For those of you who haven't been around for a few days, scroll down to my post "It's about time" and read back up to here. I'm tired of linking everything back to where this has already been...
relax the world will keep on spinnin said...
what you dont get is how small and insignificant humanity is -- how our place in the cosmos is so unimaginably small that it is difficult to grasp --
Actually it's not so difficult to grasp. It brings more meaning to my faith because I believe that a God who could create the universe in all it's grandeuer can still care about me. And not just me, but every living being that ever has, or ever will, exist.
the error in your faith is believing in something that does not exist -- if you really think the spirit talks to you i would consider getting your head examined --
I've had my head examined and the doctors said I was fine.
why if jesus can heal the blind -- why didnt he heal blindness??
Because Jesus' example was to the individuals not to the masses. Like I said at the very beginning of this conversation, the church was never meant to be an organized religion. It was never meant to be an institution. It was meant to be individuals acting out their faith own behalf of others. If Christ had simply done away with everything that ails us then there would be no purpose to teach us to care for the needs of others, there wouldn't be any needs for us to care about.
And, just in case you're thinking of asking why God doesn't just do away with evil, then consider that if He did that you wouldn't have the freewill to reject Him. Because doing away with evil means doing away with the very possiblity of evil, but once the possibilty exists for someone to make a choice to do something that would hurt or negatively impact someone else, then evil exists. And what would you do then, smartypants, if you didn't have a choice in the matter?
and if your man made god gave dominion over beasts - fowl and fish -- why didnt he give it over viruses and bacteria???
God did give us dominion over viruses and bacteria in the form of anti-biotics. Not to mention that there have been countless holistic and naturopathic treatments for all manner of sicknesses for centuries. Many of which were know to many of the early religions, but as science grew many of these ancient folk-remedies were lost. Have you never heard of the healing properties of many plants and herbs? According to my faith those things were made by God, the fact that we're just learning about them again tells me that we were the ones in error, not the ancients.
because none of it is real and the founders of your religion had no knowledge that organisms they could not see were the deadliest of all -- it is flawed and you know it --
And why does the missing information about such things make a religion flawed? That's what I don't understand about your position. Learning is a progression. To assume that because religion began at a time while learning was still in it's infancy, doesn't mean that it wasn't true. Just like new discoveries in our future won't invalidate what we believe now. Like I've been saying all along, 2+2=4 will always be true even when we're working with calculus or quantum physics.
the bible is a complete fabrication as is all religion -- it gave people hope and reassurance and it was used against them for control -- thats all it boils down too
No, the Bible is not a complete fabrication. The historical texts are confirmed by contemporaries of the age in which they were written. The time-lines offered (with the exception of parts of Genesis) regarding who lived when and where and which kings and civilizations were in power at what times are all accurate. You can check that out for yourself in an encyclopedia.
What you complain about in the way of being used for control is the same thing I was complaining about in my first post. Organized religion, when placed into the hands of people - or men, since I know that's what you're thinking - becomes something it was never meant to be. Why won't you see that, for the most part, I am on your side when it comes to orgainzed religion. I'm talking about faith in a Creator, not the man made rules of religion.
your arguments are ridiculous and you lie that you have rock solid faith -- it is undeniable that it is causing you distress -- but you can not admit it
My faith does not cause me distress it is my inability to live according to what I believe at all times that causes me to struggle. Is that a good enough admission for you? That I struggle with my own shortcomings? But this confession is nothing new. I have always said it. I get the feeling that you want to hold me up to an even higher standard. I never claimed to be perfect, in fact I deny it anytime it's mentioned - even as an exaggeration of what they mean - did you expect me to be perfect?
i guess you cant be disappointed after you are dead -- but even that response was silly and you know it -- you have nothing
It was meant to be silly. It's too bad we can't read tone or inflection, otherwise you might have been able to tell when I was smiling at what was being said. I'm not taking this whole conversation so seriously, or as personal as you think I am. Some of it, maybe, but not all of it. But you're the one who made the flawed analogy in the first place.
why if your man made god invented everything -- why didnt he tell that to the indians or africans or any of the other indigenous people that populated the planet but were yet to be discovered??
because you believe in a myth -- that gives you a false sense of security -- nothing more and nothing less
Dunno. All I know is this. There are certain underlying truths that exist in all religions and cultures throughout the globe and over the span of history. I'm not about to argue about how much of the truth exists in each one because that would take too long. But I don't believe that any of the cultures you mention, or even the ones you don't, are completely ignorant of a God, or Spirit, or Something greater than themselves.
