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Out of the Blue

I got out to see the Bourne Supremacy yesterday... it really was satisfying to use the free pass from the Bourne Identity DVD to get in, but I would have enjoyed the movie even if I had to pay. I grew up a big fan of James Bond, but that series has gone pretty haywire over the years... in fact when it struck me during the movie how much more realistic Bourne is than Bond, it then occurred to me that the Spider-Man movies are also more grounded in reality than the Bond series is at this point. Enjoying the movies means I should probably avoid reading Ludlum's original Bourne books, though, as my buddy MrCoffee had trouble enjoying the first movie because he's such a big fan of the books... I hate when that happens.

Play Time: Super Mario Rampage. Thanks Bradley Neumeister.
Link of the Day: Thorax Cake. Thanks Mankale.
Stories of the Day: Olivier resurrected for film role.
'Showgirls' bares all in self-mocking DVD.
Science!: Get Ready for the Perseids.
'Frozen Ark' to save animal DNA.
Payback Time: Why Revenge Tastes So Sweet (registration required).
Images of the Day: Crop Badger. Thanks Ant.
Saturn's Death Star Moon Mimas.
Media of the Day: Filthy Cheat. Thanks Bradley Neumeister.
Follow-up: This Land Isn't Your Land.
Thanks Mike Martinez

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143 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 1.
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143. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 29, 2004, 20:12 NSi
 
Bangersmash:
"This may be the case, but did any of these previous frauds have such an impact, that the dating system as we know it today is measured around their death? Or that the Bible itself is the most widely distributed and sold book in the history of mankind? Or that there are a total of only 10 physical copies recording Caesar&#8217;s writings, yet there are approx. 22,000 copies of the New Testament (the most abundant of all historical manuscripts)?"

I am aware of those facts, but you can't use pure circumstantial events to argue the greatness of a man.
The reason the bible is the most distributed (not sold) book in the worls is due to many circumstantial facts.
1- In antiquity, only a relative handful of people knew how to read and write. Guess who made 100% sure they knew how to read and write beatifully... That's right, priests. They were pretty much the only group on earth that could, as a group, write, and copy BOOKS. Now what book would they write copies of? Why, the one that supports our way of life of course. The bible. They did write/copy some other books, but obviously the creation of bibles was of utmost importance before Guttenberg.
1- The world before what we call modernity was pretty much ruled by FEAR. Religion was (and is) mostly used to create fear in people. The fear of being cast out or destroyed by refusing a religion ("accept this religion or you burn in hell" or "accept this religion or WE will burn you"). Thus doing anything without professing to be devout to such religion was tantamount to social or literal suicide. This is why almost all art prior to the 19th century dealt with rulers or religious figures, nothing else. Paint a king without insinuating that he is the hand of god and prepare to be kicked out of the kingdom, at best. At worst, you would simply be executed and your family be declared heretics.
In this historic climate, a guy named Guttenberg invents the first machine that can crank out copies of books that don't have to be written by hand. Now, what book would he start copying? obviously, the bible. This becomes the reason and justification for the proliferation of printing machines. Many groups are intent on having thousands of bibles accessible to dictate dogma, and many different versions of it are created to fit individial regions. This is the biggest wave of massive distribution.
3- The Europeans discover America (the continent) and do their damndest to kill every indian who doesn't take a christian name and accepts the bible and religion. They are taught to read by missionaries solely so they can swallow the bible, creating a level of catholic/christian devotion among the poorest people south of old California, all the way down to Argentina. And as you know, poor people made up 99% of the population of these areas before the 19th century. Today you can still see the force with which this religion was ingrained in these people by simply talking to them or visiting their countries and seeing spanish, italian and portuguese-built churches in the smallest little towns.
4- Religious groups KNOW that they must secure media and distribution of it, since the beginning of time. Today you get a free bible in every hotel room in the US as a matter of custom. Have you ever thought how this came to happen? How did it happen that among the first special interest programs on television (if not THE first) were catholic/christian vehicles? Churches were among the first institutions to have community newsletters, networking events and recruitment drives outside of the military.

That a simplistic account, and there's a lot more than that, but it serves to point out that the reason the bible is as widely distributed as it is has little to do with how great its contents are. Don't forget that catholicism/christianism has expanded by missions, mandate and force throughout history. Expansion is at the heart of the harvesting of influence.

