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Who Claims Authority?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by cardero, May 24, 2006.

  1. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Authority does have its uses, though it has limits as well.

    If I wanted to find out something about biology, would I ask a plumber?

    If I wanted to find out what it's like to live in Norway, would I ask you, or should I ask someone from Sri Lanka?
     
  2. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Or behind door #3: At the core they're all teaching the same thing, and they're all true.
     
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  3. mr.guy

    mr.guy crapsack

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    Except those religions that claim validity and truth to the exception of all others.
     
  4. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    I think it's reasonable to assume that any religion that claims validity and truth to the exception of all others is, by definition, false. A religion that makes such rash (and completely unverifiable) claims is seems unlikely to be gifted with any particular level of spiritual perception or insight.
     
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  5. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I believe that everything that has ever been written, composed or created is inspired. By GOD? Possibly. Before I was old enough to learn and experience the Bible, most of my truths had to be obtained from Beatle albums, Godzilla movies and children’s books.
    No one can obtain authority to any entity from reading a book and the interpretation of these writings will always differ. Also, what an individual is discerning is another author’s relationship with this entity and is not a good indicator of whether your relationship will be the same (no one has the same relationship with the same entity). I can and have read three books on the life and times of Jerry Lewis. It doesn’t make me an expert and does not give me the authority to conclude what Jerry Lewis likes, wants or needs. Someone as interesting and complex as GOD cannot even be contained to one (or many) book(s). I also believe it would take many lifetimes to completely understand GOD
    True, the only way to really K(NOW) GOD (in the NOW) is by direct confrontation. Like I mentioned there are many people qualified to claim authority for their scriptural texts but very few who K(NOW) if that is what GOD is really like.


    And besides it wouldn’t be kosher. I thought Aqualung’s statement flew in direct contrast to the statement posed that God treats us like individuals, which is why I threw in the vegetarian comment. I wasn’t trying to be funny but was pointing out that we decide what individuals we want to become, we decide the authority for our lives, not GOD. I know Aqualung was employing a illustration but why should I accept meat from God when I prefer (for one reason or another) to eat just vegetables?
    Some atheists do proclaim faith in something (government, science) but the atheists that do not subscribe to faith in religion or GOD, I believe are a living testament to an existence without GOD and are doing an admirable job BEing accountable for their own lives. This is something that organized religions haven’t been able to prove either, that all humans require GOD’s authority in their lives. What does this lead to? Some religions speculate an after-life sentence, punishment or judgment from God. I would believe that if God were easily offended or wished not to be mocked or wanted to maintain His authority,He would deal with the offense directly, swiftly, efficiently. Again, clearly not the case and counterproductive to the vengeful wraith-inducing God many religions try to promote.

    P.S. Welcome back.
     
  6. mr.guy

    mr.guy crapsack

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    Which is a shame, because i get the feeling that's the exact opposite sentiment they'd be trying to convey. One should think that a singularly centralized, bonafied authority would would at least have a leg up in this regard.
     
  7. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    So one man teaches that God has a body and another teaches he doesn't. Survey says: Hey, you can all be right, we don't care.

    One man teaches the devil doesn't exist, and other teaches that he does. Survey says: You're both right! Come smoke some weed with us!

    One man teaches that faith alone saves us, and other teaches that faith without works is dead. Survey says: Whatever you want! God's easy!

    Doctrine is either right or wrong. If this is not the case then religion is uterly and completely pointless, because you can reap the benefits irrespective of how you practice. The Bible tells stories of men and women who lived, fought and died for their faiths and now it doesn't matter what you believe, you all receive the same recompense as them, all in the name of universal acceptance.
     
  8. mr.guy

    mr.guy crapsack

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    Ya see, when you put it like that, it sounds like a nice thing.
     
  9. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Some things are just inspired to pay the author's bills. ;) Which is fine too. But then you're using an everyday definition of inspired, which is valid, but not quite the same as "God told so and so to tell humanity" inspired (assuming you believe such things ever happen anyway).

    I would suggest that our history thus far disproves your statement, at least as far as the different interpretations go. Whether the writings are inspired from a Higher Authority such as God is another subject.

    I agree. It seems absurd on its face to think that the finite can fully comprehend the Infinite, though we do try, don't we? :)

    In my case, it was enough to have a confrontation with the texts produced by the founder of my religion, who made claims to be delivering a message from God, though I thought it wise to investigate his personal background as well to see what his character and life was like, because we've all seen people who claim to speak for God and are just using that as a way to get cash or sexually abuse or control people. :(
    As a matter of free will, sure. But if one works from the premise that God has delivered a message and it's a valid message, and He's saying eat meat, why wouldn't you eat meat?

    I personally would prefer to drink wine, but my religion doesn't allow it, so I don't. Do I *like* the restriction? Uh...no. But I joined this religion not because it suits me, but because I believe it to be true. That is, I came to believe that Baha'u'llah was exactly what He claimed to be. And if you come to that point, believing that someone is actually delivering a message from God for this day, why would you then act against what you believe to be "true"?

    I used to be an atheist, for years, and was dedicated to finding the truth, even where it made me uncomfortable to find it. I worry about a truth that seems too good to be true, frankly.

