Jump to content

I believe in Jesus, but not in God.


Recommended Posts

There in lies the problem, Christianity says that Jesus is the only saviour and we have to recieve him if we have to enter the kingdom of god and Krishna says if you worship other gods you'll come back to this world again but if you surrender yourself to him you'll enjoy his everlasting dome and won't come back to this world again. Do both give us everlasting life? Whom to follow and whom not to? If you follow one and reject the other is it not that you are showing double standards? It doesn't look reasonable to me and therefore I decide not to take either of them seriously.

Fair point, but they both say the same thing in one interpretation. As you quite rightly say, to interpret them as offering conflicting advice would render their religion utterly implausible. I would rather say that an interpretation that has them offering conflicting advice is utterly implausible. The question is, which interpretation is the correct one. This is not something we can be told. Well, we can be told, but there will be no reason to believe what we're told. A lot of investigation and some practice is usually thought to be required before we can make sensible decisions about these things for ourself.

 

At any rate, Krishna can easily be read as supporting Shankara's advaita Vedanta, usually taught by reference to the Gita, and with some effort so can Jesus.

 

THis would be consistent with the gnostic flavour of the OPs ideas, since for this view God would not require our worship. Indeed, even Mohammed is not too enthusiastic about worship, saying that it is a far less valuable use of our time than contemplation. Churches tend to promote worship, prophets tend to promote the acquisition of knowledge.

 

If you think they say different things then you are responding very rationally to their teachings, I would say. But I do not think they say different things.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 164
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Have you ever paused to think for a moment that most likely the people who wrote the bible were the ones who made it up?

This makes more sense.   "I love my dog he loves me"   Replace "salvation" with "salivation" and you might be on to something, I know that my dog regularly offers me salivation

Indeed, because the OED is the official arbiter of language (not at all an impartial, descriptivist observer), and the fundamental character of theology is necessarily defined by people with no direct

THis would be consistent with the gnostic flavour of the OPs ideas, since for this view God would not require our worship. Indeed, even Mohammed is not too enthusiastic about worship, saying that it is a far less valuable use of our time than contemplation. Churches tend to promote worship, prophets tend to promote the acquisition of knowledge.

 

The problem between us was always about the type of scholars who form the highest authority in the field.

 

You go with the view of S. Radhakrishna, I don't have any problem with what he says though I accuse him if he had compared this with science and used scientific terms and reasoning. But scholars like these are not the highest authority in the field.

 

http://archive.org/details/Sarvepalli.Radhakrishnan.Indian.Philosophy.Volume.1-2

 

http://archive.org/details/Sarvepalli.Radhakrishnan-The.Philosophy.of.the.Upanishads

 

 

To me the gnostics themselves are the highest authority and they have to be taken literally and not what a 21st century professor says about them. It is the gnostic scholars who form the highest authority.

 

http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/index.html

 

http://www.gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Brief_Summary_Theology.htm

 

what do you have to say about this?

 

For Gnostics god is very important, its not that gnostics thought that god(supreme or demiurge whatever) was a misrepresentation who should not be taken seriously, No, its not that god was just a misrepresentation to gnostics, no, you're misrepresenting Gnosticism. Your worldview is incomplete. If you have any thoughts like if we somehow dismiss god then we can combine all religions and then merge it with modern science you better drop that idea because you're terribly wrong.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
If you think they say different things then you are responding very rationally to their teachings, I would say. But I do not think they say different things.

A concession that you are responding very irrationally, then?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Immortal

 

I'm afraid that I don't see any disagreement between this professor and the gnostics. I view the professors book as an explanation of gnosticism, or gnosticism as it is once the contingent muddle is cleared away. I feel that Nagarjuna, Radhkrishnan, Shankara, Kapleau, the Dalai Lama, Lao tsu, Chung tsu and all the others of like mind are authoritative on truth, while Elaine Pagels, Stephen Hoeller, Karen Armstrong, Sean Martin and their like are authoritative on gnosticism, but of course it is possible to doubt this and hold a different view.

 

A concession that you are responding very irrationally, then?

How so? Looks like a rational response from here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Immortal

 

I'm afraid that I don't see any disagreement between this professor and the gnostics.

 

 

Oh yes, when you reject the truth and accept things which only suite your worldview, how can you find disagreements.

