It is a fundamental subject for human life. We need to know: i) Who is the Creator? ii) Which path is selected from the Creator and that we need to follow? & iii) Who is our Prophet (Selected from the Creator)?
i)There is no creator
ii)As there is no creator, there is no path selected by the nonexistent creator
iii)As there is no creator there is no prophet selected by the nonexistent creator, although you can always choose from tens of thousands of people that will tell you how to behave.
Spoken like a true scientist. Full of evidence, fact and logic.
If you see any mark, you must say, somebody did it. The Universe and all Creations in it are huge marks. Without creating how do the marks come true? Can you live as long as you like? There are many indications in the Creations, those indicate that there is a Creator. Please try to find it
Sorry, but your questions have nothing to with human life, they are merely questions posed to prop up confirmation bias in whatever religion one follows.
If you're unable to choose your own path in life, put down the holy book and start learning something about the world around you. You will find a world far more interesting than any tales of creators or false prophets would have you believe. Using reason and rationale, your path will then appear before you.
The Creator, virtues, is whomever you decide the Creator is - or should be. If Allah isn't a good fit, convert to Buddhism, or paganism or any one of the many "isms."
Your Path is that which you choose - like your Creator. Change your mind - change your life.
Your Prophet? Well, that's you. Since you have a discerning mind - why listen to the words of any other man? Listen to your heart. Think for yourself.
This information is in the Holy Bible, plainly set forth and readable and understandable.
Brenda, my sister in Christ, I beg to differ. The Bible is anything but plain. And it isn't simple, either. Plain and simple are "easy" and, as such, would be conducive to laziness.
The Bible is deep and hard. It requires work and humility. These are the traits that God desires.
Take for instance the fallacy of biblical literalists that the original sin preceded death. Therefore, they disrespect science and condemn anything that suggests the universe is more than 6,000 years old. Some are rejecting reality (the realm of science), and embracing delusion (the opposite of reality).
Their attitude is one of arrogance and laziness, not humility and faith. Belief in a lie is not valid. Bible is truth, but interpretation (and there are so many of them) is not necessarily equivalent to that truth. There is a vast difference between belief and faith. Belief is a dichotomous attitude containing confidence and doubt. Faith has no doubt; it remains perfect in confidence. "Faith in a lie" is an oxymoron. Faith can only exist with Truth. This was manifest when Peter stepped out of his storm-tossed boat onto the unsettled Sea of Galilee to stand before his master. Faith is an act of creation; and God honors any such request for creation (ask and ye shall receive).
What many a biblical literalist misses is the fact that Adam did not literally, physically die on the day that he ate of the forbidden fruit, even though God said that he would die on that day. So, what did God mean, if not the literal?
Adam died spiritually. He was separated from God, escorted out of the Garden, and supposedly lived 930 years outside of the Garden. That's not physically dying on the day.
So, the biblical literalists who adhere to this notion, miss the important fact that sin brought spiritual death, just as Jesus implored us to be reborn of the spirit (not physically). Sin is spiritual; not physical. So, biblical literalists are wrong about sin preceding physical death. Therefore, their argument against an old universe is hollow. It's based on arrogance and laziness.
I suspect, because humility and hard work are so valued by the Heavenly Father, there may well be a great deal of wisdom hidden in the Bible, requiring a great deal of humility and hard work from us in order to find it.
Blessings to you, always. I hope this helps.
The path of Rhonda Byrne. Shulmanaser.
i) I think the universe came about through natural means-- not through a creator.
ii) paths were not selected by anyone or anything for us to follow. I believe there are many Gods. There are also many paths. It is up to us to find the right one for us and follow it.
iii) I don't believe there have ever been any prophets, because there is no single creator to select them. All prophets have been simply human beings impassioned about their beliefs and sharing them. With enough followers, they are called a prophet.
If you would - what is a "god"? What do you mean by use of that word?
I believe in Gods and Goddesses. Higher powers. Supreme beings, if you will... superior to humans. I believe we can have relationships with them, seek guidance from them, feel compelled to praise and worship them. I believe they can do far more than we can, and know more than we do.
I don't believe in a supreme single creator, I do not believe in creation stories, I do not believe in things like salvation or revealed religions. I believe Gods are part of nature just like humans are, and that the universe comes out of natural means (big bang, abiogenesis, evolution, etc). I believe Gods are part of the process, or witnesses to it, not initiators.
If I'm understanding; another physical animal species, evolving alongside humans. Or maybe energy, but NOT supernatural from outside our universe. Maybe ET from Betelgeuse. Whatever - source or home perhaps unknown but not supernatural.
Interesting and, to me, more believable that a supernatural creature from another universe that loves us and created us. Perhaps I need to look into Wicca.
No, not aliens and no, not physical. Spiritual beings, higher powers. Gods, in all their glory. Just not the cause of the universe, but another being that came out of it in some way unknown to me.
Wicca has no dogmatic views on the nature of the divine that we must believe. Our religion is orthopraxic, not orthodoxic. So you'll find we all try to seek answers and understanding, and this results in different opinions.
Are your gods tied to earth, then? Cannot visit or know the rest of the universe?
Spiritual. I deduce you think there is another "plane of existence", whatever that means. "Higher" powers I take to mean simply more competent at manipulating nature. Not powers that can violate natural laws. Yes?
Is a godless or spiritless world belief at all common in Wicca? Non-existent?
No, I don't believe Gods are tied to any specific planet. I really have a hard time wrapping my brain around the nature of the divine, but they seem to me more like non-corporial yet sentient spiritual beings. Don't ask me the extent of what they're able to do. I just don't take myths literally and accept scientific explanations for the natural world. Because of my experiences, I find it hard 'not' to believe in them, so I just figure it all works in there, naturally, somehow. I don't think anything can exist outside of nature, I just believe in things that have not been (or perhaps have yet to be) proven.
Wicca is a theistic religion; traditionally polytheistic or at least duotheistic, often pantheistic beliefs overlapping. It's a fertility religion revolving of the interplay of male/female (active/passive; positive/negative; yin/yang; etc.) energies. It's not rare to find agnostics Wiccans (even I myself admit I could be as wrong as anyone about my Gods, but at the same time you have to be true to what you think is real) but it is rare to find atheist Wiccans. All of our ceremony, ritual, holidays, etc. revolve around an interpersonal relationship with deity.
