Author Topic: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?  (Read 15797 times)

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Offline Podaar

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #140 on: November 03, 2014, 10:15:29 AM »
For me, the meaning and purpose in life is what I make of what's visibly right in front of me right now.  I have confirmation that I am here right now, living my life, with the circumstances that I have created or that others around me have created in some manner.  My purpose is to do whatever it takes to not be miserable in the life that I've been given.  To be happy.  I only have the assurance of this one life to live, one that is 100% verifiable.  I have no assurance of anything beyond that.  So I choose to make the best of this life that I can.

I completely subscribe to this notion!

:brohug:

Offline jammindude

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #141 on: November 03, 2014, 10:21:58 AM »
love your neighbor as yourself

This I may have difficulty with.  My neighbor is an extremely self-absorbed and vindictive bitch (and has made every attempt to prove it).  :lol

Confession time.   I struggled with this for YEARS.  Sometimes in my own personal relationships.   Often justifying that other people's behavior made them unworthy of "love"...   And I struggled for years with the concept of "agape".   (there are four Greek words translated "love" in the Bible, "agape" is the most common, and specifically is used in most of the famous scriptures about love...including "love your neighbor" and John 3:16 on the reasons why God gave his firstborn)

But this quote from scholar William Barclay helped: "Agape has to do with the mind: it is not simply an emotion that rises unbidden in our hearts (as may be the case with philia [this is - warm brotherly affection as you might feel for a close friend]). It is a principle by which we deliberately live. Agape has suppremely to do with the will.  It is a conquest, a victory, and achievement.   No one ever naturally loved his enemies.  To love one's enemies is a conquest of all our natural inclinations and emotions.  This agape....is in fact the power to love the unlovable, to love people whom we do not like."

That is the meaning of the "love" Jesus was nearly always speaking about when he taught.   So this is the love we must have to become followers of him.   It's not easy....but it can be learned by anyone.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #142 on: November 03, 2014, 10:29:43 AM »
I completely subscribe to this notion!

:brohug:

:brohug:

And the weird thing about it is that this sort of "live for today, who knows if there's an afterlife" kinda idea is completely opposite of what I believed as a teenager/young adult.  So in saying that this is my current belief as to how to live life, there's still a part of me that had those church lessons so ingrained in my head that it's sometimes hard to come to terms with how vastly my viewpoints on things seem to have changed.  If I believed the things I believed then so fervently, why don't I still believe them as much now?  I don't really know the answer to that, except that growing up and gaining a different perspective of life and of self tends to change things.  Still odd trying to reconcile having had two such different ideologies in my life.

Confession time.   I struggled with this for YEARS.  Sometimes in my own personal relationships.   Often justifying that other people's behavior made them unworthy of "love"...   And I struggled for years with the concept of "agape".   (there are four Greek words translated "love" in the Bible, "agape" is the most common, and specifically is used in most of the famous scriptures about love...including "love your neighbor" and John 3:16 on the reasons why God gave his firstborn)

But this quote from scholar William Barclay helped: "Agape has to do with the mind: it is not simply an emotion that rises unbidden in our hearts (as may be the case with philia [this is - warm brotherly affection as you might feel for a close friend]). It is a principle by which we deliberately live. Agape has suppremely to do with the will.  It is a conquest, a victory, and achievement.   No one ever naturally loved his enemies.  To love one's enemies is a conquest of all our natural inclinations and emotions.  This agape....is in fact the power to love the unlovable, to love people whom we do not like."

That is the meaning of the "love" Jesus was nearly always speaking about when he taught.   So this is the love we must have to become followers of him.   It's not easy....but it can be learned by anyone.

Understood, and though my neighbor IS a PITA, I was being a little tongue in cheek.  I don't wish harm to her, but I'm not going to go out of my way to have anything especially nice to say to or about her.  If she were to come to us (we've tried being nice), and apologize and extend an olive branch, we'd be more than capable of repairing the relationship from our end.  It's just not likely to ever happen.

Offline Podaar

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #143 on: November 03, 2014, 10:32:15 AM »
Coz has shown his proficiency with agape by not punching her in the throat. That's love.

