Trying to hard to believe

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by jayleew, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

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    Your differences are not that great, it's just a matter of form.
     
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  3. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    This post was in moderator glitch for a while so I'm pasting it here.

    First of all. I do believe in god but have a unique perspective.

    Aside from what RELIGIONS say. Why not consider that there were billions of people alive prior to the birth of any religion around today. Then consider that the religion you associate with was geographically inaccessible to half the planet or more.

    Let's instead assume for a minute that all religions have some merit. Would any god be so shallow as to expect you to have faith in something that happened 2000 years ago?

    Look at what is COMMON among religions.

    All Religions...
    a) Have people pray. Usually with hands put together in front.
    b) Teach faith can Heal, create, (move mountains type stuff).
    c) Teach Thankfulness/Gratefulness.

    A new age religion called "Law of Attraction" has emerged that suggests thoughts help create our reality. Perhaps God is not an old man in a robe, or a 2000 year old Jew, but instead is a part of everything.

    I think god is "All that is" plus perhaps a bit more. God knows every sparrow that falls n the forest because God is every sparrow that falls in the forest.

    Now all religions including law of attraction have you state an intention.
    Ask and you shall receive, or even visualize a goal.
    Then have faith it will come.
    Always be grateful for what you do have.

    In Law of Attraction as in many religions the thought of thankfulness is the best attitude, as allegedly you are attracting to you what you think about most. So if you are grateful then you attract MORE reasons to be grateful. This may be bottom line stuff for many religions.

    Try doing daily affirmations too achieve a goal.

    "I am in Disneyworld with my family for two weeks" might be a good daily affirmation.
    Repeat this for at least 5-10 minutes upon awakening and 5-10 minutes before going to sleep, and at least say it a few times every time you go to the washroom.

    Do not say "I will go to Disneyland" as "will" always implies the future. Make your affirmations present or past tense.

    I will say that "Magic" happens when you do affirmations.

    Once I was on summer break from University and was feeling rather poor. I started doing affirmations repeating the word "Wealth" for a few hours everyday and wrote down everything I ever wanted, and then wrote them again in the order I wanted them.

    The following week I received a summer job paying $32.50/hour with double that on weekends. I worked 10 hours on Saturdays and made more than a dollar a minute.

    This was in fact a Union Printing job running a simple 25" ADAST 1 colour perfecting (both sides of paper) printing press, that I knew how to run because of my families involvement with printing while I was growing up.

    Previous to this UNION job I had never made more than $20/hour on a press, but this was $28.50/hour plus $4/hour shift premium (nightshift). UNION jobs NEVER appeared in the paper, but because ADAST was a cheaper and rather unknown press type they were forced to advertise in the classifieds.

    A fellow was off sick with a collapsed lung, etc., and I was taking home $900/week for my summer job. The fellow returned before school reopened, which is too bad because I never made that kind of money as a Soil Engineer, and would have happily done that job for life. Printing was a sunset industry at the time though, so I made a good choice.

    Another time I was looking for a new girlfriend, and like the wealth idea I listed all of my qualifications.

    I was a young horndog at the time so my daily affirmations went like this,

    "I have (past tense) a gorgeous girlfriend who loves me and is wild enough to have sex in the middle of City Hall"

    Basically I was looking for a girl with no hang-ups and that was a free spirit like I was back then.

    Within 2 weeks I started dating a gorgeous girl. Now that does not quite reveal how the "MAGIC" comes into affirmations. So I will continue.

    This girl worked at a tiny Art Gallery. Guess where the Art Gallery was located?

    In the "Middle of City Hall". I'll end that story there.

    This was many years ago in the Town of Cobourg Ontario.

    Whenever you start daily affirmations pay attention to things that seem coincidental. While affirming your trip to Disneyworld you may start to notice many more Disneyworld commercials on television. You may start to see more disney movies listed. This is your thoughts bringing the reality to you in small doses keep it up.

    When you have numerous successes try asking for things that likely would never happen otherwise to aid your faith.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Now try something like Telepathy with a friend.
    Spend one hour from 2am-3am while your friend is sleeping and send a message to contact you in the morning. This works much of the time, so try again if no "magic" on the first go. I think it is dependent upon if you hit a dream REM sequence. That would also aid your belief in God because now you will understand that thoughts can travel and could be intermixed with the Universe/God.

    I might also ask someone to look at The Double Slit Experiment with The Consciousness view point frowned upon here in Sciforums. This is the religious section though so who cares.
    click this and watch...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc
    It does not seem to affect many here on sciforums, but this experiment has turned some physicists towards God. It's too freaky.
     
