FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » A Question about Religion (Page 3)

  This topic comprises 6 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6   
Author Topic: A Question about Religion
starter
Member
Member # 9073

 - posted      Profile for starter   Email starter         Edit/Delete Post 
WntrMute:

A few things. Firstly, your point of orthodoxy is largely irrelevant. Who cares what orthodox entails? I'm not in Saudi Arabia - I don't really care if I come of as a "heretic" to the Wahabis. Moreover, "might is right" does not hold sway over an argument involving truth.

Secondly, your statement pretty much said "the Sunnis and the Shi'as have done it this way for over 1000 years so it must be true" - how is that not an appeal to authority? If I said "gravity is like this because Einstein said so" I'd be laughed at. I'd have to show a solid understanding of what Einstein theorised and then I can use Einstein as an authority in the subject. I hope you see the difference between what I said and your "gravity" example.

Thirdly, I'm not 'redefining' anything, but am just giving a more concise definition. If you don't agree with it, please feel free to give an alternative definition of "scripture".

The two aren't synonymous.

Islam is the religion preached by the Qur'an. I didn't want to type the whole thing out, you see.

Posts: 30 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
BTW, my name is actually "Tom Davidson." I don't know who "Tom Division" might be, but I doubt I'd like him.
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
WntrMute
Member
Member # 7556

 - posted      Profile for WntrMute           Edit/Delete Post 
First off, I'm not saying anything about 'truth.' I have not, nor will I, ever say anything about 'truth.' I am describing Islam as it has been and is. And Islam cannot be understood from the Koran alone, any more than Catholicism can be understood from the Bible alone. It is an oversimplification. Christianity has the same scripture now that it had a thousand years ago, however the practices are completely different. Not to mention the fact that while there is only one scripture for the larger concept of 'Christianity' there are nonetheless several hundred different interpretations of that singular scripture and thereby several hundred different Christian sects. Religions cannot be understood from their scripture alone. Not a one of them.

The issue regarding orthodoxy (and I knew you wouldn't understand where I was coming from) is not that it is 'true' but that it sets the definitions. Definitions matter. Without definitions for the things we discuss there can be no communication whatsoever. You can say that Islam involves Odin worship, you can say that Islam is derived from the worship of a pagan moon-god (like Jack Chick), you can say anything you want about Islam. However just because you say it, that interpretation does not immediately have the same exact value and worth as what an 'authority' may have to say about it.

Also, I don't think you understand what an 'appeal to authority' is. The logical fallacy 'appeal to authority' has to do with when you say something like, "I'm your mother, so I'm right." It is an appeal to a personally held position to justify whatever assertion is made. If I cite some leading scholor, some historical evidence, or even a commonly held opinion that is not an 'appeal to authority.'
So when I point out that Shi'a and Sunni have done such and such a thing for a thousand years, that is not an appeal to authority. It would be something that you could ask for documentation or citations about; but it is not an 'appeal to authority,' it is rather a statement regarding a historic reality. Argue the facts, if you want. Bring forth your proofs. But don't just wave your hands and say that I'm committing a logical fallacy. Especially when I'm not.

Posts: 218 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dante
Member
Member # 1106

 - posted      Profile for Dante           Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know, Tom..."Tom Division" has a pretty cool ring to it.
Posts: 1068 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
Now, see, if there were A "Tom Division," a team of people either named Tom or dedicated to the support of Tom, that would be cool.
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post 
How many divisions has the Tom?
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by starter:

A few things. Firstly, your point of orthodoxy is largely irrelevant. Who cares what orthodox entails? I'm not in Saudi Arabia - I don't really care if I come of as a "heretic" to the Wahabis. Moreover, "might is right" does not hold sway over an argument involving truth.

Starter, sounds like your defending the point I made and you rejected, which was that all religions change. You are changing Islam right now, Islam changes every day. When you talk about the value of one belief or the politics of one decision, you influence the way I look at that issue. Then when I talk to muslims, I bring my knowledge and opinions to a discussion, and they may change the way they see things, or COME UP with a way to negate what I SAY. Therefore, their approach to the world and their religion DOES CHANGE. and the WAY we approach our religion, how we feel about it is as important as what the Quran says, when it comes time to have a point to point about how Islam has changed.

