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  1. #31
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    We cannot comprehend God, so we cannot prove he exists. In the Critique of Pure Reason and Religion, Kant asserted that if God exists at all, He is in the "noumenal" world. Kant explained that we cannot understand the noumenal world, or world "as it is." Our minds can only grasp the finite, "phenomenal" world.

    Religions require dogma because they involve concepts we cannot comprehend by using our senses. Kant says God is (or resides in) the noumenal world. (You were unclear on this point, Seawolf.) When we try to understand the noumenal world, we necessarily translate it into what we can fathom -- the phenomenal world.

    Everything we profess to know about God actually comes from our senses (we read about God; we see God, etc.). Unsurprisingly then, we imbue God with human characteristics. We put a human face on him. We make him act with compassion. We even make God share our tastes and prejudices. In essence, we impose ourselves on God. Anthropomorphism, though, ultimately fails because we recognize God is infinite, but our minds are finite.
    Huh. I understood this even better! Very nice, Rajah (with an assist from SW, for motivating you to indulge).
    "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

  2. #32
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Some metapostings moved to a new thread here.

  3. #33
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. I read much of this as an outsider - I was brought up in an environment completely free of religion. I've perhaps attended 3 church ceremonies in my life of any sort, and Sunday school once (think my parents were particularly desperate for space that day...)

    I wonder partly if I've missed something important, because I think atheism was instilled in me as a belief.

    -Geoff

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    I wonder partly if I've missed something important, because I think atheism was instilled in me as a belief.
    I don't think so; at least, I would argue not excepting the limitations of any given culture in which I/you/he/she was born. Culture is a double-edged sword, however - we want it, but it's often constricting in that it's usually applied in a manner that restricts our own determination.

    You might've noticed a hesitancy in the above posts to come full out on a metaphysical position, instead favouring a focus on the nature and extent of human knowledge for ascertaining the supernatural. Value of religion in this thread seems largely historical/cultural and mythological (though not stated as a put-down here), and it's my view that, atheist or theist, a person can capture that value simply by exposing themselves to it through books, stories, - or if you can handle it - religious services and rituals. That said, immersion or contact doesn't necessitate switching the foundation upon which you view the world.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
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    If I might give a gentle nudge, this thread seems to be descending rapidly into autobiographical statements rather than actual questions and responses to the original post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Well, I'd say that no priest knows that there's a God
    I fear that this epistemological question will be the straw that breaks my back if SW has another screen dump on this topic, so I'll take your point (and SW, I'm just messing with you)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Hmmmm, I haven't really thought about that.
    I was hoping you would say that Questions are so much better when they provoke new thoughts. If I read your response correctly, what you're saying is that 'miracles' can help to fuel your faith, your zest for life (perhaps?), without you necessarily needing to believe that they are god-inspired events? The beauty for you is within the event, rather than the design (or lack thereof) behind it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean here, so I'll await clarification.
    Yes, this is where my tiredness kicked in and I just clicked 'submit'. I suppose what I was saying is this: you stated that you could as easily be an agnostic devout Buddhist, but that a large part of the reason you chose Christianity is because it is your 'reference point' and you're comfortable/familiar with the community. My question is: what if that community wasn't based on a belief in god (I apologise for repeatedly failing to capitalise, but I cannot bring myself to do so)? Would the community itself be enough for you? Put another way, are you choosing the path purely because of the community spirit you wish to remain a part of, rather than real belief?

    It might be a bit academic now, I think you've effectively answered 'no' in your response to other questions.

    Interesting stuff
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  6. #36
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I have decided to revisit this old thread, having run across it again (and it was a good OP, Eileen ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    The problem of "belief": For awhile, I stopped using the word "belief" without disclaimer. This has changed only very recently, as I've started teaching this confirmation class. The author of this wonderful book for teenagers (My Faith, My Life - Jennifer Gamber) discusses the word "belief," not as an intellectual action but as an action of the heart. Professing belief, in this author's opinion, is not professing knowledge but instead professing trust--giving over with one's heart to God. I (personally) do not need to "know" that there is a literal God in order to believe in this manner.
    I identify with much of the OP... but here is where I just don't understand (although I am trying so hard).

    I understand the idea of faith being an action, not an ideology, but I still have trouble choosing to "profess trust" in someone I do not even "know" exists.

    How can this be reconciled? Is this the difference between NT and NF people, that the question of God's existence is not as important as the impact of believing/trusting in Him?

    I can believe in and commit to living as if God does exist, from my own personal values -- but I cannot feel comfortable professing "faith" or "trusting" Him as if he exists if I have no way of ever telling he is real. All I know is what my own values are and what I need to DO in order to feel as if I am maintaining my integrity and values.

    But that is rather impersonal, at least in terms of a relationship with this nebulous "God."

    Stories: Over the years, I've come to have a very profound respect for our stories. I hear a lot of disparaging of these stories as lies, manipulations, or (at best, maybe) mere fairy tales, particularly in rationalist (i'm not using the typological meaning here) circles. In religious circles, I hear a lot of denial that these narratives that are so important in our culture are stories at all. We have come to demand that everything be factual, verifiable, falsifiable, "true" in one particular sense, and so Christians are forced to believe that Jonah was literally swallowed by a whale and literally spit out onto the shores near Nineveh, and rationalists are forced to deny that this story has any value whatsoever in our modern, scientific times. I have problems with both of these reductions of our stories (our... myths!).
    I agree with all of this wholeheartedly. It disappoints me to see people place so many constraints on their own stories and the stories of others... especially when it leads to such conflict and anger aimed at each other.
    "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

  7. #37
    Oberon
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    Jennifer, have you ever read the written account of the conversations between Tolkien and Lewis that led up to Lewis's conversion?

    They're all about stories.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I understand the idea of faith being an action, not an ideology, but I still have trouble choosing to "profess trust" in someone I do not even "know" exists.

    How can this be reconciled? Is this the difference between NT and NF people, that the question of God's existence is not as important as the impact of believing/trusting in Him?

    I can believe in and commit to living as if God does exist, from my own personal values -- but I cannot feel comfortable professing "faith" or "trusting" Him as if he exists if I have no way of ever telling he is real. All I know is what my own values are and what I need to DO in order to feel as if I am maintaining my integrity and values.

    But that is rather impersonal, at least in terms of a relationship with this nebulous "God."

    I don't think that your conundrum is an exclusively NT one. I have the same issues, and the language that I used those months ago was a bit sentimental. I still like the idea of it, though--and I guess when I say that I trust/give my heart over to the idea of God, I'm expressing a very basic optimism... not necessarily a trust as I might trust in a person, but a trust in what I am a part of that is larger than me.
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Apollonian's Avatar
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    I am rather fascinated by this thread and sympathize a bit. However, I want to read carefully and consider your thoughts fully before responding. Until then, I fear that I might hijack the thread, so I created my own on a similar tack. I would be greatly interested in your thoughts.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...html#post57018

    Alas, I have a lot of backlog to catch up on before I can join in the discourse. I look forward to reading your ideas in more detail and responding in coming weeks.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    I'm familiar with the Emerging Church movement. It'll take me awhile to respond too, as last night I was taking a break by posting that I couldn't really afford... but perhaps we can have a long, drawn-out conversation about it.
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

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