As for my sense of security. Like I said, if I'm wrong I haven't lost anything. So it's not about my need to feel safe and protected.
you dont live your life as you should and you think that because of your faith you have a license to "sin" and hurt people because you will be forgiven -- when if your spirit is talking to you why dont you listen to it? why dont you live as an example instead of being a hypocrit? your man made god sure does give you alot if excuses not to do the right thing
No, I don't think I have a license to sin. I know that I will be forgiven when I do sin, but the reason why I even began this conversation is because I don't always do what I know I should do. I admit that freely. I know I'm a hypocrite, but anyone who holds up a higher standard of behavior will ultimately fail to keep it at times. Otherwise, I do try to live as an example. I'm sorry that you don't see that. And it's not God who gives us excuses to do wrong, He gives us grace so we won't be so distressed by our shortcomings.
you seem to act like you have some moral highground that other people can not possess because they dont believe as you -- but you dont show them in your actions -- you are merely words -- false promises -- empty reassurances all in the name of your man made god -- you need to let that go and wake up -- stop promising things you cant deliver -- perhaps a demon is in your head -- because that sure would make more sense
I don't act as if I have any moral highground, I act as if there are greater expectations for my behavior because of what I know and believe. And that's what makes it difficult to attain those goals all of the time. You should try it, just to see that it's not as easy as you seem to think it should be for me.
I don't assume that my faith makes me any more moral than anyone else. I don't believe that people who don't believe as I do are any less moral than me. I said it at the beginning of this that I don't assume that your lack of belief in an immortal soul makes you any less respectful of the dignity of others. I'm just telling you that my sense of dignity and respect for others comes from the notion that I believe that everyone has an eternal spirit.
I dont deny that there is a possiblity of some demonic activity going on when I screw up. I am not one of those who believes that Christians are immune to such external forces. But I'm also not one to say "The devil made me do it.". I know that I always have freewill, and sometimes I screw up on my own. I guess that's what it means to be human.
My question though, is this: why do you seem to think that being a Christian is supposed to somehow make someone perfect?
i got nothin but love and respect and i know i made you mad -- but really look at the whole big picture here --
I know you got nothin but love for me. I got nothin but love and respect for you too. I'm not mad at you for this. I told you I like a challenge. I like it when other people's ideas lead me to think outside the box. And some of what you've said has done that.
But I have serious doubts that you have any real respect for me. And this is where things do get very serious for me.
If you respected me then you wouldn't be trying so hard to convince me to give up my beliefs. I've been nothing but respectful of you. I haven't tried to convince you of anything other than the fact that I have my legitimate reasons for believing what I do. I haven't made any derogatory remarks about your convictions. I haven't attempted to belittle or accuse your convictions in any way. But you've made it a point to use insulting language thru all of your comments. You imply that my faith is nothing but a myth, a lie, an illusion, that I must believe these things because I'm needy, infantile, childish, indecisive. You never give me the benefit of the doubt that perhaps I have looked into the information available, and I have exercised my logic, and I still choose to believe that God exists.
Again, I'm not mad about any of this, but I do feel very disrespected by it all. As if you're so much more enlightened than I am. As if your education somehow makes your views more deserving of respect than my faith does mine. And yet you call me arrogant.
i guess when you lie to yourself so long you begin to believe your own lies
I could always say the same thing to you. You have no more solid evidence of your non-god than I have of my God. Eventually the truth will be known, but if I'm wrong I'll never notice it because I won't be alive to realize that I'm not alive anymmore.
you are not liberated by anything if you have to cling to it with both hands for guidance and direction because you are too weak to make a decision on your own
And you're not clinging to your beliefs with both hands? Again, you started this discussion. I didn't try to tell anyone that what they believe isn't right or true. Why do you feel such a great need to convince me not to believe what I believe. Or are you grasping at straws for your own convictions?
Like I've said all along, I do make my own decisions. I do act on my freewill. And sometimes I screw up. So, if I ask for guidance, I don't see that as a weakness, but a strength of character to realize that sometimes I'm going to need a little help. And what's so terrible about that?
I find it funny that, in one sense, you want me to make some strange admission of guilt to needing your help to understand what is true. Yet you condemn me for believing that I need help in life. Hmmmmm....
how are you making the world a better place? praying?
how much money did you donate to humanitarian causes? how many homeless people have you fed? how much time do you volunteer for others? NONE NONE NONE
dont even go there that your faith is helping people -- you help no one but yourself
When was the last time you looked into my checkbook to see where my money goes? How do you know what I do or don't donate to local food banks? Would you like me to show you my tax receipts from last year to verify how much I give to charities? You don't know what outreaches of my church I'm involved in. Have you forgotten that it was an act of generosity on my part that actually lead us to start talking in the first place? So perhaps you'd better rethink that accusation. And the worse part of this accusation, you know my financial situation and I still give even though you don't know about it.
That, too, was very disrespectful of you. I didn't know you had such animosity towards me.
dont make your blog public if you cant handle someone disagreeing with you or challenging you --
I'll leave my blog public. I can handle a little disagreement. If I couldn't handle a little disagreement then I could've either deleted, blocked anonymous comments or moderated them. But I allowed your opinions to be posted, and not only posted, but re-posted so everyone would have the chance to see what was being said. I think I'm being quite fair to you and your positions.
