OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 28, 2014, 11:07:43 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Why an afterlife is bad  (Read 14636 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #90 on: December 09, 2010, 10:40:13 PM »

First off, God searches the hearts.  No one is condemning you to hell.  I was joking with you that last post.
I don't know the exact beliefs of Orthodoxy, but I don't think this is true. The Bible is pretty explicit in stating that you have to know Jesus to get to heaven - John 3:16 and John 14:6 off the top of my head. If we entertain the fact that you can get into heaven without knowing Jesus, then you start to call into doubt the entire purpose of Christianity. If God will just search my heart, than all I have do is live a moderately good life and I'll be cool. If he's searching their hearts, however, for belief in him, though, and not necessarily 'Jesus,' then we still have the same problem, due to the infinite number of potential gods you could believe in.

Quote
You have to look at a certain perspective here.  It would be understandable that your attack on God's love doesn't make sense for a place of possible eternal punishment.  I must also say from my perspective, your love of your present existence also doesn't make sense for an end of sure non-existence.  So, it was a matter of choice.  For you, because you're so turned off by God, probably angry at God, you made sense out of your present existence without taking the logical leap, it's probably better I wouldn't have been born.  For me, because I'm so turned off by any lack of God, and I can't imagine life without having a relationship with this God, a relationship where I can grow, then for me, it didn't matter what afterlife there was.  I knew if I at least try and pray, I know I'm heading in the right direction.

The logical leap for humans is not to kill themselves - that's a rather odd take of things. I like my life, I like drinking coffee, writing novels, playing video games, laughing with my kids - these things are fun. They'll end someday, sure, that's what happens - and I'm fine with that. It's what makes these moments special, since I can't experience them again. Immortality takes that away - it says, 'Don't worry about doing anything cool now, you've got eternity to do it.' It takes away any motivation to do anything meaningful, because as I said earlier, due to the simple logical nature of immortality, your entire existence is spent in heaven. What's the point of earth? Just because we know some things will end doesn't mean we can't enjoy them. How could you get enjoyment out of anything in life with the attitude that "from my perspective, your love of your present existence also doesn't make sense for an end of sure non-existence". Things end. It's what happens.
Logged
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #91 on: December 09, 2010, 10:43:41 PM »

It should be noted that Heaven is earth restored.  It will be life as it was meant to be.  We won't be floating around on clouds somewhere "up there" in "heaven." 

That's why the key is resurrection.  It's not a disembodied existence.  It's the body you have now, raised back to life to a restored creation.  Sounds pretty damn good to me...
What, then, is life supposed to be, beyond merely my wishes for a life without pain and end? Will my new body 'age'? If it does, to what age? What about unborn children? If I can't age, then they won't either - will I be surrounded by heaps of immortal, unborn fetuses? What about the elderly, what age will they be rewound to? Who picks? At first I though that an earth restored would be a difficult thing (where do you put everyone?) but then I remembered the vast majority of people are going to hell.

I'm not really interested in the specifics of heaven, i.e. what am I doing year 3x10^24, I'm more concerned about the fact that a lot of Christians aren't bothered by the notion of someone still being punished that same year for having had a lack of belief at some point, the duration of which was countless orders of magnitude less than the duration of their suffering. Take it even further - I believe there is no crime possible that would warrant eternal punishment. Sure, people will bring up ridiculous examples, but the point is that eternity is a grossly unbalanced punishment for any crime, no matter how grotesque.
Logged
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #92 on: December 09, 2010, 10:57:54 PM »

It's a matter of faith.  Faith is the construct by which you put your trust in a certain manner of thinking things through.
Isn't faith a particular type of belief that exists in spite of an absence of physical knowledge? The word is usually applied to supernatural belief systems and those who have beliefs in such systems frequently speak of faith as if it is a virtue; and the virtue is considered particularly great when there is involved a blind rejection of ulterior possibilities in which the believer seems to proclaim, 'My belief, no matter what!' I have come up against this wall time, and time again, in which discussion just shuts down.

Quote
Here's how I would group people:

A. People who tend to treat materialistic matters as the only truth.
This would be me. I just don't see that other means of acquiring knowledge exist.

Quote
B. People who are open to the idea that life is more than just what we can sense, but are highly skeptical enough to be agnostic.
There are things that we cannot sense, and perhaps truth is still stranger than fiction, but the only path to discovering the true nature of the world and its life forms is through physical investigation. We can't do as the Gnostics did, or as St. Paul did, and claim to posses knowledge from beyond ourselves. Anyone can made such claims, and many do, and some do it convincingly. Paul may have taken his introspective imaginings and turned them into a new reality for his disciples. He may have created the Christ, but many who proclaim the importance of faith also eschew even recognizing this as a possibility. Not doubting becomes a position on faith. Stubbornness becomes a virtue.

Quote
C. People who tend to treat materialistic matters as in unity with a more transcendant understanding of the cosmos and themselves.
Does the transcendent only lend itself to investigating the supernatural, or can it be said that it is also a source of knowledge for the material world? Can it provide us knowledge on Mars and save the expense of sending rovers off-world? Can transcendent techniques find cures for disease? Can we do double blind studies to validate the that the results of transcendental investigations are repeatable? Could we use the results to toss out unvalidated transcendental claims about God?

Quote
Therefore, A goes by the faith of what they only sense and the empirical.
We obviously don't agree on the meaning of faith. Your A personality doesn't doesn't believe in the validity of faith.

Quote
B goes by no faith at all.
Are you sure you didn't mix-up A and B?

Quote
You see, you interpret faith and doubt as different things. In my view, one things leads to another.
I am not following your meaning.

I think I will take your last paragraph separately, lest this response become too long.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 10:58:12 PM by TryingtoConvert » Logged
Nero
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 115



« Reply #93 on: December 09, 2010, 11:10:53 PM »

I'm not really interested in the specifics of heaven, i.e. what am I doing year 3x10^24, I'm more concerned about the fact that a lot of Christians aren't bothered by the notion of someone still being punished that same year for having had a lack of belief at some point, the duration of which was countless orders of magnitude less than the duration of their suffering. Take it even further - I believe there is no crime possible that would warrant eternal punishment. Sure, people will bring up ridiculous examples, but the point is that eternity is a grossly unbalanced punishment for any crime, no matter how grotesque.

The whole idea of time, of something having a start and an end (a day for example: sunrise and sundown) - that is this life. The afterlife is not so: time literally doesn't exist. Eternal may be one word, but timeless is probably a better one. And after a lifetime of setting the decision before you, decade after decade, year after year, day after day, to choose right or wrong, there is simply a deadline.
Logged
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Church
Posts: 12,711


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #94 on: December 09, 2010, 11:14:17 PM »

Quote from: Nero
The whole idea of time, of something having a start and an end (a day for example: sunrise and sundown) - that is this life. The afterlife is not so: time literally doesn't exist. Eternal may be one word, but timeless is probably a better one. And after a lifetime of setting the decision before you, decade after decade, year after year, day after day, to choose right or wrong, there is simply a deadline.

 Smiley  Well said.
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #95 on: December 10, 2010, 12:02:02 AM »

A faith in something does not let you doubt it.
This is why having faith is such a problem in my estimation.  Those who take a faith position do see their stubbornness as a virtue.  They will stand by a faith claim even when they lack any way to defend it.  Is it any wonder faith is so often called blind, implying a stubborn rejection of all arguments against the position.  Faith is a matter of belief -- no matter what!

I do not hold my views as matters of faith.  I have on many occasions been compelled to take up a new position because the old one has become untenable.  Persons of faith will not do that.  They always reject any admission that their stance needs modification.

Quote
On the contrary, you trust it, especially when it's built out of your own personal experience.
Personal experience is subjective.  The interpretive spin we put on experience is based on our belief system.  Two people having a similar experience may draw vastly different conclusions.  It is safe to say that an Ecuadorian native living one thousand years ago would interpret his dream experiences differently than a Catholic nun living at the same time, but in Madrid. A Christian evangelical living in Texas will interpret her dream experiences differently again.  Given that people around the world and through history have come to such vastly different conclusions about the supernatural world, I don't see that anyone can claim that personal experience provides any sort of legitimate insight into these matters.

Quote
You see, atheists don't like the word "faith" and attribute the meaning to something you trust that is supernatural. It's not that at all.
I am an atheist.  It is not that I dislike the word faith, I dislike the implications of having faith.  Faith means taking a position and rejecting legitimate arguments against that position, and standing by the faith position even when one is incapable of defending that position against objections.  I have encountered this wall on many occasions, where individuals will finally admit that they can't defend their position, but insist they will stand by it as a matter of faith.

I do see Christianity as a belief in things supernatural.

Quote
When the Scriptures talk about faith, it talks about the Christian faith, that is the Christian way of thinking. Faith is a way of thinking and trusting that thought.
Muslims may not talk as much about faith as Christians but I think they demonstrate a dogged belief in matters of faith.  They, as much as Christians, hold stubbornly to their beliefs, and it could be said they have as much faith in their scripture as do Christians in theirs.  You are not saying otherwise, are you?