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #144 on: November 03, 2014, 10:33:23 AM »
I win.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #145 on: November 03, 2014, 10:54:24 AM »
Good going, Coz.
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Offline RuRoRul

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #146 on: November 03, 2014, 02:25:27 PM »
I only skimmed the thread that inspired this one after the fact, but the topic of this thread is something I have often wondered about people.

For example lots of people I've known say they believe in God, but they don't seem to do anything about it or act in any way as though they believe. This could be people who answer "yes" when asked if they believe, but don't go to church, don't ever mention it, don't pray, don't offer any alternative philosophy as to what believing in God means to them if they obviously aren't going along with any particular religion, and basically don't seem to do anything different than someone who doesn't believe in God except answer "yes" when asked instead of "no". Or it's people who identify as Christian, go to church every week and partake in other  traditions, but don't follow all the rules that the particular branch of Christianity they identify with subscribes to (nor appear to believe those rules should be followed) and often don't seem to know much about the Bible or their religion.

In most cases it basically just seems to be tradition and family - they are actively Christian because their family are Christian and they don't have any reason not to go along with it, or they say they still believe in God even though that supposed belief doesn't seem to influence their life because everyone around them growing up believed in God, so it perhaps never occurred to them that whether or not you believe in God was even something to think about.

(I should say that tha those examples are inspired by people in real life and not people posting in this forum or anything like that, as most people I've seen discussing it here tend to have a lot to say about it and what it means for them and at least seem to have given it some thought)

In those instances I do wonder whether the person "really" believes, or if their "belief" is just something they pay lip service to. I know that I can't get inside other people's minds and that my limited interaction with them doesn't make me more able to determine what they believe, so obviously what I say about other people's beliefs has zero authority. But let's just say that I believe that a lot of people's "belief" is less some actual conviction that what they claim to believe is literally, factually true, and more just not wanting to rock the boat or just not being interested in pondering such things so not really giving it any thought.

And in general I do wonder about even the people that do seem to have at least more demonstrable belief in God whether they "genuinely" believe, just because actions of people in general seem pretty inconsistent with belief in an all-powerful benevolent master, an eternal life after death and such things. Why get so worked up about anything "in this life" when even a century is not much compared to eternity? How can you ignore or not obey anything that's in whatever scripture you deem to be the genuine article if you really think you are gambling with eternity in hell or eternity in paradise? But I realise that it cuts both ways - often people that believe in some sort of God question how supposed atheists can go about their business when they don't believe in any grand supernatural purpose to their lives, how they can care about anything if they believe everything is just particles bumping into each other and nothing more, why they think helping people or being good matters if there is no objective morality, how they can abide with death if they don't think there is a soul and that their loved ones are worm food once their body gives out. And at the more extreme level I am sure there is the equivalent to the scenario I originally described, where people might say they don't believe in a god but then pray when they feel in dire need, that see divine inspiration in things, that feel or act as though their dead loved ones are still around or that they can see them again.

My overarching explanation for that is pretty simple - humans aren't perfectly logical and rational beings with a concrete set of beliefs and goals they draw conclusions from and work towards. We are inconsistent, irrational, often illogical and sometimes downright stupid. Our senses are fallable, we are susceptible to fallacies and misconceptions, and we are more than capable of having inconsistent beliefs, thinking one thing at another time and something else later without any real changing of our mind. We say or even believe that we believe something, and are completely genuine when we do, and then in the heat of the moment or in different circumstances believe something else.

For myself, I can't really recall doing something like praying despite claiming to be an atheist, but I do end up sometimes believing in things like luck or superstitions, e.g. avoiding "jinxing" sporting events, or thinking that I am inherently unlucky or lucky at certain things. They might be pretty banal examples, but surely if I don't think for example, that it's factually true that my words or actions are influencing something thousands of miles away then I should be completely immune to believing (or acting as though I believe) in any sort of jinx or superstition related to things like that, but it doesn't seem that that's the case.

My philosophy though is to try, as much as I possibly can, to differentiate between my beliefs that are based on my feelings or come from irrational reasons, and my beliefs about what I believe the actual, literal nature of the universe is. There are things that I find myself believing (or at least inconsistently believing) that I know are just caused my brain finding patterns in things that may or may not have any real pattern, or trying to impose some sort of order or control on something that is completely outside of my control, appeasing my irrational side. But I would try my best to avoid extending those sorts of beliefs into objective conclusions about the universe.

