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Call for More

 
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krneel128_PREV
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject: Call for More

Seeing as to how no one else decided to post here, I thought I'd kick off the discussion by giving support to the agnostic perspective, being as humans are restricted from certain knowledge (such as causation and supernature). How can some vouch for theism if certainty (you know, what humans naturally search for) is a false ideal?

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sounddoctorin




sounddoctorin

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August 8, 2008
Posts: 2

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`I don't see any truly founded way to claim that certainty is a false ideal. I in fact would testify that one can be certain of things and can recall spiritual experiences that are as real as physical ones. Hebrews contains testimony of an author who claimed the same. That 'faith is the substance of what is hoped for' for instance.

Jesus said in John 7:17

"If anyone wants to do God's will, then they will SEE whether my words are my own or whether they come from the Father"

That's a powerful statement. It contains a condition (Wanting to Do God's will... well..a person has to really search their heart..then..search some more..and some more...because hey. Humans have this great track record of being manipulative, deceptive creatures...ya know...) and an outcome (SEEING whether his words were just something he made up or whether they have heavenly authority behind them)

I challenge anyone to put that to the test in their own spirit. -Bob

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theinquisitor




theinquisitor

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May 9, 2007
Posts: 17

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`Has anyone here every read Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion", if so what do you think? I'm curious as to how many people share similar perspectives if not that same with most of the arguments he put forth...

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theinquisitor




theinquisitor

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May 9, 2007
Posts: 17

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`correction: if not THE same. typos. :P

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rofigo




rofigo

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August 6, 2008
Posts: 8

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I'm an agnostic humanist.

I'm willing to accept there's a higher power, because otherwise I find existence a tad too depressing. I also won't accept "God" as the answer to everything.

In response to the question about Dawkins' book, no, I haven't read it, but I have heard of it.

To some extent, I do believe that certainty isn't false. I can verify my own existence, at least to myself. If I didn't exist, I couldn't do that. I think that's the idea behind the "I think, therefore I am" deal.

I "vouch" for theism out of respect for the possiblity that there is some sentience in how the universe is ordered. I mean, it certainly was convenient for the majority of life on Earth to revolve around carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen.

I don't think we were "restricted" from knowledge of certain things. I think things were left for us to find and figure out. Life, it seems, would be pointless if everything were handed to us. The pursuit of knowledge provides meaning to life.

Fundamentalists argue that there is only the greatness of God that causes all things to be, like their case for Creation. A lot of them refute fossils and the Grand Canyon and any bit of science that has a legitimate argument to explain these things. The way I see it is that there may have been some sentience in the order of the universe, with Earth being a small part of it, and provided a natural sense of things for us to discover and understand.

As far as doing God's will is concerned, well, isn't there something about not tempting the Lord your God? If I do God's will, I do God's will, regardless of whether I claim to be doing it or not. I mean, if it's God's will, how am I supposed to have any authority over it in the first place?

Besides that, why would I want to do God's will? I'm not entirely convinced that God is ultimately on "my side", nor any supposed deity for that matter. I do my own will, but if a supernatural force wants to back it (providing it's not what I'd define as evil), I'm all for it Wink

That's enough rambling for now.

46 and 2 are just ahead of me.
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heathermw7




