An argument for the existence of God: First formulation…


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Message 1233644 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 22:04:53 UTC - in response to Message 1233575.

Yes I mean Roman Catholic Church. It is not derogatory, the missal we use is the Roman Missal. And the Mass is that of the Roman Rite. We refer to ourselves as Roman Catholic.

You are correct, that to the Roman Catholics, it is also The Catholic Church which consists are members of what is called the Catholic Communion, and there are some that see Rome as the ultimate authority and some that do not. Namely the Eastern Orthodox branches of the church. Generally Protestants are not part of the Catholic Community, except for a branch of the Anglican Church, which does maintained ties. I use the Term RCC in recognition and respect to the non-Roman Rite arms of the Catholic Church.

The Roman in RCC came much earlier than the Protestant Reformation with the Great Schism (1054) between the Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople over something called the filioque clause - inside baseball – it resulted in the Latin (Roman) and Greek (Eastern) Rites of the Catholic Communion… if you want to learn about it wiki has a pretty accurate overview.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East%E2%80%93West_Schism

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Message 1233705 - Posted: 19 May 2012, 23:46:38 UTC - in response to Message 1233475.

That is debatable. Technically speaking although they all are Abrahamic, they all have radically different theologies when it comes to the nature of what God is.

However, I am completely fascinated with Buddhism and have the highest regard for this faith. I have practiced martial arts for most of my life and much of that in Southern Shaolin Kung Fu. It is my experience with both martial arts, and Chinese Buddhist monks that lead me in a large part to where I am today.

Pure Taoism is less common and usually fused with Buddhism. Buddhism is highly syncretic and adapted well both to Taoism and Confucianism in China and Shintoism in Japan.

Interestingly enough, there was a rival group of rationalists in China, contemporary to the Greek Aristotelian tradition, known as the "disputers of the Tao", the Tao being seen as a highly mystical system. As it turns out of course these disputers did not win the philosophical battles of their day and Taoism remained dominant in the Chinese philosophical tradition. Had their dominance won out Science might have developed first in China instead of Europe.

If you are familiar with G.W. Leibniz, my favorite Western philosopher and mathematician, and loser in the Calculus controversy with Newton, he was a prolific writer and was completely fascinated with China and Chinese culture. There is good reason to believe his study of the I Ching, the Taoist book of Changes influenced him in the creation of the first known developed binary system.
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~sdoroudi/LeibChi.pdf

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Message 1233756 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 1:14:00 UTC - in response to Message 1233529.

xclusive,

Wow, that would be a long story and I am happy to share it with you off line. My primary reason for starting this post was not to proselytize; I have no particular desire to change anyone’s faith to my own. In that regard I guess I could be considered a horrible Christian.

I do however wish to change opinions about people of faith and that they are not all non-thinking superstitious, robots believing in voodoo and fairy tales. Some of the terms I have seen in related threads. If I have changed one mind in this regard I consider this engagement a success.

But out of the many reasons for my decision to join a faith and the particular one I have it is the strong tradition of faith and reason. Here is a small sample of what I mean:

List of Roman Catholic cleric–scientists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_cleric%E2%80%93scientists

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Message 1233760 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 1:31:01 UTC

One of my favorite Good Books is Principia Discordia...
aka A Catterpillar's Praise to the Butterfly.
Or... How I found the Goddess and what I did to her when I found Her.
Wherein is explained everything worth knowing about absolutely nothing.

All Hail Eris,
Love Pope Julie





...fnord!

lol

On a different note... it is my personal thought that religion is like cloud watching. The Creator can be the hypothetical cloud. You and I would see the cloud. You may see a crocodile and I may see a giraffe. Even if you point out its crocodileness with vim and vigor, I would still see the giraffe.
It is all in personal intrepretation.

Sometimes people push others insisting that they too see the cloud as they do.
But really, no one can see/experience as someone else does. I always wonder why on earth there are so many different flavors of Christianity and why so many people (in the past) have started wars, killed for or died for how they believe. I am glad that most of the world is a more open minded place, because I don't have to worry about being burned at the stake for my personal beliefs as I would have been in the past.
:)

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Message 1233761 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 1:31:42 UTC - in response to Message 1233705.

However, I am completely fascinated with Buddhism and have the highest regard for this faith. I have practiced martial arts for most of my life and much of that in Southern Shaolin Kung Fu. It is my experience with both martial arts, and Chinese Buddhist monks that lead me in a large part to where I am today.

