God can only help, not hurt - Japan Earthquake, and the religious response.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by spidergoat, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. John99 Banned Banned

    Probably some mental issues just as anyone who creates an alternate reality of themselves but i also question why people take this so seriously. There are millions of similar videos, web sites and blogs by disturbed people.

    What do you do in real life when encountering a disturbed person? A normal person distances themselves. Otoh, she may have thought it was a joke...lets face it, were it not for the content she would have gotten away with it. Dont believe everything you read on the internet.
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  3. John99 Banned Banned

    I think in the Bible the Apocalyptic stuff is mainly in Revelations. Well lets admit the guy was some writer.
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Which is just what one should do with Jesus, who was quite likely suffering from some sort of schizophrenic disorder.
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    If any attachment makes sense, it is the attachment to the Supreme Being, the Summum Bonum, the Cause of All Causes, the Creator, Maintainer and Controller of the Universe.

    In effect, it is God who makes sure that you can digest food, get energy from it, and that your bowels work properly.
    It would certainly behoove to be on good terms with someone who has control over functions that are so vital to our lives.
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Yes, it is interesting that people tend to take such things quite seriously.
  9. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

    But it's been proven that faith in God has no positive effect on our daily lives (anatomically). If I stop believing a God, does my breathing stop? No. Does heart stop? Nope. Nothing changes whether I believe in God or not.

    Some may argue that in dire sitatuations, like illness and disease, that religious faith has a positive effect. I beg to differ. Faith alone, whether religious or not, can have a positive effect. I was in the hospital for over a week and near death (upon admittance). Not once throughout that week did I consider changing my beliefs, or praying, or taking refuge and finding strength in anything but myself and my will to simply survive. The same can be said for certain experiences I had while in Iraq.

    And in all actuality, when it comes to personal motivation, I've noticed that it is the non-religious people who tend to have the stronger will to survive. Knowing that this is our only life, knowing that the only thing we can do in a sticky situation is to simply DO, non-religious people act quicker.

    When an RPG exploded within meters of us in Dec of 04 in Nasiriyah, the Christian who I was next to simply laid on the ground, in the open (uninjured) and started praying. I, on the other hand, reacting instinctively and primatively, immediately got up, grabbed the Christian who was too busy praying to God to save his ass and dragged him to cover behind what we call Jersey barriers (large 12ft high concrete barriers over a foot thick).

    There are atheists in foxholes.

    But my point is this: If there is anything to be attached to, anything at all, it's not something external of yourself. Not God. Not material things.

    The only thing that everyone should be attached to is themselves, their will to survive, and the will to be content.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I think that to believe in God so that one may be healthier or more energetic or some such misses the point of believing in God. Because in such cases, what one actually wants is health or more energy, and not God.
    And I find it silly that anyone would seriously measure the value of faith in God by a person's health.

    Like I said elsewhere, if one only starts seriously thinking about these things once aging, illness and death are already immediately present, then this is rather late, and probably won't have the same effects as if one would have prepared long before.

    A Hassidic proverb says: A tree with strong roots can hope to withstand a harsh storm; but a tree can hardly hope to grow them once the storm is already on the horizon.

    There may be a number of factors involved.

    I would think that that soldier just wasn't very skilled as a soldier. I think religion doesn't have anything to do with that. One is either a skilled soldier, or one isn't.

    God can hardly be considered "external", given that he owns and controls the whole universe and everything in it.
  12. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

    I'm only going to respond ot this last part. The rest I'm impartial to.

    A) The Soldier: Religion can and has deterred soldiers from doing their duty.

    B) There is an argument to the internal God argument, though somewhat irrelevant to this discussion. I'll throw it out in the open anyway...

    If God is everywhere and a part of everything, and he controls everything, then he is a part of me. And since the (Abrahamic) God(s) require worship, then I can worship myself, right? Or maybe I can worship the Satanic Bible, The Satanic Verses, the Koran, the Torah, The Bhagavad Gita, etc. After all, God controls all. If God is all powerful and all knowing and omnipresent, then he, being the creator of everything and the final signature on everything that is created and everything in existence, then he allowed for the publication of those books. It was his will. He was a part of it's creation.
  13. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

    That's the problem. We don't treat the religious as mentally disabled. If anything, we respect those who have religion (of course not the extremists).
  14. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    It used to be said, when someone on the Sabbath had to pretend to accidentally rub up against a light switch to turn it because they were forbidden to lift a finger to do any work on that day, "I can respect that," but not so much anymore, but some hotels still do have a 'Sabatt' elevator that always only goes to a certain floor so that no one had to do the work of pressing the floor button. It also always keeps its doors open on the lobby floor.
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    hence all one is left with is temporary attachments and coping mechanisms to deal with the inherent problems - enter the Buddhist doctrine et al

    destructive to what?
    IF something can be destroyed, its a sure sign that it is material.

    The only thing destroyed by attachment to god is ignorance

    Some would say that its constitutional - IOW its a symptom of life, period.
    Its an extended sense of self - my people, my country, my family, etc. IOW the key dynamic in such an act is a sense of self (a particular body that took place in a particular environment and will shortly cease to exist) as applied to other similar temporally designated living entities - hence it's subject to all the failings and frustrations of attachment in a temporary world.

    Usually the way of surmounting the inherent problems of such attachments is to house it within coping mechanisms that are contrary to what you describe earlier as "natural attachments" - eg renunciation, austerity, etc

    Then they are dealing with subreligious principles (technically called upadharama - or a nearness to dharma).

    IOW religion that doesn't deal with service to god (somewhere down the line) is simply another facet of conditioned existence (albeit it may be striving to a higher wrung of conditioned existence, but nevertheless remains by the standard parameters of conditioned existence - namely suffering in a temporary world)

    I am not sure what you mean by a moral code applied to the supernatural.

    At a guess though, I am not talking about applying coping mechanisms to deal with material existence (such as strengthening practices of tolerance and renunciation - which btw, are practices adverse to what was earlier mentioned as constitutional). I am talking about entering a state where the moral necessity for altruism (IOW "good acts" tempered by healthy doses of renunciation, sacrifice and tolerance) is non-existent namely because the conditions commonly attributed to conditioned existence are non- existent.

    IOW an environment where attachment is allowed free reign since such notions of renunciation and austerity are meaningless since the required suffering that gives them meaning (ie temporary existence in a temporary world with a temporary sense of self) is non-existent.
  16. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

    Before I attempt to respond, LG, can you provide the meaning of IOW? Thank you.

    I will respond tomorrow, btw.
  17. John99 Banned Banned

    In other words - iow.
  18. HeartlessCapitalist Ravager of Biotopes Registered Senior Member

    The obvious counter-argument would be, the same hypothetical almighty god has also created (or allowed to be created) man-eating crocodiles, yet it's not healthy to be eaten by one. Very, very few Christians I'm aware of leap all the way from "God is good" to "all the world and all that's in it is good".

    In fact, the Christian Bible is quite clear on the world (or all the universe, depending on how you translate "kosmos" from the Greek) being in the hands of Satan. See eg 1 John 5:19 and parallels. In Genesis, it says all the earth is cursed for the sake of Original Sin.

    Fundamentalists, who take the Bible somewhat literally, quite logically conclude that life on earth is in and of itself a punishment. In this they hearken back all the way to St Augustine in the 4th century, if not before. The presence of false religions (which again according to the Bible are scams set up by Satan and his demons to lure people down into hell) is then also proof of this -- they're here for the purpose to test and tempt man, so only those of pure faith can be saved.

    God, being omnipotent, omniscient and inscrutable, allows it all for reasons we can't guess. He works in strange ways, as the proverbial saying goes.
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Some people say that. Some other people say that it is precisely religion that can make soldiers good soldiers.

    This is a fictional example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY61XmDJ-1w), but after seeing it, I am inclined to think that such people as that sniper indeed exist.

    In a sense, yes. But this would not be a proper or complete worship of God, since God is so much more than just you.

    Sure. But the results you get from that might not be the most there is.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    In the Buddhist perspective, one is supposed to attach oneself to the Path, and the Path is a path out of suffering.
    One is supposed to take refuge (and what more attachment can there be to something but to take refuge in it) in the Triple Gem - the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Granted, in Buddhism, these are not specifically presented as eternal or as impermanent, but they are in effect presented as the highest, the most important, the best there is to attach oneself to.
    So I'd say Buddhism offers a vicarious attachment to God.
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    But one cannot just "make God a player" in one's life!

    How is there order in that environment then, if the beings there do not practice renunciation and austerity?
    Does being someone's servant (as in that environment, everyone is purported to be someone's servant) not necessarily imply that one practice renunciation and austerity?
  22. Thoreau Valued Senior Member

    For the sake of accuracy in response, I've taken the liberty of numbering the main points of the previous posts so that I may respond accordingly to each individual comment.

