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post #161 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
Genesis is not metaphorical. Genesis is wrong. The idea that the OT is metaphorical has only arisen after being proven wrong. Had the OT been considered metaphorical all along, the argument might hold some water.
huh? You may or may not agree with my characterization of Genesis as metaphorical. But to simply assert as fact that which you believe is specious.

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post #162 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:02 AM
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German,
And that is where we differ.
Genesis is not wrong. I put stock in the writings, and you seem not to. I see the proof you speak of as incorrect. I see science meld with the writings, and somehow I think you do not. Historically it is accurate as well.

Sotra like watching Fox and CNN. The same story gets a very differing tilt, and yet there is also the true story. In the end it gets revealed (in the biblical scenario).

Aardvark
Genesis has been found to be factually at variance with archaeology and science so many times that to reconcile them you practically have to believe that God is either playing the role of trickster by messing around with reality (as he did with Job) or the writers wrote from what they knew of life and applied it to what they did not understand in the world around and beyond them.

Or you simply reject science and embrace ... fantasy.

B

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post #163 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TNTRower View Post
First off, please do not mischaracterize what Christians are doing.

Are there some fringe fundamentalists who want only Creationism taught? Yes but they are by far and away a very small minority.

Intelligent Design is what is really being pushed. It is a theory, just as Darwin's Origin of Species is a theory.

What is wrong with teaching that there are many theories? I see no problem in teaching that there are other theories out there. In fact isn't it more arrogant to think that the theory of Evolution that is being taught is the only one worth learning? Especially in light of the fact that it is not fact but a theory?

And before anyone goes off, I am not referring to adaptation or species evolution. I am talking about that wonderful theory that we evolved from a primordial ooze.

As for your assertion that other faiths do not share "this arrogance" I would point you to any article about Danish Cartoonists making Charicatures about Mohammed, or any columnist that criticizes Islamic Fundamentalists as Traitors to Islam. By the way, last time I checked, Islam was the most widely practices religion in the world.

You talk of arrogance of Christians, I can not speak to an example unless you bring one up. Suffice it to say there are some who are arrogant just as there are atheists and agnostics and systems analysts who are just as well.
Well, you have to teach my theory too.

Open Letter To Kansas School Board - Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Open Letter To Kansas School Board
I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.

Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.

I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia. I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don’t.

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.



In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken. I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.

P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures.


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post #164 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TNTRower
First off, please do not mischaracterize what Christians are doing.

Are there some fringe fundamentalists who want only Creationism taught? Yes but they are by far and away a very small minority.

Intelligent Design is what is really being pushed. It is a theory, just as Darwin's Origin of Species is a theory.




You need to expand your horizons and broaden your base of knowledge.

Stop embarrassing yourself.



Transcript

NARRATOR: Throughout the trial, Judge Jones would never tip his hand about which way he was leaning on whether intelligent design is science. But science was not the only issue before the court.

The climax of the trial would be the judge's ruling on a question stemming from a different line of evidence: "When they introduced intelligent design into the classroom, were members of the Dover School Board motivated by religion?" If so, that would amount to a violation of part of the First Amendment to the Constitution, the establishment clause, which mandates the separation of church and state.

STEPHEN HARVEY: In order to prevail, we needed to prove either that the school board acted for the purpose of promoting religion or that its policy has the effect of promoting religion. It's either purpose or effect, either one.

JUDGE JOHN E. JONES, III: The establishment clause says that Congress cannot pass a law which promotes one religion over another. And that trickles all the way down to any state action, and in this case, the actions of a school board.

NARRATOR: But what evidence was there that the school board was motivated by religion? Months before the trial, when Bertha Spahr had unpacked the boxes containing the 60 copies of Pandas given by an anonymous donor, she found a clue.

BERTHA SPAHR: I was directed by the administration to unpack the boxes, count the books, stamp and number them. In the bottom of the box I found a catalogue. I opened the catalogue to see what they had to say about the book in question. And at the very top of the catalogue page...it was listed under "Creation Science." This'd certainly be a smoking gun and would be a benefit to us somewhere down the road.

NARRATOR: This information was handed off to The National Center for Science Education. The N.C.S.E. was helping the lawyers who were arguing to keep intelligent design out of Dover High School.

Knowing Of Pandas and People would be central to the case, Nick Matzke investigated the book.

NICK MATZKE: When the court case was filed and Pandas was adopted in the policy, it became clear that Pandas was going to be the representative of intelligent design for the purposes of this case. And so the history of that book became important, the arguments it made became important. And we undertook to dissect these various aspects in preparation for the case.

