bishop would be indifferent to the fortunes of Rome if Rome was equatable to the Catholic church, doesn't it?

:blink:

<raises hand>

I do.

Unless you have something to show that our scientific laws are binding of all things throughout history, then no, you don't. And as Hume made clear, nobody can show that.

Well folks, it's been fun. I'm sure there will be many intelligent replies to my statements and arguments, and I wish I could be here to answer them, but spring break is upon me and I am going home. Enjoy your discussion.

Edited by H-Town Man

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David Hume showed long ago the fallacy of believing that the world is bound by any scientific law. When science asserts that nothing has ever happened or can ever happen that is not in agreement with what it has observed in its experiments, it has made a religion (and a faith) out of itself.

The Catholic Church did not invent any sins in its recent announcement. They just applied old teachings to new situations.

Main Entry: sci

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If you are a committed catholic, then yes, what the church says is considered doctrine and is to be followed. It is the standard for catholicism.

Of course, it's truth to "you"(not you;), but truth is not relative. But we've already had that thread.

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I don't have to have faith that the world is round. This have been proven time and time again by the scientic method. Until a better understanding of this fact appears, it is reasonable to assume this is truth. There are no testable assertions in the bible, which is where faith comes in, which is the definition of a religion. Your correlation falls flat.

I appreciate your line of reasoning, but on what basis do you consider it "reasonable" to assume that the Earth is approximatley spherical? There are any number of unlikely yet plausible circumstances in which it may not be approximately spherical, for instance if it became un-spherical since the last time you checked, or if it were distorted in shape by a black hole, or perhaps if alien bombardment had blown the opposite side of the planet to shreds and the effects won't be felt here for another 30 seconds.

Is the only criteria for "reasonableness" pragmatism? It would seem as such to me. And to assume that the Earth is approximately spherical in any given moment requires a degree of faith. If you do not accept that, consider that there are circumstances in which it may be pragmatic for an individual or group to accept or perpetuate a categorical lie. Is acceptance of fiction as fact the act of a scientific mind. I would think that to be plausible. Even religion itself has been utilized in the past as a means of accomplishing a pragmatic goal, whether it be to wipe out a foreign country (subsequently raping and pilaging those people as well) or even as a means by which consolation might be offered to the desperately poor so as to quell the likelihood of civil unrest.

Of course, I'm talking in extremes only to derive a point. Faith cannot be granted to science, not even on the basis of that it has a good track record in accurately measuring how it is that you perceive the world. Faith cannot be granted to your perceptions. Nor can faith be granted to god(s).

The most difficult thing that many people seem to face is that they can neither completely or accurately manipulate, control, understand, or even comprehend the most infinitecimal extent of their perceived reality. Religion is a crutch, one of many. So is science. So is every aspect of pre-conditioned cognition. The strictest test of a philosopher (at least IMO) is that they are capable of accepting that they know nothing, are nothing (screw Descartes, he was wrong), and that there is no underlying meaning to anything about which one can be certain.

My thesis: the ideal philosopher is faithless. There are no philosophers. Only religious zealots of various sort.

Edited by TheNiche

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I appreciate your line of reasoning, but on what basis do you consider it "reasonable" to assume that the Earth is approximatley spherical? There are any number of unlikely yet plausible circumstances in which it may not be approximately spherical, for instance if it became un-spherical since the last time you checked, or if it were distorted in shape by a black hole, or perhaps if alien bombardment had blown the opposite side of the planet to shreds and the effects won't be felt here for another 30 seconds.

Is the only criteria for "reasonableness" pragmatism? It would seem as such to me. And to assume that the Earth is approximately spherical in any given moment requires a degree of faith. If you do not accept that, consider that there are circumstances in which it may be pragmatic for an individual or group to accept or perpetuate a categorical lie. Is acceptance of fiction as fact the act of a scientific mind. I would think that to be plausible. Even religion itself has been utilized in the past as a means of accomplishing a pragmatic goal, whether it be to wipe out a foreign country (subsequently raping and pilaging those people as well) or even as a means by which consolation might be offered to the desperately poor so as to quell the likelihood of civil unrest.