Hardcore muslims (not all) do this by requiring that children spend most of their early years banging their heads against the Quran, literally learing EVERY word of the book. This is basically programming. It is next to impossible to de-program a human mind that has been programmed this way from an warly age, and this applies to the Quran, the Bible, or any other dogma you wish to impart on a child. So, right off the gate, these kids serve as a built-in expansion method by assuring they will teach their kids in turn the same way. Most religions are programming of the mind, with clever "hacks" such as turning our native untuition of the unknown (we all know there's a lot of things we don't know) into their preferred, unprovable, inexplicable and impossible to explore image. It is very hard for a human mind to resist this, especially when it's only a child...

Well damn, that was a long rant. Sorry

Cheers,


 
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142. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 29, 2004, 17:29 Dantastic
 
By the way, I'm amazed at the level of mild temper here which is a refreshing change. Normally posts such as these stir up much more aggressive replies. Very cool on the part of those involved.

its amazing how civil conversations are when u know who isn't involved

 
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141. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 29, 2004, 14:25 bangersnmash
 
By the way, I'm amazed at the level of mild temper here which is a refreshing change. Normally posts such as these stir up much more aggressive replies. Very cool on the part of those involved.

 
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140. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 29, 2004, 14:15 bangersnmash
 
NSi

“This is what I believe happened with the story of a man named Jesus. An obviously smart guy (if in fact he did exist as a single person)…”

It’s well known among historians that Jesus’ existence is fact. What is up for question is his deity.

“Sadly, this *has* happened not one, but hundreds of times throughout history, from roman emperors and pharaos declaring themselves sons of god and later gods themselves…”

This may be the case, but did any of these previous frauds have such an impact, that the dating system as we know it today is measured around their death? Or that the Bible itself is the most widely distributed and sold book in the history of mankind? Or that there are a total of only 10 physical copies recording Caesar’s writings, yet there are approx. 22,000 copies of the New Testament (the most abundant of all historical manuscripts)? It seems to me something is different here that is worth investigating, simply due to the scope. An amazing book that goes into more detail is “More Than A Carpenter”. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0842345523/104-0190255-9018330?v=glance

“don't think any of you believe in Jesus because of Jesus, but because of a bunch of rambling or scheming middle eastern guys invented this whole thing a LONG time ago and this got pushed into everyone's brain with a hammer for thousands of years in the name of centralizing power for a few people with no one to answer to.”

Well unfortunately the Catholic Church has a great deal to answer for and many of their practices are far from Christianity. As you rightly point out, it is partially to do with power.

I choose to believe because of the experiences I have had throughout life and after having “sought” I have found. In effect, God shows you his presence over time. This may sound like non-sense also, but it’s very hard to describe unless you experience it.

Nin

“Not because he's trying to deceive us or mislead us, but because he wants to see what parts of these books we follow to the letter, and what parts we causally toss aside if it doesn't match our own agenda in life.”

I think without a guide, on our own we are very much at danger. I believe God has sent us his word; it’s up to us to find it.

Warpig
“Here's a question to our Christian Bluesies out there: If you had happened to be born to Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist parents, do you really think you would still believe in what you now believe is "The Truth"?”

I cannot comment on an alternate universe which doesn’t exist but think of it this way... There are many, many Chinese Christians that do not exactly grow up in a Christ centered environment. Likewise there are other Christians in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other countries with no solid basis in Christianity.

“I just can't help but think that if there were a one true God that he could have and would have been able to make it crystal clear to everyone what's really going on instead of watching us kill each other over different interpretations of an ancient book.”

Romans 20-21 "Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So those people have no excuse at all! They know God, but they do not give him the honor that belongs to him, nor do they thank him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense, and their empty minds are filled with darkness."

Basically this says it is mans fault that we stepped away from God. Remember there is an enemy out there also which distorts truth and truth isn’t relative despite what some people may tell you. You may hear some say “that may be true for you” or other such comments. This is a self defeating belief.

A perfect book for this… http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0801058066/qid=1081867046/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0190255-9018330?v=glance&s=books

Also read the review from Andrew Doerksen a little over half way down the page on this link. It sums up very quickly, criticizing another persons review how far detached from logical thought this belief is. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0801058066/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/104-0190255-9018330?%5Fencoding=UTF8&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Tron

“honestly, i have no idea why faith is such an important thing for God to require of us. it's a mystery to me. maybe someone else in here can shed some light?”

Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Or just read the whole chapter. http://bible.crosswalk.com/OnlineStudyBible/bible.cgi?word=John+3§ion=0&version=nkj&new=1&oq=&NavBook=heb&NavGoto=Go+To%3A&NavGo=11&NavCurrentChapter=3

as some of y'all may know, i've been out of work for 2 months now - but i just got off the phone with someone with a *great* job opportunity... wish me luck!

