The debate "God and afterlife exists" was started by
July 14, 2018, 2:22 am.
101 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 41 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
Ya3ya6 posted 33 arguments to the agreers part.
Ya3ya6 posted 8 arguments, DrMrDaniel posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.
abdulbasit, Ya3ya6, rita, itenodnail, luljeta101, PhrozenKeyy, SaffronSHAM3 and 94 visitors agree.
DrMrDaniel, WhiteCaller and 39 visitors disagree.
And let's close this debate gradually, i'm not saying that don't respond to it, or i don't respond to it, i'm just saying that lets do conclusion. I think:
you believe that God perhaps doesn't exist, and religions are almost certainly invalid. And God is not interactive.
So You are almost sure (you're gnostic) about invalidity of religions, but you're agnostic(you're not totally sure) about existence of God.
And the best way we can improve ourselves is using our moral consciousness and logic and our other inner tools.
I believe to Existence of God, validity of islam, validity of some other religions (not their today's distorted form) , and that is God is interactive (it's part of islam, and other ebrahamic religions i think) .
But i'm agnostic about my beliefs.
I think you use other semantics, you can't prove that religions are invalid, so you can't be gnostic about it.
So again i think we have just different beliefs, at least it's belief for me, perhaps it's not belief for you, perhaps it just make more sense to you.
Again, i don't mean that let stop this debate, i'm saying that lets conclude gradually if you like.
"proving that he is interactive and personal is far more difficult. As for proving that a human book with highly specific laws is very indirect commandment from a perfect being... that's very difficult for me to believe."
I think You take it totally wrong. I wasn't going to prove that to you, i think you should just try asking God for his help sometimes, and see his response.
An atheist should try a religion, and see if that seems ok to him or not.
That way the atheist can say : "God, i tried religion, but it wasn't good."
Or you can say: "God, i asked your help to guide me to truth some times, but you didn't help me."
I think it's the way it works.
"every fiber of my God given mind is telling me that all these religions are false deeds of men."
Well, i think that's not what the logic says.
I didn't study deeply the religions, and i'm almost sure you didn't. So the logic says that we should say : "i don't know about religions too much". We have some knowledges about religion, as well as economy, politics, etc.
You heard this quote, right? :
"The only thing i know is that i know nothing."
So let's not talk about this kind of things with certainly.
"and I will certainly take your advice to try honestly contacting him."
Glad you are going to try it.
"but for now, the religions all seem nonsensical"
That's ok, but if you didn't give any religion a try, i think that's fair to say that you should give it a try(because its kind of God's call, if that's valid) . But if you did it from before, and you decided to stop it (not because of joy, but because you think that's not good way for you), i think it's fair to say that you should study about religions often, and perhaps give a better religion a second try, and asking the God for his help to guide you.
Man, I'm really sorry for late reply, i was just too busy. I read your response yesterday.
"my question is, why the laws of islam?
why not christianity? or Judaism? hindu? native american religions? shinto?"
Let me say my belief again:
You start obeying your parent's religion in childhood. You start to study, think, and ask The God for help, and he guide you to valid religion.
But if your question is why most of religious peoples remain in their religion, the answer is simple: "because they don't really believe in God, and they don't try hard to improve their selves and find the truth. Most of them are immoral, biased, and worldy-minded(their target is joy in this world, not improving theirselves for both this and that world).
I barely saw any real believer in real world.
"but if the person does some of them and continues to succeed in good ways, end result is the good he did, not the booze he drank."
We debate about it before.
The problem is the definition of Goodness.
When a people do a sin, like murder, mostly he think it's better,that's why he do it.
Foe example there is virtues like "justice", but actually there is no reason for us to believe to it. why justice is good? Who said that you aren't better that 1000 other people?
For example Suppose you have cancer, and your family pay a lot of money for you to not die, and you can't work. Now:
- every day in world, 25k people die because of hunger, your cost of life is about 1000 times in comparison to their cost. You have this two options:
1. Kill yourself and ask your parents to pay your costs to hungers.
2. Just ignore it.
I know. You said from before, you use your logic and moral consciousness to decide about it. But, i think there are so many people that their moral consciousness and logic will lead them to different decisions in same conditions, so i can't agree that you can decide about things just using them.
And this way, God will not help you. Why? Because you don't want any relationship with God (you rejected God's call(relegion)) .
But in general, i believe that if you don't do anything against religion, like moke religion, and you try hard to be Good, you can reach relatively good position in goodness and afterlife, for example degree 3 of paradise.
As i said before, it can't lead to greatest good in my belief, but perhaps you believe that God won't help anyone(if he exists) , so in that case, the way you said is the best way. So as i said before, it's the matter of beliefs.
I'm sorry if my use of a generic argument of (why this religion) but the conversation did stray from general theories about God to the laws of a specific religion.
I simply do not believe that the path of any religion is true. with the possible exception of some elements of buddhism (which is questionably a religion) and the Baha'i faith. it is also possibly that each of our intended paths are meant to be different by design. it's hard for a small piece to see the grand plan, and our very different lives may be all different parts of that same plan.
there are many possibilities, but there are a great many obstacles in convincing an atheist into the belief in god. proving to an atheist the existence of *A* God is the easy part. proving that he is interactive and personal is far more difficult. As for proving that a human book with highly specific laws is very indirect commandment from a perfect being... that's very difficult for me to believe.
every fiber of my God given mind is telling me that all these religions are false deeds of men. or perhaps they are just false for my intended path. maybe I'm wrong altogether, and I will certainly take your advice to try honestly contacting him. but for now, the religions all seem nonsensical. (except for the baha'i faith, their custom message makes some sense)
"i just sayed that in such situations, i should obey that, if not, that's equal to not believing in islam."
our conversation has gotten... a bit out of hand again :) I do believe this is the heart of our discussion. feel free to return to any point you feel is vital.
my question is, why the laws of islam?
why not christianity? or Judaism? hindu? native american religions? shinto?
it is my experience that the vast majority of people follow the faith they are simply born into, including the very passionate and devote. how does one choose which faith, and which set of *very* different, often contradictory laws does one follow? and where did this variety come from?
all of the vices *can* lead a person down a wrong path... but if the person does some of them and continues to succeed in good ways, end result is the good he did, not the booze he drank. I believe 99% God never meant to set rules but give advice.
Sorry for late response. And as you said "feel free to respond anytime".
In response to part 4.
"the history of islam is the history of the prophets up to Muhammad. is it not?"
No, Quran isn't like bible, the story of prophets exists in Quran, but they are mostly without details.
"however what effect they will have is very different. will the masterbator be mean to women? extra shy?"
I didn't mean that. Erotic change Our soul, our mind, and our feelings. That will effect how we act to people. For example as you said masterbation can lead to isolation, wich will lead to not do our social duties well. Or it may cause to aggression. Or the passion to help others. Things like that.
" I'm not sure where these numbers come from but if hurting someone is 100, I dont see how masterbation is 10000."
You missed *a bit* part. I said something can have a big effect on our soul(-10000 for example), we cant compare it to less effect on others(-100).
If you mean masturbation vs hurting someone so much, i totally agree that second is much much worst, but first can be a big bad too.
"with the method you suggest, a poor person with a dream will have to sell his dream to investors just to get it started."
No, if there wasn't any loan with profit, there was so many investors, and the share they wanted to give was lowered.
"in my opinion the current answer to that question, if God is good, would be to defy him and refuse to kill... that is not what the books say. and from the way I heard it, his son knew nothing and was wondering why there was no lamb for the sacrifice."
Suppose you was 100% sure that you have a creator(God) and he said it to you" kill your son" and he doesn't say the reason.
you said that you won't do it, because perhaps that's not the goodness. But the God is creator of your son, he can make your son alive again(as i said, you're sure about "God is creator of your son" ) . So "murder is bad" is not true, in that case, because its saying of the creator.
