Why God? (doesn't make sense)

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by JJMMLL7, Sep 14, 1999.

  1. JJMMLL7 Registered Member

    Messages:
    17
    Anybody who studies all aspects of life and
    religions should quickly discover that religion is a tool by a higher intelligence,
    not a god, to control the world society.
    It is known that religions and ethnic differances placed in society before people
    where able to meet each other on this planet instantly caused people to be against each other when they finally met.
    This only proves that our known society was
    developed in advance and control factors
    put in place when it was started.
     
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  3. JMitch Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    129
    That's quite a poignant observation. And one of the major discrepancies yet to be adressed in these forums. Any Christian will paint you a picture that God is an omnipotent manipulator of spacetime, but it is a fact that we are the manipulators of spacetime, and that the spiritual has limited interaction with the physical. But the real question this asks is how do you see "God".
    • An omnipotent manipulator of spacetime?
    • A spritual plane?
    • A state of mind?
    • (your answer here).
    Rather than saying something to incite the usual riots....I really want to know what makes you believe God had the power do all of the things the bible claims...Let us all hear something of substance.

    Sincerely, JMitch

    [This message has been edited by JMitch (edited September 14, 1999).]
     
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  5. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    The Trinity. The father, the son and the holy spirit. While visiting Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City a couple of years ago, I received a message which I was asked to relay...

    "Behold the Lord," Mary said. The Lord appeared and said: "Spread the word. It is not too late to change. All things can be forgiven." "Behold my son. Through him, all good things will come."

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    Have a great day!
     
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  7. Mock Registered Member

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    16
    Amen.
     
  8. Lori Registered Senior Member

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    1,065
    "A tool by a higher intelligence, to control us, BUT NOT GOD, OR A GOD". That is quite an assumption to make, don't you think? Why not a god, or the God? Hence your question about what is God, or a god. A god IS a higher form of intelligence, and the God IS the highest form of intelligence. Also, religion was not made to control, but is the culmonation of spiritual laws that exist because God created them. I think that you would have to admit that if religion was made to control, that whoever made it, didn't do a good job, eh? The whole point is that you have a choice. It is MEN who use religion to control, not God. Now, what is happening with the aliens IS control. Mind control, kidnapping, rape, unauthorized medical procedures, impregnating women and stealing the babies. Now that's control. You're not saying that you think aliens wrote the Bible are you? See you guys.......

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    God loves you and so do I!
     
  9. GammaEridon Registered Member

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    Not to sound "anti-Chritian", but isn't the argument of God being of higher inteligence circular? As a whole, our species commits many wrongs that damage our environment and those we share it with. Throughout time, we have justified our actions by appealling to a "higher power". It seems the religion, and belief in God in particular, has been used only as a tool to control the masses and allow powerful figures nearly unlimited control. One such major instance is the Crusades; the Europeans killed hundreds all in the name of "God". Does this make the killing right because God sanctioned it?
     
  10. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    1,052
    JJMMLL7,

    Returning to the original point....

    Religions and ethnic differences did not just spring up among disparate populations out of nothing. First, you have to keep in mind that the globe was populated by incremental spreading of civilizations over territory -- so whenever they left, they took a piece of their legacy with them. In that sense, all human cultures share a common origin. Secondly, religions and cultural customs spring up quite rapidly and naturally all on their own, with no need for intervention from some higher power. As the more recent examples, witness the Branch Dividians, the Bahai'i, that new-age thing whose name I don't even know but which Lori particularly dislikes, the many branches of Christianity, etc. Culture also undergoes great changes spontaneously; for example, think of the change in American music over the last two centuries, or of the change in American movie content over the last 50 years, or the emergence of motorcycle culture, or the legitimization of gay/lesbian groups in recent history, or racial integration, etc.

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    I am; therefore I think.
     
  11. Lori Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,065
    Gamma,

    I'm not sure if I follow the circular reference. Man commits sin, and then creates a God to make it all better (for forgiveness)? That doesn't jive in my head. In my mind, you would have to have a God before you could identify what sin is. I mean, I know that I probably spend a good half of my day sinning, and don't even realize it. They didn't even have environmental problems until the last century. If what you say is true, then why do we still not know how to treat each other or the planet? STILL, to this day.