Of course, I'm talking in extremes only to derive a point. Faith cannot be granted to science, not even on the basis of that it has a good track record in accurately measuring how it is that you perceive the world. Faith cannot be granted to your perceptions. Nor can faith be granted to god(s).

I agree with most of this. However, to keep this in context, I see this line of reasoning falling apart when you apply the literal definition of faith (the firm belief in something for which there is no proof). It does not require faith, in the most literal sense, for me to know the Earth is round. It may require assumption; since the Earth was verified to be round 10 minutes ago, I can reasonably assume it will be verified to be round 10 minutes from now. If one were so inclined, one could find proof that yes, the Earth is currently round (updated satellite images, standing on a tall building to see the curvature of the Earth, etc.). This requires not one iota of faith.

Now we can go off on all sorts of tangents (perhaps the government is lying, is what we're seeing really what others are seeing, do we even really exist, ad nauseum), but this is outside the realm of my post, and best left to conspiracy theorists and fans of psychotropic substances.

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So God does not allow us to believe whatever we want about this world. I think sometimes peopel think religion/God just wants to make life miserable for us by making up all these rules. But he's not. He promises that if we keep his commandments, we'll have more joy than anything in this world can bring us.

...and its this kind of thinking that has been the cause of holy wars, over the centuries, that has resulted in more death and destruction in this world than could ever had been imagined. While there is no official known number, I've seen anywhere from 1 to 9 million deaths. 9 to 11 crusades, spanning almost 200 years. Your God (and your beliefs) vs. my God (and my beliefs). Think how many people have been killed, maimed (and in come cases been driven to suicide) in the name of religion. It will never end.

...I have real trouble thinking, that in a universe as large as ours, that we are the only living organisms in the entire universe. Yet, we are told, that Our Savior, the son of God, is a white (or a black) male, approximately 6'2", waist-length brown hair, wears sandals, and walks on water. We have molded God into our own anthropomorphic image. How narrow-minded of us. Statistically, we're not alone.

...If the Christian God/Jesus... is all knowing, and all caring, and all powerful... then how come we have children

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...and its this kind of thinking that has been the cause of holy wars, over the centuries, that has resulted in more death and destruction in this world than could ever had been imagined. While there is no official known number, I've seen anywhere from 1 to 9 million deaths. 9 to 11 crusades, spanning almost 200 years. Your God (and your beliefs) vs. my God (and my beliefs). Think how many people have been killed, maimed (and in come cases been driven to suicide) in the name of religion. It will never end.

No, things like that happen because people don't interpret the Bible properly, therefore living it out incorrectly. Me or nobody I know who hold true to similar biblical doctrines have any hostility towards anyone. It's not a matter of my god vs. your god. It's a matter of what is true. I understand why people do it, but it's not fair to judge one Christian/religous individual who lives now against what people with bad doctrine did many years before, anymore than it is fair to judge whites for what their distant relatives did to blacks during the slave years.

Everyone always avoids truth, and instead believe in what they want or feel like. Truth is what matters yet nobody cares about it b/c what they believe makes them feel better. We couldn't have our discussions on the Houston economy or any of the other things we talk about was it not for truth. But for some reason, when it comes to spiritual things, truth is thrown out the window.

...I have real trouble thinking, that in a universe as large as ours, that we are the only living organisms in the entire universe. Yet, we are told, that Our Savior, the son of God, is a white (or a black) male, approximately 6'2", waist-length brown hair, wears sandals, and walks on water. We have molded God into our own anthropomorphic image. How narrow-minded of us. Statistically, we're not alone.

You can't really judge what "Christians" tell by baseing it off 'media christianity' or 'surface' Christianity that most 'Christians' live. But Jesus, when a man, looked like a Jew. He was Jewish. So he probably had lighter skin with brown or black hair, just like most Jews.

