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god is dead.. is he?

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daniel_martin
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0 posted 06-15-2003 02:28 PM       View Profile for daniel_martin   Email daniel_martin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for daniel_martin

when nietzsche made the brave advance against the herd morality of christianity,and claimed that the new religion was atheism, was he right?

is christianity still an important influence on moral thinking, is it a majority ethos?

Usually i wouldn't regurgitate Nietzsche's dirt, but it seems quite fitting. In what way is God a influence on social life?
jbouder
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1 posted 06-15-2003 04:37 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

The answer your "majority ethos" question would probably depend on what part of the world you're in.  It might be in the United States, but that could depend on what you mean by "majority."

If, by your second question, you mean in what ways does belief in the Christian God influence social life, it would probably be easier to list the ways it doesn't ... at least in the United States.

First, the U.S. Constitution is a document born out of The Enlightenment.  Even though the Enlightenment also boasts Deism, the religious movements in the United States that had greatest influence on modern American Evangelicalism were, at least in part, a reaction to "liberal" Deism.

Second, modern Evangelicalism and Catholicism have strong influences in the shaping of public policy ... our laws ... and our laws certainly impact our social life.  People in positions of great power and authority (e.g., President Bush and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia) profess to be Christians.

I could go on but, suffice it to say, if God is dead, it remains a well kept secret.  If you have any doubt, try finding a hotel room in Washington, D.C. when the Promise Keepers are in town.

Jim

Local Rebel
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2 posted 06-15-2003 08:32 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

It would be best to define 'Christian' if you're going to have this discussion.

And no.  Atheism is not a religion. Only among theists who are angry at god can it be a religion.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (06-15-2003 08:36 PM).]

Brad
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3 posted 06-15-2003 10:22 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~marinos/Nietzsche125.html

I'll put in bold what I think are the interesting parts:

Brad
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4 posted 06-15-2003 10:25 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!" —As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated? —Thus they yelled and laughed.

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried. "I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we not hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? Whatwas holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern to the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done,  still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the most distant stars—and yet  they have done it themselves."

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"
Stephanos
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5 posted 06-15-2003 11:00 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I have read the account of the Madman and see an interesting angle on it.


The madman speaks of his search for God, for which he is ridiculed by the onlookers in the marketplace.  When he "pierces them with his glances" and speaks of God being dead etc ... his listeners become silent and are astonished at his apparant madness and blasphemy.

Some have suggested the "onlookers" are representative of those who do not believe in God, but have not come to the full realization of it's consequences.  They still hold on to the traditional morality which stems from the Judeo-Christian root.  Nietzsche considered this a weakness and an unwillingness to embrace the full consequences of atheism.  That's why he wrote "A new Morality" describing a new arbitrary morality based more upon survival of the fittest ... the "Superman Morality".  He also described Nihilisim which he felt would inevitably result from atheism.  This "event" described then was finally the full realization of what total secularization really means for mankind.

One thing for certain ... Nietzsche was at least willing to attempt to follow atheism to it's logical ends.  And I agree that most atheists have not been able to do so ... since much Judeo-Christian morality and teleology remains firmly rooted in their thoughts and assumptions.  But like Nietzsche I agree that there will come a time where borrowers will not be allowed to borrow any longer, and there will be a much more polar manifestation of Christianity and Atheism.


Not exactly what you were asking here.  But I thought It was interesting to consider, since Brad mentioned "the Madman".


Stephen.
  


    

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-15-2003 11:02 PM).]

Mad_Hatter
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6 posted 12-20-2003 04:38 AM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

In my opinion (keep in mind I'm an atheist), god IS dead, because all ideas eventually die, whether it be by better ideas, or showing that an idea is wrong.  God served a purpose once upon a time, for people who had no science to explain things for them, it gave them a purpose.  In todays world that purpose becomes in my opinion a competition, a giant crucifix commercial that is driven by fear.  You buy into god and you buy into redemption to ease your mind and for some people I guess that works, but I'm okay with knowing that when I die I will only have the dirt to acompany me in endless dark.  The idea of God doesn't work, because it was made up by man and man has an imperfect mind.  God is perhaps the greatest contradiction; he is supposed to be there, but he isn't there, because of what makes us human...choice.
Denise
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7 posted 12-20-2003 02:12 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Daniel,

I believe that God has an impact on social life to the extent that a society gives credence to the validity of God's existence and honors His revealed will. In societies that generally deny His existence and the idea that He has a will and plan for mankind, well, I suppose His influence will be negligible in those societies.