A book of history written for American classrooms in 1930 would have some interesting things to say about, for instance European politics, ancient Judaism, the American economy, etc. This book might have been as close to truth as possible on the day it was published. But we don't look at that history and develop all of our worldviews based on the history of the world UP TO 1930. Instead, we see that book as an historical example of how we viewed the world in 1930, and how we have changed. This is not a religious question, we don't have to BELIEVE in the history written in 1930, it was right at the time, and still is, but its value has shifted, we use it for a different purpose today. Some histories, some books increase in value over time for many reasons, many would say the Quran has become more and more influential as years pass, so the way we see it must also change, we must account for its popularity.

On the other hand, the Quran might yet go the way of many great epic works, like Gilgamesh, or "Uncle Tom's Cabin," revered now much less for their exceptional qualities as stories, and more for their representing a view of the world we no longer recognize, or a world that no longer exists in the same way, or which has become something much different. Books thus take on values which are different than those originally foreseen, and they CHANGE. Undeniably they change.

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
enjeeo
Member
Member # 2336

 - posted      Profile for enjeeo   Email enjeeo         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
An atheist's political opinions can be reasoned with; although not easy, it is actually possible to convince people, using only rational argument and experimental data, that a given political view is mistaken. Try that with someone who votes from religious conviction.

Unless of course the athiest simply votes against whatever seems to be the religious viewpoint. Athiests are just as capable of being bigoted, illogical and obtuse as are some of the religious right.

I found a lot of your other answers very wise though. There was definitely an assumption (in the post you were addressing) that life without the Mormon church would be one without community or sound values.

I'm finding this whole discussion very interesting, because I am in the midst of a rather interesting transition in my life. Without going into the whys and hows of it all, I recently came to the conclusion that the LDS church isn't the 'one true church' but I'm still attending church at the moment. It not just that I need some time to process this, though that is part of it, but it also has to do with the fact that I still recognise the worth of the values the church teaches. If I didn't, I could never have believed the church was true in the first place. And even when and if I'm not attending the LDS church at all any more, many of those values will still be a part of my belief system - not because they're ingrained, and not because I "invented them" but simply because they are sound, and I am happier when I live by them.

As to the original poster's question, my answer is this: the premises of your argument don't lead to the conclusion that no church has the one truth. What they do lead to is the conclusion that establishing the 'truth' of a church requires a benchmark beyond the one set by the community where that religion is popular and/or prevalent. In the end though, whether we can ever prove that it's true in any one particular church's case, the following things are so:

- the truth does exist, and at least some of it is absolute (not relative)

There either is a god (or gods), or there isn't. If God exists, he (or she) either does observe and care about our conduct, or he doesn't. He either has the right to judge that conduct, or he doesn't. Whatever the truth is, there is an existing reality that is the truth.

- it is possible for truth to be known

This will be the most contentious point, I'm sure, but all I mean is that if you have enough information, you can discern truth.

- some religion/church MAY have found it

If so, that means that some people, in spite of being born and brought up in that church, perhaps in an area where pretty much the whole of the population is of the same religion, will still find themselves a member of 'the one true church' (whatever that means), however unlikely it might have seemed that they could be one of the 'lucky few'. In actual fact, they would have been no less likely than anyone else.

In other words, I think what you're saying, the questions you're posing, are valid reasons for someone to question their church/religion's claim, if it's making one, to be the one true way. But to dismiss what might be truth out-of-hand for the same reason - merely because that individual finding the truth in their own context was against the odds - is ridiculous.

Posts: 2451 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bokonon
Member
Member # 480

 - posted      Profile for Bokonon           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
"But, truth to tell, if I'd been raised in India I don't think I'd be Hindu."

If I'd been born in Massachusetts, I'd have cured cancer and bowled a perfect game.

No you wouldn't have. We play candlepin bowling here, and there's never been a sanctioned perfect game in it's greater than 100-year history [Smile]

-Bok

Posts: 7021 | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steven
Member
Member # 8099

 - posted      Profile for steven   Email steven         Edit/Delete Post 
I'd say Tom's a uniter, not a divider.
Posts: 3354 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
stihl1
Member
Member # 1562

 - posted      Profile for stihl1   Email stihl1         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
BTW, my name is actually "Tom Davidson." I don't know who "Tom Division" might be, but I doubt I'd like him.

