Author Topic: Religeon vs Faith  (Read 4601 times)

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Offline Kay Alett

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Religeon vs Faith
« on: May 12, 2010, 08:22:25 pm »
A few nights ago I was watching Lewis Black (a comedian) in one of his specials, in it he briefly talked about religeon and it got me thinking of a few things. He said "I don't call myself a religeous person, because I have thoughts. And that can really mess up the whole 'faith' thing."

But I dissagree, I don't think faith and religeon are the same thing at all. (And from what I've seen around religeous disscusions here I don't think many here disagree.) But what bothers me is that more religeous minded people seem to worship their religeon more than their god(s).

Let me explain. Christianity, or at least my entire experience of it, has always consulted the bible for answers to life, both the new and old testements. Yet from what I've read and heard about the life of Jesus he actually denounced the old testament, saying something like it being outdated or something. (If I'm wrong in this please let me know because my memory isn't all that good) And in the bible itself God says "Thou shalt not have any other gods before me" yet I see more christians look in their bibles for answers than praying to God for answers.

Also a large number of christians treat the bible as a manual for life that must not be deviated from, yet it contradicts itself many times and most people who take it so literally and seriously never seem to want to give thought to the possibility that it is a very old document passed down by humans, its words put there by people in power, never thinking once that its message may have been altered slowly over time, some parts omited in copies (Each bible used to be hand written before the printing press was in large use) or that any of it could be just the words of men and not of God. Men are fallible, they make mistakes and are capable of changing things to suit their wants and desires.

I guess what I'm saying in this rant/debate premise is: How do you feel about religeon and faith? Can one fully exist without the other? Are more people treating thier religeons and religeous texts as gods rather than the gods they serve? Should religeous texts be treated as infallible manuals for life or should they simply be seen as a guidebook of sorts, while real answers should come from prayer and cousel with god?
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Offline KitsuNinja

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 08:32:29 pm »
"Religion". "Religious".

Sorry, but all those typos were bugging me.
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Offline Kay Alett

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 08:38:39 pm »
"Religion". "Religious".

Sorry, but all those typos were bugging me.
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 08:46:41 pm »
I'm really not sure which one I believe in more. But I will say this: Some people take the Bible way too literally.  :P The Bible should be treated as a "guidebook", not a law book.  >:(
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Offline Shim

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 11:54:09 pm »
The Bible should be treated as a "guidebook", not a law book.  >:(

QFT.  Raised as a...(I'm still young, but oh well) perfect little Jewish boy, I used to go to synagogue every Saturday, do all the perfect little things perfect little Jewish boys do, but as time has gone on, I'm finding less and less belief in EVERY LITTLE DETAIL given to me.  Yes, I still have Faith in my Religion, but only to some extent.  Some rules are just ones that I could never actually bring myself to follow.  For me, my religion, over time, has become more of a "pick and choose", what I believe in is what I chose to, but isn't that what faith is?

The same could be said about a parent's relationship to a child.  You aren't going to apply everything they teach you in real life, but you shouldn't have to feel as though you do, and that everything they tell you is correct, because some topics, some little bits and pieces, you just can't bring yourself to follow.  (But now I'm just repeating myself).  

To reword what Kobuk said, in my opinion "These are the rules, this is how everything works around here, but think of it as more of a suggestion, a 'how I would prefer it'"
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 11:57:44 pm by Shim »

Offline Avan

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 11:55:52 pm »
Problem is defining religion and faith. Some definitions use them connectedly, some don't (At least not explicitly).

I'd say my Process is a religious pursuit, by the amount of dedication and devotion I put towards it. Faith? no, not really; merely faith in myself to have figured out the finer details of it all. The core of it was founded entirely on logic; the peripheral fine points generally are left up to my discretion, mainly since there is no clear logical answer from the data avalaible to me at the moment.
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 12:55:05 am »
The Bible should be treated as a "guidebook", not a law book.  >:(
I'd say not even that. Anyone that thinks the Bible is a good guidebook for life hasn't actually read the thing.

Kaloyan Alett, Jesus did not denounce the old testament. On many occasions he referenced it. He also said not a jot or tittle will pass from the law till all be fulfilled.  Or course, there are verses that can be taken either way. (Much of the bible is that way. I've heard it described as "the big book of multiple choice".)

As far as faith goes, it's a horrible idea. Faith is just an excuse to get you to just except things without question. Anyone that has to resort to that is obviously weaving lies. The truth has nothing to fear from honest rational consideration.

