Debate and Discussion

What is the point...
Tantz Aerine at 8:34AM, March 22, 2009
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StaceyMontgomery
Tantz Aerine
And to add a little to isukun's post, let me say that Judaism does not require faith, but rather a daily code of conduct from the followers.

It seems to me that throughout history, a lot of religions have asked followers to obey various rules and laws, but not asked for any form of faith. Faith is not a universally recognized virtue, I don't think.

Hmmm… that's debatable I guess and depends on how you define faith, I'd say. After all following the rules stipulated by any religion/ social system/ belief system means you have faith that they work, for whatever reason.

Depends on what one means by faith. But especially in the case of Judaism, it is basically best defined as ‘being a good Jew’, the way it has been explained to me by Jews. So being a good Jew requires following specific rules and doing the mitzvahs, but you can be the perfect Jew and not believe that God exists. That can't happen in Christianity, for example. Though how you prove you believe in God while being of Christian faith, is a completely different matter which is always misrepresented and glossed over by the established clergy (regardless of denomination) and established religion.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
Tantz Aerine at 8:45AM, March 22, 2009
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megan_rose
I must say, though, I envy people with strong faith. To have such strong convictions, to show without a shadow of a doubt that you are right and everyone else is wrong,

I have to say on this that people with strong faith don't have this element of constantly antagonising everyone else who is on their own path of discovery of the truth of the cosmos, existence or God. People who are seeking to establish faith in their faith (ironic though it sounds) are the ones who keep racing to prove that they are right and everyone else is wrong, so that they can feel safe they have done well in choosing faith A or B or belief system A or B.

Those of strong faith believe that each individual will eventually reach what is best for that individual to believe so as to be the most functional in Existence, and therefore most useful to the cosmos, and God :) So you don't harpy on everyone trying to impose your faith. You let everyone find what best suits everyone else.

But to have strong faith, you have to go through sleepless nights of wondering, exactly as you described, megan :) Strong faith cannot have the hatred/ enmity and antagonism that manifests so often, or the politics and social-level power vaccums/ struggles at work under the pretext of religion.
 
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bravo1102 at 5:11AM, March 23, 2009
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The very definition of “faith” is knowing and believing with all your heart that you have the revealed Truth that is the only Truth to the exclusion of all others. YOu don't believe as I do so you are Wrong/heathen/pagan/heretic/infidel/damned/stupid. I've been looking at this since the 1980s and the spread of modern American fundmentalism. This definition of faith goes back through The Great Awakening, Calvin, Martin Luther, Thomas Aquineas, back to Saint Augustine and before him Paul and into the Old Testament and forward through those works based on that; The New Testament and the Koran.

The stronger the faith, the more certain this knowledge of being the only right is. Whether we speak of the patriot or of the religious zealot, it is the same faith. Either you have it or you don't and no amount of evidence can sway faith one way or the other. That is the nature of belief. It's defined that way in the theology of most Western Religions as well as the more theistic Eastern faiths. (e.g. Mahayana Buddhism)

Then there's science. When the evidence says so, you accept it because it's proven. When the evidence evolves and falsifys the original idea, that idea is discarded, not reverred because an authority said it is so. Newton's theory was replaced by Einstein's. Ptolemy's cosmology by Copernicus and then his assumptions changed by Kepler. Not Ptolemy reverred for all time because his was the oldest and fit best with our belief system and the accepted Word of God. Oh wait, Holy Mother Church did do that didn't they? As Galieo said after he recanted about the an earth moving about the sun: “Yet still it moves” Evidence, not authority.

That's what the agnostic desires; evidence. He/she doubts and does not believe without evidence that can only be taken on faith. He/she has not taken Pascal's Wager that it is easier to have faith because if you're wrong about not believing you're not damned.

