1. Joined
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    18 Feb '08 15:47
    if you had never read the bible, never heard of a christian god, never in your lifetime heard of or been taught religion....

    one day you're in the library and come across a book called the Old Testament, after reading about talking snakes, parting waves and burning bushes... would you.... in all honesty, devote your life to this book?
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    18 Feb '08 16:53
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if you had never read the bible, never heard of a christian god, never in your lifetime heard of or been taught religion....

    one day you're in the library and come across a book called the Old Testament, after reading about talking snakes, parting waves and burning bushes... would you.... in all honesty, devote your life to this book?
    no
  3. Joined
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    18 Feb '08 18:11
    Nope. I don't think anyone would really. A previous generation that believes in it is rather necessary for it to continue as a religion.
  4. Joined
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    18 Feb '08 18:28
    Originally posted by doodinthemood
    Nope. I don't think anyone would really. A previous generation that believes in it is rather necessary for it to continue as a religion.
    But what if these people who believed in it were more successful, more reproductive, more diligent, more focused on contentment? Their belief would form the evolutionary tool to enable them to succeed, to prosper, the belief to spread and become part of the society. Perhaps they would even exclude those who didn't believe, forcing them out or even destroying them (!). The key is, if it helps, it will stay. If it does not, it will be lost. Evolution.
  5. Joined
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    18 Feb '08 20:01
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if you had never read the bible, never heard of a christian god, never in your lifetime heard of or been taught religion....

    one day you're in the library and come across a book called the Old Testament, after reading about talking snakes, parting waves and burning bushes... would you.... in all honesty, devote your life to this book?
    You don't even need those conditions, my answer is still no.
  6. Standard memberagryson
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    18 Feb '08 20:33
    Originally posted by snowinscotland
    But what if these people who believed in it were more successful, more reproductive, more diligent, more focused on contentment? Their belief would form the evolutionary tool to enable them to succeed, to prosper, the belief to spread and become part of the society. Perhaps they would even exclude those who didn't believe, forcing them out or even des ...[text shortened]... ng them (!). The key is, if it helps, it will stay. If it does not, it will be lost. Evolution.
    Alternatively, like a symbiotic relationship turned parasitic, it could have started off with more positives than negatives but in time, become a drag on human development, causing peoples with different versions of the symbiote turned parasite forcing those ifnected to fight eachother and any of those not yet infected. Such a result would act as a disadvantage to the whole species, which given an infected individual with the right technology could easily result in us becoming an evolutionary dead-end.
    Evolution swings both ways.
    I do think that we are evolving beyond mystical belief, but this is a mental problem, not a genetic one and is expressed within generations rather than over the course of many generations, genetic evolution in an animal with our lifespan is unlikely to have much of an effect in the coming few centuries on mystical thought, so we must ensure that we maintain an artificial version of evolution in the public domain, where ideas which are bad are criticised openly and cast aside, while good ideas are kept and developed until a better one comes along.
    In other words, rational enquiry and the scientific method.
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    18 Feb '08 22:37
    Originally posted by agryson
    Alternatively, like a symbiotic relationship turned parasitic, it could have started off with more positives than negatives but in time, become a drag on human development, causing peoples with different versions of the symbiote turned parasite forcing those ifnected to fight eachother and any of those not yet infected. Such a result would act as a disadvant ...[text shortened]... ped until a better one comes along.
    In other words, rational enquiry and the scientific method.
    It's nice to find someone who appreciates how powerful and simple the concept of evolution is, on this forum anyway.

    But you miss the point, perhaps, that the cat is out of the bag, and has had an influence on where we are in the Western world. As to 'beyond' mystical belief - Look at the characters here for example, perhaps who are determined enough to stand by their interpretation of the supernatural, in the face of all logical evidence to the contrary - is this not a strength? Under testing circumstances? Just a thought.... (mmmmm perhaps also stupidity is stubborn like a mule, whereas the willow bends with the wind, the oak eventually snaps?)
  8. Joined
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    18 Feb '08 23:44
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if you had never read the bible, never heard of a christian god, never in your lifetime heard of or been taught religion....

    one day you're in the library and come across a book called the Old Testament, after reading about talking snakes, parting waves and burning bushes... would you.... in all honesty, devote your life to this book?
    It's been said that an individual hears the gospel on average seven times before making a decision for Christ. God doesn't expect someone to just believe out of hand.
  9. Cape Town
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    19 Feb '08 09:142 edits
    Originally posted by josephw
    It's been said that an individual hears the gospel on average seven times before making a decision for Christ.
    Well, whoever said it, had no clue what he was talking about. The truth is that 'on average' an individual takes up the religion of his parents / society.