I've always been interested in Buddhism but honestly I have not put in my research yet. But the thing that fascinates me about this particular religion is that it seems to be about self-betterment as opposed to worship. This is a concept that I could be way more on board with, as opposed to "worshiping".
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Message 1233764 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 1:34:26 UTC - in response to Message 1233756.
Last modified: 20 May 2012, 1:48:08 UTC

...I have no particular desire to change anyone’s faith to my own. In that regard I guess I could be considered a horrible Christian.


And that sir, is why you have my respect, vs. some other new people around here...
It is a huge problem IMO when any religion encourages its members to believe that their ideas are the only right ones, and that everyone should convert to their faith...
If more Christians had "no particular desire to change anyone's faith", I could be friends with more Christians.

off topic but I want to share that with everyone.

on that note, let's continue the interesting discussion about faiths that do not renounce common sense and science in favor of fables and myths/misconceptions...

And Julie I see a couple of awesome points in your post!
This is what discussion is all about. (Some people should take notes, you that know me know who specifically I refer to)
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Message 1233774 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 2:01:25 UTC - in response to Message 1233756.

List of Roman Catholic cleric–scientists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_cleric%E2%80%93scientists

An impresive list but, all those from before 1520 would obviously be Roman Catholics, and usually clerics, because in most cases that was the only way you could get an education.

And although listed, Nicolaus Copernicus would probably have been ex-communicated had he lived, he was certainly heavily critcised. Was though by Martin Luther to be a trouble maker as well.

And it has been said the the work of the Oxford Calculators was hidden, presumably so that there was no friction with Rome. Their work included "the law of falling bodies" long before Galileo, which reinforces the view that the knowledge didn't travel south.

So without studying the whole list I will accept it but with a very large pinch of salt. (make that a bucket)

And don't forget Newton was very religious, and had a period of depression which many believe was caused by the opposites seen in his beliefs and his observations and subsequent theories.

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Message 1233785 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 2:22:07 UTC - in response to Message 1233761.

However, I am completely fascinated with Buddhism and have the highest regard for this faith. I have practiced martial arts for most of my life and much of that in Southern Shaolin Kung Fu. It is my experience with both martial arts, and Chinese Buddhist monks that lead me in a large part to where I am today.

I've always been interested in Buddhism but honestly I have not put in my research yet. But the thing that fascinates me about this particular religion is that it seems to be about self-betterment as opposed to worship. This is a concept that I could be way more on board with, as opposed to "worshiping".


Siddhartha is probably as good a place as any to start research on Buddhism.
____________
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1233821 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 3:41:46 UTC - in response to Message 1233764.

Thank you. The respect is mutual.

Per Julies comment it is actually quite Buddhist. Eastern religious practice, although more mature in some regards to Western religion, made a decision to not rely on reason for the very notions Julie points out here. They realized, much earlier than the Western traditions, through meditative practice, that mental constructs will always fall short of the reality of the object of knowledge. That the idea of something will always fall short of the actual something, foreshadowing Kant's conclusion that we will never know the "ding in such", or “thing in itself”. This was so influential in Eastern thought that it extended into the actual things themselves and thus the world became a very conscious based world. A world of conscious constructs. Objective reality or correspondence theories of truth were not the goal. Emptying one’s mind to the realities of what actually is was the focus. And this was achieved through individual practice. No one could take you along the journey...

In the Western development of religious practice we went the opposite way. We had the hubris to believe that the mind of God can be understood. Through the concept of the logos. Through logic... And that theology was developed that through Christ, and the Holy Spirit, one can have access to the eternal mind of God. Perfection could be attained, not through the individual but through the union of each member adding themselves to the body of Christ. This reinforced the use of reason in both physics and metaphysics.

I always found it interesting that each of these traditions seemed a type of reaction formation of sorts to the prevailing ideas of how individuals and society interplay. Both of these traditions provide a heaven and serve as a counter balance of the prevailing ideas of the individual and society in their cultures. In the Eastern world the group superseded the individual, as its religious practice developed it countered that notion, the individual became primary in his own "salvation". In the Western world, where individual freedoms and rights were becoming more prevalent, the theology developed into one where the group was necessary for "salvation". The Church or the Body was formed, possibly, in part as a reaction to counter the movement towards rampant individualism.

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Message 1233838 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 4:23:53 UTC - in response to Message 1233774.

Let’s see if we cannot take a cup or two of salt out that bucket.

