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Theology

posted by kaptein_kaffe on - last edited - Viewed by 1.3K users

Discussing religion is generally a very bad idea on the internet, but there are a lot of down to earth and rational people on this forum so I decided to give it a go.

I want to hear your beliefs. Also, try to keep an open mind and show respect to other people's opinions. I don't care weather you're a fanatic catholic, fanatic atheist or whatever. Arguing about "who's right" is just a terrible cliche.

Personally I believe that there is a god. I'm not agnostic, I believe in god, but that's just my own spiritual reflection on it. I don't judge other religions and say that "this is right", it's more along the lines of Baruch de Spinoza's take on it where you see god as everything. Maybe there's a word for what that is, I don't know. I prefer to look at everything that is beyond our understanding with humility. Most of my religious knowledge lies within catholicism and I generally agree with the ten commandments, but I also believe that the religion is blurred for the sake of politics, ways of maintaining order and fanatic influences (edit: + things that are lost in translation). In short, I'm a read between the lines kind of guy.

My knowledge on the subject is limited, so it's possible that I won't be able to keep up with the discussion. I'd just like to hear your views :)

305 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Chyron8472 said: In ages past, people used the tools of observation available to them to "prove," using then modern science, that the Earth was flat or that the Sun revolved around the Earth or that wood contained the element of fire and just needed a little coaxing to reveal itself.



    At least check your facts when you are trying to argue against science as a whole. No scientist in the history of mankind has ever claimed the earth is flat. Even the ancient greeks, the inventors of the scientific method, reasoned that the earth was round. Also, it was science that freed us from the commonly held religious belief that the earth was in the centre of the universe, and the stars revolved around us.

    Science is supposed to change as new evidence are discovered. Failure to modify your original idea, thesis or world-view in light of overwhelming evidence is commonly called religion.

  • Chyron, believing anything without any logic or reasoning behind it, then going on and criticizing concepts that have replaced previous concepts based off new observations is somewhat troubling to me. To me, its just being dishonest.

    I really do urge you to watch this video (which explains this better than I can) at least before further criticizing the scientific method.

  • My criticism is of the notion that faith in and of itself is foolish and that we can only believe in what can be explained by scientific observation.

    I'm not saying science is entirely unreliable. I'm saying that science isn't the only answer to life, the universe and everything.

    EDIT: I watched that video, and I'm not saying that for science be vaild it requires faith. I'm saying that I personally am looking for more answers in life than science alone can explain, so it makes little sense to me for someone to say "I don't believe it if science can't prove it yet," especially when scientific theories change all the time (and sometimes reverse position entirely) when given futher available evidence.

  • @Chyron8472 said:
    If the scientific method holds the unequivocal solution to the knowledge of all things, then explain to me why objects of mass attract each other (that is, explain why the laws of gravity and magnetism exist.) You can't explain why it exists. You just know that it does. You can prove that it does, so far as your level of understanding can explain, but you don't know why it does. For that, you need faith in why because you can't readily explain it.

    The scientific method can't explain everything.



    Science has explaind why, as in the causal effects, these forces exist. If you are talking about why as in the reason behind them, you are already assuming there needs to be a reason, and thus and intelligence behind everything, in which case the wole premise of the argument falls.

    Secondly, no-one has claimed science has the aswers to everything. To quote Dara O'Briain; "Well, science knows it doesn't know everything. Otherwise it would have stopped."

  • @Chyron8472 said: I'm not saying science is entirely unreliable. I'm saying that science isn't the only answer to life, the universe and everything.

    Science isn't supposed to be a solid answer. Science is the tool of which we figure things out.

    @Chyron8472 said: I watched that video, and I'm not saying that for science be vaild it requires faith. I'm saying that I personally am looking for more answers in life than science alone can explain, so it makes little sense to me for someone to say "I don't believe it if science can't prove it yet."
    Fine by me. I'm just saying don't say that science is flawed because it can't explain everything because that's entirely faulty thinking.

  • @Chyron8472 said: In ages past, people used the tools of observation available to them to "prove," using then modern science, that the Earth was flat or that the Sun revolved around the Earth or that wood contained the element of fire and just needed a little coaxing to reveal itself.

    It used to be said that eggs were good for you, then studies were done and eggs were deemed to be bad. Now they're thought to be good again.

    When I was a baby, it was taught that parents should lay their babies on their stomachs so they don't choke if they vomit in the night. Now it's taught that babies should lie on their backs so that they don't suffocate on their sheets. Sure, there is evidence that babies who lie on their backs are less apt to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but noone really even knows what causes SIDS. It's just a syndrome people created for infant deaths that defy current explanation. In fact, there are many medical conditions out there that can not be explained by science when using our current levels of knowledge and technology.