If I am wrong I believe that the Deity would respect the choice I made since I am fallible. I didn't feel I had the evidence to believe. When it shows up I'll believe and by all that is holy if She doesn't keep trying to persaude me She exists. ;) (I personally prefer a female image of the Diety simply because She is so capricious, has such a sense of humor and the default sex in nature is female. Why would a diety do that if he was male?) I keep seeing Alannis Morrisette standing on her head. Or maybe I think about this too much. ;) After all, I am human and quite liable to being wrong and making mistakes. I think She'd take that into consideration, pat me on the head, judge me by my ethics and morals and embrace me as the good person I have striven to be ever since I pulled my head out of my arse. ;)
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isukun at 7:49AM, March 23, 2009
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That can't happen in Christianity, for example.

Actually, it can. There are factions of the Catholic church and various sects in Christianity that believe the actual belief in God is secondary to living a good life. If you live according to their rules, regardless of whether you believe in their God or not, God will still accept you into Heaven.Not all sects share this belief, but there are those that do.

Hmmm… that's debatable I guess and depends on how you define faith, I'd say. After all following the rules stipulated by any religion/ social system/ belief system means you have faith that they work, for whatever reason.

While one may argue that faith can be measured in how devote one is in following the rules, I find it really hard to accept that simply following the rules is a sign of faith. After all, I personally try to adhere to some degree to the Christian moral code because I think it is a fairly well thought out moral code that is a benefit to society, but I don't believe Jesus was the son of God. That kind of blows any chances I have of claiming to be a Christian.

With the example of the Jews, while other Jews may recognize their racial background for being devout, they wouldn't be true believers if they didn't have faith. Jews tend to follow their rules because they are a people chosen by God and their race gets certain perks for doing so. It really isn't a matter of lifestyle. Why bend over backwards for God if you don't feel you have to?

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Tantz Aerine at 7:54AM, March 23, 2009
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bravo1102
The very definition of “faith” is knowing and believing with all your heart that you have the revealed Truth that is the only Truth to the exclusion of all others. YOu don't believe as I do so you are Wrong/heathen/pagan/heretic/infidel/damned/stupid.

Faith does include knowing and believing with all your heart that you have revealed the Truth, to the exclusion of all others. That is correct.

BUT: Anyone who has strong faith (as opposed to insecure faith) will not spend energy trying to go ahead and make it reason for enmity, racism or other expressions of hostility. We attack only when we feel either: 1. threatened or 2. eager/ able to oppress someone else

Anyone with strong faith will acknowledge that there are many ways to reach this Truth, and as such how each person goes about the journey, INCLUDING the stage each person is in that journey is not to be attacked. Only facilitated and ONLY when this facilitation is invited by that other person.

Anything else is not true faith. It is just an excuse to badger someone else. Also, anyone with true faith will not stoop to calling someone else heathen/pagan/heretic/infidel/damned/stupid because for various reasons all these characterisations are by default unable to apply. If you want I can expand on that.

As for the ‘wrong’ part of the characterisation, yes, that may be said. It doesn't mean anything more or anything less though, since everyone calls everyone else ‘wrong’. The difference is that if a person with true faith is told he/she is wrong, they will not be offended, but rather intrigued and open to discussion. If someone who is not secure in their beliefs (regardless of what these beliefs are) is told he/she is wrong, you get an onslaught of various levels of ‘how dare you!’ remarks, along with invective and other adjective …decorations.

Going about the whole issue with airs of superiority though does not bode well for either party. We are all evolving and learning and striving for the Truth. Anyone who feels they have uncovered it all and know all there is to it is in a tough spot indeed.

I am not sure I have gotten across what I mean though. :/

(by the way, ascribing gender/sex to God is funny. :D And anyone's prerogative to think of God as a He or a She depending on what works best. ;) )
 
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Tantz Aerine at 8:13AM, March 23, 2009
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isukun
That can't happen in Christianity, for example.

Actually, it can. There are factions of the Catholic church and various sects in Christianity that believe the actual belief in God is secondary to living a good life. If you live according to their rules, regardless of whether you believe in their God or not, God will still accept you into Heaven.Not all sects share this belief, but there are those that do.