Nietzsche was wrong. Atheism will never replace Christianity.

Atheistic governments have no higher authority than the state with its citizens only having rights endowed by the state. And what the state "gives", the state can take away. When rights are God-given, the state does not have the legitimate authority to deny them. Societies based on the Judeo-Christian worldview have better track records of honoring the rights of its citizens than societies based on the Atheistic worldview, which historically have lousy track records in this area.


Jim,

Although some of the better known of our founders were perhaps Deists and influenced to some extent by the French Enlightenment, the overwhelming majority of our founding fathers were orthodox Christians; 52 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence and 50-52 of the 55 signers of the Constitution were practicing Christians who subscribed to a biblical worldview.

Most of the colonial population at the time of the Revolution was Christian.

Given these facts, I believe that our Constitution and way of government was born more out of the influence of America's Great Awakening, cira 1734, than from Enlightenment thought, although there was some of that influence as well.

The Colonial Charters and subsequent State Constitutions were replete with spiritual references and language and were used as a model for the Federal Constitution.

In 1770, Edmund Burke of the British Parliament, observed of the Amerian colonists: "The people are Protestants; and of that kind which is most adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion...This is persuasion not only favorable to Liberty, but built upon it."

And in the words of French historian Alexis de Toqueville: "There is no country in the world in which the boldest political theories of the eighteenth-century philosophers are put so effectively into practice as in America. Only their anti-religious doctrines have never made any way in that country." And, "There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America...Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it...I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion- for who can search the human heart? - but I am certain that they hold it indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions."

So, while I agree with you that Christianity had/has a decided effect on American society, law, etc., I believe that Christianity was a fundamental building block of our form of government considering that the Christians were the decided majority prior to and at the time of our founding. I think this is borne out by history and by the writings of the contemporaries of the time.


Brad
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8 posted 12-20-2003 06:45 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Wouldn't it be easier to say that Enlightenment principles were influenced by Christianity?

Christian countries have a better track record with human rights only after the Enlightenment and that is, of course, debatable to say the least.

A nice little trick is Rawls' veil of ignorance. Choose any society or make up one on your own and live in it. The trick is that you don't know where you'll be placed in that society. So you could be a Jew in medieval England, a woman in colonial America, or a Filipino after the Spanish/American war.

Denise
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9 posted 12-20-2003 09:57 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad,

I'm sure Christianity did influence some of the Enlightenment prinicples. After all, logic and reason can be found in both philosophies, but given that Christianity was the dominant view of the population and the founders, I'd say that the majority worldview was most instrumental in the formation of our country.

I'd say that the Reformation was also instrumental in the eventual improvement of the track record of respect for individual human rights, with its back to basics theology and distrust of the "hierarchal" systems that had become entrenched during the Middle Ages. It took some time, but eventually Christian's found their way to a new land to be free from repressive religious/governmental constraints to freely practice and live their faith, and set up a government in the hope of guaranteeing that same freedom to their descendents.

I don't know about Rawls' veil of ignorance...I can't seem to place that kind of faith in the innate morality of human beings. Knowing myself, it wouldn't take too long before I'd screw it up by doing something completely and indefensibly self-serving.
jbouder
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10 posted 12-22-2003 01:02 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Denise:

I understand your point.  The religious leanings of the Constitution's framers definitely influenced the Constitution's content, but I think there are marked differences between the state constitutions and charters and the US Constitution.  Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the establishment and free exercise clauses of the Bill of Rights.

After the Protestant Reformation in Europe, there was a resurgence in Augustinian thought in regards to the distinct roles played by church and state.  To Augustine, the church served as the prophetic conscience of civilization while government exists to ensure justice and civil peace.  Only a few of the framers I am aware of were theologically savvy, but most of them, I think, would have been familiar with prevailing thought on church and state.

If the United States was intended to be a "Christian Nation," then its remaining so depended on the effectiveness of the American church in fulfilling its role in guiding the national conscience.  The wishy-washy theology that followed Wesley's 2nd "Great Awakening" and its apologetic impotence are, in my opinion, the primary reasons for the widespread disallusionment with the Christian worldview.

Much of the Christian right's energies have been expended on attempting to assert a legal claim that the Constitution must be interpreted in light of Biblical revelation, but I find this nowhere in the incorporating documents, with the possible exception of the "laws of nature and of nature's God" referenced in the Declaration of Independence.  The better course for Christianity, in my opinion, is to focus its energies on regaining its place as a contender in the marketplace of ideas.

