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God and I, Me and the gods, what Religion means to Me

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Dissident Heart

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Re: God and I, Me and the gods, what Religion means to Me

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Quote:Dissident is starting with the premise that God exists, and then atempting to define his nature. Some of us belief the God exists premise is invalid, so any further inferences are rendered useless.No, Chris, I am starting from the premise that we neither dismiss nor accept the existence of God without knowing what the term means. And, there is no understanding what this term means without examining how it has been used, developed, evolved and changed, and is used at this time. And this requires careful and critical examination of mutliple traditions across history and geography- placing the subject into proper cultural, historical, psychological and anthropological context. Then it must be compared in a cross-cultural setting, contrasting the differences and identifying the similarities, and recognizing subtle and gross commonalities and uniqueness.If you are scientific in your approach, then you must also undergo various forms of experimentation to prove or disprove the many different claims arising from throughout history and geography regarding the term "God". This would involve attempting various types of worship, celebration, prayer, meditation, rituals, etc.. And these experiments would require cross-cultural inter-religious comparisons, overlapping projects, and mixing of processes.Then, perhaps, you could make such broad-brushed reductionary claims such as the ones you've offered on this thread.Until then, Chris, you're simply providing a Premise you won't reject referring to a term you won't explore.
Doc Tiessen

Re: Answers

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There were more questions from Chris. These are more difficult.So where is your God? God is everywhere. But it does not occupy time or space. It is like a separate dimension. You do not ask where is "time"? Or when is "space".How do you know this?I cannot know for sure. It is the best possible guess from all the available data, and it is the only way that is does not violate the other premises of science.How did your God come to be a God? I honestly do not have a clue. Does it really matter?When did your God first come into being? I do not know. As your question concerns time... well I imagine that space, time and God became into being quite at the same "time". But if we define space, time and God as separate dimension, it is a fallacy to ask for the time.What does your God do with his time? God is doing all what you see that the universe is doing. He is deciding who will win the lottery, he decides which sperma cell reaches the ovule of each human being, he decides which atom is decaying, who becomes cancer, which Iraki family gets a Bomb from GW Bush...Is your God capable of listening to prayers and answering them? God is capable of listening. But he often does not give a shit, because we are much too egoistic and ask only for our personal advantage, or only for the things we consider to be good. He has different opinion. He listens to you, but he acts according to his own way.How so? He has no ears in the sense of humans. He sometimes answers to prayers in the form of miracles. You ask God... give me a sign... and then, he allows President Bush to become President... if that is not a fucking sign?How do you know?I do not know. I only assume... it is in agreement with my observations and premises...Does your God exist within the universe or in some other dimension? I have kind of already answered this. God is like a dimension.Explain how you know.Again, I do not know, I only assume. Do you have data or measurements that is in conflict with this? Diversity is Good!Edited by: Doc Tiessen at: 10/19/04 2:39 pm
Doc Tiessen

Answers

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I will also want to answer to Chris questions. The ones that Dissident did not want to answer.Is God a conscious being? No he is not a being in the sense of a biological or chemical entity. If it has consciouness? I do not know. Your would need to define what you mean by conscious. God is definitely not conscious in the way we humans regard ourselves.Does God take up space? No God, does not occupy space. God is like a physical dimension.. like time, or space... Does God abide by the laws of physics? Yes. God defined the parameters of the laws of Physics. He defined the amount of energy and mass of the Big Bang, and he defined the ratio of gravitational force to electromagmetic force... in that way one could say that he created the laws of physics.Are there many Gods? I cannot tell. My best guess is that there is only one.Does God eat, sleep and masturbate....like most living organisms?Obviously not. God is not a biological organism. Do not fall into the fallacy of personification. Does gravitational force masturbate? Does time eat? Diversity is Good!
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Dissident Heart

