God is Not a Person

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posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

What proof do you have of this? You call yourself Christian, but you're trashing half of the Christian doctrine. You're either full Christian, or not Christian at all. It's okay to not be Christian, you know. I'm not, and I very much enjoy keeping my soul.
Are you saying that the Old Testament is half of Christian doctrine?
I think you may have a weird idea of what Christianity is and it might be because of the people posting on this forum calling themselves Christians and saying things like God's name is Yahweh, and that sort of thing, and promoting Zionism. Those are cultists and are way off from mainstream Christianity.
The New Testament does not support the idea that the OT gives an accurate description of God, and Jesus goes as far as saying no man has ever seen God, and that would include Abraham and Moses who are claimed to have in the OT. In Exodus, Moses has an angel speaking to him from a burning bush but speaking in the words of God, meaning speaking of God in the first person, as if he is just a spokesman acting on God's behalf.
Jesus had some ideas about himself and that there were prophecies about him, but stops short of giving an endorsement of the OT as a whole.
The NT says that there was an old system that was administered by angels, that has been replaced by something better, which is a system administered by the son of God, who is higher than the angels and has all the power at his disposal as the person in the OT normally designated as YHWH in the Hebrew text.




posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 



Are you saying that the Old Testament is half of Christian doctrine?


I'm saying whatever the NT and OT don't have in common should be discarded. If there are discrepancies, then they are suspicious. I don't care when they were made, if you have an updated version, the outdated version is no longer necessary. Yet they have two different doctrines floating around? Yeah, that's gonna end well.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I'm saying whatever the NT and OT don't have in common should be discarded. If there are discrepancies, then they are suspicious. I don't care when they were made, if you have an updated version, the outdated version is no longer necessary.


The OT was written in the thousands of years before the "time of Jesus."

The NT was written after he died; and is a compilation of various "journalists' " ideas, and even the four main Gospels don't agree. You make a good point, which Thomas Paine made as well:

If the stories don't agree, only the items ON WHICH THEY DO AGREE can be taken seriously.

CHAPTER I - THE OLD TESTAMENT
IT has often been said that any thing may be proved from the Bible; but before any thing can be admitted as proved by Bible, the Bible itself must be proved to be true; for if the Bible be not true, or the truth of it be doubtful, it ceases to have authority, and cannot be admitted as proof of any thing.

It has been the practice of all Christian commentators on the Bible, and of all Christian priests and preachers, to impose the Bible on the world as a mass of truth, and as the word of God; they have disputed and wrangled, and have anathematized each other about the supposable meaning of particular parts and passages therein; one has said and insisted that such a passage meant such a thing, another that it meant directly the contrary, and a third, that it meant neither one nor the other, but something different from both; and this they have called understanding the Bible.

It has happened, that all the answers that I have seen to the former part of 'The Age of Reason' have been written by priests: and these pious men, like their predecessors, contend and wrangle, and understand the Bible; each understands it differently, but each understands it best; and they have agreed in nothing but in telling their readers that Thomas Paine understands it not.

Now instead of wasting their time, and heating themselves in fractious disputations about doctrinal points drawn from the Bible, these men ought to know, and if they do not it is civility to inform them, that the first thing to be understood is, whether there is sufficient authority for believing the Bible to be the word of God, or whether there is not?
T Paine, The Age of Reason Part 2This is a different source than the other one - no signup required. Thought it might be more likely that readers will look at it. One more clip from the section on the OT.

Like all other ancient histories, they appear to be a jumble of fable and of fact, and of probable and of improbable things, but which distance of time and place, and change of circumstances in the world, have rendered obsolete and uninteresting.

The chief use I shall make of those books will be that of comparing them with each other, and with other parts of the Bible, to show the confusion, contradiction, and cruelty in this pretended word of God.


Now, here's a bit on the New Testament:

CHAPTER II - THE NEW TESTAMENT

THE New Testament, they tell us, is founded upon the prophecies of the Old; if so, it must follow the fate of its foundation.
...
I lay it down as a position which cannot be controverted, first, that the agreement of all the parts of a story does not prove that story to be true, because the parts may agree, and the whole may be false; secondly, that the disagreement of the parts of a story proves the whole cannot be true. The agreement does not prove truth, but the disagreement proves falsehood positively.

The history of Jesus Christ is contained in the four books ascribed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.--The first chapter of Matthew begins with giving a genealogy of Jesus Christ; and in the third chapter of Luke there is also given a genealogy of Jesus Christ. Did these two agree, it would not prove the genealogy to be true, because it might nevertheless be a fabrication; but as they contradict each other in every particular, it proves falsehood absolutely.


