1. Joined
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    24 Jan '14 02:18
    "We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We chose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we have selected to govern our lives. in selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make."

    "Those who believe there is one God, who made all things and who governs the world by the providence will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who hold in reverence that being who gave them life and worship him through adoration, prayers, and thanksgiving, will make choices different from those who do not. Those who believe that mankind are all a family and that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man will make many different choices from those who do not. Those who believe in a future state in which all that is wrong here will be made right will make many different from those who do not. Those who subscribe to the morals of Jesus will make many different choices from those who do not."
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    24 Jan '14 10:28
    This is [on the whole] true.

    However there are two questions that arise...

    Is secular morality, or some version of secular morality, better or worse than
    theistic morality?

    And

    Does a god [or in this case specifically the Christian god] actually exist?

    And the answers are...

    Secular morality is superior to theistic religious morality.

    And

    No gods exist.


    So Ben Franklin is correct, it is an important [although it's debatable as to whether
    it's the most important] choice to make. However the better and correct choice is
    secular morality.
  3. Joined
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    24 Jan '14 13:503 edits
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    This is [on the whole] true.

    However there are two questions that arise...

    Is secular morality, or some version of secular morality, better or worse than
    theistic morality?

    And

    Does a god [or in this case specifically the Christian god] actually exist?

    And the answers are...

    Secular morality is superior to theistic religious morality. ...[text shortened]... the most important] choice to make. However the better and correct choice is
    secular morality.
    Really?

    Have you ever tried looking up statistics on who gives the most time and money to those in need? Those who are of faith are much more apt to give their time and money to the poor than those not of faith. Also, look at statistics on life spans. Those who are religious are more likely to live longer and be happier than those not of faith. Is it the fact that those who are religious oppose gay sex? Try telling that to gay males in the US who account for about 5% of the population but also account for well over half the AIDS cases in the US.

    I'm sorry, what were you saying about superior morality?
  4. Joined
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    24 Jan '14 14:10
    Originally posted by whodey
    Really?

    Have you ever tried looking up statistics on who gives the most time and money to those in need? Those who are of faith are much more apt to give their time and money to the poor than those not of faith. Also, look at statistics on life spans. Those who are religious are more likely to live longer and be happier than those not of faith. Is it t ...[text shortened]... ver half the AIDS cases in the US.

    I'm sorry, what were you saying about superior morality?
    The bible condones slavery. And genocide.

    You don't because your morality has been modified by secular morality.

    Game, set, match.

    YouTube
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    24 Jan '14 15:162 edits
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The bible condones slavery. And genocide.

    You don't because your morality has been modified by secular morality.

    Game, set, match.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjbdWGre370
    Actually that would be the result of Jesus coming into the world.

    When he came into the world it was a very dark place. It still is, but not like it was.

    As I have said, compare those who are religious to those who are not. We can hypothosize all you like about why things are the way they are, but the bottom line is that things are the way they are for a reason.

    I started a thread a while back on how Jesus was the most influential person in human history. Do you disagree with this? If so, then who surpasses him? If not, then game, set, match. 😛
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    24 Jan '14 15:29
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    [b]This is [on the whole] true.
    You seem to agree with Franklin, but then distance yourself from what he said.

    How odd.
  7. Joined
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    24 Jan '14 16:08
    Originally posted by whodey
    You seem to agree with Franklin, but then distance yourself from what he said.

    How odd.
    No, I was agreeing with him in general, or at least the quote you posted,
    without agreeing with him absolutely on every particular.

    However going into the precise point I disagree, or could potentially disagree
    with him on would be extremely nitpicky, and wasn't relevant to either his
    or my major point/s.
  8. Joined
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    24 Jan '14 16:541 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    "We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We chose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we have selected to govern our lives. in selecting that value system, we are, in ...[text shortened]... se who subscribe to the morals of Jesus will make many different choices from those who do not."
    I always thought Franklin was more of a deist, and I think he called himself one in his autobiography. But a lot of his quotes seem to lean more on the side of Christianity than deism.

    Franklin is correct that it is certainly possible that people might behave better if they follow a particular religion. If this is true, it would lend to the idea that religion could have societal and/or evolutionary advantages, but it wouldn't be evidence that the religion is true.

    As to your idea about Jesus being the most influential person in history, a lot of this is dependent on how closely the biblical Jesus matches the historical Jesus. If we look at the bible as historians, how much of the bible stories about Jesus can we confirm from other sources? Even discounting the supernatural elements (like Franklin contemporary Thomas Jefferson did in his homemade bible), how much of the narrative can we verify?

    Other historical figures, like Julius Caesar, wrote books themselves, and were famous during their own lifetimes so other authors wrote about them. Jesus didn't write any books (at least that we know of) and wasn't really famous enough during his lifetime to have much written about him by other authors. So it is more difficult to pin down exactly what Jesus did during his lifetime.

