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How do you KNOW that you are "right"?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Draka, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    The trick to religion is we dont know who is right. For that matter, we dont even know what exists or doesnt. Religion is an idea. Like all ideas, they cannot be proved or define completely. Who can prove or define freedom, equality, or thought? All things require a faith. Even atheism. Atheism requires a faith that a person actually exists. As well as existance itself existing..Deism requires a faith that is the same. Neither can prove the existance of a god nor disprove such an idea.

    I am a Christian and believe the NT alone is complete and the truth. Christian is who i am and not what i do. However, i ask myself everyday if it is the truth. Ultimately it comes back the the idea of faith. Faith, in my definitionm is the trust that what we have indirect evidence of (there is no such thing as evidence in a hard sense. all evidence is subjective unknown if its truly proof or just thought of as proof) can tell us what we believe or precieve is true. What is worse though, is we cannot know the truth until we know death. By then we will either believe in a lie, such as Christianity, and wont "exist" to care, or we will regretfully find another religion correct.

    Religion is not a frivolous thing to consider. It defines how we act and who we are. But it is an idea and cannot be proven or disproven with absolute certainty.
     
  2. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

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    The first place that we are probably "bumping heads" is where it comes to the use of the word "impose". The definition of the word goes as follows:



    *** The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 ***
    Impose \Im*pose"\, v. i.
    To practice tricks or deception.
    [1913 Webster]

    {To impose on} or {To impose upon},
    (a) to pass or put a trick on; to delude; to cheat; to
    defraud. "He imposes on himself, and mistakes words for
    things." --Locke.
    (b) to place an unwelcome burden or obligation on (another
    person); as, she imposed on her friend to drive her
    daughter to school.
    (c) to take unfair advantage of (a person, a friendship); as,
    he imposed on his friendship with The Mayor to gain
    business.
    [1913 Webster +PJC]


    Now I don't see how someone is passing a trick on, placing an unwelcome burdon on, or taking unfair advantage of somene if they claim that their beliefs are right or that other people's beliefs are wrong. Especially if "everyone is entitled to their own belief", even if that belief is that their beliefs are right and other beliefs that are contrary are wrong. Now, something can be said for someone trying to phisically force another into believing the same beliefs that they hold to or using deception for the same cause. Thankfully, that is not the case here.



    One major difference between Greek mythologies and religions is that while Greek mythologies are based on ficticious charachters that have no historical validity, most major religions are based on people whose historical existence has been validated ( Islam= Muhammed [570-632 a.d.] Christianity= Jesus Christ [4b.c-0 to 30-33 a.d.] Buddhism= Guatama Buddha [563-483 b.c.]. Unlike Hercules who was half divine, In Christianity, Jesus existed before His incarnation, Is just as divine as His father, and had a completley different purpose and moral in life. I will assume that you reffered to lucifer as a "right hand man of god" in a metaphorical sense so I will not address that issue, but what needs to be clarified is that nowhere in Christian doctrine or Biblical scripture does lucifer disagree with god on "how to rule the humans, but rather wanted to gain a higher position than God out of shere pride (Ezek. 28:17 Isa. 14:13-14). This happened before humans were created. Lucifer was cast to the earth, not hell (Rev. 12:9). Lucifer will end up in hell at the "final judgement" (Rev. 20:10). His rule extends to the air, this world, and demons, not hell (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:2, Matt. 9:34, Mark 3:22, John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). Generalizing two things to point out similarities does not prove that they are the same thing. I can state that a radio and a television are similar because because they both entertain but that doesn't mean that they are essentially the same thing. I can't turn a radio on and expect to watch my favorite telivision show on a screen. On top of that when you look at the basic components of what they are made of and how they work, their differences become very appearant and it is very clear that while, yes, they both entertain, they are not the same thing.