heathermw7

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February 17, 2011
Posts: 3

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`I think some people will find my response a bit defeatist. I think a lot about the nature of the universe, and being. I'm heavily into theoretical physics. At the end of the road of most of the philosophy behind the theory, and the thought process that it takes to get there, the root question always comes back to a belief in either fate or freewill. That's the simplified version of God or no God. Really, I think you can have both fate and freewill at the same time. I don't think science and religion are diametrically opposed. However, I do think that as humans, when we decide upon a belief, we tend to think in terms of finality, a conclusion. That is an error, or even a delusion, IMO. It's not that a finality (or certainty) cannot be reached, but we as humans don't have the ability to perceive one. We can continue to develop new technology to view more and more, but regardless of how great our tools become, how will we ever know we've hit upon something unpassible? Will our egos allow us to settle in that conclusion? This branches over into a different topic actually (brain science and the study of consciousness). Our perceptions, and therefore, our conclusions are based upon relativity and experience. If our brains will not allow us to understand what a finality is when we see it, then we are free to continue with self-flaggellating (or self-promoting, depending upon how you see it) behaviors. It makes just as much sense to say that God exists, as it does to say that He does not, since neither are provable. And probability is also dependent upon whatever belief system you are functioning within. Scientists say their methods are more plausibly accurate due to the work involved in studying patterns in numbers and in nature. Religious gurus say that they are more accurate due to their years spent in meditation pondering what they've felt or experienced. Now, here's the defeatist part... If both philosophies are equally relative, and neither can prove nor disprove the existence of a God, nor anything else for that matter, then doesn't it make sense that regardless of any sense of well-being it may give you, pondering the existence of God, or lack thereof, is a total waste of time, given that you can't ever know for sure? You may just be incapable of grasping the subject matter because as a species, we are insignificant. Our sense of self-worth, and also, the ego that drives us to keep looking for answers is simply part of how we are built to function. So, if God did it, then He wants us to ponder without answers (or not, depending on if He actually has any sense of awareness of us or apathy for us at all), and if God didn't do it, we still have to contend with our egos telling us that we are special and to keep looking. CYCLIC. There is, I find, an equally fulfilling sense of well-being when I think about not needing an answer or a conclusion, or even an opinion regarding God. I sometimes feel as though the human race's intrinsic need to define the nature of their existence and their creation is similar to Charlie Brown attempting to kick the football that Lucy inevitably pulls away at the last second. And I do agree with Einstein's definition of insanity. If you don't know that one, please look it up. ;)

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natrat
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject:

`Great question. Actually I think it is THE question for an intellectual discussion about religion. Yes, causality has a bias of direction which runs counter to the chain of emotionalism to realism. We can not be certain of natural law in total, but we can be certain enough that an atom bomb will annihilate a city. Science obviously works even though it can be misused to 'hide the decline', etc. I think the laws of nature, some invariants, are necessary to create a dynamic container. A container with life is necessarily dynamic. To go from A to B, one can not kinda be at A and then kinda be a B. I think the universe has to know where it is and is going to function all, even if we can't know, perhaps due to transience and lack of instantaneous feedback. I know some weissenheimer will/should recall the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. lol You were thinking that, right?

Looked only at the wiki for the book The God Delusion. Looks like popularized Establishment stuff to me. It is easy to argue that a personal God is a delusion (to mystics of spirit), but I can't imagine a convincing argument that God does not exist either. How can natural beings prove a supernatural thing? I admit I did not read the book, and the author does not say absolutely there is no God. If anyone has and wants to explain the best argument for atheism in the book, I'd be happy to read it on this thread.

Now a harangueful paragraph you might like to skip. I'm sick of these fixed binary choices: Theism or Atheism, Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, Big Business or Big Government, green helmets or blue helmets. It's all Big Bankers who can afford anything by printing your money and stealing your means. I can't prove any funding influences, but I know who has unmatched pockets to put out the false dichotomy of choices. Hello, fellow agnostics. I like the way you think. It would be absurd to think that fractional legal-tender banking could have any other outcome than to plant false ideas with enough convenient truth to make it compelling. OMG

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violetraige




violetraige

Joined:
August 30, 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject: Mental state
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I think what it comes down to is not focusing on others beliefs, but on our own. If we were to pray and say "If there is a God out there who is right then I pray to you..." Would we not pray directly to the true source? Could we also not pray to find the truth and ask for the ability to see clearly? If then there is a God, I think God would direct us if we try to focus directly rather than pay attention to the confusion that surrounds us. I think we should try to find answers and ask, from our hearts to find the real, undiluted truth. If our hearts and desires are the right place and we try then I think we can only go in the right direction.



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kialamurray




kialamurray

Joined:
October 13, 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`I have confusion about Religion.
I believe in God, but only his word.
The Bible, to me, seems like tis been revised.
Based on other religious beliefs, I have yet to chose a religion.
I'd like to have someone with a more complex mind to talk to about this.
Maybe someone with higher knowledge of religion.

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makeithappen24
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject:

`Repeating the same event in hopes of a different result does seem pretty desperate. So why do we do it? I would have to say either fear or laziness. Fear being the main motive behind religion in the first place. We feel more comfortable in believing in something that would be beneficial to us. But whether we believe or not really doesn't matter. Our beliefs will not change the answer(unless reality is not collective and we all have our own subjective realities in which our belief in God somehow effects that reality). Either way I feel that prayer or blind faith isn't getting us closer to an understanding. The only way we understand is by applying knowledge. Einstein believed in a cosmic religion. Is not science
the study ofe God's language?