Good luck I also found the topic heading interesting.

This comment was edited on Jul 29, 14:19.
 
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139. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 29, 2004, 03:15 NSi
 
Tron, I appreciate your willingness to discuss, and I understand you have a rsolid belief in your faith at this point in your life, and so I feel it would be needlessly aggressive to keep arguing about it. Just one thing before we finish:

"personally, i find it hard to believe that in *any* time in our history someone could come around, claim to be God incarnate and get away with it, unless they were able to back it up somehow."

Sadly, this *has* happened not one, but hundreds of times throughout history, from roman emperors and pharaos declaring themselves sons of god and later gods themselves, to different times in history with popes declaring themselves the only blessed humans with actual direct communication with god himself, which is basically declaring themselves the exclusive envoy of god. These are just a couple of broad instances, there are many, many more.

Perhaps at some other time in your life you might see things differently.

Peace to you too

 
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138. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 29, 2004, 00:14 tron
 
Good luck man.

thanks WarPig!!

btw, i *love* the Mr. Burns quote in your sig...
 
- tron -
---
"tron is big and tron is full of action... it's a hell of a ride!"
-from the Tron 2.0 box
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137. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 28, 2004, 23:33 WarPig
 
thanks, nin.. you're right, it is both depressing and scary... and hopefully it's over soon!

Good luck man.


-------------------------------------------------------
Doom 3? Half Life 2?

Well huzzah, huzzah. I'll just throw back my legs and pollute my britches with delight. ~ Mr. Burns
 
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GO SEAHAWKS!
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136. Re: Well Jul 28, 2004, 23:29 tron
 
NSi,

yeah, i agree that things were simpler back then - but people were still people, and i think humans deserve some credit. personally, i find it hard to believe that in *any* time in our history someone could come around, claim to be God incarnate and get away with it, unless they were able to back it up somehow. but, this once again centers around the idea of faith. either you think the whole thing is a bunch of crap, or you somehow believe it. as for me, there have been too many moments in my life where what some people might call "amazing coincidences" happened to me, but i believe were divinely inspired. and these things always seemed to happen as i was deeply contemplating religion. as a small example, one night around 3am i'm driving home in the rain going down a winding road at 45mph... i was not christian at that time, but was deep in thought about spiritual things. suddenly, as i went around a rather sharp turn, my car skidded out just a bit, enough to scare me, but not in a terrifying way. at that *exact* moment the radio DJ said "and if you're out there driving in this rain, be careful around those curves!" and chills went down my spine... now, i know most people will say it was coincidence or whatever, but i know exactly how i felt at that moment and where my state of mind was and it felt exactly as if God was showing me that he was out there, watchong out for me. laugh if you will, but this happened... and i choose to interpret it the way i do.

moments like that solidified my belief in God, C.S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity" solidified my christian beliefs... let me suffice to say this. there are tons of people out there with tons of evidence and ideas and whatever that they say proves christ was a fraud. there are an equal number of people out there with tons of evidence and ideas and whatever that they say proves christ was genuine. you gotta to choose to believe one group or the other. i have made my choice, no one is gonna talk me out of it unless they are able to come up with irrefutable evidence to the contrary that i cannot help but believe. persoanlly (like nin says) i think god keeps us in the dark and will never let us "pin him down" because it forces us to think about things, and find our own way. read John Updike's book "Roger's Version" if you are interested in this type of thing. it centers around a priest and a computer graphics programmer who hotly debate the existence of God and whether or not it can ever be proven one way or the other. great reading...

so, i cannot refute your reasoning, but i do not share in it. it is your own to do with as you wish! hopefully there are no hard feelings, i wasn't trying to belittle your argument... this is just exhausting stuff and i didn't have the energy to fully explore your post earlier today!

peace to you!
 
- tron -
---
"tron is big and tron is full of action... it's a hell of a ride!"
-from the Tron 2.0 box
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135. Re: Well Jul 28, 2004, 22:26 NSi
 
"as can be seen in what the ancient Egyptian society accomplished...? go do some basic research on the ancient Egyptian culture, you'd be amazed at what they were up to."