"that is not what the books say. and from the way I heard it, his son knew nothing and was wondering why there was no lamb for the sacrifice."
Don't know about other books, Quran says:
"And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast."
In response to part-3-2.
As i said, masterbation is big sin in islam in historical sayings, perhaps mostly because of it's effects on soul.
And plus Quran says : " But let them who find not [the means for] marriage abstain until Allah enriches them from His bounty.".
So Quran says that preventing sexual activities before marriage is better than having it.
I don't have enough info to debate on "masterbation is bad or not", and we didn't want to debate on that, i just sayed that in such situations, i should obey that, if not, that's equal to not believing in islam.
"why is gods message so abstract? "
Islam isn't as abstract as Christianity or other religions, we can find enough explanation in quran+ "prophet sayings" (+ "imams sayings" in shia(a branch of islam) ) , in almost every topic , but not new topics like internet.
for example in masterbation, we have "masturbation is like getting marriage to ourselves, and God won't help that person in afterlife."
" you would think an all powerful being who crafted not only his message but our minds that are receiving it would be able to make the good path clear to those who actively want to see it and not need to go through clergy who even disagree with each other!"
24000 prophets came until now, and it's about 1400 years from last prophet(mohammad).
I thing religion is complete enough, and if we ask God, God will help us and show us the perfection we seek in religion , so i don't think that's a big deal.
I agree that new prophet is better than no prophet, and i don't know exactly why God don't send us a new prophet(perhaps because it's almost end of the world (in our beliefs ) and the test of life gets harder)), but that doesn't mean we can't reach best degree in goodness(with God's help).
"it appears to me that many religions, including Islam, treat this entire life as a big test of faith and willpower. that is inconsistent with my view of a loving God."
I see life as a quick test. For me it was always hard to read for a quiz , i saw the result(joy) after quiz.
So with this example, the joy of life test is in heaven(afterlife).
But i think it's not accurate, For a believer, it's more joyful to believe and obey the God (wich lead us to become good) , than commit a joyful sin(like masturbation) . I think we gain the joy of turning to Goodness(God) In both life and afterlife.
So yes, joy is good, but "suffering" is more joyful than a sin for a believer.
There is some nonbelievers that don't commit bad, and i think a real believer also don't commit bad, not because of fear from hell, just because he think the Good is more valuable than bad.
" however the priests decided that the message was too complex for simpletons, and must be given a simplified, absolutist message. I am quite confident that these are the rules of men."
Totally agree with first part. God simplified the rules for us. But our discussion was:
- should we try to find perfect rules personally ?
- or we should obey that simplified rules?
i sayed the cons of both. second makes more sense to me.
yes. he knew God was truth, and God told him to kill.
in my opinion the current answer to that question, if God is good, would be to defy him and refuse to kill... that is not what the books say. and from the way I heard it, his son knew nothing and was wondering why there was no lamb for the sacrifice.
God expected morality to change. killing was good. not because of a circumstance but because God said it. so if God came down right now and proclaimed that man shall kill man, whether you would accept it or not, would killing be good because God said so? I think not. he may judge me as he will, but I will not accept his morality as truth. the only time killing is just is food or protection. maybe retribution, that's a whole seperate debate.
unless he gives me a very convincing explanation, I will reject such a morality even if it came from God. (although the threat of eternal fire may make me act differently, we are no longer talking about a good god)
"I don't know much about the history of prophets, i know only about the history of islam, wich there is specific punishments in it (but mostly with discount) . I should study it someday."
the history of islam is the history of the prophets up to Muhammad. is it not? there are further rules set forth *by men* thereafter, but only the stories of the prophets are claimed to come from God. correct me if I'm wrong about islam, but that is how most religions, and all the other abrahamic ones work.
"I think erotic(and the way we treat it) has a big effect on the way we feel, the way we act, the way we communicate to people."
I think many things have a big effect on people. however what effect they will have is very different. will the masterbator be mean to women? extra shy? particularly bold? very slutty? ignore them altogether? all of those are possible and have happened. I can even see someone who doesnt masterbate responding in any of those ways, including the one that can get a girl, and the one who is involuntarily celibate.
"Suppose it has - 10000 effect on your soul, and hurting someone abit has a - 100 effect on some other one. Wich one is worst? And who said that?"
I'm not sure where these numbers come from but if hurting someone is 100, I dont see how masterbating is 10000.
"Investment is welcome in islam, but you should accept that if the business succeed, you'll gain profit too, but if it failed, you should participate in loss too."
yes, investing like that is an option, but what if the person starting the business doesnt want to give up a portion of his hard work? he would prefer to borrow money and pay off the interest, and then have all his company to himself after? both are available in non sharia lands. investing in the ownership is always an option and entirely up to the owner.
with the method you suggest, a poor person with a dream will have to sell his dream to investors just to get it started. a loan is a risk that may be worth taking. perhaps instead of an absolute prohibition, or even rare exceptions, a more detailed rule should be in place regarding maximum amounts, limited interest and nonthreatening collection methods.
of course a detailed description of every aspect of life + a moral guide + a full history + an explanation of how the world was created and functions + an explanation of life and its details.... isnt exactly going to fit in a book consumable by humans, and God probably knows that.
Thanks, totally agree, let's respond on our free times and when we love to debate and when we are in the mood, as a joyful thing, not as an addiction . (I will probably respond the next day after tomorrow)
And i agree that semantics(part 1 and 2) are not a cool topic for debate, i just wrote them for you to read it, not for responding to it.
feel free to respond anytime, having too many questions discussed at once confuses the conversation. also, this app is more of an addiction for me than most things, I try to pace myself and focus on real life priorities. I will get back to the rest of your responses eventually, although I may skip parts 1 and 2 as it's mostly semantics and not particularly important / interesting in my opinion.
"1. God is able to change situation, God can find another mentally slow woman for him, God can heal his illness, etc.
2. Is erotic a need? Or he Can just forget about this, without any problem?
3. If there is small chance for finding a woman, by masturbation, he will lose his big motivation to find a woman, and perhaps it caused for him to be single forever. Wich one is more important?
4. How much masturbation is bad? For example What's wrong with marry with our family? We don't know the reason exactly, but we see it as a big bad, perhaps masterbation is same, and it is a big bad. We don't know about the effect of it in our soul and etc."
1. yet often God does not. is it the person trial to suffer involuntary celibacy in addition to the ailments that caused his celibacy? that seems cruel.
2. yes, the need to fulfill sexual drives is seen as a physiological need on the same level as air and water. it is not necessary to sustain life, yet it is a base instinct that is universal to all animal life. this is not my opinion, but the accepted view of the entire medical community, at least in the USA.
3. that is where addiction comes into play. a person who does it occasionally for release is not going to be demotivated to seek real women. it is not an equal replacement, much like no meat eater ever enjoyed a vegetarian steak as much as real meat, yet vegetarians who cant eat meat, enjoy the sub par substitute as better than nothing. the problem comes with the person who locks himself in the room and masturbates repeatedly, consistently. this person is addicted to the dopamine rush that comes with the orgasm. no woman will be able to keep up with that pace, it would actually hurt her.
4. there is no single absolute number. just like there is no single amount one should eat, it depends on the person. but we do know the reason why incest is wrong: it breeds deformity and illness. I'm not saying masturbation is a good action, what I'm saying is that not ever act is good or bad. some are neutral, although any act done in excess is bad, even prayer.
for part 3
"#3: fixed laws, but with small flexibility :
Don't masturbate in any situation, but if you're in special situation, ask the educated(master) one in religion.
