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About religion

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Intolerance, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Intolerance

    Intolerance IncGamers Member

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    About religion

    Preface: I in no way mean to be anti-religion by asking these questions. I'm not trying to start a religion debate, and I'm definitely not trying to disrespect religion or religious people. I'd just like to get some clarification of an area somewhat foreign to me.


    I don't mean to target Christianity, but focusing on one religion will make it easier to convey my inquiries. I also know that there are multiple Christians who post here, and most are both articulate and insightful. The numbers I've found (this site is a little outdated but the numbers probably haven't changed much) show that about 34% of the world practice some form of Christianity. I couldn't find the exact numbers, but I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that most religious people stay with the faith that they were raised with. If you fall into this 34%, what are your thoughts on the other 66%? Are they just uninformed? Ignorant? Could it be that some other people have religious beliefs that are more valid than yours? Do you research other faiths in hope of understanding other people's beliefs and maybe possibly adopting those beliefs instead of yours? Were you just lucky to have been born in the circumstances you were, where you were raised Christian? Do you think that if you were raised differently (perhaps Agnostic or Muslim, for example) you would have "found" Chrstianity eventually? I know it's all a matter of faith, and I applaud how strong it is in many of you. I know some of these questions are so hypothetical that answering them honestly/fairly is difficult.

    If it matters at all- I am a man of faith. My faith lies in science and the genius of mankind. I take pride in what we have accomplished and look forward to what lies ahead. I know that there are many questions that stand unanswered from a scientific point of view, and each discovery/advancement leads to more questions. I am eager to see what we will learn of ourselves and our universe in the years to come. As it stands, I have no problem saying "we don't understand that yet, but we're working on it." And I have faith that with each passing day, our undertsanding of the world around us and our origins become more complete.
     
  2. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    Good questions. You may want to pop over to the off-topic [WoW] site, and look at the thread on religion there - it's around 5 pages long, and may serve to answer some of your questions. I chanced on this page by clicking the wrong button. I'll offer my 2 cents.

    You're questioning the roots and origins of a person's belief. For my part, I'm a christian. Without getting into my personal background, let's consider the fact that we have no choice as to where or in what context we begin our lives on earth. I have no doubt personally that if I were born in tibet or rural china - or somewhere I would not have access to the Gospel, and if i had no encounter with missionaries, and my life ran its natural course without any divine experience or encounter, and if I was not posessed of a personality that contained the predispositions of curiousity and such, I would not be christian.
    From this, the first aspect being the environment - our personalities are formed by the environment, our biology, so on and so forth. Some people are seekers, some not. Some grew up in a christian environs, some did not. I would propose that we don't have alot of control over these factors at the onset of life - in fact no control. That's up to God, who set the ball in motion from day 1.
    Second aspect being the "finding" of the faith. I suppose I would fit into this category. I was lucky enough to be posessed of a personality that wants the truth, and is willing to suffer for it. Also, to have benefitted from some experiences that lent the gospel to me in a real way. Yet, I persevered in the trials that beseiged me.
    To a large extent, I'd say it's up to God to call us - theres a passage in scripture that speaks of the farmers in the field - they were called out at different times of the day, but in the end got paid equal amounts. Yet, everyone gets their chance to choose for or against Christ, in the way they can understand (and for those who never heard of Christ, one can still choose him).
    With that, I'd emphasize the human choice aspect and being honest with the self. You appear to be in the seeking stage, because of your questions. The question for you is "how much do you want the truth?". We're totally dependent on God for the environment we're in, and to a large extent, our personalities. Yet, we have to choose if we want to be with him or not. The notion of the self made man only extends so far.



    From the above, I wouldn't say you're a man of faith. You're an empiricist. To work on understanding is to have the goal that one day you will fully understand. With this platform, you'll learn alot about what humans by nature "can learn", but you'll never find God, except only in his creation, and as such, many people stop at the creation aspect and dont look beyond it to the creator. I hope that way at least you can be led to that which is beyond your comprehension. ttyl.
     
  3. Draconis

    Draconis IncGamers Member

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    That doesn't mean he doesn't have faith. An empiricist without, say, faith in the validity of scientific method as a tool for increasing understanding, isn't going to get very far. He may not have religious faith, but that's not really what he said.
     
