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#18318 - 02/22/07 08:13 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Revlgking wrote:

"Interestingly, if you read Exodus you will soon discover that Moses was a warlord; he killed people, regularly."

Two things spring immediately to mind. Firstly, on what grounds do you accept Moses actually existed and is not just a mythical figure? Secondly, on what grounds do you believe God ordered him to kill people? Isn't it simply the case that the stories of his exploits were used simply to justify later killing sprees by the followers of Yaweh? There is certainly no prohibition in the Old Testament against slaughtering innocent people. Quite encouraged in fact.

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#18320 - 02/22/07 09:13 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Ellis Offline
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Thanks for correcting me Amaranth Rose, I also meant captives too!

I agree FFriend, that we cannot say how we will react in such a situation---I am a pacifist, I do not believe in taking another's life under any circumstances. I have been asked if I would kill someone if they were torturing my mother or harming my child, and the only answer is that maybe I would try to kill or hurt them, preferably very painfully, if I could. But that does not make it right. I would prefer to think that I would be able to avoid an awful thing such as I have described from happening, and I certainly hope I could forgive, even if not forget. But I don't know. Hate is a powerful emotion and an odd thing to be discussing on a rational site like this.

To return to the dilemma. I would like to think that I would help the person under threat, but self-preservation would mean I probably wouldn't. If the beliefs include human sacrifice then I would try to change them as I think that none of us has the right to kill someone else. The tribe would soon discover that life would run extremely smoothly without the sacrifice being necessary. The priests would be upset, but the potential sacrificial victims would have a more relaxed view of the future!

You are right--we have no answer in this situation, but I feel that the bottom line in any such debate has to be that the result should always aim to cause as little harm as possible. For example-- reducing another country to a pile of rubble in the pious hope it will become a beacon for democracy is never going to work.

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#18325 - 02/22/07 11:23 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Revlgking Offline
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Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
...on what grounds do you accept Moses actually existed and is not just a mythical figure?
I agree, there is little evidence that Moses was a historical figure. I was merely making the point that the Commandent is about "murder" not about killing per se.

When it comes to reading the Bible, I am not a literalist. I read it as literature. Indeed, Yahweh, the Lord of Host was a god of war. The OT has several different kinds of concepts regarding the nature of Elohim, and Yahweh.




Edited by Revlgking (02/22/07 11:34 PM)

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#18331 - 02/23/07 05:35 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
redewenur Offline
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TheFallibleFiend: you said "We innately believe that what we value has some significance external to us - that it's fixed, and understandable, and that our formulaic principles must always stay in tact. This is because we like to know...And when we don't know, we make stuff up."

and "People want to have ready-made "knowledge" and ready-made ethics that could hypothetically be encoded in an expert system. "What should I do in this situation?" Then the expert system asks you a whole bunch of questions and spits out a defensible answer."

These are generalisations, as I'm sure you are aware. Does it apply to you, for example?

and "But I don't believe human ethics is that simple. We might say, "Always this" or "Always that," but we should realize - consciously - that those are heuristics."

My point exactly. That's what I've been trying to extract from this!

Whilst I go along with the idea that imposing your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) on others can be counterproductive, situations arise in which we acknowledge the need to do so. Put another way, in general I agree with Revlgking's comment: "It is wrong for anyone with strong beliefs and opinions to impose them, dogmatically, on others" - but in many particalar instances, and dependent upon our personal evaluation, it doesn't apply. There's a sliding "ethical" scale in operation.

Ellis, you said: "I do not believe in taking another's life under any circumstances." and "If the beliefs include human sacrifice then I would try to change them as I think that none of us has the right to kill someone else."

Thank you, Ellis - a straight answer to a straight question. A hypothetical circumstance in which you would impose your beliefs on others if at all possible.
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#18402 - 02/25/07 12:10 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
Ellis Offline
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It's a clash of beliefs--there is no answer to this dilemma that does not require someone to accommodate another's belief. The evil of corporal (and capital) punishment is that the act itself corrupts. The act of human sacrifice is repugnant, but its eradication will need someone to compromise their beliefs in individual freedom. The latter is desirable but not as much as is the abolition of sacificial killing. I have said tht I am against all killing of fellow humans, however I have also stated that I can see where this stance would be hard to maintain. As these instances are extreme and very unlikely to occur in my life I am able to delude myself that I would rush to someone's help, or perhaps defend their freedom to believe that killing with a religious purpose is OK.

Rede- We all impose our will/beliefs on others every day of our lives. I was a teacher and am a parent of adults---boy! have I done some imposing!!!!