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

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    That's not a given. While there's some anecdotal evidence to suggest that the myth is based on an historical figure, that's about all that can be inferred. If an historical Jesus existed, there's no telling how much--if any--of the story is true, or if it's even based on just one person, and not several.

    Self-respect, personal pride, a sense of integrity. Things that come along with being honest with oneself.

    It's not a fact you'd be accepting, but a premise. Important distinction.

    It sounds as if the only reason you're even considering accepting Jesus as the son of God is to appease your wife and family, so unless they're also pressuring you to become a Freemason, I don't think you'll have to worry.

    Is Utilitarianism so reductionist that it can't account for what the majority is demanding, and at what cost it comes to the person making the sacrifice? If their happiness comes at the expense of your dignity and mental well-being, do they deserve it? I would say no. But that's me; ultimately, this is a question you have to answer for yourself.
     
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  7. Balerion Banned Banned

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    What you're suggesting is that a person lives a lie to appease his spouse. Even Dr. Phil would tell you that's not a healthy foundation for any relationship, let alone a marriage.

    And the reason 50% of marriages end in divorce is because divorce still has something of a social stigma. Once society evolves beyond that, that number will skyrocket. Divorce is an archaic and unnatural institution that simply cannot sustain itself in a world where women aren't chattel.
     
  8. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    1. The Bible does not explicitly teach the doctrine of trinity.
    2. Jesus taught that all men could have a direct relationship with god, without the mediation of law or rabbis.

    So if you believe Jesus was a real person and generally agree with his teachings, it is immaterial whether you think he was divine, as he taught all men could relate to god as he did. And whether you consider god to be the universe or your higher self is also immaterial. So there is no reason you need to be dishonest or feel weak-minded. You simply allow others their own beliefs, even if you do find them to be more remedial than your own.
     
  9. rodereve Registered Member

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    I do believe that a man named Jesus existed. I believe there is enough historical evidence to prove this. But there is also evidence of multiple Jesus', multiple messiahs claiming to be divine and multiple subsequent large following of disciples. Also, there' a HUGE difference between being a man and being part of the Godhead. I believe a man named Jesus existed, I don't believe he was God though. Pursuit of truth and knowledge should never be abandoned for being more comfortable, or ignorance is truly bliss. A lie will always catch up with you, especially when you're lying to yourself.
     
  10. arauca Banned Banned

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    Live with lie I live with my wife in harmony that is on of Gods commands ( " love your fellow man as your self " If I love some one I will be tolerant of their believe . Otherwise is a selfish and intolerant . Go on remove the stigma and we will become like animals again a woman will have children from many man and man will deny is his child so children will be neglected and abandoned , we see this at the present Welfare family and the state have to support them.
    Man you opened a big can worm of stupid social irresponsible godless behavior.
     
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Wow, that is some Freudian slip there. Apparently "divorce" and "marriage" are very closely associated in your mind anyway, so it is no surprise that you feel the former devalues the latter. Many people would agree, albeit not for the same reasons. It is always entertaining to see an atheist advocate humans devolving to animal behavior though. Predictably fitting.
     
  12. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

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    Christian family values aren't the only "responsible" kind of sexual behavior. In fact for much of human history, lines of patriarchal descent were not recognized, any children that women had were considered members of the tribe, and, since the child could be related to any number of men, all the men took common responsibility for all the children. Family values are a degeneration from the tribal values of our past.
     
  13. arauca Banned Banned

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    "Christian family values aren't the only "responsible" kind of sexual behavior." What does that have to do with my statement ? are you drunk ?"
    " In fact for much of human history, lines of patriarchal descent were not recognized, any children that women had were considered members of the tribe," Perhaps in your tribe , but in modern time you
    get sentenced for been irresponsible for child support .
    " since the child could be related to any number of men, all the men took common responsibility for all the children. Family values are a degeneration from the tribal values of our past" Now you could not write a biggest bull shit . Please don't try to impress me with your atheist value
     
  14. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

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    Whatever they were, they probably were not atheists. The point I wanted to make was that, by emphasizing the family group over the tribe, Christian morality actually destroys social cohesion.
     
  15. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    @ Arauca,
    50% of marriages ending in divorce might simply be due to math. Up until a century ago people were dependent upon horses and wagons to get them around. You might live your entire life and see only a few thousand people in some areas.

    Now we have Megacities, and cars, and online dating. It is likely I pass more than a few thousand people on an average commute via subway to downtown. People simply meet many more people in a lifetime than they ever would hundreds of years ago. It's math.
     
