A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
19-05-2011, 12:47 PM
A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
I've asked this elsewhere and not gotten a good answer. Do believers literally define terms like truth, love and fairness through their faith?

When we look at dictionary definitions of these words and judge god by the earthly words god doesn't measure up.
So... if god is love and god brutally kills his enemies is it loving to dehumanize your enemies and is it acceptable to kill them without conscience within the religious definition?
Is it fair to send people to the grave who have lived isolated and never heard of Jesus because god is (!) fair?

Do you see what I mean? If god defines the terms and is not judgeable (is that even a word?), then the morality of god is unquestionable and irrelevent. So god defines the terms, and the terms as defined by humanity don't explain anything without the religious context.

Is this a 'given' and I've been too dense to see it or is it just a hazy area? Your thoughts...

We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood. But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there.
Dana Gould
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-05-2011, 12:54 PM
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
Basically, this is why i was never into religious dogma. I believed allright, but I clearly believed something else the that what the roman catholic priest was trying to teach me. I believed in a humanist God...

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-05-2011, 01:15 PM
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
I could almost understand why believers might pardon some of the more violent aspects of their religious teachings if this was the case.

To make a political analogy when the 9/11 attacks happened and a few people said Bin Laden was a 'genius' for organizing the attacks, others would say there was no genius involved as it was such an evil act. They had mentally redefined genius to mean something that cannot come from evil. They could not bring themselves to call such an act a work of genius because of the political baggage associated with it.

(Obviously a person could argue that the plan wasn't really genius by reason of military strategy etc... but that's not what the people were arguing).

We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood. But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there.
Dana Gould
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-05-2011, 01:31 PM
 
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
Even a cursory view of the Old Testament (OT) imparts a description of a psychopath in Heaven.
If you're looking for an answer you can live with, one that makes sense and is logical, you'll look forever without finding satisfaction.

Truth, love, fairness, morality even, is something a believer will define as it relates to themselves and their understanding of the world. However, I've talked with Fundy's who actually say when it's brought to their attention those qualities are not present in the creator described in the Bible, that it's god. And he can do anything he wants, with and to his creation.

I think to maybe make sense of all this, you might first ask yourself a question. Does it make sense? Is it at all rational, logical, even consistent with reality? (As in two different creation myths in Genesis 1 and 2)
When those answers are simply, no! Then you pretty much can't find sense, rationalism, logic or consistency apply to those aforementioned characteristics as they apply to the creator of all that nonsense.
Quote this message in a reply
19-05-2011, 01:33 PM (This post was last modified: 19-05-2011 01:39 PM by Fear Culture.)
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
So these people are actually fine with a non loving, unfair god just because It's God!, yet they push their 'higher moral standard' as a reason to believe? Sheesh, humanity is one messed up species.

I shouldn't say a reason to believe, but a reason to worship.

We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood. But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there.
Dana Gould
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-05-2011, 01:54 PM
 
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
(19-05-2011 01:33 PM)Fear Culture Wrote:  So these people are actually fine with a non loving, unfair god just because It's God!, yet they push their 'higher moral standard' as a reason to believe? Sheesh, humanity is one messed up species.

I shouldn't say a reason to believe, but a reason to worship.

Well, first one has to realize it's a fear paradigm that's installed into the believers programming from the beginning. In fact, the first book of the book that discourages free thought and rationality implants the notion of self-deprecation, when the whole world's human population is said to be damned in the womb, for the single mistake Eve made in the garden.

After that, people are led to believe they're not worthy of god's love and attention because they are damned. Attend a Catholic mass and you'll hear that "fact" repeated in a resounding fashion depending on the acoustics of the church. "Father, though we know we're not worthy..."

And because the Bible is said to be god's breath, or god's words inspired to human scribes long ago and then sealed for all time as the one and only truth (closed canon), because those teachings are written down as such, they're believed to be god's judgment. And that has to be accepted as absolutely true, because the Bible also says that fear of the lord is wisdom.

So while it may not make sense to a believer, they're terrified by the word that says they have to believe or else. It's that persuasive sadistic circular logic cult programming, that's allowed the faith to survive nearly three thousand years. And ascend through through campaigns that decimated anything even remotely akin to truth, love and fairness, so as to now reign as the most populace religious ideology on the face of the planet, with the Catholic church being the most populace sectarian branch on earth.
Quote this message in a reply
19-05-2011, 02:00 PM
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
I grew up in a Catholic town and once had a Catholic girlfriend so I know what you're saying. It's just seems crazy from an outsider when I look at a system that takes fear and cultural isolation and calls it love. I guess I'm trying to temporarily enter the mind set of a believer whan it can't be done.

We all enter this world in the same way: naked; screaming; soaked in blood. But if you live your life right, that kind of thing doesn't have to stop there.
Dana Gould
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-05-2011, 02:43 PM
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
(19-05-2011 12:47 PM)Fear Culture Wrote:  I've asked this elsewhere and not gotten a good answer. Do believers literally define terms like truth, love and fairness through their faith?

When we look at dictionary definitions of these words and judge god by the earthly words god doesn't measure up.
So... if god is love and god brutally kills his enemies is it loving to dehumanize your enemies and is it acceptable to kill them without conscience within the religious definition?
Is it fair to send people to the grave who have lived isolated and never heard of Jesus because god is (!) fair?

