Burner Impressions of Christianity

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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Fat SAM
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Post by Fat SAM » Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:50 pm

That's too bad. It sounds like you must have been talking with someone who was really uninformed.
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itwazed
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Post by itwazed » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:40 pm

FabFascist wrote:My thoughts can best be summed up by a rational person's gut reaction to the following comment made to me when I tried pointing out that the King james version of the Bible was an antiquated translation full of errors:

"Well, if it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me." :shock:

Enough said?
That is quite literaly the funniest thing Ive heard all day. I think Ive got you beat on the most "uninformed" religous quote ever though

I once heard some one reply about the Roman Catholic Church in a conversation this way

"Theyve been screwing up the world since Jesus was born."

Sometimes I dont know whether to cry or laugh hysterically.
Fly Fat ASS!!! FLY!!!!!
He smoked a phat cronic blunt.

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:56 pm

Yes, I'm right about though the books away!

Example:

Look at BM as the experiment.

Several people have bought this up, I think it Jay.

What is the general feel there! Lots of kindness, caring and sharing! Some shit heads I agree, but the very minority.

What are the rules- few, very few.

No book to find the hidden meanings.

and as Jay say, fuck you, I love you too!!!!

AIIZ

PS- Heli that friend of yours was actually, Hey, Zeus!

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Post by topher » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:39 pm

[quote="Apollonaris Zeus"]So what is Christianity's perspective on Burningman:
http://poweredbychrist.homestead.com/BurningMan.html
[/quote]

Now I don't feel so bad about MOOP. Here is a little snip from this site:

~People were free, yea rather encouraged to debauch their lives and corrupt their souls to such a dark and unrecognizable degree of filthiness and unholiness, all the while being reminded of the cardinal rule "Love your Mother Earth. Leave no trace. Do not litter." As if leaving a cigarette butt out in the middle of a desert wasteland is a greater tragedy than losing your soul and spending eternity in hell.~

Haah! Better than the comedy channel.


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FabFascist
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Post by FabFascist » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:11 pm

I about pissed myself reading that page...

Wow.. are we damned or what?!? That rocks!

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:36 pm

Damn!
The only person that tried to corrupt me was the evil vending machine.
Does that count?


Do we actually know anything about the druids and burning people?
Is he confused about the fabricated religion in the Wicker Man?


You'd think these guys that oppose gay sex would embrace gay marriage.
Besides, isn't that the quickest way to put a stop to sex?
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Post by Fat SAM » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:50 pm

topher wrote:
Apollonaris Zeus wrote:So what is Christianity's perspective on Burningman:
http://poweredbychrist.homestead.com/BurningMan.html
Now I don't feel so bad about MOOP. Here is a little snip from this site:

~People were free, yea rather encouraged to debauch their lives and corrupt their souls to such a dark and unrecognizable degree of filthiness and unholiness, all the while being reminded of the cardinal rule "Love your Mother Earth. Leave no trace. Do not litter." As if leaving a cigarette butt out in the middle of a desert wasteland is a greater tragedy than losing your soul and spending eternity in hell.~

Haah! Better than the comedy channel.


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Dude....are you sure that's Christianity's perspective, or just that guy's perspective? I'm a Christian, and I think Burning Man is beautiful. I look forward to it from the moment I leave the Playa. Hypostitization is bad argumentation.

edit: Ugh. And having looked at that guy's website, it's obvious he's a total crack pot.

It's funny...it's like there's this unspoken (sometimes spoken) thing at BM where you have to be down with the code or some shit. 'We're all individuals! Except you, you're different. Scram.' I went to the human carcass wash last year and didn't take off my shorts. I didn't want some stranger washing my dick. The chick told me, 'you have to take your shorts off.' I was pretty surprised and told her I thought that my comfort zone was where the line was drawn and she was SO surprised and offended looking. I'm not comfortable being naked around people. And not because I'm prude, but because I'm just not comfortable with MY nudity. What would have happened if some guy said that to a chick. 'Hey girl...you have to lose the panties.' Same deal with being a Christian (sometimes). I've told folks in conversation out there and have gotten looks like they just tasted sour milk. Isn't it supposed to be a place where people can be who they are? I'm accepting (NOT tolerating...tolerance is bullshit) everyone for what they are and what they're doing as long as it's not hurting anyone else. Why does there have to be this occasional (some people just accept too, which is nice) underlying attitude of 'oh, you're Christian. That's unhip and you must be a dick' ?

