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Thread: In Your Own Words: Why would your god want you to believe without seeing?

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    In Your Own Words: Why would your god want you to believe without seeing?

    Someone quoted that verse about Blessed Are Those Who Believe Without Seeing.


    I'd like a discussion on why.
    In your own words, not bible verses, please, speculate on why a god would want that and what benefit it brings either him or you.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Someone quoted that verse about Blessed Are Those Who Believe Without Seeing.


    I'd like a discussion on why.
    In your own words, not bible verses, please, speculate on why a god would want that and what benefit it brings either him or you.
    It seems odd to request that Bible verses not be discussed, when the OP is entirely based on one...

    I can see where belief without seeing is necessary in many cases, though- not everything can be easily "seen". If you think about it, any cosmology implies belief in something you can't personally verify. The universe is very big and mostly distant, we all rely on chains of human testimony and authority to describe it for us, even if there is a telescope rather than a cleric at the end of the chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Someone quoted that verse about Blessed Are Those Who Believe Without Seeing.


    I'd like a discussion on why.
    In your own words, not bible verses, please, speculate on why a god would want that and what benefit it brings either him or you.
    It seems odd to request that Bible verses not be discussed, when the OP is entirely based on one...
    There was no request that Bible verses not be discussed. Rhea's looking for the reasons to believe the Bible verses, not Bible verses being given as the reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I can see where belief without seeing is necessary in many cases, though- not everything can be easily "seen". If you think about it, any cosmology implies belief in something you can't personally verify. The universe is very big and mostly distant, we all rely on chains of human testimony and authority to describe it for us, even if there is a telescope rather than a cleric at the end of the chain.
    So there are clerics that have seen God and can show others what they've seen?

    In science they have to show what they've seen. If non-specialists can't understand all the information that science makes available, that's something they can study up on if they want. It's not a matter of 'the telescope' being kept available only to specialists.

    Belief is actually not necessary. I trust that scientists know better than I do about some things. But that's entirely different from the sort of belief that is religious conviction.

    And, anyway, if God/Jesus is as esoteric as cosmology, then WHY is that the case?
    Last edited by abaddon; 09-08-2019 at 08:40 PM.

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    Veteran Member skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Someone quoted that verse about Blessed Are Those Who Believe Without Seeing.


    I'd like a discussion on why.
    In your own words, not bible verses, please, speculate on why a god would want that and what benefit it brings either him or you.
    I can see where belief without seeing is necessary in many cases,
    I can think of absolutely no case where belief is necessary. Now understanding is a very different matter but belief and understanding are very different things. Understanding requires 'seeing' where belief is the blind acceptance of some assertion.

    There are religious groups that handle venomous snakes and drink poisons because they unconditionally believe some Bible passage that they will not be harmed. If they had an understanding of the effects of such actions without the belief, several of them would not have had their life terminated so early.

    though- not everything can be easily "seen". If you think about it, any cosmology implies belief in something you can't personally verify. The universe is very big and mostly distant, we all rely on chains of human testimony and authority to describe it for us, even if there is a telescope rather than a cleric at the end of the chain.
    Cosmology does not require belief. Cosmology is a matter of considering possibilities and testing those possibilities against known and verified physical laws. I doubt any cosmologist can be found who will claim to believe that their preferred model is absolutely true.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    There was no request that Bible verses not be discussed. Rhea's looking for the reasons to believe the Bible verses, not Bible verses being given as the reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I can see where belief without seeing is necessary in many cases, though- not everything can be easily "seen". If you think about it, any cosmology implies belief in something you can't personally verify. The universe is very big and mostly distant, we all rely on chains of human testimony and authority to describe it for us, even if there is a telescope rather than a cleric at the end of the chain.
    So there are clerics that have seen God and can show others what they've seen?

    In science they have to show what they've seen. If non-specialists can't understand all the information that science makes available, that's something they can study up on if they want. It's not a matter of 'the telescope' being kept available only to specialists.

    Belief is actually not necessary. I trust that scientists know better than I do about some things. But that's entirely different from the sort of belief that is religious conviction.

    And, anyway, if God/Jesus is as esoteric as cosmology, then WHY is that the case?
    Who you trust to be an authority is a reflection of your personal convictions, balanced against your interpersonal relationships and personal experiences. I don't think anyone would be surprised to hear that an atheist prefers science as her sole companion to the unknown. But we all have some such companion. It doesn't seem strange to me to suppose that a god might be vain enough to consider themselves a more suitable companion, were they asked. Indeed, from a divine perspective, most human academics must seem quite ridiculous. Like watching toddlers trying to do calculus.

    But of course, this discussion is occurring in a weird semantic space where God is ostensibly the object of discussion, but not meant to be taken seriously (without a fight).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Someone quoted that verse about Blessed Are Those Who Believe Without Seeing.


    I'd like a discussion on why.
    In your own words, not bible verses, please, speculate on why a god would want that and what benefit it brings either him or you.
    It seems odd to request that Bible verses not be discussed, when the OP is entirely based on one...
    Abbadon is correct, the reason I say that is because I have no interest in having the bible quoted as the reason. What I want to know, is what YOU THINK is the benefit to a god about asking you to believe without seeing. Because if you just quote the bible, I have no way of gauging if you understand what you are saying, or if you are just regurgitating vocabulary. Same as any Literature teacher, yah? If a person wants to know your opinion, then they will always want it in your words. I care about what you think, that's why I enjoy conversing with you, and not with some old book. You don't go to a book club meeting and just read paragraphs out of the book. You say what it meant TO YOU, and what YOU think the author meant, etc.

