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DragonRider13: I agree with you that natural explanations for the stories in the Bible are a lot more plausible than supernatural ones, but that doesn't mean we should bend over backwards to create crazy situations to fit the stories. Maybe the sea really could have 'parted' in a natural way to let the Israelites through. But that doesn't mean that it did. I don't see any reason to believe that it happened at all, regardless of the causes. Same witht he pillar of fire, and all of the other Biblical stories.

 

I just think it's a bit of a stretch to say that the Bible has bits of truth in it, just because there are some people/places/events that show a similarity to reality. For example, I've heard it expressed using Spiderman. Spiderman lives in New York City, climbs up the Empire State Building, and works at the Daily News. New York is a real place. The Empire State Building is a real building. The New York Daily News is a real newspaper. That doesn't mean that we should believe in Spiderman or that there are really supervillains flying around the city.

 

I don't know, I just don't see where you're getting this "they all have a bit of truth behind them" thing.

 

I'm not trying to bug you, DragonRider, I just like to pick fights I guess. Also, is your username an Eragon reference? The new book's coming out! *squee*

I wouldn't consider it an argument, it's more of a polite debate. You're not bugging me at all. biggrin.gif

 

You make a good point. I guess I just have a lot of faith. But believe me, I doubt like the rest of you. My faith just wins through in the end. biggrin.gif Not trying to convert anybody here, just popping in to write a few essays... xd.png.

 

(BTW: Yep, I love the books, pre-ordered Inheritance on Amazon, yup.)

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I wouldn't consider it an argument, it's more of a polite debate. You're not bugging me at all. biggrin.gif

 

You make a good point. I guess I just have a lot of faith. But believe me, I doubt like the rest of you. My faith just wins through in the end. biggrin.gif Not trying to convert anybody here, just popping in to write a few essays... xd.png.

 

(BTW: Yep, I love the books, pre-ordered Inheritance on Amazon, yup.)

Okay, fair enough. biggrin.gif But you do consider yourself a Christian, then? Even though you think some of the Biblical stuff might be half-truths or caused by natural forces? Just curious.

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@Potterwolf- Yep, I still consider myself a Christian, because I believe in God and Jesus and all of that. I'm just a really skeptical Christian. xd.png

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So how can you tell which bits are the metaphorical stories? What, if any, is true? And how can you tell that it is true?

And that, as you said, is the problem--it's very hard to agree upon that, and people change their tun whenever it's convenient. Especially the "how can you tell it's true" part--we have no way of knowing, which is where faith comes in. What I say is metaphorical another might take to be literal.

 

And, of course, you have the people who not only change their mind on what's literal vs metaphorical depending on what supports them more at the time, but you have them also changing their tune on what's still relevant to today's world in accordance with what's most convenient for them. "Oh, the laws of the Bible are all meant to be taken seriously! Aside from -insert anything that would force them to change their lifestyle here-, of course, that's not relevant anymore."

 

 

Which is a pity, really, because it makes it just that much harder for the sane, rational, believers to properly explain their faith in a friendly way in which neither side walks away feeling like the other was being stupid or trying to force something down their throat...

 

Which brings to mind that any human caught exaggerating to make a point will likely never be taken seriously again, so...why does God get to do it? =/

I suppose because God is greater than man. Be it that He really exists, or man ascribes more importance to a belief in an entity that isn't real than man should. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but man likely simply gives God more leeway because God is seen as much more powerful. After all, you wouldn't want to piss off an entity that you were 100% certain was real and who had absolute power, right? If you don't believe in Him, then naturally you won't take him seriously if he's exaggerating.

 

After all, depending on the human, they may very well be taken seriously after that. After all, parents at times exaggerate tales they tell their children to keep them in line and yet said parents are still taken seriously long after the child has realized the tale was embellished, right?

Edited by KageSora

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So, is God a male, since Adam was made in his image? And then is Satan a female, if she is the original sin? (Or something like that...)

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So, is God a male, since Adam was made in his image? And then is Satan a female, if she is the original sin? (Or something like that...)

God is male as WE understand it. Not that gender will matter much once we get to heaven. For all purposes in scripture, yes He is referred to as male. Satan is also referred to as male, as are all angels in scripture actually. There are only 2 named angels in scripture I believe? Gabriel and Michael. And they are both male. And any time an unnamed angel speaks in the Bible they are also referred to as "he" or "the angel" if I recall correctly. As I said though, I can't imagine gender matters much in the context of spirit and heaven.

 

And it wasn't just ADAM that was made in the image of God. ALL people are made in the image of God. "So God created man [collective] in His own image, in the image of God, He created him, male and female, He created them."

