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Author Topic:   Choosing a faith
GDR
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Posts: 5646
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1 of 815 (896966)
08-27-2022 1:59 PM


I left this site some time back as IMHO name calling and put down too often took the place of reasoned discussion. I’ll have another go at it.
In the “I Know that God does not exist” thread there are over 3000 posts, which had largely left the original topic so I thought that I would start a new topic on where that thread had eventually gone.
There are two points I’d like to make.
Firstly, I contend that there is only one cosmic intelligence that is responsible for our existence. It doesn’t matter what name you give that deity, it might be god, allah or zeuss. What matters is the characteristics or nature of the deity. As theists we all form our own view of the nature of our deity and that is an issue of faith. (For that matter everyone has a world view and live by some code whether they adhere to it or not.) My point is that it isn’t about choosing which deity that we choose to worship, but the nature of whatever deity we choose.
Secondly I suggest that the Bible was inspired. Now when I say that I recognize that people have been inspired to do all sorts of things. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was inspired. So yes, I agree that God inspired people to write their stories and understandings, in the case of the OT, of Yahweh and then in the NT of Jesus as the true representative of Yahweh. That does not mean that He told them what to write, but to simply tell their stories and their beliefs which were all ultimately combined to make up the 66 books of the Bible.
So then as Christians we have to start with Jesus. I think a good place in how to understand that is when John in his gospel says that the “Word became Flesh” with Word representing God’s nature. Jesus said that we should “love our enemy”, “turn the other cheek”, “go the extra mile etc. He called us to love others and beyond that to love others sacrificially. That is the great commission. How then do you square that with the OT contending that Yahweh committed genocide, ordered His followers to commit genocide and even to have the community stone to death neighbours for ridiculous offences. YOU CAN’T. As humans we all look for “Blessed Assurance”. It is a faith. So then, is our faith in Jesus as God’s representative or in a literal reading of an inerrant Bible. It can’t be both.
The other Biblical translation for inspired is God breathed. I contend that is a better term. God breaths life into the Scriptures so that we can read the genocidal accounts and understand just how easy it is for us as humans to hate, and completely walk the opposite road to the road that Jesus calls us to walk.
For too many years the church has put the emphasis on personal salvation. All humanity, (and maybe even beyond humanity), are chosen. However, we aren’t chosen for salvation, but for vocation. We are all called to spread God’s love as embodied by Jesus into the world. As to what happens to us after our deaths is in God’s hands and with the resurrected Jesus we do have a small glimpse of what that might be.

Edited by GDR, : separated paragraphs

Edited by GDR, : Spaced the paragraphs and added my signature


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


Replies to this message:
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Message 2 of 815 (896968)
08-27-2022 2:34 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Choosing a faith thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Percy
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Posts: 21180
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 3 of 815 (896970)
08-27-2022 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
08-27-2022 1:59 PM


GDR writes:
I left this site some time back as IMHO name calling and put down too often took the place of reasoned discussion. I’ll have another go at it.
Welcome back. I agree that too much discussion was unsubstantive and unconstructive, but they're all just a bunch of yahoos and wing nuts anyway.
Firstly, I contend that there is only one cosmic intelligence that is responsible for our existence.
You contend that there's such a thing as "cosmic intelligence" based on what? And why can there be only one?
It doesn’t matter what name...
What's in a name anyway?
...you give that deity,...
If there really is such a thing as "cosmic intelligence" and that there is only one, why does it follow that it's a deity?
What matters is the characteristics or nature of the deity...My point is that it isn’t about choosing which deity that we choose to worship, but the nature of whatever deity we choose.
Okay. Hopefully there's more on this further on?
Secondly I suggest that the Bible was inspired...So yes, I agree that God inspired people to write their stories and understandings, in the case of the OT, of Yahweh and then in the NT of Jesus as the true representative of Yahweh. That does not mean that He told them what to write, but to simply tell their stories and their beliefs which were all ultimately combined to make up the 66 books of the Bible.
Okay. Again, hopefully there's more on this further on?
So then as Christians we have to start with Jesus.
Didn't see this leap coming. Don't you first have to at least advance evidence for your first and second claims? If those were just axioms to be accepted before you moved on to discussing Jesus then that isn't a topic that interests me.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 1:59 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Phat, posted 08-27-2022 3:25 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 08-27-2022 3:31 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 8 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 4:01 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 16368
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 4 of 815 (896972)
08-27-2022 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
08-27-2022 2:55 PM


Choosing A Faith...Or Not
GDR writes:
So then as Christians we have to start with Jesus
Percy writes:
Didn't see this leap coming. Don't you first have to at least advance evidence for your first and second claims? If those were just axioms to be accepted before you moved on to discussing Jesus then that isn't a topic that interests me.
Woah! Hold on, Cowboy!
I think GDR is simply laying out his personal belief. Note that he also said it soesnt matter what name. So why not go with "The Force" in Star Wars lore as representing Cosmic Intelligence. The Star Wars concept is patterned on Dualism, with a good side and a bad side. A Yin and Yang, as it were. Is such a dualistic Cosmic Intelligence plausible to you?