Besides, I'm not the one who visits blogs anonymously (but I understand there are other reasons for that too). I'm not the one trying to tell you that you believe a lie. I'm not the one trying to convince you that what you believe is a myth. So don't try to act like I'm getting all bent out of shape over what your saying. I'm just not liking the lack of respect you're showing for my opinions, and beliefs. I wasn't being disrespectful of your views, I'd appreciate the same courtesy.
thats the typical christian response -- oh no a person picked on me and questioned me and i lack the intellect to actually make an argument -- blind faith corrodes the mind
Nope, sorry, I have intellectual reasons for my beliefs. I've laid them all out for you. I've countered each of your positions and I did it without trying to degrade your own. Somehow you can't seem to make a point without coming back to simply using insulting adjectives, sterotyped generalizations or your own perceptions of what it is that I believe. You are simply so blinded by your own anger with organized religion, especially the institutional christian church, that you simply refuse to see what I'm saying. But that is your right.
I hear what you're saying. I understand what your trying to get at. I know that most Christians aren't living their lives the way they ought to, based upon what we claim to believe. I agree with you on many points when it comes to the failures and oppressive nature of organized religions and institutional church. But you are so upset, so hurt, so enraged, by these things that you can't even see that I am on your side - up to a point.
Why won't you see that? Just because you don't want to believe in a God? Fine, I can accept that. That's what it means to live in a free society. But why do you feel some need to change my views or my convictions or my beliefs? If you were really as tolerant as you claim to be, you wouldn't have a problem with my faith. You wouldn't have a problem with me stating my beliefs freely here at my public blog.
Instead, you've become the mirror image of all the things you claim to dispise about the church. You would rather I be converted to your point of view than to allow me to have my own differing ideology. Isn't that what you're trying to do? You seem to think that you have such a superior intellect to mine that you have to make me change my way of thinking.
And don't accuse me of condemning your beliefs with what I've just said. I'm challenging you on how you're presenting them. I'm challenging you on how you defend your positions. That's all.
you know i thought this was all in good fun -- its unfortunate you took it so personally -- but shouldnt that spirit tell you that you are making a big deal out of nothing?
It has been a lot of fun. I have enjoyed the challenge. I have enjoyed the general way in which we've been able to get differing ideas out into the open. That's always a good thing. I just don't like the way so many of your comments have been either insulting, belittling or degrading.
I dont see how you can suddenly act as if this was something we should be making light of. Is it a big deal? Not in the grand scheme of things, no. But all of a sudden it seems like your trying to back-pedal on what you've been saying. If you didn't mean to insult me, if you didn't mean to hurt me, if you didn't mean to disrespect me, then why did you go to all of the trouble to make your point so strongly with the words that you chose to use? I was just trying to get my point out there, and I hoped you might have enough respect for me to simply agree to disagree. But you kept pushing for me to give up, to surrender to your will, to cast aside my faith simply because you think I should. Who really made the big deal out of this?
Yes, I accept my own responsibility in it, but I'm not about to let you make it look as if this is all on me.
i never back down from a challenge -- you should know that and you could have let it go but you asked me for a reply
so dont complain when i do
I never back down either. And I was serious about wanting a reply. I don't have any fear of what you have to say. I can stand up to the challenge, or else you would be right about me abandoning my faith. If I weren't up to the challenge, I would've simply deleted your comments and pretended they never existed. If I can't handle a little bit of questioning, then I have no business saying anything about what I believe. But I held my ground and I did so without trying to tell you that what you believe is a lie.
Perhaps next time you'll offer me the same courtesy.
maybe i am trying to enlighten you and your faith is not allowing it -- it rejects it -- it wont listen to reason or see the facts -- it wont let you question it -- thats unfortunate
Again, I could say the same to you. You just won't allow yourself to see the truth in what I believe. But I wasn't trying to enlighten you. I'll gladly accept any truth that you have to share with me. But you haven't given me anything but your own opinions, and your own perceptions of what I believe. I was merely sharing my perspectives. You were the one trying to change mine. I'm sorry you were unwilling to listen to what I had to say without feeling the need to enlighten me.
much love from a non-believer :)
And much love to you from a believer. That doesn't change just because I don't agree with you.
I'm going to say this though.
In both of our lives we hold to our own beliefs. In my life I believe in God, in yours you believe in random chance. Both require us to put our "faith" in something that we cannot prove with certainty. Still, we would like to see things change in this world. We would like to see our actions improve the world. So why does it seem that we are enemies, just because our motives are different? Why should our motives keep us from cooperating to bringing changes into the world?
And that was the original premise of the post that started this thing; my desire to do better in my life and in the world. Shouldn't we be encouraging each other to do that much, no matter what our beliefs?