Notices
Results 1 to 81 of 81

Thread: Is there a link between the worlds religions?

  1. #1 Is there a link between the worlds religions? 
    Forum Freshman manadude2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    At a computer on Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy... chocolate bar.
    Posts
    41
    Is there a link between them all?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,546
    I believe there is. Different religions focus on different areas of the unknown. Buddhism focuses on spiritualism and karma, Hindhuism focuses on reincarnation and the circle of life, and Christianity focuses on doing directly what God asks, to do His will.


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    I think there are historical links. Judaism branched to Christianism and Islam. Buddhism was born in the country of Hinduism, but it teachings are the opposite. Zen and Shinto seem to stem from Buddhism.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    18
    the 3 major religions evolved from eachother. each new one accepts the previous ones gospel but with a "catch".

    Judaism -> christianity -> islam
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by Youssef
    the 3 major religions evolved from eachother. each new one accepts the previous ones gospel but with a "catch".

    Judaism -> christianity -> islam
    Correction.

    The three monotheistic religions best known in the West evolved from each other.

    Hinduism.

    Buddhism.

    Jainism.

    Sikhism.

    Taoism.

    Shinto.

    Confucianism.

    etc.

    are major religions that are not connected in this way.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by Youssef
    the 3 major religions evolved from eachother. each new one accepts the previous ones gospel but with a "catch".

    Judaism -> christianity -> islam
    Correction.

    The three monotheistic religions best known in the West evolved from each other.

    Hinduism.

    Buddhism.

    Jainism.

    Sikhism.

    Taoism.

    Shinto.

    Confucianism.

    etc.

    are major religions that are not connected in this way.
    Jainism can be considered a sect of Hinduism

    Hinduism & Jainism -> Buddhism

    Sikhism is so much more recent that a syncretistic inheritance from the other major religions particularly Hinduism, Jainism and Islam is unavoidable. The Bahai Faith is another such syncretistic development which is even more recent.

    Confucianism lacks so many features of a religion that its classification as such is rather doubtful.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    They're linked by the search for explanation and guidance. The rest is trifles.
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8 Re: Is there a link between the worlds religions? 
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by manadude2
    Is there a link between them all?
    Yes. They all draw parallels back to the early sun worshipers who used the signs of the zodiac and movement of the cosmos to create stories, which over many centuries evolved into the doctrines and beliefs held today.
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    266
    there are links between different religions
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    there are links between different religions
    Wow, see it here first, folks. A new all-time low in the forums. A post with neither a capital, a period, or a point...
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    I find Ishmaelblues' thought equally as profound as the evolutionary contention: there a links between different animals.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Quote Originally Posted by Youssef
    the 3 major religions evolved from eachother. each new one accepts the previous ones gospel but with a "catch".

    Judaism -> christianity -> islam
    Correction.

    The three monotheistic religions best known in the West evolved from each other.

    Hinduism.

    Buddhism.

    Jainism.

    Sikhism.

    Taoism.

    Shinto.

    Confucianism.

    etc.

    are major religions that are not connected in this way.
    Jainism can be considered a sect of Hinduism

    Hinduism & Jainism -> Buddhism

    Sikhism is so much more recent that a syncretistic inheritance from the other major religions particularly Hinduism, Jainism and Islam is unavoidable. The Bahai Faith is another such syncretistic development which is even more recent.

    Confucianism lacks so many features of a religion that its classification as such is rather doubtful.
    Missed the point of my post to Youssef - it is entirely insular to think of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as "The 3 great religions".

    Instead oyu may have perpetuated the idea that only the religions well known in the West have any credibility, all the others are just derivations of each other.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Missed the point of my post to Youssef - it is entirely insular to think of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as "The 3 great religions".

    Instead oyu may have perpetuated the idea that only the religions well known in the West have any credibility, all the others are just derivations of each other.
    Indeed, if considering the 3 "greatest" religions, Judaism would not be one of them. The third would have to be Buddhism, I think.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Question: What makes a religion "great"?

    Is it population numbers?
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Question: What makes a religion "great"?

    Is it population numbers?
    Since they all define greatness in their own way, I think the only objective way to evalute this is to think of them as living organism and then in addition to population numbers it would be growth and adaptability. Survival in the face of adversity, certainly makes a impressive testimony to the greatness of Judaism - but is that the greatness of the religion or the greatness of the people? When it comes to religion I think the biggest and most obvious measure has to do with how people vote with their feet.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Question: What makes a religion "great"?

    Is it population numbers?
    Since they all define greatness in their own way, I think the only objective way to evalute this is to think of them as living organism and then in addition to population numbers it would be growth and adaptability. Survival in the face of adversity, certainly makes a impressive testimony to the greatness of Judaism - but is that the greatness of the religion or the greatness of the people? When it comes to religion I think the biggest and most obvious measure has to do with how people vote with their feet.
    I'd go with that. By that token, I suspect the biggest religions are:

    Christianity
    Islam
    Buddhism
    Hinduism (which, unlike the others, is not a missionary religion but just has some 800 million adherents through population growth - scary or what?)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Since they all define greatness in their own way, I think the only objective way to evalute this is to think of them as living organism and then in addition to population numbers it would be growth and adaptability.
    It's an idea, I'll grant you that. No offense, I'd like a sociologist's opinion on that, but we can run with it to some degree.

    The main problem I have with that theory is that a religion probably should be as flexible as that. I mean, if you're attempting to say "this is how God wants it" why would that change?

    Unless, perhaps, we assume that the basics don't change, but the rest can be as fluid as needed. As a social construct, the willingness of a religious order to bend the rules to survive, probably does indicate greatness, since that may show practical thought and consideration over mindless droning. How many true cults are still around? Where there ways have not changed at all, and their followers are still performing the same rituals and daily activities? I'd argue very few, if any.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Survival in the face of adversity, certainly makes a impressive testimony to the greatness of Judaism - but is that the greatness of the religion or the greatness of the people?
    Depends. If the religion had an influence on the Jews, making them more resilient, practical, etc, then the religion could be said to have played a part. So a religion that teaches practical, life-lesson things, as well, may be a mark of greatness.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    When it comes to religion I think the biggest and most obvious measure has to do with how people vote with their feet.
    What if you have no feet? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Hinduism (which, unlike the others, is not a missionary religion but just has some 800 million adherents through population growth - scary or what?)
    Does that make it a great religion, though? If they're born to it, and their culture is centered around it, and their government(s), too, is it an actual religious draw? Or something else?
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    Hinduism (which, unlike the others, is not a missionary religion but just has some 800 million adherents through population growth - scary or what?)
    Does that make it a great religion, though? If they're born to it, and their culture is centered around it, and their government(s), too, is it an actual religious draw? Or something else?
    I actually have avoided using the word 'great' in this discussion:

    1. it irks an atheist to do so

    2. the criteria, as you point out, are not really definable

    I'm sticking with 'largest'.

    And yes, it is difficult to know how, or in what way, to treat Hinduism as a religion. But I lived in India for 22 years and can vouch for the fact that, whatever it is, it is pervasive. Almost no aspect of life is untouched.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    I think I could agree with sunshine that "great" is not a great adjective to use in comparing religions. There is probably no common agreement on what criteria can be used to determine the "greatest." It is like trying to determine who is the "best" athlete.

    It depends on what qualities you emphasize and what qualities you ignore or deemphasize.

    So, until we come to a meeting of the minds as to what characteristics are to be considered and how much weight we give each one, it remains far too subjective.

    Let me offer a few criteria which I think should be in the formula.

    1. The number of followers or "ites" is certainly a factor, but how important?
    2. How well do the "ites" follow their religion and does it have a positive impact on their lives?
    3. How much influence has the religion had on world history and was that influence positive or negative?
    4. When placed in a social setting that permits equal exposure and free choice, which religion attracts the most "ites?"

    That is a small list and even the answers to these questions are also a matter of subjectivity. I'm sure the list could be expanded, but it was all I could come up with while writing this post.

    And, even if we had a compilation of answers to these questions, what would we have determined?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    But I lived in India for 22 years and can vouch for the fact that, whatever it is, it is pervasive. Almost no aspect of life is untouched.
    I believe that if something makes you happy, and you're not bothering anyone, cool beans. So if having Hinduism all around them makes them happy, that's great.

    On another note, I'll admit my knowledge of Hinduism is limited, and for that I apologize. That said, what is the Hindu viewpoint on "radicals" (as in those who break from the normal, don't follow so strictly, or even those who don't follow Hinduism)? Second, what is the Hindu propensity for supporting violence?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Let me offer a few criteria which I think should be in the formula.

    1. The number of followers or "ites" is certainly a factor, but how important?
    That is a question which I've focussed on the most. Mainly because there's a lot of factors involved in "participation" vs "actual belief," as well as the direction of belief for the followers.

    What is the local social expectation? That can have a big impact on what someone decides to participate in. Even the choice not to follow is effected by social pressures.

    What is the difference (in this approach) between someone who simply follows the religious rituals, and someone who actually believes? Do we discount the followers in favor of the believers? If so, what do we do with the followers?

    Lastly, how do we determine those who are following the larger religion, vs the teachings of the smaller? Take for instance Christianity. In Christianity, there are tons of sects with their own different beliefs centered around a central idea. Aside from the theme of "God," they don't all agree on anything else. There's even different themes on Jesus within Christianity. My point is, how do we group people in relation to the world's religions, if even the divisions of religion (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc) can be so diverse?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    3. How much influence has the religion had on world history and was that influence positive or negative?
    Positive or negative to whom? Whose ideal?

    Further, what do we do with religions who isolate themselves from the world?


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    And, even if we had a compilation of answers to these questions, what would we have determined?
    I'll have to think about that some more. :P
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,525
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrio
    But I lived in India for 22 years and can vouch for the fact that, whatever it is, it is pervasive. Almost no aspect of life is untouched.
    I believe that if something makes you happy, and you're not bothering anyone, cool beans. So if having Hinduism all around them makes them happy, that's great.

    On another note, I'll admit my knowledge of Hinduism is limited, and for that I apologize. That said, what is the Hindu viewpoint on "radicals" (as in those who break from the normal, don't follow so strictly, or even those who don't follow Hinduism)? Second, what is the Hindu propensity for supporting violence?
    That's part of the problem. Hindus don't think of their actions as religious, or Hindu, actions. (I am hugely generalising here, as one must if one is to make sense of 800,000,000 people's sets of beliefs.) Instead the idea of being 'dutiful' includes not just the duties of obeisance to their chosen Hindu deity for the function (different ones perform different functions), but also to the social set-up/milieu.

    In that context, I have seen many many examples of Hindus being terribly violent towards 'apostates' - bearing in mind that for them, given that there's no distinction between religion and everyday life, the apostasy could simply be an act of defying the social order (refusing to marry the chap your dod chose for you, for instance).

    Until the last three decades or so, however, Hinduism in India was reasonably placid. Unfortunately, parties like the Shive Sena and the BJP realised that there were votes to be won from xenophobia, and what bigger vote bank to go for than the majority Hindu one? Ever since then there's been an alarming rise in what I'm calling militant Hinduism, starting with the disgraceful destruction of the Babri Masjid and thereafter. A very sad situation for one who, like me, is terribly fond of the country and was genuinely proud of its secular democratic achievements. Now being eroded alas.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I

    Let me offer a few criteria which I think should be in the formula.

