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einsteinboricua
Posts: 7853
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:30 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 349):
He made us pure, whole and sinless.

Some Christians denominations would beg to differ, where we are born with the "Original Sin" and until we are baptized, we are carry it with us.

AND, if we are made sinless, it means that those who are gay are already made to be gay, so in reality it's not sinning.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
Klaus
Posts: 21496
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:40 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 349):
He didn't. He made us pure, whole and sinless. It is us who made sin our default when we decided to disobey him.

That is almost identical to the traumatized mindset of some battered wives: "He only beats me because I'm not obedient enough; It's all my own fault!" (In the christian tradition justifying every horrible situation which an all-powerful god could have easily averted and a benevolent god would have had to.)

It has become clear nowadays that abused people need to get out of that mindset to recover any kind of sanity and self-respect.

Unquestioning, groveling obedience is utterly destructive to the soul. If someone demands it of you, you know they're wrong. It is one of the clearest and most direct evils in this world we live in.
 
soon7x7
Posts: 2267
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 10:51 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:50 pm

In short, does the lack of a formal religion or the belief in a higher power than ones self result in a philosophy that dictates...

you can covet your neighbors wife
you are entitled to other peoples property
radical behavior amongst your piers goes unpunished
you are the only one that matters
no respect for others opinions, space...and so on?....or.....

While belief in any religion does not guarantee immunity from any of the above it does expose belivers that life does typically come with some level of expected guidelines and civility. We are all born into some kind of religious philosophy but as individuals, some choose to run with it while others do not.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 348):
Why would God create his people with the default nature to sin?


In our creation we were given intelligence...if not for that then why create anything at all?...Default nature to sin?...interesting way of putting it...I think it more "the option of reasoning an act that has bad repercussions vs good repercussions"
(Ah...too early in the morning for this stuff...even though it is Sunday!)
 
757gb
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:03 pm

Quoting soon7x7 (Reply 352):
While belief in any religion does not guarantee immunity from any of the above it does expose belivers that life does typically come with some level of expected guidelines and civility.

I saw a movie recently that expressed this well, saying that even though those guidelines should apply to anyone, by making a formal commitment to them believers become doubly accountable. It's depressing when a religious figure commits a crime or acts contrary to ethics. Besides the harm done it also reflects badly on his or her community, but I am all for those people being held doubly accountable for their deeds.
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
soon7x7
Posts: 2267
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 10:51 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:22 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 353):


Agreed...myself having been raised Catholic in Catholic schools for 8 dreadful years, and yes...Nuns are bitches, (why does God allow this?)...    . The church as I know it today has become a huge disappointment for many reasons however the fundamentals of life as dictated by my exposure to religion are not regrettable. I can say that as a result I would consider myself a better person....A weaker / meek pushover?...Hell no, but some one that views and lives life with balance. Can't say I would be the same if I had no exposure...g
 
Klaus
Posts: 21496
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:39 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 353):
I saw a movie recently that expressed this well, saying that even though those guidelines should apply to anyone, by making a formal commitment to them believers become doubly accountable. It's depressing when a religious figure commits a crime or acts contrary to ethics. Besides the harm done it also reflects badly on his or her community, but I am all for those people being held doubly accountable for their deeds.

One would think so, but this does not automatically lead to an actually more ethical conduct.

Being non-religious means that the same urge for an ethical behaviour exists (or equally sometimes doesn't exist) but there is no outside religious system to delegate fault or responsibility to – one is directly and inescapably responsible for one's own actions. There are indications that that actually can lead to a more ethical behaviour overall (both anecdotal and according to some surveys).
 
757gb
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:43 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 355):
One would think so, but this does not automatically lead to an actually more ethical conduct.

Agreed.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 355):
There are indications that that actually can lead to a more ethical behaviour overall (both anecdotal and according to some surveys).

If you ever come across that data and don't mind sharing it I would be interested in seeing it - honestly, not questioning what you are saying.
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
Klaus
Posts: 21496
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 356):
If you ever come across that data and don't mind sharing it I would be interested in seeing it - honestly, not questioning what you are saying.

I don't have it at hand, but these links provide a bit of perspective:

Why do Americans still dislike atheists? - The Washington Post

http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

At issue is not simply a tit-for-tat reversal of the outright vile misrepresentations of atheists in many religious texts (including the Bible, specifically). Reality is just a lot closer to religion being largely a non-factor in the ethical behaviour of people, just with a somewhat negative bias in many cases due to widespread judgmental attitudes and closed-mindedness.

I personally have every respect for anyone who commits to live by ethical standards with compassion towards other people on whatever basis, but as soon as anyone puts ideology above people (be it religious, political or any other ideology), they immediately lose all claims to being models of ethical behaviour.
 
