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Featured Atheist looking for religious debate. Any religion. Let's see if I can be convinced.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by infrabenji, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Baha'u'llah is not the same as God because God is apart from, and immeasurably exalted above all created things.

    “Regard thou the one true God as One Who is apart from, and immeasurably exalted above, all created things. The whole universe reflecteth His glory, while He is Himself independent of, and transcendeth His creatures. This is the true meaning of Divine unity. He Who is the Eternal Truth is the one Power Who exerciseth undisputed sovereignty over the world of being, Whose image is reflected in the mirror of the entire creation. All existence is dependent upon Him, and from Him is derived the source of the sustenance of all things. This is what is meant by Divine unity; this is its fundamental principle.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 166


    Baha'u'llah was a Manifestation of God and as such His Will was identical with the Will of God. That is what Baha'is refer to as Divine Unity.

    “The essence of belief in Divine unity consisteth in regarding Him Who is the Manifestation of God and Him Who is the invisible, the inaccessible, the unknowable Essence as one and the same. By this is meant that whatever pertaineth to the former, all His acts and doings, whatever He ordaineth or forbiddeth, should be considered, in all their aspects, and under all circumstances, and without any reservation, as identical with the Will of God Himself. This is the loftiest station to which a true believer in the unity of God can ever hope to attain. Blessed is the man that reacheth this station, and is of them that are steadfast in their belief.” Gleanings, p. 167

    As a Manifestation of God, the principle of Divine Unity also applied to Jesus and that is what it means to be "one with the Father."

    John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

    John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.


    Jesus was like a clear mirror, and God became visible in the mirror. This is why Jesus said, “The Father is in the Son” (John 14:11, John 17:21), meaning that God is visible and manifest in Jesus.

    “I and my Father are one”
    (John 10:30) means that Jesus and God are one and the same, so whatever pertains to Jesus, all His acts and doings are so whatever pertains to Jesus, all His acts and doings, are identical with the Will of the Father. Jesus and God also share the same Holy Spirit, so in that sense they are one and the same. Jesus also shares the Attributes of God so in that sense they are one and the same. The verse below says that God was manifest in the flesh; it does not say that God became flesh.

    1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

    `````````````````````````````````````
    The Works of Jesus were identical with the works of the Father and that is why Jesus said to the Jews:

    John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

    John 10:37-38 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

    I also go with the sham explanation rather than the symbolic one. The fact that the story was written as if true and it is not true means it is a sham. Abdu'l-Baha just had his own way of stating that and gave a suggestion as to what it might symbolize.
    Because of the principle of Divine unity we believe that whatever Baha'u'llah revealed is as if God had revealed it, so it has to be inerrant. Baha'is believe in the virgin birth because Baha'u'llah wrote that Jesus was born through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit and had no human father.

    "First regarding the birth of Jesus Christ. In light of what Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá have stated concerning this subject it is evident that Jesus came into this world through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit, and that consequently His birth was quite miraculous. This is an established fact, and the friends need not feel at all surprised, as the belief in the possibility of miracles has never been rejected in the Teachings. Their importance, however, has been minimized."

    (From a letter dated December 31, 1937 written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer)
    Lights of Guidance/Christ - Bahaiworks, a library of works about the Bahá’í Faith
     
  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Interesting. Baha'u'llah and the New Era was the first book I read. I was taken by that book and Baha'i World Faith, the hardbound version that has the Writings if both Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha. People keep asking me what the evidence is. For me it is the logic of progressive revelation, the unity of mankind, religions are all one, and everything about the soul and the afterlife.

    Mind you, I did not believe in God before I became a Baha'i but the Baha'i Writings all just made sense to me so it also made sense that there was a God behind it all. How else could all of this have been accomplished. No mere man could do it. Same with Jesus and His Revelation. It is so drop dead obvious to me.
     
  3. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    So a person chooses to not believe when they choose to not believe.

    That's some brilliant logic there. *Rolls eyes*

    Are you just trolling now?

    So this evidence is not just subjective? Do you have some OBJECTIVE evidence to share with us?

    Oh, there's plenty of evidence for Hogwarts. I've experienced it myself.

    If the "evidence" can't be tested by others, then yes it is just an opinion.

    All of which is based on the totally unproven assumption that there is an NON-material world.

    So you make up a new tool to describe something that can't be shown to exist unless you use this new tool, and this new tool gives different results when it is used by different people...

    ... and yet you expect me to believe you when you say it can tell me real things about the world?

    Please.
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    So this "evidence" is purely subjective.

    There's a word for that.

    OPINION.

