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About Xogede

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  1. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    I did not dismiss your post: I probably wouldn't have responded to it anyway (after all, that's my own choice, isn't it?). However, I considered your post hard to understand (either because I was too tired or because you were too unclear), and said it as a "BTW" (i.e. not intended as a response) with a smiley at the end. I'm sorry if you feel like I insulted you.
  2. Demograph of Members

    Dude, you know you're a geek when you include "Main Operating System" in demography! There should be more options: what version of Windows/dist of Linux? I have Windows Server 2003 Enterprise (heavily modified to look like Vista and behave like XP) + OpenSUSE 10.3.
  3. Hoodwinked by capitalism

    Interesting point, killbot1000. But if what you do is directed towards the common good, isn't that more like a mix of capitalism(+regulation), communism and anarchism? Maybe that's what you meant by "The market". I think that the more greedy we are, the more regulation should there be in the mix, to prevent exploitation. Regulation does not seem to work well with communism: my dad (or was it my grandpa?) who lived in the USSR told me about people getting paid to make sure others worked. Guess what... they didn't work either. Regulation seems to pretty much contradict anarchism. It looks like capitalism is actually needed to prevent exploitation! If anything, this is a sign of the failure of the human race.
  4. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    There is a whole category about Life-Death-Rebirth gods on Wikipedia. The idea of resurrection is far from new. This means that if Jesus is a myth, less fantasy was required to come up with it. It says absolutely nothing about whether this is true. If you mean the "Son-is-father" idea, you should note that Horus was supposedly born after his father's death, which means that this is simply a tale of reincarnation. Have a look at Historicity of Jesus. The conclusion is "Nevertheless, non-historicity is still regarded as effectively refuted by almost all Biblical scholars and historians." I have a hard time believing that God would have problems doing what a scientist can. Even if it was impossible for humans, God is usually said to be almighty. You might want to look up the definition of that. I'm amazed by atheists' use of "in fact". For certain values of "in fact", the earth is in fact flat and the zombie rabbit on your head is in fact pink. Neither Damasus nor Peter were gnostics. By "the established vein of Christianity", I suppose you mean catholicism. FYI, I'm not a catholic, and I do not intend to defend catholicism. We are really going offtopic now.
  5. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    I's rather say that there are some numbers that appear several times in a lot of places (not only religions), notably 3, 12 and 40. Some "Christians" believe that these numbers are kind of magic (e.g. say a prayer 40 times, and it will be fulfilled), but it has nothing to do with the original Christianity. December 25th is (probably) not Jesus' birthday. IIRC, it was previously a pagan feast that simply got "converted". There are some indications in the gospels that it was late autumn or early winter, but that's all there is. The number of kings that brought gifts to Jesus is actually never told, it just states that "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi [Kings] from the east came to Jerusalem" (Mat 2:1). I really can't see why virgins and fishes necessarily must refer to astrology. Fish was a common meal at Jesus' time. Mary being a virgin IMO (and IM pastors' O) is a sign of purity. You're right. Most religions, as in majority of religions. Not (originally) Christianity. Paul said "Everything is permissible- but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible- but not everything is constructive." (1 Kor 10:23). Basically, the same reasons we have laws; for our own good, not for God's. Not asking questions and promoting ignorance may be called conservative, but, once again, I can't relate this to the original Christianity. Letting the elite control everything about us, has, as you say, nothing to do with the religions themselves: it's got to do with the leaders. Now, you may ask: who cares about the "original" Christianity? Short answer: I do. Long answer: this has been the goal of all the reformations: to go back to what Christianity once was (that is, before it became the state religion of Rome). I guess we'll always have to live with apologizing for what has been done in Jesus' name through the centuries, and now, I do it again. "God is dead" - Nietzsche "Nietzsche is dead" - God (Yeah, you know the third one ) But let's not go too much offtopic. woteva and rschultz101: I'm sorry, but I just didn't understand a single thing in your posts. Either I'm too tired, or you're too dopey.
