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ToughDiamond
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17 Jul 2021, 9:12 am

cyberdad wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
For example, I wouldn't agree 100% with the caricature of OT God as a cosmic Saddam Hussein, but I can see what it's driving at.


This is not as absurd as it might first appear, In the old testament God said "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.". This would suggest two things, firstly we are as flawed as god is, secondly there's more than one god.

Alien-god theory again....

The official number of deities according to scripture is three, which it says is the same thing as one. I don't understand it, so I guess people who say they do are either much brighter than I am, or just making up nonsense. My working theory is that it's the latter.

I doubt it's possible to know quite what the author meant by the "image" and "likeness" part, if he meant anything. It's somewhat vague, though that hasn't stopped religious bigwigs from explaining it to us - typical interpretations have it that it means we're qualitatively different from other animals, having a sense of morality, having intellect and verbal skills, the ability to relate to each other (and to the deity), the ability to make decisions, and some kind of right to rule over the planet and all its other life forms. Frankly I've yet to see any interpretation of scripture by a believer that makes any more sense to me than the original scripture does - they seem to be a mixture of fallacy, conjecture, and gobbledegook. Almost as if it were designed to mislead.

https://www.bibles.net/made-in-the-image-of-god/



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17 Jul 2021, 9:21 am

AngelRho wrote:

Put another way: If I own something, say, a car, and the engine light comes on, most likely it's for an oil change. Fine, I'll change the oil. So the engine light comes on later and it turns out it's some computer glitch, then I get that fixed. Then the low oil light comes on and I discover there's oil leak on top of my engine, I get that repaired. And then I find that my particular car is prone to breaking tie rods--ok, fine, I'll replace the tie rods, but now I'm getting annoyed. And then one day I happen to be driving a long stretch of straight road and I need to turn off onto a different road, I'll likely have to brake. If I find my brakes are out and I can't stop, then I figure out a different way to stop the car. But I'm also going to worry about if I'd been going faster and on a curvy road going downhill, what would I have done if the brakes had failed, then? Repairs on my car are nickel-and-dimeing me to death as it is, now it's trying to kill me. I'm DONE. It's OVER. The car is going to the salvage yard. There's only so much patience I can reasonably be expected to have, and operating a vehicle that is a threat to my own life, much less the lives of other motorists potentially, that is unacceptable.



The car is broken. It can't be trusted, can't be repaired. Why not? Well...what's next? Sure, I could have the brakes fixed. That sounds sensible, yes, but now I'm just waiting for the next failure. What's next, cracked radiator? You have any idea how much a new radiator costs? What about the electrical system? Is the wiring next? Or what if another oil leak happens next to the one I just fixed and the car catches fire from residual heat after I park it one day? Or will there be another computer glitch and the car won't even run? The kinds of repairs I mentioned, parts and labor, add up and total more than what the car is worth--heck, for the sinkhole this thing is, I could just buy a new car.



Nobody is going to accuse me of being unreasonable when the car is a proven lemon. And if I hear similar stories from others with the same model and year, that just makes my decision that much easier.



If you can imagine owning a possession that shows itself not merely untrustworthy but entirely irredeemable, there's no moral question that you are within your rights to destroy it. Part it out. Junk it. Scrap it. Recycle it. Whatever, but it no longer has any meaningful existence as what it was created for.



What you are accusing God of is exactly that: disposing of HIS creation and HIS property in a manner you find unpleasant. If my car could talk and start that argument with me, I'd hum a happy tune while I pull the lever on the hydraulic press. It belongs to me, the title is in my name, I've made my decision, and no more good can come of this. Doesn't matter if my car doesn't like what I'm doing, but this relationship is severed forever. It's not up to us if we LIKE it. It doesn't matter, it's God's prerogative. It is no more reasonable to accuse God of murder than it is to accuse me of murdering my car after it has failed me for the last time.



You'll get no argument from me that God committed homicide by definition of what homicide is: killing a human being. Whether this happens individually or en masse is irrelevant. Murder is the unjustified killing of a person. Justifiable homicide is justified. If my car worked perfectly fine, I owned it, the title was in my name, and I decided to drive it off a cliff and buy a new one every week, I am justified in doing so by virtue of the car being mine to do with as I please. If God chooses to wipe all of humanity off the face of the earth and declines to give a reason or justification for it, God is justified in that we are his to do with as he likes without regard to how we feel about it. Nobody is going to tell me I can't buy a Bentley every week and drive it off a cliff if it's my money and my Bentley. It might not make sense to anyone else, but it doesn't have to make sense. My car, my choice. God made me, God holds the title, and if God wants to put a magnifying glass between me and the sun, there's not a thing I can do about it but thank him for time he allowed me to live. I'm certainly not going to give God a hard time for getting rid of people who have proven themselves worthless, immoral, irredeemable, and dangerous.



