A few quick questions about "God"

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Ellis, May 19, 2011.

  1. Ellis Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    105
    Hi all,

    This is my first post here on Sciforums, although I have been casually enjoying this site since 2006. I'm 39 years old and have worked in the Business Development / Sales side of the Construction industry for around 15 years. I only went to community college (Law and Security) but didn't end up pursuing a career in policing as originally intended. I decided to go back to school and have just completed my first year of a civil engineering program. It has been a long time interest of mine and I am having a blast.

    I have taken the time to introduce myself, because I am not an intellectual, nor am I well educated, but I have some questions I would like to ask and feel I may get some direction from the contributors here. To be candid, my grandfather (a religious man) past away yesterday, and I promised to attend his church once a month. I fundamentally have some difficulties with religion and am hoping you lot may assist me in asking the right questions (not necessarily to my grandfathers congregation).

    I guess I'll start by saying that I "might" believe in god, but do not have much respect for organized religion. In my experience, it seems we are exposed (directly, or indirectly) to religion and are naturally curious about how we came "to be" even while we are very young. Therefore, the nature of belief or faith being paramount to embracing the system (that I was exposed to), relies on the fear of non-compliance being shameful or ultimately suffering eternal damnation to broadcast its certainty. Then, the mechanics of how I've approached information regarding religion has always been one of a default acceptance of a God but search for information to support this logically. It seems to be the emotionally safe process. To not believe, and look for proof, seems like a "bad boy" methodology.

    To move this along... I think (I was going to type believe, but thought better of it), that we are constantly in a Roger Rabbit - Shave and a Haircut state of awareness. We need to inherently "loop" our information to be comfortable. We need to call to understand an answer and vice-versa. I'm not sure if this is simply a biological state to help statistically assist with the preservation of the species or what... that's beyond me.

    Right off the start, I have trouble with understanding what version of the bible to take seriously (from a studious perspective). Not from a position of faith, but one of authenticity.

    Lastly, I think that much of the terminology used to attempt to define god or argue whether or not he exists is lagging significantly behind the science that surrounds us. As the "details" of existence become more and more quantifiable, the superstitious nature of religion comes to the surface. Could you please suggest to me some readings that I might look up to try and understand more succinctly the modern view of conventional religion and how it relates to science?

    Thank you to any who respond. I, again, have been a fan for a few years of this site and look forward to any advice you can give me.

    Best Regards,
    Ellis
     
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  3. jamesbrentonk Banned Banned

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    Indeed, it actually seems as if God should be given a full blown factual accountinzation, otherwise it serves no actual purpose. Keeping in mind the same time that any conversation about it would only be restricted by the same absolute nature of the inquiry....
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Ellis,
    Possibly this will all be useful in learning the art of tolerance of differing beliefs and points of view?
    For example: You're on a crowded train with over 300 persons on board.
    How many different beliefs and belief systems are present? [ an awful lot ]

    You go into your fathers local church and most are sharing similar POV and beliefs yet you may realise that under the guise of concensus there are many other differring POV(s) ....and so on....
    Why should you be any different than being just another person with a differing POV?
     
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  7. jamesbrentonk Banned Banned

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    80
    I would have you know this is a fully speculative post, and without explaining it you're way above your head with it.... I'll be leaving this forum now btw.
     
  8. frances Registered Member

    Messages:
    3
    It's probably not possible for free will to exist if god is omniscient. Let's say that free will is possible. A typical White man, let's call him "Bob," freely chooses to do X. (Suppose X is some inherently evil act, such as torturing a puppy to death or marrying a coon.) God knows Bob will choose to do X even before Bob is even created. (Christians presume that god has created Bob and presume that god knows everything.)

    What is the purpose of god making Bob in order to punish him later for doing things that god knew he was going to do before god even made Bob?Why doesn't god punish himself for making a being who god knows will diminish the world's quotient of moral good?

    If god has a problem with evil then why would god make evil possible? If god has a problem with Bob doing evil then why would god create Bob in the first place? What makes evil possible is god and if evil exists it's because of god. This follows from god making evil possible and from the other assumption that god made everything.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  9. frances Registered Member

    Messages:
    3
    Round squares can't exist (since round and square are mutually exclusive attributes). So do round squares exist? Of course not. The same principle applies to many of the attributes affixed on god.