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...If the Christian God/Jesus... is all knowing, and all caring, and all powerful... then how come we have children's hospitals full of little innocent kids, dying of cancer? What did they do to deserve that? If they "believe" ... they go to heaven. But that's like hitting me over the head with a baseball bat and then paying me $50. Yea, it hurt - but at least I got a reward, right? That is crazy. If you really loved me, you wouldn't have hit me in the first place.

We have all this b/c of sin, the fall. Before the fall, everything was perfect. The thing is, we expect God to do good things. Well, he does. He offers salvation. We as humans have disobeyed our creator. The wage for that is eternal death. That's what we've earned for ourself, death. He had nothing to do with that. He does not make anyone sin. But because he loved us, he died for us. How many of us would sacrifice our lives for people who constantly do us wrong? None of us. We were enemies of him, yet he still died and rose, and gave opportunity for salvation.

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It does not require faith, in the most literal sense, for me to know the Earth is round.

Sure it does. You must foremostly have faith in your existence. Thereafter, you must have faith in your mulit-sensory perception of that existence. Beyond that, I might question the shape of space and time; perhaps the earth's surface is nothing but the interior wall of a hollow sphere being subjected to a kind of spatial refaction so as that the universe as we see it in fact exists towards the core of the sphere, its volume in fact inversely proportional to that which we believe it to be as a result of our observations. I could sit around all day coming up with unlikely variations on the theme of a warped universe. ...but that they'd all be unlikely doesn't detract from the plausibility of such hypotheses.

Proof that the Earth is approximately spherical (even in hindsight) does not exist. It exists only as a matter of faith. This is true of all things perceived.

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My professor, who taught Western Civilization at the University of Chicago for 47 years, suggested that the church was largely responsible for "domesticating" (his term) the invaders (he was non-Christian, so I don't think there was bias involved). I think the point about the barbarians' willfulness was first made by Guizot in his History of Civilization in Europe.

Wow. You're basing your argument on a book published in 1828? Not only has a lot been learned about European history since then, we've learned quite a bit about bias in previously accepted European history introduced by ... the Catholic Church.

Yeah, their texts were just written over a century after the original ones.

You've got some proof of that? Surely you're aware of the dispute about the date of the Gospel of Thomas. It may pre-date any other gospel.

I'm sure they couldn't have been motivated by the desire to undermine a fast-growing religion.

The Gnostics were a fast growing religion. Many of them considered themselves Christians. The distinction between gnostics and what became Roman Catholic and Orthodox beliefs are not as clear cut as you seem to think. Valentinius was a candidate for bishop in the Roman church.

It never replaced it in the Roman Empire. Check out a book called Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown - he discusses how even in Augustine's time, there was still a strong pagan culture that tried to revive itself as the main culture of the empire. It was against them that Augustine wrote his City of God Against The Pagans.

That doesn't answer my question. If the Catholic church never replaced pagan culture, why are medieval writings an example of Catholic influence and not pagan?

Just because it became the official state religion does not mean that the Romans should be equated with the Catholic Church. That is very naive. Augustine, writing after Catholicism became the official religion, was indifferent to the possibility of the downfall of the Roman state because it was so based on secular values and culture. Sure seems funny that a Catholic bishop would be indifferent to the fortunes of Rome if Rome was equatable to the Catholic church, doesn't it?

Rome evolved into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. That's why the day of rest is observed on Sunday. That's why their hierarchies mirror Roman government. That's where all the latin came from. It doesn't seem funny to me, since Augustine clearly saw the Roman religion replacing the Roman state.

Unless you have something to show that our scientific laws are binding of all things throughout history, then no, you don't. And as Hume made clear, nobody can show that.

He did no such thing. Are you saying that fossils are a trick being played upon us?