Your analogy fails for a few reasons:

1- Cars are not sentient and therefore do not possess feelings or rights. Imagine if the car you were placing in the compactor was Lightening McQueen or Bumblebee, and they were pleading with you to stop. If you just hum your song and pull the lever regardless, that would be unquestionably evil.

2- The Christian God is omniscient. That means that he knew the outcome of creating humanity beforehand. In your analogy, that would be akin to knowing the car was a lemon before buying it. You knew exactly, how, when, why, and to what extent each of these problems would occur before you bought the car, but chose to buy it regardless. It makes no sense that anyone would do this. Can you explain to me how an omniscient being can regret a decision?

3- You may argue that we are God’s property, and therefore he has a right to destroy us if he sees fit to do so. But if that’s the case, then he is not benevolent, loving, or merciful. You can’t have it both ways.

AngelRho wrote:


But picking an object that doesn't have humanity or feelings was EXACTLY what I intended. There is no need to feel anything towards property regardless of whether that property possesses personality or not. Animals are property, too, and as such have no consistently enforceable rights (sorry, PETA). The only value they have is what we give them. If we see no purpose to keep them alive, we are under no obligation to. Hot lead is a highly effective tool to bringing a quick, merciful end to either a dying animal or a dangerous one. In terms of ownership, they have no real, objective status any more or less than a car or any other possession. God is under no obligation to regard us as anything more than a machine, a tool, or an inanimate object. Christians feel it is not our place to pretend that we mean any more to God than that. If God chooses to destroy us without shedding a single tear, how we feel about it isn't going to matter one way or another. If God chooses to die so we can have a second chance at reconciliation, God is powerful enough to do that.



We decided that farm animals are property because we can, not because there is any kind of universal standard that gives a right to do so. To some extent, using animals as a food source and exterminating vermin is necessary to ensure our own survival. And even then, it is still done from the biased perspective of favoring our own survival over that of others. From an objective standpoint, this comes down to a "might makes right" stance that isn't objectively moral. But to harm or kill animals simply for fun or out of spite is unquestionably evil. Since God is omnipotent, he experiences no threats to his own survival, and the Bible never says that humanity poses any kind of threat to God. Therefore, God cannot claim a survival need for exterminating or tormenting humans.

Pet owners do not view their pets as property, and most consider them part of their families. It is illegal in the US for someone to harm or neglect their pet, and "I can do what I want because it's my property" is never considered a valid defense in court.

I sincerely hope that you are not a pet owner.

AngelRho wrote:


I think that one major effect Jesus had on the world is that restoring grace and forgiveness to our faith has actually resulted in human being taking MORE responsibility for war and destruction. Hitler had near total devotion from every German and the whole nation was committed to the Aryan cause. It's not unlike Sodom whose evil was complete to the point God didn't see fit to spare anyone. If God had intervened in Germany directly as he had in Sodom, no one who had been alive in Germany at that time would have even survived. What would people have preferred knowing the end had come? To be completely wiped out by God, or for other human beings to occupy Germany, help rebuild, and resist the Soviets? The horror of nuclear war in Japan served to inform all Japanese people that they could not win the war, and was justified in that more people survived to rebuild Japan and end further cost in human lives to both sides. With the entire nation of Japan behind fighting the west to the last man, had God intervened in the same way, no one in Japan would have survived. I think that makes a bold statement to say that nuclear weapons are preferred to what God might dish out. It's almost like saying millions of soldiers would rather put their lives on the line to protect their nations' interest if that's what it takes to keep God from showing up, but at the same time no nation was ever denied its right to exist.



The German people didn't just all blindly follow Hitler. Hitler was a dictator, and anyone who opposed him did not only risk severe consequences to themselves but to their families and loved ones as well. Many Germans sheltered Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust, but those that got caught were executed along with their families. Most of the German people were helpless to stop the Nazis. I had a coworker whose family fled Germany during WWII. Her grandfather was forced to stay behind and fight on the side of the Nazis until he could ensure that his family safely got to America. Oskar Schindler used his standing within the Nazi party to save the lives of 1,200 people. John Rabe saved the lives of 200,000 people during the Japanese occupation of Nanking. This blanket condemnation of the entirety of the German people is both grossly ignorant and completely uncalled for. And I'm confident that matters were just as complicated and nuanced for the Japanese people as well. The decision to use the atom bomb against Japan was far from morally perfect, but I understand that the US government was faced with an extremely difficult situation. But one key difference is that The US and the Allies were not omnipotent, while God is. God was fully capable of knowing exactly who all to give heart attacks or strike with lightening to end the war with no need to place any innocents in harm's way.

