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Passions in Poetry

Is Religion a Virus of the Mind?

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Brad
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75 posted 02-21-2004 04:19 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It may well be true that I have a blind spot, but I can't see it yet.

I just don't see the connection between and the absent-minded professor or even the stereotype of a scientist as a nerd.

Isaac Asimov says somewhere that science doesn't progress with "Eureka, I've found it!". Progress begins when someone says, "Gee, that's funny..."

But is it stereotypical to say that religion begins with variations on "Eureka . . ."?

The basic difference is whether the idea, if followed, leads to horrible consequences, and other factors serve to ameliorate those consequences (horse sense, tradition, human bonds, rationality etc.).

Or whether these consequences are aberrations, the result of other factors (greed, lust for power, ignorance, stupidity etc.).

It seems we (I've done it myself.) always fall back on the latter. I'm not sure, no longer sure, this is always correct.  Why?

What follows from the belief that the world is not worth living in if there is no God?

or

Does the world have any value at all if there is no God?

I keep reading this as origin as essence, and it strikes me as an archaic proposition.
Does anything, any actions, follow from these propositions?

LR,

Should we give guns to children -- spiritual or otherwise?
  

Ron
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76 posted 02-21-2004 06:12 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Isaac Asimov says somewhere that science doesn't progress with "Eureka, I've found it!". Progress begins when someone says, "Gee, that's funny..."

But is it stereotypical to say that religion begins with variations on "Eureka . . ."?


Asimov, I think, was referencing an intellectual hunger that is every bit as compelling as physical hunger. The eureka celebrations and the porterhouse steaks aren't driving forces, but rather are satisfactions. We have five or six thousands years of history that would strongly suggest an equally powerful spiritual hunger at play. Religion isn't a driving force. It's a satisfaction.
Local Rebel
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77 posted 02-21-2004 11:23 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

No, but I think the analogy ends there Brad.

We know that boxcutters can be weapons, passenger jets, a drum of fertilizer, a toothpick -- if the intentions to kill are there.

We're mostly in agreement -- and I think it is the un-questioning aspect of religious totalitarianism that is the real danger -- (and our founding fathers knew it too) especially to children -- which is why I liken religion more to an operating system -- it's going to effect the interpretation of all sensory input.
Brad
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78 posted 02-24-2004 06:38 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm stuck with this idea of spiritual hunger. I don't get it.

jbouder
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79 posted 02-24-2004 10:59 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

I think this is a good illustration of "spiritual hunger" in this short bio of Mortimer Adler.  In many ways (in Adler's case), it is indistinguishable from intellectual hunger:

quote:
Once "philosophy" had been an umbrella term covering all disciplines, ordering them to an overall goal, which is wisdom. And what was wisdom if not, ultimately, knowledge of the divine?

One could tell the story of Adler's life in terms of his gradual acceptance of the implications of that defining fact. The point of the life of the mind is to know God: God is the ultimate end of human life. Philosophers go back and forth on the existence of God: Can it be proved? Can it be disproved? Does the idea of God even make sense? Adler's affinity for Aristotle led him inexorably to Thomas Aquinas. The give and take of the Socratic dialogue had fascinated him from the beginning of his philosophical education, and he found it again in the Summa Theologiae. Examining rival answers to a question before deciding between them was the essence of philosophy. From the outset, Adler was a formidable dialectician. This is not to be confused with what has come to be called "dialogue," which is really a euphemism for dodging serious argument. By contrast, dialectics seeks the truth and rejects its opposite after having entertained all of the relevant objections.

But even dialectics can be an impediment to truth. The bane of philosophizing is the disconnection between life and the quest for knowledge. When it takes place, this disconnection is especially unfortunate because of the necessary prominence of moral questions and the centrality of God to philosophy. Adler's gradual progress from an early belief in the possibility of fashioning a compelling proof of God's existence to an extra-philosophical relation to God is the real story of his life.

Adler was regularly asked how he could know so much about Catholic theology without accepting it as true. He gave what he called a Thomistic answer. He had not been given the grace of faith. But that, one might say, is a Calvinist rather than Thomist reply. The grace of faith is not offered to a select few and withheld from the rest. It is offered to all, but each must accept it himself. Eventually, Adler became a Christian. Finally, he became the Roman Catholic he had been training to be all his life. That a number of prominent notices of Adler's death failed to mention this central event in his life is a distressing sign of how peripheral religion has become for many in our time.


http://radicalacademy.com/adlerarticlemcinerny2.htm

Hawke rightly points out that we ought to all be vigilant against the brand of religious totalitarianism that forbids a rational assessment of its religious system.  I believe that the anti-intellectual notion that the sacred must remain untouched by reason is patently false.  But I also believe we must remain equally vigilant against the temptation to disavow serious religious inquiry on the basis of the existence of such totalitarian religious sects.