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Re: The God Question

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Quote:Chris wants to use facts, data, reason and logic... and Dissident uses emotions, passions, and appeals to the hearth.I find this interesting, considering I have been endorsing a method that requires careful examination, experimentation, exploration and discussion of the vast history and contemporary complexities of Religion...whereas, Chris has apriori rejected such efforts as nonsense. Likewise, I identified my understanding of the term "God" with actual, real, living bodies in active experimentation of the claim that "God is love". This is not mere emotional appeal, it is hard nosed fact finding in the mud and blood of brothers and sisters in solidarity for peace and justice. And the facts I am searching for involve feeding, healing, justice finding and love making...in the face of terrible odds and obstacles...in Faith that the power of God will prevail.To me, the 'God Question' is a question of love...I've identified where that has spelled itself out for me, how I've attempted to participate in proving or disproving the claim, and in the process I've learned that 'proving the existence of God' is more about rollling up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in the struggle for human dignity- than an exercise in verbal exactitude and mathematical precision.As for your raising the age-old theological problem of theodicyQuote:The view of God as a merciful entity that cares for the wellbeing of humans does not somehow fit to the facts. Just consider wars, the holocaust, Hiroshima bomb, the world trade center building collapse...One of your premises I can already say that it is in conflict. If your premise is that God must be good.... a loving and caring one... one who cares for the well being of humanity or of your person... then yes, both premises are in conflict with the available evidence. Either God is a fucking bastard as he proved to be on 9.11, or he does not exist or does not have any power to influence the events of this world.I can only say that I haven't found any decent answer, beyond handing you a shovel, blanket, plate of bread, bowl of soup, dose of medication, bandage, hammer and nails, and a cup of clean water. I don't have an explanation for how a God of love is able to allow such misery to exist. Just as I don't have an explanation for how, in the face of so much terror and horror, decent and loving folks gather and work in solidarity constantly and consistently to mend the wounds and heal the scars of this often terrible world. For me, and what I've seen and learned, I will work with any who seek to heal and mend, no matter their theology.Quote:The Bible is only a nice fantasy book written by the Jewish people.Actually, it was written by many people over the course of many centuries incorporating a wide variety of languages, traditions, religious sensibilities, worship practices, rituals, and theologies. If this is the level of Biblical analysis you want to bring to the discussion?
Doc Tiessen

Re: The God Question

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Dissident,I fully agree with you in many topics. Especially the issue of Love. I also think that love is the uppermost ideal that a human being can ever aspire to achive. I fully agree on the mount sermon of Jesus... Love is the greatest... the ones that can display so much love, are the highest of all humans. Dissident, I would like to love all humans... to love my friends, lo love God, to love my enemy... I try every day, but I am weak, and sometimes hate fills my hearth. On those days I try that love replaces this feeling...But the biological basis of our behaviour and pschychology makes it very hard... nevertheless, I try... have you reached the point where you love the entire universe? Do you love Saddam Hussein? You must admit that it is fucking difficult... but I agree, we should try... I try to love God... all the time... but sometimes I must call him very bad names for that what hes does...Concerning the Bible. Of course you know that I made a generalisation. I know how complex is the history of the Bible. At least we agree on something else... it was people that wrote that... it was not God.Sorry if I harmed your feelings when I said that you are not of the types to use logical arguments, but rather emotional ones. I just wanted to answer to Chris, who obviously speaks a different language than you. I just tried to be a translator between you two. The discussion shows that both are speaking against dum ears. Please Dissident, tell Chris that despite all disagreement, you love him. Diversity is Good!
Kostya

Re: God and I, Me and the gods, what Religion means to Me

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Dissident,Quote: I was hoping you could provide which religious claims you are willing to examine and not dismiss out of principle?I am willing to examine any claims that I have not already examined. I am open to any new information. But before I can examine a claim I have to be able to understand it and it has to be "examinable" (verifiable/falsifiable). For example, if the claim is "The essence of the world is water" there is nothing I can do with it. One can believe it or not believe it but it cannot be verified or examined. You can write volumes upon volumes of thoughts that are based on this premise. You can create and explain endless number of things using the above claim as the foundation of your philosophy but you will never be able to demonstrate how any of this is any more valid than the philosophy of that other guy who claims, "The essence of the world is fire".Quote: "Theology almost entirely resides in the realm of non-verifiable metaphysics, logical contradictions and mystical nonsense."Could you please identify which Theologians you have examined that led you to this conclusion, the mistakes they made, and why their mistakes validate a rejection of all further study of Theology? It seems that once again your words are aimed to demonstrate that I am either "not qualified" to talk about the subject or that I don't know what I am talking about. Perhaps both of these assumptions about me are correct. But the question will still remain: "Is what I said not true?"Thank you.Kostya Edited by: Kostya at: 10/19/04 9:22 pm
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Re: God and I, Me and the gods, what Religion means to Me