Besides, what evidence do you have that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were involved in anything remotely close to what the Nazis did? Aside from a handful of people trying to rape angels, all the Bible gives us is some vague allusions to some unspecified "wickedness". Sure, raping angels is bad, but not every last man, woman, and child were culpable. We're told that Lot failed to find even 10 righteous men, but that is according to the Bible's impossible standard for righteousness. And how are even children and babies guilty and deserving of destruction? In the story of Lot, it is God who is analogous to Hitler and the Nazis, not the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

AngelRho wrote:

I think God is definitely perceivable, but the divine sense not equally present in all people. It's not unusual that most people are sensory impaired. I'm extremely nearsighted--not legally blind, but I need glasses. Astigmatism ain't fun. Some people don't hear well. Also, there is a limit to the human ear's frequency response beyond which there are sounds too high or low to meaningfully perceive (though technically you can perceive upper range harmonics though the residual effect, but whatever). There are wavelengths of light we can't perceive. Taste, smell, and touch are things that will vary among people for different reasons--injury, disease, genetics, and so on. I believe somewhere in there is a sense of God's presence though perhaps it is either not as well developed as other senses, such as light or sound that is undetectable, or the sensory input from it is ascribed to other things. People who have better hearing might be accused of hallucinating when describing things that no one else can hear. Divine activity, which is quite real to those who perceive it, might sound like stories of the tooth fairy and Santa Claus to others who don't have the same grasp of reality.


But how can an inability to perceive something be a crime? Astigmatism may be a pain, but should we punish peoplpe for having it? Imagine if you were sentenced to life in prison or death for the "crime" of having astigmatism. Does that seem just to you? If God requires everyone to know of and acknowledge him, then the responsibility falls on him to ensure that everyone is equally capable of perceiving him.



Last edited by dorkseid on 17 Jul 2021, 9:38 am, edited 3 times in total.

AngelL
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17 Jul 2021, 9:33 am

dorkseid wrote:
Interesting thought. But it seems that you are making the concept of God so nebulous that anyone could point to anything and label it "God". Nothing here points to a Christian God who sacrificed his son.


Typically, when someone asks me who or what I believe in I tell them that "My God, who I choose to call 'None-of-your-GD-business'. I find it helpful because every one of the billion names for <insert-name-here> comes with the user and the listeners subjective definition and so we're about to enter into a debate about apples and oranges - but call them both plums.

That said, my spirituality is of paramount importance to me and, it seemed to me, that if you were searching for 'The Ultimate Truth about Life, the Universe, and Everything' and didn't have a handy-dandy copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy then a person would be well served by learning as much as they could about as many different theories, beliefs, religions, etc. So I have. My literacy in most religions and fluency in many doesn't necessarily mean that I ascribe to one or the other. In fact, as the decades have rolled on, I've found increasingly similar messages underneath the often discordant wrapping paper.

That said, there is nothing in what I have said that is in opposition with the text from The Course in Miracles, which claims the Christian God.



aghogday
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17 Jul 2021, 9:35 am



'This Thread' on the "Absurdity of Christianity" Has surely
Been Fascinating As it Shows How Diversely We Humans View
the World; Yes, Perversely too of Course Depending on Views...

Science Shows About 20 Percent of the General Animal Kingdom are Sitters;

And About 80 Percent Are Rovers; THere Are Introverts And Extroverts Among Humankind;

There Are More Closed Minded Folks Versus More Open Minded Folks Among Humankind;

(Side Note: Some Humans Aren't Very Kind)

And Generally Speaking Regardless

Of the 'Text Books' Or

'Other Arts' We Create As

Human Beings, THere Are

Old Testament Kinda Folks;
The More Conservative, Who
Stick With Whatever Tradition that
Bonds And Binds Them Together; No Matter
Dark Or Light Associated Symbols and Ideologies

In More Closed Minded Ways;

And Then There Are the More
Liberal, Open Minded Folks Who
Are Always Creating New Testaments

Of Life Progressively At Best Moving Out of
Plato's Cave into New Colors oF LiGHTS On Christmas
Trees Constantly Changing Year Round Not Traditionally

Put Up Only the
Same Now on Just

One

Day... So Indeed
The Bible In All Its
Tradition, Perversity,
of Old Testament Ways

And Newer Testament Ways
That Simply Reflect A More Kind
And Loving Open Minded Spirit and
Soul Way Flavored With Kinder Social Empathic
Artistic Spiritual HeART Reflects the Human Condition

As Is...

Is It Absurd...

Yes in Some ways

the Human Condition Overall

Is or Do We Need to Look Any Further

Than An 'Old Testament God' Like 'Trump'
Still Elected to Run the Country Still Supported
By A Majority of So-Called Conservatives With More
Closed Minds Even though the Leaders of Their 'Party' Admitted

He Attempted
to Incite A Bloody
Insurrection to Overthrow
Democracy That Allows Us
to Express Our Freedoms at all...

