1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

So do you believe in God?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Oaz, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Abomination Gems: 26/31
    Latest gem: Diamond


    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    2,375
    Likes Received:
    0
    By all means do so if you can prove scientific theory or fact to be wrong and in favor of your religion. The thing is that religion makes bold claims and science can say "Hey, that's not right because <bla bla bla> and here is the proof." When the claim and the source of evidence come from the very same book it's often called 'fantasy'. Imagine if you were to read a book on biology and the reasoning behind the statements made in the book was "Because it's on the page, right here."
     
  2. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    13,341
    Likes Received:
    95
    What sort of answer is that? You know that Jesus is coming really soon because of "Christian theology"? Please explain.
     
  3. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    3,105
    Likes Received:
    35
    Once again you are applying double standards; or at the very least making assumptions without any information. What's to say that you are really happy and don't just believe you are?

    Who says I haven't read it - you've making assumptions here agian :p
    My point with that is that these things have happened throughout history. But that's off topic so I'm dropping it here.

    Teaches you to free thinking by telling you to obey? Something here strike you as odd?

    And if theology gave some testable principles, by which it could be proved wrong.


    Anyway, I've been thinking about NOG's comments from the previous page about logic requiring evidence. It certainly made me think, but at the moment I disagree with that claim. Logic can be used to show where situations are impossible due to contradictions and paradoxes. For example, if you were to say that X=Y and Y=Z, I could conclude that Z=X and if this was not true, your statement would be wrong. I need no further evidence to prove this wrong.

    As a further example, I could say that if time travel is possible, it would be possible to kill your past self. As it is impossible to kill yourself in the past time travel must be impossible. I need no quantum physics to prove that time travel is physically impossible, for as long as I can show it contains contradictions I can satisfactly conclude that it is impossible.

    Through similar methods it is possible to prove that things like life after death (ie. an afterlife), the basis of which many religions rest upon, is infact impossible. If you ever get a chance, I urge you to read over John Perry's "A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality". It's his attempt to explain different point of views on the subject, in an easy to follow form. It's a 'story' based upon a philosopher upon her death bed - she's been told she has three days to live. She asks her two best friends - one a priest, the other an old student of hers - to show her that it is possible (even if very improbable) that she could survive after her body died. It's a great (and short) read, with some good arguments in it. The end conclusion though is that an after life is impossible - even with assuming that there is in fact a God.


    [Edit]
    Harbourboy, it's claimed in the bible that Jesus will return when... well, I'm sure a quote from the holy book itself could explain better than I can
    That's straight from Mark 13 (New International Version), with similar mentioned in Mathew 24. Yet how people can claim this will happen shortly is something I don't understand. First of all, these events he described have, and will continue to occur throughout human history - before his time, during his time and ever since his time. Second of all, in the same section it is said "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

    Then to add to this myth, there are some contradictions here. In a few verses it is claimed that the second coming shall be shortly after his death. "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened" (Mark 24:30) and "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Mathew 16:28).

    But then, I'm no expert. I'm sure some others could explain this better than myself.

    [ September 19, 2006, 09:21: Message edited by: Rotku ]
     
  4. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
    Latest gem: Diamond


    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,393
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    What's to say that anyone's really anything?

    Lutherans put great emphasis on believing that people don't get saved because of their deeds, or because of any merit that they might have in this life, but only because of faith in God and because Jesus died for the sins of the humankind. There is no way telling, according to lutherans that is, who will be saved and who won't. Making good deeds is nice and all that, but they won't get you to heaven, and they aren't a measure of a persons faith, even if some say that faith without good deeds is a dead faith.

    So, you get saved only because of believing in something. I mean really believing. That's really it. No matter how much good you'd do, how happy thoughts you'd have, how much you'd worship, they could say that you're being deceitful in your heart, that you're not a true believer, that you don't really believe. What would it take? Martyrdom, is that it? Would that be proof enough that you really believe, or would your death be only the death of a heretic? Death as a proof of your faith? Could anyone tell me what's wrong with this kind of picture?

