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Author Topic: More Young People Are Moving Away From Religion, But Why?  (Read 2110 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2013, 07:48:25 PM »

Why can't you people just understand that in order for more people to believe in God, you need to try to make Him appealing to people with a rationalist mindset? This is why no one in the educated first world is accepting Him anymore.

Or address some of the concerns or problems that some people have with the idea of God or how He is/has been represented.  The cases this morning for example of one person whose mother had cancer four times while the father was absent/abusive/drank.  Or another person whose brother killed himself.  These aren't "rationalist", these are people who have been hurt/damaged and religion hasn't been part of a good.




I know several people like this that I can think of off the top of my head.

Then there are several more people I know who had domineering, very "religious" parents, who were extremely hypocritical, and as a result of that, these people are no longer involved in any religion.

You are correct that this can be another situation that can lead it non-belief. It can create a sort of "allergy", as it were, to a particular faith or to religious belief in general.  When religion or a religious "cover" is used as a bludgeon or for severe control over things that are not sin or immoral this can lead to people who shy away from any religion as a someone which physical wounds reacts to get away from painful contact.
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"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2013, 11:30:20 PM »

Why can't you people just understand that in order for more people to believe in God, you need to try to make Him appealing to people with a rationalist mindset? This is why no one in the educated first world is accepting Him anymore.

Because the rationalist mindset is false and inimical to Christianity.

Explain why. No religion as far as I know has been able to explain why even though I have been perfectly open to receiving the answer. This is the problem; rationalism is the only heresy that the Church has not refuted yet.
The Church doesn't have to.  Rationalism refutes itself.


The big problems in the Vatican, and its Protestant and "Enlightened" spawn, stem from Scholasticism's embrace of rationalism.
+++

“A religion which does not affirm that God is hidden is not true.” –Blaise Pascal

Israel's worship of YHWH did not begin with "inescapable philosophical syllogisms," but in the desert, with the voice of the Son of God speaking from a bush that burned but was not extinguished.

The God described by scripture and the fathers is not the God of philosophers or theologians, but the living God. If He exists in the manner classically expressed (which I and many others here adamantly affirm) He can be found only in the manner laid out in the Gospels. Though a Jansenist Pascal understood this well, even if for in some cases the wrong reasons.

"Let them at least learn the nature of the religion they are attacking, before they attack it. If this religion boasted of having a clear vision of God, and of possessing Him plain and unveiled, then to say that nothing we see in the world reveals Him with this degree of clarity would indeed be to attack it. But it says, on the contrary, that man is in darkness and far from God, that He has hidden Himself from man's knowledge, and that the name He has given Himself in the Scriptures is in fact The Hidden God (Is 45:15). Therefore if it seeks to establish these two facts: that God has in the church erected visible signs by which those who sincerely seek Him may recognize Him, and that he has nevertheless so concealed them that He will only be perceived by those who seek Him with all their hearts, what advantage can the attackers gain when, while admitting that they neglect to seek for the truth, they yet cry that nothing reveals it? For the very darkness in which they lie, and for which they blame the Church, establishes one of her two claims, without invalidating the other, and also, far from destroying her doctrine, confirms it" (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 335).

"...for those in whom the light is extinct, and in whom it is our purpose to revive it, persons destitute of faith and grace who, seeking with all their intelligence anything that they can see in nature which may lead them to this knowledge, find only obscurity and darkness -to tell such persons that they have only to look at the smallest things around them and they will see God made manifest, and to give them as sole proof of this great and important fact the revolutions of the moon and the planets, and to believe that with this argument we have completed our proof, is enough to make them think that the proofs of our religion are very feeble. And I know by reason and experience that nothing is more likely to arouse their contempt for it. This is not the way in which Scripture speaks, which has a better knowledge of the things of God. It says, on the contrary, that God is a hidden God; and that since nature was corrupted He has left men in a blindness from which they can only escape by Jesus Christ, without whom all communication with God is severed. 'Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him' (Matt 11:27). This is what Scripture declares to us when it says in so many places that those who seek God find Him (Matt 7:7). We do not speak thus of a light like the midday sun. We do not say that those who seek the sun at noon, or water in the sea, will find it; and therefore the evidence for God cannot possibly be of this natural kind. And it declares elsewhere: 'Verily thou art a God that hidest Thyself' (Is 45:15)." -Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 366).

"To obtain anything from God, the outward must be joined to the inward; that is to say we must kneel and pray alone, etc. so that proud man, who would not submit to God, may now be subject to the body. To expect any help from this outward act is superstition; a refusal to join it to our inward acts is pride. For we must not misunderstand ourselves; we are as much machines as mind. And hence the means by which a man is persuaded are not demonstration alone. How few things are demonstrated! Proofs convince only the mind. It is habit that produces our strongest and most accepted proofs; it guides the machine, which carries the mind with it unconsciously. Who has proved that there will be a morrow and that we will die?" -Pascal, ibid

"Repentance, alone of all mysteries, was openly proclaimed in the Jews, and by St. John the forerunner; and the other mysteries afterwards. This was a sign that in each man as in the whole world this order must be maintained." -Pascal, op cit.

According to Christ only the pure in heart can perceive God. End of story!/beginning of story! Reason can point to God's foyer, but we must come to Him personally, wholeheartedly, in reverence and awe on His terms and by His leading or we will never find Him. He can remain hidden to the wisest of the wise, but can be known to the smallest child. This reason cannot do, but a Person can do.

There is a critical difference between God as he is known in Hebrew and Christian revelation vs. Greek thought and philosophical reasoning. Personal/historical knowledge contingent to covenant-faithfulness versus, for example, the syllogistic extrapolations of the Greeks is a more accurate approximation of how the Hebrews understood their knowledge of God. Israel’s God, unlike the gods of the ancient Near East, and unlike the Greek Logos born of cosmological speculation was neither a product of reflecting on the cycles of nature (Sumeria/Egypt/Ugarit/Assyria/Babylon etc.) nor was He extrapolated via systematic rational reflection on the ultimate constitution of all things (Greek thought from Thales to Aristotle), but was remembered through his Words and acts.

The God of the Hebrews, writes Etienne Gilson, was “Not a God imagined by poets or discovered by any thinker as an ultimate answer to his metaphysical problems, but one who had revealed Himself to the Jews, told them His name, and explained to them His nature, in so far at least as His nature can be understood by men.” Gilson, Etienne, God and Philosophy (New Haven; Yale, 1962), p. 38). Plato had concluded the ultimate philosophical explanation for all which exists should rest “not within those elements of reality that are always being generated… but with something which because it has no generation, truly is or exists…” This, Gilson observes, was almost exactly what the Christians affirmed, but with one critical difference: the difference of the article. “For Moses said: ‘He who is,’ and Plato: ‘That which is…’ If God is ‘He who is,’ He is also ‘that which is,’ because to be somebody is also to be something. Yet the converse is not true, for to be somebody is much more than to be something. We are here at the dividing line between Greek thought and Christian thought… Taken in itself, Christianity was not a philosophy. It was the essentially religious doctrine of the salvation of men through Christ. Christian philosophy arose at the juncture of Greek philosophy and Jewish-Christian religious revelation… Between ‘Him who is’ and ourselves, there is the infinite metaphysical chasm which separates the complete self-sufficiency of his own existence from the intrinsic lack of necessity of our own existence. Nothing can bridge such a chasm, save a free act of the divine will only. This is why, from the time of Saint Augustine up to our own days, human reason has been up against the tremendously difficult task of reaching a transcendent God whose pure act of existing is radically distinct from our own borrowed existence… Here again historians of philosophy find themselves confronted with this to them always unpalatable fact: a non-philosophical statement which has since become an epoch-making statement in the history of philosophy. The Jewish genius was not a philosophical genius; it was a religious one” (ibid, p. 42-43, 54).

"Though Israel’s notion of God was unique in the ancient world, and a phenomenon that defies rational explanation, to attempt to understand her faith in terms of an idea of God would be a fundamental error. Israel’s religion did not consist in certain religious ideas or ethical principles, but rested in the memory of historical experience as interpreted by faith… Not only was the Israelite league aware that its God had come from Sinai (e.g. Judges 5:4f; Deut 33:2); its sacred traditions remembered the covenant that had been made with him there… We are driven, therefore to assume that the origins of the covenant league, like those of Yahwism itself, reach back to Sinai. .. If Yahwism originated in the desert (as it certainly did) we must conclude that the covenant society did also, for Yahwism and covenant are coterminous!” (Bright, John, History of Israel, pp. 148, 167-168).

If one insists that God is not the inescapable conclusion of a syllogism, one is halfway back to the God of the Bible from medieval rationalist distortions which insisted he was, which became dogmatic in Roman Catholic thinking following Aquinas (after Vatican I; Aquinas was actually considered controversial by Roman Catholics of his own day as pointed out by Fr. Copleston in his book on Aquinas). If on the other hand one scoffs at belief in God on the basis of that which is invisible, eternal, and outside space/time not being visible in a microscope or a telescope, or inescapable as the result of cosmological, ontological, moral, teleological or other argumentation, that is to say the notion that what is not demonstrable within the confines of tiny rationalist boxes of provability, one might just as well give up their belief not only in the reliability of logic, universals, uniformity of nature beyond what one is currently observing (these three being both essential to the scientific enterprise and inescapably metaphysical), other minds, but in the bottom line best thing this brief life has to offer (if you have not "known" it -apart from scientific provability- you are to be most pitied):

"If it were so, as conceited sagacity, proud of not being deceived, thinks, that we should believe in nothing which we cannot see with our eyes, then first and foremost we ought to give up believing in love. If we were to do so and do it out of fear lest we be deceived, would we not then be deceived? We can, of course, be deceived in many ways. We can be deceived by believing what is untrue, but we certainly are also deceived by not believing what is true. We can be deceived by appearances, but we can also be deceived by shrewdness, by the flattering conceit which is absolutely certain it cannot be deceived. Which deception is more dangerous? Whose recovery is more doubtful, that of one who does not see, or that of the person who sees and yet does not see? What is more difficult—to awaken someone who is sleeping or to awaken someone who awake, is dreaming that he is awake? Which is sadder, the sight that promptly and unconditionally moves one to tears, the sight of someone unhappily deceived in love, or the sight that in a certain sense could tempt laughter, the sight of the self-deceived, whose fatuous conceit of not being deceived would indeed be ridiculous and laughable if the ridiculousness of it were not an even stronger expression for horror, since it shows that he is unworthy of tears."
Søren Kierkegaard, Works of Love

« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 11:35:37 PM by xariskai » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2013, 07:52:59 AM »

I'm having a hard time understanding that Isa.  If you don't use logic, then you might as well believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc. as well -- right?  

   I sometimes don't like this tone in certain Orthodox theologians, but having said that, I believe it is basicly true that the validity of Christian faith cannot be known through syllogistic reasoning alone.
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« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2013, 05:15:52 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.
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Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
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« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2013, 05:19:02 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.

In a group of 80-100 people I was the only one (with two friends) to think that abortion is something bad.
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« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2013, 05:27:58 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.
How did the test define "theism"?
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« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2013, 05:30:08 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.

In a group of 80-100 people I was the only one (with two friends) to think that abortion is something bad.

     _______________
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     |      O  Vamrat
     |     /|\
     |      /\
     |
  __|__________
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 05:30:44 PM by vamrat » Logged
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« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2013, 05:32:06 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.

In a group of 80-100 people I was the only one (with two friends) to think that abortion is something bad.

     _______________
     |      |
     |      O  Vamrat
     |     /|\
     |      /\
     |
  __|__________

How long did *that* take you?  Grin
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« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2013, 05:33:53 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.

In a group of 80-100 people I was the only one (with two friends) to think that abortion is something bad.

So your friends think abortion is bad?
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Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
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« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2013, 05:43:18 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.

In a group of 80-100 people I was the only one (with two friends) to think that abortion is something bad.

     _______________
     |      |
     |      O  Vamrat
     |     /|\
     |      /\
     |
  __|__________

How long did *that* take you?  Grin

I was going to put it in an email to a factory rep earlier so I already had the keystrokes down.
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« Reply #55 on: February 14, 2013, 05:50:01 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.

In a group of 80-100 people I was the only one (with two friends) to think that abortion is something bad.

So your friends think abortion is bad?

Only 2 or so from 12-16.
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« Reply #56 on: February 14, 2013, 05:50:32 PM »

In a class of 15 people today I was the only one who classified as a theist on a test we took.

In a group of 80-100 people I was the only one (with two friends) to think that abortion is something bad.

So your friends think abortion is bad?

Only 2 or so from 12-16.

That's pretty sad.
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Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. - Matt. 5:24
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