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Featured What convinced you?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Nimos, May 28, 2019.

  1. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I was raised Catholic. I think I always believed there was a God out there somewhere. I guess I knew some things that were supposed to be about God, but I never knew God or lived as if God really existed or mattered. For the most part, God was irrelevant. In my later twenties I did begin trying various spiritual paths and religions and did a lot of reading. I got pretty good at being religious.

    But then I met Jesus Christ and was changed and transferred from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom.

    The video linked below where the speaker shares the moment he met Jesus (between the 5:15 - 6:00 minute mark) is how it was for me realizing the presence of Jesus and my need for Him as Savior, except that I was at home, not in a church, not listening to a pastor, but reading a book. Though my identity was in this world and I was in living in darkness, I was not homosexual, yet that moment of coming to know Jesus and being born from above to new life in Christ, was exactly the same as his.

     
  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    A question was posed to me - if you could design the gods, what would they be like?

    This is not a rhetorical question or a mere thought exercise, though it seemed that way to me at the time I first ran across it. Theology - the study of the gods - always begins with deciding what the gods are for you in the first place. "God" is just a word. And like all words, it is defined by its speaker. Once defined, there is no "proving" the word, it simply is what it is by matter of definition. Questions like "do gods exist?" become pedantic and you begin to see that the important question is always "what do I want gods to be?" You take responsibility for your answer to that question and how it shapes you and your relationships.

    So nothing really "convinced" me. Not like the OP probably means. Once I became aware that the label "god" could be (and has been) applied to literally everything it wasn't a matter of that. It was a matter of determining what "god" means as word that maps territory, and what territory I feel it should be applied to. What was the story I wanted to tell, and why? It should be - and is - an expression of my values. My values are simply who I am. I do not need to convince myself of... myself.
     
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  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    This little book was and still is the single most convincing evidence…

    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
     
  4. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    Beyond time.
     
  5. Nimos

    Nimos Active Member

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    Do gods exists? I think is a relevant question to ask, if a God is said to have created everything, it would mean that we are living in his creation. Now from your quick tag, it say druidry so not sure if you also see yourself as a Christian as well? But if we imagine that God of the bible is in fact true and those that believe that non Christians end up in hell to experience eternal suffering are also correct, how can the question of whether God(s) exist or not, not be relevant? Even though I don't find God to be especially pleasing or attractive, I would probably prefer trying to live up to what he demands so I can avoid ending up in hell. That to me would be the only important thing to be honest.

    So what convince you ain't that what you wrote here:

    Once I became aware that the label "god" could be (and has been) applied to literally everything it wasn't a matter of that. It was a matter of determining what "god" means as word that maps territory, and what territory I feel it should be applied to. What was the story I wanted to tell, and why? It should be - and is - an expression of my values. My values are simply who I am. I do not need to convince myself of... myself.

    You weren't born with a druidry approach to life, so something must have made you think that this is more likely to be true than something else. Maybe its a lot of things so pointing out one thing is not easy, I can understand that.
     
  6. 1137

    1137 | O.S. Co-founder
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    We can use science to confirm the properties of mind and matter are ontologically different, or to show where the mind acts in ways not in keeping with how material nature works.


    A large, fast change in an already biologically evolved species that led to something ontologically separate from material nature. The UPR is well documented already.
     
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  7. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Unfortunately, no we can't. Science can only tell us about natural things. Things that are supernatural (are you comfortable with that term?) are outside science's purview. So if the mind has some sort of properties that go beyond matter and energy, science can conform nothing about them. In which case you'd have to demonstrate how you know mind has such properties, since science won't help.

    Oh, I have little doubt the UPR is well documented. What I doubt is that any peer reviewed research concludes that what happened in the UPR is naturally impossible. Again, if something "ontologically separate from nature" (supernatural) appeared in this era, science can tell us nothing about it.

    So again, I'm wondering how you came to such a conclusion?
     
  8. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    The god of the Bible is not part of my tradition, so I do not follow the story that their god created everything. In fact, I do not distinguish at all between "creator" and "creation" in the way most Abrahamics do. Rather, for me the world is the gods, which means asking "do gods exist" is quite silly even by constrained standards of what "exists" means.


    Nope, not at all. Druidry and Christianity are entirely different traditions. That said, the order I studied with doesn't explicitly exclude the prospect of blending Druidry with Christianity, but it is atypical compared to the frequency of Pagan Druids.

