1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Is "God's Word" Really Man's Word?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Aug 12, 2017.

?
  1. Yes

    18 vote(s)
    56.3%
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
    12.5%
  3. Other

    10 vote(s)
    31.3%
  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    63,573
    Ratings:
    +18,701
    Religion:
    Erotic Dancing Girls
    Various religions -- as well as numerous religious individuals -- make claims that they are passing along intelligible messages from their god(s). e.g. "The scriptures of our religion contain the word of God." Or, "God spoke to me and said...." But are there any reasonable grounds, apart from faith, for believing that these messages are actually "god's word"? If so, what are those grounds? Or are there more reasonable grounds, apart from faith, for believing these messages are actually "man's word"? If so, what are those grounds?
     
  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    17,172
    Ratings:
    +9,306
    Religion:
    Druidry
    I wonder if the perspective on this question hinges upon whether or not one's theology incorporates transcendence or immanence.

    It seems that claims about certain things - and only certain things - being divinely inspired happens exclusively in theoogies that emphasize transcendence. The reasoning would be that because their god is separate from the world, it takes some sort of special event for anything within the world to be divinely inspired. As far as I'm aware, this idea is a monotheistic thing as well, and this same notion would help support their ideas about things called prophets or revelations. It creates a clear division between "word of this god" and "word of a human" too.

    The picture changes dramatically the moment we instead regard the gods as immanent, or within the world. Suddenly the gods are everything, or have a hand in everything, and it no longer makes sense to say only certain things are divinely inspired. This is typical of polytheistic theologies, where prophets, revelations and all that are not really a thing. If the gods are all, "word of a human" is also necessarily divine, as the gods are in all things.
    This conclusion is not faith-based, but a logical consequence of holding to the notion of gods being immanent. The question for theologies emphasizing immanence becomes which deity is inspiring that person, not whether or not their words are divine. I'm not sure that process would be faith-based either. The gods are descriptive of various aspects of reality - we would say two lovers are inspired by Eros, because Eros is love. It's the sacred name we put to it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,281
    Ratings:
    +3,957
    Religion:
    Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
    I voted 'other' as 'yes' and 'no' seemed too simplistic.

    I believe that this is all One consciousness and we are experiencing it through finite forms limiting consciousness. I believe there are those more spiritually/consciously advanced than others and from these more advanced souls we can learn more of reality. This can be likened to the western concept of 'God's Word'.
     
  4. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    10,120
    Ratings:
    +2,190
    Religion:
    deist
    Thinking of 'Moses' laws' I had to vote 'other'...... because those laws were just too brilliant to attract a 'yes' vote, imo, and yet I could not show enough faith to vote 'no'.

    The way that I see 507 of the 613 laws, they were a brilliant guide for the Israelite people to become the safest, strongest, healthiest, fastest growing, cohesive most invincibe people that could possibly be surrounded by all those other tribes and nations.

    There is not one of the 507 that does not directly help to promote the above attributes. Amazing. And I just cannot figure out how humans could have produced that set of guides, rules and laws.

    Even the 96 separated laws (the sacrificial laws) did build up the Israelite community and help to sustain the leaders, the priesthood, whilst carrying out their roles and duties.

    In the UK we are continually discovering that our legislation is flawed, and need to repeal laws with huge gaps in them, and those laws have been written by experienced professional lawyers! The 613 were just brilliant for their time, way back in the day, and not one can be trashed if considered as ancient laws.......
    God or Man?
    Wow...... I don't think man is that smart! :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,295
    Ratings:
    +1,630
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Apart from faith-based experience, there is no evidence of "God" at all. But then apart from faith-based experience, there no evidence of love, or of beauty, or of justice, or of perfection, or of any number of such metaphysical phenomena.

    "God's words" come from men's mouths because "God's reality" manifests in mankind's mind and heart the same way that love, beauty, justice, and perfection are phenomena that manifest only in mankind's minds, hearts, and cognitive reality. The problem, for me, is not that mankind presumed to speak for it's gods, that's only natural. The problem, for me, is that some men presume unto themselves the absolute and unquestionable authority that they attribute to their gods, when they presume to speak and act on their god's behalf.

    It's men stepping into their god's job that inevitably leads to all manner of atrocity. Which is why whenever I hear a human presuming himself to be speaking for God, I feel like I am witnessing more possible atrocities in the making.
     
  6. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    21,700
    Ratings:
    +7,749
    Religion:
    ecumenical/unaffiliated/attend wife's Catholic church
    I had to vote "other" because I do believe the scriptures are written by people and are not inerrant, but whether there was any divine inspiration involved is beyond my pay-grade.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    42,574
    Ratings:
    +7,287
    IMHO
    the poll is missing the option "I Do Not Know"
     
  8. SearchingForGod

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Ratings:
    +94
    Religion:
    Seeker
    I have to second what metis said. I believe that these words could be divinely inspired, but as to whether they were translated without error or cultural influence, that is the question.
     
  9. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    13,268
    Ratings:
    +3,832
    Religion:
    Zen Buddhism
    Being god is an extension born from the human psyche, it's definitely the word of it's author.
     