    Yes, this is all completely true. In fact, what you're saying just offers credence to the scientific method.

    The pursuit of knowledge through science commands humility; in order to achieve a full understanding of something, you must be willing to accept that what you thought was true is false. So while we once believed that the Earth was flat, we now have accepted that it is round. While we once believed that lightning was thrown down to Earth by Gods, we now know that it is simply caused by electrical discharge. In order to realise these things, we have had to swallow our pride and concede that what we once thought was scientific fact is actually not.


    @Chyron8472 said:
    Why is it so hard to believe something that you can't explain by using the scientific method? Scientific explanation changes its mind all the time about why things happen

    Just because scientists change their mind doesn't mean they're wrong. In fact, it means the exact opposite. If you looked at a red piece of paper and said "this is blue" before realising that it was actually red, would you be better off saying "actually, it's red" or "it's still blue"? There's nothing wrong with updating our understanding of the world. Surely that's how we progress?


    @Chyron8472 said: not to mention the plethora of things around us that are inexplicable by only using such methods.

    Things such as the existence of God - and since there is no method to test validity other than the scientific one, I think it's most sensible to take an agnostic view toward such things.


    @Chyron8472 said:
    If the scientific method holds the unequivocal solution to the knowledge of all things, then explain to me why objects of mass attract each other (that is, explain why the laws of gravity and magnetism exist.) You can't explain why it exists. You just know that it does. You can prove that it does, so far as your level of understanding can explain, but you don't know why it does. For that, you need faith in why because you can't readily explain it.

    The scientific method can't explain everything.

    How does faith explain why something happens better than science does?

    To have faith in a certain value, you must first have established said value. For example, to have faith that gravity exists, you must first have established that gravity exists. To have faith that God exists, you must first have established that God exists.
    It's the grounds on which these things have been established that I'm the most concerned about - If I told you that there was a spider under your desk, you would probably not have faith in this assertion because the grounds on which it was established are very weak. If, however, I showed you a photograph of the spider, then you would be more justified in having faith in the spider's existence.

    To have faith in God does not explain why gravity exists any better than the scientific method does. During the time that the Bible was written, gravity wasn't yet established on any grounds. Since gravity has only ever been asserted on scientific grounds, it is best explained by scientific terms (even if that explanation is "we have no idea why gravity exists").

  • @Alcoremortis said: This is my favorite version of Hell (in the sense that I find it to be the most striking).



    That is absolutely fantastic. I love how the devil wears all white; and I love his laugh at the end. He reminds me of Gutman from The Maltese Falcon. Now I have to draw him.

    @Alcoremortis said:

    And I feel it would be incredibly unfair if such a person was rewarded over someone who's always been good just because it felt right and with no expectation to ever be rewarded for it, but just happened not to believe in God, or not in the right one, or not in the right way or something.

    I'm just giving my opinion here, so take it however you will. I believe God can read a person's heart. One way or another, it is inevitable for the good to leave behind their suffering and the bad to be destroyed. If you look at it that way then what happens on Earth is very inconsequential. God won't reward a bad person, whether they praised Him or not. I believe you can do all the good things you want or praise God or preach for Him your whole life; if you weren't really good, God will say "I didn't know you" and you'll be destroyed or sent to exist in misery, or whatever happens. We have free will on Earth but in the end our fates are inevitable.

    I can't say God is arrogant. How can someone who is perfect be arrogant about it? Seems like normal self-acknowledgment to me.

    @Alcoremortis said: This reminds me of the Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do as ye will." (hence my belief that all religions are but separate paths to the same end)
    My sister is/was a wiccan, so I researched it a bit. I've lived near "witches" before. Even if magic doesn't exist, they can still be damn scary people if they aren't nice people.

    @Alcoremortis said:

    And last but not least my personal experience with having cancer after a couple of months born, and the pictures taken are so profound that science is left baffled not finding the answers to the reason of why i am alive. Yet it is this things that science is unable to address adequately. If it wasn't God, then my body suddenly developed defense system to attack and aggressive cancer that almost killed me?

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    In order to advance our knowledge, sometimes we have to go outside of what we know and act on a little faith. If we stick to what we can sense all the time, then we'd never get anywhere.

  • @Bagge said: Science is supposed to change as new evidence are discovered. Failure to modify your original idea, thesis or world-view in light of overwhelming evidence is commonly called wrong religion.



    Fixed.

