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Just visiting and asking. What does a Humanist believe about…


Forums Forums Humanism Just visiting and asking. What does a Humanist believe about…

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  • #334103
    @clhjr
    Participant

    Hello friends,

    It is not my desire to run afoul of mraina or any moderator.  I was about to say a polite au revoir, then I looked at blaire’s question which is so sincerely and honestly thrown out there and i am thinking.  Can I offer an answer to a question?  Or does that violate the fact that this forum is for inquiry…in one direction.

    I want to say thanks to a couple of people who really were offering me some latitude to express ideas in broad philosophical strokes as long as it is not preachy.   A couple of you really have taken time to “hear” what i was trying to say…even if you decided to reject it.   I love those kinds of discussions.

    I want to thank @widdershins for his attempt to follow my argument.  I was not even expecting that.  Preciate that.

    I did watch the Joel Baden video.  He made a very nice presentation regarding the two creation stories.  We are all familiar with the picture of the woman who held one way looks like a, well, uh, not so attractive person.  Then, when you study it closer and watch, you can allow a completely different pattern to appear.  Both are there.  There is no trick except that the eyes tend to default to a certain set of lines first.  Well, as completely reasonable as Joel’s presentation appears, there are some other lines (of logic and assumptions)  that appear when you reconsider the stories.  We all come to the story with assumptions about what we will find or even what we will allow (control)to appear which controls what we discover or what we will even allow to be discovered.    Because of my background and training, I am quite familiar with Joel’s approach which has been around for probably at least a couple hundred years.    Don’t get me wrong, there are two stories, but the chronology and settings of the two stories considered independently suggest simply additional information and not contradictory information if read more closely.  For instance, in the second story, it does not appear to a different retelling of the 6 day overall general creative story.  Instead, it is the telling of a special garden/field where additional plants, herbs, trees, and perhaps even domesticated animals that were not a part of the original creative acts…just for the humans which shows care and attention.  Just saying.

    I apologize to @mriana if that just sealed my doom here, but I am only tightly responding to material suggested for my perusal and responding with points that i have to overcome to be able to embrace what Joel says.  Joel towards the end specially reveals that his interpretation seems to be driven to find an “inclusive” picture that fits a requirement that he brings to the task.  Two stories that can reconciled doesn’t help.  He wants multiple voices and competing theologies that allows for a certain already assumed working ideas about religion and life, God and man.

    blaire asked rhetorically perhaps.  Or, maybe it was not intended as a question, but only an assertion.  However, this is what she said:
    “If God is powerful enough to create the universe and everything in it, and he wanted everyone to know him, why do you suppose he chose a book to communicate with us? And why wouldn’t God have written it himself instead of choosing humans? And why hasn’t this god given us any objective evidence for his existence? And what kind of loving God would allow suffering?”
    Now, that question could be answered by widdershins without even believing in such a being.  He has the mental agility.  The question is almost a lament.  A cry.  Even the Psalmist in that book records similar questions demanding to know why life is why is and why doesn’t God, if he is there, do something.

    But,  there are three questions:  1. why a book?   by humans?  2.  why don’t we have objective evidence?  and 3. Why is there suffering if God is loving?
    1.  Why not a book.  We still read books, even digital.  2.  God delights to use humans.  He created us.  3.  Evidence?  Many of us believe that the intricacies of life and the sheer scope of our universe attest to a designer of great/enormous intellect and power and knowledge.  4.  Suffering?  Our book says God created everything perfect and that perfection was disrupted by the human choice to live without the knowledge and life of God.  God’s response was to allow the suffering that followed and to use it to teach, train, test.   It was the only way to allow you and me the complete freedom to choose our own path without just making us forced puppets.

    Ok.  Now, continuing the inquiry, I would love to hear the humanist point of view on suffering.   If you can, not just a mockery of what I said, but instead a logical well articulated view of humans and suffering, our responses.  Something is responsible for suffering.  Much is caused by humans.  Suffering from the purely materialistic view would have to be embraced as sort of our friend and creator since our very evolutionary existence is the result of long years of suffering, death, mutation and change.
    So, I would love to hear or maybe mriana has a book suggestion on suffering philosophically from the purely humanistic position.  For instance, if specie suffering has been a part of our own creative process for millions and millions of years, can expect suffering to ever be completely removed?   Yet, we work hard to avoid it, to defeat it, and to live forever, if possible…like the guys in deep freeze till a cure is found.  BTW.  mriana, I am more of a short essay reader than a book reader or a video because i am a slow reader.  And, I want to jump to the end to get the summary.  ADD probably.  So, go easy on someone with “challenges.”