    And why should I believe a single thing if I can not test the accuracy of it?

    Because you keep claiming that you have evidence to support your faith.

    You are contradicting yourself. You just said that there is no testable evidence, and you have also made that same claim many times before. Now you are claiming that the evidence IS checkable. So which is it?

    Or do you think that "checking" just means to decide something is true? Because that's not checking and it's not testing. That's called "leaping to conclusions."

    This is that "leaping to conclusions" thing I spoke of.

    I'm not going to assume that there must be some record and then claim that the records exist. I want to see the records for myself, or at least know that researchers studying this have found a record that claims someone named Jesus was crucified in the right place at the right time.

    Okay, this is getting into a different discussion completely, and I don't want to take this thread off topic. If you start a thread on the historicity of Jesus, I'll come over and answer this there.
     
  5. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you get to decide what you believe.

    You do NOT get to decide that other people MUST be wrong, and you do not get to decide what beliefs are false.

    And what OBJECTIVE evidence have I rejected?

    And I will remind you that for evidence to be OBJECTIVE, it needs to be verifiable through some test or tool, etc.

    Objective evidence definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

    Objective evidence - definition and meaning

    Objective Evidence: An Auditor's Secret Weapon - The Auditor

    Because personal judgement is SUBJECTIVE, not OBJECTIVE. And using the method you are proposing has lead to countless people around the world having countless different interpretations and conclusions. That does not indicate to me that they have discovered an OBJECTIVE truth.

    Rubbish. There is plenty of evidence that beliefs are false, and that is still evidence.

    No it doesn't. It's opinion, nothing more.

    No. You have claims that Mr B made and peoples different opinions about the claims. There is no evidence.

    So then you admit that your capacity to recognise evidence might be flawed?
     
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  6. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    Correction. Sara became a Baha'i in 1973 or 1974, she's not sure which. When she read Baha'u'llah and the New Era, it was while before she found any Baha'is. She had borrowed the book from a library. Originally, she heard about it from a Jehovah Witness, who said she had encountered sun worshippers. The sun in the mirror analogy was misunderstood. She didn't contact any Baha'is until Seals and Crofts came along. She was already a Baha'i really before she met a Baha'i.
     
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  7. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Yet, in some religions, including the Baha'i Faith, people are told to share the message, to share "The Truth".

    And how do we learn things if not from listening to others and reading what they wrote or something similar?

    Yes, we check it out against what others has said or wrote and make sure that what is being said is true. And what we think is true can and does change with what we learn later.

    So you believe what Baha'u'llah, Abdul Baha, Shoghi Effendi, maybe even a person like Bill Sears? You heard, from others, about the things Baha'u'llah said and taught. You've read books by him and about him and come to believe it as true. Is that about right or is there something else?

    Now others can read those same books by Baha'u'llah and books about him and find things that they don't believe are true. That's what I've done. Some of the things are great. Some of the things I don't agree with, so I'm not going to say he speaks for an all knowing God and therefore everything he says is true. But, if he makes that claim, then I've got to say that I don't believe he is speaking the absolute truth that came from God.

    But can Baha'is doubt some of the teachings of the Baha'i Faith? If not, then how are they different than a literalist Christian that believes, no matter how irrational, everything in the Bible?

    Then the other thing, I don't know of a person that can live up to the teachings of their religion. So they can say they believe it, but still, in putting into action, they live their lives as if they don't believe all of it. I've known Baha'is and Christian that compromised the teachings of their religion so much that you can tell if they are even religious at all. Drinking, cussing, drug taking, fooling around sexually... but dropping into a meeting or church service once in a while and playing the part of a believer.
     
  8. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    So you read it in a book. And the concept and beliefs of the Baha'i Faith made sense. Unity of mankind? Yes, I like that. But progressive revelation? No. Each religion is so bound up into the culture where it came from. There is no one version of Hinduism. It didn't start nor end with the teachings of Krishna. Whose teachings include things Baha'is don't believe in... him being an incarnation of one of the Hindu Gods and reincarnation. So then Baha'is have to interpret those teachings to fit in with Baha'is teachings. And I'm sure you're good with that... that the explanation makes perfect sense to you. We leave out a lot of religions. You say that is because they weren't "revealed" religions, but someone had to reveal them. And I'm sure in some of those religions it was some sort of prophet or messenger or an incarnation of some sort of Godly being.

