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(Posted as Shyubacca)
Posts: 18/36
(13-Jul-2003 at 04:00)
Question on Religion from an outsider

Im not a deeply religious person, heck i am more atheist than anything else. This allows me to kind of look at religion at an outside looking in perspective. My question is simple, why can't some religions not coexist?

Using Christianity, Islam and Judaism as examples. The three religions basically preach the same things in that they try to create a good moral standard for humans so we could seperate ourselves from the beasts. THey teach compassion, mercy, courage, love, respect for others, and many other good virtues, however there seems to be a great divide between Christianity, Islam and Judaism that causes prejudice, hatred and violence. Speaking to my many religious friends they summed up the main differences as, Christianity found their messiah in Jesus, however Islam disagreed saying Jesus was a prophet but Mohammed was the true savior, whereas Judaism the savior hasn't arrived yet. Both Christianity and Islam stemmed from Judaism so they generally share the same moral code of being just and virtuous. However in the Middle east, specifically Israeli situation, they are ready to tear out their throats out

(I realize the political situation in the Israeli situation of Israeli human rights violations outraging Muslim countries, the six day war, the violation of the Geneva convention. )

Taking into evidence that the moral code of the religions are generally the same, isn't that all that really matters? YOu want the human race to be as morally just as it can be, and basically all the religions preach how to be good people. Again i realize there are different interpretations of "goodness" however we all have a basic knowledge of what is good and evil. GOod is helping out someone, being unselfish, respecting everyone and everything, whereas Evil can be characterized as being counteractive to the help of the human race (ex murders for greed). Would Jesus, Mohammed and Jewish Rabbis really want his followers to experience hatred and predjudice against other peoples in thier names?

The final conclusion that i have reached from taking this all in is that Religion is used as a tool for people. This tool can be used for good or for ill. Corrupt leaders can rally his people behind him in the name of their common religion. Yet at the same time a grieving family can use it to cope with the pain. However the reason why there is violence in the middle east and predujdice based on religion is because of the few people who use it as a tool to gain power. Realistically are groups like Hamas really waging a war against Israel because of Religion? Of course not what they want is Israel to leave the areas they illegaly occupied. They just use religion as a tool to bring in the niave fodder. THis is also shown in the administration of George Bush and the recent events. After 9/11 people used religion as a tool for grieving and healing. However the bush administration (Like a good aware government should) used this as a tool to rally the people into mindless frenzy for war. Suddenly God was on the US's side and nothing could stop it. Though Religion is a good thing, it will hinder human growth until selfish people stop using it as a tool for ill. Deep down most people want power however that is another discussion for later(another example of ill is the Church sex abuse scandal in the US)

Comments plz i need enlightenment, ( I was planning to visit a Church, Mosque and synagogue one of these days to make my own judgment, but these are just my niave observations, also sorry for the length )
#1  
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(13-Jul-2003 at 05:16)
The main reason why these religions can't co-exist is because there are over zealous people who misinterpret these things. If u follow ur religion to the best of ur ability this should not happen. If u would like to talk or debate about it my icq is 177614966.

Quote:
Comments plz i need enlightenment, ( I was planning to visit a Church, Mosque and synagogue one of these days to make my own judgment, but these are just my niave observations, also sorry for the length )
Go for it!!! I am a Christian and proud of it. I suggest u go to a non denom christian church.
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(Posted as Lord Drizzt)
Posts: 1884/3305
Donated $2.20
(13-Jul-2003 at 05:22)


Christianity is the belief in Jesus. It is not a tool. Any further complications are irrevelant.

s o u l f i r e
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(13-Jul-2003 at 06:29)


I've talked to a few Palestinians and none of them said the conflict had anything to do with religion. They said Jews were people of the book, just like them, and that they would go to heaven if they followed the code.
The conflict is strictly political, religion is used as a tool to fuel the hatred, as you stated.

Interesting note: I was driving through Oregon, and I saw a sign at a store that said "God is against Iraq". It was in the country so I suppose it was just some rednecks, but it wasn't a graphiti sign or anything, it was professionally done.

This makes me wonder to what extent Bush convinced Americans that God was with them and against Iraqis.

"America was designed by genuises so that it could be operated by idiots."
#4  
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(13-Jul-2003 at 11:14)


I agree that religion is in most conflicts 'used' by people to incite the masses. Example, the incitement of suicide bombers. The root of those conflicts are strictly political, not religious.

