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Theism - The feel in your head

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Comments

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    edited December 2018
    Well, during crucifixion of Jesus earth supposedly trembled, and dead left their graves to visit living people in Jerusalem (according to Matthew).
    And Moses caused every firstborn son in Egypt to die - not to mention other, less lethal plagues. Even if we leave out supernatural stuff, if there were singular leader of Jews who caused Exodus, it's safe to assume that he would show up in records.

    @ThacoBell
    As for the interpretation, I'll give you one example. The Bible explicitly says to pray to no one but God. The Catholic church somehow decides that praying to saints is okay. There are a lot of examples like this, and if you are interested, its really easy to look into.

    Catholics do not pray to saints. They pray for their intercession before Christ. There is argumentative tradition within Catholic Church that argue that this kind of behavior is present in Revelation of John (namely, twenty four elders in 4:1 and further).
    I don't think you can simply dismiss Catholicism as non-Christianity without adressing that tradition and their arguments.

    Post edited by Artona on
    FinneousPJZaghoulGrond0
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    I hope it's ok to post some thoughts. I have been away from this forum for quite a while and am enjoying once again how stimulating you folks are :smile:

    The problem for people who have experienced something of the transcendent is how to communicate something that can't be communicated. It is obvious to anyone near that something transformative has happened to this person. The only way they can try to communicate is indirectly through analogy, poetry, and metaphor. The problem comes in when people take these literally.

    Buddha tried to explain it by this analogy. I can see the moon. I am going to use my finger to point at the moon to show it to you, but don't get caught up with the finger. The finger is just the method.

    Unfortunately, people all over the world are clinging to the finger and have forgotten the moon. Religion then becomes a list of methods and codes of conduct instead of inner transformation and understanding. And what follows is that religion itself becomes an impediment to the very thing it is trying to achieve. It is a paradox that leaves us doing all sorts of mental gymnastics. Then you are left with these rifts between rationality and faith. In my experience, those are both dead ends to understanding.

    Codes of conduct are useful for society and reason is tremendously beneficial for survival and improving standards of living, but neither have any connection with the inner experience of freedom. In fact, I would argue that both actively prevent the religious experience from occurring. Freedom can be exhilarating and blissful, but also scary and honestly, inconvenient to our way of living. It is chaotic, unpredictable and deeply upsetting to society. Why do you think we kill so many of the religious icons?

    That quote by C.G. Jung always stuck with me, “One of the main functions of organized religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God.”

    We are left with a faith that has to ignore reason and a reason that cannot possibly experience faith. So, we argue and argue and continue to miss what is right there in front of us, that our being transcends religion, reason and all symbols and words.

    Existing in that space feels so pure and true, it is natural to want to share. I find it likely that someone we came to call Jesus inhabited that space and wanted to share, just as many others have. What came after was sad and predictable. It became political, theoretical instead of experiential.

    “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise, seek what they sought.” - Matsuo Basho. Each of us is a unique manifestation of existence and as much as it would be nice, there is no one size fits all approach. That is also the beauty. You find your truth and it is yours. There is no way anyone can take it away from you. But, the same phenomenon means that you can't give it to anyone either. That is the missionary paradox.

    Grond0FinneousPJmlnevese
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    As for me, I'm pretty much an Atheist. A god or gods may exist, but if they do, they are not from any religion known here on earth. Or any one that has been discovered, anyhow. Nor do I think a god, any god, goddess, what have you, interferes in life on earth. Except for me not believing in any known Deity, I guess I am closer to Deism.

    To put it more bluntly, "A Deity may have created the universe, but if they did, they haven't been back or made themselves known."

    FinneousPJmlnevese
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,700
    @FinneousPJ: I don't really have a stake in this since I'm not religious. Personally, I don't see what's so immensely implausible about the concept of a carpenter who pissed off the Roman authorities or a slave who tried to help his fellow slaves escape captivity. You don't need to be religious to believe in the existence of humans.

    Confucius never managed to become a king's advisor like he wanted. He's never mentioned outside of the Chinese classics, but we don't believe he's a myth. You can say the same thing about Mohammad and Buddha, neither of which attained wide-scale importance and became established in the historical record outside of their respective worshipers.