He wants to know why you believe anything you are talking about... Have you seen, heard or felt any of these "Gods and Goddesses?"
Untrue. At this point I assume there are no more reasons for that belief than for the monotheistic one. Without an invitation to discuss or a declaration that those gods are "known" to exist such a question is inappropriate. I ask for a belief, I got a belief - no debate or argument was ever suggested.
That does not make in uninteresting, though, and does not make it wrong or impossible. It provides another worldview - always interesting to learn.
Oh, good grief! How inconsistent of you.
Oh, don't get it wrong; I would be interested in why those beliefs are held, but many are not comfortable discussing that. Particularly in an open forum, as very often a persons belief system is not rational.
Now, present your belief as knowledge or truth without reason for making that claim and I'm all over it.
So you accept others' beliefs in God, Gods and Goddesses when a reason is presented?? How come there is so much arguing then... I do not think the other atheists around here go along with that very benevolent attitude you have just revealed.
Accept it as truth? Hardly. A personal, subjective reason seldom produces truth.
Accept it as a belief? Of course. A belief can be anything at all, and the delusion there is an extra-universal creature out there that loves each of us individually is common.
The problem is when belief is presented as truth...
"Have you? Huh?" Is that meant to be condescending?
Yes, like most religious people, I believe I experience my deities in my life. That is why I believe what I am talking about.
The atheists usually accept nothing but factual proof. And yes, they can be condescending about it. Letting you slide here I see. That is very interesting. Why don't you tell us about a miracle you have experienced and see if they believe you.
Actually, I thought you were being condescending with the way you asked your question. Wilderness didn't phrase it that way, he just asked what I meant.
I don't actually have to argue with atheists, I'm not trying to convert or convince anyone. I readily admit my experiences are subjective and personal.
I also understand they don't believe me-- they think I am objectively wrong and that the experiences I am interpreting are just how I filtered info through my own mind, and arrived at what they consider illogical conclusions. We disagree. I can accept that. We can also learn about each other's beliefs & experiences because it's interesting. We don't have to argue over it.
I write about my experiences in some of my hubs. But being a person who leads a religious/spiritual life on a daily basis, I experience my Gods on a daily basis. It's no 'one great miracle' that led me to any of my beliefs, but a decades-long journey that continues today. I also don't see how it would have been relevant to Wilderness's question, that wasn't what he asked.
I'm not trying to argue with you. Look at your initial question-- I asked if you were trying to be condescending and you went on to tell me about how atheists can be condescending. But you were the one to add the "have you? Huh?" to your question, no one else, which is why I asked you if you intended it that way. That was not to be snarky, but an honest question as things can be taken wrong in forum messages.
Maybe you meant it as a dig to Wilderness because of your previous conversations with him, but I had no way of knowing your history with him and took it as directed to me from you. I was just trying to clarify what your (not Wildernesses) intentions were behind your words, which seemed to be directed at me.
Yes, it was a dig at wilderness and all atheists who are very verbal in disagreeing with theists in these here religious forums.
But, Lo and Behold, I did not realize that the atheists do not accept
*ideas presented as truths*
*ideas presented as beliefs.*
This clarification isolates the difficulty and should change everything!!!!!
I am sure there will be no more arguing now, as all theists will simply present their beliefs as beliefs and not truths!
Well said. Can you teach that attitude and understanding to Christians or must one become wiccan (or atheist) to understand it?
I think anyone who wants to get along can get along. We can follow what we believe to be truth, without using it as a weapon to belittle the experiences and beliefs of others, respecting that they have given it thought and come to their own conclusions. I have Christian friends and family I get along with fine; I think people can have clarity and respect without agreement, it's a choice.
And I think it sad that so few will walk that path. To be fair, of course, an anonymous forum post is a far different thing than a conversation with family or friend.
BTW Christians can understand it just fine.
Are you sure? I have met very few Christians that do not put their religion first as better than any other or that is interested in learning about any other religion.
WHEN they do not present their ideas as truths. but instead, as beliefs... you accept it. Thats what you said.
So, you can accept my idea that Christians can understand how to get along and not try to convert others all the time.
Can't they? They just need to be told politely, I presume:
Christian: "You will go to hell if you do not believe in the *truth* of God!"
Atheist: You mean your *belief* of God... well, if you tell me to believe in what you believe, I cannot, so please do not try.
Christian: Okay, sorry.
Any way, that is how I believe the conversation will go, based on the fact that Christians are people too. Do you now accept my belief? (well, you should.)
Memorial day 2012, standing at a parade, excessively pregnant with my three year old autistic daughter on my hip.
Religious Lady: (going down the line) Here's a piece of candy for your little girl.
Me: Tell her thank you, Lily.
Lily: Thank you.
Religious Lady: Are you saved?
Me: No, I'm Unitarian. We don't believe in "saving".
Religious Lady: (voice raising) If you aren't saved you're going to Hell.
Me: I don't believe in Hell either.
Now Crazy Religious Lady: (near screaming) Whether you believe it in or not, that's where you're going.
It was about that time that my daughter started tensing up and making whining noises.
Now Angry and Half-Scared Me: Get away from me.
Crazy Religious Lady (near screaming and pointing at my daughter) You'll take her with you too.
Now Just Angry Me: edited for the sake of pg13 boards. I apologize.
So, yeah... that's how my conversation with a reasonable Christian went. Tell me why I should have to repeat it? I just go ahead and skip to the last part when approached by people with religious fliers now. You want to blame someone for causing hostility against Christians.... PM me and I'll give you her church address and telephone number.
Oh, so no Christian is a reasonable thinking person. Melissa's example proves this! Therefore, I am not either.
Wow! I did not know!
Thanks for this very valuable Info.
Melissa : " I am glad YOU are saved. I am glad YOU are not going to hell."
Crazy Christian Woman: "Yes, I am too. Thank you. Have a good day."
A reasonable person and an unreasonable person, who is mentally disabled for whatever reason, (no, not due to being a Christian,) are two very different types of people.
(I wonder if WiccanSage is getting a gist of what I was referring to?! )
Oh, why do I bother.