There are all types of Christians, just like there are all types of any other group. Not all people who call themselves Christian are nice. Not all of them are fruitcakes, either. Chances are, though, that the one's you meet on the Playa aren't there to dog you. They're probably there having a good time, too. It sucks that some crack pot buttholes who drink snake juice and shout in 'tongues' blow my whole rep.

Bunch a prejudice is what it is.

>arms folded. And pouting.
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gyre
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Post by gyre » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:28 pm

Sam, if you start making up words like hypostitization and syncategorematic,
no one is going to take you seriously.

The carcass wash is supposed to ask your boundaries and then follow them.
It is mostly volunteers cycling through, you know.
Maybe she was hitting on you?

You must be aware there are people on the playa proselytizing and not just christians.
Maybe that has something to do with the reaction?
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Fat SAM
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Post by Fat SAM » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:32 pm

Hmm...the voices said it was a real word. Maybe I spelled it wrong. Lumping a group of people together and saying "Christianity's view" or "the government says" or 'the law says' are examples of what I thought hypostitization is. I could be wrong. There's a first time for everything.
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Post by dana » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Alright Sam, no pouting!

Its that spectrum I was talking about. You're on one end of it. That guy is on the other.
I have to admit that I goaded the pastor a little who condemned me to hell yesterday. He invited me to his church and I said no thanks I'm one of those damn new age secular humanists. His response was so automatic it was scary.
Odd though that he showed up like that. One of those "meaninful coincidences" that strike me as a kind of pattern. I wondered about your assumptions in the same way. One of the things he started blurting out is how accurate all of the prophecies in the bible have turned out to be. I finally started to see one thing about the pattern. (I had said that I reject Christianity, but that's not really very accurate because for some reason parts of it have had an impact on me.) At one point I became caught up in contemplating the idea of the antichrist and the Christ's return. While a lot of christians seem to want to hold out for that as some kind of literal thing, with the rapture and all when they get to just step out and leave the whole mess behind, I suddenly got this understanding that it is an internal change, part of a paradigm shift. I see the Christ return and the antichrist as two sides of the same coin. The antichrist is that transition in which the church loses power over the masses. The Christ return is the appearance of more and more people with a true sense of that union with the Divine (that you spoke of.) Some will be christian like yourself and itwazed, others new ager's or whatever.
Anyway I hold to that vision. It seems a useful transition. But it scares the shit out of a lot of people like the guy in that link, who would spread the fear.

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Post by Fat SAM » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:11 pm

I'm certainly holding out for a positive outcome. I hate saying things can't get much worse, because it seems like that's always when the elephant riding the flaming, acid-filled, meteorite comes falling in through the roof. Which invariably spills my cap'n crunch with crunch berries. Hello! Day ruined.
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Post by dana » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:22 pm

Fat SAM wrote:when the elephant riding the flaming, acid-filled, meteorite comes falling in through the roof.
Yeah, I hate when that happens!

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Post by Fat SAM » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:25 pm

Fat SAM wrote:Which invariably spills my cap'n crunch with crunch berries.
Clearly you didn't see the worst part of all, mandana.
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Post by dana » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:53 pm

"Mandana"! (*LOL*)

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:56 pm

topher wrote:
Apollonaris Zeus wrote:So what is Christianity's perspective on Burningman:
http://poweredbychrist.homestead.com/BurningMan.html
Now I don't feel so bad about MOOP. Here is a little snip from this site:

~People were free, yea rather encouraged to debauch their lives and corrupt their souls to such a dark and unrecognizable degree of filthiness and unholiness, all the while being reminded of the cardinal rule "Love your Mother Earth. Leave no trace. Do not litter." As if leaving a cigarette butt out in the middle of a desert wasteland is a greater tragedy than losing your soul and spending eternity in hell.~

Haah! Better than the comedy channel.


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I guess I should now put that into a perspective. I really had to dig for those sad anti-BM web sites which is good to say that most of the christians that have been to BM find it more a positive experience then some dark Hell converting festival and that is to the kindness and caring that all of you have expressed to all those that have attended.