From my perspective, this is something that a lot of people fail to do. They essentially take their intuitions or perceptions about things (and I don't just mean shallow emotions - they may be quite deep and profound feelings) but then try to impose them onto the facts about the universe - I feel like this is true, therefore I believe the universe is structured so that it is objectively true. People feel like their lives have meaning, so they believe that some sort of supernatural purpose exists for us and that our lives are in fact entire purpose of the universe. People believe there is more to life than meets the eye, and that the connection they make with other people is deeper than just interaction between bags of meat, so they think that the afterlife and souls must exist. People believe in helping others and doing good, so they think there must be some sort of power or being enforcing it and keeping score, making the people who do bad things will recieve divine retribution. People feel like something is weird or disgusting, so they believe that a great authority has forbidden it and that those people deserve to be punished. People feel a particular message resonates with them in a deep way, so they believe that the source is divine and provides all the answers about the world - except for the bits that don't resonate with them for some reason, which can be safely ignored.

I don't think it's as simple as just plain old wishful thinking, but I do think that sometimes people feel the need to try to reconcile the very human and subjective perception of life with what actually, objectively exists independently of us, and that's why so many religions or spiritual beliefs are based around adding something to the universe that provides concrete purpose, morality and that handles death in some way, because those are the big issues that humans struggle to cope with. I think that determining what actually does and doesn't exist should be done by looking at the evidence and drawing conclusions based on that, and that the human struggle with death, meaning and morality should be something that we deal with on a human level, within our own thoughts and minds, rather than trying to make sense of it by changing what we believe exists.

Of course I am surely not immune to all the same things I believe influence other people's beliefs, and maybe me thinking that no dieties or afterlifes exist is caused by what I feel or sense to be the truth, rather than because that's the conclusion I would draw from any sort of scientific process. But I think that we should at least try to separate our beliefs about what is objectively out there and exists with our beliefs about what is right, what is meaningful, what is important, and other subjective things like that. And if the two don't always seem completely compatible, well, that's where our human inconsistency and imperfection comes in handy in allowing us to cope.

Lastly, I should add that I haven't read everything in the thread yet so my thoughts here weren't based on anyone's posts in particular, just what I already had in mind for the topic.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 05:21:04 PM by RuRoRul »

Offline Podaar

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #147 on: November 03, 2014, 04:39:23 PM »
I enjoyed that post, RuRoRul. Thank you for taking the time to assemble your thoughts. I don't know if I'll ever have that skill.

Dan Dennett, claims that a great many people simply believe in belief or have "faith" in faith. I'm guessing that may be true. I know quite a few people who know very little about the religion they identify with but the culture and community are very important to them. I can completely understand that and perhaps even envy it some.

Offline j

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #148 on: November 03, 2014, 06:20:52 PM »
Spectacular post, RuRoRul.

My belief is that most (nearly all?) treat scripture as a buffet table.  "Read this part...never mind that part...that part doesn't really say that...etc...etc..."    In other words, I believe that God outlines the rules of worship.   It's only when men start dismissing and re-interpreting and saying "we'd rather do it this way" that it splinters away from what God outlines for "worship" and devolves into man-invented "religion"

Assuming that you do not include yourself in that indictment (please correct me if I'm wrong)--and putting aside the consistently ignored but obviously (to me) critical matter of what constitutes "scripture" and why--I don't think I've ever met a Christian of any variety who would acknowledge "dismissing" a biblical teaching or affirming one and saying "I'd rather do it this way."  You sort of alluded to the real tendency however, which is a more subtle, maybe even subconscious and completely unnoticed, approach that allows them plausible deniability.  "This is the real meaning of this passage," "this is what Jesus really meant," etc.  But nobody seems to consider that they might have these tendencies or biases or could possibly be doing this themselves, but are convinced that everyone else certainly does.

Also are we seriously still going with the silly aversion to the word "religion" by those who practice it?  Is disregarding the definition of the word supposed to somehow exempt one from criticisms levied at its adherents?