    For me this is inquiry.  Asking, responding, asking, questioning, squirming, fender benders, back up/start over, when i am when people.  Otherwise, I guess a book is OK. Although more lonely.

    Let me know if we can continue or not.
    And, even if i am booted (asked to cease which i will) for perceived violations, mriana, you got my email.  I would love to stay in touch with you as a resource.

    All of you have been kind and helpful in your own way.

    thanks

    #334104
    @mriana
    Keymaster

    @clhjr

    I apologize to @mriana if that just sealed my doom here

    Now, continuing the inquiry, I would love to hear the humanist point of view on suffering.

    So, I would love to hear or maybe mriana has a book suggestion on suffering philosophically from the purely humanistic position.

    No you’re not doomed here. As for suffering, I stick by my rose garden simile. Nature isn’t without it’s beauty, pain, suffering, life and death. All of it part of nature and evolution. Life is not without suffering and if we didn’t know sorrow, how would we know happiness? It’s all part of being human and part of living on this planet, whether one is human or non-human. That said, I think suffering is one of those things defined by the individual.

    There is a (sadly only) download on the issue of evil and suffering here: https://understandinghumanism.org.uk/perspectives/

    I don’t think this author does a good job of answering your question, but there is this essay: https://thehumanist.com/magazine/may-june-2010/commentary/the-mystery-of-evil-and-suffering

    You’ll see a few different answers here: http://www.asktheatheists.com/questions/119-what-do-you-believe-about-suffering/

    A Black atheist’s view: https://www.uuworld.org/articles/black-humanism-response-suffering

    #334105
    @mriana
    Keymaster

    I thought either or both Robert Ingersoll and/or Bertrand Russell wrote something on evil/suffering, but I can’t find it.

    #334110
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    And, I want to jump to the end to get the summary.  ADD probably.  So, go easy on someone with “challenges.”

    Yeah, kinda got that.

    Let me know if we can continue or not.

    Any jokes about moderation are, so far, jokes. I’ve been at this for about 10 years. The first few were sorting out my indoctrination of a lifetime from the reality of science and the philosophies born of it. I’ve been over your questions many times and I’m starting to get bored with them, so excuse me for not taking you more seriously. Your explanation of free will and God allowing suffering are classics and google provides hundreds of responses so I don’t need to add that. I assume Hitchen’s thoughts on God being a moral monster would not land well with you.

    I took an online course on the “Science of Religion”. I’ll find the link later. It answers many of your questions, but more about the time after we evolved to start using language to build and bind our communities. It takes a more scholarly approach to how those memes control people, not so much angry rhetoric like the new atheists. It recognizes the value of a community bound by traditions and how that helped them fend off outside aggressors. That may have helped us get to where we are, but now that the world is organized in nation states, we need to rethink it.

    So, short answer to the humanist view on suffering, the natural world is not designed to keep us live forever, and we have not evolved to love and care for every other human on the planet. We are tribal creatures, descended from ape link creatures that fought to survive. You can’t just erase 3 million years of that in a few thousand years of written history.

    #334115

    not so much angry rhetoric like the new atheists.

    I’m too busy working, doing things and focusing what free time I do have on my own intellectual pursuits, rather than keep up on the learned, but questionable, pronouncements of others.  Which too often contain red flags that expose silliness being feigned off as supposed profundity.  Donald Hoffman springs to mind, but there are plenty of others.

     

    Hearing these questions about Angry Atheists comes across as weird and hypocritical considering the rabid and vocal hatred Evangelicals have for anyone who doesn’t supplicate themselves to their Jesus is Lord {and t rump is his servant blathering  ;-)}.  But you’ve inspired me to go surfing with the search term “angry rhetoric like the new atheists.”   Yes enlightening, sort of.  Every time we seek, we discover more things we weren’t aware of.  Interesting how that works.

    The Origins of Aggressive Atheism
    Non-believers are often marginalized in the U.S., which has led to a lot of resentment among their ranks. But don’t be deceived: For most Americans, lack of religion usually comes with a shrug, not a shout.

