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Old 07-12-2006, 03:41 AM   #1
Anna
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The Big Man Upstairs

Looked around for a place to put this, couldn't find any particular spot.

Since there has been some interest regarding the onset of human life I felt that that question must have a proceeding one, is there a God and how do you know?

Here's one persons journey that is worthy of your time, as well as, entertaining. You'll have to work a little to get to this particular story, though the entire show is wonderful (as always) and you'll need an audio device - RA or WMC.

http://www.thislife.org/

Archives - Year 05 - scroll down to Godless America - 6/3 - Episode 290
Act Two. God Said, Huh? Julia Sweeney, a Catholic, tells the story of how her faith began to crack after reading a most alarming book ... called the Bible. Her story is excerpted from her play, "Letting Go of God," which ran in Los Angeles. Her other one-woman monologues are "God Said, "Ha!" and "In the Family Way." (29 minutes)

Last edited by Anna : 07-12-2006 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:39 AM   #2
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There are plenty of affirmed atheists who are anti-abortion.
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trisherina
There are plenty of affirmed atheists who are anti-abortion.

I agree.
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:50 PM   #4
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While I hate labelling when religion is involved, i'm pretty much an agnostic.

For those unaware, Wikipedia says;

Quote:
Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the (truth) values of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities—are unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent, and therefore, irrelevant to life.
The only journeys I wish to take in life are the ones that lead to goals I know I can reach.
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:15 PM   #5
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Saying "I don't know" is a perfectly valid scientific response. But how does one know that something is unknowable ? And then to presume that once something is declared unknowable it is then "irrelevant"? I think that shows at the very least, a lack of imagination.

Every great scientific discovery came about when someone looked at something unusual/out of the ordinary/unreasonable and asked himself "Is there a good reason here why I should consider this abberration important?"

Einstein looked at the material world and noted that we live in three dimensions - but the revolutionary thought came about when he began to think about time - up until then a complete abstract - and recast it in terms of a fourth dimension. Instead of saying that it was unknowable, he continued to dream about it and let the idea evolve until he found a mathmatic key - and sure enough, all four dimensions suddenly worked together beautifully and made all sorts of other equations possible - changing physics as we knew it forever.

What if God/spirituality were a fifth dimension that we just have not been able to find the key to yet? To just shrug and say it's unknowable and therefore irrelevant strikes me as terribly limited and sad. If it were even possible that someone created the cosmos and is responsible for it - and furthermore, is knowable and available for a relationship with us - it strikes me as the single most urgently important idea to pursue while we are alive.
From a negative standpoint, spirituality is relevant just on the basis that many wars are fought over religion and we are affected every single day materially by it. From a positive standpoint, billions of people in the world depend on faith in God to guide them, to comfort them, to sustain them - these are people we all have to interact with all the time. How could that be irrelevant?
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Old 08-12-2006, 01:13 PM   #6
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I have to teach this story at my yearly stint as a Sunday school teacher tomorrow.

click

Conveniently missing from the actual story is the part where Elijah has all 450 of the prophets of Baal slaughtered right after he wins the contest: "Don't let anyone get away!" he warns.

There is nothing in this story that I personally find redeeming. The take home messages are: Pray in the right way. Pray to the right God. It's horrible.
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:10 PM   #7
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Trish, how is it that you do a yearly stint as a Sunday school teacher?
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trisherina
I have to teach this story at my yearly stint as a Sunday school teacher tomorrow.

click

Conveniently missing from the actual story is the part where Elijah has all 450 of the prophets of Baal slaughtered right after he wins the contest: "Don't let anyone get away!" he warns.

There is nothing in this story that I personally find redeeming. The take home messages are: Pray in the right way. Pray to the right God. It's horrible.
I would assume that faith beyond what you feel about this bible story is what allows you teach this class. I have problems with many parts of the bible myself. It is only by faith that I can get past these sticking points. I truly believe that there is nobody who understands the whole bible, for if they did they in fact would be God. I feel that it is part of Gods' test for us. We don't have to understand it all. That being said, I do think that the topic is a difficult one to deliver. Is is possible that killing the prophets is a metaphor for saying that Elijah had simply defeated them on the religious front so they lost their power? Good luck with the class.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynn
Trish, how is it that you do a yearly stint as a Sunday school teacher?
Honest, Brynn, do you want the long or the short answer?
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
I would assume that faith beyond what you feel about this bible story is what allows you teach this class. I have problems with many parts of the bible myself. It is only by faith that I can get past these sticking points. I truly believe that there is nobody who understands the whole bible, for if they did they in fact would be God. I feel that it is part of Gods' test for us. We don't have to understand it all. That being said, I do think that the topic is a difficult one to deliver. Is is possible that killing the prophets is a metaphor for saying that Elijah had simply defeated them on the religious front so they lost their power? Good luck with the class.
Obligation to do my duty allows me to teach this class, mostly.

