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Passions in Poetry

Not to start a debate on religion, but....

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Jeffrey Carter
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0 posted 11-18-2000 10:41 AM       View Profile for Jeffrey Carter   Email Jeffrey Carter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jeffrey Carter


Where did God come from?

I've pondered this question for darn near all my life. Being from the heart of "the bible belt" of the south I have gotten some long lectures about not needing to know all the answers til we die, yet being 'scientific' in nature I can't help but want an answer today. Ok, maybe what I just said doesn't make sense to some of you but I am sure that some of you will understand it.


Once a student in a christian bible college was asked to do a thesis on this very subject and his thesis was garnered as being of 'Satanic' in nature. Simply because he questioned the beliefs of all the elder religious opinions that christians perceive as'fact'.

He answered the question basically by saying that in his opinion...

"We as a civilized society "need" a God to make us civilized. For it is through religion, no matter the beliefs, that we learn morals. So, given this fact, I believe that most, if not all, religions are based on myth. It all started with parents tell their children stories trying to teach them right from wrong and it has grown and spread from there. Not unlike the way a 'rumor' is spread today. As time went by people started writing these "stories" down and adding to these stories from their own experiences. Thus, I present you with the Holy Bible."

Now, after reading this I was forced to question it's validity. After self-debating this question and reading this thesis I would have to say that in some way I have to agree with what it says. Understand, however, I'm not saying that I don't believe in God (or a higher power) I am simply saying that I think the way most of society believes that God exist is not completely accurate. In my opinion the God most people worship is not a being but an entity that was created by humans to give us a hope for a life after we die. Thus, the reason for "living right" while we are alive and the reason behind the stories that make up the bible.

Do I believe the bible as being a factual historical document? The answer is a definite NO

Do I believe the bible to be a useful tool in society? Of course, in fact I believe to be a neccasary tool in society for many reasons which I won't go into here. But the one reason I will go into is the fact that it is simply a guide to teach society morals, which in my opinion was it's original intent to begin with.

Now, tell me, what is your opinion on the question that I drifted away from LOL

Where did God come from?
Romy
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1 posted 11-18-2000 12:33 PM       View Profile for Romy   Email Romy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Romy

This is the answer that I believe;

"Quite simply, God has no beginning and no end. So, where did God come from? He didn't. He always was.

To us, the notion of time is linear. One second follows the next, one minute is after another. We get older, not younger and we cannot repeat the minutes that have passed us by. We have all seen the time lines on charts: early time is on the left and later time is on the right.

We see nations, people's lives, and plans mapped out on straight lines from left to right. We see a beginning and an end. But God is "beyond the chart." He has no beginning or end. He simply has always been.

Also, physics has shown that time is a property that is the result of the existence of matter. Time exists when matter exists. Time has even been called the fourth dimension.

But God is not matter. In fact, God created matter. He created the universe. So, time began when God created the universe. Before that, God was simply existing and time had no meaning (except conceptually), no relation to Him.

Therefore, to ask where God came from is to ask a question that cannot really be applied to God in the first place. Because time has no meaning with God in relation to who He is, eternity is also not something that can be absolutely related to God. God is even beyond eternity.

Eternity is a term that we finite creatures use to express the concept of something that has no end -- and/or no beginning. Since God has no beginning or end, He has no beginning. This is because He is outside of time."

Christopher
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2 posted 11-18-2000 03:28 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

God did not create Man, Man created God.

Man needs that reassurance that there is something more than this flesh and blood, pain and fleeting existence. He needs some reason for the life he has to live, needs to see a "point" to living. God also serves for an explanation, a way to order the inexplicable in our lives into the nice tiny boxes of manageability.

Just a few thoughs...
jbouder
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3 posted 11-18-2000 04:34 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Jeffrey:

You started it!  

quote:
"We as a civilized society 'need' a God to make us civilized. For it is through religion, no matter the beliefs, that we learn morals. So, given this fact, I believe that most, if not all, religions are based on myth.


