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Can the belief of the existence of a supreme being ever be proved?
Yes 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
No 29%  29%  [ 20 ]
Of course, I am the living proof! 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
Only if Invisible Pink Unicorns can also be proved 20%  20%  [ 14 ]
Look around you! the evidence of an intelligent designer 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
God is the universe and the universe is God 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
AG is a strident semi-god 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
I can't say, perhaps tomorrow we can prove it 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
I am not sure 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
All of the above 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
None of the above 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Half of the above 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
other 1%  1%  [ 1 ]
View results 6%  6%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 70

techstepgenr8tion
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29 Jul 2010, 10:47 am

pandorazmtbox wrote:
I stand corrected, the Church didn't excommunicate him--although many believe he was. He was place under house arrest in his old age and forced to publicly recant his 1632 book: Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems – Ptolemaic and Copernican. He did so, and the official stance of the work was that it had been heretical (which simply means a false teaching which could mislead followers in their faith). His work was not incorrect, in fact what I was referencing was the fact that the Church publicly reversed its position and apologized to Galileo in 1992--my understanding that they actually reversed an excommunication was incorrect.

"In 1971, the Apollo 15 astronauts dropped a hammer and a feather in the near-vacuum of the Moon. The two objects plummeted to the lunar surface, untroubled by air resistance, and landed at precisely the same moment, proving Galileo correct 328 years after his death.

The Catholic Church took a little longer. In 1979, Pope John Paul II set up a committee to study the Galileo case, and five years later, its findings were made public. But it wasn't until 1992 that the Vatican finally admitted that Galileo had been right."
http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... lileo.html


That whole situation seems like an unfortunate application of Paulian thought - ie. that more advanced or even more correct understandings of reality needed to be put under the carpet, by those who perhaps had the ability to accept these facts and still not have their faith effected, due to the notion that those weaker in the faith might have their faith attacked by it. That teaching by Paul has been a double-edged sword, the negative being that the church was stuck in a position of being anti-progress. I get the impression that the declaration of Gnostic writing as heresy might have been a very similar sort of maneuver.



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29 Jul 2010, 11:08 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
pandorazmtbox wrote:
I stand corrected, the Church didn't excommunicate him--although many believe he was. He was place under house arrest in his old age and forced to publicly recant his 1632 book: Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems – Ptolemaic and Copernican. He did so, and the official stance of the work was that it had been heretical (which simply means a false teaching which could mislead followers in their faith). His work was not incorrect, in fact what I was referencing was the fact that the Church publicly reversed its position and apologized to Galileo in 1992--my understanding that they actually reversed an excommunication was incorrect.

"In 1971, the Apollo 15 astronauts dropped a hammer and a feather in the near-vacuum of the Moon. The two objects plummeted to the lunar surface, untroubled by air resistance, and landed at precisely the same moment, proving Galileo correct 328 years after his death.

The Catholic Church took a little longer. In 1979, Pope John Paul II set up a committee to study the Galileo case, and five years later, its findings were made public. But it wasn't until 1992 that the Vatican finally admitted that Galileo had been right."
http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... lileo.html


That whole situation seems like an unfortunate application of Paulian thought - ie. that more advanced or even more correct understandings of reality needed to be put under the carpet, by those who perhaps had the ability to accept these facts and still not have their faith effected, due to the notion that those weaker in the faith might have their faith attacked by it. That teaching by Paul has been a double-edged sword, the negative being that the church was stuck in a position of being anti-progress. I get the impression that the declaration of Gnostic writing as heresy might have been a very similar sort of maneuver.


I think measures should be taken that those who are new in their faith don't feel they should be swayed OUT of the faith. In my personal view of life in the faith, if you struggle with something and you feel the need to remain ignorant about something, by all means get away from whatever is causing the problem. I think that faith is something that has to be built up over time, and the more experienced faithful have to be careful around new converts.