I would like you to tell me just how faith gets you past these sticking points, as you put it. Do you just stop sticking? Or are you more able to rationalize these things because you believe you are ultimately beneath God, and so, whatever he says goes, pretty much?

Why would someone who understands the whole Bible be God? What is there about the words in this particular gathering of documents that renders it so difficult? The Bible is said to contain what God wants us to know about him. If that is the case, his Public Affairs staff SUCKS.

I'm going to plant plants and talk about drought and contests and the different reasons people pray. Thanks for the good luck wishes.
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
Is is possible that killing the prophets is a metaphor for saying that Elijah had simply defeated them on the religious front so they lost their power?
Thank God for metaphors!
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthSeeker
Is is possible that killing the prophets is a metaphor for saying that Elijah had simply defeated them on the religious front so they lost their power?
yeah, cos that bit's totally implausible.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:00 PM   #13
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Believe me, we considered a number of options:

1) Wearing obscene T-shirts to teach the class. Discarded because we don't really have any (an old one that says "sex goddess" on it probably doesn't count).

2) Having a sing-along around the song "Poor Old Kaw-Li-Ga" (see "what's the worst song to get stuck in your head?" thread), and telling the kids that as far as we know, this is the real Elijah story. Discarded because well, it's not true, even a little bit.

3) Providing a brief but thorough tutorial on certain aspects of meteorology: sinking and rising air, evaporation, condensation, precipitation. Still a contender if there's a lull.

4) Telling the full unexpurgated story and concluding with wry faces that well, really, Elijah was a bit of a dickhead. Because what can they do -- FIRE ME?
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Old 08-13-2006, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trisherina
Obligation to do my duty allows me to teach this class, mostly.

I would like you to tell me just how faith gets you past these sticking points, as you put it. Do you just stop sticking? Or are you more able to rationalize these things because you believe you are ultimately beneath God, and so, whatever he says goes, pretty much?

Why would someone who understands the whole Bible be God? What is there about the words in this particular gathering of documents that renders it so difficult? The Bible is said to contain what God wants us to know about him. If that is the case, his Public Affairs staff SUCKS.

I'm going to plant plants and talk about drought and contests and the different reasons people pray. Thanks for the good luck wishes.
In technical terms I would say that God is more analog than digital. In the true analog world we can only approximate what is true. Science has allowed us to reliably predict our world around us, but yet there are still many questions that go unanswered. Language has allowed us to communicate with each other, and for the most part we understand what the other person is trying to say, but how many times have our words been misunderstood? I think the same thing is true of God. He is speaking to us, but we fail to fully understand what is being said or the context in which it is being placed. You could tell someone that ice cream taste great, but unless they have tasted it they don't even have a reference point to agree with you. That's not even to mention all the flavors that are available, or who the maker is. So when I say that I don't believe there is a person who completely understands the whole bible it is because they did not write the bible. Here's another example; "love others as you would have them love you". It seems like a very simple statement, and there should be no confusion about what the meaning is, but can we even clearly define what love is? There can be wide agreement with the the bible, but it is still within a Grey zone. God knows that we are not perfect, not even with text on a page, so he only desires us to seek the truth, and if we stumble 1,000 times we still have a chance to get back up and continue seeking the truth. I have faith because I continue to seek the truth even though I may and have messed it up. Hopefully this answers each of the questions you have posed; I'm not the best writer. How did your class go?
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Old 08-13-2006, 09:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trisherina
Honest, Brynn, do you want the long or the short answer?
Of course I want the long story!!!! Those are always the best.

You know, (IMHO) if the kids are past the fourth grade, I'm all for telling the whole unvarnished story. I don't think the stories should be dodged or flattened out. The Bible is problematic, and to pretend that it isn't and to avoid discussion about it kind of misses the point of what Sunday school should be - a safe place to raise questions and doubts, rather than just a place for pure indoctrination. Otherwise, the kid grows up and is blindsided by all the stuff that nobody bothered to tell him. He feels lied to and betrayed. Kids of a certain age should be allowed to discuss the reasons why they think Elijah should or should not have had them all killed. I've found that as a teacher, I'm always struck by the insights they can come up with on their own. Telling them exactly what to think about it is not the best way to raise up strong Christians who will want to pursue a personal, intimate, thinking relationship with God, but I do think it's a good way to create a bunch of pew-sitters who demand to be spoon-fed every Sunday.

I like what Mary Gordon says about it - according to her there are two major forces in the world today that threaten the things she values most. One is the fundamentalist attitude that seeks to censor the questions and doubts rather than to wrestle with them, and the other force is that of consumerism, which seeks to make everything about money - how to get more of it, how there's never enough, how something isn't valuable unless it's making megabucks for somebody. Both ideas leave little room for the truly rich spiritual life that's available, and both forces are all about control rather than freedom.
So what's the story behind this gig, anyway?
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