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FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 7:44:38 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

"You can't seriously believe it all ... I mean about Christmas and the star and the three kings and the ox and the ass."

"Oh yes, I believe that. It's a lovely idea."

"But you can't believe things simply because they're a lovely idea."

"But I do. That's how I believe."

Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited



I think this is close to how we all believe. We believe because we find something wonderful to believe. We get so wrapped up in wanting scientific or observable proof but its absence does not hinder us in beliving what moves our hearts. The story of Christmas is a lovely idea and I believe it. For some they think the idea of having no God is a lovely idea and they believe it. (For the record I still have no idea why someone would think atheism is a lovely idea, but some do.) The point is that ALL of us tend to believe what we think is lovely.
Nareed
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December 26th, 2011 at 8:16:42 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I think this is close to how we all believe. We believe because we find something wonderful to believe.



In my book that's called wishful thinking.

See here, this is a horrible idea: a simple cut can become infected with deadly abcteria that can kill you. I believe that, not because it's lovely and wonderful, but beacuse it's demonstrable with evidence. And beacuse by believeing it I will take care not to let such minor wounds becoem infected and kill me.
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FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 8:32:01 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

In my book that's called wishful thinking.

See here, this is a horrible idea: a simple cut can become infected with deadly abcteria that can kill you. I believe that, not because it's lovely and wonderful, but beacuse it's demonstrable with evidence. And beacuse by believeing it I will take care not to let such minor wounds becoem infected and kill me.



Call it wishful thinking if you like, you've called it worse before. I maintain that this is how we all come to belief when there is not such demonstratable evidence and clear cut observable facts as bacteria. Religion or the discussion of God is more in the realm of philosophy or theology. Science supports philosophy or theology and you wouldn't want to believe in a worldview, no matter how lovely, that was obviously contrary to what we can demonstrate by the scientific method. However, when we are talking about belief we are talking about something supernatural and higher than science can reach. It is here, when we are thinking up in the clouds and asking ourselves such important questions as, "Does God exist or not?" that we are on our own and must come to decisions based on what makes sense to us and what moves our heart.
Nareed
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December 26th, 2011 at 10:21:08 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Science supports philosophy or theology



Actually it's philosophy that supports science. Nothing supports theology, though philosophy did for a while.


Quote:

However, when we are talking about belief we are talking about something supernatural and higher than science can reach.



Saying that science can't reach something is the same as saying we can't reach it, either. Saying that, furhtermore, implies there are no rules, no standards and no objective criteria at all, therefore anything goes. Be it a god who becomes a "man" and commands his followers to eat his flesh and drink his blood, or any other outlandish idea you can come up with (and, man, have people come up with some doozies!)

Now, even if I thought what Christianity, and most religions in general, peddle was a "lovely idea," (and I don't), I still wouldn't believe in them just because the ideas are "lovely." That means accepting something merely on the absis of how much you sih it were so, and that's wishful thinking.
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Mosca
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December 26th, 2011 at 11:23:45 AM permalink
Notice that Waugh chose to write, "'That's how I believe,'" not, "'That's what I believe.'" He choose those words because they illuminated something about humanity.

Some of us can't be that way; others of us must be that way. That, to me, is probably the most interesting thing of all.
A falling knife has no handle.
s2dbaker
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December 26th, 2011 at 2:16:13 PM permalink
I think that The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a lovely idea. He provides a heaven that has a stripper factory and a beer volcano.
That heaven is far better that the one offered by the Christianists.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez
FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 3:37:43 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed


Saying that science can't reach something is the same as saying we can't reach it, either.



Science is limited to what is observable and testable. There is much more to this world than what we can see and test. What about love? How can science ever prove if God created the universe or in some crazy way stuff has always existed? If God created out of nothing there is nothing to observe before the big bang. If stuff has always existed how can science ever prove an infinite regress without going in circles? You can't look to science to answer these bigger questions for you, it is simply too limited. You have to use our amazing gift of reasoning and the higher functions of our intellect.

Quote: Nareed

Now, even if I thought what Christianity, and most religions in general, peddle was a "lovely idea," (and I don't), I still wouldn't believe in them just because the ideas are "lovely." That means accepting something merely on the absis of how much you sih it were so, and that's wishful thinking.



If I understand you correctly and you are worried about accepting something merely on the advice or the say so of someone when you don't have scientific evidence, I would submit that you accept something solely on the advice or say so of others hundreds of times every day. This is how we live our lives. You are the standard and subjective criteria of what draws your attention, what moves your heart, what you see as beautiful, and what you accept as true. This leads to great diversity because we are all very complex and we have to admit that our life experiences, personal history, family background, genetics, intelligence, virtues, values, and vices, etc. all play a role in coloring what we tend to find lovely (by the way, I'm curious about what you don't think is lovely in Christianity).

What serious thinkers are really trying to discover is the objective truth. That which is true whether we want it to be or not. The first step in that journey is to realize that we are a foggy or smeared lens that views things subjectively and the way we want to.
Mosca
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:08:09 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Science is limited to what is observable and testable. There is much more to this world than what we can see and test. What about love? How can science ever prove if God created the universe or in some crazy way stuff has always existed? If God created out of nothing there is nothing to observe before the big bang. If stuff has always existed how can science ever prove an infinite regress without going in circles? You can't look to science to answer these bigger questions for you, it is simply too limited. You have to use our amazing gift of reasoning and the higher functions of our intellect.