    So, the topic for this thread is:
    In your own words, not bible verses, please, speculate on why a god would want you to believe without seeing instead of looking for evidence, and what benefit it brings either him or you.



    I can see where belief without seeing is necessary in many cases, though- not everything can be easily "seen". If you think about it, any cosmology implies belief in something you can't personally verify. The universe is very big and mostly distant, we all rely on chains of human testimony and authority to describe it for us, even if there is a telescope rather than a cleric at the end of the chain.
    If I think about it, cosmology is a field in which people constantly put forth great effort and financial investment to NOT believe without seeing. They do everything they can to find evidence, that they then share in as great a detail as you or I can handle, in order to see if any of us is convinced of a potential conclusion.

    Do you think Cosmologists implore us to stop looking?
    (And did you just say that Priests were somehow in possession of knowledge that the rest of us aren't?)



    Again,

    The question is what is the benefit to the god of us believing without looking for evidence? Why would we be "blessed" when we can believe without ever even knowing telescopes exist? Why do you think the god is MORE HAPPY when we believe without evidence than when we require evidence to believe? What does the god benefit from that?

    What do you benefit from that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    And, anyway, if God/Jesus is as esoteric as cosmology, then WHY is that the case?
    Who you trust to be an authority is a reflection of your personal convictions, balanced against your interpersonal relationships and personal experiences.
    No, no. The bible says you are blessed if you eschew evidence. That you benefit from eschewing evidence and considering "belief" only as what convinces you.
    Why does that benefit god?

    It doesn't seem strange to me to suppose that a god might be vain enough to consider themselves a more suitable companion, were they asked
    Really? That seems so... human. (Well, Trumpian really, if you ask me). But okay, let's go with that. The god thinks belief without evidence is blessed because it feeds the god's ego to be considered super important. Fair enough, okay. That's one proposal. And therefore, if you seek evidence, to perhaps make sure you're interpreting the book right, then you are not blessed.

    That seems like it would undermine the god's ego even further if people, without evidence, start worshipping something else. Like being a cafeteria christian, or something.

    . Indeed, from a divine perspective, most human academics must seem quite ridiculous. Like watching toddlers trying to do calculus.
    Having had several toddlers, and spent time teaching them math, that is never ridiculous, it is charming. And in no way are their efforts to learn math something that keeps them from being "blessed" in my eyes. I love them more for it, not less.



    But of course, this discussion is occurring in a weird semantic space where God is ostensibly the object of discussion, but not meant to be taken seriously (without a fight).
    Go ahead and take it seriously. I'm not sure what you're referencing to suggest that's not part of the discussion. Indeed, you have to take the god concept seriously in order to answer it. I am trying to picture a real god, a genuine one, who sees a benefit in people believing in it and understanding it's rules while punishing the act of seeking evidence for it. I have to take it seriously in order to try to understand why this would be that god's position on the issue of belief.

    And in order to understand the corollary, in what way does it benefit the human to be instructed to believe without evidence.

    I need to discuss with others in order to imagine an answer to this because I'm not seeing it as advantageous in any area of my life whatsoever, and so I'm having trouble understanding this one.

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    I don’t know the answer. Should I stop there?

    I’m reminded of the McBeevee episode from the Andy Griffith show. It’s not an exact parallel by no means, but being believed in when the evidence isn’t in to do so says something and breeds an appreciation for those that had faith over those whose belief was delayed by late coming evidentiary support.

    If God came down and showed himself such that (empirically) no non-believer/disbeliever would doubt His existence, that would destroy belief through faith. Former (recently former) atheists would then be believers, but only those that previously believed through faith would garner an air of fond appreciation.

    Maybe. Perhaps I should have stopped with I don’t know.

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    If it is assumed that the Bible was written by some priestly elite rather than by some deity then the exhortation to believe without 'seeing' makes perfect sense. People are much more easily manipulated and controlled if they can be convinced to blindly accept any assertion the priesthood offers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    I don’t know the answer. Should I stop there?
    Nope, because the discussion explicitly invites you to speculate.



    I’m reminded of the McBeevee episode from the Andy Griffith show. It’s not an exact parallel by no means, but being believed in when the evidence isn’t in to do so says something and breeds an appreciation for those that had faith over those whose belief was delayed by late coming evidentiary support.

    If God came down and showed himself such that (empirically) no non-believer/disbeliever would doubt His existence, that would destroy belief through faith. Former (recently former) atheists would then be believers, but only those that previously believed through faith would garner an air of fond appreciation.

    Maybe. Perhaps I should have stopped with I don’t know.
    I get what you're suggesting, I think, that one is grateful that people trusted your honor and integrity enough to believe that you have good action without needing proof that you didn't have bad actions. But you only care about that when you feel they already have reason to believe you have honor and integrity, and refrain from questioning it; in other words, that they already know you. Don't you? I care much less if a stranger in West Africa thinks some lady in the US might be guilty of some act, than if a workmate thinks so, before the evidence is in to prove me innocent.

    In the case of the verse, the god blesses strangers who believe he is the best thing ever in the whole of everything - without ever having met him.

    So how does that benefit him? Well, as Politesse proposed, maybe he is vain and needs that kind of worship to get up in the morning. But it seems like the benefit is diminished (staggeringly) by the risk of the people inadvertently believing the wrong thing due to lack of information. So on net, how does this benefit the god? Only in a short-sighted way and only if the punishment and disposal of those who don't do it right are not a loss that yield regret.

    Or am I missing something?

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