True, the Human Condition Can get
Mighty Absurd; Like Defunding the Police
For the Extreme of that too Where Otherwise
Chaos Away from Law And Order Will Certainly Ensue....

Is it Absurd That Folks Are Still Refusing to Get Vaccinated
With A Vaccine Proven to Be Safe Putting Their Children At Risk;
Even Making Laws in Florida That Do No Allow Schools To Require
Vaccines to Save the Health of the Children From A Much More Dangerous
Delta Variant of a Deadly Pandemic; Yes, True, it is Both Absurd And Very Dangerous

For All Considered
too; Yet Where i Live
in the Panhandle in the
Crux of the Ignorance in Florida,

People are Starting to See the Pain
In Those Who Are Coming Down With
The Pandemic Closer to Their Age In terms
of Long Haul Suicides And Even Break Through

Infections of the Elderly
in Compromised Health
Conditions Even After Being
Fully Vaccinated; It takes a lot

of Pain And Suffering Some Days

to Change Tradition For those with
More Closed Minded Ways of Conservative Being;

And Quite Honestly, Boats Require Anchors With Sails For Ships that
Otherwise Might Go Without Law Enforcement For Chaos to Ensue too...

The Old Testament

And New Testament
Ways of Life Ain't Going

Away As Long as Human Being
Is Classically Evolved As Is And True

We still Have Women in African Countries
Feeling Great Self-Esteem For Having Their
Pleasure Organs Mutilated too for the Sake
of What They View As Sacred and Holy Tradition;

On the Other Hand,

Other Woman Open

to New Ideas Might

Believe an Orgasm Might Be Pretty Dam Cool...

With Humanity Anything Goes; Put On the Clown
Clothes And Do the Best Ya Can And Will Do to Keep

Up with the Circus at Hand;

If You Are Able

to Ascend and

Transcend the Frigging

Insanity to Create A Greater

More Joyful Illusion of Life for

Your Reality That Works too...

Not Many Folks Accomplish it;

Yet As Empirical Evidence Shows now some NoW DEFiNiTeLY

Do; As Both 'Oracle and Architect'; i 'Do Believe', 'Neo and the Matrix'

is a More Apt Metaphor

For this Condition

at Hand...

-Neo

Hanging up
The Phone Now

Yet i Will Return Again Now...

Secrets in Plain Sight and Site...

heART; Leave out the Art All Ya Get is 'HE'...
smART Leave out the Art All Ya Get is

S

And M...

Yes More Flavored

Sadistic and Masochistic True...

Leave The ART Out of EartH in Balance; Eh, Ya Got Big
Troubles; Heat Waves, Floods, Perhaps 'A Bigger Hurricane

Fred' Next...

In Other Words, Division Bells of the Human Mind
too; Focusing Too Much on Mechanical Cognition Makes

'Johnny Not a Very Happy Boy' and Or Girl; As Science Shows
That Withers Away Our Social Empathic Artistic Intelligences

And Leaves Humanity

As Dry As a Dam Desert;

Back To SCaRCiTY; Back to

Tribal Orientations

For Basically

A Bloody

Way of Life
in Competition over
FLoWeRinG Cooperation Among US All...

"Mama's, Don't Let Your Baby's Grow up to
Be Cowboys" Alone; Don't Forget the FLoWeRS With the THorns...

Let them
Baby's

Continue

to Rise as Rose Complete...

In Other Words, Do Dance and Sing
Free FLoWeR More Than THoRNS ALoNE.

-me



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dorkseid
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17 Jul 2021, 11:17 am

Mikah wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
Odd that there's no mention in scripture of these supposed pre-human spirits


It's a good way of reconciling certain ideas and it's one I quite like myself. Once you've gotten over the silly atheist caricatures of God as torturer-in-chief, you still have to reconcile the spiritual danger of corporeal life with a well meaning God. If it's not forced on us, which would raise questions... perhaps instead we make a choice... which necessitates the possibility of an antelife.


The Bible itself says that God is a torturer:

Quote:
Matthew 13:50 “furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth”

Quote:
Mark 9:48 “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”

Quote:
Revelation 14:10 “he will be tormented with fire and brimstone”

Quote:
Revelation 14:11 “the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night”

Quote:
Revelation 20:14 “This is the second death, the lake of fire”

Quote:
Revelation 20:15 “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”


Either God is a torturer, or the Bible isn't true. Pick one.

AngelL wrote:
RetroGamer87 wrote:
Hey that's not in the Bible, is it? I guess it wasn't enough to include.


Perhaps it was decided that there was enough for folks to misinterpret in there already. If in fact that was the case, I'd have to say, good call.


The levels of absurd mental gymnastics Christians will resort to to avoid accepting reality never ceases to amaze me. So now God just omits important details from the Bible completely because people will just misinterpret them? Why bother putting anything in the Bible then? What's the point of having a Bible at all if that's the case?