But why Tom and Davidson? Is that how you define yourself, as say, opposed to being a male? An American? A hatracker?
Posts: 1042 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steven
Member
Member # 8099

 - posted      Profile for steven   Email steven         Edit/Delete Post 
I think it's a little risky to use your first and last names like that here.
Posts: 3354 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noemon
Member
Member # 1115

 - posted      Profile for Noemon   Email Noemon         Edit/Delete Post 
The fact that Tom's been doing it for about a decade or so on Card's forums without it coming back to bite him would seem to suggest that the risk is minimal.
Posts: 16059 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steven
Member
Member # 8099

 - posted      Profile for steven   Email steven         Edit/Delete Post 
which is why you use your real name, right jake? [ROFL]
Posts: 3354 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noemon
Member
Member # 1115

 - posted      Profile for Noemon   Email Noemon         Edit/Delete Post 
My using this handle had nothing to do with fear for my personal safety.
Posts: 16059 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jake
Member
Member # 206

 - posted      Profile for Jake           Edit/Delete Post 
As is evidenced by my original sign-on.
Posts: 1087 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steven
Member
Member # 8099

 - posted      Profile for steven   Email steven         Edit/Delete Post 
I was just trying to err on the side of teh prudence. Someone came on teh Ornery.org and mentioned how sorry he was that he had used the same signon on every site he frequented, because he managed to piss off somebody seriously on one board, and they stalked him from board to board and, even, IIRC, in real life. I wouldn't want to go through that, nor would I want to see a friend be vulnerable like that. Sorry to preach.
Posts: 3354 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jake
Member
Member # 206

 - posted      Profile for Jake           Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, you're not preaching, or at least that wasn't how I was interpreting it. I was just just talking, really.
Posts: 1087 | Registered: Jul 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Puppy
Member
Member # 6721

 - posted      Profile for Puppy   Email Puppy         Edit/Delete Post 
enjeeo, I hope you realize that in my earlier post, I was only trying to generate a list of valuable things I received from the Church, whose value might be accepted as valid by King of Men.

I tried very hard in the subsequent posts to make it clear that my statements were entirely about my own life and experience, and had no intentional implications for people of other faiths. They only described what I, personally, would lose if my faith were suddenly stripped from me.

That distinction is very important to me, so even though I think I've made it clear in previous posts, I want to reiterate it. I don't think that my religion is the only possible thing that could ever fulfill a person. Many different things have done so for many different people.

But King of Men's assertion that there is no valuable purpose to be served by religion is so clearly and obviously wrong, from my perspective, that I couldn't let it stand without at least trying to express why I care so much about my faith. Whenever anyone does that, they run the risk of seeming dismissive of other people's beliefs, but I hope by now you can tell that that was NOT my intent [Smile]

Posts: 1539 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post 
Holy thread necromancy, Batman!

But anyway, the point you seem to be missing is that all the good things you claim for your religion are available without the evil parts. And because I know you are going to be dismissive, let me just make it clear that I'm not talking about eating babies.

Analogy: You are running a coal power station that belches out sulfurous gases. I ask you "Why do you do that?", and you respond "Well, I need the electricity". Which is fine, but two blocks over there are shiny hydroelectric power plants that give the same thing without the pollution. Looking at the electricity is answering the wrong question; I was asking about the pollution.

Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
You're right, King, but it is also possible to have the good of religion without the evil *and* without abandoning religion.

Hydroelectric power has its limitations and its drawbacks--what if you don't have a big enough river to dam, and what if people don't want to be flooded out of their homes? But if you could have the coal power (America has vast amounts of coal at its disposal) without the pollution? That would be the best solution. (And just because I'm a nerd and a showoff and extending this analogy way too far anyway, there is technology being developed that would produce clean power from coal)

Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
You're right, King, but it is also possible to have the good of religion without the evil *and* without abandoning religion.
No it's not. Possibly you are thinking of some different evils than the ones I have in mind.
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
Really? What evils did you have in mind? What evils does Puppy have to endure/inflict in order to get all the benefits she listed? Or if you'd rather not attack Puppy, what evils do *I* have to endure/inflict in order to get the benefits my religion offers? (I'm a Christian, but you can make your reply as general or specific as you like)
Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eowyn-sama:
Really? What evils did you have in mind? What evils does Puppy have to endure/inflict in order to get all the benefits she listed? Or if you'd rather not attack Puppy, what evils do *I* have to endure/inflict in order to get the benefits my religion offers? (I'm a Christian, but you can make your reply as general or specific as you like)

I can't speak for KoM, but I think faith is one of those evils. (Evil is probably too strong a term.)

Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence. By promoting faith as a virtue you are saying that you don't need evidence to support your claims. This then bleeds over into things other than religion.

Believing in things without evidence may not be evil in and of itself, but it can certainly lead to things that are evil. Racism and the formation of cults are just the first two (and I'll grant you, extreme) examples that come to mind.

