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Valandil517

Valandil517's avatar

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:39 am
So you are saying death will be like looking around in a solid black room, yet not able to process anything? So out of you living your life the best way that you can't, I didn't see anything about you helping others, only yourself. Doesn't that seem a little self-centered? What do you think the end of the world will be like? Calm, controled oblivion or maddening chaos? Will there be a giant meteor, a super volcano, A.I.s taking over the world, destruction from aliens, etc. etc. God gives all his children countless chances to confess there sins and accept Jesus as the true son of God who died for our sins on the cross to rise again so that we may spend all time with God. Define 'I haven't the faintest idea why it's considered canon.' It didn't seem to have much of a point behind it. You would know that these people had a choice and they repeatedly chose the wrong one. They can't be with God for they have sinned and are still stained by it. They will join Satan in the lake of fire for their treachery. Do you really think of Bishops to be divine men of God, or rambaling idiots who just take advantage of their power to get whatever they want? What's best for society in my opinon is to help others and do not cause another harm. Although for me, my highest priority is to glorify the holies of holies, God. My life is only second to that of my God, and I would do as he says. Pleasure can also be less than what I said, it isn't always like that.  
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:39 pm
Valandil517 Wrote:
So you are saying death will be like looking around in a solid black room, yet not able to process anything?

The closest analogue would be unconsciousness. Think of it as an endless, dreamless sleep.

Quote:
So out of you living your life the best way that you can't, I didn't see anything about you helping others, only yourself. Doesn't that seem a little self-centered?

You don't seem to have read what I wrote very carefully. I specifically said that:

Tarrou Wrote:
Pleasure does not mean a complete negation of the little tediums of the world; it is not a thrill-a-minute, impulse-driven romp through every possible physical debauchery. It is about living well and allowing and helping others to live the same way.

Helping others is inherent in living well. I have no plans to be the next Mother Theresa and sacrifice my own happiness for the sake of others, but then I think you'd agree with me on that count.

Quote:
What do you think the end of the world will be like? Calm, controled oblivion or maddening chaos? Will there be a giant meteor, a super volcano, A.I.s taking over the world, destruction from aliens, etc. etc.

The end of the world? Barring a catastrophic meteor impact that quite literally blows the world to pieces, I've got my bets on the world being engulfed by the sun when it becomes a red giant. I don't know about the end of the human race; there are too many possibilities.

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God gives all his children countless chances to confess there sins and accept Jesus as the true son of God who died for our sins on the cross to rise again so that we may spend all time with God.

Let's just say I have serious issues with the ideas of punishment for wrong belief, original sin, and total depravity. I don't want to get into a wide-ranging debate on the validity of the finer points of Christian theology.

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Define 'I haven't the faintest idea why it's considered canon.' It didn't seem to have much of a point behind it.

Because it prophecies beastly, global suffering sanctioned by a supposedly merciful God. To me, at least, there's a bit of cognitive dissonance between it and Christ's teachings.

Quote:
You would know that these people had a choice and they repeatedly chose the wrong one. They can't be with God for they have sinned and are still stained by it. They will join Satan in the lake of fire for their treachery.

Again, I'm not going to get into the debate; suffice it to say, I have serious moral objections to the idea of Hell.

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What's best for society in my opinon is to help others and do not cause another harm.

Fascinating. Isn't that exactly what I said earlier?

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Although for me, my highest priority is to glorify the holies of holies, God. My life is only second to that of my God, and I would do as he says.

I can respect that. Mayhaps I could receive the same courtesy?  

Tarrou

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Valandil517

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:46 pm
No disrespect, but how might I respect your ideas and show you courtesy? I've lived and heard of showing no mercy to people's ideas, but to be merciful to them. So where do you think that the race of humans is going? Whats going to happen to them accoring to your thoughts? What my question is, what do you do for the world/other people. This time, I don't want another quoted thing that you have said, I would like how you go out and spread joy and happiness to others. Example, do you voulanteer at homeless shelters, do you pick up trash on the roads, do you give time to comfort the people in pain? But why do you not want to go into punishment for you bad sins? Is it something like a bad conciense that is bothering you? Is it that you are doubting your belifes? Is it that you are unhappy with a place to go for all you immoral acts? What is wrong with the idea of Hell with you. Does is scare you that your soul will be caste into eternal damnination for the sins you have done? God has given mankind thousands of years to repent and come to know him, but his wrath can not be withheld forever. There have been and will be many chances to repent in you life, I just pray that sometime you will accept them as the true way.  
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:53 pm
Valandil I have a couple questions for you. Do you help mentally challenged kids? Do you donate blood? Are you an organ donar? If your answer to all of these is no then you have no reason to talk.

