Is God competent or incompetent?


#61
  1. Feudalism did not derive itself from Christian thought.

  2. Define enslavement. If you are talking about literal enslavement, you might have a valid point. I would point out however that while medieval Europe was violent, it was not technologically backwards, indeed significant changes were made during this time.

  3. It must not be assumed that my beliefs are shared by all of Christianity. I deplore all violent aspects of our history, and am critical of religion in general.

Simply not historically justifiable. The Soviet Union was single handedly responsible for more deaths than each and every crusade combined. The vast majority of wars and issues in the twentieth century (the most godless century I might add) were caused not by religion, but by political and economic ideologies. Both World wars being examples.

You speak as though this is a contemporary issue. I cannot speak for other faiths, my own is currently not in the process of seeking the elimination of other groups by violent means.

May I ask what ethnicity that is? It will help me understand the context better. I do not deny that genocide has occurred, I am well aware of the evils committed by those of religious conviction. I consider it a life aim to make others of my faith aware of these atrocities, to remind ourselves of where we have gone wrong.

So I am aware that religion has been an imperfect force in our world. But any assumption that somehow the world would magically become a better place were we to rid it of religion is at best utopian, at worst, an incredibly dangerous idea.


#62

He’s Irish, that’s his ethnicity

And what about as a percentage of the population? As for incidents of mass deaths inspired by religion the Taiping Rebellion comes to mind (body count around 30 million combined with a suppression of freedom and progress on a level that would make Saudi Arabia look like a hippie commune)

  1. No, but it sure as hell was used to justify it, and due to the monotheistic nature of christianity it was much easier to concentrate all of the power in a single individual at the cost of his subjects.

  2. Forcible work without pay or insurances of proper treatment. Basically, if someone owns you you’re a slave. Serfs were essentially property, thus they could be counted as de facto slaves (especially in Tsarist Russia).

  3. Fair enough


#63

I’m not defending religion as a whole, I’m defending the idea of God as expressed by my faith (Christianity). Also, “inspired” is not the same thing as “caused.”

Fair point.

It is interesting to note the differences between different European nations at the time, on the one hand you have the example you mentioned, Russia, with serfdom. On the other hand, England technically never had serfs, nor “slaves”, people were obviously tied to their lords, yet they had rights that people in other nations did not.

Now knowing your ethnicity, I would state that while to a large extent this is true, it is not the entire story. Being of Welsh descent I am well aware of the history of English mistreatment and occupation that Is based as much is nationalism as it is in religion.


#64

As a Jew I can second this.


#65

I just wanna say that I appreciate the civility of this discussion. It seems that once we take the extremists and ad hominem out of the equation we can actually have some pretty good discussions


#66

It claimed the authority of god, Christianity itself isn’t exactly opposed to slavery (arguably its pro slavery towards god, which is in part where the legitimacy for kings come from). And also I’d argue it was, both the Orthodox Church and Catholic Church, the most dominant forms of Christianity for centuries had plenty of theology and laws to support feudalism and benefit from it, these guys literally defined Christian thought for the Middle Ages right up to the reformation when we started to actually question them.

What does technology have to do with it? I didn’t make a point of technology. Slavery can be defined as having control over another person in every facet of their life or almost all facets, while said person is otherwise capable of having agency (I.e a child isn’t a slave to their parent). I use this because ownership is something society recognises you having, and there’s many things today even that I disagree with individuals “owning” (capital in capitalism for example

My beliefs which were built (or at least attempted to be built) in rationality, modern day society is built on the same enlightenment values that also inform much of communism that also inform our liberal society. The defence that I do not share my beliefs with Nazis nullifies your point about rational ideologies being murderous if you get to disassociate from the negative parts.

How many deaths did the ussr cause, you are dangerously close into getting into territory I suspect you don’t know much about. The lethality of the ussr is often misunderstood by those who didn’t understand its circumstances
(Russia before it became the ussr was constantly stricken with famine and its problems with famine didn’t end until mass industrialisation with the soviets, it’s even notable it would have lasted longer if the communists didn’t take over, as much of the reason why Russia was in this state either famine or high risk of famine was its constant commitment to WW1, it was the threat of famine that allowed the communists to take control and make the ussr a thing in the first place. It didn’t help that Russia was still a quasi feudal society and a backwater compared to the rest of Europe which could produce the food needed to feed their populaces and army as they were fully industrialised. )

Europes extremely rigid stance on secularism , which the USA almost inherited with the 1st amendment creating a strong but unfortunately not always followed secularism is due to the fact that European nations nearly killed each other many times over often over what are theistic squabbling. The 30 years war and to hell or to connaght come to mind as easy examples.