Religious belief does not have to be wholely personal and experiencial - to suggest such a thing, in my view, is little more than an attempt to escape from the unpleasant experience of having to re-order one's beliefs.

Jim
Brad
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80 posted 02-24-2004 09:55 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
And what was wisdom if not, ultimately, knowledge of the divine?


We all seem to agree that religious totalitarianism is wrong, but I suspect we disagree on how far it goes down. The quote here, for example, is it prescriptive or descriptive?

Does the search for wisdom inevitably lead to the Divine or if it doesn't, is it really the search for wisdom?

jbouder
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81 posted 02-25-2004 12:07 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

Well, perhaps you'd consider sharing how far you believe religious totalitarianism goes? If you are equating totalitarianism with any world-view that affects the behavior of its adherents, then truly all world-views are totalitarian.  If, however, you are referring to those institutions that seek to subordinate the individual and conform all aspects of the individual's life to the will of the institution, than any extremist group, religious or secular, is equally culpable of being totalitarian.

My guess is that you see the tendrils of totalitarianism in those that use their religion as a platform for exerting influence on issues that are not necessarily black and white or even related directly to the cardinal doctrines of the faith they espouse.  I don't have a problem calling such behavior "totalitarianistic," but wouldn't call it totalitarian any more than I would call the color gray "black."

As far as the statement goes, I think it is being used descriptively here of Adler's eventual conclusion.  Adler has probably used the statement prescriptively in his writings (and I would be inclined to agree with him).  I think Adler recognized that the answers to life's questions will remain elusive as long as the philosopher concentrates myopically on self.

Jim
Brad
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82 posted 02-25-2004 08:01 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm not sure. I certainly fine consolation when I make a statement (I think it was about YEC) and the response was, "Brad, I'm a Cristian, not a moron." I also fine consolation when Denise says something like, "I'm a Christian, not crazy."

I suppose what I'm thinking about are the endless predictions of the end of the world.

Would you consider these statements to be extremist? For example,  "The Late Great Planet Earth" -- I actually read that some twenty years ago -- or that Gorbachev has the mark of the beast on his forehead?

It never pays a prophet to be too specific.

At any rate, is this mindset mainstream or would you consider it extremist?

  

Local Rebel
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83 posted 02-25-2004 10:39 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'm actually pretty close to Jim on this too... which may mean I'm somewhere between Brad and Jim or, maybe Brad and Jim are actually in pretty close proximity as well.

Agreed, Jim, that secular institutions are equally capable of being 'totalitarianistic' -- the main one being the corporation.  I've seen first-hand the ones that want to permeate every aspect of its member's lives (and I'd put a lot of the more modern 'liberal' ones in that category as well.)  The potential for establishing an oppressive regime in a circumstance where there is an economic relationship that flows uni-directionally is not small.

But since we're talking totalitarian religion I think there are a few hallmarks to look for in systems or its constituents:

Their perception of truth is the only truth
Reprovement of any questioning of authority
See themselves at war with the world
Black and white thinking
Legalistic (with some really hard rules to follow)
Discount everyone who disagrees categorically
Believe they will be punished or rewarded (in real time) according to behavior
Believe they will be rewarded for giving money with financial gain
If it isn't in the canon/ holy writ it is not relevant
If their faith is strong enough they will be protected from harm
People who get sick deserve their illness
People who are poor deserve to be poor
God hates sinners
God wants them to be happy
Feel persecuted (us and them)

Of course this isn't an all-inclusive list, nor are all of these required to meet the requirements of totalitarianism to my mind.  Some of these are, after all, contradictory.  And I think that it could be argued that some of these elements would be present, to a degree, in most religions -- after all -- if one doesn't think a religion is 'true' why practice it?

It's the thought processes around that idea though, and the actions and consequences involved where we can delineate.  And, sometimes, frankly -- it's a 'know it when you see it' kind of thing.

A good example being some minister blaming the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on certain 'sinners' in America that we all recall -- but, mainstream religion was pretty quick to reprove the would be reprover...