Quote
B has a way of thinking and has no trust whatsoever. A and C have little to no doubt (perhaps those with little doubt develops more humility in their arguments, and those with no doubt at all tend to be quite arrogant). B is filled with doubt.
I should have read on.  You didn't mix up A and B.

When you say that A exhibits little to no doubt, are you talking specifically about lack of belief in God?  When first I read your definition for A -- evolution came to mind, not questions on the existence of God.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 12:02:20 AM by TryingtoConvert » Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #96 on: December 10, 2010, 12:25:57 AM »

Quite broken. But since you are quite broken, I can see how you miss that.
Personal attacks are not only against the rules, they are the surest sign of a defeated argument. Attack my argument, not me.

You would first have to make an argument first for me to attack it. You just made a string of snide assertions that, while at least not plagerized this time, are hardly original.

Your posts are for the most part a confused jumble of parroted lines from atheists preaching to the choir with some incoherent thoughts.  It is not a personal attack to point that out.

Btw, since I don't spend much time on your posts (I haven't seen much reason) over the many threads you have cast about here, so I may have missed something, so let me bring up here what I've seen pointed out to you several times but I haven't seen a reply from you. You seem to know next to nothing about Orthodoxy-your comment about there being no growth in heaven is the surest sign of that.  Not that we expect everyone to know alll about us as they ought. But you came to a specifically Orthodox Christian site, as opposed to an Evangelical one (which I am guessing is your background or whatever familiarity you have with Christianity) or even a general theist one, to open threads on ideas you gather from atheist sites.  Given that, can you explain why we shouldn't feel like mud is beig thrown at our wall just in the hope that something will stick?

Why? You don't want it?
I seem to have found one limit to your understanding, right here. Perhaps you're smart enough to figure out what your error here is.

I'm sorry, like your friend Carl Sagan, I'm also a creature of the University of Chicago, and we have little patience to play games with sophmores. If you have something to say, spit it out.

I didn't rig my results. I can't speak for you as to what exactly how you fixed yours.  Have you answered yet the question about whether you admit of ultimate Truth or how it (we know He) is found?
You'll notice that I didn't say you rigged your results.
I"m not the one going on an atheist website not knowing their worldview/arguments/beliefs etc. and posting platitudes against them culled from here, with no substantiation.
I don't know if you think we don't think on your own, or if that is something you picked up from your websites, or both. But in any case, the underlying assumption of your posts that we accept assumptions without a reason and build on from there shines through.


And I didn't notice you asking such a mundane question.


Being underwhelmed by your brilliance, we have to resort to the tedious chore of figuring out a basis for discussion, as you make it clear you won't do that homework.

Please define what you mean by "ultimate truth".
Christ of course.  But you are not ready for Him, so we will have to settle for some agreed common ground of reality, where 2+2=4.

For instance, I asked you once how do you know that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. How do you prove it? Can one prove it? Can it be verified?  And if it is verified, can we also see and verify the consequences?

So is someting real, or is it all make-believe?

Because you don't like it?
Protip: Read entire post before responding.

I did. Your point got the counter point it merited. No more, no less.

Ever been on an airplane? Seen a rocket?
Apparently you don't understand aerodynamics. Gravity is not being disobeyed; it is being outdone by different forces.
I'm quite aware of them. So too, just because when you break God's commandments that He doesn't strike you down then and there doesn't prove the divine law isn't in operation. He has other concerns than just swift punishment.  Just like the operation of areodynamics do not disprove gravity.

Jump off that cliff and see how much it doesn't.
That, my friend, isn't a demand for obeisance -- it is not telling me to behave in any particular way; it is merely exerting brute force.
Brute force is quite within God's reach. But He is not restricted or limited to it. If we were Calvinists, you would know the difference between predestination and gravity. Since we don't know exactly what pre/misconceptions of your own about God that you bring here, don't know how further to go with that at this time.

Oh, you didn't mention your PhD in Physics.
That's okay. You didn't mention you masters in theology. Or you doctorate in bs, for that matter.
PhD in Islaimc thought, Muslim Theology and Early Islamic History, University of Chicago. ABD.

So, where did you cut your teeth on the books, or are you self taught.

you are stumbling, and quite badly.
I'm happy to let the readership decide.
Agreement at last!

But many of our readers have already voted on that.

You stated that you are not American/in America IIRC.  Where are you from, because you seem to be quite confused on Christianity in general and Orthodox Christianity in particular. If you are not in America, maybe you are not aware of what a self-abnegating cult of death looks like, like the botox cult here.
Agreed, like faith, it is largely a superficial phenomenon, which is performed for the sake of appearance, and doesn't outlive the person.
Depends on what the person places his Faith/faith in. Or in Whom.

Also, the two are similar in that they are a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others, and an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality.

Ah, there you go again, trying to sneak an assertion in without us noticing its lack of foundation.

Let's break this down:

"a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others" this may be the case where you are-you evaded, again, answering the question of where you are at, since you state you are not American-but such was not the case of Orthodox Christianity in the first three centuries, during which it was a capital offense everywhere. Getting yourself executed for your Faith doesn't demonstrate much concern with conformity and the opinion of others, particularly those in power.  It is still the case in much of the world: I've spent a lot of time in the Muslim world, where just wearing a Cross can and does get you killed.  And then there is the Church under Communism. Again, not an overwhelming concern with conformity and the opinion of others.

"an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality": you obviously haven't read any Orthodox spiritual literature about the remembrance of mortality.  You're way not ready for that, so I'll just ask: you characterized Christianity as a  "death cult" or some such nonsense. Explain then how does a death cult attempt to defy the reminders of morality?  If you are supposedly obsessed with death, how do you ignore the reminders of morality?

This comparison is more apt than you realize.

Carry on!

LOL. Sophmores.

This thread reminds me of a conversation I had with an American Communist in between undergrad and grad school at the U of C. The Communist, of course, was from rich priveledged background in Maryland, blue blood family, the whole bit. He was, not suprisingly, and alcoholic.  We had friends in common, but never talked much to each other (for a variety of moral failings on his part with several persons, I didn't care too much for him). Anyway, I came by the home of a common friend, and the communist was there, and he offered me a drink. Although far earlier than I was used to (11 AM), I took it anyway.

Well, we got to talking and he started asking about the Gnostic Gospels, which evidently he had just heard of.  Somewhere between bottles (he afterword was raving about how I could keep up with him, a sad commentary on his sense of priority) he made some comment about death and that I didn't have to worry about it because I thought that I would live again.  I replied that that didn't matter, as I looked at the afterlife like aging and death, and inevitable, and I don't worry about inevitable things. "So you aren't afraid of dying and not existing?" he asked. "No.  I think I would tire of existence after a millenium, two at most. Death meaning the end of existence wouldn't bother me a bit, as it would be inevitable" I replied.  He then went into his profound fear of death, something that the communism and alcoholism was feeding off of, but he wasn't aware of that.

So no, no opiate of the masses here nor afterlife morphine. Just dealing with the facts.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 12:36:26 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,305


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #97 on: December 10, 2010, 12:32:13 AM »

Okay, let me give you a different perspective.  Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

True agnostics see the world through no particular understanding necessarily.  They doubt a strict materialistic worldview, but they also doubt transcendant worldview.

Faith is something you believe in.  It's the precursor to a philosophy.  We talk about the Christian faith, that is the beliefs, the theology of our Church, etc.  Faith is dogma, and everyone has a certain dogma they live by, whether it be atheists or believers.

The way we attain faith in the Christian understanding is by the trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises.  The way we attain faith in the scientific method is by personal experience of it and its trustworthiness and consistency to attain materialistic data.  At one point, I thought faith is only in the supernatural.  When I decided to stop prayer and spiritual exercises, I felt the difference in my personal life.  A friend of mind asked me how do you know that cussing is immoral.  I asked him, have you tried to stop cussing?  And he said, "no."  Unfortunately he wasn't up for the challenge, and still too stubborn to stop.  People who live their whole lives in garbage will not know what smelling good smells like, or have become numb to the bad smell.  So at least, faith is not something merely about prayer.  It's method of my thoughts and my actions.  Even agnostics have some faith to function in this world, but overall the strongest faith are in the extremes.

Other faiths talk about meditation, and how important it is for them.  People are realizing that these help find the spiritual part of them.  Prayer is not just meditation of a self-realization, but a step up, a bridge with the divine, a self-giving to God.

You say you have no purpose.  But you in fact do have a purpose.  What more important purpose is their than your wife and children?  You are performing an act of self-giving for them.  Your purpose is sacrifice.  Thank God this is instilled in us for the survival of our species.  However, the intellect is there also to question our sacrifice.  The intellect is there to remind us that there is a higher purpose.  We are not merely like the rest of the animal kingdom, where we just do.  We also actually analyze what we do, something no other animal can do, let alone care to even do.  What's the point of having this faculty to analyze what we do when life is to precious to even to think about it, and just do it?  That makes no sense to me.  You believe that the world will end anyway, so might as well enjoy it.  What's the point of analyzing the enjoyment of this life if it doesn't even matter?