But to answer you question as to why the religions cannot co-exist, it's because of the 'small' differences in them. Orthodox Jews see all Christians as following some heretic who dared to call Himself God. Christians believe that there is only ONE way to heaven, Jesus Christ. Muslims say that the two other religions are valid beliefs, but misguided, and any 'integration' that would be agreed to would involve all the integrated becoming Muslims.

Not so small differences, when you examine them.

-Part of the UT Christian Community
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(Posted as Shyubacca)
Posts: 21/36
(13-Jul-2003 at 20:07)
putting the idea that religions only purpose is to get into heaven aside, isn't the religions only purpose is to guide human beings into a just moral society? This can be seen in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and almost every major religion in the world.

So what im getting from the general consensus is that because of human error, and human faults religion is used in a way that it is not meant to be used.

But what im getting at is, isn't the main basis of all religions the same? If we focused on all the parts of religion that make the people good, moral and just while putting aside the differences wouldn't that solve all of our problems?

Answering my own question, NO, this would not solve anything. It will close one route to which people may gain power. People by nature will strive for power and they will find other ways to get to the top.

MY second question is. Is religion the ultimate fiction created by the human psyche?

Me answering my own question, THe way most people interpret religion yes. If you look at the various religions throughout history, you notice many similarities. (Ex Creation of Gods in Greek Pantheon) Could this be a a true sign that god is present throughout the world? or is it just one big coinicidence. The common denominator in all of this is FEAR of the unknown. When humans become fearful of the unknown they create delusions to comfort themselves. Kinda like the human bodies way of coping with the mental trauma of the situation. Example, In a primitive society, what is the most fearful thing in nature? The Greeks thought it was Thunder and Lightning, so to explain this unknown phenonemon they created the Thunder God Zeus. By Creating this Zeus, they explained what they didn't understand, thus comforting themselves. Examples of this are shown with various spirits and gods throughout the world.

NOw on to the juiciest part of my essay. Christianity, Islam and Judaism. When did Jesus Christ the Savior of Christians appear? When the situation of the christians plight was most dire. Thr Romans were persecuting the christians because of their belief. The Christians tried to reassure themselves of the unknown (unknown being, what the romans will do tommorrow) by believing in god, and readily attaching themselves to Jesus Christ. Same situation can be said of the Jews. When did the Jewish belief really attach itself to the minds of the Jewish people? When they were being oppressed by the Egyptians, and when they survived this ordeal with the help of Moses and God that further cemented thier beliefs. Im not quite sure about the situation in which Islam started however. but im sure a similar situation could be applied. My main point is that the belief in religion is not a spiritual thing, but more of a survival mechanism people use. If people were constantly afraid of the unknown, to the point of paralysis due to fear, what would happen to the human race? They would be extinct of course. However the innate ability of every living creature is to survive and reproduce, the belief in something like "God will protect me" just is another way for the body to steel itself to adverse situations. I think that "miracles" is either probability at work or just a creatures will to survive.

I not totally atheist however. I do believe something, some unknown force started the universe, however i do not believe that god interferes with our daily lives, because in my mind that seems selfish of humans. Examples can be found in the basic laws of science. For example we know how gravity works but we do not know the WHY. Why do masses attract each other? why does Force equal mass times acceleration? These fundamentals of the universe i leave in gods hands.

I not writing this essay for any particular reason, i just really really bored. I've tried talking to my friends about this but they hold onto the religious belief, which i totally respect.
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(Posted as Mihail)
Posts: 130/388
(13-Jul-2003 at 22:24)


The problems between this religions are no new thing. Christians have convicted the jews for 2000 years of Deiceid - Murder of God, for the cucifixion of Christ - from here sprung all religious tensins between the two. Curently they are trying to make up.
The problems with Islam lie elsewhere - the quaran states that both Judaism and Christianity are Accepted Religions. The problems are: 1. The Islam is an universalist religion - one whose pourpose is to convert everybody, eventualy. 2. Teritory - The Otoman Empire (a muslim empire) has advanced much into christian teritory conquering Constantinopoles - the capital of the Bizantine Empire (christian empire, home of one of the 5 PachArchs) and the Balkans - Christians did not look upon this very simpathetic and turned everything into a religious war.