Hmmm. Those sects then would deviate not only from the New Testament in general, but from the actual Gospels which can be argued contain the core teaching. But if that is the case, then those factions are closer to Judaism than most others. Could you give me an example of such a faction?

After all, I personally try to adhere to some degree to the Christian moral code because I think it is a fairly well thought out moral code that is a benefit to society, but I don't believe Jesus was the son of God. That kind of blows any chances I have of claiming to be a Christian.

That is debatable. If you want to adhere to the Christian moral code and you believe in the Holy Spirit (as in the Divine Power, let's say), then you do qualify. I know there are a lot of factions, denominations, clergy and what have you that will definitely deny what I am saying, but it IS in the scripture. Jesus Himself said that paying lip service to His name means nothing if you don't adhere to the actual teaching and believe in it.

With the example of the Jews, while other Jews may recognize their racial background for being devout, they wouldn't be true believers if they didn't have faith. Jews tend to follow their rules because they are a people chosen by God and their race gets certain perks for doing so. It really isn't a matter of lifestyle. Why bend over backwards for God if you don't feel you have to?



Jews do it because their code separates them from the other races, so to speak, but they don't have to believe in God to be doing it. It's like being member of an elite club. You bend over backwards to be able to say you are included.

Now most Jews will also say they do it because they believe in God and being chosen by Him, but to be the model Jew you don't have to have belief/faith in God.

In short they don't have to be true believers, and many aren't.

This is of course as it has been told me by practicing Jews (as they call themselves, those that follow the mitzvahs and everything). I haven't ever been a Jew to be able to tell further than that.
 
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bravo1102 at 4:23AM, March 24, 2009
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Faith does include knowing and believing with all your heart that you have revealed the Truth, to the exclusion of all others. That is correct.

BUT: Anyone who has strong faith (as opposed to insecure faith) will not spend energy trying to go ahead and make it reason for enmity, racism or other expressions of hostility. We attack only when we feel either: 1. threatened or 2. eager/ able to oppress someone else

Anyone with strong faith will acknowledge that there are many ways to reach this Truth, and as such how each person goes about the journey, INCLUDING the stage each person is in that journey is not to be attacked. Only facilitated and ONLY when this facilitation is invited by that other person.

Anything else is not true faith. It is just an excuse to badger someone else. Also, anyone with true faith will not stoop to calling someone else heathen/pagan/heretic/infidel/damned/stupid because for various reasons all these characterisations are by default unable to apply. If you want I can expand on that.

That is wonderful, but it is not a realistic perception of the definitions of belief as written in the books those with faith take as their inspiration going back to those desert prophets.

It would be wonderful if it were as you say, but so many millenia of history prove you so tragically wrong, all the way to the current conflicts in the Middle East and the efforts of Christian Fundamentalists in the USA. (then there's Indonesia, The Philipines, India, Sri Lanka etc)

Such idealism is dangerous in our world as it makes its adherant a dupe of those with their faith. They will use the moderates to get what they want and then ride rough shod over those who wish for that moderation that the monoploy of truth of the faithful does not allow for in any way form. Their own literature makes that clear whether written by Christian fundamentalists or Islamic extremists or extreme Patriots and Lenin. You play right into their hands and they are very grateful.

The monopoly of truth does not allow for anyone to follow any other path except what is defined by the faithful. Anything else is not to be tolerated by their beliefs. There is only one path, not many. That it is real faith among the believers and it is real faith in the world we live in. Not everyone has the luxury to parse their definitions. They memorize the Koran (or what have you) accept what they are told to believe and act accordingly. There is no room for moderation or to define faith as anything but blind adherance to the decreed truth. Anything else is heresy and to be rooted out as not the true faith. You see it's the exact opposite of what you contend and that is their truth, not mine. I go with what they believe not what I wish they believed.