 

 

I view the professors book as an explanation of gnosticism, or gnosticism as it is once the contingent muddle is cleared away.

 

 

Contingent Muddle? The pleroma of God and his Aeons are very important for a practicing gnostic, one cannot just clear it away. Why don't you address this rather than acting as though there aren't any disagreements.

 

 

I feel that Nagarjuna, Radhkrishnan, Shankara, Kapleau, the Dalai Lama, Lao tsu, Chung tsu and all the others of like mind are authoritative on truth, while Elaine Pagels, Stephen Hoeller, Karen Armstrong, Sean Martin and their like are authoritative on gnosticism, but of course it is possible to doubt this and hold a different view.

 

The pleroma of God of the gnostics is as important as the unity, both should be known. If you accept one and doubt the other your view is incomplete which implies the knowledge that you're trying to gain is going to be incomplete too.

 

And also how can you accept these things and call yourself an atheist, it looks like double standards to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How so? Looks like a rational response from here.

In your first sentence, you put forth that a "very rational" response is to "think they say different things." You then follow this by saying that you do NOT think they say different things. Ergo, YOU are not putting forth a rational response. I asked if you were essentially conceding that you were irrational.

 

If you think they say different things then you are responding very rationally to their teachings, I would say. But I do not think they say different things

 

It was a rhetorical question, though, as I already have concluded that people who use faith alone to accept extraordinary claims as true are irrational on that subject by definition. Faith is little more than claiming to know things you do not know, and it is not equivalent to the concept of hope.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In your first sentence, you put forth that a "very rational" response is to "think they say different things."

I said that if you think they say different things then your reaction is rational. What is there to misunderstand in that sentence?

 

You then follow this by saying that you do NOT think they say different things.

Yes.

 

Ergo, YOU are not putting forth a rational response. I asked if you were essentially conceding that you were irrational.

Ergo you did not read my words carefully.

 

 

It was a rhetorical question, though, as I already have concluded that people who use faith alone to accept extraordinary claims as true are irrational on that subject by definition. Faith is little more than claiming to know things you do not know, and it is not equivalent to the concept of hope.

Fair enough. I would roughly agree. But there are three or four different meanings of 'faith', and they do not all mean believing in any old nonsense.

 

Oh yes, when you reject the truth and accept things which only suite your worldview, how can you find disagreements.

What? I can't even think of a reply to this.

 

Contingent Muddle? The pleroma of God and his Aeons are very important for a practicing gnostic, one cannot just clear it away. Why don't you address this rather than acting as though there aren't any disagreements.

What? I didn't even mention the plemora of God. Most of religion is contingent muddle, and I see no reason that Gnosticism should be exempt.

 

The pleroma of God of the gnostics is as important as the unity, both should be known. If you accept one and doubt the other your view is incomplete which implies the knowledge that you're trying to gain is going to be incomplete too.

Perhaps so. It has no bearing on anything I said.

 

And also how can you accept these things and call yourself an atheist, it looks like double standards to me.

Quite easily. But it's a subtle point, and it seems that subtlety is a no no on this forum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What? I didn't even mention the plemora of God. Most of religion is contingent muddle, and I see no reason that Gnosticism should be exempt.

 

That's exactly what my criticism is, you want to do away with god, can you atleast address my critcisms rather than acting innocent.

 

 

Perhaps so. It has no bearing on anything I said.

 

Yes, it does. If one includes the pleroma of God as the fundamental nature of the cosmos then it drastically changes your worldview and hence I said that your worldview is incomplete.

 

 

Quite easily. But it's a subtle point, and it seems that subtlety is a no no on this forum.

 

 

Yes, I need to ask you, it appears from here that you positively believe in advaita vedanta which falls under theistic religions and contradicts your claim of being an atheist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry. This forum is so frustrating I throw my hands up in the air sometimes. I meant to stay away but, oh well...

 

My view is that Shankara has the correct view of God. I do not like calling myself an atheist (although sometimes I do, since it's a quick way of putting people's mind's at rest on that point, especially on science forums.) Advaita, the nondual philosophy, does not require that we dispense with God, just that we see Him as a reflection of a more profound underlying truth. That is, God would be an interpretation of the data, if you like, very close to the truth, and close enough to be an effective idea for guiding our thoughts, behaviour and practice, and as an object through which we may gain the benefits of worship, love and devotion, but vanishes for an ultimate understanding.

