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Author Topic:   The Essence Of Faith & Belief.
Phat
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Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1 of 189 (630266)
08-23-2011 12:35 PM


As the new moderator of our Faith & Belief Forum, I wanted to open up the question as to what this particular forum is all about.

Of course, we do have some basic guidelines already established.

quote:
Is God an objective reality or a subjective concept?

The question could be further asked: Is God? (Or is She not?)

The Faith & Belief Forum differs from the Bible Study Forum in that an atheist is as welcome here as is a believer..of any religion. While participants can bring up the Holy Book, (or a wholly crocked argument, with reasonable support) the Bible is not the final word in this particular forum. Human wisdom and philosophy play a larger role in this forum, which makes it sort of like a coffee house of faith (versus logic). Does anyone have anything to add regarding their own personal philosophy of what faith and belief mean in their own lives and what faith and belief can mean at EvC Forum?

Edited by AdminPhat, : spelling

Edited by AdminPhat, : best be Phat rather than adminphat


Replies to this message:
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 Message 4 by Larni, posted 08-24-2011 4:12 PM Phat has responded
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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 5 of 189 (630836)
08-28-2011 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Larni
08-24-2011 4:12 PM


Re: This is my idea.
Stile writes:

It is my personal philosophy that we should focus on the things we know to exist... like Love and Joy and Happiness... rather than to quibble over who may or may not exist behind their curtain.

Yet we have a Faith & Belief Forum in order to take a break from knowledge.

Larni writes:

My idea for this fora would be to assume that there is some kind of deity or supernatural intent behind the universe. Then to discuss the possible intent or rational behind the world being what it is, given the deity in question made a conscious effort to create.

This is a good area to expand. What would the characteristics of an alleged universal Deity be?

Is it unfair to assume that said Deity should love us?

Is it expecting too much that said Deity pays us any attention, seeing as how a Deity would have the capability.....


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 7 of 189 (630838)
08-28-2011 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
08-28-2011 12:33 PM


Necessity of a Deity
jar writes:

Do you love pond scum?

Do you pay attention to the desires of pond scum?

You certainly have the capability.

Yes, but I had no hand in the creation of, maintenance of, or future of said scum.

A Deity, as conceived in the minds of Men, has not only the capability but the will to care for all of creation. Let the Deity worry about the pond scum.

You bring up a host of further questions, however.....

IF A Deity had no care of or for us, what use would Belief even be?

Was it necessary for Man to attempt to understand God? If so, was it entirely for our benefit?


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 15 of 189 (630933)
08-29-2011 12:48 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Larni
08-29-2011 5:55 AM


Re: This is my idea.
Larni writes:

If that is where the evidence leads should we shy away from conclusions simply because they conflict with what we want?

And yet evidence is not a requirement for Faith or Belief.

Besides, how do we know that our perceptions are not affected by the evil one?(introducing The Evil One. Entirely optional for the purpose of this discussion.)


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 18 of 189 (630936)
08-29-2011 12:58 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Dogmafood
08-29-2011 9:28 AM


The Evil One
Dogmafood writes:

...we should only follow the evidence. I am sure it is what god would want us to do.

And yet the very concept of logic, reason, and reality seems to threaten the idea of Faith & Belief, or in other words, whatever the heck we want to believe to be true.

So many questions, so many directions....and so many tentative conclusions!

If I am imagining a God, and that God doesnt stack up to the ways that I was taught that such a God should be, what am I to make of it?

jar writes:

Is there any Biblical support for "the Evil One"?

Actually, not much. The devil is certainly much discussed and blamed in evangelical circles, however. Perhaps he serves as a scapegoat for the bad behavior of some Christians.

This message is a reply to:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 19 of 189 (630937)
08-29-2011 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by New Cat's Eye
08-29-2011 12:55 PM


The Evil 1.
Actually that particular "1" is rather rainbow colored...though traditions say that the devil disguises himself as an angel of light. (Or perhaps he is gay...)

