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  1. #131
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    Replaced the OP with the edited version.

  2. #132
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didums View Post
    Premise:

    I reject religion because of The Big Picture. The Big Picture, to me, is starting chronologically at the beginning of the Universe and working your way to this point in time, scientifically of course. (Forgive me if there are any errors in the science or chronology)

    Singularity --> Big Bang due to high vacuum pressure --> Stars and Galaxies form over billions of years --> About 9 billion years into the Universe the Sun of our Solar System forms --> Very shortly after, the Earth forms (.05 billion years after) --> the bombardment of earth by asteroids, meteors, etc --> 0.14 to 1.84 billion years into Earth's existence, Abiogenesis brings primitive cells into existence (on its own, no help from God needed) --> For a few billion years these primitive cells become more complex and compete for survival --> transitional forms of cells arise, the transition being single-celled to multi-celled (no help from God needed) --> Multi-celled organisms arise and begin to spread and evolve --> Precambrian --> (okay this is taking a while and I think I’m making my point, I’ll skip a bit) --> Homo Sapiens become a distinct species in the Homo Genus (we arrived this way on our own, no help from God), also a few subspecies of Homo Sapiens come about but go extinct (they came after us but died out) --> Homo Sapiens spread from Africa to the rest of the world --> We adapt differently to the environments of the world (had our species been isolated we would have branched off from each other, Asians, Caucasians, etc) --> Each culture has its own religious explanation for our origins --> (the Big Picture idea is made far enough)

    Argument:

    Why, after all of this, does God decide, "Homo Sapiens need to live according to my rules"? Why does God put himself in human form in some remote desert part of Earth to die for our sins that weren't committed (Adam and Eve never existed and never 'sinned' against God)? Why after all this time, with all these organisms over billions of years, does God decide that its about time for him to show himself? What happens to other organisms, when they die do they just cease to exist? Saved from hell but exempt from heaven? Why didn't he show himself to the other Highly-Conscious beings that existed in the Homo Genus, such as the Neanderthal? One could say that it is because God created us in his own image. However, evolution shows that our species needed no supernatural intervention to come into existence; we are not an exception to the theory. One could also say that because of our highly superior intelligence, God must have helped us to evolve at some point. However, there is a problem with this as well. A great example to refute this notion is as follows: A few people are locked in a room from childhood, they have a few things to keep them entertained in the room (natural things, maybe a log or some rocks), and the extent of their outside interaction with other humans is having food trays and water bowls that are slid inside of the room through a slit in the wall. Now, how ‘intelligent’ do you think these people would grow up to be? They might develop a primitive grunting language, make up some games with the play toys in the room, or even come to worship the slit in the wall where the food is pushed through. Our society and the knowledge that is passed onto us from past generations is what distinguishes us from other species.

    What about people that never hear the word of Jesus, are they forgiven for their ‘sin’, you would think that if he was a decent and intelligent God he would show himself to everyone at once to prove his existence? Were this God to be truly Benevolent, it would show Mercy to those who did not know of his existence, it would not send the un-knowing into damnation because of the God’s inability to show itself to them. But what about the people who do know about this God but still refuse to believe in it and don’t adhere to its rules? One may say that God would deliver Justice upon these people by sending them to hell, however, these people are in the same position that the un-knowing people were: They had no reason to believe. God, being the All-Knowing creator of the Universe, had to have known that these people would choose not to believe, and yet he didn’t give them a reason to believe, they do not deserve to be sent to hell, that would be Un-Just of God.


