Spiritual Healing

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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:40 am

Here's the Omnian Bible which was posted a while back and I think it's funny, but as I did write a lot of it, I'm biased. :D

http://88.208.209.103/minisites/terrypr ... sc&start=0
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Postby captainmeme » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:10 pm

Pooh,
You're probably right that I'm losing this badly. Remember I'm fifteen and I seem to be vastly outnumbered - Aren't there any other Christian Terry Pratchett fans out there?

Anyhow, I'm going to go down fighting!
swreader wrote:The other story (in Chapter 3) bears considerable relationship to various other creation stories. She also commented that it is clear that there was a massive flood sometime in the past in the middle eastern region because accounts of such a flood appear in all (or almost all) of the religions of that region. But, as she said--whoever wrote the Noah story obviously knew nothing about boats, as the "arc" described there wouldn't have floated, let alone carried all the passengers described. The Phoenician account is much better, but then they were people who earned their livelihood by sailing.


(Sorry about selective quoting; I'm picking out the bit I can answer!)

The Ark has been found; Arch Bonnema and several others found it in the (previously called) mountains of Arrarat in Iran. Google it.
Also, the Ark would have floated. The misinterpretation here is the length of a cubit in those days, which has been proved to be different.
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:19 pm

If you mean this:

Wikipedia wrote:In June 2006, Bob Cornuke of the Bible Archeology Search and Exploration Institute took a team of 14 American "business, law, and ministry leaders" to Iran to visit a site in the Alborz Mountains, purported to be a possible resting place of the Ark. The team did not include any archaeologists or geologists among its members. The team claimed to have discovered an "object" 13,000 feet above sea level, which had the appearance of blackened petrified wooden beams, and was "about the size of a small aircraft carrier" [400 ft long (120 m)], and supposedly consistent with the dimensions provided in Genesis of 300 cubits by 50 cubits.[10] The team also claimed to have found fossilised sea creatures inside the petrified wood, and in the immediate vicinity of the site.[11] One member of the team claimed that 'a Houston lab used by the Smithsonian' tested some beams and confirmed they were petrified wood containing fossilised sea animals,[12] but the name of the laboratory was not given. No one outside the expedition has offered independent confirmation, and apart from a few purported beams, no photographic images of this supposed Ark in its entirety have been made available (though short video segments have been made available).[13] The team's consensus on the "object" is not absolute; Reg Lyle, another expedition member, described the find as appearing to be "a basalt dike".[11] It is the official position of the BASE Institute that Iran was the logical resting place of the Ark.[14] Their website does not definitely claim the object to be the Ark, but concludes that it is "a candidate".[15]

Then it's hardly conclusive and highly suspicious. See full article here.

Even an article from a Creationist website is "cautious" about the discovery and say:

Creation Ministries International wrote:I believe we need to be cautious about this latest claim of finding Noah’s Ark. It may turn out that the object is simply a rock outcrop that happens to be about the same size as Noah’s Ark, and that happens to have some geologic characteristics that make the rock look like wood. There are more questions that need to be answered before a definite verdict can be reached about the validity of this claim.

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:15 pm

It's not a question of 'losing' capt - it's just that proving matters of faith sometimes require leaps that can't be justified by solid facts or accepted scientific evidence - for example the Turin Shroud which has been categorically proved to be a 'fake' time after time, but it's a very good one in some respects... :?

Here's a link to the excavation for the Ark that Tony's just quoted and you're saying is the real deal that I Googled (for Arch Bonnema), which is on a christian website. There's considerable argument there for doubt over whether the assumed planking from the Ark are petrified wood or geologically 'normal' rock formations consistent with mountainous regions and found in other parts of the world. The article's from 2006 and the page came up 3rd on a search for 'ark' - if they'd had better evidence to support the claim that it is indeed the true ark I think they'd have it a little more prominently displayed.

There are plenty of christian Pratchett fans out there - Discworld's an inclusive cult in which belief can easily be suspended after all! :wink: Remember that Jesus himself told parables which were simply stories to explain facets of spiritual belief and moral values and some of those were probably historical or contemporary. The common article of faith is that Jesus came back to life in order to redeem us from original sin so we could share in life everlasting - no one is able to categorically claim this is true because nobody saw this happen - the accounts in the Bible all centre on his tomb being found opened and empty. Yet millions of people believe that really happened and take comfort from it.