And how do you know about any of this stuff if it isn't in the Bible? I find it hilarious that Christians will just make up sh!t that has no basis in the Bible and claim it's part of Christianity, but still persist in denying things that are explicitly stated in the Bible.

AngelL wrote:
dorkseid wrote:
Interesting thought. But it seems that you are making the concept of God so nebulous that anyone could point to anything and label it "God". Nothing here points to a Christian God who sacrificed his son.


Typically, when someone asks me who or what I believe in I tell them that "My God, who I choose to call 'None-of-your-GD-business'. I find it helpful because every one of the billion names for <insert-name-here> comes with the user and the listeners subjective definition and so we're about to enter into a debate about apples and oranges - but call them both plums.

That said, my spirituality is of paramount importance to me and, it seemed to me, that if you were searching for 'The Ultimate Truth about Life, the Universe, and Everything' and didn't have a handy-dandy copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy then a person would be well served by learning as much as they could about as many different theories, beliefs, religions, etc. So I have. My literacy in most religions and fluency in many doesn't necessarily mean that I ascribe to one or the other. In fact, as the decades have rolled on, I've found increasingly similar messages underneath the often discordant wrapping paper.

That said, there is nothing in what I have said that is in opposition with the text from The Course in Miracles, which claims the Christian God.


But nothing you said specifically supports the Christian God in particular, either. I have not read The Course of Miracles, but if it defends the Christian God specifically, then that is indicative of its author's bias. I've heard many Christian apologists try to use universal arguments for a creator, like the Cosmological Argument, Teleological Argument, Argument from Design, etc; but then fumble about with mental gymnastics trying to justify leaps in logic to their specific religion's god. And I've seen Muslim apologists do the same.

If your goal is to search for 'The Ultimate Truth about Life, the Universe, and Everything', then intellectual honesty compels you to begin that search with no pre-existing assumptions about what you expect to find. I don't discount the possibility of a Deistic creator. But I also have no reason to assume that as fact.

If we are talking about the god of a specific religion, then I do know that Abrahamic religions evolved out of older mythologies. Judaism began as an extension of Babylonian religion, in which YHWH coexisted with other gods before evolving into a Monotheistic deity. Christianity evolved out of Jews interacting with other cultures and incorporating elements of other religions into their own. And Islam is a product of superimposing Abrahamic Monotheisms onto Arabian Paganism. All scholarly evidence points to these religions all being made up by humans and evolving over long periods of time, and all of their scriptures contain messages that conflict with reality and rely heavily on logical fallacies.

I'm less familiar with non-Abrahamic religions like Hinduism or Shintoism, but anthropological evidence point to a natural human tendency to invent supernatural entities and mythologies surrounding them. This has occurred in some form in every known civilization. There is no reason to assume that any one of these thousands of religions is any less made up than any of the others.



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17 Jul 2021, 12:07 pm

dorkseid wrote:
I find it hilarious that Christians will just make up sh!t that has no basis in the Bible and claim it's part of Christianity, but still persist in denying things that are explicitly stated in the Bible.

Oh, that's nothing new...

The following are not in the Bible:

Purgatory* (12th century)
Christmas (4th century)
The Great Commission (19th century)
Sola Fide** (16th century)
The Trinity*** (4th century)

*Protestants like to bring this up while debating Catholics
** Catholics like to bring this (and James 2:14-26) up while debating Protestants
***A trigger for the Great Schism between Catholic and Orthodox Christians



AngelL
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17 Jul 2021, 12:15 pm

AngelL wrote:
That said, there is nothing in what I have said that is in opposition with the text from The Course in Miracles, which claims the Christian God.


dorkseid wrote:
But nothing you said specifically supports the Christian God in particular, either. I have not read The Course of Miracles, but if it defends the Christian God specifically, then that is indicative that of its author's bias.


When you say, "...nothing you said specifically supports the Christian God..." what would constitute 'support'? I'm sincerely curious because frankly, my goal wasn't to support or oppose any God. If they are fake, there would be no reason to support them - and if they are real, they certainly don't need my support. Too, what do you mean by 'defend' in this context?

You know what, let me try this - it might work better. If for some reason I feel my back is up against the wall and I've got to check one of those little boxes on the bottom of demographic sheets that ask me for my religion, I check the Buddhist box. I have taken precepts, I have lived in a Buddhist monastery, I Zoom into my local Zen center for morning meditation every day, and I hang out on a Buddhist forum. One day on the forum, someone posting a thread that asked the question, "What school do you below to?" referring to Buddhist schools of thought. My answer, which is apropos here as well was this:

"I would not refer to myself as a follower of any school, unless truth is a school. To that end, I'm not following it as much as uncovering it. I am making an effort to eradicate beliefs rather than add more."

