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dom
12-19-2009, 09:02 PM
Never considered myself a religious person, but lately think I might be coming around.

http://ericpetersautos.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=285&stc=1&d=1261274409 (http://ericpetersautos.com/forums/showthread.php?p=119181#post119181)

This post is a plug to my other thread. (http://ericpetersautos.com/forums/showthread.php?p=119181#post119181)

Eric
12-20-2009, 06:39 AM
Funny!

But why would an omnipotent deity need a firearm? Couldn't he just blink his eyes and fry his enemies or something like that? :D

This is one of the many reasons why I don't "buy it," by the way. The Bible is full of stories about Jesus and God that describe both these dudes (which makes Christianity a polytheistic religion - but that's another thing for another day) in ways that suggest they're anything but all-powerful deities. God enjoys the smell of burnt offerings and "rests." He gets angry - and can't find his creations when they hide from him. Jesus is supposed to be God, but how does a God "suffer" physical pain - let alone "die"?

pearly8
12-22-2009, 05:10 PM
Try reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren.

You will find a lot of answers there, though maybe not what you expected.

Eric
12-22-2009, 05:56 PM
Try reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren.

You will find a lot of answers there, though maybe not what you expected.

Done it. I didn't get any more out of it than I did out of CS Lewis. Some entertaining (and even beautiful, in the case of Lewis) writing. But all of it just more of the same effort to parse and rationalize and make excuses for the unintelligible and contradictory.

For me, any religious system that begins with "I know..." is immediately suspect. None of us knows anything about whether there's a god (some sort of intelligent, conscious entity that exists outside of nature and is responsible for creating it), what it (or he/she) is, wants, etc. We have no clue what happens when we die - other than the obvious and likely (our bodies decay; our consciousness probably ceases).

Now, we can have opinions and beliefs - but that is not the same thing as knowing.

I'm ok with the idea that there might be something beyond our ken because, after all, our ken (and senses) are quite limited - even the very brightest of us.

But that's as far as I can go...

pearly8
12-26-2009, 05:15 PM
That's why it's called the leap of faith.

Einstein had it, and was trying to prove the existence of God scientifically when he died. Chopra has some good insights too.

Scientifically, there can be no effect (the big bang) without a cause.

Keep seeking, and you will find.

Eric
12-26-2009, 06:01 PM
"That's why it's called the leap of faith."

I'm too much a rationalist/empiricist to go down that road. What does "have faith" mean in the context we're discussing? I can buy the idea of having faith in, say, my friend paying me back money I loaned him - or doing "x" rather than "y" - because I personally know the guy - really, actually, objectively know him. He's a real person; I can demonstrate he exists beyond any question.

It's therefore reasonable to "have faith" in my friend. Or that the sun will probably rise in the east tomorrow. And so on. All these things have some factual basis in objective reality/past experience as their precedent.

The religious idea that one can have faith in God in a similar way for similar reasons falls flat because it's not the same thing. The person who has faith (that is believes certain things to be true or likely about the deity) because he says he "knows" or has a "personal relationship" with the deity is making assertions outside of the realm of fact that are incapable of proof - or even "it's likely."

That's ok with me; I have no problem with anyone believing whatever floats their boat. But I can't buy into it myself...

"Scientifically, there can be no effect (the big bang) without a cause."

This is the "uncaused cause" argument. It has many flaws. For one, who says the universe has to have a beginning? Maybe it is eternal; maybe it just changes forms. And even if it was "caused" by something that does not necessarily imply a god, let alone the specific being described by, say, the Bible. Maybe a Flying Spaghetti Monster ignited the Big Bang? It's as plausible as the notion of the Christian God having done so - as far as what can be backed up with facts or even rational argument.

"Keep seeking, and you will find."

I try to keep an open mind - and I read a lot - so who knows... but I don't think I will ever say "I believe" in any specific doctrine based on "just because" - or out of faith!

pearly8
12-27-2009, 05:57 PM
Perhaps time and experience will change your mind.

Several recent experiences have help reinforce my own belief. I also believe the Master is reaching out to you right now, via your posts on this forum. He said,
Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I also".

As they say "When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear".

Eric
12-27-2009, 06:44 PM
"Perhaps time and experience will change your mind."

If anything, as I grow older, I find it harder and harder to reconcile even the concept of a personal deity who cares about us with the brutal, random and often utterly unjust nature of life. Not just the lives of men, either; every living thing. And from what I understand of astronomy and cosmology, it all ends badly. Maybe that's why I am a cynic!


"Several recent experiences have help reinforce my own belief. I also believe the Master is reaching out to you right now, via your posts on this forum. He said, Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I also".

As they say "When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear".

It's hard to put a single handle on it, but I find much I like in the deist/humanist point of view that Jefferson and others of that period had. Most of the world's religions have some very positive things to teach. It doesn't mean they're right about everything, though - and it's the absolutism of dogma that some religions (or rather, people who espouse a given religion) sometimes spew that really turns me off!