It proves what it proves. You gave an imaginary conversation and I gave a real one.
As long as you keep denying that there are zealots out there (and quite a few of them) then you are helping them abuse people.
Response to your edit:
She works at the Public Library in Grafton WV. Her only mental illness IS religion.
They are not abusing others, surely. I need examples of reasonable people abusing others in the name of Christianity to accept your argument. Got any? That would make a good forum topic: Examples of Zealots who abuse others in the name of Christianity. But, I won't post it. Someone else can.
Well, you flew off the handle at me calling me talking about my experiences in another thread blatant and disgusting and that I should be banned for it.... and then before you edited in this thread you said I lied. I would assume you were doing that defending Christianity, as you seem to think I'm attacking it.
I tend to think that a "reasonable Christian" is an oxymoron, as religion isn't reasonable per definition. There can be Christians that are reasonable but there is no reasonable way to have a religion... as religion in and of itself is irrational.
That's not an insult either. Just religious belief fits the definition of irrational... or more likely unrational.
And that includes my own.
Kathryn, I hope we can talk some time when I don't feel like I've walked into the room halfway through the meeting. You sound like an intelligent person, and I'm sure we could have an interesting conversation.
But in this conversation I'm not seeing what you're seeing. You sound defensive. Again, maybe it's because I'm not up on other conversations, but whatever you think is evident here in this conversation that I would get the gist of, I'm not really seeing it.
I am defending the good name and reputation of the a v e r a g e God loving Christian, I do not think they should be hated. However, they should not be pushing their beliefs on others. I agree there. But, I accept them even when I do not agree with their pushy-ness or self-righteousness. They are mistaken, not evil. Hate the sin not the sinner.
Melissa... I called you on your bawdy talk regarding whips. If it was not bawdy, (look it up... as you say to me,) I apologize. And yes, I am on the defensive. I can never get a word in edgewise regarding my belief in God. I do try to present my ideas as simply my beliefs, as for many days, things presented as truths around here have been and are rejected, put down and mercilessly argued against. I will sign off with such things as TWISI (the way I see it) or IMO (In my opinion) or (A Mon Avis.)
But, never does anyone say to me...
"Oh, that is very interesting... tell us more about your ideas and opinions, as they just said to WiccanSage. Jealous? More than that, because I believe a great disservice to God Himself is done.
MY Belief Only.
Your comments came before I mentioned whips... but I digress.
Kathryn, you are on a public forum. Anything you say can be debated or disagreed with. It is LIKELY to be debated or disagreed with.
You have the same space to type your word in edgewize as anyone else here does. No one interrupts your typing.
What you want is for people to consider your opinions or agree with them. It's not likely to happen. You know that... right?
The wiccan religion is a very peaceful and interesting/varied religion. It's also uncommon. People don't know as much about it as Christianity.
We know ALL ABOUT Christianity... why on earth would someone ask to hear about something they've heard- often against their will- thousands of times.
You might want to consider growing a thicker skin... or going to a solely Christian locked forum.
No, I called you on the whips.
So, fine... Thank you for teaching me me how it should be.
It shall be that way.
I won't get jealous. I will grow a thicker skin.
You sure know your whips!
I know weapons (medieval melee mostly) in general. It's a hobby. It's about as far away from bawdy as it can get.
I see! Well, I misunderstood. I am fascinated by the medieval period. I am researching the art of Hieronymus Bosch. Do you know it? Things were more hang loose during the 1400's according to what I'm reading. Churches were not like what they have become.
more "hang loose" in the medieval period in regards to religion? You've got to be joking.
All of these things happened in the middle ages:
The crusades - where invading Catholic armies murdered thousands of jews, muslims and other christians even.
The inquisitions (yes, plural, there were four)
The witch hunts
The reformation (which pitted catholic against reformer).
Torture for expressing a thought, opinion or belief was common. So was burning at the stake. In fact, simply being SUSPECTED of not being a "true believer" was punishable - often by death.
...pretty hang loose if you ask me! Here is a quote from one of my sources regarding a typical day in church..."women attended church services in low necked gowns, and gossiped with one another during the service. Prostitutes came and went openly seeking customers. The church was a place of rendez-vous and it was quite usual for a woman to get up in the middle 0f the service...and greet her lover, just arrived. Bawdy pictures were hawked in the portals and even in the church itself lewdness and license were frankly tolerated." This author, (Robert L. Delevoy in Bosch pgs.16,17,) goes on to explain: "...for many who took part in them, pilgrimages were not so much for fulfilling a pious vow as for gratifying sinful appetites more easily."
The truth was that superstitiousness was undermining the authority of the church. Bosch recorded in his works the conflicts of ideas, emotions and tastes of the times. His paintings reveal the wild irrational thinking of the people regarding religious ideas, unchecked by reason.
According to this author, the renaissance man was less sophisticated and less disciplined than we are today. The renaissance man was not so appalled at every little thing as we are. Today we observe religion with the most pious attitude... not so then: "...the churches of Bosch's day resounded with sensuous, outspoken sermons teeming with voluptuous imagery which would shock and horrify present day Christians." (not to mention atheists, lol!)
Ok! You all tried a many to discuss about my questions. Now, think a little.
Once nothing was existed except the INFINITY. INFINITY is unique. It is the super power. Nothing is comparable to It. It has no plural form. It has no gender. It creates everything of the Universe. Human is the superior of all creations and they are created for ever. The worldly life of human is for examining purpose. The unique super power selected the successful path as well as the prophet to follow for the human. We are the last part of total generated human and our path of success from the Super power is Islam and Prophet is Mohammad (SM)
Sorry, but your goal or purpose in life may be to follow a hate cult, but that is not the goal of others.
OK, I will think. To begin, I will think that you haven't a clue what the word "infinity" means, so will make up your own definition for it.
Then I will think that you haven't a clue about how humanity came to be, so will make up a method your self. And then, within your made up method, include that it will last for infinite time - an obvious falsehood to anyone knowing what the word means.
Then I will think that you like the idea of a purpose for humanity even when there isn't one, so will make that up, too. Along with a new name ("Super power") for an old religion long ago proven false.
I have thought, and have found no reason to change the first response to your OP. Next?