The people that had created those Anti-BM sites grew up not in a loving society, but a judgmental one based on a literal translation of the bible. We Hellenics use our greek myths, which we have always known to be myths, as a form of methophoric teachings. The Bible should be taught in the same fashion, but to do you must admit at some time that it is a myth. Like the Jews in Egypt: ie. the plague (most probable, a mass poisoning by the Jewish slaves) or the Nile turning red- a flood washed into the Nile from an area containing red clays or soils from a localized storm. I like the great flood- the finding of fossils on mountain tops. To the unlearnt, this stories would mythical embellishments. Though, no doubt, Moses was a great negotiator, who may have told the Egyptians, “listen, if you do not let us go, we will poison more of you.â€

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Post by dana » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:15 pm

Hey-Zeus, sometimes you need the long sermon. Pithy isn't always good. If people don't have tolerance to read the long version, they should just skip to the next thing.

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:34 pm

There is a docko about the theory that the plagues fit the pattern of events after a volcanic eruption, if I remember correctly.
The timeline of events is persuasive.
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Post by Fat SAM » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:47 pm

Zeus - Don't mess with techno. It's an important part of your daily sound intake.
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Post by Me2 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:08 am

gyre wrote:There is a docko about the theory that the plagues fit the pattern of events after a volcanic eruption, if I remember correctly.
The timeline of events is persuasive.
Why can't we just accept a supernatural God/ess with supernatural power to do whatever the hell s/he pleases, and if it pleases her to turn all the water into blood or send a plague of frogs to teach the cruel Egyptians a lesson then so be it. We really don't have to try to rationalize it...do we? That's why it's called Faith.
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Post by gyre » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:36 am

Faith is what I have in the guy who fixes my brakes, or my plane.

Science and religion meet somewhere if there is any reason to try to understand anything at all.
I think the story just got a lot more interesting, if the science pans out.
Why wouldn't god do it this way?
Or did the Israelites use natural events as magic?
They wouldn't be the first.
Or is it a series of events so powerful as to be included for that reason?
The evidence is that a series of events happened in the precise order the bible records, that fit the descriptions, even to modern man.
That's interesting, whatever it means.

I don't believe any god requires faith.


I hosted some tibetan monks from Dharamsallah.
They have an elaborate religion.
But if you don't participate, or believe...they don't care.
As far as they are concerned, you and I are still part of the buddhist system.
If you don't have faith in gravity, will you still fall?
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.

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Post by Zhust » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:55 am

Me2 wrote:Why can't we just accept a supernatural God/ess with supernatural power to do whatever the hell s/he pleases
Because that doesn't appear to be the way the world works, at least as far as I'm concerned.

The idea of an all powerful invisible man is silly to me. The idea that there is a system of behavior for things in the world does not -- and I am unable to determine if that system has a consciousness or not.

Let me dig into your example of turning a river to blood. If you mean literally -- that water was divinely transformed into red blood cells -- then I disagree on grounds that that is impossible. If you mean figuratively -- that the water turned red from volcanic activity, but that it was divinely influenced -- then I can discuss it.

Now, it seems to me that divine influence is sort of an ex post facto kind of argument. In other words, my view is that volcanic activity caused streams to collect red coloration, feeding a river that turned it red which was then interpreted by those observing it that the river had turned to blood. I think it is a logical fallacy to say that a divine influence predicted that people would interpret a river-of-blood as a significant event and therefore caused the volcanic activity that set the events in motion to that outcome.

Let me take a different tack: my fascination with the magical characteristics of statistics. I was pondering the notion of throwing a ball as far as I could. If I were to accumulate statistics, I assumed the distances would form some kind of Bell curve around an average maximum distance. However, I learned that this distribution allowed me to predict the probability of a ball thrown a certain distance. Within a few feet of the average, the odds were around 90%, and the further from that distance, the odds fell lower and lower. However, there was a 1 in a billion-billion-billion chance that I would happen to throw the ball into outer space!

Quickly enough I realized that I had mixed up the causality: it wasn't that the statistical distribution dictated behavior, but that behavior dictated the statistical distribution.

So my faith in statistics remains, although tempered with an understanding of its limitations.

Likewise, I think that an all-powerful being is mixing up causality. Given that the system that governs how everything works has a consciousness, I believe it is possible for it to decide to collide a huge asteroid into the Earth causing life to be destroyed for millennia, but that same all-powerful force would not be able to turn my house into gold.

Thus, although insurmountable by any action of man, it is nonetheless bounded by rules itself.