    Why does this God even make a heaven and hell for us in the first place? The place that we go to is predetermined. God is Omnipotent, All-knowing, and Outside of Time itself; he would already know where we would go to by definition. We have no choice. If we had a choice in what to believe, then the God wouldn't be God, because he wouldn't Know our every thought and what we would decide so that would make him Not All-knowing, A God that doesn't know everything isn't God. If God exists outside of Time, then our existence means nothing to him, the entire history of the Universe could be over in the snap of the finger to God, it is like he would have a Tivo-remote, he could rewind, pause, fast forward, skip to the end, everything predetermined by the show he was watching that he created, why would he care for a species that arose on earth for a fraction of existence in the history of the Universe? All of that makes no sense though, because the concept of Time is being applied to God! A God outside of Time cannot exist in this way, it is literally un-thinkable, our brains are wired to understand the concept of time, where there is no time it is non-existence to us, our consciousness makes up time, if the atoms in my body were scattered somewhere else in the Universe they would be indifferent to time's existence, they would interact with time but time wouldn't Mean anything to them. If God existed in his own sense of Time outside our Universe (whatever "outside our universe" may mean) wouldn't he have to be physically comprised of something to exist? Our only explanation for Consciousness is a highly developed brain, how could God be Conscious if he has no physical form? If God were Physically comprised of something, in a sense of time, would he be outside our Universe? Wouldn't those things be applied to Our Universe? Saying that God has no physical form, yet is conscious, and in a state of time where it would chronologically witness the events of Our Universe, makes no logical sense. And besides it making no sense, it does not answer any questions, “Magic man Poofed it” does not solve a question, it creates More questions. For instance, one can ask “If God created our Universe, Who created God?” This may seem cliché, however it is still valid. The reason it is valid is because the usual answer to this question is: “God is Eternal, he has no creator and has existed forever.” However, this is not a valid answer for this reason: Eternity is a concept that is confined to a sense of time. The definition of Eternity: “1. Infinite time; duration with out beginning or end. 2. Eternal existence.” One can see that the answer “God is eternal” is not a valid answer to the question; the answer is actually false given the definition of God. God, being outside of the confines of Time, cannot be applied to the word Eternal or Eternity; the word itself actually makes little sense and is of little use to explain anything at all. So, it has been proven that the question: “Who created God?” is still valid. Why then, the need for a Creator, if it can be said there is an infinite line of creators creating each creator?

    I have no reason to believe in God via personal experience. I have no reason to believe in God via the logic that is instilled in my consciousness, if I had a different thought process (different sense of logic) then maybe I would.
    BECAUSE GOD IS UNCONDITIONALLY CORRECT AND IF ANYTHING ABOUT HIM SEEMS ILLOGICAL IT'S BECAUSE WE'RE OBV TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND HIS GRAND PLANS SO DON'T QUESTION THEM!

    lawlz. Good work. Plus, bonus points because I play Captain Falcon exclusively in the original N64 Super Smash Bros.

  3. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didums View Post
    (Forgive me if there are any errors in the science or chronology)
    um... i was actually looking forward to reading this simply because it is always interesting when something is presented intelligently, researched, properly checked, rechecked, and tested...

    however... that single quote nullifies any argument, premise, or "opinion" which without testable, provable research is redundant anyway; and instantly made it impossible for me to even bother reading the rest of it.

    I'm a Christian, and I am the most confirmed advocate of testing and examining every doctrine - most of which coincidently is so raped and poorly taught, and presented that it's amazing to me that anyone could believe in God at all!

    You see, for me, quite simply, the God of presentational religion, has nothing to do with God. Never has. Never will. It's for that very reason that the concept of painting Christ as a vanguard of new enlightenment which has been done for the last 2000 years; while simultaneously denying and rewriting the true human history beyond the truth that he was hunted as a common criminal by both the Jews and the Romans for upsetting their comfortable little hive of their own - at the time - business religions and polytheistic cash cows is blatantly a lie.

    Here is a little secret. History and astronomy, and archeology - NOT doctrinal interpretations, but actual - prove more then any of the doctrinally taught concepts.

    1 example: History proves that the domination of women, at that time, was not a fact of the era. There were more matriarchal societies at that time than at any other time in human history, therefore the concepts taught by religious "christian" based religions, are wholly and completely man made, at the first council of Nicene.

    So... It's too bad that you didn't take a year, or hell even a month to fully catalog, research, test, retest, find conflicting data to examine prior to writing this thread.

    As such... that statement nullifies anything written after it. Anyone who has ever done a science experiment knows this off the hop.