757gb
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 357):
I don't have it at hand, but these links provide a bit of perspective:

Why do Americans still dislike atheists? - The Washington Post

http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/facu...zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

Thanks for the links. I'll take a look with some time.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 357):
I personally have every respect for anyone who commits to live by ethical standards with compassion towards other people on whatever basis, but as soon as anyone puts ideology above people (be it religious, political or any other ideology), they immediately lose all claims to being models of ethical behaviour.

Again, I'm in agreement. Overall we all have so much in common that some would be truly scared. The potential for ethical or unethical behavior resides within us all, and the greater the stature that some people want to give themselves, the greater the fall when they fail. Nothing is automatic and you have to work on it day by day. Having said that, prejudice works both ways, and you will find folks with excellent ethical standards who actually live by them, but are automatically dismissed (and bad mouthed, and attacked) because they are religious.

I always say that here in Uruguay there are two things that are blown way out of proportion. One of them is soccer, the other one is politics. The reason I bring that up is because people first put on their favorite team's jersey, then they analyze whatever but always with the agenda of making their side look good and the other ones bad. Things are not right or wrong in themselves: it depends on who does it or who it is done to. Everything is relative for some. Einstein would be proud...

Levity aside, the point I'm getting at is that as we approach people, situations, topics or issues we can't first decide what we are going to defend and then "go to war". We need to be better than that, open minded enough to listen, consider and accept data or opinions that may not match our own. Otherwise we'll never get anywhere. We have a lot more common ground than we are willing to acknowledge. Nobody likes their own convictions questioned. But in being able to question them we are closer to the truth. And I got the feeling that truth is not as simple as some want to make it, not by a long shot.
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2270
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:02 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 358):
I always say that here in Uruguay there are two things that are blown way out of proportion. One of them is soccer, the other one is politics. The reason I bring that up is because people first put on their favorite team's jersey, then they analyze whatever but always with the agenda of making their side look good and the other ones bad.

That's true, isn't it? Yes, it's the same way in Romania and in the US, mostly politics for the latter, and American football as opposed to soccer, but not as fanatic.

And to be perfectly honest, it's exactly the same with believers and non-believers. We don't know who's right and who isn't but we support our favorite team.


Quoting 757gb (Reply 358):
Having said that, prejudice works both ways, and you will find folks with excellent ethical standards who actually live by them, but are automatically dismissed (and bad mouthed, and attacked) because they are religious.

You will? I've not seen a person following strict ethical standards who gets attacked, verbally or otherwise, strictly for being a believer.

Quoting 757gb (Reply 358):
Levity aside, the point I'm getting at is that as we approach people, situations, topics or issues we can't first decide what we are going to defend and then "go to war". We need to be better than that, open minded enough to listen, consider and accept data or opinions that may not match our own.

That's against basic human psychology though... It'll always be an us vs. them situation. We're good, they're bad, whatever arguments are brought to the table. Confirmation bias is insanely strong in humans... we always take for granted arguments strengthening our position and disregard arguments attacking it. This is way we can't have nice things. It's innate and difficult to change.

I hope and believe of myself that I've managed to reduce this confirmation bias to a minimum. That said, it's still there on subjects I feel strongly about. I know it.

Anyway, I've talked to believers (for example, a woman from North Dakota on a NW flight) who clearly don't wish evil on anyone. And I've also seen believers saying everyone but themselves will burn in eternal hellfire (and I proceed to laugh to myself regarding their position).

Everything is much more complex than we can discuss on an internet forum. That's life for you.
 
757gb
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:28 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 359):
And to be perfectly honest, it's exactly the same with believers and non-believers. We don't know who's right and who isn't but we support our favorite team.

Right you are...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 359):
You will? I've not seen a person following strict ethical standards who gets attacked, verbally or otherwise, strictly for being a believer.

Yes I have unfortunately, many times. The fact that you have not seen it gives me some hope that maybe it is not as common as I fear it is...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 359):
That's against basic human psychology though... It'll always be an us vs. them situation. We're good, they're bad, whatever arguments are brought to the table. Confirmation bias is insanely strong in humans... we always take for granted arguments strengthening our position and disregard arguments attacking it. This is way we can't have nice things. It's innate and difficult to change.

Agree again, and precisely because of that I feel there is so much growth we need to achieve. Call me an optimist but I think we can do better.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 359):
I hope and believe of myself that I've managed to reduce this confirmation bias to a minimum. That said, it's still there on subjects I feel strongly about. I know it.

I apologize if when I mentioned all of this I somehow might have made it look as if I am above that. Far from it. I struggle with it day by day and as you I hope and want to believe that I am making progress with it.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 359):
Anyway, I've talked to believers (for example, a woman from North Dakota on a NW flight) who clearly don't wish evil on anyone. And I've also seen believers saying everyone but themselves will burn in eternal hellfire (and I proceed to laugh to myself regarding their position).

