Debate and Discussion

Representing God
Tantz Aerine at 11:02AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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This is not a thread I am making in order to have people gripe about God again. It's mostly an issue of logic and common sense.

Throughout many debates I have seen people attacking God in several levels and for several things, but I have never actually seen them attacking priests. I mean, just the institution of religion, not the concept of God itself.

I don't just mean Christian priests, but actually all sorts of clergy, from the pagan ones to the ones of the monotheistic religions.

Why does everyone assume that because one fellow claims he/she represents God and God's truth, everyone instantly accepts it as a given and begins then to gripe and attack god based on what that fellow said? (especially after continual, consistent and repetitive proof that the clergy have more often than not served their own vested interests rather than God's in any form)

Why do we blindly accept what this priest and that priest says as the actual thing God would like humans to know, and question God, rather than asking first and primarily for that fellow to prove he/she is truly representing God and His Commandments (whatever those may be), with whatever hard scientific evidence you may like?

And why do we assume that God would seek to back up all these fellows, if they do not represent Him? Why do we even assume that God would NEED any representing committee when He (or She) is actually omnipresent and omnipotent, and therefore can communicate with anyone directly?

It does seem to me that everyone is willing to play puppets rather than look for the actual thing- or allows him/herself to just look at the puppets, then correctly realise they are way off, and then falsely generalise that since the puppets are not real, then God also must not be.

Anyway, this is not a thread about whether God exists- please, for the sake of debate, do NOT jack it to become one of those again. This is a question about why and how we choose to question and doubt, and what it means.

It does seem to me that we accept more the authority of the clergy, in whatever religion, rather than the authority of the one they clergy is supposed to represent.

Thoughts?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:19AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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I think the frustration comes in that God and religion is unassailable, and so when caught doing bad things, Catholic Priests hide behind this whole “God” thing.

The lack of internal policing combined with the rejection of secular policing, and demanding special dispensations for being “religious” is annoying to secularists, who would like to see justice served.

Its interesting that no Church Groups went after Vitter for saying “God forgives me” for engaging in prostitution, while according to the law, Vitter should step down from the Senate.

There's tons of examples.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
TnTComic at 11:29AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Without people to spread the word, there is no God. That's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Tantz Aerine at 11:39AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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That is very interesting, mapaghimagsik. I was not aware of that case about this Vitter.

It is pretty interesting though that if someone who does not have some (quite secular) position of power claims ‘God forgives me’ nobody takes him/her into consideration.


As for people spreading the word, TNT, I would agree but for the fact that the concept of God seems to exist within every culture, and even very unorganized groups of people. So spreading the word is not it, is it?

And it still does not account for why someone wearing some weird outfit is more valid about God than anyone else who is dressed in the more mainstream fashion of a given culture. At least in modernity it seems to be the case. Because I have noticed that everyone who is not a priest or a scientist (who could be argued is another kind of preacher, especially when putting up theories) is not given credit when they claim to know anything about God- or His nature/wishes/commands.

Sounds like secular authority is the one that is determining everything. Or not?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
TnTComic at 11:48AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Well, a priest has certainly studied the religion more than the parish, usually.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Tantz Aerine at 11:56AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Yes but still that does not give him the right to call himself an interpretor or the representative of God. There is nothing to actually grant him that status except a self proclaimed ritual/declaration that somehow everyone else accepts.

And is it right for the parish not to be as studied as the priest?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
TnTComic at 12:07PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
There is nothing to actually grant him that status except a self proclaimed ritual/declaration that somehow everyone else accepts.

That's how organized religion works, Tantz. How organized anything works, really. You can call yourself a king if you want, but if no one else accepts it, you're not really a king, are you?

Tantz Aerine
And is it right for the parish not to be as studied as the priest?

Is it right for the student not to be as studied as the teacher?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM
Tantz Aerine at 12:15PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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TnTComic
That's how organized religion works, Tantz. How organized anything works, really. You can call yourself a king if you want, but if no one else accepts it, you're not really a king, are you?