Just Because I'm Paranoid it doesn't mean They're not out to get me !
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(Posted as tienjin)
Posts: 98/564
(14-Jul-2003 at 04:44)


Quote:
When did Jesus Christ the Savior of Christians appear? When the situation of the christians plight was most dire. Thr Romans were persecuting the christians because of their belief. The Christians tried to reassure themselves of the unknown (unknown being, what the romans will do tommorrow) by believing in god, and readily attaching themselves to Jesus Christ. Same situation can be said of the Jews. When did the Jewish belief really attach itself to the minds of the Jewish people? When they were being oppressed by the Egyptians, and when they survived this ordeal with the help of Moses and God that further cemented thier beliefs. Im not quite sure about the situation in which Islam started however. but im sure a similar situation could be applied.
First off Jesus is a historical character and weather you are christian or athiest you must admit that there was a man named Jesus christ who walked the earth at one time. Guess what Jesus was not a christian. Thats right Jesus was a jew. So Jesus did not appear to christians or for them in thier time of need because in his day there were no christians. As for the Jewish belief it was tradition passed down mainly from Abraham Iasaac and Jacob. The muslims also claim abraham as the father of thier religon but they hail Iasaac's brother Ishmael as the rightful heir of abraham. Of course islam was created by muhamad who came years after Jesus but he was a prophet of God. Now all three religions have Abraham in common so what you are saying is why can't they agree on more. The decendants of Iasac and Ishmael hated each other and constantly warred. Supposedly this came from a bitterness that Ishmael held because he was kicked out of his seat as heir to abraham by iasac. Jews were the chosen people of God descended through Iasac and Jacob. The twelve tribes of israel are twelve of Jacob's sons. The Jews have kept the torah (first five books of the bible) updated and sacred for thousands of years when Jesus came along. So even if you don't believe the bible you must conceed to the historical value it has. As a matter of fact all three religions you just mentioned are offspring of the Bible. The one central point I think that the religons cannot aggree on is Jesus Christ. Jesus to christians is God in flesh but to Jews Jesus was just a false prophet and to muslims he was just a good prophet. Why I have chosen christianity over the other two religions: How could Jesus be a good prophet when he claimed to be the son of God and he isn't. A prophet by nature must tell the truth. If he was a good prophet then when he claimed to be the son of God then it had to be so. If it was not so then he was a false prophet telling lies. So what is Jesus to you? Is he Lord, lunatic, or liar? If you are really serious about figuring it out there is a book called More than a carpenter by Josh McDowell and I'll send it to you if you message me with your address. Its really short I read it in like 2 to 3 hours but I think it will help you get an idea of who Jesus is. message me and I'll definately send you the book or email me at [email protected]. I am a devout christian but I am also searching this issue out. I got a Quran to figure out for myself where christians differ from the muslims. I think Lord Drizzit stated it best
Quote:
Christianity is the belief in Jesus. It is not a tool. Any further complications are irrevelant.
Religion to me and to most christians is superfluous. Our goal is to exemplify Christ and love him. You may have heard the statement. Its not religion its relationship. So we cannot ever come together with religion but we can definately coexist. Christians who start wars over religion are misguided just as are muslims or jews who start wars. Take religion put it in the fire and throw it out the window I don't want that junk. I have something far greater Jesus Christ and I'll keep it thank you!!

Last edited by morticianjohn, 14-Jul-2003 at 04:46.
#8  
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(14-Jul-2003 at 05:10)
I'll mainly address only the question of coexistence and similarities -- unless, of course, I get sidetracked

I think you and some others have hit the nail on the head when you say that religion is used as a tool. I'm a little less enthusiastic in saying that it simply IS a tool, but that's largely a semantics debate, and I'll try to generally ignore it.

As you say, the "uses" of religion are varying. It's used to justify alleged cultural superiority ("Those poor savages don't know God" -- To Kill a Mockingbird, anyone?), to provide an identity, etc., but it certainly seems that the most attention is focused on its use to feed war efforts.

Religion is not unique in this respect (I've been meaning to post on this fact, actually, but that's for later), but it's no doubt one of the largest motivators, if not the largest.

Why? Shouldn't the Christians and the Muslims have more in common than, say, communists and capitalists? Very likely. As Ketam says, however, some "small" differences are more than they appear. Jesus calls himself God, and there isn't much room for middle ground: It's either God, or it's unspeakable heresy.

I still don't believe that that per se is enough to start all the wars begun in the name of religion. If you're pushing for a war, though, you make all the appeals possible. We heard in the US about WMD's, torture, oil, and who-knows-how-many other justifications for attacking Iraq, yet "God is on our side" made a strong showing.

Again, why? People will latch on to whatever they believe the most "proper" reason is. Horrific, horrific deeds have been done "for God," but even more would have been done if only the appropriate leaders had convinced their people that it was "God's will."

The problem is exactly that religion has become a tool. If a tyrant can get support through prejudice, he will. If he can stir up scandal to benefit him, he will. If he can manage to claim that God is on his side, he will. God has been reduced to a banner flown in battle along with the flag reading "Liberty." It's not about specific moral causes. Come on, now: Not very many people would deliberatly choose to fight against liberty, or against at least the concept of a just (G/g)od! (There is no need for anyone to volunteer.... I know you exist.)