My agnosticism is the only honest choice for me -- but that doesn't mean everyone should follow me into devout agnosticism.  

Re: your last question Brad -- who was it that said 'If you don't know what Eschatology is don't worry -- it's not the end of the world?'

But I think the answer -- is in lottery tickets -- would the states be selling so many of them if every Christian thought the world was coming to an end?
Brad
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84 posted 02-26-2004 12:25 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
But I think the answer -- is in lottery tickets -- would the states be selling so many of them if every Christian thought the world was coming to an end?


Good point.
Ron
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85 posted 02-26-2004 12:50 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Good point? It seems you might just as easily argue that the sale of lottery tickets proves no one really believes they'll die.

Then again, maybe that *is* a good point. Perhaps sanity is best defined by the dichotomies in our belief systems rather than the consistencies?
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86 posted 02-26-2004 10:19 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
Would you consider these statements to be extremist? For example,  "The Late Great Planet Earth" -- I actually read that some twenty years ago -- or that Gorbachev has the mark of the beast on his forehead?

It never pays a prophet to be too specific.

At any rate, is this mindset mainstream or would you consider it extremist?


Brad, I wouldn't call all of it extremist. Some of what you hear certainly could be. A lot of it though I would simply call misguided attempts at interpretation but no one's interpretations can be said to be infallible anyway. We all come to the Scriptures with our own presuppositons, not to mention preprogramming if we were brought up within a partiular denomination. Even within the same person there can be many layers of meaning in a single word or a single theological concept. It's quite maddening at times, for me at least, trying to figure out exactly what it is I do believe about different topics. Since I'm not the type to believe something because I am told something is the truth, or because something is a majority opinion (or a minority opinion, for that matter), I approach everything with a "prove it to me" attitude. And boy, does my brain hurt sometimes. And I've come to realize that there are lots of things I'll never understand or be able to figure out. And that's okay. But I do know that we are not supposed to be prophesying, in the sense of setting dates for the Second Coming, etc. Christ said that he didn't even know the day or the hour, that only the Father knows, so how could any of us know? So the way that I see it, anyone who does make such a prediction will wind up looking like a fool, and rightly so. And I believe that the end of time will be whatever it is supposed to be, whenever it is supposed to be, and will play how it was designed to play out. I have some current theories, but I also know that they too are subject to change.  
jbouder
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87 posted 02-27-2004 12:20 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

quote:
I suppose what I'm thinking about are the endless predictions of the end of the world …  Would you consider these statements to be extremist? For example,  "The Late Great Planet Earth" -- I actually read that some twenty years ago -- or that Gorbachev has the mark of the beast on his forehead?


To quote the men of the Tribe of the Fire People to Lothar of the Hill People, "Oh do not even get me started" (okay, so maybe I'm one of the few here with a penchant for vague allusions to classic Saturday Night Live skits).  

quote:
At any rate, is this mindset mainstream or would you consider it extremist?


Disagreeing with Denise here, increasingly, I would call it both.  But I would add the epithet "unorthodox" and perhaps "grossly irresponsible" to those two terms.  Such behavior is sensationalistic and actually creates more disallusioned agnostics in the long run, even when personalities like Hal Linsay and David Wilkerson enjoy short-term "success" in the numbers of people they "convert" with their wild predictions.

Interestingly enough, I began to identify myself as a Christian during my mid-teens after attending a Pentecostal church.  I went on to complete a four-year undergraduate program in preparation to enter the ministry within the same Pentecostal denomination.  As I learned the art of interpretation, I began discovering numerous contradictions between what is in the Bible and the practices and teachings that were endorsed by a large number of the denomination's pastors and leaders.

I was left with two choices: (1) judge Christianity on the basis of how I was observing it being practiced and disavow myself of it, or (2) judge Christianity on the basis of its historic claims and attempt to reform my fractured belief system to the best of my ability.  My eventual choice is pretty obvious to you now, but there were many times along the road where I believe I was close to adopting the agnostic mindset.

So why do people fall for the sensationalism? Mostly, I think, because of the appeals of authority (people want to be told what to believe rather than hash it out for themselves), community, commitment to a cause and an opportunity to bring “sight” to a blind world, and finally the appeal experience - a faith founded on feelings rather than faith founded on the historical facts of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So yes, mainstream Christian leaders are saying irresponsible things, and yes, much of mainstream Christian eschatology is a horrible mess exacerbated by pop-fiction, but I don't think such problems in the church at-large invalidate the truthfulness of the claims I have come to believe.  Because I can be assured that a strong case can be made for the veracity of my world-view AND because my life experiences confirm rather than deny what I have come to believe, I do so.  

