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Constantly confessing one's faith harms acceptance of the truth

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posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 10:56 AM
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Truth does not require belief.

Mercury is the nearest planet to the sun, whether we believe it or not.

Scientists do not gather together once a week confessing their faith that Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. Imagine scientists gathering together weekly trying to stir up the masses into chanting that Mercury is closest to the sun. Pretty soon, people would start to doubt this truth, and wonder why the scientists are doing so. Do they doubt this truth? Do they have a hidden agenda where they want to force us to believe it so that we do not question and look deeper? Maybe there is a secret planet even closer that they don't want us to find?

Truth does not require belief.

If God is the truth, He is the truth whether we believe it or not. Nobody has to confess the truth, because it does not make it more true. When people constantly gather together confessing the truth, it makes one wonder if they actually doubt the truth and are trying to prevent people from examining the truth further.

I believe that a constant confession of faith makes a person seem insecure about that faith, and actually harms others' acceptance of that truth.

What is the actual purpose of confessing one's faith?

[edit on 4/6/2009 by Saurus]




posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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Interesting thought and post.

I would suggest that the proximity of Mercury to the Sun is not discussed much (except perhaps by "mercurologists"!) because it does not have an impact on how one lives ones life.

If, however, one looks at matters which do influence the conduct of one's life there is plenty of discussion going on in both religion and science. For example: evolution, global warming, genetics seem to be fairly regularly discussed among others.

When I confess my belief in God it does not diminish or add anything to the truth that He is but it does help me approach closer to the Truth. For example many of the discussions I have here which involve an element of confession have certainly helped me greatly in my understanding of God and my faith. Much like an astronomer who's understanding of Mercury is facilitated by meeting with other specialists in that field and sharing their knowledge and even, at times, gaining entirely new insights into its nature and motions.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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Interesting reply...

...but then let's take another example. If I put my hand in boiling water, it will burn. Most people deal with boiling water every day. And yet, since there is no doubt that this is so, people do not discuss it.

I could discuss it with someone else, but there's no point, because it is undisputedly the truth.

Now, let's say I believe in aliens. This would lead to massive discussion because there is doubt.

In general, people do not discuss the truth. Ever. Try and think of examples in your daily life where you discuss the truth with people. Discussion arises where clarification is needed, or where there is uncertainty.

Talking about something almost always implies uncertainty.

(Try and think of examples of conversations in your daily life. How many of them are discussions of truth? How many arise because you want to know something or someone else wants to know something from you.)

Discussion implies uncertainty.

According to your reply, confession of faith is intended to lead to discussion, and therefore implies uncertainty.


[edit on 4/6/2009 by Saurus]



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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I think it's a matter of who you are talking with. If you are debating things, I believe that is healthy. Arguments and confrontation bring about more understanding. It is good to hear other points of view.

But if you are gathering with like minded people, then you are not really going to be learning anything new as things aren't being challenged.

If I had nobody to debate with, and everyone agreed with me, then I would find something else to do. Just as with mercury.



[edit on 4-6-2009 by badmedia]



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by badmedia
But if you are gathering with like minded people, then you are not really going to be learning anything new as things aren't being challenged.


This is exactly my point. Where there's no doubt, there's no discussion.

[edit on 4/6/2009 by Saurus]



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by Saurus
Where there's no doubt, there's no discussion.


That may be true but your premise is the reverse that discussion infers doubt.

Now, as a Christian, I discuss God fairly regularly (if not daily) that is not because I have doubt of His existence but an appreciation that what knowledge of Him I do have is imperfect. The avenues of discovery I frequently delight in which leads me on spectacular journeys of the intellect and which nourish my faith can be extraordinary at times. However at the end of the day, as St Thomas Aquinas said, compared to the reality of God our imperfect knowledge is "all straw." That doesn't mean I give up discussing, questioning, learning, praying, approaching and pondering, and, neither do any of those exercises imply doubt.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


As a Christian I never doubted God until I stopped attending church for seven months!! And of course, reading this forums!


I still believed in God after all those miracles but I could now search for truth with greater clarity than before, not blindly accepting things as they are. I felt like the Hubble Telescope that received a major upgrade to the lenses! Kinda like having a much greater resolving power of the truth from non-truths!