Heck, the religions on both sides could be exactly the same, but if it's possible, both sides will paint the other as heathens deserving of death, and they'll back it up with pseudo-religious "support."

There are absolutely theological differences, but those don't start wars. Anyone can see that impaling someone's father in the name of God isn't likely to win you his daugher as a convert.


I don't think I've said anything new here. That's probably a sign that I should go to bed.
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(Posted as dravid)
Posts: 557/1184
(14-Jul-2003 at 05:21)
I believe that fundamentally, my religion (which is Christianity) is not about being good to people. It is about worshipping God, and doing good stuff to people naturally flows from that.

Which is where the problem lies. Yes Islam, Judahism and Christianity may be similar, but as has already been mentioned they are not the same. Religions like Buddahism which say that we should do good to everyone, in my opinion miss the point - the point that man exists not to do good to each other, but to worship God.
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(14-Jul-2003 at 07:07)
Personally, i don't think much of someone who would create a horde of crappy beings so they could worship him...Using that line, if i were a mad scientists, and i could genetically engineer hordes of babies to do nothing all day but bow and pray to a cross, it would be the right thing to do. I believe that if god exists, and wants something done, then he is more than capable of doing it himself. Being all powerful, absolutely anything we can imagine he can do with absolutely no effort...having him ask us to do stuff would be like me asking you to breathe for me, or to make my heart beat. In fact, it would be even more pathetic than that
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(Posted as jh211988)
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(14-Jul-2003 at 07:43)


I believe that Christianity(my religion) is not a religion at all. It is basically a relationship with God. We don't really have our own practices in the modern era. We just know that we give, we love, we care, we help, get blessed, worship, and that's it.

Also, most people joined Christianity seeking to fulfill their need, which may be financial, morals, or even sexual(Ahem! This is rare).

But after a few months(4 months for me) we will start to understand why we follow God, and will thus love God more than ever. At this point, God is no longer just a provider, but a Father.

Quote:
Interesting note: I was driving through Oregon, and I saw a sign at a store that said "God is against Iraq". It was in the country so I suppose it was just some rednecks, but it wasn't a graphiti sign or anything, it was professionally done.
Once again, the Americans have done it.

GOD HAD NEVER APPROVED OF THE WAR ON IRAQ PERSONALLY. Good job Bush. Seems that you are the next prophet after Muhammad, NOT!

Religion is the mental disease of the masses.
"Once again, religion is like sniffing gasoline. Both cause permanant brain damage." -- Obsidian
#12  
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(14-Jul-2003 at 15:29)


Wouldn't god not be all-perfect if he had to create someone to make him feel worshipped? That would be a flaw in his character, the need to feel superior.

Izzy is back and older than ever!
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Old lmc
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(14-Jul-2003 at 17:42)


Spot on Izzy. I certainly couldn't imagine an omnipotent being who so desperately needs his ego massaged. I think it's about time we grew up and stopped superimposing human frailties onto God.

I don't remember "Thou shalt bow and fawn before me whilst uttering inane repetitive platitudes" in the ten commandments.

Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.

Groucho Marx
http://tangenitaldrunkeness.blogspot...ac22c48044bdd8
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(14-Jul-2003 at 18:12)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Little Kid Izzy)

Wouldn't god not be all-perfect if he had to create someone to make him feel worshipped? That would be a flaw in his character, the need to feel superior.
He doesn't need our worship.... If you buy into the Christian point of view, however, it would be almost absurd not to, considering all He is said to have done for us. Furthermore, anything that brings you closer to God would make you more familiar with His rules, plans for us, etc., and if you accept Christian morality, that can only be a good thing.
#15  
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(14-Jul-2003 at 18:19)


Wait, so are you saying Christian morality is nessecarily good? Tell me, what makes you the good "group" in the world and others are left in the dust? Why? Because you feel you are? Is ther any proof that you are the right ones?

I never asked anything from god, so I should worship him? Nay, I say. You have no proof, except a retarded old book. Tell me, what miracles have you seen? What has he really done for us? Could it be simple coincidence? Probably.

lmc, I got people here telling me we were created to worship him, and since that implies and ego trip, that means he is not perfect. End of story.