Hawke:

I'm not sure whether our apparent agreement means I'm closer to being an agnostic or that you are closer to being an orthodox Christian.     I suppose the Apostle Paul said it best when he posited that, without the Resurrection, we have no hope and we may as well eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow we will die.  

I think your point about secular totalitarianism underscores my firm belief that the problem is not a religious or secular problem as much as it is a human problem.

Your list is pretty thorough, by the way.  I would clarify the first (and perhaps second) in that such institutions seek to bury the individual in the "group mind" and allow for the peaceful coexistence of logically contradictory beliefs.  The institution stands or falls on the authority of its leadership.

I also find it interesting that some groups perceive a verbal challenge of their belief system to be persecution.  Until Brad ties me to a post and begins beating me until I accept the Gospel According to Derrida, his disagreement with me is not persecution.  Anyway, I think that is, again, more a human reaction to having strongly held beliefs challenged than a reaction that is necessarily religious.

quote:
It's the thought processes around that idea though, and the actions and consequences involved where we can delineate.  And, sometimes, frankly -- it's a 'know it when you see it' kind of thing.


Good point.  I agree.

quote:
My agnosticism is the only honest choice for me -- but that doesn't mean everyone should follow me into devout agnosticism.


I have little doubt that this is true for you now.

Denise:

quote:
A lot of it though I would simply call misguided attempts at interpretation but no one's interpretations can be said to be infallible anyway.


When one popular author wrote back-to-back best-sellers, "1,988 Reasons Why Jesus is Returning in 1988" and "1,989 Reasons Why Jesus is Returning in 1989," can we in the church chalk this up to misguided interpretation or do you think we have an obligation to confront and correct teachings that are false?  The Church does have polemic responsibilities and, while some minor departures can be overlooked, false prophesy isn't one of those minor departures.

quote:
We all come to the Scriptures with our own presuppositons, not to mention preprogramming if we were brought up within a partiular denomination. Even within the same person there can be many layers of meaning in a single word or a single theological concept.


And there is ample room within orthodox Christianity to accommodate differences in opinion in regards to issues that are not central to Biblical Christianity - eschatology included - but there is a vast difference between the statements "Jesus's return will occur in 2005" and "Jesus's return is imminent."

quote:
And I've come to realize that there are lots of things I'll never understand or be able to figure out. And that's okay.


I think you're doing a fine job digesting all those theological chunks.  

Jim
Brad
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88 posted 02-27-2004 11:46 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

After a debate with a Catholic named Donohue, Chrisopher Hitchens remarked:

quote:
What emerges in these confrontations is always the same. When people hear their own faith being articulated by someone who crudely and literally believes it, they become uneasy. How many of that audience were really convinced that the Roman Church is the exclusive route to salvation, despite being so horribly persecuted in the United States? How many really believe that the current search for a miracle, attributable to the intercession of Mother Teresa on her fast-track to sainthood, will be both credible and successful? This is why His Holiness's campaign of contrition is always so carefully phrased, and the blame so widely distributed. One more step of logic or reason, and the mystique of the Church is dispelled. It ceases to be divinely ordained and becomes just another human and political institution. I suspect that this realization is only just buried in the minds of many ostensible believers


Brad
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89 posted 02-28-2004 05:29 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I think Jim's and my disagreement stems from two or three basic points:

1. He seems to accept a foundationalist epistemology, I reject it.

What do I mean by that? Simply put, if there is no God, then we have no reason for living, no meaning in life, and no way we can know anything for sure.

I just think this is wrong. I can think of many reasons to live, as sentient beings we assign meaning and value to our lives, and I don't think it's a particularly good thing to believe in anything for sure anyway (At the metaphysical level anyway. Out day to day lives are filled with certainty.)

I don't have any problems with eat, drink, and be merry, but I do have a problem when people say, "If there's no God, then it's okay to murder people."

The response is, "Do you mean to say that the only reason you don't murder people is that God tells you not to?"

Again, there are plenty of good reasons not to murder people with or without God. The unstated question, however, is "If God told you to murder someone would you do it?"