    You can say the same thing about Socrates, Sappho, or Aristotle. None of these people are in the historical record... except for the historical records where they are present.

    Plus, now that I think about it, if Christ didn't exist, who did first establish this religion? Saint Paul? How do we know he's real?

    What is the alternative origin of Christianity, and are there any historians who believe it? Because Jesus is treated as a historical figure by actual historians.

    FinneousPJThacoBell
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,700
    I looked it up and apparently these are some of the sources which mention Jesus:

    Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, written around 93-94 CE

    The Pauline epistles

    The Gospel of Matthew

    The Gospel of Mark

    The Gospel of Luke

    The Annals by Tacitus, written around 116 CE (apparently there's a brief mention in book 15, chapter 44)

    There are also less direct references in other sources. There's a whole article about it on Wikipedia.

    It's worth mentioning that the Bible isn't really one source; it's a collection of texts by multiple authors.

    FinneousPJThacoBellBalrog99
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    But all those sources that mention him are from period *after* his death. We don't have any source contemporary to Jesus.

    FinneousPJ
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Artona said:

    But all those sources that mention him are from period *after* his death. We don't have any source contemporary to Jesus.

    Exactly, and basically all of them are in a Christian context, as in "there are these people who call themselves Christian after this Christ character". Using that as historical evidence you might as well argue Cthulhu exists.

    Artona
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,700
    edited December 2018
    @FinneousPJ: If you look at the article I linked, you'll find that there are multiple sources that are not by Christian authors. Some of them were expressly critical of the early Christians.
    Artona said:

    But all those sources that mention him are from period *after* his death. We don't have any source contemporary to Jesus.

    Same goes for Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, Homer, and any number of other historical figures. None of them wrote down their story directly; their words were passed down orally for a few decades, if not longer, before they were committed to paper.

    I don't see why any of this would be committed to paper before he died, considering he died young, before his movement had much chance to grow. Are there actually records of any poor, fatherless Jews of the time? We're talking about a guy who gave some sermons to an illiterate audience and then was executed in his 30s. Is it reasonable to think there would be records of a poor Jewish man nearly 2,000 years ago?

    Also, this is a shifting of goal posts. Only when I provided evidence did the new requirement, "it has to be in this 30-year period of Jesus' life," suddenly come up.

    If the sources do have to be within the historical figure's lifetime, then we must also deny the existence of Confucius. Are we going to apply the same standards there?

    FinneousPJJLeeThacoBellBalrog99
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    I'm not denying anyone's existence, I'm saying there isn't convincing evidence to conclude he did exist. I haven't looked into Confucius, but he might well be the same.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456

    @FinneousPJ: If you look at the article I linked, you'll find that there are multiple sources that are not by Christian authors. Some of them were expressly critical of the early Christians.

    That's not the point, though. You could write about Cthulhu and Cthulhu-cultist critically, doesn't mean it actually exists.

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    I don't know about Buddha and Confucius, but lack of sources is the reason why there are many theories about Homer - for example it's possible that there was no singular Homer, but "he" was, in reality, the group of authors. He is not a historical figure in the same way Herod is, and we put him in the same basket as Jesus, Moses, Socrates, Gilgamesh and other persons that may have lived, but we cannot know for sure.
    But Mohammand belongs to different basket, because there are contemporary sources of Mohammad, at least according to wiki:
    Early Islamic history is also reflected in sources written in Greek, Syriac, Armenian, and Hebrew by Jewish and Christian communities, all of which are dated after 633 CE.[4] These sources contain some essential differences with regard to Muslim sources, in particular regarding the chronology and Muhammad's attitude towards the Jews and Palestine.[4]
    There is a reference recording the Arab conquest of Syria (known as Fragment on the Arab Conquests), that mentions Muhammed. This much faded note is preserved on folio 1 of BL Add. 14,461, a codex containing the Gospel according to Matthew and the Gospel according to Mark. This note appears to have been penned soon after the battle of Gabitha (636 CE) at which the Arabs inflicted crushing defeat of the Byzantines. Wright was first to draw the attention to the fragment and suggested that "it seems to be a nearly contemporary notice",[32] a view which was also endorsed by Nöldeke.[33]

    Link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Muhammad

    Also, this is a shifting of goal posts. Only when I provided evidence did the new requirement, "it has to be in this 30-year period of Jesus' life," suddenly come up.