Out of time for now, but I'll try to come back to this.

Jim
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11 posted 12-23-2003 01:27 PM       View Profile for Poet4Christ   Email Poet4Christ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Poet4Christ's Home Page   View IP for Poet4Christ

I only have one simple thing to say -

For those of us who believe faith is stronger than intellect and that God is far too ominous and incredible for us to comprehend or understand, any philosophical arguement against our faith is null and void within our reality.  In fact I will go as far as to say that out of respect for God, I must admit that I can never understand him, although as a Christian it is my born again instinct to try to and to strive to be closer to him.  After all we are JUST HUMAN.

Thanx and God Bless - Tim  

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Proverbs 28:26

jbouder
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12 posted 12-23-2003 01:44 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Tim:

And therein lies the problem.  Contemporary evangelicalism would throw up its hands and allow "born again instinct" to guide its faith rather than striving to understand those things God chose to reveal about himself.  His revelation of Himself in history is a gift and, just as with any gift, we are charged to be good stewards of what He's given us.

That is as much a root to the problem that Christianity now struggles to be a viable force in the marketplace of ideas and why secularists have so effectively quashed our objections to how we should be governed.  Christian faith has an object in space and time and, until we stop painting ourselves into a corner with albeit well-intended statements like yours, little will be done to change the current secularist trend.

Jim
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13 posted 12-23-2003 02:25 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I'm sorry...messed up

[This message has been edited by Essorant (12-23-2003 02:39 PM).]

Poet4Christ
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14 posted 12-23-2003 03:53 PM       View Profile for Poet4Christ   Email Poet4Christ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Poet4Christ's Home Page   View IP for Poet4Christ

Jim, I didn't say that we shouldn't try to understand, and I do agree that there is a lot of gifts of understanding that has been offered unto us.  I guess I was trying to say from a humble point of view that there are a lot of things we shall never understand.  Sorry, wasn't trying to put myself in a corner.  
Thanx for the response - Tim

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Proverbs 28:26

Mad_Hatter
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15 posted 12-23-2003 05:07 PM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

I once again stand by my saying that God is a failed attempt at a perfect idea.  You cannot fully understand God, because like human beings who thought God up (IMO), he/she/whatever is imperfect, just like us.  The idea of God, was for the time it was thought up a brilliant idea an idea that kept people in line and gave them reasons for why they were alive.  The idea of God has however become obsolete and is becoming increasingly problematic for our society.  Religions as they are are essentially turning into competitions and god is basically being sold to people.  Door-to-door god salesman who want to save your soul from the clenches of evil, shooting down other religions, because only their religion can be correct.  They want everyone to join them so they can become more powerful and more "relevant" and then they can shove their numbers down other churches throats.  Was this what religion and "god" was inteded to be?  Was this idea of religion not supposed to be sacred, was it not supposed to be kept pure and as free from the taints of evil as possible?  Can you honestly say that this is the type of institution you want to bind yourself to?  "Dear god, if you were alive you know we'd kill you" - Marilyn Manson, how true is that quote?  If god were alive some would praise him, but we'd eventually blame him for everything and then we'd kill him, because that is human nature.  We need scapegoats and that is part of what god has become, people need something to blame, so who better than god?  Our reasons for having a religion and having a god have become superficial and there's nothing spiritual about it anymore IMO.  People say they need something to believe in, believe in the universe and believe in evolution, but most importantly believe in the power of yourself.  In the end, we are all our own god anyway, because we all make our decisions and we all live our own lives the way we want to.  God IS dead, because the idea can no longer work in our world, all this idea does now is create more oceans between people.  Religion has become more of a problem than it's worth.
Brad
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16 posted 12-23-2003 08:42 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

A secularist trend, Jim? I see the opposite, but at least you're willing to admit that argument based on trust is no argument at all.

And therein is the dilemma. If you want evidence, if you want to say things like Denise's point about the Reformation, you have to make an argument, no argument is being made. It is either trivially true that the Founding Fathers were influenced by the Reformation or unprovable that any spiritual influence, somehow, makes the country better.

Neither is particularly interesting from an historical point of view.

No, Denise, I'm not talking behind your back, just trying to put a lot together in a short space.