Every hero needs a villain, though. If we had no global villain to blame the behavioral imperfections of humanity on, it would force us to look smack dab at ourselves and at our inclinations to justify greed, lust, envy, and all the rest of those deadly sins that we do.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 21 of 189 (630939)
08-29-2011 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by iano
08-29-2011 12:32 PM


Human Beliefs regarding Gods Plan
Faith & Belief often involve a belief in God. Some would argue that the uninitiated only know about God, much like a philosophical construct of the human mind, whereas initiates (those saved and/or born again) actually have a personal relationship with (internal communion, if you will) with the Creator of the universe.

Western Christianity seemed to lean towards a Creation/Fall/Redemption paradigm.

Eastern Christianity placed less significance on a Fall, and had more of a Creation/Awareness/Decision paradigm.

A Western Christian such as yourself may argue that humans are incapable of the ability to even decide proper behavior without a Redeemer. (or the action/decision of redemption.)

Eastern Christians may argue that humans are now aware and have the decision to accept the responsibility of a life dedicated to serving others.

I have a question for you, Ian. Were God taken out of the equation, what would people even have as far as Belief goes? Whom would we believe in?> Ourselves? Humanity? Would it work?


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 38 of 189 (630989)
08-29-2011 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by iano
08-29-2011 5:47 PM


Is It Worthwhile To Have Faith In Humanity?
Dogmafood writes:

Does it make any sense, at all, that an eternal creator would require a book to manifest itself in the world?

Especially considering that 95% of the world couldnt read when the book was first compiled. (Iano, you have yet to reply to my other post to you)

Iano writes:

...I know myself too well to blame it on something external to me. There are all kinds of sub-players in this game - but the chief villan when it comes to me is pride. My pride.

And when you track back to the root of the trouble in the world it's the same thing the world over.

Which is a good argument in favor of Western Christianity and the Creation/Fall/Redemption paradigm.

Humans have had well over 2000 years to get it all right...yet we still show the seven deadly sins to each other on a constant basis.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 67 of 189 (641158)
11-17-2011 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Larni
08-29-2011 11:59 AM


Imaginary Friends versus Necessary Gods
Larni writes:

As an aside the psychologist in me does wonder about the need for certainty biblical literalists seem to have about the nature of their god.

Had I never been taught anything at all about what the Bible said, and was simply introduced to God by way of definition...

Websters writes:

god \"gäd, "gÕd\ n 1 cap : the supreme reality; esp : the Being worshiped as the creator and ruler of the universe 2 : a being or object believed to have supernatural attributes and powers and to require worship 3 : a person or thing of supreme value

I wouldnt need or require certainty since the concept of personal relationship was never brought up.

Now, I believe that a personal relationship is necessary even if difficult to obtain. Certainty is also important.

jar writes:

You said "A Deity, as conceived in the minds of Men," so the answer to all your questions is the the deity will be exactly as you imagine that deity to be, and live at Foster's.

Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends

Why admit to such a belief as that my Deity is an imaginary friend? I simply must will Him to be real!Otherwise, I will have been taught to find the ultimate question rather than the ultimate answer.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 70 of 189 (733603)
07-19-2014 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Stile
08-29-2011 2:22 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
Stile writes:

the good that exists in this world doesn't balance out the evil. The evil that exists grossly out proportions the good. If this is the way the world must be... any capable worthy or just judge would not create this world in the first place.

Do we humans have the ability to judge the Judge? What defines what is capable?

The Deity may well tell us that we are incapable of seeing the big picture and thus are wrong in judging Him.


...."When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

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Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 72 of 189 (733646)
07-19-2014 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by ringo
07-19-2014 12:08 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
Who appointed Him Judge?
And this gets us to one of the oldest sub topics in human history---leadership. Humans elect leaders. We also choose our presidents, congress, and senators. Often, the choices we make are far from perfect.