    It isn't possible to "prove" anything when the statement which nullifies it, is within the opening paragraph.

    period.

    If you actually want to take the time to have proof of any data, research and so forth, then I'll read it. Until then, it's just wind.

  4. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesvl View Post
    1 example: History proves that the domination of women, at that time, was not a fact of the era. There were more matriarchal societies at that time than at any other time in human history, therefore the concepts taught by religious "christian" based religions, are wholly and completely man made, at the first council of Nicene.
    What are you talking about? There's actually never been evidence found of any matriarchial society in history - unless ones relies on pseudo-histories like Riane Eisler's Chalice and the Blade.

    And much of that involves misinterpreting the nature of matrilineal societies(where descent is traced through the female bloodline) with matriarchies.

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  6. #136
    Senior Member Anentropic IxTx's Avatar
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    Have you ever read The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins?

  7. #137
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oleander View Post
    Valentinus Rocks! Too bad he didn't become pope. Catholicism could've been more interesting. Fortunately, Catholic mystics like Eckhart helped to revive some of his ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    Valentinus Rocks! Too bad he didn't become pope. Catholicism could've been more interesting. Fortunately, Catholic mystics like Eckhart helped to revive some of his ideas.
    Gnosticism is a false religion. Thank goodness St. Irenaeus gave it the proper treatment in ancient times, and Eric Voegelin gave a proper response to modern Gnosticism.

  9. #139
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Gnosticism is a false religion. Thank goodness St. Irenaeus gave it the proper treatment in ancient times, and Eric Voegelin gave a proper response to modern Gnosticism.
    In all seriousness, I would like to know your opinion. You started a thread about an Eastern Orthodox mystic which you apparently agreed with his opinions. However, many Catholic mystics have agreed with Valentinus that faith isn't an end in itself but ideally leads to gnosis of God. Many Catholic mystics accepted an historical Christ but also sought a deeper truth to be experienced directly as Valentinus had. Many Catholic mystics have also differentiated between God and Godhead as Valentinus had.

    It's true that Valentinus left the Catholic Church of his own accord. However, the same could be said of the whole Eastern Orthodox tradition. Why are the Eastern Orthodox Christians acceptable even though the founders of their Church left Catholicism? Valentinus never denied Jesus Christ nor Christianity, and so why isn't he acceptable?

    The later followers of Valentinus did create more complex theologies, but the basic views of Valentinus himself weren't all that different from much of mainstream Christianity. What precisely makes one Christian acceptable and another not? Why are the condemnations of an ancient heresioligist accepted as having the authority of God about who is allowed into the fold?

    As for Eckhart, many Catholics have proposed ending his excommunication which has been discussed within the Vatican. The Vatican changes it's mind on various significant issues over the centuries... such as the Virgin Mary being allowed bodily into Heaven like her Son. If the Vatican accepted Eckhart, would you follow suit? Do you accept whatever doctrine or doctrinal changes that gets the Vatican stamp of approval? How devout of a Catholic are you? Many Catholics disagree with official Vatican decisions. What is your opinion about Catholics that come to their own conclusions?

    I'm not familiar with Eric Voegelin. Okay, I just read some information about his ideas. His definition of Gnosticism doesn't seem to apply to Valentinus because Valentinus wasn't representative of the Gnostic religions that arose outside of the Church. Valentinus would've disagreed with many typical beliefs of some Gnostics such as docetism, matter being evil, and extreme dualism. Valentinus, like many Catholic mystics, was less dualistic than your average Christian even. He saw God very much in this world, but not in the political sense that Voegelin is criticizing... rather, the Kingdom of God is all around us; a spiritual vision, not of what might be but of what is.

    I know you are a very intellectually capble guy and come to your own conclusions as well and so I was wondering why you accepted what Irenaeus had to say? If I were to go by the fact that you referenced Voegelin in condemning Valentinus, then it would seem your knowledge of Valentinus is secondhand. Am I wrong? Or does Voegelin have a good argument against Valentinus in particular?