Islam is third one, for example God said "for erotic needs don't masturbate" , and the educated people in religion said that "you can only masturbate if you have an illness and your doctor said that for healing"."
perhaps islam is the 3rd way, all religions claim to be the 3rd way in theory, however in practice they usually go with #1, and if you arent dying, theyll kill you. this is mostly true because of those "educated master in ones religion", who often disagree, and are themselves flawed humans. why is gods message so abstract? I understand not revealing his existence so that we have a choice, but you would think an all powerful being who crafted not only his message but our minds that are receiving it would be able to make the good path clear to those who actively want to see it and not need to go through clergy who even disagree with each other!
it appears to me that many religions, including Islam, treat this entire life as a big test of faith and willpower. that is inconsistent with my view of a loving God. going back to your loving parent analogy, a parent certainly wants their child to face and overcome obstacles and have self control, but a loving parent will also want their child to also find joy beyond the ?joy? of following their parents rules. I dont believe those rules come from God, they are the work of a flawed priesthood seeking to control their populations.
of course I cannot know the minds of either God or the priests of the past, but I can use the internal tools God gave me and the assumptions we make about him (perfect, good) to deduce that a perfect good being who loves us would not seek this level of regulation. more likely, he saw men getting belligerent drunk and hurting (physically or mentally) the people around them and told them to have some self control. drink this wine made from the substances he put for us and the ingenuity he gave us, but do not lose yourself in it. however the priests decided that the message was too complex for simpletons, or that the willpower of masses was too weak (many leaders still make that claim today), and must be given a simplified, absolutist message. I am quite confident that these are the rules of men.
"he did it to (abraham or isaac) to murder his own son... and expected him to agree in order to pass. he stopped it, but the right answer was to murder. would you murder?"
He was a prophet from before, he spoke to God, he saw the Gods miracles(making dead birds alive after death), so he was a gnostic(perhaps 99% gnostic) theist. and most importantly he asked his son about it, and his son allowed him to do that.
So i don't do that, because i'm not that gnostic/theist.
"and did morality not just change?"
I said it in previous comments.
I agree that there is some exceptions and special cases for morality(like murder), but i don't agree we can change it by ourselves, unless we are really educated and master in religion and ethic, or we are real gnostic theist(so much gnostic and so much theist) .
"yes, that is the holy books, not the prophets. the prophets of Judaism are actually quite sparse on speeches and are mostly men of action and perseverence, but none spoke often specific laws and punishments within this lifetime. they werent against just laws, but they made no absolute ones either, to my knowledge."
I don't know much about the history of prophets, i know only about the history of islam, wich there is specific punishments in it (but mostly with discount) . I should study it someday.
" I dont think that it's about knowing loss as much as respecting others and avoiding hurting them. in addition to having obvious consequences, they also affect others, while something like masturbation is a solitary sin that only affects you. that already qualifies it as less severe. it is not good to harm oneself, but it is far worse to hurt bystanders and loved ones."
I think erotic(and the way we treat it) has a big effect on the way we feel, the way we act, the way we communicate to people. If you don't see that effect, doesn't mean that doesn't exists. So i don't see it as a solitary sin.
" even if it was a solitary sin , doesn't mean that its not bigger than sins like hurting others."
Suppose it has - 10000 effect on your soul, and hurting someone abit has a - 100 effect on some other one. Wich one is worst? And who said that?
"its well worth it because that money is intended to invest and make money, not feed a family through the winter"
Investment is welcome in islam, but you should accept that if the business succeed, you'll gain profit too, but if it failed, you should participate in loss too.
"most murderers know they are doing wrong"
I think most of them are not educated enough in philosophy , because if that's bad, why they did it? They think that's better for them(the joy or benefits of killing him) , that's why they do it. And they don't believe that self serving is bad, if they believed it, they didn't do it.
"do you think their judgement will be equal? bloodlust for the joy of it? or bloodlust for a twisted desire to help?"
I didn't say that we should judge them equal, i said both did a wrong thing. I agree that we should judge people by situation, but some sins are almost in every situation a sin(i agree that for every sin there is some exceptions, but we shouldn't set the exceptions buy ourselves, the law and educated people(in religion or law) should set it, or we should ask them) .
The first and third one seems to have cons too :
What if we don't have any other choice to reach the good, other than commiting a sin?
what of the cripple or the mentally slow who cant find a woman, must they suffer?
That seems to be a con, but there is some consideration:
1. God is able to change situation, God can find another mentally slow woman for him, God can heal his illness, etc.
2. Is erotic a need? Or he Can just forget about this, without any problem?
3. If there is small chance for finding a woman, by masturbation, he will lose his big motivation to find a woman, and perhaps it caused for him to be single forever. Wich one is more important?
4. How much masturbation is bad? For example What's wrong with marry with our family? We don't know the reason exactly, but we see it as a big bad, perhaps masterbation is same, and it is a big bad. We don't know about the effect of it in our soul and etc.
So in such a situation, wich we think there is a danger for not doing a sin, we ask it from someone who is educated in religion, and he will try to see every aspect of it, and he will tell us about it.
But i think there isn't any proofed danger in this case.
In Quran, god said "In wine and gambling, there is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.".
So there is some goodness in wine, wich we are ignoring it.
So the question is:
Can someone reach the highest level of goodness as possible, by avoiding these(wine and gambling) ? The answer seems to be:
"no, because if someone know "when drinking wine benefits him" , it will be better for him."
But the improved answer is "yes, if someone has that degree of goodness, God can guide him to drink wine in situations that it benefits him".
And the best answer is :
"there is some alternatives wich aren't sin to wine, to gain it benefits, so wine is not necessary for being as good as possible"
The same applies to Masterbation, patience is a big virtue in islam, so i think for example "patience for finding a wife" is better than masterbation. (suppose that sexual desire is a good thing).
"what of the cripple or the mentally slow who cant find a woman? must they suffer? is that a good God? no."
Suppose God exists and life is a test, There can be 3 approach (at least) for the God to help people to become Good and do goods:
#1: fixed laws:
Don't masturbate in any situation, and don't change this law, even if your dying .
#2. Totally Flexible laws:
I recommend you to not masturbate in general, but you should consider situations by yourself.
#3: fixed laws, but with small flexibility :
Don't masturbate in any situation, but if you're in special situation, ask the educated(master) one in religion.
Islam is third one, for example God said "for erotic needs don't masturbate" , and the educated people in religion said that "you can only masturbate if you have an illness and your doctor said that for healing".
So which approach is better?
The first one has two big cons:
one may say " i'm single and masterbation is a good alternative for sex", but how much you know about the effect of masterbation in everything, and your soul? Why from 10 people, for example 7 of them say it's good in general, and 3 say it's bad? Perhaps it's a big bad(a big sin), how you want to know it?
So in short, our knowledge can be totally wrong in ethic.
There is so many undereducated people that they don't know that they shouldn't decide about good and bad by their own. For example if an undereducated man kill another one, and say "he was a bad person", in this approach God can't blame him for what he did. That's same for rape, one may say:"i had a big need for it", and God can't blame him. So the world will be full from "the good" that people defined for their selves . (i don't believe that someone who do murder or rape know that what he is doing is really bad in God's perspective)
***Does gnostic/theist has a unique definition?***
I searched about it, and i figured out there is two definition for that:
Theist = belief to god, and he is sire about it. (so atheists think that theists are not reasonable)
Atheist = doesn't belief to god, and he is sure about it.
Agnostic = doesn't have any opinion about God's existence .
Theist = believe to God.
Atheist = believe that there is no God.
Gnostic = he is sure about his belief.
Agnostic = he isn't sure about his belief.
Second definition makes more sense to me.
