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  1. #41
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    So, I'm a born again Christian, newly. But I've always had problems with a hardcore literal interpretation of the bible when it diverged from known natural phenomena of life. I also am skeptical because for a few? decades after Jesus' crucifixion, nothing was evidently written down as a testament, making it obvious that verbal stories and scattered scribblings, from the hands of mere mortals, should at the most be rejected as a word-for-word literal tome form the lips of God, and at the least be used warily, with a discerning mind.

    To learn more about Jesus, I embarked on an 11-week bible study called, "Jesus, the One and Only" with Beth Moore. I like her. She's an ENFJ and very into scripture and teaching; she can bring out nuances, sometimes even just hinged on the root of a word, and tie them in with our own psychological situations very well, which is why I really like her studies.

    I could enjoy Jesus' history and words, and even works (though I agreed with my left brain that I wouldn't look too closely at raising the dead, and we could keep tripping along the bumpy Jerusalem road) as we went along week after week. But I knew it was coming. That moment where I would be confronted with the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, the Messiah. For some reason I could accommodate the holy conception as coming from God (though I secretly think Mary was a victim of incest, if I were to be completely honest), and the beautiful, selfless life (my fav part) of Jesus. But for some reason, I cannot suspend my ability to disbelieve anymore, when it comes to Jesus' literal resurrection on the third day, walking around and 'appearing' to people for 40 days, then finally ascending in heaven, per Luke's account.




    Can I be a Christian, believe Jesus was a special person who exemplified the notion of Coram Deo, was persecuted for his special, ironical belief in God and man's hatred, and ascended into heaven the same way we all will when we die?

    Or does one have to believe in it all literally, hook, line, and sinker to be a Christian?



    Love to All,

    ~A
    Religious people are religious because they refuse to let rational thinking into certain areas of their worldview. The basic assumptions--God exists, God exists in a human-like form with emotions and likes/dislikes, God is acting in the world and cares about what happens to a little tiny planet in the middle of nowhere--are never seriously questioned. Evidence isn't really examined carefully, emotions suddenly become indicators of what exists ("I feel God now"), and illogical arguments are accepted. AFTER THAT POINT, religious thinking can be extremely logical and nuanced, and theology is a testament to that.

    If you start letting logic into your religious paradigm, and start respecting scientific method and findings, then I think it's only a matter of time before you either decide your beliefs are nonsense, or, that you decide to block out skepticism and legit challenges to your beliefs and just have faith because life is easier that way.

  2. #42
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Religious people are religious because they refuse to let rational thinking into certain areas of their worldview. The basic assumptions--God exists, God exists in a human-like form with emotions and likes/dislikes, God is acting in the world and cares about what happens to a little tiny planet in the middle of nowhere--are never seriously questioned. Evidence isn't really examined carefully, emotions suddenly become indicators of what exists ("I feel God now"), and illogical arguments are accepted. AFTER THAT POINT, religious thinking can be extremely logical and nuanced, and theology is a testament to that.

    If you start letting logic into your religious paradigm, and start respecting scientific method and findings, then I think it's only a matter of time before you either decide your beliefs are nonsense, or, that you decide to block out skepticism and legit challenges to your beliefs and just have faith because life is easier that way.
    Both atheists and theists build their entire rationale for beliefs on unprovable assumptions. There is no basic difference between the two on that point.

    I mean, do you ever seriously question whether reason is an appropriate way to gain knowledge?
    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. #43
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    So, I'm a born again Christian, newly. But I've always had problems with a hardcore literal interpretation of the bible when it diverged from known natural phenomena of life. I also am skeptical because for a few? decades after Jesus' crucifixion, nothing was evidently written down as a testament, making it obvious that verbal stories and scattered scribblings, from the hands of mere mortals, should at the most be rejected as a word-for-word literal tome form the lips of God, and at the least be used warily, with a discerning mind.

    To learn more about Jesus, I embarked on an 11-week bible study called, "Jesus, the One and Only" with Beth Moore. I like her. She's an ENFJ and very into scripture and teaching; she can bring out nuances, sometimes even just hinged on the root of a word, and tie them in with our own psychological situations very well, which is why I really like her studies.

    I could enjoy Jesus' history and words, and even works (though I agreed with my left brain that I wouldn't look too closely at raising the dead, and we could keep tripping along the bumpy Jerusalem road) as we went along week after week. But I knew it was coming. That moment where I would be confronted with the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, the Messiah. For some reason I could accommodate the holy conception as coming from God (though I secretly think Mary was a victim of incest, if I were to be completely honest), and the beautiful, selfless life (my fav part) of Jesus. But for some reason, I cannot suspend my ability to disbelieve anymore, when it comes to Jesus' literal resurrection on the third day, walking around and 'appearing' to people for 40 days, then finally ascending in heaven, per Luke's account.