I would merely counter by saying that any orthodoxy is a bitch to deal with. Attempting change in the prevailing orthodoxy in the science community is not all peaches and cream. It can be downright crucifixion if one publishes early, goes up against the big boys or demands change to cherished models on limited data not in consensus with the scientific community at large. Many scientists keep from publishing and presenting their new theories until all of their ducks are lined up in a row. Sure they are not burned at the stake doing so, but their lives can become a living hell if they willy nilly go forward with unproven theories.

Per Newton, he was really an odd one. His religiosity was defiantly unorthodox, he was an Arian, he did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. He was into bible code, alchemy,... he was totally paranoid and somewhat of a thin skinned bully. It is a shame for poor old Leibniz, that he used his position at the head of Royal Academy to slander Leibniz and find himself the winner in the priority of the Calculus. Shameful really…

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Message 1233847 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 4:36:39 UTC - in response to Message 1233785.

I love that book, and can relate to the protagonist. It is fiction though so it is not what I would call study. However it is a great introduction.

Buddhism is kind of hard to study, as it deemphasizes theology for the reasons mentioned in the previous post. Some of the concepts are just very counter intuitive for Westerners, such as the teaching of no-self. For people with a Christian background I recommend anything by Thich Nhat Hanh... He does some very good comparison between Christian and Buddhist concepts.

"Living Buddha, Living Christ" is a classic.

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Message 1233902 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 6:42:35 UTC - in response to Message 1233705.

That is debatable. Technically speaking although they all are Abrahamic, they all have radically different theologies when it comes to the nature of what God is.


I really don't think its very debatable. All three sects can be traced back to the same origins (at least in the mythos of belief). Though they might all have radically different philosophies and interpretations of their God, they were all born of the same God of Abraham.


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Message 1234026 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 12:43:32 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 13:38:48 UTC

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Message 1234034 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 12:58:05 UTC - in response to Message 1233847.

I love that book, and can relate to the protagonist. It is fiction though so it is not what I would call study. However it is a great introduction.

Buddhism is kind of hard to study, as it deemphasizes theology for the reasons mentioned in the previous post. Some of the concepts are just very counter intuitive for Westerners, such as the teaching of no-self. For people with a Christian background I recommend anything by Thich Nhat Hanh... He does some very good comparison between Christian and Buddhist concepts.

"Living Buddha, Living Christ" is a classic.


For clarity's sake, the link was to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhartha_Gautama, a wikipedia entry on "the first Buddha", rather than the book of the same name by Herman Hesse. I agree that the book is a worthwhile read, or listen, as indeed is almost anything by Hesse, though that's likely a subject for a different thread.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1234048 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 13:45:43 UTC

Gautama Buddha 500BC, is one of the ten Avatars of Vishnu, who in turn is one of the five primary forms of God. Always handy to have a complicated religion, makes it that much more difficult to disprove it.

Believe what you want to believe.

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Message 1234049 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 13:49:01 UTC - in response to Message 1234026.

bobby, yes I'll agree--one case like this has negligible effect on the future of the world population. But do you really think there's only one?

xclusive, if this guy does not have a place in a discussion about populations as a whole, who else's behaviour does not have a place in a discussion about populations as a whole? And I would venture to say I haven't met enough "well decided/well meaning atheists" because there just aren't that many around.


Provide the data and I'll respond to it. One person that is known to have had significant progeny is Ghengis Khan, with anything up to an estimated .5% of all males worldwide being a descendant. What's your view of the effect of this genetic heritage?

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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1234060 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 14:12:06 UTC

Ghengis Khan, with anything up to an estimated .5% of all males worldwide being a descendant.


Only in Asia, not "worldwide".

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Message 1234066 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 14:22:27 UTC - in response to Message 1234060.

Ghengis Khan, with anything up to an estimated .5% of all males worldwide being a descendant.


Only in Asia, not "worldwide".

A mathematical study of genealogy indicates that everyone in the world is descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, and everyone of European ancestry is descended from Muhammad and Charlemagne.

In the UK if you can trace your descendants back far enough, you will invariably find a Royal connection.


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Message 1234067 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 14:27:30 UTC - in response to Message 1234049.
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Message 1234079 - Posted: 20 May 2012, 15:02:17 UTC - in response to Message 1233902.

I am not saying you are incorrect; this is a very standard interpretations you are putting forward. I am suggesting though, that upon further analysis, it may not be completely accurate.

To those who believe that God is real, all three interpretations cannot stand, and either Christianity or Islam must be an usurper making a false claim to an inheritance which they may have no right to make. The Jewish God and the Christian God could conceivably be the same, and the Jewish God and The Muslim God could conceivably be the same, but not all three.


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