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Theology

posted by kaptein_kaffe on - last edited - Viewed by 2.2K 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 :)

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  • @Secret Fawful said: 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.

    Pic please?:D

  • I was once a pretty devout Christian, but I found myself needing to shed that belief system. It was painful for me, and alienated me from a lot of people. I lost a lot of connection with my family, I lost people I had called my friends, and I lost a girlfriend over it. More than that, I lost the feeling that there was an omnipotent being that had a vested interest in me, my life, and my personal troubles. I'm by all means a lot less happy than I was only a few years ago.

    But I stand by it. I can't say I trust in the Bible, not when passages outline how to beat slaves and when killing them is appropriate, when it is lawful to stone women to death, when it is right to commit genocide, etc. I can't trust a book that I find to be in part abhorrent to be the ultimate source of truth. If I can't trust in the Bible, then how can I trust in a Judeo-Christian concept of God? Why him, and not any other deity, or pantheon of deities?

    I refuse to worship an evil God. The fact that modern churches have done a marvelous PR campaign for the guy doesn't really undo the content of the books they hand out.

    I'm an atheist by choice. I understand the agnostic's view, but I don't share it. I think we need to realize that, while the possibility of some things is unknowable, you have to acknowledge that some things are far more likely than others. I can believe that a person saw a spider under their desks because I have seen spiders, and I have known them to go indoors and get discovered in unwelcome places. If I heard someone say that they found an airplane in their parking lot, a jackalope in the fridge, or a transcript detailing the third Monkey Island game as written by Ron Gilbert, containing in full The Secret and an explanation of its logic on their bathroom sink....I'd be somewhat incredulous.

  • @Rather Dashing said: But I stand by it. I can't say I trust in the Bible, not when passages outline how to beat slaves and when killing them is appropriate, when it is lawful to stone women to death, when it is right to commit genocide, etc. I can't trust a book that I find to be in part abhorrent to be the ultimate source of truth. If I can't trust in the Bible, then how can I trust in a Judeo-Christian concept of God? Why him, and not any other deity, or pantheon of deities?

    I refuse to worship an evil God. The fact that modern churches have done a marvelous PR campaign for the guy doesn't really undo the content of the books they hand out.

    I respect your point, but I can't really understand why. Really. Because, at least from my understanding, that book is obsolete by the New Testament. In a way, for me at least, the Old Testament is a somewhat nice History Book about where the Teacher of all Teachers was born and raised, but nothing more. I remember to myself which was his stand point about stone women, for example.

    It's not like I want to change your point of view, but this is how I understand that, and I share it.

  • @GinnyN said: I respect your point, but I can't really understand why. Really. Because, at least from my understanding, that book is obsolete by the New Testament. In a way, for me at least, the Old Testament is a somewhat nice History Book about where the Teacher of all Teachers was born and raised, but nothing more. I remember to myself which was his stand point about stone women, for example.

    It's not like I want to change your point of view, but this is how I understand that, and I share it.


    I hear this, and I don't understand why it's appropriate then. Just because unjust and evil laws don't apply to us now, why were they okay thousands of years ago? Why didn't God, who is apparently perfect and good and all-loving, go against the violence and evil of the time until roughtly 2,000 years ago? Why does God seem to have all the evils and intolerances of the people of his time until relatively recently, and why shouldn't he be reprimanded for it?

  • You know, as much as the old testament was incredibly cruel and stuff, the new testament isn't exactly kindly.

  • @Rather Dashing said: I hear this, and I don't understand why it's appropriate then. Just because unjust and evil laws don't apply to us now, why were they okay thousands of years ago? Why didn't God, who is apparently perfect and good and all-loving, go against the violence and evil of the time until roughtly 2,000 years ago? Why does God seem to have all the evils and intolerances of the people of his time until relatively recently, and why shouldn't he be reprimanded for it?

    Wrong person to have this discussion then (I'm talking about me, by the way).

    Look, the only thing I really REALLY know is we just have the greatest Earthquake of this new century. A lot of people died, good and bad people. If that were written by that time, probably that will be treated by a punishment of god, because our society become something which money, partiing and things matters, and that why we suddenly had that earthquake. And those guys could be right, by the way.

    The Bible was written by people, inspired by god supposenly, but a book written for people. People can interprete the things the way they want. If I interprete that Earthquake was sent not for punish us, but mostly for warn us about what is becoming of our society, I could be right too. I don't think God had change the slightest this 2.000 years, but I think people interpret it differently. Now we have enough stability for start to ask why those things happened, but in those days the only stability they had is God exist and nothing more. If suddenly something happened the only explanation they had was God's will. The king was there because god will too. Until people start to notice that couldn't be right and try to change it. But god give us free will too for something.

    At the end, in those ancient times, god was the explanation and the only support they had because they didn't know if they're going to live tomorrow. But we have enough stability to ask why instead of just think of God's will and that's WHY we think that differently. If God sent us his own son just for tell us we were wrong all along, or sent an earthquake just for warn us about our decaing society, I believe this guy is just been neutral - good, but, somehow, love us anyway. There's a reason why we call him Father.

