Tim, you say that, for you
Quote:
God is the one who created all this around us and gives us the ability to think about it (i.e., the ability to understand that we are here and ask 'who is God?' in the first place, and that as a result he is worthy to be commended for that. And that aforementioned statement is a direct result of (the way I was raised)
Tim, I accept your definition of God for what it is: Your sincerely-held belief. I will never tell you that you are wrong.

I am sure you realize that what you believe in is the kind of God you were taught to believe in. Without any concrete evidence, you imply that, based on faith alone, you accept that God is a super, all knowing, all powerful, everywhere-present and all loving human-like masculine being, who is in control of all things, past, present and future, and that we are simply creatures of his will. This basic belief is known as theism.

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THEISM
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Christian theists say that the Bible is the word of God. For theists, the Bible (BOOK) contains the true story of how God created the earth, sun, moon, stars--the universe (in six days). This creation happened, according to theists, in 4004, B.C. It seems that, "In the beginning", God intended to set up a perfect kingdom on earth. However, because God gave our first parents--Adam and Eve--that is, Man and the Mother of all--the ability to make a choice, plans changed. Eve chose not to listen to God's command. Adam chose to go with Eve. This got them expelled from Eden.

Following the expulsion of Adam and Eve, from the Garden of Eden (The Pleasant place), things got so bad--despite God's warnings--that he had to send the Great Flood.
Only Noah, his wife, unnamed daughters, and his three sons--Shem Ham and Japheth--survived.

I will avoid going into detail, here. I will simply say: Despite God's personal involvement in the story of the times, history repeated itself and things, over the generations, went from bad to worse.

I remind you: THE ABOVE, AND FOLLOWING, IS THE POINT OF VIEW OF CHRISTIAN THEISM. It is not my view.
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According to theism, about 2000 years ago God, himself, decided to visit earth and to save all of us--that is, those who wanted salvation--from sin and death.

On what we call "Christmas", God came down in the form of his "only son", Jesus, and, literally, he later agreed to die for our sins. After which he rose from the dead, and made his final preparations for his next move. Before he took off and went back to heaven, he promised that he would come back and finally get rid of all, evil, sin, suffering and pain.

So here we are, today. While Christian theists--that is, thousands of different denominations of same--are waiting for the second coming, many pious Jewish theists--again many different kinds--are waiting for the first coming of THE Messiah.

ISLAMIC THEISM
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What about Islam? In 622, Islamic theism was born. Islam, too, has a book, the Koran--meaning the Recitation. It is really a long poem, and was created by its prophet, Mohamed. Tradition tells us that he received it while he was in a trance--self-imposed hypnosis? Because he was illiterate, others wrote down what he recited. Though Islam has one prophet and one book, it, too, has several kinds of Muslims.

Meanwhile there are Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., plus numerous other religion-based philosophies, also with ideas of gods, god and religion. Within all these there are, of course, agnostics and atheists--devotees of secularism.

We are aware that, recently, a certain few--For example Richard Dawkins & Christopher Hitchins-- who have made it known that it is their enthusiastic desire to get rid of all religion. They look on it as an evil and socially dangerous and destructive thing. They write and "preach" that it be replace with science-based secularism.

UNITHEISM
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Me? As a unitheist I want to avoid intolerant extremes--the kind of faith which is intolerant of all other faiths. Certain authorities in Theocracies like Saudi Arabia say: "We allow no dissent from the established and one true religion, and political system. We tolerate one, and only one, true system--the one we proclaim."

CHECK OUT http://www.pathwayschurch.ca a congregation of the United Church of Canada
http://www.united-church.ca/
http://www.ucobserver.org/
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Based on the Golden Rule, I seek to find ways to respect a wide variety of faith positions, including Islam--the kinds of faiths which have a rational foundation and a respect for democracy and the sciences. I like to think of myself as openly, purposefully and lovingly, even radically, inclusive.


Edited by Revlgking (06/25/08 12:46 AM)
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G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org