    And, even if we had a compilation of answers to these questions, what would we have determined?
    How about if any one single religion could actually back up any one of its claims?
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    How about if any one single religion could actually back up any one of its claims?
    Here you reveal, certainly not for the first time, that you lack an understanding of the purpose of religion. Religion provides a framework within which individuality cane be preserved (to a degree) while promoting the wellbeing of soceity (to a degree). Any claims made by the religion are of wholly secondary or tertiary importance.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Here you reveal, certainly not for the first time, that you lack an understanding of the purpose of religion. Religion provides a framework within which individuality cane be preserved (to a degree) while promoting the wellbeing of soceity (to a degree). Any claims made by the religion are of wholly secondary or tertiary importance.
    Actually that is quite a good agnostic description that very closely reflects my own claim that the primary benefit of religion to those that participate is in terms of the development of personal identity. I think it goes to the very roots of what religion is all about to see how the character of the great founders/leaders/saints of religions inspire people to emulate them, and that in devoting one self to such religions the religious person is choosing become like them to whatever degree that they are able.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    I'm not really sure what core beliefs could be proved in the physical world. I mean, how do you prove salvation of the soul? How do you prove the afterlife? How do you prove the existence of Heaven or Hell?

    And sure, it's difficult (if not impossible) to prove those things here in the living world...but unfortunately for the nay-sayers, it is also impossible to disprove it. So what's the point in begging proof?
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Also, unfortunately for the gainsayers, if they are wrong, they do not have a chance to change their mind when they discover they made a bad choice.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Also, unfortunately for the gainsayers, if they are wrong, they do not have a chance to change their mind when they discover they made a bad choice.
    Dayton, I have trouble seeing what the point of such a remark might be. For it sounds like either self-congratulation (which is undeserved) or like some kind of intellectual blackmail. If there is some other purpose to such a remark please enlighten me. Certainly the first purpose should be avoided by a Christian, but I cann see how you would think that this kind of intellectual blackmail would work either. Frankly I don't really see how someone is going to gain by the cowardice of giving into something like that. I don't think God should be compared to a gunman expecting obedience just because he is waving a gun around, and so I don't really think it works like that. Furthermore, I am not sure there ever is a "realization of a mistake". People will simply pursue what they think is worth pursuing and only gain what such pursuits will reap. I don't think that most of the "gainsayers" have much in the way of expectations to disappoint.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Mitchell:

    Do you have some other alternative? It seems pretty obvious that one does not get a do-over. It is not like everybody is correct. If there is an afterlife and some have chosen to not believe, they will not get a second chance after they have died. If we are wrong and there is no afterlife, we have lost nothing.

    The very core of evangelism is to point out that there is an eternal afterlife and that you have the choice in only this lifetime of whether you spend that eternity in the presence of a holy and righteous God or outside the presence of God. If it makes no difference to you that people are making a choice with disasterous eternal consequences, then my feeling is that you do them a dis-service as a Christian by never warning them of the consequences of that decision.

    I see it as no more different that if I were aware of a great investment and a bad investment and I allowed others to make the bad investment without telling them about the great investment. I am not sure how telling them of the great investment would be an act of self-aggrandizement. Nor would it be intellectual blackmail to warn them of their pending bad investment while telling them about the great investment. Is it your position that if a person is foolish enough to make the bad investment, he deserves to go broke? But that is only money which is hardly worth a thing on the scale of eternity.

    I do think the gainsayers have a potential for grave dissappointment. If they wake up on the other side and find out they were wrong, they will be dissappointed that they did not heed the message of salvation.

    Obviously, God does not wave a gun around and demand obedience. Lord knows, none of us are obedient. It is just that some of us are forgiven.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,256
    If someone were to follow a faith, such as Christianity, because they believed that they had nothing to lose by following, it would seem to me that that would be an empty faith. Deep down such a person would never trully believe in their religion. A faith in a deity can not be reasoned out, it always requires a suspension of reason and a leep into the uncertain.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    daytonturner wrote:
    If we are wrong and there is no afterlife, we have lost nothing.
    There may be more than two possibilities:
    1. There is a Father-of-Jesus God, and there is an after-life
    2. There is an Islam God, and there is an after-life
    3. There are Hindu Gods, and there is an after-life
    4. There are some other Gods (Greek's, Indian etc.) and there is an after-life.
    5. There is no God, but there is an after-life (Current view of some Buddhist's sects)
    6. There is no God and there is no after-life (Current atheist's view)
    7. There is an after-life, but it has not inherited anything of value from the previous life; not sex, memory, habit, character, ability etc. Possibly in pure energy form. In short, it does not have the 'you'ness. In this case you may not care whether there is an after-life or not.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    dayton,

    So your answer is that the purpose of your comment is to warn them of some impending disaster because they don't believe as you do? Can't you see how this would look like intellectual blackmail to them?



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Do you have some other alternative?
    Alternative to what? To intellectual blackmail? Yes. Instead of threats one can simply elucidate the positive reasons. Do you worship on Sunday because of some fear of damnation? Is that what motivates you as a Christian. If so, then there is not much that I can say, for it is a certainty that you can only offer what you yourself have.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It seems pretty obvious that one does not get a do-over.
    You mean like reincarnation? No I don't believe that. I am pretty sure that life has a purpose and either we get it done or we don't.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is not like everybody is correct.
    On some things they are all correct, because some things are a matter of choice. When you decide that Chinese food is the best, how can that be incorrect? I believe that choices like this have everything to do with the spiritual realities that we face.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If there is an afterlife and some have chosen to not believe, they will not get a second chance after they have died.
    ...
    I do think the gainsayers have a potential for grave dissappointment. If they wake up on the other side and find out they were wrong, they will be dissappointed that they did not heed the message of salvation.
    Well, what I think we don't get is magical knowledge. Remember I don't believe in fruits that impart this either. And I don't believe that we get what we do not seek. I, in fact, believe that we get exactly what we seek and that this is foundation of all spiritual truths, because the fact is that what we seek may not be as worth seeking as we think. Thus, do you know what opportunity I think is lost at death? I think is precisely the ability recognize that we have made a mistake. After we die, I doubt there is any point in the fulfillment of our expectations that we will realize that we were wrong and that is exactly why we will not be able to change our ultimate destination.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The very core of evangelism is to point out that there is an eternal afterlife and that you have the choice in only this lifetime of whether you spend that eternity in the presence of a holy and righteous God or outside the presence of God.
    Ah.... now we are getting somewhere. Why would they care? Why would they want to spend an eternity in the presence of a holy and righteous God? If you can explain that to them then maybe you would get somewhere.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If it makes no difference to you that people are making a choice with disasterous eternal consequences, then my feeling is that you do them a dis-service as a Christian by never warning them of the consequences of that decision.
    I make it rather clear that I think our choices have consequences that we cannot escape. I make it clear what my choices are and why. What else can I do? I cannot make their choices for them. What shall I warn them about? That they shall get exactly what they desire? That is what I believe after all. Therefore I see my "evangelistic mission" quite differently than you do, which is precisely the opposite of portraying God as some sort of gunman waving a gun around. But to instead point to the things that I think are worth pursuing.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I see it as no more different that if I were aware of a great investment and a bad investment and I allowed others to make the bad investment without telling them about the great investment.
    Yes, but do you really think that vague, "you'll be sorry" comments would help in that case? Don't you think you would have to explain WHY it would be a bad investment and don't you think they would evaluate your information and make their own decision in that case? Giving them the information is exactly what I am suggesting, because I think the threats are pretty pointless.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Obviously, God does not wave a gun around and demand obedience. Lord knows, none of us are obedient. It is just that some of us are forgiven.
    Well forgive me but an eternity of torture sounds like a pretty big gun to me, and are you not saying, that all they need to do, to avoid having this gun used on them, is believe what you tell them to believe?

    I think I have said before that I don't buy into this judicial model with a God that has a hard time forgiving people and therefore with a need to vent his righteous wrath by sadistically torturing them for an eternity. I don't consider such a God worth believing in. Therefore I do not believe that the difference between those who are saved and those who are not, is to be found in God but to be found in us. It is not God who chooses to save some and discard others but we who choose to accept or reject what God offers to all. Clearly this is not a thing of merit, or of a random decision on the part of God, but simply a matter of our own choice.

    But in that case, what are the proper reasons for this choice? Fear of torture? sigh.... the inquisitors might have gone with such an image of God and of proper motivation.... but not I.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Also, unfortunately for the gainsayers, if they are wrong, they do not have a chance to change their mind when they discover they made a bad choice.
    That depends on the religion, and it's validity in the possible afterlife, doesn't it?

    According to some religions, if you live a life separate from the religion, you can't be redeemed in the afterlife. In other religions, you can.

    If we assume that God is aware of your actions, he's probably aware of your influences, too. So, that said, would a God who knew your influences which may have effected your judgment and path in life, damn you for it in the end? Again, that's another point that depends on the religion, but I would probably lean on the side of "no."
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    If you do not recognize the negative consequences of a particular decision, what is to keep you from making it? Mitchell, in stating what he believes, seems to be asking me to more fully explain what I believe. A few snapshots follow.

    I suppose people come to a saving faith for various reason's, but Jesus, it seems to me, preached a lot about the need to repent both in individual and group encounters. If that weren't important, I don't think he would have bothered to talk about it so much.

    Why is it that most of us do not go around robbing banks and killing tellers in the process? Is it because we “fear” going to jail or maybe being executed? And do we think it unreasonable for a legal system to pass such a sentence? Or is it because we recognize the undesirability of those potential consequences that we forego whatever benefit we may feel we would gained by being a bank robber and murderer? Or do we just realize it is not right to go around robbing banks and killing tellers?

    I suppose some people could turn to God and receive salvation based on getting the hell “scared” out of them. But I think many also receive salvation based on the idea that there is a better alternative for eternity.

    I do not know what the economy of eternity is -- whether time and space and matter and energy are part or whole or none of the makeup. The Bible seems to suggest that whatever there is in eternity, part of it is under the influence of a holy and righteous God and part of it is not. I do not get the impression that God created eternity; He was, however, at some point, perhaps the only resident there.

    It was from there that God conceived the plan of the universe and all that is within it and it was the active aspect of His personality which we have come to know as Jesus who actually constructed the universe.

    If the part of eternity that is under the influence of God is His heavenly kingdom, as suggested in the Bible, and He is the king there, then He has the authority and the right to determine who can enter His kingdom and what the requirements are. We see nothing wrong with countries on earth establishing such rules.

    Do we feel it is unfair to establish rules to regulate who can become citizens of the U.S., for example? If we were really benevolent, should we not just let anyone and everyone who wants come here to live in the land of freedom and opportunity? I realize that the U.S. may be the worst country on earth, if it weren't for all the others (apologies to Winston Churchill).

    I also realize that people do not choose to be born in Bangladesh or Iraq or Kurdistan or Laos or Sudan and that, given the choice, they possibly would prefer to have been born in America.

    It is not because we want to punish these people or because we hate them that we do not allow them to come here to live. It is only because of our benevolence that we do allow some of them to come here to live. We do not owe it to them. Nor do we, by not allowing all of them in, cause them to live in their undesirable conditions?

    We are not born as citizens of heaven but are granted citizenship by meeting the qualifications to immigrate there. It is not because of God's meanness and desire to punish people that they do not gain entry, it is because of God's mercy that some are allowed entry. God does not send people to hell, He graciously and mercifully provides a means for anyone and everyone to escape that fate and to spend eternity with Him. Even we in the U.S. do not afford an opportunity to anyone and everyone who wishes to live here.

    As we look around our world where we can see evil and sin abound even with a limited presence of God, I have no idea why anyone would want to spend eternity in the total absence of God. Nor do they have to.

    Were I going to ex-Pat from the U.S., I do not think I would head to a country where the conditions are hostile or a place with notoriously horrible conditions. I would choose the place I thought was best. I have not chosen to follow Jesus because I "fear" the punishment of hell, but because I prefer the reward of heaven.

