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What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II

Slag 24 Jan 07 - 02:26 AM
Slag 24 Jan 07 - 03:10 AM
The Villan 24 Jan 07 - 03:18 AM
Captain Ginger 24 Jan 07 - 03:39 AM
Slag 24 Jan 07 - 04:11 AM
The Villan 24 Jan 07 - 04:38 AM
Georgiansilver 24 Jan 07 - 05:02 AM
The Villan 24 Jan 07 - 05:27 AM
Georgiansilver 24 Jan 07 - 05:34 AM
The Villan 24 Jan 07 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,ib48 24 Jan 07 - 08:47 AM
Georgiansilver 24 Jan 07 - 12:13 PM
Captain Ginger 24 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jan 07 - 12:36 PM
Captain Ginger 24 Jan 07 - 12:38 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM
Georgiansilver 24 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM
Captain Ginger 24 Jan 07 - 12:54 PM
Amos 24 Jan 07 - 01:02 PM
Bee 24 Jan 07 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,ib48 24 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jan 07 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Crazyhorse 24 Jan 07 - 03:50 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jan 07 - 04:07 PM
Bill D 24 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM
Slag 24 Jan 07 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 24 Jan 07 - 04:27 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Crazyhorse 24 Jan 07 - 04:49 PM
Slag 24 Jan 07 - 05:08 PM
Georgiansilver 24 Jan 07 - 05:16 PM
Captain Ginger 24 Jan 07 - 05:24 PM
Scoville 24 Jan 07 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Crazyhorse 24 Jan 07 - 05:47 PM
Bill D 24 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM
Amos 24 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM
Slag 24 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM
Little Hawk 24 Jan 07 - 06:38 PM
Bee 24 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM
Amos 24 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 24 Jan 07 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Bardan 25 Jan 07 - 01:20 AM
Slag 25 Jan 07 - 01:40 AM
Captain Ginger 25 Jan 07 - 03:09 AM
Georgiansilver 25 Jan 07 - 05:16 AM
Bee 25 Jan 07 - 09:28 AM
Slag 25 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM
Bill D 25 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM
Bee 25 Jan 07 - 07:30 PM
Slag 25 Jan 07 - 09:59 PM
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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 02:26 AM

The main revelation of the Torah is God's name, I AM. Keeping in mind my definition(s) above, God thus enthrones the paradigm of existence. Pretty good for ancient minds, wouldn't you say?

I'm either still having trouble with this ancient machine or someone is hacking my machine. Don't know which yet but I'll break up my responses. I'm getting tired of losing several paragraphs before I can get them posted. Anyone having similar problems??


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:10 AM

In the New Testament, Book of John we read that "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Further revelation! The same theme is in the OT but not so prominently portrayed. There you have such passages as "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you." it is this emphasis upon the Word of God that give the Bible it's authority in things Jewish and with the NT, things Christian.

"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" God's personification of His atributes. Christ said "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." and "I and the Father are One" and I am (I AM) the Way and the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father except by me."

If nothing else it should peak your curiosity to look into just what God HAS promised and the Names He owns, that is to say that He embodies the paradigm of. Some are "God is Love" Prince of Peace. Savior, Redeemer, The Good Shepard.

And in contrast to other human concepts of God which reflect all the short comings of Man, the Judeo-Christian God reflects all the highest aspirations of good men and attributes the evil aspect of human nature to a lesser and twisted being, Satan ( translated "Adversary")


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:18 AM

>>If nothing else it should peak your curiosity to look into just what God HAS promised and the Names He owns,<<

Why?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:39 AM

Sorry, but no. As I see it, god has promised nothing. A collection of storybooks that have been passed down the centuries makes mention of the myths of a near-eastern people, and these are echoed in some interpretations of what may by 1st century rabbinical teachings. The are interesting folk tales concernng a grumpy killer in the OT and a numinous 'father' in the NT, but that's it for me.