Quite right. And I could go on a lot about whether the whole group accepting a king is at all sane, but that is not the issue. The issue is, why does anyone want to accept organised religion? And on what grounds does everyone accept it as valid enough to then take that organized religion's words and actions and blame God for it, as if He had somehow validated their claim?

At least a King (initially) validates his claim by threatening to put to the sword everyone who does not accept him, correct?


Is it right for the student not to be as studied as the teacher?

Ah, but is this the same case here? If a student is not up to standard, the teacher has to answer for it (in the proper educational system, anyway). If a parish member is not up to standard, the priest won't burn in hell for him/her, the parish member will. At least that is what is being preached.

So why rely on someone whose bottom is NOT on the line for whether you fail your tests or not? And on what grounds do you accept this person to be proper instructor? A teacher has degrees to show for his claim to the position.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
Kilre at 12:53PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
It does seem to me that we accept more the authority of the clergy, in whatever religion, rather than the authority of the one they clergy is supposed to represent.

Thoughts?


The clergy are there for a–hopefully–good reason. They're there to provide the way for the masses. People would rather follow than lead; leading takes effort, and who, in this day and age, likes to put out effort if there's little gain?

If someone comes along with a leadership plan, and a voice that spouts words that a few people will like, those few people will pull in others and start the mob–er, congregation.

It's a small wonder that things like political parties and parishes get a strong following: the clergy/leaders are doing the thinking, rather than the masses following them.

A person is smart; together, people are stupid, impressionable idiots.

Whether or not the clergy speak for a higher power doesn't matter, so long as the people listening to the sermons/speeches don't have to think too much about it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Tantz Aerine at 1:17PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Sounds like everyone is falling pray to this condition.

However, when all fails, the people do not blame the leaders or the priests. They blame God.

That's convenient, isn't it? It is also ironic, because all this following and non-thought makes people assume things, which could be very far from the actual truth. So who can say if God is NOT what all these priests (conveniently) present him to be, and allows all this situation to occur until people decide to grow a spine and try to seek out the truth for themselves?

What I am saying is, this society has managed to grow an expert system where everyone throws blame around but nobody actually shoulders it- except God.

And maybe the occasional state.

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
bobhhh at 2:12PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
Sounds like everyone is falling pray to this condition.

However, when all fails, the people do not blame the leaders or the priests. They blame God.

That's convenient, isn't it? It is also ironic, because all this following and non-thought makes people assume things, which could be very far from the actual truth. So who can say if God is NOT what all these priests (conveniently) present him to be, and allows all this situation to occur until people decide to grow a spine and try to seek out the truth for themselves?

What I am saying is, this society has managed to grow an expert system where everyone throws blame around but nobody actually shoulders it- except God.

And maybe the occasional state.



I have a great respect for many priests i know, almost without question they are moral and well meaning.

It's the power brokers, the cardinals, archbisops and church heads who are invariably megalomaniacs who care little for the tennets of their own religion.

Being raised Christian, i still have a great deal of affection for Jesus. It would be nice if we all behaved that way toward each other. But Christians are often a different animal.

Many profess to speak for god and carry a spear in his name. These people read what they want ot out of the bible or koran…etc. They Ignore the noble intent of religion and useit as yet another political tool to divide and conquer.

To me they are disgusting, especially when they profess to hold up Jesus as their inspiration.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
DAJB at 3:02PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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"There's no religion
You did that …
It helps to keep religious leaders fat …"


Excerpt from a great little song just called “God” (I think). Most of the lines begin with “God said to me …” It was on the first solo album by Ian Hunter (of Mott the Hoople fame, for those who are old enough for that to mean anything!)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Mister Mxyzptlk at 4:38PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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DAJB
Excerpt from a great little song just called “God”

I prefer “Dear God”

Dear god,
Hope you got the letter,
And I pray you can make it better down here.
I dont mean a big reduction in the price of beer,
But all the people that you made in your image,
See them starving on their feet,
cause they dont get enough to eat

From god,
I cant believe in you.

