Southern Brooklyn

Christian And Islamic Perspectives On The Birth And Second Coming Of Jesus

From our friends at the Turkish Cultural Center of Brooklyn:

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  1. I don’t see Richard Dawkins on that speakers list. Otherwise it will be yet another bamboozle fest where two dudes will keep on tell me a story that happened or did not happened about a lady giving birth without being touched and insist on burning bushes, boats full of all animals and earth being created few thousand years ago.

  2. I found this quote today and thought of this news story.

    “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.” As quoted in What Great Men Think About Religion (1945) by Ira D. Cardiff, p. 342;

  3. How about a little respect for the people that do believe. Or else you can remain angry and disrespectful, I guess. I don’t believe either, but I don’t see the need to stick it in anyone’s face.

    I always wonder why the non- religious people, for the most part, are so obnoxious and so angry. I’m not part or the religious crowd of course, but I don’t wanna be associated with the opposing rubbish.

  4. I’m interested why faith and religion are sacred and should be respected while skepticism and scrutiny, which happen to undermine faith and religion, are not. I sense no anger in Faba’s post btw, he makes a valid point about there not being a dissenting opinion in their group and mentions plenty of things which are, by the strictest sense of the word, unbelievable. The modern religious model is predicated on faith, and if differing opinions aren’t welcome that’s evidence of a lack of faith.

  5. Lets not start to pretending that religious institutions in US are under some kind of prosecution.
    And as far sticking it in anyone’s face goes, the day Jehovah Witnesses will stop ringing people’s door bells, Jews will stop asking me to pray with them so they can get some mitzvah going their way and Christians will stop telling me that I must accept Jesus Christ as one and only savior that’s the day when I stop pointing to books of science and facts.

    And the only person I’m angry at is you Bruce. You know why? Because you are a nudnik.

  6. You don’t call “bamboozle fest” disrespectful? Why? Because you agree with his viewpoint?  If I called a meeting of your political group (whatever that is) “a bamboozle fest”  that’s not disrespectful? Heck, I”m called worse just for QUESTIONING anything Obama these days. I guess we live in different generations. If you agree with someone’s opinion, any kind of disrespect and “trash talk” is okay these days, I guess.

        No differing opinions? A Christian and a Muslim? Are you kidding me? What world are you living in?   Oh, how I wish there was less differing opinions!  

        Oh, you want to be included as an atheist? Am I (a Republican) included at every single Democratic party gathering? Come on. There’s a time and a place for your  viewpoint,the religious groups are under no obligation to put up with the angry atheist shouting at every darned one of their meetings.

        I’ve pointed out that I myself am agnostic/atheist, but let me point out again, that given recent theories of physics and Cosmology, it is also WE who accept no “intelligent design”  on faith.  Without getting into details, the universe is of such strict order and structure, that we atheists are indeed stretching things by yelling “just a coincidence”.  Faith is working both ways, my friend. Science isn’t necessarily on our side at this point.  

       I’ll pass by the nudnik crack, like the rest of those posts, they don’t give much thought, and aren’t worth receiving any either.

  7. I think “bamboozle fest” is indeed disrespectful but I still have yet to hear why faith and religion should be held sacred and respected in the first place. Why can’t Faba disrespect it? What I said was there was no anger in his post, which still is the case. You’re throwing words around as if their meanings are interchangeable.

    I don’t want to be included in these events because I don’t respect anyone who claims to be a religious authority and claims to have a superior understanding of something each individual defines differently based on their own faith, or even lack of faith. I don’t respect them because they derive authority from their own narcissism.

    Also, please don’t make examples of scientific discovery and claim we take them on faith because you could not be more incorrect. The underlying philosophy of science is skepticism, nothing is true until evidence to the contrary is presented. Faith is the belief in the absence of evidence, when evidence is presented it’s no longer faith. Faith and belief are 2 different things, the former being a conditional form of the latter so please don’t use them interchangeably. To believe in intelligent design would have been on faith, to not believe it is not faith because there is no belief in the first place. Take it from someone who studies physics, I don’t believe in the law of gravity because I read it in a book, it’s because I can verify it experimentally, as can you.

  8. The most casual student of religion and history will discover that the Judeo/Christian/Muslim faiths hold many ancient, contradictory concepts in common and have a similar if not identical set of authorities. And they all share pat answers and suppress questioning. A man was recently arrested and sent to Saudi Arabia for charges of apostacy, remarks he made on Twitter. They all share the image of a capriciously vengeful god of the middle eastern desert. As currently dominant world faiths, they have been unfortunately given deference which they seem to now presume is the default position. Being held to the same scrutiny as any other belief or lack of belief is perceived as an attack on faith, a war on religious freedom. The Dark Ages are over, at least here in the West, and hopefully will stay that way. Criticisms, whether intellectual or in cartoon form, can only lead to healthy analysis by thoughtful people. Those who choose to be thought slaves, do so at their own peril.