Still, though, I question whether a recognizable consciousness is present.
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dana
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Post by dana » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:34 am

Me2 wrote:
gyre wrote:There is a docko about the theory that the plagues fit the pattern of events after a volcanic eruption, if I remember correctly.
The timeline of events is persuasive.
Why can't we just accept a supernatural God/ess with supernatural power to do whatever the hell s/he pleases, and if it pleases her to turn all the water into blood or send a plague of frogs to teach the cruel Egyptians a lesson then so be it. We really don't have to try to rationalize it...do we? That's why it's called Faith.
I assume you're asking that rhetorically?
Heyzeus has sermonized on a few occaisions about the error of people wanting to believe that God is on their side in exclusion of others. That's one of the errors of the old testament in particular.

As I see it, its a free will universe. All is allowed. There is only one commandment that God has given and one covenant in response.
The commandment:

Y'all come back sometime.

The covenant - we agreed. We never made any agreement on how many lifetimes it would take, where we might go in the meantime, how much we wanted to learn, how far away from God we might drift in our travels and how much we would forget about who we were, and when or how we would decide that we were done and what route we might take back.


Have you seen that bumper sticker - "The Goddess is returning......
and She is Pissed!"

The same old vengeful God, only this time in drag.

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Post by Lassen Forge » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:07 am

Me2 wrote:Why can't we just accept a supernatural God/ess with supernatural power to do whatever the hell s/he pleases
jaycerochester wrote: Because that doesn't appear to be the way the world works, at least as far as I'm concerned.

The idea of an all powerful invisible man is silly to me. The idea that there is a system of behavior for things in the world does not -- and I am unable to determine if that system has a consciousness or not.

Let me dig into your example of turning a river to blood. If you mean literally -- that water was divinely transformed into red blood cells -- then I disagree on grounds that that is impossible. If you mean figuratively -- that the water turned red from volcanic activity, but that it was divinely influenced -- then I can discuss it.
Hmmm... How about... a natural or man-made catastrophe, like either a disease or poison, annihilating entire herds of (enter species here) upriver... maybe a bio agent causing them to hemmorage out or something. Could see a river red with blood explained non-theologically. Sure, it takes a lot of animals, but... well... you know. Natural explanation? Easy. Divinely created? Sure. Outside scientific influences? Possible as well. How about all of them? Or the poison seen as "Deity's revenge" somehow by a superstitious bunch of former sun wirshippers? Why not? IMO...any or all could fit.. Where you get into trouble is removing the possibilities because it falls outside one's "beliefs", be they theistic or athestic. What if... it's *all* correct?
jaycerochester wrote: Likewise, I think that an all-powerful being is mixing up causality. Given that the system that governs how everything works has a consciousness, I believe it is possible for it to decide to collide a huge asteroid into the Earth causing life to be destroyed for millennia, but that same all-powerful force would not be able to turn my house into gold.

Thus, although insurmountable by any action of man, it is nonetheless bounded by rules itself.

Still, though, I question whether a recognizable consciousness is present.

I can propose a simple answer. It may be right or not, depending on ones personal beliefs. (Oh shit, here we go again!!) It is because each of us - this life force as a whole - all of this whatever it is, from the people to the fishies to the trees to the rocks to the life force of the departed to the deity or deities to whatever - is the consciousness. The whole freaking banana. Everything from you to that gnat buzzing around your head is part of it.

I could bore the crap out of everyone with quantum string theory (and at the same time probably get some parts wrong) and how the universe is a dynamic influenced by everything around it and that dynamic is one representation of the "ism". Thank God I don't!! (please note the deliberate provocation inherant to the last statement...)

OR better... maybe it only exists in your personal mind... that all of this has no existance outside of your personal plane of existence. Or mine, and I'm writing this to myself in a nether void only to myself. Who knows? And if so... does it matter?

Off the wall question time - while we're on Theisms - what did people do before the whole revelation of "God" some thousands of years ago, especially before the whole Uhura Mazda thing set up this middle-eastern Montheism we have today?

And Dana actually bropught uup a really good point. Why is this deity always represented as an embodied being? Like a God created to look like people so they understand it? Why can't it just be? Someone once gave a clue like that...

I am that is.

Since everything, in essence, "is" (if something wasn't, it'd be an "is not", right?) this deity theistic power therefore... is. Is what it is. Is all. ALL. No part of this, no bearded white guy in the cloud (tho that bearded white guy is part of the is just like you)...

And the covenant? You betcha. Even better - you're always a part of that back, for everything and everyone is always in the there at all times. By being you are already there. HAH!

Confused? Not as bad as ya thought, I bet. And remember - you read it first right here on ePlaya!

