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How many of you do and don't believe in God?


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#91    shadowhive

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:16 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 02:05 AM, said:

I care about all those things. Why shouldnt an older wiser more evolved individual or species also care?

We are the most intelligent species on the planet, yet humanity has had a terrible track record with the other species that call this world home. We've destroyed habitats and hunted races into extinction. So just because a race is any of those thing doesn't necessarily mean it would care. A more advanced race could look at us and think we're not worth their time.

Of course that doesn't mean another race wouldn't care, it just doesn't mean they automatically would. But it seems incredibly unlikely that anything would care about the lives of every person on the planet, certainy not to the pathollogical degree that 'god' apparently seems to.

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Actually both with a metaphysicala and a physicla god you can introduce it to a friend. But the friends relationship will depend on the friends nature This happens in real life. You can love and respect two friends but when you introduce them to each other they just dont get on. It is not that god cahnges but that we perciev egod through our hearts and minds. God works to mature the minds and hearts and increase our wisdom

No, you can't introduce god to a friend. The reasoning is something you touch on there. God seems very much like a mirror. A reflection of the person. If a person is kind and loving, their god will be too. If they're hateful, so will their idea of god will be too.

Now with people you're right, there's no guarantee that two of your friends will get on, but that wasn't the point I was making. Friend a would, physically, be the same friend a that you know. Same as friend b. they may not like each other, but you know they'd be the same people that you know, with no room for error. To put it another way. You can give someone a red ball and they can't percieve it as anything other than a red ball. They can't confuse it for a rubix cube, or a hat or a ship in a bottle. It's simply a red ball.

Now try and show someone god and they won't see it the same as you. They see what they want.

The problem with that is, in my experience, god doesn't seem to mature anything. Quite the opposite in fact. God seems to have a tendancy to stunt wisdom, to keep immature prejudices, to maintain hate and inequality.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#92    khol

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:35 AM

first of all i mean no disrespect to anyone...these opinions are completely my own
but for me the older i get it all becomes more and more obvious
god or religion in general is a construct of our minds...a coping mechanism to help us deal with our mortality
people fear death...belief in a god helps the brain rationalize the concept of death
it gives people hope and assurance that there is more to our existence
instead of embracing each other different cultures fight wars over there own belief systems...killing fellow humans in the name of there own god
its a cancer on our society and has deterred human growth
pedophiles,murderers,people who inflict harm on innocent people are gods creations?
the heart breaking suffering going on around the world..starving,diseased children,refugees clinging to life in encampments ect..this is gods handywork?
our brains are incredible and have hidden abilities we have yet to understand
it will allow someone,many times someone in pain or suffering, to become immersed in a belief if it benifits that individual..probably a way of reducing stress which we know is a killer
most of you i'm sure have heard this idea of our creation..that we are..or more accurately our conscienceness,is explained as the universe evolving to a state that it can percieve itself
this idea makes the most sense to me..that science,as flawed as it is,will eventually explain many things over time
but not all,we must understand we will never know everything
humans are definitely not as smart as they think they are
arrogant and naive possibly
we are but a speck in this vast expanse
we will come and go and be complete forgotten..
like i'm sure many civilizations before and after us
god is a delusion in my opinion


#93    Zaphod222

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:57 AM

Which God does the question refer to, anyway? Zeus? Yahweh? Allah? Jupiter? Kali? Ilhuicateotl?

I hope the religionists among us who voted that they "believe in god" realize that in reality they are all really atheists (in all religions minus one).

Edited by Zaphod222, 19 January 2013 - 05:59 AM.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#94    Hawkin

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:00 AM

About 86% of the worlds population believe in a Creator. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hindu and Buddhist. Even Indigenous Peoples such as Native American tribes of the Americas and Aboriginals of Australia and other continents believe in some creation story. Even though their stories are different, and their Creator has a different name, there seems to be a similarity to it.   When stories get passed down through the generations, The stories change where things get added or subtracted to the original version. The stories can be embellished.

It's good to have some skepticism so you won't be gullible & naïve. But to much of it can make you arrogant & egotistical.