A troubled man wrote
If you're unable to choose your own path in life, put down the holy book and start learning something about the world around you. You will find a world far more interesting than any tales of creators or false prophets would have you believe. Using reason and rationale, your path will then appear before
I can even agree with this statement. " Imagine that !"
If there is a higher power , and I believe there is !! "I AM" didn't intend for us to waste our lives bickering and arguing over HIM ? I think "HE"? would want to stay in our peripheral vision but not on our noses blocking our view of the world.. (gotta go for a few minutes)
No Jerami, that is your holy book speaking again, put it down so you can learn something about reality.
It IS reality. It's a part of the bigger reality.
An honest man who claimed there was a creator in reality would produce the creator, or show it in some way, or at the very least provide a shred of evidence in some form to show their claim is an honest one.
You have not done that. What then can we conclude of your integrity?
An honest man tells the truth.
A dishonest man decides the truth and then berates and browbeats the other if they aren't satisfied with what they said.
I ain't the latter but you most definitely is.
But, you are telling any truths or else everyone would agree because it is a truth. Gravity is a truth and everyone knows it.
That is entirely false, people have not "decided" gravity is a truth and have not berated or browbeat anyone. Christians on the other hand most certainly have decided their beliefs are truth and berate and browbeat everyone who doesn't agree.
Okay, but we are not talking about gravity. Don't pull a straw man argument and don't try to deflect. If you say I don't deal with what is, then you must.
We're talking about truth, gravity is a truth. Your religion is not a truth. Simple, really.
Nice save. (That was sarcasm, BTW.)
I'll give you a point for the attempt but you're still dragging something else into the discussion. You've as yet to prove I'm crazy or stupid. And simply saying I'm religious therefor... is a circular argument. If you're the logical one and I'm not, then it's incumbent on you to be logical.
Correct, I'm not the one proving that.
Wow! A funny what was actually funny!
However, no one is proving it. The only people here who think I'm stupid are people like you, who equate religion with stupidity. So that doesn't really count. And I've as yet to see anything pointing to me being crazy. And no, being religious doesn't count.
It is the religion that is stupid and crazy. One can opine on the condition of the folks who follow religion.
nevertheless, I'm not stupid and I'm not crazy.
And I am honest.
He didn't say you are stupid or crazy or dishonest, he said that about your religion. He accused your religion as stupid and crazy and dishonest and as a follower of that religion, by inference you can be stupid and crazy or dishonest. But I see it in a different way, which he has not seen - mistaken, you are mistaken, you believed the lies without knowing that they are lies. That will not make you stupid or crazy or dishonest, but merely a normal human who keep his beliefs handed over from our ancestors and is 'proved by experience'.
With all due respect:
A) ATM and I have been going around for a couple of years now and yes, he has called me crazy, stupid and dishonest. At some point he has called me all those things.
B) No, they aren't lies. If you want to discuss I'm fine but please don't just say it. I've studied and thought about it and I didn't start out as a Christian.
My comment is only regarding this thread (that too, only for the last few days) because I have read only this.
I assumed, my mistake. So to which religion did you belong before you became a christian? Why did you change? Was that religion a lie?
If you are a christian, again I am assuming, you believe that god came to earth and was dead for three days, don't you? What I am saying is that that is a lie not that you are lying. That, for anyone who is not a christian, is outright nonsense(if not a lie) and would have been comical but for the fact that millions believe that and base their life upon that. A christian who is entrenched in that belief, somehow fails to see the inherent contradiction and nonsense and believe it as true. That makes them mistaken, a believer who thinks that the lie is the truth. Just because I believe something as true, doesn't necessarily make it so, does it?
When you say you studied, I presume, you mean you have studied the books of christianity and what the bureaucracy of that religion (or denomination) teach, don't you? How can anyone study the basic tenets of christianity, as neither god nor "sin" is available to die and resurrect, nor experiment with ?
How does anyone "study" a religion?
They read the words and thoughts of someone else and think about them. Usually a "someone else" far predating the scholar in time, and who has in turn read the thoughts of someone even further back in antiquity and ignorance. At no point, of course, are any experiments or tests made to determine veracity of what is being said, but then truth is not the objective. Belief, and the strengthening of belief, is.
That is studying a religion. That's how I study my own religion. That's how you study almost anything.
No, that's how a theist "studies" his belief system to reinforce it.
Others, studying the world around them and looking for truth, will experiment, test and observe. They will submit observations and conclusions for peer review. They will NOT simply take the word of anyone for anything - all must be confirmed by test/observation.
It's why religion and science don't get along as playmates.
Um, no. I study my religion the way I study history. And I think about my religion. And talk to others about it. I mean, your assumption is okay as far as it goes but only as far as creating a false dichotomy. Science and religion are not and never have been mutually exclusive, except in the minds of those who think they've found a way to nullify religion or those whose self-identity is so wrapped up in a need for everything to be supernatural that they reject science. And of course both are wrong.
Science is separate from religion in that the scientist does not or should not consider religion in his work. Religion and politics are supposed to be separated, but in much of the world they are not.
I will accept that to a degree but it's still a false dichotomy to say that science and religion are fundamentally at odds with each other.
The nature of politics frankly makes it difficult if not impossible to keep religion out, or any kind of philosophy. The rulers (or magistrates, depending on the system) have to have SOME kind of philosophical basis for what they do. Whether or not bringing religion into it is a good thing is not the point, or more specifically is another discussion. I'm simply responding to your statement, that politics and religion should be separate.
Those elected by us are supposed to make decisions based on the electorate not their personal religion.
Even were that possible (and to a very large extent, in a democratic system I agree with you) then you have the philosophy of the electorate, which can sometimes be very religious indeed. Doesn't matter whether it's the Fundamentalist South, the Mormon Utah, the Jewish New York City area, or the Muslim Michigan area.
Again, the desirability of any particular POV or of any at all is not the point, the point is that once you say politics and religion should be completely divorced from each other, you run into one road-block after another.
Indeed it is difficult and indeed leaders need some kind of philosophical basis for what they do.
And that means a belief in supernatural creature(s) giving orders? Or even perpetuating the directions given by men claiming they learned of them from supernatural creatures from another universe? I don't see it quite that way...