This is what you call a non sequitur (it does not follow) fallacy (a little bit of "begging the question" too).  The thesis statement is "We ... need a God to make us civilized" followed by "So, given this fact, I believe most (or all) religions are based on myth."  

Excuse the bluntness ... I am not interested in assertions if they are not backed up with data.  

quote:
It all started with parents tell their children stories trying to teach them right from wrong and it has grown and spread from there. Not unlike the way a 'rumor' is spread today. As time went by people started writing these "stories" down and adding to these stories from their own experiences. Thus, I present you with the Holy Bible."


You are either ignorant of compelling archeological and historical data or you are ignoring it.  Werner Keller does a decent job of summarizing findings of some of the archeological greats (such as Albright) in his work, "The Bible as History".  I suggest you read it before arbitrarily deciding that biblical, historical narrative is fiction.

quote:
I am simply saying that I think the way most of society believes that God exist is not completely accurate.


Finally, we agree on something.  I would say, however, that nobody's belief system in any society is completely accurate (there is an inherent flaw in humanity that distinguishes us from God ... WE are fallable).

quote:
In my opinion the God most people worship is not a being but an entity that was created by humans to give us a hope for a life after we die. Thus, the reason for "living right" while we are alive and the reason behind the stories that make up the bible.


By your own admission, most of people's belief systems concerning God are inaccurate ... I'm curious ... what makes your assertion any more accurate from the religion of the obscure "they"?  

quote:
Do I believe the bible as being a factual historical document? The answer is a definite NO


Why not?  Because it is not a popular stance or because, after weighing all of the available data, you determined that the Bible is fiction?  I doubt it.  Even non-Christian/non-Jewish scholars are quick to point out the historical value of the Biblical texts in regards to ancient civilizations.  I think your position is arbitrary and lacks critical thought.

quote:
Do I believe the bible to be a useful tool in society? Of course, in fact I believe to be a neccasary tool in society for many reasons which I won't go into here. But the one reason I will go into is the fact that it is simply a guide to teach society morals, which in my opinion was it's original intent to begin with.


So ... what you are saying is you haven't read the Bible?  If you think its original intent was to guide societal mores, I am willing to bet that you haven't really given it any serious study.

quote:
Now, tell me, what is your opinion on the question that I drifted away from LOL Where did God come from?


God is eternal, transcending the human concept of time.  He always has been.  Even the Greeks philosophers recognized the philosophical necessity of a Prime Mover ... an uncaused cause ... something, or someone, who transcends natural law.  I am willing to defend my position ... but I want to see you substanciate yours first.

Jim

P.S. Christopher ... you said:

quote:
God did not create Man, Man created God. Man needs that reassurance that there is something more than this flesh and blood, pain and fleeting existence. He needs some reason for the life he has to live, needs to see a "point" to living. God also serves for an explanation, a way to order the inexplicable in our lives into the nice tiny boxes of manageability.


Is that your final answer?  Or would you like to use a life-line.  

[This message has been edited by jbouder (edited 11-18-2000).]
Tony Abbot
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4 posted 11-18-2000 04:42 PM       View Profile for Tony Abbot   Email Tony Abbot   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tony Abbot

Although we haven't yet proved the existence of God,there is increasing evidence of another dimension of existence,what the religious would refer to as 'the other side' or Heaven.Whether it is within mankind's comprehension to understand the origins of the universe is another matter.Regarding the Bible,we can prove it is not a sound historical document.For a start,large parts of the bible were written when the average person only had a vocabulary of three hundred words.Any notion that the Bible is untainted from misinterpretation,mistranslation and corruption due to it's 'sacredness' ,falls to pieces,when taking into account the iniquity of the church over the centuries,and the many differing versions of the Bible.Those unfortunate enough to be indoctrinated with religion from an early age,have to show perspicacity in freeing their minds of dogma and received opinion.However,like the student Jeffrey mentioned,any who dare to question the numerous anomalies and contradictions contained in the Bible may be labelled 'Satanic',even ostracised from their community.
Certainly,people need a moral foundation to live by,but that doesn't necessarily mean we have to be religious.For me,the more pertinent question is not 'Where does God come from?', but 'Why are we here?'.
We may not be able to understand God,but through spiritual study with an open mind,we can come to a greater understanding of our own existence.When one considers the great suffering in the world,one cannot help but think there must be some long-term justice system in the universe,closer to the Buddhist concept of karma, though I myself don't place my faith in any religion.