And as for names - every culture that has invented the concept of the divine has given its god or gods names. The fact that people here use the Christian convention is largely the happenstance of history. Had it not been for the Roman Empire, we might have very different beliefs. Put it down, alongside aqueducts and being safe to walk the streets at night, as one of the things the Romans did for us.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:11 AM

All history in fact is a clear line, regardless of our ability to see it. Our future appears as a cone of probablilty bounded by physical and human limitations but as the moment passes this too, becomes part of the sharp edge of factual history. For most the light that guides is what has gone on before, that is, that which we remember, that which we CHOOSE to remember. It's fun and even educational to speculate what might have happened but it didn't. History is like the layers in the Grand Canyon, laid down in time for a time until it too is erased by time.

Had it not been for the Roman Empire, we might have had very different beliefs.

Well, that's fun, but that's not what happened. God as Author and Creator of all must see His story of Man as a complete work with no cone of probablility. He has already penned the last line. Plays havoc with "freewill" doesn't it? In chess, I believe the term is "Zugzwang" where the player has a limited number of moves, all of which lead to checkmate. This is how it must be for an omniscient God but not for limited Man. We keep thinking that WE are the masters of our destinies.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:38 AM

>God as Author and Creator of all must see His story of Man as a complete work with no cone of probablility. He has already penned the last line.<

What a load of garbage. Thats the sort of thing that makes me steer clear of religion.

get real Slag


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:02 AM

One mans garbage is another mans fortune Villan. You have an opinion but perhaps you should consider the possibility that you may be totally wrong instead of sitting in judgement on others opinions or beliefs and suggesting that you have the right answer. Because you do not believe does not make you automatically right.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:27 AM

I don't consider that I am right or wrong Mike, just expressing my opinion.
Its up to you what you beleive.

My father was a devout Christadelphian about 30 years ago. He started to try and convert me. I just told him, that the best he could do, was follow his beleifs, but not to try and influence me as I had no interest whatsoever in his religion. He didn't from then on. I respected his beleifs, but that doesn't mean I agreed with him. Although we never talked about it, I have taken him to meetings and got in touch with his religious brothers and sisters when necessary.
I even got one of his brethren to take the service at his funeral. I didn't agree with most of what this guy talked about, but it was for my father, not me, so I respected that.

I don't go round telling people not to be religious, thats up to them, but do religious people try to get us non faithy people to beleive in what they beleive. I am not interested.

I didn't put this thread up, I am only expressing my opinion, just like you are, and I do not have to agree with what a religious person is telling me.

There is no malice from my point of view. I respect you as a person and its up to you what you do in life, as long as it is peaceful.

Thats probably where we do agree but from different viewpoints.

I don't agree with Slag's opinion - he posted his opinion - not me.

I am not flaming him, just responding to his comments.I also bear no malice to slag.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:34 AM

But Les...'Get real Slag' is like saying you are wrong...what I am saying is maybe you are wrong and Slag has got real.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:37 AM

Thats up to him or her Mike. Not me. I don't agree and thats it.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,ib48
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:47 AM

God has the same meaning as father xmas,it is a made up being to keep us in order.It is simply a way of putting fear into us,be good or else.The politicians of the time were simply playing with our minds.Surely we shouldnt believe this clap trap anymore,science has proved the bible to be nothing more than a fantastic piece of fiction.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:13 PM

And your source please GUEST,ib48 for the scientific proof?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:33 PM

I'm afraid I'm with the Villan on this - Slag's dewy-eyed surrender to the will of god is abhorent to me as a human being. S/he should indeed 'get real'.
But if we are to go along with such twaddle, at what point do we abrogate free will then? Do we stand by and allow another Auschwitz because it must be god's will? If all is predetermined down to the last jot and tittle, what scope is there for redemption? If the universe is one great big train set there can be no sinners and no saints because we're all merely cogs in god's plan for this insignificant little planet in this particular galaxy.
I'm sorry, but such a facile attitude is the ultimate cop-out for the feeble-minded and unimaginative.
The historical Jesus would be aghast at what's been done in his name, but attitudes like Slag's would probably have him changing his vocation and disappearing back into carpentry.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:36 PM

Consider the possibility that your own entire life is "twaddle" too. It is a possibility, after all.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:38 PM

But, my dear, it patently is! As flies to wanton schoolboys are we. The only thing that matters about me is the DNA message I carry, and that has already been passed onwards. In that sense, I am redundant. But, having the miracle of consciousness, I'm capable of enjoying my pointlessness, and enjoying arguing the pointlessness of theism.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM

Well said. ;-) My point was that if you feel free to simply insult another human being's core beliefs by calling them "twaddle" (and it is an insult), then you should be prepared for responses along the same line...and I see that you are. At least when it comes to this subject, anyway.