    I believe God is both just and merciful. Those who subject themselves to God's judgment will receive that. Those who subject themselves to God's mercy will receive that. Non-belief is not an excuseable error.


    Mitchell said:

    After we die, I doubt there is any point in the fulfillment of our expectations that we will realize that we were wrong and that is exactly why we will not be able to change our ultimate destination.
    Jesus told this story:

    “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores who desired to be fed with crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for am in anguish in this flame’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And beside all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order than those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ Then the rich man said, ‘O Father Abraham, then please send him to my father’s home – for I have five brothers – to warn them about this place of torment lest they come here when they die. But Abraham said, “The Scriptures have warned them again and again. Your brothers can read them any time they want to.’ But the rich man replied, “No, Father Abraham, they won’t bother to read them. But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.’ But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even though someone rises from the dead.’”
    So, it does appear that there is an awareness in eternity and the ability to rue one's decisions on earth.

    Mitchell also said:

    So your answer is that the purpose of your comment is to warn them of some impending disaster because they don't believe as you do? Can't you see how this would look like intellectual blackmail to them?
    Well, no, it is not because of what I believe. I just don't have that much eternal authority to have my belief affect the outcome of someone else's eternal decisions. It is because of what they believe or do not believe.

    I do not understand how explaining the negative impacts of one's decision as opposed to the positive impacts of the other constitutes intellectual blackmail. If you teach your child that it is a bad idea to rob banks and kill tellers, is that intellectual blackmail?

    This post is much too long, but not nearly so long as eternity.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Mitchell said:

    After we die, I doubt there is any point in the fulfillment of our expectations that we will realize that we were wrong and that is exactly why we will not be able to change our ultimate destination.
    Jesus told this story:

    “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores who desired to be fed with crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for am in anguish in this flame’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And beside all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order than those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ Then the rich man said, ‘O Father Abraham, then please send him to my father’s home – for I have five brothers – to warn them about this place of torment lest they come here when they die. But Abraham said, “The Scriptures have warned them again and again. Your brothers can read them any time they want to.’ But the rich man replied, “No, Father Abraham, they won’t bother to read them. But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.’ But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even though someone rises from the dead.’”
    So, it does appear that there is an awareness in eternity and the ability to rue one's decisions on earth.
    This does not prove any such thing. This was a parable - a story to teach to something about our decisions on earth having eternal consequences. But I hardly think that taking this parable literally is justified. Nevertheless this is certainly a warning rather similar to the one you were making and that certainly makes it difficult to criticize what you were saying. I will not argue that God does not know best, but only give thanks that God found some way to get through to me. Therefore whether I comprehend your approach to evangelism or not, I cannot claim that it is invalid. I can only seek a different appoach for myself, because I know that your approach would have been quite ineffective in my own case (and thus ineffective for people who are like me).

    But let me ask you this. Are you a convert? Were you in fact swayed by threats of eternal damnation in this manner?



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If the part of eternity that is under the influence of God is His heavenly kingdom, as suggested in the Bible, and He is the king there, then He has the authority and the right to determine who can enter His kingdom and what the requirements are.
    I hardly think this discussion of the "right" of God to do what He pleases is really all that helpful. Such petulance only makes His company not worth seeking.

    The judicial model of salvation which generally sums up your statement of belief, is certainly represented in the Bible and embraced by the majority of Christianity. However since I refuse to believe in a God who finds it difficult to forgive people or who has this vindictive need to torment the recalcitrant, I can only make sense of these judicial aspects of the Bible as metaphorical in nature and by understanding that in the works and teachings of God, He must adhere to the strictures of justice in order to teach the responsibility than can only come from the realization of the reality in which their actions have consequences. This is something every parent must do simply in order to prepare their child for a reality where acting irresponibly can lead to disaster. The question is whether God is in a similar postion to the parent of having to prepare us for similar realities, or whether He only likes companionship of obedient slaves (in which case I would hardly consider Him worth my time).



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I believe God is both just and merciful. Those who subject themselves to God's judgment will receive that. Those who subject themselves to God's mercy will receive that.
    What is missing in this is the rational for why a certain "song and dance" should determine which of these "faces of God" one will get. It is this lack of a rational that makes it seem like intellectual blackmail, or like some kind of magical formula which is manipulating God. Therefore I do not see it as a choice between two "faces of God" but between going your own way and God's intervention, and what must be understood is why going our own way can only lead to disaster. I am sure this way of thinking is familiar to you as an application to life -- I just see this as extended to the afterlife as well.


    All of this ties in with a fundamental question about the existence of necessary truths. In scholastic thought, God's knowledge is divided between those things which are necessarily true and those things which are a product of His decisions. But some people/theologians don't like the implication that there are truths which are somehow above or which limit God, and therefore adopt a view which I call divine relativism in denial of such necessary truths. But I find several fatal flaws in this idea. One is that it renders meaningless all qualitative descriptions of God, like God is good. Another is that I think this implies a kind of monism that makes a reality apart from God impossible and thus necessarily implies pantheism. Another is that it makes theodicy (the problem of evil) insoluable.

    But if there are necessary truths then there is no need to put everything on God, for this means that there are realities apart from the decisions of God, and that the consequences of our actions does not have to be some desire of God to torture those who, "don't do as they are told". I think this is in fact the only way that the whole idea of the free will of man can be taken seriously.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Mitchell replied:

    daytonturner wrote:

    If the part of eternity that is under the influence of God is His heavenly kingdom, as suggested in the Bible, and He is the king there, then He has the authority and the right to determine who can enter His kingdom and what the requirements are.

    I hardly think this discussion of the "right" of God to do what He pleases is really all that helpful. Such petulance only makes His company not worth seeking.
    Well, I don't think I quite said God has the right to do whatever he pleases which is somewhat explained at the end of this post. At least that was not my emphasis. My statement was more intended as a counterpoint to the many here who seem to dislike the idea that they do not get to make up the rules. There is the time in childhood like around 9-12, when we seem to spend more time making up rules than we do actually playing whatever game we are making up.

    But, in a sense, I suppose God does have the right to do as he pleases. It seem to me what pleases God is to forgive sinners and to bless his people. I don't think he experiences any pleasure when some of his creation is going astray. What pleases God is righteousness and goodness, not evil and illwill.

    Mitchell asked:

    But let me ask you this. Are you a convert? Were you in fact swayed by threats of eternal damnation in this manner?
    Aren't we all converts? I don't think anyone is born a Christian, but I assume you are asking was I converted as an adult, and the answer is yes, at age 35. I was not converted through a fear of eternal damnation, but rather by realizing that my life was in dire need of a new direction and that God could provide that direction. Romans 2:4 says, in part, ". . .the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentence."

    You can read that two ways: 1. That it is God's goodness which attracts us and lead us to repentance; 2. That it is because of God's goodness that we are allowed to reach a point of repentance.

    In either case you need to realize that something is in need of fixing. The first thing that needs to be fixed is the relationship with God. Unless one understands that the problem is sin which has negative consequences in this life and/or in eternity, there is little stimulation to change. I realized that my state of affairs was because I was doing things my own way. Different people will come to that reality in different ways. For many people it is enough to know that they have offended God and they need to get right with Him. Some realize the eternal consequences of their rejection of God. Some people see something they admire in the life of a Christian and that encourages them to become a Christian, too.

    Somewhere, at some time in the process, there is a need to repent and receive forgiveness and salvaton. When Jesus had encounters with people on an individual basis, he almost always pointed out to them that their sin was in the way of their relationship with their creator and that they needed to repent. Until one understands that it is his own actions which puts him at odds with God and that there are negative consequences as a result, there is little reason for him to acknowledge God.

    Mitchell also said:


    daytonturner wrote:

    I believe God is both just and merciful. Those who subject themselves to God's judgment will receive that. Those who subject themselves to God's mercy will receive that.

    What is missing in this is the rational for why a certain "song and dance" should determine which of these "faces of God" one will get. It is this lack of a rational that makes it seem like intellectual blackmail, or like some kind of magical formula which is manipulating God. Therefore I do not see it as a choice between two "faces of God" but between going your own way and God's intervention, and what must be understood is why going our own way can only lead to disaster. I am sure this way of thinking is familiar to you as an application to life -- I just see this as extended to the afterlife as well.
    The idea that salvation is a song and dance routine just doesn't quite strike me as an apt description. I think, underlying this comment is a Calvinst/Arminian conflict. I struggle with that conflict myself. I can certainly understand that Mitchell would have trouble with the Calvinist explanation of what happens to bring about salvation. Yet he hints that the idea of the Arminian explanation amounts to manipulating God. Nevertheless, I think no matter how the process is characterized, the most important thing any individual can ever do is experience it.

    Mitchell concluded:

    All of this ties in with a fundamental question about the existence of necessary truths. In scholastic thought, God's knowledge is divided between those things which are necessarily true and those things which are a product of His decisions. But some people/theologians don't like the implication that there are truths which are somehow above or which limit God, and therefore adopt a view which I call divine relativism in denial of such necessary truths. But I find several fatal flaws in this idea. One is that it renders meaningless all qualitative descriptions of God, like God is good. Another is that I think this implies a kind of monism that makes a reality apart from God impossible and thus necessarily implies pantheism. Another is that it makes theodicy (the problem of evil) insoluable.

    But if there are necessary truths then there is no need to put everything on God, for this means that there are realities apart from the decisions of God, and that the consequences of our actions does not have to be some desire of God to torture those who, "don't do as they are told". I think this is in fact the only way that the whole idea of the free will of man can be taken seriously.
    This may be an area in which we agree more than you think. It revolves around one's concept of God's sovereignty. Many people see sovereignty as the idea that God can and does do anything. I think we see in the Bible that God has limited himself. For example, he cannot lie. This is a self imposed limitation brought about by His character surperceding his ability. Although the Noah account depicts God as completely destroying humanity because of their sinfulness, He has promised not to repeat that event even though he certainly retains the ability.

    If I understand what you have said, I would agree that there are ultimate truths and absolutes in the Universe that God cannot mess with, not because he lacks the ability, but because to do so would be the ruination of his creation and he, therefore, contrains himself. He has, in essence, actually created the rock he cannot lift, not because he lacks the ability, but because it would be wrong to do so. This is a thought which I think confounds both believers and non-believers. Isn't that just like God, anyway?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But, in a sense, I suppose God does have the right to do as he pleases. It seem to me what pleases God is to forgive sinners and to bless his people. I don't think he experiences any pleasure when some of his creation is going astray. What pleases God is righteousness and goodness, not evil and ill will.
    Of course how can anyones say what are the rights of God. But the point is that I don't think that even God would do that. I think His character is revealed in Phillipians 2:6 showing that He does not count His position or His divinity a thing to be grasped but will indeed lay it all down for the sake of what is important to Him and what is important to Him is us. You might object by quoting Romans 9:21, but I don't think this about God declaring His rights over us, but about something very different, which I will explain below.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Aren't we all converts? I don't think anyone is born a Christian, but I assume you are asking was I converted as an adult, and the answer is yes, at age 35. I was not converted through a fear of eternal damnation, but rather by realizing that my life was in dire need of a new direction and that God could provide that direction. Romans 2:4 says, in part, ". . .the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentence."
    I was considerably younger, 17. And threats of "consequences" played no role in what happened at all. I simply looked at myself and didn't like what I saw. I had read some of the Bible on my own, but with no substantial contact with Christians, I really hadn't the tiniest awareness of the Christian worldview or theology. I only knew bits of the gospels from the Bible and movies and that is all. I simply wanted to be a better person. A few years later I was comparing the ideas of different world religions to get some grasp of what this word "God" could possibly mean. I found more answers in existentialism than anywhere else, at that time.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Unless one understands that the problem is sin which has negative consequences in this life and/or in eternity, there is little stimulation to change.
    Since it did not play such a role in your life, I wonder why you think so. I certainly have my doubts about whether there is any truth to this at all.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The idea that salvation is a song and dance routine just doesn't quite strike me as an apt description.
    The song and dance refers to whatever a religion tells people that they have to do in order to avoid all those horrible "consequences" it is threatening them with.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I think, underlying this comment is a Calvinst/Arminian conflict. I struggle with that conflict myself. I can certainly understand that Mitchell would have trouble with the Calvinist explanation of what happens to bring about salvation. Yet he hints that the idea of the Arminian explanation amounts to manipulating God.
    Of course, but I would not say that I struggle with it at all. I see my way through this with great clarity. I do indeed reject all five points of Calvinism, but it would not occur to me to make such a comment about Arminianism, although I do indeed assert absolutely that God cannot be manipulated, far stronger than most Christians. I don't even believe that the Bible can be used as a legal contract binding God in a web promises. And among the works that cannot "purchase a place in heaven" I would include works of words and belief. Salvation is a work of God alone (Sola Gracia).

