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Why the need for certainty ?


Forums Forums Religion and Secularism Why the need for certainty ?

This topic contains 19 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Tee Bryan Peneguy 1 week, 3 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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  • #304399

    The few times I have a longer discussions with Christians I’m always struck with their need for certainty – and worse their demand and expectation of certainty, that one’s weird.  Like it’s okay to believe a lie because its the belief itself that’s important.  What is that about?

    I’m mean, what’s wrong with belief in this incredible planet and biosphere* and learning how to constructive nurture that along with your life, rather being committed to sucking our resources dry fast as possible?

    {* that created us and that we will die back into.}

    What’s wrong with that?

    I’m mean yes the notion of certainty is nice, but life is anything but certain, never has been, never will be, so why not learn to deal with it?  Why not appreciate that you have to move and dance and be aware and be thankful, because any moment it could be gone.

    Then that need for worshipping something – I mean it’s beyond need and love of ritual and thanksgivings – It’s tough to explain, spend some time listening to Christian radio, it doesn’t take long to notice all the worship this and worship and on and on and endlessly.

    Just wondering.

    night, night

    #304425

    3point14rat
    Participant

    I think their need comes from the fact they think, “Why are we here?” is a valid question.

    As soon as one thinks there’s an externally imposed reason for each of us to be here, they’re trapped in a mindset that can’t accept the reality that there is no ‘why’.

    You’ve probably noticed that the “Why are we here?” question is where many conversations devolve to.

    #304577

    Lausten
    Participant

    I get this with many aware and mostly secular people. It was one of the last things I was able to let go of after leaving all my other superstitions behind. The question of “why” is still there, I’ve just re-prioritized all the other stuff above that, like  appreciating every breath and my relationships and the ability to appreciate at all. I’ve redirected that energy to wanting more knowledge instead of just some vague hole that needed to be filled.

    But that took some work. I had to figure out the logic of how knowing what’s real is more likely to result in my happiness than is accepting some comforting notion about spiritual knowledge or meeting more intelligent beings or finding out answers after I die or having a revelation through meditation and fasting or something .

    #304583

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    As to why Christians have a need for certainty:

    Because Christianity is unique among the world religions in having a diety that demands orthodoxy (correct beliefs about doctrine) over orthopraxy (outward religious practice or behavior). It also has an eternal punishment in hell for people who get it wrong. And for a large branch of Christianity, Protestantism, God judges you ONLY on having the correct doctrinal belief. Even good people go to hell, if they don’t believe the right things about Jesus.

    From INSIDE that thought framework, it should be obvious why certainty is important.

    NOT ALL CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THIS, but the idea IS part of Christian doctrine and is held by many.

    A lot of people just assume all religions require belief like Christianity does, and have their own hell for nonbelievers, but this isn’t true. Islam is the closest, but as long as you make a VERBAL confession of faith (recite the shahada), and OUTWARDLY conform to Islamic law, you are okay … Allah does not care as much about what is inside your mind.

    Most other religions don’t have punishment in an afterlife, or, if they do, it is for bad ACTIONS, not just thinking wrong beliefs.

     

     

    #304620

    Tee Bryan Peneguy:  Because Christianity is unique among the world religions in having a diety that demands orthodoxy (correct beliefs about doctrine) over orthopraxy (outward religious practice or behavior). It also has an eternal punishment in hell for people who get it wrong. And for a large branch of Christianity, Protestantism, God judges you ONLY on having the correct doctrinal belief. Even good people go to hell, if they don’t believe the right things about Jesus.

    A lot of people just assume all religions require belief like Christianity does, and have their own hell for nonbelievers, but this isn’t true. Islam is the closest, but as long as you make a VERBAL confession of faith (recite the shahada), and OUTWARDLY conform to Islamic law, you are okay … Allah does not care as much about what is inside your mind.

    Hmmm, interesting.  Lausten would you agree with Tee?

    He’s our local scripture aficionado.