Historically we know that there were a number of geological events in the eastern Mediterranean around the time Noah might have lived (possibly the super-volcano that formed the islands around Santorini). Because the people who lived in that region had sufficient technology to build boats and probably quite large ones for trade, if there had been some kind of cataclysmic inundation for whatever reason then there would have been people who could have survived in the way Noah is said to have done. Maybe they were from further away than the regions where survivors were rare and perhaps only a very few people survived close to the centre of the earthquake-tsunami. Maybe. Then people tell the tale and it grows into a fable and then a legend and then a myth. It's still true, but how true is true from so long ago?

Not 'believing' everything in the Bible is true doesn't stop people from being christians, or Jews or Muslims - because the Flood is part of their holy books. The Old Testament comes to us from such a long, long time ago and that makes it precious because it's a repository of human memories, some of which could be literal and others not, but all are a tribute to the human spirit on how to survive and live well in a hostile and sometimes inexplicable world. The stories of those memories are truth insofar as they help us grow in knowledge and spirituality is part of that growth. Evolution is the science that explains Genesis with knowledge accrued since the late neolithic times into the Bronze Age. In 1950 the modern Catholic Church accepted evolutionary theory but that doesn't negate what the Bible teaches and both evolution and Genesis is taught in their schools - it's not an argument just a different perspective. If you don't need proof to believe in Jesus rising from the dead then you don't need an actual ark do you? :D

I know historically there was a man called Jesus who was crucified in Judea in CE33 who preached a vaild faith system. I do not believe in the white beard in the sky or pixies (elves maybe :lol: ), but I do believe Jesus talked good sense and was an admirable person whose teachings still hold up in these times as much as they did 2000 years ago. So you're not 'losing' OK, just not supporting your argument in some respects :)
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:51 am

captainmeme wrote:Pooh,
You're probably right that I'm losing this badly. Remember I'm fifteen and I seem to be vastly outnumbered - Aren't there any other Christian Terry Pratchett fans out there?

Anyhow, I'm going to go down fighting!
swreader wrote:The other story (in Chapter 3) bears considerable relationship to various other creation stories. She also commented that it is clear that there was a massive flood sometime in the past in the middle eastern region because accounts of such a flood appear in all (or almost all) of the religions of that region. But, as she said--whoever wrote the Noah story obviously knew nothing about boats, as the "arc" described there wouldn't have floated, let alone carried all the passengers described. The Phoenician account is much better, but then they were people who earned their livelihood by sailing.


(Sorry about selective quoting; I'm picking out the bit I can answer!)

The Ark has been found; Arch Bonnema and several others found it in the (previously called) mountains of Arrarat in Iran. Google it.
Also, the Ark would have floated. The misinterpretation here is the length of a cubit in those days, which has been proved to be different.

Yep! You're losing this badly and you're going down. :P
I wouldn't actually say going down fighting, more clutching at straws. :D

It does seem you have been a tad brainwashed, but you seem like a very intelligent person, so I'm sure it is reversible. :D

What you choose to believe in is your own decision, but you should always question things, rather than following sheep-like and just believing everything people tell you is the gospel truth.

If God controls your everyday life, then obviously God wanted you to come on this site for a reason. That reason possibly being that some of the things you currently believe to be true eg; the Ark, your flaggellum wotsits, what the Bible told Moses etc, are not in fact correct.

By the way, God told me that he wants you to read Terry Pratchett's Science of Discworld III - Darwin's Watch, then post your views on the book.

Terry Pratchett wrote:(God) made us clever enough to work out that he doesn't exist.


Bless you my son.

Here endeth the lesson. :D
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Postby raisindot » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:44 pm

captainmeme wrote:Pooh... I'm talking about how it fits with Genesis.

Oh, and how would Evolutionists explain irreducable complexity? (Google it if you don't know what it is.)


Read your Dawkins, Gould, etc. They all make completely plausible arguments that complex organs didn't just "pop out of nowhere." The eye argument, for example. Many primitive creatures had light-gather sensors, which gave them competitive advantages over those who didn't. Mutations in these sensors gradually more features, making those with these mutations more likely to survive. It's also entirely possible that some mutations resulted in creatures with light sensors that would make today's eye seem like a blurry pair of glasses, but that poor creatures got chomped upon by another thing before it had chance to pass its genes on.

And the argument that the 'purpose' of evolution is to lead to increasingly complex lifeforms is hogfash. The overwhelming majority of life on this planet are tiny bacteria, which are far more adaptable to any chances in the environment than we 'complex' humans. Which is why when we humans are long gone, the bacteria will inherit what's left.
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:55 pm

Apart from anything else, for the wood in the Ark to have petrified, it would have had to remain constantly underwater for a long time - at least 100 years. The Ark was supposedly deposited on Mount Ararat when the flood waters receded, so that's unlikely in the extreme.