  9. Wow who knew we have so many well spoken atheists around? Lostinservice, levp, Matthijs van Guilde today you made me like my neighborhood a little more. Nice!

  10. “Take the risk of thinking for yourself – much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

  11. But do you know religious authorities? Perhaps you presume from a safe distance. Oh, certainly there are pompous theologians and other “experts” on religion. But pomposity is always the risk when one believes that they possess great knowledge, and have the means of sharing it. Certainly there are vociferous atheists who can also be considered vainglorious and sanctimonious in attitude and expression.

    Science is not skeptical, except when theories arise that challenge core notions. The status quo is closely held to, except in certain fields that prides itself on considering the intangible. Can string theory be proved? No, it is, at this time an article of faith, just as the presence of a deity is.

    The blanket condemnation of religious expression is as narcissistic in its expression as the most pontifical display of those who call themselves the standard-bearers of the various institutions of religious belief. Is there not a air of superiority to be found in the public utterances of true disbelievers? All you perceive about the attitudes of the religionists has its counterbalance on the opposing side. There is also much good, both from deists and atheists. Many within the two groups have a similar notion of what is right, and what needs correcting in this world. And there are places where both groups can do much good as one force. This event does not fall under that purview.

  12. Your point of view, in spite of being a Republican, is certain more measured and thought out than most. Yet I would point out one thing about the differences between Agnostics and Atheist by quoting from Merriam Webster.

    Definition of AGNOSTIC
    1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
    2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something Definition of ATHEIST : one who believes that there is no deity — athe·is·tic or athe·is·ti·cal adjective

    I am too, more the former than the latter. One obviously can’t be both. I avoid organized religion but will NEVER dispute anybody else’s right to their belief system and how they choose to exhibit it. I only wish for them not to impose their belief system on me. One can NEVER argue faith for that is the very essence of stupidity to do so. It’s faith and that’s all needs to be said about it. Do not persecute those who choose to have a hopefully level headed discussion about it. There are a lot more people on all side throwing rocks at one another enough as it is.

    I do prefer the phrase in the Bible where “God” refers to itself as “The Great I am”. No definite answer there as to gender or specifics. That’s the beauty of it. Who knows? I will never lay claim to such knowledge.

  13. How do you know that? While they are not stopping all the wars, bloodshed and famines throughout the world, they are doing something to attempt to bring people together. That should be lauded, not (as some commenters have done) cynically condemned.

  14. Well, I can’t argue with anyone who claims that it’s okay to disrespect someone else’s viewpoints. I guess that’s what modern society is about, unfortunately. Everyone WANTs respsect, but no need to GIVE it huh?  You agree with Faba, so he can disrespect. If you disagree with someone, they can’t disrespect. Got it.

    Okay. I don’t have the numbers, but here goes. Scientists have found that the universe is AMAZINGLY and EXACTLY built for human life. If  the amount of matter was off by something like 1/10**40  (that’s 1 divided by 10 to the 40th power), there would be no life. Similarly, if the rate of expansion of the universe was off by a similar teeny-weeny bit, there’s no life. If the Planck constant, which equals 6.62606957(29)×10-34 (not from memory!)  is off by some awfully small bit, there is no human life.

       The list goes on and on. I’m not a physicist or cosmologist, but I do know that the list of “coincidences” goes on and on to the point of being utterly shocking to the open-mided reader.

          If you were walking  the street, and encountered a bowling ball balanced on a sewing needle, would you say “gee, what a coincidence, a bowling ball must have just rolled down  the street, upended a needle, and balanced on it, wowee!!!! I have a feeling you might form the conclusion that a very abled force of some kind set it up.

       Let me tell you sir, if you wave your hand and just say, “the universe is as it is because of coincidence”, or “that’s just the way it is”, then THAT is faith too, that is NOT science., and pretty preposterous faith. Furthermore,  though very few scientists are religious, almost NO scientists explain these recent discoveries by COINCIDENCE. The theories they’re coming up with are every bit as strange as intelligent design.

       Listen, I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m not saying you’re right. What I’m saying is, one can’t just  close his eyes, put his hand over his ears, and refuse to read or listen to anything else, because one has made up his mind, and nothing in this world is ever going to change it, and I already know the truth, so there will never again be the need for me to listen to anything else.