    In the progression we get to Judaism. Was there a prior religion that taught monotheism? Then, Baha'is have Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses all being manifestations? Of the same religion? Anyway, the God that talks to Moses wants animals to be sacrificed to him. That is a progression from Hinduism? Some Hindus don't even eat animals. Then Judaism and Christianity don't acknowledge any other religion as being true and from the one true God... But say all the other religions are false and worship false gods. After that, I can see the connection between the Baha'i Faith and Islam, so there are partial connections between some of them. But still, the older one usually rejects that connection with the newer one. It's usually because of contradictions in the teaching. So the new one has to explain why those apparent contradictions aren't really contradictions.

    Then the teachings of the soul and afterlife? Which other religions teach the same things about the soul and afterlife? Hinduism and Buddhism? Judaism? Christianity? As far as I know, they all teach something different. Do you see some things that are the same or at least similar?
     
  9. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Did Baha'u'llah say he "unsealed" the Bible? I asked before, so here is one of those recurring questions because you keep saying the same thing as if it is true... Daniel was written long after other parts of the Bible. Those parts were understood, then got "sealed" and not understood anymore once Daniel 12 got included in the Bible?

    The New Testament... what does it have to do with the Jewish Bible? It's stories written by the followers of Jesus about Jesus. Why would Daniel 12 pre-seal something that wasn't even written yet and is not part of the Jewish Scriptures? Then, if you do seal the NT, why not seal the Quran also? Since Baha'u'llah hadn't "unsealed" the other Scriptures yet?

    And this "prison" thing... Everyone thinks that they are the ones the see clearly. It's everyone else that's blind and boxed in and imprisoned by their religious beliefs. To them, you are the one locked into your Baha'i box. It's part of that "relative" proof stuff. But, it's supposedly the Baha'is that has the key to get all the others out of their box, and get them to take their blinders off and see that all religions are one. But, they are not. The Baha'i Faith is just another box of beliefs that makes a person see the world through the Baha'i tinted glasses. Which, with some things, I'd agree, is better than seeing things the way some religions see them. But is it absolute truth or just a new version of a relative truth?
     
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  10. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    So I take it God is absolute truth? And it is absolute truth that Baha'u'llah is a messenger from God? So the important part here is "whatever Baha'u'llah revealed is as if God had revealed it, so it has to be inerrant."

    And it is interesting that you follow that with... "Baha'is believe in the virgin birth because Baha'u'llah wrote that Jesus was born through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit and had no human father." So that's what some of us have asked before... you believe this and other things, not because it makes scientific or rational sense, but because Baha'u'llah said so. And, "His birth was quite miraculous"? But his resurrection was BS? Oops! I mean "allegorical". I find that inconsistent. I say, if you're not going to believe in one dump 'em both.

    Okay, so this is what we've got... everything he says to do and believe we should do and believe because it is the same as if God said it. And you, and all Baha'is, without questioning it, now that you believe in him, follow and do as he says? Or, at least should try. But I'd imagine most don't? Which, if true, would mean we have a bunch of people that believe Baha'u'llah and everything he says is the absolute, inerrant truth... but don't follow what he teaches? They are "believers" in name only? Which is a typical problem in all religions. Unless you think most do follow and obey all the teachings? Now that would be something. But, I don't think they do and that kind of indicates to me a lack of a true belief, but you know... more of just a nominal belief.
     
  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Yes, we are told to 'share' the message of Baha'u'llah but it is not our job to 'prove' to anyone that it is true.
    Everyone has the capacity to prove it to themselves if thye want to take the time.
    That is how we learn but when it comes to deciding what to believe we should not rely upon what other people say.
    Hopefully what we believe can and does change as we learn more, if we learn more.
    That is about right. How else could I learn about the Baha'i Faith?
    Of course that is going to happen. Because people are all different in how they think and process information not all people are going to believe in the Baha'u'llah and that He was who he claimed to be.
    No, we do not doubt some of the teachings, it is all or nothing because of the Covenant of Baha'u'llah. The way we are different is that there is nothing irrational in the Baha'i teachings. You might consider something irrational but we don't.
    Bahai's do the best they can to live up to the teachings and follow the laws and we are all at different stages of growth and development. We are also early in the dispensation of Baha'u'llah so we have a long way to go before people become as spiritual as Baha'u'llah envisioned. But as I always tell you we cannot use the deeds and words of other people as a gauge for whether Baha'u'llah was so he claimed to be, which is all that really matters.

    What Baha’u’llah wrote in The Kitáb-i-Íqán on the very first pages is vitally important. The following is part of the last sentence of a longer paragraph, the part I want to point out and explain.

    “…… inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.” The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 3-4

    What it essentially says is that we will never discover the truth for ourselves if we use the words and deeds of other people as a standard by which to understand God and His Prophets. In other words, we cannot determine whether Baha’u’llah was a Messenger of God according to what other people say or do.
     