-J

Offline Randaran

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #149 on: November 03, 2014, 06:44:54 PM »
*snip*

That was a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

I have often wondered if my lack of belief was due to evidence (or the lack thereof) or my own subjective emotions. My parents did not expose me to religion as I grew up, though I occasionally went to church when I spent the weekend at my grandparents. Even then, I did nothing more than accompany them. There were few attempts to teach Christainity to me and my sister.

In order to understand the following events, a little background information is necessary. I loved fantasy from a very young age. The fantastic settings, magic, relatable characters struggling against a greater evil: all of it appealed to me. However, I knew that they were not real. Dragons and magic are fiction, and I recall being devastated by this revelation. How could something so cool be false? This greatly impacted my mindset growing up, and I became skeptical of many claims, though my love of fantasy remained.

I remember one time when we went to Sunday School during one of these visits. The other kids in there attended regularly, and already knew the stories being taught. From my vague memories of this day, I believe we were talking about the story of Adam and Eve. I immediately stored it in the same mental category that contained my favorite fantasy works. My frail virgin mind saw no difference between Genesis and The Lord of the Rings. Both seemed to be fictional stories intended to entertain. I attribute my lack of belief to this experience, and a few others like it. My first experiences with religion were presented in a way that made it indistinguishable from fantasy, and I considered it to be nothing more than that.

So, I really believe that nurture affects one's perceptions of religion. I also believe that what people believe is nowhere near as important as how they came to that conclusion. I thus pose this question: how did you come to believe in your current positions? I am genuinely curious.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #150 on: November 03, 2014, 06:59:32 PM »
My frail virgin mind
I see what you did there.
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Offline jammindude

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #151 on: November 03, 2014, 07:21:24 PM »
Spectacular post, RuRoRul.

My belief is that most (nearly all?) treat scripture as a buffet table.  "Read this part...never mind that part...that part doesn't really say that...etc...etc..."    In other words, I believe that God outlines the rules of worship.   It's only when men start dismissing and re-interpreting and saying "we'd rather do it this way" that it splinters away from what God outlines for "worship" and devolves into man-invented "religion"

Assuming that you do not include yourself in that indictment (please correct me if I'm wrong)--and putting aside the consistently ignored but obviously (to me) critical matter of what constitutes "scripture" and why--I don't think I've ever met a Christian of any variety who would acknowledge "dismissing" a biblical teaching or affirming one and saying "I'd rather do it this way."  You sort of alluded to the real tendency however, which is a more subtle, maybe even subconscious and completely unnoticed, approach that allows them plausible deniability.  "This is the real meaning of this passage," "this is what Jesus really meant," etc.  But nobody seems to consider that they might have these tendencies or biases or could possibly be doing this themselves, but are convinced that everyone else certainly does.

Also are we seriously still going with the silly aversion to the word "religion" by those who practice it?  Is disregarding the definition of the word supposed to somehow exempt one from criticisms levied at its adherents?

-J

I went through a *LOT* of deep research that led me to the conclusion that The Bible is something that bears the evidence of having been put together, protected by and maintained by the one and only true God that created all things.     If you wanted to know some of it, we'd probably have to take it to PM because it took me months to be convinced...and I'm still learning...over 20 years later...and only being convinced even further the more I look into it.   Summarizing 20 years of study into a paragraph simply isn't possible, and even highlights would take a very long post that would take this public thread off topic.   If we PM, we can try to go point by point. 

But really, the whole idea is to allow scripture to interpret scripture.   In other words, find *everything* that the Bible has to say on a certain subject (not just focusing on one phrase, but finding EVERYTHING that the Bible says about something from Genesis all the way to Revelation) and whatever the Bible says....that is what it says.     Everything must be taken into context with everything else.    But by doing this, you allow *God's Word* (I really can't emphasize that enough) to speak for itself.     When you do that, you find out just how much myth and falsehoods have entered into religious teachings that simply have nothing to do with The Bible.

I have a great many opinions on a vast and wide array of subjects...  But I have no opinion on how to worship.  Everything I believe about God is exactly what he has explained in his word.   If he hasn't explained something yet in full detail...then I simply have no answer and do not attempt to interject one.   I'm sure I'll find out someday.     But the important things I need to know are already explained.    Who God is.  Why we are here.  Why we grow old and die.   What happens to us when we die.  (no...we don't go to heaven....or some mystical hell....)  Why God allows suffering.   What he is planning to solve all of mankinds problems.     All of this is explained in the Bible.     I don't know these things because *I* have any special knowledge, I just learned from God by getting to know his answers in his word. 

