1. Colorado
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    17 Oct '05 02:423 edits
    Every religion defines God a little bit differently, and everywhere it seems that people are trying to find God in the scripture. I would argue that defining God is not the same as understanding God.

    If a person where to experience London for example, if that person was an architect, he might describe the city in terms of the buildings he saw. If that person were a gardener he might describe the cities parks. If he was a politician he might describe the needs of the people of London. In this way each religion describes God differently.

    I don't believe that any scripture can cause a person to understand God. Just as an orange needs to be tasted and not explained by words to be understood, a person must experience God to understand God.

    The goal of religion therefore would not be to define God accurately, or to require a person to study reams of scripture all their life, but to instill in people the desire to find God within themselves.

    Luke 17:21 "...for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

    If Jesus spoke the truth here then why do so many people feel it's necessary to turn to external sources to find God? Church, preachers, scripture, etc, it doesn't seem like any of these sources is likely to reveal God.

    Rather than focus on the external, perhaps religion is here to get us to turn to the internal, and find God within ourselves. If this is true, it kind of makes all the religious wars and trouble pointless. If there is only one Earth, one people, and one God, which religion is right or wrong?
  2. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
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    17 Oct '05 04:50
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    Every religion defines God a little bit differently, and everywhere it seems that people are trying to find God in the scripture. I would argue that defining God is not the same as understanding God.

    If a person where to experience London for example, if that person was an architect, he might describe the city in terms of the buildings he saw. ...[text shortened]... ointless. If there is only one Earth, one people, and one God, which religion is right or wrong?
    I have said it before and I'll say it once more:
    A reasonably sane god would not tell the Jaynes for instance, never
    kill a living thing, life is sacred in my view, then the same god tells
    Christians and Muslims it is ok and in fact demanded, that you kill
    the enemies of Islam or Christ with such true jewels of human
    achievement as the Inquisition, the crusades, the Jihads.
    The only conclusion I can reach from this is: THEY CANNOT ALL BE
    RIGHT and have an extremely high possiblity they are all WRONG.
    You cannot have 7 day creation stories fervently believed by millions
    of people along side of other creation stories like the turtle on the
    back of an elephant or whatever firmly believed in by some other
    race. I firmly believe this: a sane god would say much the same thing
    to every race ever evolved on earth and whatever other planets having
    intelligent life in the universe. Creationists or ID'ers trying to kill
    evolution not for sciences sake but just to foist thier doctrine on
    as many people as they can is not spirituality to me, simply
    power-mongering. Since there are so many thousands of differant
    religions many with diametrically opposed viewpoints, it seems clear to
    me they did not come from the word of a sane god. Perhaps an
    insane god would engender such atrocities across the earth but I would
    much prefer a universe with no god than one insane enought to
    proglumate such vile doctrines as jihads, crusades and inquisitions.
  3. Standard memberOmnislash
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    17 Oct '05 05:02
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    Every religion defines God a little bit differently, and everywhere it seems that people are trying to find God in the scripture. I would argue that defining God is not the same as understanding God.

    If a person where to experience London for example, if that person was an architect, he might describe the city in terms of the buildings he saw. ...[text shortened]... ointless. If there is only one Earth, one people, and one God, which religion is right or wrong?
    I found this to be a very good post. I agree with much that is said here. Kudos. 🙂
  4. Standard memberOmnislash
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    17 Oct '05 05:092 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I have said it before and I'll say it once more:
    A reasonably sane god would not tell the Jaynes for instance, never
    kill a living thing, life is sacred in my view, then the same god tells
    Christians and Muslims it is ok and in fact demanded, that you kill
    the enemies of Islam or Christ with such true jewels of human
    achievement as the Inquisition, t ...[text shortened]... than one insane enought to
    proglumate such vile doctrines as jihads, crusades and inquisitions.
    I think you assume much here my friend. You arguement assumes that everything that is said and done in the name of a God is mandated by that God. These events do not necessitate that the theology is wrong. It is entirely (if not extremely) probable that the fault lay with certain groups of practicioners. There are a great many muslims in history and today who do not agree with jihad. Same is true of Christians and crusades, inquisitions or other "holy warfare".

    I can certainly appreciate where you are coming from. There is much that has been done in the name of God which (I find) irreconcilable with a God of good (or sanity 😉 ). I can only appeal to you not to judge our religions by these actions. I have found that for every nut job religious extremist in the world, there are atleast 10 others of same/similar label who simply use their theology to account for their view of the universe and to promote positive behaviour.

    I believe that The Chess Express has the right idea of internal reflection. All of your points (jihad, crusade, etc.) are extreme examples of the converse (external).

    Best Regards,
    Omnislash
  5. Colorado
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    17 Oct '05 05:182 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I have said it before and I'll say it once more:
    A reasonably sane god would not tell the Jaynes for instance, never
    kill a living thing, life is sacred in my view, then the same god tells
    Christians and Muslims it is ok and in fact demanded, that you kill
    the enemies of Islam or Christ with such true jewels of human
    achievement as the Inquisition, t ...[text shortened]... than one insane enought to
    proglumate such vile doctrines as jihads, crusades and inquisitions.
    Often times, if one looks at the scripture behind an extremists religion, one will find that the scripture does not support what the extremist does. This is not a defect in the scripture but a defect is the psychology of the extremist.

