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The comprehensibility of God


Will Due
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24 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

No there is no evidence of a lot of things. But there is the evidence of the words of the text itself. I'm trying to focus on what's been described in that text. What's been related about God through the text as it pertains to Jesus and how he lived his religious life. So when it's read that "He who has seen me has seen the Father" an understanding can occur. That Jesus is something like the Father. That God is something like Jesus. A kind and good person. A friend even to so-called sinners. That Jesus's life is a revelation. That the knowledge thereof is a means of comprehending God.

The words of the texts themselves are only evidence of what “someone” had to say about Jesus at least a generation or two after his death. Due to lack of verifiable evidence their veracity CANNOT be ascertained. 
 

Claiming to know anything more about Jesus than the above is akin to building a castle on quicksand. 
 

cormac

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10 minutes ago, spartan max2 said:

I agree, and this is probably one of the main reasons I'm an atheist.

If there was an all powerful god than I feel like it would be self evident and undeniable.

But instead we have hundreds of religions across the world throughout human history. 

An all powerful being would be able to just make it's presence know to everyone, and erase any doubt 

 

I agree with you. It's all generally very confusing. Why so many religions? Why so many traditions that aren't in agreement? I would only say that the situation, by all appearances, demands a certain amount of effort to dig through all of the minutiae. And when I look at what is written in the Bible about the life of Jesus, primarily how much effort he exerted in getting to the bottom of of it, not letting anyone or anything get in his way of living his life in accordance with the Father's will as a revelation about who God is, well I for one get rather inspired, and find solace in seeing these things through Jesus' life as recorded in the Bible that help me to comprehend what I think humanly I'm supposed to know about God.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

The words of the texts themselves are only evidence of what “someone” had to say about Jesus at least a generation or two after his death. Due to lack of verifiable evidence their veracity CANNOT be ascertained. 
 

Claiming to know anything more about Jesus than the above is akin to building a castle on quicksand. 
 

cormac

 

I definitely understand what you mean. Faith does enter into the equation. The only way I can explain it is that there must be a certain degree of willingness to take it upon oneself to make a call on what is clearly true, or at least probably true, and what is most likely false about what is written in the text. Kind of like putting together a puzzle that has some pieces missing and other pieces that aren't a part of the puzzle but somehow ended up in the box anyways. It's a bad analogy, I know.

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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11 minutes ago, Will Due said:

I definitely understand what you mean. Faith does enter into the equation. The only way I can explain it is that there must be a certain degree of willingness to take it upon oneself to make a call on what is clearly true, or at least probably true, and what is most likely false about what is written in the text. Kind of like putting together a puzzle that has some pieces missing and other pieces that aren't a part of the puzzle but somehow ended up in the box anyways. It's a bad analogy, I know.

The only thing that can be reasonably inferred as true about Jesus based on the Bible is that he was a 1st century AD Jew who attempted to reform  what he believed to be failings in the religious system of the time, was purposely misrepresented by the Jews to the Romans because the former were cowards who didn’t want to get their hands dirty dealing with his followers, nor wanted to lose their positions of religious power, and who was crucified by the Romans who bought the Jews lie of Jesus’ alleged claim of being “King of the Jews” as Jesus’ attempt to usurp the position of the Roman Emperor. That’s about the extent of what the texts can give us. 
 

cormac

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2 hours ago, Will Due said:

 

No.

To learn something that might become a catalyst for comprehending God.

 

 

 

So far humans cannot comprehend something that is beyond human understanding, and the Jesus lore is a myth at best, we truly do not know much about Jesus.  The better question is what about the Jesus lore inspires you or intrigues you? I get being inspired by people, characters etc.  I just prefer actual people who are living breathing examples in my lifetime such as Pema Chodron, the late Thich Nhat Hahn, Jon Kabat Zinn, B.K.S Iyengar etc. etc.  And, my inspirations change often. 

 

2 hours ago, Will Due said:

 

No there is no evidence of a lot of things. But there is the evidence of the words of the text itself. I'm trying to focus on what's been described in that text. What's been related about God through the text as it pertains to Jesus and how he lived his religious life. So when it's read that "He who has seen me has seen the Father" an understanding can occur. That Jesus is something like the Father. That God is something like Jesus. A kind and good person. A friend even to so-called sinners. That Jesus's life is a revelation. That the knowledge thereof is a means of comprehending God.

 

 

 

How could you possibly comprehend something beyond human understanding? 

Edited by Sherapy
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The story of Jesus reminds me of Chinese cultural epics like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, where fantastical abilities are attributed to human beings in a sort of transcendent state. Something or someone significant, yet ordinary, has been embellished and exalted with the extraordinary. The story of Jesus arose in a nascent world State, The Roman Empire, heavily Romanized and Hellenized, as were the Jews of that era and can't be lifted out of and isolated from it's origins.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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11 minutes ago, Hammerclaw said:

The story of Jesus reminds me of Chinese cultural epics like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, where fantastical abilities are attributed to human beings in a sort of transcendent state. Something or someone significant, yet ordinary, has been embellished and exalted with the extraordinary.