I'm not afraid of my beliefs being ripped apart in the forums, for example. If I have trouble with something that comes up in debate, I can always just leave, forget about it for a while, study the issue that I'm struggling with, and come back later. Further, newer converts always seem to be the most zealous. So if a new convert understands that drinking too much is considered sinful behavior, why on earth would I invite the guy out for a beer? OK, the Bible does not prohibit drinking entirely, but my actions might be seen as misleading. Mixed signals do not bode well for a new believer.

Now, the Church, if it is teaching the truth, really has no reason to fear anything. The movement of the earth is truly irrelevant to scripture. By switching from Ptolemaic theory to Copernican theory, the Church does no harm. The truth of the Bible isn't contradicted at all. If a FEW people get in a tizzy and leave the church over denial of a scientific fact, let them go. Truth is truth, and if the Church can't acknowledge that, why should people assume it has any authority in spiritual matters as well?

Yeah, I know that runs counter to what I wrote earlier, but it's a different perspective. Any church should favor progress with the understanding that progress does not diminish spiritual truth. What I mean is that scientific or historical progress has never really compromised scripture, and the believer has no reason to expect it to.

The difference with the Gnostics doesn't have anything to do with progress or lack thereof. The problem with Gnosticism is the reliance on secret knowledge as the basis for salvation. This is in contradiction with the idea that Christ died for the salvation of all in that no amount of "knowledge" may keep one from receiving salvation. "Secret" knowledge means only those elite few who are initiated into an order are eligible. Christ's teachings, by contrast, were always public. Sometimes Christ DID speak in seemingly mysterious parables or riddles and did not explain the meaning to the crowds, but rather chose to explain their meanings to His disciples. But we also know through the "Great Commission" that Christ's intentions were that His teaching become widespread, no secrets kept from anyone. This would be because salvation was not intended to be kept from anyone.

Now, if the Gnostics were right and Jesus DID reveal knowledge that was to be kept secret, then this contradicts His statements that he hadn't kept anything from His followers. The only "secret" I recall other than certain parables explained to the disciples is a miraculous healing in which He told the man not to tell anyone about what happened but go straight to the priests to be declared "clean," and one can safely assume the purpose for this was so that the man would be in keeping with Hebrew law. So if, according to the Gnostics, Jesus DID keep secrets when Jesus clearly said he DIDN'T keep secrets in the canonical gospels, then that makes Jesus a liar. If Jesus was lying about one, how may we believe He was being honest about the other? A shady character like that isn't worthy of any kind of commitment. Therefore, Jesus' teachings as recorded in the canon must be reliable as taught by tradition. I'm not a believer in tradition for tradition's sake, but this happens to be one instance of the tradition being correct.



Last edited by AngelRho on 29 Jul 2010, 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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29 Jul 2010, 11:12 am

AngelRho wrote:
Right. But what about the tides?

Look, the statement I made about Galileo burning in hell for centuries (yes, it was 400 years, not 500 like I originally said :roll: ) was an example, but it was also a joke. If you believe in heaven, hell, God and all...doesn't it seem hilarious that some human, here on earth, could put you in or out of hell based on whether they thought your life's work was heresy? To me, the idea is really funny. Okay, so as you pointed out, he wasn't excommunicated, just publicly humiliated and his life's work blacklisted--point taken.

Newton was also wrong about some things, as was Einstein--as is every scientist that has ever been or ever will be. That was kind of my point way back there. Even the best science is fallible, and it is part of the "method" to regularly assess those issues and improve on 'what we accept as truth'. I make no point about where Galileo was right or wrong, only that religious institutions, religions and the religious (in general) might be better served to allow such assessments in their assertions as well.

AngelRho wrote:
Demonizing the church for something as silly as the Ptolemaic/Copernican debate is unnecessary, and the idea that it is indicative of the evils of the Catholic church is unjustified.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...hold on there, Cowboy. I'm not demonizing anyone or anything here, and lifting my statement into an argument about the evils of the Church is really taking it far out of context.


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29 Jul 2010, 11:56 am

pandorazmtbox wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
Right. But what about the tides?