    God cannot be both omniscient and have a free will, and without a free will god is an arbitrarily defined cause and not a creator, and did not create the universe.

    God cannot be omniscient if we have free will (unless he exists wholly outside our dimension of time, in which case though he is meaninglessly defined).

    God cannot be omniscient, omni-benevolent and omnipotent or God would recognize evil in the world, would care to stop it, and would have the power to stop it, but there is evil in the world and God does nothing. And a slight variation: if God wanted us to be saved and he's omnipotent he could have and would have made his presence clearly known, but he hasn't.

    Omniscience is logically impossible for any meaningfully defined being; omniscience also violates quantum mechanics. This is because to be meaningful it must be physical and have a physical mind, but then God's knowledge about the world and his knowledge about himself exceeds the memory capacity of the universe (God's mind must store information about all particles + the information about the part of his mind that stores that + the information about that and so on.)

    It's logically impossible for any being or thing to have caused or created the universe since to do so it would have to exist before time, which is nonsense. Therefore God cannot have created the universe.

    Each point should be read as falsifying a particular definition of God (e.g., creator of the universe; omniscient, omni-benevolent and omnipotent); each one shows some logically contradictory property in the common Christian definition, and shows that the Christian God does not exist.

    Furthermore, the Problem of Evil shows how we're lucky that God doesn't exist. If God did exist, he would be evil. It would be the supreme, infinite, evil scandal.
     
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    53,966
    What the fuck?
     
  11. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    10,515
    holy shit!

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  12. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

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    hey ellis,

    welcome. imo, if you want to go to church to honor your grandfather then i think that's great, just remember why you're doing it, because practicing a religion or attending a church isn't an answer in itself. please try to big picture things, and don't get lost in the trees. there are many trees, but only one god, and god is always the same. it's fun to study something that interests you, so go ahead. just don't think that your study will bring you an answer. not THE answer. THAT answer is inside of you.

    if you big picture the bible for example, the message is that god communicates to, and does a work in men via the spirit. so have just enough faith to believe that if god really is who he should be, then logically he could present himself to you in a way that you can know and can understand.

    best wishes.
     
  13. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,197
    Going to church on a promise to someone else.

    I have taken the time to introduce myself, because I am not an intellectual.

    (don't judge yourself so harshly, what is an intellectual anyways? Someone who asks questions and ponders on the very questions asked is an intellectual, your trying to think outside the realms of what you've been accustomed to think about before, now that your Grandpa passed away, and you promised to attend his church once a month brings about events in your life, that you've reached out somewhere to ponder and ask questions about things you perhaps have very little understanding off. So you come ask questions, and ponder on the answers given, by people you may think are intellectuals. We know no more then you, nor less when it comes to god, all we have to offer really is our opinions, and how we justify those opinions by the use of science, history, and our understanding of religion in general.)
    So it's ultimately up to you, whose opinions you will take more literal then others.

    I fundamentally have some difficulties with religion and am hoping you lot may assist me in asking the right questions (not necessarily to my grandfathers congregation).

    Here's the problem, there are no right or wrong questions, just ask away, and get into debates here on sciforums or anywhere else you meet many people with different sets of opinions. And in your Grandpa's congregation, well be careful lots of Christians get defensive of questioning of their faith, just tell them "I'm here to learn a bit" and that will keep you safe for a spell.

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    I guess I'll start by saying that I "might" believe in god, but do not have much respect for organized religion. In my experience, it seems we are exposed (directly, or indirectly) to religion and are naturally curious about how we came "to be" even while we are very young. Therefore, the nature of belief or faith being paramount to embracing the system (that I was exposed to), relies on the fear of non-compliance being shameful or ultimately suffering eternal damnation to broadcast its certainty. Then, the mechanics of how I've approached information regarding religion has always been one of a default acceptance of a God but search for information to support this logically. It seems to be the emotionally safe process. To not believe, and look for proof, seems like a "bad boy" methodology.

    (And you think, your not an intellectual?, The attitude you take to your Grandpa's congregation should be simply complying with the old man's wishes and let them know as well, and basically that your there to learn a bit, however it's ultimately up to you, how long you will comply with this wish of your grandpa, how long would it take for you to say, "well the old man should be happy, I came at least 6 times and that's that", unless you happen to really like the communality, of going to church and meeting new people and everything, lots of variables to think about, anything could happen, you may just meet the love of your life there, who knows, just keep an open mind, and accept only the pills that you may think you can swallow, no one really needs to know what you think of religion, god, the bible and all you may use this as something to be social with others. My father was an atheist and he regularly attended church with my Catholic mom, just so he could spend more time with us.

    Right off the start, I have trouble with understanding what version of the bible to take seriously (from a studious perspective). Not from a position of faith, but one of authenticity.

    None are authentic, the bible has been translated so many times from Hebrew to Greek, to Latin and to every other language around the globe, it has been altered to fit so called "prophesies" after the fact, and been altered since the beginning of it's writing, also many books been excluded, while a committee basically decided which to include and have it's final version printed. So whatever the congregation of your Grandpa uses should be adequate enough.


    Lastly, I think that much of the terminology used to attempt to define god or argue whether or not he exists is lagging significantly behind the science that surrounds us. As the "details" of existence become more and more quantifiable, the superstitious nature of religion comes to the surface. Could you please suggest to me some readings that I might look up to try and understand more succinctly the modern view of conventional religion and how it relates to science?
    (Start at Barnes & Noble and pick up whatever sounds contemporary on defending the delusion of ancient religion, while your at it pick books on former preachers that have become atheists, one particular author comes to mind is Dan Barker's "Loosing Faith in Faith" and "Godless" Also John Loftus "Why I became an Atheist"

    "Good Luck"

    Godless.
     
  14. yaracuy Banned Banned

    Messages:
    364
    . Could you please suggest to me some readings that I might look up to try and understand more succinctly the modern view of conventional religion and how it relates to science?

    Thank you to any who respond. I, again, have been a fan for a few years of this site and look forward to any advice you can give me.

    Best Regards,
    Ellis[/QUOTE]

    //////////////////////////////////////////

    Set religion aside . Find God in spirit , were his blue print is 10 commandments
    and love your neighbor as yourself. The goal is to live in a life of sanctity like Jesus ( He is the way ) That is all the religion you need. Get together with people of the same belief for spiritual support.
     
  15. NMSquirrel OCD ADHD THC IMO UR12 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,478
    use them all..here is an online parallel bible
    no single religious text is THE answer. the more you seek, the more you will know.

    how/what do you think of it?
    IOW, are you still seeking an ultimate authority to 'do as your told'? (see lori's post about you are your own authority). do you believe in the 'do this/get that' ideal?

    but the advice i liked the best for you is, find out who you are first before letting religion corrupt who you are..(serious paraphrasing..)
    what is God showing you?
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,484
    Godless:

    Could you please use [noparse][/noparse] tags when you quote somebody else? It's confusing when you can't tell which words are yours in your posts and which ones are quotes of a previous post.
     
  17. Ellis Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    105
    Hi All,

    Thank you very much for your responses. I suppose I was initially hoping to read up on the subject so not to seem completely uninformed when speaking with people in my grandfathers congregation but, I'm not so concerned with that now. I haven't attended yet, as I've been busy weekends renovating his house with my dad in preparation for it's resale. I did call over and speak with one of his friends from the church and let him know why I will not be attending for a month or so. When I was talking to him, I let him know that I'm not interested in subscribing to any particular faith at this time but, definitely feel our family should be represented seeing as how close my grandfather was with the church members. So, for now I'm content to stop by from time to time to pay my respects on his behalf. I'm sure it will be appreciated.

    I really can't see myself being comfortable following most churches dogma(?) as from my current experience they are generally too intolerant of others for my liking. But, we'll see how it goes. If anything interesting should happen, I'll be sure to post it. Thank you again.
     
  18. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    Wishing you well on your quest.
     
  19. Adstar Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,782
    G'Day ellis.

    You seem to be well enough educated to me.