Dear god,
Sorry to disturb you,
But I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears,
And all the people that you made in your image,
See them fighting in the street,
cause they cant make opinions meet,
About god,
I cant believe in you.

Did you make disease, and the diamond blue?
Did you make mankind after we made you?
And the devil too!

Dear god,
Dont know if you noticed,
But your name is on a lot of quotes in this book.
Us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look,
And all the people that you made in your image,
Still believing that junk is true.
Well I know it aint and so do you,
Dear god,
I cant believe in,
I dont believe in,

I wont believe in heaven and hell.
No saints, no sinners,
No devil as well.
No pearly gates, no thorny crown.
Youre always letting us humans down.
The wars you bring, the babes you drown.
Those lost at sea and never found,
And its the same the whole world round.
The hurt I see helps to compound,
That the father, son and holy ghost,
Is just somebodys unholy hoax,
And if youre up there youll perceive,
That my hearts here upon my sleeve.
If theres one thing I dont believe in…

Its you,
Dear god.
My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
Gordon CSA at 5:03PM, Dec. 5, 2007
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It appears part of your point, Tantz Aerine, is to seperate the actions of the priests from the actions (ways? intentions?) of god. While that is often a good thing to do, per various examples given, what are you left with? Everything, down to the bible, could be considered actions of the priests. (Not trying to start a who wrote the bible argument, but I'm going on the basic premise that at least parts of it weren't the literal word) Your left with a very simple belief. Pretty much the words of Jesus, (and even those have been garbled throughout the centuries.) Most of organised religion as it is could be thrown out the window.
Now I realize that isn't excactly what you meant, but I'm following a logical conclusion path (as I often seem wont to do :P ).
Circle Stone Aviator
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
arteestx at 6:59AM, Dec. 6, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
Throughout many debates I have seen people attacking God in several levels and for several things, but I have never actually seen them attacking priests….

Why does everyone assume that because one fellow claims he/she represents God and God's truth, everyone instantly accepts it as a given and begins then to gripe and attack god based on what that fellow said?…

Why do we blindly accept what this priest and that priest says as the actual thing God would like humans to know, and question God, rather than asking first and primarily for that fellow to prove he/she is truly representing God and His Commandments (whatever those may be), with whatever hard scientific evidence you may like? …

This is a question about why and how we choose to question and doubt, and what it means.
First of all, I have seen folks criticize and attack molesting priests, Fred Phelps, and a host of others who claim to speak for God.

I think the reason, though, that the “nutcase that speaks for God” thought keeps popping up is that it's difficult to discuss God outside of personal experiences. Some people experience God through prayer and feel comfort. Some people experience God as a voice and are called to do compassionate works. Some people experience God as an ideal or principle to be followed. And then some nutcase people experience God as a voice telling them to do questionable (to be charitable) actions.

But where do you draw the line? Sure, we can put the nutcase in jail for his/her actions and let other believers go on about their lives who do good or no harm. And I daresay that those who hear God telling them to do immoral things probably have some deeper psychological issues (but I have no psych experience, so that's only a guess on my part). But delusional behavior can be a slippery slope.

If someone were to pray to the Cookie Monster and seek forgiveness, we would think that person is crazy. For athiests and agnostics, praying to God isn't much different. And the nutcases tend to be an extreme example as part of the “is God a delusion” discussion. I'm not trying to drift off into a discussion about the existence of God. Rather, I'm just saying why there are discussions where “nutcases speaking for God” becomes an attack on God, and not as much on the nutcase. That's my take.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 7:22AM, Dec. 6, 2007
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Mister Mxyzptlk
I prefer “Dear God”
Ah, the classic by XTC. I waited for weeks to get that as well as their other greats on the best of “Fossil Fuel” album when those tracks were released on it in the mid nineties. Great songs. Although my fave will always be “senses working overtime”.

