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God Changes His Mind About Creation

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Old 11-21-2016, 03:28 AM
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Default God Changes His Mind About Creation


God has shocked his many worshippers by saying He didn't create the world after all. "I thought I did it all," He is quoted as saying in a rare interview, "but after reading The God Delusion I now realise it couldn't have been Me at all. That Richard Dawkins is a pretty clever bloke, and if he says it wasn't Me then that's good enough for Me."

Asked about whether this new development would mean him leaving His Celestial Paradise, God said He had always fancied opening a Bed and Breakfast in Eastbourne so now might be a good time to retire. "With any luck Prof Dawkins can come and stay and we could have some jam sessions. I'm shit hot on the ukulele."

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Old 11-21-2016, 07:17 AM
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Pliny the Younger was the governor of Bithynia et Pontus on the Black Sea coast of Anatolia Turkey; having arrived there around September 111 as the representative of Roman Emperor Trajan.[1] Pliny likely wrote the letters from Amisus before his reign ended in January 113.[10] The origin of Christianity in that region is not known, but it has not been associated with Apostle Paul's travels.[1] Given the reference to Bithynia in the opening of the First Epistle of Peter (which dates to the 60s) Christianity in the region may have had some Petrine associations through Sylvanus.[1][11]
In 111 Bithynia et Pontus was known for being in disorder, and Pliny was selected by Trajan because of his legal training and his past experience.[2] Pliny was familiar with the region, having defended two of their proconsuls for extortion in the Senate, one case being around AD 103.[10] However, Pliny had never performed a legal investigation of Christians, and thus consulted Trajan in order to be on solid ground regarding his actions, and saved his letters and Trajan's replies.[2] The way he expressed his lack of familiarity with the procedure may indicate that such prosecutions against Christians had taken place before (namely in Rome), but Pliny had not been involved in them.[2]
As governor, Pliny held large influence over all of the residents of his province.[9] This was especially true in the legal treatment of Christians. The Roman legal construct of cognitio extra ordinem afforded governors a large amount of discretion in deciding legal cases.[6]



Practices of Christians[edit]


Depiction of Christian Eucharistic bread, Catacomb of Callixtus, 3rd century


Pliny then details the practices of Christians (sections 7-10): he says that they meet on a certain day before light where they gather and sing hymns to Christ as to a god. They all bind themselves by oath, "not to some crimes", says Pliny, as though that is what he would have expected; rather, they pledge not to commit any crimes such as fraud, theft, or adultery, and subsequently share a meal of "ordinary and innocent food". Pliny says, however, that all of these practices were abandoned by the Christians after Pliny forbade any political associations (hetaeriai or “fraternities”). These clubs were banned because Trajan saw them as a “natural breeding ground for grumbling” about both civic life and political affairs. One such instance of a banned club was a firemen’s association; likewise, Christianity was seen as a political association that could be potentially harmful to the empire.[16] However the Christians seem to have willingly complied with the edict and halted their practices.
Pliny adds that he felt it necessary to investigate further by having two female slaves called deaconesses tortured, which was standard procedure in Roman interrogation of slaves, and discovered nothing but "depraved, excessive superstition" (superstitio). By using this word instead of religio, religion, Pliny is "denigrating the Christians' position"[17] because it was outside the religious practices of Rome.[18] The apparent abandonment of the pagan temples by Christians was a threat to the pax deorum (the harmony or accord between the divine and humans), and political subversion by new religious groups was feared, which was treated as a potential crime.[19]
Pliny ends the letter by saying that Christianity is endangering people of every age and rank and has spread not only through the cities, but also through the rural villages as well (neque tantum...sed etiam), but that it will be possible to check it. He argues for his procedure to Trajan by saying that the temples and religious festivals, which before had been deserted, are now flourishing again and that there is a rising demand for sacrificial animals once more – a dip and rise which A.N. Sherwin-White believes is an exaggeration of the toll Christianity had taken on the traditional cult.[20]
Trajan’s response[edit]


Trajan statue, Glyptothek, Munich


Trajan’s short reply to Pliny overall affirms Pliny’s procedure and details four orders: (1) Do not seek out the Christians for trial. (2) If the accused are guilty of being Christian, then they must be punished. (3) If the accused deny they are Christians and show proof that they are not by worshipping the gods, then they will be pardoned. (4) Pliny should not allow anonymous accusations. Leonard L. Thompson calls the policy “double-edged,” since, “on the one hand, Christians were not hunted down. They were tried only if accusations from local provincials were brought against them. But if accused and convicted, then Christians...were killed simply for being Christians.”[21] Therefore, Pliny’s view of Christians was not necessarily persecution but rather Christians were only executed when they were brought before him at trial and confessed; however, pardons were also given to those who denied such charges. de Ste. Croix says the recommended course of action “was ‘accusatory’ and not ‘inquisitorial,’” so that it was never the governors themselves but instead private, local accusers (delatores) who brought forth accusations.[22]
Significance[edit]

Pliny's letter is the earliest pagan account to refer to early Christians and provides a key description of Roman administrative process and problems.[5][6] The correspondence between Pliny and Emperor Trajan shows that the Roman Empire, as a government entity, did not at this time “seek out” Christians for prosecution or persecution.[23] Although Emperor Trajan gave Pliny specific advice about disregarding anonymous accusations, for example, he was deliberate in not establishing any new rules in regards to the Christians.[6] In doing so, Trajan allowed Pliny to try cases according to his discretion.
The letter supports the existence of the early Christian Church and its rapid growth and speaks to its belief system. It also provides valuable evidence as to the attitudes of the Roman authorities with regard to early Christianity.[24]
New Testament critic Hermann Detering has questioned the authenticity of Book 10,[25] a position that has not found acceptance within the mainstream scholarly community.