    You promised your grandfather? I can understand why i would feel great pressure to give such a promise to a dieing man but I would know it would be wrong for the dieing man to seek such a promise and the grandson to be put into such a position. As a Christian i would have not made that promise. I love God more than i love men.



    Well in respect to our position on "organised religion" i agree with you. And you will not find many contributors in this forum who are organised religion supporters. There are some.



    Yes this is true.



    Yes that sadly is how it is for most people who have experience of religion.

    But faith should be about coming to the knowledge of the Love of the truth of the Messiah Jesus and embracing it as good without thinking about Eternity with God or eternity in the Lake of Fire. I don't believe God because i want to go to a paradise or because i want to avoid a lake of fire. I believe God because His message Is true and good.

    Religions built on fear never holds people for life, because people cannot maintain fear for life. Fear is very draining, But love, admiration and deep agreement are things that come natural they are easy to maintain.



    Well if a person’s sense of independence and security is based on a foundational belief that a God does not exist then there is nothing another man can do to convince them of the existence of God. All arguments will have counter arguments. All that is left is the Message of God and whom will be attracted to it and whom will be rejecting of it.



    Well i must admit this verse is "beyond me" So i will leave it and move along.



    I came to believe God while reading the New King James Bible. I quote it almost exclusively in forums that i contribute to. I also use the old King James Bible.



    Ahhh sounds like you have already been pre-programmed with anti-Christian terminology "superstitious". I doubt now after reading this paragraph you will ever come to truly believe in the God of Abraham. Your probably taking part in this forum to seek justification in the rejection of God. But i am a mere human being. God actually knows you and knows what you are going to do. He knew you before you where born.

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    "Modern view" Another hint for me. You will find religion that does it's best to conform to current scientific views. You will find religions that seek to conform themselves with current social views. You will find religions who will do there best to prostitute themselves to current political views, and you will find many religions who have done their best to conform themselves to mankind’s general views.

    But there is the View of God. That’s the view you should be seeking to find... that’s if your really want to discover the true Faith? If not then there are an almost limitless variety of theologies and philosophies out there designed for all personality types and political needs. One I am sure is designed for a person with your world view.

    No worries Ellis. Cya laterz mate if God is willing that is.

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    All Praise The Ancient Of Days
     
  20. Adstar Valued Senior Member

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    What the..

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    Let me second that, and declare the motion carried.

    When is this racist going to be removed from the forum?


    All Praise The Ancient Of Days
     
  21. Adstar Valued Senior Member

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    3,782
    Well from my experience most churches are very tolerant. I do not see roaming bands of Christian youths bashing people on the streets for swearing and cussing. Even the most "proactive" little churches like the westbro baptist, i never see them pulling out guns and shooting down gays who confront them at their protests.

    Never mix up the words .Tolerance and Acceptance. Tolerance is not needed when one accepts the others Point of view and deeds. Tolerance is needed when you don't accept the other persons POV or deeds. Tolerance simply means not allowing ones disagreement with another to spill over into violent confrontation.



    All Praise The Ancient Of Days
     
  22. charles brough Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    476
    Ellis, I am impressed by your insight. Let me suggest the following:

    Let's start by satisfying your promise to your granfather by attending the Universalist Unitarian church once a month.

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    Then, restore you self-integrity by being genuinely curious and relying only on reason and evidence. That means not accepting the existence of some being because no one can prove he does NOT exist. It is not possible to prove the non-existence of anything---even of Santa Claus. Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy?

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    We are part of nature, a being that has struggled through a long evolution to finally gain control of the Earth through with the help of science. To continue our existance and control, we need to spread out and colonize space. I believe that we need that goal in the ideology of science itself.

    brough
    civilization-overview dot com
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  23. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,891
    After thinking about your OP overnight for an answer, I fall on to Jesus: The Word Of Jesus.

    Forget about 2,000 years ago and forget about the church, any church altogether and concentrate on the words of Jesus.

    And if you can't, then forget the Bible and concentrate on a bunch of words I am telling you.

    Here- I will print out the Jefferson New Testament which does exactly that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

    Read the Sermon on the Mount.
     

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