#95    Zaphod222

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:01 AM

View PostHazrus, on 16 January 2013 - 05:15 AM, said:

Heaven's Gate Cult

...Jonestown.
Bezlan.
World Trade Center
London Subway
..... the list endless.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#96    sutemi

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:37 AM

View PostRyu, on 19 January 2013 - 12:36 AM, said:

I am not religious either but when I look at what Buddha said (if he did exist) he simply conveyed his thoughts based on his experiences. He never demanded that people follow or listen to him nor did he claim his way was the only way. He never even addressed the notion that everyone was naturally evil just because they were born.

You do not need to be religious to be moral and ethical...the Buddha even says "Peace comes from within; do not seek it without" and the same applies to morals, compassion and so forth.
But sadly many won't even consider such basic concepts, most which we learn in preschool, unless it is packaged in religious confines.

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.


-The Dalai Lama





It’s so nice to see some teachings of a great teacher like the Buddha. But we must be careful not to fall into the trap of cherry picking bits we like and ignoring the whole message, like most religions have done. The foundation of ‘The Way’ is MEDITATION, this is the most important thing. As you posted, “Peace comes from within” answer meditation. The Dali Lama meditates for up to 4hrs a day! So long as this foundation is strong all will be well.

“Wakefulness is the way to life. The fool sleeps as if he were already dead,
But the master is awake and he lives forever. He watches (meditates). He is clear. How happy he is!
For he sees that wakefulness is life.
How happy he is, following the path of the awakened. With great perseverance he meditates, seeking freedom and happiness.
So awake, reflect, watch. Work with care and attention. Live in the way and the light will grow in you.
By watching and working (meditating) the master makes for himself an island
Which the flood cannot overwhelm.
The fool is careless. But the master guards his watching (meditating). It is his most precious treasure.
He never gives in to desire. He meditates.
And in the strength of his resolve he discovers true happiness. He overcomes desire and from the tower of his wisdom he looks down with dispassion upon the sorrowing crowd.
From the mountain top He looks down at those who live close to the ground. Mindful among the mindless, awake while others dream, swift as the race horse he outstrips the field.
How wonderful it is to watch (meditate). How foolish to sleep.


The beggar who guards his mind (meditates) and fears the waywardness of his thoughts
Burns through every bond with the fire of his vigilance. The beggar who guards his mind
and fears his own confusion cannot fall. He has found his way to peace. From the ’Dhammapada’


‘MEDITATE. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work, with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds’. Buddha

“The trouble is you think you have time”. Buddha


Edited by sutemi, 19 January 2013 - 08:39 AM.


#97    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 19 January 2013 - 03:16 AM, said:

We are the most intelligent species on the planet, yet humanity has had a terrible track record with the other species that call this world home. We've destroyed habitats and hunted races into extinction. So just because a race is any of those thing doesn't necessarily mean it would care. A more advanced race could look at us and think we're not worth their time.

Of course that doesn't mean another race wouldn't care, it just doesn't mean they automatically would. But it seems incredibly unlikely that anything would care about the lives of every person on the planet, certainy not to the pathollogical degree that 'god' apparently seems to.



No, you can't introduce god to a friend. The reasoning is something you touch on there. God seems very much like a mirror. A reflection of the person. If a person is kind and loving, their god will be too. If they're hateful, so will their idea of god will be too.

Now with people you're right, there's no guarantee that two of your friends will get on, but that wasn't the point I was making. Friend a would, physically, be the same friend a that you know. Same as friend b. they may not like each other, but you know they'd be the same people that you know, with no room for error. To put it another way. You can give someone a red ball and they can't percieve it as anything other than a red ball. They can't confuse it for a rubix cube, or a hat or a ship in a bottle. It's simply a red ball.

Now try and show someone god and they won't see it the same as you. They see what they want.

The problem with that is, in my experience, god doesn't seem to mature anything. Quite the opposite in fact. God seems to have a tendancy to stunt wisdom, to keep immature prejudices, to maintain hate and inequality.