I have mentioned before (not that I expect anyone to read everything I blurt out) that I have found the same things.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 359):
Everything is much more complex than we can discuss on an internet forum. That's life for you.

True, but you know what? We are up to 360 replies here. And although there are very many replies that follow the "us vs. them" mentality, I have also seen cases in which we are reaching some common ground and we are beginning to speak the same language. I never had the intention of convincing anyone, but was genuinely curious as to whether we could achieve any kind of understanding. What we got is a lot more than what I expected, and I'm glad I took the time.
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
bjorn14
Posts: 3595
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 350):
we are born with the "Original Sin"

Absolutely. We are all born with the sin that Adam & Eve created by their disobedience to G-d.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:51 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 361):
We are all born with the sin that Adam & Eve created by their disobedience to G-d.

You have no standing to assign sin to anyone else here, so I suggest you preface your dogma with "I believe that..."

Assume this liability if you like, but I'll have no part of it.
 
CplKlinger
Posts: 326
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:50 pm

Though raised non-denominational Christian, I now clarify myself as Buddhist. There was simply too much about Christianity that struck me as terrifically hypocritical and inane. I do not mean to denigrate or offend anyone of the faith, it is simply my opinion. The simple idea that even if you live a great life, meaning that you care deeply for others, work to eradicate the suffering of strangers and generally leave the place better that you came, you still go to hell because you didn't believe in a dude from Nazareth that supposedly died to eradicate your "sin" disturbs me. That god is a total Debbie Downer. Put another way, any religion that sends Gandhi to hell is not for me.

Buddhism is very simple, at it's core: there is suffering in the world, and the way to enlightenment is working to alleviate the suffering of others unconditionally. I like that kind of simplicity and succinctness.
 
Yellowstone
Posts: 2821
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:32 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:06 pm

No, I don't believe there's a god. The world looks pretty much exactly like you'd expect it to look if there were no god, and that's reason enough for me to think that there probably isn't one.

I also agree with Dawkins's argument for why there almost certainly is no god, which funnily enough starts from the creationist argument from design. Creationists argue that something as complex as life could not have arisen by chance, and therefore life requires a designer. The scientific response to that is that yes, the creationists are right to say that life is too complex to have arisen by chance. However, that doesn't mean there was a designer, because there's a third possibility that the creationists have neglected: evolution by natural selection.

Now consider God. Any entity intelligent and powerful enough to design and create a universe must be immensely complex - far more complex than a human, for instance. But we just agreed that the more complex an entity, the less likely it is to arise by chance. Hence God almost certainly didn't just come into existence on his own. Natural selection doesn't give us a way out, unless we're willing to posit the existence of a whole species of gods in some sort of super-universe (and at that point, it seems more reasonable to label them an advanced alien race than deities - they would have had to evolve up from primitive origins just like us). Which leaves us with invoking a supernatural creator for our supernatural creator. But that's just pushed the issue back one level, as we can ask the same origin question of our creator's creator. This results in an infinite regress of designers.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
Quokkas
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:18 am

Turkey claims to be in possession of a Bible in which Jesus is said to have "predicted" the coming of Muhammad. According to the report

Quote:
“In line with Islamic belief, the Gospel treats Jesus as a human being and not a God. It rejects the ideas of the Holy Trinity and the Crucifixion and reveals that Jesus predicted the coming of the Prophet Mohammed,”
http://www.emirates247.com/news/worl...ound-in-turkey-2012-02-27-1.445391

What weight this evidence?
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
757gb
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:26 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 365):
What weight this evidence?

Hard to say. It will be very interesting to see the exact origin of this document. From the moment it is called a Bible it would mean that it is included in the compilation of books that are part of the Bible (I'm no expert, but there are many). I would be curious to know how a book that denied Jesus as God or Messiah could be included in a Bible to begin with. Perhaps someone with knowledge can explain?
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
bjorn14
Posts: 3595
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 365):
What weight this evidence?

So Jesus predicted the coming of a false prophet. This book has been known as the Gospel of Barnabas and scholars cannot be sure it was actually written by Barnabas or one of his followers much later.

Quoting 757gb (Reply 366):
I would be curious to know how a book that denied Jesus as God or Messiah could be included in a Bible to begin with. Perhaps someone with knowledge can explain?

There have been roughly 500 'Gospels' written by various people and all having an angle on Jesus' life. The Councils of Carthage officially closed the canon (Bible) in 419 (but in practicality had been closed for the previous 100 years)
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
757gb
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:05 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 367):
There have been roughly 500 'Gospels' written by various people and all having an angle on Jesus' life. The Councils of Carthage officially closed the canon (Bible) in 419 (but in practicality had been closed for the previous 100 years)

Thanks for the good info Bj

Regards,
GB
God is The Alpha and The Omega. We come from God. We go towards God. What an Amazing Journey...
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 3318
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:00 pm

I think that this one is an absolute must for anybody reading this thread whether you believe or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42p2SO5wQag

Fred
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smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:01 am

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 369):

Excellent!

