Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

[religion] jesus is just alright with me

btlzu2 (99039) writes | more than 7 years ago

User Journal 35

"And that servant [slave], which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."

"And that servant [slave], which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."

he was pretty good at repeating some already established good ideas (golden rule, etc.) and performed some *cracking* miracles, but he was a bit overboard at times with his lashing of slaves and what-not. i know the current thinking is god wanted us to have slaves so we could grow to learn to not have slaves, but it would've been a bit nice if old hayzeus had suggested that having slaves is a bad idea.

also, what's with the "abandon your family and follow me [hale-bopp is coming 'round again]!" (comment mine) stuff? ;) sounds a bit creepy-cult-ish to me.

and, as julia sweeney so aptly puts it, jesus "suffering for our sins" was basically a bad weekend. she watched her brother suffer from cancer for 6 months--canker sores covering his throat, dropping to 60 pounds, lying in bed vomiting for an entire week at a time.

and WHAT THE HELL kind of "father" sends his son to die a miserable death when he supposedly has the power to clean things up with a "bewitched" nose wiggle?

oh...yeah...the old testament god is that kind of father. the one obsessed with sacrifice and ordering the people he "loved" so much kill their own children.

cancel ×

35 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Actually... (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17663864)

it turns out his name was Josh. [amazon.com]

Trinity (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664236)

and WHAT THE HELL kind of "father" sends his son to die a miserable death when he supposedly has the power to clean things up with a "bewitched" nose wiggle?

God's power is unknown. But this whole piece about the father and son.... this is the old Catholic fun of describing the holy trinity.
"God" is three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Someone who's a better Catholic from me will hopefully explain this better, but Jesus is just the human avatar for God, its not a literal 'son' of God, but God himself.
Confused yet? Good.

Jesus came down to change the rules. Change'm for the rest of us. The whole sacrifice thing? Yeah, don't have to do that since Jesus sacrificed himself. The whole "angry God will come smite your ass" thing? Jesus taught that God is love, so quit with the old testament 'gonna git you suckah' God (which is why I would put away those "God hates fags" ignorant redneck bastards).


But, my favorite question to ask atheists is this:
What happened before the big bang? Could God have CREATED the big bang? I want good, wholesome science here, folks...

Re:Trinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664822)

and my favorite atheist answer is (the correct answer): "I don't know" :)

science doesn't purport to have all the answers and filling in unknown answers with an arbitrary hypothesis, like "God", is unscientific and specious.

my favorite question to ask christians is: "Who created god?"

christian's favorite cop-out to that is: "God is eternal." Thanks a lot Thomas Aquinas.

Re:Trinity (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665080)

and my favorite atheist answer is (the correct answer): "I don't know" :)

Yep. I would except that, "Sure", "Possibly", etc... :)

my favorite question to ask christians is: "Who created god?"

I get this all the time. The way I see it (which is just my humble belief) is that God/Heaven exists about the dimensions we live. There is no 'time' in heaven... in fact, maybe God 'created' time? So, yeah, 'eternal' would work, but its misleading to say that. Try to think outside of time... that's where God exists.

Re:Trinity (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665136)

s/about/above/

Re:Trinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665154)

thanks for discussing this! :)

so...how do you know all these details about god's existence?

Re:Trinity (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665274)

To me? The environment I was brought up in? Heh, I'm gonna get hell from the Christians on that one, but my upbringing taught me to look for miracles. Holding Joey for the first time after he was born. How can cells just morph together and build a person? I don't WANT to learn that there is some wierd biology going on that creates life. The way we all have a conscious built into our brains. The way ducks know how to swim the moment they are born. The way the earth is made 'just right' to support life and how are body's can handle decades and sometimes a century of constant work and still continue on.

Yeah, infinite universe theory and evolution could explain all of that, but the way I see it... there isn't any harm in thinking there's a little more behind it all than some numbers and graphs.

Re:Trinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665416)

no if that's what you want that's your choice! for me, i find SO MUCH amazing wonder in learning these things, searching, and thinking openly. when i let the Christianity go, the world and the universe became so much more interesting and i never expected that. the water's warm over here. :D

it's not about having all the answers--which science doesn't and religion *certainly* doesn't--it's the quest to find them and it's utterly fascinating for some.

thanks for being honest! it's really refreshing to hear someone admit as much as, "i believe because i don't want to ruin the way i look at the universe." i think many many more people are like that too and will never admit as much. you can't argue with that because it's really just your choice to block it out if you want.