Please would people stop referring to Jews as a “race”. It smacks of the anti-semitism practiced by Modern Islam and Western Europeans. Defining a group as a neat “other” makes persecution so easy. That is reality, not an idealism that does not exist outside of wonderful sounding rhetoric. It took so many so long to learn the lesson and millions of dead are silent witnesses to that.

“Nothing is more tragic then when a beautiful theory is set upon and destroyed by a group of ugly facts.”
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isukun at 1:35PM, March 24, 2009
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Could you give me an example of such a faction?

Many of the Jesuits believe it.

That is debatable. If you want to adhere to the Christian moral code and you believe in the Holy Spirit (as in the Divine Power, let's say), then you do qualify.

Not really. I don't believe in the Holy Spirit, that was the whole point of my statement. I don't believe in any of the spiritual elements of Christianity, only that the moral code they established has positive SOCIAL aspects. I am not in any way a Christian by any sect's definition of the word.

Now most Jews will also say they do it because they believe in God and being chosen by Him, but to be the model Jew you don't have to have belief/faith in God.

Actually, you do. THAT is most definitely in their scriptures.

This is of course as it has been told me by practicing Jews (as they call themselves, those that follow the mitzvahs and everything). I haven't ever been a Jew to be able to tell further than that.

You have some very lax Jewish friends, then. All of my Jewish friends and family seem to be under the impression that if you don't believe in the spiritual meaning behind the laws, there isn't any reason for you to follow them (unless you're a woman). Being a Jew isn't like being part of a club. Only the believers reap the benefits, and that is very much a part of their religion and present in their scriptures.

Please would people stop referring to Jews as a “race”. It smacks of the anti-semitism practiced by Modern Islam and Western Europeans.

How is it anti-semitic? Many Jews today consider themselves to be a separate race. My best friend is Jewish and he considers himself to be of a different race than me even though we're both white.
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Tantz Aerine at 4:22PM, March 24, 2009
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I will answer you bravo, but why do I get the impression that you are looking to pick a fight and/or try to stomp on what I said as if it's burning you?

bravo1102
That is wonderful, but it is not a realistic perception of the definitions of belief as written in the books those with faith take as their inspiration going back to those desert prophets.

Those who are ‘inspired’ by faith as you say, are those who interpret it, and therefore feel it is ok to manipulate them. You can't be ‘inspired’ by faith. Either you have it or you don't, especially when it comes to its core, key principles. Anything else is simple hogwash hypocrisy for the masses that don't want to take the time to read. Or take the time to learn how to read critically.

It would be wonderful if it were as you say, but so many millenia of history prove you so tragically wrong, all the way to the current conflicts in the Middle East and the efforts of Christian Fundamentalists in the USA. (then there's Indonesia, The Philipines, India, Sri Lanka etc)

Again you confuse manipulators of religion who are FAITHLESS, with those of true faith. Therefore you are at this point completely off. What I describe is not the norm, and the world lacks faith in its great majority, at least in the way I defined faith a few posts above. To claim you are any religion follower and trample on its staples as garishly as it is taking place in all these examples you put, is proof of lack of faith. These people don't really believe that all they profess to represent exists, or they wouldn't even think of acting the way they do.

That's simply how faith works.

Such idealism is dangerous in our world as it makes its adherant a dupe of those with their faith.

Exactly where do you base that? Sounds like an arbitrary statement to me.

They will use the moderates to get what they want and then ride rough shod over those who wish for that moderation that the monoploy of truth of the faithful does not allow for in any way form. Their own literature makes that clear whether written by Christian fundamentalists or Islamic extremists or extreme Patriots and Lenin. You play right into their hands and they are very grateful.

Pray demonstrate how that happens. If you have true faith, all those factions you mentioned and all the unintelligent remarks they make lump them all in the category that those of true faith actually actively work against.