And many people don't. And many people do. And many people interpret it one way, and many interpret it another. Most people don't believe they get their marching orders directly from God as some sort of call for Shariah (or a Christian variation thereof) but many do see it as an ethical system that should influence how they behave.
And many Christian thought leaders and politicians have gone to great pains to talk about how an elected leader is elected by and is supposed to work for ALL the people, whether they are Christian, Muslim, atheist or whatever.
So you've studied history (beyond reading a few books). You've dug up and dated a few civil war relics, you've built a trebochet to see it it would work as advertised. You've tried to set Easter Island size stone statues into the ground. Or whatever, you get the point. You've done something to verify what you've read as truth.
What artifacts have you discovered that Jesus owned? What tests did you make to verify god made the universe? How did you test the efficacy of prayer?
And then, who did you show Jesus's artifacts to, to see if they could verify them, too (with a ringer thrown into the bunch)? Who checked your math on the tests for efficacy of prayer? Who has repeated the experiment, slightly different and with different controls?
While there is a most definite use for beliefs in the supernatural, those beliefs are not, and can never be, known as truth. They are, and cannot be, a part of scientific studies.
Okay, since you're sooooooo rigorous, I'm assuming that you have a phd and spend all your spare time out at digs and sites. Right?
So you did'nt do the study yourself. Who did you study that has done those things? Who claims to have verified your god and how did they do it? What relics from Jesus has the people writing the words you studied dug up? Who were the peers that reviewed the conclusions and tested them for veracity? After all, if you are not going to test the conclusions of the writer, surely that means you have also studied the words of those that did make those tests? Or at least scanned those words and made sure the testers were competent in the field of study?
Yes, it's all about rigor. Rigor and desired results - religious study is not done rigorously and does not produce truth; that is the field of science. Religious study is done very differently, just as you indicate, and is designed and undertaken to reinforce a specific belief. Which is what I said, and which you seem to have found to be so obnoxious in it's truth.
What's with the relics? If you're so academically rigorous, do you understand what that means to a Calvinist?
I've studied John, Paul, Calvin, Martin Luther, and many many others. I'm still not getting your point. If you're trying in some roundabout way to state that I just accept the words of some minister, or grew up in my religion and got brainwashed in it, then I'll take that bet because you already lost.
But frankly the tone you take is one of snobbishness.
Forget the relics. They were only to be an example of the rigor necessary for proof, never as something necessary to learn.
Either I'm just not expressing myself or you're being intentionally obtuse. The point is that science and religious studies are very, very different. They have very different standards of proof, knowledge and truth and they are undertaken for very different reasons. I'll make one more try and give it up.
Science. A scientific study might be undertaken in the field of Cosmology or Chemistry maybe. The objective will be to find a truth, knowledge about the world around us or how it works. One might read the works of others, others who have done experimentation or observation of the world. Or one might do the observation or experimentation themselves. Either way, truth will not be accepted until multiple third parties have also done the tests or experiments and independently verified the conclusion. Every tester will do their best to disprove the original conclusion and only failure to do so will permit that conclusion to be considered truth or knowledge. Indeed, if that conclusion cannot be disproved by any means it can never be accepted as truth. Disproving the existence of an invisible, undetectable pink unicorn in my closet cannot be disproved, for instance, because it is defined as undetectable. Science produces conclusions that are useful to the cerebral part of man that looks for and uses knowledge to change the world around him.
Religion. A religious study might be undertaken to determine if Jesus changed water to wine or if god answers prayers. In either case the objective is likely to be to reinforce a belief already held, although it could be to come to a belief. One might read the words of someone else that believes it happened, someone else that desired to reinforce the same belief. One is unlikely to actually study the words of someone that disagrees with the conclusion to start with except to find fault. No testing is to be done, and no peer review of such tests (you cannot review a test that never happened). Observations are not done, except to observe coincidental things or actions and assign a cause because it fits the desired conclusion. No effort will be made to disprove conclusions, because they cannot be proved OR disproved. Religion produces conclusions that are useful to the emotional part of man that "feels"; it provides happiness, pleasure and other desirable emotional responses. Something almost impossible for science to do, although some people do enjoy simply learning for sake of learning.
I am not being intentionally obtuse but thank you for avoiding the sort of emotionally charged language that brings debate, discourse and dialogue to a screeching halt.
The main place where you went off the rails there is your implied (thinly veiled, actually) assumption that religion doesn't ever satisfy any cerebral area of the human brain.
The second part that needs a little work is the assumption that all religious study is for the sole purpose of reinforcing already-held beliefs.
If you're trying to say that religion and science are not the same thing, I agree. They aren't. But your supposition that because religion isn't 'science' that therefor it is somehow junk is exactly that, a supposition.
What he says, I suppose is that science can be tested. A scientist put forward a hypothesis, there are a thousand people who try to disprove it and if the experiment couldn't be repeated by anyone of the thousand the hypothesis is rejected. If an alternate theory can be found another set of experiments are done not only to prove it but also to find out which one is the better theory. And if you are a skeptic you yourself can do the experiment and find out.
In case of religion, there are no experiments. You said Calvin, did Calvin do any experiments? All he did was gave his interpretation of the bible. There was no way to prove or disprove his theory. Earlier Luther had another theory. People followed or didn't follow it solely based on their personal inclination or by birth not based on any proven fact or tests.First they follow and then they interpret to fit what they follow(which is, I think, what he meant by "purpose of reinforcing already-held beliefs").
It's not always solely based on their personal inclinations. That's largely making the same mistake wilderness made. The assumption that because it cannot be reproduced in the laboratory it must therefor not be true (and the lab is a metaphor, please don't get hung up on that phrase) is probably always going to divide people but it's still not true.
"must therefor not be true" or, paraphrased, "must be false".
But that's not the problem - the problem is that if it cannot be tested it cannot be known to be true. It may or may not be, and that simply isn't good enough for science. It is sufficient for religious thought with it's different goal, but never science, looking for knowledge.
"But your supposition that because religion isn't 'science' that therefor it is somehow junk is exactly that" Yet, I have repeatedly and plainly indicated that religion has a use; that a great many people find it very valuable. It is NOT "junk". It just isn't knowledge, either, and should not be presented as such.