    Or maybe I could argue your point too, and say that if you lived in seclusion with no knowledge of God or societal laws, that when confronted with a decision, you would still inherently know the difference between right and wrong. You would feel it, and see the consequences eventually. Actually, I did not live in seclusion, but did not believe in God, and rationalized my decision-making by societal standards, and ended up finding God through the consequences. So do you think that I "bought in" just to make myself feel better? But let me ask, why would I feel bad in the first place, if there was no absolute right or wrong? If there is an absolute, then who decided, and why isn't it obvious to more people? I honestly thought that I was doing a great job making decisions in my life before I was saved. I had rationalized every single one of them according to societal standards of right and wrong, and it didn't work. That proved to me, that something was going on behind the scenes that I was unaware of. A set of laws that I was unaware of. Ok, let me try this again...you're saying that there is a set of spiritual laws, and that when people break them, and don't like the consequences, they make up a God to forgive them for breaking the laws. WHO MADE THE LAWS THEN??????

    And as for the crusades...GET A GRIP! Listen, I'm well aware that this terrible stuff all happened in the name of God, and we could add many many more of these terrible things to the list. But honestly, God did not sanction anything of the sort. Can you guys stand it if I say this again? MAN USES RELIGION FOR GREED, POWER, EGO-FEEDING, CONTROL, JUDGEMENT, AND VIOLENCE, BUT THAT IS MISUSE!!!!!! OF COURSE, HELLO, WE ARE SINNERS. STUPID SINNERS, TO BE EXACT. WHEN PEOPLE USE RELIGION IN THIS CAPACITY, THEY ARE MISSING THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE RELIGION!!!!!

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    God loves you and so do I!
     
  12. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

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    1,052
    Lori,

    I agree. Something else indeed goes on. Right and wrong are not decided by standards; they are judged based on consequences of actions. Positive consequences imply that an action was "right", negative consequences mean that the action was "wrong".

    When deciding right vs. wrong, one must consider the consequences -- <u>not</u> social standards, <u>not</u> somebody's opinion, <u>not</u> a recipe from some book. A wise judge always considers the consequences of a ruling, not just the precedents. Good for all means "right". Harm to all means "wrong". Harm to all but oneself is "wrong" due to the Golden rule. Get the drift?

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    I am; therefore I think.
     
  13. JMitch Registered Senior Member

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    129
    Lori,
    It's not a great assumption to make that the bible was not crafted by what you think God is. I'm guessing that you think God can only be an intelligence. Don't you think that's a fairly limited view? I can picture God as any number of things, including life itself, which if you read my posts you could gather. Simple isn't it? Maybe simplistic.
    On the other hand, assuming God is a non-physical intelligence why does it have to be interactive? Perhaps a benign observer. Lastly here, what the hell is God doing with this mess called humanity if it is the almighty power?
    On one point I agree with you: the bible is the work of a higher intelligence. But the God you speak of sounds more like a bunch of egotistical aliens working to create a global constitution.
     
  14. GammaEridon Registered Member

    Messages:
    15
    Lori,

    I can understand you views and feeling about man creating God. However, if God is all-powerful and perfect, as he is often depicted, would not his creations be subject to His dichotomy of right and wrong? And if so, why is the race of man, created by God, so inherently imperfect?

    Also, how are we to know what is the Word of God if no one can be in direct contact? Or to assume direct contact, why can't it be corroborated except by belief? For many, belief is simply a means of disregarding the unexplained. I'm perfectly willing to accept the existence of God or a god; however, I have seen no reason as of now to lead me to that conclusion.

    As to why you "bought in" as you and I put it, why do you believe? I believe people truly believe in God, but many are told to believe and they do not question what they are told. If one questions their own beliefs and comes to the same conclusion, then I consider their beliefs to be more legitimate, atleast to me.

    I also agree that people are inherently sinners and that they miss the point of religion in general when they use it to "forgive" themselves. I'm not here to tell you your wrong, only to possibly open people's minds about other options, whether or not their beliefs change. I'm sorry for any misunderstanding.

    And, Boris, that's a good point about considering consequences when deciding right and wrong. I don't think that today's society has anything to contribute to right and wrong; it is only responding to the beliefs of the people who helped create it.
     