Tron, first of all, that has nothing to do with my argument or the discussion, I am sure if you think about you will come up with the same conclusion. Christian faith was spread first among small villages/communities, not from huge powerful civilizations (until that roman ruler whose name escapes me decided to adopt it, scrap their polytheism and broadcast the new religion from the center of power).
Second of all, social and technological sophistication has nothing to do with the fact that even in Egypt, things were FAR simpler than today. Pharaohs didn't have to deal with an infinity of possible sources of information for their subjects. They said "I AM GOD" and that was that. Doubt for a second and be killed or be turned into a slave. You and your friends were divine, supreme rulers for life with no reason other than being born. No one read, wrote or heard anything that you didn't want them to, and no external examples or challenges on the order of thing came for thousands of years. Today, if some sap comes to you and tells you "dude, at the top of a mountain in Tibet there's 10 super intelligent martians and they told me you have to give me your money". Today you simply know instantanously that this is impossible because of the many sources of information you are connected to throughout your life that tells you this isn't possible - books, newspapers, documents, tv, freedom of speech, etc. Back then, you would probably have no choice but to believe, especially if the guy is carrying a spear or a sword.

This comment was edited on Jul 28, 22:27.
 
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134. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 28, 2004, 21:45 tron
 
I hadn't heard this, but I do hope it works out for you. I've been unemployed for 3-4 months at a time at least twice in the past few years, and I know it's a scary and depressing time. Good luck!

thanks, nin.. you're right, it is both depressing and scary... and hopefully it's over soon!

i enjoyed reading your theory, and you're right, it's not too far off from my own. and here's my contribution to lightening things up a bit, my horoscope from this week's Onion:

Gemini: (May 21—June 21)
Your belief that God does not play dice with the universe will be tested by the discovery of a 10,000-mile-long craps table on Jupiter.

 
- tron -
---
"tron is big and tron is full of action... it's a hell of a ride!"
-from the Tron 2.0 box
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133. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 28, 2004, 21:06 nin
 
Here's a question to our Christian Bluesies out there: If you had happened to be born to Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist parents, do you really think you would still believe in what you now believe is "The Truth"? I just can't help but think that if there were a one true God that he could have and would have been able to make it crystal clear to everyone what's really going on instead of watching us kill each other over different interpretations of an ancient book.


Alright, I'm gonna lay my own theory on the line here. This is just one I came up with, on my own, over time...and this is coming from a guy who prays every night, but hasn't stepped foot in a church in years. You've got a number of religions in the world, and in some cases they contradict. Hell, sometimes parts of the same book contradict each other.

My theory is this: There is no "right" book. Over thousands of years, you've got one religion that says this, and one religion that says that. And I think that's deliberate, on God's part. Not because he's trying to deceive us or mislead us, but because he wants to see what parts of these books we follow to the letter, and what parts we causally toss aside if it doesn't match our own agenda in life. I think we're being tested, specifically how we treat our fellow man and get along with each other. And I think, whenever we get to the next "place" (whatever that is) all of this uncertainty will come into focus. It'll all make sense. We'll realize that despite all the bickering and killing, we were all on the same team all along.

And that's my theory on religion and the afterlife...it's not bulletproof by any means, but it's what I use. I don't care if you're Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Muslim, Satanist, Hindu, or any of the other many religions in the world. As long as you treat people like you want to be treated, and try to do good each day, you're cool with me.



On a lighter note:
as some of y'all may know, i've been out of work for 2 months now - but i just got off the phone with someone with a *great* job opportunity... wish me luck!

I hadn't heard this, but I do hope it works out for you. I've been unemployed for 3-4 months at a time at least twice in the past few years, and I know it's a scary and depressing time. Good luck!


See you in Hell! http://www.doom3.com/
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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132. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 28, 2004, 21:03 tron
 
do you really think you would still believe in what you now believe is "The Truth"?

now that's a tricky question. as Dan Brown says - "we worship the Gods of our fathers"... however, there is the snag that goes this way: if i wasn't born under the circumstances that i was born into... well, then i wouldn't even be *me*... i'd be someone else - get it?


if there were a one true God that he could have and would have been able to make it crystal clear to everyone what's really going on

but that would eliminate Faith! if we all *knew* what the truth was, there would be no questions, no need for free will and all that. we would all do the same thing because we would all know it was *right*. and maybe all roads do lead to the same God... as i've said before though, to me the most important thing for me is to keep trying to figure out your own truth. other religions, killing in the name of God, aetheism, all that stuff is beyond my ability to fully understand. so, i don't worry about it. that may sound foolish or ignorant to some, but it works for me.

honestly, i have no idea why faith is such an important thing for God to require of us. it's a mystery to me. maybe someone else in here can shed some light?
 