Re:Trinity (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665702)

Honestly, if I let go of Christianity, I think I'd end up a Buddhist. I don't think I could become an atheist. Like I said... before the big bang... something did it! :)

Re:Trinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665980)

i'm not so sure they think a god started the universe though. :)

it takes some thinking to become an atheist, but there's a definite logical path there. i'm sure some people are atheists out of spite, but most are because they've got good and logical answers for being atheists. i never wanted to admit it until the logic was so overwhelming i couldn't help it and it would've been dishonest to stay a christian or agnostic.

Re:Trinity (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669728)

i'm not so sure they think a god started the universe though. :)

Buddhism is a bit unusual among religions in that it leaves that question blank. ;-)

i never wanted to admit it until the logic was so overwhelming i couldn't help it and it would've been dishonest to stay a christian or agnostic.

But there you've made a glaring mistake. It is no more logical to be an atheist (at least if you are a positive atheist, i.e. you think it is proven no God exists) than to be an agnostic. It is, however, more logical to be skeptical. There is a difference.

Furthermore, I don't claim to have a logical reason for believing in God. I merely think it's a reasonable assumption, and am willing to act on that assumption. In other words, I think it's a bit odd to insist on pure empirical logic being the only way to explore things. Maybe it's the best way, but it's not the only way.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Trinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676084)

there has to be a bias towards the probability of god existing being quite low. i'd never say with 100% certainty, but i would think it's much better probability against than for. all the major "proofs of god" throughout the years have pretty much other explanations. now it's reduced to peoples' own mental models or *opinions* of what god is, which is meaningless to those without models. basically, he's only a god of the gaps as far as i can see from an outsider view.

wish i could find a way to quantify that. it would be interesting taking a stab at it from that angle--if only i was an academic nerd. i really can't see it being a 50/50 probability.

Re:Trinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665232)

once sec--since you said it was your humble belief, i should've phrased my question differently. sorry!

my question should be: why are you satisfied with coming up with conjecture (iow: your humble belief) for details of God's existence when you most likely don't do that in any other area of life?

do you create a whole belief-based explanation of other things based purely on what you think it should be or do you learn about it and research the facts?

Re:Trinity (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665786)

my question should be: why are you satisfied with coming up with conjecture (iow: your humble belief) for details of God's existence when you most likely don't do that in any other area of life?

You ask all the hard questions, eh? My 'humble opinion' was the whole God living about the dimensions we are bound by. The reason is that it is the most satisfying (scientific) theory that I have come up with. I do that with everythign I don't understand and, for some reason or another, can't find the right solution. Come up with a theory that can match what I see, and go with it until I learn otherwise through teaching or research.

Religion is a toughy, though, cause teaching either has to come from the big man, himself, or else it'll be too questioned as being legitimate. So religion is a bunch of theory, which everyone has their own variences, like my dimension theory, which has no good way of proving.

Re:Trinity (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678904)

The way I see it (which is just my humble belief) is that God/Heaven exists about the dimensions we live. There is no 'time' in heaven... in fact, maybe God 'created' time? So, yeah, 'eternal' would work, but its misleading to say that. Try to think outside of time... that's where God exists.

The problem I have with that argument is that for me, it's more likely that the Universe just sprang into existence than it is that a God capable of creating the universe, time and the other observable aspects of our existence just sprang into existence. If you're going to accept that a God just exists, without requiring a creator, then surely it's reasonable to accept that the universe just exists, again without requiring a creator?

Re:Trinity (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 7 years ago | (#17688404)

See my other comments to Smoochy. I choose to see the universe with God, cause, honestly, I'd hate to view it without Him. Maybe it was the way I was raised, but when I saw Joey when he was first born, it just reiterated my beliefs. Sorry to go outside the box on that...

Re:Trinity (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17688880)

No need to apologise for your beliefs. True, they're different to mine. Which naturally mean yours are wrong :-) But then again, you almost certainly feel the same way about mine. I guess that makes us even...

Finite Infinity (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17664476)

This is a nice post because it provides the basic dialectic argument of religion: how does one compromise between divine compassion with divine wrath? Between divine omniscience, omnipotence and (apparent) divine antipathy. The nature of free will, determinism, the purpose of human life in a spiritual discussion all derive from this.