  15. JJMMLL7 Registered Member

    Messages:
    17
    The brisk discussion that ensued over my topic should prove that religion causes a
    time consuming waste of time.
    Maybe one should ask themself, why do I need
    to debate religion and god. What purpose does
    this serve? Am I not a decent individual who
    can make his or her own decisions, and can I
    not rely on my own gudgement? And can I not
    forgive myself if I make an honest mistake?
    And doesn't this still allow me to enter a
    lovingly welcome domain after death, if one
    exists.
    Anything more complicated than this just seems to serve to cause pain and opposition.
    What purpose does this serve. The only possible purpose seems to be to waste time and cause conflict, that allows control by any higher intelligence to take hold easier.
    How can this higher intelligence be good,
    it can't be.
    If, in fact anyone or anything considers themself a god, that individual or thing has
    already proven themselves arrogant and not
    worthy of the title. The concept of god would
    seem to indicate to even someone or something
    that considers themselves a god to have a god
    of their own to answer to. Who created them?
    This would go on to infinity and proves itself useless.
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,891
    JJMMLL7--I would think that you are making a mistake that is very familiar to me, as I constantly find myself inventing new ways to make it. I would suggest that you are worrying too much about religion in other people's eyes.

    Do you not find any wisdom at all anywhere in the essence of any religion? What happens when you view religion as a form of pre-science? That is, science without scientific method. Certainly there are arbitrary bits polluting the whole. Take the Bible. If you skip the part about no other deities and the-name-thou-shalt-not-speak-except-to-honor-my-shiny-butt commandment what part of the remaining Commandments make sense in the context of "A society gets along better if . . . ." Certainly the religions are, for the most part, a means of "controlling" society. But Americans have shown that the less you respect the abstract "greater sense" of life--rather, the more you think about yourself--less also becomes the sense of communal empowerment that makes society such a good idea. (If there's safety in numbers, what happens when the numbers quarrel?) I would not suggest, for instance, that removing Christianity from schools hurt the educational quality and thus directly unraveled the social fabric. But I think that as long as religion itself plays about its game of dominion and market share, the cultures can only follow and polarize as their alleged guiding philosophies dictate. If the various religions did what their texts allege their jobs to be, well, I'd have no problems. It would be more of a chosen philosophy, rather than a cause scared into you. You can learn a great deal about a society by studying its religion. It reflects, if you will, the state of the cultural soul. The religion is only as strong as its followers allow it to be. God may exist, for the sake of the argument, but if It doesn't guide Its followers, what do they have to do with what It wants? I recall that you're quite familiar with the pathetic state of institutional religion.

    The only other thing I really wanted to address is that yes, you are able to make your own decisions (though I'm sure you didn't need to be told). What I would ask you to consider is your own criteria in decision-making--I understand the privacy of our motives; please do not feel obliged to enumerate them. I prefer the context of: I have historical examples, but we all know that "History is a lie, agreed upon"; I have statistical examples in this marvelous modern world, but is it not as correct as ever that there are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics; I have my life experiences to reflect upon, but do I consider them subjectively limited or objectively definitive; I have religious models, but ... and here is a long list of questions, I admit.

    Did any of Aesop ever stick with you, that there is a fundamental rightness to the alleged moral? Is that not faith? Cannot someone, somewhere misconstrue that into a religion? We take from it what we will, but I would ask/suggest/beg that you take off the dark-colored spectacles that everyone else asks you to wear when considering religion; just because they want to fight about who they are and what they call themselves doesn't mean you have to listen to them. I would not suggest that you will find God in any religion; I've been through seven, I think, and while most of those were practically useless, I found a couple whose ideas generally seemed to reflect something observable in life and the universe, though I darenot say everything. Ergo, a grain of wisdom that evolves when I choose to apply it. Maybe it gets something, maybe it doesn't. But hey--history, religion, statistics, experience--whatever you choose to make decisions by, it's still at least a little bit faith.

    Intrinsically, yes, religion has some inherent wisdom worth considering. But democracy doesn't govern your thoughts; just because everyone else seems to miss the point doesn't mean you have to miss it with them. Sorry to be so damn long.

    thx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  17. JJMMLL7 Registered Member

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    Tiassa,
    Your searching for some religion to trust in
    suggests your confusion on the subject as a whole.
    I am not influenced by others, hence my educated observation.
    My comments are not givin to me by others, they stem from years of unbiased study done completely on my own.
    I always question and explore things that interest me. I was raised as a Christian and
    quickly found that religion as well as
    others didn't make sense. The whole world is
    caught up in this insane beleif system that doesn't make sense and serves no real constructive purpose. In fact it serves to confuse and cause pain in our wonderful society.
    People will always have reason to quarrel, but a reason that has no real foundation is the one that kills and hurts the most.
    Consider a higher intelligence
    who wants such pain and confusion, what other
    explanation is there other than the lame stories offered by the religions that cause
    such pain.
    Why allow yourself to become part of this terrible situation. Why not step out of it and trust in yourself.
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,891
    JJMMLL7--

    If you're not influenced by others, how then did you educate yourself? Where did your knowledge come from? Rather, what is "unbiased study"?