NARRATOR: Matzke dug into Pandas, examining it page by page and scouring the Internet to see what he could unearth about its history.

Rummaging through the N.C.S.E. archives one day, Matzke came across a creationist student newspaper from 1981. At the bottom of the front page, he noticed a tiny article with a headline announcing, "Unbiased Biology Textbook Planned." And that article mentioned that a man named Charles Thaxton, now a fellow at the Discovery Institute, was working on a book that would present "both evolution and creation."

NICK MATZKE: The academic editor was Charles Thaxton, who was the editor of the Pandas book, so it was clear that that ad was referring to the Pandas project. What was interesting is that it talked about the book being about "creation and evolution" instead of the later terms, "intelligent design and evolution."

NARRATOR: If they could show Pandas started out as a creationist book, that would suggest intelligent design is simply creationism repackaged and therefore inherently religious.

Matzke emailed this information to Eric Rothschild, who immediately issued a subpoena to the publisher of Pandas for any drafts the book went through before printing. In a few months, they received two boxes of material. The lawyers sent them to Barbara Forrest. A philosophy professor and author who has been tracking intelligent design for years, she was scheduled to testify in the trial.

BARBARA FORREST: Oh, my goodness, those two boxes contained about 7,000 pieces of paper. I had to sit down with those documents and just start flipping through them, which is what I did day and night.

NARRATOR: After much digging, she hit pay dirt. Buried in these documents were two drafts of Pandas straddling the 1987 case of Edwards versus Aguillard, in which the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to teach creationism in public school science class. One draft was written before the case and the other revised just after.

BARBARA FORREST: In the first 1987 draft, which is the pre-Edwards draft, the definition of creation reads this way "Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly, through the agency of an intelligent creator, with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, et cetera." The same definition in this draft, after the Edwards decision, reads this way: "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, et cetera." Same definition, just one is worded in terms of creationism, the other one worded in terms of intelligent design.

NICK MATZKE: Everyone said intelligent design is creationism re-labeled. Never in our wildest dreams, though, did we think that this would actually be recorded in paper in a way that could be documented in a court case.

ERIC ROTHSCHILD: And that became probably our best single piece of evidence at trial.

NARRATOR: Barbara Forrest's testimony would make a strong case that the Dover school board was thrusting religion into the classroom. And in comparing the Of Pandas and People drafts, Forrest discovered that the authors had apparently made their revisions in haste.

BARBARA FORREST: In cleansing this manuscript, they failed to replace every word properly. I found the word "creationists." And instead of replacing the entire word, they just kind of did this, and got "design proponents" with the "c" in front and the "ists" in the back from the original word.

NICK MATZKE: So the correct term for this transitional form is "Cdesign proponentsists." And everyone now refers to this as the "missing link" between creationism and intelligent design. You've got the direct physical evidence there of a transitional fossil.

NARRATOR: Barbara Forrest's testimony not only traced the creationist lineage of Pandas. Citing a Christian magazine's interview, Forrest let one of the intelligent design movement's own leaders, Paul Nelson, speak for himself.

BARBARA FORREST: The question he was asked was, "Is intelligent design just a critique of evolutionary theory or does it offer something more? Does it offer something that humankind needs to know?" This is his answer: "Easily, the biggest challenge facing the I.D. community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory right now, and that's a real problem. Without a theory, it's very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we've got a bag of powerful intuitions and a handful of notions, such as irreducible complexity, but as yet, no general theory of biological design."

WITOLD "VIC" WALCZAK: The evidence she bought into that courtroom really exposed the hypocrisy of the intelligent design movement in a way that's irrefutable. You know, she used their own language, things that they had written and said, to show that they themselves knew that this isn't science.

NARRATOR: And on the stand, Michael Behe was asked how he would define science.

ERIC ROTHSCHILD (Dramatization): Dr. Behe, using your definition, intelligent design is a scientific theory, correct?

MICHAEL BEHE (Dramatization): Yes.

ERIC ROTHSCHILD (Dramatization): Under the same definition, astrology is a scientific theory, using your definition, correct?

MICHAEL BEHE (Dramatization): Using my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to observable physical data and logical inferences. There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect, which would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is, in fact, one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and many other, many other theories as well.

ERIC ROTHSCHILD (Dramatization): The ether theory of light has been discarded?

MICHAEL BEHE (Dramatization): That is correct.

ERIC ROTHSCHILD (Dramatization): But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory?