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My boyfriend and I watched this very interesting documentary the other night which basically showed how the Christian religion is totally and completely based on Pagan beliefs... it was kind of scary. The "son of God" apparently represents the actual Sun which Pagans saw as bringing hope and light and life to the earth every day... and it showed how the whole "born of a virgin" story has been done through different religions over thousands and thousands and thousands of years. It went on and on showing links between Christianity and Paganism.... was very interesting.

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My boyfriend and I watched this very interesting documentary the other night which basically showed how the Christian religion is totally and completely based on Pagan beliefs... it was kind of scary. The "son of God" apparently represents the actual Sun which Pagans saw as bringing hope and light and life to the earth every day... and it showed how the whole "born of a virgin" story has been done through different religions over thousands and thousands and thousands of years. It went on and on showing links between Christianity and Paganism.... was very interesting.

That'd make sense. Heredity was extremely important in many ancient (and some modern-day) cultures, which is why virgins were prized. They offer supposed proof of not having had a foreign seed planted in the womb, so to speak.

...the problem is...penetration is not necessary for pregnancy to take. Its uncommon but well documented today that young couples fooling around end up inducing a pregnancy without breaking the hymen. That was not understood back in the day. Its certainly understandable that a pregnant virgin might be interpreted as some kind of miracle and that the child, viewed by society as somehow special throughout his childhood, would take on megalomaniacal tendencies that might lend themselves to cult formation and leadership.

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Wow. You're basing your argument on a book published in 1828? Not only has a lot been learned about European history since then, we've learned quite a bit about bias in previously accepted European history introduced by ... the Catholic Church.

I said that Guizot was the first. Read what I write. I'm also basing my argument on what was taught me by a tenured professor (and former dean) at the University of Chicago.

You've got some proof of that? Surely you're aware of the dispute about the date of the Gospel of Thomas. It may pre-date any other gospel.

Okay, maybe not the Gospel of Thomas. :wacko: When did the Gnostic sect begin? When were the four canonized gospels believed to be written?

The Gnostics were a fast growing religion. Many of them considered themselves Christians. The distinction between gnostics and what became Roman Catholic and Orthodox beliefs are not as clear cut as you seem to think. Valentinius was a candidate for bishop in the Roman church.

Interesting stuff.

That doesn't answer my question. If the Catholic church never replaced pagan culture, why are medieval writings an example of Catholic influence and not pagan?

Again, it never replaced it in the Roman Empire. You seem to have trouble reading what I write. As long as the empire lived, pagan culture hung on. Hence you cannot equate the Romans with the Catholic Church, as you embarrassingly did.

Rome evolved into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. That's why the day of rest is observed on Sunday. That's why their hierarchies mirror Roman government. That's where all the latin came from. It doesn't seem funny to me, since Augustine clearly saw the Roman religion replacing the Roman state.

The state did not "evolve" into the church. The church grew up alongside the state, was persecuted by the state for a time, became the official religion of the state, and then lived on when the state was dead. The Eastern Orthodox church did not come about until several centuries later. I don't call that "evolution" from one to the other. Yes, the Catholic church picked up certain things from the Roman state such as certain legal forms; so what? America picked things up from Rome too - I suppose Rome evolved into America. The Catholic church used latin... Wow! Your evidence is devastating!

I did not know that Augustine ever referred to Catholicism as "the Roman religion." Can you give me a source for this rather uncharacteristic choice of phrase? Nor did I know that Augustine ever said that the Catholic religion would replace the Roman state. Tell me, if the Roman state evolved into the Roman Catholic Church as you say, which of the two did Augustine live under - the Roman state or the Roman Catholic Church? In other words, was it still the state when he was alive, or had it already turned into the Church?

You may want to revise a few of your statements.

He did no such thing. Are you saying that fossils are a trick being played upon us?

What do fossils have to do with scientific laws?

:blink:

I'm sorry I won't be able to reply to this; I'm sure you will come back with some good evidence.

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Some gods are more sinful than others.