I am Irish , Cromwell of Britain under the relatively new Protestant banner ethnically cleansed almost all of the Irish people because they were still catholic, this is named to hell or to Connacht , I.e be forced into the absolute poorest region of the country with virtually no viable farmland or die at the blade and go to hell

I’m not going after it on imperfection, infact i think religiousity is apart of being human. I myself am technically religious , being a deist. I was merely responding to your claim that rational ideology is murderous, my response in a nutshell is that humans are muderous and will opportunistically use ideology , religious or not, for their agendas and goals

I have no intention of ending religion. And it indeed with be deadly


#67
  1. Many things/people claim the authority of God. It doesn’t make them right or mean that they are right to do so.
  2. Not exactly sure how you come to the conclusion that Christianity is not anti slavery, granted that it was Christians who fought so hard to abolish it (obviously there were those who supported it). Being a “slave” toward God (not something I agree with) is entirely different to being a slave to a human being. Though are correct in saying that this idea justified monarchism.
  3. Undoubtedly the church gained from feudalism, and I would argue that it was wrong to seek suck power… I believe that Christendom was a tragic error.
  1. I am simply pointing out that the church had at least one positive impact on medieval society. The development of technologies in agriculture and scholasticism are two examples. I am pointing out that it is naïve to suggest that the church made everyone slaves.

Not so, for I would not suggest that Nazism is rational in the first place (at least, not morally justifiable). Also, I have never (and do not attempt to) attempted to disassociate myself from the negative aspects of my churches history, of which I am well aware. But you don’t paint the whole house black because it has a few streaks. Nor, do you paint it white and cover those marks. Honesty is required in this situation.

Though it is possible you know more on the subject than I do, my use of the topic was deliberate and the result of much study. I spent a large amount of my undergrad degree understanding the USSR’s circumstances.
You say famine didn’t end until industrialisation? True, though Stalin almost single handedly caused such famine when he collectivised the farms. You want a death count? 20 million in the Ukraine. The bread basket of Europe in famine because of an ideal. Yes, famine might have continued elsewhere, but is that death count justifiable?
Note that I do not have an anti USSR bias, I am well aware that without industrialisation Russia would not have been able to even fight WW2, and certainly would not have broken the backs of the German army. I am also aware of the improvements to health, education and living standards for much of the USSR’s populace. But I am not willing to say that the millions who died building this justified the improvement. Others may be, I am not.

Indeed they did. Dark moments in our history- and believe me, I am not brushing these aside. However, secularism is not necessarily a stance against religion itself- it simply argues against theocracy and religious influence in government- an ideal I agree with wholeheartedly.

Ah I see, I completely agree.

Well that is good to know. Excuse me if I have been defensive, I am used to arguing with anti-theists foolish enough to believe that the world would magically become a better place were we to remove religion.


#68

True, but just saying God does not exist doe not allow you to judge the prick for his homophobia and misogyny.

That does not help the many victims of that discrimination without a just cause.

Regards
DL


#69

Do I really need to direct you to all the times Jesus says that God is within us? Really?

With a frontal lobotomy, sure. You are already there as your moprals are garbage. That is why you adore a genocidal son murdering prick of a God.

Should a law maker not follow his own laws. Yes.

Only the most immoral will not agree.

Regards
DL


#70

Within us, yes. Not the same thing as us being God.

My morals? Do you even know what I believe? And no, I do not worship genocidal son murdering God, as I continuously tell you.

And yet we do all the time. Sure.