  6. Russia is governed by an autocracy

    There is, however, a small difference between Russia and USA. How many Bush-critical news articles/videos can you see in the US? How much Putin-critical stuff can be seen in Russia? Remember last time somebody seriously decided to tell the west what was going on behind the curtains? Right... she got killed. There is also the problem that when a Russian person speaks out against Putin, nobody listens anyway (or they get the "FU, Putin is their f-n saviour"). At the end of the day, I think Shenderovich has found the only possible way to get people listening: humor. That's the Russian way!
  7. Russia is governed by an autocracy

    Geesh, hasn't any of you listened to Шендерович? The fact that people love Putin is just irrelevant. They loved Hitler too (Godwin's Law, here I come). It's true how Putin has moved Russia forward. What we may never know is what would happen if someone else would have his place, someone who would put the people's welfare before his own. I'm not claiming that Putin is completely incompetent or even evil... it's just that, from these claims: I can confirm all but the last one (which I have simply not been interested in).Remember НТВ (NTV)? Remember Юкос (Ukos)? Remember all politicians you see on Russian TV everyday? No, you don't. You just remember one, and guess one time who that is. Basically, Putin is a(n) {insert all negative adjectives here}, not much unlike any other politician in the world. I think most other politicians would do approximately the same if they had the chance (to almost rebuild the political being of such a great nation). But then, you're not innocent just because you're not worse than the rest. And yes, I am Russian (though I currently live in Sweden, but I'm in Russia about 2-3 months/year). (Oh, and I can't really compare to the US. Never been there, and I don't really believe what media over here has to say about it.)
  8. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    We should clear one thing up here: Is God's omniscience limited to what the results of our actions are, or does He, in fact, know our actions? When you say that "let's say what God knows you will do is "G". So whatever you do the result is always G", you are first saying that G is an action, and immediately stating that it is the result of an action. The rest of your reasoning builds on G being the result of an action. Where did I speak about only having one choice? I clearly allowed for an unlimited amount of options in my reasoning, I just said that, when all comes around, only one is applicable. What you are actually saying is that my conclusion in itself "represents the gaping flaw in my logic". It doesn't matter if you can choose both X and Y at once, we can still label this combination with one letter (just to make things easier). ...and after stating that "G does not affect the choices one is given" because it is not a choice, but the result of one, you revert to G being a choice after all. Do you mean that G is both a choice and not a choice? Or do you mean that G is a choice, but still doesn't limit our choice? Of course we can't know exactly how God can be omniscient, but stating that God can do something that is logically (i.e. per definition) impossible simply because we can't know how He does it, is not the way to go. From Wiktionary: To ensure: To make sure or certain (my underline) of something (usually some future event or condition). Sure: Physically secure and certain (my underline), non-failing, reliable. If something is known with 100% certainty, it is said to be sure. So you are actually right: God has always known what you will do, so it has never been ensured. Nevertheless, it is still (per definition) sure. This is actually what your whole point is about. You can think of it the other way around. Since I have not yet decided what to do, there is no unambiguous answer to what I will do, thus this answer cannot be known. Basically, your reasoning: works both ways: "However, G will always coincide with your decision." Thus, if G is known and cannot change, your decision is also known and cannot change! In other words: when you're trying to "fool God", you think that you're choosing between several options, but no matter what you do, you'll end up choosing the constant G. This is what I call an illusion of free will. And don't try to say that G is not a constant: a "constant" is something that cannot change. If G isn't a constant, then it can change, and we assume that God's knowledge about our actions does not change.Imagine it this way: You are not sure if you have free will in the choice between A and B, and you want to find out. Suppose it was known that, no matter what you do (or want to do), you'll choose A. The conclusion is that you have no free will in this choice. Now, suppose it was known that, no matter what you do (or want to do), you'll choose B. The conclusion is still that you have no free will in this choice! What do these two suppositions have in common? They cover all the cases where your choice is known! If your choice is known, it is either known to be A or B, and in both cases, you have no free will. The only remaining case is that your choice isn't known! If what He knows about my future actions is based on my current thoughts, it would need to change with my thoughts. (else, see below) He knows my thoughts ahead of me in the same way as He knows my actions ahead of me, so you have just moved the problem one step. The whole point of my first post is the "ahead" part about all of this: what I mean is basically that God does not know ahead of time what I will do, because "ahead" is something that is related to time, and God exists outside of time. But it's nice that you at least have some opinion about it, that's what I thought we were supposed to discuss in this topic!