'Belief is a violation of the intellect,against which the more advanced minds of our generation rebel'.

Carl Jung.



'Humankind cannot bear too much reality' T.S.Eliot

[This message has been edited by Tony Abbot (edited 11-18-2000).]
Moon Dust
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5 posted 11-19-2000 10:38 AM       View Profile for Moon Dust   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Moon Dust

He didnt come from anywhere, he was always there

Life has got to chnage,
Nothing stays the same,
Soon it will be time,
For me to move on.

Christopher
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6 posted 11-20-2000 10:13 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Oh c'mon Jim - you know me well enough by now to know I can't keep my mouth shut!  

C
Ethan Halo
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7 posted 11-21-2000 01:55 AM       View Profile for Ethan Halo   Email Ethan Halo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ethan Halo's Home Page   View IP for Ethan Halo

it's all mythology until a dead man comes back and gives a reccount of what happened. it's the faith of the person that makes the myths concrete. as poets, i think we have all learned that our minds have a strange power over how we perceive reality. if one wants it bad enough, it'll happen.

i like the Greek pantheon of gods and goddesses myself. i dunno how much of it all is true, but it's fun to read about. and as a Wiccan (in training) i believe Artemis and Apollo are up there. and oddly enough, it's hard for me to see a heaven, or at least me in one. yet, it's like i KNOW there is a hell, and i'm sure that without a soul, one goes there. (the "no soul thing" is a thing i'll leave alone for the moment...long story)

i read once that God is like a big diamond, and each religion only sees one facet of the entirity. and like they said in "dogma", no one religion's got it right yet.

i just asked my friend this question. he said, "if there is a god, he was always here. i mean who made him, a higher god?"
i said,"created from the void itself. from nothing came the Everything." i just kinda made that up, but it sounds reasonable.
i mean where else could a being of absolute power come than from a place devoid of all powers. like two ends of magnet coming together; matter and anti-matter; the resulting blast an ever-expanding multi-verse with those two forces, as one, at the center. the yin and yang, the light and dark, the void and the expanse, the alpha and omega,...

okay you get the point. maybe that's where he's from. course, i just thought all this up right now...
maybe there is no spoon at all.

Everyone's got their demons.
We all got somethin' to atone for.
Stephanos
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8 posted 11-21-2000 01:58 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Here are some thoughts for those who feel that mankind "created" God.  


Yes it is true that mankind has created alot of what we know of as "religion".  Throughout human history people have formed ideas and made physical representations of gods... ie idol worship.  But the biblical claim is that the force, mind, and personality that actually created all things that we see  revealed himself to us through history.  We can disagree if we like, but we can never say that the writers of biblical history (old testament or new) were spreading a message of mere social reform, or psychological comfort derived from the recesses of the human mind.  What they said was that a God who was the creator of all things, all powerful, all knowing, and eternal, chose to reveal himself to a humanity estranged from him because of a condition known as sin.  They portrayed that he did this in many ways and through many means along the timeline of history, and almost never the way people expected him to, or even wanted him to.  One can call them mistaken or liars, but certainly they did present God in this manner.  In their histories there was never even a hint that this God might be a projection of the human desire or imagination.  He was actually portrayed as contrary to mere human wisdom and wishes, and always against human evil, and seemed to have a will often quite different from even that of his very own followers.  These were the claims.

