1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Other There's probably no God...

Discussion in 'General' started by steveo_mcg, 21 Oct 2008.

  1. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

    Joined:
    14 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    9,136
    Likes Received:
    381

    5. There is a God and you believe in another God, Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth, but the worst punishment was that Earth was not only as good as it gets, but chock-full of tickets out of this place I ignored just because you were an idiot and believed in the wrong God.

    6. There is a God and you don't believe, but do things nicely and do well with people, like as if you believed, errr.... what happens here?
     
  2. Stuey

    Stuey You will be defenestrated!

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2005
    Posts:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    10
    Another (related) inquiry has been bothering me since I was a child. If the universe is always expanding, what/where is expanding into; i.e. if the universe is of increasing but finite dimensions, what is beyond its bounds. Then, there's the idea that the universe could be never-ending, but that leads to other mind-screws.

    Anyways, the scale and respectiveness of things gets to me as well. Similarly to as the universe is (theoretically) the highest order of containment you can go, there is also a minimum containment you can go, in terms of subatomic particles.

    Take your computer case, for example. It is connected to your home network, connected to your ISP, connected to the internet, and then there is no higher order. But, your computer case is made of several compartments, each made of metal, composed of grains, composed of molecules, composed of atoms, with the lowest quanta of charge being the electron. There are no sub-electron particles. You can not break apart an electron (to my knowledge). Does that bother you as well? Some things just have to be tolerated.

    I didn't quote where you said this, but you mentioned that you cannot believe in something that you cannot witness. Can you see photons? Electrons? Extra-solar planets? Nope, but we can detect and observe their influence. Is religion really that different? There are many scientific phenomena that were and are observed, and to help explain them, new theories and ideas are drummed up until something better comes along.

    Pick up a book about modern or quantum physics, and you'll need many, many more beers to clear your head. Take Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle - it states that you can know a particle's position or momentum, but never both.
     
  3. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    523
    Yeah, the "where is the universe?" question boggles the mind more than any religion! Imagining the universe as infinite, not enclosed, never ending seems like the simplest way to think of it.
    Here's a thought:
    [​IMG]
    So which is correct, science or religion? Did she or didn't she? Surely this was not meant to be interpreted or believed other than how it was told?
     
  4. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

    Joined:
    7 Aug 2005
    Posts:
    6,783
    Likes Received:
    102
    It's a mistranslation. The word originally used translates properly to "Young lady" not "Virgin". Jesus wasn't Mary and Joseph's first child, nor their last. The whole "Virgin birth" thing was added later after a few translational garbles.
     
  5. Prestidigitweeze

    Prestidigitweeze "Oblivion ha-ha" to you, too.

    Joined:
    14 May 2008
    Posts:
    315
    Likes Received:
    27
    I appreciate your attempt to be fair, KayinBlack.

    What concerns me about your set of choices is the inherent supposition that people only behave morally when beholden to religion. Without an all-seeing god, saint/avatar as moral paradigm or, in the case of Judaism, religious doctrine which might or might not involve an actual divine being, you seem to believe people are relegated to solipsism and sociopathy -- to life without conscience or depth, devoid of spiritual refreshment.

    I wonder if you've ever read The Razor's Edge, by Somerset Maugham, or considered the life of Buddha not in religious terms, but as an example of a hedonistic life interrupted by empathy -- a moment that couldn't be ignored and changed forever the remainder of Buddha's life.

    It seems to me that a lot of so-called religious writing is actually philosophy couched in devotional terms. And while philosophy is not out of place in theological texts, its benefits are not confined to those who make God their defining principle.

    Many volumes of the Talmud consist of little more than laws which often seem outdated and, occasionally, barbaric. In particular, I'm thinking of the one that commands a woman who has been raped to marry her rapist. Nevertheless, Talmudic Law was meant to introduce order, intelligence and ethics into a culture the devout deemed ignorant of such refinements.

    Even the hygienic and dietary laws found so often in classic texts suggest that religion was used as a kind of mental police department -- as a way of discouraging disastrous behavior by declaring it taboo. Religion became the means to introduce the selfish and the feral to common ethics -- to instill correct behavior in people who would not be inclined to behave correctly otherwise.

    But that doesn't mean religious texts provide the only keys to living a conscious and responsible life.

    Anyone who has read The Republic can attest that Socrates was concerned not with hapless pleasure but ways to create a just and self-disciplining society. His responses to hypocrisy recall many of Christ's own (or do Christ's resemble his?): When the Athenian council attempted to hold a few generals in Mytilene responsible for men who were left to die, Socrates was fearless in tracing the cause to the sweepingly bad strategy of his own jaded government (see his "Defence" in the two versions by Plato and Xenophon), which thought it could win a small tactical war in a place the logistics of which it had not bothered to comprehend. If only some modern Socrates had made a similar case against Bush in a vast public trial long before congress approved the war in Iraq.

