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Old 03-18-2011, 11:13 AM   #121
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that might be so in a general sense, but in this thread we're getting clear expressions of doctrine =faith. i agree that the sense of something "other" or something "out there" probably is pretty hard wired into humanity -- it's a likely reaction to the impossibility of understanding what happens when we die, the terrifying awareness of our impending doom -- the discussion in here has been very specific, and thus absolutely representative of a well-informed, entirely voluntary choice to believe in such a fashion.

Was Yolland implying that faith is hard-wired into humanity? I didn't get that impression. I did get the impression that she was talking about people not choosing to have faith or not to have faith, that it was individual makeup.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:27 AM   #122
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First, I want to ask "are we cool"? Do you believe me when I say that, like you, I too despise the awful view of God that you thought I might be espousing?

Now, on to the subject. If I'm understanding you correctly, the above is not accurate in my case. When I earnestly sought the truth of hell, I honestly wanted to uncover that hell was just some big mistranslation error.

And, to be perfectly honest with you, I still hope I'm wrong, even though I really don't think I am.

yes, we are cool. i'm not sure where i misunderstood you because your post doesn't make sense to me, but it made sense to Nathan, and probably everyone else, and i fully accept that i missed something somewhere. so no worries.

my comment that you were responding to is really nothing more than my stating that what's being discussed in here is very specific, that it's much more than simple "faith" -- that's all. i haven't commented on any of the specifics, because i really don't have much to offer. personally, i don't believe in hell, and i don't believe that the bible is an inerrant how-to manual personally authored by god. thus, because i don't believe that, i really can't discuss this stuff with you in a meaningful way. in my agnostic-secular-humanist-sympathetic-most-to-Buddah opinion, i'm pretty sure you are wrong, but that's because i am coming from a completely different worldview. that's neither good nor bad, nor right nor wrong, it's just me acknowledging the discussion in here.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:29 AM   #123
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Was Yolland implying that faith is hard-wired into humanity? I didn't get that impression. I did get the impression that she was talking about people not choosing to have faith or not to have faith, that it was individual makeup.


no, i am saying that. my contention with Yolland was that, in here, we're not talking about broad notions of "faith" and whether that is chosen or not. we are having a very specific, textual, doctrinal discussion about hell, and that seems to me to be absolutely a choice. all the contributors in here have absolutely chosen (or not) to believe in one way or another.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #124
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yes, we are cool. i'm not sure where i misunderstood you because your post doesn't make sense to me, but it made sense to Nathan, and probably everyone else, and i fully accept that i missed something somewhere. so no worries.
Thanks much for that. I'm glad we worked that out.

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my comment that you were responding to is really nothing more than my stating that what's being discussed in here is very specific, that it's much more than simple "faith" -- that's all. i haven't commented on any of the specifics, because i really don't have much to offer. personally, i don't believe in hell, and i don't believe that the bible is an inerrant how-to manual personally authored by god. thus, because i don't believe that, i really can't discuss this stuff with you in a meaningful way. in my agnostic-secular-humanist-sympathetic-most-to-Buddah opinion, i'm pretty sure you are wrong, but that's because i am coming from a completely different worldview. that's neither good nor bad, nor right nor wrong, it's just me acknowledging the discussion in here.
Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:58 AM   #125
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no, i am saying that. my contention with Yolland was that, in here, we're not talking about broad notions of "faith" and whether that is chosen or not. we are having a very specific, textual, doctrinal discussion about hell, and that seems to me to be absolutely a choice. all the contributors in here have absolutely chosen (or not) to believe in one way or another.

OK. So the choice is not faith or faith but the direction those of faith choose? I always found it an interesting discussion not whether faith is justified or not but what it is in psychological makeup that leads one to belief or nonbelief or vacillation--or physiologically, what part of the brain fires up and why. Doctrine always bored the nonexisting hell out of me.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:16 PM   #126
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OK. So the choice is not faith or faith but the direction those of faith choose? I always found it an interesting discussion not whether faith is justified or not but what it is in psychological makeup that leads one to belief or nonbelief or vacillation--or physiologically, what part of the brain fires up and why. Doctrine always bored the nonexisting hell out of me.

my totally uninformed guess is that the brain defaults to vague notions of what we call God, and then beyond that becomes choice, not only what to believe but whether or not to believe.

my agnosticism is a choice, certainly, because, for me, i think it's the only intellectually honest position. sure, call it fence-sitting or hedging my bets, but for me it's coming clean to the fact that i don't know and that i can't ever really know. in many ways, i think atheism makes more sense, it's so easy to write off "God" as an expression of the terrible self-awareness of our own pending deaths, but that doesn't some totally complete to me.

but, at it's core, i think religion is designed to give us answers to the truly (and perhaps only) unanswerable questions: why are we here, what should we do with our consciousness, and what happens when we are no longer here and conscious?
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:29 PM   #127
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my totally uninformed guess is that the brain defaults to vague notions of what we call God, and then beyond that becomes choice, not only what to believe but whether or not to believe.[
It's certainly a small sample here, but it seems to me that, say, the Australians on board here show less of a tendency toward belief or vacillation, not particularly defaulting to "God" compared to the religion exposure (overexposure) experienced by Americans and other religion-heavy cultures.

I'm less inclined these days to think that religion was designed to answer the unanswerable as much as it was a way to try to control the seemingly uncontrollable. If I ask this, God will grant my prayer. If I do this ritual, this awful thing will no happen. If I appease or please, perhaps I can gain some measure of control. Perhaps modern religion was redesigned to answer the unanswerable questions that were most likely a luxury to even ask in earlier times.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:41 PM   #128
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.

It's certainly a small sample here, but it seems to me that, say, the Australians on board here show less of a tendency toward belief or vacillation, not particularly defaulting to "God" compared to the religion exposure (overexposure) experienced by Americans and other religion-heavy cultures.


i don't think anyone who would post in here (or buy a U2 record) has a lived a life where they haven't at least given some thought to religion and faith and developed something of an opinion on the subject.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #129
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i don't think anyone who would post in here (or buy a U2 record) has a lived a life where they haven't at least given some thought to religion and faith and developed something of an opinion on the subject.
I'm sure people have thought about it or formed an opinion on it, but it seems less an innate response than an external response.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:13 PM   #130
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You have some that claim the whole reason for this is that God was lonely, are those crystal clear motives?
I don't know. If we were created in the image of God, with the spark of the Divine within us, and if God said that it is not good for man to be alone, I have no problem believing that it isn't good for God to be alone either -- that a fundamental element of the universe is community and relationship. As a result, I don't think that God is or was lonely. Rather, I think that, if God is indeed Love, and if that Love needs a receiver as well as a giver, then God created us -- and created us for community with each other and with Him -- because it's part of His nature.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:23 PM   #131
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But you wouldn't say the whole reason we're here is that God was looking for friendship, would you?

To believe God is perfect yet lonely and needs a friend seems a bit of a contradiction to me.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:39 PM   #132
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flick through the pages of the Book of Job and it should be abundantly clear that friendship is not God's primary aim.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:41 PM   #133
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To believe God is perfect yet lonely and needs a friend seems a bit of a contradiction to me.
Only if you think that perfect people don't need anyone. I don't see a need for friendship or community as an expression of weakness.

"Hell is a place where you don't need any help." ~ Bono
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:53 PM   #134
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Only if you think that perfect people don't need anyone. I don't see a need for friendship or community as an expression of weakness.

"Hell is a place where you don't need any help." ~ Bono
Perfection would mean whole or without needs that needed to be filled.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:57 PM   #135
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Perfection would mean whole or without needs that needed to be filled.
Perfect also means without flaw.
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