Look, the statement I made about Galileo burning in hell for centuries (yes, it was 400 years, not 500 like I originally said :roll: ) was an example, but it was also a joke. If you believe in heaven, hell, God and all...doesn't it seem hilarious that some human, here on earth, could put you in or out of hell based on whether they thought your life's work was heresy? To me, the idea is really funny. Okay, so as you pointed out, he wasn't excommunicated, just publicly humiliated and his life's work blacklisted--point taken.

Newton was also wrong about some things, as was Einstein--as is every scientist that has ever been or ever will be. That was kind of my point way back there. Even the best science is fallible, and it is part of the "method" to regularly assess those issues and improve on 'what we accept as truth'. I make no point about where Galileo was right or wrong, only that religious institutions, religions and the religious (in general) might be better served to allow such assessments in their assertions as well.

AngelRho wrote:
Demonizing the church for something as silly as the Ptolemaic/Copernican debate is unnecessary, and the idea that it is indicative of the evils of the Catholic church is unjustified.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...hold on there, Cowboy. I'm not demonizing anyone or anything here, and lifting my statement into an argument about the evils of the Church is really taking it far out of context.


OK, Cowgirl, point taken, and I never said YOU demonized anyone. It's possible you might be jumping to conclusions. All I was saying is that the case of Galileo is often used by Church opponents to make a point about how the Church opposes science and progress when it's actually the opposite that's true.

Truce?



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29 Jul 2010, 4:25 pm

AngelRho wrote:
Now, if the Gnostics were right and Jesus DID reveal knowledge that was to be kept secret, then this contradicts His statements that he hadn't kept anything from His followers. The only "secret" I recall other than certain parables explained to the disciples is a miraculous healing in which He told the man not to tell anyone about what happened but go straight to the priests to be declared "clean," and one can safely assume the purpose for this was so that the man would be in keeping with Hebrew law. So if, according to the Gnostics, Jesus DID keep secrets when Jesus clearly said he DIDN'T keep secrets in the canonical gospels, then that makes Jesus a liar. If Jesus was lying about one, how may we believe He was being honest about the other? A shady character like that isn't worthy of any kind of commitment. Therefore, Jesus' teachings as recorded in the canon must be reliable as taught by tradition. I'm not a believer in tradition for tradition's sake, but this happens to be one instance of the tradition being correct.

I tend not to believe that its a matter of what a person can be saved by - Jesus said that anyone who accepts his sacrifice and takes him as lord and savior is taken care of (stipulations past that of course are open for debate).

The way I tend to think of it though - there are those of the faith who are fine with emotional homilies and a very simplistic set of answers just as there are those who have a nagging intelligence that pushes them to reach for a greater and greater understanding of the world around them, what it all means, they're trying to grasp at context because they ultimately and inwardly need more. Supposedly, and I agree with this statement, God does not change. However, what God tells the world based on its level of development, does based on what people are ready for - which is based on their level of self-cognition. If there is an esoteric rendition of Chrisitianity in something like, say, the Tripartite Tractate it seems like its a matter of catering to different groups with different spiritual and intellectual needs. I believe that, God as the author of the whole story and existing outside of time, there's no such thing as an accident - much like I believe that prayer being answered by those who have faith is something that works in that it runs in reverse, ie. it is answered as the faith to pray for something is given by the author himself. The Nag Hammadi resurfacing I think just gives more nuance to those who need more details - its not about being intellectually better or perhaps spiritually weaker and thus needing more intellectual answers, IMO its just a different state of internal affairs per person. Just like you have one person who's built to be a great soldier, police officer, fire fighter, public servant, foreign aid worker, you also have people wired to be great musicians, accountants, tech workers, things that may indirectly seem to have little relation to the local paradigm of what's thought of as ultimately noble or useful in the bottom line sense - we're all different, which I don't think is an accident either - its fundamentally necessary for a world that functions.