Without the Reformation, how could people leave a country and worship in their own way? Secularism developed, not to promote aetheism, but to allow different beliefs to flourish.

What's the phrase?

Render unto Cesar's what is Cesar's . . .

Denise
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17 posted 12-23-2003 11:16 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Jim and Brad,

I didn't mean to give the impression that I thought the founders intended for this to be a "Christian" nation, per se, just that the majority were Christian and I believe that their worldview impacted our founding to a greater degree than did the Enlightenment worldview, although that played a part as well.

I'm inclined to believe that the majority Christian worldview was what influenced them specifially to set up a form of government that would not be under the authority of any particular church or religious persuasion, but one that allowed its citizens the freedom to follow their own consciences regarding their religious persuasions. I think their history with the church-run governments in Europe taught them the disaster of those systems, and I think the opression they had experienced combined with the freedom that they experienced here after fleeing Europe gave them a deep appreciation for the value of religious freedom and they in turn sought to maintain it and guarantee it to others. Their experiences with religious repression, from both church and state sources, worked to create a new kind of government, not a theocracy, but not really purely secular either, but something never before done, a separate yet harmonious co-existence.

And, no, I can't advance an argument that the Reformation directly influenced the thinking of the founders, other than to say that the majority of the colonists had been schooled in Reformation theology, most were Protestant, I believe roughtly 75% were Puritan and about 12% were of the Calvinist persuasion, leaving 13% for all other Christian denominations and non-Christian religions, and the founders were colonists. It seems to me that it would follow that the majority of the founders' thinking would have been impacted by it.

If history showed that the majority were secularists, Brad, then I would go along with the view that it was secularism that had the greatest impact, but that's not what the facts seem to indicate, at least as far as I can determine.

[This message has been edited by Denise (12-23-2003 11:17 PM).]

Essorant
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18 posted 12-24-2003 02:29 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

If God is how may he be dead?
jbouder
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19 posted 12-24-2003 11:46 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad and Denise:

What does Cesar Chavez have to do with Jerusalem?  I think you meant "Caesar" and you betray your Southern California roots. They sure love that guy in Santa Ana.  

The complete saying is, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's."  This is more particularly fleshed out in Romans 13 regarding the Christian and civil government and in Augustine's work "The City of God" in regards to the distinct jurisdictions of church and state.  Following the Reformation, there was a resurgence of interest in Augustinian thought which trickled into Renaissance treatises on how church and government should interface.  Reformation influence on early American jurisprudence and government is almost trivially obvious, and the influence is clear in the early State charters and constitutions, but the US Constitution bears a far greater resemblance to an Enlightenment document than a Reformation one.

Brad, I don't suppose I'm surprised that you see the trend going the other way, particularly in Seoul where Christian evangelicalism is growing in popularity at remarkably fast rate.  One of the challenges of the US system is that ideology often becomes inseparable from politics and both sides close their minds to good ideas simply because it is not in keeping with their party's agenda.  On rare occasions I am impressed when a politician takes a step back, then makes a policy decision based on conscience, regardless of the possible negative personal consequences that decision may cause.  I can respect that even when I disagree with their position.

But it is unfortunate when extremists in either camp succeed in implementing a change in law or policy at the expense of the rule of law.  I still believe that a fair process more often than not ensures a fair result.  Maybe I'm not such a pessimist after all.

Jim
Stephanos
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20 posted 12-27-2003 09:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim:

quote:
And therein lies the problem.  Contemporary evangelicalism would throw up its hands and allow "born again instinct" to guide its faith rather than striving to understand those things God chose to reveal about himself.  His revelation of Himself in history is a gift and, just as with any gift, we are charged to be good stewards of what He's given us.



Jim, I certainly sympathize with your feelings about the neglect of reasoning, whenever faith is professed.  For far too long faith has been misconstrued as "the power to believe what you know to be untrue".  And since Christianity is also a historical faith as well as an experiential faith, all should be done to improve our understanding of the foundations of our faith, both historically, philosophically, and theologically.  That's why scripture exhorts us to "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15).  The cause of this abandonment in many, is a Kierkegaardian dichotomy between faith and reason, where faith is presented as a blind and irrational leap.  But this is simply not descriptive of Biblical faith.


On the other hand, an ultra-rationalism, leads to the inability to take anything on authority ... or even on intuition.  The extreme end is David Hume, a man who was hardly able to believe that he existed as an individual ... because he had to exercise "faith" that his senses were not lying.   Yet he vaunted an empiricist method, that would not allow him any longer to do what came so natural for so many... to reasonably assume reality.  Evidently even Hume sometimes saw the absurdity of such conclusions ...