You dont know people very well, do you? :innocent:

They are no different to god. A person is not a red ball, ie an inanimate object. It is a very complex being and so is god.  Just as you say Peole will mirror god on  themselves, they do precisely the same with people.  Your friend will not see your other friend as you do. They cannot, because they are significantly different to you, with different values likes and dislikes etc.
But still, you can (and do) introduce the one to the other. And you can do the same with god. How they get on is  then up to them.
If you treat a person one way you will find a different human being to if you treat them in a different way.  It is true that a sadistic person may find a sadistic god within themselves  And more true that, how we interpret god comes from our personal and cultural perspectives. How else COULD it be given the nature of the connection betwen god and man. Ths is also true for how we see ourselves, and how we view other human beings.

But i read the bible and see how to treat my felow man.  I can read other religious books and find the same truths These reflect comon human understandings of god and gods relationship with us  Why dont humans do a better job with god? Maybe because some humans are just not very nice people. But the bible for example tells us how to treat other humans TO love them as oursleves. I am sure other religious books contain simiar wisdoms. Personally, for what ever reason, god teaches me to love, to share but most important to be all that i can be In both physical and spiritual terms Because i respect and love myself i can respect and love others.

The bible when it was written was a very wise book and remained so for centuries. It still contains many of humanity's greatest wisdoms. But it would not be written as it is, today. because society has changed. Even the nature of human cognitive function has changed since those times as a modern human is born into and lives in a totally different world where they lern to think very differntly to a paerson form a millenia or two ago.

Ps we are intelligent but we lack wisdom. We are driven by evolved forces which no longer work well, given our advanced technology and social  structures and indeed sheer density of numbers. But spiritual and religious beliefs and teachings can and do adapt to changing circumstances.


Finally i cant speak for everyone else but god cares for me, protects me, and empowers me, loves me and teaches me. Given that i am just an ordinary human, and nothing special I must assume that god seeks the same relationship with every other human. I think perhaps it is humans who do not accpet the requirements of such a relationship and chose not to accpet living life with a powerful god as a very real part of it.

KNowing god is within you stops you, not just lying to others but lying to yourself, for example, and many humans cant cope with either of those constraints.

It stops you hurting yourself, or failing to love or respect your self. it stops you from failing to love and respect others because once you realise god is within you then you understand that equally god is within every other human being. ANd who can fail to love respect honour and  care for a being who is a host for a god?

It goes to very basic things As a host of god I have to keep my body and mind as fit and well tuned as possible. As a host of god i do not take drugs alcohol nicotine etc.  In part because this would be disrespectful and also dumb Imagine what might happen with a drunken god within you :devil:   But also in part because connected to god one becomes complete and doesnt need any  crutches or props. One is whole and walks upright and secure, unafraid and determined through life, and everything life brings.One never needs to build ones self up by putting another down or belittling them. And one does not need to try to prove one is equal to, or better than, any other person in any sphere of life. As humans we are all equal and all worthy. The thing is to simply make the most use of your own talents.

All we have to do is be true to ourselves, and to be the most we can be. As long as we recognise god's presence in ourselves as we attempt to do  this, we cant go wrong.

Edited by Mr Walker, 19 January 2013 - 02:42 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#98    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:36 PM

View PostZaphod222, on 19 January 2013 - 05:57 AM, said:

Which God does the question refer to, anyway? Zeus? Yahweh? Allah? Jupiter? Kali? Ilhuicateotl?

I hope the religionists among us who voted that they "believe in god" realize that in reality they are all really atheists (in all religions minus one).

I didn't vote. I dont believe in god, I KNOW god, as i know myself, my wife, my father, or my dog.

BUT I do believe that the god I know is the universal god of humanity. The cosmic consciousness "He" is known by many names. Humans break god down or up like blind men in a room with an elephant. EAch one  feels a small part of god and formulates a concept of god from that, and if you feel an elehants tail you get a difernt concept than if you feel its tusk or its eye etc  I chose christianity as an outward form of my relationship with god because it is the best cultural fit for me. But a relationship with god requires no form of worship and no religion. I dont go to church, but i live with god every second of every day.

Like every one else i dont have the full picture of god, but i can live with that.  I' ve lived with my wife for nearly forty years and I still dont have the full picture of who she is either.

For a start i am not a woman, and so some things about her remain unknown and unknowable to me as a man

Then of course there are true theolgical/ philosophical/ metaphysical costructs which spring from the imagination of man and where we construct a god to be as we would like a god to be.