***if you're not sure about something, why you believe it?***
Suppose you have a wife, and you love her.
Someday someone says that your wife is cheating on you. He has 10 pictures about it, there is 4 people saw her with another man, and even there is some messages on her phone about it. Almost Every evidence is saying she cheated to you (logically 90%).
Suppose you want you to take a decision to leave her or believe her. you have a decision :
Probability for not being cheater: 10%
-If you don't believe her :
-- And If she is a cheater: - 100 (you leave her because she cheated you)
-- And If she isn't a cheater: - 1000000 (she was innocent and you leaved her)
-If you believe her :
-- And If she is a cheater: - 1000 (you believed in her, but she cheated you)
-- And If she isn't a cheater: +10000 (you continue your life with her)
I said similar situations for islam(from before) , even if i know islam (abrahamic religions ) is valid only for 10%, has nothing To do with my belief. if God and afterlife is valid only for 10%( i'm 10% sure about it) i decide to belief it, because i love it more than another decision.
I love the God, i love my religion, so even if i'm only 10% sure about it, doesn't mean that i should change my belief.
And again, i know that there can be other definitions for "belief" and "being sure", but that's the one that make scene to me and as far as i understood it's matching to islam's perspective about belief and "being sure".
What's a gnostic theist :
First let me say that being sure about a belief(like existence of God) is a spectrum. some people are 90% sure, some are 10% sure and...
I said a gnostic theist is 100% sure about the existence of God, but there are some who are 90% sure about it, or 70% sure, etc. So i think being more than 50% sure counts gnostic,and being below it is agnostic.
What's a 100% gnostic theist :
- A person who isn't educated enough, and he think arguments like "cosmosmoligical argument" proof the existence of God 100%.
- A person who use other tools than logic for express his ideas. When we ask how much you're sure about the existence of God, he will say: 100%, and when we ask him "why? You know that there is no proof for it" , he will response: "because i feel his existence " .
- A person who think the Miracles like "quran said no one can bring a book like Quran, and no one did it untill today" are 100% true.
- A person who saw the God's miracle by his own, for example "God helped him to create a living bird from sculpture" and "God talked to him" . Actually that doesn't proof the God existence too, if you're talking too me, doesn't mean that you 100% exists. I think it can be 99.99% at best, but not 100%.
You said that only the last one(saw miracle) can actually be 100% gnostic theist, but don't take it wrong. Gnostic means that "he is sure, in his perspective", not "he is logically sure". we can't say that he is not 100% sure, because we use logic for talking about it, and if he don't want to use logic for it, that's fine.
So He can be sure about it (not logically) and he can be 100% gnostic theist. But in our perspective (in logic), he actually isn't sure about it.
What's a 50%+(more than 50%) gnostic theist :
- a person who see supernatural things like near "death experiences, Summoning Spirits,... ".again it's not a logical reason for existence of God, but it make him more sure about it.
- a person who think the miracles, the history, etc, can be wrong, but he think they're 50%+ valid (he place his bet) . For example he think "quran said no one can bring a book like Quran, and no one did it untill today" is a good argument for validity of islam(while it doesn't proof100%). there is so many small arguments in islam for example, and a 50%+ gnostic muslim think that they are more valid than invalid.
Gnostic /agnostic = how much you're sure about it.
Theist /atheist = what's your belief and your decision.
all done. as you said, much if it touched on the same themes
please response to reamins( wheneve you had time) , and i will think about it whole and response to it as coherent as i can (probably in the day after tomorrow), thanks.
in reponse to part 3:
I dont think that it's about knowing loss as much as respecting others and avoiding hurting them. in addition to having obvious consequences, they also affect others, while something like masturbation is a solitary sin that only affects you. that already qualifies it as less severe. it is not good to harm oneself, but it is far worse to hurt bystanders and loved ones.
interest lending is actually a hurt that we can feel, but it also has many good uses. I can absolutely agree with small loans being interest free so people can make it through a hard time. however noone will hand over large sums like what businesses need to start or expand. its well worth it because that money is intended to invest and make money, not feed a family through the winter. without interest, those large loans would not exist and the economy would suffer. absolute laws do not work. although at the time this was written, large corporations didnt exist, which is more reason while strict laws fail: times change.
I believe morals are subjective. they are different for every person, as well as collectively for every society. most murderers know they are doing wrong, some may believe they are doing good. do you think their judgement will be equal? bloodlust for the joy of it? or bloodlust for a twisted desire to help?
and I can ask the same of God. does he decide morals? or does he simply enforce them? if God comes down and tells you to murder, will murder be good?
dont pretend it cant happen, he did it to (abraham or isaac) to murder his own son... and expected him to agree in order to pass. he stopped it, but the right answer was to murder. would you murder? and did morality not just change?
""I do not know islam or Mohammed well"
So lets not talk about things related to islam. That's a big topic."
no no, please use any quotes, parables, or reasoning from islam, all is welcome. it is an excellent way to learn. I will not hesitate to use the few I do know.
""few prophets before islam would preach hard laws and punishments"
In bible, it says in torah(Judaism holy book), the punishment of adultery (sex with other than wife) Is stoning. I don't know about others, but i think Christian's book are full of distortions, and i think lowering the punishments can be a distort."
yes, that is the holy books, not the prophets. the prophets of Judaism are actually quite sparse on speeches and are mostly men of action and perseverence, but none spoke of specific laws and punishments within this lifetime. they werent against just laws, but they made no absolute ones either, to my knowledge.
""I also disagree that there is one truth."
Well, you know that it is not logically impossible."
i did say that if one accounts for the numerous factors that go into every individual situation, one can determine it. but no single sentence can, which leads into:
""simple, absolutist laws are ignorant and unworthy of a perfect arbiter."
That's your opinion. Do you think its 100% true? that's a philosophical statement, not a logical one"
absolutely I think it's true. I described a situation where killing can be justified, as for masturbation, there is no harm, in fact there is health benefit in cases when one gets no sexual stimulation. is it prefered? no. and it can be addicting. but to damn it in all cases? that's clearly wrong. what of the cripple or the mentally slow who cant find a woman? must they suffer? is that a good God? no.
""the books are *either* the work of flawed humans"
Say it this way: the books can be God's word, or they can be human's word. We believe that Quran is God's word and it's not changed. (against the bible wich is changed). You believe the second."
I believed you missed the word *either* which means that this is a choice of at least 2 options. you also missed the other option so your statement of what I believe is premature. it is possible that God gave simplified laws for simplified people who had yet to learn even "tho shalt not kill"... you dont teach a child morality, you command them and guide them slowly. now almost every nation of any religion or lack of, proclaims more rights than the ancients could have imagined.
I will tell you now, there is no gnostic atheism, except for in the mind of an undereducated person who doesnt understand how knowledge works or is acquired.
furthermore, gnostic theism is only possible with a personal experience that cannot be proven or shared with others it is also a very rare event, even amongst the faithful. thus I believe gnosticism of either kind is naive in regards to this subject.
however 100% certainty is not a necessity. it is logically impossible to prove the nonexistence of something. one would have to catalogue every existence in the universe in order to confidently declare something as 100% nonexistent. so even though unicorns and gremlins may exist in some corner of the world or perhaps maybe on a different planet, I can confidently place my bet that they do not exist beyond a reasonable doubt, but never beyond any doubt. so gnostic atheism is not a legitamete thing. although in my opinion, agnostics arent legitamete either. if you dont know if you believe in unicorns, then at that moment, you do not currently believe in unicorns. this, they are a no. so it's really just theists and atheists.
Let me say it this way:
God said that "masterbation is sometimes good, but it sometimes bad too, so avoid it always" . That doesn't violate the ability to become perfectly good", because God can change the situations to suit it to you. So that's why in islam, we have "things that are always sin".