    #304689

    Lausten
    Participant

    I do agree. The similarities would derive from Zoroastrianism. Finding the exact source of something as complex as hell is not really possible, but connections from it to Abrahamic and other philosophies and religions can be drawn. Christianity though, yeah, I can’t think of a stronger proponent of burning forever.

    http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20170406-this-obscure-religion-shaped-the-west

     

    #304692

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    Assuming this is correct…

     

    To avoid ending up in Zoroastrian Hell, individuals must avoid sins such as adultery, slander and murder. Abuse of spouses and children, neglecting animals and being lazy are also sins within Zoroastrianism. When an individual dies, God judges the person based on the actions of her life and consigns her to Heaven or Hell where she awaits the end of the world.

    and

    The Zoroastrian Hell (is) a place of fire with a terrible stench… individuals impose all punishments — such as eating rotten food and performing repetitive tasks — on themselves.

    and

     

    The Zoroastrian Hell, however, is not eternal and at the end of the world God will purify all souls.

    …then I’d argue the Christian hell is much, much worse. To be clear, many Christians interpret the fires of hell metaphorically (Eastern Orthodoxy always has, mostly), but the Christians who interpret it literally say it is a place of eternal torment, burning alive forever and ever.

    Plus, the topic of this thread was about why Christians feel a need to be “certain.” At least in Zoroastrianism, God judges on your BEHAVIOR. In Christianity, you can go to hell simply for BELIEVING INCORRECT DOCTRINE.

    The CURRENT teaching of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church (as just one example) is this:

     Lutherans believe that Scripture teaches that at the moment of death the souls of believers enter the joy of heaven (Luke 23:43; Acts 7:59; Rev. 14:13; Phil. 1:23-24), while the souls of unbelievers at death are consigned to “the prison” of everlasting judgment in hell (1 Peter 3:19-20; Acts 1:25).

     

    and

    “In both “body and soul” unbelievers will suffer eternal separation and condemnation in hell (Matt. 18:8 and 25:46; Mark 9:43; John 3:36; 2 Thess. 1:9; Jude 13; Rev. 14:11).[40] Indescribable torment will be experienced consciously, the degree determined by the nature of the sins to be punished (Matt. 11:20-24 and 23:15; Luke 12:47-48).”

    and

    (Question: What about people who have never heard of Christ?) 

    Christ, the Savior of the world, answered the first question in this way: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). The apostle Peter put it another way: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The same truth is expressed in John 3:16 and 18:36; Rom. 2:12; Eph. 2:11-13.

    Though such people have not heard the Gospel, they are without excuse* (Rom. 1:19-23 and 2:12). God has not left Himself without witness (Acts 14:17), but He has revealed His existence by the works of nature and wants men to seek Him, if “haply they might feel after Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27).

    * In other words, if you spent your life in Africa in a hut and never heard of Jesus, it’s your own damn fault.  And this was long before the Internet..

     

     

     

     

    https://classroom.synonym.com/beliefs-of-the-zoroastrians-on-hell-12085986.html

    #304695

    Write4U
    Participant

    In memory of the lasting philosophies of George Carlin, this little skit seems appropriate and in context of the conversation.

    Warning, crude language.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  Write4U.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  Write4U.
    #304697

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    An oldie but goodie

    #304759

    Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, yipes that’s the one I was “Confirmed” in at the rip age 12 – though by 15/16 I’d “renounced” it.  At the time because of the hypocrisy of disgusting church leaders I was able to witness, and things like heaven and hell making less and less sense.  I did like Jesus though.  But, learned to appreciate he was much misrepresented by people out for their own profit.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    From the little things I’ve learned along the way, I have the impression that Zoroastrian writings were liberally plagiarized by Christian writers.  Am I in the ball park?

    #304826

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    True story: In high school (late 1970s), I became a confirmed Lutheran in the American Lutheran Church (which has since merged). It was a liberal branch: Genesis was symbolic, etc.