This form of construction is now well understood from studies of infant and adult cognitive development.  We invent ufos and aliens from the same type of brain function. But that doesnt mean some ufos arent real and physical; and just because we invent some gods doesnt mean others aren't real and physical either.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#99    shadowhive

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 02:21 PM, said:

You dont know people very well, do you? :innocent:

They are no different to god. A person is not a red ball, ie an inanimate object. It is a very complex being and so is god.  Just as you say Peole will mirror god on  themselves, they do precisely the same with people.  Your friend will not see your other friend as you do. They cannot, because they are significantly different to you, with different values likes and dislikes etc.
But still, you can (and do) introduce the one to the other. And you can do the same with god. How they get on is  then up to them.
If you treat a person one way you will find a different human being to if you treat them in a different way.  It is true that a sadistic person may find a sadistic god within themselves  And more true that, how we interpret god comes from our personal and cultural perspectives. How else COULD it be given the nature of the connection betwen god and man. Ths is also true for how we see ourselves, and how we view other human beings.

My point with using the inanimate object (the red ball) is quite simple. The ball is a physical, real thing. The ball will be the the same regardless of who you give it to. Now a person is more complex than a ball, of course they are, but the same princible applies. You can introduce one friend to another and, while there's no guarantee they'd like each other that wasn't the point I was getting at.

Let's say you were introducing friend a to friend b and friend a was a black woman. Now friend b isn't guaranteed to like friend a, but what they can't do is state that friend a is an asian man.

That was the point I was trying to get across, not that they'd like each other or not (of course that's not guaranteed) or that they'd share any interests, but any friend you introduce to another would (physically) be the same friend that you know and not something else entirely.

Now with god, that guarantee is simply not there. You can try and introduce someone to your idea of god, but they can see something entirely different to you do. Ie you could see a god that loves anyone unconditionally and you introduce someone else to your god. They, instead of seeing a god that is loving, see one which hates the people they hate. In other words they see something completely different to you.

Quote

But i read the bible and see how to treat my felow man.  I can read other religious books and find the same truths These reflect comon human understandings of god and gods relationship with us  Why dont humans do a better job with god? Maybe because some humans are just not very nice people. But the bible for example tells us how to treat other humans TO love them as oursleves. I am sure other religious books contain simiar wisdoms. Personally, for what ever reason, god teaches me to love, to share but most important to be all that i can be In both physical and spiritual terms Because i respect and love myself i can respect and love others.

The bible when it was written was a very wise book and remained so for centuries. It still contains many of humanity's greatest wisdoms. But it would not be written as it is, today. because society has changed. Even the nature of human cognitive function has changed since those times as a modern human is born into and lives in a totally different world where they lern to think very differntly to a paerson form a millenia or two ago.

Ps we are intelligent but we lack wisdom. We are driven by evolved forces which no longer work well, given our advanced technology and social  structures and indeed sheer density of numbers. But spiritual and religious beliefs and teachings can and do adapt to changing circumstances.

Other people read the same bible you do and what do they see? Excuses to kill or enslave. There may be wisdom in there, but there's an awful lot of excuses to harm other human beings, excuses that sadly persist to this day. Same with other religion texts. Look at your example there the bible may say to love others as ourselves, but I've seen many times of christian people discarding that in a heartbeat,

Personally, it could do with a rewrite for modern times, to remove the excuses and confusion. People won't, though. For some people others suffering isn't a good enough reason to change.

We can but hope things change, but sometimes I wonder.

Quote

Finally i cant speak for everyone else but god cares for me, protects me, and empowers me, loves me and teaches me. Given that i am just an ordinary human, and nothing special I must assume that god seeks the same relationship with every other human. I think perhaps it is humans who do not accpet the requirements of such a relationship and chose not to accpet living life with a powerful god as a very real part of it.

KNowing god is within you stops you, not just lying to others but lying to yourself, for example, and many humans cant cope with either of those constraints.

It stops you hurting yourself, or failing to love or respect your self. it stops you from failing to love and respect others because once you realise god is within you then you understand that equally god is within every other human being. ANd who can fail to love respect honour and  care for a being who is a host for a god?

