Faith (Religion)

by dhw, Friday, September 28, 2018, 10:08 (550 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: The OT God does not come across as unloving to me. However […] I could see how he could be mischaracterized that way.

DHW: You can only claim that someone has been mischaracterized if you know their character. The OT gives me ample demonstration of an unloving character. I’m NOT saying God is unloving but, if he exists, nobody – including the many different authors of the bible – can claim to be an authority on his nature.

TONY: You can look outside the book, at the world that was created for us, taste its fruits, swim in its waters, bask in the warmth of its sun, and revel in the fact that you can enjoy anything at all, and know much of the character of God.

That still doesn’t entitle you to say that “unloving” is a mischaracterization. You can look both inside and outside the book and select whatever you like from what you see.

DHW: I’m puzzled. Firstly, all the Jehovah’s Witnesses I know believe in the resurrection of 144,000 bodies who will join God in heaven [etc.] Why should such visions take precedence over, say, those of the Koran, in which immortal souls will survive till the Day of Judgement and the goodies will go to paradise and the baddies to hell? You claim that the bible is historically accurate, but nobody knows what happens after death!

TONY: I am not surprised you are puzzled by things discussed in books you have not read. The bible says the dead are conscious of nothing at all, that some of the 144,000 have always been on earth since Christ [etc.]

And I have asked you why this vision should take precedence over the vision offered in the Koran, but you have not answered.

DHW: Wonderful! Then we can forget about your God altogether. It’s enough to have faith that other people exist, society is bigger than the individual and functions better when people are nice to one another, we all matter to ourselves and to those around us, subjective values are real, and you don’t need objective values to lead a happy and moral life. We have reached agreement.
TONY: This really seems to be what all of your argument, in this thread and others, is really about. No, we have not reached an agreement. You take a claim that I have never denied (that you do not need religion to live a moral life), and try to say that my lack of denial makes the rest of our gulf of disagreement moot. It does not.

You have once more ignored the context. You claimed that what is important to us is meaningless and irrelevant without “faith in something bigger than yourself”, and it did not have to be God. My comment above simply confirms what you wrote, but also repeats that subjective values give our lives meaning and relevance.

TONY: But, one last thought, when you wrote your books, if I were to pick up a copy at the store, whose names would be on the cover? Whose would be bigger? Whose smaller? [etc.]

I don’t know what you’re trying to say with all this. Is it some roundabout way of justifying your belief that your God did not create the heavens and the earth, as it says in Genesis, but only “spawned” Jesus who then “spawned” lots of helpers?

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