The aversion to the term "religion" is a bit more personal.   It just occurred to me that the answers are there for anyone to find...but people choosing to believe something else.    How many religions teach the immortality of the soul?   Yet that teaching is not taught in The Bible.  It just isn't.   Yet nearly EVERYONE who believes in God (Christianity and otherwise) seem to cling to this idea.     It would seem to all lead back to Satan's original lie...."You positively *will not* die."     People still want to believe that you don't really die...you just move into another state of being.    The whole idea just perpetuates that original lie.    Death can be undone by God as easily as you or I might awaken someone from sleep.  But death is the opposite of life...a state of non-being.    It's really just that simple.    The Bible teaches who God is and why he allows suffering....so why do religions teach that "God is a mystery", and "God works in mysterious ways"....  Baffling. 
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Offline Jaffa

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #152 on: November 03, 2014, 11:26:18 PM »
I don't know these things because *I* have any special knowledge, I just learned from God by getting to know his answers in his word. 

What about all the other people who have gotten to know his answers and come to conclusions that contradict your own?

You always mention that you have done a lot of research, but there are a lot of people in this world who have done a lot of research.  There are a lot of people in this world who attempt to allow scripture to interpret scripture.  There are a lot of people in this world who have dedicated their entire lives to studying the Bible, and many of those people would disagree with you on many points.  How do you account for that?  Are those people just doing it wrong?
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Offline jammindude

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #153 on: November 04, 2014, 12:07:13 AM »
I don't know these things because *I* have any special knowledge, I just learned from God by getting to know his answers in his word. 

What about all the other people who have gotten to know his answers and come to conclusions that contradict your own?


I have no concerns about contradicting me.     My only concern is whether or not it contradicts scripture.   The Bible's message unifies....those who contradict God's Word are splintered. 

   "Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves.  By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognize those men.
    “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.  Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’  And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.
     “Therefore everyone that hears these sayings of mine and does them will be likened to a discreet man, who built his house upon the rock-mass. And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded upon the rock-mass.  Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.  And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house and it caved in, and its collapse was great.”  (Matt 7:15-27)

Also:

"By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.”  (John 13:35)

So Jesus said that only those who displayed love amongst themselves would be his true disciples.   

"But I say to YOU who are listening, Continue to love YOUR enemies, to do good to those hating YOU, to bless those cursing YOU, to pray for those who are insulting YOU."  (Luke 6:27, 28)

Only those that display love to their enemies...

"Then Jesus said to him: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword..." (Matt 26:52)
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare according to what we are in the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things."  (2 Cor 10:3, 4)

Only those who refuse to go to war....

The problem is that what has been commonly accepted as "Christianity" has been a deviation since it began contradicting scripture....most likely from the moment the Apostle John died.    And that people have been under the false impression that the blood that was shed was what is taught in the Bible.   It isn't. 

Another ear mark of following The Bible...

"...you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among YOU, but that YOU may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought."  (1 Cor 1:10)   

So those who are truly following scripture would be united...not contradicting each other...having no disagreement among themselves.    If you find that group, you have found the only group that is following scripture.   If they have disagreements among themselves, then they aren't following scripture. 







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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #154 on: November 04, 2014, 12:34:08 AM »
JD, how would you fit in Romans 14-15?
Romans 14 notes that there will be disagreements in the Body, and Rom 15 calls us to be "one mind."  In the context, it would suggest to me that being "one mind" is something other than mental agreement, eg. the love/receiving you have for one another.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #155 on: November 04, 2014, 06:34:22 AM »
I went through a *LOT* of deep research that led me to the conclusion that The Bible is something that bears the evidence of having been put together, protected by and maintained by the one and only true God that created all things. 
It's funny, because I went through a lot of deep research as well, and that led me to the conclusion that the Bible is something that bears the evidence of having been put together by ordinary, fallible men (of faith), and I see no evidence whatsoever of God's hand in any of it (as far as assembling the thing). 