  9. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    The main reason I believe in free will is not that the Bible teaches it. To me, it seems like the Bible implies it. The Bible tells us to do things rather than not doing then, which implies that we have the choice whether to do them or not. There is also the problem with evil. The well-known problem of the existance of evil is usually answered in the following way: God gave us free will, we used it to do evil, thus we are responsible for all the evil, not God. I have heard no answers to this problem that do not involve free will (other than "This is actually the best that could have happened"). And, as previously stated, there is the problem of convicting somebody who did not act of his own will. If '"pro hoc" is putting the effect before the cause', I'm sorry: I remember reading somewhere that it meant making the conclusion that "A because B", with no other reason than B preceding A (or no other reason than "A and B"). It is indeed an argument (or, rather, the argument) in the question "are most [famous] theologians calvinists?", to which I now largely agree. But you used it as an argument for the Bible teaching calvinism, which is appeal to authority in its purest form. I will surely consider reading that. You were talking about armianism beginning with man and calvinism beginning with God, which I interpreted as a reference to all the other teachings of those. As you may have noticed, I'm not a theologian, so I have no idea what theologians currently consider being the "correct, universal interpretation" (and neither do I care too much). AFAIK, when you said "non-Jews" at Jesus' time, you meant the peoples living around the Jews ("the uncircumsized"), not, say, indians living in the jungles. The thing about both of these verses is that they do not reference Jesus. That means, if you have never heard about the gospel, you can still be saved "merely" by following the rules that God has put in your heart. Dermatea, by trying to find an error in my reasoning, I meant finding the specific one of my nine points that was wrong, and why. The difference between our reasoning is this: you believe that it is possible (even if only to God) to know somebody so well, that you can predict his actions with 100% accuracy. What this means, is that all your actions depend on who you are, not what you choose to do. This is exactly what I talked about before, it means that we think we have a free will, [in this case] because we do not know ourselves good enough. I believe that free will means that you can make a choice that is not based on ANYTHING. That is, "you choose it", instead of "some circumstances or other factors (e.g. your personality) make you do it". Don't get me wrong, I believe in free will. My first post in this topic described one way that we could have free will, while God would "remain" omniscient. What I have argued for through all of this topic is that God's omniscience vs. our free will is a problem in need of a solution! I believe that what I said in my first post is a possible answer, and I expected other people to write their own possible answers so we could discuss them! Instead, everybody started arguing about why this is not a problem, which forced me to kind of argue against myself (since I do believe in free will). BTW, I hope you listen to socal swimmer, in spite of him currently having 666 posts! We've had some atheists replying in this topic. My question for you remains:
  10. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    The fact that if you choose path B, it would mean that God was wrong, which we pre-suppose that He isn't. I have already explained why I'm right in this post; please try to find an error in my reasoning instead of coming up with you own. What about when the Bible speaks about God being angry? Always being completely happy when the world looks like it does is surely not a sign of perfectionism - rather it's a sign of ignorance. It's not in the place of anyone of us to say. The thing is that God himself said it. What does that verse remind you of? Right, four chapters earlier, Jesus says "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." One possible interpretation is this: Jesus mostly teached the jews, but He knew that people of other nations would also listen to His voice. Even if this is not the right interpretation, I can't imagine "listening to His voice" being applied to, say, atheists. No, we can't, because the Bible is only directed to those who can actually get it (or hear it's message) - anything else would be stupid/unjust of God. This means that we can't possibly know what happens with people who have never heard of Jesus - we can only believe that God is just towards them too. As Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would be innocent. But, now, you claim that you see..." God forgives us - if we want to. It's our choice. BTW, please use paragraphs. They make life easier for all of us.