  4. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    Make no mistake, I knew what he was saying. Faith is not a requisite of the empiricist. Scientific method does not require faith, as it dwells in a system of objectively verifiable and obeservable norms. This thread deals with things that by nature transcend that mode of comprehension. You got burninated by a semantic mishap. So, to have faith in something that can be fully understood and under the control of human agency and nature, is not really faith at all. A more appropriate term would be that he does not have faith, but makes use of empirical method.
     
  5. bigD72

    bigD72 IncGamers Member

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    If one thinks they would just happen upon the faith of Christianity if they were raised in a different circumstance, would that not be pre-destination or Calvinism?
    Not sure of the exact surroundings on them in the Bible, but I was pretty sure pre-destination was not to exist, because people are supposed to have choices granted to them by "god."
     
  6. Draconis

    Draconis IncGamers Member

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    If the scientific method didn't rely entirely on certain sets of assumptions, and require faith in their validity, that would be true.
     
  7. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    bigD, My initial post made room for human choice. For my part, I oppose the doctrine of determinism, but I'll also say we don't have radical freedom. This is where we must break from labels and start getting philosophical. I have said - and I recommend readers to practice careful reading - that everone "gets a chance". I never mentioned "happening upon christianity". We dont have radical freedom in the sense that we are bound by time and space constraints, and we have bodies capable of limited perception. Also, we have desires, which are ordered to our good - and I'm sure we can all agree that "the good" means different things to different people. Yet, all this must factor in. We are free in the sense that we're not animals - we have reasoning capabilities (and please dont start a thread on how you think dolphins are smart etc). We can make choices, and our choices are presented to us within our sphere of existence. In that sense, we are determined and not determined by our environment, and by God. It's a very subtle issue. If anyone here likes to read, I'd recommend Pseudo Dionysius' "mystical theology".
     
  8. bigD72

    bigD72 IncGamers Member

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    I think I will check that out, but out of curiosity does that name not mean False Wine god?
     
  9. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    Let me clarify that a bit better. Assumption is not the same uncertainty as faith. To assume is to still be within the framework of logic. Assumption is based on logical premise. Mathematics is an a priori system that's inherently true - we have to assume X sometimes in mathematical formulae. We assume to get an answer - that appears with time and connecting other premises. Yet, its still within a system. What I'm talking about here is beyond any system of comprehension. That's all I'll say on this matter.
     
  10. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    hehe - I dunno :p I dont have a text on the meaning of latin names.
     
  11. iq144

    iq144 IncGamers Member

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    Nono, it's just "pseudo" always means fake, and Dionysius was the greek wine god.

    Determinism, the Russian's pride and joy, was disproved a long time ago with the uncertainty theory-you can't know the way the atoms spin, so you can't fully understand or predict the universe.

    I have my faith, and it is a gift, and I struggle with it and the lassitude in it I see in others. I have my talents, and I know that most of them are god-given, as I am a quite unlikely mix of personality traits and such.

    You have your faith, but may I remind you that man is only good at one thing-finding new ways of torturing and killing other men. That is the sum goal of many human accomplishments. And we can never, ever have full understanding of the universe, as there cannot be determinism.
     
  12. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    LOL That's Dionysus you're thinking of :p (or Dyonysus) - something like that, but Pseudo Dionysius lived around 400 A.D.
     
  13. iq144

    iq144 IncGamers Member

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    Well, I did learn mythology two years ago :p

    I wonder if this thread can be hijacked into useless spam, therefore defusing the flame-bomb....
     
  14. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    lol :p It's been civil so far - you should check out the forum on the WoW section - find it in the off topic. That went 5 pages, with some intense subject matter, and there was no flaming or disrespect.
     
  15. ZeppelinAngel

    ZeppelinAngel IncGamers Member

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    just wondering.. but.. is that you in your avatar? :eek: :worship: :flip: :love:
     
  16. {KOW}Spazed

    {KOW}Spazed Banned

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    It's me. . . duh


    {KOW} :cheesy:
     
  17. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    Instant celeb baby :yep:
     
  18. ZeppelinAngel

    ZeppelinAngel IncGamers Member

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    :cheesy: :love:

    i am at a loss for words, literally, heh
     
  19. AgeOfAbnegation

    AgeOfAbnegation I Linte Macil Guild Master

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    lol, poor intolerance - his thread on religion is turning into a soap opera :p
     
  20. Halcyon's Dawning

    Halcyon's Dawning IncGamers Member

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    BACK OFF CHICKY, HE'S TAKEN :rant:
     

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