Is there an answer that allows someone to come to a compromise between these? Or are they an unreconcilable contradiction?

It's interesting; I offer no sure explanation to it.

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17666752)

to me it simply betrays the fatal flaws with belief in a supernatural god. no need to get all twisted up about it. :)

nothing like creating a speculative concept and then debating all sorts of issues around it when it doesn't hold together, you know?

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17667616)

Well it comes down to the root challenge of deciding the point of our lives. Speculation is fine as long as it is not tautological; if it depends or reflects something quantifiable or qualifiable in the world, then it merits some debate. If a belief system is absolutely closed (e.g. "our central belief is that our central belief can never, ever be challenged") then it is useless beyond a philosophical 'plug' that saves the person from never having to consider anything ever again (which can get a person in all sorts of trouble with everyone else in the world).

But a speculative concept that derives from some sort of activity, then there is something to it. Being like Carl Sagan and believing in the mysticism of numbers like e and pi (because they are no different than any other arbitrary real numbers but they are the values of this universe) or believing that righteousness is quantifiable by the success of your works (ala Calvinism and predestination) is as reasonable as any other hypothesis.

That's the issue: how hard and fast or what actually defines belief or nature or evil are issues that are perpendicular to a single religion. Any religion is only the data of its religious works. What they actually mean, their veracity and how one is supposed to interact with them. So an approach, such as textual fundamentalism (e.g. that my religion's texts are absolutely true) can cross any and all religions. The same can be said for its opposite: textual relativism (e.g. that each individual gets from a religion is what they want). Such arguments might be more or less strong in the case of any given religion's texts but, well, that hasn't stopped people.

But just because something is speculated or believed doesn't mean it is wrong any more than it makes it right. Edison failed a hundred times in making the filament lightbulb. But that didn't stop him nor did the fact one didn't exist. He was driven by a speculated, hypothesis that it was possible. It's only when there is an irreconcilable contradiction does a belief become unproved. We exist in a world of only known untruths.

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17667880)

however, i'd contend that edison had evidential reasons to believe the light would work. it wasn't raw, unbridled speculation with no hope of testing the hypothesis. but, when you get here (i'm not a philsopher), i imagine you can't define a generalized limit of when speculation is worthwhile or when it isn't.

of course, all hypothesis begins with speculation, but if it never can move past that, you would think it should at least be put on the back burner for a while instead of basing your life on it for thousands of years. :)

would you say Carl Sagan *believed* in the mysticism of numbers or was fascinated by the idea of it? i always thought he had cool ideas about what it could be, but never *believed* in a supernaturalism of them. i certainly don't, unless something is found in them to prove otherwise.

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669224)

however, i'd contend that edison had evidential reasons to believe the light would work. it wasn't raw, unbridled speculation with no hope of testing the hypothesis. but, when you get here (i'm not a philsopher), i imagine you can't define a generalized limit of when speculation is worthwhile or when it isn't.
That is the definition of an untested anecdote. And you say there is no hope of testing a religious hypothesis. Logically that is not true. That is the definition of trying to prove a negative, the same connundrum behind the Halting Problem. Because we haven't found a way of testing for God doesn't mean he does or doesn't exist nor that we won't. The closeness of the probability to 100% or 0% doesn't mean anything: it either is true or it isn't. But the only way to find the truth is to exhaustively search. Consider then the guys behind the N-Ray, Polywater or Cold Fusion. All were published scientists who could provide evidence to why their study might work. Of course they were wrong. But because their specific endeavors failed, did not halt study. Even today people study Cold Fusion and you'd have to admit that some of them would be motivated by purely noble asperations (and not just because of some pathalogical pride or greed).


 
of course, all hypothesis begins with speculation, but if it never can move past that, you would think it should at least be put on the back burner for a while instead of basing your life on it for thousands of years. :)
 
would you say Carl Sagan *believed* in the mysticism of numbers or was fascinated by the idea of it? i always thought he had cool ideas about what it could be, but never *believed* in a supernaturalism of them. i certainly don't, unless something is found in them to prove otherwise.
Well it comes down to the quality of 'mysticism'. Is it a feeling? Is it proclaiming your belief in it? Is it blind trust in the face of all doubt? One can say the same thing about 'love'. What if you never felt 'love' but you cared and nurtured another person for the bulk of your life, that you placed them above others for purely subjective reasons, that you felt emotions of anger, fear, or joy because of their actions/conditions beyond those you would feel for a generic 'stranger'? Even a skeptic would accept that such a devotion would fit the definition of 'love'.

I think a lot of the issue with why this is ok is science and not with religion is because of the thousands of years of history behind the latter. Religion has a lot of 'sniff test' problems. It can easily be colored by people (present and past), events and all of that. While science is a 'clean' endeavor. But they both operate on the same human mind: rational and irrational. Take N-Rays [wikipedia.org] as an example: much of the research was driven out of a Gaullic pre-WWI scientific nationalism that grew out of a gamesmanship with the Germans (and Wilhelm Röntgen's discovery of the X-Ray).

Again I come back to the dialectic: the thesis, the antithesis and the synthesis. The first two are easy: 'God exists' and 'God doesn't exist'. The problem is that it isn't about the acceptance and denial of one or the other. The condition is to synthesize the two because that's where the truth lies. That's the struggle of life. Merely denying religion as a question isn't an answer. It's only accepting the antithesis on faith.

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669472)

would you say Carl Sagan *believed* in the mysticism of numbers or was fascinated by the idea of it? i always thought he had cool ideas about what it could be, but never *believed* in a supernaturalism of them. i certainly don't, unless something is found in them to prove otherwise.

Sagan is often considered a pantheist, a panentheist, an atheist, and/or an agnostic. Personally I think he was a pantheist, or at least that's the label that would have fit him best.

As for 'believing in the mysticism' of numbers, I honestly don't know what you mean by that. If you mean he believed that those numbers have a profound significance for the Universe, well, I'd argue they do have a profound significance, just as (for example) Planck's constant. Clearly there is an order to the Universe, and those numbers neatly illustrate that order. So I think it's pretty obvious they are significant in some fashion. You might argue that those numbers got there by coincidence, not by design, but really, either way they're still hugely significant to us, which is the only frame of reference that matters to us. Were those numbers not to exist, we would not exist. Doesn't get much more significant than that.

If you mean that Sagan was possibly convinced that there was a deeper meaning (even deeper than how we got here!) to be found in those numbers, no, I don't think he was. Then again, I'm not convinced there is a God, but I believe it anyway. So I think you're trying to draw a distinction that isn't really there. Sagan may well have believed all sorts of things, without necessarily having been convinced of them.

Either way Sagan certainly believed in the usefulness of religion, and wished for a new sort of religion. A favorite quote of his: "A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge." I'd actually agree with him there, and I think we're headed in that direction. I'd argue that I and many people like me more or less do it already.

Mysticism, by the way, is also a fascinating topic. Nothing particulatly wrong with viewing the Universe through a more mystic lens. All mysticism means is to just reflect on the Cosmos in a more emotional, philosophical way -- it's not a dirty word at all, even for scientists. Sagan certainly was a mystic of a sort and a scientist. I'd consider myself a bit of a mystic, too.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17669810)

my intent was to respond to sielwolf's statement about sagan believing in the mysticism of numbers. i wasn't clear what he meant actually. :)

he's recent posthumous book (sagans' not sielwolf's--ha) is very clear on the religion points actually and i, of course, interpret his views a bit differently than you. seems to me he was using "religion" as a loose metaphor for fellowship with each other and with reality. the latest book's a good read--a collection of speeches. (sure you'd like it too) he also said the god of the bible is a small meaningless god.

i also think (as much as i love sagan) that he inadvertently fueled an anti-science stance with fundamentalists who claimed (and still do) that science is another religion or a religion of satan. i didn't realize this before because i was making this connection reading an article by a fundamentalist saying as much, but my dad used to bash sagan too.

a fundamentalist calling science "another religion" is an insult. ;) (I'm assuming you've heard this sort of thing before, if not, i'll look it up for you)

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17670342)

he also said the god of the bible is a small meaningless god.

I would actually agree with him on that point in a sense, because I don't think it would be terribly rational or helpful or useful to insist on a definition of God solely based on the text to be found in the Bible. The Bible to me is an ultimate and primary source -- a starting point -- but the experience of God is something that has to unfold though a great deal of reflection.

It would be as if someone insisted that the Universe is only that which can be found in Newton's Principia. In other words, a very stunted and limited view.

i also think (as much as i love sagan) that he inadvertently fueled an anti-science stance with fundamentalists who claimed (and still do) that science is another religion or a religion of satan.