I know that it's not a perfect law, but i think it's better than your approach, wich you create a law based on your knowledge, and you name it "Good", while it can be the worst sin in God's view.
When i say that it's just my belief, Don't take me wrong . I mean that both make sense for me, for example when you say that "simple general statement like masturbation is bad is not truth", make sense for me, but "masturbation is bad is truth" make sense for me too.
That's what i meant by "i believe that". both make sense for me (i see both reasonable) , and i believe to one.
"I also disagree that there is one truth."
Well, you know that it is not logically impossible.
for example in islam we say "sex with a person other than wife is always a sin(except being raped) " or " masterbation is always a sin". Is it logically impossible? As i said from before, even if we can lower the harm to our body and our feelings, doesn't mean that that's better in general. So if i want to reason by myself for masterbation, that's in contrast to my base beliefs (validity of islam) and since i don't know how much is masterbation is bad for soul and etc (not materialistic point of view you're talking about) , i will not change my opinion about it .
"I do not know islam or Mohammed well"
So lets not talk about things related to islam. That's a big topic.
"few prophets before islam would preach hard laws and punishments"
In bible, it says in torah(Judaism holy book), the punishment of adultery (sex with other than wife) Is stoning. I don't know about others, but i think Christian's book are full of distortions, and i think lowering the punishments can be a distort .
"the books are either the work of flawed humans"
Say it this way: the books can be God's word, or they can be human's word. We believe that Quran is God's word and it's not changed. (against the bible wich is changed). You believe the second.
"simple, absolutist laws are ignorant and unworthy of a perfect arbiter."
That's your opinion. Do you think its 100% true? that's a philosophical statement, not a logical one.
"there are only 3 answers to the God question.. yes, no, I dont know. theist, atheist, agnostic."
Sorry but you're wrong. That's not the definition of theist/atheist and gnostic/agnostic.
Search "theist atheist agnostic " on the internet and see other photos/read other articles, you'll find out that i'm right.
" smug looking theist and confused atheist"
You take it wrong. When you ask a gnostic theist that does God exists? His face become angry abit, and he will say "100%". And that's true for gnostic atheist too, when we ask him: "hey, God can be exist", he will become angry too and he will say: "no, that's impossible(0%)". The author of that picture wasn't theist, see it another time, both gnostic guys are angry , and their eyes are close, because they don't accept logic. And the agnostic guys was like to each other, both are open eyed and they are saying" i'm not sure, perhaps i'm wrong".
" there is no agnostic atheist!"
There is, a person who believe that there is no God (for example he curse the God) , but he is not 100% sure about it.
If you say i'm not 100% sure about God existence , it means you're agnostic. In contrast, A gnostic person will say that the The possibility of validity of God = 100% or 0%, it means he is 100% sure about his opinion. (he doesn't use logic for calculating the possibility, instead he use her feelings and etc) .
I have never heard of a "gnostic" atheist, but I do believe that memes like that are a greater sin then masturbation.
all the great sins from the 10 commandments or the 7 cardinal sins (with the exception of sloth) involve interactions between people and the harm evil interactions can bring. this meme was created by a spiteful theist showing an ideal, smug looking theist and confused atheists or (i no idea what that other theist was either, he just looked like an agnostic).
a spiteful atheist can make similarly silly and biased representation slowing confused theists and an ideal person representing the smart, smug atheist. ultimately the 2 memes do nothing but satisfy the pride and spite of their authors and readers while spreading only negativity and division. I've never even heard of the premises it starts with. there is no agnostic atheist! those are 2 separate positions. there are only 3 answers to the God question.. yes, no, I dont know. theist, atheist, agnostic.
I also disagree that there is one truth. perhaps when weighing all the countless factors that make up an individual, an objective truth can be reached, but a simple general statement like "masturbation is bad" is not truth. even killing can be justified in extreme situations.
according to all medical methods accepted within the united states medical community, sex is a base level physiological need, equal to air and sleep (maslow's hierarchy of needs). if the celibacy is not voluntary, it is torture.
not only is sexual activity a deeply rooted psychological need common to all life, the stasis of the system creates physical health complications in time.
on the other hand, innocent activities can also become harmful. eating, sleeping, working can all be taken to extremes that harm oneself and those around them.
as much as I respect the idea of a God, and the messages of many of the prophets, I do not share that respect to the religions and holy books. I do not know islam or Mohammed well, but few prophets before islam would preach hard laws and punishments. rather they preached tolerance and perseverance. the books are either the work of flawed humans, or a work for simpler more ignorant humans unable to understand things like basic human rights or the complexity of how the world works. simple, absolutist laws are ignorant and unworthy of a perfect arbiter.
"many times when debating with like minded fellows, we would eventually stumble on disagreement on some small nuance."
I thought more about this. I said :
When two christian debate about for example whether the Masturbation is right in the Christianity or not, they have two opposite opinions, but at end, there is just one true, because their base ideology are same, so they will understand the true.
But that was wrong, if there is such a true in Christianity (a certain opinion about Masturbation), there is no need for debate, we can learn it much more fast for example by searching the internet or conversing with a christian's philosophy master.
So yes, i agree that debate is more effective between different beliefs.
but not biased beliefs, as i asked you and i understood that you're not biased about your belief, as i think i'm not biased about my belief too .
"I disagree this completely."
"we will always gravitate to difference because that is how we find truth. it is something to embrace, not avoid."
I agree that debate work best when two people has different opinions, but what i said was it works even better if they have same belief bases. For example imagine you have a problem with destiny and free will in materialism, you think there is a problem or paradox in that. Imagine you have two friend:
- a materialist friend, who is master of materialism and he faced all of that problems from before. (so he can convince you in a short time)
- a christian friend, who has so many different beliefs and perspectives in comparison to you.
Both can solve your problem (both have different opinions) , one in a short time, one in a long time.
Actually i don't have a muslim friend with great philosophical knowledge (i have some with small logic and philosophy knowledge), but i think that's more effective to talk to such a person.
And i'm not saying that talking with other ideologies are not good, as you said that's great for understanding the downwards of our ideologies. but i think it work best for professionals of ideologies, not normal debaters.
And plus, i think materialism and other ideologies are strong and we can't say that "the God can't be exist" or "the God 100% exist" or "materialism is for sure true" or " materialism is for sure invalid". That's just our beliefs. This picture show it perfectly :
So belief is not equal to "i know it's valid", you can say that "i don't know materialism is true or not, but i believe it." Or you may say "i dont know God exists or not, but i believe it" or you may say "i don't have any special belief."
"I meant that two Christian (truly believer) people with the same culture(for example born in same city) , can learn more things by talking to each other, for example about art. Instead, a materialist and a christian will learn less by talk, because their beliefs are so different on every topic."
I disagree this completely.
many times when debating with like minded fellows, we would eventually stumble on disagreement on some small nuance. much as george Washington said in dismay how this people (americans) so alike in culture, religion, appearance so deeply divide themselves on small political disagreements. (still true today).
this is because, in the words of einstein, everything is relative. you and your friend know each other well, you know where you both disagree, and talking about what you agree is boring, so that is what you go for.
how many Islamic scholars of old (or new) argue amongst themselves within the same faith regarding the details of the nuance of the Quran? we will always gravitate to difference because that is how we find truth. it is something to embrace, not avoid.
I am very likely what you would call a materialist, but unlike most laypeople, few scientists would say "there is no God". at the strongest they would say "I do not think, I do not believe, it is unlikely, or who knows" but almost never "no". some even believe in him.
I can envision a universe created by design as well as one sculpted by nature. I am confident of the basics of the method and time scale of the history of the universe as discovered by science, but science has made no claim as to the ultimate origin.