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#18403 - 02/25/07 01:15 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
redewenur Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ellis
Rede- We all impose our will/beliefs on others every day of our lives. I was a teacher and am a parent of adults---boy! have I done some imposing!!!!

Yes, Ellis, absolutely. I've been a teacher too, and have raised a family, so I fully appreciate what you're saying.

The subject has been focused on religious beliefs and deep ethical conviction, and I think it's clear that it's not so often a case of black and white but rather shades of grey - and shifting shades, at that! In some cases one might see it as more right than wrong to impose ones beliefs, and in other cases vice versa.
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#18411 - 02/25/07 02:01 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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"These are generalisations, as I'm sure you are aware. Does it apply to you, for example?"

How could they not? We always like to know. We always like to have certainty. I am no exception.

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#18414 - 02/25/07 08:29 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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'G?D' is the name I use to designate that of which I am relatively certain, the cosmos, and all that we will discover it to be--an eternal and joyful, for me, quest. "The joy of understand in the noblest joy of all." Lenoardo
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#18444 - 02/25/07 11:42 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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We cannot have certainty though. We, as humans, constantly have to reaffirm our own ethical standards, and we shift and compromise until an agreement is reached.

I think that often it is the promise of that same certainty that attracts people to a religion, especially a religion that has strict behavioural rules and perhaps a distinctive drees standard. Usually the philosophy of most religions is basically kind and considerate, providing you keep their rigid rules, and it's often easier to do that than work the rules for your own conduct for yourself. Religions offer gods, also angels and the prospect of Paradise or future bliss after death as rewards for keeping the rules. There is also often some sort of punishment eg Hell, for anyone who plays up a bit. All that and more, plus certainty now and in the future.

Ultimately though I think the independent way is more satisfying, and no less ethical, moral or satisfying. Although no human is omnipotent, they are very interesting indeed!! Shifting shades of grey can be fascinating.

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#18445 - 02/26/07 12:35 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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I like to think of myself as an independent thinker. This is why I like the following site:
http://www.progressivechristianity.ca/
=======================================

If you are searching for the security of rigid answers to the BIG questions of life, this isn't the right site for you. Many other sites can offer you traditional, absolute, and dogmatic formulas for faith.

What you will find here is a safe place to explore those questions with others who, like you, are willing to brave the unknown--a place where every idea, concept, ritual, and belief can be examined, where that which keeps us from living life freely and fully can be set aside, and where that which is worthy of our highest ideals can be upheld and celebrated.

Welcome to the journey, friend. Welcome.


Our 8 Points
=======================================
Be sure and check out the 8 points.
The Gathering I attend is at:
http://www.pathwayschurch.ca


Edited by Revlgking (02/26/07 12:39 AM)

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#18446 - 02/26/07 03:10 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
redewenur Offline
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Actually, TFF, I don't disagree that we prefer to have some kind of common standard reference manual; maybe that's a requirement of a stable society. I do think, though, that reality is probably too complex and chaotic to for all of the rules to be written in stone (no insinuation intended).
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#18454 - 02/26/07 04:21 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: redewenur]
Revlgking Offline
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Posts: 2246
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Philosophy, whether it be philosophy of the many religions, the sciences, or the arts is, IMHO, about wondering and questioning and being curious about life.

Therefore, it seems to me, children, if parents, grandparents and other adult role models are wise enough to just to observe and listen to them, are great philosophers.

Currently, my wife and I are the grandparents of three grandchildren--two granddaughters (18 and 15) and one grandson (11). The 18 year old is in her first year university (science studies). Interesting.

The father is our son (a musician and teacher) and the mother is a Sufi Muslim (an early childhood teacher) and they live twenty minutes drive from us. Since their birth, we have had a wonderful time watching the three children grow and develop. Whether we have succeeded or not, we have made a conscious attmept not to be overbearing grandparents.

ABOUT UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE, NOT ABOUT BIBLE PUSHING
I don't want to push the Bible at you, but may I say: read from a certain perspective, and as literature, THE bible is a very childlike collection of documents. It certainly is not a book in the conventional sense of the word. No wonder some scholars refer to it as the book(s) of life--life with all its ramifications. And, at times--even from the very beginning--it is about life in the raw.

EARLY FAILURES
As Genesis, which I do not think of as history, plainly shows, the first attempt at establishing an ideal family, in an ideal garden--Eden means a pleasant place--is not all that successful. Jealousy results in murder. Neither is the second attempt--the story of Noah and his family.