Anyways Tarrou I have a question for you. What do you think fo Freud's psychological theories on personality and how a human grows? If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about then what is your opinion on prescription drugs?  

-xXGodslayer_RaiXx-

-xXGodslayer_RaiXx-'s avatar


Tarrou

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:22 pm
Valandil517 Wrote:
No disrespect, but how might I respect your ideas and show you courtesy? I've lived and heard of showing no mercy to people's ideas, but to be merciful to them.

Paying attention would be a good start.

Quote:
So where do you think that the race of humans is going? Whats going to happen to them accoring to your thoughts?

Ecological disaster, maybe. Or maybe not. There are too many unknowns to make any accurate predictions.

Quote:
What my question is, what do you do for the world/other people. This time, I don't want another quoted thing that you have said, I would like how you go out and spread joy and happiness to others. Example, do you voulanteer at homeless shelters, do you pick up trash on the roads, do you give time to comfort the people in pain?

I don't have to justify myself to you. It is enough to say that my ethics are not wholly self-centered (I'm no Objectivist). What? You think I'm lying, that without God I'm incapable of any fellow-feeling for my other human beings? Tough. Your ignorance is not my concern.

Quote:
But why do you not want to go into punishment for you bad sins? Is it something like a bad conciense that is bothering you? Is it that you are doubting your belifes? Is it that you are unhappy with a place to go for all you immoral acts? What is wrong with the idea of Hell with you. Does is scare you that your soul will be caste into eternal damnination for the sins you have done? God has given mankind thousands of years to repent and come to know him, but his wrath can not be withheld forever. There have been and will be many chances to repent in you life, I just pray that sometime you will accept them as the true way.

Don't preach to me. I'm trying to explain what I believe and why; I am not looking for a sermon. You want to know what my problem with the idea of Hell is? Fine. It's not that I fear it (fearing what you don't believe in would be absurd), it's that I think it is among man's most hideous inventions, and I'm disturbed that there are people in the world who think that there's nothing wrong with believing that other humans will be tortured for all eternity for any reason. It is a sadistic revenge fantasy and nothing more. I hate Hell the same way I hate racism: just because someone else believes it doesn't make it any less perfidious.

And there is no sin that can justify eternal punishment.

You asked before how you could respect my opinions. Try not whipping out that passive-aggressive 'Are you doubting your beliefs?' rubbish. I've been generally respectful up until this point because I thought that you were genuinely curious about atheists' ethics and beliefs, but things are going to get very nasty very fast if you try to turn this into an opportunity to proselytize me.  
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:36 pm
-xXGodslayer_RaiXx- Wrote:
Anyways Tarrou I have a question for you. What do you think fo Freud's psychological theories on personality and how a human grows? If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about then what is your opinion on prescription drugs?

That kind of came out of left field. Are you talking about Freud's theories about psychosexual development? If so, then I have to say that I think they're a bit fanciful. Actually, that's how I feel about a lot of Freud.

As to prescription drugs, what kind do you mean? Are we talking about mood-altering drugs or, say, cholesterol reducing drugs?  

Tarrou

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-xXGodslayer_RaiXx-

-xXGodslayer_RaiXx-'s avatar

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:43 pm
Tarrou Wrote:
-xXGodslayer_RaiXx- Wrote:
Anyways Tarrou I have a question for you. What do you think fo Freud's psychological theories on personality and how a human grows? If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about then what is your opinion on prescription drugs?

That kind of came out of left field. Are you talking about Freud's theories about psychosexual development? If so, then I have to say that I think they're a bit fanciful. Actually, that's how I feel about a lot of Freud.

As to prescription drugs, what kind do you mean? Are we talking about mood-altering drugs or, say, cholesterol reducing drugs?
Yes the psychosexual development. And i'm talking about the mood-altering drugs...  
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:07 pm
-xXGodslayer_RaiXx- Wrote:
Yes the psychosexual development. And i'm talking about the mood-altering drugs...

Yeah, then a bit fanciful. Castration anxiety, for example, has never sounded like something that children really experience. Since I'm sure that theory wasn't based on interviews with actual children, it seems rather more like something he proposed to explain neuroses that he observed in adults. To my mind, it's sort of the psychological equivalent of a backronym: an imagined origin (not necessarily illogical, but imagined nonetheless) for real later-life problems. And that, in a nutshell, is my view of Freud.

