Monday, October 25, 2010

God or nothing


Anonymous said...

I have a few intelligent things to say in response to your nice video. First of all I don't know a single believer in God who would say that their belief is an  alternative to believing in nothing. Most would cite their personal experience as reason for believing. Secondly I'd like to point out that all progress made in existential and post-modern philosophy has been shaped by the history of mankind as much as it seeks to escape the trappings of it, including biblical thought. I don't imagine many people are keen on finding similarities between ancient hebrew philosophy and existentialism or the Christian idea of a second birth and nihilism but they're there. I read Nietzche and I say, "by God he's right! About about almost everything". One can't know Christ until they empty themselves of themselves. But there are a lot of people claiming to have and not living like it. I've found that if you remove Christ from the gospel message it looks a hell of a lot like existentialism, but that's just something to ponder. Thirdly, I want to agree with you that the way religion has portrayed the world (and God for that matter) has been false, insulting, and degrading. I could add to your list. Religion is ridiculous. It's implementation has historically been even worse save for a few examples (e.g. early church and parts of the historic peace churches). Fourthly, teaching children to conform to any worldly institute would be against the will of God. Teaching a child how to be kind and learn their alphabet is probably good enough, although I believe that there is no harm in introducing a child to God by acting with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc. I don't expect you'd disagree. God is bigger than man made religion. I've also found that children have ears and eyes for the wonders of God which I must say I envy as the jaded adult I am. Point five: A follower of Christ should not imply that they know any more about creation than anyone else. I for one find joy in seeing how God works as new scientific discoveries are made. Equality with God is not something to be grasped or desired. Humility is important and I expect that's partially why your experience with "religion" is not positive. Faith in God is about knowledge granted, not knowledge acquired. When we forget that it turns ugly quick. We pretend that the book of Genesis is a science textbook out of our insecurity. But originally it was written to combat competing Babylonian pagan creation stories. The scientific details remained the same (waters separating, becoming sky and water etc.) but the creative force changed. In Babylonian myth the Earth was created by some bloody family feud but in Hebrew myth it was a peaceful God who said "it was Good". The scientific details stayed current with the science at the time, but there was wisdom spoken into the equation. The first chapter of Genesis can be summed up by saying "the world was created by a loving God not by a hate filled disemboweled step-mum.

Anonymous said...

My sixth point is as follows. No Christian has ever said that creation couldn't have come from nothing because the doctrine of ex-nihilo is pretty popular at this point. I actually like the big-bang theory because it lines up nicely with my faith and my understanding of the creation story. All those pesky multi-verse theories are what really bug me. Stephen Hawking knows a bunch of things but there are a crap load of things he doesn't know compared to most theologians; the Hebrew being one of them. Sorry, they're really smart people some of them. Point 7 (getting sleepy) - Multiverse theories seem like lazy cyclical reasoning to me but even if they are true, the God of the Israelites has always been thought of as the God of all humanity and of the Universe(s). If you ask any Jew of Christian they would agree, although it certainly doesn't look that way by their actions. I can't blame you for making assumptions about what we believe. I'll admit, Leviticus is super annoying but most of us in this Jesus camp over here agree that it was a list of laws that helped the Israelites through the dessert. They needed to take extreme care and God was showing them that He cared for them. They are laughable now, it's ok to laugh at them but they do show us something wonderful about the heart of God. 8. Particle physics: AWESOME! Magic has always been nature that people didn't understand yet. The fact that there are things we don't know about God's creation has nothing to do with my faith in God, except that it often gives me reason to praise. When things are unexplained it's awesome; when things are explained it's even MORE AWESOME. The kind of Christian you describe is really just a crotchety geezer who's actions and opinions have little to do with Jesus Christ. Bless them. By the way, you keep going back to the argument of "believing in nothing", but I never accused you of believing in nothing. I understand that our own vague perceptions of the world are all we can know and we can't pretend to know much else. So I hope you don't mock that argument that no one is making again, please I'm trying to make it through you video! :) Another side note, have you experienced conversations that were concluded by someone saying "it must be a miracle" followed by them walking away? I haven't. Most Christians are familiar to the paradox of mystery and truth as with many other paradoxes. I suspect you've thought about this yourself since your video is filled with contradicting viewpoints on the subject of belief (in science, God, anything). Am I on point 9? You're right nobody knows why we're here. Except God. He can see more than us at a time and exists without the restrictions of time, place, thrownness, being, or what-have-you. All truth is relative except God's truth. And the impossibility of knowing anything concretely is directly linked to whether or not God let's us know or tells us. It's not a Miracle, it's not religion, it's not science, it's just a powerful dude all around us who keeps trying to talk to me, and you, and us, and all of creation. And we do a crappy job of listening. But he just won't shut up. Peace