"Hamlet" is not junk. The "Mona Lisa" is not junk. A child's laughter is not junk. The love between two people is not junk. None, however, are produced by science, none are knowledge and none are cerebral in nature. All are produced from the emotional side of mankind, the same part of us that religion works in.
Why is this so difficult to understand? Why the continual insistence that science and religion must produce the same results, as if only scientifically derived conclusions are useful and therefore religious thought must be the same? Why the insinuation that religious belief is somehow inferior to truth?
Belief and knowledge, or truth, both have a very definite place in man, but certainly not the SAME place.
Paraphrased? You mean as in, given an entirely new meaning to fit your preconceptions?
I don't know, I don't think I'm the one being obtuse here. I didn't say that they must produce the same result. That's simply how you seem to want to read me.
When Calvin said what he said, Pope was saying another thing and Mirza Ghulam was saying entirely different thing about the same thing - bible? So who was correct? On what basis do we accept one or the other? How do we verify?
Which one of them said that Jesus did not rise from the dead? If they're saying entirely different things, then one of them must have made that claim.
you can't say two entirely different things against a matter of doctrine or a biblical aspect? It has to come down to the resurrection, and if they agree on that, then they agree on everything else? A brief glance into church history and origins proves otherwise.
I see where you're coming from and I wasn't trying to say that. Of course people can have (sometimes vastly) different opinions and interpretations of certain aspects. What I was responding to was the statement, whether it was meant that way or not, that the three people mentioned (and I remember Calvin and Luther but forget the third) had completely different takes on the Bible. Which at least as far as Luther and Calvin are concerned is not accurate in any case, but that was what the person seemed to be saying to me.
I gave an example Chris. [Muhammad and Mirza Ghulam said Jesus didn't even die.] I have a different interpretation of bible (I don't think I am unique, but I have not bothered to check whether anybody else think like that) which is entirely contradictory to what bible followers say.
My question was more straight forward(rather wilderness question), how to verify who was correct? If by science we have some methods, but how to verify the different versions of bible (there are gospels too, that say Jesus didn't die). And how do you verify that Jesus got resurrected? How can anyone be sure that the disciples were not lying?
We do have the writings of people who actually lived at the time of and walked with Jesus. I know that many people claim this is not so but their 'proof' is not that strong. And frankly, if we're going to go with a Muslim interpretation of the Christian Bible, there is not historical basis for that at all.
Interpretation is not merely a subjective personal experience (at least it's not if you're trying to get at the full truth.) There will always be gray areas, but there's a reason why Mormon theology is not mainstream Christian theology.
You mean the proof regarding those alleged people who allegedly walked with the alleged Jesus was not that strong, or more precisely, completely false.
No, but it's interesting and instructive that you, once again, tried to turn what I said into something else.
Got any original plays in your playbook?
Then, you should read it again to see it is the same thing.
No, you should.
Of course you'll just do the same thing over again.
Okay, in all the time I've known you, so far one thing has remained utterly and depressingly consistent. You bring blanket accusations filled with emotionally charged language but devoid of any specifics, let alone real intellectual content. You obviously get something out of this, but I'm going to go talk to grown-ups now.
Most christian scholars agree that the gospels were not eyewitness accounts. Even a layman can see that 'Mark' and 'Luke' are not apostles.
Double standards? Muslim story is also 'eye witness account' which was directly revealed by god. If we can believe that a dead man can live, then we can also believe that a man went to heaven and came back with a book.
Not it is not only Muslims that say so, there were gospels contemporary to the present ones that says so. Only the "main stream" christianity of that time didn't think so, is the reason why you do not think so now.
What about the other thousand denominations of christianity? Which is the main stream? Is it the Orthodox or Catholic or Protestent?
Christians do not have eye witness accounts, Muslims may have, but that doesn't mean Mohammed's words are from God. What about the book or Mormon? They certainly had eye witness accounts, but so what. Pick one and run with it. You've got one change out of at least 4 of being right. All books were written to further a cause, choose wisely.
No one has argued that Mark and Luke were apostles. I certainly didn't. Luke is by any definition a historian. Mark was John Mark (mentioned in Acts) and yes, he did see many of these things.
I said Muslim interpretation of the Christian Bible. I'll admit I'm not real up on it but I'm not aware of any claims by anyone who claims that any Muslim witnessed Jesus while he was in Jerusalem in the First Century.
What about other Christian denominations? Are you saying that Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox truly don't agree on one single thing?
Yes Chris, they agree on everything in scriptures, but felt they had to take on different names, kinda like bowling teams.
How exactly do you know that John Mark is the author of Mark? Do you have his autograph? almost all biblical scholars (except for rigid fundamentalists) accept that the authorship of the gospels are unknown. It even says it in biblical introductions to each gospel.
Luke is a historian, at least according to himself. A plagiarist may be more accurate. What I find funniest about Luke in particular is that in the beginning of the gospel, he says that there are lots of gospels out there, but they are all wrong and he's going to be the only one that gets it right because he's going to investigate it for himself - and then copies (even verbatim) from Mark, so he himself claims was wrong initially. Investigating it for yourself means ripping off someone else? Really?
Tell me, who was the eyewitness for the two different nativities, since they happen in different years? Who witnessed the trials or the resurrection or the crucifuxion even, since all the disciples ran away? When the woman ran away from the tomb and didn't tell anyone because they were afraid, how do we know what they saw and heard? Which women, for that matter?
My life has been in upheaval lately so I'm going by memory, and if I don't remember I will say so.
Other than you, I haven't read anyone who claims "almost all biblical scholars (except for rigid fundamentalists) accept that the authorship of the gospels are unknown." Even the one time I read John Dominic Crossan (easily the most liberal theologian I've ever read) I remember him saying that although not everyone agrees, the most likely authors of the Gospels are the men whose names are them. Your implication that everyone to the left of R.C. Sproul flatly denies the possibility of knowing who authored them in any way (which is how you come across) is news to me.
Assuming that Luke's history consists solely of plagiarism, that still makes him a historian. When I read the beginning of Luke, I find it difficult to ascribe the arrogance to him that you do, but maybe you're right. In any case, many early histories (and many modern ones) are 'plagiarisms' in that a lot of them simply take the works of other people and reword them. And here I'm definitely (though not exclusively) talking about history textbooks, even those in many colleges. And yeah, Luke might have definitely talked to Mark, they both knew Paul and would have known each other. They wrote to different audiences. Neither of them were relying on their publishing rights for their bread. I'm not excusing plagiarism but I'm not so sure that modern ideas of plagiarism would have been considered so special and righteous back in the first century.