    And I don't see how belief can be called a decision anyway.
  10. Cape Town
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    19 Feb '08 09:24
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if you had never read the bible, never heard of a christian god, never in your lifetime heard of or been taught religion....

    one day you're in the library and come across a book called the Old Testament, after reading about talking snakes, parting waves and burning bushes... would you.... in all honesty, devote your life to this book?
    I wouldn't, but a few people probably would. There are a few individuals out there who will believe anything. I am sure "The Lord of the Rings" has a few followers 🙂
    Most often however religions are spread by people not books.

    Many beliefs have to do with what is socially acceptable (ie others share similar beliefs) and with what you don't understand.
    In Africa, belief in witchcraft, ghosts etc is common - even when the person in question is Christian and even when the persons Church / pastor states that witchcraft doesn't exist.
    In fact burning bushes in Africa would be a remarkably credible story compared to some of the things I have heard.
  11. Joined
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    19 Feb '08 14:57
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if you had never read the bible, never heard of a christian god, never in your lifetime heard of or been taught religion....

    one day you're in the library and come across a book called the Old Testament, after reading about talking snakes, parting waves and burning bushes... would you.... in all honesty, devote your life to this book?
    BBC website: news of people who live long lives, one set are as follows:

    "For many of those living in Loma Lindo long life is a matter of faith. A significant number of people in the town are Seventh Day Adventist, a religion whose members live between five and 10 years longer than fellow citizens.

    This can be partly explained by the fact Adventists don't drink or smoke and many stick to a vegetarian diet the church advises. But not all members do and even they live significantly longer than average.


    "It does certainly raise the question if there's something about spiritual life that also has an impact on longer life," says Dr Gary Fraser, who is researching the community"
  12. Joined
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    20 Feb '08 05:48
    Originally posted by snowinscotland
    BBC website: news of people who live long lives, one set are as follows:

    "For many of those living in Loma Lindo long life is a matter of faith. A significant number of people in the town are Seventh Day Adventist, a religion whose members live between five and 10 years longer than fellow citizens.

    This can be partly explained by the fact Adven ...[text shortened]... also has an impact on longer life," says Dr Gary Fraser, who is researching the community"
    Maybe gullible people live longer. Let's do a study.
  13. Joined
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    20 Feb '08 05:51
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Well, whoever said it, had no clue what he was talking about. The truth is that 'on average' an individual takes up the religion of his parents / society.

    And I don't see how belief can be called a decision anyway.
    Belief is a decision, but I am with you on the rest of it.


    'On average, someone hears a fable seven times before they accept it as their religion.' This is equally true.
  14. Joined
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    20 Feb '08 11:21
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I wouldn't, but a few people probably would. There are a few individuals out there who will believe anything. I am sure "The Lord of the Rings" has a few followers 🙂
    Most often however religions are spread by people not books.

    Many beliefs have to do with what is socially acceptable (ie others share similar beliefs) and with what you don't understan ...[text shortened]... in Africa would be a remarkably credible story compared to some of the things I have heard.
    yes, good valid points
  15. Joined
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    20 Feb '08 11:461 edit
    Originally posted by eatmybishop
    if you had never read the bible, never heard of a christian god, never in your lifetime heard of or been taught religion....

    one day you're in the library and come across a book called the Old Testament, after reading about talking snakes, parting waves and burning bushes... would you.... in all honesty, devote your life to this book?
    It could happen like this.

    You go to the library and start to read Genesis.

    You notice that everything was created by God. You wonder "Hmm. No one ever told me that before in such a simple way."

    You read on and notice that God created man in His own image and that among all the creatures man holds a unique place in God's heart. Interesting.

    You come to Adam and Eve and read about a deceiving serpent, the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "Wow, this really sounds unlike anything I've ever known. I don't know if this is suppose to be a myth or serious or what."

    You put it on the back burner and keep reading, because you are open minded. You notice that the story continues as a seamless flow of history from Adam and Eve to their descendents. The continuation of the account reads like history.

    You finish up to about five chapters and decide to stop. You're not quite sure what to think. The snake part was weird. But somehow some of this stuff sounds like the stuff of human life - excusing oneself, blaming God, blaming other people.

    Something deep within has been nourished and fed. Something deep within has been put at peace. You don't know why.

    Then someone comes up to you "Do you beleive that garbage? Boy you are naive if you believe that stuff. Didn't you know that that is all a bunch of nonsense?"

    You just listen to him. You don't agree. You don't disagree. You say to yourself "Well, he seems so convinced. But I am not. I need to read more. I need to make up my own mind."

    Unknown to you behind the living book is the living God with his living Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit impresses you with what He wants to impress you with. It may not be the snake speaking. It may be something different. But sometimes God's Holy Spirit just infuses you with something divine. Some people He gives the ability to believe.

    Without the mercy of God I don't think any one of us can believe the Bible.
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