  11. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    That's exactly what I'm saying: the Bible does not have a clear opinion about this, thus I'm entitled to my own opinion. The reason for this opinion is exactly what erei33 said. There are no "theology" sections in the bookstores of this country. If I'd look at the bookstore in my church, I would find the opposite of what you're saying. As examples I just took the two books that stood closest to me in my bookshelf, "Letters from a skeptic" by Gregory and Edward Boyd, and "Kristen på goda grunder" ("Christian, because of good reasons") by Stefan Gustavsson, which both are extremely armianistic on the question of free will. Of course it's not a complete substitute. But because of it, this specific argument of yours should be considered a pro hoc reasoning until you prove the opposite. You can talk as much as you want about church history etc, it's irrelevant. Using the opinion of theologians to prove a point is called appeal to authority. In most cases, reading the entire chapter (or chapters) is enough to put a verse into context. Anyway, it may do me well to read what you said, but it's not a good argument... and I'm not going to stop reading what I'm reading now and start reading something completely else. No mistake in terminology: you are trying to explain to me what armianism is and what calvinism is, and why the latter is better than the first. I have no interest in discussing this topic.
  12. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    Thanks, erei33, this was exactly what I meant by "can one be accused of doing something that he is pre-destined to do?"!
  13. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    You're right, replace that with "The scriptures do not teach the opposite, so I have the right to (and do) believe that..." I did not mean that they were equal (identical), but that they are aqually subjective. In different times, "the greatest theologians" have had different opinions. Some centuries ago, almost all christian theologians were either catholic or orthodox, does it mean that catholicism or orthodoxy was true at that time? Opinions change; the truth does not. This is just a prefect example of appeal to authority. I don't like the "read the Bible" kind of arguments, especially when they're mentioning a big part of it: they make it impossible to reply until you have read it (which may take hours, days or months), and if, after reading, you still don't agree, you "read it wrong", and have to re-read it. Refer me to the specific locations, and we can discuss. You are trying to turn this conversation into a debate between armianism and calvinism. I'm only speaking about the free will aspect of these. And what is your opinion on the last question in my previous post?
  14. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    I think numberzz asked the right question here: I believe that not only do we imagine that we can choose anything, we can, in fact, choose anything. This is where we get the problem. 1) God is omniscient. 2) Therefore, God knows with 100% security what you will do in situation X. 3) Therefore, there is only one possible outcome (Y) for situation X - the one that God knows will happen. 4) Therefore, when you are in situation X and think you have a choice of what to do, there is actually only one choice that you can make - Y. 5) If you think you have a choice in situation X, there must be at least one choice (Z) that you think you can make in X, that is not equal to Y. 6) But, as Y is the only possible outcome of X, you do not really have the choice to do Z. 7) Therefore, you think that you can make choice Z (you think you have free will to do it), but, in fact, you can't (you do not have free will to do it). 8) Repeat 5-7 for every choice that you think you have, that is not equal to one already dicussed. 9) Therefore, for every situation X, you do not have free will to do anything but one choice, which means you have no free will. This is where you make the error: you suppose that the theologians become calvinists. I suspect the opposite, that the calvinists become theologians. These really are equal points of view, until you can prove that the Bible actually supports calvinism (which I hope you are not about to try - I have better things to do than arguing with you forever ). This is exactly where the idea that I first presented comes to hand: even when the Bible says that there is nothing we can do that God wouldn't know about (we can't "catch Him by surprise"), we can still have free will in the way I mentioned above. Jesus told us to pray. He told us that what we ask about in His Name, His Father will give us: the point of praying is to change something. If everything is predestined, nothing can change. This means that the only reason for praying is the fact that your prayer is pre-destined as well. But then, if you don't pray, that is also pre-destined. This brings us to the next interesting question: can one be accused of doing something that he is pre-destined to do?