AfterInfnity, I really think you'd get a lot out of reading this man's work. 230 years have passed, and yet people are still accepting mythology with no substantial evidence to back it up. It is a critical examination of the various books that easily earns respect by anyone willing to read it. Sadly, I'm afraid most apologists and hard-liners will not.
edit on 10-12-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:04 AM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by adjensen
 



What are you, twelve?

Where does it say "I know it's not true, I believe it anyway"?


Insults are unnecessary. If you want to continue this conversation, I would appreciate a little bit of respect. To begin with, I never said you know it's not true. I said you don't care. Read my post a little more carefully.

And you accuse ME of being twelve.



Whether he actually wrote them is of little consequence,


^ Right here. You exhibit a clear disregard for the actual veracity of these texts.


No, that's not what I said. Again, learn to read -- what I said was that whether Moses wrote them or not doesn't change what they say, because nowhere does it say "I, Moses, wrote this." I never said I don't care about the truth, which is what you're accusing me of, what I said is that it doesn't matter, either way. And it doesn't, so I have no problem accepting the traditional view, but if someone cited a good reason to reject it, I would, because I do value truth over tradition, exactly the opposite of what you're accusing me of.


For the time being, I reject the traditional point of view because it's outdated, barbaric, and influenced by the idealized conception of a bloodthirsty tyrannical egomaniac.


How is accepting the traditional view that Moses wrote those books "outdated, barbaric, and influenced by the idealized conception of a bloodthirsty tyrannical egomaniac"? We're not talking about the content of those books, but rather their authorship.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



How is accepting the traditional view that Moses wrote those books "outdated, barbaric, and influenced by the idealized conception of a bloodthirsty tyrannical egomaniac"? We're not talking about the content of those books, but rather their authorship.


That goes for all the books, not just Moses. And I don't see the point of flooding the earth when you can erase everything and start over.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


And it doesn't, so I have no problem accepting the traditional view, but if someone cited a good reason to reject it, I would, because I do value truth over tradition, exactly the opposite of what you're accusing me of.

Heya, adj,

Have you read Thomas Paine? What do you think of his ideas? I'd like to see you over in the Deism thread, to discuss these things further.




posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by adjensen
 


And it doesn't, so I have no problem accepting the traditional view, but if someone cited a good reason to reject it, I would, because I do value truth over tradition, exactly the opposite of what you're accusing me of.

Heya, adj,

Have you read Thomas Paine? What do you think of his ideas? I'd like to see you over in the Deism thread, to discuss these things further.


As I said earlier, I don't think much of arguments from that era, because most of them are predicated on the expected results of people whose views were decidedly non-Christian. I'm more familiar with the German "Quest for the Historical Jesus" than the Deists, whose "Natural Religion" had largely been discredited by the time of the Germans, but it's all mostly the same.

The basis, if any, for knowing who Jesus was is the New Testament, and that's about it -- the further one gets from that core, the less likely one is seeing an accurate picture of Jesus, so someone like Jefferson, for example, who determined that "supernatural events cannot happen" and redacted the New Testament to produce a text without miracles or Christ's resurrection, created a Christianity which was in accordance with his beliefs, but which was, of course, no Christianity at all.

One can see it in the modern day "Jesus Seminar", which "authenticates" the sayings of Christ by whether they are in accordance with the views of the Jesus Seminar, meaning that they are in no way authenticated.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 



I'm more familiar with the German "Quest for the Historical Jesus" than the Deists, whose "Natural Religion" had largely been discredited by the time of the Germans, but it's all mostly the same.


Then discredit it on the Deist thread that Wildtimes posted. I'm interested to see your case, and I'm sure she would be as well.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by adjensen
 



I'm more familiar with the German "Quest for the Historical Jesus" than the Deists, whose "Natural Religion" had largely been discredited by the time of the Germans, but it's all mostly the same.


Then discredit it on the Deist thread that Wildtimes posted. I'm interested to see your case, and I'm sure she would be as well.


As I said, I'm not keen on the Deists, because by the era that I'm more interested in (mid 1800s Germany,) the Deist thing was already passé, Natural Theology having been dismissed by both the religious and the scientific community. This article might help: Natural Theology, and Immanuel Kant's The Critique of Pure Reason was a significant work of philosophy that refuted the claims of "reasoned belief".