I put believe the natural origin is most likely natural based on my current knowledge, but I can point to problems with both. whether its God or nature the ultimate problem is the same, either a creation from nothing or an infinite existence (God or some form of space). the question that divides the 2 is whether the initial/default existence would be conscious. but once again, any answer to the complete origin is not science but philosophy/theology. I do believe in science and its proudly stated limitations.
"I believe there are some who believe they are good and are deluded, but most human evil is simple greedy, power thirst, or blood lust. such deeds are obviously self serving, including to the ones commiting them."
But you're judging them by your definition of being good, who said that self serving(killing others, greed,...) is bad? You have a definition of being good , and you are using it for them. Maybe a stupid criminal say that he's a bad guy, but a philosopher bad guy will say that you're bad and i'm good, and you can't say anything to him.
For example you say that we have a moral consciousness, he will say that we don't have it. You'll say that you feel it, he'll say that it's not a valid feeling, like a dream wich is not valid.
"what of all the faithful followers who did their own prayers? why were they not set right?"
I read somewhere that most of the criminals are theist, is it what you mean? I totally can feel it, its really common in my country too. when the people start being religious, they start to cheat on it. For example islam says that you should learn about god and religion fundamentals, it says that you should focus when you pray, you shouldn't waste your time and you should talk and learn about important things, and most importantly you should think. But 90% of religious peoples just will do the surface like praying without attention, most of them don't even believe in religion . For example in my country most of muslims even don't pray. They just do the surface , and they have a fake pride that they will go to heaven because they are religious. I hate that kind of behaviour too. They are not true religious persons.
And agree that there are some stupid religions persons who do bad things like murder, and they'll say God said it to them. But i think they are in that 90%( religious just in surface) . As i said, i ask the God for informing me and guiding me to books and people and ... , not asking for murder.
"I believe it is logically impossible to have something of infinite weight because weight is a measurement that uses numbers, and infinity is not a number."
Man you are using physic and mathematics concepts.
Your saying weight is a measurement, it should be a number.
But we created physics and mathematics for this world. Just imagine another world, in that world we can have infinite weight. You're saying that weight is a measurement and a number, so it cant be infinity. Change the physics in that world, weight can be infinite in that world.
So in short, you're saying we defined the word "weight" to not be infinity in physics. But in the "can god create a rock that..." we don't mean the normal world physics, we mean another physics, a physics that can accept infinity as weight . (we are talking about the god world, not our world)
Edit: perhaps you're right, but what i said was that the one who created this sentence wasn't meant that, you can change this to "can God create another God wich he(the first God) can't destroy him(the second God) ?".
You know what i mean, perhaps there is a physical weakness in sentence, but that wasn't the point(even if there cant be any unlimite weight thing)
"I dont believe that. I believe that people can understand each other. even if the conclusions, experiences, and beliefs are different, understanding is possible, in the vast majority of cases."
Sorry but i didn't transfer my point.
I meant that two Christian (truly believer) people with the same culture(for example born in same city) , can learn more things by talking to each other, for example about art. Instead, a materialist and a christian will learn less by talk, because their beliefs are so different on every topic.
BUT - > There are also some people who don't really believe in any special ideology and philosophy (materialism or Christianity or etc). I think you(and most of the people) are in this category, so you can talk to anyone and that doesn't matter so much for you.
I believe in "islam's philosophy (ideology)" ,and i have a friend who is materialist, and you don't believe in any ideology(i think) . I can talk to you deeply , but i can't talk to my materialist friend deeply (every time we will end up with a different belief in ideology, so it's not so effective.
Plus, if i want to learn materialism ideology, reading a book about it is more effective than debate with my friend, because he don't have any special idea, he just repeat what materialism ideology says, so debate or talk in this case is not so effective.).
So in short, i think people with same ideology can learn more than people with different ideology. (but i think you are not in this category, because you don't have any unchangeable ideology, islam ideology or materialism ideology or etc are strong ideologies which too many philosophers have thought about them from before, so they are more unchangeable than someone with his own ideology, and debate is not an effective way in that case, reading about that philosophy is more effective )
(I know that reading an ideology is not enough and after that we should debate on different aspects, but i think that's not for someone who don't know his own ideology completely, that's for professionals not normal debaters)
So in short, if you don't believe in any special strong ideology, just forget about what i said.
I believe it is logically impossible to have something of infinite weight because weight is a measurement that uses numbers, and infinity is not a number.
for example, these equations make sense for no number... except infinity.
infinity is not a number. it's a concept.
numbers define a set, or a limit.
infinity is the lack of a limit.
so saying a boulder has infinite weight is equivalent to saying the boulder has purple weight, or gender weight. its nonsense.
what God can do is picture a number of any size, and no matter the number (it could be 999999999 until the end of time), he can still lift it, and he can still make one many many many times even heavier (and lift that too) there is no limit. that is what infinity is. not the definition of a limit, but an absense of a limit.
"so something cannot be infinitely heavy."
The objects we see in the world are limited at weight , but that doesn't mean there can not be something with infinity weight(it's not logically impossible) .
"but neither will it represent his limit in either lifting capacity or making of even heavier boulders"
Yes, you're saying that the rock with unlimited weight can not be exist, so absolutely that doesn't limit the God lifting capacity.
BUT you agreed that the God can't create a rock with unlimited capacity, so that's the limit the statement is talking about, you agreed the God can't do logical impossible things (in your opinion, that creating a rock with unlimited weight is logically impossible)
may I suggest another reasoning for that question?
instead of proving it logically contradictory, it can be seen as mathematical nonsense.
God is presumed to be infinitely powerful, but infinity is not a number. a measurement such as weight, is a number. so something cannot be infinitely heavy.
so God can create a boulder of any insanely high x kilograms, and not only can he lift whatever number x turns out to be, he would be able to create an even heavier boulder, and even heavier then that, to infinity. none of those boulders, no matter how many times we repeat, will be infinitely heavy (because infinity is not a concept) but neither will it represent his limit in either lifting capacity or making of even heavier boulders. infinity is not a measure of limits, but a statement of not having limits.
"A stone so big... not even good can lift it"
So you think God should have power to do logically impossible things?
No, its logically impossible and God don't have the power to do logical impossible things. I don't know about Christianity, but in islam's holy book, it says: "God has the power to do any shei" and in arabic, shei means object, not every imaginary thing, like logical impossible things.
God can do logical impossible things.
- difference between "you can't do this" and "you don't have the power to do this" :
Like yourself, you have the power to kill yourself, but imagine you have some belief prevent you to do this. It's equal to "you can't kill yourself", but that's not equal to "you don't have the power to kill yourself."
- power to do logical impossible things:
"can God create a big stone wich he can't lift it? " what if i say that he can do this, you'll say:
1.the existence of such a stone is against God's power, so its logically impossible.
2. after creating that stone, he can't lift it, so he hasn't the unlimited power.
suppose you have the power to do everything, even logical impossible things.
Do you have the power to create something outside of your power? for example creating a stone wich you don't have the power to lift it?
Its logically impossible, because if it can be exist , it means that you don't have the power to do everything (there can be a stone wich you can't lift it) .
What if you say "i can create this?" Because you have the power to do logical impossible things.
I can't say that "no you can't, it's logically impossible" ,because logic says that no one can do impossible and impossible can't exist (so it's a assumption in logic, not a reasoning) .
So one of these is right at the same time: "we can use logic" or "you can do logical impossible things".
So in short, "God can do logical impossible things" = "logic is not valid for God".
so yes, logic is against "someone who can do logical impossible things", but that's totally normal, it can describe in ways:"logic is always true" or "logic isn't valid anywhere, for example it's not valid for God"
the second part will never happen. it's equal to "can God destroy her power", i will say that God has that Power to destroy himself (or his power) , but he won't do this , so the second part (the weakness of the God ) will never happen.