"...Most fortunately it happens, that since reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, Nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras.  I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends;  and when after three or four hours' amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find it in my heart to enter into them any further." (Treatise I, iv, 7)




Since many demand that the answers of "faith" should fill all gaps of reason and knowledge, it is right to admit the limits of reason ... and the proper function of faith.  Not only do irresponsible lazy thinkers say such things about faith, but some of the finest thinkers the world has ever known say them too.  But there is a difference.  Such limiting statements are more credible in the mouths of those who have not neglected their intellectual chores.  From someone who has done their homework, they sound like more like realism, and less like escapism.  When the weight of reason has been on one's side, then the professed limits of reason do not come crashing down in the balance.  Even one of the greatest scientists the world has ever seen, said things like ...


"the heart has it's reasons which reason does not know" (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, sect. 4:277)

and

"It is the heart that experiences God, not reason.  That is what faith is: God felt by the heart, not by reason." (Pensees, sect. 4:278)


These sayings remind us that reason for "proof" of the Christian faith has it's limits.  But it shouldn't at all be absent either.  


Here are a couple of articles that may interest you Jim.  One is about the apologetics of C.S. Lewis, and the other about the life of Blaise Pascal.  They illustrate the tension between faith and reason in the life and works of two great minds.
  
http://www.perichoresis.org/The%20Inconsolable%20Secret%20Part%202.html


  
http://www.apologetics.org/articles/pascal.html


later,

Stephen.  

  


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-28-2003 03:19 PM).]

Stephanos
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21 posted 12-27-2003 10:27 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

MH ...

quote:
God IS dead, because the idea can no longer work in our world, all this idea does now is create more oceans between people.  Religion has become more of a problem than it's worth.


You are presuming that ... 1) God is merely an idea, and not an ontologically real personal being  2) if confict surrounds something, it is false or without worth.


I disagree with both of these assumptions.


And also, the variableness and confusion of doctrine and dogma, should not surprise us if the Biblical world-view is true .... that is, if there are intelligent forces of spiritual evil working in this world as well as good forces.  Why shouldn't we expect the true teachings of God be the most caricatured thing in the cosmos?  There are forces working that don't want us to "get it", not to mention the problem of evil in our own hearts and minds, that don't want to "get it" either.  




Stephen  


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-28-2003 04:16 PM).]

Mad_Hatter
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22 posted 12-28-2003 07:08 PM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

In my opinion it is much more than conflict surrounding religion, it was one of the worlds major issues.  There have been religious wars, does that not seem a bit contradictial to the purpose of religion?  Wars being fought over something as trivial as this idea of god (yes, I am saying it's an idea, because i dont believe in it).  The problems that religions cause are not worth it and likely wont ever be again in my opinion.
Stephanos
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23 posted 12-31-2003 04:41 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

MH:

quote:
There have been religious wars, does that not seem a bit contradictial to the purpose of religion?  Wars being fought over something as trivial as this idea of god



I understand your distaste for bellicose religion.  But wars have been fought for all kinds concerns ... and many of those concerns you would hold as valid.  Why pick on religion then?  War usually just underscores the fact that people have felt strongly and passionately about religion and spirituality.  If you say it is the ulitimate paradox to kill in the name of spirituality, I concede that you're right.  But that doesn't make spirituality a wrong concern to have.  I'll bet that you feel war is fought for economic reasons ... and yet I'm sure you wouldn't readily give me all your money and abandon the idea of economics.  (If you would we'll arange an E-transfer, just email me and we'll discuss   )  

I would say that the amount of war seriously challenges your idea that religious ideas are "trivial".  Usually what people fight for are their deepest held values, even if they are misguided to think that they have to take up arms.  I'm just saying that no matter how messed up these ideas are ... the fact that fighting occurs indicates that this is no "triviality".

And once again, if the Christian worldview is true, and there are spiritual beings of evil influencing this world, and sin and ignorance in the hearts of people, then it is no wonder that it is around the most "precious" thing that the most vile acts will occur.  Sad, but true.  Wouldn't the Devil want to make the truth unsightly and misunderstood, if he could stir up the passions enough to shed blood?  And don't forget there have been a good number of peacemakers in the name of God too.


Stephen.  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (12-31-2003 04:46 PM).]

 
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