    EMMA GREEN – NOVEMBER 24, 2014

    https: //www _ theatlantic _ com/national/archive/2014/11/the-origins-of-aggressive-atheism/383088/

    … But there’s also a sense, at least in reading Atheist Awakening, that derision toward faith among outspoken atheists is partially a product of accumulated bitterness. “It is hard not to come to the conclusion that atheists have spent a far greater deal of time thinking and writing about religion than religious people ever have of atheists as a group,” the authors write. American voters disapprove of atheist politicians; parents dread the possibility of atheist boyfriends and girlfriends for their kids; and in general, the public feels less warmly toward non-believers than almost any other faith. Being an atheist means defining oneself in opposition to theism, but that doesn’t necessarily go both ways. America is a land of ambient distrust of people who don’t believe in God, but mostly in the way of a high school full of queen-bee cool kids and nearly invisible geeks.

    This milieu shaped the rise of what you might call aggressive atheism, the kind that mocks and dismisses religious belief. As Cimino and Smith point out, this outspokenness has helped atheism gain visibility and coherency as a movement. But it also has downsides. …

    {An interesting tidbit:} “According to a 2012 Pew report, atheists make up only about 2.4 percent of the population. Even agnostics, whom you could maybe call atheistic-ish, only account for an estimated  3.3 percent of Americans. Although both groups have grown somewhat since 2007, the bigger change has been among those who identify as “nothing in particular”—roughly 13.9 percent of the population, which is an increase of 2.3 percentage points over five years.”

     

     

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/style.50.1.0001

    The Rhetoric of New Atheism
    Wayne Glausser
    Style
    Vol. 50, No. 1 (2016), pp. 1-18 (18 pages)
    Published By: Penn State University Press
    DOI: 10.5325/style.50.1.0001

    Abstract
    New atheists base their arguments on scientific reason, but scientific reasoning by itself cannot provide a causal explanation for the ultimate cosmological question: why does the world exist? Faced with this impasse or aporia, new atheists tacitly deploy a number of rhetorical tropes to supplement the science proper. The most effective devices include paralepsis, the sarcasm cluster (apodioxis, tapinosis, diasyrmus), pathopoeia, and the linked tropes of catachresis and metalepsis. These tropes bolster the persuasiveness of new atheist arguments by devaluing and ridiculing theist positions, but also by appropriating the pathos and prestige of the religious discourse they hope to supplant.

    Holy christ poop, that sounds absolutely exactly like Evangelical tactics when talking about anything they don’t like, from someone not believing in their self-imagined “God” – to dismissing Earth sciences – to upholding racist and sexists attitudes – to increasing their personal profits being life’s ultimate concern. – Prosperity Doctine anyone?

     

    When do we get to discuss evangelical’s unhinged radicalism?  Or the nuts and bolts of their love affair with a human monster like t rump?  Just wondering?

    Why are some atheists antagonistic toward faith blinded proclaimers of ultimate truth?  That I find a bit more understandable.

    Action, reaction and all that.

    #334120
    @clhjr
    Participant

    Just observational responses to a couple of comments.
    1.) this thread, like all threads, has gone on long enough that some posts have nothing to do with the OP.  It takes on a life of its own that is more about the “life” of the owners that populate the thread forum.  This is true in all forums.  I am a photographer and even photography forums do the same thing.

