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Theology

posted by kaptein_kaffe on - last edited - Viewed by 1.5K 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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  • @Friar said: I read a book once called the "The last templar", and it really changed my viewpoint on religion in general. I consider myself an atheist (and have been for the past ten years or so). But the book posited that the new testament of the bible was made up of four books selected by the church out of many hundreds that had been claimed to be accounts of events. The church selected these because they made Jesus into a mythical being with strange, miraculous powers. The reason for doing this was to strengthen the attraction of christianity to create unity. They later find a gospel written by the man himself. In which he was but a wondering preacher, teaching about what he saw as a better way of life. None of the son of god, or miracle malarky.

    And that is what I believe happened. Chinese whispers distorting memory of events, and a selective and manipulative church creating a religion (which i accept was probably a good thing at the time) out of it.

    It's hard to put across how persuasive the book was, but I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone. And the book doesn't try to convert you. In fact, the ending leaves you to pretty much take what you want from it. But I just thought it put across an interesting idea,

    As for my personal views on whether there is a god? I couldn't care less. If there is a god, I am not spending my time worshipping them. Not if they can sit by an allow/cause all the hardships in the world to carry on. Far too many people close to me have died for me to be grateful for his potential existence. If there is a god, he completely ruined my life growing up, leaving deep emotional and mental scars. First my father. Then my favourite nan. And then my gran. And then my aunt. In the space of about 18 months I lost them all. I went from an happy and innocent 8/9 year old to a a shy, withdrawn kid with trust issues. Something I only really recovered from in recent years. In my view, there is no god. Not if something like that could happen to a church going family who hurted no-one.There is no god, no afterlife. Nothing. Religion was a device used to comfort the needs of humanity "Mourning? Don't worry, they've gone to a better place". "Feel useless? Well everyone has a god given purpose." "Confused as to what to do? Follow these moral laws."

    I'm not saying religion is a bad thing. Indeed, the people that went to my old church were really nice people on the whole. If you're in the UK, the Lee Abbey christian retreat in Devon is an awesome place to visit. I just despise what it is based on.

    The problem is that it's ignorant of history. Unfortunately it falls into a fallacy that many people do when discussing an institution by approaching it from a monolithic, top down format. This was not the case with the church until at least Constantine 300 after Christ, by which the number of books had already been whittled down. However that process couldn't have occurred via top down imposition. There were two churches opposed to each other's interpretive process in Antioch and Alexandria, but they both settled on the general same set of books. 150 years before Constantine Marciom as the greatest threat to the traditional church. His followers were significant and numbered the normal church, but were at most guilty of saying the Old Testament should be ignored while settling on the New Testament as we generally know it. But geographical competition in the century before him could not have had authoritative council establishing that corpus because they simply didn't have the influence. The church occupied geographic territory from Rome to Egypt, had only slowly delayed communication and for the most part was confined to urban elites. The country side was an ever wilder situation for Christianity and hundreds of books claimed to be testaments of Christ. The oldest and most constantly referenced were held up by multiple proponents in multiple places over a long spam of time. But there was no church, in the way you're describing it, to comman the use of only certain books.

    To slant the issue slightly... In the 1600s, what council of Natice Americans could tell all the native Americans of just the United States to codify a unified body of tenets? If you can describe the unified beliefs of the native Americans of the U.S., then we can start describing the Christian church in the same way.

  • @dustpuffs said: I did not say I didn't understand how the Bible was written. I asked why you believe the Bible was written. Completely different things.


    Okay, then:

    2 Timothy 3:16-17
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    (and)

    John 20:30-31
    Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


    That's why.

  • The problem with the question "Why was the Bible written?"... is that there is no such thing as the Bible. Different religious institutions/traditions have their own canons (see here for a comparison).

    So you'll have to rephrase the question. "The" Bible really is a collection of different scrolls and books, written across a vast amount of time, so you could try narrowing it down. Or you may want to know for each and every Bible book why it was written. You'd probably get a different answer for almost each and every one of them, and for some Bible books, there will be no clear-cut answer.

    To give some examples, there are Bible books written to comfort the people of Israel who were experiencing hard times in the face of their enemies (such as Babylon or Egypt), there are collections of songs (Psalms, Lamentations), there are letters to churches, written to steer them into a certain direction and to further the institutionalization of religion (which is why I'm not a particular fan of the Pauline epistles), and there are your historical writings, which, as Alcoremortis already explained, are just historical records (with some embellishments here and there, no doubt) to keep the past alive.

    So... any particular Bible book you want to know about?

  • Just wondering if anyone believes in God on these forums. I do anybody else?

  • Then do you think it is wrong to play games that take the lord name in vein if you believe in God? Or play games with too much cursing and violence?

  • @Lil Kis said: take the lord name in vein

    Wait. What? You're injecting names into your bloodstream? Far be it from me to judge... but that's a bit weird.

    Taking the Lord's name in vain, however... well, that's one of the 10 "never do this under any circumstances" rules, right? You just have to decide for yourself what's right, I guess. I mean, would typing "OMG" be the same as "goddammit"? I dunno. And I certainly don't know what the status is on video games since the Bible is curiously silent about them. Maybe there's a supplement to help with that sort of thing.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    Since you're not the one who is committing those acts and saying those things in violent video games (or movies, books, music, etc.), there shouldn't be a problem reconciling your enjoyment of those things with your following the Bible's ten commandments (or other moral guidelines).

    If you're a strong believer of following those moral guidelines, then there's no chance that playing, watching, reading, listening to, or in any way experiencing anything that goes against those guidelines is ever going to get you to do or say those things yourself. And in the end, that's what really matters.

  • I am Catholic. I believe in most of the dogmas, such as Jesus being son of God, the divine Trinity,... But I think the most important thing is that the Bible is that it has to be read like a book of moral teachings that people should apply in their everyday life, not like a reliable historical account or being followed by the letter.

  • Is there anyone on these forums who is Jewish or Buddhist? It seems because of this thread that there are only Christians, Theists, Agnostics, and Atheists.

    BTW, “Oh my God” is not a statement of blasphemy.

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