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The history of the Jews point to God existing. Jews exist.

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irishrosem

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Re: Please give us some explanations!

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Quote:Rose, Frank's point about the supposed retreat of the notion of God seems to me related to something like Dennett's suggestion that theology has been incresingly preoccupied with the task of shielding religious belief by shrouding it in a "pious fog".Dennett's on my "to be read" list, so I won't be able to weigh in on this until I've actually read him. Quote:There's a line of causation there that hasn't really been verified. Polytheism had been all but abandoned in Europe and the Middle East at least a thousand years prior to development of modern science, so the contention that science was a factor in the decline of polytheism doesn't really hold up.Mad, I'm sorry I wasn't more explicit. I did not intend to claim that science caused the decline of polytheism; I couldn't claim that, I have not done much reading on religion in classical antiquity. I was speaking about current taboos associated with polytheism. If you discuss with many theists the concepts surrounding Wicca and other feminine based religions, you are looked at as if you were speaking of Zeus and his lightning bolt. There just isn't a need for natural-based god/goddess religions. Also, there have been some theories, though I don't know if I believe them, that many of the original accused during the different American witch scares (I imagine the theory would hold in Europe too) were pagans. Polytheism as a dominant religion has long been eradicated; however, it still holds some sects who are vastly regarded as on the social margins. I would argue this is not just because of their small numbers, but because of their irrational beliefs with regard to nature. Quote:More to the point, I'm suspicious of the notion that polytheistic gods were ever intended to "explain" natural phenomenon.I don't think polytheistic gods were necessarily an attempt to "explain" nature. But I could imagine they were an attempt to put concrete characteristics to that which the populace did not understand. In the same way god is depicted as a man to give us a language to use when discussing deity, natural forces are depicted as men and women to give us a reference language. Quote:I think your lifetime may be the frame of reference that makes it seem so. I also think it likely that my perception of god as a man was due to inadequate attempts to explain the divine to a child. The assumption being that children cannot understand ethereal concepts. Which is why in my childhood god was a man, but now it is a spiritual entity. This is why I referred to this as my anecdotal experience of religion. From what I am seeing now (again anecdotal), with children in Catholicism anyway, god does not have a definite form like he did in my childhood.Quote:The more abstract view of God is far older than our current society, dating back to at least the early phases of the Rabinnic school of theology. It's older, in fact, than the white-bearded emblem of the Judeo-Christian God, which was all but heretical when it got its start in Renaissance painting. Absolutely, and if my understanding is correct, these visual depictions of god contributed to the division within Christianity. In fact, Judaism never really had this problem with a physical depiction of god. I like the image of Jewish scholars today, still struggling over the same abstract concepts regarding divinity that the old Rabbis in Eastern Europe studied centuries ago, or even the Rabbis Jesus instructed in the Temple. But, despite these origins, it still remains that for quite some time physical depictions of god were used, and they are viewed today as not only unnecessary, but I would imagine detrimental. The theory Frank mentioned may not be well supported, but it makes sense to me, as does it give me hope. The less concrete god becomes, the less likely he is to affect me. Imagine the difference of religious influence between a fundamental Christian President (like Bush) and a Jewish President. Quote:In fact, it's reasonable to suppose that this is a tension practically inherent in monotheism. The concept of a single, undivided God places a number of stresses and burdens on the believer -- a point that George Steiner has been at pains to make.As an adolescent, I didn't understand why it would be detrimental to depict god as a person. I always thought that god sent Jesus as a human so we could "get a taste" of the divine
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Re: Please give us some explanations!

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Quote:Bye bye now!
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