    1) On what grounds is this evident? The opposite effect comes to mind when you state that by acknowledging and attaching one’s self to God that one is, essentially, no longer ignorant.

    If anything, by that supernatural attachment, one is simply ignoring one’s own self and the reality of the world around them by attaching themselves to the quite unproven ideology of a being which cannot be perceived within the realm of our senses. It is that blind faith, hence the 'blind', that results in the ignorance of the true nature of this earth and of reality itself.

    2) Now, we touch on the world of physics and, more specifically, into Einstein's theory of relativity - but with a twist to accommodate the reference of human condition and existence.

    This argument is only valid when you place the center of existence and experience in yourself. What happens when you base experience and from another point, say that of a stem of grass or of God itself? "My" becomes "The".

    But that's a whole different discussion.

    3) So religion isn't religion if it doesn't revolve around the idea of a God and the service to it? That seems a bit egotistical and ultimately closed-minded. Is it not, in your opinion, possible that one can achieve a higher existence as well as higher morality and furthered awareness without the revolvement of one’s own self to God?

    4) This has nothing to do with coping mechanisms. I am referring to the basic fundamental difference among various religions and their individual interpretations of the supernatural; (God, the afterlife, existence of a soul, eating meat, etc). The basic moral differences between each religion and each subtopic are the focus. Most theists set their morals in the worship of God. If you don't believe in or worship God, it is immoral. Buddhists on the other hand, don't take the same moral stance; they do not place their moral standards in such belief.

    Thank you, John.

    1) The ideas that "God is good" and that "all God's creation is good" really aren't that far apart, according to their theology. The simple ideas and beliefs that most Christians uphold is that A) God is good. B) God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. C) God wants the best for us.

    In those beliefs one could argue that if God is truly A, B and C, then that because he is B, then he would ensure that we do have a perfect existence - that suffering would be non-existent, that the universe would be perfectly made in our favor. Of course, neither are the case. The morality of God, according to most Abrahamic religions, seems quite flawed. And I'd go so far as to even say that basic human and social moral constructs are higher and more deserving of respect and admiration than that of the God that is written about in the Old and New Testaments.

    If God truly was working for our best interest, he wouldn't (according to the Bible), have created the flood, natural disasters, disease, pestilence, illness, or even the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the beginning. The serpent would have never existed, nor even the simple temptation of the fruit.

    And to go a few steps further, God - if he was truly omniscient and omnipresent, wouldn't have been able to lose Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, as is presented in Genesis 3:9. Of course, this isn't the only example we have, again, according to the Bible, that God is clearly not an all-knowing, all-present being.

    2) Yes, it is not a distant fact that we are born into suffering. It is an ongoing struggle of survival which contains the inevitability and certainty of death, regardless of how well we attempt to live our lives. The fact that the Bible expresses such a view is not evident or supportive of the books credibility. It is merely a fact of life, interpreted and translated into that which can be expressed to the religious, though I would hope that, religious or not, everyone has the common sense to acknowledge that living is a struggle of survival and that the only option in the end is death. And that is why, I believe, that religions exist in the first place; to find an alternative to death (life after death). That is the core of religious belief and motivation. We want to live. If we are promised life beyond life, we want it and we will do anything to ensure that we get it, including the adherence to morally bankrupt and contradictory dogmas.

    3) The excuse that God is unknowable and thus impossible of our understanding and that we must simply have blind faith is a non-evidential argument that holds no credibility, much less moral comfort. And the paradoxical hypocrisy that I find in this argument is that Christians claim as fact that they know the truth and that it is written in the Bible. They say that they know God's word and his will. Furthermore, many go leaps and bounds further to claim that God speaks directly to them and that they have a "personal relationship with Jesus/God". YET, in the very next sentence, when confronted with an inquiry which neither them nor their faith can answer, they shy down and say, word for word, the very thing you have.

    Personally, I'd rather not have a sniper who has to stop, pray, and kiss is rosary or cross every time he has to pull the trigger. It's a waste of time. You're either mentally stable enough to be able to deal with trials of war by yourself, or you're not. You're either a good shot or you're not. There is no evidence to support that ritual increases ability or skill.

    Agree'd. However, the same can be said from reading the Bible, can it not?
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I didn't experience that sniper as someone who has to turn to God because otherwise he would be too weak to shoot.
    He seemed to me to be someone to whom God was important, and as such, he turned to God in all his daily business (whether working in the garden or shooting as a soldier).

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