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 01:05:37 am »
As far as faith goes, it's a horrible idea. Faith is just an excuse to get you to just except things without question. Anyone that has to resort to that is obviously weaving lies. The truth has nothing to fear from honest rational consideration.
On important things where logic can logically be applies (or anywhere where logic can be applied for that matter), using faith and emotions is not a good descion, despite what hollywood might suggest. When it comes to deciding on... what bagel to buy, just go with what bagel's flavor you have faith in tasting good.
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 01:25:22 am »
When it comes to deciding on... what bagel to buy, just go with what bagel's flavor you have faith in tasting good.
When you use the word that way, you are not talking about the same thing as you are when using it in the context of religion.   Your "faith" that a bagel will taste good is really inference from past experience. Sometimes the word faith is used with that meaning, and it's funny how those that try to defend faith so often resort to pointing out this other usage like that somehow justifies it's more insidious use that they claim as a virtue. (and no, I'm not directing that at you Avan. I'm referring to proponents of faith in general.)

Offline Avan

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2010, 02:13:45 am »
I was assuming you hadn't tried the flavor before, but whatever... :D
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Offline Shim

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2010, 07:55:41 am »
When it comes to deciding on... what bagel to buy, just go with what bagel's flavor you have faith in tasting good.
When you use the word that way, you are not talking about the same thing as you are when using it in the context of religion.   Your "faith" that a bagel will taste good is really inference from past experience. Sometimes the word faith is used with that meaning, and it's funny how those that try to defend faith so often resort to pointing out this other usage like that somehow justifies it's more insidious use that they claim as a virtue. (and no, I'm not directing that at you Avan. I'm referring to proponents of faith in general.)


In that case, I suppose I was using the word "faith" incorrectly.  I felt that faith was "what you personally believe in.", more like Avan's definition, rather than what you said Vararam, going through with everything without question.  I understand now.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 08:00:26 am by Shim »

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2010, 08:41:17 am »
The biggest problem I have with faith is people who are into those faith based religions and think that faith and their belief in God will cure their, and their children's, diseases and other medical conditions.
There was a case in Wisconsin several months ago or maybe a year ago where a couple believed that faith in God would help their daughter's illnesses/condition. They were wrong. Their daughter died.  :( These people refused to take their daughter to a doctor and the child died. I can't stand people who do that.  >:( http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29545619.html
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2010, 09:03:20 am »
I was assuming you hadn't tried the flavor before, but whatever... :D
In order for it to be the same kind of thing, you'd have to, before ever having tasted anything remotely like it, convince yourself that this flavor of bagel is absolutely delicious. And worse, if you taste it and find you don't like it, you'd still claim the bagel must be delicious and therefore you must not have been tasting it correctly.  In the case of the bagel, little to no harm would likely come from that, but it'd still be potentially separating yourself from reality.

I doubt this is the kind of faith you are talking about when it comes to the bagel. Like you said, the definition can vary. What I'm saying is that there is a particular definition that religions often use in regards to faith which is extremely dangerous. It's specifically setting yourself up to believe things without good justification.

The funny thing is, I know some people may be offended by me saying faith is not virtuous, and that it is in fact an insidious poison of the mind. And yet these same people would not apply this "virtuous faith" in any other aspect of their life, especially in choices that really matter. They wouldn't buy a house without ever having so much as looked at the place, or buy a new car without ever having taken it for a test drive. No, they'd do everything they could to minimize the risk, and they'd clearly see that it's foolish to do otherwise. Yet when it comes to religion, "you just got to have faith".

There was a case in Wisconsin several months ago or maybe a year ago where a couple believed that faith in God would help their daughter's illnesses/condition. They were wrong. Their daughter died.
This is an excellent example of how faith can be dangerous. I'm with you Kobuk. This is a senseless death that could have easily been avoided.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 09:05:33 am by Vararam »

Offline Avan

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2010, 09:08:46 am »
I was assuming you hadn't tried the flavor before, but whatever... :D
In order for it to be the same kind of thing, you'd have to, before ever having tasted anything remotely like it, convince yourself that this flavor of bagel is absolutely delicious. And worse, if you taste it and find you don't like it, you'd still claim the bagel must be delicious and therefore you must not have been tasting it correctly.  In the case of the bagel, little to no harm would likely come from that, but it'd still be potentially separating yourself from reality.

I doubt this is the kind of faith you are talking about when it comes to the bagel. Like you said, the definition can vary. What I'm saying is that there is a particular definition that religions often use in regards to faith which is extremely dangerous. It's specifically setting yourself up to believe things without good justification.