Science is about mystery: "We don't know."
Religion is about certainty: "God did it."
A falling knife has no handle.
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:20:48 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Science is about mystery: "We don't know."
Religion is about certainty: "God did it."



You're right, there's no mystery in religion, they have
an answer for everything. Even if their answers are
wrong. Thats why people turn to religion, it figures
out everything for them and they don't have to think
anymore. My wife's family are all diehard Christian's
and they never talk about it, or anything else for that
matter. Any question they have has been answered and
it takes the load of being curious away from them.
Nice people, but so boring they drive me nuts if I
have to be around them for any period of time. They
aren't interested in anything, they're just blah people.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:24:54 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Science is about mystery: "We don't know."
Religion is about certainty: "God did it."



I think it is almost the opposite.
Science is about certainty: "We don't know it if we can't prove it"
Religion is about mystery: "God exists, now why do I or anything else exist?"
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:31:20 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble


Religion is about mystery: "God exists, now why do I or anything else exist?"



What baloney. Religion goes out of its way to take
the mystery out of everything. The earth is flat,
end of story. The sun revolves around the earth,
end of story. God created man, thats all you need
to know. Religion doesn't encourage questioning,
it hates questioning. Religion wants you to take
everything it says at face value, and accept it. They
never say, come to our church, question everything
we say. Its the exact opposite. Come to our church,
believe everything we say, we know the truth. Religion
hates mystery.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:34:12 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

You're right, there's no mystery in religion, they have
an answer for everything. Even if their answers are
wrong. Thats why people turn to religion, it figures
out everything for them and they don't have to think
anymore. My wife's family are all diehard Christian's
and they never talk about it, or anything else for that
matter. Any question they have has been answered and
it takes the load of being curious away from them.
Nice people, but so boring they drive me nuts if I
have to be around them for any period of time. They
aren't interested in anything, they're just blah people.



I've met a lot of atheists like that too. They even use their belief that there is no God as an excuse to not even try to answer any questions about life. All their questions have been answered by their insistence that there are no real or ultimate answers. They are only interested in the mundane and vapid and not at all curious about discussing things of deeper significance because they outright reject there is any. They too are boring and drive me nuts.
Mosca
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:41:30 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I think it is almost the opposite.
Science is about certainty: "We don't know it if we can't prove it"
Religion is about mystery: "God exists, now why do I or anything else exist?"



Here's what people don't understand about science: EVERY answer raises more questions. Science isn't a search for answers, it is a search for questions. We know more about how the world works now than we ever have... but we know far less about the world than we ever have, too. The world has grown far faster than we've answered it, because answers create new discoveries.

Religion has always been about simplifying things with answers. You are being evasive with your statement "God exists, now why do I or anything else exist?" Catholicism has answered that question: Everything exists to glorify God. That is why Christianity has always fought knowledge: knowledge threatens religion's hegemony on the answers. What was lightning, before Franklin showed it to be electricity that could be harnessed, controlled, and measured? Lightning was the anger of God! And proving that it wasn't did... what? Of course. It threatened the "god" definition.

I could go on, but this doesn't please me, to tread this ground again. I'm happy when you're happy. But I have to call you on it when you get slippery. There's a dogma. It's existed for almost 2000 years, and you stating differently doesn't make it go away.
A falling knife has no handle.
ikilledjerrylogan
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:41:34 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

What baloney. Religion goes out of its way to take
the mystery out of everything. The earth is flat,
end of story. The sun revolves around the earth,
end of story. God created man, thats all you need
to know. Religion doesn't encourage questioning,
it hates questioning. Religion wants you to take
everything it says at face value, and accept it. They
never say, come to our church, question everything
we say. Its the exact opposite. Come to our church,
believe everything we say, we know the truth. Religion
hates mystery.



Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 4:53:38 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Religion goes out of its way to take
the mystery out of everything.

Religion hates mystery.



Hold on I'll try to reply after I stop laughing....

I'd rather think the world is flat then believe human life ends with a flat line. Religion infuses mystery into everything! It teaches us that you will live forever and the actions and the way you live your life matter for all of eternity. It looks at everything around us as created with a purpose and a meaning behind it. A Religious understanding of creation is what inspires science to pursue its quest to figure out this amazing world we have been given to live in. Many religions speak about a Divine person or intellect that actually cares about you and loves you. One religion even speaks of this God loving you so much He comes down from Heaven to live and die for you and all people. I mean how much more mystery can you get?!?!

This type of mystery demands questions and welcomes them much more than science will be open to you questioning the Pythagorean Theorem. Mystery always leaves space for questions and the same is true about religion. In fact it is in asking questions and learning more that we go deeper into the unfathomable mystery of God.
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 5:04:34 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Religion infuses mystery into everything!



