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Comment Re:3/4 million words. tl;dr (Score 1) 559

Under the influence of Christian theology, you have totally misread Genesis 3. The Book of Genesis was written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus by men you do not think were divinely inspired, so why do you blithely accept that its purpose is to set up the Jesus story by establishing the need for redemption?

In "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil," "knowledge" is meant in the sexual sense in which it is used elsewhere in the Bible, and "good and evil" is a figure of speech called a merism, two opposites joined by the word "and" to mean "everything," like when we say in English that someone searched "high and low" to mean that they searched everywhere. After the couple eats from the tree of knowledge, they immediately become aware for the first time that they are naked (Genesis 3:7), and then Adam "knows" his wife (Genesis 4:1) and conceives Cain. Nowhere in the text is this knowledge depicted as intellectual or ethical. The part about labour pains is not a curse like the curses on the man and the serpent; she will have pain bearing children simply because she has chosen to have procreative sex rather than to live forever. It has to be one or the other, because it was recognised in ancient times that reproducing immortal beings would overwhelm the world. Genesis does not judge Eve for what she did; maybe it's a good thing that she brought sex into the world. Anyway, since this immediately follows a contradictory creation myth (Genesis 1:1 through the first half of Genesis 2:4), it's clear that neither was meant to be taken as literal historical truth anyway.

Comment Re:Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (Score 1) 779

I mean, just look at your post! You don't do anything to show that the words Aquinas wrote were anything other than a work of fiction; instead, you hammer on his authority, try to show off your historical knowledge, and seem to be arguing that because I compared Aquinas to Rowling I'm wrong. You say nothing to bolster what should be your point, namely that Aquinas is right; instead, you harp about how I'm disrespecting him.

No, my point is that most critics of the church are ignorant of its teachings and traditions. I am not a Catholic.

Comment Re:Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (Score 1) 779

Do you have a bachelor's degree in philosophy and have concluded that Harry Potter contains no meaningful ideas?

So you haven't read (or, I suspect, heard of) the Summa, then? You see no problem with criticising the church when you are ignorant of its teachings and traditions? You are willing to vocally criticise the church when you have not given even cursory study to the logic behind its point of view?

Not only that, but you, who are unfamiliar with the work of St. Thomas, feel that all the respect for him by people who are familiar with his work must be undeserved just because he believed in the existence of God? If you knew who he was and had a specific problem with his reasoning, I would respect that. Instead, you are just dismissing one of the most important figures in Western philosophy by comparing him to J. K. Rowling because you are unwilling to consider the possibility that somebody came up with an answer to your devastating "prove it" argument in the 13th Century.

You're the one who brought it up; are you saying that you were only making a general statement without having any specific examples in mind?

Yes, I was just making an observation about why people believe in God. If you want an example, though, consider Acts 9:3-9.

Comment Re:Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (Score 1) 779

The Harry Potter novels fill seven volumes and should address all of your epistemological concerns.

Wow, you've got some balls to equate a thinker like St. Thomas Aquinas to J. K. Rowling. I guess you have a bachelor's degree in philosophy and concluded that the Summa contains no meaningful ideas after studying it in the original Latin?

If they personally experienced the presence of their Lord, did He provide any means of verifying this fact? Perhaps by telling them something they otherwise wouldn't know? Maybe by doing some healing (since He seems to be fond of claiming that particular miracle)?

Because, you know, without that little bit of external confirmation - well, there's all sorts of drugs that will make you feel like you're in the presence of God (and another class entirely that'll make you feel like you are God). If such effects can be achieved pharmaceutically, why is the actual presence of God more likely than a spontaneous hallucination of God?

What are you asking me for?

Comment Re:Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (Score 1) 779

The Summa Theologica fills five volumes and should address all of your epistemological concerns. Whatever philosophical complaint you may have against the Christian religion, chances are somebody thought of it hundreds or thousands of years ago, and Christian scholars found it wanting.

Of course, any logic or evidence, however convincing, will be irrelevant to someone who feels they have personally experienced the presence of their Lord. Such experiences are quite common, especially in deeply religious cultures, and even among non-believers. You might tell them that they're hallucinating, but they experienced it and you didn't; who are you to tell them they imagined it?

Comment Re:Guess he never saw the Creation museum... (Score 1) 779

So let me get this straight: the soul has no observable effect on the universe, yet it exists anyway? Could you clarify what leads you to believe this hypothesis? Or maybe I'm misinterpreting you somehow.

I thought it was pretty well-known that the idea of a world more important and more enduring than what we observe is central to the Christian worldview.

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