    Pigheadedness would probably do. I know I'm right, there's no point telling anything to me that I'm not agreeing with, LALALALALA! I'm not listening! I've met plenty of these kind of people with those 'true believers' and that's always been something that I couldn't understand, this has shaped much of what I think about religion nowadays. I'm glad that there are people here who are willing to discuss about matters, even if they're not agreeing in every single point, or I wouldn't agree with them. Thanks.
     
  5. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    13,341
    Likes Received:
    95
    Nice research, Rotku.
     
  6. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,883
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    148
    Gender:
    Male
    Ok, first of all, HB: You need to find your own reasons for believing what you believe. By that I mean that you need to listen to what people are saying critically, decide what makes sense, and then decide what of the stuff that makes sense you believe and (most importantly) why. For me it is divine revelation (that's right, God told me), but obviously MY divine revelation is not credible evidence to you, only to me. Look for God and you will find Him, just be ready to learn that God isn't what person x said it was.

    Rotku:
    X=Y, Y=Z, therefore X=Z.
    X=Y and Y=Z are evidence. If the only evidence is X=Y, you can'd prove squat about Z. Someone in the corner is claiming that Y=Z and therefore X=Z, but you'd have to take his word for it. Someone else is claiming that Y=P+Q, and that Q=Z-X, therefore X=(P+Z)/2, but again you'd have to take his word for the evidence. A lot of people are claiming that you can't ever know anything about Z, and still more are claiming that Z doesn't even exist, but neither offers any credible evidence to that effect.

    Logic is limited by the evidence, but logic can reach conclusions that the evidence itself doesn't plainly say.

    As for your biblical quotes,
    Mark 13 and Matt. 24 refer to the Tribulation before the return of Christ (read Revelation).
    The 'this generation' is a poor approxomation of the meaning, closer would be 'this race (the Jews)' or 'this age'.
    Matt. 16:28 is not a prediction of His return, but of His temporary glorification later in the book.
    You have to read all of it for most of it to make sense, and even then re-reading it will reveal even more connections you hadn't noticed before. This is why Christians study the Bible their entire lives (or should).
     
  7. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    13,341
    Likes Received:
    95
    A common theme is emerging here, namely: whatever feels right to you is the right thing to believe.

    If that is the case, then you are all saying that the only purpose of religion is make you feel nice during your life, so it doesn't matter which one you choose, so long as you like it.

    From that, it would follow that it doesn't matter if the underlying beliefs of the religion are correct or not. Because if that was what you were really worried about (e.g. how to go to heaven), then you'd want to make sure you chose the right one (e.g. if only people who worship God every Sunday go to Heaven, then that's what you'd want to do).

    So by telling me to just go with whatever feels nice, you're effectively saying that it doesn't really matter what you do.

    As to listening to what people are saying critically - I believe that is exactly what I am trying to do by asking so many seemingly idiotic questions (they're not idiotic to me).
     
  8. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,423
    Likes Received:
    30
    I'm proposing an alternative from my own experience...

    Sin constricts options. As you sin, the consequences may remove more options in the future. Obedience does not take these options away from you.

    Theology deals with things outside the province of science. You don't hear things with your fingers, or see things with your tongue...

    Mark only has 16 chapters. Could you please double check this reference? Secondly Matthew 16:28 refers to some taken directly to heaven. Elijah, in the Old Testament, was taken direction to Heaven, as was at least one of the Apostles if I remember rightly...

    As a Mormon, I differ slightly. While it is the Atonement of Christ that enables the forgiveness of our sins, it is the Grace of God that grants that boon. But where my faith differs is that we are still commanded to do good works, following the example of Jesus Christ. By doing so, we can receive Glory in the kingdoms of heaven.

    But that just spares you from damnation. Exaltation beyond that, returning to the presence of God.

    These people need to go out and do something rather than run off others. It's not like there's a limited number of seats in Heaven...
     
  9. The Irreligious Paladin Gems: 7/31
    Latest gem: Tchazar


    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    My belief is in humankind. This involves an acceptance of God, god, gods, Godhead, etc. Along with every other thing that is believed and held sacred by all others. Some beliefs are very hard for me to understand, I will not condemn them as false and say that their lives are being lived wrongly as a result.