    "I firmly believe this: a sane god would say much the same thing
    to every race ever evolved on earth and whatever other planets having
    intelligent life in the universe. Since there are so many thousands of differant religions many with diametrically opposed viewpoints, it seems clear to me they did not come from the word of a sane god."

    There are many different kinds of religions because there are many different kinds of people with many different kinds of needs. Buddha for example often takes flak from Christians because he doesn't mention God. The reason for this is because Buddha's people were far too passively dependent on God's help. Buddha stressed the need for the individual to help themselves.

    "I would much prefer a universe with no god than one insane enought to proglumate such vile doctrines as jihads, crusades and inquisitions."

    Perhaps what you mean is that you would prefer a universe with no people. To err is human. It's because people rely to heavily on scripture rather than search for God within themselves that these things happen. What's divine cannot be explained by human words, and so mistakes and misinterpretations happen. That's kind of the point I was trying to make with this thread.

    Peace 🙂
  6. Cosmos
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    18 Oct '05 11:13
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    Every religion defines God a little bit differently, and everywhere it seems that people are trying to find God in the scripture. I would argue that defining God is not the same as understanding God.

    If a person where to experience London for example, if that person was an architect, he might describe the city in terms of the buildings he saw. ...[text shortened]... ointless. If there is only one Earth, one people, and one God, which religion is right or wrong?
    It is fascinating to read your attempt to explain the fact that there are so many differing descriptions of God.

    Certainly this is a problem for the theist, since a powerful being as God ought to be able to give us humans a unified idea of himself and prevent all the bickering and fighting which arises from religious diagreements.

    So, you give analogies to justify your reasoning.
    The architect's description of the buildings of London, a gardener's description of the gardens of London, a politician's description of the needs of the people of London. You claim these differing points of view resemble the way that people have different ideas of God.

    The analogies are indeed illuminating, in their very failings.

    You see, the difference is that the buildings the gardens and the needs of the people can all be independently confirmed from experience.

    This is because, Unlike God, they all EXIST.
  7. Shetland Primary
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    18 Oct '05 12:31
    Originally posted by howardgee
    It is fascinating to read your attempt to explain the fact that there are so many differing descriptions of God.

    Certainly this is a problem for the theist, since a powerful being as God ought to be able to give us humans a unified idea of himself and prevent all the bickering and fighting which arises from religious diagreements.

    So, you give analog ...[text shortened]... all be independently confirmed from experience.

    This is because, Unlike God, they all EXIST.
    You see, the difference is that the buildings the gardens and the needs of the people can all be independently confirmed from experience.

    This is because, Unlike God, they all EXIST.


    So God cannot be confirmed by experience?
  8. Standard memberHalitose
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    18 Oct '05 12:59
    Originally posted by howardgee
    You see, the difference is that the buildings the gardens and the needs of the people can all be independently confirmed from experience.

    This is because, Unlike God, they all EXIST.
    Methinks God cannot be confirmed independant of experience...

    You cannot have God as a seperate entity that you can run lab tests on... you only have the experiences of His interactions with people.
  9. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    18 Oct '05 14:37
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    Every religion defines God a little bit differently, and everywhere it seems that people are trying to find God in the scripture. I would argue that defining God is not the same as understanding God.

    If a person where to experience London for example, if that person was an architect, he might describe the city in terms of the buildings he saw. ...[text shortened]... ointless. If there is only one Earth, one people, and one God, which religion is right or wrong?
    I applaud your comment about not needing scripture to find God. For that alone you get a rec from me. I'm sorry to see this thread degenerating is so short a time to a bickering about proving God--it's a true shame. I would like to redirect the topic, if I can, to the original subject, that is, the need to find God in churches in Scriptures. Is that truly where the Word of God and the House of God are, or are they only flimsy man-made replacements?
  10. Colorado
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    18 Oct '05 18:251 edit
    Originally posted by howardgee
    It is fascinating to read your attempt to explain the fact that there are so many differing descriptions of God.

    Certainly this is a problem for the theist, since a powerful being as God ought to be able to give us humans a unified idea of himself and prevent all the bickering and fighting which arises from religious diagreements.

    So, you give analog ...[text shortened]... all be independently confirmed from experience.

    This is because, Unlike God, they all EXIST.
    "...a powerful being as God ought to be able to give us humans a unified idea of himself and prevent all the bickering and fighting which arises from religious diagreements."

    I agree with this. I also believe that God has given us a unified idea of himself. There are basic universal truths that most religions share.

    1. Love thy neighbor.

    2. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

    3. Forgive so you may be forgiven.

    4. The law of karma or reap what you sow.

    5. Seek God first and all things will be added onto you.

    6. Lead a moral life (stealing, murder, etc).

    7. Look for God within. etc, etc,

    These are basic human concepts that people can understand about God, and they crop up in most of the world's religions (when I say most, I'm excluding the obvious exceptions such as Satanism). Do these universal guidelines explain God? No, how could they? They merely describe an aspect of him that people can understand. They provide guidelines to how people should live thier lives, and offer a way to experience God directly. To understand God entirely (or to know God), direct experience is necessary.