He has several hilarious videos on the 'tube.

[Edited 2012-03-02 16:02:07]
 
FlyboyOz
Posts: 1762
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2000 10:05 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:01 am

There's something missing why lots of ancient people such as ancient Egyptians knew that God does exist. As you can see lots of egyptian's pictures on the wall, it shows alot about God and afterlife. Where did they get that information and ideas from??

There's a christian book which was written by Charles Colson that explains about it. A canadian missionary spent years studying the beliefs of different cultures. He disovered that all of the ancient tribes of history believed in the existence of a supreme being and also discovered many stories of people journeting from isolated locations to hear a missionary preach. When they heard the Gospel of Christ for the first time, they would say, "That is the One (meaning God) I have been wanting to know about". (Colson, 2006) - "Tough questions about God, Faith and Life"

Apostle Paul wrote "From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature. So they (people who are rebellion against God) have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.". (Roman 1:20 NLT) God made everything and even micro cells. Who make water? God made it. Who made the planets and stars? God made them too.

God loves you so much. Please don't forget about it. He knows all the people and even you too as He made you and feel happy to see you. The same things - e.g when you design the car by yourself, you will love it and feel happy to have it. I love everybody including you too because loves comes from God and He loves us as well. God is love. Since God love us much, we surely ought to love each other and even your enemies.

Why God loves us and doesnt want us to go to Hell? That's why He sent his Son (Jesus Christ) into our world so that we might have eternal life through Him. (see John 3:16) "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life".

Hope it makes sense to you.
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 3318
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:32 am

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
Hope it makes sense to you.

No.

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
also discovered many stories of people journeting from isolated locations to hear a missionary preach.

Like going to see a stand up comedian or a public lecture, I have travelled miles for them.

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
God made everything and even micro cells. Who make water? God made it. Who made the planets and stars? God made them too.

Apparently god made man in his own image and as we are made of cells and water then god must have made the stuff he was made of already. He made himself before he was even made, he's very clever.

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
God loves you so much. Please don't forget about it. He knows all the people and even you too as He made you and feel happy to see you. The same things - e.g when you design the car by yourself, you will love it and feel happy to have it. I love everybody including you too because loves comes from God and He loves us as well. God is love. Since God love us much, we surely ought to love each other and even your enemies.

God doesn't love me or anyone else, if he did he wouldn't go around killing, maiming and destroying peoples lives. Either he doesn't exist and these things are simply explained by science or he does exist and people around the world are worshiping an evil being.

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
Why God loves us and doesnt want us to go to Hell?

All the horrid things he has done to people over the years why would you believe that he does want you to go to heaven, I think its just as likely that heaven is a horrible place too, the big man who has caused so much suffering wants you to go somewhere when you die why isn't that going to be a place that can cause suffering too.

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
That's why He sent his Son (Jesus Christ) into our world so that we might have eternal life through Him.

Why didn't he come down himself? sounds like a coward to me, sending his son to be killed in the name of himself.

Fred
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User avatar
mariner
Posts: 19473
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:52 am

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
There's a christian book which was written by Charles Colson that explains about it. A canadian missionary spent years studying the beliefs of different cultures. He disovered that all of the ancient tribes of history believed in the existence of a supreme being and also discovered many stories of people journeting from isolated locations to hear a missionary preach.

I don't want to question what you believe, but that is a very Christian way of looking at things and really isn't true.

The Ancient Egyptians believed in an after-liife, and many gods, but rejected the idea of a single supreme being, Aten, and reverted to multiple gods.

The Japanese Shinto is not "supreme being" based (although there is a goddess figure), and the Buddha is not "God" - although he achieved Nirvana and his teachings are a way to that enlightenment.

There is no supreme being for the Aboriginal people of Australia, nor for many of the (pre-missionary) African tribes. A lot of the Pacific Islanders have "gods" but not in the sense of salvation - until the missionaries came along and instilled the fear of eternal damnation into them.

Many (most?) of the ancient "gods" were personifications of natural elements, not a higher intelligence - so the Maori believed in Rangi and Papa as the Sky Father and the Earth Mother, the primordial parents.

http://teaohou.natlib.govt.nz/journals/teaohou/issue/Mao45TeA/c11.html

"In the beginning there was darkness, and these two, the earth and the sky, lay together. They had many children, who lay between them. It was dark for many ages; there was as yet no world with its bright light.

Then their children began to wonder what kind of thing the light could be."


mariner
aeternum nauta
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:57 pm

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
That's why He sent his Son (Jesus Christ) into our world so that we might have eternal life through Him. (see John 3:16) "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life".

Hope it makes sense to you.