    Because it's not evidence when it's not contemporary. It may suggest existence of the person or make it more plausible, but it cannot serve as a proof. If I said that there was a dude in Poland in 1970s that could change wood into gold, then we wouldn't consider my statement to be "evidence" of his existence, right?

    semiticgodmlnevese
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,700
    edited December 2018
    @Artona: Interesting points on Homer and Mohammad. Maybe Mohammad had more of a chance to make the news, since he lived and preached longer than Christ.

    I must disagree with you on one point, though: we cannot reasonably expect all records to date back to a specific time frame, especially this far back in time, when written records and literacy in general were so rare. Christ simply wasn't that popular when he was still alive, and I'm not sure any of his followers were literate. Before his execution, I don't know who would have committed his story to paper.

    He didn't get famous and the religion didn't become widespread until long after his death. It's reasonable that the evidence for his existence came after he achieved notoriety; not before.

    JLeeThacoBellFinneousPJ
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,564
    @FinneousPJ All I wanted to post on was what semiticgod asked for. In all honesty, there is nothing more tiring than talking to someone about a subject that they refuse to see any good in. So no, I don't really feel like addressing your question. Especially since you tend to ignore any questions of yours that get an answer and move the goal posts on what you consider "acceptable".

    @Artona That would be more compelling if I hadn't talked to Catholics who said they pray to the saints, and attended masses where they prayed to the saints.

    FinneousPJ
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    edited December 2018
    @semiticgod - that is fair point, I think, about Mohammad. His conquests definitely has bigger chance to gain attention.
    Let me clarify: I'm not convinced that Jesus didn't exist and I do see arguments for his existence. At the same time I think we need to make distinction between people we can reasonably say we know existed (like Newton or Julius Ceasar), and people that may have existed (Jesus and so on).

    @ThacoBell
    @Artona That would be more compelling if I hadn't talked to Catholics who said they pray to the saints, and attended masses where they prayed to the saints.


    You mean you attented masses with saints worship? That's remarkable. Poland is right now one of the most catholic countries in the world, and even *we* don't do this kind of heresy. Are you sure that it was worship, and not that you mistook prayer for intercession with prayer to saints?
    Regardless - it doesn't change the doctrine, so my point still stands.

    semiticgodFinneousPJZaghoul
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    ThacoBell said:

    @FinneousPJ All I wanted to post on was what semiticgod asked for. In all honesty, there is nothing more tiring than talking to someone about a subject that they refuse to see any good in. So no, I don't really feel like addressing your question. Especially since you tend to ignore any questions of yours that get an answer and move the goal posts on what you consider "acceptable".

    @Artona That would be more compelling if I hadn't talked to Catholics who said they pray to the saints, and attended masses where they prayed to the saints.

    Having grown up a Roman Catholic myself, The idea of the Saints is that they intercede for you on your behlaf with Christ/God. Same with Mary. As the mother of Jesus, it's thought to be, like a good Jewish boy, he listens to his mother.

    Though I have had Christians tell me that Jesus isn't Jewish, he's Chritian. Which makes me get an odd look on my face and say, "So he worships himself?" and that devolves into a conversation revolving around if Jesus had faith- and since the Bible itself tells us that "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." and Jesus can see those things, that means he cannot have faith, and therefore he can't be a Christian. And then it devolves from there.(BTW, if Jesus really exists, he can't have faith in himself, and if he's just three-in-one (Sort of like a multiple personality, but more like each is aware of the others), then he knows he is just part of God, and again, having faith in God is having faith in himself. Also, he knows he is God, and if Christians are to be believed, he is Omnisicent, and that's another bar to faith.

    And its all down the rabbit hole from there.

    ArtonaFinneousPJmlneveseGrond0
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,700
    @ThacoBell: Feel free to wander off if the discussion feels boring or tedious to you. There's no requirement to answer anyone's questions or anything like that--this is a discussion to share ideas and facts; not a debate to be won.