SEE HERE for info on petrification of wood.
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Postby raisindot » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:56 pm

poohcarrot wrote:OK :D

According to Capt there are only approximately 500 million Christians in the world. That means that there are 6 billion non-Christians. Christianity is a minority myth-based cult, worshipping a mythical sky pixie.. :lol:


That's an impossibly low estimate. Between North America, Europe/Russia, South America and parts of Southeast Asisa there have to be at least a couple billion Christians. And it makes no sense to call Christianity a "minority" religion compared to the entire world population. You have to compare the numbers of Christians to those of other large religions.

There are probably two billion Christians, at least one billion Muslims, there are probably between 800 million-1 billion Hindus and probably between between 1-1.5 million Buddhists. Again, ballpark estimates. Christianity is far from a minority religion.

Doesn't mean that I think any one of these is better than any other. (Actually, I lie. I like Buddhism better than all of them, although one could argue that because it does not have a central deity nor requires specific prayer or ritual practices it's not necessarily a religion).

:)
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Postby raisindot » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:29 pm

captainmeme wrote:I question all the time, but I've experienced God, which means I question from a different angle from you, I guess. I've questioned the Bible a lot, and I've got answers. I think the Bible is truth, and Genesis is literal: It was dictated from God to Moses, after all.


Then what you're acting on is faith and faith alone; which is fine, but don't try to argue it from a logical point of view because it won't work.

Jewish tradition does say that the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) was dictated by God to Moses, who wrote it down. Which is rather funny, because he would have to write his own death scene.

In any case, if you're at all willing to consider any other viewpoints, I suggest you read "The Evolution of God," by Richard Wright. He makes an extremely strong case that:

1) There are several different 'gods' in the Old Testament. For example, 'Elohim' was the name of God in the Abraham/Isaac/Jacob stories, while "Yahweh" was the God of Moses. Both were originally local (and competing) gods that were eventually combined to create a multi-named deity.

2) There are numerous acknowledgements of the 'real' existence of other gods in the Old Testament (in other words, the Bible God isn't the only God, but one of many), and that the OT God was little more than tribal god set on using his chosen people, Israel, to destroy his competitors.

3) The OT pillages mercilessly pillages stories from the mythologies of other religions.

4) The Israelites were not a "separate people" who descended from Abraham via Jacob, escaped Egypt, and then took over Canaan but, rather, a group of people aleady living in Canaan who, as they became more powerful through military conquest, created a religious tradition to justify their superirity (as all peoples did at that time).

5) That the emergence of true monotheism (belief that only one god had ever existed, versus the belief that your god is the best god of all) occurred relatively late in ancient history, probably during the Babylonian exile

6) That the conflicting versions of the Gospels, the earliest of which were written two generations after the death of Jesus, and the existence of many other gospels that weren't included, point to the impossibility of creating any kind of accurate picture of who Jesus was and what he actually did or didn't do).

Now, none of this disproves the existence of a deity, nor does it need to invalidate your faith in such a deity in any way or keep you from being a Christian.

Heck, I may believe that string theory is true, but, so far, there's been no physical proof to demonstrate that it is true. But arguing the historical accracy of any religious text isn't going to take you too far. There's far too much evidence against it.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:35 pm

Most people experience religion culturally rather than practically - most religions agree that it's wrong to steal for instance. That's how it works and for a lot of people they live their lives to a religious standards by default without any true 'belief' at all - it's simply inertia and/or social fitting in at a basic level and habit if you're lucky. By the latter I mean that in some places you conform or die effectively - there are perks, like not being treated like slime-mould in being the same as everyone else in some cultures, like in Borogravia for instance? :P

Belief that you choose is always better than faith that is imposed upon you - truth is something else and not necessarily something that can be defined or indeed proved
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Postby swreader » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:59 pm

Capt. - I strongly suggest that you read Carpe Jugulum paying particular attention to the characters and discussions of Granny Weatherwax and Pastor Oates--especially as he takes her to the vampires's castle.

Terry is quite obviously dubious (or more) about any organized religion, but this book might make you feel somewhat better. It links up with Small Gods, so you might want to read that first. They're both challenging and difficult reading, but well worth it.
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Postby captainmeme » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:59 pm

Hey everyone,

I know I've lost this, whatever Jan said. I just don't know my history well enough. However, I am remaining true to the Lord. I know that I don't argue well, but one of my (few!) flaws is that I like debating, which means that I usually end up losing. Remember, again, that I am only 15, so I don't have the knowledge needed to debate properly with people who have a lot more experience than me.