    To be fair, in that time, there's a lot more involve than simple "religion". The Church is Holy and Sinful at the same time and that's mostly because is made by people. And those people hold power to the other people who believed blindly in them. Science was menasing their power and then has to be erradicated. Copernicus, for example, was a priest, and his theory of the Sun been the center wasn't in the way of his faith, but was in the way of the rest of the Church Power. So, at the end, the Dark Ages wasn't because Religion per-se, was because the people which were abusing of that believe to control other people. In other words, Conflict of Interests.

    Ironically at probably sounds, the Science Discoveries are not in the way of what you believe, and I hold that because my Religious Teacher when I was in the school was also my Biology Teacher and she was agree with the Darwin Theory. So, what's gives? I don't get the problem.

  • @Bagge said: You are entering a difficult territory when you try to explain the existence of God through logic or facts. The bible is very inconsistent, and an enormous amount of claims made in the book are obviously historically erroneous. The earth was not created in six days, nor was it created 6000 years (or so) ago, there was no mass extinction through floods four thousand years ago, and there is not a shred of proof that thousands of jews wandered through the desert for 40 years - it's even highly unlikely that Egypt ever had a sizeable population of jewish slaves.

    The fact that christianity has had a huge cultural impact on the western civilizations is not proof of anything. An Indian hindu or a Saudi-Arabian muslim could use this very same logic to prove the validity of their gods and myths. Other religions are extremely influential in other parts of the world - perhaps even more than christianity in people's day-to-day life.

    Anecdotes about how people suddenly recover from a seemingly terminal illness can be attributed to any number of causes. It is wonderful that you made a full recovery, but ask yourself why God would intervene and heal just you. Millions of children die every year from various diseases and ailments. Why would God ignore so many, yet help a tiny, miniscule fraction seemingly at random (and also, seemingly, without regard for the religion of the parents). And, of course, "God exists" does in no way follow logically from "science does not know everything".



    I like your reply toward my my point of view. I agree it's a difficult territory to enter, but yet i feel that is one that must be discussed since it's one of the reasons people have contended why the hold such beliefs. However some people's point of view rely on science, or other on spiritual experience that comes from other backgrounds, and others for life experience. I'd like to reply towar 3 points you touch just so there isn't any missunderstanding.

    1. The Bible was written thousands of years ago, it hold historic accounts toward the beginnings of Israel. As a matter of fact the most concrete fact of egiptian influence is the most revered object in Christianity which is the Ark of Covenant. http://alex.alexmayers.com/?p=121/SIZE] The beginnings of the Israel nation is an historical account and it's widely considered as a fact.

    However i'll give you a point on the important aspect of the origins of Earth, theres too much mistery for me to be able to consider this aspect. And so i remain distant toward it. I believe that every mistery will be explained eventually through God. And thats why i don't bother to question it, or to find a logical answer.

    2. I believe the influences of other religions in other countries is duly noted. But then again the most practiced religion in the world is Christianity by a 33%, followed by the Islam 21%. http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html It is important to notice there is an estimate, but what provides more validity toward this results it's the consistency in the order of most practiced religions. I concede to you that other religions has influenced our cultures, like indians and other localized religions in Europe that influenced the christian practices. My point in this topic is the influence in the cultural practice of Christianity is one of the most evident in our culture and especially in Europe, Africa and the Continental America's and Caribbean [where i come from].

    world-religion-map.jpg

    I will however accept that this map is not a 100% accurate and so are the estimates.

    3. This 3rd point of view has more to do with my personal experience. Your questions are the questions that everybody has that sum up to "why things aren't as perfect as they should be? " Well those are the questions that i say are extremely hard to answer and to sustain. I pass those questions to God, it's not for me to answer those, it's questions that are made for a God to answer. I know you will not agree with me a 100%, since we all believe to hold the complete truth but the reality is all of us posting our own reasons are wrong. But when death comes we will have to face our existential questions that hunts us through our lives, and we must be ready to die believing by faith. I decided to believe those articles i linked by faith, but theres no true reality to them. I think the problem is we humans want to see, touch and have a more interactive relationship with God. But the will of the creatures can't be imposed on the creator.

    I once heard a saying that goes as followed "If you knew what God is doing for you, you would allow God to remain silent" I once heard a preacher say God has the tendency to things in the last moment, i dont know why he does that but maybe it has to do with faith.

  • Again, I'm not saying that science is wrong or stupid. I'm saying it doesn't hold all the answers, and in fact I'm not personally satisfied with believing exclusively in the answers it gives.

    Also, I can believe you when you say that you saw a spider under my desk without having seen it or a picture of it myself, so long as I consider your personal testimony to be valid. I don't always require hard evidence to believe someone when they say they witnessed something, and by definition I would then have faith in that person and their testimony.

    I have faith in the testimony of those who wrote the Bible, whether or not it is entered as evidence the multitude of historical documentation that corroborate each other in establishing its vailidity.

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