It goes to very basic things As a host of god I have to keep my body and mind as fit and well tuned as possible. As a host of god i do not take drugs alcohol nicotine etc.  In part because this would be disrespectful and also dumb Imagine what might happen with a drunken god within you :devil:   But also in part because connected to god one becomes complete and doesnt need any  crutches or props. One is whole and walks upright and secure, unafraid and determined through life, and everything life brings.One never needs to build ones self up by putting another down or belittling them. And one does not need to try to prove one is equal to, or better than, any other person in any sphere of life. As humans we are all equal and all worthy. The thing is to simply make the most use of your own talents.

All we have to do is be true to ourselves, and to be the most we can be. As long as we recognise god's presence in ourselves as we attempt to do  this, we cant go wrong.

Well the first thing I'll say is how do you know that's god? How can you be absolutely sure this thing is god and not something else?

Then there's the whole 'god is inside people' thing. Personally I don't want god or anything else 'inside me' in that way. I am a person, an individual and I have no desite to have something else sharing the wheel of my life. It's much why I don't follow religions. What I do is primarily decided for by me. I dont restrict myself based on god or the bible. I do what I do and I know that I'm 100% responsible for what I do.

See something I find disturbing about that particular thing, is that you love others because god says so or wants you to. So what? Are you loving people becuse you genuinely do, or only because your god says so?

I don't need god to care about others. But at the same time I'm not going to blindly love and respect people. I don't love those that murder peopl and I dont respect those that use scripture as an excuse to discriminate. Why should I, or anyone, love and respect people like that, those that genuinely make others lives a misery are worthy of neither.

Being connected with god becomes your crutch and prop. It replaces all others.

Personally I prefer being as I am now. You'd probably see certain things in my life as a prop or crutch, but they're not to me. I don't put people down to build myself up. im not afraid of being afraid or feeling any other emotion. I am very much my own person. Im true to myself and I dont need god for that.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#100    Zaphod222

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 02:21 PM, said:

But i read the bible and see how to treat my felow man.  I can read other religious books and find the same truths .

Wrong!
Your comment shows that you precisely have NOT done that. It is a naive but ill-informed belief to think that other religions somehow teach the same values as Christianity.
Fact is, different religions teach extremely different value systems and morals.

Your assumption is based on wishful thinking, not on fact.

No my friend, this easy cop-out does not work. All religions can not possibly be true, so if you want to take Pascals bet, you have very bad odds indeed.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#101    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:11 AM

I think it's quite obvious which side I take... ;)

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#102    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:43 AM

View Postshadowhive, on 19 January 2013 - 04:09 PM, said:

My point with using the inanimate object (the red ball) is quite simple. The ball is a physical, real thing. The ball will be the the same regardless of who you give it to. Now a person is more complex than a ball, of course they are, but the same princible applies. You can introduce one friend to another and, while there's no guarantee they'd like each other that wasn't the point I was getting at.

Let's say you were introducing friend a to friend b and friend a was a black woman. Now friend b isn't guaranteed to like friend a, but what they can't do is state that friend a is an asian man.

That was the point I was trying to get across, not that they'd like each other or not (of course that's not guaranteed) or that they'd share any interests, but any friend you introduce to another would (physically) be the same friend that you know and not something else entirely.

Now with god, that guarantee is simply not there. You can try and introduce someone to your idea of god, but they can see something entirely different to you do. Ie you could see a god that loves anyone unconditionally and you introduce someone else to your god. They, instead of seeing a god that is loving, see one which hates the people they hate. In other words they see something completely different to you.



Other people read the same bible you do and what do they see? Excuses to kill or enslave. There may be wisdom in there, but there's an awful lot of excuses to harm other human beings, excuses that sadly persist to this day. Same with other religion texts. Look at your example there the bible may say to love others as ourselves, but I've seen many times of christian people discarding that in a heartbeat,

Personally, it could do with a rewrite for modern times, to remove the excuses and confusion. People won't, though. For some people others suffering isn't a good enough reason to change.

We can but hope things change, but sometimes I wonder.



Well the first thing I'll say is how do you know that's god? How can you be absolutely sure this thing is god and not something else?

Then there's the whole 'god is inside people' thing. Personally I don't want god or anything else 'inside me' in that way. I am a person, an individual and I have no desite to have something else sharing the wheel of my life. It's much why I don't follow religions. What I do is primarily decided for by me. I dont restrict myself based on god or the bible. I do what I do and I know that I'm 100% responsible for what I do.