    One thinks of the story of Christ and the moneylenders -- people who made commerce the point of religion, and blamed poverty and sickness on faithlessness instead of their own greed. Wasn't Socrates saying something similar about war and the conduct of the Athenian state? Wasn't he, like Christ, put to death for the candor of his conscience? Are his teachings not a source of information for those who wish to live conscious lives?

    Even Nietzsche, with the famous ******** decoder he applied to conventional morality, is not exhorting mankind to embrace thoughtless solipsism. If pleasure and success were all that mattered, then he wouldn't have felt it necessary to explain the difference between truths and constructs.

    It is as painful to talk to a person who has just discovered Nietzsche as it is to a vain young preacher. Both feel the need to explain in crib noted terms what most of us have struggled with for lifetimes.

    Sometimes a person must turn away from religion in order to be true to their conscience. This is often misunderstood. T.S. Eliot is particularly tedious on that subject: Of James Joyce, he wrote, "Unlike Thomas Hardy, Joyce knew what Master he was serving," implying the "Master" to be Baudelaire's Satan, whom Eliot called "Christianity by the back door." But Joyce did nothing of the sort. Like Hardy, he knew what master he was serving: His conscience. No one who has read Portrait of the Artist can mistake the sad pseudo-comical autobiographical moment when Stephen Dedalus turns away from his Jesuit course. Joyce wanted to continue his Jesuit path, and his early life made sense in that context. But he couldn't claim to believe in God when, increasingly, he found he did not. Easy enough, to pursue the religious course, to win achievements and respect by saying the right things. Harder, to admit he could no longer believe -- to turn away from that secure and gracious life to face darkness and uncertainty.

     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2008
  6. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

    Joined:
    18 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    5,258
    Likes Received:
    495
    According to the Bible the only sin that is unforgivable is denying God. Which means if you dont believe in God, God cannot forgive you and you cannot go to Heaven. Why can he not forgive that sin? Because if you do not believe in God you cannot ask for forgiveness.

    Doesn't matter how 'nice' you are and how many good things you do. Someone could murder and rape thousands of people but if the day they die they sincerely ask God for forgiveness they are going to Heaven.


    KayinBlack is right. Why take the risk anyways? We would all have much happier lives.

    What about all those Christians that are unhappy and do bad things? Because wherever there is very strong believers Satan is there trying even harder to corrupt them and often succeeds.


    Where I live is often called the 'Bible Belt'. It is a VERY high Christian percentage area. It is an extremely prosperous area. But Satan is also very strong here. Our city is 20 miles from the US border and there is TONS of smuggling drugs across the border. This port is supposedly where most of the drugs in Canada enter from the US. Plenty of drugs in our city and dealers and such. It isnt a violent city at all. Cant remember the last murder. (if there even has been one as long as ive been alive).
     
  7. Prestidigitweeze

    Prestidigitweeze "Oblivion ha-ha" to you, too.

    Joined:
    14 May 2008
    Posts:
    315
    Likes Received:
    27
    You say that any amount of good done in the world is useless if one doesn't repent, and that a mass murderer such as . . . that Austrian fellow from the 30s . . . will go to Heaven if he repents and accepts Christ just before death.

    Why, then, do you assume that drugs are being smuggled into your community by non-Christians? Many of the worst addicts I've ever met were self-professed Christians. If they lapse during moments of sin, but repent regularly, then, if I understand you correctly, they are far better Christians than those who do not repent regularly but are entirely drug-free.

    For all you know, said smuggling is not the fault of local atheists.

    By the way: I'm from Vancouver, B.C., originally and, after that, the northwest United States. According to a course I once audited on linguistics and religion, the greatest concentration of agnostics in North America is to be found in the strip between San Francisco and Seattle. I suggest we look at the "bible belt" areas of the U.S. and compare them to the place I'm from. How many more bias crimes would you imagine take place in South Carolina than Portland, Oregon (despite racists like Tom Metzger)? If I were to walk into a bar in San Antonio and declare myself an agnostic, is it more likely I'd be beaten up there than in a bar in Portland? If so, what does that say about the benefits of a "Bible Belt" society as opposed to the "sinful" kind? Which, if any, is more civilized, and what has that to do with religion in any society composed partly of members who use religion to justify unspeakable crimes? Perhaps your method of determining the identity of evil is too boolean to be true. I say this as a friend, not an enemy.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2008
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,499
    Likes Received:
    1,852
    There aren't any. But the problem is that alternative social organisational systems all have rather similar side-effects too. Look at Mao's Communism according to its holy scriptures: the Little Red Book. Look at social class and caste systems. Look at football supporters. It's all the same tribal dynamics with exactly the same pro's and con's.