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 08-27-2022 2:55 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 16368
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 5 of 815 (896974)
08-27-2022 3:31 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
08-27-2022 2:55 PM


Percy writes:
You contend that there's such a thing as "cosmic intelligence" based on what? And why can there be only one?
How many do there have to be? In the Star Wars model, there is One, with two natures. Or would you prefer a pantheon as the Greeks had? Even then, Zeus was the chief. Catholics also created a pantheon in a sense when they brought in Saints. And then they wanted to add Mary to the Trinity! I guess Moms *are* special!
Watch any good Mafia Movie and there is usually only one (if any) standing at the end.

Edited by Phat, : added a bit


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 08-27-2022 2:55 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6115
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 6 of 815 (896975)
08-27-2022 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
08-27-2022 1:59 PM


Firstly, I contend that there is only one cosmic intelligence that is responsible for our existence.
I doubt that there is any such thing as a cosmic intelligence. The closest we get to that is with thoughtful people working together. The cooperative enterprise of science does pretty well. But the creationists reject them.
For too many years the church has put the emphasis on personal salvation. All humanity, (and maybe even beyond humanity), are chosen. However, we aren’t chosen for salvation, but for vocation. We are all called to spread God’s love as embodied by Jesus into the world. As to what happens to us after our deaths is in God’s hands and with the resurrected Jesus we do have a small glimpse of what that might be.
I agree with your criticism of the church. However, I stopped believing in the resurrection long ago. Apart from that, I do think yours makes for a better outlook on life that what typically comes from the churches.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 1:59 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 16368
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 7 of 815 (896978)
08-27-2022 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
08-27-2022 1:59 PM


We aren’t chosen for salvation, but for vocation.
Welcome back! Great belief by the way. If God chose ALL yet only some responded, it would still mean that God chose ALL for vocation. This lines up with jars argument that we are Christians based on what we *Do*.
A lot of my critics here at EvC claim that the OT God was a Monster, but my explanation is that the warlike people wanted (and thus interpreted) God as a warmongering monster. They essentially put words in Yahweh's mouth.
If anyone thinks that is only an ancient trait, look at believers in any modern war. We tend to cherry-pick verses that have God blessing us and supporting our war while opposing the "intrinsic evil" of the enemy.

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 1:59 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 4:51 PM Phat has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5646
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 8 of 815 (896982)
08-27-2022 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
08-27-2022 2:55 PM


Percy writes:
You contend that there's such a thing as "cosmic intelligence" based on what? And why can there be only one?
I used the term “cosmic intelligence” purposely as it doesn’t have to imply a single entity.
Ultimately, if we spend the time thinking about such things, we can choose between atheism, deism or theism. I agree that we can be agnostic and just say that we can’t know but that simply means that it could be any of the three.
I eliminate atheism strictly on the fact that conscious sentient life arising mindlessly from basic particles requires more faith than I can muster. If evolution is used as evidence for atheism, then that is a faith claim and not scientific. I simply look upon it as an incredibly beautiful and well thought out way of developing life. That leaves me with a cosmic intelligence.
Percy writes:
If there really is such a thing as "cosmic intelligence" and that there is only one, why does it follow that it's a deity?
I’d say that if this cosmic intelligence is responsible for life then that would meet the qualifications.
Percy writes:
Didn't see this leap coming. Don't you first have to at least advance evidence for your first and second claims? If those were just axioms to be accepted before you moved on to discussing Jesus then that isn't a topic that interests me.
My first two claims simply were that as humans we have some world view which we sometimes live by or sometimes reject for selfish reasons. All major religions have the “Golden Rule” somewhere in their holy books, regardless of the name you give to that entity. I’m sure that the vast majority of the world, including atheists accepts that as at least a good idea. The fact that this is such a universal axiom does lead in the direction that the desire of any cosmic intelligence would be that we should live with that as our world view.
As Christians we should look at Jesus to understand how that plays out in our lives. Muslims would look to the Qur’an, Buddhists look to Buddha, atheists look to themselves and their society and so on. I liked Bob Dylans’ phrase when he wrote “You’ve Got to Serve Somebody”. We can discern the nature of a cosmic intelligence through more than just the Christian faith, however I do as a Christian believe on faith that Jesus perfectly represented the nature of the God, which is the name Christians give the cosmic intelligence.

Edited by Admin, : Fix typo in closing quote code for first quote.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 08-27-2022 2:55 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 676 by Phat, posted 09-26-2022 3:37 PM GDR has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8676
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.1


(2)
Message 9 of 815 (896983)
08-27-2022 4:14 PM


Here we go again, full circle. Like none of the previous arguments ever happened and now we go through them all agains.
It's the definition of madness.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London. Olen Suomi Soy Barcelona. I am Ukraine.