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


As I said earlier, I don't think much of arguments from that era, because most of them are predicated on the expected results of people whose views were decidedly non-Christian. I'm more familiar with the German "Quest for the Historical Jesus" than the Deists, whose "Natural Religion" had largely been discredited by the time of the Germans, but it's all mostly the same.

Ya know, I've been wondering when someone would show how Paine et al were to be discredited. Thing is, I've read several recent non-fiction titles by historians and scholars and philosophers that don't show those Deist ideas to be "discredited." In fact, they promote it....

but again, I'm probably still in elementary school regarding the depth of religious studies.

Still, if what the person says makes sense, and there is no evidence to refute it or "debunk" it, why not listen?

Paine's points are not "subjective" as he works his way through the Scriptures. There has yet to be a new edition of the Bible (not to say there aren't new "translations" or "interpretations"), which to my mind indicates there are sufficient numbers of people to keep the tales alive. I just mistrust the "interpretations" that don't make sense to me.

My normal modus operandus (sp?) is, when something doesn't make sense, to start digging to try to find the parts that help me make sense of it.




posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Sometimes, our desire to believe foregoes the digging. That's why I make sure to dig.
edit on 10-12-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Brilliant sources, thanks so much for linking those in here!

The modern era was partly defined by a widespread rejection of natural theology for both philosophical and theological reasons. Such rejection persisted, and persists, although there has been a significant revival of natural theology in recent years.

From the Natural Theology link above....

but....now I need to know what "philosophical and theological reasons" there are to reject it.

Also, I haven't read Kant since college - time to dig that one out again, too.
It's interesting that when a young adult learns about Western Civ and studies it in school, it leaves certain impressions...but when those same classics are read 2 or 3 decades LATER, they touch on a whole different level of sophistication and wisdom.

Gha....off to read. ......



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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First, God elevates the cognitive powers of certain human beings so that their cognitive powers operate at a level of aptitude beyond what they are capable of by nature. Thanks to the divinely enhanced cognition, such people see more deeply into things than is possible for humans whose cognition has not been so enhanced. The heightened cognition is compared to light, and is often said to be a higher light than the light of natural reason. It is called the light of prophecy or the light of revelation. The recipients of the light of prophecy see certain things that God sees but that the rest of humanity does not. Having seen higher truths in a higher light, the recipients of the higher light are ready for the second step.

Second, God sends those who see things in the higher light to bear witness and to testify to what they see in the higher light. By so testifying, the witnesses (the prophets and Apostles of old) served as instruments or a mouthpiece through which God made accessible to humanity some of those truths that God sees but that humanity does not see. Furthermore, such truths were then consigned to Scripture (by the cognitively enhanced or “inspired” authors of the books of the Bible), and the Bible was composed. The Bible makes for the third step.

Third, in the present God uses the Bible as a current, active instrument for teaching the same truths to humanity. By accepting in faith God speaking through the Bible, people today have a second-hand knowledge of certain truths that God alone sees first-hand. Just as God illuminated the prophets and apostles in the light of prophecy to see what God alone sees, God also illuminates people today to have faith in God speaking through the Bible. This illumination is called the light of faith.


Okay, so this says that GOD sends to certain people a "higher knowledge". I don't argue with that....
but this new-to-me "top down" religion vs "bottom up" religion really hit home in my quest at this time.

I have trouble just "believing" things that are incredible; yet I also feel I have an "indwelling spark" that allows me to see past the obvious and mundane. That's where I'm currently stuck.

Natural Theology page



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


You must remember, what you just quoted is a very convenient excuse. It's just another way of saying, "I'm special and you're not, because I say so and if you argue with me I'll excommunicate you."

I have a friend who was excommunicated because he put a priest in a coma for touch him inappropriately. Rather than serve justice to the dastardly priest, they removed the kid so that no one would ever know. That's how these religious people operate. Instead of solving the problem, they eliminate the person who points it out.


It's all a giant catch-22. And that fact alone tells me it's not truly spiritual. It looks more like a tool than a law of nature. Something that's just a little too convenient for those doing the talking and a little too demanding of those doing the listening. Laws of nature don't work that way.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


It's just another way of saying, "I'm special and you're not, because I say so and if you argue with me I'll excommunicate you."

I agree with you; and that's part of my point.
The "revealed religions" make it imperative that others accept the words of the speaker as being "divinely inspired", and then it all goes down the toilet for me, because there's no reason to believe that person A is divinely inspired, and person B is not; just like there's no reason to say they are "demon possessed."