You've read the explanations of the 'disparities' in the Gospels probably more thoroughly than I have, so I'm sure you know what I would say. But as I said previously, my life is in upheaval, and one sad fact of HP forums is that the people I would wish to talk to more often (like you) I rarely do while the people I would at least wish were a bit more mature come back again and again. I don't remember everything I've read about them.
Scholars variously assess the majority (though not the consensus) view as follows:
Mark: c. 68–73, c. 65–70.
Matthew: c. 70–100, c. 80–85.
Luke: c. 80–100, with most arguing for somewhere around 85, c. 80–85.
John: c. 90–100, c. 90–110, The majority view is that it was written in stages, so there was no one date of composition.
I was merely pointing out that at least the two authors are not apostles and hence not eyewitnesses. Mark is supposed to be Peter's disciple and Luke Paul's. Paul too is not an eyewitness. But the popular notion is that it was the apostles who wrote the gospels and till somebody point out we do not notice that two of the writers are not apostles even though we know the names of all the apostles(at least i didn't notice till somebody pointed it out to me).
Muslims don't "interpret" the bible, they say they got it directly from god. You believe a 'hear say' more than the direct revelation of god?
Till Constantine and his followers nearly unified and made the present doctrine, christianity had different denominations and some didn't believe in Jesus dying. Because you got the version Constantine liked, how does that make "all Christians" believe the same thing. There were Persecutions and killings by later Roman emperors on any own who didn't subscribe to the official view. The "only one thing" the present denominations agree upon was selected by Constantine, before that they never agreed.
It's still 'hear say' if someone has to tell you it came directly from God.
Chris says he believe people who say they heard people who saying that they saw Jesus. Muslims say they saw a person who saw god. Which is more reliable? If one is not reliable then naturally the other is not, of course but still if I have to choose from one I will choose the latter as the former is "hear say's" hear say while the latter is only hear say.
Many people claim to talk directly with God, some in these here forums. Can you pick the more reliable one. Does it really matter if the person claims to have direct contact with God or heard about someone with direct contact with God? Do you believe the televangelist who claims God asked him to collect 10 million dollars from the gullible so he can purchase a new plane? Anyone can claim to communicate directly with God, but they fall short on suppling evidence. In the case of the Quran, Mohammad attempted to supply evidence, but fell short as he had no understand of the universe or science.
In the case of the bible we have the very same lack of evidence.
No religion. I was not even really agnostic, although I wouldn't call myself a committed atheist. I just simply didn't think much about it.
I wrote a hub about it, it would probably be better for you to go read it (The Proof He Has Given Me.) It still doesn't tell the whole story (I didn't include the story about the night my wife foresaw the murder) but enough.
The truth is, one's religion or non-religion is a private matter. Each to his own. Why argue about it?
If religion were a private matter, it would be kept behind closed doors where private matters belong. Of course, that is not the case at all, hence religion is not a private matter. Believers bring it out in public and cause conflict, hence the arguments. However, the arguments would stop as would the conflict if religion were kept behind closed doors.
Do you understand?
If you were to change your word "Religion" in the above statement to any word indicitive of sexuality, That statement would reflect the same attitude of hate as a Homophobic. Same kind of hate. But you can give us a "Logical" explanation for such hate, so Yours is OK, according to you. LOL
When we start hating anything we most often become just as bad (or worse) as the things we hate.
whether we think we have a good excuse or not.
Maybe it is this hate that Troubles you so much, MAN. If you don't mind I'm going to start calling you a Happy man, You never know the power of the mind. If you heard it often enough ... who knows ?
Do you want to be a happy man?
That is just ridiculous, sexuality and religion are two completely different things. Wow, I can't believe you managed to write this without any thought whatsoever.
Yes, it's obvious you wrote this because your religion has taught you that others hate because they don't agree with your irrational beliefs. You actually prove my point, Jerami, about keeping your religion behind closed doors where it belongs.
Yes, Beth, and we know you abuse that right every chance you get.
The day when human brains evolve past the need for religion cannot come soon enough.
You are correct... If everyone would stay behind closed doors there would be fewer Troubled men in the world.
We can conclude that your astounding disrespect for others calls your own integrity into serious question? That would be a pretty reasonable response.
Sorry, but once again you create fabrications to defend your irrational beliefs. It is your religion we disrespect and we understand it makes good people, like yourself, do bad things.
Who is 'we?' Are you now appealing to fallacy that if everyone does it (i.e. argues with me) then you must also be right to do it?
And again, who is 'we?' Have you developed a complex? I'm talking to you.
You make many generalizations and when I ask for specifics you make accusations.
Yes, I understand you won't acknowledge others here are telling you the same thing, that your religion is not a truth.
When they do, I talk to them. Don't even try to say I don't, because that would be a lie. I'm having a specific conversation with YOU, ATM. I had my specific conversations with getitrite, Mark, Rad and JM. And if they wish to come back, I will talk to them again. And you are not getitrite, nor are you Mark, nor is Mark getitrite. Although all three of you are pretty harshly down on my religion, you still deal with me differently and I deal with you all differently.
So again, that's a fallacious argument. Simply failing to agree with you is not the same as lying.
I stated that we were all saying the same thing to you, that your religion is not any kind of truth. That is not a fallacious argument, dude. Try to be honest for a change.
I am being honest. Maybe you should try it for a change.
Nevertheless, it's still you I was talking to, not a collective you.
No, you're not being honest.
It doesn't matter in the least if you're talking to me or the others, we are all telling the very same thing, which was the point you are not being honest about, that your religion has no truths.
He didnt intend for us to argue and bicker, but we are taught to always be ready to give an answer with gentleness and respect. I didnt quote it exactly , but its in 1Peter 3:15
an honest answer to an honest question I agree.
There is an old saying about a wise man and a fool arguing on the street corner... from the people passing by .... they both appear to be foolish.
