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MathExtremist
MathExtremist
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
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October 25th, 2011 at 8:55:29 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

It is no surprise that the stories/gospel have spread. The story is both compelling and controversial, and people love a good controversy. But the mere spread and survival of the story is no greater miracle than the survival of the stories Homer wrote, centuries earlier.


You know, I was thinking about this concept last night. A primary difference between fantastical stories told about mythical creatures (zombies, vampires, ghosts, unicorns, fairies, genies, etc.) and fantastical stories told about religious figures is that there is a punishment for disbelieving in the latter. Nobody ever says "You're going to hell for not believing in unicorns or the Easter bunny". Christianity holds as one of its main tenets that denial of Jesus (at least, his divinity) means you're going to hell instead of heaven. Islam goes one step further and, in several countries, punishes apostasy by death.

Without further study, on first blush there seems to be a strong correlation between the severity of the "afterlife threat" promulgated by a religion and the number of its adherents. And Pascal's Wager would have been a meaningless proposition if there were no infinite negatives to disbelief in God.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
HotBlonde
HotBlonde
Joined: Feb 8, 2011
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October 25th, 2011 at 12:21:56 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

It's the ones who aren't walking down any path, life's indifferent couch potatoes, that I am really worried about.

Why are you "really worried" about these people? Isn't it their business what they do with their lives?
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
thecesspit
thecesspit
Joined: Apr 19, 2010
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October 25th, 2011 at 1:05:08 PM permalink
Quote: HotBlonde

Why are you "really worried" about these people? Isn't it their business what they do with their lives?



That's the problem with large organised faiths, right there. They believe without God's grace, we are doomed to entire hell. God says we should lead others to him where possible. Plus we should care about our fellow man. If you care about our fellow man, we shouldn't want him to be doomed. So therefore they just CAN'T leave those people alone and not worry about those not on the same path to righteousness that they believe in.

It's all very parsimonious.

Or a great way of keeping a pyramid scheme going. Depending on how cynical you are feeling.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
rxwine
rxwine
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
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October 25th, 2011 at 1:54:37 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I even believe that those who don't believe but seriously think with an open mind about these big issues such as "why am I here?" and "what happens when I die?" are on a path towards God.



"Open mind" What does that mean? Or rather what does it seem to mean in this case.

It seems to mean that you could EITHER go to a brake mechanic or a faith brake healer (the miracle) for your car, or you could try to evaluate long term investments as legitimate businesses, or you could go to the guy that tells you without evidence that millions of his customers received 10 million dollars at the end of 20 years of investing with him even though he can't prove it ever happened even once (the afterlife).

Apparently the kind of "open mind" you need would be kind of scary to actually depend on for anything critical.
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
MathExtremist
MathExtremist
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October 25th, 2011 at 2:26:06 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I even believe that those who don't believe but seriously think with an open mind about these big issues such as "why am I here?" and "what happens when I die?" are on a path towards God.


Why does one lead to the other? Specifically, what if someone believes that the answers to your big issue questions are "as a result of the wonderful beauty of random chance" and "my molecules disperse back into the world"?
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Nareed
Nareed
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October 25th, 2011 at 3:45:57 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine

"Open mind" What does that mean? Or rather what does it seem to mean in this case.



Usually it means "accept any ideas no matter how outlandish, as valid, or even as true."

I prefer to say "keep an active mind," meaning to consider, judge and evaluate whatever ideas you come to find, including sometimes outlandish ones.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
rxwine
rxwine
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October 25th, 2011 at 9:32:21 PM permalink
I've decided to switch sides for the moment.

On the question of evil and misery and why a god (or God if you wish) would let it exist.

Life, the suffering, the pain, torture no matter how terrible will seem as a little baby who cries and cries and is clearly truly miserable until the moment his mother lifts him up finally, and suddenly, instantly nearly, he stops crying, the pain and suffering is forgotten completely. The baby is transformed instantly as humans will be once they reach Heaven and God lifts them up. The baby no longer worries about what happened a moment ago.

Well, that's the best I can do. Maybe God likes lots of drama is why we suffer.

~

Free will and omniscience. Hmm.

The book of the world (Life?) is already written.

This is like God is George Lucas and all the films are already made of the Star Wars saga. He knows the beginning, middle and the end of sequels and prequels and yet there is free will for the characters - really?

Somehow it is claimed God watches our choices but doesnít interfere. This is a bit like George Lucas pining over Darth Vaderís existence, on having gone to the darkside. The character is struggling with turning and God is fretting, yet God knows the film backwards and forwards. What does he think watching his own film? Itís going to be different?

It is written. It is filmed. What free will?

I donít know any way to spin this one.
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
thecesspit
thecesspit
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October 25th, 2011 at 9:36:12 PM permalink
You assume that time is linear for God and that past/present/future have any meaning to someone omnipotent.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
rxwine
rxwine
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October 25th, 2011 at 9:40:18 PM permalink
Oh I assume, not much.
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
FrGamble
FrGamble
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
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October 25th, 2011 at 9:42:29 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine


It is written. It is filmed. What free will?



If someone knows I am going to do something, how does it effect my free will to choose it? It seems to me that my freedom is not removed just because my choices are known to God.
I think it helps to remember that God is outside of time, where there is no suspense or succesion of seconds.

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