    Given the current state of the world, I think we are safe to assume that there isn't a jealous God going: "Worship me! Worship ME!!!".

    Exactly (and great post, Prestidigitweeze! :thumb: )

    Sorry, but that does not compute, and I like to think that I have a fairly well-developed conscience. Ever met a chronically abused and neglected child? They're often not that nice, and hard work. Being brutalised makes you brutal too in order to survive. Many professionals and foster parents make the mistake that all you have to do is be nice to them, show them that you're the good caregivers, and they will recognise that and accept you and love you back. Instead, a battle of wills ensues. I mean, who the hell are you all of a sudden? Respect, love, all that has to be earned. It has to be taught, learned and built over years.

    If God is the God you say He is, He'll understand that. He'll understand that a person is defined by their actions. If He doesn't, then you're right, and He is not known to me at all.

    I also don't buy the "Satan made me do it" line. Like: "I'll be OK no matter what I did, I as long as I ask God's forgiveness" that's just abdication of personal responsibility. And if we don't have that, what's the point of free will and making choices? Take responsibility for your own actions.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,499
    Likes Received:
    1,852
    Me thinks Talladega got a bit caught up in the tribal dynamic of religion. :D
     
  10. kennethsross

    kennethsross What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    29 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    No 'mistranslation', Cthippo. The word Almah has a semantic field which includes both 'virgin' and 'young woman'. Granted, Betulah could have been used, which has a narrower range (always means 'virgin'), but since Almah can mean virgin, there is not an issue.

    Note that the earliest New Testament manuscripts agree that the quotation from the prophet Isaiah meant 'virgin'.

    And as to Jesus not being Mary and Joseph's first child......... Reference?
     
  11. sub routine

    sub routine Archie Gemel

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    282
    Likes Received:
    2


    Yeah I like the bit after where they all talk. Where they all STFU and get along with it.
     
  12. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

    Joined:
    18 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    5,258
    Likes Received:
    495
    I should have clarified that. Sorry. I wasnt suggesting that non-Christians were the ones doing it. Often they are because as I said in an area where there are lots of Christians, Satan is there trying even harder to tempt the Christians. I think alot of the smuggling is done by Christians who have come from Mexico into Canada and down in Mexico there is a gigantic drug mafia type thing. The people who run in are related to many Christians up here and many people have gotten sucked into it.

    I probbably should bother with this thread because I suck at arguing and trying to make posts that make sense. Dont know how to explain things properly....

    Hopefully you can understand it.


     
  13. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

    Joined:
    14 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    9,136
    Likes Received:
    381
    A God that sends you to heaven after you killed all of the worlds children in a gruesome way just because you asked for forgiveness and believed in him while you were alive is not a God, he is as real and functional as Santa Claus.
     
  14. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    523
    A God does whatever it wants, and doesn't have to follow any rules or ideas because it's creations think certain things are right or wrong.
    If you study every single religous text on earth, all you will have read is a contradictory compilation of stories, and in the end it is us making the decision of what is correct, as if we know?
    It's almost like religions are software, some freeware, some expensive. People just follow whatever beliefs they want to believe, that gets saved on the hdd, and reject whatever they don't like, just as if it were junk mail. Who are we to make the final decision as to what is right or wrong about God?
     
  15. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

    Joined:
    18 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    5,258
    Likes Received:
    495
    Sorry, I believe what I believe. If you don't believe the same, then that is your decision. Just don't call me stupid as I am not. (I am not saying you did) I am not some crazy psycho fanatic.
     
  16. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    523
    No need to say sorry, everyone's allowed to believe whatever they want to believe. I'm just asking, how is anyone meant to actually know for sure, which religion is correct, if any of them are 100% correct? As blind faith and facts supported with undisputable evidence are two different things.

    You can call me a whimp, afraid to commit, a fence sitter, etc as i'm sort of open. I believe that it is very possible there is a heaven and a hell and saints and everything else, i just have some doubts, i'm not 100% convinced either way, that's all.
     
  17. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

    Joined:
    18 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    5,258
    Likes Received:
    495
    Ya, I know what you mean. I've been raised as a Christian since I was born. I guess to me it's pretty evident that there is a God.