Last edited by Cityboy; 11-21-2016 at 07:21 AM..
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:27 AM
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:14 AM
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10.25?

That's beats the delicious premium malt liquors — Steal Reserve 211 and Old English High Gravity etc.

Does it come in 24 oz. cans?
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:27 AM
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Vast amount of evidence can be found in early Christianity. For starters, we have to examine the lives of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Peter and Christ's other disciples, and the early followers.

Some scholars make the claim that Peter's writings could have come as early as 40 A.D., that means a mere ten- to fifteen-years after the death of Jesus.

Ten of the eleven disciples died a violent death. Thousands of Christ's followers chose the Roman arenas rather than to denounce Jesus.

Even Paul, better known as Saul of Taurus a man who hunted down Christians, changed directions after he was blinded. Then there were the thousands of Western Saints who followed the early Christians.

Further evidence for God could be explored in Eastern cultures. The Eastern mystics, sages, and saints have their own theories about God.

Even the citizens of the North American continent, before the invasion of Europeans, worshipped a Great Spirit. Native-American tribes would often tell the Black Robes sent by the Catholic Church that you speak about a Great Spirit but we speak to Him.

There is a mountain of evidence (especially when you include miraculous healings occurring in the name of God throughout the world) to be considered. Of course, there must be a starting point if indeed one is really interested.

Like a drug addict or a cigarette smoker, the person will not quit unless he or she is willing to, and some are lifelong smokers or drug addicts. One might point out the dangers of the habits, but trying to convince them to stop is another story, especially when they are enjoying it.

People will believe anything they feel comfortable believing. That's about right. But to dismiss the evidence that is there. That's another story.

Last edited by Cityboy; 11-21-2016 at 09:30 AM..
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:49 AM
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Do you not realize that the vast majority of atheists have heard all of that before?

There's a check list of so-called evidence and proof that believers yank out time and again to make their case. It's old news to any literate atheist and all of it has been refuted a bazillion times.

I've known many believers who are truly concerned about the well-being of non-believers. If they're Christian, they literally want to save your soul. I can deal with that.

But all this from you is about your ego. You can't stand that people aren't taking you or your beliefs seriously. And you just keep digging the hole deeper and deeper with each post.

It's pretty weird.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:02 AM
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Furthermore, most of Western civilization aren't free, nor are they free-thinkers. They have been conditioned from birth to become merely a part of a vast machine, a nut or a bolt. Every free society, people who lived closely to the earth, were far more spiritual and had a deeper understanding of the nature of God than even the believers of today.

If you trace your roots, you will probably discover you had some really desperate ancestors who suffered dearly beneath the rules of royal Europe. On the other hand, native-Americans and other free cultures lived with the land and with the Creator.

There were European witch hunts that killed thousands of psychics and other gifted people. And hundreds of thousands of others who were suspected of having those gifts. People were frightened for their lives to embrace God because they could pay a devastating price. What we considered Western civilization is merely a chain of fear, and everyone is just a nut or a bolt in this machinery.

Why do you think the Romans wanted to crush the early Christians so badly? Because the Christians were free, living similar to Native-Americans in Israel and other parts.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Do you not realize that the vast majority of atheists have heard all of that before?

There's a check list of so-called evidence and proof that believers yank out time and again to make their case. It's old news to any literate atheist and all of it has been refuted a bazillion times.

I've known many believers who are truly concerned about the well-being of non-believers. If they're Christian, they literally want to save your soul. I can deal with that.

But all this from you is about your ego. You can't stand that people aren't taking you or your beliefs seriously. And you just keep digging the hole deeper and deeper with each post.

It's pretty weird.

I don't know where you are getting the "I can't stand people" stuff. Why don't you simply ignore the posts. They aren't intended for you or other hardcore atheists anyhow.

Go find a stage and make some jokes. Maybe the audience throw a few nickels at you. You're good at jokes.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:14 AM
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There were over 30 replies to this post without a response (you probably read it to). I respond to it and you come out of the woodwork with your garbage saying I don't like people.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:21 AM
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I didn't say you can't stand or don't like people. There was more to it than that.

Anyway, I know I really should ignore you posts. There's a tree stump in my backyard and sometimes I go out and argue with it. I have no idea why, because we never seem to agree on anything.

P.S. You know that is kind of interesting. I said, "You can't stand that people aren't taking you or your beliefs seriously."

In your next post you've somehow taken that to mean, "You can't stand people."

Then in the next it becomes, "You don't like people."

I wonder how that happens.

Last edited by Myers; 11-21-2016 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:10 PM
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[QUOTE=Myers


I said, "You can't stand that people aren't taking you or your beliefs seriously."

In your next post you've somehow taken that to mean, "You can't stand people."

Then in the next it becomes, "You don't like people."

I wonder how that happens.


[/QUOTE]



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Old 11-21-2016, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
10.25?

That's beats the delicious premium malt liquors — Steal Reserve 211 and Old English High Gravity etc.

Does it come in 24 oz. cans?


Naw, it doesn't even come in bottles as far as I know. The only place to get it is the Russian River Cafe at their brewery, I think. So, as Cityboy said, it's a rare pleasure.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:58 PM
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Yeah -- at the convenience store, you're probably not going to sell a lot 24 oz. cans of a beer called Pliney the Elder. You just want your lottery tickets and a can of something that will get you fucked up.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Yeah -- at the convenience store, you're probably not going to sell a lot 24 oz. cans of a beer called Pliney the Elder. You just want your lottery tickets and a can of something that will get you fucked up.


😆

"Gimme two packs of Marlboro Menthol 100's, five quick picks, and four cans of that Pliny."

"The Pliny is $7.50 per can, sir. Do you still want them?"

"7.50! What the fuck? Naw, just gimme a thirty pack of PBR—"
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