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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkloaf View Post
    Fair enough. But who decides if those interpretations are plausible and appropriate? Is that why we have different kinds of Christian churches? If so, then a person could not possibly be absolutely sure of the most plausible interpretation of the written word of God until they have sampled an interpretation from every church. If the purpose of religion was to find real answers (which I'm not saying it is) then this would create a huge problem.
    Human beings can be absolutely sure of essentially nothing. Religion is not about achieving absolute certainty. What is a "real answer"?

    I'm not a Christian then, and I don't believe the Bible correctly portrays the word of God....in the same way as other people do.
    That's cool. In what way do you think it does portray the word of God?
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    I don't always take the bible literally so the search for archaeological evidence is sometimes, IMO, a fool's errand. I've learned not to dispute the details with fellow believers.
    I've learned not to argue against religion at all. If I am to call myself agnostic, which is to mean that I accept no knowledge of a truth other than what can be reproduced and/or verified, then I should believe that any religion is as plausible as the next. I used to act like an atheist and reject all religion, although my actions did not reflect my spiritual intentions. I think many atheists are just as confused as their religious counterparts. Confusion is good from anybody however, because it means that logic is being attempted. In my opinion, those who are confident in something without logically challenging it have a different agenda in their beliefs, and it has nothing to do with understanding.
    "The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves." -William Hazlitt



  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    Human beings can be absolutely sure of essentially nothing. Religion is not about achieving absolute certainty. What is a "real answer"?

    A real answer (or as I mindlessly meant to refer to as an answer to the question about the meaning of life) would be one which directly and unmistakably explains our observable existence. Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Religion doesn't really answer those questions to a logical satisfaction....but nothing else does, either. So I think the main purpose of religion is not exactly meant for finding those kinds of answers. Maybe at some point religion provided a fable to fill in the gaps of our understanding...but once we started discovering that such a simple 7-day creationist solution doesn't logically suffice--especially with the discovery of other worlds, stars, planetary systems and galaxies--creationism became much more spiritual rather than literal as an definitive answer for most logical believers.

    That's cool. In what way do you think it does portray the word of God?

    Thanks for asking.

    Long story short, I used logic--not texts--to attempt to define God. I realized that since God (defined by most as omnipotent and omnipresent) must be everywhere and all powerful, that consequentially we are all part of God--as well as everything else living and not living, seen and not seen, fathomable and unimaginable. I explored deeper to realize that as compared to everything else that appears dead in the universe, humans are special because we're such a rare and complex form of organized matter which can learn, discover and change things at our will. Since we are just complex carbon life forms and inseparable from the rest of the universe, I realized that the entire universe is a living entity which is discovering itself and changing itself, especially through the physical ability and intelligence of humans. Nothing I knew of the universe changed, it had been like that all along. In our heads we separate ourselves from the ground we walk on, and the sun which lights our world and gives us warmth, and the sparkly lights in the sky which seem significant only as a visual spectacle to us. Look at the things we are able to discover and build and imagine, and yet our smallest pieces were forged in the bellies of stars! I realized this when I was 15, and I thought I had made some kind of spiritual revelation.

    But then came the rest of the questions:
    Where do stars come from? "By the sheer force of gravity, massive clouds of gas and dust converge. When they get massive enough, their cores build so much gravitational pressure that they ignite in a process called fusion."
    Where did the gas and dust come from? "Stars made of hydrogen make helium in their cores by means of fusion, helium stars fuse and make lithium, and so-on. Everything except hydrogen came from other dead stars. "
    Where did hydrogen come from? "Hydrogen atoms formed from highly energized plasma when the universe had cooled enough to allow it, after the intense energy settled from the big bang."
    Where did the big bang come from? "...uh...well....it just....happened."
    Kinda like creationism in the Bible, right? "...NO...well...uh..."