There are times when mood altering drugs are useful. Some mood disorders have real biological components (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression), even if they're not well understood, and the drugs can be very beneficial to people suffering acutely from those diseases. On the other hand, anti-depressants are over-prescribed (and I'm now seeing at least one BPD drug being advertised for a disturbingly general set of symptoms) and I would prefer to see therapy as the go-to means of dealing with minor, non-chronic depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc. I may be a thoroughgoing materialist, but there are some things that really are 'in your head' and not biological problems.  

Tarrou

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Berezi

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:42 pm
Umm, I do have one question that doesn't seem to be answered. Any of you can answer this if you want.

In your own minds, as atheists, do you see belief in the Christian God and believe in evolutionary theory and the big bang compatible? I ask because so many Christians don't. I'm just wondering if the atheists are in the same boat. Obviously, biblical literalism and the big bang don't go together. But I'm afraid that isn't a requirement to be a Christian. The scriptures only delineate one (though it's semi-meaty and compound).  
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:20 pm
Berezi Wrote:
In your own minds, as atheists, do you see belief in the Christian God and believe in evolutionary theory and the big bang compatible? I ask because so many Christians don't. I'm just wondering if the atheists are in the same boat. Obviously, biblical literalism and the big bang don't go together. But I'm afraid that isn't a requirement to be a Christian. The scriptures only delineate one (though it's semi-meaty and compound).

Well, I can't speak for the OP, but personally, yes, yes I do, and it's for that reason that I've put a fair amount of time and energy into familiarizing myself with the arguments against biblical literalism. Science, properly understood, does not concern itself with God; you're free to define God's place within the framework of science however you like as long as you're not selective about the integration (i.e. no choosing what science you do and do not like). To do so, one can always embrace Gould's 'Non-Overlapping Magisteria', or attempt a more subtle harmonizing of God and Nature à la Spinoza's Deus sive Natura (although obviously not exactly the same as Spinoza's pantheistic, decidedly non-Christian God). In any case, I have no personal animus against religious faith as a general idea, despite my rather pronounced problems with some religious doctrines, and I have an abiding respect for 'intellectual believers'.  

Tarrou

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Berezi

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:56 am
Tarrou Wrote:
Berezi Wrote:
In your own minds, as atheists, do you see belief in the Christian God and believe in evolutionary theory and the big bang compatible? I ask because so many Christians don't. I'm just wondering if the atheists are in the same boat. Obviously, biblical literalism and the big bang don't go together. But I'm afraid that isn't a requirement to be a Christian. The scriptures only delineate one (though it's semi-meaty and compound).

Well, I can't speak for the OP, but personally, yes, yes I do, and it's for that reason that I've put a fair amount of time and energy into familiarizing myself with the arguments against biblical literalism. Science, properly understood, does not concern itself with God; you're free to define God's place within framework of science however you like as long as you're not selective about the integration (i.e. no choosing what science you do and do not like). To do so, one can always embrace Gould's 'Non-Overlapping Magisteria', or attempt a more subtle harmonizing of God and Nature à la Spinoza's Deus sive Natura (although obviously not exactly the same as Spinoza's pantheistic, decidedly non-Christian God). In any case, I have no personal animus against religious faith as a general idea, despite my rather pronounced problems with some religious doctrines, and I have an abiding respect for 'intellectual believers'.

Did your avi used to be Tangled??
And that makes me happy. At least I'm not totally whacked out...
But it feels so annoying when I plop in my church and hear people bash evolution, without even realizing what they are bashing. They mean to bash the people who can look at creation and not see someone's handiwork, but instead they bash the science... And since I started holding to evolutionary theory, my ability to appreciate God's handiwork in creation has grown. Though, there are still holes in the theory in my mind. It's not a big deal since there are plenty of holes in my mind about God. If a lack of complete understanding doesn't stop me from believing in God, I don't see why the same shouldn't apply for evolution...  
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:06 pm
Berezi Wrote:
Did your avi used to be Tangled??

Was it the reference to Spinoza that gave it away? Not that it was a secret or anything. But yeah, that's me.

Quote:
And that makes me happy. At least I'm not totally whacked out...

It's hard to be whacked out when you're walking the middle path, so to speak.

Quote:
But it feels so annoying when I plop in my church and hear people bash evolution, without even realizing what they are bashing. They mean to bash the people who can look at creation and not see someone's handiwork, but instead they bash the science... And since I started holding to evolutionary theory, my ability to appreciate God's handiwork in creation has grown. Though, there are still holes in the theory in my mind. It's not a big deal since there are plenty of holes in my mind about God. If a lack of complete understanding doesn't stop me from believing in God, I don't see why the same shouldn't apply for evolution...

Annoying, yes, but hardly unexpected. Since they already believe that the theory is not only false but godless as well, I doubt they have much interest in learning anything about it. You might think they'd want to confirm for themselves whether or not any of that's true, but that would require effort and study, and I have a very unscientific theory that the vast majority of humanity is lazy. Bashing materialists is a bit less ignorant, but not very much more fair. I don't hold weekly meetings where I excoriate Christians and other theists; you might think they'd return the favor.

You're gonna have to excuse me, but I'm starting to wax long-winded. I blame your talent for setting up topics that I can easily muse on. I'm not surprised that evolutionary theory has afforded you a greater appreciation of God's creation. Looking at the world through the prism of literal creationism doesn't give a person a very satisfying understanding of the world. You've got all this biodiversity, and yet the explanation you're given for their existence is that they were magically plopped down on the earth in their current form by God. That seems a very static, and shallow (in the sense that there's quite literally nothing else to be said about it; what you see is what you get), way of looking at things. If you subscribe to some kind of theistic evolution, on the other hand, then there's a whole new depth to it. Every living thing exists because of grand, eon-spanning process of incredible complexity and subtlety; the organisms alive today aren't just discrete acts of creation, they're living pieces of history, connected in some way to every other creature on the planet. If I believed in God, I would much rather he had gone about creating the world in the latter manner instead of the former. In the end, I think it comes down to the fact that there's not very much to understand with literal creationism, whereas evolution gives you a whole world of knowledge to work with.

And (I promise I'm done after this), that's an interesting point about gaps in one's understanding of God and evolution. I think it's a perfectly valid point; it just got me thinking about how there's a sort of fundamental (or perhaps not) difference in the nature of those gaps. In terms of evolution, what gaps there are (I, personally, see very few, but that's neither here nor there) are the result of a lack of data, either as a result of a missing discovery or inadequate technology. God, on the other hand, we don't understand mainly because we've defined him in terms that are completely outside the realm of human experience (omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence, etc). Evolutionary gaps may be filled in at a later date, but God-gaps may be impossible to surmount because they are either a.) beyond our ability to grasp or b.) are not gaps at all but ultimately meaningless or incoherent ideas that humans have simply attached to God (here you see my faint ignostic/theological noncognitivist streak). Or maybe one day we'll have empirical verification of God and his attributes, or augment our brains to the point of being able to fully comprehend what we cannot now, in which case the gaps would have been of exactly the same nature after all. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

That's a 3:1 response paragraph to original paragraph ratio. My apologies.  

Tarrou

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Berezi

Berezi's avatar

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:47 pm
Tarrou Wrote:

Was it the reference to Spinoza that gave it away? Not that it was a secret or anything. But yeah, that's me.

Nope. You have a very distinct way with words, and I've run into you so many times that I'd be shocked if I didn't recognize you.

[quote
It's hard to be whacked out when you're walking the middle path, so to speak. [/quote] Except when you grew up in the bible belt...

Quote:

Annoying, yes, but hardly unexpected. Since they already believe that the theory is not only false but godless as well, I doubt they have much interest in learning anything about it. You might think they'd want to confirm for themselves whether or not any of that's true, but that would require effort and study, and I have a very unscientific theory that the vast majority of humanity is lazy. Bashing materialists is a bit less ignorant, but not very much more fair. I don't hold weekly meetings where I excoriate Christians and other theists; you might think they'd return the favor.

It was never laziness on my part. And I don't think it is on their part. Or else why would a lot of people I know spend lots of time researching creation science? Rather, it's fear. I'm at a Christian college now, so it's the first time I'd ever met anyone who was deeply attached to God, encouraged others to do the same, and held to evolutionary theory. It made me realize that everyone I grew up with could possibly be wrong.

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You're gonna have to excuse me, but I'm starting to wax long-winded. I blame your talent for setting up topics that I can easily muse on.

Eh. What can I say? Some internet things are just meant to be.

Quote:

I'm not surprised that evolutionary theory has afforded you a greater appreciation of God's creation. SNIP. In the end, I think it comes down to the fact that there's not very much to understand with literal creationism, whereas evolution gives you a whole world of knowledge to work with.

I have to agree, except with one modification. There is a lot to understand with literal creationism, but the problem is that too much is ignored. Being the a-typical person that I am, I always had doubts in the back of my mind about literal creationism. But for a long time, I was too afraid to look into them, until I got to college.

Quote:

SNIP...In terms of evolution, what gaps there are (I, personally, see very few, but that's neither here nor there) are the result of a lack of data, either as a result of a missing discovery or inadequate technology. God, on the other hand, we don't understand mainly because we've defined him in terms that are completely outside the realm of human experience (omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence, etc). Evolutionary gaps may be filled in at a later date, but God-gaps may be impossible to surmount because they...are not gaps at all but ultimately meaningless or incoherent ideas that humans have simply attached to God (here you see my faint ignostic/theological noncognitivist streak).

I see the difference, but a gap is a gap. Whether or not we can understand it later, we don't understand it now. The reason I don't understand God is not because of His "omni" attributes, but it's His insistence to love me - prejudiced, angry, and mean me. I may seem nice, but there's a lot inside that isn't pretty. And I'm not just angry at other people, but at God, too. Yet, He consistently and faithfully loves me. I don't get it, but that love has changed me. It's real, tangible, and I really don't know what to make of it. God's "omni" stuff I can get. At first glance, it distances Him from me. And that's rational to me. I've been a jerk to God. But the right-in-your-face, passionately pursuing you because of His love for you God is something I can't understand. Of course, God is able to be this God for everyone because He has all those "omni" attributes. But, people usually don't connect the two. I didn't, but after what I've been through these days, I've gone through a radical shift in my conception of God. Scripture makes a lot more sense now.
And if you'd like to know more about why I have changed my understanding of God, we can take that to PMs (and I won't be proselytizing, simply explaining).

P.s. Apology accepted, and did you like my snipping?  
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:43 pm
Berezi Wrote:
Nope. You have a very distinct way with words, and I've run into you so many times that I'd be shocked if I didn't recognize you.

You mean pedantic? Heh. I hope not. Regardless, I'll take that as a compliment.

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Except when you grew up in the bible belt...

Yes, that'd do it, I suppose. My San Francisco/D.C. upbringing has probably skewed my expectations a bit.

Quote:
It was never laziness on my part. And I don't think it is on their part. Or else why would a lot of people I know spend lots of time researching creation science? Rather, it's fear. I'm at a Christian college now, so it's the first time I'd ever met anyone who was deeply attached to God, encouraged others to do the same, and held to evolutionary theory. It made me realize that everyone I grew up with could possibly be wrong.

That seems reasonable (though I have met some people who don't seem to have put much effort into studying either one, and I'm very reluctant to put the words 'study' and 'science' anywhere near the word 'creation'), but I have to admit that I don't exactly understand what it is they're afraid of. Knowledge of evolution would go a long way toward making it less scary. Their vehement rejection of evolution seems more like a conditioned response than an intellectual discernment.

Quote:
I have to agree, except with one modification. There is a lot to understand with literal creationism, but the problem is that too much is ignored. Being the a-typical person that I am, I always had doubts in the back of my mind about literal creationism. But for a long time, I was too afraid to look into them, until I got to college.

Literal creationism may have a lot to say about God, but as far as I can tell, what it has to say about life on earth is quite direct: organisms are immutable and discrete. And that's it. I'm sure there's a wealth of theology behind it, but it doesn't do much for our understanding of the world. And I'm not even sure it does much for one's understanding of God, either. The act of creation itself isn't very revealing, but the methodology, ah, that's where we gain insight into God's mind—and there's very little of that in Genesis. But I'm an unrepentant empiricist, so take what I say with as many grains of salt as you like.

Quote:
I see the difference, but a gap is a gap. Whether or not we can understand it later, we don't understand it now.

I wasn't really drawing the comparison in order to make a broader point; I was just ruminating on an idea that had occurred to me. It's an interesting distinction (at least to me), but I don't quite know where it fits into my general philosophy. I guess I was just thinking out loud.

Quote:
The reason I don't understand God is not because of His "omni" attributes, but it's His insistence to love me - prejudiced, angry, and mean me. I may seem nice, but there's a lot inside that isn't pretty. And I'm not just angry at other people, but at God, too. Yet, He consistently and faithfully loves me. I don't get it, but that love has changed me. It's real, tangible, and I really don't know what to make of it. God's "omni" stuff I can get. At first glance, it distances Him from me. And that's rational to me. I've been a jerk to God. But the right-in-your-face, passionately pursuing you because of His love for you God is something I can't understand. Of course, God is able to be this God for everyone because He has all those "omni" attributes. But, people usually don't connect the two. I didn't, but after what I've been through these days, I've gone through a radical shift in my conception of God. Scripture makes a lot more sense now.

Now, see, it's the 'omni' bits that drive me to distraction. I keep running into paradoxes in my attempts to understand them logically: either they conflict with themselves, or they conflict with each other, or they conflict with certain doctrines. This has led me to conclude that either a.) God is ineffable or b.) the definitions are flawed. Obviously, because of my beliefs, I consider Option B the more likely, but I'd be fascinated to hear how you understand them.

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And if you'd like to know more about why I have changed my understanding of God, we can take that to PMs (and I won't be proselytizing, simply explaining).

Sure. That'd be very interesting.

Quote:
P.s. Apology accepted, and did you like my snipping?

Personally, I favor a bracketed ellipses ([...]), but the snipping works quite nicely.  

Tarrou

Tarrou's avatar


Berezi

Berezi's avatar

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:56 pm
Tarrou Wrote:

You mean pedantic? Heh. I hope not. Regardless, I'll take that as a compliment.

It was supposed to be. You make me happy.

Quote:

That seems reasonable (though I have met some people who don't seem to have put much effort into studying either one, and I'm very reluctant to put the words 'study' and 'science' anywhere near the word 'creation'), but I have to admit that I don't exactly understand what it is they're afraid of. Knowledge of evolution would go a long way toward making it less scary. Their vehement rejection of evolution seems more like a conditioned response than an intellectual discernment.

For me, personally, I was afraid that maybe those who say there is no God are right. Maybe they were right and we don't need God to explain everything, and so His existence is unnecessary. Maybe faith and science couldn't go together. For others I know, it is simply a fear of being criticized, and for others, it's a fear of becoming godless. But these are all not good enough reasons, for if God is who Christians think Him to be, then He is more than an explanation for things and faith and science must be compatible, because He is not deceitful.

Quote:

Literal creationism may have a lot to say about God, but as far as I can tell, what it has to say about life on earth is quite direct: organisms are immutable and discrete. And that's it. I'm sure there's a wealth of theology behind it, but it doesn't do much for our understanding of the world. And I'm not even sure it does much for one's understanding of God, either. The act of creation itself isn't very revealing, but the methodology, ah, that's where we gain insight into God's mind—and there's very little of that in Genesis. But I'm an unrepentant empiricist, so take what I say with as many grains of salt as you like.

I personally agree. Though I'm probably not as much of an empiricist as you, I refuse to ignore what's in front of me. And in it, I see something very telling of God - who is able to take chaos and turn it into something glorious. And the implications of that stretch far beyond the origin and sustaining of living organisms into our own lives.

Quote:

I wasn't really drawing the comparison in order to make a broader point; I was just ruminating on an idea that had occurred to me. It's an interesting distinction (at least to me), but I don't quite know where it fits into my general philosophy. I guess I was just thinking out loud.

Sweet. I mean, I think it's interesting, too. I haven't thought deeply about the distinctions between the two, admittedly because I don't see the need since the end result is the same - a perpetual lack of knowledge which may or may not eventually go away.

Quote:

Now, see, it's the 'omni' bits that drive me to distraction. I keep running into paradoxes in my attempts to understand them logically: either they conflict with themselves, or they conflict with each other, or they conflict with certain doctrines. This has led me to conclude that either a.) God is ineffable or b.) the definitions are flawed. Obviously, because of my beliefs, I consider Option B the more likely, but I'd be fascinated to hear how you understand them.

I probably should have said that I accept, rather than get, the 'omni' bits, logical odd spots and all, because ultimately they create a distance from God in my mind. And that distance is not illogical to me (even if what makes God seem distant is). At least in my experience, when we talk about the 'omni' things, we talk about them insofar as they make God less like us humans. If God had any common sense (by my standards, anyway) He'd leave us humans alone. Thankfully, He doesn't have what I would call common sense and chooses to be a God of relationships. Rather than let the 'omni' things create a distance between us and Him, He chooses to get right up and close with every person that will let Him. That leaves me more confused than the 'omni' things themselves.

As for the logical odd spots, I have to wonder if any answer is good enough. I haven't found one that satisfies me, since they're all lacking somehow, and some of them make God sound like a complete jerk (which He's not, based on experience).  
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