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 4:21 PM Tangle has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17255
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


(2)
Message 10 of 815 (896984)
08-27-2022 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
08-27-2022 1:59 PM


quote:
I left this site some time back as IMHO name calling and put down too often took the place of reasoned discussion
I will simply note that your failure to engage in reasoned discussion was a major part of the problem.
quote:
Firstly, I contend that there is only one cosmic intelligence that is responsible for our existence. It doesn’t matter what name you give that deity, it might be god, allah or zeuss. What matters is the characteristics or nature of the deity
I will note that that is your opinion.
quote:
My point is that it isn’t about choosing which deity that we choose to worship, but the nature of whatever deity we choose.
The question here is why should it be a matter of choice. If there is a real deity - as you claim - it is the way it is. Your choice won’t change that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 1:59 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 4:27 PM PaulK has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5646
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 11 of 815 (896985)
08-27-2022 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by nwr
08-27-2022 3:34 PM


nwr writes:
I doubt that there is any such thing as a cosmic intelligence. The closest we get to that is with thoughtful people working together. The cooperative enterprise of science does pretty well. But the creationists reject them.
Firstly, if we twist the Bible into a book that tells us how He created in a scientific sense then I contend that we will get a warped view of the Christian faith. Creationism the belief of a particular group of Christians. I think that the problem arises as we want to use the entire Bible as story give us clear answers. The problem is if you decide you can't believe some particular thing in one of the books then you have to disbelieve the whole thing.
nwr writes:
I agree with your criticism of the church. However, I stopped believing in the resurrection long ago. Apart from that, I do think yours makes for a better outlook on life that what typically comes from the churches.
Yes, it is a faith issue, however I believe that it makes more sense of the rise of Christianity in the world than does any other explanation. As a theist I see no reason to believe that a cosmic intelligence isn't capable of such a thing.
I agree that we can see how co-operation between individuals and even nations works well. There i no reason to conclude one way or the other. It is faith issue to conclude atheism from that. It can just as well conclude, (and I contend that it is a much more likely conclusion), that it has an intelligent root cause.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by nwr, posted 08-27-2022 3:34 PM nwr has seen this message but not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5646
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 12 of 815 (896986)
08-27-2022 4:21 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Tangle
08-27-2022 4:14 PM


Tangle writes:
Here we go again, full circle. Like none of the previous arguments ever happened and now we go through them all agains.

It's the definition of madness.
It was this type of post that caused me to give up on this site in the first place.
What is the point of this forum then? You have your atheistic beliefs and I have my Christian beliefs. I thought that the idea is to discuss our beliefs.
You are certainly free to ignore anything I write.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Tangle, posted 08-27-2022 4:14 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Tangle, posted 08-27-2022 4:44 PM GDR has replied
 Message 17 by Percy, posted 08-27-2022 4:56 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5646
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 13 of 815 (896987)
08-27-2022 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by PaulK
08-27-2022 4:16 PM


PaulK writes:
I will simply note that your failure to engage in reasoned discussion was a major part of the problem.
Do people have to agree with you to make it a reasoned discussion?
PaulK writes:
The question here is why should it be a matter of choice. If there is a real deity - as you claim - it is the way it is. Your choice won’t change that.
True enough, but it does help me form my world view and let me know why it is important.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by PaulK, posted 08-27-2022 4:16 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by PaulK, posted 08-27-2022 4:35 PM GDR has replied
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17255
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


(1)
Message 14 of 815 (896988)
08-27-2022 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by GDR
08-27-2022 4:27 PM


quote:
Do people have to agree with you to make it a reasoned discussion?
Thank you for that example of the problem - by resorting to false insinuations rather than addressing the issue,
It is not agreement but the ability to engage in reason which is the issue. If you make an obviously false assertion and if your arguments fail to support it and if you do not address the counter arguments - you are not engaging in reasoned discussion.
quote:
True enough, but it does help me form my world view and let me know why it is important.
Then it seems to me that you don’t need an actual cosmic intelligence. An imaginary one will work just as well for you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 4:27 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 5:20 PM PaulK has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8676
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 15 of 815 (896989)
08-27-2022 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by GDR
08-27-2022 4:21 PM


GDR writes:
t was this type of post that caused me to give up on this site in the first place.
This is just disingenuous. You left because you couldn't persuade us and got frustrated. And you're back to give it another go using the same assertions. Why?
What is the point of this forum then?
I no longer think there is any point, it's a form of mental illness, albeit fairly benign.
You have your atheistic beliefs and I have my Christian beliefs. I thought that the idea is to discuss our beliefs.
Yeh, that was the idea, but we did that. What do you have that's new to discuss? What is it that you think hasn't been said?
You are certainly free to ignore anything I write.
I am aware of that.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London. Olen Suomi Soy Barcelona. I am Ukraine.

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 4:21 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by GDR, posted 08-27-2022 5:08 PM Tangle has replied

  
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