    For a while I had trouble with Sola Fide (salvation through faith) as contradicting Sola Gracia. Until I reflected upon my definion of faith as: "a multifaceted response to the reality of uncertainty that includes choice, belief and action". The key word in this for me to understand Sola Fide was "choice". Somewhere in the process of God work of salvation upon us, He demands that we make a choice to accept His interference in our lives or to reject it, even though He may have to redeem our free will to some degree before we can make that choice. It seems to me that all this becomes crystal clear when you consider that Salvation is a gift. If it is forced upon us then it is an assault and not a gift but it absurd to think that by accepting a gift we make the gift into something which is earned.

    But this formula. although quite clear to me still does not provide the reasons that I have been talking about, but is, in fact, a product of those reasons. God cannot be manipulated because salvation is not simply a matter of gaining His acceptance. It is a matter of Him working a change in us. This is not a work of magic, but of complex manipulations unique to each person. So although salvation is something that God must do, it is nevertheless not something in which our choices, beliefs and actions are irrelevant - because it is in these that God is working - not internally in the manner of a watchmaker but externally in the role of a teacher, whose tools are the experiences of our life.

    There is no ticket to heaven or path to God because there is no way around that unique change that must occur in us. And this is why we cannot expect God to save us on our own terms. It is like telling the doctor not to touch the part that hurts. He will do what must be done if we let Him and that is all. And this is the meaning of Roman's 9:21. The point is not that we are inanimate clay and that He designs us like a potter, or that He simply does as He pleases with us as a Calvinist might say. The point is that ony He has the knowledge of what must be done for our well being and the well being of mankind as a whole, and in His work for our better interest, we are indeed clay in His hands for the accomplishment of His purpose. And if he makes some of us a vessel for destruction as He did with His own Son, a demand that He do things in a way that is more comfortable for us is simply childish ignorance.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    This may be an area in which we agree more than you think. It revolves around one's concept of God's sovereignty. Many people see sovereignty as the idea that God can and does do anything. I think we see in the Bible that God has limited himself. For example, he cannot lie.
    I suspect that one may be a red herring. Is it even possible not lie when using the words of human beings, if our languages are built upon false premises? Furthermore the meaning of words are so ambigous and fluid that what is a lie is very much a matter of perception. And then there is the story of Jonah. Are you so sure that God will not say what is required to make us change for the good, regardless of whether we might call it a "lie" or not?



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    This is a self imposed limitation brought about by His character surperceding his ability. Although the Noah account depicts God as completely destroying humanity because of their sinfulness, He has promised not to repeat that event even though he certainly retains the ability.
    I very much agree however that God imposes limitations upon Himself, for I certainly do not buy into the nonsense that God's omnipotence means that He cannot do anything which contradicts this. The creation of life and free will was a limitation upon Himself and His sovereignty. In the incarnation, God subjected Himself to the limitations of a human being, even to becoming a helpless infant.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If I understand what you have said, I would agree that there are ultimate truths and absolutes in the Universe that God cannot mess with, not because he lacks the ability, but because to do so would be the ruination of his creation and he, therefore, contrains himself. He has, in essence, actually created the rock he cannot lift, not because he lacks the ability, but because it would be wrong to do so.
    No I think you are missing the point. The existence of necessary truths are not just a matter of self-limitation, for such self-limitation is a result of His choices. Necessary truths are things that are NOT a result of His choices. For example, the very idea expressed by you here you suggests that there are reasons why God would not do some things. Did you not say that some things that God COULD do would not be good? It is in this that these necessary truths are found, for otherwise how can you even hypothetically suggest that judgement could be passed upon something that God could do? Or consider this: When God us tells that we should live in a certain way is this just because it pleases Him that we should do whatever He says? Or is it because He has knowledge of what would make a better life for us? Only the existence of necessary truths would make it possible for us to give the second answer rather than the first.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Mitchell asked (somewhat rhetorically):

    When God us tells that we should live in a certain way is this just because it pleases Him that we should do whatever He says? Or is it because He has knowledge of what would make a better life for us? Only the existence of necessary truths would make it possible for us to give the second answer rather than the first.
    I basically agree with you on this. I have never been impressed that God's "laws" are capricious in the sense that He is just seeing if he can manipulate people into doing silly seal acts.

    My feeling has always been that God has a firm understanding of cause and effect. His "laws" are predicated on the knowledge that some actions are more likely to be productive while others are more likely to be counterproductive. Thus, He "commanded" that certain activities should not be done while others should be.

    It just seems to be in God's character that he is vastly disappointed when He sees people hurting themselves or other people. And I think he dislikes this so much that He determined people who do that should not be rewarded. That could be one of the necessary truths you mention – that it is unjust for a person to benefit from his own wrongdoing.

    (Aside: I am beginning to feel that your “necessary truths” are what jurisprudence calls “natural laws.” These would be universal truths or laws which are absolutes and apply to all people at all times, in all situations. If there is natural law, then God’s stated laws would certainly emanate from them and define them in greater detail. Natural law advocates have had controversy in trying to define the alleged natural laws.)

    The complication comes from the fact that God has established sanctions for doing the kinds of things that are harmful or for neglecting to do the things that are beneficial. And, since none of us is able to never do the harmful thing nor always do the beneficial things, we are all subject to those sanctions.

    Aye, thar’s the rub. I don’t think there are a lot of objections to doing good and avoiding evil; it is that damnable penalty stuff that goes with missing that mark. Wherein there are objections, they usually revolve around sex practices and use of mind altering substances such as alcohol and drugs. Somehow, it seems to me that we do understand that these things are factors in a lot of human problems such as STDs, unwanted pregnancies, alcoholism, drug addictions and a myriad of other and associated problems.

    Many of God’s proscribed activities are just plain illegal or criminal. So it seems strange to me that many people are offended that God has said these things are improper, but it is quite OK that we can declare them illegal or criminal and also observe the negative impacts. In so doing, however, many fail to understand that the negative impacts on our earthly lives are harbingers of the negative impact on our eternal life.

    Many people tend to attempt to avoid God and His sanctions by denying He exists, denying there is eternal life or hoping that God does not mean what he says about the sanctions. Rather than accepting His way of escape, they prefer to curse God because he does not reward wrongdoing.

    Mitchell also commented:

    Of course, but I would not say that I struggle with it [Calvinism/Arminianism] at all. I see my way through this with great clarity. I do indeed reject all five points of Calvinism, but it would not occur to me to make such a comment about Arminianism, although I do indeed assert absolutely that God cannot be manipulated, far stronger than most Christians.
    I would respond that I do not think this is an area of theology you have delved into deeply. My problem is that Arminianism seems logically more plausible, but Calvinism has much broader and more direct scriptural support. The one thing I have learned being around people of both persuasions, no one misunderstands their respective positions more than the person who has assumed a position. That is, Arminians have no idea what Arminians actually believe; nor do Calvinists understand what Calvinism supposedly purports. Finding anyone who actually understands either of these positions is rare, indeed.

    Meanwhile, Mitchell, your discussion on Sola Fide/Sola Gracia and the process of salvation is interesting and I have some agreement and some areas where I would disagree, but I have not really studied what you have written under the light of the Bible. I merely suggest that my reactions are based on my own beliefs although I cannot immediately associate specific scriptural references.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    (Aside: I am beginning to feel that your “necessary truths” are what jurisprudence calls “natural laws.” These would be universal truths or laws which are absolutes and apply to all people at all times, in all situations. If there is natural law, then God’s stated laws would certainly emanate from them and define them in greater detail. Natural law advocates have had controversy in trying to define the alleged natural laws.)
    Well one the reasons that many Christians don't like this idea of necessary truths (or natural law) is that it tends to punch a hole in one of their favorite arguments for the existence of God - the argument from morality. But this argument is downright parochial and offensive, not to mention pure nonsense. Morality cannot be derived from reason alone any more than anything else can be derived from reason alone. We must always start with premises for reason to accomplish anything and the fact is that atheists can and do make choices and adopt premises that gives them a rational system of ethics.

    HOWEVER, just because the existence of necessary truth shoots down the argument from morality by making morality discoverable in principle, it doesn't actually PROVE that morality is fully discoverable. Thus this does not necessarily mean that mankind mankind can actually successfully navigate the moral landscape of his existence without the aid of God. I don't think that we can.

    In any case, it is rather clear that I am thoroughly a Christian naturalist, who in a manner typical of a methodological naturalist extends the idea of "natural law" beyond the application to the physical aspect of our existence to the spiritual as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Wherein there are objections, they usually revolve around sex practices and use of mind altering substances such as alcohol and drugs. Somehow, it seems to me that we do understand that these things are factors in a lot of human problems such as STDs, unwanted pregnancies, alcoholism, drug addictions and a myriad of other and associated problems.
    Part of the problem here is a confusion with secular law which in general in only designed to prohibit that which is harmful to others and not to prohibit (or at least reluctant to prohibit) things which are only harmful to ourselves) - allowing us to make our own decisions about how to conduct our own lives. "God law" certainly exceeds this limitation of secular law because it has no such reluctance but is VERY much concerned with prohibiting that which is harmful to our own well being in the long term.

    These practical objection to sexual promiscuity are insufficient because they are avoidable by means of technology - I think there are deeper reasons than that. Sexuality altually has some commonalities with drugs in its ability to give pleasure and in this lies a subtle and terrible danger that I think amounts to a gaping chasm at our feet. We are self-programing entitites in the process of habit formation. Good habits increase our potentialities and bad habits destroy them. In the normal course of events, we experience pleasure when we succeed in worthwhile activities but drugs (and sex) are capable of short-circuiting this process by enabling us to feel good for no good reason. They enable us to reward bad thoughts and actions with good feeling and thus to program ourselves with bad habits.

    This is, in fact, one of the reasons we have prohibited the use of drugs in civil law, because the drug addict so often becomes a very destructive force in the lives of other people. I believe that the misuse of sex actually does have similar consequences for I do not believe that sexual deviants like child molestors and rapists are born that way, but that they have actually programed themselves through a habitual practice of sexually rewarding themselves for certain types of thoughts and desires, until they inevitably act them out.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I would respond that I do not think this is an area of theology you have delved into deeply. My problem is that Arminianism seems logically more plausible, but Calvinism has much broader and more direct scriptural support. The one thing I have learned being around people of both persuasions, no one misunderstands their respective positions more than the person who has assumed a position. That is, Arminians have no idea what Arminians actually believe; nor do Calvinists understand what Calvinism supposedly purports. Finding anyone who actually understands either of these positions is rare, indeed.
    Your first sentence is offensive and incredible presumptive.