To show disprespect is to invite it in return, yes?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:42 PM

As I suggested in an earlier post, this thread may turn personal as such threads often do. Slag has a belief which you may call twaddle if it suits you but suggesting that Slag is in 'dewy eyed surrender' or should 'get real' is implying that you know better.....that Slag is wrong. I agree with Little Hawk....Consider the possibility that your own life is entire twaddle too.
Perhaps Slag has something you haven't.........


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 12:54 PM

I know it's a difficult and sensitive area - but when someone's core beliefs appear to involve a complete abrogation of responsibility and a detachment from reality, then I will disagree.
It's little different to the attitude of the zealot who kills because god wills it, or the schizophrenic who pushes someone under a train because the voices in his head told him to do it.
All of them involve a surrender of the will - it's just a question of culpability. You could argue that the schizophrenic has no choice, and therefore is not culpable, whereas those who say it's god rather than the voices are culpable. Voluntary surrender of the will is something we should all fight against.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 01:02 PM

It is a very different thing to use imaginary playmates to reflect differing viewpoints in one's own thoughts, as a sort of game, than to use them as a justification for things one is unwilling to claim and own responsibility for, as an individual.

Slag's view aside, the use of an external deity (or any other "super-being") to "provide responsibility" where one cannot take it, and to provide "guidance' for courses of action one will not decide on for oneself, is just abrogation of one's own beingness in the world.

It's easy to get confused in the sea of significance and different angles we live in, and it is sometimes hard to sort things out. That doesn't mean one should either hand off the job to a synthetic external entitity, a witch-doctor or a priest, or flinch from doing it on one's own. That's a cheap and lazy use of spirituality, IMHO, and actually serves to degrade the spiritual side of life.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 01:34 PM

I think it can be possible to discuss most religion or absence thereof without getting personal, by responding to the theology or reasoning, and not the individual, and without implying the other is an idiot.

All bets are off when religion starts preaching that some humans have less value than others, as for example the reported belief (which I am not sure is true) in Mormonism that a husband must invite his wife into heaven, or the insistence of some organized religion, such as Roman Catholicism, that women are unworthy of being priests, or Islamic instructions for when and how to beat your wife. Protestant Christian hands are not clean in this regard, particularly in the past, and there are still echos. Paul, IMO, has a lot to answer for in this regard, with his insistance on male heads of households and the silencing of women in churches.

I respect believers who are able to admit the faults of their religions, and are willing to try to remedy them.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,ib48
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:02 PM

scientific proof of evolution seems to cast doubts on adam and eve doesnt it.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:29 PM

Yes, unless Adam and Eve were intended as allegorical figures, which I always assumed they were. Symbols, in other words. It was normal in spiritual tales at that time to use individual human characters to symbolize larger events which occurred in Nature.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Crazyhorse
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 03:50 PM

Bee wrote "I respect believers" and I don't have a problem with that, what I do have a problem with is that I should (by law) respect their religion. In the US they nearly got it right with the "freedom of and freedom from" but then they went and wrote "In god we trust" everywhere. If you want to believe in the supernatural, fine, but it shouldn't impact my life and it does.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:07 PM

How does a slogan that is written on coins and dollar bills impact your life? The slogan's a joke anyway, because the present society doesn't really believe in God, they believe in money, and that's why it's ON the money, in my opinion...because the money IS God, to all intents and purposes.

Advertising bugs me. It's everywhere. So I deal with it. I accept the fact that there will always be some things around that bug me, because I do not control the rest of the world, and I never will.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:11 PM

Well, there is evidence that there IS a "mitochondrial Eve" from whom we all descended, but this is 'almost' irrelevant to the religious claims....