  10. Politesse

    Politesse Amor Vincit Omnia

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,427
    Ratings:
    +1,016
    Religion:
    Startlingly Ecclectic
    All words are necessarily both.
     
  11. sunrise123

    sunrise123 The sea remains the sea whatever the drop thinks
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    18,557
    Ratings:
    +5,985
    Religion:
    Love
    The problems of translation along with falsification and interpretation are all real.

    I believe that religions are partly a "museum" for the life and teachings of a divine figure containing what is helpful for a limited time and place. And this includes legends, mythology and genealogy that might or might not have any relationship to actual history.

    Since I think that God is always the same and the fundamental messages are one and the same, the parts that are common to all the major religions such as the Golden Rule I take as Divine.
     
  12. Deidre

    Deidre اتبع القلب

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Messages:
    5,975
    Ratings:
    +4,503
    Religion:
    Spiritual
    I've been thinking about this lately, and the group think/herd mentality that existed back in the Bible times when it came to religion, was largely due to that there wasn't much diversity. If anyone deviated from heterosexual group think thoughts about how a community should be ''governed,'' they were shunned and put off as an outcast. Many Christians will say that the Bible's ''authors'' were all in agreement yet didn't live in the same areas, so how could it be just be random that the stories were similar? But, word of mouth, and the fact that there wasn't much in the way of diversity, and no technology at all, could easily lend itself to people all having similar thoughts about a god. ''My crops aren't growing, I must have done something wrong and God is punishing me.'' ''I've sinned, so God isn't rewarding me with children.'' On and on these groups seemed to create a god that seemed to be about reward and punishment, because that's how they lived their collective lives. So, ''God's word'' to me, seems more like people's attempts to make sense of why good and bad were happening, and once again, if you didn't agree with how they interpreted God, then you were shunned. The NT offers much more hope, and it's been thought that Jesus could have been an actual historical figure, but the story of his death and resurrection, the virgin birth, etc...it would require faith to believe it. Before the 'virgin birth' of Jesus, it was thought of in other religions, that the gods were having sex with mortals and producing 'divine' children. So, it's not that outlandish to hear the virgin story (back then) and believe it.

    The fact that many people believe these stories to this day, shows that if you preserve fables and hearsay stories in a book, and create this illusion that it's 'sacred' ...it's more convincing. Plus, the Catholic Church actually was the pioneer if you will, of moving the Christian faith along, even if you disagree with the Catholic Church, that's true. Luther eventually would reveal that the RCC was abusing its authority, and then now we have all these Christian denominations, sects, etc.

    So, my thought is ...it's man's word making sense of the Unknown. Calling it a god, and creating a religion to foster the group think, and control people who don't agree. And now, it's become a lucrative business opportunity. Just ask Joel Osteen about that. ;)
     
  13. sunrise123

    sunrise123 The sea remains the sea whatever the drop thinks
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    18,557
    Ratings:
    +5,985
    Religion:
    Love
    Your last paragraph about financial motives reminded me of a quote of Tukaram's I heard once about such hypocrites "Let their dead conscience be burnt; it is no sin to thrash them!"
     
  14. Deidre

    Deidre اتبع القلب

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    Messages:
    5,975
    Ratings:
    +4,503
    Religion:
    Spiritual
    Getting rich off of God's word....Diary of an American dream lol
     
  15. sunrise123

    sunrise123 The sea remains the sea whatever the drop thinks
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    18,557
    Ratings:
    +5,985
    Religion:
    Love
    And in India where Tukaram lived centuries ago.
     
  16. Satans_Serrated_Edge

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    2,946
    Ratings:
    +1,276
    Religion:
    The temple of ham sandwich
    All words are 'mans words'. Not even the most devout christians or muslims will dare claim their god wrote anything itself. It's always 'divinely inspired' or 'dictated by some magical creature' which, even if accepted as true in either case(fat chance), still leaves a flesh and blood man doing the writing (and interpreting).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Curious George

    Curious George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    7,716
    Ratings:
    +1,232
    The words are literally man's words. However, they are fuguratively god's words. Whether a person is correct to give importance to the latter will always remain questioned. Still, this should give us pause to think regarding those who would try to interpret any of these words literally as doing is suggesting a leteral interpretation of a figurative concept.
     
  18. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    11,251
    Ratings:
    +3,456
    Religion:
    Modern Animist
    Really?

    I have to disagree with you: ALL THESE THINGS exist already in nature, if you sit quietly and don't impose "Oh, we have to have a Big Guy God creating and ruling over this, to give it meaning."

    Every human culture that has ever been observed has notions of love, beauty, justice, compassion, perfection, etc. And, careful and open observation of animals suggests that other creatures also have notions of many of these concepts as well.

    Really: no love, beauty, justice, notions of perfection, etc., etc., without the Abrahamic Omnimax creator deity? Bull.

    If you think that's really true, please demonstrate it.
     
  19. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    11,251
    Ratings:
    +3,456
    Religion:
    Modern Animist
    voted other because such dichotomies are false
     
  20. fantome profane

    fantome profane quintessence of dust
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    8,967
    Ratings:
    +3,742
    When I read scripture I am always struck by the humanity that I find in there. Sometimes it displays the best of humanity, sometimes the worst. But for me there can be no doubt that it comes from a human source.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...