    So... To get back to the point and answer your question, the word of God to me is as apparent in the form of English words in the Bible as it is in some beautiful music, or in a hard and frustrating day at work, or in a beautiful sunset, or in a conversation between me and a stranger online, or anything else in the depths of my imagination. Again, that's only me, and I have no problem with people disagreeing, or even thinking I'm crazy.
    Last edited by spunkloaf; 03-03-2012 at 06:28 PM.
    "The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves." -William Hazlitt



  4. #44
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    Too much to respond to in my current condition. I'll chime in again on this tomorrow.
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


    ~Alain de Benoist


  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    Too much to respond to in my current condition. I'll chime in again on this tomorrow.
    It's cool, I did make that kinda lengthy. Could have trimmed it down a little, sorry.

    In short, I prefer logic over ancient texts in my search for God, but in my journey I found that it's useless to try to disprove any religion. My interpretation of the written word of God equates to anything else I observe, in that it all came from the same place and nothing has more truth than anything else--written or otherwise observed.
    "The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves." -William Hazlitt



  6. #46
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    I'll put together a response for you tomorrow. Just don't disappear on me. I'm relaxing on a pain killer and some beer.
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


    ~Alain de Benoist


  7. #47
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    K I'm here but probably for only a while today.
    "The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves." -William Hazlitt



  8. #48
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    @Spunkloaf

    Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Religion doesn't really answer those questions to a logical satisfaction....but nothing else does, either. So I think the main purpose of religion is not exactly meant for finding those kinds of answers.
    What would lead to logical satisfaction, in your opinion? A verifiable scientific proposition? One of the functions of religion is to give meaning to the reality we experience so religions do seek to "answer" all of those questions. I think the problem may be that you want them answered in a specific way (i.e. a scientific way) to satisfy a peculiarity of your cultural mindset. That's unfortunate because science does not deal in meaning or in the question of why as you appear to realize. Moreover, the creation myth in Genesis is a statement about our ultimate origins. It is not an attempt to explain the how but to explain the why. Mind you, I am using the term "myth" in an academic sense (i.e. a story with culturally forming power or a story that conveys a higher truth about human beings and their world) not the popular sense (i.e. something that did not happen).

    I'm off to church soon. I have to make meatballs too. Well, I'm actually watching church on TV because I have to make the meatballs. It's complicated...
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


    ~Alain de Benoist


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  10. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    @Spunkloaf



    What would lead to logical satisfaction, in your opinion? A verifiable scientific proposition? One of the functions of religion is to give meaning to the reality we experience so religions do seek to "answer" all of those questions. I think the problem may be that you want them answered in a specific way (i.e. a scientific way) to satisfy a peculiarity of your cultural mindset. That's unfortunate because science does not deal in meaning or in the question of why as you appear to realize. Moreover, the creation myth in Genesis is a statement about our ultimate origins. It is not an attempt to explain the how but to explain the why. Mind you, I am using the term "myth" in an academic sense (i.e. a story with culturally forming power or a story that conveys a higher truth about human beings and their world) not the popular sense (i.e. something that did not happen).

    I'm off to church soon. I have to make meatballs too. Well, I'm actually watching church on TV because I have to make the meatballs. It's complicated...
    I acquire a formula for "meaning" from all doctrines I experience, including religion where it is applicable. To answer your question, I am never logically satisfied. I think if people would embrace uncertainty...or to take that leap of faith in logic at least as much as they have taken the leap of faith in myths...they might be more open-minded. To me, it is much better to recognize what you are uncertain of rather than to accept a myth to plug up the logical gap, so to speak. I can't expect that from or dictate that to anybody though.
    "The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves." -William Hazlitt



  11. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkloaf View Post
    I acquire a formula for "meaning" from all doctrines I experience, including religion where it is applicable. To answer your question, I am never logically satisfied. I think if people would embrace uncertainty...or to take that leap of faith in logic at least as much as they have taken the leap of faith in myths...they might be more open-minded. To me, it is much better to recognize what you are uncertain of rather than to accept a myth to plug up the logical gap, so to speak. I can't expect that from or dictate that to anybody though.
    I think that the formation of meaning is part and parcel of religion. Some sociologists of religion would say it's the very essence of religion. We are always trying to make sense of the world we are born into. Would our lives be possible otherwise? Anyway, myth is not a substitute for logic. We're thinking of "myth" in two very different ways but I tend to agree with you that uncertainty is a fact of human existence. Rather than embrace it, however, one should merely acknowledge it.
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


    ~Alain de Benoist


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