    Disclaimer: By the way, this is what I think. I don't believe this is the complete truth, but it's at least something I can grab onto if something bad happened. And, really, been 2 days without knowing anything and suddenly know a lot of lifes could be saved just if just one person were corageous enough, give you a lot of stuff to think

  • @Alcoremortis said: Pic please?:D

    Yeah, sure.

    2ymuoua.jpg


    Speaking of that, my favorite artist Edward Gorey did a simple, intriguing story about the devil and hell, which you can read
    28422934_devil.jpg
    here
    .

  • Thanks! I love the shadow creatures climbing over him... adds the creepiness factor.:D Also, the black eyes...

    I love Gorey, too. I used to have a set of note cards with famous murderesses on them, but I gave them all away as birthday cards to my friends. Still have a postcard book with creepy children, though.

  • @Rather Dashing said: I hear this, and I don't understand why it's appropriate then. Just because unjust and evil laws don't apply to us now, why were they okay thousands of years ago? Why didn't God, who is apparently perfect and good and all-loving, go against the violence and evil of the time until roughtly 2,000 years ago? Why does God seem to have all the evils and intolerances of the people of his time until relatively recently, and why shouldn't he be reprimanded for it?

    This is essentially the problem that always occurs when a religion has a written canon. Before the advent of writing, religious traditions were passed down orally from generation to generation and their stories were able to change and adapt to suit the changing values and cultural needs of a people over time. Once these stories were written down, they remained fixed and unchangeable, even though people's values and ideals continued to change. A good example of this occurred in ancient Greece. The Iliad and the Odyssey are products of the early Archaic Greek culture, which believed in extremely anthropomorphic gods who were flawed and behaved according to relatable human psychology, and which idealized heroes whose skill in battle came from their sheer physical strength and their cunning and strategy. The Greek of the later Classical period held a different set of values and were made uncomfortable by the selfish, lustful, and childish nature of Homer's gods and the brutal violence and dishonorable trickery committed by his heroes. The entire Greek philosophy movement arose out of this need to reconcile the recorded religious ideas of the poets who lived centuries prior with the values and ideals of their current society.

    This same phenomenon applies to the Judeo-Christian Bible. The stories and laws of the Old Testament made perfect sense in the context of the sexist, patriarchal, slaving-holding society of the ancient Hebrews. Our modern society is based upon the ideals of freedom and equality, and these stories and laws seem disturbing and abhorrent by our modern standards. The ancient Hebrews needed to believe in a cruel and wrathful god in order to account for the cruelty and unfairness of life. People today want to believe in loving, benevolent god capable of helping them through the pain and hardships they encounter in life. The god people need in our society today is very different from the god people have needed in other cultures at other points in history, but because the older god is the one recorded in the ancient texts and declared to be the canonical version, it can be difficult for people to reconcile the two.

  • I was to contribute in the science / religion thing.

    I don't think that they're incompatible, I think they're completely different. Science focus on "how". We try to understand what happened, in what order, and how these things happened. We try to establish rules out of what we have seen happen and reproduced successfully.
    Religion focuses on "why".

    Nothing that science finds can even disprove God. Whatever is discovered could still happen to have been done by God. Evolution is a good example, there is nothing disproving God in it, and it makes sense that a God who seems to give people free will and urge them to progress towards goodness on their own, that is evolve mentally, would do the same physically, and create a first form of life in a way that it would evolve, rather than create it the way he wants from the starts.
    Anything we observe could have been the result of what God did. So science doesn't disprove God in any way. And if God doesn't exist, it's impossible to prove that. How do you prove a negative? Come to my place and prove I don't own drugs. Even if you don't find any you could always figure I'm hiding them, or I gave them to a friend or something.
    If all we have is the absence of any proof that God exists, he could still exist and be "hiding".

    It is absolutely possible to figure that since there is no proof beyond the margin of error (in the person's opinion), then it makes more sense, from a rational point of view, to assume there is no God. Just like you don't tend to assume things if there is nothing backing up your hypothesis.

    But belief in God doesn't work that way. It's something completely different. If you believe, a lack of evidence isn't going to convince you. Plus, you will see evidence where other people won't. Such as miracles, and things like that.

    I believe that miracles are all explainable. People are healing or surviving things in a conceivable way. I believe that if God exists, he's definitely "hiding", and not doing anything that makes it obvious he exists. For instance, he never heals amputees, one class for which is could be easily observed that the person is actually suffering from the ailment and that there wasn't a wrong diagnosis or a placebo effect of some sort (does that work for ailments too or only treatments), and for which at this point in time we don't know of any way limbs could regrow naturally (while there have been many people surviving cancer, being able to walk again, and so on due to perfectly explained sources).

    Of course religions have an explanation for this: faith. God isn't being obvious, God isn't proving he exists because he wants people to believe in him out of faith.

    As a result, I believe the two are completely separate and compatible.

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