    As for the second part of your statement, do the things I mentioned above sound like they should lead to war? Of coarse not. Again, imperfect humans trying to make sense of imperfect scripture that cannot explain a perfect God to begin with.

    "You see, the difference is that the buildings the gardens and the needs of the people can all be independently confirmed from experience.

    This is because, Unlike God, they all EXIST."

    Let me ask you this. How do you know that God does not exist? You may say something to the effect of "Why should I spend my whole life searching for flying elephants when there is no proof of them?" Well, good point, but flying elephants have nothing to do with why we are here. Some things are worth searching for in an of themselves.

    Considering that science believes us to be an accident, and that we cease to exist when we die, why not look at some of the more encouraging evidence, say, near death experiences? Better yet, why not conduct your own scientific experiment and see if you can find God within yourself?

    I like that you require evidence before you have faith. St. Paul agrees with this. He says that faith is the proof of things unseen. This is the way that it should be. Blindly believeing in something based on an interpretation of scripture is not proof. Too many people get brainwashed because they let somebody else preach to them about what the scripture says. This happen everywhere and is the cause of many of the pointless wars we have. On the other hand, simply not believing, not having faith, and not doing anything about it won't get you anywhere. Evidence is not likely to be found unless it is searched for. That's the point, to search for God.

    When the Polio virus was plaguing people back at the turn of the last century, did the scientists give up? There wasn't any proof of a cure, so why should they have searched for one? In many ways the lack of God in this world can be compared to a plague. Consider all the trouble, greed, etc,

    Augh crap, I've written a book... 😕
  11. Colorado
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    18 Oct '05 18:34
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    I applaud your comment about not needing scripture to find God. For that alone you get a rec from me. I'm sorry to see this thread degenerating is so short a time to a bickering about proving God--it's a true shame. I would like to redirect the topic, if I can, to the original subject, that is, the need to find God in churches in Scriptures. Is th ...[text shortened]... y where the Word of God and the House of God are, or are they only flimsy man-made replacements?
    See my "Grace vs Self-Effort" thread. I answer this question on the first page, five posts down.
  12. Cosmos
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    19 Oct '05 01:59
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    [b]You see, the difference is that the buildings the gardens and the needs of the people can all be independently confirmed from experience.

    This is because, Unlike God, they all EXIST.


    So God cannot be confirmed by experience?[/b]
    Nope.

    How can you experience something which does not exist?

    Of course, many people THINK they have experienced God. (Such as KEllyJ) - Poor deluded fools.
  13. Standard memberRemoved
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    19 Oct '05 22:171 edit
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    Every religion defines God a little bit differently, and everywhere it seems that people are trying to find God in the scripture. I would argue that defining God is not the same as understanding God.

    If a person where to experience London for example, if that person was an architect, he might describe the city in terms of the buildings he saw. ...[text shortened]... ointless. If there is only one Earth, one people, and one God, which religion is right or wrong?
    I agree with you. Excellent post!
    I have never read the bible. Never had any interest.
    But I experienced God.
    One day I was home alone and I heard a voice. "CB"
    I looked around and saw no one.
    Then I heard it again..."CB"!
    I checked every room, but no one was there except for me.
    Then I heard it again..only louder...."CB"
    So I answered, "Who's there?"
    "God"
    I was very afraid.
    'What do you want?" "Are you really God?"
    "Yes I am"
    I was humbled by His presence. I said"here I am Lord, what can I do?"
    The voice made me feel all warm inside. Now I knew God was real!.
    Anyway, it was quite an experience. We talked all afternoon.
    God comes to different people in different ways.
    This was 2 years ago...He commanded me to worship Him and to sacrafice little puppies on an alter to Him.
    But they could only be white ones.
    I was to do this daily, except on Saturdays.
    Saturdays I had to offer Him a human baby. Had to be under 1 year old. Color didn't matter.
    Sundays I rest and watch football.

    It gets hard sometimes finding white puppies. The babies aren't so bad, cause its only one a week. But its worth it because I am doing His will and I feel fulfilled...........😉
  14. Standard memberDavid C
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    19 Oct '05 22:46
    Originally posted by The Chess Express
    These are basic human concepts that people can understand about God, and they crop up in most of the world's religions.
    Ever consider the idea that our 'basic human concepts' were in place before we decided to create 'god' to explain them? That the reason they crop up in many or all of the world's religions is that they are a condition of our conciousness instead of being divine in nature?
  15. Colorado
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    19 Oct '05 23:071 edit
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    I agree with you. Excellent post!
    I have never read the bible. Never had any interest.
    But I experienced God.
    One day I was home alone and I heard a voice. "CB"
    I looked around and saw no one.
    Then I heard it again..."CB"!
    I checked every room, but no one was there except for me.
    Then I heard it again..only louder...."CB"
    So I answered, " ...[text shortened]... only one a week. But its worth it because I am doing His will and I feel fulfilled...........😉
    Keep reading your scripture bro. It seems to be all you think you know.
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