To say that God is merely a fabrication of mankind which sprung out of a hope for meaning, purpose, and life after death, plunges us into some quite unsolvable problems of belief.  First of all, to say this fantasy would actually offer any real hope is mistaken.  If humans realize their own weakness, mortality, and frailty in the face of inescapable death and decay, how can a self created god offer any hope against such a backdrop?  It's kind of like saying that a sickly man trapped on one side of a gaping chasm could create a man of modeling clay to go and build them both a bridge to cross.  We really are in such a situation as to need a savior outside of ourselves to deliver us from death and decay.  It's easy now when full of good health and youth to disagree, but what about when you or I face the realities of death?  I'm not so sure there are any bonafide death-bed atheists.  So this concept of "God" only offers hope if he is real and independent of us.

Another problem would be to explain the complexities and obvious design found in the universe around us without attributing that design to an INDEPENDENT creator.  When you or I could not even change our own diapers or speak,  Atoms were spinning, seeds were germinating, clouds were condensing, planets were spinning around stars of unfathomable size and heat.  The beauties of a rose, and the terrors of a tornado require an explanation beyond ourselves.  Would anyone dare say they had anything at all to do with creation having not even decided the color of his eyes beforehand?  

Personally I am convinced that God is eternal.  He never had a beginning nor will ever cease to exist.  Only finite things require a moment of making, and a moment of ceasing.  But think about this, even if you could say that "God" was created,  I would ask who created him.  If you could tell me that, I would say "This one is the true God, for he existed always and created your former god.  But suppose you then said "No,  he was also created."  Again I would refer back, and back, and back until you found the uncreated one.

Plug the theory that man created God into this equation:

     "Man created God"  you say.
     "Then Man is God"  I reply.
     "But man was also created by something  or someone" you say.
     "Then find who is the creator of man, and he is the true and living God".
     "But man could have been created out of mechanical processes without mind or direction" you retort.
     "Then man has no God and he is hopeless"  I say with sadness.

If humanity does not have a true God, then we are lost.


Yet thank God through the Lord Jesus Christ that we do have an eternal loving and personal God who we call on for salvation.

Tony Abbot
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9 posted 11-21-2000 11:31 AM       View Profile for Tony Abbot   Email Tony Abbot   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tony Abbot

This 'who created God?' debate is futile and a waste of time as nothing can be proven through dialectic or empirical means.According to Kant there are three proofs for God's existence,the ontological proof,which states that God is the subject of all predicates,and as existence is a predicate,God must exist.However,Kant dismissed this as complete bollocks,as he said existence is not a predicate.
The cosmological proof states that 'as I exist,an absolute being must exist'.Kant dismissed this as well.
The physico-theological proof states that  the universe exhibits an order which is evidence of purpose.Kant said this is evidence of an Architect not a Creator,and doesn't give an adequate sense of God.

To sum up,he said that the purely intellectual use of reason leads to fallacies,and it's only right use is to use it for moral purposes.Which is what we should be debating.

'Humankind cannot bear too much reality' T.S.Eliot
Ethan Halo
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10 posted 11-21-2000 04:28 PM       View Profile for Ethan Halo   Email Ethan Halo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ethan Halo's Home Page   View IP for Ethan Halo

i think that salvation can come from within.
sometimes, it can ONLY come from within.
i like the idea of religion being a support and guide, but i hate thinking of it as a crutch to limp into heaven on.


but i think that goes back to the iedea of man creating god and religion. for many, as has been said, mortality and death are feared subjects among people. the thought of a cushy cloud to chill on and a harp to jam on are a wonderful contrast to this world. i think many people need to know that there is not only somewhere after death, but somewhere better.
is it all made up? maybe. i don't think so. there's got to be a couple of truths somewhere. i mean, someone had to have gotten PART of it right thruout the history of man. but the one thing we are all agreeing on is that if there is someone in charge, then he/she was always around, not really having a beginning. this bending of time and concept of eternity hurts my head though.

