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

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    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.
    My Navy training pipeline had several complicated systems that needed to be understood so that their impact on other complicated systems could be understood, all needing comprehension in order to operate the system, especially in the case of troubleshooting. We had to know how something wrong HERE would affect indications THERE, and also how shutting off one would affect two more...

    They did try to arrange the training in a logical path, so we could build upon knowledges. Understand power to help understand interface to grasp calibration...

    There were, however, places where you just had to push the 'I believe' button. For some reason guidance system spinup defeated me. All my efforts to understand it came to naught, and I couldn't move past that. My LPO finally just advised me to take a few things as given, and go on to Targeting. I tried that, Targeting was a lot easier, and somewhere in the middle of that Guidance suddenly made sense.

    So I could see 'believe' being an important step to eventually coming to Understand a big, really big, Ed Sullivan 'rilly beeg' picture. That is how we used it, a stopgap. But that's not the Christain model.
    They want it to be the end step.

    You're not supposed to inquire into certain things, no matter what questions you still have, personal issued with the theology. You're upposed to be satisfied with not knowing because belief without that is somehow more pure.

    Which just makes me think of salesmen who assure you the math is in your favor but won't actually show you the numbers... See Also: Con.

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    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    Just because the idea of "Omnipotence" had not been formally written down in some philosophical text, that does not mean that the concept couldn't exist or was inconceivable. "Almighty" is a similar concept, which certainly existed at the time. Zeus was sometimes referred to as "Almighty" and in the later greco-roman period, Zeus/Jupiter was clearly imagined more and more as an omnipotent figure, similar to the monotheistic deities, except he hadn't yet discarded his companion gods. Remember, Yahweh and Allah were both parts of a pantheon, once.

    What I'm talking about is people believing in a god with understandable limits. All Christian mythology works better with such a god.

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    No loving deity would make himself deliberately obscure, if lives were in the balance.

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    Somewhere, in one of my many atheist books, an author took up the subject of Thomas' behavior in John 20 and said, to paraphrase, if Thomas could spend months on the road with Jesus and still doubt his eyes when Jesus (apparently) walked through a locked door and appeared in the house where the disciples were staying, then I am fully justified, 20 centuries later, from doubting the whole narrative. (Add in all the mismatched, contradictory, anomalous aspects of scripture along with our present-day understanding of human psychology and the creation of myth and delusion.)

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    It is rather odd that all of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus involve a case of mistaken identity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    It is rather odd that all of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus involve a case of mistaken identity.
    Kind of like the post death appearances. of Elvis?

    I don't have an answer to the question in the OP, because being rewarded for believing in something without a shred of evidence, just doesn't make sense.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    It is rather odd that all of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus involve a case of mistaken identity.
    Kind of like the post death appearances. of Elvis?
    More like the exact opposite. Jesus died, everyone agreed he died, then there's this Jesus Impersonator insisting he's the Real Thing.

    Elvis died, and suddenly people were seeing a not-dead Original Elvis, not an Elvis Impersonator, everywhere you looked...
    There may be no meaning to this world, but that does not mean that what I do is meaningless.
    -Mark Lawrence

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    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    It is rather odd that all of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus involve a case of mistaken identity.
    Kind of like the post death appearances. of Elvis?

    I don't have an answer to the question in the OP, because being rewarded for believing in something without a shred of evidence, just doesn't make sense.
    I remember one individual who went to an Elvis impersonator concert. The performer was definitely not Elvis but this person swore that Elvis was on stage, even though he knew the person was not Elvis and that Elvis had died long ago.

    I chalk this up to emotional gratification. People like to pretend something is real, even if they know it isn't and do so because it is rewarding emotionally, calming and reassuring.

    To the proto christians and Mediterranean ancients, gods were mainly super-powerful humans. The OP in this thread doesn't fit those kinds of gods. An omnipotent god would be a god of the gods, not a leader or ruler. Humans of that time could never hope to interact with such a dude.

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    Contributor Cheerful Charlie'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.
    The standard reply from many apologists is that if God revealed himself to all it would destroy our free will. Of course this God thing did supposedly appear to the ancient Israelites. Why that was not a problem then is hard to explain. Of course if God does not exist, that explains it all. The old Bible tall tales are as usual, just lies.

    This has all been an issue that J.L. Schellenberg has dealt with, the hiddeness of God problem.

    It soon all devolves into apologists trying to save appearances.
    Cheerful Charlie

  10. Top | #30
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie 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.
    The standard reply from many apologists is that if God revealed himself to all it would destroy our free will. Of course this God thing did supposedly appear to the ancient Israelites. Why that was not a problem then is hard to explain. Of course if God does not exist, that explains it all. The old Bible tall tales are as usual, just lies.
    Lies yes but more. I see it more as a means for the church to control the people... "Don't question the word of god" and, of course, the church tells us what the word of god is.

    If people accept that they should unquestionably believe then:

    ... It makes it much easier for the church to collect at least 10% of everyone's income... or they go to hell.

    ... It made it much easier to convince people to form armies and walk to the holy land to kill Muslims and loot their wealth to bring back.

    ... etc.

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