[edit on 4-6-2009 by ahnggk]



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by Saurus
This is exactly my point. Where there's no doubt, there's no discussion.
[edit on 4/6/2009 by Saurus]


This is kinda the crux of it, dude.

People on the internet don't really feel a need to raise the fact that boiling water will burn your skin, because no one doubts it for a minute.

But with topics like religion and politics, people have an inherent need to convince others of their way of thinking, because there will always be opposition.

People on the INTERNET are even worse, because they can convey their ideas quickly and easily to masses of other people.

Have I just reiterated something that's already been said? I think I have. Sorry.

Regards,

Captain Obvious.



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 02:57 AM
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Originally posted by Supercertari
Now, as a Christian, I discuss God fairly regularly (if not daily) that is not because I have doubt of His existence but an appreciation that what knowledge of Him I do have is imperfect.


OK - solid point.

My interpretation of your statement is that you do not doubt the existence of God, but rather the details of His nature. I would premise that all Christians are in exactly the same situation - believing in the existence of God, but having an incomplete understanding of God.

This includes Pastors, Priests and Ministers. I cannot believe that a three year degree or course gives a Pastor a better understanding of God than a lifetime of research and experience by many Christians.

A Christian who spends his life questioning and discussing his beliefs with others probably has a infinitely better understanding of God than a young pastor with a three year degree.

What, then, gives a young Pastor the right to call himself an expert on God and preach on Sundays?

[edit on 5/6/2009 by Saurus]



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 05:51 AM
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I wouldn't myself equate imperfect knowledge with doubt. For example I know God is omnipotent, my knowledge of omnipotence is imperfect so my understanding of it is "belief" but I don't doubt that God is omnipotent. There's a healthy tradition in theology of dialogue between the via negativa and via positiva and, from Aquinas, the via media. So I can say the following (using a formula employed by Eriugena): God is omnipotent - God is not omnipotent (in so far as I understand it) - God is "beyond"-omnipotent (in so far as I understand it).

As far as pastors, priests etc. are concerned I would only dare to reply from my own, Catholic, perspective. It would be a foolish priest who would claim to be an "expert on God", indeed as I noted earlier Aquinas at the end of his life called his whole corpus of work "straw" when compared to the reality yet to be experienced.

A priest does indeed spend time in study (in the Catholic tradition it is generally 5-7 years) during the course of which he will study philosophy and theology. These, if you will, as well as involving the matter of study itself also train the priest how to study in preparation for a lifetime of doing so. It might be called the "theological method" akin to the "scientific method." A Jesuit philosopher of the last century Bernard Lonergen in his epistemlogy discussed the process of discovery and insight at quite some length and indeed the whole area of epistemology is a signifigant area of study in philosophy. All this gives the priest a certain knowledge base with which to answer doctrinal/moral queries and the "skills" to find answers (in so far as that is possible) where they are not already known.

Another very important aspect of the Catholic priesthood is that the priest is one of the people, called from the people - indeed at an ordination the people assembled must give their consent to the candidate's ordination. The priest will have (hopefully!) due to his training and continual lifestyle of prayer, study, pastoral work and personal development a degree of "expertise" but his primary role is to act in persona Christi in the Sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. In areas where questions are asked he should not give his "opinion" but what he knows and has researched and belongs to the faith as manifest over 2,000 years of prayer, writing and instruction.

(If you were interested in reading more about the above processes you might like to look at Pastores dabo vobis.)



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by Supercertari
 


Supercertari, I find your arguments very well thought out and presented. I shall have to mull over your reply for a while - you have certainly given me something to think about.

[edit on 5/6/2009 by Saurus]



posted on Jun, 12 2009 @ 10:24 AM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


First of all WOW! brilliant post have a flag!!
I dont know why i cant see the stars otherwise i would have starred it as well.

Now what you say is true from a certain point of view but a lot of people believe that if they proclaim their faith publicly it would benefit them and if they dont it would bring them harm.
Mercury would not punish you if you ignore it.(i am by no means saying that God will) but you get my point right?

The truth is people need their faith because it gives them hope and strength to move through their darkest hours. Weather it is god or aliens sometimes just believing in them is enough nd i think that's what its all about in then end.

Now killing other people for your faith is wrong and as far as i think forcing others to think the way you do is just as bad.
I think there is nothing wrong in stating the truth if it helps you as long as you dont step on others proverbial toes



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