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Discussion in 'Archive' started by Bazooka56, Jun 11, 2009.
I just don't like agnostics. :? Real talk. Fence-sitters need to pick a side.
I barely have faith in people...
...and you want me to believe in a magic man?
Is that C.S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien in your Avatar... because both of them were hardcore Church of England.
I am a secular Jew who happens to be a deist. I also happen to disdains the cult worship inherent in the major religions, where the teachings of the Prophets are trumped by "You don't believe in my version of the one God who only commands peace and love?I will kill you so you can go to Hell!"
My personal philosophy is this: I don't believe in the all-loving compassionate God from the new testament; I feel we have and always will have the wrathful God from the old testament. And the reason he is wrathful is because we are stupid, stupid monkeys, and every time he tries to give us something to improve ourselves with, we mess is up. Because we are stupid, stupid monkeys.
Following the Monotheistic Religions:
God sends his message to Abraham to Moses about the Chosen People who he will lead into prosperity. 3000 years later everyone else still hates and is trying to kill his Chosen People. Some of his Chosen People aren't helping the situation.
God sends his only Son (/him, whatever) to bring a message of religious reform based on compassion and peace for mankind. The followers of his only Son blatantly ignore this message and spend 2000 years violently killing everyone else, including other believers, but especially his Chosen People.
God decides to bring forth a new Prophet to the fruitful, and some of them wise, people of the Desert. This Prophet preaches ways of religious reform based on peace to the other monotheistic religions before him, and knowledge. After the Prophet's death, his people split into two factions, who have been killing each other and the other monotheistic religions for 1400 years.
God taps Buddha and shows him Enlightenment, hoping that maybe the Asians won't be as crazy and stupid, and Buddha will be able to spread the word of peace through inner peace. Once again, mankind proves God wrong.
God brings forth another prophet in the Middle East. Guess what the message is? This is a repeat of the first process.
Now you know why Firefly was canceled, and why we'll never have Duke Nukem Forever.
You can't have the New Testament God without the Messiah, so if you have a Jewish background it is easy to see why the God of the New Testament is hard to understand.
But I don't want to argue religion with you, I'd rather be loving you up.
In a gay way.
Well Judaism does have a Messiah; he just hasn't shown up yet. And he's probably going to be pissed anyways.
Also, I'm sorry I missed out on your XBL Movie Night. But last year I saw Manos: The Hands of Fate twice in one week, and my brain still hasn't recovered. (No joke, my brain shut down for self-preservation during both viewings, which is why I still can't recall what happens in the middle of the film.)
Why should we pick a side when we will never have all the facts?
It's not a game, and I don't want to pick a believe because of what sounds good (oh, eternal happiness, that's nice I'll go with that) but rather what I believe is real. For me, science makes a hell of a lot more sense then religion. However I can see that an "all powerful god" could have used science as a test, or just put in place to give some laws of our world....that's not something I believe is true but nobody can rule that out.
Why is picking a side so important?
Replying to OP here, with what I've said time and time again.
There are many reasons to believe, or not to believe.
However saying that by looking at the way the world is, and it's utter crappy nature, is alone grounds for not believing is utter crap. IMO.
How could we expect God to step in and fix everything? If He did, we would be in the waiting room of Heaven. There is pain and suffering in the world to test people, etc etc. Different people can bear different struggles in their lives, and as such, are given different struggles.
One persons death, to you, may seem unnecessary and pointless, but to another it may be the difference between the salvation or damnation of their own soul. How could we possibly fathom why the world is the way that it is? It is God's will, and His alone, and we are not to ask why, but to simply add it to our cumulative life experiences and lead us to eternal salvation.
That said, I am an atheist. But that doesn't mean that just because I don't believe in a higher power that I don't believe there are other's who can benefit from believing, having hope that there is more to life. That alone can mean teh difference between life and death for some people.
So if believing there is a God will keep you from swallowing those pills, so be it. All the power to you. However I do have a large disdain for the hardcore Bible-thumpers. You know what I mean.
In short, everyone needs to find their own individual truth, not rely on what other people say or do, or what happens to them. It's your life, you decide what will be in it.
Too bad we didn't watch Manos...
Also, what I meant was, you have to believe Jesus was the Messiah in other to have everything else work.
Stal - the pic is Tolkien, he was a quiet Catholic. Lewis was the outspoken protestant. in fact, the stuff i said about suffering is right in line with his book "the problem of pain"
to whomever responded to the question on "good," it's still fuzzy. it sounds like you're saying that moral good is relative to what one believes. if that's the case, then christians that want to jam their morality down others' throats are entitled to, because their moral good says to do so. if you're saying it's based upon universal laws, or natural laws, then it's a whole different ball game. we have to start talking about universal laws, including metaphysical ones.
as for picking a side, per Rekkie, epistemology has debated the issue since before Descartes. what is knowledge, what is justified belief, those things. i think you're right, we don't KNOW things, but that shouldn't stop us from adding up beliefs from inductive and deductive reasoning.
also, it shouldn't just be that a god "could" use science, it seems that it would have to, don't ya think? i mean. the laws of physics don't just float in and out of relevance, the world is tightly ordered by laws and principles. science, from a theist perspective, is the how of the things. just not the why. to believe in a theistic world where science weren't essential and fixed, perhaps something along the lines of Hume, we would have no way of interpreting the world around us.