    My college roommate was Missouri Synod. OMG, OMG. Here is a short, hilarious memory about her:

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-worst-creationist-argument-youve-heard/answer/Teresa-Bryan-Peneguy-2

    _____________❂_____________

    I don’t know much about Zoroastrianism, except that Freddie Mercury of Queen was raised in it:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/freddie-mercurys-family-faith-the-ancient-religion-of-zoroastrianism-105806

    And the “three wise men” in the Christmas narrative were most likely Zoroastrian:

    https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/common-misconceptions/we-three-kings-who-were-the-magi.html

     

    I know Christianity was influenced by all sorts of religions around it. I’m not sure “plagiarism” was a thing, only because at that time, people didn’t have ideas of intellectual property as they do today … everybody plagiarized everybody, and it wasn’t a big deal because it’s just how ideas spread.

    I did know that Mithraism and Christianity were massively overlapped:

     

    Mithraism ancient roman religion from the 1st century BCE1,2. It flourished in the first few centuries CE by which time it had many features in common with Christianity3(as did multiple religions and cults of the era3,4,5) including the motif of a crucified-and-resurrected god-man who comes to bring salvation from sin, and the primacy of 12 followers…  Jesus, son of the Hebrew sky God, and Mithras, son of Ormuzd are both retellings of the same myth. The rituals of Christianitycoincide with the earlier rituals of Mithraism, including the Eucharist  …the blood of a transformed saviour washing away sins and granting eternal life, the apocalyptic end of time when God/Ormuzd sends the wicked to hell and establishes peace.

    But just checking into Zorastrianism, even though it is small today, it appears to have had massive influence, over everything:

    Zoroastrianism is a founding belief systemacknowledged to have heavily influenced both Abrahamic (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and Dharmic (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) religions.

    I recall learning about Mithraism in college (Philosophy 101) and that roomate telling me that it was all “lies.” I thought that was ridiculous, obviously, but it always stuck with me…. If believing in Christ was the only way to be saved from hell, why would God allow all these similar beliefs to exist? It seemed like a dirty trick…

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #304844

    Write4U
    Participant

    In the interest of the performing arts, I think this Lewis Black presentation might be appropriate.

    warning, crude language

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Write4U.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Write4U.
    #304849

    Write4U
    Participant

    In conclusion;

    This is baaad!

     

    #305064

    Write4U
    Participant

    Once we get to heaven Paul Simon has some instructions.

    The Afterlife; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQzSMvNMvBY

    #305067

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    Well, I don’t know. This still seems unclear:

     

    After I died, and the makeup had dried
    I went back to my place
    No moon that night
    But a heavenly light shone on my face
    Still I thought it was odd
    There was no sign of God just to usher me in
    Then a voice from above
    Sugar coated with love, said, “Let us begin”
    You got to fill out a form first
    And then you wait in the line
    You got to fill out a form first
    And then you wait in the line
    Okay, a new kid in school
    Got to follow the rule
    You got to learn the routine
    Woah, there’s a girl over there
    With the sunshiny hair, like a homecomin’ queen
    I said, “Hey, what you say?
    It’s a glorious day,
    By the way how long you been dead?”
    Maybe you, maybe me
    Maybe baby makes three
    But she just shook her head
    You got to fill out a form first
    And then you wait in the line
    You got to fill out a form first
    And then you wait in the line
    Buddah and Moses and all the noses from narrow to flat
    Had to stand in the line
    Just to glimpse the divine
    What you think about that?
    Well it seems like our fate to suffer
    And wait for the knowledge we seek
    It’s all his design, no one cuts in the line
    No one here, likes a sneak
    You got to fill out a form first
    And then you wait in the line
    You got to fill out a form first
    And then you wait in the line
    After you climb, up the ladder of time
    The Lord God is here
    Face to face, in the vastness of space
    Your words disappear
    And you feel like swimming in an ocean of love,
    And the current is strong
    But all that remains when you
    Try to explain is a fragment of song
    Lord is it, be bop a lu la
    Or ooh poppa do
    Lord, be bop a lu la or ooh poppa do
    Be bop a lu la

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