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God, god or not (Split from: Pluto not a Planet?)

Discussion in 'The OT' started by DonLandis, Aug 26, 2006.

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  1. Aug 29, 2006 #61 of 116
    Capmeister

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    Heh. I don't mean to be. Like I said--we can drop it.

    Defining the terms one uses in a discussion is an excellent way to not waste time, only to find that you and the people you were talking with were on totally different pages.

    That's a problem. While all religion requires faith, how does all faith require religion? One can have faith in something not related to religion, cannot one?

    Okay, I'm going to say something that sounds annoying here, though I'm not meaning to sound this way, so please, accept that I'm not trying to come off like a dick. :) You can't say you've not really defined faith and then two sentences later say faith has been twisted out of definition. ;)

    Okay, this actually is helpful. I take back what I just said above. You do have a definition, you've just not articulated it before, perhaps. When I speak of faith, I'm talking about all faith. So, how do you differentiate between religious and non-religious faith? In other words, besides the OBJECT of the faith being different (a god vs. something other than a god) what actual act is different?
     
  2. Aug 29, 2006 #62 of 116
    Capmeister

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    How does one trap someone with words? I can't get you to say something you don't believe. I've not trapped anyone--I ask questions often to get to the bottom of what people really think. How that's a trap, you got me.
     
  3. Aug 29, 2006 #63 of 116
    Capmeister

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    And as the discussion continues, is that what you're seeing?

    I'm a professional debater? :) Not really. Though I'll admit to being studied in both writing and philosophy, so I'll cop to part of that. But when I ask a question it's usually to see what someone is thinking. Sometimes it's to make a point (i.e. wouldn't you sound dumb if you answered yes?) but when I ask non yes/no questions (i.e. how do you define X) I'm just seeing where your head is.

    I'd likely say "How does that jibe with what you just said?" and not "LIAR!" Unless you were just making stuff up. ;)

    You'll notice I said essentially that when you defined "faith" and then I backed off when you explained what you meant.
     
  4. Aug 29, 2006 #64 of 116
    jpl

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    No, that's not what I see anymore, which is why I'm answering your questions. Otherwise, I wouldn't. No, I wasn't just making stuff up :)
     
  5. Aug 29, 2006 #65 of 116
    jpl

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    You captured the gist of it. I started out KNOWING what faith is, but just have never articulated it. When I thought about it, and really defined it (I asked myself "just what does 'faith' mean to me?") and started answering it. That's how I can say it's something I've never defined, but is now twisted out of definition. I didn't realize how oxymoronic I sounded :)

    I think "faith" in it's strict form entails a belief in God. Not just in the supernatural, and certainly not in anything man-made. I think you can acknowledge that something man-made is good, and serves mankind. I think you can trust in something - which is how I take it when someone says "I have faith in you." I don't see that as "faith" in the strict sense. I see that as "I trust you - I trust that you're going to do a good job with this." I don't really have issue with people using faith in that way (words evolve over time), just like I don't shy away from saying "I'm proud of my kids." But I don't see that as "faith" in the strict sense. The context is obviously very important and helps to give the statement the meaning that it has.
     
  6. Aug 29, 2006 #66 of 116
    djlong

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    Umm.. Nick, actually it's the theists that have to do the proving. When you claim something exists, scientifically speaking, you have to show the proof.

    If someone wants to claim that the Earth has a sister planet on the exact opposite side of our orbit, they have to show proof. Saying "prove it doesn't exist" doesn't work.
     
  7. Aug 29, 2006 #67 of 116
    DonLandis

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    "Your argument then comes down to "why is there something rather than nothing?" And that is a hell of a good question and a valid line of inquiry. But there are no easy answers."

    Not quite! I'm saying why is there something that is structured as if carefully designed Then I say, that carefully designed something is likely to be designed by some almighty powerful intelligence, many prefer to call "GOD"

    "But a "Universe full of energy and misc. matter" produced other miraculous structures. Galaxies, stars, planets, quasars, black holes, comets, and probably lots of other things we haven't discovered yet and cannot even begin to imagine." Yes, all things considered by a supreme designer including the laws that govern these things.

    "If you're going to conclude that the Universe and life required a creator, then you must also ask the next obvious question, where did that creator come from? If you conclude that this creator is eternal and has always been there, then why not skip a step and just conclude the Universe is eternal and has always been there? It's a bit of a chicken and egg thing except we have absolutely no proof the chicken is or ever has existed.(or the egg, take your choice)"
    Logical except for the faith factor. When one does not have the knowledge of factual data, faith enters the equation to make aid in a peaceful sense of mind. Faith is something athiests and God respecting skeptics have no real concept of. They don't have it so they can't enjoy it.