Which probably goes to Jaffa's question.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #156 on: November 04, 2014, 07:19:17 AM »
And that point is what turns a LOT of people off.  Christians say that the Bible is the word of God, or it was handed down by God or however people interpret it, but the actual text is a translation by ordinary fallible men.  And I should say translations (plural).  How many different versions of the bible are there between the KJV, the NIV, the NASB, etc.  Lots of different translations out there.  So people who don't believe, understandably have a difficult time putting faith in something that has been re-written a zillion times by ordinary human beings.

Offline Podaar

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #157 on: November 04, 2014, 07:27:09 AM »
I went through a *LOT* of deep research that led me to the conclusion that The Bible is something that bears the evidence of having been put together, protected by and maintained by the one and only true God that created all things. 
It's funny, because I went through a lot of deep research as well, and that led me to the conclusion that the Bible is something that bears the evidence of having been put together by ordinary, fallible men (of faith), and I see no evidence whatsoever of God's hand in any of it (as far as assembling the thing). 

Which probably goes to Jaffa's question.

Yeah, I think I've read a lot of the same books and taken some of the same classes probably. Whatever you believe about creation and deity, most of the question of the Bible's origins, politics, assembly, mistakes, mis-translations, forgery and promotion have been settled.

jammindude,

Reading through your posts the last few days has been all too familiar. I appreciate your commitment to your convictions and the sincerity of your rhetoric. I've heard the same arguments for years from Mormon apologists...that the truth of the Book of Mormon can be found by studying, and praying about the Book of Mormon. I could probably produce scripture from the BoM that confirms this view, if perhaps a little superficially. It's just one more step for them to say, when you find a group of people who agree completely on God's message as written in the Book of Mormon then you'll see God's true message.

I don't suppose the previous paragraph has made you eager to read the BoM.

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #158 on: November 04, 2014, 07:32:31 AM »
Or other books from different faiths.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #159 on: November 04, 2014, 08:12:44 AM »
And that point is what turns a LOT of people off.  Christians say that the Bible is the word of God, or it was handed down by God or however people interpret it, but the actual text is a translation by ordinary fallible men.  And I should say translations (plural).  How many different versions of the bible are there between the KJV, the NIV, the NASB, etc.  Lots of different translations out there.  So people who don't believe, understandably have a difficult time putting faith in something that has been re-written a zillion times by ordinary human beings.
The bolded is false, Coz. Modern translators go back to the best manuscripts available, which are both early and plentiful. It's not like "pass-the-telephone," where translation A translates translation B, translation B translates translation C, etc., through hundreds of centuries, each new translation's reliability dependent on that of its predecessor. No, each new translation is a fresh project.

I agree with your point that the Bible is a conversation-killer when it comes to conversations about faith. So I don't understand the practice of flinging Bible verses at people who don't believe the Bible. To me, far more interesting talking points are theology, philosophy, and Jesus.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #160 on: November 04, 2014, 08:19:37 AM »
Modern translators.  Translators.  Re-writers.  Not sure where the disconnect lies here.  Each new translation is a fresh project.  A fresh re-writing of centuries old manuscripts.  Read the KJV, the NIV, the NASB, or any other popular translation and tell me "Oh, they're all the same".  They're all telling the same basic story, yes.  But in different translations.  All the cover bands in my area that play Smoke on the Water aren't the same.  Yes, we all go way back to the decades old original to craft our version, but guaranteed, they're not the same.  That is the thing that often turns non-religious people off.  The fact that multiple different human creations are regarded as "what God said", would understandably make the non-believer a little suspsicious.

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #161 on: November 04, 2014, 08:34:23 AM »
Modern translators.  Translators.  Re-writers.  Not sure where the disconnect lies here.  Each new translation is a fresh project.  A fresh re-writing of centuries old manuscripts.  Read the KJV, the NIV, the NASB, or any other popular translation and tell me "Oh, they're all the same".  They're all telling the same basic story, yes.  But in different translations.  All the cover bands in my area that play Smoke on the Water aren't the same.  Yes, we all go way back to the decades old original to craft our version, but guaranteed, they're not the same.  That is the thing that often turns non-religious people off.  The fact that multiple different human creations are regarded as "what God said", would understandably make the non-believer a little suspsicious.