See something I find disturbing about that particular thing, is that you love others because god says so or wants you to. So what? Are you loving people becuse you genuinely do, or only because your god says so?

I don't need god to care about others. But at the same time I'm not going to blindly love and respect people. I don't love those that murder peopl and I dont respect those that use scripture as an excuse to discriminate. Why should I, or anyone, love and respect people like that, those that genuinely make others lives a misery are worthy of neither.

Being connected with god becomes your crutch and prop. It replaces all others.

Personally I prefer being as I am now. You'd probably see certain things in my life as a prop or crutch, but they're not to me. I don't put people down to build myself up. im not afraid of being afraid or feeling any other emotion. I am very much my own person. Im true to myself and I dont need god for that.

To address your first point. I often forget that most people only hold constructs of god and base their relationship on belief in that construct. And you are correct about the difficulty in introducing another person to a construct, but you can do it.  We teach children how to love hate and feel empathy envy etc. Those are all constructs..

In my case, however, I could introduce my friend to a physical real and powerful entity. They might not see it in the same way I would, or relate to it as I do, but then they might not see my wife in the same way i do either, or relate to her as I do.

Yes, the bible needs a rewrite, but more importantly people need to read it with a modern mind, not one from the first millenia BC. I dont connect to god, using a mind from 2000 years ago, so why should i interpret a book about him with such a mindset?

The bible tells us clearly why the world suffers, and what each of us has to do to stop that suffering. So does secular humanism, and many other (than christian) spiritual beliefs.

How do I know a dog is a dog? God and dog are labels we attach to certain concept or objects. If an object or concept meets the parameters assigned to that label, then it IS the thing labelled. The entity i know fits fairly firmly inside the parameters humans assign to the label god. Thus god is a reasonable label for it. But of course it (god) is what it is. It doesnt think of itself as god, that's just one of our labels for it.

And like it or not you have god inside you, just as you have a conscience inside you. It might not be comfortable or convenient, and of course anyone can refuse to accept it, but humans by nature are a integral part of god and vice versa. Realising this consciously (or just believing it to be true)  does, of course change our basic nature, how we think, and how we chose to act.

A person wil change utterly  when they accpet this fact, or believe it, and many people are scared stiff of even the idea of  such utter change. In a way they will be a new person (the bible describes this as being born again but it is not restricted to biblical theory it jus tis.) And most of us are naturally terrified of suddenly finding we are no longer who we had been for years, but an entirely new individual. So we refuse to face it and stay as we are, even though that is a very limited version of what we could be.

MAybe some people use god as a prop, as others use alcohol or  material wealth. But god is not artificial like those things Because it is integral to us, it is no more a prop or a crutch than our heart or our brain. I look at it as a natural bionic enhancement, which is a part of being human. I want to be ALL i can be, not anything less. In being all I can be, i can make more of a  constructive difference to the world, and to others. ANd why live, if you are not making a difference by living?

And if ALL of us were all we could be; wise and compassionate etc., without fear, lust, envy, hate, anger or loneliness to divide us from each other, think what our world could be like.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#103    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:15 AM

View PostZaphod222, on 19 January 2013 - 04:22 PM, said:

Wrong!
Your comment shows that you precisely have NOT done that. It is a naive but ill-informed belief to think that other religions somehow teach the same values as Christianity.
Fact is, different religions teach extremely different value systems and morals.

Your assumption is based on wishful thinking, not on fact.

No my friend, this easy cop-out does not work. All religions can not possibly be true, so if you want to take Pascals bet, you have very bad odds indeed.


I didnt say that. I said "I" can read the bible or another religious book and find the same truths. Someone else might read them all and find different truths. But the  same truths are in many of the modern religions because they all evolved in a transition period form nomadic pastoralism to settled agrarian society,. and were attemts to codify new understnadings, new realities, and new laws and customs, as society changed.

However, if you hate yourself and your fellow man, you will find a very different truth in any book from what you will find if you love yourself and your fellow man (to take an extreme example)

The basic  purposes of religions and spirituality work for all humans (even very modern ones) for very real reasons based on our psychology and cognitive development.

