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

  1. Top | #11
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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.

  2. Top | #12
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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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."

  3. Top | #13
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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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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    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    It occurs to me that this is a problem that stops being a problem if you stop believing in an omnipotent god.

    For a non-omnipotent god, the benefit is obvious: Cultivating faith is the same as cultivating obedience. (this has been pointed out before on this thread. Not coincidently, the same thing is also useful to the non-omnipotent clergy) If god is not omnipotent, then we can assume he has some use for his followers, and wants to collect only the most useful. (that is, obedient) If god is not omnipotent, and the universe is headed to a Ragnarok like confrontation, for example, blindly obedient followers would be useful.

    More and more, I become convinced that the Bible authors did NOT believe in an omnipotent god, and that the subsequent urge to inflate one's god, having reached the limit with omnipotence and omniscience has only exposed the faulty foundations of the entire construct. (whew! what a sentence!)

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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.
    Good question. I have also wondered myself sometime ago. This pretty much applies to a vast majority of believers who have not had those personal experiences imo. Simply put (as my ability allows), these people who are going through hardships in life, still hold on / believe regardless of what they go through. It seems to me at the moment, that the phrase is more of an approval, an expressive feeling (for lack of better wording) by God for these faithful, rather than something that is similar to some sort of law, so to speak.

    (I'd have to study this phrase in textual context to comment further)
    Last edited by Learner; 09-09-2019 at 03:08 AM. Reason: rephrasing

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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.
    I think religion's largely for the pragmatic effect in people's lives.

    If you look at it sociologically, that comes down to control. Or "guidance" to phrase it more positively.

    Psychologically, it's consolation.

    John 20:29 (ESV): "Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'."

    In religion, belief is considered to have virtue -- I think not just to be virtuous (moral), but to convey benefits to the believer. People who saw merely know a fact. The benefits are bigger if your belief's so strong that it doesn't need seeing. Even if the belief's wrong, it can have a powerful placebo effect. It can include greater hopefulness, happiness, a feeling of being watched out for, etc.

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    I go along with pretty much of the above post, highlighting some of the various aspects to beliefs plus the interesting placebo effect.

    It does seem to me, as I previously thought in context (in my previous post), taking from the verse:

    John 20:29 (ESV): "Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'."
    Last edited by Learner; 09-09-2019 at 04:09 AM.

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    Apparently faith weeds out the sheep from the goats, followers valued, thinkers destined for destruction.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    More and more, I become convinced that the Bible authors did NOT believe in an omnipotent god,...
    How could they have? That concept was more than a millennium away from being invented at the time when even the last of the NT was being composed.

  10. Top | #20
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    If God came down and showed himself such that (empirically) no non-believer/disbeliever would doubt His existence, that would destroy belief through faith.
    Like, say, killing all the cattle in Egypt three times? All the firstborn? Spreading the waters of the Red Sea?
    Yeah, people see something like that, their kids or grandkids might stray, but THEY would never doubt or turn away or worship a gold calf.

    But the weird thing is that 100 generations later, people will insist that the miracles those people saw should be sufficient for any non-believers NOW to accept as proof. Weird.

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