    Human beings have instictual knowledge of what will and will not offend others. This knowledge can be blinded or stifled quite easily. All people are capable of good and evil actions.

    When we feel a certain way, that feeling will cause those around us to feel a certain way, which proves how unified and connected empathically we all are to each other. No crime is greater than a crime against this connection. Denial is the most prevalent of these crimes, and all are guilty of it.

    Death is not an end to this existence, it is an enhancement of the empathic connection between us, others, and all things in the universe. We are all great, and we are all less than insignificant.

    I am not a member of any religion. I am a member of all religions. That is why I am irreligious. I feel very good knowing and not knowing this.
     
  10. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    3,105
    Likes Received:
    35
    Yup, you're right. *throws the towel in*

    Sorry, chapter 13; not sure where I got 24 from.
     
  11. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
    Latest gem: Diamond


    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,393
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    28
    I'm not agreeing to this. What logic? Not formal logic AFAIK. Perhaps fuzzy logic? Abductive reasoning? Inductive reasoning? :hmm:

    Then we're talking about fuzzyness and/or probabilities. Give me a fuzzyness and/or a probability that God exists. If it's 100% definitely, then you should be able to prove it with deductive reasoning.
     
  12. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    5,521
    Likes Received:
    20
    Grr - I've just had a discussion with a Catholic friend of mine. It's only helped to reinforce my belief that faith must be opposed. The ability to turn on and off rationality when it comes to certain topics is a scary and dangerous form of doublethink...
     
  13. Late-Night Thinker Gems: 17/31
    Latest gem: Star Diopside


    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Messages:
    991
    Likes Received:
    2
    I think every spiritual person has at some point just accepted that they are happier for not thinking about certain things.

    You don't have to be stupid to believe in magic, but you do have to avoid many facts.

    But isn't 'stupid is what stupid does'? Probably the reason so many intelligent people get away with being "spiritual": it doesn't matter as it has no bearing on reality!
     
  14. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    13,341
    Likes Received:
    95
    If I thought I was confused before, it's nothing to my state of bewilderment at this declaration.....
     
  15. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,905
    Likes Received:
    47
    Gender:
    Male
    It takes away all options but the one you are obeying...

    The whole point of the Reformation was to get rid of the second part (in Luther's eyes). So you don't differ slightly, you are completely opposite if you think that good deeds get you into heaven, because Luther says 'salvation through faith alone', not through partial faith and mostly good deeds. And the Mormon church certainly isn't the priesthood of all believers or the metaphysical church Lutheranism believes in. So you can't really say you only slightly differ, because you are really on the opposite end of the spectrum.

    That wasn't bashing you or your religion, it just seems to me that you are trying to open yourself so that you seem to think like all religions so that we don't throw questions at you about your Christian superiority (as there were before).
     
  16. The Irreligious Paladin Gems: 7/31
    Latest gem: Tchazar


    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excuse me for adding to your woe Harourboy. My belief is that when we die the physical energy which animates us and sparks thought and personality changes into a different form of enrgy that does more important yet mundane things to continue the existence of existence itself.

    Think of Einstein, energy cannot be added or subtracted from the universe, only changed. When we die our energies will fuel things in a more full and direct sense by holding atoms together, and even further evolved processes of energy that have not been discovered by human means.

    In this way each of us has always and will always exist and we should all respect, tolerate, and accept others, be they 2 weeks old or 102 years old. Wisdom is inherent, understanding is amplified as knowledge and experiences are increased.

    This is all however irrelevant if it is not what you believe. What you believe is right, and cannot in this way be wrong. I do not consider myself spiritual. I am human, and I exist in a physical existence where I cannot easily connect to the existence of fellow beings, yet the inherent data of my energy can feel how others energies are.