What doesn't make sense to me is that Christians are not repulsed (as I was when I put it all together) at the thought of a human sacrifice on their behalf, weekly re-enactment of symbolic cannibalism, and the host of other bizarre things done by god or at his command in the Bible - like genocide, misogyny, and slavery.

The "God is Love" and "Salvation is a gift, you just have to accept it through Jesus" is a nice, palatable modern spin on what is in my opinion a very barbaric and primitive set of beliefs, laid out for all to read in the Holy Bible. When I see people with a crucifix hanging around their neck, all I can wonder is how is this any different from throwing virgins into a volcano or cutting people's beating hearts out on top of an Aztec pyramid?

At least those ancient / aboriginal peoples weren't trying to dress it up as something that it wasn't. In 2012 I think we have no excuse to keep perpetuating these myths at the expense of rational discourse - other than that we are still not men enough to face the hard, cold fact of our own mortality. And we continue to pay the price for it in the form of global strife.
 
bjorn14
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:36 pm

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 372):
Apparently god made man in his own image

He did...he saw in his minds eye what He wanted to create. We may not even look close to what G-d looks like. We are his idea of creation. Much like an artist creates things that have no relation to his or our reality.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 3318
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:56 am

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 375):

Bjorn please answer me why god creates pain and strife throughout the world and why this means that we shouldn't just hate him/her?

Fred
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voodoo
Posts: 1984
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:14 am

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:30 pm

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):
Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 371):

Why God loves us and doesnt want us to go to Hell? That's why He sent his Son (Jesus Christ) into our world so that we might have eternal life through Him. (see John 3:16) "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life".

Hope it makes sense to you.

Absolute gibberish. Not a shred of evidence beyond the average UFO abduction tales.
` Yeaah! Baade 152! Trabi of the Sky! '
 
757gb
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:11 pm

RE: Do You Believe In God?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:28 am

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 374):
What doesn't make sense to me is that Christians are not repulsed (as I was when I put it all together) at the thought of a human sacrifice on their behalf, weekly re-enactment of symbolic cannibalism

I'm sorry but that is the most twisted interpretation of the Eucharist I've ever seen. Not ONE Christian or Catholic believes that or thinks of it that way (already admitting that Catholics are more literal about it and the views are not exactly the same). The Eucharist is the symbol of the greatest love, Jesus giving His Life for everyone, giving up His Body and His Blood for the salvation of people whom have even despised Him. Even though it is commemorated daily throughout the world that lesson is yet to be learned by most.

I can respect someone who doesn't believe the same I do, but taking a belief that is not understood and putting such a spin on it for the sake of arguing is plain wrong. OK, I'm not saying that's your intention but it sure comes across that way.
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smittyone
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:38 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 378):
Not ONE Christian or Catholic believes that or thinks of it that way (already admitting that Catholics are more literal about it and the views are not exactly the same). The Eucharist is the symbol of the greatest love, Jesus giving His Life for everyone, giving up His Body and His Blood for the salvation of people whom have even despised Him.

Of course no one thinks of it that way in 2012, or they'd reasonably reject it out of hand. But when you dig into it, the underlying theology of Christianity is that Jesus was offered as a human sacrifice much in the same way that burnt offerings (animal sacrifices) were offered in the Old Testament, except that in Jesus' case it was a substantial enough sacrifice to satisfy God for all time. And people commemorate it with a re-enactment of figuratively consuming a part of the sacrifice.

I wonder how many people have actually taken a moment to step back and look at what we're really talking about here. If you landed on an island and the locals celebrated an event in the distant past where an exceptional young person was tortured to death to satisfy their God(s), and every week they held a feast where they symbolically ate that person's body and blood you would probably run the hell away as fast as you could. But that is what the Eucharist is all about.

If you believe:
- All humans are born in sin and continue to sin via disobedience to God
- God demands punishment of sin,
- God sent down his son so that he could be tortured to death in our place, even though he was perfect, because SOMEBODY had to pay for our sins
- Because the son was killed instead of us (God having been appeased), our sins can be forgiven and we can have everlasting life as long as we "accept the gift of Jesus' death"

...then I don't know what to tell you other than that I find it all to be extremely disturbing, and I can't understand why anyone would want to be associated with any part of it. I'm tired of hearing "God is Love"...if a man were to act the way the God of Abraham has (as described in the Bible), he would immediately be recognized as a murderous, petty psychopath.

I understand the tendency to admire and focus on Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf...but then again I'm not sure he had much choice in the matter. If you believe the Bible, the manner of his death was the only reason for which he was born.

[Edited 2012-03-08 04:53:18]
 
757gb
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:51 pm

I see your point and don't mean to just argue for the sake of arguing. I see however several statements that don't seem right.