    I do not support or defend Arminianism because it is does not go far enough on some questions, but I completely disagree with your claim about direct scriptural support. There is a problem that my students in physics have in doing physics problems that they get misled by the mathematics because they do not look at the big picture and I think Calvinism with their "so called" scriptural support suffers from the same kind of problem. The result is a grotesque distortion of scripture and Christianity, which is frankly beyond my comprehension. I can only think that the grace of God allows such a misunderstanding because it is a way that He has been able reach some people who otherwise would be unreachable.

    In any case, I HAVE made a very thorough examination of the issues in question and so this has NOTHING to do with any kind of lack of depth or study on my part. It is true that I have not read a great deal of the original writings of Arminius or Calvin, but no matter how enlighting you may have found this, I caution you against self-righteously over-estimating the importance of this. Trying to put the fact that people disagree with you all down to ignorance on their part only reveals a gaping flaw in your character. People who study everything that you have studied will STILL disagree with you, and I can guarantee you that I will be one of them.

    My understanding is most certainly based on reasoning which makes sense of all of scripture as an integral whole rather than upon a superficial literal reading of certain passages in isolation to distort the meaning of the whole Bible. We are already aware of a difference between us in our Biblical hermeneutics on other issues, are we not?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39 sorry 
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2
    I'm sorry to break up the argument that seems to be people arguing over why people convert. But I was curious to how a Theospian question became this argument here. Me, if you ask me I am a Metephysician. I learn of many religions who all are linked by cetain things but believes in the end we are evolving not physically but spiritually. Reincarnation is not a do over as it was put earlier bur that is your damnation to be stuck in the rut of evolution reliving over and over again this horrid place as Earth is. The point behind our life is to advance into higher planes of existence. As you put it bieng scare of holy dammnation people join religions for a variety of regions. I know people who joined the Bapitist church because they were scared of the after effect in Hell as Christians put it and for me it is being stuck in the evolutionary rut. To answer the original question asked here i will answer like this.
    The Cosmos does not contradict itself. It has ben read by many men and people but the same laws are always put forth in a different manner with the same basics being put forth.
    Now back to your guys previous debate.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40 Re: Is there a link between the worlds religions? 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne / Australia
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by manadude2
    Is there a link between them all?
    they all proove humans need to worship some God throghout entity.


    I don't know how this need can be characterised?
    Read..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  42. #41 Re: Is there a link between the worlds religions? 
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,546
    Quote Originally Posted by ENG.M
    Quote Originally Posted by manadude2
    Is there a link between them all?
    they all proove humans need to worship some God throghout entity.


    I don't know how this need can be characterised?
    You don't need to shout to be heard, the silent voice can sound the loudest.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
    Reply With Quote  
     

  43. #42 Re: Is there a link between the worlds religions? 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne / Australia
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Quote Originally Posted by ENG.M
    Quote Originally Posted by manadude2
    Is there a link between them all?
    they all proove humans need to worship some God throghout entity.


    I don't know how this need can be characterised?
    You don't need to shout to be heard, the silent voice can sound the loudest.
    why do you think I am shouting. is it because of the size and color.
    I just use them to distinguish my writings so I can see easily.
    but since I am the only one here who writes in a large font I will be writting in a normal one from now on.
    thanx my friend but you could show you point in a better way.
    Read..
    Reply With Quote  
     

  44. #43  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Delusion.
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  45. #44  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Delusion.
    Well you have certainly proven that this is a feature of your religion in any case.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  46. #45  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Delusion.
    Well you have certainly proven that this is a feature of your religion in any case.
    And what pray tell, doth thou thinketh mine religion to be? Dawkinism perhaps? Atheism? Please state your faith along with what you suppose mine to be dearest Mitchell.
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  47. #46  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    I'm not Mitchell, my guess would be that you belong to the (Q)bism sect of Dawkinsism. I mean, what with this immaculate obsession about indoctrination.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  48. #47  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Hi Daytonturner,

    Just an observation here. If one chooses to follow than is that person under the weight of what was held to be present before the outset of ones "choice"?

    What exactly is Dawkinism? Is Nietzscheism possible?

    By the way I am in envy of your location, how stunning the Pacific Northwest is.
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  49. #48  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Delusion.
    Well you have certainly proven that this is a feature of your religion in any case.
    And what pray tell, doth thou thinketh mine religion to be? Dawkinism perhaps? Atheism? Please state your faith along with what you suppose mine to be dearest Mitchell.
    How should I know what religion you are. All I know is that the fundamentalists of all religions sound pretty much the same, making their own way of thinking the measure of other people. Yours may be one of your own invention - that is in fact, rather commonly the case for many radical fundamentalists, because other people quite often don't want to have anything to do with them.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  50. #49  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7

    I praise Richard Dawkins for his book, the reason why it's appropriate for faith to be questioned is that for most of human history it has been a capital offence to question it. Faith itself must be held accountable for its many "sins". Don't even get me started on the subject of mental child abuse. Religion has infringed on our most basic freedoms and must never be allowed to regain their former position.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Ahhh... the guru of your religion is revealed.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    How should I know what religion you are.
    You betray yourself Mitchell.
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  51. #50  
    Forum Sophomore Pikkhaud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    140
    yes they are all fake.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  52. #51  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    portcontrol7 asked:

    If one chooses to follow than (sic) is that person under the weight of what was held to be present before the outset of ones "choice"?
    and

    What exactly is Dawkinism?
    I think it would depend on whether one were switching from the right choice or the wrong choice.

    If, for example, you have long held that it is wise to observe speed limits and then decide that you don't have to pay any attention to them, you are still under the weight of the speed limits which was your original position.

    If, on the other hand, you previously held that speed limits were irrelevant, and then decide it is a good idea to follow them, you are no longer under the weight of the consequences you might have suffered before the onset of your new choice.

    It might not always be clear what is the right choice or wrong choice, but we always remain "under the weight" of making wrong choices.

    Dawkinsism (don't forget the ess) is a word which I believe I coined to differentiate a sect of extremist pseudo-scientism. Whereas scientism generally opposes religion because it believes science is the ONLY source of anything, Dawkinsism opposes religion ONLY because it is religion. Since it is my coinage, I have considered changing it to Dawkinschism.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  53. #52  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    Dawkinsism (don't forget the ess) is a word which I believe I coined to differentiate a sect of extremist pseudo-scientism. Whereas scientism generally opposes religion because it believes science is the ONLY source of anything, Dawkinsism opposes religion ONLY because it is religion. Since it is my coinage, I have considered changing it to Dawkinschism.
    "Ignorance" is a word used to differentiate those who make asinine comments like the above because they lack an understanding of that which will crumble their precious house-of-cards.
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  54. #53  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I'm not Mitchell, my guess would be that you belong to the (Q)bism sect of Dawkinsism. I mean, what with this immaculate obsession about indoctrination.
    Then, tell us all, Dayton, how you studied all the religions and came to the rational and reasonable conclusion to begin worshiping one of the many invisible and undetectable beings purported to exist, and why you choose the specific god you did?

    You may want to add the reason for believing in an invisible and undetectable entity that has never been shown to exist?

    Yes, start there, Dayton.
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  55. #54  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    (Q) asked:

    how you studied all the religions and came to the rational and reasonable conclusion to begin worshiping one
    The search was about the same as my search through all the countries of the world before deciding to live in the U.S. It is where I started, and after looking at what other countries have to offer, I have no desire to move to a different one. Christianity is the religion I accepted and after looking at what the others have to offer, I have no desire to move to a different one.

    So what did you study besides Dawkinschism to decide that you hate any and all religions?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  56. #55  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7

    I praise Richard Dawkins for his book, the reason why it's appropriate for faith to be questioned is that for most of human history it has been a capital offence to question it. Faith itself must be held accountable for its many "sins". Don't even get me started on the subject of mental child abuse. Religion has infringed on our most basic freedoms and must never be allowed to regain their former position.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Ahhh... the guru of your religion is revealed.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    How should I know what religion you are.
    You betray yourself Mitchell.
    Oh...does that mean I haven't been paying attention and this juxtaposition mean that the answer to your own question is found in this quote of yours. Does this mean that my joke about your guru is accidentally correct. darn! I keep doing that! It makes my jokes fall flat.

    Hmmm.... I always suspected Richard Dawkins of starting a cult ever since that "Selfish Gene" book he wrote. The book did have that sort of flavor to it.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  57. #56  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7

    I praise Richard Dawkins for his book, the reason why it's appropriate for faith to be questioned is that for most of human history it has been a capital offence to question it. Faith itself must be held accountable for its many "sins". Don't even get me started on the subject of mental child abuse. Religion has infringed on our most basic freedoms and must never be allowed to regain their former position.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Ahhh... the guru of your religion is revealed.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    How should I know what religion you are.
    You betray yourself Mitchell.
    Oh...does that mean I haven't been paying attention and this juxtaposition mean that the answer to your own question is found in this quote of yours. Does this mean that my joke about your guru is accidentally correct. darn! I keep doing that! It makes my jokes fall flat.

    Hmmm.... I always suspected Richard Dawkins of starting a cult ever since that "Selfish Gene" book he wrote. The book did have that sort of flavor to it.
    Must this be a polemic Mitchell? I assaulted you personally? My point has thus been proven, we clothe ourselves in our beliefs do we not?

    Why should science not have its turn? History is in its infancy Mitchell, we cling onto our mothers teat as if it were the only reality. In short who is truly the radical fundamentalist here, are we not both? No.

    No, please don't confuse yourself further as to your misunderstanding of cultism. You are both a scholar and a fool dear Mitchell. Your understanding, in terms that are archaic and prove you philosophically unsound expose your hypocrisy. You dare not throw your hat into the ring do you Mitchell? Yet you throw me into your ring on your own bizarre terms.

    Let me make this clear Mitchell, I am not like you in this manner. You are an educated fool, I am an educated master. Hate me with all the vengeance of a fool.

    I dare not presume the exact prescription for your neurosis, yet it is abundantly clear in your diagnosis of your perceived
    "threat" that it exists.

    If one chooses to follow than is that person under the weight of what was held to be present before the outset of ones "choice"?
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  58. #57  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7

    I praise Richard Dawkins for his book, the reason why it's appropriate for faith to be questioned is that for most of human history it has been a capital offence to question it. Faith itself must be held accountable for its many "sins". Don't even get me started on the subject of mental child abuse. Religion has infringed on our most basic freedoms and must never be allowed to regain their former position.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Ahhh... the guru of your religion is revealed.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    How should I know what religion you are.
    You betray yourself Mitchell.
    Oh...does that mean I haven't been paying attention and this juxtaposition mean that the answer to your own question is found in this quote of yours. Does this mean that my joke about your guru is accidentally correct. darn! I keep doing that! It makes my jokes fall flat.

    Hmmm.... I always suspected Richard Dawkins of starting a cult ever since that "Selfish Gene" book he wrote. The book did have that sort of flavor to it.
    Your polemic nature remains exposed, not that I denigrate it Mitchell, in fact I respect it greatly. Yet you seem misguided in your methodology. Well then, you are a physicist, not to be confused with your own methodology are you? I anticipate your great contribution to the body of physics, until then I will keep my pistol en exact de facto.

    Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha be with you on your mythological quest for understanding Mitchell!