  16. arauca Banned Banned

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    What about commitment one to the other , was that a lie when you said I do, in front of a judge , are we a bunch of lairs ? and you atheist will tell to be honest ?
    Because we live in a mega city we should not be responsible , let us produce children , then Walk away from th commitment the children will go through a shock were the respect for the parents will out of window so to speak. and so the suture generation will be even more irresponsible .
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Probably not, since insane people are certain that they are sane and it's the rest of us who are crazy.

    I assume you're an American. In the USA there is a wide spectrum of religious practice among the people who identify themselves as Christians. What matters most is that they attempt to live in ways that Jesus would approve, not that they believe literally in the fairytales in the Bible. Many American Christians simply don't devote much thought to the fantastic legends in the Bible, except on major holidays. They just try to be good people. It's okay to love Jesus even if you're convinced he was not real. I love Winnie the Pooh, Frodo Baggins and Kermit the Frog, and they have all inspired me to be a good person. Religion is about metaphors and millions of people simply don't understand the concept of metaphor. That's perfectly okay.

    So when you say your wife is a believer, I'm not sure what exactly you're telling me, and I'm not even 100% sure that you know either. Is she a real fundamentalist member of the Religious Redneck Retard Revival? Does she believe that the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the Pillars of Salt, the Tower of Babel, the Parting of the Red Sea, the Loaves and Fishes and the Resurrection were actual historical events? These days even the Pope has admitted that much of the Bible is metaphor (Jesuit universities, which are among the world's finest, teach plate tectonics in their geology classes and evolution in their biology classes) and that doesn't make the Bible any less valuable. After all, except for the ones about real historical figures, virtually nothing in Shakespeare's works is real either, and yet they have inspired mankind for centuries.

    So I wonder if you really know what your wife means when she says she "believes" in this or that biblical fable. And even then, if she insists she believes in the literal truth of it, how do we know what's going on inside her head? Church members are indoctrinated to present a united front to outsiders.

    Do you remember what that was like? Were you a rotten person whom a decent American could not love and live with? Could you have been happy married to an atheist?

    I'm sure your journey to enlightenment is a fascinating story but I suppose we don't have time to go into it here. But the fact that you were once a believer and (I hope) were nonetheless a decent, lovable human being should give you some perspective on your wife.

    Sounds like a typical liberal American congregation. They try to guide their members into living good lives, and leave the fire and brimstone to the Pentecostal churches. The next step beyond this is the Unitarian church. They have completely abstracted the philosophy of Christianity while leaving behind all the supernatural fables.

    I'm a musician and I find the lyrics of most songs hard to relate to, secular or religious.

    I'm a third-generation atheist. I never heard of religion until I was in the second grade. But in the first grade they taught us Christmas carols. I've always loved music and I enthusiastically learned those songs. The lyrics about mangers and wise men and angels and saviors and virgins were completely inscrutable, but I loved singing so I dutifully learned them. It was a while before I began to understand them and by then they were part of me. They're no worse than rap lyrics.

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    After all, Christmas is nothing but an old pagan festival, dressed up in biblical trappings. I still join Christmas choirs when I can, and nobody asks me if I believe.

    Aha. There's the problem. She has an interest you don't share. Dude, don't you have any interests that she doesn't share? Chess, fishing, football, Renaissance architecture? Spouses aren't clones of each other. They don't have to have all the same likes and dislikes.

    That's not a realistic expectation. If she belonged to a Jane Austen book club or went to daffodil shows or did needlepoint embroidery, would you feel compelled to share those things too? Frankly, it's not healthy if spouses overlap too many of the same interests. You need a certain amount of space between you.

    There are lots of couples who belong to different political parties, and in today's America that's probably a much bigger difference than religion. I hate guns and my wife owns one. She has a house full of birds and they drive me fucking crazy. Now those are real day-to-day problems.

    So don't tell her. She wouldn't believe you anyway.

    Dude, if you don't understand this, then you really weren't much of a Christian even when you were one. Christianity, like Islam, is an evangelical religion. Each member has a duty to God to spread his word to all of mankind. They know that they are right and you are wrong, and they are certain that if they try hard enough, they will be able to bring the love of God into your heart. Many branches of Christianity stress the evangelism and their members spend a certain amount of their time and energy trying to teach others about God and Jesus. Others are a little milder about it and, these days, are content if their own people are true believers, show up on Sundays, and pay their tithes.

    I'd judge that your wife's church does not expect its members to hand out Bible tracts on the sidewalk and knock on strangers' doors. If they were that aggressive you'd know it by now. They're just good Christians who believe in the power of salvation, and wish everyone else would discover it. If they're not double-teaming you at Sunday dinner, quoting the Scriptures to show you the error of your ways and praying for your salvation before dessert, I think you're overreacting.

