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Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
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Posted 1/27/08 , edited 1/27/08
Just some interesting quotes I came across the other day.
Unlike most passages, these actually require contemplation. Take a minute after reading these and reflect on them before you respond. When you do respond, please do so intelligibly.

God is a Being to whom we ascribe our perfections and ideas which escape our comprehension. He is also the event, far beyond our grasp, which authored our Universe.

"He(God) is a Being infinitely perfect--of this we cannot doubt. But in the same manner as we ought not to imagine, even supposing him corporeal, that he is clothed with a human body, as the anthropomorphites asserted, under color that that figure was the most perfect of any, so neither ought we to imagine that the spirit of God has human ideas or bears any resemblance to our spirit, under color that we know nothing more perfect than a human mind. We ought rather to believe that as he comprehends the perfections of matter without being material...he comprehends also the perfections of created spirits without being spirit, in the manner we conceive spirit: that his true name is He that Is, or, in other words, Being without restriction, All Being, the Being infinite and universal."

"But as all perfection is entirely relative, we ought never to imagine that we comprehend the attributes of this divine Being, or to suppose that his perfections have any analogy or likeness to the perfections of a human creature. Wisdom, thought, design, knowledge--these we justly ascribe to him because these words are honorable among men, and we have no other language or other conceptions by which we can express our adoration of him. But let us beware lest we think that our ideas anywise correspond to his perfections, or that his attributes have any resemblance to these qualities among men. He is infinitely superior to our limited view and comprehension, and is more the object of worship in the temple than of disputation in the schools."

Ok maybe this was too confusing, lemme dumb it down a little bit.

Ahem..God is beyond our abilities of comprehension. All the attributes we assign to him are null and void because we cannot possibly perceive him in our limited perspectives. In fact, what we refer to "God" is more likely an 'event' than an 'existence'.

And since we cant understand him either way, debating about him is kind of stupid. He's more of an...illogical belief than a realistic existence.
Posted 1/27/08
I don't know if I am able to answer or talk intelligibly as you wished for, but meh
The fact that humans are comparing God to us, saying that he has similar thoughts, intelligence and a human-shaped body, but all this a million times better than us, this would mean that zoomorphology is here in action.

Saying that he is infinitely perfect seems not to be quite accurate there, otherwise he would have made this world to be perfect in every single way. So his infinite perfectness is flawed, somehow. Saying that He that Is(Yehova), makes it quite hard for people to grasp his way, perfectness, etc. This is why many people jumped over to Iconography, and this was also mentioned in the Old Testament, when Moses went to the mountain Sinai, and his fellows at the feet of the mountain started to make a Godly statue, so that they can worship something, since it was for them impossible to worship something untouchable, unperceiveable for the five senses, basically totally abstract. It's as if you were worshiping air. And now look at the surrounding, if they see you talking to something that ain't there, they would start to say that you are insane/crazy. Makes you feel silly, if you don't have strong self-esteem.
But asking if there is a God, how God is like, what he resembles to, etc. is just something that we will never be able to know. We should care more about the present, about problems that are a lot more needed to research and solve. I mean to say that God is not something that we will be ever able to explain nor show, or getting touchable proofs about his existence, cuz He is what he is, or He that is. Which means, in my opinion, that God is not wanting from us to know what or who he is, otherwise he would have told us by now.

And as a pantheist, I say that God is not a being in itself. God is everything and nothing at the same time. Which means I find it stupid to debate about God and his characteristics.

Flo~
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Posted 1/27/08
Hume in my opinion is correct in his assessment of god. I do think he hit the nail on the head with god as something the limited human mind can never understand. However in my view to question things is mankinds greatest gift. It is through discussion of things (including the illogical ) that allows us to gain insight into not only the natural world but also our own consciousness. So I think that like all concepts god is worth debating even though it is unlikely there is a god we ourselves can know. Not to mention it is through debate on god that many people question there own religious beliefs. Reason can only win if it makes clear its own superiority to its competitors. Defeating dogmatic thinking is.......a worthy pursuit.
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Posted 1/27/08
Lol, whats with you and your obsession with God excalion?