Great pull. 
 

An add to, Jung’s contributions in regards to Jesus. 
 

https://thesethingsinside.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/jung-on-the-christian-archetype/

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3 hours ago, Sherapy said:

An add to, Jung’s contributions in regards to Jesus. 

Uncle Carl's wrestling with Jesus was a life-long struggle (not just adult life: Jung's father was a Protestant pastor). I am not sure he ever fully worked out a properly "Jungian" theory of the case. Part of the difficulty, I think, is that there are several Jesuses just in the four canonical gospels, and Jung supplemented those with an expert command of the "gnostic" texts, which have their own incompatible portraits of Jesus.

Depth analysis is challenging enough to apply to a single analysand. Also, the Jungian approach to individual analysis which is very much a face-to-face shared journey is tricky to apply to any historical figure. On the other hand, Jungians are especially gifted IMO in the analysis of legendary and mythological figures - which is what Jesus seems to be in the letters of Paul and canonical gospels. BUT it is not obvious that treating Jesus as both a mythical figure and also a historical person can go anywhere.

Jung does, however, provide a place to stand while trying to sort things out. For one thing, Jesus is portrayed in the canon as a frequent user of paternal language when explaining or addressing God. Even when Jesus uses other characters to stand for God in parables, they tend to be "father figures" (king or landlord in famous examples, or simply a human father as in the prodigal son story).

Maybe there are one or two things to be said about that consistent use of "abba" imagery from a psychological perspective :whistle: Especially, perhaps, coming from a character whose own father's identity is a tad mysterious according to the stories.

I'm an agnostic, so don't look to me for any explanation of what God is "really like." But if Jesus's theory is that God is like a father, a father who is by an amazing coincidence invisible just as Jesus's own literal father is nearly unseen in the story ... I think that says more about Jesus than about theology.

ETA: (Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead), but ... parents really are complicated figures. It is at least interesting that Jesus's father is so often the "good father," or at least slow to show his terrifying powerful aspect (the landlord in the parable of the tenants, Mark 12:1-9). But the climax of the gospel story is one of the most horrific "bad father" images in world literature: "Abba" is cool with condemning his blameless son to a hideous death.

The comprehensibility of God? That's a tough one.

Edited by eight bits
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24 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Uncle Carl's wrestling with Jesus was a life-long struggle (not just adult life: Jung's father was a Protestant pastor). I am not sure he ever fully worked out a properly "Jungian" theory of the case. Part of the difficulty, I think, is that there are several Jesuses just in the four canonical gospels, and Jung supplemented those with an expert command of the "gnostic" texts, which have their own incompatible portraits of Jesus.

Depth analysis is challenging enough to apply to a single analysand. Also, the Jungian approach to individual analysis which is very much a face-to-face shared journey is tricky to apply to any historical figure. On the other hand, Jungians are especially gifted IMO in the analysis of legendary and mythological figures - which is what Jesus seems to be in the letters of Paul and canonical gospels. BUT it is not obvious that treating Jesus as both a mythical figure and also a historical person can go anywhere.

Jung does, however, provide a place to stand while trying to sort things out. For one thing, Jesus is portrayed in the canon as a frequent user of paternal language when explaining or addressing God. Even when Jesus uses other characters to stand for God in parables, they tend to be "father figures" (king or landlord in famous examples, or simply a human father as in the prodigal son story).

Maybe there are one or two things to be said about that consistent use of "abba" imagery from a psychological perspective :whistle: Especially, perhaps, coming from a character whose own father's identity is a tad mysterious according to the stories.

I'm an agnostic, so don't look to me for any explanation of what God is "really like." But if Jesus's theory is that God is like a father, a father who is by an amazing coincidence invisible just as Jesus's own literal father is nearly unseen in the story ... I think that says more about Jesus than about theology.

ETA: (Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead), but ... parents really are complicated figures. It is at least interesting that Jesus's father is so often the "good father," or at least slow to show his terrifying powerful aspect (the landlord in the parable of the tenants, Mark 12:1-9). But the climax of the gospel story is one of the most horrific "bad father" images in world literature: "Abba" is cool with condemning his blameless son to a hideous death.

The comprehensibility of God? That's a tough one.

Excellent post. Paul. Very interesting to read. 

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Thread done @ #5........

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On 6/4/2022 at 3:05 AM, eight bits said:

But the climax of the gospel story is one of the most horrific "bad father" images in world literature: "Abba" is cool with condemning his blameless son to a hideous death.

 

What good father would be cool with one of his children being killed by some of his other children?


 

On 6/4/2022 at 3:05 AM, eight bits said:

It is at least interesting that Jesus's father is so often the "good father," 

 

I agree. And as it pertains to being human, this is why it's easy to comprehend what God is. 