And so, wherever I find truth - that's where you'll find me. Does the Course in Miracle 'defend' the Christian God? Not by any definition of the word 'defend' that I'm familiar with. But then it doesn't address the idea that God needs defending. I will say this: It has explained an awful lot in the Bible that I would have bet that a reasonable explanation could not have been dreamed up - and did so imminently reasonably. I was very, very surprised.

dorkseid wrote:
If your goal is to search for 'The Ultimate Truth about Life, the Universe, and Everything', then intellectual honesty compels you to begin that search with no re-existing assumptions about what you expect to find.


Absolutely, 100% agree. Yet, in some ways, I failed. I did begin my search, as you suggested, with no pre-existing assumptions to the extent that this is possible for a human being. But when I took a look at the Course, it was with the underlying belief that I wasn't going to find anything reasonable in it. Unfortunately, I ignored that bias, and only noticed it when my assumptions about it were proven wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a convert now or anything - just saying, it had reasonable explanations for unreasonable ways of seeing and thinking about the Bible that I did not see coming.

dorkseid wrote:
I don't discount the possibility of a Deistic creator. But I also have no reason to assume that as fact.


A fair and reasonable position.

dorkseid wrote:
If we are talking about the god of a specific religion, then I do know that Abrahamic religions evolved out of older mythologies. Judaism began as an extension of Babylonian religion, in which YHWH coexisted with other gods before evolving into a Monotheistic deity. Christianity evolved out of Jews interacting with other cultures and incorporating elements of other religions into their own. And Islam is a product of superimposing Abrahamic Monotheisms onto Arabian Paganism. All scholarly evidence points to these religions all being made up by humans and evolving over long periods of time, and all of their scriptures contain messages that conflict with reality and rely heavily on logical fallacies.


You'll get no argument from me on this. From the Epic of Gilgamesh to the the Torah to Christianity and everything in between. But here's the thing (at least for me): Everyone today has a computer in their back pocket that they make calls with, maybe a laptop, iPad, etc. In today's world you can't get a job that was an entry level, just out of high school just 50 years ago - without a college degree today. We have access to so much more information today than at any time in human history by an exponential amount. And yet, how many seconds has it been since you looked at, or listened to someone and thought, "Damn, that dude's mom's egg had to have been expired!"

You think people today are ignorant? Now imagine 2000 years ago in the Middle East. How do you craft a message of Ultimate Truth to a group of people where the most educated and knowledgeable of them that think that the earth is flat, the sun is being pulled by a chariot across the sky by a dude chasing his sister, and there are four elements. You dumb it down and then you say something like, "He who has eyes, let him see."

Now, let's assume that you're enlightened (Buddha) or maybe even the Son of God (Jesus). You have "The Ultimate Truth of Life, the Universe, and Everything" and you want to give it away. Wrap it up in something familiar if you want people to 'see' it. Find something that has some truth in it - perhaps it once was 100% truth but it's been misquoted, misunderstood, bastardized, manipulated, etc., for thousands of years by ape descended life forms that are so amazingly primitive that they thought voting for...well, never mind that, you know where I'm going. Anyway, starting with something that has a foundation and an audience is not a bad way to start. Unfortunately, now you've got people pointing to the misquotes, misunderstandings, bastardizations, and the manipulated of the past to 'prove' why you are wrong.

The last page in the Bible includes a warning and a threat. Specifically, it tells what shall happen to anyone who adds to or takes from the 'Word'. I'm thinking that the warning has been summarily dismissed throughout history by people trying to manipulate for power and profit. If the message hadn't been obfuscated throughout history, everyone who had a copy would have been overjoyed to see Jesus if he was indeed the Son of God - and would have rejected him if he wasn't.

dorkseid wrote:
I'm less familiar with non-Abrahamic religions like Hinduism or Shintoism, but anthropological evidence point to a natural human tendency to invent supernatural entities and mythologies surrounding them. This has occurred in some form in every known civilization. There is no reason to assume that any one of these thousands of religions is any less made up than any of the others.


Agreed. Assuming any of them is true would be a grievous error, in my opinion. Personally, I always recommend direct experience over beliefs.



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17 Jul 2021, 2:22 pm

AngelL wrote:
When you say, "...nothing you said specifically supports the Christian God..." what would constitute 'support'? I'm sincerely curious because frankly, my goal wasn't to support or oppose any God. If they are fake, there would be no reason to support them - and if they are real, they certainly don't need my support. Too, what do you mean by 'defend' in this context?


I thought Christianity was the topic of this discussion. I apologize if I misunderstood your intent.