It is a rather narrow fence I sit upon. While I tend to agree with the basic point Captain Ginger and Amos & The Villan are making...(that really careful reasoning and even common sense would lead an honest man to doubt the myriad tales of religion), I still cannot just grab believers by the collar and shake them, saying.."That's silly...Change your mind!"
It just don't work that way!
There are serious historical and emotional reasons why people cling to religious beliefs.....and I'm not sure I'd care to live in a world where WE suddenly convinced THEM all at once that they were mistaken!....I think it would be chaos beyond belief.

   Personally, I just plod along, explaining some of my thoughts, presenting alternatives, noting the logical and semantic traps folks get into...and hoping that gradually the majority will adopt at least a skeptical "let's think more" attitude....perhaps without totally rejecting all the deeply held beliefs that have guided their lives.
   In the meantime, I would note that we HAVE come a long way from the days when being an admitted non-believer could get you rejection and/or execution. Now we need to eliminate laws that still allow religious doctrine to be foisted on us de facto OR de jure...

We need a policy AND a set of laws AND a public attitude that says "If there are only 14 atheists in the country, they are allowed to go about their business peacefully, without pressure....and the same if there were only 14 Christians...or Muslims...etc."

We cannot force anyone to **SEE** ...but we can set good examples and hope. Force & ridicule never truly converted anyone to a new viwepoint.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:18 PM

I take absolutely no offense and I understand that strong emotion gets included when discussing core values and reality constructs. I welcome all opinion because no one has a complete picture of anything! What a great opprotunity to learn how others think and respond to an idea!

Nor is it my mission to convert anyone. Period. That's something I cannot do! That's God's business and His perogative. I couldn't even change my own attitudes and thinking on the subject. I had to have my nose shoved in it and even then I resisted. Metaphorically, it was only when I heard a door being closed that I realized it might never be opened again that I decided to go through. It changed my life and and gave me new eyes, so to speak. But that's just me. How God may deal with you is not in my knowledge.

All language is metaphor and ultimately the experience of God is ineffable! Makes you wonder why so many people talk so much and use so many metaphors to try to contain it.

Given the name of the thread and trying to stay on topic is difficult with such a broad query. It calls for personal opinion and that is what I have given. I have not sought to denigrate anyone's opinion. I have only hoped to raise awareness and provide some of my personal insights to aspects of the subject. Wouldn't you agree that any decision should be an informed decision? I have studied the great religions of the world and many of the minor one and a few small, esoteric ones. Compared and contrasted. Man's religious nature or anti-religious nature IS a fascinating subject to me. If someone wants to deride me for finding something outside of myself that is real to me, that prioritizes and makes sense (to me) of my world, so be it. I don't decry a blind man for not seeing nor do I criticize a lame man for not running. Christ said that He did not come to call the whole but the lame, the blind and the weak. I was (and still am in many ways) one of those. Not perfect, just forgiven and secure (at peace, that is) with God.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:27 PM

I didn't say that the moto affects my life. But there are many other things that do. Blasphemy laws, their resistance to euthanasia, bishops in the UK's second chamber, church schools brainwashing children, the major religions are sexist, homophoebic, eletist and reactionary. On another thread there was talk of AIDS drugs not being free in the third world where the catholic church tells people not to use condoms, just how many deaths was the last pope responsible for. No, I won't respect religion.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM

I understand your concerns. Likewise, there are a great many harmful effects resulting from our dependence on money, the political system, advertising, marketing of drugs (the legal ones, I mean), and all kinds of other things we take for granted, besides religion. All of those problems are at least as bad as the problems resulting from religion. Agreed?

And yet it is also true that a great deal of good things can be seen happening in the use of money, the political system, advertising, marketing of drugs, and the many beliefs associated with religion. Therefore, to condemn any one of these matters out of hand is to focus only on the negatives, and ignore the positives.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Crazyhorse
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 04:49 PM

There are many problems, (and many threads); this thread happens to be about religion so that's what I commented on.

The biggest problem (and they all do it) is the brainwashing (that's abuse) of children. We wouldn't dream of allowing children to be indoctrinated with a political ideology so why do we allow this. It's obvious why the religions like it; how many members would they have if you couldn't join until you were eighteen. Give me a child until he's seven etc


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:08 PM

Spot on LH. Power mongerers always tend to grab for the highest flag waving and point to it in the hopes that the marks won't look at him. A lot of evil has been done in the name of many good causes and many good causes have been corrupted by the power hungry and the glory seekers.