Am I saying though that God may have further revisions to the message? It wouldn't surprise me, my guess is that for every new challenge he gives us he also deepens and broadens our tools to work with it. I've read a lot of Charles Capps recently and one of his books I found especially interesting was his book on end times revelation - not because I care that much about Armagheddon but because I've wanted to know what the purpose of now is, the 2000 years after Christ. His take is the maturation of the church and from the argument he layed out I'm quite willing to go with that one as his argument makes a lot of intuitive sense, past what he even specifically frames. Also, I don't know if your familiar with Michael Novak's 'No One Sees God', that's another thing where, in reading it, I walked away with the notion I've always had reinforced - ie. that this is a guided journey of progress for us as a race of spiritual beings. If we were supposed to keep the world and ourselves exactly the same it doesn't seem like world events and sophistication of human contact and technology as well as the associated challenges would keep progressing forward the way they do.



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29 Jul 2010, 4:59 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
<snip>there are those of the faith who are fine with emotional homilies and a very simplistic set of answers just as there are those who have a nagging intelligence that pushes them to reach for a greater and greater understanding of the world around them<snip>


Regardless of my heavy handed snip, it seems as though the body of your text suggests different religions for different intellects. Not just for greater and lesser intelligences, but various faiths and truths for different cognitive styles.

Correct?


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techstepgenr8tion
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29 Jul 2010, 5:08 pm

Fuzzy wrote:
Regardless of my heavy handed snip, it seems as though the body of your text suggests different religions for different intellects. Not just for greater and lesser intelligences, but various faiths and truths for different cognitive styles.

Correct?

I lean more toward the cognitive styles than intelligence. Different cognitive styles pose different conflicts and bring up different needs.



techstepgenr8tion
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30 Jul 2010, 11:10 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Regardless of my heavy handed snip, it seems as though the body of your text suggests different religions for different intellects. Not just for greater and lesser intelligences, but various faiths and truths for different cognitive styles.

Correct?

I lean more toward the cognitive styles than intelligence. Different cognitive styles pose different conflicts and bring up different needs.

Actually, Fuzz, looking back I don't really like this answer, I think its oversimplified.

The best way I'd put my thoughts together on it is this; most world religions or organized stances of nonreligion are all prisms for man's reflection back upon himself. As there are no accidents and everything is of God it means that they're all here for a reason just like the people who follow them. Do I believe that there are correct and incorrect religious viewpoints? Absolutely - many are in direct conflict and with a 1:1 reality there is A specific truth. However when I mention factually incorrect religions I think of them this way - God set them in place first on the grounds of the needs that the society's they represent have. Could he have possibly talked out of all sides of his mouth and been behind most of the religions out there (perhaps even flown a jet fighter to an Island as John Frum?) - maybe not in all cases but in the larger ones I think yes, just like with the smaller ones his hand was in the influence.

My analogy of what I think God is doing - we have a path to development we're on. He has different mile markers that he sets in place as we advance and things change. When he feels like we've progressed in certain ways but old formats are holding us back he uses certain prisms to sort of creatively-destroy the old norms and modify them to fit a more updated motif. A lot of the views out there that act as prisms, while not meant to be wholly correct, have a counterpoint to the majority view which is needed, brings a debate to the table that needs to be had, in order for society to progress as he wishes. It's kind of like curling - we're the puck, everything he throws at us is much like him sweeping the ice and keeping it all on path. I speak of course in Judao-form because my beliefs are generally as such; ie. I still believe in a something of a trinity, just that I probably have more of a modified-Gnostic outlook (mixed with a dash of occult perhaps), not a ratio I picked to buck any trends, I've just done a lot of digging and this is where it seems to lead me.

Hope that's a better or more complete answer.



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01 Aug 2010, 5:14 am

greenblue wrote:
Evidence Please? :P





Neither the existence nor non-existence of God, G-D, god or the gods can be demonstrated empirically. In short the question is pure nonsense. It is purely a matter of belief which is fond hope, wishful thinking and a selective blindness to fact.

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