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So, is God a male, since Adam was made in his image? And then is Satan a female, if she is the original sin? (Or something like that...)

It's my impression that since God (the father) has no physical body, he is neither male nor female. Jesus, obviously, was male.

 

Also, I don't think Satan was original sin, nor was Eve. She may have been the first to fall prey to temptation, but both Adam and Eve were punished for their sin of eating the fruit.

 

Also, as a side note, Genesis treats the serpent in the garden as a literal snake. There is no indication whatsoever that the serpent is Satan or is supposed to represent the devil. It's just a snake.

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After all, depending on the human, they may very well be taken seriously after that. After all, parents at times exaggerate tales they tell their children to keep them in line and yet said parents are still taken seriously long after the child has realized the tale was embellished, right?

Not in my experience...first time I realized my parents had stretched the truth I found it impossible to believe anything they said afterward. Same went for my siblings as each of them and for all of my friends who've trusted me with such information. It might just be because I can't stand hypocritical people and my parents got on my case all the time when I was being literal to stop exaggerating but it was okay if they did it. Most of my friends are just as literal as I am.

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Not in my experience...first time I realized my parents had stretched the truth I found it impossible to believe anything they said afterward. Same went for my siblings as each of them and for all of my friends who've trusted me with such information. It might just be because I can't stand hypocritical people and my parents got on my case all the time when I was being literal to stop exaggerating but it was okay if they did it. Most of my friends are just as literal as I am.

I understand. Still, for others, depending on the context and the degree to which the exaggeration is taken, it may be more easy to take them seriously in the future.

 

Additionally, it may be that they [those with whom the tales originated] knew the stories were exaggerated as they were just that--stories. Stories told to teach a lesson, yes, but not meant to be taken as literal truth.

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my friend is close to converting this agnostic atheiest to agnostic theist. i will always remain agnostic. because i find if i choose atheist i'm some evil hing thats going to hell

if i choose religion i am delusional.

 

so i just shrug my shoulders. I am only a human, I do not know if there is a god and i shouldn't be expected to know as i am human and thus i am imperfect.

Ashley the one close to converting me thinks it's cute, though he knows it comes from years of hurt. so..... in a few years time my guardian may have changed my mind............. again

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For example, has anyone watched the Ten Commandments? (Or actually read it in the Bible) You know when Moses parts the Red Sea? It sounds really fake or made up, but there may be an element of truth to it. I read somewhere that Moses didn't LITERALLY part the sea, but he may have just navigated across a shallower part during a low tide, and when the Egyptians came across, *boom* tide comes in and washes them away, or at least blocks their path. I'm not sure how the tides work in the Red Sea, but this may have worked.

 

It doesn't say "Red Sea". It says Yam Suf -- Reed Sea.

 

So, is God a male, since Adam was made in his image? And then is Satan a female, if she is the original sin? (Or something like that...)

 

No. Adam was originally created intersexed -- in the image of G-d, both feminine and masculine. Satan is assumed to be male in Judaism, but that doesn't mean much.

 

God is male as WE understand it. Not that gender will matter much once we get to heaven. For all purposes in scripture, yes He is referred to as male.

 

BEEP, sorry, thanks for playing.

 

Actually, multiple words for G-d are feminine in Scripture. My favourite is שכינה or Shekinah. This is used most often, for the indwelling of G-d. Such as, in the Temple and the Tabernacle.

 

Satan is also referred to as male, as are all angels in scripture actually.

 

Except, Satan is a title, not a name. We can't determine gender from that.

 

 

Yay for the fact that there is no original sin in Judaism.

 

 

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No. Adam was originally created intersexed -- in the image of G-d, both feminine and masculine.

Really? What makes you think that? Is it from the Hebrew version or something, because there's no indication of that in the English translation.

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Really? What makes you think that? Is it from the Hebrew version or something, because there's no indication of that in the English translation.

Really? What makes you think that? Is it from the Hebrew version or something, because there's no indication of that in the English translation.

 

I believe it's because there's "two" different accounts where it says God created male and female, and then the other goes into saying how Eve came from Adam.

 

So, from midrash, it says this is reconciled via Adam being a hermaphrodite before creating Eve and Adam as separate.

 

I believe another suggestion is that Eve isn't the same woman in the first account -- the first is Lilith.

 

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BEEP, sorry, thanks for playing. Actually, multiple words for G-d are feminine in Scripture. My favourite is שכינה or Shekinah. This is used most often, for the indwelling of G-d. Such as, in the Temple and the Tabernacle.

 

Well, as I said, I don't think gender really matters much in the context of spiritual beings?