 

 

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On 6/4/2022 at 6:05 AM, eight bits said:

But the climax of the gospel story is one of the most horrific "bad father" images in world literature: "Abba" is cool with condemning his blameless son to a hideous death.

What good father would be cool with one of his children being killed by some of his other children?

On 6/4/2022 at 6:05 AM, eight bits said:

It is at least interesting that Jesus's father is so often the "good father," 

I agree. And as it pertains to being human, this is why it's easy to comprehend what God is. 

@Will Due

And you don't see a problem with relying on a source who goes on and on about what a great guy his dad is, and then we find out the great dad has set up his son to be gruesomely murdered? Insisted that it be gruesome (unlike, say, the faithful family retainer and supposed cousin of the source, John, who also gets murdered, but at least dies quickly).

If it were anybody else (real-life or fictional character), I would conclude that the son was an unreliable source for information about his father. It is too obviously likely that his stories reflect his psychological needs rather than any objective appraisal of the father's true character.

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50 minutes ago, eight bits said:

What good father would be cool with one of his children being killed by some of his other children?

There is something funny about all that. I mean, a species that has a divine essense (soul, except me). Lives a very finite existence. Is in supposed perpetual sin, dealing with a god that loves a good blood sacrifice. The more I look at it I wouldn't call it God, I'd call it a demon. 

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35 minutes ago, eight bits said:
 

@Will Due

And you don't see a problem with relying on a source who goes on and on about what a great guy his dad is, and then we find out the great dad has set up his son to be gruesomely murdered? 

 

The early doctrines of Christianity were based on more than the personal experiences of Jesus of Nazareth.

Don't you see that instead of Jesus of Nazareth, the source that goes on and on about how the great dad has set up his son to be gruesomely murdered is a doctrine based on the personal experiences of Philo of Alexandria and Paul of Tarsus?

In my opinion, once that is recognized when using the Bible as a source, the comprehensibility of God becomes much easier.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

The more I look at it I wouldn't call it God, I'd call it a demon. 

 

Well the more I look at it, I don't see God the Father being a demon at all but rather what I see is how some of his children, the ones who killed another child of his, perhaps not as demons, but certainly children who will eventually find themselves standing corrected as warranted, at their good Father's merciful hand.

 

 

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One time I asked a Muslim "Can you comprehend God?", and his eyes widened shaking his head exclaiming "NO! NO! NO!".

LOL!

God can be what ever one wants it to be, except for evidenced apparently.

:santa:

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6 minutes ago, Davros of Skaro said:

One time I asked a Muslim "Can you comprehend God?", and his eyes widened shaking his head exclaiming "NO! NO! NO!".

LOL!

God can be what ever one wants it to be, except for evidenced apparently.

:santa:

Evidently the Muslim you talked to is smarter than anyone claiming to comprehend the incomprehensible. Good for him. 
 

cormac

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17 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Evidently the Muslim you talked to is smarter than anyone claiming to comprehend the incomprehensible. Good for him. 
 

cormac

It's more like the indoctrination he received since birth held up.

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5 minutes ago, Davros of Skaro said:

It's more like the indoctrination he received since birth held up.

I wouldn’t call understanding that one cannot comprehend the incomprehensible as indoctrination. That doesn’t make sense IMO. 
 

cormac

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14 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

I wouldn’t call understanding that one cannot comprehend the incomprehensible as indoctrination. That doesn’t make sense IMO. 
 

cormac

That's assuming there is a God, but the Muslim's God is a myth that went through many iterations.

I can comprehend The Force in Star Wars, but do I fully comprehend it?

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15 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

I wouldn’t call understanding that one cannot comprehend the incomprehensible as indoctrination. That doesn’t make sense IMO. 
 

cormac

 

I agree. One will never comprehend the incomprehensible.

But I have a question for you.

Is everything about God, every single thing, incomprehensible?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Davros of Skaro said:

That's assuming there is a God, but the Muslim's God is a myth that went through many iterations.

I can comprehend The Force in Star Wars, but do I fully comprehend it?

It’s just as much myth as the Judeo-Christian God. That’s not the problem. The problem is that both would necessarily be by definition incomprehensible, yet there are those who pretend to comprehend the incomprehensible. Apparently they don’t understand the definition of “incomprehensible”. 
 

cormac

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4 minutes ago, Will Due said:

I agree. One will never comprehend the incomprehensible.

But I have a question for you.

Is everything about God, every single thing, incomprehensible?

Let me know when you completely understand what “existing” in 11-dimensional space time means on a 4-dimensional (3 + time) scale then we can revisit your question. 
 

cormac

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24 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Let me know when you completely understand what “existing” in 11-dimensional space time means on a 4-dimensional (3 + time) scale then we can revisit your question. 
 

cormac

 

So there is something you can comprehend.

From your perspective, you comprehend that God exists in an "11-dimensional space time".

 

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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