Izzy is back and older than ever!
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Old lmc
Posts: 372/1208
(14-Jul-2003 at 19:22)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Little Kid Izzy)
lmc, I got people here telling me we were created to worship him, and since that implies and ego trip, that means he is not perfect. End of story.
I think we're in agreement here Izzy. If God is all he is made out to be, then worship for worships sake is simply a waste of time and effort, and interpretations which require it are flawed. If this worship is in fact required, then again our interpretations of God himself are flawed.

Either way, these interpretations of God's will are flawed (that is, of course, providing you accept the premise that there indeed is some form of 'God'). My personal belief is that worship, and religious ceremony in general, serves a much less ethereal purpose. It helps to make us feel connected, both to our community and our faith. It is far more a requirement for us than for God.

Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.

Groucho Marx
http://tangenitaldrunkeness.blogspot...ac22c48044bdd8
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(14-Jul-2003 at 19:44)
Quote:
(Originally posted by Little Kid Izzy)

Wait, so are you saying Christian morality is nessecarily good? Tell me, what makes you the good "group" in the world and others are left in the dust? Why? Because you feel you are? Is ther any proof that you are the right ones?

I never asked anything from god, so I should worship him? Nay, I say. You have no proof, except a retarded old book. Tell me, what miracles have you seen? What has he really done for us? Could it be simple coincidence? Probably.
I am saying that at least the Catholic conception of morality is good, and there is a very good chance I would agree with other Christian moralities. I do not deny that atheists' morals cannot be good, either; in fact, I have seen some that are very well thought out and in line with what I believe.

I do not simply offer "a retarded old book" as proof; I offer logical discussions based on human experience to support my moral code. It's no more or less than I'd expect from any other morality.

Faced with the possibility that my definition of worship (as lmc says, it's for us, not for Him) makes a degree of sense, you've retreated to attacks on the Bible, God, Christian morality, my acceptance of non-Christians, and faith (faith being one that can be proved neither way to universal satisfaction). All are valid discussion topics, if you wish, but as I recall, we were debating the purpose of worship, not the Top Twenty Complaints of Atheists :-P

You're the one who says there are no good threads, after all. I'm up for debate on any of those if you'd like, but they have little to do with this and would do best in another thread.

Last edited by Beige Tangerine, 14-Jul-2003 at 19:45.
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(Posted as jh211988)
(User is Banned)
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(14-Jul-2003 at 19:57)


Quote:
(Originally posted by Beige Tangerine)

I am saying that at least the Catholic conception of morality is good, and there is a very good chance I would agree with other Christian moralities. I do not deny that atheists' morals cannot be good, either; in fact, I have seen some that are very well thought out and in line with what I believe.

I do not simply offer "a retarded old book" as proof; I offer logical discussions based on human experience to support my moral code. It's no more or less than I'd expect from any other morality.

Faced with the possibility that my definition of worship (as lmc says, it's for us, not for Him) makes a degree of sense, you've retreated to attacks on the Bible, God, Christian morality, my acceptance of non-Christians, and faith (faith being one that can be proved neither way to universal satisfaction). All are valid discussion topics, if you wish, but as I recall, we were debating the purpose of worship, not the Top Twenty Complaints of Atheists :-P

You're the one who says there are no good threads, after all. I'm up for debate on any of those if you'd like, but they have little to do with this and would do best in another thread.
Beautifully said indeed!

The Bible is not a "retarded old book" and it's not the only form of evidence.

Let's just say, the Bible was proven to be an elaborate hoax that fooled the world. Now, that would mean we Christians would start burning the Bible. However, hoax or not, we have other ways to prove God. Like the fact that we can feel His presence and hear His guidance.

However, the above scenario is unlikely.

One of the ways to prove Him? Well..., my Zone Supervisor has this saying, "If we can outgive God, we'd better stop being Christian and start burning Bibles."

However, we can't. Because if I give $20, God blesses me with $200~$2000. That's one of the ways to prove God. We can never outgive His blessings whether through thithe or offerings. Never. I've tried, and never once did I surpass God. I've spent about $1000 on doth2(excluding taxi fare, because I took the cab with him mostly), but I've always got more to give and give and give. It never ends. Somehow cash just flows in like the river when I give more.

Religion is the mental disease of the masses.
"Once again, religion is like sniffing gasoline. Both cause permanant brain damage." -- Obsidian

Last edited by dothackRAVE, 14-Jul-2003 at 19:58.
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(Posted as tienjin)
Posts: 99/564
(15-Jul-2003 at 01:13)


You can try to understand God but no one will ever succeed. How can you understand God when most of the greatest psycologists are barely able to understand human nature? Snaps for little kid Izzy for successfully putting God into a box created by the limits on human understanding. *snap snap* "I think the snap cup really works you guys."
#20  
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