I contend that "Religion" is a product of Man and an imposition between Man and the Almighty. The Bible has very little to say about religion and cult practices. Religion (thres-ki'-ah, in the Greek, i.e. ceremonial worship) is defined by the writer of James as in pure form and undefiled, the care and feeding of widows and orphans! That doesn't sound much like what passes for religion in our world today, does it?

How does the monotheist's God create? I don't know. Outside of what physicists can tell us about "Nothing" (no-thing) I know nothing about nothing! And yet something exists! That is the one tangible piece of evidence in the Universe that something exists. If this is the supreme example of begging the question, so be it. We have nothing else to go on. See God's Dicey Cup thread for further discussion. God must create by self limitation! How else could there be shadow and contrast. How can we truly know good without the presence of evil? I know, I know. All the great questions that have haunted Mankind from the beginning of time. However,

if God has limited His visitation upon His creation, the Bible purports that He HAS visited us in various ways at various times, all a faith proposition. Christians hold forth that Jesus Christ was God's ultimate expression of His love for Mankind, the last word on the subject. His death and ressurection denotes a new age that Christians have called the Age of Grace, the Age of God's complete forgivness and the acceptance of all who will accept His Son. Continuing with His Self limitations, He has chosen to work through His followers as they seek to spread His Word to the world. Christ Himself warned of "false christs" that would come and seek to pervert His Word and this has happened repeatedly since Christ and yet His Word stands and The Spirit of God stands ready to enlighten anyone who truly seeks Him (and not some guru or big haired Alabama preacher).


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:16 PM

Amen


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:24 PM

Sorry Slag, you last paragraph has lost me completely (maybe it's to do with the errant caps appearing everywhere). Georgiansilver clearly understands it - any chance of one or other of you rewriting in in plain, vanilla vernacular?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Scoville
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:40 PM

Hey, don't knock the big-haired Alabama preacher. Mormonism started under circumstances that were not so different from that, and they are Christians. Reminds me of "Joan of Arcadia"--you never know how God might appear (if you believe in Him).

I've resolved--again--not to get my shorts in a wad over what my various acquaintances "know" to be true about religion, but I have to confess that I've tired myself out in the past arguing the difference between knowledge and belief. In such a case as religion where there is no empirical method by which to prove or disprove the existence of . . . any of it, really, what we have is belief. I believe (meaning that I think I know) that there is no God. Slag and Georgiansilver obviously believe very literally that there is. Fine. Whatever works for you.

The ancient Greeks "knew" that Zeus would zap them with a lightning bolt if they screwed up. The ancient Egyptians "knew" that that horrible chimaeric monster was waiting to eat their heart at the scales if they had sinned too much in life. Maybe Trekkies "know" that something awful will happen to them if they take the name of Spock in vain; I don't know. The popularity and pervasiveness of Christianity does not make its cast of characters any more literally real than any other mythology or value system. It's belief, it's not knowledge.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Crazyhorse
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:47 PM

Slag you talk about good (as opposed to evil). Why can't you just be good because it's the right thing to do. Christians are told to be good otherwise they'll be punished, is that what we should teach children, it's not what I teach mine.

You talk about "his word"? Has he spoken to you? As far as I know the bible was written by men (and note, they were men not women)


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM

Once we get into classic statements like Slag's last paragraph with significant words capitalized in deference, it moves beyond discussion and explanation and into what is a just circular 'statement' that is a personal position that borders on preaching.
Essentially, it says that IF you believe, then you can accept the Bible's version of what to believe and can rationalize that all seeming contradictions are merely misunderstandings of God's purpose and methods. That is, once you just **DECIDE** that you accept a couple of premises, it all falls into place and everything supports everything else in a great interlocking set of rules.
Then, you are free to interpret all arguments and criticisms as extraneous to your position and not applicable, since God's ways are not subject to argument or complete understanding by men.