How do you figure? People don't turn to religion for
myseries, they turn to it for definitive answers. And
Catholicism has an answer for everything. Just ask
them, they'll tell you. They want their parishioners
to be happy and satsfied, not unhappy and mystified.
Didn't they teach you in divinity school people will
turn to you for answers? And you better have them,
they don't want to hear 'I don't know, its a mystery
to me.' They get that from science.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 5:11:11 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

But I have to call you on it when you get slippery. There's a dogma. It's existed for almost 2000 years, and you stating differently doesn't make it go away.



Exactly. Slippery is a good word to describe FrG. He's
trying to make his religion fit everybody, one size fits
all. So he slips and slides around, and gets mad when
somebody notices. Catholicism is a very narrow religion,
its not broad minded, its not mysterious, its not appealing
to anybody who has any real questions about how the
world works. Its never encouraged questions, its always
been about accepting everything they say as, well, gospel.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Nareed
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December 26th, 2011 at 5:19:15 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

There is much more to this world than what we can see and test. What about love?



You think we can't see or test love? Love can even be measured, qualitatively. We do it all the time.

Quote:

How can science ever prove if God created the universe or in some crazy way stuff has always existed? If God created out of nothing there is nothing to observe before the big bang.



How do you know there'd be no evidence if some god created the universe?

But of course you can point to the fact there there is no evidence we can see of the "time" before the Big Bang and claim that proves god did it.

Quote:

If I understand you correctly and you are worried about accepting something merely on the advice or the say so of someone when you don't have scientific evidence, I would submit that you accept something solely on the advice or say so of others hundreds of times every day. This is how we live our lives. You are the standard and subjective criteria of what draws your attention, what moves your heart, what you see as beautiful, and what you accept as true. This leads to great diversity because we are all very complex and we have to admit that our life experiences, personal history, family background, genetics, intelligence, virtues, values, and vices, etc. all play a role in coloring what we tend to find lovely



I've said this before: would you care to repeat that in a way that's understandable? No offense, but you ramble and digress in a remarkably succinct way.

Quote:

(by the way, I'm curious about what you don't think is lovely in Christianity).



Everything.

Ask me again over the weekend. Seriously. I may have the time to come up with a more detailed answer then.
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FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 5:26:37 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Here's what people don't understand about science: EVERY answer raises more questions. Science isn't a search for answers, it is a search for questions. We know more about how the world works now than we ever have... but we know far less about the world than we ever have, too. The world has grown far faster than we've answered it, because answers create new discoveries.

Religion has always been about simplifying things with answers. You are being evasive with your statement "God exists, now why do I or anything else exist?" Catholicism has answered that question: Everything exists to glorify God. That is why Christianity has always fought knowledge: knowledge threatens religion's hegemony on the answers. What was lightning, before Franklin showed it to be electricity that could be harnessed, controlled, and measured? Lightning was the anger of God! And proving that it wasn't did... what? Of course. It threatened the "god" definition.



I understand what you are saying about science, I have the greatest respect for it. It is on an endless search for questions so that it can provide answers to them. I like what you said about answers creating new discoveries. That is all fine and good. However I maintain that science does not and cannot ask the question WHY does this exist? The answer to the questions: does God exist? Why do I exist? etc. are not in the realm of science. Notice in your example about lightning religion was trying to answer the question why there was lightning not what it was. When Franklin proves what lightning is it unfortunately doesn't threaten this warped and twisted idea of God. There have been times when religion has overstepped its bounds and tried to determine the what something is based solely on a religious understanding of the why - and that is always a mistake (ex. Galileo).

You know your Baltimore Catechism and it is true that Catholicism does claim that everything exists, Ad maiorem Dei gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God) but I don't follow how that statement puts an end to questioning. Is not the pursuit of knowledge glorifying God? In fact the Church was the center of learning in the ancient world, many of the greatest scientists on whose shoulders we stand today were monks, priests, and devout Christians.
FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 5:55:01 PM permalink
Can I just say I love this stuff! I know I should be writing thank you notes but it is a slow day here at the Church and I thank everybody for their good posts and discussion.

Quote: EvenBob

Didn't they teach you in divinity school people will
turn to you for answers? And you better have them,
they don't want to hear 'I don't know, its a mystery
to me.' They get that from science.



You know there is only one answer I know and in my experience it is the only answer people want to hear. The answer is God loves you. This is what people turn to religion for, not the rules and dogmas. Those other things are developments and reflections and helpful guides based on the fact that God does love you, but they are not answers. The only answer that I have ever given to anyone that has made a real difference is that God loves them. I have explained the Trinity, talked about why birth control is a bad idea, listed cannon law about baptism preparation Ė its all good stuff, but it wonít mean a hill of beans if they first donít know that God loves them. This is what gives them hope even in the face of death. This fact that God loves them helps them see that they are loveable no matter what others have said. When a family comes in to talk about their financial problems they are not expecting me to write a check or give sound investment strategy. They are there to hear and feel that God loves them. Sometimes I canít say it, sometimes it is communicated through oil anointing their forehead or rubbed into their hands, sometimes it is just holding their hand in quiet prayer. Yep, people turn to me for answers and the only answer I truly have is the mystery of Godís love and that is really what they want to hear.
Nareed
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December 26th, 2011 at 6:06:44 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Here's what people don't understand about science: EVERY answer raises more questions. Science isn't a search for answers, it is a search for questions.