The monopoly of truth …

From the number of times you reiterate this phrase I suspect you really like it. Do you have the monopoly on Truth?

does not allow for anyone to follow any other path except what is defined by the faithful. Anything else is not to be tolerated by their beliefs. There is only one path, not many. That it is real faith among the believers and it is real faith in the world we live in. Not everyone has the luxury to parse their definitions. They memorize the Koran (or what have you) accept what they are told to believe and act accordingly. There is no room for moderation or to define faith as anything but blind adherance to the decreed truth. Anything else is heresy and to be rooted out as not the true faith. You see it's the exact opposite of what you contend and that is their truth, not mine. I go with what they believe not what I wish they believed.


You need to base all that with arguments. I say the world is faithless, and far more are ‘atheists’ (in the sense that they don't truly believe that God does all they say God does and threaten people with) than those declaring so. I can prove it. Can you prove your statements as being ‘faith’ and not just brain washing by those who know how to do it?

And why are you so angry?

Please would people stop referring to Jews as a “race”. It smacks of the anti-semitism practiced by Modern Islam and Western Europeans.

Why does it sound anti-semitic?

Defining a group as a neat “other” makes persecution so easy. That is reality, not an idealism that does not exist outside of wonderful sounding rhetoric. It took so many so long to learn the lesson and millions of dead are silent witnesses to that.

“Nothing is more tragic then when a beautiful theory is set upon and destroyed by a group of ugly facts.”


The quote you mention is correct. It is not, however, support for what you keep repeating.

You grossly underestimate people who are not anti-social serial killers who recruit hapless victims to do their mayhem for them.

And I am still not sure what you are saying. Do you honestly think that it is ‘rhetoric’ that promotes persecution? If so, you still have much to learn- as persecution is an agent of oppression/ power struggle that has its roots and manifestations on far deeper things than anyone's belief system. It has to do with who has money, therefore who has power, and who can pry it from them, and so on and so forth.

And that can also be proven.
 
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Tantz Aerine at 4:30PM, March 24, 2009
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isukun
Could you give me an example of such a faction?

Many of the Jesuits believe it.

Thanks, I will look into it.

Not really. I don't believe in the Holy Spirit, that was the whole point of my statement. I don't believe in any of the spiritual elements of Christianity, only that the moral code they established has positive SOCIAL aspects. I am not in any way a Christian by any sect's definition of the word.

If that is the case, then that's correct and accurate. I don't quire remember the point that was being made (and I'm too lazy now to scroll back up and see :/ ) but anyway, this is your prerogative and what you need to do, believe and follow at this time. And I am very happy you feel that way. :) I also don't feel the need to sit you down and try to force you to believe in these elements at all (I personally believe them, I'd say quite strongly). In fact I think harpying you on that would be harmful for you or anyone else.




You have some very lax Jewish friends, then.

They are not lax. Quite the opposite, they are very devout. But they are Reform Jews. Maybe that is the difference, because they separate themselves from Orthodox Jews and claim to be employing only true Jewish principles, free of the medieval Roman-like (as in Roman Catholic) influences of the time that is what is otherwise practiced. But I will look into it further. I haven't studied all their scriptures as I have of my own religion.



 
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CDarklock at 12:15PM, April 2, 2009
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of Agnosticism?

Honesty. If you don't know, you don't know. If you're not sure, you're not sure. Why just pick a side at random? Be honest, say you don't know.
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Hawk at 12:54PM, April 2, 2009
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Also, let's not make topics where the title of the topic cuts off halfway to be finished in the post. People should be able to tell what a thread is about by looking at its title.