When I see the world through the lens of Christian theology, my actions should reflect it, by self-sacrifice to the world through God, trying to make the world a better place.  The world is place for growth, as we said, and God made it essential that we grow here.  There's no such thing as "we have eternity to do it."  In order to attain the next stage of growth, we have to go through this one.  So this is a purpose as well.

God searches the heart, that is He will understand the struggle you are going through to try to believe.  It's not so much as this minimizes the truth of Christianity.  But it is a realization that the center of Christianity lies selfless understanding of love and mercy, and openness in understanding the other.  In the Trinity lies the selfless eternal love.  In Christ lies the selfless sacrifice for all mankind.  In the saints lie the selfless examples of what our lives should be.  Selflessness is a part of our growth and our understanding of the true and ultimate purpose of our position in the cosmos.  We are here on earth to learn and partake of the selflessness Christ taught and performed, and then through that to attain the eternal selfless love Christ has.

If we don't strive for that, we won't be easily able to attain communion with God in a selfless manner.  Everything that reminds us of our selfishness, we must sacrifice.  And I have to be honest with you.  I love atheists when it comes to discussions with them, and I am much more inclined to be friends with them than with believers.  But usually they are more selfish than they are selfless, at least the friends I have.  The genius of scientists who had spend hours in the laboratory for discoveries many times have to be selfish to attain those important discoveries.  What acts of selfless love have they performed for the world than lust for more knowledge?  I'm not saying they're unimportant.  I'm saying they simply turned their work into their idol sometimes at the expense of the world of suffering people that need help.

I feel that when you do become truly selfless, you open your heart to the divine, and you will tend to be a believer.  You reject faith based on the people not practicing what they preach, and you are correct.  Even Ghandi, a believer in something divine at the very least who surpassed Christians in his selfless deeds, taught that if it weren't for the Christians, he would be a Christian.  But I think there is merit to the freedom God allows even those who call upon Him as followers of Him.  If Christians cheapen the faith for the whole world into disbelief through their hypocrisies, God will be even more merciful in my opinion.  It's interesting then how Christians were able to turn the world upside down in the first centuries following Christ.  I think by that, we can see truth in Christianity.

I think the Bible is clear upon those who are already believers receive a strict judgment if their actions don't reflect their beliefs, and even more those who are teachers receive a much stricter judgment.  Not all who call Him "Lord, Lord" will enter heaven.  I think when "you're trying to convert" that means you're struggling to believe, and you have nothing to lose at this point.  If you truly want to believe, then consider prayer and consider greater self-sacrifice.  And don't depend on the hypocrisies of Christians, but look at Christ Himself as the greatest example.

God bless.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 12:40:59 AM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #98 on: December 10, 2010, 12:33:23 AM »

It should be noted that Heaven is earth restored.  It will be life as it was meant to be.  We won't be floating around on clouds somewhere "up there" in "heaven." 

That's why the key is resurrection.  It's not a disembodied existence.  It's the body you have now, raised back to life to a restored creation.  Sounds pretty damn good to me...
What, then, is life supposed to be, beyond merely my wishes for a life without pain and end? Will my new body 'age'? If it does, to what age? What about unborn children? If I can't age, then they won't either - will I be surrounded by heaps of immortal, unborn fetuses?

Now, is that REALLY keeping you up at night? The thought of that?

Quote
What about the elderly, what age will they be rewound to? Who picks? At first I though that an earth restored would be a difficult thing (where do you put everyone?) but then I remembered the vast majority of people are going to hell.

And where did you pick up that last tidbit?

You seem too preoccupied with picking nitts to tackle the serious big questions. Hence why when one, like the last point, hits you go for the prepackaged atheist answers.

I'm not really interested in the specifics of heaven, i.e. what am I doing year 3x10^24, I'm more concerned about the fact that a lot of Christians aren't bothered by the notion of someone still being punished that same year for having had a lack of belief at some point, the duration of which was countless orders of magnitude less than the duration of their suffering. Take it even further - I believe there is no crime possible that would warrant eternal punishment. [/quote]

You do not have the place to decide such things.


Quote
Sure, people will bring up ridiculous examples, but the point is that eternity is a grossly unbalanced punishment for any crime, no matter how grotesque.
And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Cognomen
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Phyletism Rules, OK
Posts: 1,968


Ungrateful Biped


« Reply #99 on: December 10, 2010, 01:11:25 AM »

And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?

Ahh, you must have forgotten that corresponding with his progression in atheism, he is entitled to be his own god more and more.
Logged

North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #100 on: December 10, 2010, 01:30:30 AM »

And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?

Ahh, you must have forgotten that corresponding with his progression in atheism, he is entitled to be his own god more and more.
ah, yes. the self-crreated. How could I have forgotten? The wonders of atheosis!
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Cognomen
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Phyletism Rules, OK
Posts: 1,968


Ungrateful Biped


« Reply #101 on: December 10, 2010, 01:38:58 AM »

And you arrogated to yourself the authority to decide these things how?

Ahh, you must have forgotten that corresponding with his progression in atheism, he is entitled to be his own god more and more.
ah, yes. the self-crreated. How could I have forgotten? The wonders of atheosis!

Brilliant!  Cheesy
Logged

North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #102 on: December 10, 2010, 01:44:28 AM »

an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #103 on: December 10, 2010, 02:24:36 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

First off, God searches the hearts.  No one is condemning you to hell.  I was joking with you that last post.
I don't know the exact beliefs of Orthodoxy, but I don't think this is true. The Bible is pretty explicit in stating that you have to know Jesus to get to heaven - John 3:16 and John 14:6 off the top of my head. If we entertain the fact that you can get into heaven without knowing Jesus, then you start to call into doubt the entire purpose of Christianity.



The issue which is not often addressed in this discussion is the scale of God's Time.  If the Church can agree that we need Jesus Christ to be saved, how can we suppose to know the mind of God in regards to when such need is fulfilled? The basic assumption has been before death from this life, but the Church believes in the Church Triumphant also (ie, a continuation of some kind of life beyond this kind of death) and as such leaves open the suggestion that God has it in His power to accept repentance at any time, even post-death.  I am not necessarily saying that is exactly the case, rather I am suggesting that with the Infinity of God, surely it is within the realms of possibility?  The catch about Infinite and Forever is that mathematically that equates to every single possible option inevitably occurring, an in an inconceivable way, all simultaneously!  If God is in Infinity, how can we understand His fullness? Better we should say, "Father, let Thy will be done, and not our own" and also "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners."

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 02:30:42 AM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Sleeper
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,254

On hiatus for the foreseeable future.


« Reply #104 on: December 10, 2010, 10:42:12 AM »

Immortality takes that away [in your view] - it says, 'Don't worry about doing anything cool now, you've got eternity to do it.' [in your view] It takes away any motivation to do anything meaningful, [in your view] because as I said earlier, due to the simple logical nature of immortality, your entire existence is spent in heaven.

In your worldview, you aren't what needs to change, everything else does.  If I were immortal, I wouldn't enjoy life now. Thus, eternity is stupid.

Quote
What's the point of earth?

You must've skipped my last post.  Heaven is earth; restored.  Heaven is the continuation of this very life you are now living, just as Jesus now lives forever as the firstfruits of the Resurrection.  Jesus has the same body he had before, only now it has been glorified, just as we will be.

Quote
Just because we know some things will end doesn't mean we can't enjoy them.

Precisely.

Logged
theistgal
Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic gadfly
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Follower of Jesus Christ
Jurisdiction: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 2,082


don't even go there!


« Reply #105 on: December 10, 2010, 12:18:38 PM »

An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! Smiley ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

That's an analogy for us, TtC.  We're in the womb right now.  What will happen after we leave it (i.e. when we "die" from our point of view) is something we simply can't imagine.  We can only speculate - and hope.

Or NOT hope, if you prefer - but that doesn't mean it won't happen anyway!
Logged

"Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on.'' (owner of Coney Island freak show, upon learning he'd been outbid on a 5-legged puppy)
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,305


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #106 on: December 10, 2010, 12:57:20 PM »

An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! Smiley ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

That's an analogy for us, TtC.  We're in the womb right now.  What will happen after we leave it (i.e. when we "die" from our point of view) is something we simply can't imagine.  We can only speculate - and hope.

Or NOT hope, if you prefer - but that doesn't mean it won't happen anyway!

Good analogy  Smiley
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #107 on: December 10, 2010, 01:53:12 PM »

Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

Faith is something you believe in.  It's the precursor to a philosophy.
Thus Christian faith is your epistemology. This is what I have tried to get across in various ways on various threads. This is why you and a scientarian can never get anywhere by debate unless the topic is epistemology itself. Any other topic is a waste of time. First the matter of epistemology must be cleared up, if it can be. If it can't be, then debate remains pointless.

Quote
The way we attain faith in the Christian understanding is by the trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises.
Do you agree that self-deceit, depending on the particular falsehoods that constitute the lie, could cause improvements in character, in effectiveness, in success, and in happiness, yet still be self-deceit, still be a lie, still be false?