    "If there were some tangible proof for God(s), it would be a question worth pursuing. But there's not! And by assuming gods, you answer no questions and simplify nothing. You have made an already complex and difficult to understand problem even more complex and difficult to understand, perhaps infinately so.
    Part 1- That could be said of all science- we don;t yet have the data therefore it is not worth pursuing. I don't believe that for a NY second. Surprised you do.
    Part 2 My faith in a supreme designer of the Universe is only a difficult concept for one without faith and one who would ignore possibility of existence. Since this is not you and you have already stated you don't deny the possibility of God, yet you wish to claim to be an athiest, I would conclude you are the one quite mixed up, or you just choose to cover your bases, or you get solace in redefining word labels to confuse everyone.

    "Why is there something rather then nothing? It may be an unanswerable question. There are only two possible conditions, something or nothing. As it turns out, there's something! And a similar deduction can be made about the question of life. Of the two possibilites, life or not life, it turns out there's life."

    Huh? Gibberish maybe?


    "We can even extend this to the question of gods. Again, there are only two possibilites, that there are gods or there are not. But while we have tangible proof for "something" and "life", we have nothing of this nature for gods. What we have is feelings and emotions and wishful thinking. And no matter how hard we'd like to, we can't wish gods into existence!"


    Pretty close except I never claimed there were "gods" only a supreme designer of all matter and energy that make up the universe. In my faith, there can only be one supreme designer. In an example- I see a pile of trash and garbage. That is matter and potential energy as a random collection by definition. Now I take that pile and through my intelligence, create a useful widget from it that works. Without me, the designer, it is just without form and void of purpose. The one true supreme designer of the Universe is the one true supreme God, no gods, just one, the one in charge of it all.

    The last part of wishing God into existence is a silly notion since God, the supreme designer of the Universe came before me. God wished (if you like that word) ME into existence. Actually he designed me from a pile of matter and energy. I don't know whether the matter and energy came first or God but I have faith that God was the designer of all things. Not knowing all things does not devoid me of faith that all things were designed.

    People CAN wish little gods into existence. That is called idolatry in the Bible. But these are not to be confused with the supreme designer. None of these little gods, have a fraction of the power of the supreme designer. Their power is indeed granted by the people that worship them. Movie actors, Rock stars, and even little statues on your dashboard are all idols you as a person have empowered to aid in your sense of well being. Sorry, but if these were what you think I was talking about, you are mistaken. I don't hold any person, or object in reverence as an idol. I think gods or idols are silly.

    "BTW Don, you're an agnostic!"

    A firm believer in a Supreme Designer of the Universe. If that is YOUR definition of an agnostic, then good for you! I know people who believe as I do and none of them would say that. They think an agnostic is one who is unsure there is a God. I think a better description of my faith in a Supreme Designer is a "Theist" I do not hold religious ritual as important to my faith in God. But, I am sure there is a God. That is different from you in that you just want to cover your bases so you can be accepted among athiests and not offend God in the process. As Bogy said- YOU are a true agnostic. And yes, I do respect his knowledge of these theological topics. It is his craft in life.


    jpl- I think Cap is a true athiest. jonstad is not and he has admitted it. on several posts here. He is a believer in Heaven and hell and God and maybe even has little gods in his life that we don't know about. He wants to be called an athiest but he has to make up his own definition to make it fit all his slips of the tongue in these posts that demonstrate otherwise. One thing is certain- If your Faith is strong, you can't be an agnostic. If you are unsure, you can't be an athiest. You have demonstrated quite clearly you have faith in your religion. I do not have faith in any religion, but do have a very strong and logical concluded acceptance of God, the Supreme Designer of all things. Do I worship God? No, I don't, however I do wish on his name often as in God, I hope this happens or turns out OK. To me that is talking to God, and by some a worship of him but I don't feel the need to recite what other mortals have written as necessary in order to worship God. That leaves out religion for me. However, rest assured I respect your right to recognize God in anyway you want because I know and have faith that religion does bring peace of mind to some.

    Finally so as not to confuse- I believe
    Supreme Designer of the Universe = The one God. God came before man and the Universe structure so, in effect, God is the Supreme Designer of the Universe as all things and energy. This requires Faith to accept and I don't need to prove it to anyone else using scientific process.
     
  8. Aug 29, 2006 #68 of 116
    jpl

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    I agree with your definitions of things. My father-in-law considers himself a Theist as well. I frankly never heard the term before, but when he described it to me, I thought it fit. He believes in God, but doesn't believe in practicing any specific religion.
     