    Mitchell Mckain, the sad educated imbecile. The keeper of faith! The holder of all wisdom unto his own bosom (at risk of laughter). The physical apocalypse! The numbskull in our midst!
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  59. #58  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7
    Quote Originally Posted by portcontrol7

    I praise Richard Dawkins for his book, the reason why it's appropriate for faith to be questioned is that for most of human history it has been a capital offence to question it. Faith itself must be held accountable for its many "sins". Don't even get me started on the subject of mental child abuse. Religion has infringed on our most basic freedoms and must never be allowed to regain their former position.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Ahhh... the guru of your religion is revealed.
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    How should I know what religion you are.
    You betray yourself Mitchell.
    Oh...does that mean I haven't been paying attention and this juxtaposition mean that the answer to your own question is found in this quote of yours. Does this mean that my joke about your guru is accidentally correct. darn! I keep doing that! It makes my jokes fall flat.

    Hmmm.... I always suspected Richard Dawkins of starting a cult ever since that "Selfish Gene" book he wrote. The book did have that sort of flavor to it.
    Also Mitchell, you are an ass. Your guru is an impotent, omnipotent creature! Statistically, I'd of course presume you are a Mormon. I will patiently wait your reply. Be for-warned... I will rip your faith to pieces logically and by the foundation of your lame understanding of facts. Please divulge your prescription of reality aside from your sadly misguided search through physics.
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  60. #59  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    portcontrol7,

    LOL LOL LOL LOL

    "educated master"

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    "I will rip your faith to pieces logically and by the foundation"

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL (tears of laughter)

    Me thinks I hear a Dawkinian. Did not Dawkins boast like this about his book? But where Dawkins failed, portcontrol7 is going to succeed!!!

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    I am sorry. LOL ... LOL ... LOL

    You really aren't up to the challenge of a little sparing are you.

    Sigh... I guess I shall have to stop picking on you and leave you to carry on your tantrum alone.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  61. #60  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Ah, well, Mitchell, Port seems to be totally out of control along with the rest of the post-modernists who insist on interpreting anything anyone else says in terms of their own mindset rather than paying any attention to the actual intent of the writer or speaker or actor.

    It is no wonder that Port would call you polemic in what appears to be a pejorative way. This is the way post-modernists work. They take an admirable or neutral quality and use it as an negative attribute while, oddly enough, employing that same characteristic or technique and denying they are. (Ironically, the claim of the first sentence of this paragraph could be post-modernist, too)

    Post-modernism involves a way of thinking in which whatever the person believes to be true is truth to him and all others are expected to accept his personal truth.

    There are some things for which personalizing meaning may be OK such as modern art or perhaps poetry where the painter or author has not expressed an intent. But for most things we must accept that words mean what they meant at the time of writing or speaking and the writer's intent is the basis of the meaning of the document or speech.

    Post-modernism eventually boils down to applying relativism in which things are whatever the observer or reader wants them to be. It is an abandonment of the modernist view that there are unchanging truths and realities. (The speed of light is what it is whether or not we have accurately measured it.)

    Modernists believe that truth and reality exist independent of what anyone may believe it is. Where there are differences of opinion as to what truth is, the possibilities are that one position may be wrong, the other position may be wrong or both positions my be wrong. Post modernist illogically allow for both positions to be correct even if they are diametrically opposed to each other.

    A typical relativist view would be, "Oh, so you believe in God. Well, then for you God exists. I don't believe in God and for me God does not exist." This is obviously completely illogical and in direct violation of the logic concept of non-contradiction. God cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.

    Modernists believe that truth is a direct relationship between thought and reality. We start with a thought, an idea, or a concept but only when that is confirmed by what actually is, can we determine the truth.

    If I tell you my lawn is green, I have related an idea. If you come by and check out my lawn and find that yes, indeed, it is green you now have a truth. If, on the other hand, you find that in reality the lawn is brown, you do not have a truth. You must change the idea to conform to the reality, since you cannot change the reality of the brown lawn.

    A classic example of post-modern thinking on another thread revolved around when I mentioned I was in the process of reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and (Q) reacted based on his own thoughts with no actual knowledge of the reality. He called me a liar even though he has only his own thought without any corresponding confirmation or refutation of the thought. Had he to come to my house and seen that I do possess the book, then he would have had the truth -- the reality of the book combined with the idea that I have the book. In positing the claim that I was a liar based on just his own personal thought without any confirmation, he actually proved himself to be a liar.

    When we see the reactions based on this post-modernist type of thinking, we find that they are not really reacting to what may have actually been said or meant, but they are reacting in accordance to their own thinking without regard to how much it may correspond to reality.

    Ideas and thoughts and concepts, in and of themselves, are not truths although post-modernists would make them so. Thoughts, ideas and concepts must correspond with reality in order to be truth. This is, actually, pretty much what the scientific method requires. Ideas must be confirmed by what actually is in order to be considered truth. Post-modernism and relativism, on the other hand say that truth is whatever you think it is.

    I think the main differentiation would be that the modernist says the world is what it is regardless of what people think while the post-modernist would say the world is what we think it is regardless of what it really is.

    This is not to say that everything post-modernist or relativistic is in error. Some things are relative. But not all things are relative. The main problem with post-modernism is that people who tend to have this mindset do not consciously admit there are absolutes even though they observe them all the time -- like every time they stop at a stop sign.

    Post-modernism seems to be the mindset of the sect of Dawkinschism.

    My thoughts herein are based on materials from Greg Koukl and J.P. Moreland. I am not this smart in and of myself.

    (edited to correct name of J.P. Moreland cited above.)
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  62. #61  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    daytonturner wrote:
    Post-modernism and relativism, on the other hand say that truth is whatever you think it is.
    Please give definition of post-modernism and indicate where they have said that the truth is whatever you think it is.
    What they have said may be true, depending on who is listening.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  63. #62  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Actually, I misnamed one of my sources who should have been listed as J.P. Moreland.

    You will find a lot of the thinking I used in my post at http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5682

    It may well be in that article you will find Mr. Moreland saying exactly that.

    Wikipedia is a good example of postmodernism in that it includes various approaches and definitions of postmodernism, many of which are not compatible with others.

    One which, in some sense, says what I was saying about the person's own interpretation of something having nothing to do with the intent of the writer, speaker or actor is this:

    Postmodernism emphasizes the role of individual, rather than standardized or canonical, reaction to and interpretation of our experiences.
    In other words, it is what the individual thinks it is whether or not that is what it really is.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  64. #63  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Secondary reply to prasit who said:

    What they have said may be true, depending on who is listening.
    Not sure who your "they" is. But this is definitely a postmodern statement in which the truth of what "they" said is dependent on "who" heard it, not on what "they" said. Classic postmodern position.

    One can only assume from prasit's statement that if person "A" hears what "they" said, then what "they" said would be true while if person "B" hears what "they" said, then what "they" said would be false.

    And I do believe this is exactly what I was talking about. The truth of what "they" said here has no relationship to whether or not it was actually true.

    The modernist would say the truth of what "they" said is in what "they" said regardless of "who" hears it or what it means to "who" (actually whom).

    It is possible that person A may perceive that what "they" said was true while person B may perceive what "they" said is false. But the truth of what "they" said is not dependent about A's or B's perception.

    What "they" said cannot be both true and false at the same time. If that is the case, then everyone would score 100 percent on true-false tests. Is that true or false?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  65. #64  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    daytonturner wrote

    Postmodernism emphasizes the role of individual, rather than standardized or canonical, reaction to and interpretation of our experiences.
    In other words, it is what the individual thinks it is whether or not that is what it really is.
    To me, it does not look like what you interpret. It seems that in some cases the truth is not yet certain. It used to be interpreted via standardized or canonical reaction. But Postmodernism say that individual reaction and interpretation do matter too. It would be clearer if you can give an example that Postmodernism show preference on individual interpretation. May be something from Dawkins?

    Secondary reply to prasit who said:

    What they have said may be true, depending on who is listening.
    Not sure who your "they" is. But this is definitely a postmodern statement in which the truth of what "they" said is dependent on "who" heard it, not on what "they" said. Classic postmodern position.
    Actually I am just teasing. (should have put an emiticon there, sorry)
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  66. #65  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Ah, well, Mitchell, Port seems to be totally out of control along with the rest of the post-modernists who insist on interpreting anything anyone else says in terms of their own mindset rather than paying any attention to the actual intent of the writer or speaker or actor.
    The rest of your post was interesting, but you started out poorly by lumping a lot of people together, which I don't think is right. Furthermore as silly (or meaningless) as postmodern thought seems to me, I don't think it is right to identify it with portofcontrol7's behavior.

    Post-modern thought is not irrational, but if anything suffers from an excessive rationality that responds to the limitations of reason by denouncing whatever reason cannot produce by itself. This is a little hard headed, for interdependence is a characteristic feature of life and human existence, so it is only natural to simply acknowledge the dependence of reason on other things for meaning.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  67. #66  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    prasit pointed out:

    It seems that in some cases the truth is not yet certain. It used to be interpreted via standardized or canonical reaction. But Postmodernism say that individual reaction and interpretation do matter too.
    Let's not forget my (somewhat postmodernistic) caveat earlier that postmodernism is not 100 percent wrong. The flexibility of postmodernism has many reasonable applications.

    You are speaking abstractly here such that it is somewhat difficult to know what truths you have in mind when you say that the truth is not yet certain. I do agree that many things remain enigmas in many schools of study and endeavor.

    In those cases, when we discuss the possible solutions there still remains a slight difference in the philosophical views of modernist and postmodernists. The modernist would suggest that not all the possibilities can be true, especially where two possible are diametrically opposed and would then begin to evaluate and eliminate obviously inaccurate or impossible solutions. The relatavistic postmodernist would suggest that all possible solutions are of equal value and none should be valued over another.

    One of the problems in discussing postmodernism is that it has many different angles and relates differently to different schools of knowledge.
    What I have been discussing is more of the philosophy of postmodernism and how it approaches things in general.

    prasit gets more direct:


    It would be clearer if you can give an example that Postmodernism show preference on individual interpretation. May be something from Dawkins?
    I think this was written hurriedly or something because it is not quite clear as to what you want clarified. It sounds like you want me to find an example where individual preference causes an impractical or impossible interpretation of something.

    Well, one thing I see on this forum all the time is scientificos saying that religious people reject science. This is usually based on the idea that religious people reject abiogenesis and macroevolution.

    Such a claim has nothing to do with the topic of evolution but reflects the speaker's reaction to someone else's beliefs. (In contrast, some people here adopt a more modernist approach by responding in terms of evolution and presenting information which support their beliefs.)

    Without naming names, I think you are well aware of people here who disagree with and respond to the person who is posting, without ever actually addressing the concepts and ideas which are being discussed.
    (But, postmodernistically speaking, I think just about everybody here does that on occasion -- we react not to what was said, but the way we thought it was intended.)

    Dawkins does not readily lend himself to postmodernism because, he himself, actually employs something of a modernist process, at least in The God Delusion. That is, he throws around a lot of accurate information and observations, but usually abandons them by the time he attempts to drive home his point.

    I regret that I am unable to respond more concisely on the Dawkins question. Given some time to look more closely at some of his statements, I think I can find some good examples of postmodern thinking.

    Mitchell said:

    Post-modern thought is not irrational,
    This part of the thought is clear, but I think somewhat erroneous. The meaning of the rest of that paragraph evades my ability to comprend.

    Again, when dealing with postmodernism, we find it somewhat elusive and while somethings may well be perfectly rational, other postmodernist thinking is totally illogical which I would equate to being virtually synonomous with irrational.