    I would suggest that rather than "authority" what we need is God's love in our lives, that we give it to others freely, and that we could use a little direction in how to do that sometimes.

    Personally, I think the history of the past century is all about God dealing with offenses, in a sort of way. That is, failure to apprehend a truth results in consequences. A child that doesn't apprehend the meaning of "hot" is more likely to get burned.

    Because we have not embraced God's truth for this day, with all its implications, that "humanity is one" we have reaped the consequences, which are war, genocide, poverty and oppression.

    We can stop it all, any time we like. We could've prevented it all a century ago, if we had listened then. Eventually the violence, oppression and poverty will stop, but not until humanity accepts God's truth for this day: Humanity is one.

    Thanks! We had a wonderful weekend. And despite the fact that our AC is not working, it's worth it to be back online with y'all again! (Thank God for that whole house fan...or at least, thank the contractor who built the house with it. ;))
     
  10. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    How about this doctrine, which is taught by virtually all religions: God loves you. Love Him. Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Once we master those doctrines, then we can move on to reconciling those niggling little things you mentioned.

    Yes, doctrine is right or wrong. And guess what! Here's one that's right:

    God never taught any of us to kill or oppress others because we, veiled by our egotistical pov, assumed that of course *we* were the ones who were right, and that we were to be the instruments of God's punishment.

    As for people dying for what they believe, check out what's been going on in Iran for a century and a half. There are plenty of Baha'is who have become martyrs for what they believe there, and with the arrests this past weekend, perhaps there will be more shortly.
     
  11. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Faith is acquired in many different ways. Hearing the word, experiencing truth, cause and effect... and the list could go on.

    Faith is often maligned and yet it is used by every single individual who has ever lived. Many want to deny it in some sophomoric attempt to prove that they only rely on logic and facts. In reality, without faith in how our world works, we simply can not operate. In the same way, without faith in the spiritual realm a Christian can not operate.
    I am sure you have, and while I appreciate the offer, God has the corner on this IMHO. I would rather study what the scriptures have to offer, than something that has been written by a man.
     
  12. Evandr2

    Evandr2 Member

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    Then may I expect that you will, as of your statement, refrain from ever reading anything but scripture with regard to your spirituality? If so then I am sad to see you go because everything in this forum, save quoted scripture, is of man.

    One more thought, in my writings I make it very clear that the only sure source of confirmed truth is inspiration from the Holy Ghost. For me, ceasing to write is ceasing to teach and that is not what God intends for His children to do. I make no apologies for my efforts to spread the Gospel as I understand it but I do encourage others to take everything that I say to their Heavenly Father, as I do, before accepting it because He delights in teaching His children who have the humility to be taught.

    Vandr
     
  13. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    The problem that occurs with “God told so and so to tell humanity” is that any belief or truth that God tells you can eventually be observed and experienced in the NOW (today). Many religions think that many or all truths are exclusive and confined to a holy scripture. You will hear many preachers boast that everything you need is in the Bible. I am unlike any individual on this forum. This is not a form of bragging because I can extend the same consideration and observation to everyone on this forum. The Bible does not have the authority to speak for me. If anyone feels that they require their very own Bible with their own accumulated wisdom and experiences, let them write their own.

    Another problem with “God told so and so to tell humanity” is that it forbids and restricts God’s authority and anyone claiming it. For example religion A says the Bible told this author to preach this or God told our founding prophet to testify to the truth of God. The truth begins with the fact that GOD can speak for Himself and does not require the support, belief or defense of humans or their organizations. The moment that God requires a human to carry a message you have already discredited a Supreme Being’s omnipotence or ability. If God has something to tell me, tell me directly, don’t send a prophet or a messenger angel, they cannot be equally validated and the postage rates are outrageous.
    Some religions really never have valid reasons for God’s Authority. When questioning God’s Law one usually receives the response “Because it is in the Bible” which is not a very good reason. It is the equivalent of a child asking their parent why they are telling them to do something and the parent responding; “Because I said so”. This is a poor excuse and children usually don’t respond very well to this response, it diminishes their parent’s love, intelligence, trust and authority.
    The best truths are the ones that disturb or upset. Truth can also be very offending to practitioners of faith.
    Yes but how can a religion claim Authority through GOD’s love if they have never experienced it? Promoting a God of judgment or punishment or vengeance is an entity to be avoided unless someone really enjoys encouraging relationships like that. I do not encourage any relationships with any entities that judge me or are a threat to my life or the future of my well BEing.
    Again the child does not have to look into the Bible to realize this. Thanks to the advent of ignorance (which in my opinion never goes out of style), a child does not even have to experience it first hand but through observance. There are many, many opportunities for truth to present itself.
    Robert DeNiro proclaims to the Sam Lowry character in the movie BRAZIL that “we’re all in this together”. “We are ONE” is also a very pronounced message in my conversations with GOD.
     