Look at Vladimir Putin, for example. Look at George W.Bush. Ronald Reagan. Some criticize Obama. Thus...on a human level, choices are made by majority vote.

In a sense, I would argue that the same applies in the Spirit realm. God initially was autocratic due to Him having created everything seen and unseen. He then allowed for the possibility of evil....some would argue that He is thus responsible...which is true in a sense in that He is the Creator yet is also untrue in the sense that He never directly made angels nor later humans choose Him and only Him. Lucifer chose to establish his own abode...take on his own free will...and the inevitable consequences followed. Is this unfair? Critics may defend Lucifer as being forced into a no-win situation. Either submit or be banished. Lucifer could well cry out that "who made God in charge!" Humans later were given the knowledge of choice....good and evil. Now, we can well cry out that there is no law making God in charge. And yes, being the Creator of all things seen and unseen does give you veto power---as an omnipotent Deity. But so what? You seem to want your cake and eat it too. You seem to want free will and abolishment of all omnipotence. You seem to want a level playing ground...much as satan may have wanted....that establishes no authority save our own. Why you reject the whole "might makes right" paradigm is beyond me. Perhaps you mistrust the Creator. Perhaps you want to vote the autocrat out of office and establish some sort of spiritual democracy. My response to that is that it is not the Deity that cannot be trusted. It is the people at large. Look at human history. Did God cause any wars? Did God kill six million Jews? Did God carry out genocide against native americans? No. Humans did. Humans are their own worst enemy. Thus...as to the question of who put God in charge? I would answer by saying that God put us in charge and we have failed miserably. Hence, some believe that Jesus will return to finalize the problem of free will. You can cast your dissenting vote when this happens.


...."When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 75 of 189 (733791)
07-21-2014 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by Stile
07-21-2014 9:20 AM


Re: This is not my idea.
One thing I like about your posts,Stile...is that you always think critically and list multiple options...different ways to approach a given situation!

...."When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

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 Message 74 by Stile, posted 07-21-2014 9:20 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 76 of 189 (739912)
10-29-2014 2:28 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by ringo
07-19-2014 3:46 PM


Re: This is not my idea.
Ringo writes:

I stand for collective authority. To paraphrase Thomas Paine, the people are better off being governed by themselves instead of by some distant despot.

I agree. We dont want our authority to be distant. Being in communion with each other is an advantage and plan, in my belief.

We also don't want a despot.

quote:
Despot--noun
1.
a king or other ruler with absolute, unlimited power; autocrat.
2.
any tyrant or oppressor.
3.
History/Historical. an honorary title applied to a Byzantine emperor, afterward to members of his family, and later to Byzantine vassal rulers and governors.

God ultimately has absolute and unlimited power, but in our lifetimes He has allowed us some room to question, challenge, and deny...should we so desire. I also don't see Him as an oppressor because the only thing He oppresses isn't good for me anyway.I have never felt that God oppresses my free will. At best, He pricks my conscience..


Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo

If You Don't Stand For Something You Will Fall For Anything~Malcolm X


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 79 of 189 (740071)
10-31-2014 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by Theodoric
10-29-2014 3:40 PM


Why Stick Around?
What do you expect? Mass suicide??

There is a lot to do here. Besides, we dont hate life. We love it as much as any non religious people love it, with the possible exception that we don't see this life as all there is and that we don't just live for today(for tomorrow we die)


Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo

If You Don't Stand For Something You Will Fall For Anything~Malcolm X


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Phat
Member
Posts: 15616
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 81 of 189 (740130)
11-01-2014 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Taq
10-31-2014 4:29 PM


Re: Why Stick Around?
Is life better than the afterlife?
Quite honestly I dont know. I believe that we are meant to experience both...and I believe that life is to an extent what you make it...but I also believe that in this life we will suffer some trials and tribulations. Our job...our reason for "sticking around" is to help others.

Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo

If You Don't Stand For Something You Will Fall For Anything~Malcolm X


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