As you say, in a nutshell, God is the term we describe things that we cannot comprehend. It was an excuse for humans to think better of themselves because they "understand" how the world works because they made up this "God" being.
Looking back in history tells us a few things. For one, the Egyptians called the sun a God, or related the sun to some kind of godly powers, I forget, but same thing pretty much. Obviously they wouldn't have understood what the sun actually is, nor could they explain why it goes up and down, etcetcetc, so someone thought that there must be some other being who seems to look and think quite similar to us, but have special powers. The fact that they tend to look a bit like us, and think like us (Gods back then could be jealous and such, hell, Zeus was a player!) kinda shows that the "God" was/is just something that connects us with the event or whatever it is. (A guy made another guy and that guy was lonely so he ripped the guy's ribs out and made another guy, but gave changed it around a bit so he would have a friend, The Creation story from another point of view)


EDITED LOL


YouAreDumb wrote:

Hume in my opinion is correct in his assessment of god. I do think he hit the nail on the head with god as something the limited human mind can never understand. However in my view to question things is mankinds greatest gift. It is through discussion of things (including the illogical ) that allows us to gain insight into not only the natural world but also our own consciousness. So I think that like all concepts god is worth debating even though it is unlikely there is a god we ourselves can know. Not to mention it is through debate on god that many people question there own religious beliefs. Reason can only win if it makes clear its own superiority to its competitors. Defeating dogmatic thinking is.......a worthy pursuit.


I agree with this one. Though I've completely forgotten what Hume introduced to the philosophy, I agree with the fact that discussion of the doubtful things can indeed lead to benefit.
One example that I always thought of is Copernicus (I think..). Back in his time, it was a "known fact" that the universe was geocentric, that is, the Earth was in the centre of the universe. Anyone who opposed this fact could be deemed as criminal, and could be sentenced to death by the church (actually I might be confusing this with Galileo).
Anyway, even though Galileo had the proof to back up his statement that the Sun was in the middle of the universe, and even though he showed the religious authorities what the telescope could see, they chose not to accept it, and threatened him with prison and/or death. Then Copernicus, many years later, came out and showed everyone that they were all wrong, and he was quite alone on the topic, for a while (I think).
To try have some kind of comparison with the modern world, I've thought about contradicting a fact that is quite obvious to us. For example, we could use this universe thing again. If someone said to you that the Earth is indeed in the middle of the universe, and then he showed you some proof that everything we see through a telescope is warped, as is all of our other tests (let's say, because of something to do with our spatial point of reference), you'd probably still have doubts, if not completely deject his theory that all our outer-space technology was fcuked.
To make a long-pointless rant short, imagine if a group of people chose to accept it and made plans to exploit it, while others didn't come to believe it until they saw some huge proof that it was right, then kabam, they were prepared for it, all because some crackpot scientist went against all logic to find out the "truth".
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Posted 1/27/08

YouAreDumb wrote:

Hume in my opinion is correct in his assessment of god. I do think he hit the nail on the head with god as something the limited human mind can never understand. However in my view to question things is mankinds greatest gift. It is through discussion of things (including the illogical ) that allows us to gain insight into not only the natural world but also our own consciousness. So I think that like all concepts god is worth debating even though it is unlikely there is a god we ourselves can know. Not to mention it is through debate on god that many people question there own religious beliefs. Reason can only win if it makes clear its own superiority to its competitors. Defeating dogmatic thinking is.......a worthy pursuit.


So you're saying humans will always pursue that which is impossible, but the importance lies not in obtaining the impossible, but in the striving and yearning for such a thing?

So knowing the nature of God, impossible to be understood, we set out to find ways to understand him. Along the way we flaunt our mental muscles at others on a similar journey, but at least its better than giving up thought and becoming mindless drones.

But constantly look at this quest of understanding and remind yourself the truth of its nature.
-----
That would be ideal, wouldn't it?
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Posted 1/27/08

Gabcom wrote:

Lol, whats with you and your obsession with God excalion?

As you say, in a nutshell, God is the term we describe things that we cannot comprehend. It was an excuse for humans to think better of themselves because they "understand" how the world works because they made up this "God" being.
Looking back in history tells us a few things. For one, the Egyptians called the sun a God, or related the sun to some kind of godly powers, I forget, but same thing pretty much. Obviously they wouldn't have understood what the sun actually is, nor could they explain why it goes up and down, etcetcetc, so someone thought that there must be some other being who seems to look and think quite similar to us, but have special powers. The fact that they tend to look a bit like us, and think like us (Gods back then could be jealous and such, hell, Zeus was a player!) kinda shows that the "God" was/is just something that connects us with the event or whatever it is. (A guy made another guy and that guy was lonely so he ripped the guy's ribs out and made another guy, but gave changed it around a bit so he would have a friend, The Creation story from another point of view)


Meh, I'm trying to find a better understanding of religion. Basically, I'm trying to find a place where atheism and religion can sit comfortably with each other. I guess you could call that agnostic, but I'd rather discover it on my own than read about it in a book.