I totally get what you're saying....
but there IS a tiny part of me that feels like I do get it, and that it's really not neatly packaged ANYWHERE at this point.

We can choose whether to believe "ideas and thoughts" are "inspired" by an outside Source, or we can say, "what? You're crazy."

So far, I still want objective evidence, or overwhelming justification. Just because some lady in an apartment in Rome says she "channeled Jesus" doesn't make it so. Any more than psychics or remote-viewers or mediums are to be taken seriously.

Since those practitioners are everywhere, and either regarded as charlatans or gifted persons, it's all up to the listener. Would I like to find someone I thought could actually see my future, or sees and talks to angels? YES!!
And believe me, I'm still uncertain.

Some say that faith can NOT be separated from doubt; and that a believer who has no doubts whatsoever isn't trying hard enough to get to the bottom of it. Still, I've been convinced by a couple of people that they really ARE gifted, and they DO see things the rest of us can't. This is what hangs me up.

It boils down to the person's credibility - their manner of speaking, their respectfulness, etc. I do believe in "angels" and "unseen guides" - I've had too many inexplicable events in my own life to pooh-pooh that idea. But those entities don't necessarily point to a "God Person"..... therefore, I think of GOD more as a force, a non-person Divinity, that the angels are part of, and so are we. That said, I don't believe in demons, so.....

obviously, I'm still the same - uncertain and confused. Hopeful but skeptical. How I wish something would happen to REALLY TRULY convince me - I'd embrace it immediately - and in fact, just this morning before I got out of bed I was thinking about these things. I KNOW that I have felt the touch of something unseen, have received "messages"....
someone can tell me I imagined it, that I'm melodramatic and romantic and silly, but those instances feel real all the same.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


But that's my point. You either believe, or you don't. You either know the truth, or you don't. Everyone is picking and choosing and reinterpreting and conveniently ignoring parts of a system that they believe to be truth, but cannot prove for a fact. It's a recipe for disaster, and they wonder why people aren't as gullible and fearful as they used to be.

Maybe it's because the authors of the Bible write a crappy story. Maybe it's because they couldn't tell the truth if their lives had depended on it. Maybe it's because their lives did depend on telling a lie, and so they buried a truth in the lie but the people who were threatening them caught on and demonized the source of those hidden truths, guaranteeing we would never look for them.

Now there's a plausible idea. And that's why people get so confused when interpreting these things, because without those little truths, none of their ideas hold water for long. There's a small piece of the puzzle missing, and that piece unlocks a whole new puzzle that people are just beginning to realize is there. Like a painting with an original under it. Sure, the forgery is cool to a point, but wait until the true masterpiece is unearthed!



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I refer to mine as a "reasoned faith", because it was through my study of science (physics and maths, mostly) that I determined that some sort of God had to exist, but it was my life experience, the testimony of others and just a simple faith that I determined God to be the God of Christianity. My current religion, as a subset of that greater spirituality, was also arrived at as a mixture of reason and belief.

I have always shied away from "only certain people get this knowledge", as practiced by Reformed Theology, and any number of "master/guru" religions, because Christ makes it absolutely clear that his salvation is available to anyone, without any secret knowledge or teachers, and if God is a just God, that would have to be the case, no?



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


If you believe in the "God" of Christianity, does that mean you believe the Bible in its entirety, as well? Because that is the sole source of ...*ahem* authorized information concerning that "God".

If you do NOT believe the Bible in its entirety, where do you find your information regarding the nature of this "God"?



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I have always shied away from "only certain people get this knowledge", as practiced by Reformed Theology, and any number of "master/guru" religions, because Christ makes it absolutely clear that his salvation is available to anyone, without any secret knowledge or teachers, and if God is a just God, that would have to be the case, no?

Yes. If God is just God, that would have to be the case.
Thanks for your specificity. I mistrust the "secret knowledge holders," and that's been my stance since I was a preschooler. Just the way I am.



posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


If you believe in the "God" of Christianity, does that mean you believe the Bible in its entirety, as well? Because that is the sole source of ...*ahem* authorized information concerning that "God".

If you do NOT believe the Bible in its entirety, where do you find your information regarding the nature of this "God"?

See, here is where I think you're missing some points, my friend. There are plenty of people who take the Bible as purely metaphorical, and ignore the outrageous violence and depravity that it (in the OT) paints Divinity with.

As far as I can tell, pure Christianity is to live by the "treat others as you want to be treated," and that's all.





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