AngelL wrote:
And so, wherever I find truth - that's where you'll find me. Does the Course in Miracle 'defend' the Christian God? Not by any definition of the word 'defend' that I'm familiar with. But then it doesn't address the idea that God needs defending. I will say this: It has explained an awful lot in the Bible that I would have bet that a reasonable explanation could not have been dreamed up - and did so imminently reasonably. I was very, very surprised.


You said it "claims a Christian god". I was simply responding to that.

AngelL wrote:
You'll get no argument from me on this. From the Epic of Gilgamesh to the the Torah to Christianity and everything in between. But here's the thing (at least for me): Everyone today has a computer in their back pocket that they make calls with, maybe a laptop, iPad, etc. In today's world you can't get a job that was an entry level, just out of high school just 50 years ago - without a college degree today. We have access to so much more information today than at any time in human history by an exponential amount. And yet, how many seconds has it been since you looked at, or listened to someone and thought, "Damn, that dude's mom's egg had to have been expired!"

You think people today are ignorant? Now imagine 2000 years ago in the Middle East. How do you craft a message of Ultimate Truth to a group of people where the most educated and knowledgeable of them that think that the earth is flat, the sun is being pulled by a chariot across the sky by a dude chasing his sister, and there are four elements. You dumb it down and then you say something like, "He who has eyes, let him see."

Now, let's assume that you're enlightened (Buddha) or maybe even the Son of God (Jesus). You have "The Ultimate Truth of Life, the Universe, and Everything" and you want to give it away. Wrap it up in something familiar if you want people to 'see' it. Find something that has some truth in it - perhaps it once was 100% truth but it's been misquoted, misunderstood, bastardized, manipulated, etc., for thousands of years by ape descended life forms that are so amazingly primitive that they thought voting for...well, never mind that, you know where I'm going. Anyway, starting with something that has a foundation and an audience is not a bad way to start. Unfortunately, now you've got people pointing to the misquotes, misunderstandings, bastardizations, and the manipulated of the past to 'prove' why you are wrong.


People of ancient times certainly had much less to work with in terms of scientific knowledge. But it certainly doesn't mean that they were any less intelligent than we are. I don't think that irrational beliefs is due to any lack in intellect; it's a complicated matter that involves a lot of social psychology and evolutionary instincts. Even people like Rho don't lack intellect; what they lack is a willingness to be honest with themselves. And as you alluded, recent events show that people today still make very bad decisions, despite superior access to information. We certainly are still a far cry from "The Ultimate Truth about Life, the Universe, and Everything", assuming such a thing can be knowable at all. I certainly would not trust anyone who claims to possess such knowledge.

What evidence supports that there is a god, much less that he has a son? What reason do I have to believe that individual such as the Buddha had any privileged access to the secrets of the universe? Why should I think that self-professed prophets were anything more than deluded charlatans? If this "ultimate truth" is accessible to humanity, why would it limited to only such a small number of individuals? And isn't it interesting that all who claim to possess so wildly disagree on what is? Almost as if they're all charlatans just trying to dupe everyone into blindly following them?

In the modern day, we know from medical science that people can suffer from illnesses that cause them to hallucinate voices or visions. If someone today were to tell us that he received a message from a god commanding to sacrifice his son an altar, just like Abraham did, he would be given medical treatment for such an illness. We also have many documented instances of grandiose narcists amassing cult followings by claiming to be prophets or possessing divine knowledge. There is no reason to believe that the prophets of the ancient world were any different.

Have you ever noticed how Joseph Smith seems significantly less credible than Mohammed or Moses? This likely because he lived closer to us in history, and we have access to more reliable documentation of what actually happened in those days.

AngelL wrote:
The last page in the Bible includes a warning and a threat. Specifically, it tells what shall happen to anyone who adds to or takes from the 'Word'. I'm thinking that the warning has been summarily dismissed throughout history by people trying to manipulate for power and profit. If the message hadn't been obfuscated throughout history, everyone who had a copy would have been overjoyed to see Jesus if he was indeed the Son of God - and would have rejected him if he wasn't.


The entire history of the Bible is that of having additions made to "The Word". The most obvious would be the addition of the New Testament. But every book in the Bible was an addition made to what came before it. Much has been removed from the Bible throughout it's history as well. There are more apocryphal Gospels than there are canonical ones. The story of Lilith is an apocryphal element of Judeo-Christian mythology that's tied to the very first story written in the Bible. Adding to and taking away from the Bible is a ship had already sailed long before that warning was ever written. Ironically, it itself was an addition to "The Word".



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17 Jul 2021, 3:12 pm

dorkseid wrote:
What evidence supports that there is a god, much less that he has a son?


Nothing that you would accept as evidence exists. However, if there is a God and He, She, or It created us - then that would make us all sons and daughters of God.

dorkseid wrote:
What reason do I have to believe that individual such as the Buddha had any privileged access to the secrets of the universe?


