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17-04-2012, 10:48 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(17-04-2012 10:13 AM)kenroos Wrote:  actually, I think that your felling of union with the universe can be felt by any other member of this community, yeah I know that we all have minerals on our bodies that only can be created on the supernovas explosions and that is in fact the bases of my own faith, the magnificent of the universe, when I see the stars and when I see the wonders of nature and the wonders of science (yes SCIENCE), my faith grows. because I know for sure, that all those gifts we all have, intelligence, technology and our desire to discover comes all for the will of God.

and please don't "felt" sad for me, I don't want that and I really felt offended of that Dodgy , because even we don't share the same point of view I respect you all on this community, and respect your personal beliefs.
Yes, you can say that we can't understand the "feeling" without faith and you are not offensive. But I say it and go a step further and say I feel sad for you and it's offensive?

Don't make condescending comments if you can't take what you're dishing.

And everything you described is exactly what I was talking about in my previous post. I felt all that you have due to my faith. I always accepted science as uncovering the beauty of "god".

Now that I was able to let that myth (sorry, that's as polite a word I can think of for it) go, that very "feeling" that you describe as "faith" has been greatly enhanced.

I get much more enjoyment out of life knowing that it is very unlikely that there is an afterlife. Therefore, I must enjoy this one and live it to the fullest. I must be the best husband I can be (to my believing wife mind you) and the best possible father I can be to my children. I absolutely must because there is no making-up for it after this life.

How could you or anyone that believes in the afterlife possibly feel what I feel as a non believer. YOU JUST THINK that the "feeling" you get is superior. Faith blinds you from the true enjoyments of life.
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17-04-2012, 11:24 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
sorry, but I never said that my feeling is superior to yours, and if that's what you read in my words i want to correct it Blush . both of our experiences maybe the same, but based on different philosophies. the fact is that I see that you have a wonderful life, and trust me, I'm really happy for you, because as you told, as atheist you all are, for you there will no be an afterlife, so enjoy all this one the most as you can, and that is right the thing that you are doing.

again, sorry if you misunderstood my words, I never wanted to diminish your feelings or anything like that
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17-04-2012, 11:37 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(17-04-2012 11:24 AM)kenroos Wrote:  sorry, but I never said that my feeling is superior to yours, and if that's what you read in my words i want to correct it Blush . both of our experiences maybe the same, but based on different philosophies. the fact is that I see that you have a wonderful life, and trust me, I'm really happy for you, because as you told, as atheist you all are, for you there will no be an afterlife, so enjoy all this one the most as you can, and that is right the thing that you are doing.

again, sorry if you misunderstood my words, I never wanted to diminish your feelings or anything like that
No worries...

But with all due respect, don't refer to my view of the world as a "philosophy". Mine is based on scientific evidence. I can live with you calling my reason for acting the way I do based on scientific facts a philosophy though... as I suppose a person can use these very facts to live a life of debauchery and that would be their philosophy.
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17-04-2012, 11:40 AM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(17-04-2012 10:48 AM)arbmouser Wrote:  Why can't theists come to a consensus about important issues?

The nontheist community has come to a consensus on moral issues pertaining to such subjects as homosexual and racial equality, as well as scientific theory such as evolution.

It seems that the religious community (and let's just use Christianity for the example), while all worshiping the same god that is the basis for existence, holds completely differing view points on almost all moral, social and scientific issues. Why is it that Christianity is many times at odds with the secular community AND with itself amongst the different denominations, and yet the secular community has been able to come to a consensus within itself over these things?
Bumping my question. Got lost in the shuffle.
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17-04-2012, 11:45 AM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2012 12:10 PM by kingschosen.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
(13-04-2012 08:42 AM)kenroos Wrote:  hmm interesting this deistic philosophy and actually i think that it describes me in mostly all the aspects, but I'm also believe in Jesus and the fact that god can help us when we helps ourselves.

another issue i would like to share with you is about the apocrypha NT, the non-canonical text about the life of Christ, what do you think about them.

thank you
I believe these books are supplemental but not inspired. They are good tools for history and additional information on the writings, religion, and understanding of the time. The only exceptions to this is Enoch and The Assumption of Moses. I believe that parts of these books are inspired; however, they became corrupted which led them to not being canonized.

I believe that they are semi-inspired because they are quoted from in the NT.

(15-04-2012 04:15 PM)Unreal Wrote:  KC.