Everyone's got their demons.
We all got somethin' to atone for.
Stephanos
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11 posted 11-21-2000 11:26 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I must say the question of God's existence and or origin (for they are one and the same question in the end) are not only valid for "moral purposes", they are essential.  Without a transcendent, independent creator who has established in himself an ultimate standard of morality and truth, nothing at all could appeal to this standard for the purpose of being true or untrue, good or bad, etc...  In fact every thought, value, belief of any human on any level would be reduced to absolute opinion or preference.  Is murder wrong?  Well we can't say it is wrong without an absolute standard which judges it as so, for some (more than we are comfortable with) believe it is right.  And I know the argument that says what the whole of humanity feels is right must be the standard... in other words, what is right for the whole is what ends up being "right".  Well there have been times in history when those who stood for what is right were in the minority.  Were they wrong while everyone else disagreed with them and only right when the tides turned and more believed the way they did?  My point is that without God we have no absolute standard of which to make judgements of morality.  Yes people who don't believe in God have consciences, but according to scripture God is one who gave them even that.  This explains why the moral codes of different and unrelated societies throughout history have had more similarities than differences.  Overall the laws of nations are strikingly alike while their disagreements are more sporadic.  C.S. Lewis wrote concerning this in his classic "Mere Christianity".  I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking after truth.  It reached my mind and heart long before I was a Christian.

As to the question of whether truth can be determined by dialectic or empirical means...  Human reason is faulty and imperfect.  So I agree that we can never come to a complete knowledge of the perfect and eternal through imperfect sensory perception.  From the standpoint of the scriptures, believing in God is always a matter of faith which is "the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen".  So yes, believing in God ultimately comes down to the question of faith.  One man may look around and see God in everything, while another may look and see God in nothing.  However I do not believe that the faith of the bible is a "blind" faith, as if it were asking us to believe what is totally beyond comprehension and plausibility.  In fact, the book of Romans says that "since the creation of the world His (God's) invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they (humankind) are without excuse...".  So it is certain that creation, nature, and reality itself lends a certain witness to the wisdom and power of the creator.  But yes we can close our eyes.  To me any belief system without complete and infallible, indisputable evidence is in a sense a matter of "faith"... including atheism.  An atheist declares "There is absolutely no God", and thus declares an absolute knowledge.  For it is always necessary that there is the possiblity of existence, unless the refuter has infinite knowledge.  Yet lacking this absolute proof that God does not exist (for he could exist outside of the sphere of knowledge for the one who refutes him), the atheist chooses to believe this anyway.  Hence his belief too is faith... in an odd sense of the term.  So the conclusions of Kant, and many other existentialist thinkers is based on their doubts...not indisputable knowledge.  I have read much of their varied theories of epistemology and reality and experiece,  and have come to the conclusion that above all else these men were pessimists.  The pessimism merely colored every doctrine they taught.  So if they tell me that my sensory perceptions are so fallible and questionable as to offer me no accurate representation of reality, and that there is no way to know anything with any certainty,  I will say these men are speaking more out of a heart of fear and doubt and pessimism than out of genuine insight.  Exstentialism always seems to have its moorings in the experiential and metaphyisical problems of mankind... it proceeds on from that point.  The thing I love about the biblical view of reality is that it begins from an eternal and heavenly view (in the heart of God) ..."In the beginning God created".  It begins with hope, and though it treads through some dark clouds, it ends in hope as well for those who will believe.

I also meant to clear up this statement that I made:

"We really are in such a situation as to need a savior outside of ourselves to deliver us from death and decay.  "

The truth of God's salvation does not end with idea of him being an outside entity and we being separate from him.  Though we are estranged from him by sin, the bible presents a relationship though Jesus Christ that progresses unto the point of God "dwelling within us" with fullness.  Our bodies in the scriptures are spoken of as "Temples of the Holy Spirit".    So it is true that we find salvation within.  For Jesus said "The Kingdom of God is within you".  
Ethan Halo
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12 posted 11-22-2000 04:35 PM       View Profile for Ethan Halo   Email Ethan Halo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ethan Halo's Home Page   View IP for Ethan Halo

touche' on that within statement. i'm a former Catholic and i forgot that was in the Book... but don't you ever think that you can affect the world yourself? i mean, isn't it possible that you can accomplish good without the help of a higher power? sure, maybe you can't work your way into heaven or salvation, but i think there are some times when we face things alone and that we can beat things alone.