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence.
That's faith in a non-religious sense. In a religious sense, it means much more than that.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence.
That's faith in a non-religious sense. In a religious sense, it means much more than that.
Pardon. Without objective evidence or use of rational investigation.
Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence.
That's faith in a non-religious sense. In a religious sense, it means much more than that.
Gonna have to agree with Dag on this one. Faith as a mere belief in something barring all evidence is not the faith I practice.

For me faith must first precede knowledge, if it was vice versa we would be unwilling to humble ourselves before God and trust in his judgement. Being unwilling to trust in anyone other then one's self is not a virtue IMO.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence.
That's faith in a non-religious sense. In a religious sense, it means much more than that.
Gonna have to agree with Dag on this one. Faith as a mere belief in something barring all evidence is not the faith I practice.

For me faith must first precede knowledge, if it was vice versa we would be unwilling to humble ourselves before God and trust in his judgement. Being unwilling to trust in anyone other then one's self is not a virtue IMO.

Trusting in someone that one does not have good evidence exists is also not a virtue, IMO.

(My apologies for coming off snarky in the above statement...but implying I trust in no one else was also a tad snarky, so perhaps we're even.)

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
For me faith must first precede knowledge
Precisely the evil I am speaking of.
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JLM
Member
Member # 7800

 - posted      Profile for JLM           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence.
That's faith in a non-religious sense. In a religious sense, it means much more than that.
Pardon. Without objective evidence or use of rational investigation.
Both of which exist in theorey, but in practicality are mere myth. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) makes decisions (in either what to believe or how to act) purely based on ratinal means. Emotion and instinct cannot be decoupled from thought.

Also all evidence (empirical, analytical, observational or otherwise) is all based on preexisting assumptions and is heavily filtered. Pure objectivity is impossible.

Posts: 157 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by JLM:
Both of which exist in theorey, but in practicality are mere myth. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) makes decisions (in either what to believe or how to act) purely based on ratinal means. Emotion and instinct cannot be decoupled from thought.

Of course not. But thought CAN be decoupled from emotion and instinct, and that is an evil.

quote:
Also all evidence (empirical, analytical, observational or otherwise) is all based on preexisting assumptions and is heavily filtered. Pure objectivity is impossible.
Which is why I don't base my beliefs purely on my own perceptions. I look at what other people think, believe and observe to create as close to an objective reality as we can all agree on.
Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
For me faith must first precede knowledge, if it was vice versa we would be unwilling to humble ourselves before God and trust in his judgement. Being unwilling to trust in anyone other then one's self is not a virtue IMO.
That's a very profound idea that I hadn't thought about before, thank you ^_^

And here's another thought--people who have faith in God do not have an absence of evidence. Whether it's the word of people they trust, a personal religious experience, or merely a long consideration of the nature of the universe, believers have some foundation for their faith, or they wouldn't believe in the first place. This isn't scientific evidence in the sense of God letting scientists run all kinds of tests on him, but eyewitness accounts are generally acceptable in a court of law, and if personal experience isn't sound evidence, what is?

quote:
This then bleeds over into things other than religion.
Yes, I can see how this would be very dangerous, but I don't see how that danger is inescapable. In fact, absolute blind faith in anything can be very dangerous, whether it's God, the Communist party, the Nazi party, or Bin Lauden.

But as dangerous as faith can be, you have to have faith in something, at some point. Whether it's faith that a scientist didn't fake his findings or faith that Jesus died for your sins, humans wouldn't be able to function without it.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eowyn-sama:
But as dangerous as faith can be, you have to have faith in something, at some point. Whether it's faith that a scientist didn't fake his findings or faith that Jesus died for your sins, humans wouldn't be able to function without it.

I couldn't disagree more.

I don't have faith in a scientist to not fake his findings. I look to the scientist to keep his work transparent so that we can see if he has faked his findings. We don't need faith because that transparency is there. And if it isn't there, then we become skeptical and investigate further.

Now, you might say I have faith that my family loves me, for example. I don't know if there's a proper word in English for what that is, but I wouldn't call it faith in the same way you would have faith that Jesus died for you.

Because my 'faith' in my family's love for me is based on their actions towards me...actions that can be verified by any objective observer. Which is why my faith in them is really not faith at all.

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
Hm, maybe 'fake his findings' was too strong a phrase. But the ideal of transparent science that is checked and re-checked so that every study is trustworthy is bull. It's so easy to interpret results so that they say what you want, and for really big, really expensive and complicated experiments, how many times are we going to repeat them to make sure they always turn out the same?

I've been involved in a couple of research projects, and I can't say I was impressed by the hard, cold infallibility of science. In one project we were trying to recreate the results of another research group, and we failed miserably. I'd be willing to blame my own inexperience for the failure, easy, except that the same procedure was done by a post-doc with years of experience in the area, and she got the same results I did. I'm still willing to admit that we both got something wrong somewhere, but still, that's one crack in the perfection of science as far as I'm concerned.

quote:
Now, you might say I have faith that my family loves me, for example. I don't know if there's a proper word in English for what that is, but I wouldn't call it faith in the same way you would have faith that Jesus died for you.
Yes, there are different types of faith. My faith in Christianity is not the same as a terrorist's faith in Islam (I'm not willing to kill innocent people for it, for one thing). I realize that's a different angle than what you were taking, but you're right, the English word 'faith' is just about as useful as the English word 'love' for covering all the many emotions and interactions involved.

But as I said, believers in God do have a basis for their faith. It's not as easily observed as the interactions of your family, but people do occasionally agree on their observations of God.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eowyn-sama:
My faith in Christianity is not the same as a terrorist's faith in Islam (I'm not willing to kill innocent people for it, for one thing). I realize that's a different angle than what you were taking, but you're right, the English word 'faith' is just about as useful as the English word 'love' for covering all the many emotions and interactions involved.

I don't want to start an argument, and if this does so, my apologies.

But I have to ask, would you kill innocent people if you had faith that that is what god wanted you to do, and that he would even reward you for doing it?

No, having faith in Christianity is not the same as having faith that you'll go to heaven for committing a suicide bombing. However, both of those faiths are based on no evidence or bad evidence...which makes them far too close for comfort, as far as I'm concerned.

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eowyn-sama:
I've been involved in a couple of research projects, and I can't say I was impressed by the hard, cold infallibility of science. In one project we were trying to recreate the results of another research group, and we failed miserably. I'd be willing to blame my own inexperience for the failure, easy, except that the same procedure was done by a post-doc with years of experience in the area, and she got the same results I did. I'm still willing to admit that we both got something wrong somewhere, but still, that's one crack in the perfection of science as far as I'm concerned.

That's the beauty of science! You're explaining exactly what science does...it recreates experiments in an attempt to duplicate results. And if you can't get the same results doing the same thing, it means we change how we understand what's going on.

It's not "A scientist did this and got these results, so it must be true". That's the reason research groups like the one you were a part of exist in the first place.

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
But I have to ask, would you kill innocent people if you had faith that that is what god wanted you to do, and that he would even reward you for doing it?
That's a tricky question because I believe that God would never ask that of me. This belief is based on the teachings of the church, human history and my own conscience. With this basis to build on, even a vision of a bright shining angel commanding me to kill an innocent would be dismissed as false.

In a way you've asked me 'if blue was orange, would it still be blue?'

Here's another scenario: would I kill a person everyone else thought was innocent because my faith tells me he's an evil man? (Which is probably closer to the belief of a terrorist)

Even then, I wouldn't. I might investigate the matter more fully, but actually taking a life is so strongly against all the other teachings of my faith and experience that it would be a plain contradiction.

Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
It's not "A scientist did this and got these results, so it must be true". That's the reason research groups like the one you were a part of exist in the first place.
The only problem was that there wasn't any outcry over this inconsistency. We tried contacting the original research group, they weren't forthcoming with any help or advice, and as far as I know our results were merely tossed out the window. (I could be wrong about this, because I graduated before it was completely resolved, but no-one acted like our failure to produce results changed the original findings in any way)
Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Eowyn-sama:
That's a tricky question because I believe that God would never ask that of me. This belief is based on the teachings of the church, human history and my own conscience.

I want to let you know that I'm very glad that you wouldn't.

However, having read and studied the Bible and other scriptures, it does seem like god has a history of asking people to do just that.

So (and again, forgive me if at any point I offend you, as these are sensitive subjects), it seems like you are creating a god to fit your own beliefs (like not killing people), rather than accepting a god that exists.

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
No offense taken, but I've gotta head home :-p I'll answer that in a bit, unless someone else gets to it first.
Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Iarn Greiper
Member
Member # 10731

 - posted      Profile for Iarn Greiper           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by cheiros do ender:
The Jews had the Law of Moses and I imagine still do, though I can't quite see justifying an eye for an eye under current international law. In Christianity that changed to the Ten Commandments

The Jews also have the ten commandments, but as far as an eye for an eye..I think that's Hammurabi ancient. Now, the Jews also had those laws, but modern day Jews, particularly reform/conservative ones, would probably not break someone's arm after being attacked. They would, however, press charges like any normal person.
Posts: 15 | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lynn johnson
Member
Member # 9620

 - posted      Profile for lynn johnson   Email lynn johnson         Edit/Delete Post 
Javert, I wonder whether you did study the bible. It is full of injunctions to treat others kindly. Over and over, God says he is most offended by our treating the poor badly. Have you looked carefully at Isaiah?
The people who were supposed to be killed were throwing babies into fiery furnaces. The Israelites failed to do that, and suffered over and over because of it. There seems to be pretty good evidence that it was the right thing to do in those days.
I am a shrink and have to do shrink gobbldygook on you, but the fact is we see what we want to see. Life is a Rorschach, and we read into it what we will. There is an old Jewish saying that we see the world not as it is but as we are.
The other scriptures, I don't know. The Bagada Vita (I know, that's not how it is spelled) has a lot of battles and death in it, but it has a redeeming story. Buddhism scriptures don't have that, but they are agnostic. The Qu'ran is pretty confusing to me. I'd like to believe Mohammed was a prophet, but it is a steep hill to climb. The Book of Mormon has a lot of battles in it but it pretty much describes natural consequences of people being up to no good, not God wanting them dead.
Finally, if there is a God, then death for him is not a big deal, because it is just a change of address. He knows where everyone is. The idea that hell is waiting for nonbelievers has turned out to be false (I did a small NDE study 20 years ago). Most people are really happy, regardless of how religious or not they were.
I realize I am a dirty lurker and probably shouldn't be here. (Does KoM even have a job?) But that is my attempt to move the dialog along.

Posts: 121 | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lynn johnson
Member
Member # 9620

 - posted      Profile for lynn johnson   Email lynn johnson         Edit/Delete Post 
Just to be a big pain, one more point. The social benefits of religion are substantial. Religious people give much more of their income to charity, both to religious and secular charities. They volunteer much more than non-religious. They are happier, less likely to use drugs and alcohol and tobacco (not just mormons), have more stable marriages. They are lower in illnesses are live longer. The benefits are just phenomenal.
Psychologically, religious people are more stable and when they get depressed, they respond better to therapy and medication. Their level of anxiety is lower. They are more willing to forgive. (Wiki the Nickle Mines shooting). Christian Children's Fund is a great organization helping children all over the globe.
So the benefits should not convert but should at least create a question about whether you may have missed some data.

Posts: 121 | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
Lynn, welcome! Always good to see new posters. Don't be a lurker, join the discussion!

Now to refute your points. [Smile]

I have read the Bible. And it is full of injunctions to treat others kindly. But it is also full of human sacrifices (Jephtha's daughter, for example), horrible crimes that are justified (killing every firstborn male Egyptian child), and infinite punishment for finite crimes (the creation of Hell in the NT).

If you're going to take the good, you have to take the bad.

So to say that you're a Christian and then say that your god is all about love is refuted by the bible. The bible says that god and his believers did these things, and says they were justified because god said so. It does say that murder is okay as long as god is fine with it, which could potentially lead to believers that aren't all that different from islamic suicide bombers.

As far as your second point, there was an interesting study that came out recently.

quote:
There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms.
That being said, I think there are many good things that religions do. However, I challenge you to name me one good thing that religions do that can't be done without religion.
Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence.
That's faith in a non-religious sense. In a religious sense, it means much more than that.
Pardon. Without objective evidence or use of rational investigation.
You're still very far away from a religious definition of faith.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
C3PO the Dragon Slayer
Member
Member # 10416

 - posted      Profile for C3PO the Dragon Slayer           Edit/Delete Post 
The word is "love", Javert.

As OSC pointed out in his most recent World Watch, religions are a uniting force that discourage violence and encourage moral standards.

The example of the Spanish conquest of South America shows that although Christianity was used, in a very poor, bigoted manner, to justify the killing of many and the oppression of natives, there were those who used Christianity to oppose the forces that assumed Spanish superiority and Spain's right to conquer and subjugate.

The conquistadors would have conquered the Aztecs and Incas and done all that cruel stuff with or without Christianity. But those who believed in the love of Christ tried to minimalize the abuses and oppression on the native Americans. While the Conquistadors meant nothing when saying they fought for God, and their minds were really on gold, those who valued the sanctity of God's children, whether or not they knew of their Father or his love, worked to reduce the damages that would have been done with or without Christianity's supposed "help."

This is only one in many ways that religion has been a force for good. And we have not outgrown it as a society. When the meaning of life has nothing to do with glorifying an all-loving, omnipotent being, the meaning of life is happiness. Seeking happiness can lead to much worse than what religion has been "responsible" for.

And my final point (for this post, I have much more ready): The Bible sure depicts a lot of gruesome stuff. You mention Pharaoh killing all the Hebrew children. But does the Bible say that Pharaoh is the good guy in all that?? NO! It is the midwives that spare the Hebrew children that God blesses and honors.

EDIT: (@ Dagonee) Faith is a trust based on precedents, much like scientific conclusions, only based not on lab tests with controlled variables, but on history and actual events. For example, I have know through reasoning, based on historical documents, reliable information, and a sense of morality, that in Jesus's crucifixion, he bore the debt that the inhabitants of the Earth owed God, and in doing so showed the world that his love for his people (that's EVERYONE under God, not just everyone who acknowledges God actively) is boundless and trustworthy. Therefore, I hold, through faith, that Jesus continues to love humanity, despite all the sinning that's been done left and right, east and west.

Faith based on absolutely no evidence is almost impossible. I'd find it a real challenge to believe in something that has absolutely no evidence that points to it. It's impossible to even conceive such an idea. Every idea mankind has created has been based on some evidence, however twisted or misinterpreted. The power to create completely new ideas based on absolutely no account rests with God, and was last exercised when he made the universe.

Posts: 1029 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
Faith, in the strictest religious sense, is belief in something without evidence.
That's faith in a non-religious sense. In a religious sense, it means much more than that.
Gonna have to agree with Dag on this one. Faith as a mere belief in something barring all evidence is not the faith I practice.

For me faith must first precede knowledge, if it was vice versa we would be unwilling to humble ourselves before God and trust in his judgement. Being unwilling to trust in anyone other then one's self is not a virtue IMO.

Trusting in someone that one does not have good evidence exists is also not a virtue, IMO.

(My apologies for coming off snarky in the above statement...but implying I trust in no one else was also a tad snarky, so perhaps we're even.)

No snarkiness was intended on my part, I was just citing the extreme of the reverse faith/knowledge equation.

I think my reasons for believing what I do are based on "good" evidence. I've already said believing in something blindly for all eternity makes little sense. I imagine we only disagree on what constitutes good evidence.

KOM: You realize that some knowledge is required before any faith could be exercised right? Also you really ought to throw out all your schooling as you exercised faith that the teachers could teach you the truth before you knew what they were saying was right or wrong.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eowyn-sama
Member
Member # 11096

 - posted      Profile for Eowyn-sama   Email Eowyn-sama         Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
However, having read and studied the Bible and other scriptures, it does seem like god has a history of asking people to do just that.
Yes, the OT is full of killing, both smiting by God and him commanding others to do the smiting for him. But that was Old Testament. We're now operating under version 2.0, the New Testament. I'm sure you've heard this argument before, but there's a reason for that--its an important distinction. The word 'testament' used to mean 'a contract with God', and the ancient Hebrews had a testament that was something like "You are my chosen people, I will ensure your survival as long as you behave and follow these Laws." In order to keep this contract in the bad old days of tribal warfare, quite a bit of smiting was required.

But then came the Incarnation. And the thing is that Jesus didn't just come to teach a message, although that was important, but his life and sacrifice actually changed the contract between God and mankind. There was no more chosen people, God's word was available to everyone, so that meant no more smiting for the Jews/Christians. The good news was the whole forgiveness and love thing, but they had to give up smiting.

That's a drastic abridgment of what can turn into a lot of heavy theology, but I hope it gets my point across--that my beliefs are shaped by the God I worship, not the other way around. There is actual scriptural and theological backing to this stuff.

Edited for clarity

Posts: 96 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post 
Alright C3P0 (and Dagonee, BlackBlade, lynn, Eowyn and anyone else), here we go.

quote:
This is only one in many ways that religion has been a force for good. And we have not outgrown it as a society.
There are two questions. Number one: does the good that religion does/has done outweigh the evil? Number two: Is it true? If you only care about question number one, I suppose two doesnít matter. I happen to care about both answers.

quote:
When the meaning of life has nothing to do with glorifying an all-loving, omnipotent being, the meaning of life is happiness. Seeking happiness can lead to much worse than what religion has been "responsible" for.
First, you have to show evidence that this omnipotent being exists. Then you have to show evidence that it is all-loving. Then you have to show evidence that it deserves to be glorified.

