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  1. #21
    Senior Member Ming's Avatar
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    To me religion is like trying to relate the 4th dimensional world, a world that we ourselves can't comprehend as a whole, into our own three dimensional world. WE can say that WE ourselves have an idea, and know, or belief that something is of 'the truth' or the 'right', but we can not see into the other dimension, unless we were really part of it ourselves. It's like trying to be God, when you're human. Trying to comprehend the wordings, the works, the 'brilliance' of God, when we're not even there! It's like..talking about parallel dimensions, universes. It will never end, because there was no 'start' in the first place.

    Am I just talking to myself here?

  2. #22
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ming View Post
    To me religion is like trying to relate the 4th dimensional world, a world that we ourselves can't comprehend as a whole, into our own three dimensional world. WE can say that WE ourselves have an idea, and know, or belief that something is of 'the truth' or the 'right', but we can not see into the other dimension, unless we were really part of it ourselves. It's like trying to be God, when you're human. Trying to comprehend the wordings, the works, the 'brilliance' of God, when we're not even there! It's like..talking about parallel dimensions, universes. It will never end, because there was no 'start' in the first place.

    Am I just talking to myself here?
    I don't think full comprehension is a prerequisite for relation... but some experience is necessary.

    I can't fully comprehend this world? Can you?

    Yet I relate to this world just as I relate to the spiritual world.

    The more I comprehend both worlds the better I am able to relate to both worlds.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  3. #23
    Probably Most Brilliant Craft's Avatar
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    My answer is answer(and quite a practical one). I tire of this "live ignorant" world.
    A search for truth is a search for a greedy perspective.

    Nah, that's not truth. That's just your bullshit ideas of truth. Truth is always inclusive. If it's not inclusive, then toughen it up and try harder.

  4. #24
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Sometimes I can be slow on the uptake so could you do me the favor of explaining exactly what is your point.
    We'll get there.

    As a Christian I disagree with Jennifer's argument that spirituality is found from within.
    She made no assertion. She presented two possibilities, a dilemma for believers like yourself on the nature of belief. Merely stating you "disagree with Jennifer's argument" does not detract from the fact that many people do experience religiousity internally. She is making a perfectly good point about the integrity of belief.

    ...I can accomplish the lowliest of tasks, such as picking up dog poop, for the glory of God, the most holy and righteous being in the universe. If my heart is aligned correctly and I do all things for the glory of God than the other material benefits may come... community, love, self-fulfillment.
    What is your definition of a good deed? You seem to prioritise the praise of your god and mention the possibility of "material benefits". It's not unique to Christianity, but the thinking is flawed: if you grudgingly do a "good deed" purely to please your god, He might question the sincerity of the deed. True altruism requires no reward or recognition other that helping one's fellow man. Your heaven is no doubt filled with helpful atheists...

    You imply that good things may come from deeds made in His honour. Yet many good deeds backfire or have undeniably bad consequences. You seem happy to give your god credit when the "material benefits" are forthcoming but don't acknowledge His complicity when things go terribly wrong.

    But if your god can supply material benefits as a reward so selectively, then his powers of intervention are no better than random luck. And random outcomes are precisely what you might expect if He didn't exist at all.

    Amongst other reasons, I seek after God because I want to be happy.
    Good luck.

  5. #25
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    As a Christian I disagree with Jennifer's argument that spirituality is found from within.
    She made no assertion.[/quote]

    Oh... I was confused when she said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Spirituality is found from within.

    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    She presented two possibilities, a dilemma for believers like yourself on the nature of belief. Merely stating you "disagree with Jennifer's argument" does not detract from the fact that many people do experience religiousity internally. She is making a perfectly good point about the integrity of belief.
    It isn't a dilemma for me. That argument presupposes that there are only two sources of beliefs. Yourself and others. My point was that I believe that God himself is a third source of belief.



    [QUOTE=bananatrombones;1122440]What is your definition of a good deed? You seem to prioritise the praise of your god and mention the possibility of "material benefits".[/quality]

    A good deed is done for the glory of God. As I mentioned earlier I don't think its wrong to selfishly do a good deed for both the glory of God and one's own happiness.

    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    It's not unique to Christianity, but the thinking is flawed: if you grudgingly do a "good deed" purely to please your god, He might question the sincerity of the deed. True altruism requires no reward or recognition other that helping one's fellow man. Your heaven is no doubt filled with helpful atheists...
    As stated earlier in the thread I don't believe and altruism and I don't believe God expects men to behave altruistically. Moreover, I don't believe good works get you into heaven. I believe the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins is the only reason anyone is saved from God's wrath.

    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    You imply that good things may come from deeds made in His honour. Yet many good deeds backfire or have undeniably bad consequences. You seem happy to give your god credit when the "material benefits" are forthcoming but don't acknowledge His complicity when things go terribly wrong.
    You assume much about me. I'm a presbyterian and a calvinist. That means I'm radical enough to actually believe EVERYTHING the Bible teaches. I believe God is sovereign over all. Everything that happens on earth is because God decided that it should be so. Both the birth of a healthy child and the earthquake in Haiti happened, because God wanted it to happen. Ultimately, everything on earth both good and bad will be used to bring glory to God.