There is a difference between answering an honest question and engaging someone who doesn't have a question but whose intention is only to flatter their own ego and deflate yours. There are no winners in this kind of debate.
I see now says the wise man, as he spit into the wind, ... it all comes back to me now.
Wow, Jerami. That is precious. I agree with Emile. Nicely said.
It reminds me of a story about a monk and a samurai. The samurai is curious about heaven and hell and stops the monk, hoping to get a quick answer.
The brave monk immediately berates the samurai. "You stupid imbecile. You'd never be able to understand such things. You're too stupid."
Enraged, the samurai pulled his sword and, in one smooth motion, prepared to bring the weapon down through the monk to end his wretched life.
Smiling, the monk pointed at the warrior. "That's hell."
As if slapped, the samurai stopped and held his arm motionless above his head. It took a moment for the sheer significance of the monk's words to sink in, but when it understood its full weight, the arm descended softly to his side. The look on his face was one of utter humility. For that one precious moment, he let go of all interest in being right. Ego evaporated. And in that moment, the warrior felt a bliss he had never experienced in his entire lifetime.
"And," said the monk, "that is heaven."
Blessings to you and yours, always.
Beautiful, Jerami. What ATM misses is that reality is overrated.
God created reality and we help Him in that creation. Science studies the products of that creation. Spirituality (at the true heart of religion) studies the sources of creation.
Reality is good not to ignore. Too many Fundamentalists ignore reality and find themselves in delusion. That's no better than not believing at all, especially when they arrogantly defend their delusion.
And you're right about not bickering about God.
Jesus said to his disciples that they should spread the good news, but walk away from those who are unwilling to listen.
Creation trumps the created (reality) all the time. That's just common sense. It's sad that so many are so enamored by physical reality that they cannot see beyond it. There are some beautiful views from outside one's body.
Your post brought a question to mind. It seems to me that most people think of creation in its past tense when creation has always been in a state of becoming. Had not thought this through, just came into mind while reading a thought provoking comment.
perpetuation of the species.i think is the meaning of life.as for the creator? we are the creators. we create so many things. its only natural that we think of a creator bigger than we.
The purpose of human life is to create and spread love in a multitude of ways.
Men have been trying to convince women of this since the first humans talked.
I don't think they even waited till the invention of talking.
well, the women were already talking, of course...
Untrue. That was man's biggest mistake ever. Not in letting them vote, not in putting shoes on them but in teaching them to talk. We've been paying the price ever since!
*Ducks and waddles for cover at top speed*
*And continues quacking unintelligibly...*
The reverse is obviously true...seeing how we designed the first shoes and fought viciously for the vote.
The downfall of man was when his woman gave him pockets and said bring me stuff.
She collected all this stuff then said give me a box to put all of this stuff in.
it wasn't long before this box became a home.
If it wasn't for the first pocket, we could all still be merrily living in trees.
...and why did he want to fill the pockets?
( Love, even if short lived, is never that free.)
Furthermore, I believe women today pretty much pay for their fair share, thanks to Women's Lib.
Is this true or not, women? I better start a forum post ...
I was just kidding, ... Have I ever told the story ... ?
Some of us men were in my back yard one day , talking about how we (men) could make our wife's happy. We figured out what would that would be !!! IN SEVEN simple words!! ..... ALL THEY WANT is ... "MORE than they have ever had before" ... It is that simple!! Unfortunately ......... the next day ... they want the same thing.
Just a Joke which also applies to men.
That actually made me spit coffee. Good job.
*throws shoe anyway*
Beautiful, virtues. A most lovely question.
Perhaps a more powerful goal is that of spiritual awakening. So many humans are like cars. They ignore the driver and think they are nothing more than that which drives down the road. Sadly, too many of them only get out of their vehicles upon death of the vehicle. They live in a delusion thinking that they are their bodies.
There is only one God -- Source of all creation -- Father of that which science studies. Outside of the space-time continuum, there is only non-dichotomous source. Too many scientists have a hard time with this one-sided nature. It's a bit like the discontinuities found in calculus. Too many look only at the literal and don't see deep into the possibilities of its meaning.
Let me give you an example. When I studied electronic engineering in the 70s, one topic we covered early on was that of radio receivers -- "tank" circuits, or "LC" circuits. These consisted of a coil and a capacitor in parallel. The rating for each element helped to determine the frequency to which the circuit was tuned.
I had, for years, also been a student of astronomy and physics. I knew, for instance, the details of absorption and emission spectra which help astronomers determine the chemistry of stars.
The moment I read about "tank" circuits, I suddenly felt goosebumps all over. I saw beyond the literal of the lesson. I made connections in the patterns of nature and technology so that I suddenly understood that I was surrounded by tank circuits -- trillions of them. You see, each atom is a tank circuit -- a coil (electron orbiting the nucleus) and capacitor (negative electron separated from the positive nucleus by a distance; one of the better dielectrics).
We need to have this kind of Left-and-Right-brain outlook to see beyond the literal, not only of the world around us, but of the Holy Scriptures.
For instance, Gautama Siddhartha achieved Enlightenment or Spiritual Awakening. Some Christians resist this idea, because they feel that one can only achieve this through "following Christ." But what is "following Christ?" Could Gautama Siddhartha Buddha have been following Christ in his dismissal of his own earthly ego? Wasn't such dismissal a perfection of what Jesus said about the first being last, and the last being first? Those who think they're "all that," are arrogant and think they are first. That's ego. Those who are humble, are okay being last. Spiritual awakening cannot be achieved by clinging to the ways of ego.
Thus, any teacher who leads you away from ego and toward spiritual awakening is worth listening to. They may contribute to your own awakening. And a return of the child to the Father of all is a blessed thing, indeed.
Maybe the point of human life is to tell other humans what to do with their lives.
There is a sign in our medical research office. It says,
"The cosmos did not come from nothing.
Life did not begin by accident.
Oh, my god, there is a God.
How now should we live?"
Keeping in mind that all of Creation is a design, including the temporal and atemporal aspect of everything, opens our minds to solutions we would not otherwise have considered as scientists.
VP Research and Development
Oh hey, I got one. Here goes:
"The microwave is not turned on.
My hot dogs are steaming hot.
Oh, my god, the microwave's possessed,
How now should I call an exorcist?"
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