#71
       In such a question there are many parameters which must be defined. The disagreements that we experience are the product of religion which I define as "man's interpretation of God." Now, within that definition there is a very real difference between religion & spirituality. Religion we may define as one's journey on a pathway to know his/her creator as it is defined by another man's interpretation of what God may or may not be. Therefore, religious interpretation, in and of itself, is a flawed perception created by man in an attempt to explain something that is either unknown or unperceivable and which must thus be accepted on faith alone. It is attempting this journey to know one's creator based on the interpretations of another human's perception that gets us into this endless distraction from the truth that we seek! 
      So, then our spirituality is our individual journey to understand the truth and become one with that truth. So, if I seek to know my creator on a spiritual journey, then it doesn't involve the processes of accepting another man's interpretation on faith. Instead, a legitimate search for my creator might be my search for the truth! Now whether I am a Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, or any other religious denomination, I can still seek the truth with my fellow brothers & sisters in harmony. This is the definition of my spiritual journey in search of that truth. Now, let us take our two extreme friends here Greatest_I_am & Owainp, and let us find a common plateau that we can stand upon without discrepancy. To do so defines our spiritual journey as a search for the truth, no matter what it is! It is not a contest of who is right nor who is wrong. Similarly, it is not a debate to argue why one is right or why one is wrong. Instead, it is a challenge in our abilities to communicate on level of shared awareness so that we can recognize a higher level of truth and oneness that we are.  
         What we all seek is the truth. So, now, let us simplify all this and say that what God represents is the essence of this truth that we seek. Putting all your predispositions, opinions, & beliefs aside for the moment, I ask both of you (Greatest_I_am & Owainp), "Do you seek the truth?" Now, if either of you say, "No!", for whatever reason, then there is no need to continue this conversation any further for you admit your acceptance of ignorance and your lack of desire to communicate on any further meaningful level. But if both say, "Yes, I seek the truth and my purpose thereof is to become one with the expression of that truth!" then we have reached a common point of view through which we can begin to define our common spirituality. And this is our spiritual journey that we share together! So within that commonality, we may venture forth and define the existence/inexistence of God as "the truth that we seek" and through that truth we shall become one. 
      Now, if I ask both of you (Greatest_I_am & Owainp), "Is the truth competent or incompetent?" I think you would both agree that the truth is competent! Therefore, no matter whether your truth is atheistic or theistic, the truth that you seek is the nature of God's existence (no matter what form it may take on.... it is merely a matter of perspective interpretation). In the same light.... all religions have a similar value (the essence of truth) but at the same time they, too, have flaws due to man's misinterpretation of the facts that they represent. Our purpose in life is for the self-realization of the truth. What we seek in this is the unity-in-diversity of all. Unity-in-religion is a flaw of man's imperfect self because it requires the acceptance of one man's journey as the journey for all! Therefore, we are not on a religious journey; but, rather, we are on a spiritual journey, in search of the truth which is essence of our oneness with all. It is not a matter of interpretation nor is it a matter of faith.... it is a matter of fact. The science of physics in relativity teaches us that matter & energy are in essence the same, they are only expressions of two forms of the same substance. Before we recognize its differences and debate which form is better, right, wrong, or irrelevant, we need to recognize the truth which is at a common level that they are able to define themselves as one in the same thing. Physics also teaches us via quantum theory that this material existence is not confined to the space & time that we perceive at any given moment but instead that we all share the same constructs within the same 26 known dimensions of our universe that we occupy. 
         So on this level of truth, we are indeed one. And in the confines of this 26 dimensional universe, we recognize this truth as the truth that we both seek together. We just need to stop paying so much attention to the things that we disagree upon and stop putting so much of our energy into debating the issues of who is right & who is wrong. The reason is because in the end this is merely the distraction of the truth that keeps all of us from becoming aware of our spiritual oneness. You could even say that this distraction is the key product of the Prince of Darkness whose job it is to keep us all from recognizing the absolute truth.... that we are one despite his own attempt to maintain this kingdom of deception in the confines of material segregation & individualism! So don't spend your time debating about who is right & who is wrong because then you are only allowing that distraction to mislead yourself from your own self-realization of the truth that you seek! Furthermore, this distraction hinders your further development of your innate abilities for the self-realization of that truth within yourself and its self-actualization through your ability to communicate & share that truth with all. This is the purpose of life and this is the truth that we seek together as a shared expression of our unity-in-diversity. This is how we overcome the fragmentation of our misperception of our individuality. This is how we utilize our shared awareness in order to self-actualize our spiritual oneness with all. This our mission and our spiritual journey should you choose to accept it! Godspeed, gentlemen!

#72

Then stop hiding and tell us who your God is if not Yahweh.

Regards
DL


#73

True. But if we have to at the beginning of a discussion, when most philosophers say that those definitions should only be attempted at the end of a discussion, then it is likely that we will never get to the end and go all over the map as you have done.

I am all ears for a good discussion and defining all types of concepts, so if you wish to continue the do try to answer the o.P. question so that we can see if we are anywhere near on the same page.

Regards
DL


#74

My God is I AM, Yahweh, Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit. The difference between us is our depictions of God, you believe him to be genocidal (demonstrably untrue) and a son murderer (misunderstanding of trinitarian doctrine).


#75

There is merit and wisdom in what you say, though I reject the notion that I am in any way extreme. It is important I think to recognise the similarities between us, yet is it not also important to recognise differences? For what then is the point of debating at all?

Besides, if we believe in such thing as objective truth, then should we not wish to share that? Obviously we do not wish to force our ideas on others, yet if we believe that we are in possession of the truth (if such a thing exists) then surely we are obliged to share that idea?


#76

You are either denying the flood in Noah’s day or do not know what genocide is?

You show just how dim a bulb you are and are not worth my time.

Regards
DL


#77

sips tea