    A postmodernist would easily agree with the statement that there is no such thing as truth. Or, in the alternative, one cannot actually know truth.(Actually, some of postmodernism is built on those concepts.) Yet, if that statement is true, then it must be false because if there is no such thing as truth, the statement itself cannot be true. Or, if you cannot know truth, you cannot know if the statement itself is true. If the statement is false and there is such a thing as truth, then again, the statement has proven itself internally false. Or, if you can know that you cannot know truth, then you know a truth which cannot be known.

    The statement on its surface looks and sounds like a plausible, rational statement. But as it turns out, it is actually a self defeating oxymoron.

    As to Portofcontrol7, there was a point a while back where he said, "I assaulted you personally?" It was not apparent to me that you had even suggested he had made a personal attack.

    If I am correct, Port applied the postmodern technique of interpreting what you said on the basis of his mind set rather than what you had actually said. And throughout his posts, it does not seem to me that he is responding to what has actually been said, but rather is spinning it through his own filters to produce a reply that does not actually respond to what was said. On the other hand, it could be me who is doing that to Port's postings. None of us is immune to postmodernist thinking.

    But that is where reality steps in to confirm one or the other, thus establishing truth.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  68. #67  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Post-modern thought is not irrational,
    This part of the thought is clear, but I think somewhat erroneous. The meaning of the rest of that paragraph evades my ability to comprend.
    I would suggest that postmodern thought also evades your ability to comprend it also, for what I said is simple by comparison.

    Logic has a fundamental limitation in that it can only go from premises to conclusions, and so any rationality must necessarily depend on first principles which are not derived by any reason or logic. So the question is how are we going to respond to this fundamental limitation? If we pursue a skeptical program of continually suspending belief in the premises that are the basis of meaning in human existence then it is inevitable that we will have a rationality that is devoid of meaning for human existence. This is what I am calling excessive rationality and this is what I think characterizes post-modern thought.

    But this is certainly not the only way of responding to the limitation of rationality. If one starts with the pursuit of meaningfulness as ones goal then that by itself can motivate the acceptance of first principles upon which to base ones rationality. This can hardly be case for the methodology of post-modernism for it has come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as meaning.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Again, when dealing with postmodernism, we find it somewhat elusive and while somethings may well be perfectly rational, other postmodernist thinking is totally illogical which I would equate to being virtually synonomous with irrational.

    A postmodernist would easily agree with the statement that there is no such thing as truth. ...
    It is clear to me that what is irrational is your understanding of post-modernism. The claim of post-modernism is not that there is no such thing as truth, but that there is no such thing as Truth - absolute objective Truth. Clearly no philosophy is going to claim that there is no such thing as a truth value for statements. That is just plain absurd. You have therefore raised a rather childish strawman.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As to Portofcontrol7, there was a point a while back where he said, "I assaulted you personally?" It was not apparent to me that you had even suggested he had made a personal attack.

    If I am correct, Port applied the postmodern technique of interpreting what you said on the basis of his mind set rather than what you had actually said. And throughout his posts, it does not seem to me that he is responding to what has actually been said, but rather is spinning it through his own filters to produce a reply that does not actually respond to what was said. On the other hand, it could be me who is doing that to Port's postings.
    This would be consistent with your characterization of post-modern thought (PMT) as mere irrationality. If I accepted your view of PMT then I could agree with you for I did not observe any substantial amount of rationality in portofcontrol7's posts. But I reaffirm that despite the fact that I also think PMT is devoid of meaning and usefulness I do not think your description of it has any merit.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    None of us is immune to postmodernist thinking.
    Poppycock! Speak for yourself. I reject making potmodern thought into any kind of broad brush with which one can characterize thinking that you want to ridicule!
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  69. #68  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    Mitchell said:

    The claim of post-modernism is not that there is no such thing as truth, but that there is no such thing as Truth - absolute objective Truth.
    Geeze, Mitchell, can't you see that your minor alteration of the statement remains an absolute absurd oxymoron. Do you agree with the statement? I hope not. Do I agree with this statement? Absolutely not.

    If there is there is no such thing as abosolute objective truth, then the statement is absolutely false. In order to be true, it would have to be absolutely objectively true, but there is no objective proof of the statement, so it cannot be true. And if the statement were shown to be absolute objective truth, then the statement would be false because it would be an absolute objective truth which it claims does not exist.

    In a practical application: Is it true that the earth revolves around the sun? Absolutely. That is an absolute truth which disassociates the PMT claim that there are no absolute truths from the reality of the world as it is.

    Your short discourse on the limitation of logic may finally be beginning to connect a little. If I understand you correctly (and I believe the thought goes all the way back to Aristotle), in logic, at some point you reach a question where a priori knowledge must answer the question of why with, "Well, just because."

    I would certainly agree with you that my understanding of postmodern thinking is far from complete, but I can also say that I don't think anyone could possibly fully understand and accurately predict how unstructured PMT can positively or negatively affect any aspect of life -- science, social structure, morals, religion, etc., etc., etc.

    Modernism does not insist on thinking inside the box, it merely says the conclusion must agree with what actually is. Modernist thinking would immediately reject the idea of a square circle as being illogical and contrary to reality.

    Postmodern thinking would say, well, now wait a minute here, maybe it if we take a little off this corner and add some to that side, we might end up with something. They would do so and then claim victory even they they have ended up with neither a square nor a circle.

    Postmodernist views are not always absolutely false any more than modernist views are always absolutely true. However, the likelyhood is that postmodernism is not going to come to a rational, useable solution to a question without reverting to some degree of modernism.

    I do not particularly disagree with what appears to be your mindset toward postmodernism, especially as it might be applied to a hard somewhat exacting science. Modernism loves the structure of Newtonian physics but cringes at the chaos of quantum physics. Is there a place in physics for both these ways of looking at things? You would know far better than me.

    However, as one moves into the less exacting structures of soft science and the humanities and the arts and religion, postmodernism cannot be as easily thwarted.

    If you saw the Pew poll that was released Monday ( http://pewresearch.org/pubs/876/reli...erica-part-two ), you can see how the line between what people say they believe and what they actually believe is almost disappearing. How can 21 percent of atheists believe in God? This is the silliness of postmodern thinking. How can evangelical Christians agree there is more than one way to heaven?
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  70. #69  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,079
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If you saw the Pew poll that was released Monday ( http://pewresearch.org/pubs/876/reli...erica-part-two ), you can see how the line between what people say they believe and what they actually believe is almost disappearing. How can 21 percent of atheists believe in God? This is the silliness of postmodern thinking. How can evangelical Christians agree there is more than one way to heaven?
    Apologies in advance for jumping in here. This poll was particularly intriguing. Does it really mean that atheists believe in God, or does it mean that believers have different definitions of the word atheist. One could imagine that for some, whose notion of God is vague, atheism may mean 'without religion' or 'without acceptance of the rule of God over one's life' or etc. Likewise 'way to heaven' could mean different things, as I am sure there are many 'ways' to be born again (using this as a frame of reference that I assume you are more familiar with than I) or 'ways' to experience God or....

    The idea that there is some consistent core (some divine presence) between all these ways is not precluded by the notion that there are different flavours of connecting with that core.

    It seems likely to me that what appears to be a contradiction in these ideas is merely differences in definitions of words (atheist) and ideas (way to heaven.) certainly to my way of thinking the notion that accepting Jesus as one's saviour as the only path to heaven seems a bit constrained. If it were that simple the bible surely would not need to be 66 books long!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  71. #70 Re: Is there a link between the worlds religions? 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    675
    Quote Originally Posted by manadude2
    Is there a link between them all?
    God began as master of all. He will end the same way.

    He owns all souls. We cannot unlink from Him. We are all destined for heaven.

    Regards
    DL
    Reply With Quote  
     

  72. #71  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Logic has a fundamental limitation in that it can only go from premises to conclusions, and so any rationality must necessarily depend on first principles which are not derived by any reason or logic. So the question is how are we going to respond to this fundamental limitation? If we pursue a skeptical program of continually suspending belief in the premises that are the basis of meaning in human existence then it is inevitable that we will have a rationality that is devoid of meaning for human existence. This is what I am calling excessive rationality and this is what I think characterizes post-modern thought.

    But this is certainly not the only way of responding to the limitation of rationality. If one starts with the pursuit of meaningfulness as ones goal then that by itself can motivate the acceptance of first principles upon which to base ones rationality. This can hardly be case for the methodology of post-modernism for it has come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as meaning.
    Your short discourse on the limitation of logic may finally be beginning to connect a little. If I understand you correctly (and I believe the thought goes all the way back to Aristotle), in logic, at some point you reach a question where a priori knowledge must answer the question of why with, "Well, just because."
    To expand slightly on this, we can look at PMT's claim that there is no such thing as meaning and remove the excessive rationality to realize that what is really being claimed is that there is something fundamentally irrational (or subjective) about "meaning". The question therefore becomes whether we are going to cling to a meaningless objective rationality or accept/embrace the limits rationality to seek meaning in the irreducibly subjective aspects of human existence.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Geeze, Mitchell, can't you see that your minor alteration of the statement remains an absolute absurd oxymoron. Do you agree with the statement? I hope not. Do I agree with this statement? Absolutely not.

    If there is there is no such thing as abosolute objective truth, then the statement is absolutely false. In order to be true, it would have to be absolutely objectively true, but there is no objective proof of the statement, so it cannot be true. And if the statement were shown to be absolute objective truth, then the statement would be false because it would be an absolute objective truth which it claims does not exist.
    Sorry it appears I do need to be more specific. I believe that PMT is derived from the impoverished foundations of logical positivism and "philosophy of language" and their denunciation of the meaningfulness of metaphsyics (the study of the nature of reality). Therefore denial of "absolute objective truth" refers to this context - that is truth about reality and in particular the kind of truth claims found in religion. That kind of truth. There is no repudiation of truth value as is applied to statements or in its role in assuring consistency both in the use of language and in matching what is empirically observed. The point here is the PMT is an extention of logical positivism in making the subject of rational philosophy not about reality but about human language.

    Do I agree with this? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Metaphysics is one of my most central interests and I heap ridicule upon this attitude of logical positivism as one of cowardice in the face of the difficulties presented by modern physics.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    In a practical application: Is it true that the earth revolves around the sun? Absolutely. That is an absolute truth which disassociates the PMT claim that there are no absolute truths from the reality of the world as it is.
    See now what the post-modernist is going to say is that the language is filled with antiquated metaphysical references that have no real meaning and only confuse and distract us from the real truth of these statements which are all about empirical observations.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I do not particularly disagree with what appears to be your mindset toward postmodernism, especially as it might be applied to a hard somewhat exacting science. Modernism loves the structure of Newtonian physics but cringes at the chaos of quantum physics. Is there a place in physics for both these ways of looking at things? You would know far better than me.