    Can I be a Christian, believe Jesus was a special person who exemplified the notion of Coram Deo, was persecuted for his special, ironical belief in God and man's hatred, and ascended into heaven the same way we all will when we die?

    Or does one have to believe in it all literally, hook, line, and sinker to be a Christian?

    Love to All,~A
    The literal interpretation of the bible is a relatively recent phenomenon. And the literal interpretation began with the invention of the printing press in 1440 and the printing of the first book, the bible.

    Since then in developed countries we have univeral literacy so a literal interpretation seems natural.

    However for most of the history of christianity the bible was read aloud. And so the bible was part of the spoken culture and not part of a literate culture.

    And being part of the spoken culture the bible lent itself to poetic interpretations, metaphorical interpretations, cultural interpretations, and theological interpretations. In the spoken culture a literal interpretation would seem foreign and unnatural.

    And as we are now moving from a literate culture to an electronic culture, the literal interpretation of the bible once again seems to be foreign and unnatural.
    Last edited by Mole; 12-23-2012 at 08:34 PM.

  4. #44
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    For now, I'm still calling myself a Christian because I can really think of no other monotheism that is an apt description of what I believe as much as Christianity. I just don't buy into the whole substitution, redemption, and salvation part of it. I think we are all going to 'heaven' and that we create our own hell on earth via our physical imperfections, in various forms. Only by focusing on, and feeding, our soul, which is what makes us, and all living things alive, do we stay close to God and his will.

    I further think prophets/messiahs must come from time to time throughout history to remind man that God is love, and the ultimate meaning of life.
    I have to agree with Beorn then...whatever you may call yourself, you're not an orthodox Christian then, as you've just gutted the core tenants of the religion.

    That being said, and for whatever its worth, I wish more people held a similar view that you do
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  5. #45
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    Religious people are religious because they refuse to let rational thinking into certain areas of their worldview. The basic assumptions--God exists, God exists in a human-like form with emotions and likes/dislikes, God is acting in the world and cares about what happens to a little tiny planet in the middle of nowhere--are never seriously questioned. Evidence isn't really examined carefully, emotions suddenly become indicators of what exists ("I feel God now"), and illogical arguments are accepted. AFTER THAT POINT, religious thinking can be extremely logical and nuanced, and theology is a testament to that.

    If you start letting logic into your religious paradigm, and start respecting scientific method and findings, then I think it's only a matter of time before you either decide your beliefs are nonsense, or, that you decide to block out skepticism and legit challenges to your beliefs and just have faith because life is easier that way.
    I'm not able to respond to you adequately here because I am not at a point yet where I am able, for whatever reason. I think it can be both?I get what you are saying, I think, in that religion is ALL irrational? But, to be a true believer, one must believe. And for that individual, their belief to them seems rational, even if to outsiders it is irrational.

    To help me understand this better I looked to Jung's definition of irrational and found this:

    Jung wrote in Psychological Types: “I conceive reason as an attitude whose principle it is to conform thought, feeling, and action to objective values. Objective values are established by the everyday experience of external facts on the one hand, and of inner, psychological facts on the other. Such experiences, however, could not represent objective “values” if they were valued as such by the subject, for that would already amount to an act of reason. The rational attitude which permits us to declare objective values as valid at all is not the work of the individual subject, but the product of human history.” Reason is collectively and historically conditioned and refers to accepted standards of truth.
    Jung defined irrational “not as denoting something contrary to reason, but something beyond reason, something therefore, not grounded on reason."

    For example, faith has been defined as The evidence of things not seen, implying that in our own subjective minds, we do use reason, but it's faith beyond other's reason, perhaps, but yet still reasonable to us.

    When the explanation becomes “so complicated that it passes our powers of comprehension” and can’t be explained rationally, Jung stated that the contradictions it presents to logic arise from the projection of our psychological viewpoint onto irrational processes. These “existential factors” are objective ones which ultimately exceed explanation. The way out of the contradiction is an individual, subjective one. It has nothing to do with accepted values or standards in the way we are conditioned to think. The subjective factor which gives rise to the projection dictates that it must be viewed in terms of individual values. Since they’re relative to prescribed ones, they have validity only for that individual. This is the way to understanding individual conflict.
    And/but, since man has collectively believe in a higher power(s) [see bolded first sentence], it is apt to also say that it is reasonable to believe in God, because history is more full of believers than unbelievers.