And regarding the pagan similarities, here are more talking points about them. They are many bias sites claiming or disclaiming the similarities, but this is one of the few non-bias* sites.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcpa1.htm

*It promotes religion so its a little bias.

Of course, the most fascinating stuff are the similarities between horus and jesus. Just google to get a more detailed list of the similarities. Also add osiris to make it a party.

Edited by webdude

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We have all this b/c of sin, the fall. Before the fall, everything was perfect. The thing is, we expect God to do good things. Well, he does. He offers salvation. We as humans have disobeyed our creator. The wage for that is eternal death. That's what we've earned for ourself, death. He had nothing to do with that. He does not make anyone sin. But because he loved us, he died for us. How many of us would sacrifice our lives for people who constantly do us wrong? None of us. We were enemies of him, yet he still died and rose, and gave opportunity for salvation.

Even little innocent kids who, through not fault of their own, who have no concept of sin, no concept of the complex meanings of religion/Christ, deserve a long, painful death where the "treatment" for their disease/cancer is in some ways worse than the disease itself - and they still end up dead, at the age of 7? Do these kids really deserve this? They are completely innocent, free of sin... yet they suffer horribly.

I don't know that I would want to worship a God that is all knowing, and benevolent, that would let this kind suffering to persist in the world.

The basic tenant of Christianity, as I learned it, is that God knows all, is all powerful, and is benevolent, and those that accept Christ as their savior are guaranteed a better existence in the after life. God is perfect. God knows no free will (as we humans do). Yet... he fails to relieve the pain and suffering of those that are so innocent. So maybe the God we think we know... is not that God at all... Perhaps something different, perhaps nothing at all.

Edited by BryanS

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No, things like that happen because people don't interpret the Bible properly, therefore living it out incorrectly. Me or nobody I know who hold true to similar biblical doctrines have any hostility towards anyone. It's not a matter of my god vs. your god. It's a matter of what is true.

And taken to the extreme... people die, maim, and kill, in the name of God, for the sake of "truth," which is completely relative, when it comes to organized religion. Christians believe one thing, Jewish people another, Muslims another, and all have a history of killing each other over it - and still do to this day. The Bible is not the absolute truth; there are other religious texts in the world. Would you support the statement that these other religions are "wrong?"

While you may hold no personal hostility toward anyone, there are people, who have the same beliefs as you, that do. And when we get to the point that we are killing each other, over religious beliefs, I say enough. You all can't be right. There must be something else... or perhaps nothing at all... (just re-stating my spiritual/agnostic beliefs, not intentionally trying to be repetitive)...

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Even little innocent kids who, through not fault of their own, who have no concept of sin, no concept of the complex meanings of religion/Christ, deserve a long, painful death where the "treatment" for their disease/cancer is in some ways worse than the disease itself - and they still end up dead, at the age of 7? Do these kids really deserve this? They are completely innocent, free of sin... yet they suffer horribly.

I think that this falls in the category of "original sin". Which is to say that yes, the kids do deserve it, and that if they don't already, they're destined to do something later in life that'd be worthy of being smote down by the wrath of god.

BTW, have you actually spent any time with many 7-year-olds? A lot of them are little hellspawn, I swear.

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I said that Guizot was the first. Read what I write. I'm also basing my argument on what was taught me by a tenured professor (and former dean) at the University of Chicago.

Guizot was the only name you gave me. If you have a more recent argument for the notion that the Roman Catholic Church civilized or domesticated the Vandals or the Visigoths, please share it with me. I don't know who your professor was.

Okay, maybe not the Gospel of Thomas. :wacko: When did the Gnostic sect begin?

There were many different sects later categorized as gnostic. The Sethians probably pre-date Christianity.

When were the four canonized gospels believed to be written?

Opinions vary. 60 to 70 AD is probably a good guess for the earliest, but there are many different theories.

