KevinYour response....Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:36pm126.96.36.199demonstrates that we are talking about totally different things or misunderstanding each other.
I never said anything about facts or logical arguments.
I am simply pointing out that there is no "evidence for God" (as it is normally discussed on this board -- if one wants evidence they need to change their assumptions which I pointed out in another post is based on good brain science and not sloppy thinking). In any event, "the evidence" is not what most think evidence should be because it is a matter of interpretation. So in the end, it is a matter of faith....as I said in my post.
To ask where the evidence for God is or to assume that God appears to some and not to others as it was assumed in the original post I responded to....that assumes a particular type of God and a particular type of experience.
I am saying that is NOT what it is about.
You were Buddhist at one point. Let me use this example. Don't you recall that the teachings were based on meditation and watching one's mind and measuring it up to the truths (Four Noble Truths, ultimate truth and conventional truth, karma, reincarnation, nirvana). None of those things can be proven empirically. They are teachings that help people walk their religious path and can be tested in one's experience the more one meditates and practices. So there is evidence. But it is evidence that one has to see for themselves and interpret for themselves and it is not going to be repeatable evidence for a lab test. It is the type of evidence one uses in their everyday life to make decisions and decide who they will marry or what school they will attend. It is not a blind leap into the dark based on nothing but it is not logical, rational propositions either. But Buddhists can proclaim that one can "test their tradition to see if it is true." Theism is talking about things just like that.
But for a multitude of reasons historically, politically, educationally, etc -- the Western theistic traditions have turned religious practice into propositional belief, empirical data, technology. Believers and unbelievers alike talk about the teachings in ways that they were never intended to be discussed when first formed. One of the very first teachings in Judaism/Christianity/Islam is that what is meant by "God" is beyond all thought, words, ideas, physical finite reality. That words point in the direction and "reveal God" in particular ways....and prayer and liturgy instructed one in those ways. And one could experience it for themselves to see if it was true. But God would always remain a Mystery...unknown. (The same thing with ourselves and our "souls". We too could never be fully known because we were a pattern that was still unfolding over the course of our life. We were a flowing river and so based on our perceptions we were always changing. In each of the main traditions in the West -- one could look to how to live such a deeply fulfilling life. But look at how spirituality and religions are discussed by many now.
Now words about God and Soul and metaphysical concepts are taken literally by many believers and unbelievers alike -- prayer is seen as begging God for something, liturgy is magic -- turning bread into not bread and faith means really, really believing a set of propositional truths or God will punish.
But that is not what Creeds said, scripture said, earliest writings in the tradition said, (and then turning to Christianity for a second) Aquinas says in his theology, or Augustine or Bonaventure, or Athanasius, or the Desert Fathers and Mothers or the Greek/Russian Orthodox, etc, etc.
My point is to suggest -- as I always do -- that there is lots of bad theology and religious understanding thrown around by believers and non-believers alike.
But no one really seems interested to discuss that, check it out for themselves or even ask what I mean.
That is what I meant by assumptions. That is what I was trying to say.
I was not saying "believe like me" or "I am being more factual or logical."
I was just pointing out -- that when one reads the history and the early texts -- the primary sources and not the critics reporting on the sources nor the secondary sources -- there is more there in the religions and that what is there is not as far-fetched as people make it sound when I hear them talk about the faith on here.
But in the end -- it IS a matter of faith. Like I say all the time -- religious faith is not proven or disproven by argument. It is proven or disproven by a life lived following that faith. The same way I prove that I love and trust (have faith) in my family -- by living and acting on that love and trust.
I just try to be a voice that points out that much that is assumed about theism, belief on this board (specifically Christianity but I would say all the monotheistic traditions) is often coming with a lot of assumptions. I mean, it is hard for me to keep my mouth shut when people say that Christians believe X -- and I don't believe X. (And it is not like I am fringe unique believer as I am a Christian in good standing with my church, who teaches men being ordained as deacons in the tradition, teaches at a Catholic university and runs a non-profit organization that is recognized by my bishop as being orthodox.
- If God didnít manifest itself as it is said in the holy Anonymous, Wed Jun 13 8:07pmbooks. And I use the word holy books with a lot of deserved contempt. So if god didnít do that than what evidence is there that a god even is. It is than very clear that a god only reveals itself in... more
- There IS no real evidence greenman, Sat Jun 16 3:57pmAll religion is purely and simply a matter of belief and faith. There IS no objective proof that ANY faith is real, much less unique and requiring one's belief.
- Hmm I didn't noticed that I didn't put it under Δι Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:09pmSorry about that. Διός
- Sophistry as usual. RthB, Fri Jun 15 12:57pmIf you didn't exist, you wouldn't exist, eh? RthB
- As usual learn to read Roberto. (nm) Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:17pm
- Inother words if god only reveals himself to the very few Anonymous, Thu Jun 14 4:49pmΔιός, then could God be a scam invented by those that would benefit by the scam, hence the priests and religious leaders who would gain both political lower and wealth from the... more
- Well it lets in a whole host of frauds of course. Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:15pmAnd the vision one might get in it personal life is no more than a personal experiance. But as we see everyday the frauds run the show. Which is getting very dangerous with the connections to... more
- Re: Well it lets in a whole host of frauds of course. yome, Sat Jun 16 12:59amFather God, help this man, he sees every one's sins but his own.
- How does that relate to what he said about frauds ChristopherBlackwell, Sun Jun 17 5:46pmyome, Christians often claim that other religions are frauds. So that does bring up the question of how can one tell if a religion is real or afraid, including Christianity. After all religions are... more
- great question. yome, Sun Jun 17 11:33pmyou'll know in your heart chris when all is at peace between you and your creator, there will be no doubt if you ever experienced Christ, i have peace and assurance in my being, my heart is at peace, ... more
- yome. but I have that already ChristopherBlackwell, Tue Jun 19 6:25pmYome, You cannot understand that people in other religions feel this in their own religion. It is not something unique to Christianity. I am sure that Jews,Hindus,and and most modern Pagans feel... more
- Another quickstep past the real question welldone! Διός, Mon Jun 18 3:25amTammy and Jim Baker weren't fraudsters? The raping preacher weren't fraudsters either? Holy Mary what a dirty mess! Διός
- Yome doesn't answer plain questions. Διός , Sun Jun 17 6:52pmBut is very good in pushing hid fraudulent sin thingie' Without much susses I might add. Διός
- Really what are they? Διός , Sat Jun 16 5:02pmAnd don't spare me, make me laugh I need one right now. Διός
- Oops my response , Διός, (nm) ChristopherBlackwell, Thu Jun 14 4:50pm
- Your question doesn't even compute. Kevin, Thu Jun 14 7:55amThe way you frame it already assumes an answer. You don't think holy books are holy? I would ask: What do you mean by Holy Book? What do you think holy means? Also, you are looking for "evidence of... more
- Okay let ask this simple question which might helps. in the Διός, Thu Jun 14 9:19pmend. When and how did you get involved with your religion? And what I think is a holy book doesn't matter the bible is called the holy bible isn't? Saintly it isnít and certainly not for children or... more
- How will an answer to that question help? Kevin, Fri Jun 15 6:07amAnd how can I answer? It is not as simple a question as you think. It would require an entire telling of my faith journey from birth until now. The answer I would give initially: When did I "get... more
- As seen from your reply you too were exposed to organized Διός, Fri Jun 15 7:04pmAs seen from your reply you too were exposed to organized religion and then followed a path that was uncertain but you were still seeking. That too is a normal thing the seed is sown in the young.... more
- THAT'S what you got out of my long reply? Kevin, Fri Jun 15 8:47pmA seed was planted as a child? Wow. I am very disappointed. Reducing a person's curiosity to ask the big questions about the universe and who wants to study everything that can be studied -- science, ... more
- Wrong and don't push me, I been nice and like to stay that Διός, Fri Jun 15 10:04pmway. I asked for you beginning to religion and not your whole journey. And you know why I ask that and be honest you can't claim now that you might have been looking at a later stage but again that... more
- I am not trying to push you at all... Kevin, Sat Jun 16 7:58amI really am not. I am not trying to be mean or vindictive nor do I want "stardom". You think you are playing nice? Making comparisons with religion to "Nazis"? You think you are being "objective"... more
- When I was saying donít push me might sounded too harsh. Διός, Sat Jun 16 7:11pmI meant donít make me go in to all the nitty gritty stuff. I do have no time for that and I was taken aback by you criticism of my interpretation of you post on you beginning of you introduction to... more
- Thanks for that I will reply tomorrow it is to late now. (nm) Διός, Fri Jun 15 6:39am
- The believer also works on assumptions ChristopherBlackwell, Thu Jun 14 5:01pmKevin, So one could also say that the believer assumes much, including that the alleged holy books was somehow influenced by God. there is no way to actually prove such a things so it becomes a... more
- Your response.... Kevin, Thu Jun 14 7:36pm
- But your method does not work in screaming matches ChristopherBlackwell, Fri Jun 15 7:43pmKevin, And so much of what passes for religious discussion here ends up in being screaming matches. I have no problem with the idea that a god would be unknowable,that is beyond human understanding.... more
- Norhing you say... Kevin, Mon Jun 18 8:41pmGoes against the idea of orthodoxy or the tradition as I have come to understand it and teach it. As much as certain voices in and out of the tradition are sure they know what the tradition is, there ... more
- And you're right we still have many others that either fall Διός, Fri Jun 15 8:36pmunder (grin hopefully not busses) mainstream religion and are not the real self thinkers but mainly followers and do as told. And it is just those that are in the category you mentioned. That is why... more
- Might be wise to start anew string ChristopherBlackwell, Fri Jun 15 7:45pmKevin, Because who knows what direction this conversation will go.
- IMHO ... OldCM, Thu Jun 14 7:09am... that is happening by those who want to have power and control over other people. And what greater power can one have than to claim to hear from the Almighty? And have those who believe him or her ... more
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