If this has been asked before, please link me.
I have to know your thought on this. All the atrocities in the bible.. what is your opinion on it? Is it justified?
God is morally autonomous which means he cannot be judged by human morality. Relatively speaking, certain atrocities in the Bible are not justified when held against human morality. However, since God is not held to this standard, and His plan must be fulfilled, these atrocities took place.

(16-04-2012 08:45 AM)whateverist Wrote:  Congratulations on your agnosticism .. or did you give that up to become Christian. If you accept that the bible is not entirely literal, I guess that makes you still somewhat agnostic. (Good to know you still pay attention to whether and to what degree you know anything.)

No, I am not an agnostic. I am a Christian. I do not accept that the Bible is 100% literally inerrant. I accept that it is 100% inspired. Empirically, God cannot be proved or disproved, so this is why God provides His elect with faith.

Quote:1) What do you think of Thomas Jefferson's attempt to pare the bible down to just the words and actions attributed to Jesus? Do you agree that Jesus is the central character in the bible and that what he says takes precedence?

Yes and No.

Jesus is indeed important, but He is not crux. He is the denouement. God is revealed to humanity in three different ways throughout history. The Father revealed Himself to His elect directly during the OT times, the Son revealed Himself to the elect during the Gospels, and the Holy Spirit reveals Himself to the elect during the Church Age (after Jesus until now). Jesus was one of the ways God has revealed Himself.

Now, Jesus was, indeed, a huge part of God's plan, but it is not the single most important thing. God's plan is God's plan; therefore, God's plan is the most important part. This means that Jesus was the most important part, in a way, but He was only a sliver of the whole pie.

Quote:2) What do you think are the core beliefs which define a Christian? For example, I think someone who understands "heaven" as a state of being -that can apply here and now- can still reasonably call himself a Christian. What do you think? In other words, is belief in a literal afterlife a key component of Christian beliefs?

No. There are no prerequisites for being elect. God chooses salvation. From that choice, understanding of God is revealed to the elect. From that understanding, the elect person studies the Bible. From that study, God reveals intricacies of His plan to His elect.

As for the question of the afterlife: This is clearly spoken of in the Bible. It is irrelevant to salvation, but it is taught to the elect.

Quote:3) Did God give rise to the universe or was it the other way around?

God always existed

Quote:If God came first, how did he know Himself? Without anything which was not-God, of what exactly would he have been aware? Could God have had language before there was a universe? If so, which came first: the nouns or the things they refer to?

I don't know. But, you are giving finite limitations to an infinite being; therefore, these questions cannot be.
(17-04-2012 10:48 AM)arbmouser Wrote:  Why can't theists come to a consensus about important issues?

The nontheist community has come to a consensus on moral issues pertaining to such subjects as homosexual and racial equality, as well as scientific theory such as evolution.

It seems that the religious community (and let's just use Christianity for the example), while all worshiping the same god that is the basis for existence, holds completely differing view points on almost all moral, social and scientific issues. Why is it that Christianity is many times at odds with the secular community AND with itself amongst the different denominations, and yet the secular community has been able to come to a consensus within itself over these things?


Because the secular world is held to pliable, changing standard. Christianity is held to the rigid standard of the Bible.

As far as the differing standards among Christians:

The standard is still based on the rigidity of the Bible, but other issues arise that propose problems and differing points of view. The common ones are: translation issues, interpretations, and historical meanings.

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17-04-2012, 01:38 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
Is this not a concern then (at least for you, since I don't expect any one person to speak for an entire faith) that the document that is claimed to be the true word of god, and that has the answers needed for humans to live correctly, is so open to mistranslation, misinterpretation, and the historical context in which it was written? With the admittance of those flaws, does it not then sound better to have a talk and come to a mutual understanding of pressing issues that need attention instead of arguing about the book? As long as there is a divide in opinion over the bible, that sidebar will dominate the original conversation and nothing will be solved. Don't you think?
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17-04-2012, 01:46 PM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2012 01:50 PM by whateverist.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
(17-04-2012 11:45 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(16-04-2012 08:45 AM)whateverist Wrote:  Congratulations on your agnosticism .. or did you give that up to become Christian. If you accept that the bible is not entirely literal, I guess that makes you still somewhat agnostic. (Good to know you still pay attention to whether and to what degree you know anything.)
No, I am not an agnostic. I am a Christian. I do not accept that the Bible is 100% literally inerrant. I accept that it is 100% inspired. Empirically, God cannot be proved or disproved, so this is why God provides His elect with faith.