Jesus was not offered as a sacrifice to God. He offered Himself and God offered Him to the world. Whether it was predicted in the Scriptures, it was the people who crucified Him, and certainly not to make God happy. In their pride they refused to believe and felt threatened by Him (coming back to present day, it all sounds very familiar to be honest). The Bible speaks of the darkness that came after His death. I would hardly think that God was happy. The most powerful lesson in all this is that Jesus rose above it all on the third day. Death and Resurrection is one of the most important lessons of Christianity, and they happen everywhere all the time, though not literally. We have to give up who we are spiritually, let go of all the things that bind us and keep us from growing. We become new. We die and live again. Not literally, but I'm sure there are many people who can testify to this internal process.

Saying that a man is sacrificed as an animal to keep God happy is just wrong. I don't know that I can convince anyone of this, but if you think of things in those terms you're missing the whole point.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 379):
I wonder how many people have actually taken a moment to step back and look at what we're really talking about here.

The commemoration of the Eucharist is precisely a commemoration of life and love (even if people don't want to hear it). "No greater love does a man have than him who gives his life for his friends"
THAT is what we are talking about here.

One of the fundamental lessons of Christianity is that as bad as things can get the spirit goes on and the soul rises above it all.

Do humans live in sin? Take a look around...
God doesn't need to punish. Human misery is punishment in itself.
God sent His Son to the world and the people killed him, not God. That it was predicted doesn't mean that He did it. Why did He allow it? If an army of angels had descended and saved Jesus, or if He had saved Himself by flying away or whatever, it would have been impressing for sure, but we would have never had the lesson that He left for us, and Resurrection wouldn't have happened.

I keep saying that we keep torturing and crucifying Jesus every day in our world in so many ways, and He keeps resurrecting above it all. Very personal point of view but there you have it.

And an important part of the lesson was that Jesus did have a choice. He chose us in spite of ourselves.
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mariner
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:55 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 380):
Jesus was not offered as a sacrifice to God. He offered Himself and God offered Him to the world.

Mark 13 45: "And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."

In other words Jesus didn't want it and God (all things are possible) could have stopped it, but didn't.

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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:17 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 381):

I bet Jesus wasn't looking forward to it just as anybody else wouldn't, and indeed those words are from His most painful moment. But He did offer Himself, did not lash against the ones killing Him and even prayed for forgiveness for them, for "they know not what they do". There was a higher purpose to it and He knew He would be resurrecting from the dead. And the Father didn't change things and it went through. Again, had the skies opened up and had Jesus been saved from death it would have been impressing to say the least, but the most profound lesson would not have taken place.
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:34 am

Quoting 757gb (Reply 382):
But He did offer Himself, did not lash against the ones killing Him and even prayed for forgiveness for them, for "they know not what they do".

He offered himself to be sacrificed, which is where this part of the debate began:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 374):
What doesn't make sense to me is that Christians are not repulsed (as I was when I put it all together) at the thought of a human sacrifice on their behalf.

If explains why the Aztecs embraced Christianity so fervently, after the conquest. That this savior became the representative sacrifice - the sacred heart of Jesus - whereas previously living people had been sacrificed, with their living hearts torn from the body.

Whichever way you want to slice it, it is sacrifice and it seems perverse to deny it.

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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:59 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 383):
Whichever way you want to slice it, it is sacrifice and it seems perverse to deny it.

Reading back on what I wrote it does sound like I was trying to deny it. Indeed it is sacrifice, I didn't express myself well. The understanding of the sacrifice is challenging however. I just can't see it as God sacrificing Himself to God for the forgiveness of sins (which is what it amounts to if I believe that Jesus is God). It is also a stretch to think in the terms of the Old Testament regarding sacrifices and their meaning. Violators were supposed to die, but blood from innocent animals was shed instead to obtain forgiveness. Jesus comes to earth and then becomes the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins of those who accept Him. I see the logic (not that I fully agree) but under the same logic the sacrifice of Christ would be like God saying "I will shed my own blood for your forgiveness". It then becomes a supreme act of love. That's how most Christians and Catholics view it. There are discrepancies as to whether Jesus was God and human at the same time, but for all of them Jesus was God.

As far as the quote from SmittyOne, it is missing the "weekly re-enactment of symbolic cannibalism" part, which was actually what triggered my response and where the debate started for me. The Eucharist is quite different from the Aztec sacrifices or any other for that matter. It involves beliefs not easily explainable. On this I have to go to the Catholic view of it.

- The meaning of the Eucharist is life, not death. Jesus referred to Himself as the "Living Bread"
- Wholeness - we are not receiving a part of the body of Jesus, we are receiving the glorified body of Jesus, and through it His Soul. Body and blood, soul and divinity.
- Through the Eucharist Jesus doesn't become a part of us, we become a part of Him.