    Christianity answers this question with the Biblical account in Acts ch.2. What happens is that before, God's message was only to the Isrealites. When God gave the gift of "tongues" the very same message was given in different languages so that people of different cultures could hear the same message and understand it. Notice that the message never changed and neither did it's perception. Have you ever played the "telephone game"? The object of the game is to say something in someone's ear and have that very same thing repeated in another person's ear without it changing. If it changes, then it is usually because the perception of the original message was changed. It is not the same message if it changed. I can not use different words and communicate the same intended message to you. It violates the basics of linguistic and communicative philosophy.

    There is something in philosophy called "First Principles" which are considered the foundation of knowledge. One of these "First Principles" is called the "Principle of Noncontradiction" which states that "Opposites can not be the same. For the one who affirms that 'Opposites can both be true' does not hold that the opposite of this statement is true. Not only is there opposing beliefs in the examples you gave earlier which I have pointed out, but even more obvious is our opposing beliefs on this subject. Simply put, they can not both be valid or true. Now if someone were to come up with something that opposes both of our beliefs, than both of our beliefs could be invalid and wrong, but all three beliefs could not be valid or true at the same time.

     
  3. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

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    I find this very suprising coming from a self proclaimed chistian. 1 John 3:19

    Sincerely,
    SoliDeoGloria
     
  4. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Many people do find my view surprising. However, as a Christian i must constantly test my beliefs to see if they are true. 1 Thessolonians 5:21 "Test all things; hold fast what is good." Thus far i have found the teachings of the NT true. As such i hold fast to them until my interpretation of the NT is disproven with overwelming indirect evidence. And then i would test those beliefs to see if they hold true. It is a never ending process. Thus far, my beliefs have held true.
     
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  5. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    You're right - physical would be blantant. But the impostion is what happens when some of a belief gets to be part of government rule. Policy is altered or re-inforced. It is not as bad as forcing a "big ticket" item of faith (for instance, requiring a belief in the Trinity for employment) but it works toward that end. Beliefs are fine on an individual basis and protecting those private beliefs is a cornerstone of our country.

    The imposition I feel is a degregation of freedoms for me and the many like me
     
  6. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    My main point has been on the archetypes of the various religions. There are the same archetypes of characters and places and actions if you would just take the time to look and study mythology.

    There are several religions with different cultural and geographical origins as well as originating at various times. I simply think it is possible that they all come from the same Divine and are left to our interpretation. We all interpret things differently. Just look at all the different versions of the bible and all the different denominations of Christianity. All that is due to differences in interpretation. Every religion probably has somethings to it that are "right" and somethings that are "wrong". Who are we as mere humans to possibly decide?
     
  7. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Do you mean 'accurate' and 'innacurate', as opposed to right and wrong ? There is a world of difference between the two.:)
     
  8. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    There is an interesting idea in philosophy: there cannot be opposites that are both true. one must be right and the other wrong. In christianity i would say that all things that contradict each other could be wrong. those that are in common true.

    That is a good pt, Draka. who are we to decide? Humanity is nothing in relationship to the idea of a supreme being.
     
  9. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

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    Believe it or not I actually agree with that position for a very interesting reason. You see, even as a Christian, I do not believe that morals/religious beliefs can be forced. One time, I had an interesting debate with another christian who believed that this country should be a theocracy. I disagreed with the person for the reason that if the Bible makes it clear that it didn't work for Isreal, what made the person feel that it could work for anybody else. On top of that it almost slaps at the very core of Christianity which is that humanity can not be "good" enough on it's own, if it could, there would've been no need for Jesus to have died on a cross to atone for humanities sins. I hope that my last post was not taken in that way since it was most definitley not intended to be taken that way. Anyways, I bet that if you truly looked at the real motives of people that promote ideas like that, you would probably find things like public relations or monetary motives hidden behind "religious" ones. But then again, I got an interesting perspective of politics at work through the eyes of a four year incarceration.