I woulnd't ut it that way. Science is the search for knowledge about the universe. Some "answers" raise questions fo their own, but not all of them. In fact, what happens is that we tend to find out unexpected answers which tend to carry more questions.

I really hate being short on time. More on this alter, if I can find the time ("You can't run out of time. Zathras is finite. You are finite. Time is infinite. This... is wrong tool." Zathras in Babylon 5)
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EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 6:21:55 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

When a family comes in to talk about their financial problems they are not expecting me to write a check or give sound investment strategy. They are there to hear and feel that God loves them.



What good does that knowledge do them? God's not
going to pay their bills, what difference does god loving
them make. I can't imagine somebody saying such
nonsense to me when I ask them for advice. "How can
I get my son to quit doing drugs?" And your answer is
'god loves you'? Its a good thing you don't charge for
your advice, you'd be broke.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 6:57:18 PM permalink
Maybe that's why I can't write them a check, my advice is no good. I really do think the fact that God loves us can be a huge help. First of all despair causes us to do all types of crazy things very few of which have any positive effect on our lives. Reminding ourselves that God loves me when all I can seem to focus on are my financial problems lightens our load, gives us hope, reminds us of what is most important in life, and might help to begin to recognize if there is anything I am doing that is causing my problem. Again it is not an easy answer but it is a big help in giving you the confidence and breathing room to make decisions and find the answers you need.

The more you know God loves you the more you want to pass that love on. Often what people are looking for to get off drugs is the knowledge that they are loved. Their past mistakes don't define them or doom them to being unlovable. Once they feel they are special and that they have a potential and a goodness that God loves inside of them, they may begin to try and respond to that amazing love. I don't think much good can be done to get someone off drugs until they feel they are worthy or loved enough to be sober.
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 7:05:23 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

The more you know God loves you the more you want to pass that love on.



This sounds harsh, but love from something you can't
see, or even prove exists, is just a bunch of meaningless
words. Why would I care if something I can't see loves
me, its useless information. And how do you love god back?
All of it makes no sense, it seems like a vast waste of time.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
rxwine
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December 26th, 2011 at 7:51:03 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

This sounds harsh, but love from something you can't
see, or even prove exists, is just a bunch of meaningless
words. Why would I care if something I can't see loves
me, its useless information. And how do you love god back?
All of it makes no sense, it seems like a vast waste of time.



Thought strategies can be useful though. For instance, it's probably helps a number of athletes who are under stress (big moments like Olympics/or playoff points) when they relax and let a "higher power" take over the moment. It allows the muscle memory do what it does, or hours of repetitive practice to pay off.

Then later, they thank God for making them better, or smiting their opponent (as the case may be).
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 8:07:12 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Thought strategies can be useful though.



I understand how thought strategies work, but FrG
telling people god loves them isn't a strategy. Its
supposed to be real.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
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December 26th, 2011 at 8:35:34 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble


I understand what you are saying about science, I have the greatest respect for it. It is on an endless search for questions so that it can provide answers to them. I like what you said about answers creating new discoveries. That is all fine and good. However I maintain that science does not and cannot ask the question WHY does this exist? The answer to the questions: does God exist? Why do I exist? etc. are not in the realm of science. Notice in your example about lightning religion was trying to answer the question why there was lightning not what it was. When Franklin proves what lightning is it unfortunately doesn't threaten this warped and twisted idea of God. There have been times when religion has overstepped its bounds and tried to determine the what something is based solely on a religious understanding of the why - and that is always a mistake (ex. Galileo).

You know your Baltimore Catechism and it is true that Catholicism does claim that everything exists, Ad maiorem Dei gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God) but I don't follow how that statement puts an end to questioning. Is not the pursuit of knowledge glorifying God? In fact the Church was the center of learning in the ancient world, many of the greatest scientists on whose shoulders we stand today were monks, priests, and devout Christians.



Thing is, FrG, you can't answer that question any better than I can, or anyone else. You say, "God," I say, "No," and here we are.

Regarding Franklin and lightning, Christianity was pretty explicit that lightning was the hand of God striking down those who displeased him. That was what it was. Why? No one can understand the mind of God, omnipotent and omniscient.

Catholicism is a closed loop. If it works for you, I have no problem with that. But it works for you because it does, not because it is right. And you saying it is right doesn't make it that way. I've had this discussion many times, and like I said; it's well trodden ground for me. For me, Christianity doesn't hold up in the light of day, outside of its own peculiar dream logic it makes no sense at all.
A falling knife has no handle.
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 8:56:28 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Catholicism is a closed loop. If it works for you, I have no problem with that. But it works for you because it does, not because it is right.



My gosh, you're putting into words exactly what I'm
feeling. Christian's think because it works for them,
it'll work for everybody. And it just doesn't.


Quote: Mosca

For me, Christianity doesn't hold up in the light of day, outside of its own peculiar dream logic it makes no sense at all.



