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Religion lacks topics?

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Posted

Refer to this Google spreadsheet.

I noticed that the Religious Studies forum is somewhat out of balance-- While it ranks third in number of posts, it also ranks first in the number of posts per topic. This indicates a paucity of topics in a popular forum. I was thinking about posting more topics to that forum anyway, so this is my impetus...

(Disclaimer:I am posting this thread partly because I want to test out Google's spreadsheet concept.)

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Posted

I just get a log-in screen, not a spreadsheet. Presumably not everyone has a Google account.

It seems to me that all the fora need more topics and posts.

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Posted

Hi Mark,

I seem to be more at home in the religious studies forum than anywhere else. I was thinking of "What is the Christian gospel" - but your new thread about "what is a Christian" seems so similar that you've pipped me to the post. I'm not sure though ..... Billy Graham says that Jesus came not to preach the gospel but so that there could be a gospel to preach. C.S.Lewis says that you can't find the gospel in the gospels. I have a feeling that the Christian gospel is plain for all to see but gets ignored. Perhaps I could hold "What is the Christian Gospel" in reserve and see how your thread develops.

I'm itching to discuss "altruism" somewhere but I can't find any reference to the kind of altruism that depressed me in my "Christian" era. The nearest is Ayn Rand's version of altruism which could turn out to be a strawman. Perhaps there were some mediaeval discussions of selflessness which are difficult to find.

I seem to be without a label for my beliefs at the moment. I can't be a Christian however much respect I have for the guy. I have a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama too but that's a long way from becoming a Buddhist. Perhaps a thread on comparative religion would help me find some likeminded people.

One of the problems I find with starting threads is that the originator tends to be the one most interested in the subject and after a few regulars have chipped in their two-pennyworth the subject lies undiscussed and unprogressed. Vibrant ideas attracting folk to join in are few and far between. I wonder if there's an art in enticing people to come and "do battle".

I don't suppose I'm helping your spreadsheet project - like Hugo, all I get is a sign-in page!

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Posted

like Hugo, all I get is a sign-in page!

:? Did either of you try signing in?

The web-based spreadsheet and also word prcessing are interesting ideas put forth by Google...

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Posted

I noticed that the Religious Studies forum is somewhat out of balance-- While it ranks third in number of posts, it also ranks first in the number of posts per topic. This indicates a paucity of topics in a popular forum. I was thinking about posting more topics to that forum anyway, so this is my impetus...

I would suggest that it's because in the religion forum in particular, there tend to be discussions where the discussion strays largely from the original OP, but the discussion continues on. There are both positive and negative aspects to this. The positive is that you can find everything in one place. The negative is when you argue a point, you're likely to find someone telling you that his point is within the context of his smaller post and maybe a couple others and not within the context of the larger thread.

(Disclaimer:I am posting this thread partly because I want to test out Google's spreadsheet concept.)

So how do you like Google spreadsheet?

You couldn't find anything more interesting to test than the number of posts and topics here?! Hmm.

I seem to be more at home in the religious studies forum than anywhere else. I was thinking of "What is the Christian gospel" - but your new thread about "what is a Christian" seems so similar that you've pipped me to the post. I'm not sure though ..... Billy Graham says that Jesus came not to preach the gospel but so that there could be a gospel to preach. C.S.Lewis says that you can't find the gospel in the gospels. I have a feeling that the Christian gospel is plain for all to see but gets ignored. Perhaps I could hold "What is the Christian Gospel" in reserve and see how your thread develops.

I've asked the question of what is a Christian on a Christian forum. It gets a lot more play there because they all seem to feel that they embody it so their guesses have more passion in them. I've never seen agreement about it though.

I'm itching to discuss "altruism" somewhere but I can't find any reference to the kind of altruism that depressed me in my "Christian" era. The nearest is Ayn Rand's version of altruism which could turn out to be a strawman. Perhaps there were some mediaeval discussions of selflessness which are difficult to find.

Sounds like an interesting topic. If your version turns out to be a strawman, perhaps you could ask someone who feels they understand the term to knock it down for you.

I seem to be without a label for my beliefs at the moment. I can't be a Christian however much respect I have for the guy. I have a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama too but that's a long way from becoming a Buddhist. Perhaps a thread on comparative religion would help me find some likeminded people.