The funny thing is, I know some people may be offended by me saying faith is not virtuous, and that it is in fact an insidious poison of the mind. And yet these same people would not apply this "virtuous faith" in any other aspect of their life, especially in choices that really matter. They wouldn't buy a house without ever having so much as looked at the place, or buy a new car without ever having taken it for a test drive. No, they'd do everything they could to minimize the risk, and they'd clearly see that it's foolish to do otherwise. Yet when it comes to religion, "you just got to have faith".
Well, I couldn't find a very good example...  :D
anyways, it's not  like I'd really know that kind of faith anyways; it's illogical and thus should not be done.
At any rate, I agree it's silly that many of these religions simply manipulate people's emotions to get them to go along, and use faith to simply cover their rears once people start seeing the plot holes. Massive cop-out pretty much.
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Offline KitsuNinja

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2010, 02:20:55 pm »
The biggest problem I have with faith is people who are into those faith based religions and think that faith and their belief in God will cure their, and their children's, diseases and other medical conditions.
There was a case in Wisconsin several months ago or maybe a year ago where a couple believed that faith in God would help their daughter's illnesses/condition. They were wrong. Their daughter died.  :( These people refused to take their daughter to a doctor and the child died. I can't stand people who do that.  >:( http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29545619.html




I really have no words for that.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2010, 06:26:28 pm »
I am quite sure that its not the only incident of that happening as well...
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2010, 06:31:40 pm »
I really don't have anything to add here. I do believe in God but I do not think that the bible, or religious texts in general, should be taken literally. A lot of those rules were put in place for people's health, like kosher foods.

As far as religion and faith, I think that faith is necessary for religion. Lots of things these days point against it (except for cellular biology which has actually strengthened my faith) and that's why faith is necessary.

Honestly I don't know of any one specific reason for my faith. I do question my faith and waver but I find strength and come back. I think the main reason is that when I look out my window and at nature I just can't imagine that all this was created by sheer luck, by happenstance.
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2010, 09:04:46 pm »
The biggest problem I have with faith is people who are into those faith based religions and think that faith and their belief in God will cure their, and their children's, diseases and other medical conditions.
There was a case in Wisconsin several months ago or maybe a year ago where a couple believed that faith in God would help their daughter's illnesses/condition. They were wrong. Their daughter died.  :( These people refused to take their daughter to a doctor and the child died. I can't stand people who do that.  >:( http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29545619.html

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Offline Alsek

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2010, 09:41:54 pm »
Well,  I'm not sure it exactly falls under the thread topic,  but i can kind of explain to a certain extent what Jesus was doing...  It's kind of been my area of study lately.   ;)


Let me explain. Christianity, or at least my entire experience of it, has always consulted the bible for answers to life, both the new and old testements. Yet from what I've read and heard about the life of Jesus he actually denounced the old testament, saying something like it being outdated or something. (If I'm wrong in this please let me know because my memory isn't all that good) And in the bible itself God says "Thou shalt not have any other gods before me" yet I see more Christians look in their bibles for answers than praying to God for answers.

The old testament follows the Jews for the most part.  God had a covenant with the Jews,  with special terms and conditions that applied only to them.

A covenant is...  Well,  there's not exactly a comparison in western culture.  There's really no equivalent.  For those of you who know about Native American culture,  I hear it's kind of like becoming a blood brother in some ways.

The best way to describe it is that,  it's kind of like a contract,  and that it's kind of like a marriage at the same time.  It's absolutely unbreakable.   At the time,  in that culture,  people would seal their covenants in such a way that it became the responsibility of whatever god they believed in to enforce it,  usually with death as the penalty for breaking it.  You are generally VERY close to the person you enter covenant with.

Animal was sacrificed,  As if to say,  hould I break this covenant,  May what happens to me be worse than what happened to this animal.

In a covenant,  two become one.  The parties involved take on aspects of the identity of the other person,  usually symbolically done by trading robes, armor,  or weapons.  The other person's life becomes more important to you than your own.  Often times,   there's a length of time involved / specified,  and often times,   it's everlasting.

The old testament follows a covenant between God and the Jews.  God himself entered into a covenant with Abraham,   promising him that he would be the father of a nation,  through which the savior would be born.  (This is significant,  because it's basic God promising that,  on His life,  this WILL happen...)  

Through Abraham's son,  the Jews were born,  and soon found themselves in captivity and slavery in Egypt.  In Egypt they learned all sorts of skills and became a very strong hard working group of people.