i don't know if i buy into this "god bestowing us with conscience" thing. Socrates talked about man's inner sense to do good (as long as he knows better) way before Jesus came callin. he said that virtue is knowledge; to know the Good is to do the Good. i don't buy all of that either, but the point is man has always had a sense of morals cause it's like an instinct. an inner thing; but then we're getting back to that.
as far as knowing good and doing it goes, i think that some people can ignore that little voice inside. about 10% of people are born good, in the light so to speak. maybe another 10% born evil, in the dark. i think the other 80%, the general public, are a shade of gray. it just depends on the moment and the choice. maybe it's 5%, 5%, and 90%....anyways, we all have the insinct called morality. But Socrates also said reason was the dominant factor over morality, which is a crock. you're right. reason is flawed. look at the conflicts our "reason" can lead to.  with reason in conflict, can we discern a real truth?

probably not. at least not til one dies and finds out the hard way. think allegory of the cave. we all see the shadows in the cave, the fire, as our truth. when we leave the cave (we die) and see the sun, REAL light, i bet we'll come runnin back into the cave. (or try to anyways... maybe that's reincarnation. we keep comin back til we can deal with being outside the cave...if ever...)

i just think that some things are possible without the help or approval of the Powers That Be. things like forgiveness, redemption, making the "right" decisions... good things and not just "sin". i'm not saying that they're not the man, i just think that we don't always need 'em.

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said, "I drank what?"



[This message has been edited by Ethan_Halo (edited 11-22-2000).]
Stephanos
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13 posted 11-23-2000 10:19 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

After coming to at least a partial understanding of who God really is,  I cannot understand how we as human beings can claim anything at all apart from his grace.  I know this is an unpopular view, especially since we all have more or less of humanistic pride that wants to have goodness or merit within ourselves alone that we can feel okay about.  Don't get me wrong,  I don't believe that we are without natural goodness altogether, or devoid of resources.  I just think that because of the nature of things we must realize that it is still the source everything (God) we must give all the credit to.  Not even able to determine if we would be born or not, what the color of our eyes would be, or any other circumstances, we must realize that he is giver and we are stewards of his gifts.  What ability does any man have that did not have its origins in the mind of God?  A person may be forgiving, intelligent, insightful, kind, witty, on and on, but God has given that person the mental faculties, the natural tendencies, and in short every ability.  Although I do know that some ablities are developed and culitivated by us, we tend to lose sight of the source and take credit for them ourselves.  It really goes back to one's world-view.  Believing that God created all things and is the source of all being,  I see no other way to look at things.  I guess I do believe  that God has given us many things to do and accomplish with the natural gifts, instincts and abilities he gave us which may be what you are saying.  He does not always intervene in our affairs, and he expects certain things from us.  He has given us ablities and responsibilities to match.  So in that sense I agree.  It's just always good to take a panoramic look back and say "thank you" when we realize our roots.

Getting back to the concience idea...  It is true that Socrates came before the man Jesus Christ, but he did not come before God who created all things.  If God created all things, he had to create mans ablility and faculty for knowing what is right and wrong.  Supporting this idea is the fact that many people cannot escape the voice of their conciences even when they want to.  It is something planted in us,  inside our spirits and minds, much in the same way our physical heart muscle was planted in the body during gestation.  We have one...like it or not.  And conciences can be damaged just like heart muscles can be damaged... so I'm not claiming that all concience is perfect, just  that it had to come from an ultimate source.  In my mind, denying this would be like sawing off the limb we are standing on to escape the tree.

As to my final reason for believing the way I do...  I believe the revelation of God is opened through the scriptures of the holy bible in a way not found in other writings.  I believe it is a divinely chosen text... not a volume mixed with some wisdom and some error, some truth and some myth.  I think it is authoritative on matters of faith.  (Though certainly many religious groups have used it wrongly and interpreted it their own way).  

That is why I reject the hinduistic teaching of reincarnation which has become more popular in western circles today.  The bible says that "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgement".  I'm not trying to condemn others for the way they see things (for I held many similar beliefs at one time).  Having come to the conclusion that the bible is trustworthy for belief and practice, and that the gospel is true,  I want others to know the truth as well.  Forgive me if I have sounded too pushy.  Each person has to find and approach the truth for themselves in their own time and way.  
And I certainly don't know everything about God and all mysteries.  But I do know that God loves us more that we can understand.
pen of passion
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14 posted 11-24-2000 01:40 PM       View Profile for pen of passion   Email pen of passion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for pen of passion

I was baptized a Catholic, and went to parochial schools; believed in God and the bible.  Then I went to college, and I got into Joseph Campbell, etc. and saw this colorful mything thread of man, and bang--what a let down! NO GOD!  Then 3 years ago, I was in trouble.  No one could help me, I thought, so I visited my old friend and said:  Look I know my rational mind has doubted your existence for awhile now, but if you help me, I will never, ever doubt you again.  Guess what?  Oh, you say, there was probably a logical reason things worked out the way they did. Not in my life!
fractal007
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15 posted 11-24-2000 04:21 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

Just to start off, I too am scientifically minded.  I don't like to just accept everything that organized religion spoon feeds me.  In my books, that's called propoganda, and it gets you into a lot of trouble.

I have always believed the Bible to be factual, and I'm from Canada, lol.  I am also a 'liberal', as angry right wingers always call me whenever I don't agree with something they say.

My belief is that as humans, we are incapable of understanding something on any level other than one which is physical, and operates within the constraints of time.  However, Jeffrey, you have raised some very good points.  But if God created the universe, he must have done so from a standpoint outside the universe.  What's it like outside the universe?  I don't know.  Do you?  

I've always believed that there is a higher power which created us.  I also believe that if he exists and want to send us a message(through the Bible), then He will have seen to it that the scripture was delivered to us in an accurate fashion.  THis may sound self contradictory, but there are parts of the Bible which probably do not hold as much validity today as they did 2000 years ago, or even 500 years ago.  For example, the idea that women are to stay at home all day, and not have careers, is due to the fact that this was a necessity 2000 years ago.  People did not have electricity, or factories with which to mass produce food.  So therefore, it was necessary for one partner to remain at home.  Due, in part, to Genesis, which says that the husband will "rule" over the woman, and a general patriarchal philosophy in society, this partner was usually the woman.  I digress.

But anyway, my philosophy is this:

If all life on earth is merely a manifestation of a pile of primordial goo from over 4 billion years ago, then what's the difference what I believe?  Nobody will critique me if I decide to believe in God, because there won't be anybody there to critique me.  However, at the same time, I believe there IS a God, because I want to have a purpose in life, other than simply the almighty dollar(or 'ephimeral god', as I always refer to it in my poetry).  But don't get my wrong.  My love toward God goes much further than just to serve as the establishment of a purpose in my life.  It has also helped me to help other people.  Love others as you love God.  So, basically, I am one who is in the middle.  I don't like either extreme of the debate about the existence of God.  I can't stand the awkward and practically conjurred up science of the young earth theorists.  But I also can't stand the arrogant humanistic point of view taken by those who feel that evolution took place completely by chance, and that science has pretty much eradicated any need to believe in the supernatural.  
Opeth
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16 posted 04-08-2004 12:49 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Plug the theory that man created God into this equation:"

"Man created God"  you say.
"Then Man is God"  I reply.
"But man was also created by something  or someone" you say.
"Then find who is the creator of man, and he is the true and living God".
"But man could have been created out of mechanical processes without mind or direction" you retort.
"Then man has no God and he is hopeless"  I say with sadness."


~ Why would you feel that way if there is no God? We are not hopeless without a God. We as a race of people endeavor to persevere. And hopefully there will come a point in time when our race lives together in peace, prosperity, and harmony. Who knows, by that time we may discover other intelligent life and move on to live on other planets.... or we may die out as a race, and the process will begin all over again. I don't understand how people can think that a God is necessarily for hopefulness.