    So whether you look at it individually or collectively, it is reasonable to believe in God, though it is irrational.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The literal interpretation of the bible is a relatively recent phenomenon. And the literal interpretation began with the invention of the printing press in 1440 and the printing of the first book, the bible.

    Since then in developed countries we have univeral literacy so a literal interpretation seems natural.

    However for most of the history of christianity the bible was read aloud. And so the bible was part of the spoken culture and not part of a literate culture.

    And being part of the spoken culture the bible lent itself to poetic interpretations, metaphorical interpretations and theological interpretations. In the spoken culture a literal interpretation would seem foreign and unnatural.

    And as we are now moving from a literate culture to an electronic culture, the literal interpretation of the bible once again seems to be foreign and unnatural.
    Thank you, Victor! That is awesome to know. I cringe to tell my fellow bible study women about my change, but it will be nice to be armed with some facts when I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    I have to agree with Beorn then...whatever you may call yourself, you're not an orthodox Christian then, as you've just gutted the core tenants of the religion.

    That being said, and for whatever its worth, I wish more people held a similar view that you do
    Yeah. I don't really care to be an orthodox Christian, or anything for that matter. I just want to figure out what I believe, and where I fit.
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    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  6. #46
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Yeah. I don't really care to be an orthodox Christian, or anything for that matter. I just want to figure out what I believe, and where I fit.
    I understand.

    Question for you: What do you think makes a Christian, a Christian? What's your criteria?
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  7. #47
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    I understand.

    Question for you: What do you think makes a Christian, a Christian? What's your criteria?

    I don't know.


    That is part of what I hope to determine from this thread.
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    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Both atheists and theists build their entire rationale for beliefs on unprovable assumptions. There is no basic difference between the two on that point.

    I mean, do you ever seriously question whether reason is an appropriate way to gain knowledge?
    What does this even mean? Please tell me how an atheist builds his entire rationale for beliefs on unprovable assumptions... What "entire rational" are you talking about? I'm an atheist. I believe that god doesn't exist. Done. I have no entire rationale built upon that belief. It does not bleed into other areas of my life. If I were to meet a god, I would cease to be an atheist. That means if I were presented with evidence that contradicted my belief that god is a crock of cock sucking horseshit, then I'd gladly change my belief. Many theists are presented with evidence that their beliefs are inaccurate, and yet they continue to hold those beliefs, and create stupid ass, convoluted nonsense to try to reconcile their stupidity. Likewise, many theists don't, and to them I tip my hat.

    As to your question of reason... it would depend upon your definition of appropriate in this context. Appropriate for what? Furthermore, how do you define knowledge? For me, the extent to which an idea about the world affords a person with the ability to make accurate predictions about causes and effects marks the degree to which that idea represents accurate knowledge. Can we know anything for sure? Likely not, save for, perhaps, a priori truths. Those too are only true insofar as our basic ability to reason is valid. But then, there is no way to separate ourselves from the use of reason. Any analysis of the various methods through which one might acquire knowledge would, I think, utilize reason, thus making any attempt to objectively analyze the use of reason futile. I'm open to suggestions. How would you suggest we "question" the use of reason?
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  9. #49
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    GREATER POOP: Are you really serious or what?
    MAL-2: Sometimes I take humor seriously. Sometimes I take seriousness humorously. Either way it is irrelevant.

    GP: Maybe you are just crazy.
    M2: Indeed! But do not reject these teaching as false because I am crazy. The reason that I am crazy is because they are true.

    GP: Is Eris true?
    M2: Everything is true.
    GP: Even false things?
    M2: Even false things are true.
    GP: How can that be?
    M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.

    GP: Why do you deal with so many negatives?
    M2: To dissolve them.
    GP: Will you develop that point?
    M2: No.

    GP: Is there an essential meaning behind POEE?
    M2: There is a Zen Story about a student who asked a Master to explain the meaning of Buddhism. The Master's reply was "Three pounds of flax."
    GP: Is that the answer to my question?
    M2: No, of course not. That is just illustrative. The answer to your question is FIVE TONS OF FLAX!

  10. #50
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    So I'm diggin on Christian Deism http://christiandeism.com/archives/

    and Bahai.

    I want to like Christian Deism more because I am currently learning about Jesus and love Jesus.

    But I suspect that Bahai is really a better fit for what I believe, and have always believed--that there have been many messengers of God, and that we could all be messengers of God if we were enlightened enough. I also like that Bahai is about world peace and love. http://www.bahai.org/

    What do y'all think?
    Ni/Ti/Fe/Si
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    Life Path 11

    The more one loves God, the more it is that having nothing in the world means everything, and the less one loves God, the more it is that having everything in the world means nothing.

    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

    songofmary.wordpress.com


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