So in short, it's not a proof for God doesn't exist, it's just a weak reasoning.
in reponse to part 2.
I believe there are some who believe they are good and are deluded, but most human evil is simple greedy, power thirst, or blood lust. such deeds are obviously self serving, including to the ones commiting them.
I wasnt referring to random criminals, but those motivated by what they believed was righteous religious zeal believing that they were being lead to that path by God. they prayed to God, but the answer they received appears horrendous. even if they were just acting out of greed, what of all the faithful followers who did their own prayers? why were they not set right?
the reason I pushed the internal mechanisms of soul/mind/conscience is because we know what the source is: (created by the creator) and although they are imperfect (as all things in this world are), God himself deemed them adequate.
you said we should filter whatever message we receive through our inside tools, and I agree. I think we can tell the difference. our conscience and soul should be able to tell what a good God would not do, while our mind can decipher if we are being fooled. it is virtuous to listen to god, but not to be decieved by other things, or even ourselves.
"they'll understand that their different perspective about art was for example because of their belief about God existence"
all of our experiences and beliefs define who we are and how we see the world, however to claim 2 people cannot find understanding about art because of a disagreement about God is a bit exaggerated.
one can make the same argument that a single parent may see art differently, or the parents of a special needs child, or a special needs person, educated vs uneducated, city folk vs country. I can go on forever but by your logic, no one can understand anyone, even 2 Christian's.
I dont believe that. I believe that people can understand each other. even if the conclusions, experiences, and beliefs are different, understanding is possible, in the vast majority of cases.
"A stone so big... not even good can lift it"
"if that was a misunderstanding I'm sorry, there is nothing wrong with the way you post."
Man that's ok, I decided to not middle posting not because of your comment, i think it's better because i can transfer my whole opinion in short, instead of commenting in every paragraph. What I meant about "we all have our opinions" was something this:
when two Christians talk to each other, they have basic common beliefs, and they only try to understand the philosophy of everything. But what about a materialist person and a Christian? Their beliefs are so different. when they talk about everything, they will understand that their different perspective was only because of different beliefs.
for example when they talk about art, after some hours of talking, they'll understand that their different perspective about art was for example because of their belief about God existence, one believe that God exists, other believe that God doesn't exists. I think every philosophy like materialism or Christianity or etc is big enough, so its better to specially learn one, and learn about others superficially (shallow), that's more effective way to learn philosophy i think .
So what i was saying was that if you really believe in your opinion, and our perspective is just difference of strong beliefs, let's not go deeper, but if you don't have any strong belief about it and it's an idea that make sense , lets talk about it more. (kind of asked you "are you biased about your belief or not" ).
And with your response i understood that we can talk about it more and you belief is not biased.
And thanks about english feedback, i suck at grammer, i dint know that there is someone who can read it :) thanks.
"I look forward to responding to the rest"
Me too. But most of them are more detailed version of my last reply, so if that's long read it shallow and say your whole opinion, or if you have time and you like do middle post, both is ok for me.
" I'm not sure if I have given that an honest try in the past, and although I wont be able to do that at the moment, I will try it one day. thank you for the suggestion. if I fail to feel a response (more than once of course) at least I will be able to say I tried, if that situation comes to pass."
Glad you're going to give ot a try.
I think if you really believe that we have a creator and a goal, asking for help from him is totally normal. consider you know a millionaire friend and you need a job. How many times in a day you'll try to talk to your friend about her job? If he respond that he doesn't have a job for you , or he didn't respond to you, will you give up? I had a friend that i think emailed about 100 times to a teacher for a university application. So if you really believe that we have a goal and a God(in some percent of possibility ) , do it some times(it's more important than a university application, isn't it?)
oh no, there is nothing wrong with your style. it was your conclusion statement before that appeared as if you wished to stop discussing and leave it at "we all have our opinions".
if that was a misunderstanding I'm sorry, there is nothing wrong with the way you post. please, use as many posts as you need. also, your English is very easy to understand, you are very fluent in text. I look forward to responding to the rest as it seems we have agreement here.
"turning to God(goodness) wich cause your deeds and your soul to become much more better"
yes, that would lead to the path of greatest virtue, as well as a reasonable method for a just God. I dont think I have any disagreements here.
furthermore you gave an interesting reponse to the weakness of pascal's wager:
"What if the God responds to you: why you didn't ask for my help?"
I'm not sure if I have given that an honest try in the past, and although I wont be able to do that at the moment, I will try it one day. thank you for the suggestion. if I fail to feel a response (more than once of course) at least I will be able to say I tried, if that situation comes to pass.
"I am not saying not to turn to God, I'm saying God will not require it when he evaluates your life."
Well in my belief, God's judgment is based on how good you have been in the life, so having believe in God and turning to God(goodness) wich cause your deeds and your soul to become much more better, is part of it.
(i don't mean that "not believing the god" or "not worshiping the God" has direct punishment, it just led to be less good, or perhaps God will not help the one who don't believe in him, so that person can totally loose his way, for example perhaps he became an antichrist or etc).
"if this faith is required and is held against you, then it's less a show of appreciation and more a "carrot and stick" seeking to enforce a specific behavior rather than welcoming voluntary love from those who honestly want to show it, no strings attached."
Consider this example:
(ITS JUST AN EXAMPLE, I DON'T BELIEVE NON OF THE NUMBERS OR... ) :
The possibility of validity of islam = 70%
without islam :
The joy of life = 80
The joy of afterlife = -1000
The joy of life = 20
The joy of afterlife = 1000
What you will choose? Do you prefer instant joy and a painful afterlife, or a joyfull afterlife (with 70% possiblity) without instant joy? Some will choose first, some second.
Another example, why you choosed to be moral in the life? Why you want to be good? What's wrong with bad? Who said good is better than bad? if choosing to be good is required and is held against you, then it's less a show of goodness and more a "carrot and stick" seeking to enforce a specific behavior rather than welcoming goodness from those who honestly want to show it, no strings attached.
Is there any difference?
(the Evil choosed to be bad in front of God, why he choosed that?)
I think Believing a teacher will cause to better scores (its not direct scoring, it's because we learn more and he teach us more this way).
1. what's your belief about judgment on afterlife?
2. Imagine the true religion is budaism.
in my belief, If the God ask me "why you didn't believe to budaism" , i will answer that "i didn't find enough evidence for it's validity , and i prayed for you everyday and asked you to guide me, so why didn't you guid me ?"
What's your answer to this question? You'll say "i just studied the religions and i didn't find enough evidence for validity of budaism ." What if the God responds to you: why you didn't ask for my help? What will be you response ?
"I didn't read the majority of your middle posts because in your last post it seemed like you wanted to disengage"
Well i decided to not write middle post anymore and i just will say my whole opinion about your responses. (because my english grammer is weak and writing for me(and reading for you) is hard and it takes along time). So read the privious posts if you want, write anything if you want, and i will read and say my whole oponion about it, instead of middle posts. And if you don't have time or passion, don't bother.
I think you are misunderstanding me. I'm in no way condemning seeking God for guidance. all I'm saying is that it probably wont determine your afterlife fate.
much like your teacher analogy, there is nothing wrong with liking your teacher, informing him/her of your appreciation, and seeking the teacher for further guidance.... however all of those thanks and requests should not get you free points on your grades.
if this faith is required and is held against you, then it's less a show of appreciation and more a "carrot and stick" seeking to enforce a specific behavior rather than welcoming voluntary love from those who honestly want to show it, no strings attached.
I am not saying not to turn to God, I'm saying God will not require it when he evaluates your life.