    Sincerely,
    SolideoGloria
     
  10. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

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    The same Paul who wrote that verse also wrote "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of this world, rather Than according to Christ." (Col. 2:8) You see, Paul, after his conversion in Acts ch. 9 shows no indication of waiting as if he thought there was a possibility of overwhelming "indirect" or direct evidence that could contradict his beliefs. When Paul exhorts the Thessalonian Christians to test everything, it should be noted that In the book of Acts (17:11) that Paul considered the Berean Christians more "noble" than the Thessalonians since they searched the scriptures daily to see if what paul was teaching was true or not. For anything to be tested, there needs to be a standard by which the thing being tested is tested against. The question then becomes, What is the standard you use when testing something? If you are waitiing for some evidence that overwhelmingly disproves your beliefs, can you say that you truly believe? Now, don't get me wrong, I actually don't think there is anything wrong with questioning one's beliefs. It could actually lead to more confidence in ones beliefs depending on what standard is used to test one's beliefs.

    My point is that archetypical simililarities do not make things the same thing and does not qualify to things that have essential differences to both be valid or right/truthfull. I can appreciate your knowledge of mythologies, but even that does not qualify things that may have archetypical similarities that still truly contradict each other in essentialities as being the same thing.

    How can we as humans have the mental capacity and reason to be able to "interpret things differently" and not the mental capacity or reason to decide whether or not one of the differences between two things is that one is "right" and the other is "wrong". We make decisions over whether things are right or wrong every day. We have been debating over whether or not it is right or wrong to decide whether a belief is right or wrong. This would not be a topic of discussion if it did not happen, but if one acknowledges that it does happen despite the human inability to do something like that, then they are logically concluding that these decisions are made on false beliefs and rendering these beliefs invalid while at the same time trying to affirm that all beliefs are valid.

    What separates Christian denominations from non christian religions is what these Christians denominations call Essential Christian Doctrine. If a group decides to not ahere to nonessential Christian doctrine, then the group is considered a nonchristian group. The Bible is not abstract art left to the interpretation of the reader to decide. Rather, just like most other books, it was written by authors with a specific intended purpose of communication. You would'n't want me to interpret your posts as agreeing with my beliefs that it is ok to declare one belief right and the other wrong because that is not what you intended to communicate. The same principle should be used when "interpreting" the message of the Bible and any other written language. Any perversion of that principle is a human fallicy, not a Biblical one.

    Sincerely.
    SoliDeoGloria
     
  11. Mathematician

    Mathematician Reason, and reason again

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    I agree with the original post. I take no one seriously who comes up to me and tells me they KNOW they're right. Why? Because there isn't enough evidence/support to show that such a thing. You can beleive whatever you want to beleive [heck you can praise a rock], but beleifs and being RIGHT are different subjects.

    As an atheist I'm always opened to listen to people. I don't consider myself "right", but I feel my way is more realistic than the other ones [at the moment] from the knowledge that I gather.

    Also let it be known that even if you "know" you are right; you really aren't. Why? Because knowing you are right.. again... requires proof. I could say that I know what 1 + 2 is, but if I don't know why 1 + 2 = 3 then I really don't know, do I?
     
  12. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    O.K ,what proof do you need in order to accept that something exists?:)
     
  13. Mathematician

    Mathematician Reason, and reason again

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    I hope I didn't misunderstand your question, but to prove that equation you would take 3 apples. Seperate them. 2 of them on the left, and 1 on the right. If you count up they make 3.

    If one of my sences can detect something then I feel it is "real". Everything around us can be seen/heard/felt/smelt [not just talking about the human eye].
     
  14. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    I use the NT to test. However, I also test the NT against itself and what evidence we have of its validity in archeology. If it truly is God's Word (as i believe) than it will stand up against all testing.

    GeneCosta: According to that reasoning you know you are right because your senses and reasoning tell you so. But are you right to think justice, love, and even thought exists? Those cannot be counted like apples can be. The idea of Truth, in a spiritual sense is the same as those ideas.