'Dream logic', what a wonderful way of putting it. Thats
exactly what it is, its fuzzy wishful thinking. And none of
it makes sense. Its like a string of inplausibilities that people
have embraced for no apparent reason.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 26th, 2011 at 9:15:06 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca


Thing is, FrG, you can't answer that question any better than I can, or anyone else. You say, "God," I say, "No," and here we are.

Regarding Franklin and lightning, Christianity was pretty explicit that lightning was the hand of God striking down those who displeased him. That was what it was. Why? No one can understand the mind of God, omnipotent and omniscient.

Catholicism is a closed loop. If it works for you, I have no problem with that. But it works for you because it does, not because it is right. And you saying it is right doesn't make it that way. I've had this discussion many times, and like I said; it's well trodden ground for me. For me, Christianity doesn't hold up in the light of day, outside of its own peculiar dream logic it makes no sense at all.



Mosca, I'm not sure exactly which question you are refering to but as I always tried to say to my mom (to no avail), "No is not an answer". If you are talking about the "why do we exist?" question then God is not an answer but a framework or a foundation of purpose and meaning upon which you can build an answer and in that way it is much better than just saying, "no". In my opinion saying there is no God is not logical and gets us nowhere closer to an answer.

In all my studies I have never heard of nor seen an explicit or clear teaching from the Church about lightning, I'm sorry the whole example seems strange to me. However I think I see your point about the mistakes the Church has made in trying to proclaim what things are based on the why of theology. The example that makes sense to me is the Church fighting the idea that the earth was not the center of the universe because of the theological truth that humanity is so special in the eyes of God. I hope you see that it is just as silly when a scientist would say that the what of evolution shows that why we are here has nothing to do with God.

Mosca, I can tell this is well trod ground for you but saying Catholicism is wrong also does not make it so. Our minds can become closed loops not letting the light of day inside them for new thoughts or perspectives. Would you be willing to give an example of this dream logic that makes no sense to you?
EvenBob
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December 26th, 2011 at 9:31:56 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Mosca, I can tell this is well trod ground for you but saying Catholicism is wrong also does not make it so.



All any person can ever say is that something works
for them. Catholicism works if it works for you. And
all I can say is, it doesn't work for me. What's wrong
with that? Christianity doesn't work for everybody.
Why can't you live with that?
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
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December 26th, 2011 at 9:55:01 PM permalink
I wrote it that way for style. It condenses the arguments to two words, and echoes Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited: ("God said, "No." Abe say, "What ?")

Quote: FrGamble

Would you be willing to give an example of this dream logic that makes no sense to you?



It's 12:40 and I have to go to bed, and to work tomorrow. I promise you I'll tell you them. It might take a few days for me to get around to it, but I'll do it.

Again: remember, I used to teach this stuff. I don't tell anyone else to accept it or reject it, but in return I ask for the same respect. I try to stick to explaining my position, and understanding yours. I'm not interested in taking your pins out from under you, if you're happy I'm happy. My daughter went to Catholic school, attends Notre Dame, studied at Universidad Catolica in Santiago last semester, and is working with the Maryknoll Fathers in Peru next summer. I couldn't be prouder of her, and it has nothing to do with belief. It has everything to do with living what she believes, like I do, and like you do, and like EvenBob and Nareed do. I put my life where my heart is, and that isn't with doctrine but with people.
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Nareed
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December 27th, 2011 at 6:41:33 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I hope you see that it is just as silly when a scientist would say that the what of evolution shows that why we are here has nothing to do with God.



Now, you see, that is another example of putting belief ahead of reason. To begin with you're assuming a god exists, that he created everything, and that he has a reason and a purpose for what he does. But you can't prove even this god's existence, much less all the rest. In other words we can't say there's a reason, or a why, to our existence. You not only assume there is, but you also decide a priori where the "answer" lies.
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Nareed
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December 27th, 2011 at 7:08:45 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

(by the way, I'm curious about what you don't think is lovely in Christianity).



You know, we could make a thread about this.

But let's start with your idea of god. To be fair, the idea was not Christianity's to begin with, but they've adapted it from Judaism and who knows where the Hebrews got it from and in what way.

So, let's make it very clear god is a tyrant, be it the "angry god" of the Old Testament or the "loving god" from the New testament. In essence both iterations claim the same thing: I've given you wonderful gifts, and if you don't follow my rules and/or if you squander my gifts, you'll be very, very, very, very sorry. He will flood the world and kill everyone off, or send you to his private torture chamber for all eternity.

Now, this tells me two things:

1) God isn't clear on the idea of what a gift is. A gift is freely given without strings attached and without any expectations of getting something in return. A gift is given because it pleases you to do so, and for no other reason. If you attach conditions or expect something from the receipient, then it's not a gift. it may be a bribe, a payment, a repayment, or a leash, but not a gift.

2) God likes to be feared. Granted in every kind of realtionship with a power diferential, like parents and children for example, there's bound to be some fear involved. But this is supposed to be tempered by other considerations. A parent, to continue the example, wants to see her children grow up well. Children usually want to please their parents as well. But then a parent doesn't threaten her child with eternal damnation or some horrible death.

