The Need For Faith
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
27-12-2011, 10:03 PM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2011 09:56 AM by Seasbury.)
The Need For Faith
Re-read this article this morning (I was typing it out before falling asleep last night and it showed...)

Cleaned up a bit and fleshed it out a bit more... I have some fun pics and links I need to add too this evening.

I've often said I'll debate theology with anyone that wishes to engage in the discussion, but when it comes to matters of faith, there is no point in arguing. Faith, in its' purest form, is the suspension of doubt without reason. The dictionary definition reads:

"strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence or a conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason"

You can't argue faith - I'm not even inclined to try. Here's a great story:

Back in 1998 I was flying from Amman, Jordan to Abu Dhabi. The gentleman sitting next to me on the flight struck up a conversation. He was Palestinian by birth, a biologist by education, and was, at this time, selling Kirby vacuum cleaners in Abu Dhabi. When asked what work I was in, I responded that I worked for the Defense Department.

In 1998, the Persian Gulf was on pins and needles. America was poised to go back to war again with Iraq; my response of my employer drove many questions. My flight-mate had mentioned earlier in the conversation that he was living in Kuwait City when Saddam Hussein invaded that country in 1990. He escaped to Jordan via Iraq following the invasion, so his next question threw me.

"Why do you people (Americans) care so much about what Saddam does?" [or something along those lines] "why don't you do something about Israel and their weapons of mass destruction?"

I thought for a moment, measuring my response and replied, "well, I'm not speaking on behalf of my government, but I believe the issues is simply that we fought a war with Iraq, and under the terms of the ceasefire agreement, Saddam is obligated to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction programs and to have that dismantlement verified by the UNSCOM inspection teams (which he had just kicked out of his country)."

At this point, my new found friend smiled and proceeded to tell me how the Western media has been lying to us (Americans). "It is a well known fact that America lost two corps during the Gulf War." He turned to his companions sitting nearby and their heads began nodding. "These UNSCOM inspections were not about finding WMD, they are finding the bodies of dead Americans killed in the war." To put that revelation into context – an American military corps is comprised of 2 to 3 divisions, so to have lost 2 corps is the equivalent of losing 40,000 service members.

I could tell by the look on his face, and of his friends, that he was dead serious and realized then and there that whatever I responded with to his assertion would never change his mind. I could have hooked him up to a polygraph machine (assuming I could find someone who knew how to use it) and he would have passed with flying colors - because he believed what he said! There was nothing I could have said that would've changed his mind. I would have had better luck convincing him that Allah didn't exist.

That was a powerful lesson for me to learn, and yet belief and faith still vexes me.

There is a common perception, especially among Christians, that people need to believe in something. Lack of belief is viewed as a character flaw in individuals. Without a belief system, then people lack a moral compass. Without faith in a hereafter, people are free to do anything. Without their soul in the balance to pay for the consequences of their actions taken in this life then the next “life” is at risk. Such is the view that drives inherent distrust in atheists.

So here's my problem. I would like to believe in a god and the idea of everlasting life - who wouldn't? But the problem is I can't suspend reality or reason in order to do so.

But if I did believe, it wouldn't be in a biblical god, or the god of the Qur'an, or the god of the Torah. If I were to make up a god to believe in it would go along these lines: my god caused the big bang setting the universe in motion and he watches his creation like we watch cable TV. Occasionally he tunes in earth like you sometimes tune in Jerry Springer or the Jersey Shore – it’s a guilty pleasure...

He requires no worship, because he's not an interactive god. There is no "message" for humans other than respecting his creation (fits into my ecological pursuits). No prayer, no giving big bucks to some televangelist so he can build a megachurch and drive a Benz (no need for hypocrisy). When we die, we rejoin the universe from which we started.

Now if I said I believe this and this is my faith - evangelicals would still insist that this view is misguided and try to bring Jesus into my belief system, but at least I would "believe" in something right? Maybe some would consider it agnostic.

But if I named my god, let's say BOB* for simplicity (BOB in all caps because my god is an awesome god!), and I put parameters around my belief - rules and such that BOB wishes me to live by - as revealed to me in a tequila-induced vision (hey, that shit happens...), then would my faith have more validity? (Joseph Smith anyone?)

Maybe I could be viewed as a trustworthy person by more people than do so now? When asked if I believe in god (as though that is anyone's business in the first place!) I could honestly respond, “yes I do!” I don't have to go into great details on BOB - after all, I'm an American, people will normally assume my god is their god (since we all look alike anyway). Just hope they don't ask me if I've accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior (then the BOB conversion begins!)

Speaking of that whole line of questioning - when did that become OK for people to ask? How absolutely appalling that people feel so incredibly emboldened to ask a stranger or an acquaintance if they've accepted Jesus as their savior! What is the point of that question? I can only imagine, in my sick twisted mind, that they go home and masturbate over every conversation they enter using that line of questioning - holy crap, if you are reading this blog and you engage in that type of practice - please stop! This isn't the Spanish Inquisition! And BOB has instructed me to wage physical violence on those that try playing god games with that line! (I joke, I joke - BOB doesn't exist, but his likelihood of existence is probably much greater than the god in books - at least that's what I believe.)

People believe in all kinds of crap outside of religion. These beliefs can be mocked at will. People believe in super intelligent alien life and extraterrestrial visitations. There is no substantiated proof of this (although there is more physical evidence pointing to it than that which supports religion). People believe in ghosts, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, midgets, tarot cards, horoscopes – all of which are viewed with a certain amount of disdain and people looking down their noses at (especially midgets which everyone knows do not exist!).