While I'm not prepared to give an exhaustive list, the Buddha's discourses 2500 years ago correctly (according to our current understanding) described atomic theory and the general underpinnings of quantum theory. Scientists of such renown as Oppenheimer when describing the Heisenberg uncertainty principle have invoked the Buddha's knowledge regarding the field, "If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no;' if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no;' if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say 'no;' if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no.' The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of man's self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth-century science." Or Niels Bohr, "For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory...[we must turn] to those kinds of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence."

dorkseid wrote:
Why should I think that self-professed prophets were anything more than deluded charlatans?


Going back to Christianity and Jesus for a moment, how many times did Jesus ask, "Who do men say that I am?" As far as Buddha, I'm certain that he never described himself as a prophet. But you are right in that true strength doesn't need self-promotion.

dorkseid wrote:
If this "ultimate truth" is accessible to humanity, why would it limited to only such a small number of individuals?


This isn't an attack on you at all, please don't take it that way, but I'm wondering if questions were tumbling out of you so fast that you didn't think this one through. Jesus and the 12 missing years. Buddha's efforts to achieve enlightenment are legendary. I'm thinking that the vast majority of people aren't willing to do what it takes to access it. Though, I'm also of the opinion that while the number is, in fact, small - like you implied earlier, 'why would you believe a self-professed...", and so why would someone profess to be enlightened in the first place if they're just going to catch vitriol from folks and people who would not accept any proof, trying to make them prove it twenty-four seven.

dorkseid wrote:
And isn't it interesting that all who claim to possess so wildly disagree on what is? Almost as if they're all charlatans just trying to dupe everyone into blindly following them?


Actually, as I said above, the longer I study the different traditions, the more similarities I find - not wild disagreements.



AngelL wrote:
The last page in the Bible includes a warning and a threat. Specifically, it tells what shall happen to anyone who adds to or takes from the 'Word'. I'm thinking that the warning has been summarily dismissed throughout history by people trying to manipulate for power and profit. If the message hadn't been obfuscated throughout history, everyone who had a copy would have been overjoyed to see Jesus if he was indeed the Son of God - and would have rejected him if he wasn't.


dorkseid wrote:
The entire history of the Bible is that of having additions made to "The Word". The most obvious would be the addition of the New Testament.


Yes, well the passage I'm speaking about is in the New Testament. Regardless, you may have missed my point. I agree that the Bible has been changed many, many times. As a result, going to a book you know has been corrupted in order to learn truth seems kind of strange to me. Again, as I said in a previous post, I favor direct experience.



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17 Jul 2021, 3:56 pm

Indra’s net of jewels.
https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/ar ... indras-net


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17 Jul 2021, 4:08 pm

dorkseid wrote:
I find it hilarious that Christians will just make up sh!t that has no basis in the Bible and claim it's part of Christianity, but still persist in denying things that are explicitly stated in the Bible.


The Bible is not the Christian Quran, neither literalism nor simplism is required or recommended. It's a collection of writings: history, myth, poetry, prose and more written by and for people quite removed from us in time, the proverbial glass through which we see darkly.

dorkseid wrote:
If this "ultimate truth" is accessible to humanity, why would it limited to only such a small number of individuals?


The "truth", if that is what it is, demands great sacrifice and self-restraint and says that many things you might wish to do - you cannot rightly do. People reject Christianity for that reason first and foremost.


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17 Jul 2021, 4:41 pm

I reject Christianity on the basis that the Christian god is a twat, and I'm not going to worship him.

Don't care if I end up in Hell. Gods who act like twats don't deserve worship.


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17 Jul 2021, 8:00 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
I reject Christianity on the basis that the Christian god is a twat, and I'm not going to worship him.

Don't care if I end up in Hell. Gods who act like twats don't deserve worship.


If you believe in the immortal soul this is quite a brave statement. "Twat" or not, the reward or forfeiture of eternity is quite a lot to dismiss because of a personality clash.


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17 Jul 2021, 8:12 pm

If God existed and truly loved humanity, not one person would be condemned for eternity.
No matter how bad my kids were ,I wouldn’t fry them in a lake of fire.


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17 Jul 2021, 8:30 pm

Misslizard wrote:
If God existed and truly loved humanity, not one person would be condemned for eternity.
No matter how bad my kids were ,I wouldn’t fry them in a lake of fire.


This.


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17 Jul 2021, 8:42 pm

Mikah wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
I reject Christianity on the basis that the Christian god is a twat, and I'm not going to worship him.

Don't care if I end up in Hell. Gods who act like twats don't deserve worship.


If you believe in the immortal soul this is quite a brave statement. "Twat" or not, the reward or forfeiture of eternity is quite a lot to dismiss because of a personality clash.


Pascal's wager. I never thought covering my ass was a particularly sound reason for adopting a religion. But that's just me.


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