    I wouldn't suggest your idea of education is bogus, not by the least. But I would challenge your sense of unbiased; nobody is perfectly objective. Did your study begin when you found religion didn't make sense? Or did your hypothesis exclude your own self as an individual and address the issue from as many perspectives as you could gather?

    It took me a while to come to the conclusion that religion, standing by itself, is a crock in the modern world. However, I would no more deny religious traditions their academic or even their spiritual value. Is a child-molesting priest a proper example of the Catholic church? No more so than the rebellious youths who slaughter cattle or horses or sometimes even people for their delusional purposes represent the resurgent Wiccan or Kabalistic philosophies so often grouped with "devil worship". Don't let other people proscribe your objectivity, lest it not be objectivity at all.

    I have often considered a higher intelligence that enjoys the misery of human institutions. I have often asserted among friends that humans create the gods, which I feel serves to explain, for instance, the perverse faux-justifications of the Christian Bible. So what if "I, the LORD, maketh it so." So does Jean-Luc Picard if you let your imagination run away.

    I come back to Christianity for an example: if church followers didn't preach until we don't hear them, if church leaders and followers didn't support bogus legislation based on their powerlust and narrowmindedness, if people "worked with God" as such instead of "feared God" ... well, it would be no more of a religion than vegetarianism. So these people wouldn't cheat on their spouses, steal from their neighbors, kill, hate, or otherwise. Gee, don't sound too bad. You don't have to buy the whole idea to draw value from a religion. Just because I left the Christian church doesn't mean that now I "covet my neighbor's ass".

    I don't think the question really is why involve oneself in part of the terrible situation. I can study any religious movement as an anthropological or historical subject. Philosophy? Sure. But I am not obliged by anyone to become a spiteful, angry political activist willing to throw you out of the country because my God dislikes what you do in your bedroom, your kitchen, at your job, or anywhere else in your life.

    Okay, so you didn't read Aesop. Ever read the old Greek myths? Chariots in the sky? Secret trysts? Does the tale of Echo and Narcissus have any value? That was a religion once. I guess we can't respect it in any way, eh?

    Do you hold a novelist responsible if a reader takes his book too seriously and hurts someone? How about rock music and teen suicide? Of all the things I cannot hold against the authors of religious books, it is the actions of their followers centuries or millennia later. Certainly they left room for interpretation, but so did the U. S. Constitution.

    If I ever fail to trust myself it's because I learned the wrong version of trust as a child (boo-hoo! er, whatever). But I do believe that my philosophical footing is sound, and I would ask why you cannot trust yourself enough to keep an even head inside the "Kingdom of God"? Can you ever completely isolate yourself from religious persons? Drop me a line when you do so I can see what a nice, homogenous society looks like. Eventually someone will have to accept something on faith, and what then?

    Sure it annoys me when "educated" Christians can't get past "God says ..." but if you believe that "they" are wrong, should you:

    A) Isolate "them"
    B) Destroy "them"
    C) Ignore "them"
    D) Work with "them"

    I would choose "D" in the more mundane situations. Religious people share the planet with me; I'd rather let them explain to their own God why they couldn't let people be. I don't need the smug satisfaction of going out and starting the fight. And working with these people, and their "wrong" ideas does not necessarily mean letting them run amok. Instead of telling them they're stupid, trap them logically until their logic system fails. If they're really that dense, then sure, ignore them.

    But religion has value, else nothing has value; everything has its place in the human experience.

    thx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  19. Alien Registered Senior Member

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    tiassa,
    Normally I would not get into a religious discussion but I was reading the posts and something you said caught my attention. I'm curious, you said "trap them logically until their logic system fails." If you start using logic in religion things start to break down
    don't they.

    Alien
     
  20. Pookums Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    48
    JJMMLL7

    Just a couple of points...

    If religion is such a waste of time and the cause of so much discord and pain, then why oh why are you posting on a website entitled 'religious debate'. This seems a teensy bit contradictory.

