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View Diary: Is there a God? (With Poll) (279 comments)

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  •  Voltaire failed. (6+ / 0-)

    He needed to take his argument one step further.

    If God did not exist.

    Then it would be necessary to invent him.

    Which We did.

    You might wonder why the Abrahamic God, so well mirrors the development of humankind.  In the early passages, God is prideful, vengeful, Genocidal with no love for his creation.  As the societies in which God manifested it's presence developed.  God's nature changed and adapted, less vengeful and destructive.  Tending towards warnings and forgiveness.   In the later texts, This God is transformed into a God of love, caring for his people, reflecting the increasing sophistication of the cultures where he is manifested.  God so well mirrors the development of humanity, because he is the product of that development.

    To paraphrase,
    When I was a child, I believed childish things, but when I grew up, I put away those childish beliefs and became an adult.  Capable of rational thought, and able to understand that all of my actions have consequences.  I should, and try to, chose a course that maximises the beneficial consequences, because, in the long run they will benefit me.  Humanity is growing up.  It is painful, and there is serious resistance.  This is not surprising, leaving the comfort of childhood is scary, and some fail.  But most succeed, and we all grow because of it.

    In all of the world's problems religion has never been the solution

    by Tailgunner30uk on Sat May 18, 2013 at 01:07:00 PM PDT

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    •  Agreed. We did that. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paradise50, figbash, ZedMont, mimi

      We reinvent our deities and beliefs according to myriad social and cultural factors.

      Voltaire lived and wrote during, and helped bring about, what we're fond of calling The Enlightenment or The Age of Reason.

      We humans are capable of much hubris.

      In my view we will continue to reshape and reinvent our mythologies for aeons.

      Tofu knows nothing but what is good for you. -- dharmasyd

      by Darryl House on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:11:35 PM PDT

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      •  I hope not, and doubt, (5+ / 0-)

        That this process will continue for aeons.  I think that we are at the breaking dawn of a new enlightenment.  The process of growing up may take decades, but it is happening and will continue and accelerate.

        As a well subscribed YouTuber likes to say, "The internet is where religions come to die."  And I think this is true.  What is said from the pulpit is seen as a powerful message.  The messenger is set above the flock, in a position of authority.  The flock is a guest in that house, and, as wanting to remain part of the flock, unwilling to question.  Brought to the public forum of the internet, that powerful rhetoric becomes the braying of asses, a discordant cacophony of blather and noise, challenged, and questioned because it is removed from the safety of the church, mosque or other place of worship and exposed to the searing light of reason, disdain and cynicism.

        I have heard it said that Islam is the fastest growing religion, and this might be true, but only because Christianity and the other main religions are slowing.  What is never said, is the true reality, that non-belief is growing faster.  There are those that still perform the ritual, bow their heads in reverent supplication, listen to the righteous pontifications from the pulpit.  But that number is shrinking and the greater part of those are the ones who do it out of habit or fear or are simply hedging their bets.

        In all of the world's problems religion has never been the solution

        by Tailgunner30uk on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:35:07 PM PDT

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        •  Questioning (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darryl House, Tim DeLaney, paradise50

          "The flock is a guest in that house, and, as wanting to remain part of the flock, unwilling to question."

          I read once that the difference between a religion and a cult, is that a religion allows you to ask questions.

          At my last church, if I disagreed with something my pastor or group leader said, I argued with him. The pastor of my current church hasn't said anything I disagree with yet, or I would argue with her. Demanding that the leader's views be accepted without question is a quality of the right, not of religion.

          •  I deliberately chose the word unwilling. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paradise50

            Thank you for your comment, however as I state above, I was specific in my choice of phrase.  I might be wrong about your church, but I think if you treated your time of worship as a public forum, to challenge the fundamental tenets of of its belief, you would be quickly asked to leave.

            Also, the same conversation, even in private, might well result in the question of your future attendance being raised.  You might well be asked if there was another place of worship, that better fit your position and beliefs.  As I say I do not know your  church or pastor and accept that I might be wrong.

            I am glad however that you find peace, and the answers you seek from your belief.  But I would argue, there is more wonder to be beheld from the contemplation of a single blade of grass than all of the primitive superstitions written in a 1600 year old collection of fables and fairy tales.

            In all of the world's problems religion has never been the solution

            by Tailgunner30uk on Sun May 19, 2013 at 01:30:05 AM PDT

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      •  Well, there's a lot of historical evidence to (4+ / 0-)

        support Darryl's theory, just considering Christianity alone:

        In my view we will continue to reshape and reinvent our mythologies for aeons.
        I've seen during my own lifetime diverse evolutions of a single religion - Christianity - that in their worst manifestations render the term "Christian" a meaningless word.

        And remember, there have been thousands of gods throughout history (if not prehistory), most of which have vanished from the face of the earth forever.  But in their time they were the bee's knees.

        Yeah, Darryl has it right.

        Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

        by ZedMont on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:07:59 PM PDT

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