    2.)  @Citizenschallenger      just a note:  I never did call atheists angry or say I was concerned about it.  I did mention militant and regretted it because it did not describe what i was meaning to say which was dedicated, vocal, active in the culture with a growing energy.     My question was what ultimate ground of meaning does the atheistic materialistic person find to become energetic about any position or moral point…except for feel good , self redemptive purposes.  I can understand the militancy of a Muslim because his fuel is in his scripture which comes from heaven and tells him to spread the Caliphate over the whole world.
    My question was a philosophical one which asked if the material universe is eternal (or, at least, billions of years), death ends everything, the material universe has no care for humans or their existence as it is simply the unknowing random development of chemicals and they will pass away into history giving birth to new accidents and the material universe will neither know or care that we lived, loved, wrote books, had wars, philosophized, developed cultures, etc etc.  then I was asking where does the atheistic humanistic and/or secular materialist find the grounds upon which to insist that his/her policy is best or superior and even go so far as to try to marginalize those who disagree or at least limit.  I know that some will say they have no interest in marginalization or limiting.  So, just let that go and address the maiin question.  Why  would the “accidental brain”  care if its creator does not care.  Why would thee accidental brain fight to prove that others with accidental brains who disagreed with them were wrong about topics that ultimately willl mean nothing to anyone and certainly not to the cold, uncaring, unknowing eternal material universe.   It is a profound question.  Not an attack.  Not a smear.  Not an insult.  Not an argument.  it is a question.  Why do we care about suffering?  Morality?  progress?   The answer of some will be “because we can.  I care because I can chose to care.”  I agree with that.  We can care and choose to care.  but, that is not the question I am asking.  Why do you care?  And, more so, why should you care if someone else disagrees with what you care about?  There is not ultimate right or wrong, is there?  Except the “will to power”???   If someone wants to push this forward, great.  Sorry, I did not ever in this thread attack atheists as angry.  It is actually ok to be angry.
    An associated question to the one above would be:   Since we are all going to pass away into the molecular soup of eternal nothingness to blend back into the eternally evolving universse which does not care if we are right or wrong, moral or immoral, write books or rob banks, believe in gods or no gods, why should WE care what anyone else believes and certainly we should not try to interfere or obstruct?

    3.) OK. This last comment is a response to two related responses above.  first. My friend @lausten:  expressing boredom with classic responses.
    “Your explanation of free will and God allowing suffering are classics ”  Of course, all my responses are classics, ancient and have been rehearsed in different packaging for ages.  All of our points have been.  I would not invest anytime in voicing ideas that i just came up with myself or read last week.    That does not mean that we should stop or can stop the discussion.  Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans,the Escapists,  the Stoics, the moralists , the religionists, the agnostics and materialists all exist today just as they have for a long time.  EAch one of us actually reinvents old arguments packaged for today’s ears.  Some of these groups do think that science has sort of bolstered their position are are leveraging that for comfort and argument.  However, as science progresses the answers are not so clear nor as determinative in the philosophical realm as perhaps thought even 30 to 50 years ago.  Certainly, even three hundred years ago at the very beginning of the Renaissance, many thought science would/or had already dispensed with some arguments which have persisted.  That is why Schliermacher said religion was all about piety and Hegel that religion to be relevant had to be simply universalized truths.
    However, as I said there is much happening in all sciences that lends credence to what my grandmother and her great grandmother believed about the world and life just by faith.  We still have to wait and see about where science is going.  In the meantime, we all use whatever serves our position which makes me want to point back to last question about the ground and reason for the “whys” in life.

    4.) the new atheist article posted by citizenschallengev3.    It is noticeably true that the many of the atheists that are engaging the people of faith and people in politics with whom they disagree have given up on argument and have decided that shame is the best weapon.  It is incorporated into the life of schools where our children attend.  It is in the writing and essays of activists.  Our historians use to refer to “share” cultures as though they were dead, ancient people groups.  It is alive and well and I suppose will continue.   I have found that to be a particularly interesting turn on a couple of grounds, both morally and tactically.  It is an interesting development for the atheists (mariana you should find this interesting as you are a keen, rational observer).  This is interesting because shame usually works best for a group that thinks they have control or power or weight that they can leverage.  Atheists know that nonatheists have for years surrendered much ground in the public square, schools, etc..  They have worked tirelessly for years to take positions in positions that exert influence over the culture.  And, it has paid off.  The work has to be congratulated
    BTW.  I am not complaining.  I will gladly suffer any ridicule or shame or whatever anyone wants to dish out.  Not only suffer, but endure and enjoy as long as it is not physical.

    5.)  mariana   You have given me some good stuff to read, watch, whatever.  I do want to get to it.   I hope I can tear myself away from this thread for at least a couple of days.  As I have mentioned, I do have a big project i am working on this month.  It really was my intent that first day to drop in, ask a question, get a pat answer, say thank you, and leave.  But, because we are people, it is more interesting than that.

    #334122
    @timb
    Participant

     My question was what ultimate ground of meaning does the atheistic materialistic person…

    What atheist who is also materialistic do you think that you are addressing with this question? This forum is predominately populated by humanists (not materialists).