Like a person who has read/studied the bible and claims it to be the one true word of god.....but has not even read other books of faith before dismissing them.  Or did read them, but dismissed them without the same time and open mindedness given to the bible.  This is simply confirming something the person has already decided.  The reason for this is more a product of when and where a person is born than the actual content of the faith or book.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #162 on: November 04, 2014, 08:39:30 AM »
Read the KJV, the NIV, the NASB, or any other popular translation and tell me "Oh, they're all the same". 
They are all mostly the same. 

Translating from one language into another, especially from an ancient one to a modern one, is more art than science.  These are different translations done at different times in history by different groups of people with different points of emphasis.  Obviously the KJV is the oldest, so its English is more archaic and difficult for modern readers to follow.  And some translations have gone for more of an emphasis on direct literal word-for-word translation, also known as formal equivalence (the NASB, the NRSV), which sacrifices some of the idea and metaphorical content, while others have gone for a more idea-for-idea translation, known as dynamic equivalence (the NIV, the NLT), which sacrifices some of the word-for-word translation.  It is difficult to balance the two with an accurate translation. 

Other than that, the biggest difference is the exact manuscripts they choose to translate from.  The KJV translated from one group, while most of the more modern translations use a different group, made up of older texts (presumably more accurate).  So there are some differences in content between the two "schools" of translation.

But it's more or less the same.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #163 on: November 04, 2014, 08:48:53 AM »
different points of emphasis

This is where the idea of "sameness" is lost on me.  If we're going to make the argument that they're all essentially the same, then there would be no need for different people to try to emphasize different things about it.  It would just be what it is.  Maybe that's a very unlearned viewpoint to someone who knows the bible better than I do, but I'm positive that it isn't an at all uncommon thought process.

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #164 on: November 04, 2014, 08:56:58 AM »
different points of emphasis

This is where the idea of "sameness" is lost on me.  If we're going to make the argument that they're all essentially the same, then there would be no need for different people to try to emphasize different things about it.  It would just be what it is.  Maybe that's a very unlearned viewpoint to someone who knows the bible better than I do, but I'm positive that it isn't an at all uncommon thought process.
Well, I explained what those different points are, and frankly, they aren't (for the most part) any different for translating the Bible into English than they are for translating modern literature from other languages into English, or translating English movies into Chinese.

The differences are largely overblown, anyway.  You could look at any given passage from various translations and see that they are saying pretty much the same thing.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #165 on: November 04, 2014, 09:13:47 AM »
I don't see how anyone could expect me to believe an ancient book full of supernatural hocus pocus to be true. It's quite absurd really. And that goes for EVERY religion. Nowhere in world history books are they making claims of anything supernatural.

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #166 on: November 04, 2014, 09:38:45 AM »
I don't see how anyone could expect me to believe an ancient book full of supernatural hocus pocus to be true. It's quite absurd really. And that goes for EVERY religion. Nowhere in world history books are they making claims of anything supernatural.
Without a corresponding experience of God, I'm not sure why anyone WOULD expect you to believe it.

That doesn't mean that you have to insult it by referring to it as hocus pocus or absurd.  If you can't treat the topic with respect, whether you believe it or not, you should probably just not post in the thread.  There is no reason for any real conflict like this to happen.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #167 on: November 04, 2014, 09:47:11 AM »
I went through a *LOT* of deep research that led me to the conclusion that The Bible is something that bears the evidence of having been put together, protected by and maintained by the one and only true God that created all things. 
It's funny, because I went through a lot of deep research as well, and that led me to the conclusion that the Bible is something that bears the evidence of having been put together by ordinary, fallible men (of faith), and I see no evidence whatsoever of God's hand in any of it (as far as assembling the thing). 

Which probably goes to Jaffa's question.

Yeah, I think I've read a lot of the same books and taken some of the same classes probably. Whatever you believe about creation and deity, most of the question of the Bible's origins, politics, assembly, mistakes, mis-translations, forgery and promotion have been settled.

jammindude,

Reading through your posts the last few days has been all too familiar. I appreciate your commitment to your convictions and the sincerity of your rhetoric. I've heard the same arguments for years from Mormon apologists...that the truth of the Book of Mormon can be found by studying, and praying about the Book of Mormon. I could probably produce scripture from the BoM that confirms this view, if perhaps a little superficially. It's just one more step for them to say, when you find a group of people who agree completely on God's message as written in the Book of Mormon then you'll see God's true message.