Eh? I don't get that from Sagan at all. The whole "science is a religion" thing predates him by many decades, going back to before Darwin's time. Sagan was just not a polarizing figure at all, at least not that I've ever heard or seen. In fact I'd hold him up as an ideal of how a dialog and meeting of minds could take place (in stark contrast to Dawkins). Sagan did, after all, frequently meet religious figures and talk to them, and indeed befriended many of them (again in contrast to Dawkins).

What I find interesting is how he portrayed religious people in Contact (the book). While there was of course a religious fanatic who blew up the first Machine, most religious people -- even the Billy Graham-type figure in the book -- come across as quite reasonable people, and the main character (who seems to be Sagan's alter ego in the story, in spite of being female) even falls in love with one of them. Meanwhile there are some scientists in the book who come across as arrogant pinheaded pricks. All very nuanced and balanced. So I don't see how Sagan could be considered antagonistic towards religious people at all, unless of course they are fundamentalists anyway.

Fundamentalists who target Sagan, frankly, are offended by anyone who has divergent views, myself included. So I don't see Sagan as having fuelled anything, because such people are never satisfied.

I wouldn't say making the statement "science is a religion" is an insult, though. I'd say it's a stupid remark, but not an insult. ;-)

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Finite Infinity (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678850)

how does one compromise between divine compassion with divine wrath? Between divine omniscience, omnipotence and (apparent) divine antipathy.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

-- Epicurus, c.300 BC

(There are various alternate translations, and indeed, no written original from which to work. But the one I've given is commonly used, and basic concept is generally agreed to have originated with Epicurus).

Wel... (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665058)

he was pretty good at repeating some already established good ideas (golden rule, etc.) and performed some *cracking* miracles, but he was a bit overboard at times with his lashing of slaves and what-not. i know the current thinking is god wanted us to have slaves so we could grow to learn to not have slaves, but it would've been a bit nice if old hayzeus had suggested that having slaves is a bad idea.

It's actually kinda obvious and didn't have to be said. Having slaves doesn't really fit too well with "love your neighbor as yourself", does it?

also, what's with the "abandon your family and follow me [hale-bopp is coming 'round again]!" (comment mine) stuff? ;) sounds a bit creepy-cult-ish to me.

Not really. In effect he's asking us to treat everyone the same, whether they're family or not. Thus His statement is the very opposite of a cult's: Include everyone in your agape [wikipedia.org] love, not just your family or co-religionists.

and WHAT THE HELL kind of "father" sends his son to die a miserable death when he supposedly has the power to clean things up with a "bewitched" nose wiggle?

FK touched briefly on the Trinity, but essentially Jesus is God, not merely the "son" of God. Each part of the Trinity is God. Thus if you take the Trinity and Resurrection at all seriously, you have to logically accept that God suffered and died. It might seem like not much of a consolation to believe that, but it certainly goes a long way to lessening God's seeming cruelty, because He visibly shared in our mortal suffering.

It's sort of like having someone tell you "I feel your pain" -- it's not so much that that person can understand you better when you're suffering, but that you accept more easily that person's understanding, because they've been there.

oh...yeah...the old testament god is that kind of father. the one obsessed with sacrifice and ordering the people he "loved" so much kill their own children.

I know that as a father, I often have to do things I don't like to do in order to protect and care for my children. Certainly I'd like to be the Confessor's and Gloriana's best pal, but I also know that that alone wouldn't do them any good. I'm their father, not so much their friend, and it's my job to prepare them for the ardor of life ahead of them. Thus I don't think it's an accident that God in Christianity is referred to as "God the Father". It's meant in a pretty literal way, and being a parent (and looking back on how I was raised) has driven that home for me.

I love my kids more than anything else on this Earth. Believe me, when the Confessor or Gloriana cry because I have to deny them something, or have to punish them for doing something wrong, it hurts, but sometimes I have to do it so that they learn there are limits. I always make sure to try and explain that to them as best as I can, which given their limited ability to understand at that age is naturally not easy -- and I also make sure to give them as much affection as possible otherwise. I view my relationship with God in much the same way. It's not easy, but then again we have no way of knowing if things could be easier. It is the way it is.