Oh, and Pooh, you remarked about me 'seeming a tad brainwashed'. I assure you I have not been indoctrinated, apart from by God himself. I have experienced God in a very real sense, and without him I would not be here now. It's all very well you joking about how God sent me here to learn that my religion is wrong, but I know it isn't, so I'm afraid you can't convert me.

Swreader, I'm afraid I've never read Carpe Jugulum, as it is one of the very few Discworld books I haven't got. Anyhow, I know that Pratchett is anti-religion by his writing, but that doesn't mean I don't think his books are good. At least he doesn't devote his books to anti-religionism - in my opinion, Philip Pullman is one of the greatest athours around today, and it saddens me that he appears to focus all his books on the hatred of Christianity.

Anyhow, I think I've made it clear that I can't beat you. You are all older (no offence) and wiser than I am, and I can't match that. Nevertheless, I am staying to my religion. Just because I can't debate well, doesn't mean that my religion is false. I am now stepping out of this discussion.

(Which sort of makes the entire discussion pointless, as Pooh origianlly set it up to have a go at Christianity, and seeing as I'm the only Christian here, once I step out, the point's gone...)

Goodbye, this thread!
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Postby Broccolee » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:19 pm

Don´t worry,Capt.,it isn´t your age that makes it difficult for you to discuss in this thread.It is the problem that christian beliefs in general expect you to believe,not to question,to accept,but never think for yourself.This is very dangerous.

I used to be just like you.My parents were Jehovahs Witnesses.They have a good answer for bloody everything.They take scriptures and change them so subtly,take a quote here,a bit there,that it all makes sense.Then they teach their followers exactly what to say when.
They capsule them away from everyday life ("Do not have any part of them.")so they don´t have a chance to ask questions.They say helpful things like:"If you look over the fence,the grass on the other side will always be greener.So as not to be tempted,do not look towards the fence,look towards the herd."

It sounds sensible and good.It sounds like you are being helped to experience God.It sounds like you are being protected.But you aren´t.You are being kept stupid.

God does not,I repeat,does not,need an elder,a priest,a pastor,whatnot,to reach your heart.If He wants to reach you,He will not need to indoctrine you first.
Read the precious bible again.If you believe in it,you will want to believe all of it,right?So you also must understand that by what God (and Jesus) said,noone is "holier" than another,right?All of you are poor sinners that must ask forgiveness,right?So who of you has more right to say what is right and what is wrong?
How can you accept an elder(pastor,priest,etc.)telling you that you failed or sinned or haven´t understood properly if he´s a bloody sinner himself?And he won´t tell you what his sin is,oooohhh noooo.MAybe it´s presumptiousness?Or pride?Or powerhunger?

Let me put this carefully.You are not old enough to discuss here,you say?
But you are old enough to believe?If you are old enough and confident enough to even try to discuss your belief openly in this forum or anywhere else,you are also old enough to percieve and to ask questions.

I have seen so many young people who believe firmly in everything they are told,who do not question,who go to church every sunday,who help in sunday school,whose world is oh so perfect.And yes,I know what I´m talking of,I have done youth work in protestant church.Held a talk about and for youths leaving sects.

There is just one road thats coming to you,and it forks into two roads from there.And they will fork again.....And I´m not speaking of the broad and the narrow road.
You WILL start asking questions.You WILL notice descrepancies.You WILL fall from faith.Don´t worry,it won´t hurt.Everybody experiences this,or has experienced it,even your parson/priest/elder.Really.

You will either accept the truth that not all that shines is gold and carry on being a christian,what you now think of as a christian,namely a good man (or woman) all the way through,and that means that you will try to follow what Jesus said,(who,in my opinion,was a very wise man,not necessarily a god personification,though),and there are two ways you can do that:inside a church or out of it.

Don´t let anybody tell you you need a church to be a good man (or woman).Jesus personally didn´t suck up to the pharisees,did he?Actually,he was a rebel who asked uncomfortable questions,right? So who can forbid you to do the same?Don´t be afraid to listen to the answers....

If you choose to stay in church,that also,surprisingly,doesn´t mean you can´t be a good person,appearances notwithstanding.It might be a bit more difficult to hear God because what the elders and the smartasses say is always louder than Him,but you can manage.Do not think you will change anything,however.You will find,over the years,that your belief and what the elders say might not necessarily be the same things.Or you get to be an elder yourself and talk louder than the others...