I don't suppose the previous paragraph has made you eager to read the BoM.

Wow.   I woke up to a lot.   I'll start with the final sentence.

"However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, I now say again, whoever is declaring good news something beyond what you accepted, let him be accursed." (Gal 1:8, 9)

As with many things.  Knowledge is power.

Just woke up.  Having my coffee.  This was just the easiest and simplest to address.  Give me a minute.


EDIT: BTW...I do own a BoM for reference purposes. 
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Than the pride that divides when a colorful rag is unfurled." - Neil Peart

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #168 on: November 04, 2014, 09:58:13 AM »
I don't see how anyone could expect me to believe an ancient book full of supernatural hocus pocus to be true. It's quite absurd really. And that goes for EVERY religion. Nowhere in world history books are they making claims of anything supernatural.
Without a corresponding experience of God, I'm not sure why anyone WOULD expect you to believe it.

That doesn't mean that you have to insult it by referring to it as hocus pocus or absurd.  If you can't treat the topic with respect, whether you believe it or not, you should probably just not post in the thread.  There is no reason for any real conflict like this to happen.

How does one experience god?

Also, religion isn't free from scrutiny, but I'll do my best not to upset anyone even though it's in my nature as a moralless fiend to do so.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #169 on: November 04, 2014, 10:03:30 AM »
I don't see how anyone could expect me to believe an ancient book full of supernatural hocus pocus to be true. It's quite absurd really. And that goes for EVERY religion. Nowhere in world history books are they making claims of anything supernatural.
Without a corresponding experience of God, I'm not sure why anyone WOULD expect you to believe it.

That doesn't mean that you have to insult it by referring to it as hocus pocus or absurd.  If you can't treat the topic with respect, whether you believe it or not, you should probably just not post in the thread.  There is no reason for any real conflict like this to happen.

How does one experience god?

Also, religion isn't free from scrutiny, but I'll do my best not to upset anyone even though it's in my nature as a moralless fiend to do so.
There are lots of ways to experience God; I'm sure some of the believers here can relate some of their experiences.  I don't want to monopolize everything.

And I agree that religion isn't free from scrutiny.  So restrain your fiendish ways.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #170 on: November 04, 2014, 10:05:50 AM »
At least every Thursday, I experience heaven.  Not sure if that's the same as God, but it's close enough for me.

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #171 on: November 04, 2014, 10:06:50 AM »
I also have an issue with people using the book to prove the validity of the book itself.  That is bootstrapping.

And I actually asked for god to show me even a teeny tiny bit of inspiration so I may begin the journey as a believer.  I received nothing.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #172 on: November 04, 2014, 10:24:46 AM »
At least every Thursday, I experience heaven.  Not sure if that's the same as God, but it's close enough for me.
If you are talking about what you feel when you perform music, I think you are very close to it, honestly.

I also have an issue with people using the book to prove the validity of the book itself.  That is bootstrapping.
I agree.  It is also circular logic, and generally nonhelpful when talking with nonbelievers.

And I actually asked for god to show me even a teeny tiny bit of inspiration so I may begin the journey as a believer.  I received nothing.
I never received anything during my stint of time as a nonbeliever, either, even though I asked many times during that period.
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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #173 on: November 04, 2014, 10:28:42 AM »
My convictions (that I hope have had a visual impact on my life) are based on God speaking to me in three ways:
1.  The creation (it blows my mind).  Similar to Coz looking out his window
2.  The Word (since there is the accusation of "bootstrapping" I won't give my many reasons why)
3.  The transformed lives (just watched a movie last night about the Mob Boss Michael Franceze and his conversion story).

Though I cannot see Him, I have heard Him speak loud and clear enough for me to change my path.

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Re: What do you believe? How much do you really believe it?
« Reply #174 on: November 04, 2014, 10:31:10 AM »
At least every Thursday, I experience heaven.  Not sure if that's the same as God, but it's close enough for me.
If you are talking about what you feel when you perform music, I think you are very close to it, honestly.

Well, yeah, in the instance of musical performance, you're probably right.

Thursday = happy hour, alcohol, and chasing my wife around the house.