Again, it never replaced it in the Roman Empire. You seem to have trouble reading what I write. As long as the empire lived, pagan culture hung on. Hence you cannot equate the Romans with the Catholic Church, as you embarrassingly did.

But pagan culture hung on long after the Roman Empire fell. See my points about Sunday, holidays, rituals, etc. Pagan beliefs were widespread in medieval Europe. You haven't explained why you think ideas like charity, chastity and marriage found in medieval documents are more Christian than pagan. If marriage is somehow Christian, why does Paul advise against it so strongly in 1st Corinthians?

The state did not "evolve" into the church. The church grew up alongside the state, was persecuted by the state for a time, became the official religion of the state, and then lived on when the state was dead.

We'll have to disagree on that. When I look at the history of the Roman Catholic Church, I see more Rome than Jesus.

The Eastern Orthodox church did not come about until several centuries later.

Huh? They were officially the same religion until 1054.

I did not know that Augustine ever referred to Catholicism as "the Roman religion." Can you give me a source for this rather uncharacteristic choice of phrase?

Roman Catholicism was declared the state religion of Rome six years before Augustine converted.

Nor did I know that Augustine ever said that the Catholic religion would replace the Roman state. Tell me, if the Roman state evolved into the Roman Catholic Church as you say, which of the two did Augustine live under - the Roman state or the Roman Catholic Church? In other words, was it still the state when he was alive, or had it already turned into the Church?

He was a citizen of Rome, and an official in the state religion.

You may want to revise a few of your statements.

Why?

What do fossils have to do with scientific laws?

I don't understand the question. You asked "..who knows what we were like before?", to which I responded: "I do." Unless you think fossils were put here to trick us, I can't see where you're getting the idea that death has changed in some way.

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I think that this falls in the category of "original sin". Which is to say that yes, the kids do deserve it, and that if they don't already, they're destined to do something later in life that'd be worthy of being smote down by the wrath of god.

BTW, have you actually spent any time with many 7-year-olds? A lot of them are little hellspawn, I swear.

The concept of original sin makes god look like a spoiled little brat or an incompetent fool. He/she should smote him/herself down.

Edited by webdude

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The concept of original sin makes god look like a spoiled little brat or an incompetent fool. He/she should smote him/herself down.

How so besides you just saying it?

The basic tenant of Christianity, as I learned it, is that God knows all, is all powerful, and is benevolent, and those that accept Christ as their savior are guaranteed a better existence in the after life. God is perfect. God knows no free will (as we humans do). Yet... he fails to relieve the pain and suffering of those that are so innocent. So maybe the God we think we know... is not that God at all... Perhaps something different, perhaps nothing at all.

People always describe God as loving and all those 'good' things, and he is. But He is also just. He must be in order to stay in line with his character. Would we praise a judge in court if he let all the murders, molesters and theives go free? Of course not. He must uphold the law or else he's a bad judge and we'd call him twofaced. The Bible teaches the law(not laws as we know them but God's law) exists to show us our sin, because without it, we wouldn't see our sin(although it would still exist).

And taken to the extreme... people die, maim, and kill, in the name of God, for the sake of "truth," which is completely relative, when it comes to organized religion. Christians believe one thing, Jewish people another, Muslims another, and all have a history of killing each other over it - and still do to this day. The Bible is not the absolute truth; there are other religious texts in the world. Would you support the statement that these other religions are "wrong?"

While you may hold no personal hostility toward anyone, there are people, who have the same beliefs as you, that do. And when we get to the point that we are killing each other, over religious beliefs, I say enough. You all can't be right. There must be something else... or perhaps nothing at all... (just re-stating my spiritual/agnostic beliefs, not intentionally trying to be repetitive)...

Taken to the extreme with a distorted understanding of the Bible, yes. With a proper understanding of the Bible, no.

And yes, I would support that all those other religions are wrong. If I'd say they were right, I'd be a fool, for how can two contradictory beliefs be right at the same time? When there's absolute truth, and there is, only one thing can be right, not two or more. I would expect anyone else who believed something different than me to say I am wrong. For if they thought I was right too, then how could they be right at the same time?