If humanity does not have a true God, then we are lost.


~ If humanity would put faith in itself, then we could be found.

"Yet thank God through the Lord Jesus Christ that we do have an eternal loving and personal God who we call on for salvation."


~ That above remark jumps into an entire separate issue than the topic at-hand, and was definitely a "ride" on the slippery-slope fallacy.

"You sleep in the night yet the night and the silent water still so dark."

serenity blaze
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17 posted 04-08-2004 01:24 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"Where did God come from?"

The witch smiled serenely and answered:

"Why, His Mother, of course!"



Oh.

Uh. Oh.

(Yep, I'm gonna duck and run fast this time!)

ta ta toodles, everyone
Essorant
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18 posted 04-08-2004 02:23 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

If all nature and spirit met and meet at one point,  that is probably whence God comes.  
  
Aenimal
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the ass-end of space


19 posted 04-08-2004 03:32 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Creating a God 101

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/y/yahweh.html


grins at Karen

[This message has been edited by Aenimal (04-08-2004 10:40 PM).]

Brad
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20 posted 04-08-2004 06:11 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Karen,

Why drop for cover? Strictly speaking of Christianity, aren't you correct?    

Following Opeth, I'll use Stephen's little skit here:

"Man created God"  you say.

"Then Man is God"  I reply.

Huh, let's try it a different way.

"Technology created modern man," You say.

"Modern man created technology," I say.

"Then modern man is technology."

There may be some truth to this. In a very limited way, but it is not a logical statement. The same thing goes for the above. It is true, I think, that man can create (but not in a vaccuum), but it does not follow that man created everything.
----------

"But man was also created by something  or someone" you say.
    
"Then find who is the creator of man, and he is the true and living God".

Same mistake.
    
"But man could have been created out of mechanical processes without mind or direction" you retort.

Who says this?

The problem is the dichotomy that Lewis also ultimately uses in Mere Christianity. It doesn't work. Yes, Stephan, I'll try to explain this when I can find the time.

"Then man has no God and he is hopeless"  I say with sadness.

Same dichotomy

I wish I had more time right now to go into more detail, but I'll add one more comment concerning certainty. Anybody who has read the Screwtape Letters or The Great Divorce with the least bit of sympathy must ask themselves, "Do I do that?" Am I more concerned with being seen as a good person (in my case) rather than doing good or as being seen as a Christian rather than being Christian. Personally, I was struck by how much his description coincide with many of my own thoughts regarding the nature of a good life.

Certainty is not an option for the atheist, and if Lewis is right, it is not an option for the Christian.

serenity blaze
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21 posted 04-08-2004 10:45 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Brad?

I ducked and ran because I had to for the time being.

Y'see?

I have come to find this particular forum addictively obsessive.

But yes, I think I'm correct.

Even if just by a historical standard, a Matriarchal oriented religion preceded the Patriarch.

And sigh...I am SUPPOSED to be writing too...



(Good thing I thrive on deadlines.)

More later? nod...you know it.

damn ye.

*chuckles and hugs*
Local Rebel
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22 posted 04-08-2004 10:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

A small town in Tennessee
all you had to to was ask anybody who lived there.
croyles
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since 01-27-2004
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23 posted 04-19-2004 06:10 PM       View Profile for croyles   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for croyles

jbouder - understanding does not always come with research and critical thoughts, big maths equations can be solved before you even know how you did it - read some stuff from einstein, he knows a lot about that (hes sympathetic too!!!).

there is some evidence and scientific articles and researchers about the other 8 dimensions, we live in four: height, breadth, depth and time.

and about the article that the kid wrote, i have had those thoughts for years, and i completly agree with it.
Stephanos
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24 posted 04-20-2004 01:40 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
me:"But man could have been created out of mechanical processes without mind or direction" you retort.

you:Who says this?

Virtually everyone (outside of hinduism) who says there is no God.


If you've got another alternative than personality and mindless mechanics, I'd like to hear it.  

Stephen.

 
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