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  1. #421
    Sniffles
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    In fairness, I can agree the Orthodox can be a bit over the top in their purusit of holiness at times. That still doesn't invalidate the Christian God though.

  2. #422
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Why would he leave his book behind, then?
    Which book? Are you sure it's not a counterfeit made by a human, or, more likely, by a lot of humans? It's easier (for a human) to counterfeit a "book written by god" than, let's say, the background radiation.
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  3. #423
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    Which book? Are you sure it's not a counterfeit made by a human, or, more likely, by a lot of humans? It's easier (for a human) to counterfeit a "book written by god" than, let's say, the background radiation.
    The bible. I am sure it is a 'counterfeit'. Very much so.

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    It depends on how you interpret the bible: if you take it literally or metaphorically. I would opt for the latter. "God" would be an image, or an analogy, used to explain in a simple way something complex philosophically. Seen that way, you could have a good intuition or gestalt of what "God" could represent, but explaining it would indeed be very difficult. Perhaps the most straightforward would be to suggest a universal set of rules that govern us, define natural science, transcend us, and that we can infer through reason and feeling. Believing in these universal rules as capable of organizing our internal and external life succesfully is sometimes difficult, but persistence is what helps us get out of difficult situations instead of staying stuck in them. Just my 2 cents.

  5. #425
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    The bible. I am sure it is a 'counterfeit'. Very much so.
    Well, I used 'counterfeit' to stress it is not made by a god. I don't think the people who wrote and added to the bible meant to make a fake holy book or something. They wrote down what their ancestors have been telling for centuries.
    I also knew quite well that you meant the bible :-) I only want to say that 1) there are lots and lots of books; 2) I myself, who are but a human, can write a book too (as a matter of fact, I've written two already) so it's not that difficult; and 3) there is even more than one holy book around.

    If god is so particular about what you believe (most religions say this), why does he make himself not clear?

    @ Falcon - I see the bible as a huge and valuable collection of thoughts, ideas, stories and metaphors centered around a growing and changing belief system. I would like to reserve the word "god" for an independent, conscious entity, not for a philosophy. If I say "I don't believe in a real god" I mean I don't believe the god is as real as (to repeat my previous example) the moon. You can indeed get quite a good image of the Judeo-Christian God from the bible - as good as you can get an image of a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon from the first Harry Potter book.
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  6. #426
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    Well, I used 'counterfeit' to stress it is not made by a god. I don't think the people who wrote and added to the bible meant to make a fake holy book or something. They wrote down what their ancestors have been telling for centuries.
    I also knew quite well that you meant the bible :-) I only want to say that 1) there are lots and lots of books; 2) I myself, who are but a human, can write a book too (as a matter of fact, I've written two already) so it's not that difficult; and 3) there is even more than one holy book around.

    If god is so particular about what you believe (most religions say this), why does he make himself not clear?
    You might want to read the rest of the thread. That would spare us a whole discussion.

  7. #427
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    If god is so particular about what you believe (most religions say this), why does he make himself not clear?
    Do you really mean why is God not clear, or do you mean why is God mysterious? These are two separate things.

    I believe if you actually read the various holy texts most of them do make clear the things that are important. For example the New Testament says, "the whole law can be summed up as 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" The confusion comes not from the text but from the readers. Either people quibble over the specifics or they don't want to accept what the text says and try to change it in some way. And you can see that every major religion does this, because every major religion has many sects/denominations. The texts are made clear but people want them to be unclear.

    But maybe you are really asking, "why is God mysterious". And that has to do with human nature. People need a sense of awe and wonder in their lives and that is healthy. God is mysterious, because people need God to be mysterious.

    These holy texts are a combination of making the important message clear, but making God (or the Tao or whatever) to be mysterious.
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  8. #428
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    But maybe you are really asking, "why is God mysterious". And that has to do with human nature. People need a sense of awe and wonder in their lives and that is healthy. God is mysterious, because people need God to be mysterious.
    This discussion continues in the past.

  9. #429
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    I don't even know what you ar taking about. I never tried to have your oosts removed and I never refused discussing the consequences. Since Nicodemus defends nihilism and thee was a personal feud with Disco, I suggested moving that part, I didnlt even think about you, Beefeate! As I said, nihilism can be a consequence, but it is not the same as atheism. The OP ws about arguments for and against. I have no idea what makes you translate my post as "only criticism of christianity, please" - that looks like a willful misintepretation. I clearly see the ethical problems involved with my own atheism and contrary to Nicodemud I deeply respect othe peoples' faith.
    OK, I guess I misunderstood... and perhaps that was even purposeful. I apologize.

    Ftr, I never said that atheism was the same as nihilism. I simply said that was the logical outworking. I understand that most atheists reject such depressing conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Eithe you think faith is inherntly seperated from reason, than there is no ooint in this discussion or you follow St Thomas of Aquinus in hisclaim that reason two can lead to God and that He left the rational door open. In that case bring it on! Peguy made one of the few valuable contributions with his video (even thoug I consider the arguments in it rather weak). More of that, please!
    I don't think faith and reason are separated, but I don't think you can reason your way to God apart from faith. In order to reason to get somewhere you need to start somewhere and as I stated before the beginning place for all reasoning is faith... no matter what you believe.
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  10. #430
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    This discussion continues in the past.
    But the discussion in the past doesn't really address the points I'm making. Then again you aren't addressing my points now either. I suppose in that respect the discussion is the same.
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