The response to that question, "It wouldn't be God if He had told me to do that."

But that's a rational argument. What do you do with the kind of absolute certainty that is claimed by some of the followers of God? And, amazingly enough, if you made a judgement concerning the voice in your head that tells you what to do, you have a tool to judge God, and the foundation goes down the drain.

Just a few more things (though I don't know if Jim actually holds the countrary position):

Poverty is not beautiful, natural disasters aren't something to be loved, crises are not to be yearned for, and the end of the world should not be prayed for.

Like Baudrillard said about 911, when I listen to preachers, friends, or whoever, I often get this feeling in the back of my head, "Geez, you want it to happen."


    
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90 posted 02-28-2004 10:53 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
When one popular author wrote back-to-back best-sellers, "1,988 Reasons Why Jesus is  Returning in 1988" and "1,989 Reasons Why Jesus is Returning in 1989," can we in the church chalk this up to misguided interpretation or do you think we have an obligation to confront and correct teachings that are false?  The Church does have polemic responsibilities and, while some minor departures can be overlooked, false prophesy isn't one of those minor departures.


I would agree, Jim, that this would be one of the extremist positions. When I first became a Christian the date setters were proclaiming 1980. It's all unbiblical and should be denounced as such, and I think, by and large, it is. I guess I was referring more to Brad's statement with a wider context, i.e., any discussion of the end of the world, and in that context I was allowing for the various understandings that people have of how it will play out. And in that only one view will ultimately be proven accurate (but who knows, possibly we may all have it wrong) there must be many misguided attempts at interpretation out there.

quote:
I think you're doing a fine job digesting all those theological chunks.


Thanks, Jim, I need all the encouragement I can get! Sometimes I get such a bad case of indegestion, especially when I am wrestling with the various understandings out there of salvation itself with all the various nuances relating to its obtainment. Although I know what I believe I don't like to close myself off from the understandings that others might have about the topic and sometimes my brain feels like a pretzel!

Brad, I think that whenever you have a very dogmatic organization, very few of its members actually believe all of its decrees. But what many people don't know about the Roman Catholic Church is that if you don't actually agree with all of its decrees, they don't actually consider you a real member anyway, at least officially. At least that is what I was taught when I was growing up in that denomination. Maybe that is equally true of any extremely dogmatic organization, I don't know, but it seems to make sense to me that it would be. It just seems to be the nature of the beast (no biblical allusions intended.)

quote:
Simply put, if there is no God, then we have no reason for living, no meaning in life, and no way we can know anything for sure.


Briefly, because I have to go get ready to see 'the movie', I would say that a belief in God gives a richer and deeper meaning to life. I don't doubt that those without faith can find reason for and meaning in life. I think otherwise people would go stark raving mad.

quote:
"If there's no God, then it's okay to murder people."


Does anybody say that? I've never heard anyone say that. I believe that everyone has within them a knowledge of right and wrong, a conscience, (except perhaps the criminally insane) whether they possess faith or not. I think it just comes down to who gets the credit for that knowledge being within people. Those of faith credit God. Those without faith credit man, or nature, or genes, I suppose, I really don't know. Maybe different people (without faith) have differing theories.

quote:
"Poverty is not beautiful, natural disasters aren't something to be loved, crises are not to be yearned for, and the end of the world should not be prayed for."


No, poverty, disasters, natural or otherwise, and crises are not desirable, but I view them all as a necessary backdrop against which the good can be seen as good, so that we can appreciate what good is. Without the bad I don't think people can truly appreciate good. I also don't understand why those who view the end of the world as 'bad' for the majority of the world's population pray for it to come either. When I held that view, I prayed for it to be delayed for as long as possible (laughing at myself know for even thinking my prayers regarding Divine timing could actually influence God's timing, since He has already set the date, to my understanding anyway.) Since I now view it as the prelude to the most blessed time for all humanity, I can yearn for its coming.
  

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91 posted 02-28-2004 12:33 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

To some, religion may be a virus of the mind, but to others it may be the anti-body needed to fight off other viruses.

One thing for sure, religion was created by man, just as what is known to be god was created by man.

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92 posted 02-28-2004 08:16 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
One thing for sure, religion was created by man, just as what is known to be god was created by man.


Opeth, doesn't being an agnostic, by its very definition, preclude you from being "sure", one way or the other, about God? Or have you progressed to aetheism?
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93 posted 02-29-2004 06:29 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Denise,

You misunderstood my reply. The reply given does not state that God does not exist. So, to answer your question, my answer is, no I have not.

