User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8

  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,661

    Default The central question of religion is not the existence of God?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...simpson-answer

    What do you think of this article?

  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/sx
    Posts
    17,568

    Default

    Sloppy. First, people who assign a finite probability to the existence of God are agnostics, not atheists. This is trivial, though, just terminology. The real problem is that the author assumes there are different gods, and belief must focus on the "right" one to reap the benefits of Pascal's Wager. He writes:

    I think we can safely conclude that the probability of a liberal God fascist – one who doesn't mind which version of him you believe in, but if you don't believe in him at all, he'll let you rot in hell – is negligible.
    I disagree with this fundamentally. We poor mortals are well able to handle such unity in diversity. We insist children receive an education, but permit it to take a wide variety of forms. We insist people wear clothing in public, but don't specify exactly what. I can easily see God in "his" greater wisdom not minding in the least which version someone believes in, being happy simply that he believes.

    Moreover, I believe that the vast array of divine manifestations revered across the world serve that primary purpose: to enable each person, in each time and culture, to relate to the Divine. Of course this works because I believe there really is only one Divine entity, and all these manifestations, pantheons, gods, and goddesses are just myriad facets, or faces, of that one Divine. Someone who believes otherwise might reach a different conclusion.

    The central question of religion, then, would seem to concern not the existence of God, but rather the nature of God.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    I didn't really have issues with the article in the sense described ... that it's less a question of god's existence and more a question of the nature of god in terms of what that belief means. However, I don't think it's a complete crapshoot either; I think any deity relevant to humanity would have things in common with humanity, and thus we can examine humanity across cultures and come up with suppositions about what this deity might be like. Nothing can be proven, but it's not just a matter of spinning a spinner and picking something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Sloppy. First, people who assign a finite probability to the existence of God are agnostics, not atheists. This is trivial, though, just terminology. The real problem is that the author assumes there are different gods, and belief must focus on the "right" one to reap the benefits of Pascal's Wager.
    Well, that's not an insensible tactic, is it? I mean, even if one wants to take a shot at accepting God exists, that in no way defines what kind of god he/she/it is, and that nature of god will define what belief entails and how one lives life.

    I disagree with this fundamentally. We poor mortals are well able to handle such unity in diversity. We insist children receive an education, but permit it to take a wide variety of forms. We insist people wear clothing in public, but don't specify exactly what. I can easily see God in "his" greater wisdom not minding in the least which version someone believes in, being happy simply that he believes.
    Srsly? You're equating education with god? That doesn't seem to make any sense -- you should be equating the substance (not the style) of the education with the substance of God, or the manner of worship with the manner of education. You cannot compare the style of education (such as what college, what coursework, etc.) with the nature/essence of God, which isn't a matter of style but of ethics and thus defines the nature of the deity, the worship, and the belief itself rather than the style of it.

    Moreover, I believe that the vast array of divine manifestations revered across the world serve that primary purpose: to enable each person, in each time and culture, to relate to the Divine. Of course this works because I believe there really is only one Divine entity, and all these manifestations, pantheons, gods, and goddesses are just myriad facets, or faces, of that one Divine. Someone who believes otherwise might reach a different conclusion.

    The central question of religion, then, would seem to concern not the existence of God, but rather the nature of God.
    I agree this discussion is about the nature of God (since the existence of God cannot be proven and we're left just deciding with whether or not we decide it makes sense to believe). However, I do not equate "nature" with "style" which is what you seem to be doing by saying there is just one divine entity but many different ways to understand/view the deity -- I agree with that statement, but I think that the divine entity would still have a nature and regardless of what facet one is examining the divine through, the divine nature still would have to be honored.

    For example, going around and killing people based on one's understanding of divinity vs going around helping people based on a different facet of divinity one is worshiping through very likely will be contradictory to the divine entity's nature at least for one (if not both) of those facets. There is a nature of divinity that would have to be appeased, regardless of worship style.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    You're fired. Lol. Antimony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTP
    Enneagram
    8w7 sx/sp
    Socionics
    ????
    Posts
    3,437

    Default

    I thought the central question was 'why'.

    Why are we here.
    Why is this happening.
    How did this come about.

    How is included too.
    Excuse me, but does this smell like chloroform to you?