Gabcom wrote:
I just choked on water.


God shall smite thee down for your blasphemies! XD rofl
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Posted 1/27/08

excalion wrote:


YouAreDumb wrote:

Hume in my opinion is correct in his assessment of god. I do think he hit the nail on the head with god as something the limited human mind can never understand. However in my view to question things is mankinds greatest gift. It is through discussion of things (including the illogical ) that allows us to gain insight into not only the natural world but also our own consciousness. So I think that like all concepts god is worth debating even though it is unlikely there is a god we ourselves can know. Not to mention it is through debate on god that many people question there own religious beliefs. Reason can only win if it makes clear its own superiority to its competitors. Defeating dogmatic thinking is.......a worthy pursuit.


So you're saying humans will always pursue that which is impossible, but the importance lies not in obtaining the impossible, but in the striving and yearning for such a thing?

So knowing the nature of God, impossible to be understood, we set out to find ways to understand him. Along the way we flaunt our mental muscles at others on a similar journey, but at least its better than giving up thought and becoming mindless drones.

But constantly look at this quest of understanding and remind yourself the truth of its nature.
-----
That would be ideal, wouldn't it?


Perhaps. Nothing ever is ideal. *shrugs*
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Posted 1/27/08

excalion wrote:

Meh, I'm trying to find a better understanding of religion. Basically, I'm trying to find a place where atheism and religion can sit comfortably with each other. I guess you could call that agnostic, but I'd rather discover it on my own than read about it in a book.


Hrmm, well personally I quite firmly believe that religion was really supposed to be something that encourages humans to treat each other better, and live "better" lives and such. Their ways of doing it have been getting stranger and quite out of hand so much that the intentions of the religion have come second priority to the techniques in which people were encouraged.
And then atheism and such came along just to counter these techniques. Sounds a bit like an argument, where someone uses an example and the other person argues by saying "But in that situation, it's probably....so what if ......" and completely ignores the point you were trying to put across.



God shall smite thee down for your blasphemies! XD rofl


And I shall choke on water yet again (this time without getting myself wet), just to see this God, that is, if the first smiting didn't really hurt.
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Posted 1/27/08
gah!!! my head hurts .. okay the smaller verison is better... okay so yeah ... we really can never fully understand god but we can atleast try and as human beans want to know everything there is too know cause we are know it alls we will never stop trying to figure God out.. for me i dont even try well sometimes i do but when i do i get a headache ... but its a good thing to think about to keep my brain ocuppideo .. thinking about how God was here when no one else was and trying to discover how he got here in the first place hurts my head as he didnt come from anybody he has just always been ... forever and ever ... for me i thought he made humans so he could watch something intresting like tv... or whatever but this is just a silly theory i made up so that my head would stop hurting from thinking about smarter things
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Posted 1/27/08

excalion wrote:

Just some interesting quotes I came across the other day.
Unlike most passages, these actually require contemplation. Take a minute after reading these and reflect on them before you respond. When you do respond, please do so intelligibly.

God is a Being to whom we ascribe our perfections and ideas which escape our comprehension. He is also the event, far beyond our grasp, which authored our Universe.

"He(God) is a Being infinitely perfect--of this we cannot doubt. But in the same manner as we ought not to imagine, even supposing him corporeal, that he is clothed with a human body, as the anthropomorphites asserted, under color that that figure was the most perfect of any, so neither ought we to imagine that the spirit of God has human ideas or bears any resemblance to our spirit, under color that we know nothing more perfect than a human mind. We ought rather to believe that as he comprehends the perfections of matter without being material...he comprehends also the perfections of created spirits without being spirit, in the manner we conceive spirit: that his true name is He that Is, or, in other words, Being without restriction, All Being, the Being infinite and universal."

"But as all perfection is entirely relative, we ought never to imagine that we comprehend the attributes of this divine Being, or to suppose that his perfections have any analogy or likeness to the perfections of a human creature. Wisdom, thought, design, knowledge--these we justly ascribe to him because these words are honorable among men, and we have no other language or other conceptions by which we can express our adoration of him. But let us beware lest we think that our ideas anywise correspond to his perfections, or that his attributes have any resemblance to these qualities among men. He is infinitely superior to our limited view and comprehension, and is more the object of worship in the temple than of disputation in the schools."

Ok maybe this was too confusing, lemme dumb it down a little bit.

Ahem..God is beyond our abilities of comprehension. All the attributes we assign to him are null and void because we cannot possibly perceive him in our limited perspectives. In fact, what we refer to "God" is more likely an 'event' than an 'existence'.

And since we cant understand him either way, debating about him is kind of stupid. He's more of an...illogical belief than a realistic existence.


that hurt.....but i agree god is a belief that helps people get through life.....if you pray to him nothing will happen.....but if you live your life with good intentions towards yourself and others than you will reap the bounties......i personally dont think you need "god" for this but that is my belief!
Posted 1/27/08
Nah its not pointless to debate about, cos he might not exist in the first place and such matters must be discussed with religious hardliners who wish to kill people in his name.
Posted 1/27/08

MidnightZorya wrote:


Stickmania wrote:

Nah its not pointless to debate about, cos he might not exist in the first place and such matters must be discussed with religious hardliners who wish to kill people in his name.


You mean to prove them(radical believers) that all their theories and excuses are based basically on nothing?
Well, I don't see how you can convince an orthodox that there is no God...or something of that kind....they would just go on denial...as they always do..

Flo~


While you won't convince them completely you might keep some of the extremists in check though.
Posted 1/27/08

Stickmania wrote:


MidnightZorya wrote:


Stickmania wrote:

Nah its not pointless to debate about, cos he might not exist in the first place and such matters must be discussed with religious hardliners who wish to kill people in his name.


You mean to prove them(radical believers) that all their theories and excuses are based basically on nothing?
Well, I don't see how you can convince an orthodox that there is no God...or something of that kind....they would just go on denial...as they always do..

Flo~


While you won't convince them completely you might keep some of the extremists in check though.


Don't you think it is better to eradicate them right away?....I mean you won't ever be able to control their actions...or would you?
Posted 1/27/08

MidnightZorya wrote:


Stickmania wrote:


MidnightZorya wrote:


Stickmania wrote:

Nah its not pointless to debate about, cos he might not exist in the first place and such matters must be discussed with religious hardliners who wish to kill people in his name.


You mean to prove them(radical believers) that all their theories and excuses are based basically on nothing?
Well, I don't see how you can convince an orthodox that there is no God...or something of that kind....they would just go on denial...as they always do..

Flo~


While you won't convince them completely you might keep some of the extremists in check though.


Don't you think it is better to eradicate them right away?....I mean you won't ever be able to control their actions...or would you?


All men can be influenced and appeased to some extent. (For example no-one is immune to propaganda, it will always have some effect) So while you can't control them completely you can to an extent change how they think and hence act to one that more suits society. Of course this isn't foolproof but it is effective. Eradicate is far too strong until they are almost in the process of something like a terrorist attack, where there is no time for them to be changed beofre they take action.
Posted 1/27/08

Stickmania wrote:


MidnightZorya wrote:


Stickmania wrote:


MidnightZorya wrote:


Stickmania wrote:

Nah its not pointless to debate about, cos he might not exist in the first place and such matters must be discussed with religious hardliners who wish to kill people in his name.


You mean to prove them(radical believers) that all their theories and excuses are based basically on nothing?
Well, I don't see how you can convince an orthodox that there is no God...or something of that kind....they would just go on denial...as they always do..

Flo~


While you won't convince them completely you might keep some of the extremists in check though.


Don't you think it is better to eradicate them right away?....I mean you won't ever be able to control their actions...or would you?


All men can be influenced and appeased to some extent. (For example no-one is immune to propaganda, it will always have some effect) So while you can't control them completely you can to an extent change how they think and hence act to one that more suits society. Of course this isn't foolproof but it is effective. Eradicate is far too strong until they are almost in the process of something like a terrorist attack, where there is no time for them to be changed beofre they take action.


I think it is by far easier to kill them off. Why spend your time in convincing them, when your chance of persuading them is so low? I know I sound cold and radical. But well, why even bother? If someone is unable to bow to the system, then they should shut it, or just get killed off. LMAO...Wow, I think now I went too far.
Anyways I mean that in a hypothetical way.

Flo~
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