I'm not asking anybody to agree with this. My point is that there are some very deep and powerful meanings to the Eucharist, and simply calling it cannibalism from the outside absolutely ignores the essence what the Eucharist is for Catholics. It might sound great for debating but it misses the whole point.
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:38 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 384):
It is also a stretch to think in the terms of the Old Testament regarding sacrifices and their meaning. Violators were supposed to die, but blood from innocent animals was shed instead to obtain forgiveness.

I can't see how Isaac was "a violator" when Abraham was ready to sacrifice him, he was an innocent child.

Personally, I find the idea of cutting the throats of children - or animals - to prove how much you worship (love or fear) God is repellent. I cannot think how that would, in any way, grant the throat-cutter "forgiveness."

I assume this may be why many Protestants (and others) have a real problem with Transubstantiation - eating/drinking the actual body/blood - and, in my case, any flagellation of the flesh (self or others) or the abuse of animals.

I don't deny that this concept of "proving faith" has caused people to do powerful things, some important, but also some very, very bad things - condemning others to die, for example, because they do not share that faith, that concept of a selfish path to heaven.

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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:33 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 385):

I agree and I'd be lying to you if I said I understand it. The Old Testament is very challenging first of all because it is not written for our time. It seems to be written for a certain culture to understand it at a certain time. Many of the things it relates are just very hard to accept today, as you have pointed out.

No, Isaac was innocent, not a violator. That Abraham was forced to almost killing his son to show obedience is something I have a hard time accepting. I described concepts which I have read about in an effort to try to understand the meaning of sacrifice as it was seen back then and how it compares with the sacrifice of Jesus. I believe that if God somehow inspired someone today to write in His Name books to be added to the Bible the message would be such as to be understood by who we are today and it would contain none of that.

I can see how many people would have an issue with Transubstantiation, but as I mentioned the meaning of it is very deep and ignoring that meaning makes the debate pointless. People do interpret that if Catholics believe in Transubstantiation that makes them cannibals. Well that's not how it is, but as you can imagine in a thread with almost 400 replies "simply" debating the belief in God, going in depth to discuss Transubstantiation is just not feasible. Just the whole area of Eucharistic miracles is huge in itself.

Faith can be a very powerful motivator. As such it can also be misused. When people were ready to stone a woman to death Jesus said for the one without sin to throw the first rock. You would think that lesson was crystal clear right?
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:20 pm

Quoting 757gb (Reply 386):
The Old Testament is very challenging first of all because it is not written for our time. It seems to be written for a certain culture to understand it at a certain time.

Indeed. It is a pity, then, that some of the most rigid absolutes of the church are based on that Old Testament.

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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:26 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 387):

I am not sure what you refer to and don't mean to dispute your point, but what absolutes are you referring to? I know that some churches take it literally and Bible interpretation seems like a competitive sport sometimes (which in my opinion decreases the value of a very real treasure). I keep saying that the Bible needs to be studied, not read looking for quotes to validate our beliefs.
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:58 am

Quoting 757gb (Reply 388):
I am not sure what you refer to and don't mean to dispute your point, but what absolutes are you referring to?

It's not my intention to discuss Christian theology, since my views of much of it are negative and I have no desire to offend those who believe in these concepts.

But here's one which has affected me, and has been used against me and my tribe - people like me - all of my life:

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:57 am

Quoting 757gb (Reply 386):
It seems to be written for a certain culture to understand it at a certain time.

Could not the same thing be said of the New Testament? That would appear to be the opinion of the followers of the third major Abrahamic faith - Islam. Indeed the Qur'an does explicitly state that God had specific requirements and allowances for the Jewish and Christian people.


Quoting 757gb (Reply 386):
That Abraham was forced to almost killing his son to show obedience

Was Abraham simply showing obedience or did he have faith that God would spare his son? If so, was it the obedience or the faith that was rewarded? Did God actually intend that Isaac be sacrificed?

Hebrews 11:17-19 puts it this way:
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”
19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

Either way, it seems a very cruel way to test someone.

The notion of Jesus being God would suggest that there was no sacrifice. How can God sacrifice himself if he is omnipotent and omnipresent and without end? He merely changes a part of himself from one form into another. On the other hand, if Jesus is merely the Son of God and if God can raise people from the dead, how can the his death be a sacrifice? If the final goal is to reside with God and not simply live in the way of God, is it not simply an accelerated home-coming?
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smittyone
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:57 am

Quoting 757gb (Reply 388):
I know that some churches take it literally and Bible interpretation seems like a competitive sport sometimes (which in my opinion decreases the value of a very real treasure). I keep saying that the Bible needs to be studied, not read looking for quotes to validate our beliefs.

757gb, I think your outlook is far more inclusive and open-minded when it comes to beliefs than many religious people that I have dealt with. Which is a real credit to you in my opinion. If you have found any of my comments personally offensive that has not been my intent.