     

     

     

     

     

    #334124
    @timb
    Participant

     …why should WE care what anyone else believes and certainly we should not try to interfere or obstruct?

    From my perspective, I care about all people of the present AND the future.  Why should I?  It is not a question of “should” so much as it is, I just do.  I think that the “Why I do” is about my genetic biology and about how I was cared for as an infant, a toddler, a child, a young person, an adult, and now as an old person.  Overall, people have been kind to me.  And I identify as a human.  Humanity is my tribe.

    I know that some humans are bad.  Some are stupid. Some just choose to believe garbage. Those humans, I think, make things worse for the rest of us.  But they are still humans.  Hence I would like them all to stop believing garbage. For all of our sakes.

    Re: the optical illusion that can be seen as a pretty young woman, OR can be seen equally well as being an old hag.

    You lay that out, I think, to imply that your view of your religious beliefs and my lack of belief in anything supernatural are possibly BOTH true interpretations of reality.

    I believed religiously until the preponderance of evidence in my life, convinced me that there is no such thing in real life as anything supernatural.  Now I cannot go back to seeing the old hag, so to speak. As a child I could see the face of “the man in the moon”.  Since men have visited there, I only see the shadows of craters.

     

    #334126
    @clhjr
    Participant

    @timb.

    I keep saying I will be gone for a few days, but your posts show up in my mail. I read it and feel the tug of the question and voila.

    Materialistic?  I am speaking of a philosophical view of reality.  I would assume that almost all atheistic humanists are materialist which means that the universe that exists is all there is. All reality is contained within the ever existing evolving material of the universe. Your body and stardust and everything else is composed of the same stuff including our brains, our dreams, our finest achievements with no room for any admixture of any ghost in the machine and certainly not God that is self existent outside of our reality.

    That is an older term for that philosophical declaration.

    Not sure what you thought I meant?? Hope that cleaned up something.

    Is that helpful @timb.?

    If you still declare that no humanists are philosopical materialists, then I need to go back to school.

    So,big that is true, the question still remains, why do we care, suffer, love, protect, help others at our own expense, believe in things that ain’t so, and argue over truth if truth does not matter to the uncaring, unknowing, cold, evolving stuff/material that we are made of?

    I think @timb you are made by God and yoour caring, questing, hurting, hoping, hungers and answers find their ultimate ground in Him. That is why it really really matters.  That is why it is important, urgent, and measurable.

    So, my question remains.

    Some people here are accusing me of hiding something. I am not hiding. I did come to ask A question, not to change. I am not on a quest.

    I am not hiding. I am trying to frame my inquiries in share philosopical questions that test the integrity and strenght of your world view.  And to do that intelligently without preaching and getting immediately booted for being an invading prig.

     

    I am going to turn off my email notifications so I do not get distracted again.  I engage because I genuinely care.

    Sorry to bore some, antagonize others, and to create such suspicion. That was never my intent.

    Maybe all of you can see my email address in my profile. Feel free to engage.

    If not, I am sure the moderator, Mariana can. I have already invited her to join me in a PM (that would be a private conversation) That may be more productive. I perhaps just need a coach who just says read this/watch this without all the other stuff.

     

     

     

    Ok. I am going to

    #334127
    @timb
    Participant

    Now we do have a regular poster, who is a definite materialist, but he sometimes spouts religioisty also, so he is not an atheist.

    #334128
    @clhjr
    Participant

    One other thing. I just looked at my bio which I assume everyone here can see if you wish. I wrote it before I posted. It clearly says I am a Christian and not on a journey, just asking questions. It clearly says I did not want to know what you believe, but why do you you believe what you do.

    Such as the question in the last two posts.

    So long for now.

     

     

     

    #334132
    @lausten
    Keymaster

     Of course, all my responses are classics, ancient and have been rehearsed in different packaging for ages. — Charles

    The difference is, my responses, and others here are using “classics” that are only a few hundred years old. These came along after nation states were no longer under the power of Popes or witch doctors, after germ theory, and more recently, evolution. The science drives the philosophy. Religion fights the science.

    all exist today just as they have for a long time — Charles

    those ancient writings exist, but each generation has built on each other. Religion changes to avoid and obscure new facts. It claims it was for things like equality all along, when it was not.