Returning you to your human-inspired religious arguement based on purely human influences, disregarding all the rest of the is...

bb

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Post by Me2 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:59 pm

I'm sorry, I think my brain's about to explode! I'm going to have to go take a nap before getting back to u all.:shock:
Consider that, all hatred driven hence,
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Post by Me2 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:15 pm

Had my brain nap and now I'm ready to go!

gyre:
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. If you can have faith that the post man will deliver your mail, why can't u have faith in a God u can't see.

I don't believe science and religion are at odds with each other. Science is just man's way of explaining the Divine's creation.

Or did the Israelites use natural events as magic?
Anything's possible. If you were trying to free your entire people group from slavery wouldn' you use every means possible?
I don't believe any god requires faith.
While it's true we're all part of the 'system' regardless of our faith or lack there of, I believe we require faith to believe in God and s/he wants us to believe in her/him, therefore God does require faith.

The gravity metaphor proves my point, just because you don't believe in God doesn't mean s/he isn't operating in your life.

jaycerochester:
Let me dig into your example of turning a river to blood...I disagree on grounds that that is imossible.
You think it is impossible because you can't get your limited human mind around the concept of an all-powerful deity.

The volcano theory is a rationalization of a divine and immediate act. You don't think both the Israelites and the Egyptians could tell the difference between blood and dirty water? I'm not completely discounting your theory, but were there actually active volcanos near tributaries of the Nile during the period referred to?

Though actions can be limited by man's ability, faith can be limited by man's lack of surrender and desire to explain/control outcomes.


I'm not sure what u meant by the system's consciousness. Can u please elaborate?


dana:
I don't know that God is on anyone's side, perhaps just doing his/her own thing and sometimes we get the positive or negative fallout as a result.

Bay Bridge Sue:
I liked your thoughts on 'The whole freaking banana'; the 'Matrix' parrallel; who said their was a 'before' to 'the whole revelation of God'; man represents God as an embodied being, well...because he's man; God that 'is', God that's 'ALL', God that's everywhere is referred to as the Holy Spirit, or Mother Earth- take your pick.
Consider that, all hatred driven hence,
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Post by gyre » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:30 pm

Why would god care what I think?
I think that is wishful thinking on man's part.

All that matters is who and what you are.
I will be the same person if you prove to me there is no god in any form.
I am as good or bad as I can be and no apologies.

If you act differently because of god, does that count?


Know thyself.

A profound goal.

Deceptively simple.
Deceptively important.

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dana
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Post by dana » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:45 am

gyre wrote:Faith is what I have in the guy who fixes my brakes, or my plane.

I don't believe any god requires faith.

If you don't have faith in gravity, will you still fall?
No, your relation to the mechanic is one of trust and belief.
Me2 touched on it with Faith. Faith is the hoped for truth that will always be out there on the horizon, never touched. I've heard it referred to metaphorically as two train tracks that appear to meet at the horizon - at your death, the second coming whatever.

Belief on the other hand is intimately tied to experience. Some people on the Atheist thread were making weak arguments that they don't believe in God for the same reason that they don't believe in Santa Claus or green spaghetti monsters. I think belief involves a subconscious sorting through of probabilities. They don't know any way to make a green spaghetti monster real, but people have figured ways to make God or Goddess real in their experience (not the whole thing obviously, just a taste as long as you're physical.)

A God that could take an interest in you personally is currently beyond your belief threshold.

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Post by Zhust » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:51 am

Me2 wrote:
Let me dig into your example of turning a river to blood...I disagree on grounds that that is imossible.
You think it is impossible because you can't get your limited human mind around the concept of an all-powerful deity.
If I may use the same condescending tone, you think there is an all-powerful deity because you can't get your limited mind around the concept of a universe that has simply existed for all time and that there is no such thing as an all-powerful deity.

In other words, faith can't be argued.

I will, however, go further to express my observations of belief in an all-powerful deity.

Consider the other example I talked about with statistics, and that it's impossible to throw a ball into outer space. (I'm going further to assume no trickery -- throwing the ball onto the Space Shuttle doesn't count, for instance.) Let me merge in the discussion of the river of blood and one's faith in that:
Non-believer: "You can't throw a ball into outer space."

Believer: "Perhaps I can't under normal circumstances, but I could with God's help."

N: "I'd believe you if God would help you do that."

B: "God doesn't work that way."

N: "Maybe God can't throw a ball into outer space, or that He'd cause something else to happen that would make it happen. Like maybe He'd make an asteroid hit the earth and some part of it would put the ball into space."