Sorry, that has just been bothering me for a while.
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umbledijum at 10:35AM, May 10, 2009
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of Agnosticism? I mean, isn't it kind of a cop out to just say “I have absolutely no idea!” Feigning ignorance is just another way of bending over when God comes, if there is a God of course, and saying “I never said I didn't believe in you!” Why not just make up your mind? I don't mean to be offensive, but it bothers me.

so , by that logic ; all scientists are just a bunch of cowards that can't make up their minds

I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but yes. They are.
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Mr Lostman at 1:22PM, May 10, 2009
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umbledijum
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of Agnosticism? I mean, isn't it kind of a cop out to just say “I have absolutely no idea!” Feigning ignorance is just another way of bending over when God comes, if there is a God of course, and saying “I never said I didn't believe in you!” Why not just make up your mind? I don't mean to be offensive, but it bothers me.

so , by that logic ; all scientists are just a bunch of cowards that can't make up their minds

I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but yes. They are.

No. Stop being stupid.
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Orin J Master at 8:25PM, May 10, 2009
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umbledijum
lothar
mike_mcpeeper
of Agnosticism? I mean, isn't it kind of a cop out to just say “I have absolutely no idea!” Feigning ignorance is just another way of bending over when God comes, if there is a God of course, and saying “I never said I didn't believe in you!” Why not just make up your mind? I don't mean to be offensive, but it bothers me.

so , by that logic ; all scientists are just a bunch of cowards that can't make up their minds

I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but yes. They are.
]

but the internet's MADE of science! and tubes, like all gore said! plus they invented the atomic bomb, which one must admit is a pretty metal way to kill people.
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Dojo at 6:46PM, May 28, 2009
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My mom is agnostic. She's into alternative universes and things around us that we can't see. which makes a bit of sense. What is everything we experience made of? Electtrons. How does our brain tell us something is there? through eletrical impulses. so there could be things that are going on around us that we can't see, hear, or feel. I think it's interesting. For me, I realize I couldn't understand something like this and kind of accept it.
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bravo1102 at 10:11PM, May 28, 2009
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A belief system and faith pre-exists all money and power and everything else. The belief system and faith gives the soil that the power and other cultural stuff grows out of. The belief in the monopoly of revealed truth existed long before money or power. Money and power are reflections of a belief system not vice versa.

I get a little pissy about this because if you have faith no amount of evidence will convince you. So I'm just in the wilderness watching a tree fall and hoping someone else will hear it? There is a big difference between the revealed TRUTH of faith and the conclusions reached by interpreting evidence.

The angry tone was sarcasm, tongue-in-cheek trying to come off as the militant atheist/agnostic.

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El Cid at 5:30AM, May 29, 2009
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I don't consider agnosticism a cop-out; rather, for me, it's the only logical choice a person can make. We're all different shades of agnostic because none of us really knows. Science cannot prove 100 percent that God cannot or does not exist, and if you believe in Him just because you've been told He's real and you really really wish it so, that's not exactly a sound decision either. I don't believe anyone who claims they're 100 percent certain God is real or isn't.
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subcultured at 10:51AM, May 29, 2009
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would God cease to exist if there was no religion?
J
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Custard Trout at 12:22PM, May 29, 2009
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If there was no religion, god wouldn't have existed in the first place.

Also, everyone would be a robot, because that would be the only way to stop religion forming.
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
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kyupol at 6:23PM, May 29, 2009
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would God cease to exist if there was no religion?

Of course God would still exist.

religion is not equal to spirituality – which is little by little merging with physics btw.

I'm leaning on the idea that God is not a being but rather, an energy / force that creates things.

I wonder.

Q: If God is a being, where is his address? What dimension or planet does he live in?
A: God is in heaven. Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name… its in the bible. Its in the Lord's Prayer.
- huh? Where exactly is this heaven? Is it a place? Is it another planet? Or does it mean a higher state of consciousness? When Jesus was asked by Pontius Pilate, Jesus replied “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

- Also, how can Jesus be THE son of God if he refers to God as “Our Father”(Matthew 6:9-13)? Does that mean God is the father of every living creature in the universe? How can that be? If God is a being?

Hmmm… What if God is really an alien / group of aliens that created humans through genetic experiments?

If that's the case, then that means that God had a beginning. As an alien is also a being.