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94 posted 02-29-2004 11:35 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Okay, I get where you're coming from now, Opeth. You state that you are sure that what is known about God was created by man.

That statement begs the question though, how can you be sure of that, given that in your mind God may indeed exist, don't you think it even possible (which your being sure seems to preclude) that if He does exist, he would communicate to us at least some knowledge of Himself? To my mind, it seems only logical that it is possible. And if assert that it's not possible, what is your reasoning process behind that assertion?
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quote:
Simply put, if there is no God, then we have no reason for living, no meaning in life, and no way we can know anything for sure.


Well, maybe too simply put.  It almost sounds as though you are assuming that I am beginning with a complete Christian view and interpreting meaning against my presuppositions.  But that's more along the lines of how a philosopher might go about the question of meaning.

I suppose the main presupposition I bring to the table is that certain facts are self-interpreting (res ipsa loquitur - the thing speaks for itself).

Consider this question for a moment, Brad ... if Jesus did rise from the dead, how does that change your perspective on meaning?

Gotta run.  Will try to elaborate more later.

Jim
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Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


96 posted 02-29-2004 09:58 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well, Jim, let's at least try to see where the perspectives are:

Would you fight any less for your son if Jesus hadn't risen from the dead?

jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


97 posted 03-01-2004 08:47 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad:

Of course not.  But without concurrent providence, I don't believe the sum of my efforts would have been exceeded by the dramatic results.  Additionally, I believe my faith - which is grounded in the gifts of the historical incarnation, life, death and resurrection of God the Son - provides me with a reason to look beyond the interests of my son and to give of my time to make Pennsylvania a better place for children like my son who I will probably never meet.

Earlier you wrote:

quote:
Poverty is not beautiful, natural disasters aren't something to be loved, crises are not to be yearned for, and the end of the world should not be prayed for.


Autism isn't beautiful, expending significant financial and emotional resources in adversarial proceedings with multiple bureaucracies that neither understand the disorder nor want to spend the money to treat it properly is not something to be loved, having a child whose neurobiological condition causes him to be both aggressive and self-injurious is not something to be loved, and I certainly didn't pray that he would be among the 1 in 150 afflicted by the disorder.  I'm not going to pretend to understand why such things happen, and it would be easy to focus myopically on the trials and what my son cannot do as a result of his condition.  But what is beautiful, to be loved, and to be prayed for is the manner in which the trials are overcome, my son's amazing (and somewhat perplexing) strengths, and the hard work involved helping both my own son and many other children like him.  That outlook is most certainly attributable to my faith, Brad.

You gonna answer my question now or do you always answer questions with a question?  

Jim
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


98 posted 03-01-2004 09:32 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I answer ?

I believe ?


Why would any decent
God ask otherwise?

Sorry, just more questions.

What do I believe in?

I believe in NO GOD

It's time to get to work.
Tais
Member
since 01-28-2004
Posts 76
Ontario, Canada


99 posted 03-01-2004 10:57 AM       View Profile for Tais   Email Tais   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Tais's Home Page   View IP for Tais

I believe in God, in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Holy Spirit, and I believe that Mary, mother of Jesus, was crowned in heaven by her Son Jesus.

Those are my beliefs. Do I have proof? Yes, I do. But not to post here. My proof is only for me, and for my children. Our past (mine and my children's) have had many wonderful things, and God's hand guiding us and many miracles. The same must happen to almost everyone on this planet...but those who want to see will see them, and those who don't want to, will not see them happening around them.

So...yes I have proof that God exists, and that the Holy Trinity is true and exists.
But I will not even try to prove it here...it's no use telling of my past and what happened that made me each day, see God more and more in our lives. It will be like talking to a wall...to some.

I can see by some posts here, that it's no use to talk about God. Each one is determined to believe in what they want.

So...be it then.

And only one question I leave for those who think that they are superior enough not to need God:

"Can you tell us that you are truly a happy person? Is love and peace engraved in your heart and mind?"

I will answer for me:

"Yes, no matter what happens, the love and peace will always be in my heart, mind and soul because God is also there, and nothing can destroy that. We are destructible, but God and His love is not."

And I hope those who don't believe in God, will find their peace someday.

Did I actually post that? Yes, I did. And I stand by every word...

Tais
 
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