    Quite easily. There is simply no reason to let Christians - or any other cultural tradition for that matter - dictate the terms of our thinking. Insisting that questions arising from a specific cultural perspective must be relevant to everyone is doing just that. At best, it's innocent cultural bias. At worst, it's... well... let's not go there right now. :sweat:

    Interesting. I can respect that approach, but I can't be bothered with it. Especially since the Abrahamics cannot seem to agree on what it means to live up to what their god demands. Besides, why would I spend my time letting them erase my own culture instead of working within my own?

    Well, Druidry and the theology I adhere to are not really the same thing. I'm not talking about Druidry as a religious path there, I'm talking strictly the theology. And when it comes to theology, it really was a simple question that helped me shake out of the narrow thinking I had on the subject previously. From there, nobody really convinced me of anything. It really was just a matter of looking at what it was I already valued and recognizing "hey, those can be gods (and were, to our ancestors)."

    It's like that for many Pagans, really. Few of us are second-generation, so we are raised within the same classical monotheist box most Westerners are. We got told constantly that "god" must mean these particular things, and simply believed it because no alternatives were presented. But our experiences contradicted these teachings, often from a very young age. And because us first-generation Pagans lack any culture or community to support us and help us flourish on our own terms, who we really are ends up being squashed into the background by the cultural hegemony classical monotheism enjoys in the West. Until something cracks the veneer, of course. And the thing that cracked that veneer for me really was just a simple question. From there, it was a recognition of what I already was, not convincing me of something different.
     
  9. Jos

    Jos Active Member

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    What is the UPR?
     
  10. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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  11. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe it was an answer to prayer.
     
  12. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe it very well be that Buddhism strokes your ego. After all Christianity requires humility, Ouch!
     
  13. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe that one has been debunked because God ha no cause. The Bible says it is creation that implies the creator because things could not exist by them selves in such an orderly fashion and with as much sophistication.
     
  14. KelseyR

    KelseyR The eternal optimist!

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    I'm definitely not a believer, but I think that the most compelling reason a person might become Christian is the ability of the bible to elicit an emotional response through empathized persecution. The bible also plants an expectation to receive a message from God inside your head, and this often enough happens in response to one's desire.
     
  15. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Two thoughts come to mind:

    1) Even if we grant that "things cannot exist by themselves etc." that doesn't mean a god created them. You would have to actually demonstrate that.

    2) If "things cannot exist by themselves," then that also applies to a god. So if that's our starting point, it makes no sense to say he wouldn't have a cause as well.
     
  16. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    What I found within Buddhist teaching was Compassion for all living beings, no matter religion or background. I do think Christianity does have this in their teachings, but i can not find a lot about it in many christian people.
     
  17. 1137

    1137 | O.S. Co-founder
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    We can tell that the properties of the mind simply are not the same as matter, therefore not as accessible to science. For instance minds are not accessible to others and do not take up space.


    See above

    Upper Paleolithic Revolution
     
  18. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    If minds are brains, they certainly do take up space. Have we ever discovered a mind separate from a living brain? Also, all energy does not "take up space" in the sense that matter does, yet it is still observable and measurable, and therefore independently verifiable by scientific means. And even if minds were completely inaccessible to others, that wouldn't demonstrate they're supernatural, it could just as easily mean we don't currently have the knowledge or technology to access them at this time.

    Additionally, your claim was that, "We can use science to confirm the properties of mind and matter are ontologically different, or to show where the mind acts in ways not in keeping with how material nature works."
    This, again, is not possible by definition. You cannot confirm that something is supernatural using a method that presumes the object of investigation is natural. If something is truly supernatural, science can say nothing about it. Which again, prompts me to ask, how can you know anything at all about it?

    Sorry, but nothing you wrote above demonstrates that what occurred in the UPR was supernatural or impossible by natural means.

    You are essentially creating another version of the "God of the gaps" here. You don't know how something occurred, therefore your god must have done it. This has been a consistently losing strategy for theists of all stripes. The more knowledge we gain about the world, the smaller and less relevant these gods become. It is also logically fallacious. You cannot simply plug in your god wherever there is a gap in knowledge. If you want to propose your deity as a cause for a certain phenomenon, you have to actually demonstrate that, not just argue that other proposed causes are not feasible.
     
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