    Always reserve the right to become smarter at a future point in time, for only a fool limits themselves to all they knew in the past. -Alex

  5. #5
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/sx
    Posts
    17,568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, that's not an insensible tactic, is it? I mean, even if one wants to take a shot at accepting God exists, that in no way defines what kind of god he/she/it is, and that nature of god will define what belief entails and how one lives life.
    This is my point. Accepting God exists doesn't really say very much. One must then consider what is the nature of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Srsly? You're equating education with god? That doesn't seem to make any sense -- you should be equating the substance (not the style) of the education with the substance of God, or the manner of worship with the manner of education. You cannot compare the style of education (such as what college, what coursework, etc.) with the nature/essence of God, which isn't a matter of style but of ethics and thus defines the nature of the deity, the worship, and the belief itself rather than the style of it.
    I am not equating education with God. I am equating the requirement, presumably coming from God, that "you will believe in me" with the human requirement "you will receive an education" or "you will wear clothing in public". The author of the article considers it important which version of the divine "me" one believes in. This would be comparable to humans saying you must go to XYZ private school or your education doesn't count; or, you must wear this specific type of outfit, or you will be considered indecent in public. (I realize humans do both of these in some places, but would assume God would not stoop to such human pettiness.) There are many ways to relate to God, and I would expect both the style and the substance of this relationship to differ from person to person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I agree this discussion is about the nature of God (since the existence of God cannot be proven and we're left just deciding with whether or not we decide it makes sense to believe). However, I do not equate "nature" with "style" which is what you seem to be doing by saying there is just one divine entity but many different ways to understand/view the deity -- I agree with that statement, but I think that the divine entity would still have a nature and regardless of what facet one is examining the divine through, the divine nature still would have to be honored.
    I may not have expressed myself adequately. Yes, there is a central, fundamental Divine nature, but to me, part of that nature includes incredible diversity, as much diversity as we can imagine, and more. Yes, each of us can approach the divine in a style that is comfortable and accessible to us. But it is less important to God which name we call him by, or which rites we use in his honor, as long as we do call on him and do honor him. This is because the styles, however, diverse, each reveal the same divine nature and transcendent truths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    going around and killing people based on one's understanding of divinity vs going around helping people based on a different facet of divinity one is worshiping through very likely will be contradictory to the divine entity's nature at least for one (if not both) of those facets. There is a nature of divinity that would have to be appeased, regardless of worship style.
    Every religion has adherents who commit violence and cruelty as well as those who act with compassion and kindness. This disparity reflects human nature, not the divine. These "acts of worship" would seem to contradict the fundamental nature of the divine that transcends all styles and forms through which we relate to God.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    Two men walk up to a church. One man asks the other to go in and see if he finds God. So the man walks into the church and prays constantly for the next two hours. He then leaves feeling better than when he came in.

    As he leaves the other man asks him "Did you find God?"
    He says "No, but I found religion."
    The other man says "That's what I asked you, smartass."

    ?

  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This is my point. Accepting God exists doesn't really say very much. One must then consider what is the nature of God.

    I am not equating education with God. I am equating the requirement, presumably coming from God, that "you will believe in me" with the human requirement "you will receive an education" or "you will wear clothing in public". The author of the article considers it important which version of the divine "me" one believes in. This would be comparable to humans saying you must go to XYZ private school or your education doesn't count; or, you must wear this specific type of outfit, or you will be considered indecent in public. (I realize humans do both of these in some places, but would assume God would not stoop to such human pettiness.) There are many ways to relate to God, and I would expect both the style and the substance of this relationship to differ from person to person.


    I may not have expressed myself adequately. Yes, there is a central, fundamental Divine nature, but to me, part of that nature includes incredible diversity, as much diversity as we can imagine, and more. Yes, each of us can approach the divine in a style that is comfortable and accessible to us. But it is less important to God which name we call him by, or which rites we use in his honor, as long as we do call on him and do honor him. This is because the styles, however, diverse, each reveal the same divine nature and transcendent truths.


    Every religion has adherents who commit violence and cruelty as well as those who act with compassion and kindness. This disparity reflects human nature, not the divine. These "acts of worship" would seem to contradict the fundamental nature of the divine that transcends all styles and forms through which we relate to God.
    So then it basically sounds like we agree, at least on this point... that diversity in approach to god seems to make sense, but at core there would still be a divine nature whose tenets one would either reflect or not reflect regardless of one's approach....
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ESFJ
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    The central problem of religion is not the existence of a god. That ought to be pretty obvious, right? I mean, the central issue of science is not whether physical reality exists, but rather the nature of that reality. Likewise, the central issue of religion is the nature of whatever gods are presumed to exist. Theologians spend most of their time arguing about the nature of some god, not debating with whether there are any gods in the first place.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

Similar Threads

  1. What is not the type of the person above you
    By Smilephantomhive in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 198
    Last Post: 08-21-2016, 10:02 PM
  2. What are the motifs (central themes) of visual art?
    By coberst in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-20-2009, 08:42 AM
  3. One of these things is not like the others....
    By Qre:us in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-01-2009, 09:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO