I can't help myself: Spin-off from another thread...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by manesntails, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Puddincup

    Puddincup Senior Member

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    I'm willing to admit that my religion or relationship with Jesus is very much a crutch. It's one *I* need.
     
  2. IslandPony89

    IslandPony89 Senior Member

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    In the wrong place at the wrong time
     
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  3. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    You guys really need to read these quotes...

    Small Gods Quotes by Terry Pratchett

    There are lots of good insights of the mind of Pratchett in those pages..especially this

    “Right,” said Om. “Now…listen. Do you know how gods get power?” “By people believing in them,” said Brutha. “Millions of people believe in you.” Om hesitated. All right, all right. We are here and it is now. Sooner or later he’ll find out for himself… “They don’t believe,” said Om. “But—” “It’s happened before,” said the tortoise. “Dozens of times. D’you know Abraxas found the lost city of Ee? Very strange carvings, he says. Belief, he says. Belief shifts. People start out believing in the god and end up believing in the structure.”
    Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

    This makes perfect sense to me, those who believe make a God live, through their belief...as belief wanes that God does as well. We have many and varied Gods over the millennia, and there are still many today....alive only in the strength of the belief of their followers. Try this idea on for size, it is pretty neat.

    It also accounts for the transition of belief in the God, to the belief in the ritual, and the man made trappings surrounding it...until the word of said God is lost.
     
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  4. Squirt!!

    Squirt!! Full Member

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    Fine, as long as I can buy wine on Sunday’s.
     
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  5. Ziast

    Ziast Senior Member

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    Believing something to be true still doesn't explain all the inconsistencies, contradictions, and logical and physical impossibilities .
     
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  6. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    I love Pratchett, as well as Neil Gaiman. American Gods, which envisions a world where gods' existence is bolstered by the level of belief they maintain, is one of my all-time favorite books.

    But I don't subscribe to that idea, any more than I do to any other that postulates an actual existence of gods.

    Concrete "things" are not something that a person can either believe in or not believe in. They simply exist.

    A church exists. I don't "believe in" or "not believe in" that building. It is there. It exists. The god that is associated with it is (in my opinion) a creation of human thought.

    A statue of Ra exists. Same thing. The god that people may believe or have once believed inhabited it is a creation of human though.

    Some on this thread have pointed out that the idea that god watches all and takes care of all (I'm paraphrasing - forgive me) is not actually written in the bible and that what is actually written means something different. That's fine as far as it goes, but it is all interpretation. Even those who claim to follow only the literal words of the bible are interpretating what those literal words mean. And they are often open to many interpretations, and they are also subject to contradictions within the book itself.

    No one gets to say definitively what is "real" in terms of god (or gods) because no one knows or can know (I include those who don't believe at all in this - I don't know there is no god. I just don't believe there is). The very word - faith - implies that belief is based on something other than knowing. It's based on taking something you don't understand and choosing to believe.

    I personally choose not to believe but I have no beef with those who do. At least, not on an individual level - I do have a lot of problems with institutional belief and the way it attempts to guide individual belief toward political policy and action, as well as toward intolerance and war (which it does in the form of "this is the only correct way to believe").

    But for individuals who find comfort, community, solace, and moral guidance through religious belief, I have no problem with that and I understand how supportive that must be. I also sincerely enjoy the different belief structures and stories of various religions, the traditions and rituals. I love places of worship and burial, and one of my hobbies is to make and/or collect different types of prayer beads.

    Ironically, I've found that those who know the most about religious tenets and beliefs are often atheists, and the reason is because we've grown up questioning beliefs and therefore have looked at them deeply, rather than simply accepting them because we grew up with them. I don't think that's any more right or wrong than anything else.

    Ultimately, I think the belief in a higher power is a uniquely human thing. Virtually every civilization ever has had some sort of spiritual belief and ritual tradition which - to me - shows that questioning our existence is about the most human thing we can do.

    I would also like to say that I LOVE how thoughtful and civilized this whole discussion is. :)
     
  7. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    If there was a rep system still that post would be lighting up green all over @bellalou nice argument, well presented...ever thought of going into the law??? :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
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  8. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    What an intriguing idea! :idea:
     
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  9. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

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  10. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    None of these are really persuasive in any real sense, any more than a magazine or newspaper article that said that there is not proof that god exists would be persuasive. Because that's what they are - magazine and newspaper, or other basic media articles, that just brush the surface of what science may or may not have said ("many scientists now say..." or "this study suggests that...").

    Any media account of a scientific study is only as useful as the ability of the person who read the study (or more likely, read a summary of the study) to accurately convey what the study looked at, and what its conclusions actually mean.

    What science actually says is generally far more interesting and also far more ambiguous. Because you can't prove a negative.
     
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