    Good Christians wish everybody could share their faith and joy. I feel the same way about dogs, but when I meet someone who doesn't like dogs I don't spend half an hour trying to show her the error of her ways.

    Your wife wishes you were a Christian. I'm sure you wish she were different in a few ways. Maybe she doesn't put enough salt in her cooking or lets the cat get away with too many shenanigans. But you still love each other. Duh?

    You don't have to talk about this stuff.

    Better scholars than you and I are divided on this question, but I'd have to say it looks like the "Jesus was not real" faction is going to win the argument.
    That's the point. There is some flaky evidence (which may have been fraudulently inserted into the record a couple of centuries later) that Jesus was a real person. but there is zero evidence that he had supernatural powers or that there were any supernatural phenomena associated with his life. No virgin birth, no walking on water, no resurrection. Let's face it, the Romans were consummate record-keepers and there was no official animosity toward Christians until long after his death, so wouldn't you expect all those biblical miracles to be mentioned by all the top scribes in the Empire? Hell, news like that would have been reported in Persia!

    Notice carefully that nothing in what you just said actually requires you to believe that Jesus was a real person and/or that the supernatural events depicted in the Bible are anything more than useful metaphors.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with trying to live a life that Jesus would approve of! It would sure reform the U.S. government! Jesus is a wonderful role model and I love him too. "Turn the other cheek," wouldn't that put a halt to 90% of the strife in the world? I long ago figured out that the old playground whine is 100% true: "It all started when he hit me back."

    It isn't the myth of Jesus that's important. It's his teachings. Just like Winnie the Pooh, Frodo Baggins and Kermit the Frog. Robin Hood, King Arthur, Beowulf, Romulus and Remus, go back as far into anybody's mythology as you want. It's what the myths teach us that's important, not their historical validity.

    It really isn't easy to be green. Does Kermit have to be flesh and blood for you to believe that? "Being green" is a metaphor for being different. Mythological creatures always speak in metaphors.

    You're being way too hard on believers. Not everyone has a scientific education. People trust their parents, we're programmed for that.

    This is all tied up with your wife and family. If you were raised by atheists like I was, and sent to a university where almost none of your fellow students were religious, this wouldn't feel so wrong.

    You're being true to your principles. Not everyone has the strength to do that. Don't knock it even if it's hard.

    Myths are metaphors. Read Joseph Campbell. He was Jung's most successful popularizer and had a long-running series on myths on PBS in the 1980s. He helps us understand that there are lies and truth, but in between them lies metaphor. Campbell talked about meeting a very poorly educated fellow out in the backwoods who simply didn't have the concept of metaphor. He asked him, "What would you say if I said that the moon is a silver chariot that brings light to the night sky?" The fellow answered, "That is a lie."

    There are other people (actually zillions of them) who don't understand what metaphors are, yet they are still affected by their power. A religion is nothing more or less than a collection of metaphors. You are one of the lucky ones who know that they are not facts; now your job is to understand that even though they are not facts, they still present useful truths to us, simplified for easier access, and therein lies their power.

    Arauca, considering that this is a place of science, you don't seem to understand the basic scientific method.

    It is never required to prove a negative. The burden of proof is always on the person who says that something exists or that something happened, not the one who doubts.

    The Rule of Laplace is also a cornerstone of science: Extraordinary assertions must be supported by extraordinary evidence before we are obliged to treat them with respect.

    There is nothing extraordinary about the existence of Jesus as a normal person who lived in Palestine, so we do not require special evidence for that. But the miraculous things that happened in his life, such as the virgin birth, the loaves and fishes, walking on water, and... most especially... coming back from the dead??? Those are certainly extraordinary events. Nothing like that has ever happened before or since, and they contradict everything we know about how the world works. We definitely need some extraordinary evidence before you can expect us to do anything but laugh at them. Yet there is no evidence at all, merely a book that was written a hundred years later when no one who might have seen these events was alive.

    All religions are imaginary. None of them are true. They're all pure bullshit. So what's one more?

    Nonetheless, as I explained to Jay, each religion contains some universal truths that it presents as metaphors.

    The religion of Abraham, which we now call Judaism, presented an angry God who punished his people severely when they did not obey his commandments. The people who invented this religion hoped that if their fellow citizens believed in this angry, powerful God, they would try very hard to live good lives so they would not be punished. What they didn't realize is that they had set up this God as a role model. The citizens felt that they, too, had a right to be angry, and to punish others if they did not behave in the ways that they believed were right. And since they were not Gods they were not perfect, and their judgment was not always correct, so they spent a lot of time punishing each other. Life was violent and war and slavery were common.