 

"Shankaracharya delivered the message of the sages as found in the Vedas and the Upanishads. He emphasized knowledge, but he also maintained a harmonious balance between karma (action) and bhakti (love and devotion). On the one hand, he taught us how to go beyond the realm of maya and attain the pure non-dual knowledge of the absolute Brahman. On the other hand, he showed us how to adjust to the idea of a personal, or personified, God as a stepping-stone to the realization of the absolute Brahman that is nameless and formless."

 

(Pandit Raimana Tigunait - The Himalayan Masters. Himalayan Institute Press, 2002)

 

This would be directly relevant to the previous quote from Evagrios the Solitary, the Christian monk, regarding the avoidance of forms and shapes while praying. It also might shed some light on the gnostic and Kabbalistic idea that God is a created being.

 

No need to agree with me. Just explaining where I'm coming from.

 

The reason I tend to be a bit outspoken about His non-existence is that I come at this as a philosopher. Shankara view is defensible in 'rational' philosophy, but God, if we take Him to be the ultimate origin of existence, is not. I therefore would not expect anyone with a scientific mind to accept His existence, since this would require faith from someone who will (quite rightly imho) demand argument and evidence. He is, however, defensible as an approximation to the truth, and may often, as Shankara and others have suggested, be indespensible for reaching it. On this basis I would defend the idea of the grace of God, the love of God, the infinite compassion of God and so forth, not as an ultimate view, but as a close approximation to it and vastly useful and important for that reason.

 

Does that help clarify our differences?

Edited by PeterJ
Link to post
Share on other sites
Fair enough. I would roughly agree. But there are three or four different meanings of 'faith', and they do not all mean believing in any old nonsense.

I didn't say that faith meant "believing in any old nonsense," so that would be a strawman of my position against which you've chosen to argue.

 

I said, "Faith is little more than claiming to know things you do not know, and it is not equivalent to the concept of hope."

 

Now, here is the challenge for you. Name for us ANY one of those "three or four different meanings of faith" you reference that do not mean "pretending to know something you do not know" and wherein the definition you share is not, in fact, better describing the term "hope" than the term "faith."

 

Ready? Go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I said, "Faith is little more than claiming to know things you do not know, and it is not equivalent to the concept of hope."

I my humble oinion, faith is beleving something that you don't know to be true.

 

For exmaple; a man may have faith that his wifeisn't cheating on him when she's not in his presence. Yes. Sometimes this proves false.

 

A particulr physicist may have faith that a particular element was discovered after readingaout it i s science journal. And yes again. Sometimes this has been proven false too.

 

Nope. Don't feel like doing your work for you. Try a dictionary.

The question is what you believe it means. Not what we find that we'd think you mean. For that reason its up to you to do the work.

Edited by pmb
Link to post
Share on other sites

I my humble oinion, faith is beleving something that you don't know to be true.

What value does it add to call that "faith?" You're just describing a "belief," not faith. The two often overlap (like faith and hope), but they are not equivalent. You said it yourself... "faith is believing something that...." Well, no... IMO, that's just "believing" something about... not faith.

 

Faith represents more than just "belief." It represents claiming to know something you do not know, and is not equivalent to either belief or hope.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I my humble oinion, faith is beleving something that you don't know to be true.

 

For exmaple; a man may have faith that his wifeisn't cheating on him when she's not in his presence. Yes. Sometimes this proves false.

 

A particulr physicist may have faith that a particular element was discovered after readingaout it i s science journal. And yes again. Sometimes this has been proven false too.

Yes. This'll do for me. Just the usual meanings. I have faith the sun will rise tomorrow. You have faith in your definition of faith. Someone else has faith in their piano teacher. etc etc. I'm not sure why it would be necessary to repeat the definition for such a well known word. The main thing is that it is not knowledge, and that's proabably the main issue.

 

The thing is, faith may be derived from knowledge to some extent, and this is important. My faith in the sunrise is based on a lot of previous instances of regular sunrises. Faith is a vital issue for sportsmen, who must believe in themselves, and who find that such a faith gives them strength and has a measurable impact on their performance. Humanists ask us to have faith in ourselves. So does the Buddha. We have lost our faith in the banks etc. These are subtlely different situations and make it difficult to criticise faith per se, only particular instances of it.

 

Seems to be a side issue.