I think you may be one of the rarest of birds, an agnostic theist .. Christian agnostic in this case. Remember that gnostic or agnostic has nothing to do with what you believe but only with what you think you know. So long as you accept that there is no empirical support for a belief in God, your agnosticism is intact. I am agnostic in exactly the same sense but it is my lack of belief in God for which I lack empirical support. You can very well be 100% Christian and 100% agnostic, though gnostic Christians are by far more common.

Where you trust the faith you believe is bestowed in you by the holy spirit (etc) I have faith that my insight and understanding tap into a well of knowing that is within us all. To my way of thinking, it is the nature of consciousness that what is conscious can only ever be but a portion of what is known. The brain is split into two hemispheres for the sake of permitting consciousness to multi-task. The conscious mind (predominantly left hemisphere)is for attending to familiar tasks which require focused attention. The unconscious mind (predominantly right hemisphere) has the broader responsibility for monitoring the environment for threats and opportunities. It is this portion of the brain which is most adept at getting the big picture and identifying what is of most importance. The conscious mind is most effective when it trusts the guidance of the unconscious mind, and puts its evaluative efforts in the service of those insights.

Okay, that is a lot of detail. If you're interested, look for Ian McGilchrist on youtube. You can view either his talk on the divided brain, or a version that overlays hand drawings to illustrate the same talk. (I prefer that one.)

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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17-04-2012, 01:53 PM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2012 01:58 PM by kingschosen.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
(17-04-2012 01:38 PM)arbmouser Wrote:  Is this not a concern then (at least for you, since I don't expect any one person to speak for an entire faith) that the document that is claimed to be the true word of god, and that has the answers needed for humans to live correctly, is so open to mistranslation, misinterpretation, and the historical context in which it was written? With the admittance of those flaws, does it not then sound better to have a talk and come to a mutual understanding of pressing issues that need attention instead of arguing about the book? As long as there is a divide in opinion over the bible, that sidebar will dominate the original conversation and nothing will be solved. Don't you think?
In order for you to understand what I'm about to say, you first have to understand what I think about God and sin.

I believe that God created sin. If He did not create sin, then Jesus would not have a purpose. Christ's purpose was a part of God's plan which originated in infinity (always was). Sin has consequences and results. Sin also touches every part of humanity. Corruptions in translations are a result of sin. This is why it is important for us (believers) to read, understand, and translate the earliest manuscripts. Since God provides faith to His elect, it is by faith alone that we give authority to the earliest manuscripts. This is because we have faith that God inspired these for our instruction.

So, why didn't God correctly inspire all translations so that there would be no questionable material?

The easy answer is "I don't know".

But, I'm going to try and answer this.

Now that you know how I view sin, corruptions in the translations HAD to happen in accordance to God's plan. If sin is a created part of God's plan, then bastardization of scripture is preordained in order to comply with the results of sin. Likewise, this give more credence to faith, which God provides to His believers.

(17-04-2012 01:46 PM)whateverist Wrote:  I think you may be one of the rarest of birds, an agnostic theist .. Christian agnostic in this case. Remember that gnostic or agnostic has nothing to do with what you believe but only with what you think you know. So long as you accept that there is no empirical support for a belief in God, your agnosticism is intact. I am agnostic in exactly the same sense but it is my lack of belief in God for which I lack empirical support. You can very well be 100% Christian and 100% agnostic, though gnostic Christians are by far more common.

Ahhh, I misunderstood. Yes, I am an agnostic Christian. I thought you were calling me an "agnostic" which hold a different connotation.

I am also adamant and outspoken in the fact that no one can be a gnostic. 100% is not achievable by any human. Omniscience is not possible.

This is also why faith is so important, and why God provides it to His elect.

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17-04-2012, 02:07 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
Okay, kingschosen, I think I understand your point of view. However, since not all christian denominations hold what you postulate to be true about scripture, it will be a never ending argument. And this isn't even considering all the other religions that claim divine truth. So, would it not be better to leave religion out of moral and ethical discussions since there cannot be a consensus amongst the religious population of the world, and instead begin the dialogue under a secular humanist view point in order to find answers to problems faced by our societies? I mean to say, could that be acceptable for theists without feeling they have violated their faith?
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17-04-2012, 02:19 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
Hey KC question again:

Do the elect consist of Calvinists only or can other denominations fit in too, also can someone from another *religion* be elect, or do they have to be Christian?

What I mean is, could a devout Hindu unknowingly be elect, for example?
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