    The only possible way we can know if we are right is by testing and reasoning. Although there is a danger to such if its limited to just what we preceive. In the end, our senses fail us and so does our logic. This is were faith (trust) in the path walked through senses and logic begins and keeps us walking.
     
  15. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

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    My Apologies for wasting a post over this but I felt the need to correct myself. I would usually just let my mistake ride but I didn't want this one to come back on me later on. [​IMG] Stupid short stubby fingers anyways (hehe).

    Anyways, the way I intended the above quoted statement to read was; If a group decides not to adhere to Essential Christian Doctrine, then the group is considered a nonchristian group.

    Sincerely,
    SoliDeoGloria
     
  16. martha

    martha Active Member

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    Quote
    "The vast majority of the religions on this planet are very much the same, only the names and places differ really. The stories and morals are essentially the same. Is it not entirely possible, that since the Divine, by whatever name you call it, is so powerful that it could all be the same Divine in EVERY religion? Prophets and holy people pass down and teach what was divulged to them by divine inspiration. Since every culture and every person sees things differently, is it not possible that the SAME DIVINE PRESENCE merely presented itself to these people in different forms for them to understand the teachings and communication differently?"

    Say, my dear, who said you could go into my brain and retrieve that knowledge? When I was reading it, I thought I was talking to myself. I agree with you completely. Actually I posted that same sentiment almost verbatem in another thread. In reference to seeing what I have believed in this life, upon my untimely demise, I sure hope that is correct. For if it is correct then I am going to be way happy when I get there!
    Very good thread, thanks.
     
  17. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    Martha, thank you so much! Finally, someone who understood what I was trying to get at! :woohoo:

    I'm am just saying that since we cannot possibly know all about the Divine, can't we just take it that others know just as much as we do and just all agree to get along with each other? Why can't we admit that all religions are just as valid as others? If everyone were to live and let live so many problems and discrimination would be diminished so greatly. Whatever "plan" a Divine presence has for people, who are we to decifer what that is...even for ourselves? Live and let live. :jiggy:
     
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  18. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Martha,
    I was a bit confused on your post so forgive me if this isn't your quote but from someone elses post.

    The idea of God presenting Himself to other people in different forms and allowing them to set up religions based on these ideas is at odds with the Christian belief of salvation only being found through Christ. It would put God in the position of actively attempting to deceive people into following a false faith. Again, I'm making these observations from a Christian perspective.

    When your faith is based on there being only one way to salvation, it leaves no room for other religions being just as valid. I do support missionaries because I feel we are to spread Christ's message of salvation to those who would otherwise not hear it. It is up the hearer whether they accept or reject the message.

    As for live and let live....absolutely. We each have to decide what we consider to be the true faith (or perhaps no faith) because ultimately we are all responsible for only our own soul.

    Also, let me be clear that if someone chooses to follow another path, I do not respect them any less. I just don't think they're right. :D
     
  19. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    I was the one who made both statements Melody. I realize that what I propose is too hard for some people to accept as possibility, but it is a theory of mine. I don't see it as deceiving into "false" religions. As I put it earlier, it is to spread the message from the beginning to different cultures in a way that they could understand. A message of Divine love, however put, to me is not possibly "false" no matter how you might view it. Just LOVE.
     
  20. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Active Member

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    I sure hope that you are not assuming that I am promoting discrimination or not letting people live. Just because I don't agree with another person's beliefs as being valid or right does not mean that I feel a need to discriminate against that person or not let them live. Now while I understand that Christianity does not have the most peacefull history when it comes to this issue, that does not mean that the idea of discriminating or killing others because their beliefs are wrong is promoted in the Bible for christians to follow and not all Christians feel that way.

    Belive it or not, Christians are not the only ones that have a problem with this Theory. Many religions practice a degree of exclusivity. A great book to read on this subject is the current book I am reading "Jesus among other God's" by Ravi Zacharias, a Christian Apologist from India who has had a whole lot of experience with dealing with other religions and their exclusivity.

    Sincerely,
    SoliDeoGloria
     
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