If the meaning of life isnít about worshipping god, you canít just say the only other option is that we all seek happiness. If there is no god, it means we all find our own meaning for our lives. (Which is what we do anyway.) My meaning (at least one of them) is to do as much good and as little harm as possible while Iím alive. Happiness, while important, isnít a meaning in itself. But I think it will follow from that.

quote:
You mention Pharaoh killing all the Hebrew children. But does the Bible say that Pharaoh is the good guy in all that?? NO! It is the midwives that spare the Hebrew children that God blesses and honors.
Actually I mentioned god killing all the Egyptian first-born sons. Innocent children. Thankfully the story has no evidence to support it as being true, because if it were it would make god out to be a terribly evil being. Regardless if it was vengeance for a similar evil act.

quote:
For example, I have know through reasoning, based on historical documents, reliable information, and a sense of morality, that in Jesus's crucifixion, he bore the debt that the inhabitants of the Earth owed God, and in doing so showed the world that his love for his people (that's EVERYONE under God, not just everyone who acknowledges God actively) is boundless and trustworthy. Therefore, I hold, through faith, that Jesus continues to love humanity, despite all the sinning that's been done left and right, east and west.
Wow. Thereís a lot there.

First of all, historical documents (at most) can tell us what was occurring during the lifetime of the author. Even then, it is better to have more than one source writing about the same events. Unfortunately, the life of Jesus has no contemporary reports, the gospels having been written and published after the time he is supposed to have lived and died. So the most we can say is that the authors believed or wanted others to believe that Jesus existed.

Historical documents, however, say nothing to the validity of the supernatural claims. We can say that there was a man named Jesus who lived in the desert and was an itinerate rabbi about 2000 years ago. But that does not mean he was a god. It does not serve as evidence that he had powers or performed any of the miracles he is supposed to have performed. It only serves as evidence that people believed he could do those things.

Please explain the reliable information you have, and I will gladly respond to it.

As far as a sense of moralityÖthat does nothing to tell us the truth of something. My morality could tell me that we couldnít live in a world that wasnít balanced atop four giant elephants, but that doesnít make it true.

Now, back to what you need to show evidence for. [Smile]

You need to show evidence that human sacrifice can somehow remove the responsibility for my wrong actions from me, let alone the responsibility of the whole world.

You have to explain how killing a man is somehow a loving act.

You have to explain how it is a sacrifice for a god, who according to its own definitional description cannot really die, to pretend to die only to come back a few days later.

You have to show evidence that a child is somehow responsible for the actions of its parents.

OK. I think Iím done for now. Sorry I went on for a while, but I wanted to give all your points coverage.

[ November 08, 2007, 08:59 PM: Message edited by: Javert ]

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
C3PO the Dragon Slayer
Member
Member # 10416

 - posted      Profile for C3PO the Dragon Slayer           Edit/Delete Post 
It seems to me that the Jews were the Chosen People in order to be the forbearers of the news of the Gospel once the Messiah came. The Bible says very clearly that the Jews had a very humanlike tendency to misbehave. They created idols as soon as Moses took a hike on the mountain, ran away as soon as they saw the land God promised them, and constantly allowed the polytheist practices of surrounding cultures corrupt their nation. It seems that God meant these people to keep alive to be the the people Jesus would identify with, the ones God shaped into a cradle for the Gospel, so that when Jesus came, the ones who believed in him would be the disciples of Christ to show the world what the big idea is. The "Chosen People" stuff looks to me like God chose the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be the nation that would be the first to accept the Messiah that would save the whole world. In that way, God was very clever; for thousands of years he shaped, protected, and taught a group of people so that they would be ready to get the message out once he enacted his plan. And it seemed to have worked.

Without the Jews, Jesus would have been laughed at, constantly disregarded, and killed before anyone believed him. The twelve disciples had to recognize the Lord that had watched their tribe with great interest for centuries to put their lives aside for the Messiah. Since the Jews were a weakened nation, strong in numbers, capable in skills, and dependent in everyday life on the mercy of their oppressors, many embraced their Savior before he even died and was resurrected. And because of this, the Christian Church had a foothold to get started with saving the world.

Posts: 1029 | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 6 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2