The tone of “Dear God” song always struck me as being petulant in tone though, more than anything else. But it does sound great! :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
Mister Mxyzptlk at 8:08AM, Dec. 6, 2007
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“Mankind will only really be free, once the last king was strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” - R. Heinlein.
My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
ozoneocean at 8:16AM, Dec. 6, 2007
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Heinlein also seemed to have a fascination for the idea of military service as well as incest. He's a bit of a nutty guy to quote. But a brilliant writer!

-I mean, what is he saying that men are “free” to do? Mary their mothers? o_O
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
Tantz Aerine at 10:18AM, Dec. 6, 2007
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arteestx
If someone were to pray to the Cookie Monster and seek forgiveness, we would think that person is crazy. For athiests and agnostics, praying to God isn't much different. And the nutcases tend to be an extreme example as part of the “is God a delusion” discussion. I'm not trying to drift off into a discussion about the existence of God. Rather, I'm just saying why there are discussions where “nutcases speaking for God” becomes an attack on God, and not as much on the nutcase. That's my take.

Yes, but when the nutcase speaks for the Cookie Monster, nobody blames the Cookie Monster for anything. Everyone blames the nutcase/manipulator/what have you. However this is not the case with God.

When we truly believe that something is a delusion, we do not attack the delusion but the one who has it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
mapaghimagsik at 10:56AM, Dec. 6, 2007
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ozoneocean
Heinlein also seemed to have a fascination for the idea of military service as well as incest. He's a bit of a nutty guy to quote. But a brilliant writer!

-I mean, what is he saying that men are “free” to do? Mary their mothers? o_O

He is a brilliant writer, and also the Libertarian love child with “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” which really had the message that Libertarianism works, provided your computer rises up to shake off its Earthly Oppressor, then goes away once the battle is won.

Still, its one of my favorite books.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
bobhhh at 1:34PM, Dec. 6, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
ozoneocean
Heinlein also seemed to have a fascination for the idea of military service as well as incest. He's a bit of a nutty guy to quote. But a brilliant writer!

-I mean, what is he saying that men are “free” to do? Mary their mothers? o_O

He is a brilliant writer, and also the Libertarian love child with “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” which really had the message that Libertarianism works, provided your computer rises up to shake off its Earthly Oppressor, then goes away once the battle is won.

Still, its one of my favorite books.

Taanstaafl!
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
arteestx at 1:52PM, Dec. 6, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
Yes, but when the nutcase speaks for the Cookie Monster, nobody blames the Cookie Monster for anything. Everyone blames the nutcase/manipulator/what have you. However this is not the case with God.

When we truly believe that something is a delusion, we do not attack the delusion but the one who has it.
Only because it'd be an isolated person who prays to the Cookie Monster, so of course that person is a crackpot. If an entire religion were created, and thousands upon millions were praying to the Cookie Monster*, then there'd be plenty of people saying there is no Cookie Monster and attacking the focus of the delusion.


*please turn to your hymnal, number 234… C is for cookie, that's good enough for meeeee…..

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
ozoneocean at 2:27PM, Dec. 6, 2007
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bobhhh
mapaghimagsik
ozoneocean
Heinlein also seemed to have a fascination for the idea of military service as well as incest. He's a bit of a nutty guy to quote. But a brilliant writer!

-I mean, what is he saying that men are “free” to do? Mary their mothers? o_O
He is a brilliant writer, and also the Libertarian love child with “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” which really had the message that Libertarianism works, provided your computer rises up to shake off its Earthly Oppressor, then goes away once the battle is won.

Still, its one of my favorite books.
Taanstaafl!
Hahaha, a good writer indeed. I love his scenarios and style.
-Taanstaafl is at the heart of his libitarianisim and I don't agree with that. Ah, but that's another debate and I'm messing up this one enough already :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:29PM
Tantz Aerine at 2:30PM, Dec. 6, 2007
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That is not true.