    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    But if your god can supply material benefits as a reward so selectively, then his powers of intervention are no better than random luck. And random outcomes are precisely what you might expect if He didn't exist at all.
    I'll concede that at times from my perspective what God does in the world can seem random. That doesn't prove he doesn't exist. Moreover, in the grand scheme of things there is much more order in the world than there is apparent randomness.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  6. #26
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post

    I'm a presbyterian and a calvinist. That means I'm radical enough to actually believe EVERYTHING the Bible teaches.
    As you believe everything then the following words from Paul might be of interest?

    And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
    - 1 Corinthians 13:13

    A good deed is done for the glory of God. As I mentioned earlier I don't think its wrong to selfishly do a good deed for both the glory of God and one's own happiness.
    You might not, but Paul has an opinion about that as well:

    Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
    - 2 Corinthians 9:6,7

    As stated earlier in the thread I don't believe and altruism and I don't believe God expects men to behave altruistically. Moreover, I don't believe good works get you into heaven. I believe the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins is the only reason anyone is saved from God's wrath.
    I think your god does expect you to behave altruistically (see earlier comment). Paul seems to be saying without good intention, deeds are valueless.

    And thou I bestow all my good to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
    - 1 Corinthians 13:3

    And, as we know, charity comes before faith...

    So, your expectations of what your god requires of you are at some odds to the writings in the Good Book you profess to believe in vigorously.

    How do you explain this inconsistency other than the peculiarities of whatever strain of Calvinism you subscribe to?

    I'll concede that at times from my perspective what God does in the world can seem random.
    In which case He is irrelevant. The "seeming" part is in your head and others that share your views.

    That doesn't prove he doesn't exist. Moreover, in the grand scheme of things there is much more order in the world than there is apparent randomness.
    Your first sentence is irrelevant and your second so general as to be pointless. What does "order in the world" actually mean, for example?

    Remember: your god likes a cheerful giver.

    Stay cheerful, Beefeater.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    ...the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins is the only reason anyone is saved from God's wrath.
    So the very basis of your religion is a blood sacrifice to appease an angry god.

    Perhaps it would be simpler for your god to attend an anger management course.

  8. #28
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    The Toxicity Lies in the Dose

    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    For religiously-inclined people:

    What role does religion play in your life? What role would you say it plays in people's lives in general? Why are people religious? e.g. "gives me a sense of purpose," "gives me a sense of certainty," "inspires me to be a better person," "answers difficult questions," "gives me direction," etc.
    The role of religion is defined in liberal democracy by the separation of Church and State and by the freedom of religion.

    This is because the purpose of liberal democracy is the limitation of power - even the power of the Church.

    But notice, liberal democracy does not seek to abolish power, but to limit it.

    And at the personal level of the question, I would say that religion is very nice in small doses.

    But the toxicity lies in the dose. And the higher the dose, the more toxic.

  9. #29
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    First I want to say that I completely understand the atheist perspective because I used to be one. I never flat out refused to believe in a God; it was simply that the logical part of my mind would not accept it. I always said that I wouldn’t believe it till I see it and lo and behold I ended up seeing it.

    When I was 20 years old I started to develop bleeding in my stomach. Then at the age of 21 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal stomach disease (A SEVERE case of chronic pancreatitis) and given between 5-7 PAINFUL years left to live. After five years of deteriorating from my disease I ended up meeting a Catholic spiritual healer that started talking to me about Jesus. He told me that he could take me through a spiritual healing process and that if I turned my life towards God that I would feel the healing power of Christ. I went through the process and as of October 20th, 2007 I have been completely healed. It’s a long story how this all happened , so this is just the gist of it. Since then I have become Catholic and now work helping other people who are sick. What happened to me is a medical impossibility; so if someones wants to see physical evidence of God’s existence then all you have to do is go and check my medical records.

    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    What role does religion play in your life?
    Religion saved my life. Without it I would be dead or doing life in prison. (oh ya.. I used to be a ruthless gangster too.. religion also gave me the moral compass I strongly needed.)

  10. #30
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Beyond basic spirituality, religion gives me a system of life to work from. Christianity, and beyond that, Judaism have been around for a long time and in that time, there is a lot of accumulated wisdom.

    I see no reason to either mindlessly follow any system, but neither do I find it necessary to reinvent the wheel. I mean, I do have a good, strong conscience and a decent mind, but I'm not Ghandi or Einstein and even if I was, I have only one lifetime to learn from personal thought and experience. I'm fine with borrowing wisdom from those who have gone before.

    I guess I am also a bit of a mystic by nature and my early exposure to the life and teachings of Jesus kind of set my compass in that direction. I have little doubt I would be religious regardless of whether or not I had early exposure to religion, though, because even as a Christian, I tend to like Wiccans and appreciate what I know of their religion.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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