God brought them out of Egypt through Moses,  and brought them into a new land.  He established a covenant with the Jews (just them) that we now refer to as the old covenant,  or the Mosiac Covenant.  It was not established as an everlasting covenant,  but it was to last until the savior came.  In this covenant,  God promised the people of Israel that IF they followed His commandments,  than He would bless them,   but if not,  than there would be grave consequences.  These commandments for this covenant are known now as the Ten Commandments and,  “The Law,” which had many other commandments that applied,  again,  only to the Jews such as,  Don't eat pork.  These were not to be added to,  or taken away from.

Now,  by the time Jesus came,  of course the law had been twisted,  warped,  and changed.  The pharisees had turned the law into something it was not.  They claimed to have the ability to take away from,  and add to the law.  Jesus is seen constantly criticizing this,  and bringing people back to following the actual commandments.

The coming of Jesus was the agreed upon ending of the first covenant,  and the bringing of the new covenant,  and acting as the covenant sacrifice.

Becoming a Christian is essentially entering into the new Covenant with God.  You agree to live your life for Him,  and make Him more important than yourself,  and you take on part of His identity in doing so.  You enter into an eternal,  everlasting covenant,  and the only requirement set,  is that you enter into it.  God is agreeing to protect you and your well being as well (Remember that God has a far more eternal perspective,  though.)

  As a Christian,  having agreed to make God more important than myself,   it has become my responsibility to do what I can to make His interests more important than my own.  I have a very clear pictures of what His interests are because I can look back at the Ten Commandments and get a very clear picture of what He wants from me.  I'm not without sin,  and I'm going to mess up,  but nothing can break an unconditional,   everlasting covenant,  not even my own shortcomings and faults.  I trust that He's going to hold to what He promised.  That's called faith.

  If prayer is simply talking to God,  then it would only make sense that we (being Christians) do it often.  After all,  We're supposed to be quite close.



So yeah,  I guess that kind of sums up (in a very simplistic way) my view on faith and salvation in a Christian sense.  (:





Kobuk,  as for your story...  I'm disguested that someone would act like that.   ; ;

There is something to faith,  but we're supposed to do everything we can...  Not just say that God will come down and handle all our problems.  >.<

That'd be like me jumping off a cliff thinking that God is going to save me.   =\

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2010, 12:05:16 am »
Hmmmmm..... Alsek you have given me some serious food for thought. I'm going to send you a PM.
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2010, 12:51:28 pm »
Quote
A covenant is...  Well,  there's not exactly a comparison in western culture.  There's really no equivalent.  For those of you who know about Native American culture,  I hear it's kind of like becoming a blood brother in some ways.
You know, there is one that really compares -- the Mormon culture.  I used to be Mormon, and they take up very important covenants comparable to those in the Old Testament in the temples (hence the reason more are being built around the world).  There was a time in the 1800's where members of the religion would be punished to death for betraying those (usually through adultery or other serious crimes that specifically went against those covenants).  However, laws and such have prevented that from happening, and the religion teaches much more sympathy; the idea of breaking those covenants, though, is unimaginable to a lot of people in the religion because it is a specific act against God to them.

These covenants are partly the reason the Mormon pioneers walked hundreds of miles to get to Utah.  Hundreds died on the way, but the risk was worth the voyage to them.

I myself was a Mormon missionary, and I saw a lot of people that were betrayed by religion (though most were those in other evangelical religions).  Some had given away their houses to the church thinking they would be saved only to discover that the pastor used it for his own gain.  Others were robbed of tithing money and such.  It amazes me how much faith betrayed them.

However, with this in mind, I admire those people.  If any higher power exists, I fully believe he would have compassion on them.  I believe that those working against those people definitely were bad, but I have a hard time finding fault in their faith.  Others might (I'm looking at you, Vararam :)), and that's okay; this is just my point of view.  Mind you, I'm agnostic right now, but that's what I think.

As for the girl that died without being taken to the hospital... I really have a hard time taking any side.  I think this was a hard death, but very few would condemn the amish for the same thing happening. 
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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2010, 01:31:20 am »
I don't want to get too far off topic, but one thing in particular in Alsek's post stands out to me that I felt I should mention.

Animal was sacrificed,  As if to say,  hould I break this covenant,  May what happens to me be worse than what happened to this animal.
That's not why animals were sacrificed. The Bible is very clear that the animals were sacrificed to appease God. The smell of the offering is "a sweet savour unto the LORD".  There is a very strong message throughout the Bible that "sins" are transferable. The sins of the father will carry on several generations. This sort of thing is mentioned several times. Animal sacrifice is along those same lines. The death of the animal is payment for your wrongdoings.  Never mind the fact that the animal did nothing wrong.