  9. Aug 29, 2006 #69 of 116
    Capmeister

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    I think you're defining faith to narrowly. What about faith that--just picking something at random here--I'll win the lottery tonight? (If I had such a faith--I do not, but this is supposing for arguments' sake).

    You're saying that's a different kind of faith, yes? If so, what I'm asking is, other than it's not about a god or a religion, what makes that faith different?

    And what is faith at its core? What is one doing when they engage in faith, be in religious or other faith?

    I'm not using faith to mean trust or confidence, either. We can skip those more broad definitions. See above about an example of what I mean.
     
  10. Aug 29, 2006 #70 of 116
    Capmeister

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    'Tis not the case with all people. I use the word "god" as part of colloquial idioms all the time. I also might say "holy crap" but I don't think crap is holy. ;)

    Someone once asked me "You're an atheist, how can you sing about Jesus?!?!" We were in the car and I was listening to a song on the radio (Fire and Rain) and I'm singing along with it. One of the lines is something like "look down upon me Jesus..." I said, "Man, it's just a song. Who cares?" :)
     
  11. Aug 29, 2006 #71 of 116
    DonLandis

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    Cap- wishful thinking as in "I hope to win the lottery" is not in and of itself faith, It is just wishful thinking. Faith would be more like -

    God please help me win the lottery! That is asking for God to help you and that is and of itself an affirmation of your faith that God will do for you.

    Cursing God as an idiom or coloquialism, does not in and of itself affirm one believes in God but rather it sends a message that there is some doubt deep within you that God may exist. If that is the only indicator then your belief in God would be extremely weak if at all. Just means you are not 100% athiest. Cursing is an emotional release and I think most would agree that emotional heights brings out the inner deep seeded faith in God. in otherwords, you may slip into a small affirmation that God does exists when you become emotional and say goddammit rather than just dammit. For you, it probably is your parental upbringing that is still seeded within your subconcious while your concious mind says belief in God is nonsense. when not emotional your rational concious take over your actions and you present ypourself as an athiest. jonstad, on the otherhand has made concious proclaimations that be doesn't deny the existence possibility of God and therefore he can't be considered an athiest but rather an agnostic as Bogy analyzed.

    Singing a song about Jesus doesn't make you a believer in God either. Jesus was a mortal man. Yes, Christians believe he was the son of God and a part of the Trinity. That is religion and we've already discussed my thoughts on me practicing a religion. Also, singing the song may just be your appreciation of music, also a man made artform. However some religious people may claim that the song was inspired by God. Again a religious practice, not necessarily a proof of one's affirmation of a belief in God. There are lots of practicing Christians who have very little faith in God. Most of those need the church to keep them believing as their inner faith is weak.
     
  12. Aug 29, 2006 #72 of 116
    jpl

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    You had me agreeing with you... right up to that last line. I don't believe that. Sorry, but that's right up there with people (Catholics) telling me "I don't need to go to church, as long as I'm a good person..." I wasn't a serious church-goer for most of my life. I started become more regular in that regard as my faith increased, not because it weekend. I go for several reasons. One, we consider it a mortal sin NOT to go (unless you're in a situation where it can't be helped - when my wife went into labor with child #3 on a Sunday morning, you can bet we skipped Mass that week). I also find that it helps deepen my faith. No matter how many times I hear the same readings, I get something new out of them (life happens, and different pieces of what you hear will have different meanings at different times in your life). It also helps to keep my centered, religiously speaking - it helps to keep God the focal point of my life, and to be more, well, Christian. You can almost think of it as a spiratual motivational seminar. Finally is the main reason I go - to be close to God. I have a desire to be there. That doesn't come with weak faith. Not saying I NEVER question the faith. I do. I doubt from time to time -- I think that's normal. But going to church, in my personal experience, is directly proportional to my faith.
     
  13. Aug 29, 2006 #73 of 116
    Capmeister

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    But I didn't say "I hope to win the lottery" was the example. I said "I WILL win the lottery" was the example. :) That would be the difference.

    Oh, it does not. One says all sorts of things that are common to the language. Because I work in IT I've started to say "issues" rather than "problems." We all do such things. When I tell someone to "f--- yourself" it doesn't mean I think such a thing is possible. ;)

    It's quite a stretch to suggest that when an atheist says "God darn, look at the chest on that girl" he's harboring some deep belief in a god. Get a grip. :)

    Trust me when I tell you it's not the case. :) I know my mind, I know my philosophy, and I don't indulge in faith.

    I'm curious--the stretch you're taking here makes me thing, would you feel more comfortable if you believed that somehow I'm not totally an atheist? ;) Sorry to disappoint you.