There is really no way to get at this position...it is like Popeye the Sailor saying "I yam what I yam!" The thing about this kind of belief/statement is that it DOES solve certain dilemmas and provide comfort & solace for many...and of course, that is not all bad. It is VERY, VERY hard to explain precisely why in 'might' not be ultimately correct...especially when you can't provide a more comfy answer.

*shrug*...It is what it is, and we DO need to at least shelve our differences 'most' of the time.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM

Well, ya never know who was whispering into their ears between chapters. It was put down as the words of Gawd, but the way I've seen men work it could just as well have been the whisperings of Jezebel or Mrs. Prophet or some meandering Rebekah. Ya never know how these notions creep into a guys head, especially in the desert.

A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 05:55 PM

The CAPS signify that it is diety about whom I speak, a way of keeping a clear referent rather than through, perhaps, more proper grammar. I'm lazy. All caps is for emphasis. In KJV scripture all caps LORD or GOD (rare) indicate that the Hebrew word there is the Tetragrammon YHWH which is also transliterated JEHOVAH but more correctly Yahweh, which tranlated is IAM or I AM WHO I WILL BE. This is the revealed name of God to Moses and the core of the Yahwist tradition in the Torah.

"Lord" or "God" is from the Hebrew "Elohim" which means "The Strong One" Which is a more generic title for the Hebrew Monotheistic God. There are other names and titles but that is probably info for another thread. God knows I don't want to be the sower of confusion among the saints or the heathen (look it up!), hence this explanation.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 06:38 PM

Again, Crazy Horse, I understand your point. But you really surprised me when you said, "We wouldn't dream of allowing children to be indoctrinated with a political ideology..."

WHaaaat?????? Come again? Wouldn't we? LOL! I went to school in New York State, my friend, from grade 4 right through to high school graduation, and NEVER have I seen a more blatant example of children being indoctrinated with a political ideology! Yikes!

Oh, there are worse examples out there too. I bet the Khymer Rouge were a lot worse. So too were the Maoists and are the North Koreans. And the Saudis are worse. Probably the Iranians too. Maybe the Israelis. But so what? What I saw in my history courses, my social studies courses, every morning's obligatory reciting of "The Pledge of Allegiance" and all the rest of the incredible barrage of propaganda and social conditioning foisted on us young minds was precisely what you alluded to in your statement. We were being indoctrinated with a very aggressive political ideology. I was a Canadian immigrant, living temporarily in the USA, and I didn't buy it. Everyone else in those classes with me did buy it, except one guy I knew named Larry, and he was a real conconformist. He only bought about half of it. I bought just about none of it.

The kind of indoctrination of children you fear is endemic throughout society. They are indoctrinated to support war, they are indoctrinated to perpetuate phony political parties, and they are indoctrinated to become shopoholics (consumerism). I agree that indoctrinating them in a religion is just one more nasty thing you can do to them...depending on how it's done, and what it's basic assumptions are.

If the basic assumptions are that God is loving and that people should be loving too, I don't see a problem. If the basic assumptions are that God is vengeful and people are sinful then I do see a problem. If the basic assumptions are contradictory, then I see a problem.

Accordingly, I don't judge religion in a blanket way. I consider each religious theory on its own merits, just as I would any political or social theory.

You said, "Why can't you just be good because it's the right thing to do. Christians are told to be good otherwise they'll be punished, is that what we should teach children, it's not what I teach mine."

Exactly! I agree with you. The message I get from religion (meaning from Jesus, from Buddha, from Krishna, etc) is that you should be good because it's the right thing (and the wisest thing) to do. It leads to good results for yourself and others. I do NOT believe that Jesus' message was "be good, otherwise you'll be punished". I do not believe in a God who punishes. I know there are some people who believe that, but I don't. Jesus was not in the habit of punishing people, he was in the habit of healing and forgiving them. He even forgave those who arrested and crucified him. Where is the punishment? I'll tell you who punishes. People punish.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM

Jezebel

Amos refers to Jezebel, and I thought I'd throw out this somewhat different and interesting viewpoint.

Note that when Jehu has her thrown out the window, she is an old lady whose son has just been murdered.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Amos
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM

The moral being -- emulate the MOABites!!