So you see it's a good thing god doesn't exist, and therefore 1) the universe is a much nicer place than it would otherwise be, and 2) we are free from that kind of tyranny.
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EvenBob
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December 27th, 2011 at 11:36:57 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed


1) God isn't clear on the idea of what a gift is. A gift is freely given without strings attached and without any expectations of getting something in return. A gift is given because it pleases you to do so,



Yup, giving a gift and then making demands because you
gave the gift, is called extortion. Using your position to get
what you want, and threatening violence if you don't get it,
is extortion. God threatens violence all the time. Giving a
gift with strings attached isn't a gift at all. Its not god that
likes to be feared, its the people who invent god that want
to be feared.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
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December 27th, 2011 at 1:14:06 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Would you be willing to give an example of this dream logic that makes no sense to you?



Yeah, here's one. "Most importantly celibacy shows the reality of the relationship with Christ."

That is total off the wall gibberish. It means the same to me as "Without question, rain is the sum of all our desires." I mean, really, FrG. How does celibacy show the reality of the relationship with Christ? Does it mean there can be no relationship with Christ without celibacy? Does it mean that all celibates have a real relationship with Christ? Sorry bud, that sound like crazy nonsense to me; I'm not in that dream.


Quote: FrGamble

In all my studies I have never heard of nor seen an explicit or clear teaching from the Church about lightning, I'm sorry the whole example seems strange to me.



Lightning as the wrath of gods predates Christianity, but the explanation suited Christianity just fine.

"He covers His hands with the lightning, And commands it to strike the mark." Job 36:32

Exodus 19, God comes to Moses as lightning and thunder.

In Revelations, God's wrath is first described as peals of thunder and flashes of lightning. (Rev 8:5)

There are many more, I chose these. Yeah I had to look 'em up, I'm not a Bible quoter. The greater point is still that religion treats science as an anathema. And although Christianity has grudgingly made concessions in the face of mountains of evidence (and more importantly, when it had to in order to avoid becoming irrelevant), to this day it fights tooth and nail against stem cell research, research in sexuality (why are all religions anti women, and anti sexuality?), the science of reproduction and the accompanying rights that should be accorded to women... and fundamentalists, don't even get them started on the age of the universe and evolution. I have good friends with whom you just don't bring that stuff up.
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EvenBob
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December 27th, 2011 at 1:31:20 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

The greater point is still that religion treats science as an anathema.



It has to, religion and science are oil and water.
Religion is never changing truth, science is ever
changing truth. Religion takes a stance and sticks
with it come hell or high water. Science takes a
stance until more data comes in. People want
reliability from religion, what was true last year
and a thousand years ago is still true today. An
easy position to maintain when the Church squelched
all scientific thought, and nothing changed for
hundreds of years.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
RogerKint
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December 27th, 2011 at 1:35:45 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

ever changing truth.



...oxymoron?
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DeadRats
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December 27th, 2011 at 1:53:12 PM permalink
Or the rambling of a moron, Close call ? LOL
FrGamble
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December 27th, 2011 at 4:00:24 PM permalink
Thanks for your post and this is why I think its important to try and lay some stuff out there because there is so many misconceptions:

Quote: Nareed


But let's start with your idea of god. To be fair, the idea was not Christianity's to begin with, but they've adapted it from Judaism and who knows where the Hebrews got it from and in what way.



The Jewish people are indeed are "elder brothers and sisters in the faith" as John Paul II often said, but the idea of God does change in the New Testament. Christians understand a God who became one of us to save us. God as Emmanuel, which means 'God with us'. This radical notion that God is not content to remain distant from His people and shares in our lives, the struggles, sufferings, joys, celebrations, and even our death ushers in a new conception of God. He is no stranger to what it is like to be a human being and we can identify with Him now as brother and friend, not only as Lord and God.

Quote: Nareed

So, let's make it very clear god is a tyrant, be it the "angry god" of the Old Testament or the "loving god" from the New testament. In essence both iterations claim the same thing: I've given you wonderful gifts, and if you don't follow my rules and/or if you squander my gifts, you'll be very, very, very, very sorry. He will flood the world and kill everyone off, or send you to his private torture chamber for all eternity.



So, let's make it very clear God is a Father. Who punishes and embraces, both being acts of love. Who sets up rules not to toture or punish but so that you will be happy, safe, and good. Think of these rules as the father who set your curfew at midnight or tells you not to do drugs. They are protecting you and an expression of his love and care for you. I know when we were little kids we didn't like the rules but I think when we grow up we realize that they were good ones and saved us from untold problems.

Quote: Nareed


Now, this tells me two things:

1) God isn't clear on the idea of what a gift is. A gift is freely given without strings attached and without any expectations of getting something in return. A gift is given because it pleases you to do so, and for no other reason. If you attach conditions or expect something from the receipient, then it's not a gift. it may be a bribe, a payment, a repayment, or a leash, but not a gift.



You are so close to getting this point! God does give you everything as a gift and He does that for one reason and one reason only - because it pleases Him to do so and He loves you. The first gift is unconditional love and that is indeed yours no strings attached. God will always forgive you and be there for you, there is nothing you can do to earn or lose this gift. The next gift is life and this is so much more than this world and your years in it, which is pretty good in itself, the real gift is that you can live forever in Heaven. One of my borther priests likes to say, "God offers you two things: that your life has meaning and you will live forever, if you get a better deal take it." You can't get a better deal.