  14. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    It doesn't, but we aren't talking about "all times", we're talking about this specific instance.
    Not so. Knowing that a fire will burn our hand doesn't mean that we won't be able to burn our hand if we want to. Knowledge and free will are not mutually exclusive. Knowing what will happen doesn't remove our ability to choose. In fact, we don't really have a valid choice until we know what the real consequences of our available options will be.
    That's what I was asking you.

    If it were a false dichotomy, then all you need do is offer the missing alternative. But you haven't. Instead, you're trying to offer an explanation: that our ignorance and our suffering is necessitated by our having free will. But this answer doesn't work, because we're not willingly choosing to be ignorant, nor are we willingly choosing to suffer as a result of our ignorance. So in fact, our ignorance is denying us free will rather than giving us free will.
    And yet they aren't working. This is my whole point. Why would God use such a flawed system (religion) for conveying wisdom to us and ending our suffering when God could have simply made it happen perfectly and immediately at will? Why is God allowing us to suffer in ignorance? Does God want us to suffer, or is it that God simply doesn't care that we suffer in ignorance?
    No one willingly chooses to suffer. We suffer because we don't clearly understand that some of our choices will lead to our suffering, and to the suffering of others. And we don't fully understand this because the knowledge of it is not clear in our minds. And the knowledge isn't clear in our minds because God has not made it so, even though we presume that God could have done so.

    You're trying to claim that we need to be ignorant in order to have free will, but free will depends upon our knowing our choices. If we fully understood our choices, and the suffering that would result from them, we would not choose to suffer. Instead, we don't fully understand our choices, and so we mistakenly make choices that cause us and others to suffer. God could have eliminated this suffering by making us fully cognizant of our choices and their consequences, and in so doing God would have increased our free will (as free will depends upon knowledgable choices). But instead, you claim that God has chosen to use a flawed method of communicating wisdom to us, so that many of us would remain ignorant, and suffer as a result of that ignorance, and you're calling that free will. But it's not free will at all. It's the enslavement of ignorance and the suffering that results. And you claim that God does this so that we will have free will. In allowing this to occur, God has denied us free will, because free will depends upon our having and understanding our choices. Free will is only a fantasy concept if we have no viable choices available to us, or we don't understand the consequences of the choices that we have.
    That's just it. It's not logical to assume your premise to be true. And so far, you have not been able to explain to me how it could be.
    Again, we do not willingly choose to suffer, so the fact that God allows us to suffer is not a condition necessitated by our having free will, but rather caused by our ignorance of the real consequences of our choices.
    No, actually, your answer falls flat. Our free will is not dependent upon our being ignorant, as you're trying to assert, it's actually dependant on our being knowledgable. Our suffering is caused by our ignorance - ignorance which an omnipotent God could eliminate - leaving us with the question: why does God allow us to suffer in ignorance, when God could end our ignorance and the suffering that comes from it?

    Your answer doesn't work because free will does not depend upon our being ignorant. Do you have another?
    If we had perfect knowledge, and then chose to act in ways that cause ourselves to suffer, then our suffering would be based on the fact of our free will. But none of us is willingly choosing to suffer. We suffer because we don't have perfect knowledge, and so we make choices that we don't believe will cause us to suffer, but that do so in the end. This is why your argument doesn't work. Our suffering is not the result of our having free will, it's the result of our ignorance.
    This is a different discussion. Not all suffering is the result of human ignorance or choice. But we're only discussing the suffering that is.
     
  15. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I have read it and I thought it was well written and I even agree with many points. The only concern I found with it, is that is it not deeply reflective.
     
  16. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Sorry, while I participate in many discussions throughout the day (such as this cyber discussion), I rarely agree with a person enough to read their LENGTHY thoughts on God, ESPECIALLY if they are quick to jump to conclusions and twist what I posted. If I was into reading books, I would not be here nearly as much. I get far more from the mutual exchange on a personal level: it has nothing to do with you.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Quite right. No part of the one Body has all the answers. All parts share equally. No one part gets to be the keepers of all the knowledge, all the commandments, all the grace, all the salvation, all the authority, etc. It sounds too much like the leg not wanting to cooperate with the other leg and the arms.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Could be all do...
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Does it really matter, in the grand scheme of our spiritual journey on earth, just exactly what the nature of God's body is? No. Most people make prolific use of the computer without understanding its nature. Many people drive cars every day without understanding how the motor works.

    And it won't matter in heaven, either. God will take care of God's children. God promises us that. Isn't faith in that promise good enough?

    Again...what does it matter in the grand scheme of our spiritual journey? Or are you advocating the tired, old "The devil made me do it" routine? Personally, I don't care whether the devil exists or not. I don't spend the preponderance of my time thinking about the devil. I'd rather spend my time loving God. And, personally, I think that weed has been way overvillified. No worse than alcohol and, in some cases, not as bad.

    Maybe both are right...Maybe it's the faith of Christ in being obedient to the point of death that saved us. His faith was certainly borne out by saving works. Maybe our faith should work the same way.

    We don't worship doctrine. We worship God.

    Finally...somebody gets it! We're all saved, or else Christ's sacrifice is meaningless and God's will is not done.


     
  20. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    Hey, people can make mistakes in understanding some things, and it doesn't render the original message untrue. Misunderstood, maybe.
     
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