  12. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    All I'm saying is that when the Baha'is tells someone about the Faith, they are trying to give them reasons to believe it is true.

    Some people we trust. Like someone who has done a thorough study of somethings and tells us why they think it is true. Investigating the truth for oneself is I think one of the best teaching any religion could put out their. But I know people that has signed a declaration card at one of those mass teaching events with little knowledge of the Baha'i Faith. It was mostly by watching a teaching film about the Baha'i Faith and listening to a speaker. So all they had was the basics. Which are pretty impressive. Oneness of religion, oneness of God, oneness of all the people no matter what color of their skin.

    I think it was you who said that some, you probably said Christianity, divides people. So right there, just being accepted as being important, as being equal to others is pretty meaningful to lots of people. And these teaching trips were all to minority areas. My favorites were always to the Indian Reservations. I was up in Washington at Neah Bay at the Makah Reservation where there was a family of Baha'is. I went with them on teaching trips to Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Arizona. I liked it. But then I read some things I didn't agree with, so I didn't sign a card. Then, my best friend became Christian. So do other people influence you on what to believe? For me, definitely. I got involved and enjoyed being with Christians too. Then I learned things in the Bible that I didn't believe in, so I became totally and completely skeptical of all religious people that told me, "I have found the truth!"
     
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  13. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    You should be glad it's 'not your job', because it would be impossible to prove that it is true.
    More cultish rhetoric.
    This doesn't mean that there is nothing irrational in the Baha'i teachings.;)
     
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  14. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    But it is an indication how serious the followers of a religion are. And how practical the laws and rules are. If only a few people follow most of the laws, and the majority follow and obey only a few of the laws, then that religion isn't going to do much. And I'm concerned about the leadership of the Baha'i Faith. If they get too strict, that's no good. If they get too loose with the laws, that's no good. And then there is always, how well do the leaders obey the rules?
     
  15. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    But, even though you see him way above ordinary people, he's still a "other people". He is not you. Yet, you listen and trust him. Baha'is probably trust Abdul Baha' and Shoghi Effendi. How about the Hands of the Cause? Or members of the UHJ or how about the NSA, then what about members of your LSA?

    After Abdul Baha, I don't think they are expected to be right all the time with everything they do and say are they? But, Baha'i do listen to them, but then what? What if it's a little off? What if another Baha'i is little off? Who tells them that what they are saying or doing isn't right? Any Baha'i or some Baha'i in some position of authority? And what if that person is off? And since none of them are perfect, they are going to do or say something stupid some time or another.
     
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Other religions have no explanation but I have explained why there are contradictions numerous times so i won't explain it again.
    There is no reason to expect that all the religions would have the same teachings on the soul and the afterlife. I have explained why that would not be expected so I won't explain that again.
     
  17. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    I get the feeling that when Baha'is are told to go out and "teach" the Faith, that it means for them to try and be convincing. When I was with Baha'is while they were doing their mass teaching projects, they told the people things like, "He is the return of all the promised ones of every religion. He has fulfilled all the prophecies. He has brought new teachings for a new age. The age of fulfillment. His teachings are going to bring peace and unity to the world..." And there is proof. That greatest proof... He said so. Which, I take that to mean that if you read what Baha'u'llah has written and find out what the Baha'i Faith teaches, it should be obvious this guy must be from God.

    But then born again Christians do the same thing. "Jesus is the Lord of the Universe!" And then expect people to read the Bible and see that it is true.
     
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  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    No, Baha'u'llah did not claim to unseal the Bible but that is what He did. I am the one who has interpreted what Daniel said to mean that and I have explained why it means that numerous times so I won't explain it again. I do not care one iota if people don't like my interpretation. They are free to have their beliefs or non-beliefs and I will have mine.
     
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Yes, that is what I believe and what Baha'is believe, if they know what Baha'u'llah wrote regarding Divine unity.
     
  20. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we already know. The supreme reason is that they are wrong and the Baha'i explanations of apparent contradictions are correct.

    Except the "spiritual" teachings are supposed to never change, only the "social" teachings. So when a Hindu says that they have reincarnated, they are wrong. Because the Baha'i Faith says there is no such thing as reincarnation of a soul/spirit into a different human body. Some Christians say that some people, those that believe and follow Jesus, will go to heaven. Those that don't believe in the saving grace of Jesus will be sent to hell. Baha'is say different. Something about the soul progressing through many spiritual worlds of God? Is that right? Anyway, it's different. The Baha'is are right and Christians are wrong.
     
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