But no. God has no beginning and no end. God can't be an alien. (Psalm 90:2)

How can God exist outside time and space if God is a being?

In the first 3 verses in the book of Genesis, the first thing that was created was light (and light is energy even in the science books). And before that, everything was formless but there was a “spirit of God”. How can that be if God is a being?

A spirit being perhaps? But spirit beings exist inside time and space. There can be advanced civilizations out there that can travel across dimensions and do time travel. But it doesn't mean they exist outside space and time. There could be more evolved entities out there that do not need a physical body to exist (aka angels, demons) but they still exist within space and time.

Therefore God cannot be a being.

I don't really know. Maybe God lives within all life forms?
NOW UPDATING!!!
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El Cid at 8:06PM, May 29, 2009
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Those are some interesting ideas Kyupol. So you're suggesting that God is in fact not an intelligent being but rather an element like plasma or something that creates stuff, through some sort of as-yet-undiscovered chemical reaction or something? That's pretty intriguing. My only problem with it is that it's superfluous to inject such an element into the equation; the whole universe and stars forming thing works well enough without Energy X, whose spontaneous appearance remains unexplained. And it almost sounds like you're demoting God to something less than a god. While this ethereal force may well exist, I'm not sure it would be analogous to the thing we call God. Some kind of Life energy makes some sense as a concept I suppose. Like, when something dies, if you fix it back up to working order, it doesn't just spring back to life again, so I could at least see where one might wonder if something's missing? I'm sure there's a doctor in the house who can explain that away though.

Also, I'm not sure it's possible for something to exist outside space and time. Time is the fundamental building block of the higher dimensions. Without time, nothing moves, nothing happens. While there may well be higher dimensions above the four we're familiar with, as Stephen Hawking described, wouldn't they be anchored by the lower dimensions, rather than in control of them? I mean, time controls us; we can't control time! Just my layperson's observations there. I'm definitely NOT an astrophysicist!
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lastcall at 4:42AM, June 2, 2009
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StaceyMontgomery
Actually, the word “Agnostic” refers to people who say that the truth is not known or cannot be known. That's actually a little different from the slang meaning that is catching on these days, that an Agnostic is more of a “non-committed” position.

In the same way, we've been slowly changing the meaning of the word “atheist” from “does not believe in a god” to something more like “disbelieves in god.” In this way, we've been more or less reversing the meanings of “atheist” and “agnostic” so I am often confused about what people mean.

But i don't understand the “make up your mind!” angle at all. There are lots of things I don't know. Why pretend that I know more than I do?

Agreed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:28PM
Exzachly at 5:27AM, June 4, 2009
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kyupol
How can God exist outside time and space if God is a being?
Any cause and effect requires time. If anything is changed that requires an instance of time before and an instance of time after. Thus if there was a god, and he existed in a dimension outside time, he wouldn't be able to do literally ANYTHING, because doing anything would place him inside a timeline. In other words, he'd be a completely irrelevant god. Another implication is that no God could logically create time either. Since doing so would imply an action with a before and after. It's interesting to think of it, how could time begin if there was no time? You almost have to think that time has always existed.
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bravo1102 at 7:36AM, June 4, 2009
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El Cid
I don't consider agnosticism a cop-out; rather, for me, it's the only logical choice a person can make. We're all different shades of agnostic because none of us really knows. Science cannot prove 100 percent that God cannot or does not exist, and if you believe in Him just because you've been told He's real and you really really wish it so, that's not exactly a sound decision either. I don't believe anyone who claims they're 100 percent certain God is real or isn't.

Precisely. An experiment to prove the existence of a deity can't be created because how do you falsify a concept that can do anything? We humans don't have a point of reference outside of our universe to test the hypothesis because by some definitions god is the universe.

As for god existing outside of time; he wouldn't. He would exist in all times simultaneously in the manner time is sometimes visualized these days in physics. All time is simultaneous but we are stuck experiencing it sequentially. Physical laws wouldn't need apply to something that creating them.