MICHAEL BEHE (Dramatization): Yes, that's correct.

WITOLD "VIC" WALCZAK: You know, when you loosen the rules around what is science and permit the supernatural, permit deities, you are really destroying what makes science so vitally important to the progress that our civilization has witnessed over the last four or five hundred years. You're going back before the scientific revolution. And, you know, that's a pretty scary thing.



Cdesign proponentsists...



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post #165 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
Well, you have to teach my theory too.
Ahh yes...intellectualism at its best QBNCGAR style

Who's John Galt.

"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" - Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 2

If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel. --Benjamin Netayahu
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post #166 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:35 AM
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huh? You may or may not agree with my characterization of Genesis as metaphorical. But to simply assert as fact that which you believe is specious.
Specious? Pehaps. Do you believe that Genesis was written as a metaphor (that is, misinformation with an ulterior motive) by its author? I am willing to concede that possibility, although I seriously doubt it was presented as metaphor.

Do you believe that Genesis was presented as metaphor throughout the history of Christianity? I can tell you with certainty that as a child, it was presented to me as cold, hard fact, just as I believe it had been for centuries.

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post #167 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 11:47 AM
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In fact I find you both rather difficult to communicate with at times. Aardvark only speaks the language of faith, a language I do not speak at all, and you regularly respond to things that I never said nor intended to say. If I post "2 + 2 = 4", he responds by suggesting that he knows more arithmetic than I do, and that 2 + 2 = whatever god says it equals, while you caution me not to bring the Crusades into the equation (which I have never done once).
You seem to live in a mental world that is devoid of anything that would require faith to understand. Very statistical and requiring absolute proof. I have never seen anyone resolve religious questions in this manner.

Serious question (and it's not a setup). Are you trying to debunk the Bible, or are you trying to justify a return to it? Are your motives merely mean spirited or is there a deeper personal reason for your denigrating responses.
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post #168 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 12:05 PM
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Specious? Pehaps. Do you believe that Genesis was written as a metaphor (that is, misinformation with an ulterior motive) by its author? I am willing to concede that possibility, although I seriously doubt it was presented as metaphor.

Do you believe that Genesis was presented as metaphor throughout the history of Christianity? I can tell you with certainty that as a child, it was presented to me as cold, hard fact, just as I believe it had been for centuries.
I believe that the writer(s) of Genesis had a different consensual reality from ours. They wrote what they knew. That so many people in 3 major religions all find comfort and truth in what a bunch of shepherds and temple scribes wrote speaks well to the transcendent quality of their work. Their job was to write the stories that were instructive. They did not have our modern corpuscular view of history. That is a recent innovation that most historians trace to the Greek Herodotus. Before (and after) Herodotus, myth and metaphor were freely woven into history to tell a story. The Iliad is an excellent example of the pre-Herodotus style of history. I think that the Bible is a similar compilation, condensation and entwining.

I am sorry you were educated as you were. It must have been painful to grow out of. It's amazing what we do to our children 'for their own good.' I hope I did better with mine. I guess I'll know when they start telling me about what their therapists say of me!

B

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post #169 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 12:09 PM
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You seem to live in a mental world that is devoid of anything that would require faith to understand. Very statistical and requiring absolute proof. I have never seen anyone resolve religious questions in this manner.

Serious question (and it's not a setup). Are you trying to debunk the Bible, or are you trying to justify a return to it? Are your motives merely mean spirited or is there a deeper personal reason for your denigrating responses.
Yes, black, white; true, false. Simple. Allow me to posit that the word of god is not subject to interpretation or manipulation. The word of god is either absolute irrefutable truth that stands the test of time, or it is no better than the word of GermanStar or the word of Stuantle.

There is no need for me or anyone to debunk the bible. It has effectively debunked itself. You continue to assign emotion in an extremely subjective manner. Emotion is a cloud, which enshrouds reason to no good end. It is wrong to characterize skepticism, which you find yourself unable to overcome, as denigrating. If you cannot overcome my rational skepticism, the onus is yours and not mine.

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post #170 of 186 (permalink) Old 06-01-2009, 12:18 PM
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GS,
Thanks for the answer. It confirms my impressions.

Your line about debunking the Bible is very telling. You are on a quest to quash the book to justify personal convictions.

Now for the first sentence. Absolute, irrefutable? The Bible is neither. Do not confuse it with the Koran. It has been stated many times that it is the INSPIRED word of God written by man. You are truly lost if you cannot get over that obvious, undeniable truth.
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