    However, as one moves into the less exacting structures of soft science and the humanities and the arts and religion, postmodernism cannot be as easily thwarted.
    Whereas one can be somewhat optimistic (vainly hopeful to tell the truth) about reducing the hard sciences to the mathematical relationships between quantitative measurements, where all the metaphysical assumptions of human language are removed, the same cannot be said so well of the softer sciences, for when the observer is part of what is being studied, the observer-removing (objectifying) methodology of modern science becomes far less useful.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If you saw the Pew poll that was released Monday ( http://pewresearch.org/pubs/876/reli...erica-part-two ), you can see how the line between what people say they believe and what they actually believe is almost disappearing. How can 21 percent of atheists believe in God?
    They don't. The 21% was a measure of the percentage of atheists answering questions about their conception of God, and only 18% of these had conceptions of God as either personal or as an impersonal force. I have quite often found that atheists have a definite idea of God even though they dont believe God exists, so this is no surprise to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    This is the silliness of postmodern thinking. How can evangelical Christians agree there is more than one way to heaven?
    I think the answer to this may partly be found in the details of how the poll is conducted. What were the questions that they were asked and who are they calling evangelical Christians. One thing I found out in the Vinyard conference in Ft Collins is that some evangelicals are moving away from the idea of making a church a private place where Christians are comfortable to a place where everyone is comfortable. This could very well mean that some of the people they are calling evangelical christians are no such thing.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  73. #72  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    33
    The connection between all religions is simple. It's an unjustifiable attempt to rationalize the currently unexplainable phenomena on a supernatural being. In doing so, man can control other men and be master of his universe in so far as more knowledge isn't accumulated against his theology.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  74. #73  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    Daytonturner wrote:
    prasit gets more direct:

    It would be clearer if you can give an example that Postmodernism show preference on individual interpretation. May be something from Dawkins?
    I think this was written hurriedly or something because it is not quite clear as to what you want clarified. It sounds like you want me to find an example where individual preference causes an impractical or impossible interpretation of something.
    I ask for an example because it will help me understand the difference between Modernism and Post-modernism.
    I mentioned Dawkins for an example because earlier you wrote
    Post-modernism seems to be the mindset of the sect of Dawkinschism.
    So if you don't have any specific example that Dawkins expressed his post-modernism thinking, then any post-modernist's example can do.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  75. #74  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    prasit: If you go to the "Why do Christians. . ." thread, I have been arguing against some postmodern thinking there.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  76. #75  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    Sorry, it takes too much time to read all you responses in the mentioned thread and decide which part is the answer to my question. (And it can be the wrong part)
    Admittedly, my interest in this topic is not strong enough to do the research. If you do not give an example in this thread I would rather just forget it.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  77. #76  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Beautiful Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,116
    OK, prasit, I will make an attempt. One thing i have noticed here of late is that there are a lot of people talking about issues and it becomes obvious from their statements that they have not really done much study in the area of their comments. I find this especially true of the non-religious elements. To your credit, you have not done that on this topic.

    Hopefully, I will not break my arm patting myself on the back, but when people here have offered ideas and concepts which are foreign to me, I do go out and look for information. I try to find articles and material which support and others which detract from the ideas presented.

    Before I can give examples, I must first contrast modernism from postmodernism although it would take many, many posts to deal with all the applications and permeations of postmodernism and how it applies to the many disciplines of study. So I will just be looking a couple of them where I can find examples in this forum.

    One aspect of portmodernism is that when a communication is on the table, the important thing is what it means to the recipient as opposed to what the presenter of the communication intended. The modernist, in contrast, would look at the communication and attempt to figure out what the presenter is actually trying to communicate. In the postmodern way of viewing a communication, the recipient is allowed to determine what the communicator meant by means of the recipients own experience and mind set. It is not necessary that the recipient interpret the communication as what the communicator intended.

    A recent example of this was a poster who railed against the immorality of some of the activities of the Israelite military activities when they went into the holy land and went through a process which we might call ethnic cleansing. In our culture, this is an improper tactic; in their culture this was a common practice almost a necessity for survival when you were taking over someone else's territory. If they didn't leave, you got rid of them. This person was judging a 4,000 year old culture by his 21st century moral standards. He was superimposing his own moral standard on a people who lived in a world far different from ours and who were not subject to that moral standard.

    Another aspect of postmodernism is something of an abandonment of the necessity for truth to be based on logic. Modernism operates from the idea that truth is validiated when an idea corresponds to reality. That is, it must be logical and line up with the real world.

    A number of posts on the other thread had this at the base of their argument as to why they do not believe in God and why others should not either:

    First there was a series of claims of immoral acts (as above) perpetrated by God and a conclusion that if God exists he would not do that and therefore the Bible is a work of fiction. What they are saying when boiled down to the core of their argument is this: The Bible is a lie; I don't believe in God and no one else should because the Bible says . . .
    So what they are doing is expressing an idea which they have based on what they consider a lie. This is not logical, a lie cannot support a truth in any circumstance of logic. Whatever the Bible says, here remains controversy over the veracity of the stories there, so whatever claim you make (pro or con) cannot be aligned to the world as it is and thus cannot be confirmed as truth.

    A tactic employed by postmodernism is to ignore the actual communication and react to the communicator. If you have been reading many of these threads wherein (Q) has posted, I can think of no better example of this tactic. He never addresses the actual content of anyone's post but reacts to the poster on a personal level.

    My purpose is not intended as a catagorical total condemnation of all postmodernism; I even catch myself slipping into postmodern mindset on occasion. Postmodernism does have its useful and appropriate applications although I suspect they are miniscule in number when compare to inappropriate applications where error results.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
    Reply With Quote  
     

  78. #77  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    716
    Thanks Daytonturner for putting an effort to show an example for me.
    I now see that the issue concerned is typically a man-made concept e.g. good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral. In this I can see why the post-modernist can make up his own mind to judge what is right and what is wrong. And you can not say that he is wrong unless you and he agrees on the judging criteria.

    But what you and Q were/are/will be arguing is not about man-made concept. It is something that can have evidence supporting or disprove it. For example, if you say 'God created the first man directly from a ball of clay', then later evidence of Cromagnon and Neanderthal fossil may will make other alternative more credible.

    I think the basic assumption that cannot be reconciled between Atheist and Theist is this: Atheist believes that if something cannot be observed at all either directly or indirectly, then there is no point to believe that the something exist. But Theist believes that there are more thing beyond the realm of physical observation, so arguing its (His) existence by looking for physical evidence is not valid.
    If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism
    -Albert Einstein
    Reply With Quote  
     

  79. #78  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,245
    This person was judging a 4,000 year old culture by his 21st century moral standards. He was superimposing his own moral standard on a people who lived in a world far different from ours and who were not subject to that moral standard.
    I am afraid it is a bit more complicated than that. Would you agree that what you, me and our "enlightened" western contemporaries can agree on as a good moral set, is superior to the prevailing idea of morals and norms of the mentioned 4000 YO culture? I hope you don't cite necessity or something similar as a rationalization of the common prevailing underdeveloped moral set of those people? Anyway, if you agree that our moral set is superior, "enlightened", and originating out of an attempt at empathy, understanding and “do unto others…”, that is where the trouble comes in. Why would a timeless, infinitely wise God not enforce our developed moral set back in the day? And there is no (to my knowledge) explanation for this in the bible or other religious texts. The enforced moral set simply changes with the times and with the prevailing worldview of each culture (similarly in geographically and religiously removed cultures I might add).

    The moral differences of these time-separated cultures are evident and beyond contention. No explanation is given. So your rationalization that God adjusts Himself to the prevailing norms/morals of cultures is one demanded by necessity. Your point about the postmodernist fallacy is valid, but only in the absence of a Godly influence. God adjusting to humans negates his authority, don’t you think? According to your rationalization, He amends his requirements according to the needs of the religious/political leaders of the time, something that would undeniably happen in a case where the religious/political leaders need a powerful tool to enforce their own brand of morals and ideals on a deeply religious following, namely God’s will. The only way to get around this would be to resort to common sidestepping; “I do not presume to question God’s will”, “You can’t judge them by our morals”, “I believe God inspired all the events credited to His will in the bible”, etc. When you get down to it a leap of faith is the only thing that can get rid of the fundamental question mark of a God’s existence.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  80. #79  
    Forum Freshman portcontrol7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    portcontrol7,

    LOL LOL LOL LOL

    "educated master"

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    "I will rip your faith to pieces logically and by the foundation"

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL (tears of laughter)

    Me thinks I hear a Dawkinian. Did not Dawkins boast like this about his book? But where Dawkins failed, portcontrol7 is going to succeed!!!

    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    I am sorry. LOL ... LOL ... LOL

    You really aren't up to the challenge of a little sparing are you.

    Sigh... I guess I shall have to stop picking on you and leave you to carry on your tantrum alone.
    I have no idea what boasts Dawkins made about his The God Delusion, I enjoyed it though for the most part.

    "Picking on me"? Please... You flatter yourself. You fail to define your specific religious beliefs, so I have your geographical location to make an assumption on it, or perhaps the fact that your religion would have to be very vague to escape scrutiny. You can laugh if only because you fail to define yourself. I can think of a few reasons why, but I won't provide them, lets keep things nice and ephemeral. One insight can be made when no facts are presented, that the opponents argument either holds no weight, or he is an ass.

    How do supernatural physics work exactly Mitchell? Nevermind, argument for arguments sake gets us nowhere. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to decipher my tablets on how Jesus was born in America, and African Americans have been darkened because of a punishment by God. Hit? Miss?

    Perhaps I took the wrong approach to corresponding with you Mitchell. Allow me to speak what may be your language (remember this is only a theory, not gospel truth!):

    I don't have to deliver any facts to support my posts, because I didn't even write them! I met an angel that delivered emails to me from heaven, and he informed me that I should speak to you and offer you the glorious hope of rational thought. But of course that was several days ago, now I'm speaking to you as myself. And please understand the above posts as metaphor and allegory! The point is that the message of rational thought is true, and it loves you Mitchell!

    Ugh...
    http://sites.google.com/site/portcon...me/bobtiny.JPG

    http://theleapinthedark.blogspot.com

    "The most monstrous effect of the indoctrination of the young by religion, is not that they are mislead, but are trained to mislead themselves." - Me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  81. #80  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA
    Posts
    3,112
    Hmmmm....

    pc7 has calmed down a bit. The incoherent screaming of a tantrum, has been reduced to babbling about things he imagines people saying (like this nonsense about supernatural physics and angels delivering emails... whew!) and this pretending that he is interested in other people's religious beliefs. LOL LOL LOL

    Oh well, perhaps if I continue to wait, he will actually find sanity and attempt a rational conversation or take his ravings elsewhere. On the other hand, he might join the other delusional pseudo-physicists in the physics section and start inflicting us with his supernatural physics nonsense.


    As for mormonism? All misses. I was born in Salt Lake City, at the LDS Hospital for some reason, and yet there is not a single mormon in my family tree and only one ex-mormon who married into the family, but to whom I have no blood connection. Utah has always had a non-Mormon population. Perhaps it is a difficulty in understanding why people would want to live in their shadow that makes it hard for others to realize the existence of this population. But there are reasons to love Utah in spite of the Mormons, and some of us even give some credit to the Mormons for some contribution to making this a nice place to live.

    My best friends growing up here have been and still are Mormon and yet the Mormon religion has never appealed to me. It takes an authoritarian approach to the gospel and Chrisitanity that I find quite appalling. The Jesus I read about in the their gospel of 3rd Nephi of the Book of Mormon does have the same personality as the Jesus that I know from the gospels in the New Testament, but was clearly written by some one obsessed with the authority and desiring to write a sanitized version of the gospel that would support a particular persons religious ideas.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
    Reply With Quote  
     

  82. #81  
    (Q)
    (Q) is offline
    Forum Isotope (Q)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,650
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    (Q) asked:

    how you studied all the religions and came to the rational and reasonable conclusion to begin worshiping one
    The search was about the same as my search through all the countries of the world before deciding to live in the U.S. It is where I started, and after looking at what other countries have to offer, I have no desire to move to a different one. Christianity is the religion I accepted and after looking at what the others have to offer, I have no desire to move to a different one.
    So, you were born into Christianityh and believed everything your parents and clergy said to you and never looked once at any other religion.

    It's called indoctrination, Dayton.
    Religious Fundamentalist Club - Member #1.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •