| Re: |
Then, unfortunately, there is nothing that anyone can do for you. You see, faith is not only the "evidence of things not seen," but it requires a realization that no man is "all knowing" thus requiring an openness to the possibility of being wrong.
Yes, scientific quests for truth rely upon a six or seven step hypothesis tests. However, we are speaking of matters of faith...which, as pointed out, is the evidence of things unseen. Thus, faith cannot be measured or confined to a human argument. For Christians, faith is experienced by coming to God.
The Bible mentions that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Why? Because those who come to him must believe that he is...and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). So, it is just impossible to find God without a degree of faith.
So how did I "find" God -- even as an agnostic young man?
It was an unlikely thing, to say the least. I didn't believe in Christianity...let alone the notion of God (or a god). I saw Christians as typically being weak-minded individuals who were willing to believe anything that they were taught. My own experiences with Christians caused me to view them as gullible people who blindly believed (as you said) a Santa Claus in the sky...and who mostly spent their time fighting and arguing amongst themselves over minuscule sectarian doctrinal issues. I saw religion as a crutch...or an attempt by the elite to exert control over the masses.
However, I was willing to acknowledge (at least, mentally) that there are things that I just don't know. I wasn't an "atheist" because I was fully aware that there was no way to prove that God (or a god) did not exist. I just didn't think that there was any way to prove it. So, I was content without a deity. But, I still had a bit of disbelief regarding, well, my own disbelief. I knew that I was quite sure that God didn't exist...but I was willing to admit that I wasn't completely sure.
Again, the Bible says that God has given each man a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). Now, for me, I think that this "measure of faith" was enough to make me realize my own limitations in regard to, borrowing from Doug Adams, "life, the universe and everything." Moreover, it gave me pause to consider such things and even question them publicly. I also had a fear of death. Not only did I fear just "ceasing to exist," but the "unknown" of it all.
This is when I was willing to fully explore faith. I actually tried "talking" to God (in a rudimentary but honest sort of way)...and told him explicitly that I wasn't even sure that he existed. I asked him to "prove" himself to me. Now, I never saw flashes of light...and I didn't even come to believe in God immediately. In fact, I continued as always. However, this was the beginning of a journey...or process...where I eventually came to believe. About a year later, something wonderful happened. I realized that God DOES exist...and I became a Christian while standing all alone in a field one night. I was overwhelmed by something that cannot be expressed by words.
The things that happened in that year in between were interesting to say the least. However, I won't include those things here. But, it is suffice to say that my disbelief in God gave way to a likelihood that he did exist. For me, there is no longer ANY doubt about the existence of God.
That was all I suggested here. I didn't meant to offend you by the very suggestion. However, you spoke of a scientific quest for truth. As I mentioned, faith is the evidence of things NOT seen. So, the ultimate quest for truth would have to include the consideration that those unseen things are feasible. Otherwise, it is impossible to properly test that aspect of faith (at least, on this side of life and death).
From the vantage point of biblical faith, it takes a willingness to be an actual participant in the quest for faith and spiritual truth rather than by standing on the "outside looking in" trying to measure something that is unseen. If someone isn't willing to do this, then there is nothing that we can do. It isn't a matter of "convincing" anyway. Such perspicacity and realization can only be experienced.
| 2011/4/13 11:55||Profile|
| Re: |
Sorry to get in the middle, but I just wanted to let you know Aaron, that you will be in my prayers.
| 2011/4/13 12:49||Profile|
| Re: |
GOD Bless you Joe. I'm with you on that.
There is no such thing as an Atheist. Agostics yes, but not Atheists.
If they choose that title it's merely because they choose Not to believe in an omniscient personable GOD.
I was raised listening to 3 older sibling's and father's discussions of the sciences. As a child, having to learn 15 lettered words to know what on earth my three brothers were talking about. All three became scientists. Two for our Defense systems and one awarded by a ngo of the UN for an aspect of environmentalism. The top dog now believes in intelligent design, though I haven't had opportunity to ask the other two their thoughts on evolution, it wouldn't surprise me in the least that they may also see intelligent design plausible.
They're skeptics for the most part - keep their scientific habits of mind and just merely wouldn't care to think of their being a GOD who may be smarter than man and a GOD who actually is omniscient enough to intrude into their thought life. Scarey thought for most, we must admit - for GOD to have unlimited access into every thought of every human on earth, entirely and non-stop, I would say.
Also a scarey thought for those in control of any part of this world's resouces, the earth's physical condition, to think that they may be tampering where a GOD would prohibit them.
The reasons are endless, not only for a scientist, physicist and environmental engineer, but even your average agnostic who would prefer to "live his own life" without an interference from some omnipotent yet personal GOD.
I've stated my case against the belief that there are actual "atheists" and I believe that those who read the Word of GOD will see this as well in Romans chpt 1.
An "atheist" has these moments, quicker than the blink of an eye, where they actually 'speak up' to GOD - either through an appeal, question or a curse.
I notice people's writing styles and Aaron, dear human that you are, you use the word "indeed" far too many times.
It's not how you use it - just the quantity that would tend to cause one to believe that you're trying too hard to convince.
You, as my dear brothers & dad, have my prayers that the omnipotent GOD who created all things, will use your environment to cause you to consider Him in a way that will enrich your present time left here on earth and give you Paradise eternally after your body dies ... because He Loves you!
All His Best to you, sincerely & indeed.
| 2011/4/13 13:35|
| Re: |
Science too, is premised upon human fallibility. It is assertion of divine infallibility that is problematical, as is the support thereof, being faith, the Epistemological utility whereof remaining under contention. That's the elephant in the room: Whether participation in faith is evidence of anything, much less the unseen. And that would tend to moot whatever particulars of whatever process thereafter. And the notion that God makes Himself known by such irrationality, likewise remains somewhat circuitous. Moreover, whatever my writing style is thought to demonstrate about me, INDEED, must be dismissed as Ad Hominem.
| 2011/4/13 15:46||Profile|
| Re: |
One prayer, with the understanding of a little child, out-weighs all of your objections.
Our faith cannot be compared to pink elephants. The fact that Jesus walked and talked upon this earth and was resurrected cannot be honestly denied historically.
That He is still working toward a relationship with those who deny His existance is also something you cannot 'prove' as incorrect.
Our prayers are for you -- not to conform you to our image at all - but for you to enjoy the sole purpose of why this Jesus would willingly give up his life and merely asked that we believe like a child.
Some of us are enjoying this chance for a second yet great childhood.
Blessings to you Aaron!
| 2011/4/13 16:01|
| Re: |
And that would tend to moot whatever particulars of whatever process thereafter. And the notion that God makes Himself known by such irrationality, likewise remains somewhat circuitous. Moreover, whatever my writing style is thought to demonstrate about me, INDEED, must be dismissed as Ad Hominem.
...and you will never know whether it really is "irrational" or "circuitous" if you fail to test it by experience and simply dismiss it as mere "argumentum ad hominem."
Like I said, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. It is literally believing in what is unseen.
What would it hurt if you were to voice your own disbelief to this unseen God and honestly ask him -- whether you perceive that he is there or not -- to reveal himself to you? Yes, it might give a certain degree of credence to the possibility of his existence...but so what? It is, after all, merely a possibility. If, as you suggest, he doesn't exist, then nothing will ever come of it. If, however, he does exist, then it could be the beginning of a remarkable journey of discovery.
As I said before, you will be in my prayers.
| 2011/4/13 17:04||Profile|
| Re: 7 Arguments Atheists Can't Use by Eli Brayley|
Quote:There's something I don't think you understand here.
the Epistemological utility whereof remaining under contention. That's the elephant in the room: Whether participation in faith is evidence of anything, much less the unseen.
'Faith', is not a leap in the dark. It is simply the element created in your understanding when you hear God speaking to you. Once He has said something you understand, a) He will know you understood it, and b) you will find yourself able to believe it.
So, you could do as Chris suggested and speak to Him.
Or, you could open a Bible and read the story for yourself, listening to hear what God begins to say to you.
| 2011/4/13 17:49|
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Science too, is premised upon human fallibility.
I think the problem with the Atheist 'scientific' approach is they want to interpret the universe throught prism of concepts and values they have already established, which prevents them from seeing, or accepting, anything that breaks their 'rules'. Even Einstein met with resistance to his then superior theories because they went against the scientific understanding of his day.
Another illustration is "Bees can't fly according to aerodynamic science". If you had never seen a bee fly, and only heard anecdotal evidence of bee flight would your "faith" be in the unproven anecdotal evidence or the aerodynamic "science" of that time? (I know science has since moved on and made peace with the bees).
Science needs to be prepared to recontruct all their concepts from the ground up if new contradicting information appears. As one quote says, "All scientific theories are wrong, some are useful". (Can't remember the author). Unfortunately I suspect not all scientists have this level of humility or honesty. Ssome corners of science appear to have become cults in their own right especially if you examine the cultish hatred of some towards those that present opposing view points. They remind me of some religious leaders who know which side their bread is buttered on rather than being as honest as they should be.
And yes, Religion also needs to be prepared to reconstruct. I have enough personal evidence to establish that God exists, and that which goes beyond the gap-filling of my wishful thinking, but I also know that my concept of God is incomplete, and will change over years.
I can't and don't expect you to adopt my experience as your own (especially as this is the Internet!) but I can tell you that I have seen bees fly and that God has proven his existence to me beyond what my premordial Dawkin-ish instincts can conjure.
I have no Boy Scout badges to earn by trying to convince you of what I believe. Neither you, nor anyone else on this forum, knows me personally (as far as I'm aware).
| 2011/4/13 22:21||Profile|
| Re: AaronAgassi |
Please furnish me(us)with a detailed explanation of what you believe;
Pertaining to the past specifically, please answer such questions as who,what,when,why,where and how if able,and/or if such is relative in your mind.
Pertaining to the present specifically, as one who is a self-proclaimed a-theist, I'd ask you is there any purpose to human life in the universe,in your mind? If so, please explain.
Pertaining to the future specifically, do you have any hope for what lies after you or any lie down into our graves? Or is it a non-issue with you in your mind?
Thanks for reading this and considering answering it.
Whether you answer it on this forum or no, I'm certain it has reached your mind for consideration,at least.
| 2011/4/14 0:07||Profile|
| Re: |
Best individual long term future hope of survival, if I understand you savannah, seems to lie with radical life extension and the admitted long shot of Cryonics as a fallback. I don't understand your question about the past. And as to purpose, it will be easier to refer you to my personal website: http://www.FoolQuest.com
Else: To make a fine point, certainly faith can indeed be compared to pink elephants, as is evidenced by how I have actually raised particular apparent similarities. What remains to be seen, if such prima fascia similarities can be refuted, or more precisely, if there are also important differences that may be contrast, without recourse to circuitous reasoning or wounded indignation. As for proof, proof only exists in logic, and of validity, being internal logical consistence. Whereas, science deals in Empirical evidentiary support, again the burden whereof being upon the positive. The historicity of Jesus is indeed in dispute, but more importantly, the importance whereof to begin with. The mythological supernatural elements remain to faith for Jesus no less than for previous strikingly similar preceding figures, some likewise claiming historicity.
Again, is the test of experience in any way reliable? And why would it be? Epistemology remains the proverbial elephant in the room. That is no Ad Hominem. That is honesty, if you have the courage. As for honestly asking God, is that possible without first believing in God, or at least first taking the possibility seriously? Because, honestly, I don't. You have built up straw men, and put distorted words into the mouth of Scientific Rationalism of Atheism. Therefore I would first rebuke you all to recant all such false witness. Science values honest controversy. So I put it to you, how would you honestly ask Santa Clause? Answer that in order better to define what you ask of me. Unless, of course, what you really want, is for me to participate in faith, with all of its unsupportable bias, not only to cultivate and become receptive to neurologically natural animistic thinking, but then to take it all at face value, that isn't even actually face value, but cultural interpretation. You ask me to accept not your experience but my own, only after that experience has been shaped by the very terms of the so-called experiment, in other words: by indoctrination. Frankly. I'd rather you remain the test subjects for me to observe more objectively.
The perfection and certitude even so often even somewhat scoundrelously promised by religion is both impossible and unnecessary. And any attempt to infuse religion or Theology with scientific skepticism, is inevitably constrained by faith and dogma by any other name. Though I offer no defense for cult-like bad science of scientific orthodoxies, indeed sometimes religiously inspired: Whereas scientific striving closer to truth, indeed: less wrong, certainly does seek to build upon previous work, and without striving to begin free from bias or else in certainly, rather striving only for honest objectivity by the ongoing detection and correction of error so inescapable to the human condition, by contrast religion and Theology pretend that mystical experience is primary and unbiased. But that is simply not so. Being that it is the mind that experiences, even the understanding of mystical experience is immediately shaped by context.
Otherwise, true overwhelming mystical experience may even take the form of a fugue state scarcely even retendered. Therefore, even though I accept the phenomena of all such experience, nevertheless none of that makes any sense, except by the classical notion of the unbeliever willfully and perniciously turning away from the true God. Which of course, firstly assumes the existence of God and His supernatural evidence to the soul. Which is not just circuitous reasoning, but even somewhat bigoted. For that matter, God is often condemned out of righteous indignation. For such anguish is a reoccurring motif of inner struggle. Not to digress however, as for the longing for God, actually, does everyone? And does wishing make it so? Perhaps the longing for God is better treated as metaphor for thirst for justice including honesty. The literal supernatural often strips the sentiment of actual appealing value that calls out at all.
| 2011/4/14 5:25||Profile|