Every last atheist who would read that question would mentally answer yes to my question. I know this in advance because they and I have the same epistemology, and our shared epistemology will always answer yes to the question I've posed, because our epistemology places zero, absolute zero, weight on character improvement, effectiveness improvement, success improvement, or happiness improvement, when assessing whether a proposition is true. Now, I will also say that most atheists (perhaps not all) would find it very interesting that so much improvement resulted from a falsehood, a lie, a self-deception. Most atheists would want to know the mechanism by which this occurred. They would want to do science, or they would want someone else to do science in this area. Hypotheses would spring to mind and they would want these hypotheses tested.


Quote
When I decided to stop prayer and spiritual exercises, I felt the difference in my personal life.
What prompted your decision to stop?

Quote
We also actually analyze what we do, something no other animal can do, let alone care to even do.  What's the point of having this faculty to analyze what we do when life is to precious to even to think about it, and just do it?
Analysis is a survival advantage, hence its ubiquity. More generally, it's an effectiveness advantage, even in areas where survival isn't in jeopardy. As effectiveness yields success; and success, happiness; analysis is, finally, a happiness advantage. But see my next point.

Quote
That makes no sense to me.  You believe that the world will end anyway, so might as well enjoy it.  What's the point of analyzing the enjoyment of this life if it doesn't even matter?
I will agree that I wasn't saying life doesn't matter, but rather, that it doesn't matter in an absolute, universal sense. It doesn't matter objectively. I will agree with that nothing matters objectively, since subjectivity is necessary before mattering can come into being. To matter is to matter subjectively. There is no such thing as mattering objectively. I will agree that my life matters subjectively to me.

But here the discrepancy in epistemology comes into sharp focus. Because Christian faith is your epistemology, you will disagree with me when I say that nothing matters objectively. This is because you posit an absolute, universal entity. Because this entity is absolute and universal, everything it does is absolute and universal, which means its thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions are absolute and universal, hence objective. In your epistemology, thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions can be objective, if they're God's.

The importance of the above in us understanding one another cannot be overstated. Nor can the chasm between the two paragraphs directly above be bridged. One epistemology will come to rest on the first of the two paragraphs. Another epistemology will come to rest on the second of the two. The two paragraphs cannot be made to resolve, because the two epistemologies cannot be made to resolve.

Quote
I love atheists when it comes to discussions with them, and I am much more inclined to be friends with them than with believers.  But usually they are more selfish than they are selfless, at least the friends I have.  The genius of scientists who had spend hours in the laboratory for discoveries many times have to be selfish to attain those important discoveries.
Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.
Logged
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #108 on: December 10, 2010, 01:54:40 PM »

An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! Smiley ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

That's an analogy for us, TtC.  We're in the womb right now.  What will happen after we leave it (i.e. when we "die" from our point of view) is something we simply can't imagine.  We can only speculate - and hope.

Or NOT hope, if you prefer - but that doesn't mean it won't happen anyway!

Interesting analogy.

I asked you a question earlier, and which I don't think you answered, although maybe I missed your answer, as this thread is dense with sub-threads, and my attention wanders or zooms in, depending on the particular sub-thread. You said previously that you made two forays into atheism. What prompted those two forays?
Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #109 on: December 10, 2010, 01:56:29 PM »

An "afterlife" is not always bad. To an unborn fetus, the concept of leaving the womb and the safe comfy existence therein must seem like death (maybe that's why they scream so loud! Smiley ) - but the "afterlife" turns out to be more than they could ever have imagined.

Hmm wouldn't that technically be after-birth? Sorry, couldn't resist!  laugh Kiss
Logged
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #110 on: December 10, 2010, 07:58:36 PM »

You would first have to make an argument first for me to attack it. You just made a string of snide assertions that, while at least not plagerized this time, are hardly original.

Your posts are for the most part a confused jumble of parroted lines from atheists preaching to the choir with some incoherent thoughts.  It is not a personal attack to point that out.

Btw, since I don't spend much time on your posts (I haven't seen much reason) over the many threads you have cast about here, so I may have missed something, so let me bring up here what I've seen pointed out to you several times but I haven't seen a reply from you.  can you explain why we shouldn't feel like mud is beig thrown at our wall just in the hope that something will stick?

Your refused to answer my question, and instead rely on tired apologetics, and then have the temerity to call me a parrot. That's pretty funny. Physician, heal thyself. If I wanted to "throw mud at your wall", I would make personal attacks on you. That you initiated ad homs and the whine about "mud" is a double-standard.

Why? You don't want it?
I seem to have found one limit to your understanding, right here. Perhaps you're smart enough to figure out what your error here is.

Quote
I'm sorry, like your friend Carl Sagan, I'm also a creature of the University of Chicago, and we have little patience to play games with sophmores. If you have something to say, spit it out.
Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.


Quote
in any case, the underlying assumption of your posts that we accept assumptions without a reason and build on from there shines through.
No, the only thing I said is that both our positions differ because we both input different starting values. Here is a clear example of you assuming a combative stance when an attentive reading of my point reveals no such animus on my part.

Believe me, if I thought you were dishonest, I'd say as much.

Quote
Being underwhelmed by your brilliance, we have to resort to the tedious chore of figuring out a basis for discussion, as you make it clear you won't do that my homework.
Fixed.

Quote
Please define what you mean by "ultimate truth".
Christ of course.  But you are not ready for Him, so we will have to settle for some agreed common ground of reality, where 2+2=4.[/quote]
1) You must first evidence your lord's divinity.
2) 2+2=4 doesn't strike me a "ultimate", to wit, "final". Nor, for that matter, does any conception of god that I've looked into.

Quote
For instance, I asked you once how do you know that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. How do you prove it? Can one prove it? Can it be verified?  And if it is verified, can we also see and verify the consequences?

So is someting real, or is it all make-believe?
You are equivocating "things" and "events". Because your god is asserted to be eternal, presumably his is not victim to the exigencies of historical uncertainty. Such an "ultimate truth" ought to be pretty obvious, it seems to me. To return to an earlier comparison, gravity has no need for a holy book.

Quote
I did. Your point got the counter point it merited. No more, no less.
If that's the best you can manage, this conversation is a waste of my time.

Quote
I'm quite aware of them. So too, just because when you break God's commandments that He doesn't strike you down then and there doesn't prove the divine law isn't in operation. He has other concerns than just swift punishment.  Just like the operation of areodynamics do not disprove gravity.
Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship. That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.

Quote
Brute force is quite within God's reach. But He is not restricted or limited to it. If we were Calvinists, you would know the difference between predestination and gravity. Since we don't know exactly what pre/misconceptions of your own about God that you bring here, don't know how further to go with that at this time.
You could start with dropping the assumption that your god exists, and demonstrate his existence with evidence. Until then, you're sledding uphill.

Quote
PhD in Islaimc thought, Muslim Theology and Early Islamic History, University of Chicago. ABD.
Why is it that a doctorate in physics makes one a physicist, a doctorate in mathematics makes one a mathematician, but a doctorate in theology doesn't make one a god?

Quote
So, where did you cut your teeth on the books, or are you self taught.
Liberal Arts degree, and about 20 years of self-education following that.
Quote
Ah, there you go again, trying to sneak an assertion in without us noticing its lack of foundation.
I speak from personal experience.

Quote
Let's break this down:

"a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others" this may be the case where you are-you evaded, again, answering the question of where you are at, since you state you are not American-but such was not the case of Orthodox Christianity in the first three centuries, during which it was a capital offense everywhere. Getting yourself executed for your Faith doesn't demonstrate much concern with conformity and the opinion of others, particularly those in power.  It is still the case in much of the world: I've spent a lot of time in the Muslim world, where just wearing a Cross can and does get you killed.  And then there is the Church under Communism. Again, not an overwhelming concern with conformity and the opinion of others.
I was speaking of your immediate peers. I'm sorry I didn't make that plain enough.

Quote
"an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality": you obviously haven't read any Orthodox spiritual literature about the remembrance of mortality.  You're way not ready for that, so I'll just ask: you characterized Christianity as a  "death cult" or some such nonsense. Explain then how does a death cult attempt to defy the reminders of morality?  If you are supposedly obsessed with death, how do you ignore the reminders of morality?
To answer your question, it demands that its members forgo many of the pleasures on this Earth in favor of a delayed reward -- or punishment, if they refuse to make these sacrifices. In espousing this, they cause many people to die without having truly lived. This is why I hold that this faith is largely self-abnegatng and a death cult.

Quote
LOL. Sophmores.
I'm the wrong sex anyway, you old goat.

Quote
This thread reminds me of a conversation I had with an American Communist in between undergrad and grad school at the U of C. The Communist, of course, was from rich priveledged background in Maryland, blue blood family, the whole bit. He was, not suprisingly, and alcoholic...Death meaning the end of existence wouldn't bother me a bit, as it would be inevitable" I replied.  He then went into his profound fear of death, something that the communism and alcoholism was feeding off of, but he wasn't aware of that.
I don't appreciate you insinuating alcoholism on my part by comparing me with one. So much for civility?

I shall leave you alone for now. For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 07:59:41 PM by TryingtoConvert » Logged
theistgal
Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic gadfly
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Follower of Jesus Christ
Jurisdiction: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 2,082


don't even go there!


« Reply #111 on: December 10, 2010, 08:18:47 PM »

TtC, I didn't ignore you question about my previous experiences with atheism.  I decided not to respond because frankly, it would eat up qay too much bandwidth and wouldn't convince you anyway.

And as I already stated, I'm not "trying to convert" you yor anyone else). 

However, you might be able to find traces of my atheism still wafting around on the Net in various fora - try googling "windsofchange".
Logged

"Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on.'' (owner of Coney Island freak show, upon learning he'd been outbid on a 5-legged puppy)
theistgal
Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic gadfly
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Follower of Jesus Christ
Jurisdiction: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 2,082


don't even go there!


« Reply #112 on: December 10, 2010, 08:21:27 PM »

(addendum - google "windsofchange" + IIDB - otherwise you just get a bunch of New Age silliness Cheesy !)
Logged

"Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on.'' (owner of Coney Island freak show, upon learning he'd been outbid on a 5-legged puppy)
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #113 on: December 10, 2010, 10:19:55 PM »

You would first have to make an argument first for me to attack it. You just made a string of snide assertions that, while at least not plagerized this time, are hardly original.

Your posts are for the most part a confused jumble of parroted lines from atheists preaching to the choir with some incoherent thoughts.  It is not a personal attack to point that out.

Btw, since I don't spend much time on your posts (I haven't seen much reason) over the many threads you have cast about here, so I may have missed something, so let me bring up here what I've seen pointed out to you several times but I haven't seen a reply from you.  can you explain why we shouldn't feel like mud is beig thrown at our wall just in the hope that something will stick?

Your refused to answer my question,
I've traced this quote thread (the reason why I always use the quote function), and you didn't ask a question in it.  You made a string of assertions, attempts at profundity, without substantiation, and we were not impressed.

Quote
and instead rely on tired apologetics,

I haven't engaged in any apologetics with you, tired or otherwise. Engaging you with them would seem like nailing jello to the wall.

Quote
and then have the temerity to call me a parrot.

If it quakes like a duck.

Quote
That's pretty funny. Physician, heal thyself. If I wanted to "throw mud at your wall", I would make personal attacks on you. That you initiated ad homs and the whine about "mud" is a double-standard.
Pointing out that your presentation is trite, pedantic and pedestrian isn't an ad hominem.

Why? You don't want it?
I seem to have found one limit to your understanding, right here. Perhaps you're smart enough to figure out what your error here is.

I'm sorry, like your friend Carl Sagan, I'm also a creature of the University of Chicago, and we have little patience to play games with sophmores. If you have something to say, spit it out.
Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.
Physician, heal thyself.


in any case, the underlying assumption of your posts that we accept assumptions without a reason and build on from there shines through.
No, the only thing I said is that both our positions differ because we both input different starting values.
So far we've mostly seen you piggy backing on the input of others. Not that that is necessarily bad, but 1) you have recognize you do it; 2) justify and defend who you depend on; otherwise 3) refrain from calling such reliance a weakness in you opponents. Unless they can't justify and defend their authorities.

Here is a clear example of you assuming a combative stance when an attentive reading of my point reveals no such animus on my part.

As has been pointed out, you come to an Orthodox forum knowing nothing of Orthodoxy and post a successive series of provocative assertions, either plagerize or imitated from atheists fora/sites.  It is evident that "Trying to Conert" is offensive, not defensive.

Quote
Believe me, if I thought you were dishonest, I'd say as much.

projecting, are we?

Being underwhelmed by your brilliance, we have to resort to the tedious chore of figuring out a basis for discussion, as you make it clear you won't do that my homework.
Fixed.
If I wanted to argue with Carl Sagan, Matt Dillahunty etc. I can quote them and do that. I don't have to play cat and mouse with their plagerists.


Please define what you mean by "ultimate truth".
Christ of course.  But you are not ready for Him, so we will have to settle for some agreed common ground of reality, where 2+2=4.
1) You must first evidence your lord's divinity.

You're not ready for that yet: remember, you're an atheist. No point proving to you that the Son of Man is the Son of a non-existent God, now is there?

Quote
2) 2+2=4 doesn't strike me a "ultimate", to wit, "final". Nor, for that matter, does any conception of god that I've looked into.

And what conceptions would that be?

For instance, I asked you once how do you know that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. How do you prove it? Can one prove it? Can it be verified?  And if it is verified, can we also see and verify the consequences?

So is someting real, or is it all make-believe?
You are equivocating "things" and "events". Because your god is asserted to be eternal, presumably his is not victim to the exigencies of historical uncertainty.
If Christ has not risen, the Orthodox Faith is futile.

On some silly thread you opened here, you brought the subject of history as regards the Truth of Christianity up
There exists little in the way of historical documentation for Jesus' life beyond the Biblical Gospel, and it is likely that these accounts were not written by eyewitnesses. This lack of evidence makes it very difficult to discern actual historical facts behind the Christian stories that describe him.
of course, you got caught in your plagerism
And this OP was pulled directly from here:

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Jesus

It appears we have quite the ironchariots fan here. Please start posting your sources, sir. I'm sure Matt wouldn't appreciate you shamelessly passing his work off as your own.
but that didn't deter you to make other silly threads on history. I do hope those novels you so enjoy writing at least have some of your own words.
I wasn't sure Christianity pulled us out of the dark ages. It was the Renaissance that was marked by people moving away from the church and religious doctrines that "pulled us out" of the Dark Ages, not Christianity.

Am I right?

But back to the point at hand: the question of the Rubicon is just an opportunity to see how you claim to know truth, as you seem to parrot the denial of things beyond history and the physical.


Such an "ultimate truth" ought to be pretty obvious, it seems to me.
IOW, you can't defend your assertions. We're just expected to take your word on it.

To return to an earlier comparison, gravity has no need for a holy book.
Neither does the Creator's intelligent design of the cosmos, His will or His moral law.


I did. Your point got the counter point it merited. No more, no less.
If that's the best you can manage, this conversation is a waste of my time.
Garbage in, garbage out.  I haven't seen any reason to get the pearls out. I'm just wasting time inbetween serious discussion, like getting a sandwich during the commercials while watching the news.

I'm quite aware of them. So too, just because when you break God's commandments that He doesn't strike you down then and there doesn't prove the divine law isn't in operation. He has other concerns than just swift punishment.  Just like the operation of areodynamics do not disprove gravity.
Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship.
See, there you go asserting something you cannot defend, let alone prove.

Quote
That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.
It's a pity you don't recognize that it was addressed.  There is a moral and theological order in the universe.  Sir Isaac Newton's works on physics etc. are only about a tenth of his scholarly output. The rest is theological, and he often reiterated that his works on physics were only an adjunct to his theological work. That you seperate the two, or rather, those whom you imitate seperate the two, is the start of your problems.

Brute force is quite within God's reach. But He is not restricted or limited to it. If we were Calvinists, you would know the difference between predestination and gravity. Since we don't know exactly what pre/misconceptions of your own about God that you bring here, don't know how further to go with that at this time.
You could start with dropping the assumption that your god exists,
see, there you go again, demanding that we adopt you assertion which you have neither substantiaed nor defended.
Quote
and demonstrate his existence with evidence. Until then, you're sledding uphill.
LOL. No, I'm just looking from Spaceland on you in Flatland, if not Pontland.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland#Plot

PhD in Islaimc thought, Muslim Theology and Early Islamic History, University of Chicago. ABD.
Why is it that a doctorate in physics makes one a physicist, a doctorate in mathematics makes one a mathematician, but a doctorate in theology doesn't make one a god?
It makes one a theologian.  You really have to get that analogy thing down. Or are you going to state that a physicist is a mole of gas, and a mathematician a quadratic equation?

So, where did you cut your teeth on the books, or are you self taught.
Liberal Arts degree, and about 20 years of self-education following that.
That's a suprise. So you're not young, just a sophmore.

Ah, there you go again, trying to sneak an assertion in without us noticing its lack of foundation.
I speak from personal experience.
so then you are projecting.

Let's break this down:

"a result of an overweening concern with conformity and the opinions of others" this may be the case where you are-you evaded, again, answering the question of where you are at, since you state you are not American-but such was not the case of Orthodox Christianity in the first three centuries, during which it was a capital offense everywhere. Getting yourself executed for your Faith doesn't demonstrate much concern with conformity and the opinion of others, particularly those in power.  It is still the case in much of the world: I've spent a lot of time in the Muslim world, where just wearing a Cross can and does get you killed.  And then there is the Church under Communism. Again, not an overwhelming concern with conformity and the opinion of others.
I was speaking of your immediate peers.
So was I.
Quote
I'm sorry I didn't make that plain enough.
you are avoiding the issue. There are plenty of Faithful Orthodox who do not fit your trite marxist and freudian characatures.

"an attempt to defy the reminders of mortality": you obviously haven't read any Orthodox spiritual literature about the remembrance of mortality.  You're way not ready for that, so I'll just ask: you characterized Christianity as a  "death cult" or some such nonsense. Explain then how does a death cult attempt to defy the reminders of morality?  If you are supposedly obsessed with death, how do you ignore the reminders of morality?
To answer your question, it demands that its members forgo many of the pleasures on this Earth in favor of a delayed reward -- or punishment, if they refuse to make these sacrifices. In espousing this, they cause many people to die without having truly lived. This is why I hold that this faith is largely self-abnegatng and a death cult.

