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Ruth





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:46 am    Post subject: A Question for Atheists and Agnostics Reply with quote

Let's imagine for a minute that you do believe in God.
Which religion would you believe is the most correct and why?
Which religion is likely to be the most incorrect?
Or, what would the most plausible religion/definition of God look like?

-Ruth
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I had to pick any particular religion, I would choose Buddhism, however the Buddhism I know of doesn't have any God in particular, therefore it doesn't really meet your qualifications of believing in God.

Personally, I don't think any of the major theist religions are more right than the other. At the base of each religion, they have it right. Islam = peace. Shalom = peace and wellbeing. Christ(ianity) message was basically about peace. Where they get it wrong is in the dogma.

As far as the theist religion that I think is most correct, I would have to go with Shinto. I first heard of Shinto when a Japanese lady came to our school and taught us about Japan for one of my Jr. High social studies classes. I found the openness of the religion very appealing. There are no absolutes, people are considered to be generally good, and evil is cause by spirits.

It's a religion that chose to see the similarities it had with Buddhism, when Buddhism was first introduced into Japan, and chose to co-exist with it rather than wage religious wars based on the differences.

If I did believe in God for a minute, I would follow Shinto. Is that what you were looking for in an answer?
Zak





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question.

I can see lots of good things from a few eastern religions like Buddhism since their relation with God isn't as personal as in the Judeo-Christian religions. Buddhists tend to take far more responsibility for their own lives since they limit God's involvement in daily affairs.

From a historical perspective, the Judeo-Christian religions seem to be political tools invented by power-hungry tyrants so they seem far less likely to be correct. If I thought God existed, I would be certain he/she/it would have far better things to do then meddle in our affairs so an omniscient being who interfears with our lives, as is often the case in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beliefs, is unlikely to exist.

A more plausible definition of a supreme being would be one that creates the universe at the time of the Big Bang and then steps back to let evolution take us to where we are today.
Ruth





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah that is what I was looking for.

Zak, interesting notion about God not being involved in daily affairs. Are you assuming that what God created would be too mundane for Him to interact with?

--Ruth
PS: Bleatmop, your interpretation of Christ's message is incorrect by the way. Peace is not the core.
Zak





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:
Yeah that is what I was looking for.

Zak, interesting notion about God not being involved in daily affairs. Are you assuming that what God created would be too mundane for Him to interact with?

--Ruth


Yes. Basically. My problem is with people who use their god as an excuse for ignorance and laziness. Humanity has existed in small speck in geological time in a small speck of the known universe so I don't think we should be selfish enough to assume that a god would care about anything we do. The result is the idea that we should each be responsible for our own affairs and base our decisions on what we can see and feel around us and not depend on two thousand year old myths that may or may not be true.
gc





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: A Question for Atheists and Agnostics Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:
Let's imagine for a minute that you do believe in God.
Which religion would you believe is the most correct and why?
Which religion is likely to be the most incorrect?
Or, what would the most plausible religion/definition of God look like?


While I am open to the idea of a God, I would not believe in any religion. There is a difference between believing in God, and believing in organized religions such as Christianity/Judaism/Islam/etc. I don't believe the traditional view of God as a grey-haired old man sitting in heaven. I have no idea what he would look like, but I really doubt he would look like us.
Ruth





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc,
The view of God as a grey-haired old man is not traditional in any of the three monotheistic religions. Gold is spirit and not flesh. The idea of God as a grey haired old man is a relic from ancient pagan myths.
Give the last part of the question some thought, if you would. When I said "look like" I didn't necessarily mean physically. Perhaps I should have said "How would God be defined?"

Zak
"My problem is with people who use their god as an excuse for ignorance and laziness."
This is not a problem with God or religion, but a problem with people.
Also, the premise of the question implied that you believe your hypothetical religion NOT to be a myth, but truth.
Let's assume you do believe in God. Also assume your definition/belief is the true one. What would it be?

-Ruth
FascistLibertarian





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
what would the most plausible religion/definition of God look like?


I have no idea what the limits or shape of more powerful beings would look like. I believe humans came to be the way they are through a series of events that may or may not have been random or planned. In this respect I could maybe accept the concept “god is everything”. But as to “god” creating us? No evidence to support this belief.

I dont see a reason at all to believe in monotheism. For people to say that God is male is not ancient pagan myths! Monotheism is built on civilization, the division of labour, and clearly patriarchy.

Quote:
With regards to women and their roles in church, BEAJ is right and Triple R is wrong. Scripture does in fact teach that women must keep silent. This is not "Paul's opinion." Women are not to be given spiritual authority over a man and they are not to preach. Prophesy is allowed however, but this is a different gift to be used in a different capacity.


Ruth you really should to look at the status of women in different societies. There are some great anthropological studies (so much written on this subject). Hunter gathers existed before organized religion.

Quote:
Zak, interesting notion about God not being involved in daily affairs. Are you assuming that what God created would be too mundane for Him to interact with?


I would ask you when you would assume God started getting involved in human affairs?
Because humans have been around for probably 100,000 years and for most of that time (during the ice age) we could not farm and did not have much division of labour or wealth. As well society was more sexually egalitarian.