Say that the fans of a team (and in several sports teams the fans act in a pretty similar way to the religious followers) go out and trash a hotel, or several cars which are painted in the opposite team's colour, the team is NOT the one who gets blamed, but the team's followers and maybe the leaders. And even if the team is blamed (which I would be very surprised to find out) the sport is never blemished or blamed for the violence it gave rise to. Does it?

Do you understand? It is ONLY when it is about God. Nothing else. In all other cases where there are followers involved, the blame for the actions of the followers (and their leaders) falls upon them and not the concept they represent.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
arteestx at 6:34PM, Dec. 6, 2007
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Tantz Aerine
Do you understand? It is ONLY when it is about God. Nothing else. In all other cases where there are followers involved, the blame for the actions of the followers (and their leaders) falls upon them and not the concept they represent.
Ah, then on this point I very much disagree. If I had a nickel for every time video games were blamed for teen violence, rap music was blamed for urban violence, Marilyn Manson was blamed for teen suicide, Dungeons and Dragons were blamed for teen violence (for you history buffs), and so on and so on, I'd be a wealthy person. Those concepts get blamed all the time for the actions of their followers, and the latest concept causing the downfall of humanity seems to arrive every few years. I don't think it's ONLY about God.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Tantz Aerine at 7:22AM, Dec. 7, 2007
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I can see what you mean, and at first glance you sound correct. However, it is not a direct analogy. Actually, if you think about it, the concept again is not blamed for what its followers do. A video game is not a concept that defines a youth's lifestyle and/or outlook. Actually a video game is the manifestation of a concept, a product of it, if you like but definitely not the concept. Violence is a concept, which a game uses, or Racism, or War, or Espionage or what have you. But War is not blamed, Violence is not blamed and Espionage is not blamed. THe computer game is. In essence the concept computer games represent goes untapped where computer games are condemned, unlike the case is with priests, who are the ones that go untapped while God is blamed. It is the exact reverse thing.

Also, perhaps aside Merilyn Manson (lol!) I think in these examples you presented that one does not engage in behaviors parallel to that of worship and life style like the case is with religion, sports and politics.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
mapaghimagsik at 3:38PM, Dec. 7, 2007
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According to Mitt Romney, atheists aren't even Americans.
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bobhhh at 3:51PM, Dec. 7, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
According to Mitt Romney, atheists aren't even Americans.

Mitt Romney believes God is from another planet where everyone who is a mormon graduates to god and gets his own planet to be god at upon graduation. Just as we today can die and become gods if we are good white mormons.

Yes white!! Up until 1978, he believed that black people were cursed, could serve as ministers and couldn't get a planet to be god of when they died.

click here

This ranks up there with tales of Xenu and NOI.

Can't make this shit up!!
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Mister Mxyzptlk at 4:35PM, Dec. 7, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
According to Mitt Romney, atheists aren't even Americans.

Him and Bush Sr…

But then, to be disliked by the Bush family is something to be proud of.
My soul was removed to make room for all this sarcasm.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:04PM
mapaghimagsik at 4:36PM, Dec. 7, 2007
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bobhhh
mapaghimagsik
According to Mitt Romney, atheists aren't even Americans.

Mitt Romney believes God is from another planet where everyone who is a mormon graduates to god and gets his own planet to be god at upon graduation. Just as we today can die and become gods if we are good white mormons.

Yes white!! Up until 1978, he believed that black people were cursed, could serve as ministers and couldn't get a planet to be god of when they died.

click here

This ranks up there with tales of Xenu and NOI.

Can't make this shit up!!


Mitt cried with joy when God told the Mormons in 1958 that dark skin was no longer a sign of divine dis-favor.

yoiks.

*edit* I totally screwed this up, and had “favor” instead of “dis-favor”. Fixed, now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM

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