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Originally posted by OmegaPoint
reply to post by John Matrix
Everything was made by the first father (first cause) for the son, and through the son, for you and me also, and our inheritance is eternal life, where righteousness is accounted to us by faith, but by nothing we did, and by no works of our own, lest we have something to brag about, and fall again. Man has been reconciled back to God, and there is no separation, all is one again.
................ but for the faithless such things they make no sense, and appear as absurd non-sensicle irrational statements not based in reason or logic, but it is only by reason and logic that they can be understood and so the faithless are confounded, and put to shame as fools, and this is why we see their seething hatred in response. However, it's important to explain and explain it again, in a variety of ways, so that it's available for understanding and appropriation, until the only block to it, or rejection of it, is based not in reason, or logic, but in the willful pride of man or the satanic element in man which is a rebel against the love and understanding of God.
P.S. I normally don't talk like this, but sometimes it just comes out this way.
The long and short of it is - there is a God, and God is love, and love and mutuality is the foundation of the all in all and the very reason for existence. It's a metaphysical supra-rational logos which MUST be appropriated by the courageous philosopher, for resurrection from the dead.
Originally posted by OmegaPoint
Finally, I think that the only bridge between the atheists and the believers, must be extended by the believers, through love, acceptance and tolerance, and good communication. Anything less doesn't represent Godliness, right? It can only be presented in the form of a free invitation, never coersion, and I have to admit that I might have made a bit of an error in some of what I said in my post above, because it appeared to bash those who might simply have never really taken the time to look into the basis of believers faith, with an open mind free of contempt prior to investigation. The last thing I would want to be caught doing, is what many fundamentalist do, which is to try to use God as a weapon against others, rest assured in their position as part of an exclusive club, whereby those who do not share their viewpoint, are condemned. I hate that aspect of "Churchianity", because there is no love in it, no freedom, to freely respond to the love of God with love and mutuality. So if I offended anyone, please forgive me.
Originally posted by sirnex
What about the religious pressure to not conduct stem cell research? A wondrous discovery that cal lead to longer and healthier lives well into ripe old age. Discoveries that would have been made to eradicate cancers and diseases. Religion has continuously applied pressure against scientific knowledge throughout history, and it continues to do so this very day.
Originally posted by randyvs
reply to post by Maslo
Not true. Programs can design themselves.
your links only show how programs can design other programs.
They originate from a program that could not design itself.
Realshantis statement stands undiminished.
Originally posted by sirnex
but thankfully us atheists don't commit mass genocides in the name of atheism or science. That is your domain and I would appreciate it if you can keep it where it belongs.
Originally posted by sirnex
And again, Hitler was a believer in God, he killed because of that belief.
Originally posted by sirnex
reply to post by realshanti
Stalin was not influenced by atheism, what he did was more based on politics than anything else. The other two I don't know much about, but I will try and learn more tonight.
In retrospect, using these three as a reference to Hitler alone and equating that atheism has been responsible for more deaths is just ... insulting really. Let's remember that Hitler is not the end all in death tolls. Heck, when the death toll is viewed from all religious faiths combined, it has by far the *most* in comparison to deaths caused by non-believers.
So in reality, your argument is false for basing three examples in comparison to one example in an attempt to paint atheists with a negative light. Learn your history boy.
Atheism is the core of the whole Soviet system —Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Oak and the Calf
[Religion] in its very essence is the mortal enemy of Communism. —Leon Trotskii, Pravda, June 24, 1923
During the summer of 1976, much of Western Europe experienced a severe drought that dried up vegetation and left fields a dusty brown. In that same summer, the British government happened to be conducting an aerial photography project with the intention of updating topographical maps. When these photographs were developed and analyzed, the cartographers were surprised to discover faint patterns emerging in certain country fields. On closer examination, these turned out to be the outlines of Roman forts whose locations had long been forgotten but whose foundation stones had wrought lasting changes in the vegetation covering them. The unusual change in weather conditions had disclosed ancient, previously unnoticed archaeological patterns that had survived for more than a millennium, even as passing generations of farmers unknowingly tilled the fields under which they lay hidden.
Likewise, when the tide of Communism receded in Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s, the sudden disappearance of political structures once assumed to be durable revealed preexisting social patterns that had long been neglected, though, unlike the Roman forts, not entirely forgotten. Among such patterns emerging from the depths of pre-Communist history, perhaps the most important was the ancient gridwork of religious loyalties: the geography of confessional difference delineating Moslem from Christian Orthodox, Roman Catholic from Protestant, Greek Catholic from Ukrainian Orthodox, and so forth. As the proliferation of post-Soviet religious and ethnic conflicts has shown so strikingly, the end of Communism in Eastern Europe has not brought about an "end of history," but rather its vigorous, and often lethal, return.
A fundamental conceit of the Communists had been their moral certainty that their new faith in "scientific atheism" would supplant what they believed to be mystical religious "mythologies," relics inherited from a bygone era of superstitions before Darwin, Marx, and electrification.Instead, despite the Communists' best efforts, religion outlasted the Communist era. In Russia itself, public opinion polls conducted after the fall of the Soviet state revealed that the institution most trusted by the average citizen was the Russian Orthodox Church. This should not be too surprising, because the church was one of only a handful of Russian national institutions—and by far the most important one—to survive from tsarist times through the entire Communist period. Trust in the church may well dissipate with time, and interest in Orthodoxy often goes no deeper than a fascination with the color and architectural splendor of the Russian past—a beauty so manifestly lacking in late Soviet life. Certainly, public interest in Orthodoxy has not yet translated into high church attendance figures. Nonetheless, the Russian Orthodox Church wields considerable political power and is even able to command overwhelming majority support in the Duma on legislation designed to restrict the activity of rival faiths. The survival of religion, and its return as a publicly prominent political and social force in post-Soviet life, are in themselves sufficient grounds for a reexamination of its history.