You could of course,as an alternative, stay in church,and not question anything,look towards the herd,never lift your head,never sin,do what you are told.Try to be perfect.Do you honestly want to tell me this is the life you want?Do you honesly think you will manage to do this all your life?Do you honestly want to tell me you never will doubt anything?Then you will be telling a lie....and thats a sin...ooops...

Or you will totally give up on all religion and go right the other way and be bitterly dissappointed of religion all your life with the haunting feeling that you are an awful sinner.The other fork this road can take is that you find a different "religion" for yourself,either science,love,art...whatever,and that this different way of life makes you just as happy and fullfilled as living as a christian would have done.
And - you won´t believe this...no lightning bolts either!

Oh-one last thing:whatever you finally decide to do,you are not a sinner,at least not in the christian sense of it.Of course it´s wrong to kill,lie,whatever.But you know thats wrong without anybody telling you.It is what some people called the ingrained sense of good and evil,some call it Gods fingerprint.But you do not have to grovel just because you exist.God made us as equals,if you read your bible and believe you were made.We are meant to stand up and look in his face.We are no grovelling worms,no matter what anybody might try to tell you.

Evolution has nothing to do with it,in my opinion.So you evolved from monkeys?Fine!Doesn´t mean you can´t believe in God!
The ark was never built?Or built in completly different circumstances?
We actually come from Mars?Fine!Doesn´t mean God doesn´t watch over you!You want to call God Budda?The Universe?Mother?Go ahead.Doesn´t make him less God,does it?Doesn´t make the things Jesus said wrong?Doesn´t - and this is the important bit...doesn´t make you or me wrong.
It´s still magic even if you know how it´s done.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:57 pm

Agree with all of that. It's never, ever wrong to ask questions and you shouldn't take everything you're told at face value else you're going to have a very turbulent journey through life, regardless of religion, simply because there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who look like sheep but are really wolves, and some of those wolves claim to be, and indeed honestly believe, that they are instruments of God... :evil:

Like pooh said earlier...
Terry Pratchett wrote:(God) made us clever enough to work out that he doesn't exist.

which you could also paraphrase as 'work out whether or not he (or she) exists for ourselves.'

I think where organised religion serves, rather than fails, is in the community aspects when it's not taken to extremes and takes an inclusive, if not a non-judgmental stance. On a local level and with 'looking after their own' christian parishes (or mosques or temples etc) often do a great job, especially in less materially affluent places in the world with the clergy doing positive, practical work to support their parishioners and the greater community as a whole.

A for instance. I have a good American friend who's a mormon and when she was 'let go' from her job (she was effectively sacked for inefficency due to ill health) her church supported her and her partner (also female - they aren't ostracised for being gay) so she was able to eke out her welfare cheques for twice as long as they would have ordinarily lasted, until she was well enough to find a new job. That kind of thing is wonderful and, as she was already an active member of her church community, she wasn't made to feel she was a charity case or pressured to do more than she already wanted to.

Provided you accept your god of choice, your beliefs are yours to hold and there doesn't have to be a choice between creationist and/or fundamentalist views or evolution and science, or any other sticking points that arise. True christians, following the guidance of Jesus (not the Old Testamant because his teaching contradict that in too many ways - an eye for an eye does not equate with love thy neighbour after all), must practice tolerance and understanding towards others. That is not at odds with how most reasonable, decent people want to live their lives, regardless of whether they are committed to a faith of any kind, is it? :)
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Postby Dotsie » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:17 pm

Man I wish I'd got here sooner :lol: I can't believe I missed out on the chance to have a go at the bacteria post!

OK I will have to make my point though. Why do creationists feel the need to come up with some sort of pseudoscience to vaildate their beliefs? If they put any faith in science at all they wouldn't believe in creationism in the first place, so why invent "intelligent design" and "irreducible complexity"? These things didn't come from God, they are human arguments, so why use them if the reason you believe so strongly is because God has spoken to you, rather than humans brainwashing you? I can't believe that God would point to the flagellum as a reasonable argument (the "what good is half an eye" argument having failed so dismally), but men would use it knowing that there isn't any fossil record of flagellum evolution.

And I don't really hold with being called an evolutionist - I might as well be called a theearthisroundist, or an Ineedairtobreathist.

I'm not really interested in converting people from religion, unless they try to mess with the education system for example. But I would ask, would God have spoken to you so strongly if your parents were both atheists? Because I haven't heard a word.
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