    However, as I said there is much happening in all sciences that lends credence to what my grandmother and her great grandmother believed about the world and life just by faith. — Charles

    You said that, but weren’t specific. Saying it doesn’t make it true

    #334143

    @clhjr       2.)  @Citizenschallenger      just a note:  I never did call atheists angry or say I was concerned about it.  I did mention militant and regretted it because it did not describe what i was meaning to say which was dedicated, vocal, active in the culture with a growing energy.

    True enough, it came from another similar recent post and I was responding to the whole vague challenge to folks who don’t believe in a personal god, rather than you specifically.  Gotta be honest, your rambling had little that resonated me.   It was more your style of passive aggressive presentation that got my attention.

    #334144

    However, as I said there is much happening in all sciences that lends credence to what my grandmother and her great grandmother believed about the world and life just by faith. — Charles

    You said that, but weren’t specific. Saying it doesn’t make it true.  –  Lausten

    Charles, what did your grandmother and her great grandmother believe?

    #334147
    @clhjr
    Participant

    @lausten
    It may be helpful if you would please suggest a philosophical underpinning that was new and original developed in the last 300  years.  I think you find as has been said that some thesis are so strong they continue and live through the generations of antithesis and you found them at the bottom of any new synthesis driving the discussion.  I translate that to mean as an example that even though we discuss materialistic evolution today in different terms, the broad philosophical basis was already existent in Greek forms and the everchanging manifestations of the eternal  universe.   The language is different.  Science has provided new terms to argue over and interpret, but it is difficult to find completely original germs, if not impossible.  For instance the material universe self sufficient and evolving vs creation continues.

    Science influences  the terms we use to discuss philosophy, but does not give us the moral categories to discuss.

    My points are very basic.  Man ate before he knew any chemistry.  Why, because he was hungry.  Man drank water before there was any modern medical notices about its medicinal effects because he was thirsty.  Man drew pictures not because he had attended a seminar on art as a hobby, but because he wanted to express herself.  When man first wrote the very first symbols, it was because he wanted to record and communicate.  Man dreamed of flying to the moon thousands of years before it was conceivable.  Yet, when that young man 1,000 years ago thought of flying to the moon, he was only a slothful dreamer of no use.  Worse, a mad man.  today, of course, talk of going to Mars is accepted with a yawn.  I am not idolizing ancient man.  I am not belittling our achievements.  I am only saying we should not dismiss the basic felt needs and thoughts of those who lived before our era.  And, those thought still live in our midst.  We still drink and eat.  We fly.  And, we still talk of a designer God that exist outside our reality.   Can we dismiss that idea so easily.  We can pile up protests against religion with easy.  Read the old testament prophets.  That is what they are filled with just in case you have forgotten.  My wife and i just minutes ago finished a quite read through the prophet Micah. Micah, like Isaiah and the others cry, just like you, against the crimes of religious people.  Accepting bribes, corrupt judges, corrupt business dealings, abusers of the weak and violence.  So your point about religion being a horrible pot of troubles is true.  I can say, of course, that secular communism, etc. have killed their share, but i don’t want to sound like I am deflecting because the truth is religion is strangle hold on many and an abuse and is sued as a crime against many.   I do not think you can say any better or clearer than the OT prophets…2,500 years ago.
    We who believe in God should be ashamed and repent  that we have no owned that fact.  It is a lazy untrained mind of any believer that uses that old argument that secularists have killed many as well.  It does not matter.  Religion is worse.  Religion cloaked behind God language.  It is still being done today and it will until the end of all life as we know it on this planet.  The next big wars will involve religionists.

    Keep in mind that those prophets 2,500 years ago that railed against the sins and abuses and crimes and violence of a religious people also said that all they were doing was in direct violation of all that their God had called them to do.  And, He called them to correct their course and pronounced judgments on them.  I do not expect you to necessarily to be moved that that is so.  but, it is historically interesting to know it.  That these God fearing , God loving prophets cried against the abuse.  They believed in a Creator God who had entered into covenant with them.   They were probably just as or more ruthless than you in their fury against such abuse by those people.  They and the Psalmists wanted God to destroy those wicked people who thought up evil things and ran scams upon the innocent.