Do you see what I mean? If god defines the terms and is not judgeable (is that even a word?), then the morality of god is unquestionable and irrelevent. So god defines the terms, and the terms as defined by humanity don't explain anything without the religious context.

Is this a 'given' and I've been too dense to see it or is it just a hazy area? Your thoughts...

I think you hit the nail square on the head really. Christians have a number of mutually exclusive concepts like

- God is love and justice. God can't do any wrong or evil because it's not part of his nature.
- God is super partis therefore he can do what he wants without being judged, because who are we to judge God?
- Objective morality exists. Since God is good incarnate then everything that god does or says is automatically the standard for objective morality.

Of course there are so many problems with this that it's surprising to me believers' heads don't just explode. Like:
- A true objective standard of morality is one against which everyone and everything can be measured against. This includes god. But for god being judged against an objective standard, the standard must exist outside of that which is being measured.
- If evil was truly extraneous to god's very nature, god would be incapable of doing that which he defines as wrong. If he says murder is wrong, that must mean god is incapable of murder. But he isn't (see OT). Christians usually say we can't make this argument because we are humans and can't judge god's morality. But this is wrong. God shows us his own morality by telling us what's right and wrong. So we aren't judging god against human morality standards, we are judging him against his own standards. And he comes up short. How is that possible?
-Believers have simply arbitrarily defined "good" to mean "whatever god says is good". But why would that which god says be good? Because god is arbitrarily defined as all good. It's a circular argument based on arbitrary definitions. But if good is arbitrarily defined, it can't be objective.

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes sy2502's post
23-05-2011, 10:36 AM
 
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
(19-05-2011 12:47 PM)Fear Culture Wrote:  I've asked this elsewhere and not gotten a good answer. Do believers literally define terms like truth, love and fairness through their faith?

In the Christian tradition, yes.

(19-05-2011 12:47 PM)Fear Culture Wrote:  When we look at dictionary definitions of these words and judge god by the earthly words god doesn't measure up.
So... if god is love and god brutally kills his enemies is it loving to dehumanize your enemies and is it acceptable to kill them without conscience within the religious definition?

In a word, no.

(19-05-2011 12:47 PM)Fear Culture Wrote:  Is it fair to send people to the grave who have lived isolated and never heard of Jesus because god is (!) fair?

I suppose that depends on which side of the fence you're sitting. If you're a Christian, in most cases you could think it is fair because no-one is with excuse (see: Romans 1:19-20). Paul was quite clear that nature and man's conscience make knowing God entirely possible. This is the 'exclusivist' view in Christian theology.

The 'inclusivist' view -- which seems to be more and more popular -- would suggest that, no, one who has not heard of the gospel of Christ would be damned because such an action on God's part would not reflect his mercy.

(19-05-2011 12:47 PM)Fear Culture Wrote:  Do you see what I mean? If god defines the terms and is not judgeable (is that even a word?), then the morality of god is unquestionable and irrelevent. So god defines the terms, and the terms as defined by humanity don't explain anything without the religious context.

Is this a 'given' and I've been too dense to see it or is it just a hazy area? Your thoughts...

You're not dense if you're noticing it. You may be late on the scene, but that doesn't mean you haven't arrived, or that you're unfashionable. Smile What you're noticing are the contradictions that indict God's character as testified to in Christian scripture and theology.

You're noticing that 'God,' as Christians describe him, is less moral than the human beings he allegedly created, and that he claims an unyielding autocracy over everything without proving any warrant beyond his being bigger and more bad-ass than you. To echo Lilith Pride's sentiment, being bigger than me doesn't mean I am beholden to worship you (God, that is).
Quote this message in a reply
23-05-2011, 10:15 PM
RE: A question for those who have been believers... (or still are)...
Trying to add something to this, we'll see if I manage. I grew up around Christians. Generally the first easy answer is that a large portion of christians know all they ever will about god from sermons and prayer circles. Preachers and other believers tend to bolster your beliefs. A church is a very popular meeting place, and many very different people go to church, what keeps them enjoying the company? Why the fact that they are not to question anything. As long as the preacher controls the time they are together no arguments can exist. Everyone sitting in the pulpit quietly takes the words of the preacher in their own light, and generally no one discusses the sermon much so they don't realize everyone has a vastly different opinion on it. If the sermon is discussed generally whatever the preacher says is the basis and truth the discussion is founded upon. To me the most compelling reason that religious people do not see the inconsistency is that all that they know of their god is moral, just, kind, whatever. When given information that worries them and makes this belief shake, generally they will go to their priest and ask about it. Remember that the priest is an expert on religious matters so his answer is much more important than the outsider with a valid argument. There is so much reinforcement in belief without reason to ever gain a stable foundation for the belief that basically teeters on the belief that everything is true and the experts are those within the religion.

Another interestingly cruel view on this, is that god is just and through his might man is made to be moral. There are also many Christians who believe that yes god does many things that for a man would be a horrid act, but these are proof that he is god and should be feared. This fear is the only thing keeping humans from being horrible deranged psychopaths. These are the people that will back christian psychopaths over atheist doctors. This is one of the main things that convince me to be militant against christianity. These people are so focused on the idea of gods laws being imposed that the entire world is a horrible sinful pit of hell, and there won't be a shred of happiness until the next life. People who life a strict life with no enjoyment because the only way to enjoy life is to attain heaven. This makes me sick and should never happen.

I hope those opinions helped you a bit in another aspect of this, sorry I'm not actually a believer.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: