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Thread: Fixing Christianity

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    Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Fixing Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinny View Post
    Great thread, I particularly enjoyed Krill & Deckard's posts..

    "Fixing philosophy" sounds like an absurd notion to me.

    Fixing people's understanding of or willingness to engage with philosophy sounds more appropriate.

    I'm pretty uneducated, but common sense is everybody's friend... or should be.

    I'm currently trying to get to the bottom of why Christians are even monotheistic to begin with (besides the fact that that's what the Bible told them to believe). Anyone have the answer? Or is that the only answer?
    Here's where I'm starting: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/120108.htm

    Personally, I've found pantheism more comforting, practical.. and logical, I guess.
    I keep wondering, am I missing something important here?
    I am a Christian and strongly believe in monotheism. Monotheism makes a lot of sense to me.

    There is one universe and one origin (at least one initial origin) of the universe. Life, particularly complex life, had one origin. If the universe and life were created or at least a higher power was responsible for their origin, then that implies the existence of only one god or at least one major creator god and a number of minor non-creator gods.

    The origin of the universe and complex life happened only once but various religions make claims that their god was responsible. Logically, they can't all be right.

    The various religions make other contradictory claims. For example, Christianity claims that Jesus was divine and was resurrected but Islam says he was not divine and was not resurrected. Logically, two contradictory claims cannot both be right. This also suggests monotheism to me.

    I see purpose in God's creation. The way I see it, God created us with a spiritual nature and wants us to choose to live according to the spiritual nature so also gave us a physical nature in order that we have the ability to choose to or choose not to live according to our spiritual nature. This is why I see God as a being rather than just God as the universe.

    There is some truth in claim that all religions are the same. Religion performs various functions - it provides comfort to people in times of difficulty, gives a set of principles to live by that make society possible and creates a sense of community among believers. All religions, including religions whose god does not actually exist, can perform these functions. However, when it comes to obtaining a favourable position in the afterlife, only religions which have a god that actually exists and also has the power to deliver on his promises can give people a favourable position in the afterlife. In this important regard, not all religions are the same.
    On the wrong side of history

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    There are some Christians who are indeed pantheists...even within sects that don't officially support that. They're apt to be subjected to a 'no true Scotsman' argument, I suppose...but yeah, they exist aplenty.

    I wouldn't put it out of mind that no Christian theology exists which is not pantheistic, either. I mean, it's an incredibly small leap to make from the concept of the Holy Trinity idea of one God expressed as three persons. It really seems to depend on how one frames Christian history and the Bible...many do it in terms of laws and covenants/contracts, in which the distinct parties are distinguishable on the basis of their roles...but if you frame it in different terms, say in terms of a more mystical analysis, a pantheist interpretation is possible...not terribly distinct from Hinduism...and the various persons of Krishna, for example...the different persons/roles are just facets...to be seen as distinct/personal at one state of consciousness, and quite the opposite at others.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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    Senior Member jyng1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    The origin of the universe and complex life happened only once

    What's your evidence for that?

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    Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyng1 View Post
    What's your evidence for that?
    Is it even possible that there can be evidence that there is only one of something? The best we could probably hope for is a lack of credible evidence for the existence of more than one of something.

    As far as we know, there is and has only ever been one universe and Earth is the only place in the universe where life exists. There is very little credible evidence to the contrary.

    Given the lack of strong evidence to the contrary, it seems to me to be a very reasonable position to take.
    On the wrong side of history

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    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    Is it even possible that there can be evidence that there is only one of something?
    What are you considering "evidence"?

    Logical proof is perfectly reasonably evidence, to me at least.

    FYI - I don't even know what the title of this thread is and your post is the only one I've read. I'm completely blind to the name and face attached to whatever warm hole I'm jizzing into.

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    Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    What are you considering "evidence"?

    Logical proof is perfectly reasonably evidence, to me at least.
    If we wanted to prove that the only place in the universe where life existed is on Earth, then we'd have to check for life on every planet in the universe. This is obviously impractical.

    I agree that logical proof is a reasonable basis for believing something. However, I wouldn't say that it is logically true that life exists only on Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    FYI - I don't even know what the title of this thread is and your post is the only one I've read.
    The thread title is "Fixing Philosophy" and has discussed quite a few issues. Most recently, I advanced an argument for monotheism (one universe and one origin of life suggests only one god or at least one main god) in response to @Sinny's statement that pantheism appeals to her.

    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    I'm completely blind to the name and face attached to whatever warm hole I'm jizzing into.
    I considered becoming sexually promiscuous at one stage but realised that I was starting to think of women purely in terms of their suitability for sex. I didn't like thinking that way, so I gave up on ever becoming sexually promiscuous and am very glad I did.
    On the wrong side of history

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    Senior Member jyng1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    As far as we know, there is and has only ever been one universe and Earth is the only place in the universe where life exists. There is very little credible evidence to the contrary.
    So you're saying nothing existed before the beginning of the Universe and the commencement of life as we know it?

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    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ Deckard's Avatar
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    People were confused by Christianity everywhere it was introduced: It claims its god is "three persons", and there was no point of reference for understanding how gods can be separate but the same. Is god his own son? Do they all share the same mana pool? It doesn't seem to make sense for three distinct conscious entities to be considered in the singular. Jesus prays to his father and refers to him as though they are distinct in physicality and consciousness, and at one point even asks, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The bible doesn't attempt to clarify our understanding, offering merely the pseudo-profundity that god is "three in one", sharing the same essence but being in other ways clearly distinct.

    Whatever meaning we might imagine this to refer to, from the perspective of comparing religions, Christianity has several entities in its mythos which could be considered gods, according to the traits generally attributed to gods. There are angels: powerful ethereal beings who have existed since before creation. Satan, chief villain and his legion of demons. There are various lesser mythological entities: the horsemen of the apocalypse, giants (Nephilim), Leviathan, Seraphim, Abaddon, Cherubim. And of course Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

    By comparison to other religions, Christianity has a pantheon of gods and is therefore polytheistic. Christianity says, "nuh-uh, only one of those is the true for reals God", which is just shifting the goalposts and using its own specific definition to make a claim of monotheism which is meaningless outside of its theology.

    The fact that Christianity dictates that only one god (or I guess 3=1) must be worshipped doesn't make it monotheistic. There were many sects of greek mythology for instance which worshipped only one god, while acknowledging the existence of the others. The monotheistic claim is just playing with semantics.

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    Merry Christmas Blorg's Avatar
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    @Guess Who, it's obviously possible to make (relatively) logical and sensible arguments within the framework of Christianity, as Augustine and all those people have beautifully shown. But it's completely different to prove that the framework itself is logically valid. Even Descartes, obviously a brilliant philosopher, admitted that his proof of God was shady after (Christian) critics started pointing out the circularity of his argument. So if that guy had doubts and questions and uncertainties, I think it would be reasonable for you to challenge your assumption that Christianity is not only a logically sound structure, but the most logically sound religion of all, unless you think that you've given this more thought and reached a better proof than Descartes and the countless other philosophers whose work he drew from.
    "Better not to feel too much until the crisis ends—and if it never ends, at least we’ll have suffered a little less, developed a useful dullness...The constant—and very real—fear of being hurt, the fear of death, of intolerable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, leads each of us, the citizens and prisoners of the conflict, to dampen our own vitality, our emotional and intellectual range, and to cloak ourselves in more and more protective layers until we suffocate." - Toni Morrison

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