    Everything i just shared is not preaching.  I am not asking for belief or any special privilege. I am simply sharing how long ago we have recorded documents of god fearers railing  against corruption and violence.  Even if you do not (and i am sure you do not) take the flood story seriously as history, the story is about God’s judgment upon the whole earth because of violence and wickedness with no concern for the weightier matters which is later summed up as walking humbly before God and man.

    Many look at the prophets and turn it into simply ethics and activism of some kind.  but, when we do that, we must be mindful that we did intentionally, for our own purposes remove from the story the words we did not want to hear when the prophets said that they were speaking for God and as God followers.

    Let me repeat.  I only offered supporting evidence from the bible that you are right in your assessment of the horrors of religion…not faith in God.  But, self serving religion that is bound to its cultural milieu and invested in its friends in the power centers of the culture.   Even the biggest , most pivotal event in all the bible the crucifixion of Jesus is a story of injustice.  So, those who say they are religious and live corruptly and as abusers of power in any way , who faile to treat others fairly, they are at odds with the God of the bible.  They may be religious, but not people of saving faith.

    When you see a billionaire Russian oligarch, is he practicing communism?  No.  It is not the doctrine of communism’s (and I am not a communist) fault that he is a billionaire. He is a favored exception within the power structure.

    so, with your arguments against bad religion , you were not addressing faith in God or the bible which presents the God i serve.  You were addressing an aberration.  God never directed a single member of the clergy to abuse a child (I am not Catholic either) nor to raise money from the poor to live a rich life.  They will pay in the judgment. You might say, “too late”. It will not be.  It will be certain and there will be no appeals necessary because the judgment will be unassailable.  There will be no need for any “innocence campaigns” like we have today because the judgment of God will not be like the judgments of man.  I know that is no comfort for you at this time.  But, you would have to admit if that were true, it would make a difference on ones approach to many things here and now.  We should , of course, exact swift justice in courts on all we can fairly find guilty, but even those, which are many, which we cannot identity will not escape the judgment of God.  What peace that brings.  Not for vengeance or retribution, but for perfect justice when all wrongs are paid for.  All.  That includes me and everyone I know.

    A centerpiece of New Testament thought is this, just like in the OT “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”    I am not sharing that for anyone here to believe it.  I am sharing it as evidence that people of faith who do not live in love and justly are violating the dictates and the expectations of the faith they profess NOT living a life molded by faith.  They are corruptors of faith, not examples of faith.  However, I must be quick to add that the same literature speaks of grace that is so abundant and merciful that It is hard for us to determine sometimes who are the violators and the pretenders and the innocents.  So, we cautioned to not be too quick to judge and instead focus on self improvement.

    OK.  I did turn off my notifications so I would not get any more emails.  I am going to try again.  I think your last post just slipped by as i was turning it off because I have to stay out of here.  It does take too much time to read and try to respond…not to convince, but to show the rational, the foundation for what I think.  Because that foundation has to be destroyed for me to move.  You stand on a different one, I get it.  I respect your position and I know you hold to your positions based on much careful thought and observation.  My opinions are only offered because I enjoy the conversation and care about people and delight in my faith.

    And, I apologize to you that you an any others here have been mistreated by people of faith in your families, your communities, on the job, etc. etc.  It hurts me to think of the hurt that so many have suffered at the hands of religionists and professors of faith.

    mariana.  if this gets whacked, please let me know via email if you can even though i am trying to cut off notifications so I don’t feel like I want to respond.  To any moderator, my argument here is not about the validity of faith or suggesting anyone to follow.  It was an academic historical presentation of the fact that injustice is not supported by the bible.  That means all religionist who profess that their faith is in the O or NT scriptures cannot fairly make the claim.  Those scriptures actually call people to a death to self and devotion to love that few people ever even try or commit to.  There are some among us.  And, I am only speaking about the Old and New testaments. I do not know what other religious books suggest as their ethical content.  The new testament even calls for prayers and kindness to be heaped upon those who are “enemies”.  I don’t see much of that, but then again when we express kindness and love for others, it does not often make the news unless it supports some other agenda.

    I probably need to get whacked so i will stay out of here.  I wish you guys could see my smile.  I am actually writing with joy and smiling as I say “I need to get whacked”.  but, if you do, don’t delete the thread, use it as an illustration of how things can go awry with the best of intentions.
    but, If I don’t get whacked, I’ll be back sometime.

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