THE THIRD ATTEMPT
The third attempt to establish the ideal family is what Christians call the New Testament. It begins with the birth of a child; that child, Jesus, grew up to be interested in philosophy (Luke 2:52).

Although there is no record in the NT that Jesus ever got married, he clearly evaluated children and family life, highly: See Mark 9:33-37. In Mark 10: 13-16, he used childhood to define entrance requirements for getting into the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 11:25 he speaks of the wisdom of the unsophisticated, and he put children at the centre of his message.
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#18459 - 02/26/07 06:53 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
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Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Ellis, I totally agree:

"Shifting shades of grey can be fascinating."

I think the shifting shades are more threatening the later in life you have been exposed to them. If you grow up believing God did everything it's a bit frightening to consider later in life that he may not have.

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#18515 - 03/01/07 07:10 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Revlgking Offline
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Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
"If you grow up believing God did everything it's a bit frightening to consider later in life that he may not have."
Good point, Terry. This is why I prefer to believe that G?D IS everything, warts and all.

Several times, I have been asked: What gives you the right to use your special word for the god-concept? Why don't you stick with the one in the dictionaries?

1. Dictionaries are not infallible and fixed documents written in stone. Even they recognize that languages grow and that new ideas/concepts need new words.

2. I do not not tell scientists: You have no right to create new symbols to express your new ideas. When I first read that a mathematician had come up with the idea of there being a "set without numbers" and then created the symbol ? to represent it, I did not say: He has no right to do this. I asked: what is the meaning of the concept? What is its function?

Interestingly, I came up with the symbol ? before I had ever read about the "no set" or "set without numbers" theory. It was Rick in brainmeta who showed me how to get in on my computer page.

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G O D--Gift Of Discernment & to Generate Organize & Deliver. Will to have it & it WILL be ours


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#18596 - 03/04/07 02:37 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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It's not a question of your "right" to do it. The question is the intention and the sensibleness of using such a laden term. In the other fora you've already demonstrated that a remarkable tendency towards definition creep.

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#18599 - 03/04/07 09:12 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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"Creep"? How "laden" is this term? smile And who with any sense intends not to sensible? "Very laden", eh?
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G O D--Gift Of Discernment & to Generate Organize & Deliver. Will to have it & it WILL be ours


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#18600 - 03/04/07 09:12 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ *DELETED* [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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Post deleted by Revlgking
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G O D--Gift Of Discernment & to Generate Organize & Deliver. Will to have it & it WILL be ours


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#18608 - 03/04/07 01:58 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Please don't be coy. We all know the various meanings ascribed to the term 'god'. Changing the middle letter to a null symbol doesn't make the term or intent of the term any less recognizeable.

You start out saying god is everything, then you say god is just the good things, and now you are imputing characters that require "intent" (such as compassion) to this term.

If you do even half the things in your community that your web page indicates then you are a remarkable and good man. I applaud you.

But you do those things because you are fundamentally decent and not because your thinking or expression is clear.
You are a very nice and a very confused (and a very confusing) man.

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#20273 - 04/11/07 01:56 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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Posts: 2246
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
TFF you write:"You start out saying god is everything, then you say god is just the good things, and now you are imputing characters that require "intent" (such as compassion) to this term."

I clarify: In my opinion--and, by the way, what I believe is not offered as dogma for you or anyone else to believe without question; it is MY opinion, as indicated in my signature:

EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING--PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL
G?D is Spirit (both good and evil) and Love, in and through All the Cosmos--warts and all. When I say "all" I mean all that is total, universal and all-encompassing.

THE PROCESS THEOLOGY OF WHITEHEAD
This process theology, as proposed by the mathematician, scientist and philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead (b.1861 - d.1947), works for me. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/
ANW gives us a lot to think about.

People who want to believe in the traditional concept of God, the almighty and loving heavenly father--the one they were taught to pray to and bow before in Sunday School--should stay away. If this fulfills your need, believe this. However, it did not fulfill my need for a rational faith.

Process theology requires deep thinking. Without it I would probably be a positive atheist.




Edited by Revlgking (04/11/07 02:01 PM)
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G O D--Gift Of Discernment & to Generate Organize & Deliver. Will to have it & it WILL be ours


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#20286 - 04/11/07 04:43 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Now we're getting somewhere. Revlgking wrote:
"G?D is Spirit (both good and evil) and Love"

Clearly and unambiguously define the following words:
"spirit"
"good"
"evil"
"love"

PS: IFF. My information from Canadian friends is that there is the website and there is the reality. And never the twain doth meet.
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DA Morgan

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