Anyway the main hang up for you seems to be that God expects something from you for this gift of life, how unreasonable of God?!? First of all, I think we need to admit that often gifts are given to us not with any type of repayment required but with a hope for us attached to it. Someone gives us a good book and they are saying I hope you read it because it will help you. Some people give a gift of a treadmill and are saying, 'dude you need this'. God's gift of eternal life is meant to inspire you to do good and to honor Him, it will be good for you.

Quote: Nareed

2) God likes to be feared. Granted in every kind of realtionship with a power diferential, like parents and children for example, there's bound to be some fear involved. But this is supposed to be tempered by other considerations. A parent, to continue the example, wants to see her children grow up well. Children usually want to please their parents as well. But then a parent doesn't threaten her child with eternal damnation or some horrible death.



When was the last time you were scared of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes? Jesus reverses the power diferential and puts Himself into our hands even to the point of death on a cross. He saves us from eternal damnation, he has taken that fear from us. So let's review: God loves us like a Heavenly father who sets up rules to protect us and help us through life; God who gives us life offers to us eternal life in the joys and perfections of Heaven; He will always forgive us and be there for us; he understands the difficutlites of human life through the incarnation; He has saved us from the fear of death and hell - and for all this He would like a little props and a relationship with you. To quote Jim Carey's Grinch, "The unmitigated gall!" However, God's mercy knows no bounds and even if you cannot through no fault of your own believe in Him but strive to live a life according to the ways of goodness written in our hearts you can still recieve this greatest of all gifts!

Quote: Nareed

So you see it's a good thing god doesn't exist, and therefore 1) the universe is a much nicer place than it would otherwise be, and 2) we are free from that kind of tyranny.



So it is a most wonderful thing that God does exist because we are inspired to make this universe a much nicer place and we are loved by God now and forever.
EvenBob
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December 27th, 2011 at 4:21:53 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Anyway the main hang up for you seems to be that God expects something from you for this gift of life, how unreasonable of God?!? First of all, I think we need to admit that often gifts are given to us not with any type of repayment required but with a hope for us attached to it. .



God's gifts come with threats attached, not hope. You better
do it my way or I'll punish you in hell forever. This isn't giving
a gift with no strings attached, this is extortion. In the OT, god
killed people on the spot all the time for disobeying him. Fear
and punishment are his stock and trade.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Mosca
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December 27th, 2011 at 4:31:15 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

God does give you everything as a gift and He does that for one reason and one reason only - because it pleases Him to do so and He loves you. The first gift is unconditional love and that is indeed yours no strings attached. God will always forgive you and be there for you, there is nothing you can do to earn or lose this gift. The next gift is life and this is so much more than this world and your years in it, which is pretty good in itself, the real gift is that you can live forever in Heaven.



This is another example of dream logic. It only makes sense if you're already under the ether. I can't count the number of times I've heard things like this over the last 57 years and thought "HUH?"
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EvenBob
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December 27th, 2011 at 4:42:14 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

This is another example of dream logic. It only makes sense if you're already under the ether.



I always read a book hoping I learn just one new
thing from it, and I'm usually disappointed. But
I actually got something out of this thread that
I'll use and remember. Dream logic! Thats exactly
what much of Christianity is, it uses logic that sounds
like it came from an opium dream. You walk around
kind of giddy, with your head in the clouds at all
the wonderful things god will do for you if you just
believe all these strings of implausibilities. I see these
Christian kids on Facebook all the time, friends of
my neices and nephews, posting this utter nonsense
about how life is if you're a Christian. If they could
open their eyes and quit drinking the KoolAid, they'd
see most of their parents are unhappy in marriages
they can't get out of, the wonderfulness of their
religion lets them down at every turn. Yet the kids
lives will be different, they just know it. Hey kids,
I knew your parents when they were your age and
they were dreamy eyed just like you are now.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Nareed
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December 27th, 2011 at 4:57:36 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Thanks for your post and this is why I think its important to try and lay some stuff out there because there is so many misconceptions:



You're welcome. And I will reply in more depth as time allows.

Quote:

The Jewish people are indeed are "elder brothers and sisters in the faith" as John Paul II often said, but the idea of God does change in the New Testament. Christians understand a God who became one of us to save us. God as Emmanuel, which means 'God with us'.



I know you don't mean it this way, but it is a rather bad idea to discuss Jews and then bring up the phrase "Gott mit uns."
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EvenBob
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December 27th, 2011 at 5:10:10 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I know you don't mean it this way, but it is a rather bad idea to discuss Jews and then bring up the phrase "Gott mit uns."



OMG, I totally missed that! Gott Mit Uns was the slogan
Hitler used for his brand of Nazi Christianity. It was used
on mititary belt buckles and medals, and even arm bands.
Hemingway wore a Got Mit Uns belt he took off of a dead
German soldier in WWII.

"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 27th, 2011 at 5:13:18 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Yeah, here's one. "Most importantly celibacy shows the reality of the relationship with Christ."