There is so much to believe in – putting faith above logic. We’ve had several millennia experience with this phenomenon; only, we tend to call this philosophy. Even among Christian adherents, theophilosophy abounds. No one sect can claim to have THE answer to how it all works (actually, they all do). In fact, amazingly, some sects view others as heretical and hell-bound for not believing in the correct way (did I mention Joseph Smith?)

Mormonism is a perfect example for BOB. If I were to proselytize on behalf of BOB, spreading his good word, people would likely think of me as though I was insane – that weird homeless guy on the corner without the World is Going to End sign (BOB isn’t into an Armageddon style scenarios). Now if I started winning some converts – and those converts did a lot of isolated in-breeding (hey, it happened), then I might be viewed as a cult leader (I think there could be money in that). Give it a couple hundred years and some decent growth by conversion, I might even be considered mainstream (not enough to win the Republican primary though – right Mitt?).

Christianity was formed in the same fashion – it didn’t happen overnight. The first 300 years or so after the death of Jesus (or murder, or sacrifice), there were literally hundreds of Jesus cults proliferating around the Middle East. It took yeoman efforts by people like Paul to set believers straight on the doctrine – and even that doctrine is constantly up for interpretation (See Calvin, Luther, insert Megachurch leader) and what god wants you to do (send cash – god’s broke). If not for Constantine formally recognizing the faith and forcing a strict doctrine and choosing of the “right” texts, Christianity today would be an even bigger mess than it already is (based on the number of divergent sects today).

I have faith in my god, BOB, now I just need to refine my doctrine and presentation - I just need some cash for more tequila in order to get my next message! (Little help here anyone?)

* Not to be confused with the CHURCH OF bob ( http://thechurchofbob.com/whybob.html) Notice that bob is all lowercase, while my BOB is all Caps – big difference!

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 8 users Like Seasbury's post
27-12-2011, 10:22 PM
RE: The Need For Faith
I like it, I don't see anything wrong with your ideas but (you know exactly what i'm going to say) you know the religious aren't going to see it period. Simply because your god is made up and theirs isn't. I know this is pure hypocritical.

Others may have some input but I like it the way it is Smile

Idiot: : a foolish or stupid person
— idiot adjective
See Republican Candidates.

Keeping realism alive, one honest offensive comment at a time!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-12-2011, 12:07 AM
RE: The Need For Faith
I could get into a god who encourages tequila induced visions.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-12-2011, 12:17 AM
RE: The Need For Faith
Great writing again. Smile
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-12-2011, 05:35 AM
RE: The Need For Faith
I like that BOB character, he doent encourage you to kill for him, or mistreat poeple for being different.
And he doesnt require you to kiss his ass all the time.

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Jackrabbit's post
28-12-2011, 11:46 AM
RE: The Need For Faith
(28-12-2011 05:35 AM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  I like that BOB character, he doent encourage you to kill for him, or mistreat poeple for being different.
And he doesnt require you to kiss his ass all the time.

Thanks for the comments! Made some needed edits and added some to the article.

I agree, BOB sounds cool - I couldn't believe it, but there is actually a CHURCH OF bob out there!

http://thechurchofbob.com/home.html

His bob is lower case - my BOB is ALL CAPS (my BOB is better than his bob...)

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Seasbury's post
28-12-2011, 01:43 PM
RE: The Need For Faith
To think I almost didn't read this thread simply because I couldn't think of any reason to talk about faith again. Old hat you know.
But man, you hit my funny bone.
Where else are you on the internets? I must read more. Funny and insightful, you and BC should get together and make babies. Does your BOB allow homosexual relationships and ... er... gay breeding?
I think you also hit on a great strategic point that might resonate with some of the more reasonable religious people out there. Something we take for granted.
THE FUCKING TIMELINE
Sure christianity seems pretty miraculous and believable, I mean hell it's always been here right? I mean since Jesus anyways... People seem to think that Jesus was born and then Christianity. It's like how they never seem to connect the date of writing within the bible versus the questionable date of Jesus and his potential existence. Why are they so far apart. How is it even possible? Guzzah.
Anyways great writing.
As far as gods go though BOB and bob are out for me, Girly has me onto Deism now, the bastard.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-12-2011, 01:52 PM
RE: The Need For Faith
BOB sounds a lot like Discworld's gods.

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-12-2011, 01:59 PM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2011 02:03 PM by Seasbury.)
RE: The Need For Faith
(28-12-2011 01:52 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  BOB sounds a lot like Discworld's gods.

Don't mock my god BOB dick! (jk Wink)

Actually, mock away, makes the free for all more fun! Tongue
(28-12-2011 01:43 PM)lucradis Wrote:  To think I almost didn't read this thread simply because I couldn't think of any reason to talk about faith again. Old hat you know.
But man, you hit my funny bone.
Where else are you on the internets? I must read more. Funny and insightful, you and BC should get together and make babies. Does your BOB allow homosexual relationships and ... er... gay breeding?

Thanks ludacris! Glad you found time to read it Smile

I'm pretty sure BOB is totally cool with gay breeding and marriage equality - he's never mentioned any eternal punishments for anything -- yet...I plan on getting another vision on New Year's Eve - hopefully a revelation, (followed by a raging hangover) will be coming...

My in-law cousin and her wife are expecting their first child in a matter of weeks - pretty sure BOB is pleased Smile

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Seasbury's post
28-12-2011, 06:13 PM
RE: The Need For Faith
The finished product - thanks for the comments! Glad some found it funny Smile

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2011/12/...faith.html

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: