Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: Theology question

kendall 23 Apr 08 - 07:15 PM
open mike 23 Apr 08 - 07:23 PM
dulcimer42 23 Apr 08 - 07:24 PM
Riginslinger 23 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM
Joe Offer 23 Apr 08 - 07:45 PM
Bobert 23 Apr 08 - 07:46 PM
katlaughing 23 Apr 08 - 07:54 PM
Amos 23 Apr 08 - 07:55 PM
GUEST,Jack the Sailor 23 Apr 08 - 08:05 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 08 - 08:09 PM
John Hardly 23 Apr 08 - 08:12 PM
MaineDog 23 Apr 08 - 08:18 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 23 Apr 08 - 08:38 PM
Rowan 23 Apr 08 - 08:45 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 08 - 08:55 PM
Bill D 23 Apr 08 - 08:59 PM
frogprince 23 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM
frogprince 23 Apr 08 - 09:06 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 08 - 09:07 PM
wysiwyg 23 Apr 08 - 09:42 PM
Janie 23 Apr 08 - 10:11 PM
katlaughing 23 Apr 08 - 10:16 PM
open mike 23 Apr 08 - 10:28 PM
kendall 23 Apr 08 - 10:35 PM
kendall 23 Apr 08 - 10:41 PM
katlaughing 23 Apr 08 - 10:53 PM
Kent Davis 23 Apr 08 - 11:10 PM
john f weldon 23 Apr 08 - 11:20 PM
john f weldon 23 Apr 08 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Al no cookie 23 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM
GUEST,John on the Sunset Coast 23 Apr 08 - 11:56 PM
kendall 24 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM
Mrrzy 24 Apr 08 - 08:56 AM
kendall 24 Apr 08 - 08:59 AM
Keith A of Hertford 24 Apr 08 - 09:26 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 24 Apr 08 - 09:30 AM
Riginslinger 24 Apr 08 - 10:27 AM
curmudgeon 24 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM
Amos 24 Apr 08 - 12:22 PM
Bill D 24 Apr 08 - 12:58 PM
Riginslinger 24 Apr 08 - 01:09 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 08 - 01:10 PM
Megan L 24 Apr 08 - 01:10 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 08 - 01:25 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 24 Apr 08 - 01:28 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 24 Apr 08 - 01:45 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 08 - 02:43 PM
Donuel 24 Apr 08 - 02:54 PM
Bert 24 Apr 08 - 03:50 PM
Bill D 24 Apr 08 - 04:02 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM
Amos 24 Apr 08 - 07:56 PM
Slag 24 Apr 08 - 08:07 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 08 - 08:38 PM
john f weldon 24 Apr 08 - 08:49 PM
Kent Davis 24 Apr 08 - 10:38 PM
Amos 24 Apr 08 - 10:47 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Apr 08 - 11:28 PM
Little Hawk 25 Apr 08 - 01:07 AM
Slag 25 Apr 08 - 01:42 AM
Mrrzy 25 Apr 08 - 08:55 AM
Little Hawk 25 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 25 Apr 08 - 12:02 PM
Little Hawk 25 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM
Riginslinger 25 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM
Little Hawk 25 Apr 08 - 12:10 PM
MMario 25 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM
Little Hawk 25 Apr 08 - 12:17 PM
Little Hawk 25 Apr 08 - 12:31 PM
Riginslinger 25 Apr 08 - 12:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 08 - 01:42 PM
Kent Davis 25 Apr 08 - 03:53 PM
Mrrzy 25 Apr 08 - 04:46 PM
Amos 25 Apr 08 - 05:20 PM
Slag 25 Apr 08 - 05:58 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 25 Apr 08 - 06:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 08 - 07:05 PM
Little Hawk 25 Apr 08 - 07:46 PM
Slag 26 Apr 08 - 01:03 AM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 08 - 04:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 08 - 05:13 PM
Slag 26 Apr 08 - 05:20 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 08 - 05:40 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 26 Apr 08 - 07:19 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 08 - 08:27 PM
Little Hawk 26 Apr 08 - 08:41 PM
Kent Davis 26 Apr 08 - 11:19 PM
Dan Schatz 26 Apr 08 - 11:25 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 27 Apr 08 - 02:44 AM
freda underhill 27 Apr 08 - 03:35 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 27 Apr 08 - 03:40 AM
Slag 27 Apr 08 - 04:07 AM
bankley 27 Apr 08 - 07:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 08 - 12:25 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 27 Apr 08 - 12:45 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 01:14 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 01:33 PM
Slag 27 Apr 08 - 01:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 01:44 PM
Slag 27 Apr 08 - 04:31 PM
Amos 27 Apr 08 - 04:42 PM
freda underhill 27 Apr 08 - 04:57 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 04:59 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 05:22 PM
freda underhill 27 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 08 - 06:18 PM
freda underhill 27 Apr 08 - 06:21 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 06:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Apr 08 - 07:08 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 08:15 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 27 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM
John O'L 27 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM
Slag 27 Apr 08 - 08:27 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 08:28 PM
john f weldon 27 Apr 08 - 08:30 PM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 08 - 08:35 PM
SINSULL 27 Apr 08 - 09:14 PM
Slag 27 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM
MarkS 28 Apr 08 - 12:01 AM
Little Hawk 28 Apr 08 - 01:26 AM
Slag 28 Apr 08 - 02:11 AM
freda underhill 28 Apr 08 - 02:16 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 28 Apr 08 - 06:31 PM
bobad 28 Apr 08 - 07:02 PM
Slag 28 Apr 08 - 11:51 PM
Slag 28 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 29 Apr 08 - 08:01 AM
Little Hawk 29 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Apr 08 - 08:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 08 - 09:44 AM
Paul Burke 30 Apr 08 - 10:59 AM
Slag 30 Apr 08 - 07:06 PM
Paul Burke 01 May 08 - 03:17 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 May 08 - 03:36 PM
PoppaGator 01 May 08 - 04:04 PM
Little Hawk 01 May 08 - 05:31 PM
freda underhill 01 May 08 - 06:00 PM
Amos 01 May 08 - 06:24 PM
Darowyn 01 May 08 - 06:51 PM
Little Hawk 01 May 08 - 10:58 PM
Slag 01 May 08 - 11:24 PM
Little Hawk 02 May 08 - 12:49 PM
Slag 02 May 08 - 11:20 PM
Little Hawk 03 May 08 - 04:53 PM
Slag 03 May 08 - 06:13 PM
Little Hawk 03 May 08 - 06:19 PM
Slag 03 May 08 - 10:08 PM
Little Hawk 03 May 08 - 11:42 PM
Slag 04 May 08 - 01:38 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 04 May 08 - 10:30 AM
Little Hawk 04 May 08 - 01:25 PM
Joe_F 04 May 08 - 10:10 PM
Little Hawk 04 May 08 - 10:28 PM
Slag 05 May 08 - 01:38 AM
Little Hawk 05 May 08 - 08:41 AM
Slag 05 May 08 - 07:17 PM
PoppaGator 06 May 08 - 02:56 PM
Slag 06 May 08 - 06:40 PM
freda underhill 20 May 08 - 04:12 AM
Little Hawk 20 May 08 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Joe 20 May 08 - 09:51 AM
Riginslinger 20 May 08 - 10:36 AM
Slag 20 May 08 - 06:29 PM
Little Hawk 20 May 08 - 06:51 PM
Riginslinger 20 May 08 - 07:18 PM
Penny S. 21 May 08 - 04:16 PM
Kim C 21 May 08 - 04:32 PM
Little Hawk 21 May 08 - 04:51 PM
Penny S. 22 May 08 - 01:56 PM
Riginslinger 22 May 08 - 09:54 PM
GUEST,Humans are limited beings. 20 Mar 10 - 04:17 AM
Wesley S 20 Mar 10 - 01:43 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 10 - 03:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Mar 10 - 03:22 PM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 10 - 03:41 PM
Stringsinger 20 Mar 10 - 03:53 PM
Amos 20 Mar 10 - 06:52 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 10 - 06:54 PM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 10 - 07:49 PM
Amos 20 Mar 10 - 08:09 PM
Little Hawk 20 Mar 10 - 08:19 PM
Amos 20 Mar 10 - 09:08 PM
Joe Offer 21 Mar 10 - 11:25 AM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 10 - 12:33 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 10 - 01:46 PM
Amos 21 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM
George Papavgeris 21 Mar 10 - 02:43 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 10 - 05:14 PM
Amos 21 Mar 10 - 05:46 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 10 - 06:04 PM
Amos 21 Mar 10 - 06:06 PM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 10 - 06:18 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 10 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 21 Mar 10 - 07:00 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 10 - 07:49 PM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 10 - 08:13 PM
Bill D 21 Mar 10 - 08:22 PM
Royston 21 Mar 10 - 08:32 PM
mousethief 21 Mar 10 - 11:53 PM
artbrooks 22 Mar 10 - 08:07 AM
MGM·Lion 22 Mar 10 - 09:44 AM
Amos 22 Mar 10 - 11:39 AM
Little Hawk 22 Mar 10 - 11:57 AM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Mar 10 - 11:59 AM
Bill D 22 Mar 10 - 12:49 PM
Amos 22 Mar 10 - 01:39 PM
olddude 22 Mar 10 - 01:49 PM
Little Hawk 22 Mar 10 - 02:02 PM
frogprince 22 Mar 10 - 04:26 PM
Bill D 22 Mar 10 - 05:07 PM
Little Hawk 22 Mar 10 - 10:55 PM
freda underhill 23 Mar 10 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 23 Mar 10 - 05:30 AM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM
Amos 23 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM
Mrrzy 23 Mar 10 - 02:41 PM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 10 - 02:48 PM
Bill D 23 Mar 10 - 05:06 PM
Little Hawk 23 Mar 10 - 05:20 PM
Bill D 23 Mar 10 - 06:12 PM
Scorpio 23 Mar 10 - 06:59 PM
Little Hawk 24 Mar 10 - 02:26 AM
Bill D 24 Mar 10 - 12:39 PM
Amos 24 Mar 10 - 02:23 PM
Bill D 24 Mar 10 - 02:47 PM
Amos 24 Mar 10 - 02:51 PM
Little Hawk 25 Mar 10 - 12:14 PM
Bill D 25 Mar 10 - 12:37 PM
Little Hawk 25 Mar 10 - 12:49 PM
Amos 25 Mar 10 - 12:54 PM
Bill D 25 Mar 10 - 02:38 PM
Amos 25 Mar 10 - 02:45 PM
Little Hawk 25 Mar 10 - 07:18 PM
freda underhill 26 Mar 10 - 09:42 AM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 10 - 12:21 PM
olddude 26 Mar 10 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 26 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 10 - 02:19 PM
freda underhill 26 Mar 10 - 10:47 PM
Little Hawk 26 Mar 10 - 11:37 PM
Amos 27 Mar 10 - 12:05 AM
Little Hawk 27 Mar 10 - 10:38 AM
freda underhill 30 Mar 10 - 06:12 AM
Bill D 30 Mar 10 - 11:35 AM
Amos 30 Mar 10 - 12:12 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 10 - 01:07 PM
Bill D 30 Mar 10 - 02:49 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 10 - 02:56 PM
Bill D 30 Mar 10 - 05:57 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 10 - 01:13 AM
mousethief 31 Mar 10 - 01:20 AM
freda underhill 31 Mar 10 - 03:55 AM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 10 - 01:03 PM
Bill D 31 Mar 10 - 01:23 PM
Amos 31 Mar 10 - 01:38 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 10 - 01:50 PM
mousethief 31 Mar 10 - 02:13 PM
freda underhill 07 Apr 10 - 08:20 AM
Amos 01 Jul 10 - 03:37 PM
Mrrzy 01 Jul 10 - 04:16 PM
mousethief 01 Jul 10 - 04:25 PM
Mrrzy 01 Jul 10 - 04:49 PM
mousethief 01 Jul 10 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Lox 02 Jul 10 - 05:16 AM
Tug the Cox 02 Jul 10 - 06:36 AM
Mrrzy 02 Jul 10 - 12:42 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 01:46 PM
frogprince 02 Jul 10 - 02:16 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM
PoppaGator 02 Jul 10 - 04:04 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 04:07 PM
Amos 02 Jul 10 - 04:11 PM
Tug the Cox 02 Jul 10 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Gloria 02 Jul 10 - 08:09 PM
Lox 02 Jul 10 - 08:19 PM
Lox 02 Jul 10 - 08:23 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 09:25 PM
frogprince 02 Jul 10 - 09:58 PM
mousethief 02 Jul 10 - 10:43 PM
Tug the Cox 03 Jul 10 - 02:21 PM
mousethief 03 Jul 10 - 06:23 PM
Tug the Cox 03 Jul 10 - 06:40 PM
Amos 04 Jul 10 - 12:04 AM
mousethief 04 Jul 10 - 12:53 AM
Stringsinger 04 Jul 10 - 08:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jul 10 - 08:26 PM
mayomick 05 Jul 10 - 06:22 PM
Tug the Cox 06 Jul 10 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,lox 06 Jul 10 - 09:21 AM
Amos 06 Jul 10 - 10:37 AM
mayomick 06 Jul 10 - 11:03 AM
Les from Hull 06 Jul 10 - 12:26 PM
Amos 06 Jul 10 - 12:38 PM
frogprince 06 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM
Amos 06 Jul 10 - 04:47 PM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Jul 10 - 05:32 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: BS: Theology question
From: kendall
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:15 PM

A dear friend of mine insists that the one we call "God" and the one the Muslims call Allah are two different beings. Who is familiar enough with Islam to comment?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: open mike
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:23 PM

The Bahai faith which has its roots in the Moslem/Islam world,
empahasizes the essential unity of all the world's religions.
http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-2.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: dulcimer42
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:24 PM

My opinion would be that there is one Supreme Being. What you call Him is........what you call Him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:27 PM

My opinion is there is no Supreme Being, so whatever you call him/her/it, it's all the same thing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:45 PM

As a Catholic, I've always been taught that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God. I'm sure there are Christians who disagree. Probably some Muslims who also disagree.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:46 PM

One God... Different messengers...

That's MO...

I'll keep Jesus as mine, thank you, but I will be the first to admit there are some misunderstandings in his teachings...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:54 PM

Wiki has some interesting things to say about it, Kendall.

So does this guy, from a quick scan, though I am NOT sure of his veracity or motivation in writing his paper. I will have to read it over more carefully: click here.

Even MORE interesting stuff here at the Islam Review which makes it seem clear they are not one and the same, from what I have quickly gathered. Need to read it in more depth, too.

ON THE OTHER HAND! ISlam on Line says the following:

The God of the Qur'an is the same as the God of the Torah and the Gospel. Muhammad (pbuh) taught the same religion taught by all the prophets of God, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them all).

Not sure anybody knows!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:55 PM

Misunderstandings????? Man, you ain't just whistling Dixie!!! Misunderstandings, gaps, lacunae, distortions, misunderstood concepts, alterations, twists, inversions, diversions and PREversions enough to make a pore guy;s head spin!!

I have always been told that Allah was known to be the One God by the Muslims who is also worshipped by Christians and was referred to by Jesus.

But...given that I think most Terran "theology" is close to oxymoronic, I can't be held up as an expert!! Just in case you was gonna try that...


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:05 PM

The Muslims believe that theirs is the God of Abraham and that Jesus was one of his Prophets but that Mohammed was the greatest of his prophets. So the obvious answer would be one God.

But the Muslims also believe that Iconography, such as statues of the virgin and stained glass windows are the height of blasphemy. So they would probably say that we are errant in our ways for not accepting Mohammed

The might say that we are infidels for the other ungodly things that we do.

But then a lot of Baptists might say that about Methodists. Do they worship the same God?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:09 PM

Seems highly unlikely to me, kendall! ;-)

If they were two separate beings, then neither of them could even BE God....unless you think God is a limited being. (like you or me or any other separate individual) How can God be limited??? How can God be separate? Can God be over there but not here? That doesn't work.

If you think God is limited, then why even bother calling "him" God in the first place? You'd just be worshipping another limited being, and what's the point of that? Limited beings are fallible, because of their limitations. They aren't adequate to solve all your problems or answer all your needs. They can't create the Universe or run it. You might as well worship your mother, or Brittney Spears or Oprah Winfrey or someone else like that then if you thought that God and Allah were two different beings, because if they are...they're limited!

What your friend probably means is that the Christian God and the Muslim Allah are 2 different human concepts of what God is supposed to be like.

At least, I hope that's what your friend means! ;-) If not, well, I would just shrug and say, "whatever", and not bother arguing further about it.

By the way, the Muslims, Christians, and Jews ALL recognize God as the same being is spoken of throughout the Old Testament and who supposedly spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, caused the Great Flood, made Adam, etc. They ALL claim to worship that same God.

So how does that make God or Jehovah or Yaweh or Allah different beings in the eyes of a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, when they all purport to believe the same holy book which is about the one God???

What they're all really saying is this: "Your version of what God/Allah/Yaweh is supposed to be like is WRONG. Very wrong. Dead wrong. But ours is right. So you're all going to hell. We're going to paradise. Nyahh! Nyahh! Nyahh!"

It's as stupid and puerile and pointless as the arguments between Democrats and Republicans if you ask me. (they worship the same "god" too, but they don't think so...in their case, however, it's the god of "being in power", also known as "money talks" and "having a successful political career")

Everybody has gods. By their gods shall ye know them. If their gods are greedy, vengeful, jealous, and unforgiving, so are they! Avoid such people if you can.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:12 PM

On the one hand, those three religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam)trace themselves back, in an historical way, to the same people, places and events, and see themselves praying to the God of Abraham -- hence, the "same" God.

On the other hand, let's see.

You would understand if I said: A = A

You would also understand if I said: A does not = B.

You might understand if I added the caveat: A = B when certain conditions exist.

What conditions might exist to make A = B?

1. If the only "difference" between A and B is a semantic one.

In other words, if the essence of A and B are the same, but for one reason or another (culture, misunderstanding, perspective) that essence has taken on a different way of referring to it.

2. If A and B are a subset that is included within a larger domain. All robins are birds. Not all birds are robins. If you are talking about birds, then robin, or wren, or sparrow all fit the bill. But if you are talking about robins specifically, then wren or sparrow are outside the domain of the conversation.

So, it doesn't matter what you call God IF you are not making a difference of substance, and if by calling God a different name you are not by that name implying difference of character, nature, essence. Language does have meaning. For instance, when one is trying to be clear in their language one does not refer to a boy as "she". But…..

[b]But[/b]... if the question is, then, do all differing faiths believe in the same God but in a [i]different way[/i] ?", that is a different question altogether.

Now we're getting into a different "formula". This time the formula would be expressed…

A does not = non-A.

In other words, as long as the claims for the character of God are identical, then God, by any other name (or, presumably, by any other religion) is still God. But if the other religion's God makes distinct claims that are contradictory (non-A) to the premise of the God in question, then, to answer your question, no. Differing faiths do not believe in the same God.

Now, of course we all know that even within the single faith called "Christianity" Christians still hold contradictory views regarding the nature of God. This just means that the black-and-white of the above syllogisms are always tempered by other factors, factors like….

1. The knowledge that, try as one might, Christians [i]still[/i] believe that one cannot define God completely. They believe that he has revealed a sufficient amount of himself for His will and end, but Christians don't know but a fraction of Him.

2. The knowledge that, at least in the Christian faith, it is accepted that there are paradoxes in this world and beyond (God is one God – but he is three-in-one. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. God is sovereign but man has free will). Christians live with these paradoxes (and denominationally describe them in nuanced ways) and so assume that there may be other ways that A might equal B (and MAYBE non-A).

These are a couple of reasons why Christians believe that they should remain humbly tolerant of others – and simultaneously, ever vigilant in their quest to more fully understand God.

Christians believe in an objective, transcendent God. He is who he is. He is not our invention – he transcends us (he would exist even if we never did).

That is my view on the subject, and my experience with Christianity as I know it and was taught it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: MaineDog
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:18 PM

The God of Christians and the God of Muslims appear to be distinct, because They provide very different ideas of what constitutes proper behavior, especially if you want to get into Heaven or Paradise.
MD


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:38 PM

Kat, your 'click here' links to a site called "Answering Islam", subtitle a "Christian-Muslim Dialog". This is an evangelical Christian site which, by their own admission, is not a dialogue in the usual sense. I just scanned (read quickly as opposed to electronically) some of the text. It basically uses selected Bible passages to refute the writings of the Quran, attempting, I suppose, to do what evangelicals are wont to do...convert non Christians to Christianity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Rowan
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:45 PM

The "God" (as named in English, rather than any of the texts' original languages) of the Torah, Old Testament, New Testament and Qu'ran has traditionally been accepted as the same being, but the Christians introduced the concept of the Trinity, which the other religions have not accepted.

So, in a sense, kendall's original question has two, contradictory, answers; yes and no.

But I've known for some time now that Man created God in his own image so, to the extent that we value our similarities, our god will be the same whereas, to the extent that we value the differences between us, our gods will be different.

CHeers, Rowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:55 PM

The concept of the Trinity long predates Christianity. It existed in Egypt and in Babylon, long before Christianity, as did the notion of the "virgin birth" and of a divine "Son of God" from that birth. Christianity adopted a whole set of previous "pagan" beliefs and dressed them in slightly different semantic clothes and put those clothes around the life story of Jesus.

This is something seldom known and seldom acknowledged by Christians. Their religion is a rehash and mishmash of previous pagan religions. They don't want to know about it. ;-)

When I use the word "pagan", I do not mean "bad", by the way...I simply mean pre-Christian (and not Jewish either).



"to the extent that we value our similarities, our god will be the same whereas, to the extent that we value the differences between us, our gods will be different."

Right on. That is the key.

Your friend, kendall, is making the common error of focusing on and valuing the differences. That leads to discord.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 08:59 PM

'Most' religions assume one God, but different prophets given to different people.....but since religion attracts innumerable viewpoints, lots of folks interpret it to suit themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: frogprince
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM

Katlaughing, I got the impression that you were reading the article in "Islam Review" as an analysis from the Islamic side. If so, it isn't. Your 2nd and 3rd links are both highly biased arguments from a very fundamentalist Christian stance, with some very forced logic and exegisis to get to the conclusions they are set on reaching. Perhaps the only point they make that is actually logical (preceeding from some suppositions firmly rooted in the Christian tradition which may or may not be literally true) is that, if Jesus is an essential part of the makeup of God, and is the only human of whom that is true, then both Jews and Moslems have a concept of God so basically flawed that it amounts to mistaking who "He" is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: frogprince
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 09:06 PM

John on the Coast got there with some of what I wanted to say, while I was battling with my own wording.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 09:07 PM

Yup, they do, Bill. What I don't get is why they think that their version is the ONLY one that should get air time or is better than all the rest? Why would they not be intrigued by and interested in the other versions?

The North American Indians normally were quite interested in learning about other religions and wanted to hear about them. (Poor souls! Little did they realize what they were up against when the Christians arrived.) The Indians thought it was a case of "both and". For the Christians it was strictly a case of "my way or the highway".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 09:42 PM

A dear friend of mine insists....

That kinda sez it all for me. What do you hope to gain by knowing better than your friend, and what will it cost the friendship to go there?

Theology expertise, yes we have that at our house, but it doesn't go to work casually. GOOD answers are founded on relationship-- it might be an interesting and fruitful discussion as an after-dinner topic, but that would depend on a lot of atmospherics.

No- best ask the friend to 'splain his/her thoughts, receive them as one opinion, and continue to make up your own mind. Friends generally can agree to disagree?

~Susan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Janie
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 10:11 PM

"A History of God" by Karen Armstrong is a pretty thorough exploration of the topic. I recommend it, as well as her later book, "The Battle for God."

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 10:16 PM

JohnontheSunsetCoast and frogprince, thank you. I didn't have time to read in depth when I posted those links. They just looked interesting and maybe helpful for Kendall to see what a clearly biased point of view might say by way of justifying certain "arguments." The last link I put in there seems to be much more interesting, esp. looking at the Home page and now that I've had time to look at them all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: open mike
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 10:28 PM

again, according to the Bahai faith, all the religions have two (at least) levels of messages. One, the spiritual truth, never changes, and
the other message is the one brought by prophets, with a social message which adapts to the times, and the conditions of the humans on the planet. They say that prophets must come to Earth when the people need to hear a new message, or have another reminder of the divine truth.

They recognize several divine messengers, which all act as mirrors to reflect the pure light of truth.

This concept is called Progressive Revelation. They say that humans can only "touch the hem of the garment" of God, and are not capable of understanding all there is to know about God, because we are not "great" enough to see or know the whole picture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: kendall
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 10:35 PM

My friend was my Mate in the Explorer 45 years ago. We have gone round and round in the gravel many times (he's also a Republican) and we haven't killed each other yet.

The thing is, He would argue with an echo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: kendall
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 10:41 PM

There are many things about religion that make no sense to me. For instance,
How did God create us in his own image when he/she/it has no image?
If Jesus was God on earth to whom was he speaking on the cross when he said "Why have you forsaken me"? Or, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."

From all I have read, it seems that the Bible is incomplete. Many books were left out because Constantine was in a hurry to get the book published. Missing are, the gospel of Mary, Phillip, James and Thomas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 10:53 PM

IMO, it is meant metaphorically/metaphysically, i.e. not meant to be taken literally. If you get the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary by Charles Fillmore, you can learn a lot about what the words actually meant in the ancient Aramaic language, as he gives both the literal and metaphysical meanings. It is a very useful reference, imo. You could probably buy a copy of it at Unity Church of Portland, which google says is on SE Stark Street.:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Kent Davis
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 11:10 PM

Kendall, the Koran says that Allah is the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob(spelled "Ibrahim, Ishaq, and Yaqoub" in this translation):
YUSEF 1:28 "And I follow the religion of my fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq and Yaqoub; it beseems us not that we should associate aught with Allah; this is by Allah's grace upon us and on mankind, but most people do not give thanks..."

It also says that Allah is the God of Jesus (spelled "Isa" in this translation, and Mary is "Marium"):
THE FAMILY OF IMRAN 3:45 "When the angels said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the '. Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah)."

Here's an thought experiment: suppose someone tells you, in all sincerity, that he had met Tony Blain, the ex-President of England and former leader of the Worker's Party, and his wife Chrissy, at their house at 11 Dowling Street, right before Blain sent the troops to Iran to overthrow King Hussien.

You could say "There is no such person as Tony Blain." Or you could say "You mean Tony Blair; but you are making many serious errors about him."

The Koran says that it and the New Testament both teach about Allah, but that the New Testament makes many serious errors about Him.

Kent

P.S. After reading the Koran and the New Testament, I think the Koran is the one that got it wrong.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: john f weldon
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 11:20 PM

God and Mammon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: john f weldon
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 11:34 PM

Those who follow traditional versions will feel that "The People of the Book"... ...those who start their religion with The Old Testament... ...are all worshipping the same God.

It's trickier when you get to concepts like the Tao. Especially when there are Christians and Jews (including many modern clergymen) whose vision of God is considerably more "Eastern" than, say, the characterization in Genesis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Al no cookie
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM

Neither one is a being. They are both being itself.
Al


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 11:56 PM

Little Hawk, to the best of my understanding, there is no concept in Judaism of people going to Hell because they are not Jews. No nyah, nyah, nyahs and no gotchas. If that were the case, only about 0.002% of the world would ever get to Heaven. The Jewish concept of Hell is not one of eternal fire and damnation as is associated with Christianity. We believe a damned soul is consigned to Hell for only 11 mos, while it is prepared to go to Heaven.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: kendall
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:31 AM

Thanks everyone. The more I learn the more I don't know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 08:56 AM

The One God of christianity, islam and judaism are all the God of Abraham, the only One God ever invented. All other religions have multiple gods, or none.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: kendall
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 08:59 AM

My friend needs to demonize all things that have anything to do with Islam. He just can't accept the fact that we started it and a gang of extremists are fighting back.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:26 AM

They are both the God of Abraham.
Moslems do not believe in the Holy Trinity though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 09:30 AM

"All other religions have multiple gods, or none."

What about that religion that worships the Duke of Edinburgh? Isn't he the only God for that relgion?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 10:27 AM

I haven't heard of that god!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: curmudgeon
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 11:00 AM

This question, on one level, has a lot to do with language. Neither Hebrew nor Arabic alphabets contain vowels. Thus the "titles" for God are transliterated as Elohim and Allah. In spoken form, these two terms are extremely similar. As one of my religion professors added, names wil "El" or "Al" are both references to God.

On the other hand, God's name JHWH is not to be uttered. The translators of the King James Bibble sustituded the title "Lord" when the original text used the name.

I freely admit that all this information was acquired some forty five years ago and may have since undergone corrections and refinements - Tom


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 12:22 PM

What sort of a God would care if you said his name or not? What's UP wid dat?


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 12:58 PM

from Nietzsche:

""Truly, all the gods are dead. When one old greybeard of a god said 'I am the only god,' they laughed themselves to death!" "


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:09 PM

What a way to go!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:10 PM

The Egptians went through a phase when they adopted the idea of One God too, Mrrzy, and that was prior to Judaism. I think you would find that the idea of One God vastly predates the Big 3 modern religions that came from the Middle East, but they, of course, would rather think that they came up with the idea themselves than that anyone else had it before they did. ;-)

Also, the many gods and goddesses of Hinduism are understood by Hindu mystics to simply be symbolic aspects of one transcendent Divine which cannot be described in any terms we can express or understand...therefore ultimately Hinduism also embraces the notion of one indivisible Divine (existing above all the various God-Goddess aspects, and encompassing all of them, like a diamond encompasses all its facets), but that one transcendent Divine is not personified as a human-like "being". It's not personified in any terms whatsoever, because it is inclusive of EVERYTHING. Everything that exists is merely an aspect of it.

Therefore you could say that everything (not just humanity) is made in its "image"....only it has no image! Or it has a million trillion images! Whichever way you want to look at it.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Megan L
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:10 PM

From memory Abraham had two sones Isaacc to his wife Sarah and Eseau(Ishmael) to the slave girl Hagar. The Cristian and Jewish line claim to come from the son of his wife Isaacc while the Moslem line claims its descendancy from the son of the slave girl Eseau.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:25 PM

Certainly is a lovely family tradition to build religions on, isn't it? ;-) Seriously, there is stuff in the Old Testament that would curl your hair...murder, incest, polygamy, slavery, genocide....and done by the "good guys"...the "chosen people"!

You have to wonder. How can anyone think it's wise to follow such a tradition?

GUEST - Thanks for the info about the Jewish concept of 11 months in hell, etc. I didn't know about that. My statement about the "Nyah, Nyahs" was just a sort of generalization about an attitude people have, that's all. It's the attitude of "our way is the only right way" that I was referring to, and I think it's the most troubling aspect about most religions (and political beliefs too).

I don't agree with that attitude. I think there are many appropriate and different ways for many people, not just one right way. Many ways is a good thing, to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:28 PM

Megan, Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael, not Esau, is considered the forebear of the Arabs (which by the way pre-date Islam). Isaac had twin sons, Esau and Jacob, and it is through Jacob that the Judeo/Christian lineage is traced, altho' he was the younger twin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:45 PM

Little Hawk -I am the Guest you refer to.
As one reads the Hebrew Bible, one does indeed read about murder, incest, polygamy slavery and genocide.
Polygamy made sense to a nomadic peoples for economic reasons. Slavery was not the slavery we associate with American Black slavery; it was for a period of not more than seven years, and slaves were to be treated much as the family was...rest on the Sabbath and holidays, etc.
Murder & incest were taboo, and most instances ends badly for the actor, and there is always a moral lesson to be learned from those actions. Genocide is more problematic, but lessons are to be learned there, too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:43 PM

Yeah...lessons like, "When you see those people coming into your lands, prepare for the absolute worst."

I actually don't place any particular moral judgement on polygamy. Not my business to judge that. Incest seems like not too good an idea, but there might be extenuating circumstances in some cases, I suppose. Slavery, indeed, was somewhat as you describe it and it was practiced by all the societies back then. It was taken for granted. (This was also the case among many North American Indians nations.) Murder is taboo in all cultures, nevertheless people find their justifications for it, don't they?

Genocide was also practiced by most cultures in Biblical times. When they conquered a new area they might very well kill most of its inhabitants...or they might enslave them....it depended on the whim of the conqueror.

So I'm not saying the "Chosen people" were any worse than their various neighbours. I'm just saying they weren't any better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:54 PM

There is one God in the sense that a life form may appear as one species, however there are still two sexes within that species.

There is still the contrast of somethingness against nothingness.

For the sake of simplicity one god will do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bert
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 03:50 PM

"Humans were cretaed in God's own image"

Mitichondrial DNA points to the first Human as being a woman in Africa.

God is a Black woman - SO THERE! ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:02 PM

"God is a Black woman - SO THERE

and she has a TV show and a magazine and a couple billion $$$$ *grin*
(ask any of her believers)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:55 PM

Dang right, Bill. She rules! ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:56 PM

I think my point about "theology" being an oxymoron has done proved itself, gennulmen.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 08:07 PM

If only those Canaanites had a coherent immigration policy and a fence! Oh, wait! Wasn't that the ideas of the wall around Jericho?

Many, virtually all the Arabs before the time Of Mohammad had household god and goddesses, tribal gods and the like in addition to a proper healthy respect for the major gods of the region. Allah was a tribal god. It was Mohammad who declared Allah to be the one god and identified him as one and the same with the god of the Jewish Torah. Their claim is that of being the firstborn of Abraham and this claim is NOT disputed in the Bible. The mother, however, was NOT Abraham's wife but his wife's servant. Check out Genesis for the details and you might check out the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament to see Paul's (?) take on the story.

Back to history. Mohammad realized that the Jews and the Christians both had a unifying factor that the Arab people did not in having one god and no other. You have to give him credit for being a real organizer and a great leader for unifying his people under Allah and settling the endless picayune disputes that kept them at a tribal state. United they were able to throw off the yoke of oppression at the hands of both the Jews and especially the Christians of that time. They emerged as a world power of their day. If the people had any doubts of Allah before then, they were gone with the ousting of the foreign powers.

You don't have to read very far in the Koran to realize that it is a mishmash of the Jewish Bible, the pseudoepigrapha and New Testament as well as the history of their struggles. More on this I won't say because I have neither the time nor the energy to wade through the morass of three major world religions and their theology in this forum. Have at it kids!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 08:38 PM

Yes, the Koran is "a mishmash of the Jewish Bible, the pseudoepigrapha and New Testament", while the Christian holy books are a mishmash of the earlier Jewish holy books and a host of earlier Pagan beliefs, while the Jewish holy books are a mishmash of earlier Egyptian, Babylonian, and other pre-Jewish beliefs and texts!

They all built a new religion out of pieces of the older religions that had preceded them, and then claimed exclusivity.

I don't have a problem with them borrowing from the past, I just have a problem with them claiming exclusivity when they do it.

I have a feeling that if Jesus had anything to say about it now, he would say he doesn't belong to any one of those three religions...although he would probably find some good points in all of them, points which he could agree with.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: john f weldon
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 08:49 PM

I've always felt a bit sorry for the Midianites (Numbers 31). They don't get to bemoan their fate, since there aren't any left.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Kent Davis
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 10:38 PM

Little Hawk,

Neither the prophets nor the Torah claims that the Israelites were, in general, "the good guys", nor do they claim that their being chosen was a reward for their virtue.   

Their being chosen, though potentially a blessing to them, and ultimately a blessing to the whole world, often looked more like a curse. For example, consider Amos 3:1,2, "Hear this word the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel—against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt: 'You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; THEREFORE I will punish you for all your sins.'"

The Koran and the Torah agree that there is one God and that He reveals Himself, in part, through the history of the children of Abraham. Both the Koran and the Prophets condemn the sins of the Israelites and also condemn the sins of the other descendants of Abraham.   

Kent


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 10:47 PM

It fascinates me to watch folks on this thread use the words "is" and "was" in the same tone as we would use them to describe, say, the development of steam engines or streets around London, or the rise and fall of the Roman Empire--as though they were detailing straight facts firmly placed in time. I think the actual definitions being used are not the same as we use them modernly. They are indicating an inventory of hypothetical or legendary case histories, and the use f these verbs are about as appropriate as to say Paul Muad'dib was raised on Dune, or that the Dora was equipped with artificial intelligence by Lazarus Long.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 11:28 PM

What hubris it takes for the christian religions to insist that there is just one god, that the gods Others worship are all manifestations of the god of their christian religion. This is a case of appropriation and colonization on a global scale.

This attitude is an obscenity.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 01:07 AM

Hey, it takes hubris for any religion to insist that it's the best one and that all the others are either wrong or inferior in some way, but they almost all either do that...or they strongly imply it.

One exception is the Bahais, who are inclusive of all the major religions in their thinking, although I'd have to say that they concentrate most on Baha-Ullah...given that they think he was the most recent in a long series of Christ figures (which includes Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Abraham, etc...) They believe that there is progressive revelation and that every great religion has been founded by a genuine incarnation of "the Christ", sent to speak to people in terms they can understand in his (or her) time period.

Kent - What I meant about the Jews thinking they are the "good guys" is that they think their religion is the "right" one and the other religions aren't. I didn't mean they think they are morally superior to other people in some way, they just think their religion is superior to the others, that's all. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

I cannot accept the notion of one religion being inherently superior to another, because I think they are all well-suited to certain people, and those people are different from other people. Thus they are suited to a different religion. That's okay. If there is a God, I suspect he/she would be totally non-denominational. I would be utterly astounded by the existence of a God who favored any one religion over another...that would mean that God was as narrow-minded as most people are! ;-) A hopeless situation, if ever I've heard of one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 01:42 AM

I don't think the Hebrews/Jews ever claimed an exclusivity. Moses knew virtually nothing of God until he hooked up with Jethro and the Midianites, descendants of Ishmael. It was there that he encountered his God and learned more of Him and received his commission. Apart from the development of monotheistic ideation as demonstrated by form and textual criticism, is a clear picture of the development of the knowledge of God: from Elohim to El Shaddai to YHWH. It is an ongoing refinement. Christianity, which technically is a cult of Judaism, offers a statement of the final revelation and fulfillment of prophecy. You can check out the other threads on "Faith" because it all comes down to a question of faith. Nobody, in this country at any rate, is holding a knife to your throat and demanding your heartfelt declaration. Ain't freedom OF religion, as well as freedom FROM religion, wonderful? I believe the original question was about THEOLOGY.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 08:55 AM

If I could get free from religion, it would sure be wonderful!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM

You are already free from religion, Mrrzy. (At least in the terms you define the word "religion. You're not religious. You are therefore free of it.)

If by "free", however, you mean that the world should be changed in such a way that no one ELSE is ever again religious and that you would never again be confronted by or hear about religion....

Good luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:02 PM

To amplify a bit on Kent's post, most of the prophets in the Hebrew bible are not addressing gentiles, but the Israelites. They chastise kings (Nathan/David) and the polity as a whole (Jeremiah, Isaiah), urging them to repent of their sins, speaking of God's punishment if they don't, and his protection and blessing if they do follow God's commandments.

An exception is Jonah (my Hebrew namesake) who is sent to Ninevah to get the inhabitants to turn from evil ways to good actions pleasing to God. However, Jonah is not attempting to convert Ninevites to Judaism, i.e. worshiping God or following the commandments and ritual imposed on Jews.

The concept of Choseness, doe not mean Jews are 'better' than other people, but that they are chosen to be a moral exemplar to the world. Alas, being human, they often are not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM

Kind of like me saying, "I wish I could be free from advertising." (and I do wish it!)

Well, I almost am free from advertising, and I'll tell you why. I don't watch television. I don't listen to commercial radio. I thereby escape virtually all the more intrusive (meaning noisy) forms of advertising through my own power of decision. Simple. I am still, of course, exposed to advertising in print media, but that's easy to ignore and it doesn't interrupt anything else that I'm reading and make me wait until it ends. Ha! I barely even glance at it, so it costs me virtually no time or attention. Then there are billboards. Same deal. I ignore them. Then there is spam email. It only takes a few seconds to delete it all.

Nope, the only intrusive advertising that really forces itself upon me is: Advertising in movie theatres and on movie CDs before the movie itself begins. Advertising on radios and TVs that various restaurants and businesses insist on inflicting upon their helpless clients.

I wish I could be free of those 2 forms of advertising. Boy, do I ever!

But other than that, I am free of advertising.

Similarly, you are free of religion, simply by virtue of the fact that you don't partake of it. You would be even much freer of it if you would stop negatively focusing on it. (as I would be from advertising if I stopped focusing on how much I dislike advertising)

To the extent that you choose to negatively focus on it, you remain negatively emotionally affected by it...and that negativity then moves out in waves to affect other people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:07 PM

"If by "free", however, you mean... that you would never again be confronted by or hear about religion...."



                           Ah, what bliss that would be, ay?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:10 PM

I do not find the idea of a God who punishes people as either believable or palatable, John, and I would not give my allegiance to such a God. Such a God would just be a bigger person, with the same evil tendencies and nasty shortcomings as ordinary people have. That's not acceptable.

And there, in a nutshell, is one of my primary objections to the 3 modern religions which came out of the Middle East. I disagree with them totally on that particular matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: MMario
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:16 PM

LH- I'm just curious; are there examples of religious systems in which the diety(s) do not punish; at all? (including in afterlife?)

I mean religious systems in which there *is* a diety.

And if so - how common are such systems? All the ones I can think of punishment is there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:17 PM

Riginslinger - I feel that way about commercial advertising, American elections....(no, make that ALL elections!)....and the Democratic and Republican parties. ;-)

Religion? (shrug) It barely touches my life, so I don't worry about it much at all. I find it interesting, mind you, but I don't worry about it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:31 PM

Mario - Well, it depends on which particular school of thought you mean IN which religion. There are numerous schools of thought within most mainstream religions, and some tend to focus much more on punishment while others focus much more on love or forgiveness.

This is true within the Christian community, it depends which Christians you're dealing with, and it's probably true in the other major religious communities too.

Some people focus on negatives, others on positives. I prefer religious views (and people) which focus on positives, and there are such views (and people).

But moving on from there, the Asian religions tend to focus much less on punishment and more just on the idea that certain actions yield certain results (karma). So you're not being punished by a deity for doing bad things...but you will experience the karmic return of your actions like the swing of a teeter totter...simple cause and effect....while the way to alter "bad" karma is to creatively use your own FREE WILL to take positive actions and change it to good karma.

Example: You hate someone. It generates emotional negativity in you. That hurts your health and damages your state of mind. It also causes others to feel uncomfortable around you, and they may respond by avoiding you or being hostile back to you.

That isn't God's punishment on you, it's just the inevitable results of what happens when you hate people!

Another example: You steal things from people. That causes you to have to hide those things and hide what you're doing, which makes you paranoid. It will probably eventually result in you getting caught and charged with crimes. You will be in a whole lot of trouble from that point on. It will mess up your life.

That isn't God's punishment on you, it's just the inevitable result of your own foolish behaviour.

That's karma in action. Asian religions usually see things in terms of karma, not God's punishment of people.

Karma is easy to understand. It's just cause and effect. Action and reaction. You punch the brick wall, you hurt your hand. You overindulge, you get ill. You act hateful, you experience hatred. Etc.

You are therefore yourself the agent of whatever "punishment" comes upon you, not God. It's all up to you!!! I like that concept.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 12:52 PM

LH - Yes, I can certainly agree with you about elections. I don't suppose there's any way to get the hoopla out of them?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 01:42 PM

In all Arabic translations of the Bible, and in the liturgy of Arabic Chrustians, "Allah" is the word used where the English would say "God" and the French would say "Dieu" and the Russian would say "Bog" etc etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Kent Davis
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 03:53 PM

Sorry for the thread drift, but I thought a public question deserved a public answer.

Little Hawk,

You are not wrong in saying that observant Jews "think their religion is the 'right' one and the other religions aren't."

In every controversial area of life, people tend to hold the positions they think are right. They certainly wouldn't hold positions they think are wrong, would they?

You also hold the position you think is right. You think that God - if He exists - doesn't care how people worship him.

You may be right. You may be wrong. But in holding your position, you also necessarily hold that everyone who thinks God DOES care is wrong. Thus you, like those observant Jews, also think that you are right and "the other religions aren't".

Hope this helps,

Kent


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 04:46 PM

Right, Kent - and atheists just go one god farther!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 05:20 PM

I am sure there are, MM. But at the same time those religions do not anthropomorphize their version of the infinite.

Both Buddhism and Taoism, for example, point the individual toward the Infinite without embodying it with a name or a bodily form. Nor do they ascribe to it any interest in punishment.

When you think about it, bludgeoning bodies for poor behaviour is pretty low-grade conduct for an unbounded spiritual awareness.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 05:58 PM

McGrath of Harlow, any good Muslim will tell you that there is no "good" translation of the Koran. It must be read in the original language.

LH, quite aside from the topic are you OK? You sound as though you may be a little depressed and cutting yourself of from too much. That's honest concern my friend. I've been there.

Be that as it may, I still hate 98% of TV commercials and the silly season (pre-election). Bah.

As long as there is good and evil in this world you will always have the question of punishment before you. You may be able to tuck yourself away somewhere and not have to deal with the concept in any tangible way, but that is delusional. If for no other reason your own foibles will haunt you. And if you have achieved some way to mitigate your own shortcomings, well, that means that you HAVE found a way of dealing with the problem. And if you share your way of dealing with the problem of good vs evil, I submit that you have just formed a new religion. Religion, religious thought is a defining characteristic of humankind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 06:57 PM

Kent and Little Hawk, you err in thinking that observant Jews think "their religion is the 'right' one and and the other religions aren't." There may be some individuals or groups who feel that way, but I don't believe this is a tenet of 'normative Judaism.'

If by 'observant' you mean 'Orthodox', it still doesn't apply. Orthodox Jews believe that their observance is 'right' vis a vis Reform or Conservative Judaism, but not as concerns the validity of outside religions. It is not necessary for the whole world to be(come) Jewish in order for the Messiah to come, only that the people of the world be good.

BTW, I belong to a Reform congregation and consider myself an 'observant Jew' within that construct.

JotSC (Jonah ben Avraham)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 07:05 PM

McGrath of Harlow, any good Muslim will tell you that there is no "good" translation of the Koran. It must be read in the original language.

So?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 07:46 PM

John, I'm sure that in Judaism, as in Christianity or Islam, there are a great many different viewpoints. I would expect that. I would expect some Jews to be more flexible and less judgemental than others. That's what I like about people...they are infinite in their variety and uniqueness...and they bring that to their approaches on religion as well.

The only thing that really scares me is when I see a group of people who are all rigorously the same in their viewpoints.

And that's one of the things that has tended to make me avoid participating in:

1. organized religions
2. political parties
3. and other similar organizations which cling to a specific dogma

Slag - Well, hey, I'll PM you about that stuff, okay? You ask some good questions.

Kent: "You also hold the position you think is right. You think that God - if He exists - doesn't care how people worship him."

Yes. But I only think that's right for ME to think that way about it, because it works for me. I don't necessarily think it's right for other people to think that way or that other people should necessarily believe the same as I do. If they find happiness and good purpose in their lives by believing something different, I don't mind. I think there are many "right" ways of being, not just one right way...because people are all different, so different people need to find different ways of being and believing that properly suit them and bring the best out of them.

For Mother Teresa it was her Roman Catholicism. Fine with me, although I am myself in no way attracted to Roman Catholicism.

I have no reason to judge my form of belief superior to hers. She did a lot more for other people in her life than I have managed to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 01:03 AM

The Israelites, the Hebrews, the Jews are a peculiar race. Being Jewish isn't so much about "my faith is the true one" as it is the burden of being Jewish. They don't question God. Rather, they say "This is how God has dealt with us!" You will notice as you read the Torah, the Jews spent a great deal of time figuring ways around the strictures and edicts of God. The message was always the same: "You are my people and this is how it's going to be".

I know a lot of you shy away from the Jewish and Christian Scriptures because of preconceived ideas you have about religion and such but if you ever sit down and read the book for what it's worth, it is really something else! It is funny, sad, tragic, wise, exciting, historic, mysterious and on! A real page turner if you go into it with an honest curiosity and a desire to know what the context was when all these events occurred. You are not required to believe anything you don't believe beforehand. Just bring your open mind.

I have read a lot of the ancient writings and not much is of the brainwashing variety. Rather, it gives insight into the conditions and culture and the development of human thought at that time. It is surprising to me how educated and sophisticated these people were for their times and before the advent of science. Same holds true for the Vedas and I Ching, the sayings of the Tao and many others. It is our roots and our heritage whether you want to admit it or not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 04:37 PM

Slag, the Jews may have been a race at one time...when they were a group of tribes enslaved in Egypt...but they are not a race any longer, and they haven't been for a long time. They are a cultural group, united simply by sharing certain cultural values which are identified as "Jewish" BY the Jews (and by other people around them).

You can be a Jew and not be one bit religious. If so, you may do a number of "Jewish" things, you may follow Jewish social customs, but you won't worship Jehovah and you won't necessarily follow what's in the Jewish holy books or believe it (although you will probably follow some of it).

Woody Allen is a Jew. He's also a very outspoken atheist, and there are many other Jews who would agree with him on that 100%.

In fact, if you think about it long enough, it becomes kind of funny. What the heck IS a Jew, anyway??? No one seems to know, except for this: he or she must have had a Jewish mother.

But, wait! Did Sammy Davis Jr, who converted to Judaism, have a Jewish mother???? I don't think so.

Okay then... It must be this: if anybody whatsoever, no matter their race or cultural origin claims to BE a Jew, then they are one from that moment on, unless they change their mind about it. And if they don't claim to BE a Jew...then they aren't one...unless, of course, they had a Jewish mother...in which case they really ARE Jewish, but they're in denial about it or working undercover!

LOL!!!! The mind boggles.

I don't know of any other group of people in the world who quite fit that kind of odd and hard to pin down cultural labeling, frankly, but maybe there is one and I just haven't thought of it.

I also would say that the vast majority of the world's tribal peoples since time immemorial have claimed to be God's Chosen or have assumed that they were a people specially picked out and sponsored in some way by God, over and above other people. They all thought they were God's Chosen. The Romans did. The Greeks did. The Trojans did. The Lakota did. The Japanese did. The Chinese did. The Germans did. Many Americans seem to now! It is not an exclusively Jewish notion at all, but a tacit assumption held by virtually every ancient culture of people.

Why? Because people are ethnocentric, that's why. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 05:04 PM

The difference with Islam and Christianity as religions is that these are in principal universal rather than ethnocentric.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 05:13 PM

Yes. And so are Buddhism and Hinduism and most of the other religions, I think.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 05:20 PM

That was my point with Israel>the twelve(13)tribes. They were the Hebrews when they left Egypt (Nooo!? They couldn't have picked up any baggage there, could they have?). Then the 10 tribes did a super meld and what they left undone, the Syrians took care of, leaving Judah and Benjamin>the Jews. Ethnicity was never large on the horizon and yet there IS that connection. And, beginning with God's promise to Abraham, it was their sacred mission to introduce the rest of the world to YHWH! Which they did in one way or another, i.e. directly or in spite of themselves. When you understand this and then understand that Jesus' earthly mission was TO THE JEWS you gain a lot of insight into his parables (eg the Master's Vineyard, The Unsavory Salt, The Good Samaritan and so forth). So many times Christians have co-opted these and made it about them. There is a general sense in which they apply to anyone everywhere and yet they were really specifically to and for the Jewish people!

God's promise to Abraham that he would become the father of many nations and kings and that his descendants would be 1. like the sands of the sea and 2. like the stars in the heavens. The point here is that the sand analogy is to the earth, ethnic and physical. The children of faith which Paul(?) discusses in the NT book of Hebrews are his spiritual children, i.e. the stars! Very interesting!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 05:40 PM

Yes, it is quite interesting in that sense. Are you aware how much the culture and religion of Babylon influenced the development of the Jewish religion, Slag? That's a whole story all to itself. I believe the Jews were held as slaves in Babylon for several 100 years, weren't they? That would have a huge effect on them as a people. Look how much Black Africans were changed by 2 or 3 hundred years of being transplanted into the USA, after all. African-Americans are now a cultural group all their own, quite distinct from their African ancestors.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 07:19 PM

Little Hawk, what is your obsession with Jews…who is a Jew, and what is a Jew and what is the purpose of Jews?   Seemingly, you have not been reading some of my posts or those of others, or you have chosen to ignore them. The historian, Arnold Toynbee, believed that the Jews should have disappeared from history, as did the Babylonians and other ancient peoples, with the ascension of Christianity in the 4th century CE. But they haven't. I get that feeling, somewhat, from reading your post(s), especially the tone of that at 4:30 PM.

Jews have never been, per se, a race; they are a Semitic group which practices Judaism, related to Arabs and other Semites. Through most of the Torah after the Exodus they are called Israelites. I'm not sure, but I don't believe the term 'Jewish' was applied until the 6th century BCE, after the exile to Babylonia. During the early Roman occupation they area was called Idumea (Judea); after the expulsion of the Jews by Rome the area became known as Palestine, expunging reference to Jews and Judeans, although some remnant of Jews were always there.

Jews share religious values, although they may not express them in exactly the same way, or at all. They do not necessarily share cultural values. Jews from Eastern Europe have different culture and outlook than those from Palestine, Iraq Iran etc., and different from those Jews from Ethiopia or from China or India! Yes, they are/were there too, and many look Chinese or Indian.

Jews used to have to have a Jewish mother to be considered 'born' Jews; except for the Orthodox, this requirement has eased so that if one has a Jewish mother or a Jewish father s/he may be considered Jewish. Your reference to Sammy Davis, Jr. seems gratuitous. Of course he didn't have a Jewish parent…he was a convert as you noted! There is, in Judaism, no legal or religious difference between 'born' Jews and those who converted from other religions.

Once a Jew, always a Jew. Woody Allen may be an athiest, but if he, like Kirk Douglas, now wanted to participate in religious Judaism he would be allowed to do so fully. Unless one is excommunicated (a real rarity) or formally renounces the religion, but even then they are often still thought of as Jews by Jews. However, one cannot merely declare oneself to be a Jew and be considered one, any more than one can say s/he is a Catholic or a Frenchman and so be in the legal sense.

I suppose there are some folks of Jewish background who are in denial or ashamed of it, but I don't know what you mean about being 'undercover'. Am I missing a conspiracy that I should be part of?

As to the Jewish concept of 'Chosen,' see my post of t/23 about noon. It differs quite a bit from being merely ethnocentric or religiocentric.

I hope this has helped you understand Judaism a little better, at least from the perspective of a Jew. I know it is very general, but there are books that give very good overviews of the Jewish religion and history.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 08:27 PM

You may be assuming an offense where none is intended, John. I was simply trying to clarify that Jews are not a race. Some people seem to think they are one.

I keep bringing it up, because it seems to be a very fuzzy area in people's minds as to what they think a Jew is. Usually you find they haven't really given it much thought at all.

It's easy to know what a Canadian is. He's someone born in Canada. A German is someone born in Germany...or possibly a descendant of someone born in Germany if you want to look at it that way. A Lakota Indian is someone descended from other Lakota Indians. A Swede is someone from Sweden. A Catholic is a member of the Catholic religious community. A Buddhist is a member of the Buddhist community. Etc....etc...

But a Jew is not necessarily someone born in any particular location (including Israel) nor is he necessarily someone born to Jewish parents (since he could be a convert) NOR is he some necessarily who practices Judaism (the religion), since he could be an atheist. Some people born in Israel (like Arabs) are definitely not Jews, but they are Israelis. So what the heck is the final definition of a person called a "Jew"? Most people never even gave that 10 seconds thought in their life, I bet.

And yet we have a special red flag word "anti-semitic" coined specially to designate people who are against Jews, and it seems to be the ultimate negative stigma possible (along with "racist" or "child molester"). So what's that about if most people can't even agree among themselves on what a Jew is and have never really thought about it? Doesn't it seem a little strange?

It's because of the extremities of emotion and attitude around these anti-semitism issues that I bring it up, and that's why it interests me. If people are going to raise very emotional issues around an identity like "Jewish" then they should at least give some thought to what it actually MEANS, right? At least I would hope they would.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a unique situation in the world, and it has been so since WWII, if not long, long before that, since there were many previous pogroms against the Jews. I think most people are incredibly mentally lazy about it, because most of them never even stopped to think what a "Jew" is, did they? They just acted on some facile assumptions about what a Jew is, picked up some cardboard stereotype from their parents and filed it in their mind, and those assumptions were probably several cards short of the whole deck.

Hitler could not have fooled so many Germans, for example, and gotten them to support his crazy anti-Jewish crusade if a few more of them had been inclined to actually THINK a bit about what a Jew is, and what varieties of possibility that entails...instead of just accepting the cardboard stereotype of a Jew that he waved in front of them.

But again, I'm clearly expecting too much of humanity, right? I expect humanity to be smart enough to get over this divisive nonsense of labelling people in groups and prejudging them on that basis, but it clearly is not going to happen in my lifetime.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 08:41 PM

Oh, what I meant about working undercover was this: Some Jewish agents in Mossad or in the Israeli military have had to work undercover at times and pass themselves off as Arabs, Palestinians, or some other identity, in order to effectively carry out their missions against Islamic Jihad or some other enemy of Israel. They cannot possibly succeed in such a mission...or survive it...unless they pretend not to be Jewish while they're doing it.

That's what I meant by working "undercover", and only that. I wasn't implying anything snide or critical in using the term. If an Arab was on such a mission against Israel, he might just as well pretend to be a Jew or a Christian, right?

That's undercover work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Kent Davis
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 11:19 PM

John on the Sunset Coast,

As a Gentile, I may be getting it all wrong, but I've read the Torah enough that I don't really think so. Perhaps I'm not being clear.

In saying that "observant Jews think 'their religion is the "right" one and and the other religions aren't.'", I am refering mostly to what Judaism says about God and His nature. I realize that most Jews do not think that Gentiles must follow Jewish traditions.

However, as you know even better than I do, observant Jews most certainly do think that their religion is right. They think, for example, that there is one God, that He is holy, that some actions of ours are pleasing to Him, and that some are abhorrent.

In thinking these things, they are in agreement with Islam and with Christianity. (In other words, Jews and Christians and Moslems all worship the same God.)

However, in holding these beliefs, observant Jews (and Christians and Muslims) are necessarily in disagreement with atheists, deists, and polytheists. They are also necessarily in disagreement with rapists, blasphemers, false witnesses, thieves, etc. They think the Aztecs were mistaken with that whole human sacrifice thing. Unless they are Messianic Jews, they deny that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. I understand that there are certain disagreements with Muslims as well. In other words, like everybody else in the world, excepting only the hypocrites, they hold the position they think is correct and, in so doing, necessarily disagree with the contrary position.

If I am missing something, please correct me.

Kent


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 11:25 PM

Whew! This thread is all over the place, theologically. I'm afraid I just skimmed it, but I did note Curmudgeon's post. He's exactly right - the word "El" (one of the Hebrew words for God - it's what you see in the Hebrew Scriptures as "God," as opposed to "Lord) is the same root as the word "Allah." "Allah" simply means "God," so the Muslim Creed statement of faith should be read in English as "There is no God but God, and Mohamed is His prophet." Since Islam acknowledges both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as sacred texts, I think there can't be much doubt that they're one and the same deity.

It's an interesting idea, though, that there would exist two different beings - God and Allah. Is that what your friend was arguing, Kendall? Does he believe both of these beings actually exist? If so, he might have something in common with the most ancient of Hebrews, who believed that there were other gods, but that theirs was supreme. As far as I know, however, that belief hasn't been current in Judaism or Christianity for many thousand years.

Dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 02:44 AM

Little Hawk--
I accept that you intended no offense and I take none. I am trying to understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure I always do (with respect to this topic.)

A Lakota Indian can be both Lakota and American--unless, I suppose, he's Russell Means and doesn't want to. Or s/he can be both Lakota and Canadian. It depends on which side of that border s/he's born. The same is true for Catholics or any religious entity; they can be both X religion and American, or Brazilian or fill in the blank. As we seem to agree that Judaism is not a race or nationality, Jews can be integral to any or all nations.

There is no final answer as to what is a Jew. It is a moving target. As you note, one can be born into Judaism. And whether they observe the religious precepts or not, they are Jews unless they make a conscious to not be Jewish. That didn't help Europeans who had either themselves renounced Judaism, or were descendants of those who had. Uncle Adolf and his coterie saw to that. One can formally convert to Judaism, and their descendants from that time on are as Jewish as if they were descended directly from Moses himself.

I was a bit coy with you in questioning what you meant by 'undercover' Jews. Since the time of the Spanish Inquisition it has been permissible according some rabbis to make false conversions to Catholicism and secretly practice Judaism in order to save their lives, and I thought you might have that in mind. This was a dangerous game, however, and if caught one suffered the fate of a heretic as well as a Jew. There is in New Mexico a group of 'Crypto-Jews' who trace their heritage to that time.

I certainly agree with you that you may expect too much of humankind.   I know I do. I often feel that despite two major wars to end all wars in the 20th century, and scores if not hundreds of smaller wars between and since those wars, the peoples of the planet are becoming more tribal, and less able to deal sanely one with the other. But that is another discussion for another time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 03:35 AM

Muslims acknowledge Jesus as one of the great spiritual leaders. their views on Allah-God would vary according to the particular version of Islam. Like most Christians, they may not understand that the early roots of Christianity lay in persia with the worship Mithras.

The most important of the many festivals of Mithras was his birthday, celebrated on the 25th of December. He was considered a great traveling teacher and had twelve companions. Mithra was called "the good shepherd," "the way, the truth and the light," "redeemer," "savior," "Messiah." He was identified with both the lion and the lamb.
        
        
The worship of Mithras influenced early Rome, where the mysteries of Mithras, which fell in the spring equinox, were famous even among the many Roman festivals. followers purified themselves by baptism, received by a species of confirmation the power necessary to combat the spirit of evil; and expected from a Lord's supper salvation of body and soul. Like the latter, they also held Sunday sacred, and celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th of December.

They both preached a categorical system of ethics, regarded asceticism as meritorious and counted among their principal virtues abstinence and continence, renunciation and self-control. Their conceptions of the world and of the destiny of man were similar. They both admitted the existence of a Heaven inhabited by beatified ones, situated in the upper regions, and of a Hell, peopled by demons, situated in the bowels of the earth. They both placed a flood at the beginning of history; they both assigned as the source of their condition, a primitive revelation; they both, finally, believed in the immortality of the soul, in a last judgment, and in a resurrection of the dead, consequent upon a final conflagration of the universe.

Reverend Charles Biggs stated: "The disciples of Mithra formed an organized church, with a developed hierarchy. They possessed the ideas of Mediation, Atonement, and a Savior, who is human and yet divine, and not only the idea, but a doctrine of the future life. They had a Eucharist, and a Baptism, and other curious analogies might be pointed out between their system and the church of Christ.
        
In the catacombs at Rome was preserved a relic of the old Mithraic worship. It was a picture of the infant Mithra seated in the lap of his virgin mother, while on their knees before him were Persian Magi adoring him and offering gifts.

Mithra had his principal festival on what was later to become Easter, at which time he was resurrected. He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. His resurrection was celebrated every year.His sacred day was Sunday, "the Lord's Day." The Mithra religion had a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper."
        
freda


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 03:40 AM

Kent, what you say is pretty self-evident to me. People of every religion think their religion is right for them, else most would leave it for another religion...or none at all. The problem comes when the adherents of a religion think their's is right for everyone, and they attempt to inculcate that religion by force of arms or force of law. Jews may disagree with certain precepts of other religions, but they do not invalidate those religions as a result of those disagreements.

Jews generally have no problem with others practicing their normative religions as long as those practices don't hurt other people. There are, of course differences and disagreements, else everybody would be the same thing. Followers of Buddhism, Taoism or Zoroastrians etc. are can find a way to salvation or heaven, in whatever way they understand that concept, if their actions are good on earth. I suppose that religions requiring human sacrifice would be considered religions which condone murder. Murder is not a good thing, whether considered from a religious or a secular perspective.

You used the term 'Messianic Jew', and I'm probably going to get a lot of hurt on this. For me this a term without meaning. With the victory of Pauline theology, and the Council of Nicea (I may have the wrong Council) in the 4th century CE the bond between Jews and Christians was removed. The folks you reference 'ARE Christians;' they masquerade as Jews for the sole purpose of evangelizing and converting unsuspecting Jews to Christianity. I am not aware that they try to convert any other group. We are their special project. I believe them to be as dishonest in dealing with Jews as I suppose the anti-Christ is to Christians. I hold this disdain only for this group, not for any other Christian entity from Catholicism to Jehovah's Witnesses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 04:07 AM

Dan, I'm afraid that just isn't so. El is short for Elohim=the Strong One. The closest anything in the Hebrew come to it is aleph lamed he(th), English equivalent is "alah": Strong give the first instance as a prime root which is solely connected with a second nearly identical word which also comes across in the English as "alah". The first carries the idea of invocation to bewail and is therefore translated as "lament". The second instance means to adjure (in a bad sense-Strong) and is translated "to curse or swear". Third instance is "imprecation:-curse, cursing, execration, oath, swearing".

From the Chaldean (there's your Babylonian influence LH!) you have a word that comes over to the Hebrew as "el-ahh" meaning "God". The word which comes closest, at least in the English transliteration, is allah which means "oak"! It stems from a poetic word "ayil" which means strong like a strong tree. "Mamre" is the usual Heb. for "Oak".

The God of the Torah has several appellation. Elohim has been discussed. El Shaddai means "the Nurturing One" "Adonai" is also translated "Lord". Adonai "Sabbaoth" Lord of the Sabbath. Elohim Ts,ab,ba or "tsabah", is Lord of Hosts (Armies). There is a continuing revelation of Who and What God is. The revelation which Moses received and which united the Hebrews under Him was YHWH, translated in the King James as Jehovah but more correctly in the English form "Yahweh". There is no connection with the Arabic "Allah". You might want to run this by a scholar of Hebrew but I believe my basic analysis is correct.

What you see is a continuing revelation of God and how He relates to His creation. In every other religion we find Man seeking God (or whatever he names as his ultimate concern). In the Bible we find God seeking Man, attempting to show him the way home, back to God. This is not your ordinary religion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: bankley
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 07:57 AM

maybe she's twins


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 12:25 PM

So if a Jew decides to become a Christian does that mean he or she ceases to be a Jew, John? Hitler certainly didn't think so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 12:45 PM

You are correct about Hitler...and others as I noted earlier this morning.   Does a Jew who converts to Christianity cease to be a Jew? I would think yes, at least religiously, if it is a sincere conversion. But, again, you can find lists of Jews in various fields of endeavor who had themselves converted, or whose recent ancestors had converted from Judaism; Disraeli and Felix Mendelsohn come quickly to mind.

Please note that I do not speak for Judaism. I only speak from history, and the teachings and discussions I have understood over the years. There are many introductions to Judaism which can give a great overview, but if you read two of them, you'll get three opinions. :>\


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 01:14 PM

McGrath - Hitler didn't think so because Hitler was a paranoid fanatic with a gigantic persecution complex. Such people are dangerous. Had Germany not lost the First World War and had the young Hitler never been a disgruntled and bitter German veteran at the end of that war...you would never have had the rise of the Nazis. He was a product of his own negative experiences and his reaction to those....as is the case with most people. Whatever they suffer in youth tends to haunt them for the rest of their lives.

freda - Thanks for the great post on Mithras! Bravo. People really need to learn about stuff like that in order to get a bit more insight into the ancient origins of the religions they take for granted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 01:33 PM

John, you said it in a nutshell:

"There is no final answer as to what is a Jew. It is a moving target."


That's what I'm saying.

Now I think that if people who are prejudiced against Jews gave a bit of thought to that, it might help open their minds a little and maybe they would like go of some of the "Jew" stereotypes they are clinging to in order to justify their prejudice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 01:36 PM

A close friend of my father by the name of Art Levine once lead him to a graveyard in Tracy CA to show him something. There in the cemetery was a headstone with his name on it. The date of death was the day that Art told his parents that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and God. In Art's parent's eyes, at least, you could not be a Christian and still be a Jew.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM

I'm sure there are parallels to that story you could find in most religions. It's shameful, but it happens.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 01:44 PM

That's typical of the rigid thinking some people fall into as a result of their religion...or their politics...or their national identity...or their racial identity...or their cultural identity...or any other fixed notion like that. It gets in the way of them simply being human.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 04:31 PM

Alas! They said of Jesus "He eats with publicans and sinners." Whom you dined with was whom you identified with in that and most ancient cultures. It even holds true today in certain places, maybe in most. Whom you ate with was your family and friends as close as family. Funny isn't it that many who go by the name of "Christian" are oh so careful with whom THEY associate. When a certain disciple came to Jesus to tell him that his mother was without the crowd, trying to get in to see him, he threw out his hand and said "This is my mother and brothers and sisters.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 04:42 PM

Two friends from the same synagogue and the same neighborhood are walking down the street when they pass a Catholic Church with a sign in front, "$1000 to anyone who converts!". Hymie figures he has got to see what this is all about, so he goes in. Sol waits for him for over an hour.

When Hymie comes out, Sol asks him what happened./ "Well, I converted to Catholicism," Hymie replies.

"Really!!!?" says Sol. "Did you get $1000 ?"

Hymie looks at him with a scowl. "Don't you people ever think of anything else?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 04:57 PM

LH - glad you read the post. ideas evolve, mutate or are appropriated over time, and are 'claimed' by some as being originally their own. it was challenging and confronting for me to read about the earlier versions of Christianity. i am fascinated by the fact that Plato, a humanist, said many of the things that Jesus did, some centuries earlier. he was also a humanist who was vegetarian and believed in reincarnation. nowadays no humanist worth their salt would dare to do that. i find the whole notion of a journey of religious thought compelling - like someone playing hopscotch across time, each jump a slightly different pattern.

freda


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 04:59 PM

Heh! The Catholics should try that routine in Orillia. I bet they could quadruple their present membership in a day or two.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 05:22 PM

Why would a humanist not dare to believe in reincarnation, freda?

How does one define "humanist"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 05:39 PM

humanists i have known.. in australia at least, humanists seem to reject the validity of anything verging on mystical, religious or that cant be 'proven' in favour of scientific skepticism and the scientific method. Humanists here are big on ethical behaviour for its own sake, as opposed to morality inspired by religious opinion.

A humanist approach here is to seek truth by logic, using evidence and demonstrable outcomes as opposed to seeking it through revelation, mysticism, or faith. Secular humanists generally believe that following humanist principles leads to secularism, on the basis that supernatural beliefs cannot be supported using rational arguments and therefore the supernatural aspects of religiously associated activity should be rejected.

I've just done a quick wiki check and found this definition:

"Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality." - International Humanist and Ethical Union

freda


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM

Yes, I see. But how does that bear on reincarnation? There is, after all, a fair bit of recorded evidence which strongly suggests the possibility of reincarnation (although it also suggests other possibilities...such as shared genetic memory, etc.).

It is neither proven nor disproven, it's a possibility. I don't see how being rational precludes considering various unproven or presently-un-agreed-upon-by-everone possibilities...specially those which are supported by some people's direct experiences and observation (as, for example, the possibility of reincarnation, the possibility of ghosts, or the possibility or alien spacecraft visiting this planet).

How would being a humanist, secular or otherwise, jibe with denying even the consideration of all such possibilities?

And why would a humanist have to be secular? There are many religious or mystical people who also "seek truth by logic, using evidence and demonstrable outcomes" and who "are big on ethical behaviour for its own sake".

I think I am probably a humanist. After all, I seek truth by logic, using evidence (when it's available) and demonstrable outcomes. If I can find little or no available evidence and can arrange no way of testing a theory, then I speculate about it and think in terms of probabilities...using my reason and logic as best I can in the absence of irrefutable data or evidence.

As for ethics, I have always seen ethical behaviour as something that is done for its own sake, and I think that is why most religions encourage the more common forms of ethical behaviour, because the people back then could plainly see that such ethics were good for their own sake, and would benefit the community as a whole! Their ethical sense may not always have been perfect by any means, but it was at least guided by normal logic and observation.

They weren't any stupider than we are. ;-) Their ideas reflected logic too. And observation.

I think you will find, ultimately, that there are as many ways to be a humanist as there are to be a Jew.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 06:18 PM

The first and second sentences sum up "humanism" pretty well. The third one is tacked-on polemic, which would would exclude a great many significant historical figures who are generally described as humanists. For example Thomas More, or Thomas Merton.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 06:21 PM

i agree, LH, and that's why I find Plato so intriguing. these old philosophers don't fit into dogmatic boxes. mind you, he also kept slaves, so his humanism was not evenly spread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 06:42 PM

Ah, yes, but in those days everyone around his part of the world kept slaves. It was taken for granted. Thus I am not surprised that Plato kept slaves, despite his advanced capacities to comprehend moral and ethical issues.

Every society has blind spots like that. We presently have similar blind spots, in my opinion, and quite a few of them too. Such as...

- Look at how much money we are spending yearly on wars and preparing for future wars. Can we not put that behind us?

- Would Plato have thought the A-bomb or the H-bomb were great things to come up with? How about biological warfare and waterboarding?

- Is it really smart to invent an artificial thing called "money" and then make every decision in society dependent upon it and assume that anything that increases the flow of money to those at the top is automatically "good"?

- Is an ever-expanding economy a smart idea on a planet of limited resources?

- Is it smart to put millions people out of work by replacing them with automatic machines or shipping their jobs overseas to vastly poorer people?

- Is it smart to allow vast destruction of natural forests in order to grow more cows to make more hamburgers?

- Is it smart to take young men who have committed their first crime and put them in crowded penitentiaries in the company of hardened career criminals? Will this help turn then away from a future life of crime?

- Is it moral to bomb civilians in wartime and destroy civilian infrastructure on a massive basis?

- Is it moral to launch a pre-emptive war on someone who hasn't attacked you yet and who wouldn't even be able to if he wanted to?

Are any of these things smart? Are any of them moral?

Plato would probably be shocked and horrified at what has become of the world since his time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 07:08 PM

everyone around his part of the world kept slaves

Aside from the slaves of course.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 08:15 PM

True, but the slaves themselves had a definite pecking order established as to who got to order who around within their own ranks. With luck, a slave could become a free man in time. If so, he could soon hope to afford to have slaves of his own. ;-)

Like I say, it was a moral blind spot in their society.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM

I goolgled "slaves owning slaves." There were no entries I could find in the first 200 I found...so one for McGrath.

However, I did find some pages regarding free Southern Blacks owning slaves, and also that the Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek Indian tribes owned about 10,000 Black slaves at the time the Civil War began. What a universl shame is slavery!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John O'L
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 08:23 PM

"...i am fascinated by the fact that Plato, a humanist, said many of the things that Jesus did, some centuries earlier. he was also a humanist who was vegetarian and believed in reincarnation..."

It it possible that they were both Buddhists? I mean resurrection isn't that far away is it? Could it have been a simple misunderstanding, or perhaps an intentional misrepresentation?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 08:27 PM

Slavery then and now is quite a thread drift and really is a subject for another thread. Through history slavery has dominated as has polygamous marriages. Not really a question for theology but theological sources do have some things to say about slavery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 08:28 PM

I didn't say that slaves could own slaves. I said that they had a pecking order within their ranks. What I mean is that in a given household there might be 6 slaves, for example, or 16 slaves, and there would be an order of seniority and authority among those 6 or 16 slaves as to who got to boss who around. Someone would be top slave on the totem pole. This has always tended to happen in societies which had slavery.

And I said that a former slave, now a freed man, could own slaves if he rose high enough and had the money to buy them. It probably didn't happen much, but I bet it happened on a few occasions.

I'm talking about ancient Greece and Rome here, okay? I think it was much the same in Egypt, Babylon, and other large societies of that time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: john f weldon
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 08:30 PM

The resemblance between Plato and Jesus is well understood. The early Christian Fathers were Platonists, pure and simple. Jesus was an invention; a myth intended to bring Platonism to the common man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 08:35 PM

No, no, Plato was a myth invented ahead of time to legitimize the later mission of Jesus, john. ;-) It was a very long range and clever plan foisted on humanity by those dreadful people behind organized religion. In truth, Plato never existed, and all the documents that suggest he did were cunningly forged by people of that time to mislead humanity. Socrates never existed either. I'm surprised you hadn't figured that out already all by yourself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: SINSULL
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 09:14 PM

To thine own self be true, Captain.
It has gotten you this far in life.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM

A person of means in the Roman Empire would buy a slave as pedagogue for his male heir. The Slave had complete control over the child (within parental limits) and until the pedagogue presented the child as sufficiently educated the child had no sonship. There were slaves and then there were slaves. Slaves of the wealthy and ruling class had it over freemen in many ways. They were the direct representation of their masters and could conduct business and other affairs on behalf of the master. Slavery then did not really compare to the slavery conducted in the US.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: MarkS
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 12:01 AM

Hey - I can explain all this perfectly, clearly, and in a way that everybody is contented and satisfied.

All you have to do is send a love donation to:

MarkS
14 A West.........

er, er, wait a minute....

"OK Dear, Right Away!"

Hey Catters, I'll finish this later.

Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 01:26 AM

Oh, good. I'd been trying to figure out who to give that fishnet stocking lamp to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 02:11 AM

A major award!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 02:16 AM

heh heh heh..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 09:04 AM

One though to keep in mind in that slave systems differed - the American system of chattel slavery was pretty unique in a lot of respects. About the nastiest version that has ever existed of something that in principle is pretty nasty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 06:31 PM

All of the books are a collection of interpretations of the history of their respective faiths, and of the message of their "prophets".

So basically:- One God! Three different main biographies, each slanted according to the particular agendas of the interpreters.

So although the message differs, the author is one and the same.

Works for me!!
Don T


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: bobad
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 07:02 PM

God FAQ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 11:51 PM

Don()T you make three statements from your own agenda, from your own time and culture and 21st century understanding and you do not substantiate any of them. You assume facts not in evidence and base your CONCLUSIONS on your assumptions!

That's a neat way to make pesky problems go away in your own thinking but it doesn't do much for the topic under consideration. There could be some merit in the most general sense in the first statement but said statement assumes that history and it's interpretation was all they had on their minds and I assure you it was not. What we call history was a virtual unknown to these folks, especially the earliest writings. It was more about law and maintaining unity and identity. It was also about justice and morality. The scope was societal.

If you check out the phrase "hastily drawn conclusion" your second statement would be there.

Three: there were many, many authors and if you believe in divine inspiration, many authors but one spirit. There are no equivalences acknowledged between the Koran and the Torah, the Koran and the New Testament and the Jews do not recognize the New Testament, albeit the Christians do recognize the stature of Scripture of the Torah, which they, of course, call the Old Testament. And Christians do not recognize the Koran as inspired, which is pretty much what this debate has been about.

Other than that, I welcome your viewpoint!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM

Bodad, so they gave 400 monkeys 400 indestructible typewriters and God knows how much time and this is what came out? No works of Shakespeare? Nothing by T.S.Eliot? Dumas? Man, they needs some new monkeys.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 08:01 AM

If there is no supreme being, how can you call it/her/him anything at all?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM

Well, Jim, people decided there is one (a God)...then they give it a name. That's how it works. It's like when Walt Disney came up with a talking duck...and he named it "Donald". You have to come up with the character first, then the name. As soon as you have a character, it needs a name so you can talk to other people about it and they know what you're referring to.

In fact, everything needs a name...otherwise we have no way of talking about it. What would we call "global warming" or "anchovies" if the words didn't exist yet?

Now as to whether there IS a supreme being or not...I don't exactly see that you or I are in a position to prove that one way or another. ;-)

But even if such a being was mythical (like Donald Duck), it would still require a name, a word that specifically designates it. Otherwise we couldn't discuss it very readily, could we?

You might just as well ask how we can call Santa Claus anything at all! ;-) It makes no difference whether or not God really exists as to whether we can call God by the name "God".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 06:06 PM

The point is, all three sister monotheistic religions are agreed that there is one God and only one God - this means that the multfarious words they use in this context mean "the one and only God as worshipped by Abraham". By definition therefore, the same God, however the various people using the words may differ about other things.

By analogy, if "the Universe" means everything that exists, no matter how cosmologists may differ, they are talking about the same everything. (Words like "multiverse" are just a way of indicating the belief that the universe is actually a great deal bigger than previously thought, a word game really. Rather similar to the way that the word "world" has been used in a restricted sense as well as the comprehensive one in which it means the same as "universe".)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 08:51 PM

"Don()T you make three statements from your own agenda, from your own time and culture and 21st century understanding and you do not substantiate any of them. You assume facts not in evidence and base your CONCLUSIONS on your assumptions!"

Slag, you accuse me of assuming facts not in evidence. The very reason we are having this discussion is because there ARE no facts in evidence.

There are only , in the context of the "major" religions, three books which have passed through the hands of generations of MEN with their own individual agendas and prejudices.

It is inconceivable that what we see today has come through those ages unchanged, and it is certain that customs and mores have over that time seen many and quite radical changes.

Why is it hard to believe that MEN have altered the messages in those books to reflect this. I would find it harder to believe that they have NOT (consider the view of Richard III which was foisted upon students of history by the Tudors, to justify their usurping of his throne).

The message to which I referred is the word of God as originally expressed, and the author to whom I referred is God.

Christians, Jews and Muslims believe in ONE God, each group has a book purporting to relay HIS message, but none of those books contains much, if any verifiable evidence of authenticity, and since the messages from God contained therein differ widely in the three religions, it would seem that they owe more to the interpreters than to the author.

If you can adduce factual evidence that supports your assessment of my comments as jumping to hasty conclusions, I would be most interested.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 09:44 AM

The difference with the Koran is that it's much more recent than the others, and there doesn't seem to have been any significant change in the actual text since the time of Mohamed. (In one sense there's an analogy with the even more recent Book of Mormon, insofar as it does have a definite and recorded provenance. Though that's not an analogy to be stretched too far.)

Of course there has been a great deal of variance between the way interpretors at different times and places have explained that text and commented on it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 10:59 AM

Don't forget that there's no "The" Bible. There are several versions, that include different books and have (particularly sensitive) passages translated differently. Compare the Douay with the King James versions, for example, and that's not mentioning Wycliff, Geneva or the Jewish versions without the NT. The details selected are highly ideological in nature, and must reflect the struggles in the early Church that led to the rejection of many early scriptures, like the Gospel of St. Thomas.

Do Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the same God was the original question. Do Christians all worship the same God is another question. Even discounting the Arians, Monophysites, Monothelites, Nestorians and so forth, who differed about the fundamental relationship between God and Jesus, I doubt if Torquemada and St. Francis of Assisi could have agreed on the attributes of the God they worshipped had they been able to meet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 07:06 PM

You make an excellent point Paul. I wondered just what some so-called Christians worship. As per text variation in the Torah and the New Testament, variation do exist. they are documented and the sources are identified. Much labor, archeology and scholarship has gone into this endeavor. No one is trying to hide anything. The amazing thing to me is how little variation there is. Whether a particular edition of a Bible includes the Apocrypha or commentaries or the Critical Apparatus listing all the known variants, demonstrates the openness and honesty of the scholarship involved. That certain sects emphasize one over another tells us something about the particular SECT, not the Scripture. Newer translations usually include the interpreter's comments on difficult passages along with a discussion as to why a particular decision was made to interpret one way and not another. One of my favorite translations is the Jerusalem Bible which is a French Catholic translation from the original languages. This in turn was translated FROM THE FRENCH into English. J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the translators! It is a very interesting translation and it gives great insight into Catholicism as well as the Scripture. I do read the Greek text and, with a few exceptions, feel that the KJV is one of the best English translations going.

Don () T, sorry if I ticked you off! I was trying to be a little humorous by being so picayune. I'm not ROTFLM*O but I am LOL out loud! Since the question here, in this thread, is one of THEOLOGY and not existential or philosophical debate, I approached it as a theological question. Nor is the question one of "number" though I have no doubt that those of Islamic persuasion would disagree, as would most Jews with the Christians on this point. The idea of "Trinity" and Godhead is difficult to harmonize with pure monotheism. I am told that the superscription over the door way to the Dome of the Rock states "God is one" and "God has no Son".

That these three main monotheistic religions have differences which are significant is demonstrated by the fact that there are three DIFFERENT main monotheistic religions, each claiming to be monotheistic. If that sounds like a tautology, too bad! It is the given, the self evident, "evident" being the key word. It is THE fact in evidence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 May 08 - 03:17 AM

Is Christianity really monotheistic though? Outsiders would say it has four main gods (Creator, Victim, Spirit, and Destroyer) and a Goddess (Virgin), and some variants also have a host of minor demigods. Part of the problem of the early Church was telling Greek rhetoricians about it before they'd worked out what they really meant themselves (if anything).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 May 08 - 03:36 PM

Outsiders might say all sort of things about all kinds of esoteric subjects, and sometimes outsiders can see things insiders can't.

But unless they are the kind of outsiders who have put serious effort into learning and understanding the complexities of the subject, their opinions are not that significant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 May 08 - 04:04 PM

Since this was posed as a "theology question," not a "church-history" or "comparative religions" question, I think the proper answer is that Christianity, Judaism, Islam, all the various competing sects within each tradition, and virtually all other contemporary religions worship the same God, insofar as they all agree that only one God exists.

That might be the only thing they all agree upon, of course, and each faction believes that it has the best concept of exactly Who that God IS, and how we humans are supposed to relate to Him..

Monotheism has been pretty well established among believers of all stripes for a very long time. "God" is essentially a name for "the Truth," the nature and ruling principle of the entire universe, seen and unseen, well beyond human understanding. And everyone can agree that there's only one ultimate truth, unknowable as that might be and however much we might disagree about it's nature.

Even Hindus, who honor and practice a very ancient "polytheistic" tradition, will describe their multiple deities or demigods as expressons of the various aspects or personalities of One God, much like the Trinity posited by Christians, or the many saints of Catholicism, the multiple demigods of voodoo and santeria, etc.

Once upon a time, when one "people" or tribe went to war against another, they actually believed that their own "god" would be facing off in opposition to the enemy's "god." That concept is long gone. The idea of one God common to all men and all creation goes back at least as far as Abraham. If one group of his worshippers thought of themselves as a "chosen people," they were claiming to be the only ones who knew and faithfully tried to follow the creator of all ~ they were quite explicitly NOT following the notion that "we have a god who is not your god."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 May 08 - 05:31 PM

Well said.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 01 May 08 - 06:00 PM

I think the Egyptians came up with the idea of one God a little earlier than the Abrahamic religions - Nefertiti and her King the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV. some say it was Nefertiti who initiated the new religion. She also had the position as a priest, and she was a devoted worshipper of the god Aten. Amenhotep IV took the name Akhenaten when he and Nefertiti put the sun god Aten at the center of religious worship. Under their reign the traditional gods of Egypt were more or less abandoned at least by the royal family in favor of a single god, the sun disk named Aten.

another early religion was the cult of the ancient Indo-Iranian Sun-god Mithra. The origin of the cult of Mithra dates from the time that the Hindus and Persians still formed one people, for the god Mithra occurs in both the Hindu Vedas and in the Persian Avesta. Followers had an interesting concept of one god in which the first principle or highest God was "Infinite Time".

That is a view certainly beyond an form of idolatry, and comes closer to the buddhist/hindu view of a conscious universe.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 08 - 06:24 PM

There is no guarantee whatsoever that hving a name for something means the thing so named was actually extant at al.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Darowyn
Date: 01 May 08 - 06:51 PM

The way that the Akhnaten story was told to me, during school RE lessons, was that Akhnaten was pretty much a contemporary of Moses, and long after Abraham. The RE teacher was suggesting that the monotheist theology was Judaism influencing Egyptian thought rather than the converse.
Being a heathen, I never tried to confirm or deny the possibility.
Does anyone know the approximate dates?
Cheers
Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 May 08 - 10:58 PM

I think monotheism has been around for a very, very long time. The Hindu religion, although it appears to outsiders to be a pantheon of many gods and goddesses is actually a religion which recognizes One transcendent Divine above all the gods and goddesses. The gods and goddesses merely represent the different aspects of the One Divine. They are symbolic of those aspects, like facets of one diamond. They serve a rather similar purpose to the many saints and Angelic figures in the Christian faith.

Hinduism is very ancient, I think moreso than the teachings of Moses and Abraham.

In any case, people have always tended to assume there is an ultimate Truth...and that to know it would be to have complete knowledge and wisdom.

To posit one transcendent God is simply to personify that Truth and clothe it in somewhat human terms that ordinary people can relate to. I believe that's part of what Slag was saying.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 01 May 08 - 11:24 PM

As usual, LH, yea and nay. I resonate to a lot of the insights in Hinduism. Great wisdom and knowledge lie here and also in Buddhism and Zen which sprang from Hinduism. Theologically the Judeo/Christian view is that God is wholly "other" than His creation, i.e. He created ex nihilo, from no thing. Hindu tradition holds that God created from Himself, therefore God is in everything and everything is in God. THAT is pantheism. It's amazing what the debate boils down to at times. But these little distinctions make a big difference in the day to day and the development of cultures.

Even the religion of our time, Science, is seeking the ONE. It's called TOE, The Theory of Everything! Ain't it funny and doncha see the connection?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 May 08 - 12:49 PM

I'm not so sure that's right, Slag, because as I understand it the Vedic (Hindu) tradition asserts that this entire reality is maya....illusion...and that the only thing that IS real is the Godhead which is, from our point of view, indescribable, limitless, indefinable, and eternal.

So I don't think that they would exactly say that the Divine made everything, since everything we see is in their terms an illusion. Our own individuality itself is among those illusions, according to both Hinduism and Buddhism, as I understand it. It's an illusion that results from the belief that one is separate.

To achieve enlightenment is to realize oneness with all...no separation...at which point the illusion that is this world passes away. Or...as an enlightened being, you can choose to "play" within the illusion, but aware while you are doing so that it is an illusion.

The whole purpose of seeking enlightenment in both Hinduism and Buddhism seems to be to free oneself from the illusion of this word and one's apparently separate existence in it.

Kind of interesting, because most Christian sects also seem to want, ultimately, to escape this world and its obvious limitations...only they want to escape it and retain their individuality.

One exception to that is the Jehovah's Witnesses, however. They do think that a select group of only 144,000 of the most faithful will get to live in heaven with God for eternity, yes...but they also think that all the other "good" people (many millions or even billions of them) will get to live forever on this physical world in a paradise free of poverty, suffering, and want...that the planet, in effect, will return to an Edenic state (only we would still have our modern lifestyles and conveniences) and that people will get to live forever and never grow old or get sick and everything will be just wonderful...sort of like a 7-day-a-week endlessly running episode of "Leave it to Beaver" or something like that. ;-) No more racial divisions, no more national divisions, no more political struggles, no more war or crime or drug addiction or anything nasty whatsoever.

And the "bad" people? Well, the Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in Hell or punishment of bad people. They just believe those people will die, be in their graves, and cease to exist in any conscious way from that point on.

I don't think many people are aware that the JV's do not believe in the traditional Christian hell, hellfire, and all that. They don't. They translate from the Hebrew that Hell, "Sheol", simply means "the grave". Nothing more, nothing less.

Interesting, eh?

I find it fascinating the different beliefs that people can come up with.

Who's right about all this? Heh! ;-) Darned if I know. I tend to favour the Asiatic viewpoint somewhat (repeated reincarnations into a world of illusion until you finally realize one day that it IS an illusion and then you don't do that anymore), but I am going to wait and see...because only firsthand experience truly convinces me. Yeah, I know there are a million people out there who want to convince me that they already KNOW for sure what's coming...but I don't think they do. I think they are just repeating something some other people told them.

That's what a parrot does, and the parrot probably believes every word he says.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 02 May 08 - 11:20 PM

The two main traditions of Hinduism are those of dualism and non-dualism. The non-dualists have the saying "All is Atman, all is Brahman" as well as "All is maya", or illusion. The last is the revelation of the Bodhisattva and is the life altering or rather life negating effect of experiencing the ineffable. Extinction of being is the goal. The dualist tradition hold that the created being in a perfect state of bliss will behold their Creator and bask in the light of enlightenment eternally.

This is reflected in the Buddhist traditions of Hinayana and Mahayana. The Zen master had a saying, to wit, "If the Buddha himself should meet you upon the road to enlightenment and seek to delay you in any way, slay him."

I have a lot of trouble with the JW theology and consider them a cult outside of the foundational tenants of Christianity and yet their translation of the Bible is very good with a high degree of scholarship.

Sheol while often translated "Hell" in the KJV is probably best translated "The grave" and yet Hebrew scripture does not teach that the grave is a cessation of all being. One demonstration is the story of King Saul and the Witch of Endor and the spirit of Samuel. Also King David says "Thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol..." There are many such instances throughout the OT where spiritual life continues beyond the grave. Check Job 19:23-26.

In the end, you have to decide. I would never take that from you or anyone. I just believe that when deciding things eternal one should have as much pertinent information as possible. Beyond that, "you pays your money and you makes your choices!"

Beyond the somewhat vague, nebulous ideas of the afterlife in the OT, the sharper images of the NT demonstrate the Hellenistic influence. Nonetheless, divine justice is a component of Judeo/Christian theology and if there is to be justice there must be consequences for errant behavior and reward for obedient or faithful behavior. This is getting pretty far afield with only a tangential tie-in with the original question but I find it very interesting, but I'll stop here as a consideration to other posters and those who aren't interested in theological esoterica.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 May 08 - 04:53 PM

Maybe we should start our own thread, Slag, as you and I are interested in theological esoterica. ;-)

If find your description of the two traditions of Hinduism fascinating. I was more aware of the non-dualistic tradition.

Those who believe in non-dualism (as I tend to) of course think that all perceived duality arises out of some form of illusion. ("us and them" thinking) Whenever there is a perception of duality, fear arises. And, of course, desire arises as well. Those are the essential human problems, fear and desire. Where there is no perception of duality, only of unity, there is unquestioning love.

Can indiduality itself survive an end to all forms of duality? Perhaps. Perhaps not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 03 May 08 - 06:13 PM

Philosophically, perhaps logically, ONE cannot exist for who could then make the observation, "ONE"? If "illusion" is all, then who or what makes that observation? I can't remember the Hindi term but it corresponds, somewhat, to "epiphany"; maybe that is why that experience is best described as ineffable! Many parallels there are between Christianity and Hinduism. Many Christians are afraid to acknowledge that fact but I would attribute that to either ignorance (most likely) or lack of faith, or both! If I remember right Vivekananda was one of the early pioneers who introduce the Western world to the dualistic form of Hinduism. I'm really shooting form the hip here as it has been a LOT of years since I read his main opus. I have it somewhere in my stacks! Using Google would be cheating. Another light on the non-dualistic side of the equation would be Paramahansa Yogananda of the Eternal Light Fellowship (Again, I'm guessing) located in Mt Washington, Los Angeles. I met him some years before he died, He was a very interesting and intelligent fellow and was well acquainted with the religions of the world. I may have to check those out and refresh my memory. You've got me intrigued now!

As for individuality? Hmmm? There was, presumably, an eternity of nothingness before your consciousness and upon your arrival you did not have self-awareness. If you were really blessed you may recall the moment when you first differentiated yourself from others and your environment. At any rate, you became an aware being and an individual. That means many things in a world full of individuals. You spend a lifetime learning how you are different and how you are the same. You discover that your thoughts are not your own, for your language is not your own. You discover history and culture. You learn where the walls are. If you are really sharp you see what a really rare thing an original thought is! You reflect and ponder your mortality for shortly after coming to self awareness you learn of the reality and universality of death. And, in this world at least, you know that self awareness can go away and that death puts a final end to that individual that was you.

In the passage I cited above, Job says "Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever. For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another..." (Job 19, 23:27a). The continuance, the persistence of awareness and individuality resides in most everybody, the hope of or the sure knowledge of. IT is the stuff of religion.

A friend of mine from college days wrote a sonnet which I have always kept. I lost track of John Pair many years ago and on more than one occasion have tried to discover his where abouts. The copy I have appeared in the UC Bakersfield College press "Orpheus" 1976. Assume all rights his own:

BLACK WINE
by John Pair

Along the closing shadowed day-track drifts
The bearer of black wine. His flack of dreams
Beneath a sable silent cloak, he seems
To carry lightly the burden of dark gifts.
His steps are slow, unseeing eyes he lifts
To blankly mirror a sunset's fading gleams.
A phantom announced by the night hawk's sudden screams
Taps the stones with his staff as twilight sifts
Over his shoes with dust. We sit and drink
The blind man's wine in summer's bright cafes
And in silent sun-struck windows of old hotels.
In moon-dim salons of the laughing dead we sink
Into ourselves and grasp for all the ways
To cheat this living wine the phantom sells.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 May 08 - 06:19 PM

No one would make the observation. There would be no observer. But there could still be a form of awareness, I think. "God" may be precisely that: awareness.

Full awareness would be tantamount to enlightenment. Partial awareness would be tantamount to some state of illusion.

All beings who think of themselves as "separate" are experiencing partial awareness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 03 May 08 - 10:08 PM

Why would the tendency be from the direction of unawareness toward awareness? This assumes "In the Beginning, Chaos..." which is to say that some THING of unknown dimension, quality, quantity, pre-existed any awareness and is therefore ultimately unknowable and also pre-differentiated! You can substitute any scientific model of this day in here to fulfill the criteria! This is the same as saying that a plurality pre-existed. And too, this is the very question physics and cosmology is addressing today. If the Cosmic egg was a perfect unity, i.e. a stable entity why did it explode into the universe we see today? Where did the instability, the duality, if you will, come from?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 May 08 - 11:42 PM

I am making no such assumption. I have no idea what was around at "the beginning" and I doubt that anyone else really does either. ;-) In any case, I think time itself is a form of illusion which arises from the illusion of separation, so the idea that there has to be a beginning is not one I necessarily subscribe to. I don't think the Inifinte has either a beggining or an end. Now if you want to theorize that an illusion (like the Universe) has a beginning...well, perhaps so. ;-) But only in its own terms...which are illusory.

Actually, there are a ton of great books out there which talk about this stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 04 May 08 - 01:38 AM

Whose illusion? Yours or mine? If it's your, please don't stop dreaming. I like my life!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 04 May 08 - 10:30 AM

Slag, Little Hawk - get a room, as they say. LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 May 08 - 01:25 PM

Whose illusion? Why, yours and mine, Slag! ;-) And everybody else's here. We all had to have bought into the illusion in the first place or we wouldn't even be here.

I'm glad you're enjoying your life. If one is going to have a dream, better that it be a happy one than a nightmare, right? My particular dream is probably a bit different than yours, but we've fairly much agreed on the larger aspects of the playing field in the dream...just not on our exact interpretation of those aspects, that's all.

In other words, we both agree where the fence is, where the 30 yard line is, where the goalposts are, where the grass is...but one of us thinks the fence is ugly and the other one thinks the fence is attractive. One of us thinks the game is the be-all, end-all, the other thinks it's probably a waste of time, one wants the blue team to win, the other doesn't really care, one wants cotton candy, the other would rather have a hot dog, and so on. Just a matter of individual taste, I guess.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 May 08 - 10:10 PM

Are all the limericks about a young lady named Sue about the same young lady?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 May 08 - 10:28 PM

No.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 05 May 08 - 01:38 AM

The thing that pokes holes in the Illusion theory is how adamant the "Illusion" is. I can experience the object, say Yosemite Valley and some one else can also experience it and you can fly a fellow in from Borneo to also experience it and by golly! all the experiences gibe! There may be psychological angles which you pointed out LH (and you called THOSE variances "illusion") and variation in the physical points of view, etc. but the place has a reality (key word there) all it's own. Our "words", which are once removed from reality (all language is metaphor) may cause some consternation but the physical presence cannot be denied. This is why science works! Repeatability of experiments. I have another word for "illusion" if someone holds fast to that concept and denies reality: delusion!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 May 08 - 08:41 AM

I'm not denying it. I think it's 100% real within its own terms. I just don't think that those are the only terms, that's all. There may be other realities, and from the vantage point of those, this one may seem unreal.

For instance, Slag, I think you believe in Heaven, don't you?

Okay, so where is it? Can you touch it? Can anyone? Can we fly a plane there...or a spacecraft? It would seem not.

So why do you believe in it when you have no tangible proof? If it is real, it probably exists in a reality completely apart from this time-space continuum that we think of AS reality (physical reality).

And if it does exist, then I would think that it's a realer reality than this one, given the status of Heaven in a spiritual sense! ;-)

Yet we have no tangible proof of it. Why would my belief that this tangible reality is illusory be any stranger than your belief that Heaven is not illusory?

You realize, it's all happening in your brain. Your brain receives signals which it then translates as touch, sight, smell, taste, and sound. Thus you perceive this world we live in...or you at least think you perceive it. If your brain ceases to function, this world (at least for you) ceases to exist. It is no more. It vanishes.

But are you then no more? Are you dependent on your brain or is it the other way around?

You don't know. You can only make an assumption about that. Ditto for me.

This world may be an illusion...as suggested in some Eastern religions...but we have no way of testing that out, because our own existence as physical beings would be part OF the same illusion.

Think of it as a giant virtual reality game on a computer, via the Internet. Everyone who logs in and plays the game (gets born) sees exactly the same game, with all the same stuff, but they all play individual roles which differ, and they wander around in different parts of the game, and they look at things in the game from different angles, and they have different reactions to things they encounter in the game, and they use their free will. Thus, you have a totally consistent interactive world within the software of the game and it appears to be totally real...as long as the players think think it is. In fact, it appears to be the ONLY reality.............until someone turns off the computer or the power fails (you die)! Then it's gone. Vanished.

It was an illusion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 05 May 08 - 07:17 PM

And since this is a music site, from "Tumbling Tumble Weeds"

   "I know when night has gone
    There's a new world born at dawn..."

When (or IF) I should die, does that mean that the universe no longer beholds itself? I have watched as other beings have winked out of existence and yet I continue and the world continues. That pretty much convinces me that SHOULD I, too, wink out, IT will continue...for a while yet.

And yes, LH, I can argue both side. I can see it both ways. The deepest reality is that which lies at the core of your being. That is always the target of the brain washers. If they can get you to doubt the "Watcher Within" then they (whoever they are) can break you. The human soul is not quantifiable beyond "one", that is, one per person. It cannot be measured or weighed and yet it is that soul which directs our behavior. Where is the soul? Where is Heaven, indeed? Where the Lord is, there am I. The Apostle Paul said "Let your conversation* be, as it were, in heaven." *The meaning of conversation here actually means how one conducts their life. Yes there is a judgement and this life is your presentation of the evidence. I could say more about that but then I'm drifting from the topic a little--- Or preaching!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 May 08 - 02:56 PM

Return to basics:

Kendall's original post says:

"A dear friend of mine insists that the one we call "God" and the one the Muslims call Allah are two different beings...

Does this guy actually believe two such different beings might actually exist? How dumb is that?

I can accept people not believing that God exists, believing in God, and even believing that something more-of-less like a God might exist. These would seem to be the only alternatives since deep in pre-history (theism, atheism, agnosticism).

But "two different beings" actually existing ~ "our" good God and "their" bad or false one ~ what's up with that? Do they fight with each other, or what? Does the good guy always win? Sheesh!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 06 May 08 - 06:40 PM

I Kings 18:17-41, for one. So it would seem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 20 May 08 - 04:12 AM

akhanda   mandala   karam   vyuptam    yena         cara caram
endless   round    formed permeating that which moving unmoving

(lines from an early Hindu text, description of "God", an entity which is endless, and continuously pervades all things moving and unmoving)

freda


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 May 08 - 09:19 AM

Sounds about right to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 20 May 08 - 09:51 AM

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 20 May 08 - 10:36 AM

At the end of the day, rational thinking people are beginning to see religion as the last vestige of tribalism.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Slag
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:29 PM

You know Rig, intelligent people tend to agree with me. All the rest of them just say stupid things.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:51 PM

At the end of which day? Can we expect the next a week Tuesday?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 20 May 08 - 07:18 PM

I heard it was rescheduled for Thursday!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Penny S.
Date: 21 May 08 - 04:16 PM

I watched a programme I had recorded last night, about fundamentalist Christian groups attempting to influence UK government over various issues, one being the building of a mosque in London. Apart from the way they were praying - telling god what he would presumably already know, and issuing what seemed very like instructions about his preventing this building, there were some disturbing insights into how at least one of them saw Allah.

Logically, there are a number of possibilities. If there is one God, then he who is called God by Germanic speaking peoples, Dieu or similar in Latin derived languages, and Allah by Palestinian Christians and Muslims must be one and the same, since there is no other. If there are more than one, then either one, or another, may be right, and others wrong, or all of them are wrong. If there are none, then the question about their being the same or different is irrelevant.

The leader of the praying group had an alternative. There are two very powerful beings, one good and one evil. Since he who is called God by this sort of Christian cannot be the same as he who is called Allah, then Allah must be the other one. Whom he named.

Since this second being in whom I have no belief is bent on evil, it seems very odd that he inspires so many Muslims to lead quiet, contemplative and good lives. Presumably as a smokescreen to hide the few violent ones. Which raises the question of why the other, good deity, allows so many violent followers among his flock.

I think the folk interpretation of the nature of Old Harry, Nick and his other cognomens is much more healthy than the extreme religious view.

Penny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Kim C
Date: 21 May 08 - 04:32 PM

I admit I know just enough to be dangerous - but I have found a great similarity between some Hindu sacred texts and the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.

Like this: "I am the beginning, the end and the middle of the creations, O Arjuna of the sciences I am the science of the self (brahma-vidya), of those who argue and debate I am the argument."

Sounds like "I am the Alpha and the Omega," don't it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 May 08 - 04:51 PM

Yes, indeed there are such similarities, and such similarities are not surprising...if there is any such thing as TRUTH, in a spiritual sense...or in any sense. You see, if there is such a thing as TRUTH, then it follows that the wisest teachers in any past society would tend to express it in ways that were quite similar. Therefore it would surface in some way in all the religions and philosophies.

I think that we may assume there is such a thing as Truth. We may then also be willing to admit to the possibility that people have had ways of tapping into it for as long as human beings have existed, and that it can therefore be found in all religions...though the nitpickers and fanatics and naysayers can always find lesser cultural details and differences to squabble over
and fight about. And they do. ;-)

A healthy mind focuses mainly on similarities and seeks accord. An unhealthy mind focuses mainly on differences and seeks conflict.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 May 08 - 01:56 PM

There were also people travelling between India and the Middle East, and similarities between the Gospels and the Bhagavad Gita are not in the least surprising.

Penny


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Riginslinger
Date: 22 May 08 - 09:54 PM

But I think it would make sense that people everywhere would generate the same kinds of uncertainties, and questions.

                   As a sideline event, I understand there seems to be some kind of a resurgency in Zoroastrianism. Does anybody have any comments or knowledge about what that's all about?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Humans are limited beings.
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 04:17 AM

Reading all your guys comments only shows that the human mind, as great as it is, is only limited to its ability. All comments to "Theology questions" is nothing more than falling into the trap of the short comings of mankind understanding of GOD. Theology = rationalizing (studying, questioning, assuming, etc.) of mankind limited ability to know what/who God is. Religion = is the act (rituals, practices, etc.) of mankind limited ability to show what/who God is. The comments verify this; you guys will continue to go around but not get any closer to understanding God than you were in the beginning; maybe even more confused or worse hardheaded. I've studied (experts and the many sacred books that derive from their beliefs) and talked with people for quite a bit about religions/cults/occults/atheists (in their respectful area) and most people/books will only give you what is their best expert thought (limited mind) can explain what/who God is. Very very few can explain God through their heart because they haven't connected with or experienced Him; to really understand someone you need to know what is in their heart and not what you see on the outside (this is common sense to make a relationship strong). I know some religions only show this love/connections by their actions (doing good, helping others, etc.), which are important, but is showing the limits of their God (only loves the one that are good and not the bad ones). I've found that an all powerful God can love all (good or bad) and we can get to know him better.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 01:43 PM

And it took you two years to come to that conclusion?

Thanks for your imput.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 03:10 PM

It's classic circular bit of reasoning, based on assuming what religious 'truth' is, then arguing from your own premises to suit predetermined conclusions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 03:22 PM

Tonbight, my wife and I are going to the annual dinner recognizing those in the community who giveN un-failing to those in need. Those honored include Chriatians, Muslims,and Jews. The host of the dinner is the mosque that my son-in-laws belong to. The Immam (or minister in Christian terms) is a good friend of our family and attends the annual church anniversary of my daughter-in-law who is pastor of a Baptist Church. The Immam loves my book: reflections on Christian Life. At family gatherings, when I say grace I say, "We ask these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ and Allah."

Today I've been writing about the word "mankind." A woman who runs a small store in the neighboring town fervently spoke about the need for man to be kind. It was an interesting perspective that has led me to look at other words more deeply. If all men/women could be kind to each other rather than all the incesscent fighting that goes on, we'd surely be a lot better off. Every group of people is guilty of this...

Allah and God are one. Allah doesn't have an "only begotten son."

I praise anyone who seeks to be loving to others, whatever their faith, or lack of...

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 03:41 PM

Guest, I know I'm a limited being. I don't expect to "understand God" any more than I expect to understand existence, life itself, destiny, fate or any other grand subject like that. I'm interested in all these things, but I don't expect to understand them. I do expect, however, to find ways in which to improve my general attitude and behaviour and to become, hopefully, a better and wiser person in the process, and I think that's what religion and philosophy are basically about: becoming a wiser and better person while experiencing life...which is beyond our understanding.

We're not here to understand it. It's way too big for that. We're here to live it in the best way we can manage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 03:53 PM

Kendall, in order to deal with this issue the "god" in question has to be described hopefully in detail. As I see it, all the religions describe their god a little differently. Obviously the Jewish god is different from the Islamic god and even in Islam, their notions of what a god is conflicts with one another. This is true with the Protestant and Catholic gods as well. Many have different ideas about what constitutes a "supreme being". Just capitalizing these words shed no light on any description.

This conversation can't be rational because religious conviction overrides any attempt toward discussion. The best that can be done is to go to the source, the Koran, the Torah, the Bible, or any other "holy" book that purports to describe a god. Even then, the description is muddied by interpretations and prejudices.

If one claims that there is only one god, then it is their burden to prove it if they expect others to accept that claim. I see the problem as radical differences in who believes what god prevails which culminate in wars and bloodshed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 06:52 PM

In looking back over descriptions by individuals who have come into contact with actual living divine consciousness from whatever culture, I am coming to the conclusion that while there is only one universal force or presence or Cause in the universe, there are dozens of disparate pictures of it. When one cannot reach to genuine, he will settle for and embrace on of those pictures. The difference between the real deal and the many pictures is that the pictures can conflict with each other, causing great anxiety and mayhem in the minds of men, something the real deal does not do when contacted directly.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 06:54 PM

"Allah and God are one."

As I understand it, Islam, at least generally, understands this idea better than most Christian groups do....they just say "Muhammad was sent to US while Jesus was sent to YOU."
They don't quite understand why many Christians want THEIR version of Theology to be the only one.


"I praise anyone who seeks to be loving to others, whatever their faith, or lack of..."

As one with a marked "lack of it", that's where I agree with you, Jerry.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 07:49 PM

The Bahais see it that way too, Bill. They think that Mohammed and Jesus and Buddha and Zoroaster and Baha'Ullah and Krishna and all the other great prophets of history were sent at different times to different groups of people from the same divine source. Any reasonably open-minded religious person sees it that way in my opinion. The particular prophet that people are generally drawn to is simply the one they're already most familiar with through their family and their culture, and that's not surprising.

What is surprising is how many of them seem to get the bizarre notion that their particular prophet is the only right one! (not just for them, but for everybody) That's really a foolish attitude to take, and it leads to all kinds of strife.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 08:09 PM

It's not surprising, Little Hawk if you realize they are talking about precious but distorted pictures rather than the actual thing.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 08:19 PM

Yes, and no one is in a position to know about the actual thing unless they have encountered it directly. And if so, what small part or aspect of it did they encounter? And how much else would lie beyond that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 10 - 09:08 PM

Oh, indeed. You are asking the right questions.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 11:25 AM

In the whole area of religious faith, I think we're better off exploring the questions - and not trying to insist that we have the answers. We've all experienced something that is beyond us. Some of us call that God, and some of us don't.

Some of us jump to the conclusion that we know all there is to know about everything, and then the discussion (and the exploration) stops.

I get more than a little nervous around the fundamentalists of most religious (and non-religious) traditions, but I value most religious traditions almost as much as I value my own. At their best, they are a deep, honest exploration of the meaning of this life we live.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 12:33 PM

"Some of us jump to the conclusion that we know all there is to know about everything, and then the discussion (and the exploration) stops."

Yeah, Joe! ;-D That is the problem in a nutshell when it comes to rigidly opinionated people (whether atheists or the religious). They already think they "know" everything they need to know about the subject under discussion. Boy, are they ever wrong about that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 01:46 PM

"We've all experienced something that is beyond us."

Indeed we have...
this is called "The Pillars of Creation

It and others at this site provide me with as much mystery as I can handle.

The main page is one of the places I look at almost every morning. I am awed and humbled, and I simply cannot speculate on how it all came to be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM

I think the biggest challenge when confronting the wide territory we label religious or spiritual is not having all the answers but being able to figure out what the right questions even are.

Just for example, Bill points out he cannot speculate on how this all came to be--the (to us) towering beauty of the immense unreachable scope of physical things and spaces.

But perhaps a better question might be, how could any part of it come to be? Complex systems from simple algorithms arise, given enough transactions along fairly simple rules.

But it also seems to me that even the simplest rule-set would have to include the part played by the viewpoint in defining space and positing the particles within it.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 02:43 PM

I don't mind religious people. I don't mind atheists either. But I fear fanatics of whatever persuasion (atheism included).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 05:14 PM

Martin Heidegger points out asserts that the only genuine philosophical question is "why there is something rather than nothing.

The subject of 'nothing' has been struggled with from many directions, and we speak of 'creation' as if we can conceive of what it would be like BEFORE 'creation'. We can define it..."sure, it's the absence of everything" .. and other various formulations, but everything we do, see, and use 'exists', and there is real doubt that it even makes sense to suppose that we can imagine 'nothingness'.

   What astronomers and physicists do is try to understand as much as possible about 'what IS', and some of them think they have both data & theory to suppose that 'it' all started 14 billion 'years' ago with a 'big bang'. What went 'bang', and where THAT came from is pure speculation, and theological answers are just a way to avoid dealing with Heidegger's basic question and to satisfy those who just emotionally/psychologically NEED an answer. "God made it" is a nice answer, but *shrug*, this just removers the question one more level back..."why was there a 'god'?" ... It is a real nuisance in many ways to be so 'advanced' that we can ask such questions.

For whatever reason, I can enjoy those images Hubble has brought us and be awed without needing an 'ultimate answer'.....and obviously, from my perspective, attempts to provide ultimate answers or speculate about types & realms of 'existence' beyond what we deal with every day must be viewed with suspicion.
(I have mentioned many times that I hold to the view that 'having a name for something' does NOT automatically confer on that concept....except AS a linguistic concept.)

What this means to me is....that *IF* any of the various theological/metaphysical assertions ARE, in fact, true, ... it is in spite of our thinking and reasoning on the matter...not because of our knowledge. There are just too many theological versions of the supposed 'truth', and when analyzed carefully, they cannot all be true. Generalized abstractions about 'true for me' simply miss the point.... no law against harboring them, but they are useful only in groups where others also use those locutions and agree among themselves that they LIKE the same ideas. When subjected to analysis, they are like metaphysical cotton candy...(which, obviously, can be very tasty at times.)

So.... I am awed by many things that are "beyond us", but I sorta think it's interesting NOT being able to answer all the questions....what would we DO if we figgered it all out?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 05:46 PM

Heidegger's assertion is poppycock, of course, Bill. You knew that going in.

As for what we might do if we figured it all out, that question is what ne might call an apathetic fallacy. There is no "All" there. There are a lot of in betweens, though.

To the degree that we figure them out in a way that proves workable or applicable, what we do with that ability s to improve our own destinies. What else? But workability of data is a tough criterion as even the most accurate or truth-like datums can be destroyed by stupidity in application. Take Congress, for example...



A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 06:04 PM

"You knew that going in."

well.. I knew that is WAS an assertion...*grin*..."poppycock" is a subjective judgment. In many ways "why is there something?" IS the logically prior question, even if is is not the usual place folks start.. epistemological questions about "how can we KNOW stuff?" are more often cited as the place to start. (Kant and others thought so.)

(I hope you realize how much is buried in that assertion "There is no "All" there."... I think I agree about the 'in betweens', thought we may not agree about the categories)... and...hmmmm.. what we do is 'affect' our own destinies. (Congress may be a fine example of the attempt.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 06:06 PM

As for the subject of "nothing", why it depends on the framework within which you insist on defining something. If you, and possibly Heidegger, are intending to define all thingness in terms of space as commonly shared, time as measured in shared space, duration, measurable energy, mass, and such, why of course it is very paradoxical to even be looking at it.

But existence may include things that exist but are not in that frame at all. Imagination certainly exists, yet its rates and dimensions are not of space-time. So which somethings are you embracing in your re-bottling of Heidegger?


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 06:18 PM

"Nothing" is simply a mental concept. So is "something", because it's the concept that one thing can be separate from all other things, which again is a mental concept. "Everything" is, on the other hand, self-evident, because it leaves nothing out! Or does it? That depends on whether nothing really IS something, which seems unlikely. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 06:47 PM

"But existence may include things that exist but are not in that frame at all..."

ahh... that sneaky word 'may'! I don't even know how to approach asking in what sense 'exist' has meaning when we try to discuss such 'maybe' realms. Are they dependent on 'us' being here to conceive of them? Did/do they 'exist' prior to whatever went 'bang'?..(IF something went bang)....etc. ∞∞

Asserting such things in such realms is to me, (as you know), very little different than asserting and defining 'heaven' or 'god'. I can explain experience of such realms in ways (as you also know) that don't require as many premises....but my real point is that we can't really DO anything but assert and counter. My solution, such as it is, is to shrug and say, like the old man talking about modern songwriting, "Why, they're just singin' about air!"

Seems like we get into this regularly, hmmm? Maybe we oughta do like the old line about jokes and just number our assertions and rejoinders?

"Hey...that a #7!"

"Oh, yeah? Well # 14b to you!"

"Hummmpff..you are just #11ing!"

"Well, at least I don't #43!"

'twould save lots of typing, and the reaction of bystanders might provide some amusement....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 07:00 PM

"God is dead"--Neitchze

"Neitchze is dead"---God


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 07:49 PM

we have a reference for the Nietzsche...wonder when someone got God to comment? *grin*


and 200!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 08:13 PM

If "God" is Everything, then everything is God's comment...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 08:22 PM

Oh, the "If-Thens" we can describe!

"IF wishes were horses, beggars would ride."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Royston
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 08:32 PM

Stringsinger: "Kendall, in order to deal with this issue the "god" in question has to be described hopefully in detail. As I see it, all the religions describe their god a little differently. Obviously the Jewish god is different from the Islamic god and even in Islam, their notions of what a god is conflicts with one another. This is true with the Protestant and Catholic gods as well. Many have different ideas about what constitutes a "supreme being". Just capitalizing these words shed no light on any description.

I think I know what you mean. But the Abrahamic faiths have no dispute over who/what God is. All adherents are at one on this.

The dispute, if there is one, is over prophets. All three faiths are agreed - more or less - on the prophets and/or messengers up until Jesus (Isa, to Muslims) and Mohammed.

Judaism recognises neither of the last two prophets.

Christians don't recognise Mohammad.

Muslims recognise Jesus as "Rasulallah" (messenger of God) as they recognise Mohammad as "Rasuallah".

To Muslims, Jesus was born of immaculate conception, fortified with holy spirit to perform signs and miracles but was not killed on the cross; rather he was lifted up alive into heaven and will return at the end of days to fight the devil and lead the faithful into heaven.

To cut a long story really very short, Muslims believe that Mohammad was sent as the last messenger and prophet to correct misunderstandings of the Gospel of Jesus; the most important tenet of that belief being that people do not need the agency or intercession of any prophet or messenger or church, to reach God. The Trinity is a problem for Muslims who adhere to the "oneness" of God.

So, if there is any dispute, it is not about "who or what" God is; rather it is about what God would like the faithful to do in honouring and worshipping.

Most people of faith would regard that as a fairly minor quibble, particularly as all are told most sternly not to judge the other and not to presume to know God's will and judgement.

So most people of faith go about their worship in humility and hope. And if they really "get it" (the faith connection), they probably feel grateful that they found their way to some sort of understanding and that others found their own way to the same place.

Or they consider that God, in infinite wisdom, provided as many routes to the same destination as we all needed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 11:53 PM

We all agree on who God is, but not necessarily on what He's like.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: artbrooks
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 08:07 AM

Or what she's/She's like.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 09:44 AM

Or whether it's there at all


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 11:39 AM

Bill, there's nothing maybe about imagination or creative vision.

If you are proposing (which I think in a backhanded way you are) that physical space-time and its contained energy and matter must define all existence, then you are backed hard up against a core disagreement between us. The hinge-point of which, I submit, is how solidly you are identified with material things, including meat.

Viewpoints, and thought itself, are not located in space-time the way physical objects are, dassall. You can place your imagination, and your perception of it, in any time or space you wish. You can wander into the future and perceive highly probable realities, or invent improbable ones. You're working a different gridiron altogether than your dearly beloved spacetime continuum.

This has not much to do with the topic of the thread, which is various definitions of God and all that claptrap.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 11:57 AM

We don't all agree on who "God" is, Mousethief. You may think so, but it's probably because you've only been around sort of conventional-minded people...more or less. I would agree that there's a sort of general kind of really vague idea about what "God" is in the minds of most members of the public, and probably most churchgoers, and I think that's what you mean, but it's a very vague idea.

It presupposes some kind of fatherly divine figure who exists
"out there" in some kind of other spiritual reality, who created the world (and presumably the Universe), who exists separately from us (in the sense that we can direct prayers from us to "him" and he can respond), who is somehow all-powerful (whatever the heck that means), etc.....

I call that a very vague mental notion, and one that's a lot like a fairy tale or like the story of Santa Claus, for example. I would agree that that's the notion of "God" that's in a lot of people's heads (including atheists who object to the very idea of such a God existing...that very notion is the windmill against which they tilt!)...

But it's NOT the only idea of God that's out there! Not by far. ;-D There are a vast number of other ways of thinking about something one would choose to call "God".

It doesn't have to be male.
It doesn't have to resemble a man in any way.
It doesn't have to be "somewhere else" in some other reality.
It doesn't have to reward or punish.
It doesn't have to lay down any rules.
It could be female...or it could be genderless.
It might be everywhere...as opposed to "out there somewhere".
It might be a principle of existence, as opposed to a personal being.
It might be something no one here has any conception of whatsoever, and that no religion has even begun to succeed in describing.

There are a million possibilities outside of the primitive conventional view of the average churchgoer, and the equally primitive conventional view of the average atheist.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 11:59 AM

Mousethief made the following vague statement:

We all agree on who God is, but not necessarily on what He's like.

Whom do you speak for/of when you say "we all agree"? And on what authority?

What is the difference between "who God is" and "what [s]he's like", in your statement?

Does "who God is" deal with whether he/she/it/they exist(s)?

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 12:49 PM

Amos...I repeat:

"But existence may include things that exist but are not in that frame at all..."

ahh... that sneaky word 'may'!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm sorry, but it just ain't obvious to everyone that 'realms' OTHER than space-time are anything except linguistic constructs. And THAT is the hard-core disagreement between us. You just state that they are, except when the word 'may' accidentally sneaks in, while I reserve judgment1 about it because I do not have any experience of such, and have no idea what such experience would 'feel' like or how to tell if it, in fact, IS of such a 'realm'.



1.
It really IS 'reserve judgment', no matter how often you make references to my " dearly beloved spacetime continuum." That, like 'God' in not something I can directly deny, it just part of being a consistent skeptic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 01:39 PM

Well, Bill, at least we have learned to shorten this fundamental dialogue to its core disagreement.

I think the essence of the matter, really, is in appreciating the viewing of the viewer, so to speak. Linguistic constructs really are not the issue; there is no question (just for example) that you experience your dreams. Or, more to the point, your visions of what a large burl might become when you have wrought your art on it. For that matter, I am pretty sure you see (in a more nuanced sense) your times tables, when you are called on to use them, and the lyrics of the songs you know whether you see them as words, or as images of the tale, or as recordings, or as something else altogether. An appreciation of the viewer and his role in what is viewed throws a lot of question into the default Newtonian version of "what Is".

I think it is well and good to maintain a skeptical approach, given the amount of horse manure for sale in the world. But there is an important line where skepticism turns on itself and becomes jade or cynicism, not conducive to clear-sightedness or well-being either. (This of course raises another interesting philosophical question fit for Socrates, as to what relationship exists between those two attributes.)

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: olddude
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 01:49 PM

All I know, is I see God, in the sky, the stars, the trees, in kids. In animals and pretty much everything else. Don't need a leader, don't need a church ... cause God is around us ... Now anyone else can see it anyway they want, big bangs cosmic accident whatever they wish and that work fine for me also ... but my opinion ... there is a plan and a purpose ... and after a near death situation, no one could ever convince me otherwise . Saw too much that was too real for both me and the docs ...

Anyway that is my take. Man distorts, man tries to place labels or doctrines on something that man cannot begin to fully understand since God is far beyond our perception of conscience ... We can only let God in or keep God out ... it is our choice and a personal one ... no one else can nor should try to force any issues. Free will, too important I think


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 02:02 PM

Near death situations often have that effect on people. And so can some other extraordinary situations. My own feeling about it is that those situations shock the human ego out of the little "room" (of consciousness) that it normally resides in and force it to look beyond itself and beyond that room, and then perceptions can change radically.

My Mother had a near death experience. Interestingly enough, in her case it didn't give her any perceptions about "God"....but she did have a very clear sense of operating independently of her body (which she could see lying in the hospital bed below her), moving up and away from there, and going down a tunnel toward some light. Before she got to that light, she felt something pulling her back toward her body. She was reluctant to re-enter the body, since she felt much better outside of it, but she did presently sink back into the body whereupon she felt very ill and weak, but with confidence that she would recover.

This experience gave her no beliefs about God at all....but did give her confidence that she will not "die" when physical death comes, but will continue to exist in some other way as a spirit being.

Interesting, isn't it? ;-) My Mother has never been interested in God or in religions (she belongs to no religion and is kind of hostile toward the whole idea of religion), but she is interested in the possibilities of life beyond death quite regardless.

In my case, I had a different kind of experience which I'm not going to go into. I will only say this: It showed me nothing about any "God", but it did show me much about strong spiritual friends and companions beyond the realm of this physical existence as we know it. And it assured me (as much as anything can) that I will not die when I "die", although my physical body most certainly will. I'll drop it like an old worn-out coat, and move on to the next thing, whatever the next thing turns out to be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: frogprince
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 04:26 PM

For Little Hawk, because this "clicked" as I finished that last post:

Take off your old coat, and roll up your sleeves;
Death's not the last road to travel, I believe.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 05:07 PM

"Linguistic constructs really are not the issue; there is no question (just for example) that you experience your dreams."

Well, *grin*...of course I experience my dreams. As YOU experience yours...and everything else you experience. But that doesn't make linguistic constructs NOT an issue. It ought to be clear by now that 'the issue' is where those 'experiences' we all agree we have are located, and thus whether your notion of meta physical realms is accurate, or my **suspicion** they they are merely linguistic constructs. (note how carefully, as a conscientious philosophical skeptic, I do not 'deny absolutely')
My choice is related to the number of additional premises you need for your model, while I can 'test' mine my subjecting my "beloved meatspace" to various stresses and alter the 'experiences', and sometimes measure the changes, if not the specific content.

Ah, well....sometime we must explore what the practical differences are in daily living for each view. I have maintained for years that.... a serious belief in a personal God who cares and controls the universe affects behavior and world view in practical, operative ways.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 10 - 10:55 PM

"a serious belief in a personal God who cares and controls the universe"

That's a certain type of belief about God, Bill. I don't think my concept of God is much like that at all. I have no idea if there's a personal God who cares and controls the universe. The various Asian belief systems do not seem to posit that type of a God, as far as I can see. In Buddhism, for example, there is no such deity, but it's still a spiritual system and a spiritual way of looking at life.

How do spiritual beliefs affect people's actions? Well, that depends on what their spiritual beliefs are, doesn't it? And those vary enormously from one psrson to another, even within any given faith.

To find out what anyone's core beliefs are, you have to be around them for awhile and observe their actions and behaviour toward others quite carefully. You can't predict it merely on the basis of their religious affiliation, that's for sure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 04:06 AM

I do have a belief, not in a God with a personality, or as some kind of separate entity.

I think the universe is aware and conscious, and that while I operate well enough inside this body and with these characteristics, that part of me will continue when my body dies.

Like your mother LH I've experienced some moments of awareness outside my body, for that I feel very lucky. But it hasn't transformed me in any way or made life seem better - it has just given me a different perspective.

I come from a family of athiests, strong on rationality and intolerant of self-delusion. And I respect very much where they come from, and try and be as rational as my eccentric self lets me.

But I can't take away that experience, and it was not delusion. If it was something I could trick myself into, I'd do it every day, it felt so great.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 05:30 AM

Steamin' Willie worships Sheffield Wednesday

Some misguided fools worship Sheffield United.

I suppose we all worship football. (assuming that is what Sheffield United are playing....)

But, like any other God, both are abstractions of mans' making. (Sheffield Wednesday in 1867, Sheffield United a few years later, Christianity about 2,000 years ago as amended, Islam a few hundred years later, Judaism ... whenever? )

My point? if you wish to have a God as such, then he / she / it is whatever you make of the concept.

But don't forget, it is YOUR God, not anybody else's and don't be too hurt if I point and laugh at your shallowness to need an imaginary friend. After all, most people laugh at my God, especially as we could yet face relegation from the championship league.

(So will Catholicism if it doesn't recover from the priests who keep buggering up, literally.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 11:54 AM

Interesting post, freda. Just like you..."I come from a family of atheists, strong on rationality and intolerant of self-delusion. And I respect very much where they come from, and try and be as rational as my eccentric self lets me."

My parents followed no religion but rationality and conventional science, history, etc., and that was my inclination also from the youngest age. Later I developed some mystical viewpoints of my own.

Like you, I tend to think that the whole Universe is alive in some way, and that I'm a small part of a vast web of life. I think everything's alive, right down to the atomic level. That doesn't mean it's biological life in the sense that a plant or a fish is...it's life on a different energetic level from that. A plant or a fish or a human is what we term biological life, and that's a specialized form of life which is quite complex and centered in a growing but perishable biological body with a very limited lifetime. It's a temporary phenomenon. The form of life that I think exists throughout the Universe is, to my way of thinking, not a temporary phenomenon, but a permant one, and it imbues everything. I can temporarily take a biological form, but that form presently dies and the living energy that built it moves on...and will probably take other forms.

And so it goes.

That's what I think is the probable state of things. That doesn't mean I BELIEVE it. Belief indicates certainty. It means I think it is probable. There are only a few things I absolutely BELIEVE...just a very few. One of them is that I am. Another is that life is. Those 2, after all, seem pretty self-evident to me. ;-)

But I don't BELIEVE enough to belong to any religion, because I am aware of how little I know and that most of what I think is merely an assessment of probabilities...or possibilities...not a case of absolute knowledge. Without absolute knowledge one doesn't have the basis for what I would term "belief" (which is being totally certain about something).

Steamin' Willie - Yeah, sure, football could be your God. Why not? ;-) My father's gods were: success, family line, gaining other people's admiration, having material wealth, and being the most important guy in the room. My mother's gods are her house and property, family line, her material possessions, and the worship of intellectual power for its own sake. One of my god(esses) is Winona Ryder, and I have a few others, but I won't list them here...best not to reveal too much! I've never seen anyone yet who didn't worship a bunch of silly little gods of their own choosing, and in a great many cases (perhaps the majority) the god they truly worship above all others is their own intellect and their own set of opinions! That is the god they are most loyal to and most willing to serve, after all. ;-D They'll even die for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM

Bill:

Any belief elected (accurately or not) to keep confusions at bay will have a positive effect unless it leads to really destructive solutions. Belief in "the" God will make the universe seem a lot friendlier, but it can lead to some very wild aberrations in group conduct (like the Crusades and the Third Reich) when it is misused.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM

Perfectly stated, Amos.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 02:41 PM

Well, not everything you live for is god, somehow...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 02:48 PM

It is if you worship it, Mrzzy. Specially if you do so in a really irrational and exaggerated fashion. ;-)

I mean, it's not the God....if there is one.

It's just your god, that's all...

Example: I had an uncle whose main god was his own giant ego. He was definitely the center of the world as he knew it, and always had been since birth. All others had to bow down and acknowledge his omnipotence and grandeur or be cast into the outer darkness! The silly bastard finally died, and that (I hope) put an end to his little fantasy. It certainly put an end to his little organized religion, anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 05:06 PM

I'd respond to some of the last few, but I can't wade through that much equivocation and generalization.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 05:20 PM

Nor would I ask you to, Bill. I have compassion for my fellow man. (grin)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 06:12 PM

Oh, I do appreciate that...until it rises above my boot tops... ☺


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Scorpio
Date: 23 Mar 10 - 06:59 PM

Whatever we imagine God to be, must be a pathetic simplification. We're only human. Without any possibility of understanding, we might as well call it whatever we want, and get on with our spiritual business. For someone to claim that they know who and what the force behind the universe is is hubris.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 02:26 AM

That is for sure.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 12:39 PM

An almost forgotten concept gives me a way to express how certain statements 'about' religion, belief and other forays into abstract 'realms' appear to me.

Many years ago, I found a magazine called The Evergreen Review, which had an article on 'Pataphysics. Part of the article referred to the interesting 'pataphysical definition: "God is the tangential point between zero and infinity".
So, as I remembered that while reading this thread yesterday, I did a search and came up with 'pataphor (also referred to in the above link).

Many times when someone weaves an extended metaphor of their 'personal beliefs' about reality, god, souls, multi-dimensional space...etc., I am at a loss as to how to absorb it's nuances or comment on it's relevance without it being taken as an insult or 'denial' of their beliefs...(why DO I bother? Well...if someone feels free to post their belief system in an open forum, it seems to me that reasoned comments are invited.)

So... MY reasoned comment is that *many* subjective ideas strike
me very much like 'pataphors do.... as extensions OF metaphors where the very language used becomes a vehicle for reflexive self-fulfilling hypotheses and a way to convince one's self that others are talking about the same thing.

(Yes...I know.... that paragraph is not only 'strange', but easy to dismiss as silly ramblings...*grin*. I don't expect it to change any minds, but ..read a bit in those links...perhaps it will at least reassure some that *I* am doing more than just assaulting YOUR beliefs with no explanation.)

Ain't it FUN being human and being able to talk like this? *giggle*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 02:23 PM

Well, Bill, there is no constraint on language that says it cannot be used to name or describe subjective events.

The fact that such events lack the solid commonality of which we are so fond in material systems in no wise lessons their actuality. Ask anyone who has had a clear out-of-body experience (such as Little Hawk's mom) whether it was really just metaphorical and you may find your teeth being pushed down your throat in rebuttal.

There is, I am sure, a set of subjective descriptions that might be fairly universal. For example "realization" describes a subjective event that everyone has been through even though the CONTENT of the realization is about as individual as possible. SO an interesting set of statements might be possible concerning "realizations" which would be true from person to person even though no two realizations are the same. An off the cuff example: "realizations make things seem clearer". But these are not universal in the way the statement "g=9.8 meters per second squared" is universal (on earth anyway).

This is an important distinction that often escapes hard-core jaded cynics and devoted materialists, as I am sure you know, being a student of philosophy.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 02:47 PM

"...as I am sure you know, being a student of philosophy."

LOL..implying, I suppose, that disagreement would mean disavowing my own background? (Why, yes...I HAVE stopped beating my wife.)

And where is the qualification that NON "hard-core jaded cynics and devoted materialists" can also miss important distinctions?

But seriously...of course language can "be used to name or describe subjective events". We do need to communicate, and we DO have 'similar' types of subjective experiences........but although I can easily agree with the superficial import of what you say, I think YOU miss "an important distinction" that *I* try to make about the admitted basic similarity of many subjective experiences we humans share and the possible **status** of those experiences.

Just as you suggest that they 'may' have independent reality, I can easily suppose that they do not, and 'may' be merely firing of neural patterns in the brain...and quite material.
That is why we DO research...to try to figger the durn things out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 02:51 PM

Like the wise CHief of the remote island nation who encountered modern pale-faced men for the first time and watched them using their cell phones to report to their headquarters, talk to their wives and children and girlfriends, report to each other where they were, and get news updates. He was amazed that so many different stories could be crammed into such a small box as the cell phone. It was obvious that's where they came from, after all...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 12:14 PM

Your analytical mind has got you in a death-grip, Bill. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 12:37 PM

Flawed metaphor, Amos... WE know how the phones work, and with a little work, we could explain a lot of it to the chief....and a lot more to his younger children.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
---------------------------------------------------------

Well, LH, it's better than having a NON analytical mind with childlike gullibility get a hold of me.... ;>) ☺


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 12:49 PM

The mind is not the ultimate power or authority that it thinks it is, Bill, but it does keep all of us chattering away here daily, and that keeps it happy. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 12:54 PM

It is not a flawed metaphor, Bill. The chief could listen to thos explanations all he wanted, but he might, for example, say "I am a skeptic" and insist his long-standing belief in animism was too well-established to be put aside by this unproven assertion about radio waves.

Granted, the metaphor only goes so far but the parallel to the present situation is truer than you would wish to admit, IMHO; specifically, a predilection to keep to a fixed and relatively bounded model is precipitating the election of a wrong source and wrong diagnosis.
Or so it seems to me.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 02:38 PM

Yep... so it seems to you.

But, most everything about the radio waves in subject TO proof and demonstration and measurement.... the chief's animism is an example of a temporary hypothesis....kinda like a lot of other religious ones... which are quite understandable in primitive societies. He can be as stubbornly recalcitrant as he wishes, but those voices in the phone will only respond to technology, and not to magic spells....

But, of course, we wouldn't want to upset him by insisting he deal with any concept that confoozelated his cherished animism.....

And of course, you may be excused from any application of Willie of Occam's tests to your interpretation of certain aspects of reality. We try to be fair & reasonable, after all.

(now...I am going out of town in the morning for 3 days to drink & make music. I suppose this a good time to suspend THIS attempt to decide what shape table we need to sit at to negotiate further... *grin*)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 02:45 PM

Wal, Bill, you-all have a good time and don't drink too much. You might end up having one of those out-of-brain experiences and confoozle yore self!!

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 07:18 PM

I think that if Bill ever dies (well, he will eventually, of course...) and it turns out that there IS an afterlife.......


....the profound shock it gives him when he finds that out will kill him AGAIN!!!! ;-D

And after that? Who knows?

As for me, I'm covered. Either there is one, and I'll be expecting it, and not shocked at all...or there isn't one, and I won't know the difference. No problemo either way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 09:42 AM

here's an interesting bit of writing by Phillip Adams, an Australian athiest, from just last week..

The Athiest delusion


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:21 PM

My childhood experience was just the same as Phillip Adams', freda. I was also the one lone atheist among the children I knew, and my parents were about the only adults around, it seemed, who didn't believe in God and weren't going to church on Sundays (we lived in a rural area where most people were conventional Christians...in at least a superficial sense).

It was lonely being in such a small minority, but it also gave one the heady feeling that one was a lot smarter than just about everyone else...and that's very appealing to the human ego. ;-) I think it's one of the things that makes being an atheist such a pleasure...

By the time I hit my 20s I got interested in all types of philosophy and specially the philosophies embodied in major religious traditions such as the many traditions of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American religions, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, etc...

I saw that all of those traditions, whether they had anything to say about a "God" or not, were concerned with:

- the purpose of life
- the meaning of life
- ethics
- self-discipline
- understanding oneself and others
- dealing with relationships effectively
- dealing with strong emotions wisely
- health issues

In fact, religions and all major philosophies arise out of humans' desire to better understand and deal with every aspect of their lives.

And that is a worthy endeavour.

That's why I'm interested in religions and spirituality. I don't particularly care whether or not anyone believes in a "God" or a set of "gods". That's up to them. I don't feel any need to deny their God or their set of gods, because it isn't my business. Nor do I wish to convert them...or be converted by them.

I have no idea whether or not there is a "God" or what characteristics that God would have, assuming there was one. I'm not about to take anyone else's word on the matter. Only direct personal experience will convince me. I'm not about to deny the possible existence of a "God" either...because I have no basis for doing so...and that's where I part company with people who call themselves "atheists".

What do I believe in? I believe in life itself and I believe that I am part of it. And that others are. I believe in mathematics, gravity, and music. I believe that a confrontation between atheists and theists is a great big waste of people's time and energy, and is driven by a lot of competitive egos who can't leave other people alone in peace to just be who they are. They do not seek "the truth", they seek a petty victory of the ego.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: olddude
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:52 PM

God is personal, If you believe in a loving, caring God you are a better person for it. If you believe in a church or group you already missed the boat for they can lead you to a path that is not one you want to be, that is, completely opposite from my opening statement.

if you have a personal belief in God, no explanation is possible or necessary ... There is no need for anyone to try to convince others, that path they find or don't themselves. Free will is the issue. People can and should find their own path without trying to force others into a box (believers or non believers both) I would never try to "convert" another person ... to me that is one of the worst things a person should do ... Walking the walk is much harder than talking the talk ... I think ... atheist or Christian or any other religion ...
the one thing from God as anyone sees it ... is "What have you done to make this world a better place for others"   It is not the toys and how many we acquire ... it is how many hearts hold us dear that makes a difference in this life


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM

Old Dude says that a God is a personal thing. Too true, and well said.

And when somebody says my God is the one God... that's when the fur flies. Cos how can your God be the one God when my God is, actually... et ad nauseum.

Have you noticed that if you say anything on these threads that question an interventionist God, the usual crew start rattling on about you being a troll forcing your atheist views wherever you can...

Ok, there is no God in terms of the bloke with the curly beard who makes mars bars, fruit flies, mountains, love, peace, war, dodgy priests and children. But there is whatever you reckon makes everything tick, whether that be the laws of physics or an absurd judge of human actions.

Whatever turns you on. Just don't expect me to take you seriously... I am only provoking comment if I use terms like imaginary friend, and hitherto I haven't. Oh.. bugger.........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:19 PM

Well, yeah, what some people refer to as "God"...it's what makes everything tick. Can any one of us say that he has a full understanding of what that is?

Direct personal experiences, however, convince in a way that other people's opinions on the matter (on any matter) can't touch. I'm in no position to deny or evalute someone else's direct personal experiences, and I know it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 10:47 PM

The analytical mind is a powerful tool, essential for attempting to find accuracy, truth in observation. it observes within a context, a context of a personality, accumulated experience and culture.

eastern meditation practises involve practising a set of mental excercises. and those excercises assist in the process of focussing, concentrating, and eventually withdrawing from that part of the brain which usually observes, reacts, and interacts. another observing mind is underneath, and that mind is not molded by individual personality or conditioning.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:37 PM

Yes, that is correct, freda.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 12:05 AM

BErt Salzman says that the trick lies in "undefining"--meaning letting go of your autogenerated defining machinery. First, "undefining yourself". Then, "undefining the world". What remains is love without an object.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 10:38 AM

Yeah. ;-) That is the thing that people with busily defining minds are generally absolutely unwilling to do. It threatens their very sense of existence. They are determined to divide and separate everything from everything else. That is what makes them lonely, compulsive, hungry, and endlessly caught up in the mental process of separating things.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 06:12 AM

where have all the athiests gone? does silence mean consent?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 11:35 AM

?? what do you mean, freda? consent to what?



(as I posted above, I was off at a music weekend for 3 days. We sang ANYTHING...including one of the most amazing gospel/religious bunch of songs I can remember hearing. *I* sang along because they are powerful, beautiful songs, no matter what one's 'belief'.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 12:12 PM

Gee--how do mere nerve channels know beauty when they are stimulated by it?

That's another of your semantic tricks, isn't it, Bill. Beauty?


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 01:07 PM

It's an undeniable experience, regardless of one's beliefs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 02:49 PM

Nawww, Amos.... when I observe beauty, I am just channeling Plato's 'forms', with sub-context by Aristotle.....(he said, with tongue pressed firmly into cheek)

'beauty' is one of them 'ostensive' concepts....and in some ways it is actually semantic/linguistic. Very handy that many of our nerve channels are stimulated in a similar manner, huh? .....and that we have a word we agree on to refer to the experience.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 02:56 PM

Which makes me wonder, Bill...what would it be like if we had no words? We would have to rely on eye contact, body language, tone of voice, smiles and gestures and actions to establish communication.

I've been in situations more or less like that with people who didn't know any English, and I didn't know their language either...and you know, the emotional communication was very good (and positive) in those situations, because the complexities of human language and all the mentalizing that goes with it didn't get in the way to distract us and create an artificial emotional distance.

That's something we can't do when typing to one another via computer keyboard. That's why face to face communication is so much better. In the absence of words, one has to face another human being directly. It demands greater openness and permits less evasion.

People hide behind their flood of words.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 05:57 PM

"I've been in situations more or less like that with people who didn't know any English,.."

Which is not the same as not having 'language'.... they had words, just not your words, and with gestures and pointing we can, if we choose and have some time, easily agree on some words in each other's language.
Not having words yet, and only grunts & gestures is exactly what Chongo's relatives deal with. Other primates don't even have the developed hyoid bone which facilitates speech. It's hard to even develop the idea of gods when the very concept of naming is rudimentary.

(and when *I* am attempting to communicate in this awkward medium, I use every trick I can think of in HTML and using symbols to try to give (see?☺) emphasis and 'feel' to my posts. I want it to sound like I am speaking. Which means I really hate it when folks type with no caps and almost no punctuation. I like KNOWING whether they are teasing or dead serious.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 01:13 AM

I wasn't saying those people I mentioned had "no language", Bill. I was proposing a hypothetical question to wonder about: what if WE ALL had no spoken language, other than sounds (but not words). I merely used the example of people with different languages whom I have met to make a philosophical point about what happens in direct human communication in the absence of common spoken language. I think you are perhaps dodging my hypothetical question by resorting instead to the usual busy flow of mentalizing about various details and apparent differences which words involve.

That is, I think you're looking for something to draw differences between, something to semantically pick apart and oppose on some specific detail. That's what people who deal mainly in words always seem to do. They pick apart things. They look for something to object to in what the other person said.

Think how much time we spend arguing fruitlessly about our mental symbols!

When one is not using words, but communicating intelligently in other ways to another human being, one does not pick apart things in that obsessive mental way that words involve, one integrates things...in my experience. One finds what is in common. And that was my point.

People use words all the time to oppose each other, and in so doing they distance themselves from reality and each other, because words are merely second-hand symbols for reality. We know what reality is, because we meet it directly. Our words, our naming of things, are attempts to render it into complex sets of agreed upon mental symbols...and those symbols are not the reality itself. The can't be. They are a mental abstraction of something that's absolutely self-evident when it's encountered directly.

Example: If I encounter an apple, look at it, pick it up, feel its texture, smell it, and then eat it...I know by direct experience exactly what it is...and in a very intimate way. I know something about it that words can't adequately tell me.

Someone who is very hung up on words, however, only thinks he knows enough about the apple when he has memorized the names of a whole lot of different types of apples and a whole ton of other stuff he's heard about apples or read in a book somewhere. He knows a bunch of words then, a bunch of mental abstractions and formalities....but he doesn't really know apples. Not until he has directly dealt with them and eaten them does he know apples.

People argue about words. They do so endlessly. And in so doing, they distance themselves from reality and from each other...in my opinion.

The fact that I have to talk with you about this using words, via a keyboard, has just chewed up an inordinate of my time which might have been far better spent by...eating a delicious apple! ;-)

My only real concern here is that you should understand the point I am driving at. If that happens, it will have been worth it. If not (shrug), well, then, I've wasted a bit of time, that's all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 01:20 AM

From: freda underhill - PM
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 09:42 AM

here's an interesting bit of writing by Phillip Adams, an Australian athiest, from just last week..

The Athiest delusion


Thanks for this link. Good read. Adams was pretty good (some errors in logic and fact but not many). Although I will admit I thought less of him when he mentioned Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian -- I chewed that book up and spit it out in college, but that's just me.

But aren't the little atheiettes cute? Trotting out their little platitudes like so many happy puppies and having no idea how they're just like the religious people they so despise? If this is the state of modern atheism, religion is probably still pretty safe.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 03:55 AM

Glad you enjoyed him, mousethief. I'm not a little athiette, btw, just an admirer of Phillip Adams :-)

Not a thiest either - maybe a cosmist, if there's such a thing. But definitions, words, you're right LH - if we could communicate via thoughts..

one of the many fantastic experiences when parenting is before the child can speak. A parent talks to their child, and the child understands -but they haven't learnt to speak yet. Yet there is complete understanding.

at some point, the child learns to speak. some years later they become a teenager and revert to monosyllables, that's another part of the cycle. No amount of intuit or understanding can break through for at least two years...

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 01:03 PM

Yeah, I've seen that monosyllabic teenage phase. Been through it myself...and I remember well. ;-) That's what people do when they have an intense desire to avoid communication/interaction with someone else.

People can communicate in a wonderful way with pets, because words don't get in the way. Can you imagine how annoying the average dog or cat could get if they could talk to us in our own language? (!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 01:23 PM

"I think you are perhaps dodging my hypothetical question by resorting instead to the usual busy flow of mentalizing about various details and apparent differences which words involve."

*sigh*... I am quite aware of what you were discussing....I merely added a qualifying comment, and THEN I went on to respond to your hypothesis/question about NOT having language.
YOU made the connection in your two paragraphs....first wondering about NO words, then saying "I've been in situations more or less like that with people who didn't know any English, and I didn't know their language either.

If you considered the situation of 'not knowing any English' to be 'more or less like that', my response was perfectly appropriate. If you didn't mean that, your point was not totally clear.....and since I was not there to watch you face and hear the tone in your voice and ASK you to explicate your point, why I just plowed ahead, 'mentalizing about various details ' and replied as best my limited understanding could manage.

Perhaps I shall someday learn to intuit intended meaning thru hyperspace connections and avoid such egregious misunderstandings...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 01:38 PM

Bill:

Communicating without any words is the scenario LH was offering. What happens when you have to do this is you fall back on your innate capacity for understanding without the complex process of analog audio symbols and syntax. Very refreshing. It also invokes a certain amount of telepathy depending on the individual.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 01:50 PM

Yeah. ;-) It's a lovely experience as far as I'm concerned. I could do with a lot more of it.

I think it is one of the main reasons people get so much joy out of having pets, feeding the birds and chipmunks, watering the flowers, and stuff like that. There's something sacred that occurs in those moments, not necessarily having to do with any deity as such, but having to do with the intimate experience of life itself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 02:13 PM

"at some point, the child learns to speak. some years later they become a teenager and revert to monosyllables, that's another part of the cycle. No amount of intuit or understanding can break through for at least two years..."

TWO YEARS? You got off lucky.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: freda underhill
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:20 AM

.. can't shut him up now, for which I'm very pleased. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 03:37 PM

More on the fundamentals of this issue.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 04:16 PM

This thread was fundamentally about whether hte Moslem "Allah" and the Christian/Jewish "God" were the same entity or not (they are), unclear what out of body experiences have to do with that?

WHo put the "mental" in "fundamental" anyway?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 04:25 PM

It's instructive that "fundamental" means "of or like a fundament" and "fundament" means asshole.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 04:49 PM

I thought it meant ass?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 01 Jul 10 - 05:31 PM

Can mean either. Joke's more funnier my way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Lox
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 05:16 AM

Sorry to be a bore, but the answer to Kendalls original question is simple.

"Allah" is the Arabic word for God.

If you are a Christian who speaks Arabic, you call God "Allah"

Case closed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:36 AM

The religions of the middle east all trace themselves to Abraham...who made a covenant with god, Christian accounts claim the boy involved in the sacrifice episode was his son Isaac, through whom Judaism and Cheistianity descend, arab commentators claim it was his son Ishmael, whose line of descent includes Mohammed and the Islamic faith.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 12:42 PM

Ooh, never say Case Closed, all kinds of things will crawl out of the woodwork to show you're wrong!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 01:46 PM

If you are a Christian who speaks Arabic, you call God "Allah"

From this it follows that Ganesh and Yahweh are the same because both are called a 'god' by their followers who speak English.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 02:16 PM

"If you are a Christian who speaks Arabic, you call God "Allah""

"From this it follows that Ganesh and Yahweh are the same because both are called a 'god' by their followers who speak English"

mouethief, I don't even know what to call the logical fallacy you've come up with here; do you think that Arabic speaking Christians are inadvertantly addressing the wrong god when they say "Allah"?, or that no Arabic speakers are really Christians, or what?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM

No, I think that it's a fallacy to say that because people use the same word, they are using it to mean the same thing. I was referring to the logical form, not the content.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:04 PM

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all monotheistic religions; that is, each asserts that only one God exists. Case closed ~ pretty much...

Of course, each of the three teaches/preaches a distinctly different vision of that One God; indeed, each of the three includes differing factions (sects) who disagree among themselves about the nature of God, and who each claim that they have exclusive access to the "truth" about the Divine.

People of different religions think and behave quite differently when they purport to be "serving God" or following His directives. So, in that sense, each group believes in a God whose attributes differ from those ascribed to Him by others. But each different group believes in One God; they each simply view God quite differently from each other.

So: Theologically, all three of the great monotheistic religions worship the same God, because all assert that there is one and only one God. Practically, it makes a degree of sense to say they each pray to a different "God," because they have such different agendas, different ideas about the nature of that One God.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:07 PM

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all monotheistic religions; that is, each asserts that only one God exists. Case closed ~ pretty much...

Pastafarianism (Flying Spaghetti Monster worship) also posits that only one God exists. I think it would be grossly mistaken, however, to say that it's the same God as Christians worship. I don't think "these religions all assert that only one God exists" can be taken to be the same thing as "therefore they all worship the same God" if the "God" that each worships is very different from the others.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 04:11 PM

If you are an Arabic speaker, you called the Great Spaghetti Monster "Allah", according to the logic herein. No? What am I missing?? :D


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 06:37 PM

Wikipedia opines..

Allah (Arabic: الله‎ Allāh, IPA: [ʔalˤːɑːh] ( listen)) is the standard Arabic word for God.[1] While the term is best known in the West for its use by Muslims as a reference to God, it is used by Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Jews and Christians, in reference to "God".[1][2][3] The term was also used by pagan Meccans as a reference to the creator-god, possibly the supreme deity in pre-Islamic Arabia.[4]

The concepts associated with the term Allah (as a deity) differ among the traditions. In pre-Islamic Arabia amongst pagan Arabs, Allah was not considered the sole divinity, having associates and companions, sons and daughters - a concept which Islam thoroughly and resolutely abrogated. In Islam, the name Allah is the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name. All other divine names are believed to refer back to Allah.[5] Allah is unique, the only Deity, creator of the universe and omnipotent.[1][2] Arab Christians today use terms such as Allāh al-ʼAb ( الله الأب, "God the Father") to distinguish their usage from Muslim usage.[6] There are both similarities and differences between the concept of God as portrayed in the Qur'an and the Hebrew Bible.[7]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,Gloria
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:09 PM

She doesnt have a name

"Nature swears the lovely dears,her noblest work she classes O
Her prentice hand she tried on man, and then she made the lasses O"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Lox
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:19 PM

"From this it follows that Ganesh and Yahweh are the same because both are called a 'god' by their followers who speak English."

Bit cheeky this post.

In particular this bit "because both are called a 'god'"

You are comparing chalk and cheese.

I didn't say Allah and God are the same because they are both gods (small g), I said that Allah is the name Given by Arabic speaking Christians to God (big G).

So in fact the distinction between God (big G) and Allah,, is false.

Its like saying that the french have no Libraries, only Bibliotheques.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Lox
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 08:23 PM

A better analogy would be:

John and I are from different cities.

He is from Beijing, but I am from Peking.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 09:25 PM

Lox: Yes, "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God". The question is, do the Christians and Muslims (and Jews) all worship the same God? The linguistic fact about the words "Allah" and "God" doesn't answer that question. It's a red herring.

This is like pulling teeth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: frogprince
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 09:58 PM

Criminey. I have never heard of any Christians who don't firmly avow that they worship the one creator God of the Bible, including the scriptures recognized by the Jews which constitute the "Old Testament" of the Christian Bible. The Islamic faith recognizes Jesus as a prophet, prior to Mohammed, of the same God they worship. Does that sound like it's just a matter of linguistics? The claim by some Christians that Allah is a different god is nothing more than an effort to demonize Muslims.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Jul 10 - 10:43 PM

Ye gods. This is pulling teeth.

I said nothing whatever about whether or not we worship the same God as the Muslims.

I said the fact that we use the same word doesn't prove anything one way or the other.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 02:21 PM

Then, dear Mousethief, you said nothing at all, frogprince , however, scoops the prize for meaningful precis of the main points.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 06:23 PM

Then, dear Mousethief, you said nothing at all,

Logic is dead, then.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 06:40 PM

Not at all, Logic says nothing at all, simply reveals what has already been said. It is often vitally important to do this.Once said, it becomes tautological to repeat it. We face the dilemma of being trivially true, or interetingly incomplete.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 12:04 AM

Mousethief is perfectly correct: the fact that the two groups use the same word for a hypothetical sensed entity does not necessarily mean they sense the same entity or sense it the same way.

There is a good argument in this particular comparison that the two definitions are overlapping, if not identical. That this happens to be the case does not reduce the accuracy of MT's logic.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 12:53 AM

Thank you, Amos.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 08:10 PM

If all these religions agreed on one god, they'd all belong to the same church.
When asked what religion I belong to I say I'm a "none". (None of the above).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 08:26 PM

Followers of all three religions would say that they worship the God worshipped by Abraham, and that there is no other God.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mayomick
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 06:22 PM

All three religions may worship the same God ,but the bible does refer to other gods - "children of a lesser god" etc .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 08:49 AM

That is a metaphor....the Commandments make it clear that there is only one god, all others being false. Doesn't mean its true, just theologically accurate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 09:21 AM

"Mousethief is perfectly correct: the fact that the two groups use the same word for a hypothetical sensed entity does not necessarily mean they sense the same entity or sense it the same way."

The point isn't that two groups use the same word for possibly different entities, the point is that they use different words to describe the same entity.

The common western Myth is that Allah is the moslem god, while God is the christian one.

In fact they are just different names for the same entity as described in their common scriptures and are only diffferent as they are said by people who speak different languages.

Allah = God

Umbrella = Parapluie

etc.



"If all these religions agreed on one god, they'd all belong to the same church."

By that argument, if each of these religions had the same understanding of God within their own scriptures, there would be no divisions within each religion, protestant/catholic - sunni/shiite - etc etc.

But an interesting point that it does raise is how personal our understnding of God is. Each man has his own understanding, sometimes informed by a particular faith or denomination, sometimes informed by their own hearts and consciences.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 10:37 AM

Well, I would say the "sameness" of the entity being discussed is seriously problematic, for one thing.

And for another, my point was that it isn't necessarily an identical referent; that means it could be but does not have to be. The assertion that it just is doesn't change the logic.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: mayomick
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 11:03 AM

I don't see how that business about children of a lesser god is a metaphor, Tug.What is it supposed to convey? It is an acknowledgement of the existence of other ,but lesser, gods, surely. I am the lord thy god and I am a jealous god said Jehova in the Ten commandments . He didn't actually say that he was the only god . I'm sure he would have done if that's what he had meant at the time.

Here's a list of the different gods mentioned by name and described as gods in the bible. See: http://www.bobgod.com/other.html
Astroloth - Judges 2:13, Samuel 7:3-4
Baal - 2 Samuel 2:8; 1 Kings 17:1, 18:17-19; 2 Kings 1:2-5; Jeremiah 9:13-16; Hoseah2:2-13, 14-22
Baal-zebul - 2 Kings 1:2-5
Bel - Isaiah 46:1-4 (also in apochraphal chapters removed from Daniel)
Beelzebul - Mark 3:22
Chemosh - Numbers 21:29, Judges 11:24
"Day Star" and Dawn - Isaiah 14:12-15
Hadad-rimmon - Zechariah 12:11
Ishtar - Jeremiah 44:15-28
Marduk - Jeremiah 50:2-3
Milkom - 2 Samuel 12:30
Nabu - Isaiah 46:1-4
Sakkuth and Kaiwan - Amos 5:26
Tammuz - Isaiah 17:9-11; Ezekiel 8:14-18; Daniel 11:36-39

Also , this is from Psalms 82 : "God standth in the congregation of the mighty, he judgeth among the gods"

I've heard it said-or perhaps read somewhere - that the only truly monotheistic religion is Islam . The Christian concept of the Trinity is seen by many as polytheistic .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Les from Hull
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 12:26 PM

I am constantly amazed by the number of people who believe all this stuff. Have we learned nothing?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 12:38 PM

Which "we" is that, Les?

The spectrum of understanding <==> abysmal reactivity is wide and deep and our current 6,697,254,041 souls are sprinkled all along and across it.

We all have our tokens, wards, icons and mechanisms.

( Of course, I agree it is a profound error to run around waving bad maps and claiming they are actual territory.)


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: frogprince
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM

Yuh; I was raised with the standard belief that the Bible consistently "says" that there is only one God. It took a long time before I realized that the natural reading of a number of Biblical stories is not that the other gods didn't exist, but that Jahweh could whup all of them at once with just a flick of his bushy white eyebrows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 04:47 PM

Bushy white eyebrows?

LOL!!!!!


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Theology question
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 05:32 PM

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me

That doesn't say there aren't any other gods, nor even that you may not worship any other gods. It's merely that (S)he is the really respectable, important, powerful one, "the real McCoy", as it were, who is entitled to and DEMANDS primacy.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 22 May 10:03 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.