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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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    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 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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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    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.
    Neat trick -- relativize everything so that religion comes out seeming as good a source for knowledge as anything else.

    The description of science wasn't me lavishing adoration on it. It's just a fact that I get to see what the astronomer sees in the telescope if I want. And it's a fact that I can't see what "the cleric" claims he saw. That's due either to God's hiding tactics if he exists, or due to falsehoods by 'clerics' if he doesn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    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.
    If there is such a perspective, then yeah. That humans have limits is a superb reason to not indulge theistic beliefs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    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.
    Neat trick -- relativize everything so that religion comes out seeming as good a source for knowledge as anything else.

    The description of science wasn't me lavishing adoration on it. It's just a fact that I get to see what the astronomer sees in the telescope if I want. And it's a fact that I can't see what "the cleric" claims he saw. That's due either to God's hiding tactics if he exists, or due to falsehoods by 'clerics' if he doesn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    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.
    If there is such a perspective, then yeah. That humans have limits is a superb reason to not indulge theistic beliefs.
    I'm not going to bandy words about if your goal is to discover my secret objectives or somesuch, I write what I mean. I don't think that there is anything wrong with science, nor do I think science as such is super relevant to the question of acquired knowledge. When pursuing original knowledge about the material world, the researcher should absolutely preference the scientific method. But that is not the basis of a worldview, whatever shape that worldview takes.

    I don't disagree with your last sentence in general principle, though I would state it as "the obvious fallibilty of human knowledge is a good reason to be skeptical of anyone who claims absolute knowledge."

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    I can't think of any reason why a God who wants to 'save' and wants to be 'believed in' would not offer evidence for these things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    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.
    Who one trusts is itself a conclusion that can either be based upon evidence and reason or faith. There is lots of evidence and knowledge that supports trusting a consensus agreement among people extensively trained in collection and use of empirical evidence and whose job is to find any empirically or logically grounded reason they can to disagree with each other. In contrast, knowledge of how religious authorities acquire their credentials suggests that they are less trustworthy on matters of fact than a random uneducated person on the street, since they not only lack training in use of evidence or logic, but rather have training in accepting ancient texts and the assumption of God's existence as the infallible premises from as the starting point of all their claims. Thus, trusting a religious authority on matters of fact requires disregarding one's own basic knowledge and reasoning that suggest there is no basis to trust them, aka blind irrational faith.

    And it is psychologically and logically impossible for a believer to trust God to tell them that God exists, b/c that would require that they already believe in God prior to believing in God. So, what they are actually trusting is either the word of some unqualified authority who they know abandoned reason in favor of faith or trusting their own emotional wishful thinking over their own reason. That is why all theism is inherently at odds with the very principles of reasoned thought and science, and one cannot be a theist and accept reason and science as valid epistemic systems without intellectually dishonest self-contradiction, as you comment below even further illustrates.


    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.
    You're right that it makes a lot of sense for any theology to view God as finding human reason and our use of empirical evidence to understand the Universe as "ridiculous". In fact, all theism at least implicitly must reject human reason as invalid, b/c human reason inherently leads to the conclusion that God does not exist. Which is why the notion of "faith is virtue" was invented.
    This theological notion that God finds human reason and use of empirical evidence "ridiculous" puts theism at fundamental direct odds with all of science and rational philosophy, making religion an enemy of intellectual growth and thus all the human benefits that have come from rational inquiry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    You're right that it makes a lot of sense for any theology to view God as finding human reason and our use of empirical evidence to understand the Universe as "ridiculous". In fact, all theism at least implicitly must reject human reason as invalid, b/c human reason inherently leads to the conclusion that God does not exist. Which is why the notion of "faith is virtue" was invented.
    This theological notion that God finds human reason and use of empirical evidence "ridiculous" puts theism at fundamental direct odds with all of science and rational philosophy, making religion an enemy of intellectual growth and thus all the human benefits that have come from rational inquiry.
    Religious corniness always gets a pass until it crosses some secular threshold.

    Most if not all religious persons consider themselves reasonable and rational. They likely consider themselves scientific as well. I know folks who still practice their old religious faith out of a sense of comfort and loyalty. I'd have to quiz them individually to find out just how reasonable and scientific they actually are, notwithstanding the fact that they are all educated, some medical doctors.

    If a religious person attempts to answer the OP as is, I don't think it would hold up under cross examination because it would include a lot of hearsay. If, however, the person were to approach the subject from a secular perspective and consider for what reasons they would believe something non-religious purely on faith, the answers and reasons for believing or disbelieving might prove interesting.

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