"Jezebel does not accept Ahab's God, Yahweh. Rather, she leads Ahab to tolerate Baal. This is why she is vilified by the Deuteronomist, whose goal is to stamp out polytheism. She represents a view of womanhood that is the opposite of the one extolled in characters such as Ruth the Moabite, who is also a foreigner. Ruth surrenders her identity and submerges herself in Israelite ways; she adopts the religious and social norms of the Israelites and is universally praised for her conversion to God. Jezebel steadfastly remains true to her own beliefs."

From Bee's link above.


A


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 24 Jan 07 - 08:25 PM

God means everything to me.
ttr


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 01:20 AM

My personal take is that if there is a god he/she/it is probably uninterested and unable to act if he was interested. I'd be tempted to talk about a nebulous kind of pool of 'spirituality. As an aside, I don't think humans should be trusted with anything as dangerous as organized religion. It's been up there as one of the biggest causes of conflict and atrocity for hundreds even thousands of years. Maybe one of those sort of syncretic "oh! another god! plenty of room for one more!" type religions would be okay. Couldn't agree more with the points about taking responsability for our own behaviour rather than ascribing it to external forces. I like the motto (wiccan I believe) "an it harm none, do what thou wilt". I'd be far more atracted to that than to Moralizing Paul with all his hatred and instructions.
Incidentally did you guys see the south park treatment of the mormons and the scientologists? Priceless!


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 01:40 AM

Pauline hatred??? What book do you read, sir?

God uninterested in this work of His? How illogical.

Gloating at the maltreatment of folks exercising their right to freedom of conscience and freedom to worship? How fascist!

Wicca, wisdom, as the Word says, seek wisdom, she is above the price of rubies. Truth is truth, no matter in whose lips it resides.

Organized religion a danger? Why should it not be organized when every other human endeavor benefits from organization?

Would you be showing a little bias?


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 03:09 AM

If you are a woman, Slag, these may explain the 'hatred' a bit:
Ephesians 5:22-24
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.        

I Corinthians 11:8-9 KJV
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.        

I Corinthians 11:4-7
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.        

I Corinthians 14:34-35
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Do you agree with those?
Paul was an odd fish, eh? Probably has 'issues' as we would say today.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 05:16 AM

What you should maybe consider in context to the New Testament of Christ is that the laws of the Jews were there to be obeyed and those were the laws of the time for them. Many of the things Paul said were concerning the way people lived in the Jewish culture. I believe that we live with a God of Grace who would want us to do His will and live as near as we can to the pattern that Jesus set for us...maybe impossible but Christians are expected to try. Our laws with regard to women differ from the jews...they did then and they do now....as laws evolved women and men have been given a token equality. I say token as we can never be equal...there are things women can do that men can't and vice versa....but in law both have equal rights. I believe that God loves both equally and can accept anything from them that fits into the words Jesus uttered....
Love one another as I have loved you.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 09:28 AM

Yes, Georgiansilver, as you say, Paul mouthed the customs of the time to the early church, but his words have caused women untold grief in the ensuing two millennia. Very few denominations have not followed Paul's stated attitudes, and many have used and still use them as an excuse to deny women a place of importance in both the churches and in broader society. Many women are still manipulated by the preachings of Paul, and told to accept their place or be accused of sin.

With modern Christians, you see endless picking and choosing of what parts of the Bible are deemed inerrant and what parts can be 'safely' ignored, so that the most strict see no harm in wearing cloth made of two fibres, or eating shellfish, but will condemn homosexuality and deny women equality, the moderate will pay lip service to women while still keeping them from the pulpit, while the truly liberal will embrace all.

So how can we know if any of the Bible is anything more than myth, legend, warrior history, proverbs, poetry, philosophy? Read as the preceding, it is an interesting collection with plenty of human wisdom scattered among the wars and romance. Read as a guide to an intervening God, it is all confusion.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 05:54 PM

People who interepreted Paul's sayings in order to disadvantage women are more correctly your boogeymen. The Grecco-Roman cultural stamp was on everything. Judaism gave womankind a legal standing and a degree of autonomy that was not known in most of the ancient world. Under law, women were pretty much property. And too, slavery was a perfectly acceptable way of life, to the owners anyhow.