Edited by PeterJ
Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a "belief" that the sun will rise tomorrow... Maybe even a "hope" that the sun will rise. You have a "hope" that you are strong enough to win the competition or beat your competitor, or a "belief" that you are better than an opponent. These are not faith, though. Faith is to claim you know something that you do not know.

 

You don't have "faith" in your piano teacher. You have "confidence" in them, or "hope" that they will do well. You do not accept the idea that they exist based on no evidence alone. You, like others, are merely putting forth conflations that obfuscate the issue. We're quite obviously talking about one form of faith... and that is the form where people claim to know something they do not know.

Link to post
Share on other sites

.... Faith represents more than just "belief."

I agree. Where did you get the idea that what I said implied differently?

 

It represents claiming to know something you do not know, and is not equivalent to either belief or hope.

I dsagree. This time let's simply refer to the dictionary and be done with it.

 

From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith

confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.

4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.

5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/faith

Faith - Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/believe

belief - 1: To accept as true or real ...1: To have firm faith, especially religious faith.

 

I sent you the URL http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/faith/. Did you take a brief look at it?

.

•the ‘belief’ model: faith as belief that God exists

•the ‘trust’ model: faith as belief in (trust in) God

•the ‘doxastic venture’ model: faith as practical commitment beyond the evidence to one's belief that God exists

•the ‘sub-doxastic venture’ model: faith as practical commitment without belief

.

Faith as belief

...

 

I can't quote them all since the word belief appears in that page 80 times.

 

Pete

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the definition of "faith" needs to be expanded slightly to: belief in something without evidence that you do not and cannot know.

 

The examples of human trust and science results are all things that can be known given the acquisition of more data. The fundamental characteristic of faith is that there is nothing that can illuminate the belief.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see I was wrong to refer to the dictionary, and that pmb wasted all his effort citing them. Completely pointless. Apparently they are all wrong. Now we can only have faith in something we cannot know, but only if we claim we do know. Someone better phone the OED to inform them of the change.

 

Is there a purpose to this discussion or are we all just lonely?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see I was wrong to refer to the dictionary, and that pmb wasted all his effort citing them. Completely pointless. Apparently they are all wrong. Now we can only have faith in something we cannot know, but only if we claim we do know. Someone better phone the OED to inform them of the change.

 

Is there a purpose to this discussion or are we all just lonely?

 

Indeed, because the OED is the official arbiter of language (not at all an impartial, descriptivist observer), and the fundamental character of theology is necessarily defined by people with no direct interest in the discussion rather than those who wish to set some ground rules before carrying on. Forgive me, let us surrender to the wisdom of the Holy OED.

 

The point here is that while there may be generally accepted vernacular uses of the word "faith" that involve anything we simply do not know, we cannot use this definition in an argument about theology because it allows believers to surreptitiously equate their superstitions with belief in natural, terrestrial things that they do not "know" with certainty, and that is entirely disingenuous. If you must use a word other than "faith", then by all means suggest one, but a definition cannot be used that equates religious belief with ordinary trust.

Edited by Polednice
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I understand your point, but will stick to the idea that we should use the usual meanings of words, as outlined in dictionaries, whether we believe in God or not. Are you suggesting that religious people aren't allowed to use the same definition as anyone else?

 

Can we not all agree that we do not have the right to re-define words on some whim or other and move on?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I understand your point, but will stick to the idea that we should use the usual meanings of words, as outlined in dictionaries, whether we believe in God or not. Are you suggesting that religious people aren't allowed to use the same definition as anyone else?

 

Can we not all agree that we do not have the right to re-define words on some whim or other and move on?

 

The redefinitions suggested on this page are not extreme, and rather than being obfuscating, they're intended to be clarifying. You will surely accept that dictionaries provide multiple definitions of words, so if we persist with "faith", it is nevertheless important to make vital distinctions, and so we should at least be talking about Faith Type A and Faith Type B.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Gnostic point of view, faith == ignorance, you either have knowledge of god and know that he exists or you don't have any knowledge of god and do not know he exist. Faith is more of a practical commitment towards god, it doesn't mean we have to completely accept his existence and start believing in him blindly, this is of no use, its darkness, its ignorance. Whether one is willing to show a practical commitment towards god is left to the individual depending on his interpretations on the available data and evidence.

Edited by immortal
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.