Now 12,000 years ago the ice age ends and people start farming and develop writing in Mesopotamia. And we only have organized religion from after that time, even though this religion always claims to go back to when people were created.

I like some of the ideas of different religious figures but why would I think ANY of them have the answer or truth? Organized religion was created by humans to serve human needs and interests.

I was raised the way I was. I am the way I am. I didn’t choose to be an agnostic but based on the way I am, was raised, and what research I have done it would be impossible for me to believe in any organized religion. This is not to say organized religion has not done great things for civilization on any number of levels. What I do believe is that the only way I could believe in any other religion would be if I was brought up that way. I would not have had a choice.

And also I dunno why you called this A Question for Atheists and Agnostics.
You and theatheistjew both claim to know the truth but I admit I dont know. Seems to me your both closer in the WAY you think to each other then to me, even though your content is opposing, funny how that happens isnt it!
Zak





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:

Zak
"My problem is with people who use their god as an excuse for ignorance and laziness."
This is not a problem with God or religion, but a problem with people.
Also, the premise of the question implied that you believe your hypothetical religion NOT to be a myth, but truth.
Let's assume you do believe in God. Also assume your definition/belief is the true one. What would it be?
-Ruth


I agree. No matter what religion you choose, people are always responsible for their own choices.

I'm fairly convinced that all the established religions have been proven wrong through historical analysis and science (although I can still be proven wrong). If I believed in God, it would be the deist position where God exists and created the universe but has never had any interaction with humans (and consequently, all religions were invented by humans).


Last edited by Zak on Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
Ruth





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FascistLibertarian wrote:
And also I dunno why you called this A Question for Atheists and Agnostics.

Because I actually do want to know what atheists and agnostics think. Largely, the way atheists and agnostics view religion drives their belief that either there is no God or it can't be known if there is.
You never actually dealt with any of my questions. Your post is mostly off topic.

Quote:
Which religion would you believe is the most correct and why?
Which religion is likely to be the most incorrect?
Or, what would the most plausible religion/definition of God look like?


-Ruth


Last edited by Ruth on Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
gc





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:
Give the last part of the question some thought, if you would. When I said "look like" I didn't necessarily mean physically. Perhaps I should have said "How would God be defined?"


I realize that, however the two are related. When I said that I did not believe in the idea of God as a grey-haired man, what I meant is that I do not believe that he is human-like. The bible clearly states that God is human-like. He looks like a man, he thinks and talks like a human. If there is a God, I would say it's extremely improbable that he resembles a human.
Ruth





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bible teaches no such thing gc.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is God incarnate, or God as man. (John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us)
It teaches that God as Father is a spirit ( Genesis 1:2 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters., Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. )
The Holy Spirit is also spirit... hence its name.

-Ruth
gc





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:
The Bible teaches no such thing gc.


Sure it does:

So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (gensis 1:27)

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light (genesis 2:3)

So God said to Noah... (genesis 6:13)

God saw that the light was good (genesis 2:4)

"I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites... (exodus 16:12)

The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart... (genesis 8:21)

But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." (exodus 33:20)

I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by (exodus 33:22)

Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen. (exodus 33:23)

So God looks like man, has many of the same physical features as man, God can talk, hear, smell, see like man...seems pretty human-like to me.
Ruth





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc, you have reversed the meaning of that Scripture. If God gave man His image, it does not mean that God behaves like a human, which is what you originally were trying to argue. Do you honestly not see that you have made man the focal point rather than God? This is backwards, especially given the topic.
In any case, to bear God's image does not refer to our physical being, since God is spirit. I don't know if I can go into this without derailing the entire conversation. Also, just because God is spirit does not mean He doesn't see, hear, smell, think etc... It's curious that you find these things to be specifically human characteristics when they are also shared by fish, dogs, ants, snakes. Does the fact that we smell and taste make us like ants or ants like us? Of course not.

-Ruth
gc





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruth wrote:
gc, you have reversed the meaning of that Scripture. If God gave man His image, it does not mean that God behaves like a human, which is what you originally were trying to argue. Do you honestly not see that you have made man the focal point rather than God? This is backwards, especially given the topic.
In any case, to bear God's image does not refer to our physical being, since God is spirit. I don't know if I can go into this without derailing the entire conversation. Also, just because God is spirit does not mean He doesn't see, hear, smell, think etc...


Ok, in order to simplify my argument, I will rephrase it: I do not believe that God has a face. Nor do I believe that God has hands, or a back, or that he can talk. (that is what I meant when I said human-like, but perhaps I should have been more descriptive).

Quote:
It's curious that you find these things to be specifically human characteristics when they are also shared by fish, dogs, ants, snakes. Does the fact that we smell and taste make us like ants or ants like us? Of course not.


Again, I will rephrase what I meant: I do not believe that God resembles animals (including humans) living on earth. The bible does say that man was made in his image, it doesn't say that ants were made in his image, so that means God looks like humans not ant. Regardless, that is irrelevant. I will re-iterate: I do not believe that God resembles any form of life on earth. I do not believe he has a face, or hands. I do not believe that he can speak or hear.
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