How did the church make a comeback

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but Taoism is a polytheistic religion.
I think my passed looks at Taoism lead me to believe there is an atheistic branch of it in the same way that Hinduism can be monotheistic, polytheistic, atheistic and another one that I can't remember...but I could be wrong.


Anyway, its 2 O'Clock in the morning and I need sleep...
Ok, I was gone for 1 day and there's now 4 more pages. I guess I missed the fun part about the universe being a massive computer simulation, because I really don't feel like reading everything up to now.

Disch wrote:
Can you give examples? Because I could probably give more than a few examples of how Christian beliefs impose on non-Christian lifestyles. Gay marriage being one of the most prominent, of course, but certainly not the only one.


I never said that we didn't impose on people, just that everyone is up in arms when we do. Examples of how its the other way around? Forcing Catholic owned and operated hospitals to provide birth control treatments that they believe wrong. Everyone who tells me that I'm a lunatic for my beliefs, but God forbid I even say a single sentence about theirs. This thread. Etc.

Edit: Taoism for the win
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closed account (1yR4jE8b)
Nah, it's all good. There's so many branches of every religion it's hard to keep track.
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
Forcing Catholic owned and operated churches to provide birth control treatments that they believe wrong.


First off, you mean Hospitals.

The health insurance they are mandated to provide just also happens to encompass birth control. Nobody is forcing anyone to use the birth control, they do not have the right to force their religious beliefs onto their non-catholic employees (and many catholics are also in favor of birth control too) and it's not an employer's business what the personal and private choices of its employees are.
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Yes, but that doesn't mean that the conclusions you draw from such a line of reasoning will have anything to do with reality.


Perhaps, but string theory models such a timeline outside of the realm of our universe. String theory may be almost purely based on mathematical theory right now but that was in a way true for Einstein at one time:

He did not accept his theory on GR predicting the exitence of black holes. He even argued against a scholar of his work who concluded from GR that the universe started from a big bang.

Einstein remarked to the scholar that his math was correct but his physics was an abomination.

Today we know that black holes do exist and have other evidence supporting the big bang theory of this universe.

So if we ask the question: "how did the big bang come into existence?"

was it due to some event external to our universe or was it out of nothing?
what are your views?


darkestfright wrote:
First off, you mean Hospitals.


Well now I look stupid, lol. At least you got the point. My view is that if you want birth control, go to a hospital that offers it. Don't get all worked up because a hospital doesn't offer it, for religious reasons or not. If the employees are for the treatment... well tough. Go somewhere else if you want to use it. Since when do the employees make decisions for the employer?
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
Offering birth control as a hospital service, and covering birth control on employee insurance plans are two completely distinct issues.

Second, the employees are not making the decision for their employer; they are mandated by law to offer the insurance and they are refusing to comply. It's not "Oh, you have to give everyone birth control", it's "here's a list of things your insurance must cover" and birth control just happens to be on that list. Think of it as a coupon, I can use it for Prozac or birth control pills, but when I go to the pharmacy the boss is hovering over my shoulder and snatches it away when I try to use my coupon on a perfectly valid item on that coupon list. An employer has no right to tell their employees how to use their health insurance.

Besides, the mandate has already been amended: it's the insurance companies that provide contraceptives and the religious organization doesn't need to be involved.
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Perhaps, but string theory models such a timeline outside of the realm of our universe. String theory may be almost purely based on mathematical theory right now but that was in a way true for Einstein at one time:

He did not accept his theory on GR predicting the exitence of black holes. He even argued against a scholar of his work who concluded from GR that the universe started from a big bang.

Einstein remarked to the scholar that his math was correct but his physics was an abomination.

Today we know that black holes do exist and have other evidence supporting the big bang theory of this universe.
I fail to see how any of this is a counterpoint to my reply. Neither relativity nor string theory are oven logic extrapolations. Relativity is so completely different from anything else of its time that it's just mind-blowing, and string theory is simply weird.
They're the exact opposite of extrapolations.

So if we ask the question: "how did the big bang come into existence?"

was it due to some event external to our universe or was it out of nothing?
what are your views?
It's irrelevant. Any possible answer in the foreseeable future is purely metaphysical, and metaphysics is for tossers.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
@darkestfright your earlier post
Yeah well, put your money where your mouth is then. Just because you disagree with something because it doesn't make sense to you as a concept, doesn't mean it's not true. The Universe is the way it is, it doesn't give a crap what you "think"


Well hate to break this to you but the same applies to you. Just because "you" disagree with someone's opinion doesn't make that said opinion wrong. It might widely be believe that your opinion is "fact", but one thing you need to learn from history is that "facts" change. So stop posting such arrogant posts about other peoples opinions cause you never know 100 years from now we might believe something else as "fact".
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
Well hate to break this to you but the same applies to you.


No, actually it doesn't: the burden of proof rests on the person making the claim. You They made the claim that relativity is incorrect, you so they have to demonstrate it. Besides, I have 100+ years of physics backing me up, you they have...a thought experiment? The Large Hadron Collider is probably the best demonstration of special relativity we have today, if it wasn't true, the thing wouldn't work...and yet it does. Fancy that.