    FinneousPJArtonamlneveseThacoBell
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456



    He didn't get famous and the religion didn't become widespread until long after his death. It's reasonable that the evidence for his existence came after he achieved notoriety; not before.

    But that is not evidence. What is the difference between writing about "Christ" in the context of "Christianity" and "Cthulhu" in the context of ‎"‎The Call of Cthulhu‎"? Neither is evidence for actual existence.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited December 2018
    ThacoBell said:

    @FinneousPJ All I wanted to post on was what semiticgod asked for. In all honesty, there is nothing more tiring than talking to someone about a subject that they refuse to see any good in. So no, I don't really feel like addressing your question. Especially since you tend to ignore any questions of yours that get an answer and move the goal posts on what you consider "acceptable".

    That's fine. I don't agree of course, I don't ignore questions - you do. You still didn't answer mine ;)

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,700

    ThacoBell said:

    @FinneousPJ All I wanted to post on was what semiticgod asked for. In all honesty, there is nothing more tiring than talking to someone about a subject that they refuse to see any good in. So no, I don't really feel like addressing your question. Especially since you tend to ignore any questions of yours that get an answer and move the goal posts on what you consider "acceptable".

    That's fine. I don't agree of course, I don't ignore questions - you do. You still didn't answer mine ;)
    Just let it go.

    FinneousPJThacoBell
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456

    ThacoBell said:

    @FinneousPJ All I wanted to post on was what semiticgod asked for. In all honesty, there is nothing more tiring than talking to someone about a subject that they refuse to see any good in. So no, I don't really feel like addressing your question. Especially since you tend to ignore any questions of yours that get an answer and move the goal posts on what you consider "acceptable".

    That's fine. I don't agree of course, I don't ignore questions - you do. You still didn't answer mine ;)
    Just let it go.
    I just think it's pretty funny to get accused of ignoring questions in a post that explicitly admits to avoiding my question.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 12,700
    @FinneousPJ: You were accusing ThacoBell of avoiding your questions, not me.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    @semiticgod Yes, I still find it funny though..?

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,148
    It could be the case that everything always existed in one form or another so there would never have been nothing. One shouldn't pre-suppose that everything had to have a beginning or that everything had to come from nothing.

    mlneveseFinneousPJsemiticgod
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,134
    That's a problem of the human mind. It can't accept that not all things need a cause to exist or we would go into an infinite loop of "what is the cause of the cause".

    FinneousPJBalrog99JLeeThacoBell
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 1,012
    Balrog99 said:

    It could be the case that everything always existed in one form or another so there would never have been nothing. One shouldn't pre-suppose that everything had to have a beginning or that everything had to come from nothing.

    That's what I feel - basically assuming some kind of beginning leads to contradiction that cannot be resolved, because of how language works.
    When it comes to God there is another argument, based on causal relation - that to be in that relation it is necessary to share the same "type" or "quality". Sorry for using such dated term, but I cannot think of better one. What I mean is that if we assume causal relation between bodies, the have to necessarily consider those bodies of the same nature (physical), because otherwise there is basis for relation.
    I'm not sure if it holds up if we assume causal relation between act of will and physical action, but I strongly believe that you can safely say that to affect things in the world, the affecting factor has to be in the world as well.

    But I could be wrong, of course. :)

    mlneveseFinneousPJBalrog99
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,134
    edited December 2018
    I think it's interesting that people can accept that god has always existed and needs no cause but when you use the same argument about the universe many go "no the Universe NEEDS a cause"... well it doesn't... neither does life and many other things...

    ArtonaFinneousPJBalrog99JLee
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    That's basically special pleading, which is an informal fallacy. They argue that everything needs to have a cause except for god of course.

    mlneveseArtonaBalrog99
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 8,564
    The Christian creation account actually mentions the existence of water before God created the universe. Which I always found fascinating. I wonder how many creation stories have the same trope.

    FinneousPJBalrog99mlnevese
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    And the "Let us create man in our image", which implies more than one deity Plus, my knowledge that God used to have a wife name Asherah, and the Bible mentions"Asherah Poles"...

    mlnevese
This discussion has been closed.