    I wanted to add another thought. Valentinus was a respected member of the Catholic Church. Other than almost becoming Pope, he already held other positions of authority. As far as I know, he was never excommunicated and his views were popular. He left the Church of his own decision. He didn't change his views from when he was a respected Catholic. It was the Church that slowly changed to exclude his views. What was this change that happened around 180 AD? Was the Catholic Church false when it had previously accepted the likes of Valentinus?

    Also, his followers claimed he was in the direct line of Paul's teachings. This claim is supported by the fact that he was the first Christian to write commentaries about Paul's writings.

    Marmalade
    Last edited by marm; 02-17-2009 at 06:41 PM. Reason: add information

  10. #140
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    I'll address what I can for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    In all seriousness, I would like to know your opinion. You started a thread about an Eastern Orthodox mystic which you apparently agreed with his opinions.
    Although I certainly admired the piety displayed within his work, I did voice reservations about being too otherworldly for my own tastes.
    However, many Catholic mystics have agreed with Valentinus that faith isn't an end in itself but ideally leads to gnosis of God.
    Heresy does not mean one is 100% incorrect. In fact the GK Chesterton correctly noted that a heresy is actually an exaggerated truth.

    It's true that Valentinus left the Catholic Church of his own accord. However, the same could be said of the whole Eastern Orthodox tradition. Why are the Eastern Orthodox Christians acceptable even though the founders of their Church left Catholicism? Valentinus never denied Jesus Christ nor Christianity, and so why isn't he acceptable?
    The founders of the Eastern tradition did not leave the Church. The Eastern fathers are fully recognised by the Catholic Church; and the Western fathers are recognized by the Orthodox. This is true even for St. Augustine of Hippo, even though the Orthodox harshly criticise him over the Filioque.

    The schism did not occur untill 1054 AD, well after the Church Fathers(East and West) lived and the seven ecumenical councils occured.


    How devout of a Catholic are you?
    I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best of Catholics, but I try under the circumstances. A while ago when external pressures were minimal, I was attending mass and confession on a regular basis.

    Many Catholics disagree with official Vatican decisions. What is your opinion about Catholics that come to their own conclusions?
    What concerns me is whether or not their conclusions are actually sound and correct. That's an important thing that gets left out in much of the talk about "thinking for yourself". Yes, you should think for yourself, but you also have to make sure you're thinking for yourself in the right way.

    Catholic Doctrine gives much leeway for various viewpoints. It acts more like a guide to thinking. I can point to the numerous intellectual discussions between Catholics on various issues.

    In his study of Scholastic philosophy, Maurice de Wulf even voiced doubt as to whether or not "Catholic philosophy" could even be said to exist since within it there's so many different perspectives, systems, and schools of thought that contradict each other.

    I know you are a very intellectually capble guy and come to your own conclusions as well and so I was wondering why you accepted what Irenaeus had to say? If I were to go by the fact that you referenced Voegelin in condemning Valentinus, then it would seem your knowledge of Valentinus is secondhand. Am I wrong? Or does Voegelin have a good argument against Valentinus in particular?
    Voegelin cites from Irenaeus in his argument against Gnosticism, namely addressing the issue of self-salvation. Most of Voegelin's argument deals with modern-day "Gnosticism", and that certainly is where his argument stands on better grounds. As far as dealing with ancient Gnosticism(and Voegelin did distinguish the different natures of ancient and modern Gnosticisms), he relied heavily on Hans Jonas' study The Gnostic Religion, as well as other sources. He didn't have access to the Nag Hamandi library.

    Like Voegelin, my main concern at this point is largely with the modern "Gnostics". It's been a few years since I really put much attention to the ancient Gnostics, in relation to the whole Da Vinci Code thing. I did notice a strong disconnect between the ancient and the modern Gnostics, who often projected their own prejudices onto the past.

    Now if you wish, I could get more in details about this(including addressing Irenaeus) at a later point. Due to my work schedule, I'm frequently short on time and energy to go into sustained debates about these things.

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