 

That said, obviously you're going to win this argument but I'm just going to throw this out there, isn't Shekinah a verb? From studying Latin, I know there are cases where a word is grammatically feminine but does not necessitate a feminine gender in the noun. In Hebrew, does it always follow that because the verb is feminine that the noun must be feminine also? In my mind, apart from studying the language, just from a few years of Latin, just because a word (especially a verb) is grammatically feminine does not mean the noun it is referring to is NECESSARILY feminine. I could very well be wrong, this is a serious question, not an argumentative one tongue.gif

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I'm a Roman Catholic and proud of it. I love my religion a lot. Church is like a second home to me smile.gif

 

But being a teen of course I kind of am curious of other religions and like learning about them.

 

I do feel some religions have a certain amount of truth in them. Like they are all connected in a way.

Anybody else feel this way?

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I'm a Roman Catholic and proud of it. I love my religion a lot. Church is like a second home to me smile.gif

 

But being a teen of course I kind of am curious of other religions and like learning about them.

 

I do feel some religions have a certain amount of truth in them. Like they are all connected in a way.

Anybody else feel this way?

I'm a firm believer in that every religion holds some truths, some of them quite profound. If you'd like, I can pm you some links to online versions of some especially beautiful Eastern texts that actually line up pretty well with Christian beliefs in most areas.

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I'm a firm believer in that every religion holds some truths, some of them quite profound. If you'd like, I can pm you some links to online versions of some especially beautiful Eastern texts that actually line up pretty well with Christian beliefs in most areas.

Sure! Thanks, it will be an interesting read smile.gif

Edited by Drakelina

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Really? What makes you think that? Is it from the Hebrew version or something, because there's no indication of that in the English translation.

 

In Judaism there is a masculine and a feminine spirit. This is a very important point. As G-d has both a masculine and feminine spirit, and this is played out in creation.

 

This may get very confusing, but the important part is this: b'tsalmeinoo kidmooseinoo -- or in our likeness, in our image. These words combine very specifically, using both Domeh, the feminine and Tzelmo or Tselem, the masculine. These two words mean "likeness" and "image" but both are used in the creation of Adam, meaning he had both genders.

 

Well, as I said, I don't think gender really matters much in the context of spiritual beings?

 

That said, obviously you're going to win this argument but I'm just going to throw this out there, isn't Shekinah a verb? From studying Latin, I know there are cases where a word is grammatically feminine but does not necessitate a feminine gender in the noun. In Hebrew, does it always follow that because the verb is feminine that the noun must be feminine also? In my mind, apart from studying the language, just from a few years of Latin, just because a word (especially a verb) is grammatically feminine does not mean the noun it is referring to is NECESSARILY feminine. I could very well be wrong, this is a serious question, not an argumentative one tongue.gif

 

If it was masculine, it would be shechinot, such as in the Talmud's "Every bird dwells [shechinot] with its kind, and man with its like." [Kammah 92b] Or as shekhinato, as in the Amidah-- Blessed are You, God, who returns His Presence (shekhinato) to Zion.

 

I believe it's because there's "two" different accounts where it says God created male and female, and then the other goes into saying how Eve came from Adam.

 

This had nothing to do with it. tongue.gif

 

 

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In Judaism there is a masculine and a feminine spirit. This is a very important point. As G-d has both a masculine and feminine spirit, and this is played out in creation.

 

This may get very confusing, but the important part is this: b'tsalmeinoo kidmooseinoo -- or in our likeness, in our image. These words combine very specifically, using both Domeh, the feminine and Tzelmo or Tselem, the masculine. These two words mean "likeness" and "image" but both are used in the creation of Adam, meaning he had both genders.

Huh. I guess I'm missing out by not knowing Hebrew. That's interesting though. Thankee much. biggrin.gif

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I'm a Roman Catholic and proud of it. I love my religion a lot. Church is like a second home to me smile.gif

 

But being a teen of course I kind of am curious of other religions and like learning about them.

 

I do feel some religions have a certain amount of truth in them. Like they are all connected in a way.

Anybody else feel this way?

Yes. I believe there may be one true God, but It is beyond ourr understanding, and stupid silly humans managed to mangle it, hence so many differnet religions.

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I'm a Roman Catholic and proud of it. I love my religion a lot. Church is like a second home to me smile.gif

 

But being a teen of course I kind of am curious of other religions and like learning about them.

 

I do feel some religions have a certain amount of truth in them. Like they are all connected in a way.

Anybody else feel this way?

I was raised a Roman Catholic as well, and over the years I've studied a lot of religions, both Eastern and Western. In my experience, a lot of religions have common themes to them. An example that pops into my mind is The Golden Rule. (Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.) In Eastern sects this appears as Karma, and in Wicca there is a tradition known as the Rule of Three (energies, positive or negative, that you put out return to you threefold). All three encourage a person to act kindly, because you get what you give.