Religions also appeal to our need for regulation and order, both of which which bring stability and thus security/safety.

They create relevant social order for different societies and so, of course, a religion from a pre- agrarian society will be different to one from today.  There is a temple in turkey about 15000 years old. Arcahaeologists note that it was used for  many hundreds of years, but as society evolved from a nomadic pastoralist one to a settled agrarian one, the people changed their deities and what they worshipped.  Images of the old gods were defaced or broken up and new more relvant ones instituted That doesn't mean that the same god or cosmic consciousness is not existing to inform the people of the time. it is just tha tas peoles lives knolwledge and understanding evolve so do their most urgent needs And hence their gods must evolve with them to meet thise changed circumstances and needs; OR the way they perceive and understand their god(s) must do.

A sapient and responsive god will adapt itself to the needs of a culture and of individuals, just as you or i would do if we went to work in another time, place or culture, and wanted to help the people there..

If you read the ancient greek stories of Aeneas etc you see a story of changing societies and of changing gods/worship. The people of the time felt the old world was coming to an end, and a new one was begining. The new order was symbolically, and in reality, characterised by Rome. while the fall of the old order was the destruction of Troy and the decline of the Achaean states, and even the destruction of Santorini in a devastating volcanic explosion.  And the gods and religions changed with the change in order.


None of this  disproves the idea that, underlying all of this, was a human connection to the same universal god also worshipped by sumerians  jews christians and muslims. What is the differnce between pythia or sybil from ancient greece and a catholic priest from the first millenia AD?. What is the difference between a druid shaman, a mayan one, or an asiatic one, or a modern person with the same connection to the great spirit.

But we are, in a way, trapped within our personal and cutural world views. It is hard to think outside the box of current attitudes; yet it can be done, with training and education or wide reading.

It could be done in the past as well. The human mind is capable of it. I have read thousands of historical, cultural, and science fictional novels, which have helped me to see how wide man's imagination and vision can be.

All religions contain some truth, because all of them contain, in part, an attempt by humans to integrate with god and to understand the nature and wishes of god (Except for deliberately created and constructed religions designed with deliberate human purpose)

People learn early the benefits of a personal relationship with god, and also of a faith based relationship. These benefits are physical  and marked. They include longer, healthier lives, and better health and happiness. Anyone who deliberately choses to ignore them is a little bit feeble minded, in my opinion. (or has a tendency to masochism)

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 January 2013 - 05:28 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#104    darkmoonlady

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:45 AM

The Universe is old enough and vast enough that I do believe something we perceive as a god exists, however not the biblical god. I myself believe in Nature/Goddess, in that the earth is our home. If tomorrow every trace of religious thought and texts disappeared including our memories, Christianity (along with other book religions) wouldn't come back at all while nature based religion which rely on the seasons and the observations of the sun, moon and stars, would I think come back as something similar.

“The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance …or change... logic can be happily tossed out the window. Religious mania is one of the few infallible ways of responding to the worlds vagaries, because it totally eliminates pure accident. To the true religious maniac, it’s ALL on purpose” – Stephen King, The Stand

#105    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:56 AM

View Postdarkmoonlady, on 20 January 2013 - 05:45 AM, said:

The Universe is old enough and vast enough that I do believe something we perceive as a god exists, however not the biblical god. I myself believe in Nature/Goddess, in that the earth is our home. If tomorrow every trace of religious thought and texts disappeared including our memories, Christianity (along with other book religions) wouldn't come back at all while nature based religion which rely on the seasons and the observations of the sun, moon and stars, would I think come back as something similar.
Not necessarily. Religions evolve to match the cultural requirements of people. Thus the religions of the book are adaptations from a nomadic pastoral existence, to a more settled agrarian based society. Just as shamanism and paganism represented early mans close connection to the natural world. I  is likely that, if all humans developed collective amnesia about religion, we would soon develop ones suited to our modern urban and post industrial era.

That might include nature/environmentally based ones, and gaean type religions, but would also include ones designed to promote social order and well being in a modern urban society. Eg how to get on living "cheek by jowel" with a dozen or more neighbours.  We have about 16 neighbours over our boundary fences, and none of them have children, or it would be a lot more

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 January 2013 - 05:57 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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