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parmasean




parmasean

Joined:
April 2, 2012
Posts: 5

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`Reading this has been fun; it reminds me of all those religious classes in college (I majored in Catholic studies, minored in world religion and philosophy). Now, slow down with the judgements please! I like to discuss things. I'm very non-judgmental--let's just talk Smile

I agree with Violet (from her profile), not many people care to discuss intellectual things today; religion just being one example. (obviously, this is a very large topic, and a very small thread!) But Violet, I would like you to consider the meaning of the quote, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Why would someone say that?

I have much to say, but most of it is foundational notions based on compiled personal experience and cross-references that I will post elsewhere if anyone's interested. I'll just give a few responses here (I'll refer mostly to Judeo-Christian literature/history):

To the original thread's question: Fides et Ratio - John Paul II - Encyclical Letter (September 15, 1998) probably discusses the bulk of the pious perspective. The title means "Faith and Reason". Personally, I like combining the two; most people I know who go to one extreme or the other fail... epically. Also, to clarify the question, not all religious people are Gnostics (knowledge of god) or Theists (one god). Anyway, I know what you mean.

A simple example from the Bible: "blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe." (John 20:29). Belief and knowledge may happen simultaneously, but they are independent of each other. Having proof or knowledge of God is not necessary to believe. Knowledge of god (gnosticism) is not even necessary or even welcome in some religious groups. Certainty may be a false ideal; but in a faith-centered religion, certainty is almost entirely besides the point. Some even describe the religious life as one of constant fear or anxiety: "you know not the day nor the hour" (Matthew 25:13), "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10, and other places) etc. Living in a state of constant readiness is NOT comforting NOR certain; Christians are very often on guard against false security or self-righteousness; Christ has taught them this.

I also find it strange that in the OLD days (5000 BC?), no-one even dared to SAY the name God: it was that revered, feared and respected. People believed, back then, that to call something by its name was to have power over it, or to "invoke" it. Since no-one was supposed to have power over God, no-one spoke that name. Now, if you cannot say the name of something, how are you supposed to "know" about it? I dare say that the fervent search for "knowledge" and certainty by the masses (as opposed to by only a select group of scholars or philosophers) is a more recent development (in about the last 200-300 years).

About Einstein's quote: people repeat the same actions expecting different results because they know (hopefully), that even if they stay the same, the world is changing around them--this is what makes "different results" possible. As many have said, including Oprah, "success happens when preparation meets opportunity"--and preparation usually involves lots of practice, which involves a LOT of repetitions, right? I dare say that anyone who has swung a golf club 100 times on a golf course knows what I'm talking about. Sometimes you say, "Woooo!" Sometimes you say something else! LOL Smile

Also, Please note: I was not always Christian, and still love influences such as Miamoto Musashi, Ghandi, Sartre, Camus, Plato (et al), etc. This page represents only a tiny fraction of my thoughts! Put those boxes away, right over there, next to the pigeon holes... Wink And let's discuss! Most of my "smarts" also happen to be from insight, not from reading books; I just happened to list a few refs here because it was convenient. Again, put those boxes away, please! Set us free!

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masimba




masimba

Joined:
July 7, 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`I believe that my views on Religion, religiosity, are summed up in a quotation of Robert M. Pirsig: "When a person suffers from delusion we define that condition as insanity, but when thousands suffer the very same delusion, then we have a religion."


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olderhalfgeek
(deleted)









Posted:     Post subject: Which Dawkins Book Better as an Atheist Tome?

theinquisitor wrote:
`Has anyone here ever read Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion", if so what do you think? I'm curious as to how many people share similar perspectives if not that same with most of the arguments he put forth...


I think Dawkins's earlier book, "The Selfish Gene," is actually the better atheist tome than "The God Delusion."

The former book does a better job because it affirmatively posits its own (implicitly atheist) model, rather than reacting to someone else's religious model, as does the latter. The former effectively pervades the area under discussion with its model, convincingly (if implicitly) filling the voids left by the religious model, and then quietly leaving it to the reader finally to "do the [obvious] math." It doesn't seem to be a book about God, oh, but it is, explicitly stating it is tackling the question, "why Man?", which can only be God's question.

The latter book, by contrast, is too "on the nose" and tries too hard, and has accordingly been characterized as shrilly, unconvincingly ranting and even hack. Dawkins does best when working from his own turf.

At a minimum, I can certainly say "The Selfish Gene" killed my faith--or rather, led me to kill it!

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