The aspect of death, such as the death of children, isn't easy to deal with. But remember that Christians do, after all, believe in 1) a forgiving, loving God and 2) a just afterlife. Thus people die, that is true, and that may seem cruel. Then again, in the Christian context, it may actually be an act of mercy.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Wel... (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665132)

just a question and thanks for posting your views.

do you honestly believe god is sitting up there picking and choosing who to let die mercifully?

Re:Wel... (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665294)

The short answer is yes. Unfortunately, the short answer is also rather misleading and incomplete, and I really have to get some work done now, so you'll have to wait for the long answer. :-) But yes, I believe that God is active in our Universe.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Wel... (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17665332)

ok thanks. there are more important things than this i suppose... ;)

anyway, i think you explained a bit about that already. since you used the word 'believe', i really can't argue with that. :)

An interesting snippet (1)

redhead-kitten (775093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674554)

My ex- was a catholic raised, self proclaimed agnostic (his definition "maybe there is, maybe there isn't. prove it to me.")

He didn't really believe in any god, because he couldn't see the logic and was unable to simply have faith.

An average person will walk up to a light switch that is down, switch it up to the on position and has faith that the light will come on. (Most people don't know the ins and outs of how the light switch works.)

He, on the other hand, would flip the switch, knowing that the light will come on because of a series of things having do to with electricity, ohms and amperage, whether the switch was single pull double throw, etc. He equated everything in his life on that level, especially religion.

I don't really know how much this relates to your JE, but it reminded me of the argument that i had with him once, where i cited the light switch argument about his inability to simply have faith.

^_^

Re:An interesting snippet (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674594)

yeah, but how did he know the bulb hadn't blown and wouldn't turn on--or that he hadn't blown a fuse?

if i were arguing with ya, i would've said there's much more reason to have faith in a light switch than an invisible all power supernatural being that no one can prove the existence of! :)

Re:An interesting snippet (1)

redhead-kitten (775093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674786)

there's much more reason to have faith in a light switch than an invisible all power supernatural being that no one can prove the existence of!

Absolutely!! My point to him was the fact that he couln't simply have faith in a light switch. Why could anyone ever *think* that he could have faith in any diety?

^_^

On death and redemption (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675606)

and WHAT THE HELL kind of "father" sends his son to die a miserable death when he supposedly has the power to clean things up with a "bewitched" nose wiggle?

Too many of my peeps don't understand this, so let me lay the 411 on you...

Ancient Jews had a custom, a sacred right. Once a year they would take a lamb and each member of the village would lay their hands upon the lamb. By laying hands on the lamb, they would transfer - at least symbolically - their own sins to the lamb. Then the lamb would be slaughtered in sacrifice. In this way, each of the people who participated in this ritual would be cleansed of their sins.

Understanding this cultural background, the crucifixion is simply the replay of this ritual on grander scale. Jesus is the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world". Jesus quite literally becomes the sacrificial lamb. This was something that would be understood by the Jew two thousand years ago, even if it is not plain to us today.

And why not just wiggle his nose?

A redeeming act must be difficult, or else it is of no consequence. If you have a fight with your wife, bringing home a gift of some tic-tacs you found in the car is not going to help. Going to a florist on the other side of town because it is the only place in 100 miles that sells her favorite type of Lilly might.

A wiggle of the nose is, in essence, dismissive. The crucifixion, in contrast, is an unbelievably difficult, personal act. What better way to demonstrate your love for someone than by undertaking a hardship for them? If God were to wiggle his nose, we are inconsequential to him, he is ambivalent to us. If God were to become like us, and suffer in a form that we can identify with, all for our fate, then he shows plainly that we are important to him.

Re:On death and redemption (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675884)

i guess i'll still have to go with "biiiiig deeeeeal". :) intellectually it means nothing to me. i realize that it meant something to ancient man--sort of like not walking under a ladder type stuff. ;) i was aware of that and all the shepherd/sheep metaphors. as a lutheran, i supposedly had more access to the bible than you catholic folk. i read it many times and it always was just like someone was smoking too much pot and then lacing it with LSD in revelations.

furthermore it's a concept entangled with guilt and a message that we're no good and that it's our fault (original sin), even though god was the engineer of the whole project. petty, petty!

it's insane!!! it runs around in circles revmike! it's so convoluted.

to me, the fact that it was a "sacrifice" and not something more permanently meaningful (not the death, but the reason for the death) betrays the "man made" aspect of the whole story. couldn't god come up with something better than that?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>