That is total off the wall gibberish. It means the same to me as "Without question, rain is the sum of all our desires." I mean, really, FrG. How does celibacy show the reality of the relationship with Christ? Does it mean there can be no relationship with Christ without celibacy? Does it mean that all celibates have a real relationship with Christ? Sorry bud, that sound like crazy nonsense to me; I'm not in that dream.



What it means is that for those who are called to a life of celibacy their discipline can show the world that the relationship with Christ is real and life giving. Many people think that Christ is not real or alive and therefore the idea of celibacy would be lacking in the human intimacy we all need. I think it is challenging to people to see priests or others who have chossen to live a celibate lifestyle for the Kingdom of Heaven are happy and healthy. It shows that the relationship with Jesus is not imaginary or one-sided. It does not mean that those who are not celibate can't have a relationship with Christ. It also does not mean that all celibates automatically have a real relationship with Christ. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on this point, but along with the counter witness to a sex crazed world I think this aspect of celibacy, namely that it shows a relationship with Jesus can be fulfilling and real, is part of its value.


Quote: Mosca


Lightning as the wrath of gods predates Christianity, but the explanation suited Christianity just fine.

"He covers His hands with the lightning, And commands it to strike the mark." Job 36:32

Exodus 19, God comes to Moses as lightning and thunder.

In Revelations, God's wrath is first described as peals of thunder and flashes of lightning. (Rev 8:5)

There are many more, I chose these. Yeah I had to look 'em up, I'm not a Bible quoter. The greater point is still that religion treats science as an anathema. And although Christianity has grudgingly made concessions in the face of mountains of evidence (and more importantly, when it had to in order to avoid becoming irrelevant), to this day it fights tooth and nail against stem cell research, research in sexuality (why are all religions anti women, and anti sexuality?), the science of reproduction and the accompanying rights that should be accorded to women... and fundamentalists, don't even get them started on the age of the universe and evolution. I have good friends with whom you just don't bring that stuff up.



Lightning is a gigantic electrostatic discharge between the cloud and the ground, other clouds, or within a cloud.

Yeah I had to look it up, I'm not a scientist. The Bible using the symbol of lightning as an image of God's wrath is different than what we are talking about here. You are right the huge issue is about the relationship between science and Christianity. Religion and science are friends and they need each other. One without the other is dangerous and unhealthy. Stem cell reasearch is good example. The Chruch is 100% behind adult stem cell research, which has no moral disadvantages and is hugely successful. The things they can do now with adult stem cells are amazing. Stem cells from embryos are hugely problematic as they require the destruction of the embryo so the Church is against it. Religion in this case helps science see that some things that can be done should not. I don't know what you are getting at concerning the other research you mentioned. It boils down to religion and science are on the same team and they serve the same God. They are never better than when they work together and allow the excercise of their unique gifts and abilities.
EvenBob
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December 27th, 2011 at 5:22:34 PM permalink
[moved]
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 27th, 2011 at 5:22:49 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

This is another example of dream logic. It only makes sense if you're already under the ether. I can't count the number of times I've heard things like this over the last 57 years and thought "HUH?"



Okay, I was expecting some type of logical discussion. Yes there are certain things you have to accept, such as God exists for Christianity to make sense. Just like one has to accept God does not exist for it to make sense that there is no objective moral right or wrong or that this brief human life is all there is. If by dream logic you mean that Christianity sounds too good to be true then I can agree with you. I thought you were saying that even once you are under the spell of a loving God it still doesn't make sense. Yes Christianity is like a dream, one I believe is true.
EvenBob
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December 27th, 2011 at 5:24:19 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

it is challenging to people to see priests or others who have chossen to live a celibate lifestyle for the Kingdom of Heaven are happy and healthy. It shows that the relationship with Jesus is not imaginary or one-sided.



Of COURSE its one sided, of COURSE its imaginary. Jesus isn't
here, you can't see him or talk to him or prove you have a
relationship with him. Thats pretty much the definition of
'imaginary', dude. You have an imaginary friend, like my sister
had when she was 5.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
rxwine
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December 27th, 2011 at 5:24:32 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

You are so close to getting this point! God does give you everything as a gift and He does that for one reason and one reason only - because it pleases Him to do so and He loves you.



Going by the book, Satan has a much better vantage point of God and was apparently not impressed with God. This seems particularly odd.

If it's possible to be in Heaven with God and think you can still strike out on your own, then this God must be somewhat underwhelming, even. when experienced directly. As I assume an angel would have that advantage.
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Mosca
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December 27th, 2011 at 5:27:13 PM permalink
I'll accept your explanation without reservation. But I will point out that to me, the doctrine of celibacy actually draws more attention to sex; conspicuous only in its absence. You can't look at a priest without thinking about it. I don't think about sex when I see couples.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with a sex-crazed world. It seems to me that everyone is pretty much going about their business, I haven't seen guys wearing their balls outside their jeans. In fact, every single person I encountered today acted pretty normal. If there is something unhealthy about sex I think I'd have figured it out by now, but everything I've been able to discern is that sex is OK, and most of the problems come from people believing it when others try to tell them how sinful their desires are.
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