Yes, teenagers hate delayed gratification, not having learned yet it virtues and caught up in instant gratification. But if you haven't learned that yet in your forties (is this a midlife crisis?), don't know if you ever will. Jim Morrison "lived" to the ripe old age of 27, OD'd in a bathtub. Actually his life in girlfriend gave him cocaine on which he hemorrhaged, she passing out instead of calling for help while he bled to death.  She OD'd 3 years later. I remember his biography "No one gets out of here alive." Indeed.


LOL. Sophmores.
I'm the wrong sex anyway, you old goat.
The sophmores I knew were male and female. You don't fit in those groups?
And if you have spent two decades+  in self education after a Liberal Arts Decree (I assume you did it in 4 years), who's the old goat?

Quote
This thread reminds me of a conversation I had with an American Communist in between undergrad and grad school at the U of C. The Communist, of course, was from rich priveledged background in Maryland, blue blood family, the whole bit. He was, not suprisingly, and alcoholic...Death meaning the end of existence wouldn't bother me a bit, as it would be inevitable" I replied.  He then went into his profound fear of death, something that the communism and alcoholism was feeding off of, but he wasn't aware of that.
I don't appreciate you insinuating alcoholism on my part by comparing me with one. So much for civility?[/quote]
I didn't insinuate a thing about your drinking habits. That was, after all, just a symton of the same wallowing in existential angst that you demonstrate here.

Quote
I shall leave you alone for now. For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.
Dozens have told me otherwise, and proved it by chrismation. By the Lord's gift I have the discernment of where and how to cast the pearls.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 10:21:32 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Church
Posts: 12,711


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #114 on: December 10, 2010, 10:34:46 PM »

Of course, TTC is writing about it from the perspective of this life, and from various poor impressions he's taken from those who don't care about the concept to begin with.  Roll Eyes Whereas Christians believe that if you die in Christ, you have eternal life.

Quote
1 Cor. 2:9: "But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Doesn't sound like we think it's too bad, does it?  Huh

Seems TTC is stuck on an image of 'the afterlife' that draws more from shlock horror and bad televangelist polemics than anything in the Bible or other mainstream Christian writings. Sure, we Christians can't wait to see all the bad people tortured in hell!  Roll Eyes  No, we believe that "God desires that every man should be saved and come to knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:3-4) Again, doesn't sound that bad, does it?

Funny how people selectively remember what they want, to fit their pre-made decisions. If TTC would actually go to an Orthodox church, say hello to some people, or maybe even just pick up an Orthodox book, he may find the people to not be exactly what he had been led to think. Even if he doesn't want to be in the faith, knowing more about what it is would be an entirely different matter.
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Merarches
*****
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 10,305


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #115 on: December 11, 2010, 01:45:54 PM »

Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

Faith is something you believe in.  It's the precursor to a philosophy.
Thus Christian faith is your epistemology. This is what I have tried to get across in various ways on various threads. This is why you and a scientarian can never get anywhere by debate unless the topic is epistemology itself. Any other topic is a waste of time. First the matter of epistemology must be cleared up, if it can be. If it can't be, then debate remains pointless.

Agreed.
Quote
Quote
The way we attain faith in the Christian understanding is by the trustworthiness and consistency of prayer and spiritual exercises.
Do you agree that self-deceit, depending on the particular falsehoods that constitute the lie, could cause improvements in character, in effectiveness, in success, and in happiness, yet still be self-deceit, still be a lie, still be false?

Every last atheist who would read that question would mentally answer yes to my question. I know this in advance because they and I have the same epistemology, and our shared epistemology will always answer yes to the question I've posed, because our epistemology places zero, absolute zero, weight on character improvement, effectiveness improvement, success improvement, or happiness improvement, when assessing whether a proposition is true. Now, I will also say that most atheists (perhaps not all) would find it very interesting that so much improvement resulted from a falsehood, a lie, a self-deception. Most atheists would want to know the mechanism by which this occurred. They would want to do science, or they would want someone else to do science in this area. Hypotheses would spring to mind and they would want these hypotheses tested.

In disagreement with the bold part, I think there is at least some truth in something when there's improvement in character for instance.

That science becomes a central faith is the problem.  Science is a method, not a faith to me.  It's a method I use that can help me understand the world around me.  When science becomes a faith, it makes sense as to why character improvement is not in the picture.  They instead would like to analyze what it is that leads one to believe in character improvement, but they already assume its falsehood from the beginning, and so they've convinced themselves not to be "ensnared" into this "garbage" concerning the validity of things that improve success and character, but understand, let's say, how it sociologically and neurobiologically works, which literally defeats the purpose out of anything really.  Humanity has logic, but it also has emotion.  Science by definition is only logic.  When humanity follows science alone, you pretty much seek to destroy the emotion out of anything.  Slowly, we turn pretty much into programmed robots.

You've probably heard the adage before, "science seeks to ask how, religion seeks to ask why."  Those who are rigid in following science as a faith say there's no such thing as a why.  It just is.  That's terrifying.  Instead of making sense out of why, the why in us is sought to be destroyed.

So, it is this "why" that scientists call a self-deception.  But if the why is always nagging at me, then I call the rejection of the why a delusion.

I don't know how scientists see this as self-deception.  Of course this goes both ways, but I wonder at people like CS Lewis, Francis Collins, Ann Rice, all who were atheists, all who understand what this is, and yet they decided to reject that this is a case of self-deception, that there is validity to asking the question "why."

Quote
Quote
When I decided to stop prayer and spiritual exercises, I felt the difference in my personal life.
What prompted your decision to stop?

Laziness and curiosity.

Quote
Quote
We also actually analyze what we do, something no other animal can do, let alone care to even do.  What's the point of having this faculty to analyze what we do when life is to precious to even to think about it, and just do it?
Analysis is a survival advantage, hence its ubiquity. More generally, it's an effectiveness advantage, even in areas where survival isn't in jeopardy. As effectiveness yields success; and success, happiness; analysis is, finally, a happiness advantage. But see my next point.

Quote
That makes no sense to me.  You believe that the world will end anyway, so might as well enjoy it.  What's the point of analyzing the enjoyment of this life if it doesn't even matter?
I will agree that I wasn't saying life doesn't matter, but rather, that it doesn't matter in an absolute, universal sense. It doesn't matter objectively. I will agree with that nothing matters objectively, since subjectivity is necessary before mattering can come into being. To matter is to matter subjectively. There is no such thing as mattering objectively. I will agree that my life matters subjectively to me.

But here the discrepancy in epistemology comes into sharp focus. Because Christian faith is your epistemology, you will disagree with me when I say that nothing matters objectively. This is because you posit an absolute, universal entity. Because this entity is absolute and universal, everything it does is absolute and universal, which means its thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions are absolute and universal, hence objective. In your epistemology, thoughts, emotions, desires, preferences, and decisions can be objective, if they're God's.

The importance of the above in us understanding one another cannot be overstated. Nor can the chasm between the two paragraphs directly above be bridged. One epistemology will come to rest on the first of the two paragraphs. Another epistemology will come to rest on the second of the two. The two paragraphs cannot be made to resolve, because the two epistemologies cannot be made to resolve.

When you says "objectively" I say, "in the end" or "ultimately" (i.e. in the end, it doesn't even matter).  Subjectively means that you can make it up as you go along, whatever you feel is right.  In that case, there is no right or wrong, just a competition of morals.  In a scientific sense, there is truth to subjectivity.  In a broader more sociological sense, I think this would be disastrous.  Even atheists agree that there are a certain set of morals to follow when interacting with others.  In subjectivity, good or bad, wrong or right is just an opinion of the majority or the strongest that aids in the survival of the fittest.  But when atheists agree that there are moral questions that are necessary for the survival of a species, I think then they are heading towards an objective truth.  In other words, even though no one is right or wrong, I better compete about fighting for what I believe is right over yours.  So, in practice, there is no subjectivity in the world.  When atheists are fighting against believers to tell them that believers are delusional, they throw away their subjectivity completely, fighting for the "objective truth" of no god.  Some atheists are simply scientists that wish to others to acknowledge at least the methodology of science.  But even those will fight for perhaps a moral truth, for example fight against tyranny.

So, I'm not really convinced by subjectivity.  It is extremely inconsistent to me.

Quote
Quote
I love atheists when it comes to discussions with them, and I am much more inclined to be friends with them than with believers.  But usually they are more selfish than they are selfless, at least the friends I have.  The genius of scientists who had spend hours in the laboratory for discoveries many times have to be selfish to attain those important discoveries.
Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.

Doctors do much practical good in the world, but they can be a bunch of arrogant !@#$%^&* self-worshippers sometimes.  They too can be saints and heros in at least the work they do, but a lot of people can agree that they are necessary, but not necessarily good.