If they you could demonstrate that special relativity was incorrect, youthey'd get a nobel prize: so let's have it. Oh. wait. They You can't.

"facts" change


14.25 billion years and the "fact" of gravity hasn't change yet, but of course, we should still be careful; we might float away any second.


So stop posting such arrogant posts about other peoples opinions


Science is not an opinion. And if it's arrogant to shoot down bullshit claims with no evidence to back them up, then color me guilty. Like I care.

EDIT: realized I wasn't actually responding to the person who first made the claim
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I agree with you regarding the abortion issue @ ModShop. That is, unless the hospital is receiving government subsidies, which they probably are.

Though I agree the hospital should have the option. If the government wants them to provide those services, it shouldn't be a matter of forcing them to do it... it should be a matter of "do it or you don't get our funding any more".
I agree that insurance for the employees shouldn't be limited by the views of the employer, but rather by the coverage given by the actual provider (like everyone else). I just don't agree with Catholic run hospitals being forced to provide treatments and medications that they don't agree with. That's completely against the idea of the free market; the government forcing a company to provide a product or service that they don't want to.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
Actually science is a opinion. Science is about always learning, experimenting, and it is always changing. If we all just stopped researching and improving a theory we have just because everyone else "thought" it wasn't true we would not get anything done. Look at the past, many scientists had theories that their colleagues thought impossible but now days them theories are proven to be correct. I think we just have two different idea's about what Science is.

When I said things aren't necessarily a fact, yes that doesn't apply to everything obviously. Like gravity as you pointed out. I just believe it is going to far to say that the big bang was the first event in history. Right now we do not have the knowledge or technology to prove that without a doubt. It might be a commonly thought truth at this present moment but there still is a possibility that it is wrong.

Also on the hospital topic, it is not only against the idea of free market, it is borderline on infringing on the separation of religion and state. The government is forcing something on someone that goes against their beliefs, which is totally against what our founding fathers wanted.
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Actually science is a opinion.
Uh... No. If you take a measurement, that's not an opinion. If you state a hypothesis, that's not an opinion. You can have an opinion about the quality of a measurement, or about the interpretation of a measurement, or about a theory. The statement "this ball accelerated at approx. 9.8 m/s^2 when I dropped it, which is consistent with classical mechanics" is not an opinion, mainly because it can be shown to be wrong.

Science is about always learning, experimenting, and it is always changing.
That's not enough to make it an opinion.

If we all just stopped researching and improving a theory we have just because everyone else "thought" it wasn't true we would not get anything done. Look at the past, many scientists had theories that their colleagues thought impossible but now days them theories are proven to be correct.
That's exactly the opposite of what darkestfright is saying. He's asking that the disagreement with Einstein be backed up with actual research. Just disagreeing and leaving it at that isn't quite science.

Look at the past, many scientists had theories that their colleagues thought impossible but now days them theories are proven to be correct.
Like I said, you can have opinions about theories. Like, I could say that I think quantum mechanics is a pile of dung and I hope it'll eventually be cast aside for something better. That's an opinion. My stating that opinion is not scientific, because I haven't performed any science to do it, I simply expressed a personal taste.

And no scientific theory has ever been proven correct. That doesn't mean that they aren't correct just that they haven't been proven correct (because that's impossible). More specifically, some of them haven't been proven wrong.
closed account (3qX21hU5)
Ok I agree with you on all of them points and mostly that was what I was trying to say in the first place, so maybe I just worded my thoughts wrong, or maybe I took what he was saying wrong.

What I got out of his posts was basically theideasman's theory can't be right because the common belief that is that it is wrong. What I was trying to get through and I'm doing a rather bad job at it is that just because it is common knowledge doesn't make it true or false.

Since I'm hardly a expert in science and truthfully don't know a whole lot about it because it is not one of my passions I will bow out to you guys. Since you seems to have more knowledge then I do.
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Well if we forget the Bible then we would have to forget Christmas

whats religion got to do with the birth of baby santa
I disagree with the basic idea of time relativity.


And do you also disagree with the large body of evidence supporting it? If so, do you consider that evidence to be faked and that everyone who uses time relativity in their work to be lying to everyone in some grand, insane conspiracy?
closed account (iw0XoG1T)
@ Disch
Arguments regarding the bible come about because it's the only documented source of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. If you're talking about Christianity you're talking about one of three sources of information: either the bible, word-or-mouth, or divine intervention.


This is an incorrect assumption--I have been in many churches and they all have additional documents that they use, i.e articles of faith, confessions of faith, creedal statements, hymnals, lectionary, etc...
Most churches do have statements written that state that they believe that the "bible" is the inspired word of God. This doesn't usually mean much because often they do not have an official accepted translation, so what they mean by bible is open to some debate, and who knows what anyone means when they say inspired.

Not many Christians claim to have personally spoken to God directly, so I don't assume that avenue.

Obviously you have not had much contact with Pentecostals--they holy spirit regularly speaks through and directly to them. I am not a Pentecostal so please do not expect me to defend their beliefs.