Paul stated that he would become all things to all people that they might know the liberatoion affordable in Christ. In other words, cultural barriers were not the issue. If they became the issue in a geographical area then the prevailing culture will out as long as the teachings of Christ were allowed to take root. Paul submitted to imprisonment as long as he could continue to preach.

And Christian submission is quite different than just being submissive. The exhortation includes submitting one to another (eliminated pride and self will) in humility.

You stopped short in Ep. 5. Verse 25 goes on to say, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it."

When two people are in love with that type of commitment then such submission elevates the both of them as role models for Christian behavior, the husband ready to lay down his own life for the life of his bride. If I were a lady, I think I'd like that in a husband.

Elsewhere Paul tells slaves that they are free in Christ but to use that freedom to render honorable service to their masters that the masters may be converted and saved. He tells the masters to be benevolent toward his slaves and treat them as family members as in Christ's eyes, that's what they are.

I believe that Paul was highly aware of the transforming nature of the message he bore and he had faith that ultimately justice would come from the loving kindness of a people who dedicated their lives to Christ and His priciples.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM

"People who interepreted Paul's sayings .."

interpreted??? Did Paul say those things or not? Is the bible the literal word of God or not? If God only inspired the bible, why did he not correct and clarify IN the heads of those whose writings make up the bible? If fallible messengers MIS-interpret, why are they not corrected so as not to HAVE a holy book that is inconsistent and contradictory?

Some modern Christians, including those who are posting in this thread DO 'interpret' liberally and try to be just, fair& sensible about those awkward passages....but why are they right? Why are not those who take the strict, hard-line view of a vengeful, punishing God correct? THEY think they are correct!

Why would an infinitely powerful and all-knowing god allow a system in which his followers CAN pick & choose interpretations and stake out a position by simply prefacing it with "I believe that..."???

There is much Gerrymandering and subjective 'qualification' going on....much as there is in politics....but judging by the claims I hear, the stakes are much higher in religion. It is often suggested to me that I'd be better off 'believing', to enhance my chances of a pleasant eternity....but WHICH belief? I see between 12 and 738 to choose from. A "Tower of Babel" to rival anything in the bible.

As always, I realize that my explication of a skeptical position is not likely to change any committed religious beliefs. I am not on a mission to UNsave any souls....I merely hope that folks who remain committed to a religious path, particularly the Christian one we 'mostly' see in this forum, will see why some of us wrinkle our brows in frustration at some of the explanations we hear.

It would be nice if we didn't even need to debate it, and barely realize what other members religious affiliations, if any, are...but now & then someone tosses a claim into the mix, and off we go.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Bee
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 07:30 PM

In fairness, from Ephesians 5:

22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Yes, it is a tender passage. Nevertheless, he repeats four times the admonition to wives to submit to their husbands "in all things". I believe, regardless of the time and cultural milieu in which Paul said these things, much harm has come of it.


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Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
From: Slag
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 09:59 PM

Yes, Paul was a man of his times and, I suppose, he cannot help but reflect his culture. However I reiterate, cultural standards were not his emphasis. A lot of what he did was troubleshoot problems that cropped up in the local churches.

Without getting into theology 101 and treating every point (which I confess, sounds like fun to me) let me just say for now that there is a branch of study known as hermeneutics and it has to do with the internal logic and consistency of the work at hand. Paul was a brilliant and educated man in his day. That his own understanding reflected the culture(s) in which he was immersed (pun intentded) is wholly understandable and at the same time demonstrates the authenticity of the times in which he wrote.

Paul, via his amanuensis(es) wrote to Jews of the Diaspora who were well versed in the Jewish culture and he drew allusions to there understanding of precedence and order as found in the Torah, the male preceeding the female. This wasn't such an issue with many of the gentiles. He said salvation was to the Jew first then the gentile, the order reflecting that Christ came to the Jews first and then was rejected.

Paul's real mind on the subject? For anyone who could get beyond the cultural differences of their day, read Galatians 3:26-29, especially 28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

I'd call that pretty forward looking and transforming. Those ideas helped reshape the world and uplifted the sstatus and role of women everywhere.


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