    How to know which religion is correct? That is sort of tough if you dont believe in any one. I believe mine is correct but there are also many many variations of Christianity and I think some of them are not correct in some of the things they believe (Catholics and Mormons are the two I first think of).

    I guess the proof of there really being a God and that my religion is the correct one would be the Bible. It's a book of history just like any other history book. Yes there are many variations and some things have been misworded. Some newer versions are wrong I think, but the basics are all there really. The proof in there is that everything that God predicted that would happen, happened. Except the stuff about the end of the world. Well some of it is already happening actually, but you get the point.

    Besides the Bible it is sort of hard to try to prove to you that God is real. I am not near knowledgable of this to do that. The only thing I can really tell you is about the Bible. I havent gone to Bible School or that stuff so I dont know all that fancy ways of telling people about God and such.

    It's up to you to decide. Hope you make a decision you will be happy with the rest of your life. :)
     
  18. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    4,639
    Likes Received:
    523
    I was raised the same, but i've always had my doubts, and they increased as the years went on. I do suspect that many common beliefs may very well be true, but i'm not 100%.. it's hard to put a figure on my trust of these beliefs, such as heaven and hell for example, i dunno, maybe 80 or 90%? I'm not planning on making any final decisions, and 80-90% isn't enough for me, as i can't pretend something is fact if i'm not fully convinced of it.
     
  19. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,499
    Likes Received:
    1,852
    How about biology?

    OK, let's take the word of the people who were there. Traditionally, the Jewish blood-line goes though the mother because one could never be quite sure who the father was.

    Some people are not believers for a season. After the life experiences they had, they are in no psychological frame of mind to ask God (and who are You, stranger?) for forgiveness for their sins. They may just be feeling a bit abandoned and neglected, bitter and angry.

    Then there are people who have not been raised in your Christian faith, but possibly have a philosophical framework that worked just as well for them in life, and they have to make this major paradigm shift: "Look, you may have lived your life virtuously, been a loving spouse and conscientious parent, charitable to strangers, generous to the disadvantaged, honest and forthright to your fellow man. But all that means nothing unless you ask Me for forgiveness of your sins such as I deem them, and accept me as your God. (what, you were Hindu? though luck old man)".

    On what about the heathen 4-year old child that starved to death on a battlefield in Darfur? Does he even understand the metaphysical question?

    None would find it easy to make what you argue is such a vital decision to their eternal salvation. I like to think that God would be kinder, wiser and, well, much less egocentric than that. I like to think that when it comes to the growth and self-actualisation (or in your lingo, blossoming) of the human soul, God understands that it is not about Him.

    It ain't what you do, it's who you believe in? Yeah, right. I'm saying that this outright contradicts your position of God as a benevolent, loving, wise, understanding and forgiving entity.

    I mean more than that. You actions define you. They teach you by their consequences, describe to you and others who you are as a person and form a narrative of your life. They are always with you because in many senses they are you.

    It's not as simple as being forgiven for your bad deeds because, now you are actually standing in front of God offering you a choice between acceptance of Him or eternal damnation, you feel really, truly sorry and you believe in Him now (I mean, that is likely to bias your thinking a bit, isn't it? There is likely to be a bit of cognitive dissonance reduction. As any good torturer knows, People will believe and do anything if the alternative is eternal flames, and I mean, they'll really convince themselves. Haven't you read 1984?).

    Sorry, no. You did bad things. People suffered. It is their forgiveness you seek. You have amendments and restitutions to make, and you have to struggle and suffer to learn the value of what your bad deeds destroyed, and to learn the importance of redemption and doing the good thing.

    In the end, once you understand all those things you will understand your actions and thus, yourself, and know when you are ready to accept forgiveness, honestly, truly, and with due respect to those that suffered because of your actions. Because now being forgiven has meaning.

    That's the state of grace. There is no other way. God knows. Or if He doesn't, He should or He isn't God.

    Religion is a matter of faith, not proof . And for very important reasons: it covers these parts of human existence that lie beyond the scientific realm: those of meaning.

    Your believe in Christianity because you were raised in that cultural belief system and possibly because it resonates with you on a spiritual level. That's cool; many aspects of different religions and humanist philosophies resonate with me. But in the end, it is that part of you that resonates that is important, not that which causes the vibrations. Without a really good violin played by a practiced artist, music remains just dry scribbles on a page. Don't forget where the soul comes from. And the most rounded musicians play music of all genres. :)
     
    Last edited: 28 Oct 2008
  20. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

    Joined:
    18 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    5,258
    Likes Received:
    495
    your talking way over my head. I cant follow anything. :lol:

    Didnt get 70% in English for nothin.
     

Share This Page