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

  1. Top | #31
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    I think we are at a stage surely, where their are some expertise to scrutinize the texts as they do with forensic / psycological criminology. A biblical profiling if you will, on the main characters or writers, exposing who and how they are nothing but "liars" in the bible. Funny enough, I recall there was some detective (in the UK IIRC) who thought there was merit of authenticity in the biblical texts, from his years of experience,although a personal opinion nevertheless.
    Last edited by Learner; 09-10-2019 at 03:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    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.
    In a world full of wars of aggression between minor states of the Near East, the message of the OT is "This is our land, God gave it to us. But we must fight for it, God commands that and will not fight for us. But if we fight we will win because God wills it and has promised us success. If we do not worship false Gods and follow his laws."

    It is pure propaganda with an out for those occasions the Israelites do not seem to have the favor of God.
    Cheerful Charlie

  3. Top | #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    I think we are at a stage surely, where their are some expertise to scrutinize the texts as they do with forensic / psycological criminology. A biblical profiling if you will, on the main characters or writers, exposing who and how they are nothing but "liars" in the bible. Funny enough, I recall there was some detective (in the UK IIRC) who thought there was merit of authenticity in the biblical texts, from his years of experience,although a personal opinion nevertheless.
    That's kind ofg off-topic, though, isn't it? We're not talking about characters here, but concepts.
    If the concepts turn out to be frauds, that may or may not cause people to realize it's all a fraud, but that is not my purpose in this thread. It's simply to speculate and wonder "what if," and figure out what it would mean if you asked yourself, "what benefit does this concept bring to the characters in teh story?"

  4. Top | #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    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.

    Assuming that we are looking at the verse mentioned a few times.

    The blessedness applies to us not to God. In whatever form that may appear.

    How far do you think the believe without seeing [i]instead of looking for evidence'' (your phrasing) is supposed to go? I am asking you as you have proposed the questions and presumably have some parameters.

    It depends upon what god to whom you are referring? Are you referring to the biblical God or another? Characteristics, rationale, responses vary from god to god.
    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  5. Top | #35
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    Characteristics, which includes life span. All deities die off eventually.

  6. Top | #36
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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.

  7. Top | #37
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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.

  8. Top | #38
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    The centurion who asks Jesus to heal his unhealthy servant says (paraphrased): "no need to come to my home, just speak and it'll be done. Since I'm an authority over my soldiers and slaves, I tell them what to do and they do it. [So it goes with you and your commands about what should happen]."

    Jesus "marveled" and was very impressed by this Roman's belief in his powers. He expresses resentment about how his own people don't have as much faith in him.

    There's a lot of belief in the power of belief in this religion. And a lot of guilt-tripping as well - you better believe, you curs. And don't doubt what some "humble" flattering of the powerful (priests, preachers, gods) will get you.

  9. Top | #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner
    I think we are at a stage surely, where their are some expertise to scrutinize the texts as they do with forensic / psycological criminology. A biblical profiling if you will, on the main characters or writers, exposing who and how they are nothing but "liars" in the bible. Funny enough, I recall there was some detective (in the UK IIRC) who thought there was merit of authenticity in the biblical texts, from his years of experience,although a personal opinion nevertheless.
    In order to do that, we'd first have to assume what you've been unable to prove: That the characters were real people, and the texts are authentic documents with real authors. Even assuming "someONE wrote them," is giving them more credit than they deserve.

  10. Top | #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Jesus "marveled" and was very impressed by this Roman's belief in his powers. He expresses resentment about how his own people don't have as much faith in him.
    Well, the better graduates of officer training don't give orders that cannot be followed.
    So, the centurion never would have ordered someone to push a rope thru the eye of a needle. Then his legions would have been all, 'no way!' like the apostles were before a miracle.

    Of course, if the cohort HAD expressed disbelief at every order, the way the disciples questioned every miracle claim, he'd have ordered 20 of them to crucify 5 picked at random, as a lesson all 25 would remember for the rest of their life. The Gospel of The Centurian would have been a lot shorter.

    But the Church would have fewer problems with doubters....

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