    There are certainly other people in history who are famous because later authors made them famous for things they didn't do. Abner Doubleday didn't invent baseball, Betsy Ross probably didn't sew the first U.S flag, and Lady Godiva probably didn't ride naked through the streets. From the standpoint of historians, I think it is still an open question as to exactly how much of the Jesus stories in the bible are accurate, and how many were inventions or exaggerations of later authors like Paul. The biblical Jesus has certainly been influential, but how much of that influence is Jesus the man, and how much of that is Jesus the myth?
  9. Joined
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    25 Jan '14 03:251 edit
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    I always thought Franklin was more of a deist, and I think he called himself one in his autobiography. But a lot of his quotes seem to lean more on the side of Christianity than deism.

    Franklin is correct that it is certainly possible that people might behave better if they follow a particular religion. If this is true, it would lend to the idea that rel ...[text shortened]... ential, but how much of that influence is Jesus the man, and how much of that is Jesus the myth?
    I also get the impression that Franklin was more of a Deist. So what? His point is still valid which is choosing your own world view or belief system is the most important choice you make in life, because it will then direct the paths of the rest of your life.

    As for Jesus, when I say the man Jesus was the most influential man in world history, what I'm saying is that the Biblical account of Jesus is the most influential man in world history. Whether you wish to believe the stories to be true is irrelevant, because the man Jesus that we all know derive from the 4 gospels and no where else.

    I find it all the more interesting that Jesus became the most influential man in the world. He was born poor, never attained a major political or military position, nor did he even write about himself, yet he changed the world and helped change myself.

    How do you think we learn about others the most? Is it what they say about themselves or what other people say about them? Although Julius Caesar wrote about himself and ruled most of the known world, he is no where close to being as influential a man as Jesus.

    Why do you think that is?
  10. Joined
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    25 Jan '14 14:08
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The bible condones slavery. And genocide.

    You don't because your morality has been modified by secular morality.

    Game, set, match.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjbdWGre370
    I am shocked. Atheists here demand evidence regarding the existence of God. However, when I provide evidence that those of faith give more of their time and money to the poor, I get hysterical rants about how the God of the Bible is evil. So in essence, what we have here are facts going up against your belief that the morality of atheists is superior to those of faith.

    Those of faith hold no such beliefs that their God is a monster. If we did, we certainly would not worship him. In fact, why would we since we would all be doomed anyway?

    Now if you would, present some facts that uphold your biased belief system. Otherwise, I can only conclude that you have drowned in your own fundamentalist dogma.
  11. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    25 Jan '14 16:57
    Originally posted by whodey
    His point is still valid which is choosing your own world view or belief system is the most important choice you make in life, because it will then direct the paths of the rest of your life.
    You don't choose your belief system.
  12. Joined
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    25 Jan '14 21:391 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    As for Jesus, when I say the man Jesus was the most influential man in world history, what I'm saying is that the Biblical account of Jesus is the most influential man in world history. Whether you wish to believe the stories to be true is irrelevant, because the man Jesus that we all know derive from the 4 gospels and no where else.
    Going back to my example of Abner Doubleday, the real Doubleday had absolutely no influence on the history of baseball. The fictional Doubleday, created by the Mills Commission after his death, did have substantial influence on baseball. The baseball Hall of Fame is located in the town where Doubleday supposedly invented baseball, stadiums are named after Doubleday, and minor league teams use him as their mascot. Even the baseball commissioner, Bud Selig, still believed Doubleday invented baseball as of 2010. Doubleday himself is responsible for none of this. Abraham Mills and his commission are responsible for these things. Abraham Mills has had far more influence on baseball than Abner Doubleday.

    The person(s) responsible for the biblical Jesus should be in the running for most influential person in history. If the biblical Jesus stories are mostly true, then Jesus should be in the running for most influential person on history. If the biblical Jesus stories are mostly fiction, then he should not be in the running, and instead the author or authors of the stories should be in the running (Paul of Tarsus?).
  13. Joined
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    25 Jan '14 22:36
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    You don't choose your belief system.
    Who chose your beliefs then?
  14. Joined
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    25 Jan '14 22:39
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    The person(s) responsible for the biblical Jesus should be in the running for most influential person in history. If the biblical Jesus stories are mostly true, then Jesus should be in the running for most influential person on history. If the biblical Jesus stories are mostly fiction, then he should not be in the running, and instead the author or authors of the stories should be in the running (Paul of Tarsus?).[/b]
    Paul of Tarsus did not write the four gospels.

    What you have here are prophesies about a coming Messiah that span centuries and many authors. You also have 4 different authors for the 4 gospels. In fact, aside from the 4 gospels Paul did not write the entire NT.
  15. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    27 Jan '14 19:28
    Originally posted by whodey
    Who chose your beliefs then?
    They aren't a matter of choice. They are a matter of deliberation. We evaluate evidence, experience and we reason. Once the evidence seems strong enough in the mind of the deliberater, a belief is formed.
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