Essentially what you are doing is sugar coating what it really says.  Anyways... We now return you to your regularly scheduled topic. (:

...but I have a hard time finding fault in their faith.  Others might (I'm looking at you, Vararam :))
Just to be clear, I don't blame those with faith. At least, not usually. Yes I am very strongly against the idea of faith. I find it to be corrupting to reason and intellect.  As I said, it is a poison of the mind. I don't fault those under it's influence; in some sense, they are victims. I just wish they'd break free of it's stranglehold.

As for the question: Can religion exist without faith?  I don't know. Without the faith element it really doesn't seem like a religion anymore. So I'd be inclined to say no.  However, I would say that this kind of "faith" can exist without religion. Which is to say, without the dogma and tenets that come with a religion.

Offline Alexandre

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2010, 03:03:22 am »
As for the question: Can religion exist without faith?  I don't know. Without the faith element it really doesn't seem like a religion anymore. So I'd be inclined to say no.  However, I would say that this kind of "faith" can exist without religion. Which is to say, without the dogma and tenets that come with a religion.
I think I completely agree with you on this point.

Yes I am very strongly against the idea of faith. I find it to be corrupting to reason and intellect.  As I said, it is a poison of the mind. I don't fault those under it's influence; in some sense, they are victims. I just wish they'd break free of it's stranglehold.
In part, I agree with this.  I think some people have let their faith take away any logical thought they have.  Just today, I talked about my sexuality with someone I had known as a missionary, and he repeatedly told me to stop being gay and return to church.  He would not look at my own situation or even attempt to understand me.

At the same time, though, I know plenty of people who have faith and yet are able to participate in an open discussion.  All the people I live with are highly devout to the Mormon faith, yet none of them are critical in any way about the way I live. 

Faith, then, could be compared to sugar.  You can have some of it and be plenty healthy, but get too much and it can cause problems.  Faith itself isn't the problem, I think; rather, it's what people do with it.
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Offline Alsek

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2010, 04:36:23 am »
I don't want to get too far off topic, but one thing in particular in Alsek's post stands out to me that I felt I should mention.

That's not why animals were sacrificed. The Bible is very clear that the animals were sacrificed to appease God. The smell of the offering is "a sweet savour unto the LORD".  There is a very strong message throughout the Bible that "sins" are transferable. The sins of the father will carry on several generations. This sort of thing is mentioned several times. Animal sacrifice is along those same lines. The death of the animal is payment for your wrongdoings.  Never mind the fact that the animal did nothing wrong.

Essentially what you are doing is sugar coating what it really says.  Anyways... We now return you to your regularly scheduled topic. (:


Hmm...  I guess the easiest way to answer this would be to say,   "Wrong,"  but i think that actually backing up what I'm saying instead of just denying your opinion would be the better way to go about this.

This is in line with the, “scheduled topic,” as it had to do with my position of faith and explaining what many people even in the church fail to see due to cultural differences...

What I was explaining there was not exclusive to the Bible,  as you could see if you were more thorough in reading my post:


At the time,  in that culture,  people would seal their covenants in such a way that it became the responsibility of whatever god they believed in to enforce it, [/u] usually with death as the penalty for breaking it.  You are generally VERY close to the person you enter covenant with.

Animal was sacrificed,  As if to say,  should I break this covenant,  May what happens to me be worse than what happened to this animal.


This practice was not exclusive to the Bible,  nor to the Jews at the time as is seen when a foreign king, Abimelech,  made a Covenant with Abraham in Genesis.


As for the moral implications reguarding the death of an inocent animal...   Personal opinions/feelings reguarding it's morality do not effect the truth of a situation.  Covenant was a common practice of people in many cultures of the time.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2010, 04:44:51 am by Alsek »

Offline Dusty

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Re: Religeon vs Faith
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2010, 05:43:56 am »
The biggest problem I have with faith is people who are into those faith based religions and think that faith and their belief in God will cure their, and their children's, diseases and other medical conditions.
There was a case in Wisconsin several months ago or maybe a year ago where a couple believed that faith in God would help their daughter's illnesses/condition. They were wrong. Their daughter died.  :( These people refused to take their daughter to a doctor and the child died. I can't stand people who do that.  >:( http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29545619.html


I find it reprehensible that the girl was denied medical treatment by her parents on those grounds, regardless of what their religious beliefs may be. Goes to show how fervent belief in the metaphysical can be so dangerous.