    But the God of Christianity had taken an anger management class and became much kinder and more forgiving. He realized that he could accomplish more with love and praise than with threats and punishment. So he sent down the First Hippie to teach people to love and forgive each other, and lead the world into a new era of peace and tolerance.

    This is why the people who invented Christianity believed that the world needed a new religion: it did!

    Unfortunately it was a failure. The Christians have been just as evil and violent and intolerant as everyone else. They march into battle convinced that God will help them murder their enemies, and completely forget that Jesus is standing behind them weeping, wishing that they would forgive their enemies and make peace, but they can't hear him over the sounds of their own damn boots.

    Eventually another prophet arrived, Mohammed, and he was also a complete failure. His people have been just as mean and nasty as everyone else.

    Now we're told that Baha'ullah and Ras Tafari will lead us to peace and harmony. The "modern" Abrahamic religions of these new prophets are so young that their followers are still kind and tolerant. Let's see how they act 500 years from now.

    I would have to say that it is clear that no religion will ever be the solution to the world's problems. Perhaps some day humans will realize that.
     
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    You don't want to accept God, or the wisdom of Jesus, it's just not in your nature (as yet). Nothing you say seems to justify your lack of belief, it comes across as
    you trying to justify it. The reason I say this, is because in a previous thread your interpretation of a quotation of Jesus' was straight out of the atheist handbook of religion, and you weren't prepared to discuss it. Would you care to discuss it now and let's see how it stand up under scrutiny?

    jan.
     
  19. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Once again, you display a startling lack of comprehension of the issue at hand. Please try to pay attention before you bully your way into topics like this, it's getting very tiring having to watch you flail at the point while missing it completely. For starters, the OP isn't being intolerant, he's completely tolerant of his wife's beliefs. The problem (if you had bothered to read it, you'd already know) is that his wife and his family want him to become a believer. In the situations you cite (your three marriages) you never adopted the faiths of your wives, and they never asked you to. The OP's situation is different. They want him to adopt their faith, and he's considering it for the sake of the relationships even though it will come at a great expense to his own self-respect.

    Again, please pay attention. You're making no sense at all. No one is telling him to leave his wife because she's religious, all anyone told him was to be honest with her, and if she loves him it won't be a problem. There's nothing wrong with that advice. And even you'd agree that if the wife is going to have a serious problem with his lack of faith, then she's not worth the trouble.

    Are you saying only non-believers behave this way?

    Oh give it a rest. The only thing irresponsible here is your idiotic rants where you call people intolerant and make baseless claims about "godless behavior" without bothering to read (or perhaps understand?) the topic at hand. If you weren't so busy being self-righteously reactionary, you'd have something of value to say. Maybe.
     
  20. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Yes, let's. What was the quotation and the interpretation?
     
  21. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

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    What about the entry in Tacitus's record about Nero pinning the week long fire that burned much of Rome on the Christians? In 64 AD Christians were gruesomely tortured.

    Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Jud├Ža, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind".

    -Annals 15.44

    Tacitus then describes the torture of Christians. The exact cause of the fire remains uncertain, but much of the population of Rome suspected that Emperor Nero had started the fire himself.[3] To divert attention from himself, Nero accused the Christians of starting the fire and persecuted them, making this the first confrontation between Christians and the authorities in Rome.[3] Tacitus never accused Nero of playing the lyre while Rome burned - that statement came from Cassius Dio, who died in the 3rd century.[2] But Tacitus did suggest that Nero used the Christians as scapegoats

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

    Other than that, Fraggle, nice perspective on the stories in the Bible and the ideas and figures as sources of inspiration.
     
  22. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

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    Jan, a few weeks ago my wife's church cleared up any qualms I have about the quotes of Jesus. They efficiently reduced the teachings to "abide in Christ." Everything else Jesus said was to support this concept. I did not understand/forgot that Jesus clarified the law for those who live by the law. The laws are not stated for the children of Christ, instead they are to live through Christ and thereby fulfill the law.

    This new thread is in response to that. Since I now see no conflict in the Bible's teachings and that Jesus was most likely a real person, I am reevaluating my beliefs. But, I think this new information just reaffirms my unbelief in Jesus as the son of God, or that a god exists to begin with. It is more than plausible that God and Jesus are fiction. When I apply Occam's Razor to the historical record of Jesus Christ, it makes more sense that the Christians were used and abused leading up to the martyring of a great philosopher.

    So, I am considering my options of how to proceed from here.
     
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

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    That's...incredible.
     

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