  15. I don’t know if this post was addressed to me, but….. I described myself as atheist/agnostic because I’m so unsure of what’s really going on out there!!! 

    I’ve varied between the two in my thoughts for all my life. 

           My mind must be very feeble, because while others seem to be bright enough to have the final answer for sure, I do not.  What I do know is, I never had  the desire to be a part of any organized religion. That might be as much an anti-social tendency as an anti-religious one, probably both.

          But I dislike tremendously  the lack of respect shown between the groups. This post was just a notice of a religious lecture.  That’s all. It wasn’t a call to impose anything on anybody.  But the athiests had to shout out with pride their disrespect. Disrespect is nothing to be proud of, just my opinion. I’ve been disrespectful  here in the past. I admit it. Nothing to be proud of, It’s kinda shameful.


  16. I’m not qualified to argue about string theory.  But on the last notion, religious and secular groups working together, I certainly agree.
    A great example of that would be a Peace Action affiliate that I’m a part of, where Catholics work with Muslims, Jews and Atheists for common goals of preventing wars, eliminating nuclear weapons, closing Guantanamo Bay prison and stopping torture.  Credit given where credit is due.

  17. Hey, they ask me if I’m Jewish, I say no. Haven’t had a Jehovah Witness in quite awhile.

        Most annoying one ever was, I was waiting for the 44 to go home from Brooklyn college. A Moonie starts talking to me. That’s cool, I’ll talk to anybody (even a liberal :))  When he followed me on the bus, that’s going way over the line.

        The funniest religious attempt to get me was, one time I was sitting on the curb because I had hurt my ankle previously and needed to rest. A group of about 5-6 people start whispering and I see them looking at me. Ends up they’re Moonies. They send the  very pretty young lady in the miniskirt over to try to get me.  Afterwards, I’m thinking to myself, man, those dudes are good, they’ve got strategies!

  18. I’ve been to a few churches in my time (more than synagogues as a matter of fact!).  I hear some good values coming out of there too. It’s not all bad. Sure, there was some really bad stuff historically, and some bad stuff still going on with religious movements, but you make a grand generalization which doesn’t match my admittedly limited experience.

        On the other hand, one of the atheists here is preaching the positives of the value of disrespect towards others!   Hardly something I would want to follow.

  19. Erica, you apparently misread. This event is not one where deists and non-deists can discuss matters, or work together towards some goal. It is specifically narrow in its focus. My point was not made critically, rather it was stated as a limitation of practicality.

  20. That’s a strange thing because I’ve never been asked by Jews to pray with them. i have been asked if I was a Jew but then not everyone can be visibly identified as such.

    Solution to the proselyte problem: Tell them to have a nice day and shut the door. Thankfully religious attendence is not mandatory in this country. You are much, much more of a “nudnik” fava, then Bruce. He can admit he lacks answers. That shows much more smarts then you possess in that little click finger of yours.

  21. Yes, yes, yes — it’s good someone gets it. Let the two groups meet and talk about the Second Coming. Why not? They’re not saying, “We are going to discuss the Second Coming and then force you to believe as we do!” Two groups that have historically hated one another and killed with zeal are uniting for an intellectual and exploratory purpose. Religion should be enjoyed… used as a means of personal comfort or spiritual enlightenment, not to impose rule over others, and on a very small, local scale, they are accomplishing (or will accomplish) this.

    I don’t mean this condescendingly at all, but really — good for you. Hopefully others will grow to be more respectful in a similar fashion.

  22. Due to no Reply button…
    I don’t think anyone here is arguing that these groups should not be allowed to meet and talk.  I’ve been on the record many times advocating freedom of speech of all kinds, including religious speech.

    We do, however, reserve our right to make snarky comments on the efficacy of the announced proceeding.

    I only wish religious people would return the favor (snarky comments are welcome, too). Latest developments do not suggest that being the case.

    Look no further than Cranston, RI:
    “At the tender age of 16, Jessica Ahlquist has already endured more verbal abuse than most people experience in a lifetime.
    A high school student in Cranston, R.I., Jessica has been taunted and threatened at school, targeted by an on-line hate campaign, and called “an evil little thing” by a state representative on the radio.
    Her crime? She asked school officials to remove a “school prayer” banner from the auditorium of Cranston West High School. Addressed to “Our Heavenly Father,” the prayer banner was presented to the school by the class of 1963 and has been affixed to the wall as a mural ever since.”
    See also NY Times coverage of the same subject:
    “Student Faces Town’s Wrath in Protest Against a Prayer”

    Often forgotten in these cases is the Bible itself.
    Matthew 6:5 and 6:6
    “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. […]
    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

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