It is the contention of this book that, despite decades of determined Soviet atheistic campaigns, religious belief, especially in combination with nationalism, remained a crucial social and political force throughout the Soviet era. This was never truer than during the war against the Nazis, when the Soviet system underwent unprecedented strains as it struggled to survive. Religion was not some marginal factor relegated to the periphery of Soviet leaders' concerns. Rather, the Kremlin was well aware of the fact that it had been unable to eradicate religious faith, and Soviet rulers continually took account of religion as a political factor while making policy in a surprisingly wide range of areas. Considerations of religion pervaded Soviet foreign and domestic policies to a degree not generally understood in histories of the USSR.
The Kremlin oligarchs did not enjoy the historian's luxury of being able to divide reality into discrete fragments; they had to deal with interconnected social and political forces as well as with rapidly changing circumstances over which they had only partial control. In order to understand the Soviet approach to religion, therefore, one must look at the problem in the widest possible context, taking into account not only Soviet rulers' intentions and actions but also the limits to their power. The image of Stalin as the master manipulator entirely dominating events, which is common in popular accounts of the Stalin era, cannot survive even the briefest acquaintance with Soviet archives. Although Stalin may have enjoyed personal power greater than any other tyrant in the dictator-infested twentieth century, even he had to take account of concrete obstacles to the imposition of his will. Contrary to widespread belief, he was not free from the pressures of public opinion (even though admittedly these took quite different forms than in the United States or Britain); nor was he free of ideological blinkers. Moreover, even though Stalin wielded life-and-death power over his subjects, he could not always rely on his subordinates to enact his orders unchanged. One very great barrier to his will was the persistence of religious faith among tens of millions of his mostly peasant subjects.
Stalin certainly sought to be the grand puppeteer, forcing his subjects to dance to his tune, and he succeeded in this more often than most dictators. It is a serious mistake to underestimate his power or political acumen, as so many of his rivals found to their cost. The strained efforts of certain revisionist historians to portray the dictator as almost a background figure, the impotent plaything of his advisers and of historical forces beyond his grasp, is even less persuasive than the image of Stalin-the-omnipotent. This study is entitled "Stalin's Holy War," not because the dictator was in total control of events, but rather because his personality and his decisions were essential factors in the development of church-state relations during the war, something that cannot be said of any other individual.
This book is not simply a history of the Russian Orthodox Church during the war, much less a history of Soviet believers. Rather, it is an examination of the religious question in the broadest sense, as it interwove itself into Soviet politics, state security, diplomacy, and propaganda. Owing to the diffuse nature of the subject, this study must be part political history, part traditional diplomatic study, and part social history. The evolution of the Soviet regime's wartime approach to religion can also only be fully understood in the context of Russian history and traditions, Soviet ideology and practice, the specific and shifting circumstances of the war against the Nazis, and the demands of the wartime alliance with the Western democracies.
An examination of the Kremlin's wartime handling of the religious question illuminates a great many crucial aspects of Soviet history. Among the more important are: the degree to which the Soviet public regarded the Communist regime as legitimate, and therefore worth defending; the shaping and definition of individual identities and loyalties among the Soviet populace; the responses of the Stalinist regime to widely held popular beliefs and social pressures; the regime's manipulation of traditional historical and religious images and the way this affected not only the Soviet public but also the Kremlin rulers themselves; the attitude of the regime to Russian and minority nationalism; the function and operation of terror in Stalinist governance; the variable balance, symbiosis, and clash between Russian traditions on the one hand and Communist influences on the other in the formation and conduct of Soviet domestic and international policy; the interaction between foreign and domestic policies; the role of morality, religion, ideology, and propaganda in the East-West wartime alliance; and the comparison and contrast between the goals and methods of the Nazi and Soviet regimes. It is argued here that religion was a significant factor in all of these areas, and a comprehensive history of religion during the war must address each of them.
This long list of important topics goes to the heart of the Soviet "experiment." It is not argued here that religion is the hitherto undiscovered key to Soviet history, the philosopher's stone that allows us to see Soviet reality in its entirety for the first time; nor do I pretend to provide definitive answers to the questions posed here. Rather, the history of religion in the USSR is more like the barium cocktail that a patient swallows before undergoing a body scan. By tracing the circulation of religious issues through the body politic of the Soviet Union, the historian can view more clearly how the Communist system operated on any number of levels. Because so many millions of common people retained their beliefs, and religious questions circulated through the major arteries as well as the veins and capillaries of Soviet life, a focus on religion provides the historian with an excellent, yet neglected, analytical tool.
Originally posted by sisgood
Asking either group to give up even part of their beliefs is just... wrong. They believe what they believe for a reason, because their life experiences have led them to believe however they believe.
Now, if everyone would just agree to disagree and have occasional friendly debates for fun... (like I do) that would be nice.
Originally posted by silent thunder
Could a compromise be possible? This New York Times Op Ed guy seems to think so:
"Believers could scale back their conception of God's role in creation, and atheists could accept that some notions of 'higher purpose' are compatible with scientific materialism. And the two might learn to get along."
More at source: