Understanding through Discussion


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Author Topic:   God says this, and God says that
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 338 of 417 (27161)
12-18-2002 6:28 AM
Reply to: Message 337 by funkmasterfreaky
12-17-2002 7:56 PM


quote:
Originally posted by funkmasterfreaky:
I'm trying to avoid being condescending or preachy here, I'm just saying if someone is claiming a personal relationship with God, that maybe they have an extra "sense" or a divinely given "understanding".

what you say is true... spiritual things are spirituallly discerned... God is spirit... our spirits, once dead, are reborn...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 337 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-17-2002 7:56 PM funkmasterfreaky has not yet responded

nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 339 of 417 (27191)
12-18-2002 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 323 by forgiven
12-16-2002 7:23 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
quote:
Originally posted by schrafinator:
quote:
Originally posted by Chara:
quote:
Originally posted by schrafinator:

Religions say they know. I say that nobody can know. Therefore, religion is not valid. Not any of it.


Schraf,
Can you explain how you got to "therefore" from the previous statements? I'm confused.


Hmm. Religions claim to know the unknowable. If someone claims to know the unknowable, their claims are not valid.


not very convincing, schraf... what religions claim that? who invalidated another's knowledge claim? i know God, are you saying God is unknowable? if so, on what basis do you make that statement... if not, please clarify your position


I sometimes think that God is unknowable, even if God does exist.

I mean, why do we assume that we can know God?

This part of my worldview is not very firm, however, and I vaccilate sometimes.

The only part I am sure of is that I don't know if there is a God or not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 323 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 7:23 PM forgiven has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 343 by forgiven, posted 12-18-2002 7:23 PM nator has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 340 of 417 (27192)
12-18-2002 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 329 by Chara
12-16-2002 8:02 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Chara:
quote:
Originally posted by schrafinator:
Something is unknowable if we cannot detect it with our senses.

This is of course presuming that we can trust our senses.

True, but that is all we have with which to interact with our environment.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 329 by Chara, posted 12-16-2002 8:02 PM Chara has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 341 of 417 (27194)
12-18-2002 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 337 by funkmasterfreaky
12-17-2002 7:56 PM


quote:

I'm trying to avoid being condescending or preachy here, I'm just saying if someone is claiming a personal relationship with God, that maybe they have an extra "sense" or a divinely given "understanding".

...or maybe they are making up a fantasy that comforts them and helps them get through their life.

How do you tell the difference between the two?

You can't.

That's why I'm an Agnostic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 337 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-17-2002 7:56 PM funkmasterfreaky has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 342 by Chara, posted 12-18-2002 11:59 AM nator has responded

  
Chara
Inactive Member


Message 342 of 417 (27215)
12-18-2002 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 341 by nator
12-18-2002 9:33 AM


quote:
Originally posted by schrafinator:
quote:

I'm trying to avoid being condescending or preachy here, I'm just saying if someone is claiming a personal relationship with God, that maybe they have an extra "sense" or a divinely given "understanding".

...or maybe they are making up a fantasy that comforts them and helps them get through their life.

How do you tell the difference between the two?

You can't.

That's why I'm an Agnostic.


This is an interesting thought though schraf. When I first read your statement that we can only know what our senses tell us, I thought of a blind person and how limited their knowledge must be if they were to rely on ONLY their own senses. They must trust others whose sense of sight is "working". They would miss out on a lot if they did not. (I realize of course that they couldn't believe everything they were told). In the same way, presupposing that there is a spiritual sense, (like forgiven's example of Elijah praying that his servant would see the heavenly host encamped around them), those whose spiritual sense is not "working" can only rely on those whose is. I wonder if we shouldn't at least be open that idea?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 341 by nator, posted 12-18-2002 9:33 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 344 by nator, posted 12-19-2002 10:15 AM Chara has responded

forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 343 of 417 (27268)
12-18-2002 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 339 by nator
12-18-2002 9:22 AM


quote:
Originally posted by schrafinator:
This part of my worldview is not very firm, however, and I vaccilate sometimes.

The only part I am sure of is that I don't know if there is a God or not.


this is more acceptable as it isn't spoken as if a knowledge claim exists... but please don't assume that your lack of knowledge in any one area means another's profession of such knowledge is in error


This message is a reply to:
 Message 339 by nator, posted 12-18-2002 9:22 AM nator has not yet responded

nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 344 of 417 (27346)
12-19-2002 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 342 by Chara
12-18-2002 11:59 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Chara:
quote:
Originally posted by schrafinator:
quote:

I'm trying to avoid being condescending or preachy here, I'm just saying if someone is claiming a personal relationship with God, that maybe they have an extra "sense" or a divinely given "understanding".

...or maybe they are making up a fantasy that comforts them and helps them get through their life.

How do you tell the difference between the two?

You can't.

That's why I'm an Agnostic.


This is an interesting thought though schraf. When I first read your statement that we can only know what our senses tell us, I thought of a blind person and how limited their knowledge must be if they were to rely on ONLY their own senses. They must trust others whose sense of sight is "working". They would miss out on a lot if they did not. (I realize of course that they couldn't believe everything they were told). In the same way, presupposing that there is a spiritual sense, (like forgiven's example of Elijah praying that his servant would see the heavenly host encamped around them), those whose spiritual sense is not "working" can only rely on those whose is. I wonder if we shouldn't at least be open that idea?


Sure, we can be open.

However, how do you tell the difference between "spiritual sense", meaning a "real" connection to God, and a self-constructed fantasy, perpetuated and strongly reinforced by culture?

We can see hints of which way is the more likely way.

One of the biggest hints, to me, it the fact that people generally believe in God in the way they are taught at childhood to believe in God. People raised in Christian communities are extremely likely to be Christians their whole lives; the same is true of Islamic, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, etc. communities.

(Actually, Buddhists don't believe in God, and Hindus believe in many gods)

This indicates to me that the culture one lives in determines one's beliefs much more than any special sense abilities.

Your blind person analogy is weak for another reason. Sight is one of the natural senses. We understand how eyes work and we even know where in the brain much of visual perception occurs.

Are you proposing that "spiritual sense" has a physical basis? (I think it does, but this, of course, doesn't mean that the supernatural has anything to do with it)

It has been shown that people who are very religious have a larger-than-average part in their brain which seems to relate to feelings of euphoria/religious high.

I conclude that the capacity for "spiritual" feelings was an evolutionary advantage to our ancestors because it strengthened social bonds.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 342 by Chara, posted 12-18-2002 11:59 AM Chara has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 345 by Chara, posted 12-19-2002 11:43 AM nator has responded

  
Chara
Inactive Member


Message 345 of 417 (27367)
12-19-2002 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 344 by nator
12-19-2002 10:15 AM


Schraf,

You've raised some excellent questions. I honestly do not know how to answer the question, "how do you tell the difference between "spiritual sense", meaning a "real" connection to God, and a self-constructed fantasy, perpetuated and strongly reinforced by culture?" Not scientifically, anyway. I do know that there are many exceptions to the general rule that you stated in regards to culturally influenced belief, but I'm not sure if that has any bearing on it.

I knew that the "blind person analogy" was not an absolute. It was more or less just a pondering on my part. Does "spiritual sense" have a physical cause? I don't know. hehehehe

Anyway, now that I've not answered your questions , can I ask you one? Several times in this forum I have noticed people talking about "religious feelings", what is that? I cannot say that I have ever experienced anything that I would categorize that way.

Wish I had better answers for you .... "I know, that I know, that I know" .... and I know that you don't have to, nor should you take my word for it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 344 by nator, posted 12-19-2002 10:15 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 346 by nator, posted 12-22-2002 10:21 AM Chara has not yet responded

nator
Member (Idle past 212 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 346 of 417 (27640)
12-22-2002 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 345 by Chara
12-19-2002 11:43 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Chara:
Schraf,

You've raised some excellent questions. I honestly do not know how to answer the question, "how do you tell the difference between "spiritual sense", meaning a "real" connection to God, and a self-constructed fantasy, perpetuated and strongly reinforced by culture?" Not scientifically, anyway. I do know that there are many exceptions to the general rule that you stated in regards to culturally influenced belief, but I'm not sure if that has any bearing on it.

I knew that the "blind person analogy" was not an absolute. It was more or less just a pondering on my part. Does "spiritual sense" have a physical cause? I don't know. hehehehe

Anyway, now that I've not answered your questions , can I ask you one? Several times in this forum I have noticed people talking about "religious feelings", what is that? I cannot say that I have ever experienced anything that I would categorize that way.

Wish I had better answers for you .... "I know, that I know, that I know" .... and I know that you don't have to, nor should you take my word for it.


Well, a lot of people report religious feelings as feeling that they are "one with God", or "one with the universe". Euphoria or joy, and the feeling of great contentment and peace are also common descriptions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 345 by Chara, posted 12-19-2002 11:43 AM Chara has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 347 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-23-2002 11:56 AM nator has not yet responded

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 347 of 417 (27733)
12-23-2002 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 346 by nator
12-22-2002 10:21 AM


Well, a lot of people report religious feelings as feeling that they are "one with God", or "one with the universe". Euphoria or joy, and the feeling of great contentment and peace are also common descriptions.

These are just emotions.