Unfortunately as Mariner already said, far too many people can't accept that their views are not universally accepted and are actively seeking to create a world around them that matches their beliefs at the expense of other people's freedoms. Which I believe must be opposed vigorously at every opportunity, especially here in the US if we want to continue to hold ourselves out as a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world. A concept that is already very debatable in 2012.

And sadly the 'preferential status' that religion enjoys in society (ie religion is assumed to be the the basis of morality, official government/military functions include religious elements, official oaths are made with a hand on the Bible etc.) empowers the least tolerant elements with a sense of entitlement that is undeserved.
 
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:44 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 389):

I see your point, and unfortunately I can't answer for every church out there (sometimes I can barely answer for mine to be quite honest). What you say is true and indeed some churches condemn in those terms. I believe that is unfortunate because ultimately (by our own beliefs) we are all sons and daughters of God. The fact that being treated that way helps to drive someone away from God is very sad IMHO. I believe ultimately we answer to Him, not to man. Being totally honest I have not seen that type of judgment in my Church, but unfortunately the Church is so big and you will find such variations between pragmatism and outright fundamentalism that I can't say for sure that there aren't some who think that way. I am truly sorry if that's the case.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 390):
Could not the same thing be said of the New Testament?

I believe that to be the case, though the New Testament seems to be easier to understand for us. While some parts might be difficult there is a huge difference in the way it's written. I would like to believe that an inspired scripture today would take into account science and help us understand how it all comes together.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 390):
Either way, it seems a very cruel way to test someone.

I agree and that's why I said I have a hard time understanding it. The only thing that makes me stop and consider it is precisely the fact that it was all written to be understood by very a primitive civilization. I am not going to say it is not true, I simply don't know. But it might have been written in such a way to "get the point across" regarding the importance of obedience and faith. I'm only theorizing here...

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 390):
The notion of Jesus being God would suggest that there was no sacrifice. How can God sacrifice himself if he is omnipotent and omnipresent and without end?

Excellent question. And here the explanation may be different depending on the approach. Something that is debated among churches is the Divinity of Christ vs. the Humanity of Christ. The Catholic Church believes that Jesus was God BUT also human. Bringing that into the context I believe that Jesus went through all those experiences (properly called The Passion of the Christ) as a human. He really went through a horrible experience and the lesson from it is a lesson of supreme love. That lesson would have a lot less value if we think that He was after all omnipotent and could certainly block the pain or avoid suffering through it. He suffered every bit by choice. It was written that He would rise from the dead, but something that we need to understand is that He was physically and psychologically tortured, in my opinion TO THE POINT THAT HE LOST HOPE: "Father, why have You abandoned me?" People get confused by that... after all, wasn't He the Son of God? How could He lose His faith? To me however that represents one of the most precious indicators that Jesus gave it all, lost it all and went through one of the worst possible experiences for a human being as a human, and for our sake. And let's be honest: most believers at some point have asked that question. What a lesson...

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 391):

Thank you for your concepts SmittyOne. Rest assured no offense was taken, and I find your posts very interesting.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 391):
Unfortunately as Mariner already said, far too many people can't accept that their views are not universally accepted and are actively seeking to create a world around them that matches their beliefs at the expense of other people's freedoms.

It is very unfortunate. My "prime directive" if you will is that a healthy discussion has to begin from a position of respect. After all, we are an intelligent species able to think, learn and discern. There is a ton of things out there that we don't understand but we act as if we did. Personally I believe that people create their own "map" of life and the world, a system or set of ideas that they live by and that they find comfortable. People don't usually like to have those ideas or structure threatened. As I mentioned (probably 200 posts above LOL) people just "root for their team" taking bits and pieces of data if they confirm their ideas and discarding and trying to refute what doesn't fit. Someone once said that some wed their ideas more faithfully than their spouses.

But going through the forum I read stuff from people that makes me think "we could never agree or have a reasonable conversation" and then after a while find that as long as we listen to each other even in disagreement and treat each other with respect we can have actually a very good and civilized exchange of ideas and perspectives. It's all a learning experience for me and I appreciate it. But it requires respect and an open mind. Putting walls around us and taking shots from behind those walls won't help.

I think intolerance needs to be fought. And it comes from all sides. I like going through the non-av threads but sometimes it really irks me when the initial comments to something (without really listening or taking the time to understand) immediately identify the other as being either a liberal or a religious fanatic or a left or right wing this or other. I understand that those terms help define some things, but what I see when I read that kind of stuff are the "shields going up", walls around, general quarters, let's destroy this person/argument/theory type of attitude.
It makes for entertaining reading sometimes but it's like watching a sports game. If you are honestly interested in the topic, you will get very little from it.
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RE: Do You Believe In God?

Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:04 am

This thread has gathered almost 400 replies and will therefore be locked.

Feel free to start a new one if you'd like to keep the discussion going.
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