Up to the point of what you've stated here, I'm agreeing with you. But you've only said what you don't believe in, not what you do.

One of the problems I find with starting threads is that the originator tends to be the one most interested in the subject and after a few regulars have chipped in their two-pennyworth the subject lies undiscussed and unprogressed. Vibrant ideas attracting folk to join in are few and far between. I wonder if there's an art in enticing people to come and "do battle".

I would suggest that you post the questions that you struggle with.

So far, I haven't had much trouble with attracting battle, I've been more concerned about what kind of battle I want to be engaged in.

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Posted

So how do you like Google spreadsheet? You couldn't find anything more interesting to test than the number of posts and topics here?! Hmm.

I'm interested (in a different way than Microsoft :wink: ) in the web-based applications that allow collaborative efforts. Spreadsheets are *all* kind of crappy to me; I liked using MathCAD until it got way too expensive. Still, if it adds up to a better way to exchange technical information, I'm all for it. (I hope they graphs soon.)

The best way to test a new medium is with a simple subject, e.g., "Testing... one... two... Is this thing on?" That's like what I was trying with the simple spreadsheet.

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Posted

Hi Fencesitter

Thanks for the interest and thoughts.

Sounds like an interesting topic. If your version turns out to be a strawman, perhaps you could ask someone who feels they understand the term to knock it down for you.

When I was about 22 I used to sneak into the chapel of the hospital where I worked at lunchtime to pray, think and read. There was a book on the shelf in the vestry - not the bible-study kind of thing I used to buy and read at home, it was about virtue from an altruist point of view. It's thesis was that there was no virtue in any act from which one could extract any satisfaction. A philanthropist for example would derive satisfaction from helping people and was therefore not virtuous. I assumed, apparently incorrectly, that this was a widely held view and one which I should embrace. From my perspective now it was a guaranteed trap to make anyone whatever feel guilty. It certainly had that effect on me!

Up to the point of what you've stated here, I'm agreeing with you. But you've only said what you don't believe in, not what you do.

That's because what I do believe is fluid.

There must be such a thing as moral obligation - I feel guilty for example if I think I've neglected my birds - but as I believe that I'm just a stage in biological evolution it's hard to express a basis for obligation. "Do as you would be done by" is the best I can think of but I don't yet understand why that seems important to me.

At the moment I'm excited about the rewards of "loving my neighbour" and I'm exploring Christianity from that point of view. I need to try to understand the very real spiritual phenomena from my atheistic point of view. Perhaps l should just be thinking things through for myself rather than looking for others with comparable beliefs.

More than enough about me though. In what area would you consider a battle worthwhile?

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Posted

That last one of Listener's deserves its own thread, don't you think?

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Posted

Mark W. Ingalls wrote:

That last one of Listener's deserves its own thread, don't you think?

Yes, it does, and he could start that thread with that last posting only very slightly edited -- such as leaving out the quotes. However, Listener, if you would rather just have that discussion here, let us know.

Michael

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Posted

There's no need for the privacy of Academia and I could transfer it with some weaving-in of "altruism as Ayn Rand sees it" which was the potential strawman.

It's a bit autobiographical but if that's not objectionable I'll go ahead.

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Posted

So how do you like Google spreadsheet? You couldn't find anything more interesting to test than the number of posts and topics here?! Hmm.

I'm interested (in a different way than Microsoft :wink: ) in the web-based applications that allow collaborative efforts. Spreadsheets are *all* kind of crappy to me; I liked using MathCAD until it got way too expensive. Still, if it adds up to a better way to exchange technical information, I'm all for it. (I hope they graphs soon.)

The best way to test a new medium is with a simple subject, e.g., "Testing... one... two... Is this thing on?" That's like what I was trying with the simple spreadsheet.

Oh. :oops: I forgot that you do technical stuff. Using Excel to tabulate stuff is the most sophisticated I get, so I forgot that other people do other stuff with it.

I should have added the wink on the end of my note, but since the joke was on me, I guess it wasn't really necessary. :)

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Posted

There's no need for the privacy of Academia and I could transfer it with some weaving-in of "altruism as Ayn Rand sees it" which was the potential strawman.

It's a bit autobiographical but if that's not objectionable I'll go ahead.

That's great!! I look forward to those threads.

Actually every paragraph in your last post could be a thread starter. I'd have enough questions to at least have a discussion about it. I'm sure others would also.

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