B: "No, God is all-powerful and he could let me throw a ball into space. It's just that He doesn't want to."
So in the end, how is there any way to tell that God is all-powerful and unwilling, or very powerful but not all-powerful? Now we're back to faith. I say it doesn't matter -- unwilling or unable, my world is no different.
Me2 wrote:Though actions can be limited by man's ability, faith can be limited by man's lack of surrender and desire to explain/control outcomes.
One underlying assumption here is that having faith is a good thing (and linguistically, a tautology). Is it good, though, if I have faith that one day monkeys will fly out my butt? I say that it's good to have faith that things are possible that you don't know, but to enumerate them is not good.

In other words, in August I'll be going to Burning Man. I don't know what exactly will happen, but I have faith that the possibilities include very good things. I have faith that if things don't go as planned that I will survive and learn and good will come from that too. And concerning belief, I believe that I have skills to ensure that I'll make it to Burning Man; I have faith that no matter what happens, I can draw good from it.
Me2 wrote:I'm not sure what u meant by the system's consciousness. Can u please elaborate?
So let's say a couple cells in my big toe are having a conversation and wondering if the whole body they live in is able to do the same. From the perspective of the cells, things don't seem to make much sense -- they start at the inside and work their way out until they die and exit the body they are so familiar with. They may ponder if the whole body is a being that is aware of itself.

Likewise, we're like cells in a body. We do stuff and seemingly random things happen in the world. Yet there's a kind of order to it all -- there are rules that govern how things work.

This system of rules -- the whole of it all -- all the trees and air and stars and beers -- is everything we are aware of able to know what it is? We're just a part of a bunch of stuff, and we can't tell whether there's something bigger out there.

In the end, maybe there is, and maybe there isn't. There's just no way to tell.
May your deeds return to you tenfold,
---Zhust, Curiosityist

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dana
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Post by dana » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:11 am

jaycerochester wrote: we can't tell whether there's something bigger out there.

In the end, maybe there is, and maybe there isn't. There's just no way to tell.
You can't tell.
For the biggest chunk of the population, their senses are tuned to only pick up on the 5 physical senses and physical reality.

You seem to be making an assumption that those 5 senses are all that people have available. Granted, trying to prove otherwise is difficult because "proof" in the normal context functions within physicality. God will never be proven.

Flon
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:48 am

Post by Flon » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:34 am

Me2 wrote:If you can have faith that the post man will deliver your mail, why can't u have faith in a God u can't see.
I think you are comparing two concepts that differ wildly while, due to the ambiguity of language, sharing the same word ("faith"). The first is a prediction that something will happen based on informal analysis of past statistics - "The postman almost always delivers my mail so I have faith he will deliver it today. The second is a belief that something exists because you were told it exists or want it to exist, even though there is no empirical evidence supporting that belief (and, in fact, there CAN NOT be evidence - see my next point) - "I have faith in God because the Bible tells me he exists". These two concepts don't seem equivalent at all.
Me2 wrote:I don't believe science and religion are at odds with each other. Science is just man's way of explaining the Divine's creation.
I think you have it right that science and religion are not at odds with each other, but that is because neither can touch on the other's realm without destroying itself. If you use religious belief to explain natural phenomenon, you are no longer engaged in science; and if you use scientific method to prove religious belief, you will either fail or remove that belief from the realm of religion.

Let me clarify that last point with a thought experiment: Suppose a god dropped down from heaven, manifested himself, and preformed undeniable miracles (such as parting a major sea or making something intelligent come out of Paris Hilton's mouth) , all while under strict experimental conditions. Belief in this being is no longer a religion, its common sense. Theology departments are transferred from the humanities division to the science division at universities (of course having their budgets triple and faculty salaries double). Scientists begin searching for the fundamental particle of religious belief (the theon?) only to find that attempts to observe and measure it result in it transmuting into another particle (the skepton) because of the "Deification Uncertainty Principle". A powerful congressman from Texas manages to get the $5 billion "super-believing super-prayer" sited in his district to study this particle. If it happens to be one of those petty control-freak gods who will smite you if you eat the wrong meat, don't cover your entire body with potato sacks, or poke your member into the wrong orifice, then spurning that meat, sack-wearing, and member control no longer are religious practices. Like not wearing your sheet over your head in Harlem or not getting out of your car to dance "Swan Lake" on the freeway, these things are just things you do to stay healthy.

The point is, religion *IS* faith, and removing it from faith makes it no longer religion

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