In a broad sense, I'm looking for someone more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiC_9RHTvsA

It doesn't require you getting a degree or being super intelligent at something.  It requires you to be human, to get in touch with that emotional side of you.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 02:11:44 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #116 on: December 11, 2010, 04:16:48 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.


Quote

Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship. That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.
Agreed with introspection, it is in fact a fundamental corner-stone of Orthodox Christianity.

In regards to gravity, our explanations of gravity are far different from gravity itself.  Our scientific explanations are purely theoretical, and in fact there are several concurrent explanations vying for supremacy.  These theories are no different that religious interpretations of explanation of phenomena and other occurrences, just with a different standard of evidence.  For gravitation, the evidence is by no means objective, but is subjective to several factors, including technology and sophistication of understanding of the theories themselves.  To a common person, the phenomena observed which we attribute to gravity are hardly objective evidence, they could just as easily be explained by a number of reasonings, but to the scientifically educated person, the evidence seems sound.  It is the same with theology, to a person not well experienced in religion, the religious explanations are unobtainable because of a lack of depth or familiarity with the subject.  Theology is as foreign to many scientists as quantum mechanics are to your average bus-driver..  In other words, there is nothing wrong with either explanations, rather the divisions come from mutual misunderstandings, but neither explanations are by any means objective or provable in any real sense of the word.

Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.

Sure, like the machine gun, chemical and biological weapons, excessive consumption of natural resources, oh yeah and the nuclear warhead and the only true prospect of utter annihilation Wink

In any era science has proved as dangerous as it is beneficial, which implies that some kind of morality must be applied, it does not have to stem from religiousity, but none-the-less blind science as dangerous as anything.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 04:17:54 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,087


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #117 on: December 11, 2010, 04:59:26 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Introspection is a valuable practice. I suggest you take it up. It isn't my job to teach you about yourself.


Quote

Unfortunately for you, both gravity and aerodynamics are known and observed properties of the Universe, unlike this god that you worship. That was the point I was making. It's a pity you didn't address it.
Agreed with introspection, it is in fact a fundamental corner-stone of Orthodox Christianity.

In regards to gravity, our explanations of gravity are far different from gravity itself.  Our scientific explanations are purely theoretical, and in fact there are several concurrent explanations vying for supremacy.  These theories are no different that religious interpretations of explanation of phenomena and other occurrences, just with a different standard of evidence.  For gravitation, the evidence is by no means objective, but is subjective to several factors, including technology and sophistication of understanding of the theories themselves.  To a common person, the phenomena observed which we attribute to gravity are hardly objective evidence, they could just as easily be explained by a number of reasonings, but to the scientifically educated person, the evidence seems sound.  It is the same with theology, to a person not well experienced in religion, the religious explanations are unobtainable because of a lack of depth or familiarity with the subject.  Theology is as foreign to many scientists as quantum mechanics are to your average bus-driver..  In other words, there is nothing wrong with either explanations, rather the divisions come from mutual misunderstandings, but neither explanations are by any means objective or provable in any real sense of the word.

Science brings much practical good to the world. More, perhaps, than any other endeavor man has taken up in six thousand years. If practical good is our measure, then the scientist must be our hero, our ideal, and yes, our saint.

Sure, like the machine gun, chemical and biological weapons, excessive consumption of natural resources, oh yeah and the nuclear warhead and the only true prospect of utter annihilation Wink

In any era science has proved as dangerous as it is beneficial, which implies that some kind of morality must be applied, it does not have to stem from religiousity, but none-the-less blind science as dangerous as anything.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well said dear brother.

Selam
Logged

"If you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you along the way, you will never reach your goal." [Turkish Proverb]
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #118 on: December 11, 2010, 05:12:45 PM »

Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 05:15:39 PM by Achronos » Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #119 on: December 11, 2010, 05:14:30 PM »

Thanks for your reply minasoliman. The time you took is appreciated. I have chosen to respond to your discussion on faith in a later post. One problem we have here is that we work from different definitions. I use a different definition for the words faith and agnostic than you do. I've decided to address agnostic first, simply because its a bit quicker to answer.

True agnostics see the world through no particular understanding necessarily. They doubt a strict materialistic worldview, but they also doubt transcendant worldview.
I think you have reshaped the meaning of agnostic.  You see it as a middle ground between our two positions, accepting neither one: expressing skepticism on both the transcendent and materialist world views, agnostic to both; but that is not the original meaning, nor is it the Oxford dictionary definition.
 
Quote from: ODE, 2006
agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
 
To my way of thinking the word agnostic implies skepticism toward the legitimacy of the sources of knowledge used to prove the existence of God.  That is its meaning.  It does not imply skepticism to anything else.  The agnostic may be skeptical of other things, but the only thing you can know for certain is that he remains unconvinced that anything can be known for certain about God. Agnosticism does not imply skepticism toward science, the scientific method or those things examined by this method.

I think you have taken the word agnostic and modified its original meaning so that it implies skepticism toward all things.  I suspect most who call themselves agnostic have no difficulty perceiving materialistic explanations as trustworthy.  I don't think they doubt the 'materialistic worldview.'  I suspect most agnostics see the material world as the only certain source of knowledge that we possess.

----------

Are there any agnostics present who could way in and lend their view?
Logged
chrevbel
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 708



« Reply #120 on: December 11, 2010, 05:51:17 PM »

Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?
Logged
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #121 on: December 11, 2010, 06:18:46 PM »

Quote
Doctors do much practical good in the world, but they can be a bunch of arrogant self-worshippers sometimes
Do you challenge these doctors to their face or simply publish critical judgement on public forums?

Quote
Okay, let me give you a different perspective. Faith is what you put your trust is, the lens by which you see the world.

You see the world through the lens of what you can only sense.

I see the world through Christian understanding.

I am going to play the old dictionary game again.  The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) offers two definitions for faith:

Quote
i) complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

ii) strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

When you admit to seeing the world through Christian eyes your are admitting, it seems to me, seeing the world through the doctrines of a religion.  I would think you might also acknowledge basing your beliefs on spiritual convictions, thought I think you are less likely to admit not having proof.  This latter point, I think, is where you might have the biggest hang-up for the definition.  This 2nd definition, for me, is the one that immediately comes to mind when I think of the word faith.  You can see, then, why I would probably object myself to any assertion that I possess faith.

Though I do see the world through a lens based on evidence constructed from the physical world, I don't recognize this as a matter of faith.  Your faith, it would seem to me, precludes change.  You might correct me on this if I am wrong.  Because of spiritual convictions I imagine you are locked into believing the same things over time.  New evidence doesn't cause you to modify your beliefs about God, or does it?  Those, like myself, who rely on physical evidence from the world to establish our perceptions of it, change our views when conflicting evidence comes available.  I don't think that anyone who maintains views of the world based on physical evidence would ever insist they had complete trust in any scientific claim, as per the 1st definition.  My world view prevents me from having complete trust and so is the opposite of having faith.

Quote
Faith is something you believe in. It's the precursor to a philosophy. I talk about the Christian faith, that is the beliefs, the theology of our Church, etc. Faith is dogma, and everyone has a certain dogma they live by, whether it be atheists or believers.

Dogma is tied closely to claiming possession of absolute truth.  Let's look at the dictionary again.

Quote
dogma: a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

That -- incontrovertibly true -- part, is an integral part of dogma.  This is what sets scientific theories apart from religious doctrine.  The demand that something is incontrovertibly true is never heard in science.  Conservative Christians frequently make much of the observation that hypotheses in science are often here today and gone tomorrow.  They perceive change in science as proof that scientists don't know what they are talking about.

I recognize that dogma is tied up with faith which is another reason I object to the assertion that I possess faith.  I hold that one species may evolve into something different, but  give me good reason to believe this view is wrong and I will change my mind.  I am not locked into an incontrovertible truth.  My views are not dogmatic.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 06:20:08 PM by TryingtoConvert » Logged
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #122 on: December 11, 2010, 06:24:58 PM »

...By the Lord's gift I have the discernment of where and how to cast the pearls.

Read for comprehension:
Quote
I shall leave you alone for now. For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.

Perhaps if you leavened your insults with some clarity, you'd make better headway.

eta: "No, you!" is not cogent argument.

eta2: This last post of yours was one long ad hom. Hope you're proud.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 06:25:27 PM by TryingtoConvert » Logged
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #123 on: December 11, 2010, 06:32:12 PM »

theistgal would you classify yourself as an agnostic? Considering you say you don't know 100% if God exists or not correct?
Logged
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #124 on: December 11, 2010, 06:39:14 PM »

Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?

But a comet coming to Earth couldn't happen because I have enough faith in Christ will have his Second Coming.
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
John of the North
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Eparchy of Edmonton and the West
Posts: 3,533


Christ is Risen!

tgild
« Reply #125 on: December 11, 2010, 06:41:12 PM »

Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?

But a comet coming to Earth couldn't happen because I have enough faith in Christ will have his Second Coming.

Why does the latter negate the former?? Just because Christ is coming back doesn't mean that a large comet could never hit Earth.