    Tom Robbins said once (I think in 'Skinny Legs and All'-good book, by the way) that organized religion is the least likely way to achieve personal salvation. His point is that religion itself is not the cause of the trouble, but that the practice and interpretation of this religion causes trouble.

    As Tiassa and Lori pointed out, most major religions have some strict rules regarding behavior (thou shalt not kill, etc.) Therefore, people who claim that they are killing for the sake of their religion are by definition ignoring the basic tenets of their own religion. I don't think we can blame the strife on the religion per se. Indeed, religions can serve a very good social purpose. If a person TRULY follows their religion, they are generally good neighbors, nonviolent, understanding, etc. These are all behaviors of citizens highly valued by societies.



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    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
    -Mark Twain
     
  21. JJMMLL7 Registered Member

    Messages:
    17
    Tiassa,
    Unbiased study, simply studying without slanting what you learn. And trusting the facts that you can prove.
    Knowledge comes from simply trusting in what
    is proven, this creates a knowledge base for judgements.
    I don't gather perspectives, I use my own mind to form an opinion based on facts. My study did not begin when I found religion didn't make sense, it began when I was born on all things as a natural interest in the world and people around me.
    Human institutions (as you say) are not a bad
    thing if they are needed for a society to come together and prosper They are bad when they have a hidden purpose.
    On religion, just because it uses good morals
    as a base for existing doesn't mean that it is a good thing. People do not need to trust
    in something other than themselves to have good judgement. This leaves one asking why have these religions been put in place at all. When you look at the FACTS and
    only the facts, you should be left with that
    question. When you consider that the worlds people would fare better on their own without
    religion, then you must ask yourself what the real true intention is and where does it REALLY originate from.
    Philosophy is not fact, so it has no use for judgementation.
    Every person should answer to them selves, whether you think that is right or wrong.
    No truely bad person is going to care what your religion is, when they take action against you so why do you need it to judge their actions. Do you and other "good" people not know what is wrong or right without considering a religion before making your judgement and taking action.
    There is no such thing as a totally homogenous society, as you say, with or without a religious base. People are to different to be perfectly stable. If people don't disagree a little, society can not grow and learn. But to dissagree on something
    that has no real need in your world is to waste time, cause confusion, bring unneeded pain and hurt the children you are raising into this.
    You say ignore them, would you ignore an infection in your body or the body of some one you care about. I care about the world around me.

    Pookums,
    What can be more debating than questioning the whole concept, I prove my point.
    The fact that there can even be a debate shows something is wrong.
    The fact that people come together so strongly into seperate groups on religions, only serves as a conflict waiting to happen between these groups. Just because religions
    cement groups together in some kind of respected harmony, doesn't meen that is a good thing. In fact, it is a conflict waiting
    to happen. This type of conflict has proven itself damaging to all society. How can people truely respect each other and move ahead unless they trust in themselves as a whole and not allow influence by an outside force.
    Whether it is damaging or not isn't the point, what is is that people are chosing to trust themselves to an unknown, rather than themselves.
    By the way, my facts are not distorted as you
    suggest, but maybe YOURS are.
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,891
    JJMMLL7--

    So there is nothing of value to learn of any religion? Not it's history, it's myths, it's (anemic) justifications? Is there nothing from the last thousands of years of allegedly "divine" philosophies from which we can draw wisdom?

    Imagine that you could quantify all human knowledge, and examine the questions left unanswered. And then, by whatever means possible, assembled a model to explain what was observed. God, as such, was born before humans used tools. Probably before humans were human. By arguing "Religion v. Science" or "Faith v. Fact" you allow other people's definitions of religion to cloud your own final product. The juxtaposition is ficticious. Christ, on paper, is no more valid than Camus. More have killed and died for Christ, so we call it a religion. But "Christianity", "Buddhist", "Muslim", "Nihilist", "Atheist", "Witch" ... they're all just words. They describe people who apply certain restrictions on what they will accept as valuable.

    If, as you say, you cared about the world around you, it would become clear that religion simply is a part of the human experience; people do not feel they have lost all use for it. Someday that might happen, and then "religion" will become an encyclopedia philosophy discussed in taverns and coffehouses and college campuses.

    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  23. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    tiassa,

    But some of us have <u>already</u> lost all use for religion. And some of us opine that the world in general would be better off without it. Hence, our incessant nagging at the "faithful".

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    I am; therefore I think.
     

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