According to a lot of theology we cannot understand or define god and our attempts to do so are for our own point of reference. So much theology comes back to agnosticism which is why so much of it was banned by the Christian Church and all logical theology was effectively banished from Islam during the Middle Ages. The logical conclusion of theology as postulated by Aquineas was what could be called agnosticism. Deism was a variant of agnosticism. Once upon a time atheisim was too, now it's becoming as Staceymongomery defined it. We're transitioning from Freedom of Religion to Freedom From Religion. It was either you have faith and god exists; or you don't and he disappears in a puff of logic (thank you Douglas Adams atheist and good chum of Richard Dawkins)

Somehow atheists today can't see a secular society existing side-by-side with religion (with a wall of seperation) the way people did in the 18th Century.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Orin J Master at 12:38PM, June 4, 2009
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Exzachly
-if there was a god, and he existed in a dimension outside time, he wouldn't be able to do literally ANYTHING, because doing anything would place him inside a timeline. In other words, he'd be a completely irrelevant god.

sounds accurate to evidence so for. you might be on to something there.
:kitty:
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Lord Shplane at 12:40PM, June 4, 2009
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Agnosticism is simply admitting “I don't know”. I used to ascribe to it myself, though I've come to the point now that I've moved over to actual atheism because I believe that we have enough proof about how the universe was formed and works that we simply don't need a god. I still believe that agnosticism is a valid belief system tho.

kyupol
Atheists - all the power is in the hands of man. As there is no God.

As an atheist, I can quite honestly say that I do not believe that “All the power is in the hands of man”, because that's simply not true. The “Power” doesn't exist. Things happen because they happen, it's called random chance and statistics, not someone exercising some kind of “Power”. All humanity can do is try to influence that random chance to what piddling degree we're capable of. No one who is actually an atheist believes that human beings are somehow the equivalent of god. Man is an insignificant speck of dust floating in an uncaring void.
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SpANG at 3:39PM, June 4, 2009
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StaceyMontgomery
But i don't understand the “make up your mind!” angle at all. There are lots of things I don't know. Why pretend that I know more than I do?
You've just described ‘faith’. :)

'Faith' and ‘Atheism’ are just flip sides of the same coin, aren't they? Look, I consider myself an Agnostic. But I think of it as being open-minded about any possibility. Call it a cop-out if you want, but Stacey is right. Nobody ‘knows’.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
arteestx at 8:03PM, June 4, 2009
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SpANG
'Faith' and ‘Atheism’ are just flip sides of the same coin, aren't they? Look, I consider myself an Agnostic. But I think of it as being open-minded about any possibility. Call it a cop-out if you want, but Stacey is right. Nobody ‘knows’.

I don't see faith and atheism as flip sides. Atheism is agnositicism with an assumption: I'm not going to believe in something I don't have evidence for. Are you agnostic about unicorns? Are you agnostic about leprechans? Are you agnostic about Thor? Or do you pretty much assume that none of these things exist? Sure, if evidence comes along that makes you think unicorns do in fact exist, then you can change your mind later on. But until that moment comes, you probably assume unicorns don't exist: i.e., you don't have faith in unicorns, you're an atheist about unicorns. Atheism is a faith as much as not collecting stamps is a hobby or not playing baseball is a sport.


Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
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ozoneocean at 12:30AM, June 5, 2009
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arteestx
Atheism is a faith as much as not collecting stamps is a hobby or not playing baseball is a sport.
No Arteestx, Spang's version is more correct I'm afraid.

It's fairly obvious really, just think about it- Atheism exists only because religion does. But religion doesn't need atheism to exist… In fact atheism is less like an opposite to religion and more like an unusual subset.
-Here we have our sports players, there are the baseball teams, the cricket teams, soccer, chess, basketball, motor racing etc. And over in the corner there are the ones who think all competition is inherently false.
You wonder why they care either way…

Agnosticism doesn't rely on the existence of either.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM

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