By your reasoning, the Second Coming precludes all natural disasters from happening. But Creation is Fallen. So disasters do happen. Even comets.
Logged

"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #126 on: December 11, 2010, 06:55:43 PM »

What about Fire from heaven that comes to ,consumes one third of humanity,How is that being interpreted ,Nuclear missles  or a comet from heaven......Or will the Lord loosen the demons bound in hell, plus Hell fire from hell itself is poured out on the earth , to consume the wicked and cleanse the earth....So that the meek can inherit the earth....
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 07:09:26 PM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #127 on: December 11, 2010, 06:59:46 PM »

Thanks for your reply minasoliman. The time you took is appreciated. I have chosen to respond to your discussion on faith in a later post. One problem we have here is that we work from different definitions. I use a different definition for the words faith and agnostic than you do. I've decided to address agnostic first, simply because its a bit quicker to answer.

True agnostics see the world through no particular understanding necessarily. They doubt a strict materialistic worldview, but they also doubt transcendant worldview.
I think you have reshaped the meaning of agnostic.  You see it as a middle ground between our two positions, accepting neither one: expressing skepticism on both the transcendent and materialist world views, agnostic to both; but that is not the original meaning, nor is it the Oxford dictionary definition.
  
Quote from: ODE, 2006
agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
 
To my way of thinking the word agnostic implies skepticism toward the legitimacy of the sources of knowledge used to prove the existence of God.  That is its meaning.  It does not imply skepticism to anything else.  The agnostic may be skeptical of other things, but the only thing you can know for certain is that he remains unconvinced that anything can be known for certain about God. Agnosticism does not imply skepticism toward science, the scientific method or those things examined by this method.

I think you have taken the word agnostic and modified its original meaning so that it implies skepticism toward all things.  I suspect most who call themselves agnostic have no difficulty perceiving materialistic explanations as trustworthy.  I don't think they doubt the 'materialistic worldview.'  I suspect most agnostics see the material world as the only certain source of knowledge that we possess.
So you are saying that you have embraced inconsistency:the scientific method is just a method, one which Kuhn has shown has led to often contradictory results. But the agonstic, so you say, will swallow that and put away his doubt, while criticizing the theologians.

Btw, I first came interested in Orthodoxy coming across the statement that Orthodoxy teaches that agonosticism is the natural religion man, since finite man cannot comprehend the infinite God. But Orthodoxy does not lead to agnotiscism, because God has revealed Himself.

As for reshaping "the meaning of agnostic," perhaps it would pay to look at its creator.
Quote
I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. I have no a priori objections to the doctrine. No man who has to deal daily and hourly with nature can trouble himself about a priori difficulties. Give me such evidence as would justify me in believing in anything else, and I will believe that. Why should I not? It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter...It is no use to talk to me of analogies and probabilities. I know what I mean when I say I believe in the law of the inverse squares, and I will not rest my life and my hopes upon weaker convictions...

That my personality is the surest thing I know may be true. But the attempt to conceive what it is leads me into mere verbal subtleties. I have champed up all that chaff about the ego and the non-ego, noumena and phenomena, and all the rest of it, too often not to know that in attempting even to think of these questions, the human intellect flounders at once out of its depth.

I have never had the least sympathy with the a priori reasons against orthodoxy, and I have by nature and disposition the greatest possible antipathy to all the atheistic and infidel school. Nevertheless I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel. I cannot see one shadow or tittle of evidence that the great unknown underlying the phenomenon of the universe stands to us in the relation of a Father [who] loves us and cares for us as Christianity asserts. So with regard to the other great Christian dogmas, immortality of soul and future state of rewards and punishments, what possible objection can I—who am compelled perforce to believe in the immortality of what we call Matter and Force, and in a very unmistakable present state of rewards and punishments for our deeds—have to these doctrines? Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them.

When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble.

So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic." It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. To my great satisfaction the term took.

In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism#Thomas_Henry_Huxley

Was Huxeley's physics the same as Einstein's?

As I'm typing, in the background I have "The Story of Us," another "History Channel" production, but better than most. They are now talking about Prohibition, and have Bill Maher speaking on it, of course saying "anyone can tell you that you cannot legislate morality." Though he has a BA in History from Cornell, they couldn't find anyone with more authority (say a historian, ethicist, social scientist, etc. rather than a stand up comedian) to speak on the subject, or did they just need someone to deliver a line?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 07:20:56 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #128 on: December 11, 2010, 07:14:20 PM »

...By the Lord's gift I have the discernment of where and how to cast the pearls.

Read for comprehension:
Quote
I shall leave you alone for now.

And yet here you are posting. So much for comprehension.

Quote
For future reference, you may wish to modify your approach to convincing others of your rectitude. It's not convincing, at all.

I'm sorry. Where did I give you the impression that I cared for either your opinion or advice?

I'll be honest: coming here as you did plagerizing, you are not on my list of persons I would turn to for assurance of my rectitude.

Quote
Perhaps if you leavened your insults with some clarity, you'd make better headway.

The posts are a little rushed. I don't want to waste too much time for, well, a waste of time.

Quote
eta: "No, you!" is not cogent argument.

eta2: This last post of yours was one long ad hom. Hope you're proud.
Are you saying the failure of your assertions to make a sustained argument for ideas plagerized from others stems from a personal defect?

I can't even say "No, you!" as I don't have the time or inclination to see if they are really your words, or more verbage you have lifted from others.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 07:39:41 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Cognomen
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Phyletism Rules, OK
Posts: 1,968


Ungrateful Biped


« Reply #129 on: December 11, 2010, 07:16:45 PM »

As I'm typing, in the background I have "The Story of Us," another "History Channel" production, but better than most. They are now talking about Prohibition, and have Bill Maher speaking on it, of course saying "anyone can tell you that you cannot legislate morality." Though he has a BA from Cornell, they couldn't find anyone with more authority (say a historian, ethicist, social scientist, etc. rather than a stand up comedian) to speak on the subject, or did they just need someone to deliver a line?

I thought the same thing. They couldn't find a professor, or someone with greater knowledge than the two sentence myth/narrative of the American prohibition period?  It's a far more complicated issue than that and "people need to drink at the end of the day," wasn't a particularly illuminating summary.
Logged

North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).
Cognomen
Site Supporter
OC.net guru
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Phyletism Rules, OK
Posts: 1,968


Ungrateful Biped


« Reply #130 on: December 11, 2010, 07:22:24 PM »

I am not locked into an incontrovertible truth.  My views are not dogmatic.

You are locked into the concept of an incontrovertible truth, and yes, your views are dogmatic. 

You believe that truth, God, etc. must be scientifically observable; that is a dogmatic view that you appear to be locked into. 
Logged

North American Eastern Orthodox Parish Council Delegate for the Canonization of Saints Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as the Propagation of the Doctrine of the Assumption of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (NAEOPCDCSTTPPDAMAFM®).
TryingtoConvert
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Disbelief in your belief
Jurisdiction: All in your mind
Posts: 384



« Reply #131 on: December 11, 2010, 07:39:29 PM »

So you are saying that you have embraced inconsistency: the scientific method is just a method, one which Kuhn has shown has led to often contradictory results. But the agonstic, so you say, will swallow that and put away his doubt, while criticizing the theologians.
If this is the Kuhn's I think you're referring to that was some number of years ago and he was looking at the broad history of science. Though I'm curious about what contradictions you think there are in the method itself.

Quote
Was Huxeley's physics the same as Einstein's?
Huxley was a biologist. Do you mean metaphysics?
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,124



« Reply #132 on: December 11, 2010, 07:42:11 PM »

So you are saying that you have embraced inconsistency: the scientific method is just a method, one which Kuhn has shown has led to often contradictory results. But the agonstic, so you say, will swallow that and put away his doubt, while criticizing the theologians.
If this is the Kuhn's I think you're referring to that was some number of years ago and he was looking at the broad history of science. Though I'm curious about what contradictions you think there are in the method itself.
I didn't say there there was any contradictions in the method itself.  Just in the claims made for it.

Was Huxeley's physics the same as Einstein's?
Huxley was a biologist.
Yes, I know that. Largely self taught too.

Quote
Do you mean metaphysics?
No. Physics.  Einstein didn't specialize in metaphysics. The conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter can come under metaphysics, but I believe Huxley meant physics.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 07:48:04 PM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #133 on: December 11, 2010, 09:03:35 PM »

Agreed Habte, technology is neutral until it is applied morally. But one must ask the creation of a nuclear warhead, how could that ever be used positively?
How about blowing a comet to smithereens, saving the entire planet?

But a comet coming to Earth couldn't happen because I have enough faith in Christ will have his Second Coming.

Nothing wrong with active faith (i.e. blowing up the comet) Wink
Logged
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Church
Posts: 12,711


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #134 on: December 11, 2010, 11:34:28 PM »

theistgal would you classify yourself as an agnostic? Considering you say you don't know 100% if God exists or not correct?

 Huh

I'm pretty sure her faith description is 'Byzantine Catholic.' http://www.byzcath.org/

I've read about quite a few fallacies of logic, but I don't know what they call the one where you just decide names mean the opposite of what they say.  Tongue
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
Tags: atheist pedantic 
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.241 seconds with 72 queries.