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    ISIS... what are they thinking?

    I think you both misunderstand Da'ish. They aren't doing things for the sake of propaganda, but because they believe in what they are doing. Destroying Nimrud is like the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhist statues, or the destruction of artworks by Protestants in the Reformation. Evil...
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    What Book Have You Read Recently?

    I'm currently reading "Touching the gods : physical interaction with cult statues in the Roman world" by Polly Weddle. It's a PhD theiis: I check the British Library's list every so often for interesting (and free!) items.
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    Did the historical Jesus exist?

    I did not say no professional historian ever questioned the historical reality of Jesus: I said that Grant made that claim. Can some-one point to such a historian? Bart Ehrman studied at a college training fundamentalist Protestant ministers, then (wanting a proper degree, as he put it) took...
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    Did the historical Jesus exist?

    The historian Michael Grant, who I don't think was a Christian, wrote a book about what could be reconstructed of the life of Jesus. He remarked that there were no professional historians who questioned the existence of Jesus, and the arguments of the amateurs who did would dispose of a lot of...
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    On What are your Religious Beliefs Based?

    I've always had a gut belief in God, long before I studied any of the philosophical arguments. I was brought up an Anglican Christian of the baptisms, marriages, and funerals variety. Eventually I started thinking seriously about religion — perhaps advancing age, perhaps a series of vivid dreams...
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    Common misconsceptions about Hinduism

    If you posted this in the belief that the lingam used as a symbol of Shiva is a phallic symbol, that's a Western misconception. The Sanskrit term originally just meant a distinguishing mark or sign. Of course, for some (Wendy Doniger!) a cigar is never just a cigar… Stones used as symbols of...
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    Paradoxes of the Ancient Egypt's Belief system

    I read a review by an Egyptologist — — which said his history was rubbish. There's no evidence that the ancient Egyptians believed in reincarnation that I know of. As for the pharaoh being a god, this is something that the Egyptologists have long debated about. The...
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    Truth about Religious Texts

    The canon of the Old Testament, if I remember rightly, was basically a matter of keeping the Hebrew books and excluding the Aramaic, keeping the old and excluding the very new. The majority of Christians (i.e. non-Protestants) keep many Aramaic books, that the Protestants call apocryphal. The...
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    Turkish school requiring Christian students to study the Quran

    What was "basic religious knowledge"? The post quoted says "The government insists that the course teaches general knowledge about all faiths" In Britain, "general knowledge about all faiths" is a compulsory subject. The protester sounds like what I'd call a "ranting proddy".
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    Kalām cosmological argument

    The argument form causation has a respectable history in philosophy from ancient times to the present: if you wish to argue against it, maybe you should study the subject rather than hanging out on-line (or even reading popularised physics)! The belief that events don't just happen for no...
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    God(s) Created the Earth. Why so Long to Create Man?

    The world could have been created in two ways: by setting up a complete, working system, or by launching an evolutionary process. The Creator choses the latter: if you want to know why, one day you may get the chance to ask!
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    Remember that it is very doubtful that the gospels attributed to Matthew, Luke, and John were written by them, or that they were in existence much before 150 AD. As for Mark, we have Origen's testimony that the text originally ended with the discovery of the empty tomb. Paul spoke of people...
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    Charlie Hebdo

    There's an article in the Catholic Herald which states Well put, I think.
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    Charlie Hebdo

    Speaking personally, I don't want to honour people for believing in things which I consider both false and pernicious. And to say that France wants to eliminate Christianity is just plain silly. The US constitution is secular — do you think those who drafted it wanted to eliminate religion...
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    Charlie Hebdo

    Well, they could call it brutality or military incompetence, but they couldn't call it terrorism. Terrorism means the deliberate use of violence against non-combatants in order to intimidate. Do you not have a dictionary, or do you belong to the Humpty Dumpty school of semantics: " when I use a...
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    Charlie Hebdo

    So, an estimated 195 million Muslims support terrorism. And, before people quibble over the figures, it would be a menace if 195 thousand did. Yes, the war in Iraq was wrong — Bush and Blair were war criminals. But the big differences are (1) the terrorists attack because they think it is...
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    Charlie Hebdo

    I shall try to answer a few of the replies that have been made to my posts. How do I define terrorism? How about the use of violence against civilians to coerce people? Who are terrorists? i neither know nor care whom the US government has declared terrorists. But a list of Islamic ones would...
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    Charlie Hebdo

    According to the Pew Research Center, around 1/3 of the inhabitants of Muslim countries support the death penalty for apostasy, this view being the majority one in Pakistan. Very good people! It is true that the majority of Muslims do not support terrorism against civilians but, in the words...
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    Charlie Hebdo

    And if there were no Muslims in France, would their be Muslim terrorism there? Farages's mistake is in his opposition to East European immigrants (not noted for their terrorist proclivities) rather than the endless number of Muslims entering the country from such bastions of extremism as Pakistan.
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    Hindu gods are a manifestation of Vedic gods

    Gods are also vast. We only encounter aspects of them which we can comprehend, and this may change with time, according to our needs and their wisdom.