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Guizot was the only name you gave me. If you have a more recent argument for the notion that the Roman Catholic Church civilized or domesticated the Vandals or the Visigoths, please share it with me. I don't know who your professor was.

I wasn't referring to just the Vandals and Visigoths, but all the barbarian groups involved in the fall of the Roman Empire. Try William H. McNeill - he was an atheist, so that should take away the church bias you accused Guizot of (though I did not think Guizot or most French intellectuals of that era were too influenced by church views).

But pagan culture hung on long after the Roman Empire fell. See my points about Sunday, holidays, rituals, etc. Pagan beliefs were widespread in medieval Europe. You haven't explained why you think ideas like charity, chastity and marriage found in medieval documents are more Christian than pagan. If marriage is somehow Christian, why does Paul advise against it so strongly in 1st Corinthians?

Marriage is more than "somehow Christian" - it's a church sacrament. Paul only advises against it because he wants Christians to be celibate apostles like him. He says that if you cannot handle celibacy, then you should be married "so as to avoid sin." Did the barbarian hordes think sex outside of marriage was sinful or against the wishes of their gods? You know more about them than I do, so let me know. I am interested in learning more about their beliefs.

I don't think it can be argued that the high values of chastity and charity in the middle ages came anywhere but from Christianity. Sir Galahad found the Holy Grail because he was the most pure. Nearly all of the barbarians who came into Western Europe converted to Christianity within a century or two of their arrival (see McNeill), so it's hard to imagine where else these ideals would have come from in the middle ages, especially as the church promoted them so strongly.

We'll have to disagree on that. When I look at the history of the Roman Catholic Church, I see more Rome than Jesus.

Then why did the church condemn and put to an end so many characteristically Roman things? If the church "evolved" out of the empire and was more influenced by the empire than by Jesus Christ, why did it demand the end of all the old imperial cults and the banishment of Roman gods from the temples?

Huh? They were officially the same religion until 1054.

That's my point. Why the six century delay if the Eastern Church "evolved" out of the Roman Empire like you say the Roman Church did? Did one side just evolve faster than the other?

Roman Catholicism was declared the state religion of Rome six years before Augustine converted.

So that means that Augustine would have referred to the Catholic Church as the Roman religion? Find me a place where he says that. I'm all ears. Augustine contrasted the Catholic church strongly from the imperial culture (even though it was declared the state religion) and would never have referred to his religion as "Roman," but this damages your theory that the Catholic church was more from Rome than from Jesus.

Also, why quote Paul, a first century writer, as a source for church views if it "evolved" out of Rome (and not from Jesus' teachings)? Had the evolution started this early?

He was a citizen of Rome, and an official in the state religion.

He couldn't have cared less about his Roman citizenship.

Why?

Because saying that the Catholic church evolved out of an empire whose culture was so directly hostile to it and in fact spent centuries persecuting it until it finally won out makes about as much sense as saying that modern science evolved out of the medieval church.

I don't understand the question. You asked "..who knows what we were like before?", to which I responded: "I do." Unless you think fossils were put here to trick us, I can't see where you're getting the idea that death has changed in some way.

Sorry to be unclear; I had mixed up statements from another argument. Briefly put, fossils alone don't tell us much. To understand the fossils, we need things like carbon dating, and the assumption that things on earth have pretty much always operated the way they do now, an assumption that relies heavily on faith in the eternal immutability of scientific laws. The fact is, if God could create the world, then presumably he could have altered it at any point far beyond our understanding. You may not believe that he created the world, but to anyone who does, arguments on what happened must have happened millions of years ago have little weight. They are good as assumptions, and I am not against scientific study, but I am not going to take any conjecture on how things began as absolute, especially considering how many times science has scrapped and overhauled its own theories (I'm sure you'll want a source for that; see Thomas Kuhn).

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