Another good point. Those people sitting in the hospital, near-death, waiting for God's "miracle " to just heal them...sigh. Is it so hard to believe that God gave us these gifted doctors and scientists, and that they, in reality, are the miracle?
If tomorrow we found the cure to all forms of cancer, is that any less a miracle than God stepping in and curing one person of their cancer?
Eh, the Church of England is really just Catholicism minus the Pope.
I was an English major and Lewis was one of the subjects of my thesis. Also, good suggestion (you didn't even know you suggested it): If you are asking the trite question: "If there is a God why is there pain?" Then read C.S. Lewis' book The Problem of Pain and follow it up with the book he wrote right after his Wife died: "A Grief Observed."
You might surprise yourself at how you think afterward.
If the question is 'Does God exist?' then you're right. Agnosticism is the only reasonable belief, because God is by his very definition immaterial, transcendent, supernatural. Empirical observation is inapplicable to those things outside the natural world, so the question itself is moot. However, if the question is 'Do you believe in God?' then we have a very different situation. Theism and atheism are the only two options. There is no C. There is no 'agnostic', because agnosticism pertains to a belief in the knowledge of God, not simply God's existence. One can be an agnostic theist, who believes in God despite knowing that their belief cannot be validated, or an agnostic atheist, who chooses not to believe in God out of logical inference or the like, but simply agnostic does not work.
Stal- yea i haven't gotten to the followup though i know about it. my graduating thesis was a presentation on how a christian god is consistent with the condition of suffering. not to argue on behalf of god existing, on to offer that it remains consistent.
for those wanting to read an alternative position on the issue, you can look up J. L. Mackie. he's a terrible philosopher (no logic, no arguments!), but then again, Lewis is guilty of that as well. i just think he (Lewis) has a stronger foundation, based upon Aristotle/Aquinas. reading them together is interesting, though i suspect opinions are already decided before reading either
Lewis never was a philosopher... he was an apologist.
true, not much of a difference if ya ask me, in his case at least. to me, if you collect, organize and explain philosophical arguments (he references Kant, Descartes, Aquinas, Aristotle, etc), might as well group you as a philosopher
but yes. he was an apologist.
I really think you have to look at it as a lay person to understand what exactly he is trying to do for lay people.
He was writing to the British community pre and post WW2. They weren't an over educated lot aside from the Oxbridge group so he knew how to scope his audience.
If you are a reader and want to read some really good insight on what an Atheist who ended up writing Christian books had to go though to get to that point, I'd suggest Mere Christianity.
Lewis is not shy about the fact that as a youth and in WW1 he was angry with God. It was much less an apathetic disbelief and more a spiteful anger. It is quite a turnaround.
I guess I don't consider it philosophy like the secular world would.
point taken. perhaps i'm too broad in how i categorize philosophers. it seems to me that anybody who presents a logical argument, either spoken or written, can be called a philosopher.
i'm a christian, and appreciate apologists. he, more so than many others like him, seems to work less theologically and more philosophically.
and of course, its his personal accounts of his journey that adds a richness to what he writes. an authenticity.
another great British writer, don't know if he'd be an apologist, was G. K. Chesterton. as a journalist, i think he's effing brilliant.
but...i don't think this topic was intended to become a book club haha
Same thing here. We're really messing up the Finnish statistics on religions.
I can't remember ever renouncing god or something like that. The stories were there, but so were the stories about the easter bunny and santa. I still love the stories, but I've never had a crisis about them either. Probably something to do with how I was raised, but I can't relate to that kind of crisis.
Nowadays I've studied a bit about some popular religions and tried imagining their world. I find that it's always me judging their ideas, whether they teach stuff I find important or not. So the stuff I believe in are already there, with or without the religion.
So personally I think choosing a religion is a bit pointless. If you're like me, you know what to do and what not to do in your life, with or without a defined religion saying anything about it. I get that there could or could not be something we don't know about, but I don't think it would change the things we will do in our small lifes.
I think I'm saying I can't relate and I doubt anyone can. What you believe in is something personal, it's not about choosing christianity or atheism.
Atheism is no different than any religion...ultimately it's belief absent of evidence. People say there is no proof God exists. That is true...people verify the existence of a God by simply saying there are questions we haven't answered yet, not an overly scientific response.
On the other hand, there is no evidence to say a God doesn't exist. It's an abstract concept, but if I may pose an example. I could not, scientifically, claim that unicorns do not exist. Why? In order to do so, I would need to be everywhere at once in order to prove there are in fact no unicorns. I can reasonably believe the unicorn as we know it does not exist, but I can't definitely prove it. Likewise, I have reason to believe there is no God, but I can't be everywhere at once so as to prove God does not exist.
This is why I am an agnostic. I do not believe in a supernatural being, no matter what you call him, but I'm not so arrogant or close-minded as to reject the idea entirely.