    It wasn't a song about Jesus. ;)
     
  14. Aug 29, 2006 #74 of 116
    Capmeister

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    My favorite line of my father's is when someone asked him what Jesus would do if he came back to Earth today. My father smartly replied: "Go to synagogue." ;)
     
  15. Aug 29, 2006 #75 of 116
    jpl

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    I like that :) I'll have to remember that one. For some bizarre reason (it's not connected with that at all, just a misfiring synapse, I guess) that reminds me of a joke one of our Deacons mentioned one time.

    A priest (he used our pastor in the joke) is flying to Rome to meet with the Pope. Suddenly the plane hits some bad turbulance. The plane rocks back and forth, and it looks like it's going to crash. Someone sitting next to the priest says "You're a priest, do something." The priest says "what do you want me to do about it?" He says "I don't know, something Catholic." So the priest took up a collection.
     
  16. Aug 29, 2006 #76 of 116
    Capmeister

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    Hehehehehe! Nice.

    A priest, a rabbi, and JFK were in a boat....

    Nevermind. ;)
     
  17. Aug 29, 2006 #77 of 116
    DonLandis

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    Nothing in that I disagree with except this-

    "There are lots of practicing Christians who have very little faith in God. Most of those need the church to keep them believing as their inner faith is weak." quoting myself and you disagreed with this last line? You may not be in this category but who am I to judge you? I do know many "church goers" who have weak faith and if it weren't for the church they attend every Sunday, they would soon lose their inner faith, maybe even become athiestic. Personally speaking, I got stronger with my faith, in my own readings and studies, as opposed to the recitations from church. The more dogmatic the church ritual the more I felt the need to break away. This doesn't mean I don't enjoy a great sermon or resisted when my daughter got married in the Catholic Church. I embrace each with open mind and a wonderful experience. BUT, I don't believe that I will go to Hell if I don't follow the Catholic or Protestant doctrin to the letter. I just don't believe in that. I respect your desire to believe in that (mortal sin reference) I have my personal thoughts on these various religions but that is probably a subject for another thread as I've already got one black mark on my name for causing James Long so much grief over this thread. :) Really, jpl I think we are in total agreement and you may just have not understood my last statement.
     
  18. Aug 29, 2006 #78 of 116
    DonLandis

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    "But I didn't say "I hope to win the lottery" was the example. I said "I WILL win the lottery" was the example. That would be the difference."


    I should have heeded the warning from others you like to escape using word games- "I will win the lottery" is not faith, It is either a lie to yourself or you have some secret information that allows you to cheat the system. I only suggested that attaching the assistance of God makes it a faith statement while just wishing it were to be makes it just a wish, not faith. I will is not winning anything but really an oxymoron since winning indicates a game of chance. There is no chance in I will. It becomes a fait acompli.

    No, it makes no difference to me what you are. athiest 100% or 99%. I said before your delivery here indicates you are pretty convinced you have absolutely no faith in God. Also, I don't require any proof from you on that. Your examples to demonstrate that you use "God" or sing songs with Jesus' name whatever you call it, are in no way indicative that you have some remote concious belief that God is real. BUT, considering your upbringing you admitted to, I'd be quite surprised if you have completely purged yourself, your subconcious of anything theistic. You claim to know your mind. I was talikng about your subconcious. The fact that you were indoctrinated by your parents at a young impressionable age, tells me you should recognize you may still harbor sleeper faith in God emotions, presently sequestered by your concious desire to be a pure athiest.
    You remind me of Spock. I know you can relate to that. Spock caught in his turmoil to strive for emotionless objectivity, yet harboring those human traits deep inside him that he battles to sequester.
     
  19. Aug 29, 2006 #79 of 116
    Capmeister

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    Wait. what? How is this a word game. I'm saying the person who says they have faith they'll win the lottery tonight is engaging in faith that isn't related to religion. You turned the "I will" into "I hope" and made it a prayer, and my correcting you is a word game? Bwah?

    I don't indulge in faith at all, about anything, be it gods, souls, ghosts, invisable monkeys, whathaveyou. You need not limit it to your god. :)

    LOL. Which you would know better than I? Heh. Amusing.

    That's an interesting notion, but not based on anything other than your musing, I'm afraid.

    Spock is a character in fiction. I'm an actual person who is in no turmoil, inner or otherwise. I have emotions and I use them--just not as tools of cognition, rather as tools to tell me how I feel about reality, and not as arbiters of reality.
     
  20. Aug 29, 2006 #80 of 116
    jpl

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    There's another one that I really can't give here - you need to hear it. Reading it won't work. Plus it pokes fun at Italians a bit (which I can appreciate, since the priest saying the joke sounded eerily like many of my relatives when he said it).
     
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