I also tend to give people a little more credit than going along with something simply because other people told them to, so I don't assume their faith is based purely by word of mouth.

You are an intelligent person, capable of making your own decisions but others are not so smart, many people rely on others to help them make decisions. It is not complete foolishness I trust others all the time, when my mechanic tells me my car is safe--I take his word because I am not an auto mechanic. My mother is not the smartest person in the world but she has been quite successful simply by finding people she trust and listening to them. You may be surprised how many people don't care what the "meaning of life is" what ever dad/mom told them is just fine with them.

So your post has me a little confused. If your faith is not grounded in the Bible... The only lingering "factual" evidence / documented history of the faith... Then how is it grounded? Where do your beliefs come from if not the Bible? Is it just pack mentality?

My belief is (and this is a typical Christian understanding):
1.) I believe that God speaks through the community.
2.) I believe that the Holy Spirit gives me the guidance to discern and recognize spiritual truths.
3.) I also rely on reason.
If you are not a Christian this sounds ridiculous. I believe in the Trinity so when I say the Holy Spirit gives me guidance I am saying that God does speak to me regarding some subjects. You can not test this because God will not obey my commands, and does not choose to always give me guidance.


I'm also a little confused by beliefs in modern religion. Christianity is relatively young to begin with (2000 years is short compared to many other faiths), but to say you believe in a subset of Christianity that has only been around for 300 years is a little surprising to me.


I did not say that. I know of no liberal churches -- as I understand liberal, it is impossible for a church to be liberal. I am a member of a progressive church, but that is just relative term that means that we are in a different place than where most churches are today, i.e. membership does not discriminate and all positions within my church are open to any Christian regardless of sex, marital state, or sexual persuasion. In the future that may very well be a conservative position. Liberalism began in the late 18th century--In regards to Christianity it means that scripture is interpreted without a religious ( or with as little as possible) bias using modern hermeneutics. In other words we try to understand what the author was trying to say by taking into consideration time it was written, the information available to the writer, and culture in which he lived. I consider the writers of the bible to be part of my religious community and I believe God speaks through the community.

Do you think Christians had it wrong for 1700 years? What happened 300 years ago that made them change they way they thought? How do you know that change in thinking was correct?


The short answer is they did not have the whole truth--more is still being revealed. I do not know what correct is, I am just doing my best.

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i fail to see how any of this is a counterpoint to my reply. neither relativity nor string theory are oven logic extrapolations. relativity is so completely different from anything else of its time that it's just mind-blowing, and string theory is simply weird.
they're the exact opposite of extrapolations.


my statement
we may not be able to refer to time in the same reference as physical time in our universe, but mathematics allow us to extrapolate beyond that point in time of the big bang (call it nagtive time if you will).


helios statement
yes, but that doesn't mean that the conclusions you draw from such a line of reasoning will have anything to do with reality.


my statement
perhaps, but string theory models such a timeline outside of the realm of our universe. string theory may be almost purely based on mathematical theory right now but that was in a way true for einstein at one time:


my counter to your point was that in einsteins time, black holes also did not have anything to with reality as he himself imagined.
so as gr was an exotic weird science back then and has now become far more excepted and even natural for sciencetist to think in, so too could it be of string theory in the future when some more direct or indirect evidence leads us to conclude the components of the predictions it now makes.

my motivation for the predictions of string theory
gr is used for predicting very large scale models while quantum mechanics is used for predicting very small scale models.
string theory is used for both.
so far string theory predicts the same results as gr and same results as quantum mechanics in both respective domains.
hence the results predicted by it, which both gr and qm cannot, might very well be true and people in the future may be able to observe some of this through indirect mechanisms.
currently scientist refer to dark matter and dark energy as "unknown elements" that they use in their current models to explain certain discrepancies.
if string theories predictions about a multi-verse is correct or has merit, then scientist in the future might be able to have better explainations for these "unkown elements",
ie - the existence of other universes might be the cause of these unknown effects we observe in our own (even though these universes may not be physically connected by space time, string theory predicts they are connected through the multi-verse via other dimensional "matter".

so whether or not string theories predictions of a multi-verse are true or not my real point is this:
string theory uses mathematics to extrapolate further as was the case when gr was invented.
mathematics is thus an underlying component by which we can "explore" our reasonable options better.
with mathematics we can define anything and build logically upon it - it just have to be useful to us.
if we conclude that the unverse just sprang into existence from the big bang with nothing else influencing it, then we are in the realm of meta physics.
thus it would be more logical to conclude that something must have started off the process (just like a program not knowing what exists outside of its environment, the reality still exists that someone has switched on the computer).

as pointed out above, we can use mathematics to define any system and build logically upon it.
however, the multi-verse theory would still beg another question:

what started the process of the multi-verse?
we can then use mathematics to yet again define something else that would explain what started off the multi-verse, but this would then lead to the next question ...

so we cannot with mathematics explain the ultimate question of what started it ALL.
And no scientific theory has ever been proven correct.


Depends on definition of theory and time of reference. If you were to ask a scientist from say 1920 about about experiments done in zero gravity he would only have theories.

A scientist from today will be able to give you facts.
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