- tron -
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"tron is big and tron is full of action... it's a hell of a ride!"
-from the Tron 2.0 box
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131. Re: Hey look, it's Halsy yapping again` Jul 28, 2004, 21:02 The Truth
 
creston:

Couldent agree more. I moved to the US to get away from the apathy and crap. ive seen the greener grass on the other side, and its not greener anywhere you go, ive lived in several different european countries and was raised in one (the UK), and i can honestly say i love the US. its tough leaving your homeland but i knwo which i prefer.


Anyways prolly noone reading this,... carry on!

------
Stop the Politics posts
Say NO to WAR themed comments
DOWN WITH BUSH ... is just an inflammatory remark, designed to provoke a response, ignore the trolls
STOP POLLUTING This message board with dumb political comments
 
------
Diablo & Diablo 2 for the DS, it makes sense Blizzard!
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130. Re: Books vs Movies Jul 28, 2004, 20:22 WarPig
 
I'm a big believer in the golden rule and do my best to not screw others over. Why? Because I know it's the right thing to do -- I wouldn't want to be screwed over by someone else, so why should I do that to them? You reap what you sow and all that. And I do want a better world -- not only for my child and family, but for everyone. And while I don't expect to make a massive difference on that, I can at least do my part to not make it worse.

That pretty much sums it up for me also.


Here's a question to our Christian Bluesies out there: If you had happened to be born to Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist parents, do you really think you would still believe in what you now believe is "The Truth"? I just can't help but think that if there were a one true God that he could have and would have been able to make it crystal clear to everyone what's really going on instead of watching us kill each other over different interpretations of an ancient book.

-------------------------------------------------------
To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. ~ Homer Simpson
 
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GO SEAHAWKS!
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129. Re: No subject Jul 28, 2004, 19:46 tron
 
Good post on your part...

wow, thanks, nin! i don't get many compliments on my religious-themed posts around here! i think that often the most important thing anyone can do is just keep looking for answers within yourself and be true to what you feel is right for you...

and i have to say i find it funny that blue named this thread "bourne again", long before it evolved into the conversation we're having now!

as some of y'all may know, i've been out of work for 2 months now - but i just got off the phone with someone with a *great* job opportunity... wish me luck!
 
- tron -
---
"tron is big and tron is full of action... it's a hell of a ride!"
-from the Tron 2.0 box
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128. Re: No subject Jul 28, 2004, 19:24 nin
 
I like your view tron, it seems very similar to my own...I can't explain the world and it's inner workings, so I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I imagine someday, in another life, it'll all be laid out, and we'll be like "Oh. That makes sense." (And the answers that elude us now will seem so obvious then...)

Good post on your part...


See you in Hell! http://www.doom3.com/
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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127. Hey look, it's Halsy yapping again` Jul 28, 2004, 19:01 Creston
 
The most recent report on quality of life had social democracies ranked as the best countries to live in, where the U.S. didn't even rank the overall top ten

So why do you live here Halsy? I have asked you this a thousand times already, and you never answer. If it's SO MUCH BETTER to live in a socialist country, WHY DON'T YOU FUCKING MOVE THERE?

You know why you don't? Because you're too fucking scared, that's why. It's easier to sit here in your little ivory tower, typing away on a message board and bitch about how shitty it is here, and how greener the grass is on the other side of the ocean, than it is to take a gamble, and move to Europe for six months. Or to fucking China, for that matter.

I've LIVED in socialism for 30 years, and IT SUCKS JUST AS FUCKING BAD. You think it's all so great now, wait until you have to put up with shit such as your government paying for EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD WANTING TO HAVE A SEX CHANGE. That's right, for free. Over the back of the taxpayers. There's your socialism for you. Or you have to pay for every single fucking lazy ass that REFUSES to work because "if I work a whole month, I get paid 2000 dollars, whereas I get paid 1900 dollars per month from wellfare, so why work?"
And the government says "Oh, ok."

You know what the bad part is of socialism? Tolerance, which taken to an extreme form leads to Apathy, which is what 90% of Europe suffers from. The "I just don't care anymore" attitude. Which slowly begins to pervade every single instance of life. Civilians first, then government workers, police etc. Why bother arresting a guy when he gets no jail time? People get kicked to death on the street in your socialist utopia, and they get NO FUCKING JAIL TIME.

No, that's a great fucking system to live in.