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Paganism is the religion of my choice. It's a not so well liked religion, for obvious historical reasons, but I stand firm. We believe in numerous gods and goddesses.

 

I know that some parts of my religion was brought into christianity, though a little warped up, and I've been interested in other religions to know what others have things the are similar to mine.

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Paganism is the religion of my choice. It's a not so well liked religion, for obvious historical reasons, but I stand firm. We believe in numerous gods and goddesses.

 

I know that some parts of my religion was brought into christianity, though a little warped up, and I've been interested in other religions to know what others have things the are similar to mine.

Ah! A fellow Pagan! smile.gif

 

Which branch of Paganism do you hail from (since "Pagan" is usually an umbrella term that covers a lot of religious territory)? Are you Wiccan, Asatruar, Celtic Reconstructionist, Hellenismos...?

 

(I won't get into a discussion here about the lack of continuity of ancient western Pagan religions into the modern era simply because it would take up a lot of space.)

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If it was masculine, it would be shechinot, such as in the Talmud's "Every bird dwells [shechinot] with its kind, and man with its like." [Kammah 92b] Or as shekhinato, as in the Amidah-- Blessed are You, God, who returns His Presence (shekhinato) to Zion.

 

Interesting biggrin.gif I need to research this stuff more. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

On a different note, I seem to be the only person in my Influential Books class that likes a good argument. I volunteered to argue FOR complete separation of Church and State in my debates coming up at the end of the semester, which no one else in my class wanted to do (Christian homeschool group). So for my edification, can you all present me with your best arguments in favor of complete separation of Church/State? For the purposes of the debate, I'm going to lay down all Christian presuppositions and argue from a completely neutral (as much as possible) standpoint in complete favor of it.

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Interesting biggrin.gif I need to research this stuff more. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

On a different note, I seem to be the only person in my Influential Books class that likes a good argument. I volunteered to argue FOR complete separation of Church and State in my debates coming up at the end of the semester, which no one else in my class wanted to do (Christian homeschool group). So for my edification, can you all present me with your best arguments in favor of complete separation of Church/State? For the purposes of the debate, I'm going to lay down all Christian presuppositions and argue from a completely neutral (as much as possible) standpoint in complete favor of it.

I mentioned the Treaty of Tripoli in another thread; the 11th Article is the relevant one, and though not in the original (Arabic) version of the treaty, it IS in the one that was unanimously ratified by the Senate and signed by President John Adams. These men were the Founding Fathers and their peers; so they knew exactly what they were doing when they agreed to it. Wikipedia's article on the Treaty actually has an excellent discussion of that portion, so it's a good starting place.

 

It's an important thing to consider because a lack of separation of Church and State begs the question "Which Church?" My church when I was growing up, being Fundamentalist Christian, said "The Christian Church, of course." The argument was that, though our Founding Fathers identified as "deists" or "agnostics" at the time, they were actually Christian, and those terms in that age meant "non-denominational." But in the Treaty of Tripoli they state outright and unequivocally that the United States is not and was never intended to be a Christian nation.

 

I would also suggest looking up the history of the deism and agnosticism, and the religions standing of many of our Founding Fathers, particularly Thomas Jefferson (from whom the quote "separation of church and state" is taken) and Ben Franklin (who was, among other things, a member of the Hellfire Club). For religious symbolism in the Capitol (another thing that got quoted a lot at me as proof the U.S. is supposed to be a Christian nation), Snopes is a good starting place for what they do, and do not, symbolize. There's more out there, but these should help put you on a line of argument.

 

Once you break the idea that "Our Founding Fathers intended this to be a Christian Nation," the "Which church?" question becomes wide open. And no one wants to consider the possibility that our legal rights might be determined by some other religion we don't believe in. Heck, even when I was active in the fundamentalist church I didn't want my legal rights determined by a different sect of the *same* faith. They might tell me I can't wear pants, or vote, or use birth control so I don't have 1803803 kids when I'm married! The only way to prevent this is to restrict ANY religion from defining our legal status, to evaluate laws and governance from a stance that views all people as equal, with the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. No favoritism, no allowances that do not apply to everyone in the same circumstances equally.

 

There's some real-life applications that can be looked at as well, there are scores of arguments and even some court cases of church activity fliers being sent home in schoolchildren's backpacks - including at least one case where a non-Christian group tried to do the same (because the local Christian church did it constantly) and raised a storm of outrage and protests.

 

edit: Oh, forgot to say, both the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance and the motto "In God we trust" are mid-20th century additions. Neither was made or suggested by our Founding Fathers.

Edited by Lodrelhai

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