    Realize that no words in any known language apart from the mythical "language of the birds" which is lost to us can addequatley express my beliefs to you. So don't fret, just have one on me, and I'll drink to you tonight. ;)
     
  17. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,423
    Likes Received:
    30
    Isn't the assumptuin that eveerything is subject to human notions of Logic and reasoning just another fallacy?

    It's more rational than you think...

    Religion doesn't avoid certain facts, but they do call them into question.

    That one's got me confused too...

    You still have the option to sin, but that's just a poor option. You yourself, though not a believer, recognize casual sex and drug use to be bad choices. You are still free to make them, but once you do, your freedoms to do other worthwhile things may be compromised. My over-indulgence in alcohol contributed to my failure in post secondary education. I've heard stories about people who've had to put education or other things they dreamed of doing on hold, sometimes permanently because of unplanned parenthood or because they were too drunk or high to make these things happen...

    Salvation is by the grace of God. Exaltation comes through acting on that faith.
     
  18. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Messages:
    3,105
    Likes Received:
    35
    *sighs heavily*
    Every time I hear comments like some of these, I very slowly slip towards one of those people who think religion is 'evil' and should be banned. It shows how clearly religion can blind people - similar to patriotism, anger, love and many more things. It cuts off peoples ability to see the entire situation; their ability to use that thing that sepreates humans from all other things upon this planet - a mind capable of logic and reasoning. Prehaps it should be restricted to those with open minds.

    Anyway, I'm stepping out the door of this topic. Atleast for now. One last thing I will say before I go, never stop questioning. As soon as you believe blindly you have stepped back millions and millions of years, into the animal kingdom. I'm not just saying this in regards to religion, but to everything. As Albert Einstein wisely said, in regards to atheists; "...there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source." Never stop questioning what you know to be true.

    [ September 21, 2006, 10:35: Message edited by: Rotku ]
     
  19. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    5,521
    Likes Received:
    20
    I might try and step in where Rotku is leaving off, seeing that I have plenty of time to spend bashing my head into brick walls...

    ... *How*? Come on - don't leave me hanging. I am really really curious as to how you can rationalise the existence of invisible all-powerful beings which have no measureable or even noticable effect on the objective world at all.

    What you say sounds like an empty comment - meaningless and there to sound nice. I honestly can't see how you can back it up with anything rational - faith is irrational by definition. If you have a rational basis for your belief you must have evidence and thus it is no longer 'faith'.

    (Note: my definition of faith is this; 'The irrational belief in the highly improbable.')

    I don't actually see how a large amount of so-called 'sin' is in any way harmful. Yes, the examples you use may be (though I'm not so sure that all of those things are actually sins according to the Bible - I don't suppose you have some off-the-top-of-your-head Bible verses on the matter...?), but much isn't.

    For example; homosexuality. According to Christianity this is a sin and thus bad, wrong and horrible. However homosexuals are not necessarily (say - the same rate as other people...) bad, wrong and horrible - except in the eyes of your God and his followers.

    Christian morality doesn't follow naturally when you remove the idea of 'God thinks it's bad - therefor it is'. Indeed, I think that Christian morality sucks in many places. The sooner it is scrapped the better - and the bits which follow naturally in secular life will be there anyway. There is a lot of arbitrary crap - so much so that the vast majority of Christian sects are forced to pick and choose which parts they want to incorporate. I don't see many groups saying that cutting off a woman's hand for accidently touching a man's crotch is a just punishment (somewhere in Deuteronomy 25, I believe).

    Christianity is a fantasy - it's not even a nice fantasy - it leads to a lot of crap because of its illogical moral system which others decide not to follow because it makes sense, only to get attacked by the Christian lynch mobs.
     
  20. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
    Latest gem: Rogue Stone


    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    4,329
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    11
    @Rotku: People of blind faith are equally frustrating and annoying to people of faith who have tried to think things through and come up with an intellectually consistent approach.

    ...the Daily Cryptogram is often apropos of some discussion here on the BoM, but never moreseo than today's:

    "Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion; rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science."

    Gary Zukav (author of "The Dancing Wu Li Masters."

    [ September 21, 2006, 14:01: Message edited by: Rallymama ]
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.