------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 346 by nator, posted 12-22-2002 10:21 AM nator has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 348 by Primordial Egg, posted 12-23-2002 12:04 PM funkmasterfreaky has responded

Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 348 of 417 (27734)
12-23-2002 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 347 by funkmasterfreaky
12-23-2002 11:56 AM


quote:
Originally posted by funkmasterfreaky:
Well, a lot of people report religious feelings as feeling that they are "one with God", or "one with the universe". Euphoria or joy, and the feeling of great contentment and peace are also common descriptions.

These are just emotions.


Can you explain the difference?

Every experience is always more "real" to the person experiencing them.

PE

[This message has been edited by Primordial Egg, 12-23-2002]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 347 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-23-2002 11:56 AM funkmasterfreaky has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 349 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-23-2002 10:08 PM Primordial Egg has not yet responded

funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 349 of 417 (27762)
12-23-2002 10:08 PM
Reply to: Message 348 by Primordial Egg
12-23-2002 12:04 PM


I'm confused, what difference? Difference in what?

------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 348 by Primordial Egg, posted 12-23-2002 12:04 PM Primordial Egg has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 411 by nator, posted 01-16-2003 7:40 AM funkmasterfreaky has responded

Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 350 of 417 (27793)
12-24-2002 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 247 by gene90
12-16-2002 12:31 PM


quote:
Originally posted by gene90:
quote:
Is my dismissal of giant pink invisible unicorns unreasonable because I hanven't had any direct sensory experience of them?

This is one of those analogies I dislike. The problem with analogies dealing with things not detectable with direct sensory experience is that they can be as reasonable or as unreasonable as you make them. When my money is in the bank vault and I'm locked outside I don't have direct sensory verification of it either. Does that necessarily mean that the money does not exist? The museum patrons don't have direct sensory experience with the contents of the box, but that doesn't mean that the 'empty box' theorist necessarily has an advantage over the others (though perhaps he can make a convincing case by speculating upon motives of the artist).

By the way your analogy contains an internal contradiction: invisible objects have no color.


Well, let's look at it from another angle guys

'When my money is in the bank vault and I'm locked outside I don't have direct sensory verification of it either. Does that necessarily mean that the money does not exist?'

no it doesn't, you are right, you have absolutely no idea, the money could be there, but equally probable is that it isn't there.

however, having established that you have no reason to believe or not believe anything, how can you be punished for not believing?

This is the flaw in religions that profesy damnation. Jesus said,

'all those who have heard the gospel and yet do not believe, will be condemned'- i seem to remember somewhere from sunday school.

but the question 'is the gospel true?' is very much the same as 'is there money in the bank'. you have no reasonable obligation to believe it.

The argument that most christians/mormons/etc use to counter this is

'but God is within each of us and he speaks to us' hence (supposedly) obliging us to believe because after all, god is telling us.

Agnostic: 'but i can't hear him'

Christian: 'that's because you have no faith'

Agnostic: 'but how am i obliged to have faith?'

Christian: 'because the bible says so'

Agnostic: 'why should I believe the bible?'

Christian: 'because otherwise YOU GO TO HELL!'

at which point the agnostic wins because the christian has descended into dogma.

In the end, the 'why should I's always win.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by gene90, posted 12-16-2002 12:31 PM gene90 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 351 by forgiven, posted 12-24-2002 6:25 PM Gzus has not yet responded
 Message 352 by doctrbill, posted 12-24-2002 10:14 PM Gzus has not yet responded
 Message 358 by Gzus, posted 12-25-2002 1:42 PM Gzus has not yet responded

forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 351 of 417 (27804)
12-24-2002 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 350 by Gzus
12-24-2002 3:07 PM


Originally posted by Gzus:
but the question 'is the gospel true?' is very much the same as 'is there money in the bank'. you have no reasonable obligation to believe it.

yes, christians do believe that God has given everyone ample testimony of his existence, and God asks only that man trust him... that's all he's ever asked... christians believe it is very reasonable to believe God exists... of those who believe God exists, some trust him but don't believe Jesus is Messiah... some trust him but believe Jesus and man are co-Messiahs... some trust him but believe salvation is of God alone, and that Jesus earned it for us... and some don't trust him at all

is it reasonable to believe the gospel is true? only if one believes God exists and only if one then trusts him


This message is a reply to:
 Message 350 by Gzus, posted 12-24-2002 3:07 PM Gzus has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 353 by Mr. Davies, posted 12-24-2002 11:04 PM forgiven has responded

doctrbill
Member (Idle past 807 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 352 of 417 (27812)
12-24-2002 10:14 PM
Reply to: Message 350 by Gzus
12-24-2002 3:07 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Gzus:
'all those who have heard the gospel and yet do not believe, will be condemned'- i seem to remember somewhere from sunday school.

"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed ... in flaming fire taking vengeance on them
that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:"
2 Thessalonians 1:7,8 KJV

What I'd like to know is - What's to obey?

db


This message is a reply to:
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