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DocI'm on my way to Orlando for a few days and don't really have the time to respond to your post today. When I return I'll give it the time it deserves.You're absolutely correct in that Dissident and I are speaking two different languages, and I think it is fair to claim that I'm speaking more honestly, fairly and accurately. Dissident speaks in poetic emotional tones so as to never be held accountable for his statements. What is God? Dissident lacks the balls to answer this question without resorting to nonsense about the effects he sees in the world that must be attributable to this God. Did I ask what God has done that gives you goosebumps? No, I asked Dissident to prove to me that his God even exists. He cannot...because God doesn't exist.I appreciate how you had the courage to answer questions directly and honestly. When I return from my vacation I'll respond.Chris "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson MandellaEdited by: Chris OConnor  at: 10/20/04 2:53 pm
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Dissident Heart

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Re: Theology of Testosterone

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Quote:Unfortunately, if you define your terms as plainly as he's asking you to, the chances are good that he will cream you in argument.Tiarella, it looks like you are perhaps prone to the same sort of testosterone exchange...the kind that wants to cream, beat up, slap around, stomp on, spank (a term Chris used to describe VP Cheney's handling of Sen Edwards in the VP Debate) your opponent?Quote:Chris has been begging you to describe his termsAnd I've placed my terms in the context of actual experience in the world of justice and healing, liberation and revolution, peace and mercy...not in the frame of abstract terms easily parsed about from keyboard to screen to floppy and back.Chris has admitted to not examining any of the subjects I offer for context, has no intention to explore the history of the subject, and takes pride in knowing next to nothing of the meaning, development and use of the term "God" in human history.I don't think his questions can be answered outside of the context in whuch I place them. Nor do I think he is really interested in learning anything from my answers, as his admitted history of ignorance regarding the subject confirms. Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 10/20/04 4:23 pm
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Dissident Heart

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Theology of Testosterone

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Quote:I think it is fair to claim that I'm speaking more honestly, fairly and accurately. Dissident speaks in poetic emotional tones so as to never be held accountable for his statements. What is God? Dissident lacks the balls to answer this question without resorting to nonsense about the effects he sees in the world that must be attributable to this God. Did I ask what God has done that gives you goosebumps? No, I asked Dissident to prove to me that his God even exists. He cannot...because God doesn't exist.Chris, in his typical macho mode of tough-guy testosterone based ideology, reduces my take on the issue as resulting from an absence of cajones. No wonder this guy finds GW Bush as the better candidate for Leader of the Free World! The issue is bravery, courage, and straight-talking honesty for Chris, our resident Cowboy Theologian...big, bad, brave, tough and strong thinker that he is, able to face this cold hard, dark and dangerous existence like John Wayne on the Range. We don't need to understand the terms, make sense of the context, explore the history, or compare millenia of contrasting data from around the world. For Chris, like his candidate for Global Domination GW Bush- you're either with him, or against him...and only a coward would be against him.So, it's cowardice that says, as I do, if you want to find out what God means, or if God even is, then get busy in the world of justice and healing? It's a lack of courage and honesty that identifies the real theological question within the context of who suffers opression and misery?The actual coward thinks such issues are best settled typing safely at a keyboard, proudly insulting those who take a different approach- an approach that requires actually getting out of your chair and doing something.I'll say it again, if you are interested in finding out if God exists: get a soup plate, pick up a hammer and nails, serve the refugee, lend your voice to the plight of the oppressed, highlight the pain of the ecosystem- talk to the folks busy at work in those fields, listen to their stories, participate in their prayers and celebrations, maybe even worship with them in their Churches, Temples, Synagogues, Mosques, Ashrams...then talk about balls.
Tiarella

Re: Theology of Testosterone

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Quote:We don't need to understand the termsChris has been begging you to define your terms. Unfortunately, if you define your terms as plainly as he's asking you to, the chances are good that he will cream you in argument.I was expecting you to pursue a different angle: 'god is love'.Try scientifically proving the existence of love! Most of us will agree it exists - but I defy you to prove it, scientifically.And if we can't prove love exists, but agree that it does - well, there's your analogy for god.
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