  15. God botherers, I want your opinions.

    This depends on what you mean by "all certainty". If you just mean "pretty sure", you're missing the point. If you know somebody intimately, you could very well "know" what that person will do in a certain situation. Our choices are heavily influenced by our personalities, but then there is this "free will" thing that we're talking about: a person may, even if he is not likely to, do something that goes against his personality. Even if it happens in .00000001% of cases, it still happens. This is not the kind of omniscience that (I believe) God has: when he knows something, it means it will be that way. This means that if he (currently) knows everything, there is only one outcome for each given choice (from now on) - the one that God knows will happen. This allows for neither randomness nor free will. "Eternal" simply means that for every given time, God existed at that time. Of course it's hard to imagine something like this, but it's even harder to imagine something existing outside of time. For example: in our world, all actions and events take time. Time is not only a sequence of moments, it's also a sequence of events. It's pretty hard to imagine something actually happening in a world (or whatever you might call it) without time. The Bible never tells about God creating time. The name "I AM", in my understanding, means one thing and one thing only: that God is the definition of "existing". We can't say in what way God exists, He simply exists. But is time really a characteristic of "existing"? This really depends on what you consider time to be: for example, does time still exist if there's no way to measure it? IMHO, it does. The questions really isn't whether God is "existing in the past, present, future, forever". The question is whether He always existed, exists, and will exist forever or if He exists at all times, at the same time. I think you misunderstood me on that one. By "living a normal life", I meant exactly the same thing as you: not being a theologian. I know that history has proven false the thesis that somebody who believes everything to be pre-destined should just lay down and die (or something like that), just look at the original calvinists. But let me shortly explain my own experience of what I was actually saying: I grew up in a baptist family with very traditional values, but moved to another country, where I joined a church with much more "modern" views. I regularly visit my old church (when I'm visiting my grandparents during the summer), and the one thing that I've noticed for sure is: Shortly, in my old church, there's a greater percentage of theologians, and a greater percentage of calvinists (maybe there is even some relation of conservatism to both of these? Maybe also to the number of members (see below)? But now I'm going just too far in my pro hoc reasoning...). So, what I meant was the following "A person who believes everything to be pre-destined is more likely to become a theologian". Sure, this is a subjective opinion (though partly based on experience). Exactly as subjective as the reverse, "A theologian is more likely to become a person who believe that everything is pre-destined", which is what (I think that) you try to imply when you say that all theologians are calvinists. This may seem to contradict what I said about knowing more arminianistic theologians that calvinistic. Remember, however, that I talked about percentages in the previous paragraph. The are many more members in my current church. Now, I'm not talking about famous theologians, only about people I know. I've never cared to study them (I prefer studying my Bible instead ), so I can't verify your statement about most famous theologians being calvinistic (the only thing I can find about this on Wikipedia is "[...] but the overwhelming majority of Protestant, evangelical pastors and theologians hold to one of these two systems or somewhere in between."), but it would not surpise me too much if that was the case (consider this as me giving up on the "doubting" part). But unfortunately, there is no way we can count everybody with a degree in theology. BTW, what is the point of praying if everything is pre-destined anyway? Oh, right, your prayer is pre-destined too. Nice to think of that when you pray next time . bedlight: In hard times, some people come to God, and some go (I need somebody to support me/How could God allow this to happen?). The same goes for good times (I want somebody to thank for everything/I've got everything I want, I don't need God anymore), and for any number of other reasons or (what seems like) no reason at all.