I was fed up with it, and moved to the other side of the world, only to discover that there are just as many problems here, just different ones. The whole world is full of shit. Socialism is not the fucking answer.
That top ten you spout so proudly comes straight from the UN, a fucking poster child for socialism if there ever was one. You Must All Conform. The UN will eventually evolve into the fucking Borg.

And guess what, genius? That disparaty between rich and poor? It exists in socialist countries too. I believe the poverty level in the US is, what, 30% of the population or so? Holland is somewhere in the top ten of richest countries in the world, and the poverty level was at 27% when I left.


Guys like Dubya, on the other hand, haven't even made a pretense at being bi-partisan which is why America is so bitterly divided right now

Righhhhtttt, it's all Dubyah's fault. Earth to Halsy, the last election was decided by a margin of less than a hundred votes.
I'd say the country was ALREADY DIVIDED at that point, but I'm sure you can spin your little "The World According To Halsy" fairy tale and come up with some way that was Dubyah's fault too. Same as the fact the US has had no energy policy all throughout Clinton's term, hey, it's all Dubyah's fault.

Man, you'd work SO WELL in Europe, stick your head in the sand, keep chanting the same fucking mantra, and it will all get better in the end.

The reason this country is divided is because of the two party system, and it's outdated. Republicans and Democrats hate each others' guts, and thus everything becomes black & white. An increasing number of their constituants are staying in the center, and will eventually turn "independant", and maybe sometime within the next 20 years, people here will be smart enough to actually VOTE independant, just to get the republicans and democrats out of power for a change.

Why you're still so fucking stuck up over a party that literally said "We need to find some kind of platform that resonates with the voters" after their last election fiasco is beyond me. It was always my opinion that as a party you needed to have a platform that you believed in, then convince people of the good of that platform.

Creston
(No personal offense intended btw, I like to argue strongly).

This comment was edited on Jul 28, 19:03.
 
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126. Re: No subject Jul 28, 2004, 18:55 tron
 
If the universe is so grand that it requires this magical presence...why does that same rule not apply to an even more grand things that can create such a universe?

the bible never says it can't... it never tackles the concept of where God comes from. imo, it doesn't even really matter - i figure i find out after i leave this portion of my life.

and i also never think of God as being "magical", but rather technical. if he created this earth, then i imagine he must be pretty technically adept (by our definition).

as for myself, i was raised Baptist, but rejected it in my late teens. i stayed agnostic/aetheist until my mid 20's when i began to research religion on my own. now in my early 30's i see christianity in a way that makes sense to me - well, at least 90% of it makes sense. i don't have any religion vs. science problems, nor do i view God as some magical mystery being... i just figure that he created our life much the same way we create computer programs... only he came up with sentient beings to put in his mmorpg!

Can I explain the universe? Do I know what life is? Do I know what, if anything, there is before and after this "life?"

being christian doesn't answer any of those questions for me. as far as i can tell, life is many many different things for each of us. for me, it is at times a test, a school, or just a playground. as for after-life... the bible really doesn't say too much about that either. heaven is never really described, and hell is only mentioned 5 times or so... and never described either. what i get out of it is that: the soul lives on after life on earth ends, and God is benevolent, so the afterlife should be pretty darn good. while i'm here on earth i think most of christianity boils down to the simple idea of "do unto others as you'd have then do unto you". i don't get caught up in all that stuff about how old the earth *really* is, or if every story in the bible is 100% accurate fact. to me, those details don't matter much... i'm far from perfect and i don't need to know it all, i just mostly worry about myself and how i treat others.
 
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125. Re: No subject Jul 28, 2004, 17:29 Ray Marden
 
That is what trips up the agnostic in me.

Can I explain the universe? Do I know what life is? Do I know what, if anything, there is before and after this "life?"

No.

However, the "It is all so grand, there must be a God/Jesus/Whatever" argument falls flat as well. If the universe is so grand that it requires this magical presence...why does that same rule not apply to an even more grand things that can create such a universe?

It seems irrational to me that the decision ends there - looking at hUman history, it does make me even more skeptical/suspect.

Just...not knowing, but having a hard time with most all the accepted ways,
Ray

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124. Argh Jul 28, 2004, 17:13 Sepharo
 
I got one of those free passes on Blue's advice and neglected to read what theatres accepted it because I just assumed all would. So I got my favorite theatre the only one I will watch a movie at only to find out they don't take. I was pissed as hell and spoke to guest services but he calmly pointed to the back of the pass where it did not list AMC theatres on the back. So I plopped down 7 bucks and saw it anyway of course. I guess I get to go see it again for free at some other lower quality theatre.

 
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