I didn't read the majority of your middle posts because in your last post it seemed like you wanted to disengage. we all have our beliefs, but here, if my counterparts are willing, I like to explore and share them. it is how I developed my current world view. I do not expect to convince you or to be convinced by you in entirety, but I often find amazing ideas that modify and enrich my view in my debates.
unlike science where truth is revealed through undeniable repeated experimentation, religion and morality are philosophical subjects that can only be explored in this way. preferably not in isolation.
I do intend to read what you wrote, but if you wish to disengage I may not post my responses and take my time reading yours.
"the mandated covering of women's head and body were explained to me as necessary, thus it was a mundane law based on safety, yet when people move to the west, the rule should be discarded"
Well you're right. It seems better to change the rules by the time and position, but who is gonna do that (studying and changing the roles?) ? The roles are not that easy. We have some historical evidences that our prophet said that we shouldn't change the base rules like this, because we make it more worst, because as i said we don't know the effect of everything . (plus in our historical evidences, our prophet never changed the rules in different situations)
In your example, you know that seeing the opposite sex is a joy. In islam our prophet said: "sex is not only physical sex, seeing and hearing the opposite sex (for joy) is like sex". So the philosophy behind hijab(covering the face and etc) is not just because of no being rape. Everything is really complex, and mostly we don't know the full philosophy behind things like hijab . We have this problem with modern things like modern music, modern art, etc. We use this approach in that domains because we don't have access to prophet to set new rules for modern things.
So in short, yes, perhaps your approach can work, but it's not the islam's approach (as far as i know) .
SO IN GENERAL :
I think you have your own philosophy and morality , wich is not as same as other's philosophy or any religion's philosophy. For example You think we can use our logic and moral consciousness for self improvement, and we can do this without God, but i (islam) believe we should ask God's help for this also. if you really believe on your philosophy, that's ok, we have just have different philosophies .
"your personal guilt may be due to upbringing, like a gay child born to a strict Christian family that shames him over his honest feelings. is that guilt, or trauma? in another environment there would be no shame, thus its man made trauma."
You categorized the world to" strict religious family" and "normal family",and you think the child at strict christian family has upbringing, and other families don't have it. But that's a weak claim, everyone has upbringing, there is no evidence that shows that a gay child in non strict family or city never felt bad about it , perhaps he had a bad feel about it, but when he saw no one consider it bad, he changed his mind about it. Like a thief, in the city of thieves , i don't think he really feels bad about it (he knows it when he born, but when he grow, he will change) .
And plus you assume being gay is genetically , while scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation and they theorize that a combination of genetic, hormonal, and social factors determine it ( source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation)
"when compared to the sins of murder and theft, or the virtues of love and charity... what significance do you think private masturbation has? does it not seem like a stupid distraction to the things that truly matter?"
Masturbation is a big sin in islam, as i said if we can't see and feel the effects and feedback of it directly, doesn't meant that it's big or small. (i know, i feel the same like you, the thief is more bad than Masturbation, but that's just because i don't feel the effects of it immediately (effects on body and sould), so i just say that i don't know wich is more bad, and religion say me that both are too bad, so i shouldn't do non of them).
For example i don't know the story of adam Eva is same in Christianity, but in islam God ejected the Evil from heaven , because he didn't prostrated to human. Is pride that big sin in your opinion ? So why the God ejected the Evil from heaven just because of it?
I'm not saying that your believes are wrong(sins like Masturbation or lack of belief or pride aren't big) , i'm saying that it's just against the belief of Abrahamic religions like islam .
" this disagreement seems like the proof that God doesnt care. things like do not kill, do not steal, love your parents, love your neighbor are universal. some may ignore them, but almost all know them to be right."
Yeah, almost everyone accept theft is immoral, but That's because we can feel it. it has emotional and physical feedback. When we ask people "do you want to be stolen?" or "do you want your child to love you?". they will say no, because they can feel the joy of money, and the pain for loosing it, and the joy of love. But when we ask people to "do you want to masturbate?" they cant answer clearly. Because the feedbacks and effects are not immediate and it's complex. They can feel it's joy, but they don't know about the effects of it on soul, mind, other peoples, etc.
"seems like the proof that God doesn't care."
Totally wrong, if something is obvious (the pain of loosing money is high -> thief is bad) doesn't meant that it's important or not.
I think you meant the pain of loosing money is so high(everyone says that it's a big sin), so that's a big sin. Again, that's because we can feel it and we know the relationship between thief and the pain, because it's obvious (simple and direct) .
But there is big sins that their feedback and their effects are not simple and direct. For example, in "lending with interest" , the cause and effects are not that direct and that simple. And most of people can't feel its pain, they only can feel that pain if they be in such situation that they can't return the interest and they loose everything because of that. So some people think its not immoral, some think its moral.
Let me say another example, the isis people think that they can steal money from non Muslims and even they can kill them, and it's not immoral. why? they know that it's painful for non Muslims that they kill, but they have bigger thing in mind, they want to create a new better(in their believe) world, so this killing and thieves are good things(tools for achieving bigger goal). I know that me and you believe that it's immoral, but the question is what's moral? Who determines it? You're saying that moral is what we feel from inside and what most of people say, but it's just your definition. Moral definition is different for everyone, and if 90% of people say that something is morally right or morally neutral, doesn't mean that its The same at God's view.
Part 2 :
" many people have sought God but their response lead to "murder the infidels" "start a war", or "burn the witches". is this really the word of God they are hearing? "
And many unbelievers did murder, started a war and etc while they believe they did the right thing.Do you think hitler believes that he wasn't a good person? Do trump think that he is a bad person?
Everyone think he is a good one, because we define goodness by ourselves. So that doesn't seem to be a valid reason. I agree that we need a tool to distinguish the bad and the good, you're saying we have it in ourselves , i agree that we have it (that's not 100% perfect ) .
"when you look inside, all you see is the divine soul, a logical brain, and a moral conscience which if you believe we were made by God, could have no other source but him."
I believe that, but for a child. We change by culture and etc, that's why some people say that Masturbation is morally wrong, and some say that it's morally ok.
"many people have sought God but their response lead to "murder the infidels", is this really the word of God they are hearing?"
How i can distinguish this? As you said, by "divine soul, a logical brain, and a moral conscience "(I know it's imperfect.).
So you're saying we only need inside, i'm saying we can ask from outside , and filter it by inside.
Actually i wasn't mean that i ask God what should i do , instead i ask God to help me to gain logic and virtues, to make the end of everything well, ... I didn't say that i ask God "is Masturbation good?" or "should i kill the bad peoples? ". instead i ask God "i studied the religions and selected islam, if islam isn't valid and i'm wrong, show me the valid religion" or "i decided to do a job in game design, if you think that's not good for me, guide me".
Let me say you an example, i wanted to decide whether or not "do a job in game development", i opened the Quran, and it was this verse :
"But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, "What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.""
I searched it on internet, and i studied about the role of game, art, music and creativity in islam.
I stopped game development, because it wasn't good enough in islam. And it changed my life, i attracted to self improvement instead.
So before that, i thought i know what's the opinion of islam about it, but after that study, my perspective changed.
" It certainly seems to add to the virtues of humility, but a person who is humble and appreciative throughout his life but simple was unconvinced of a God or convinced of a different God, still qualifies as humble and appreciative in general. "
Yes, you're right.
I said praying is religion's plan for improving ourselves, and humility is one of the virtues behind it's philosophy .
And you're saying you can design another plan for yourself (for gaining that virtues) . You're right, but your plan is not as perfect as God's plan. ( you can't reach the best degree of goodness, and if that's not your goal, i think that works )
But about the person who is unconvinced of a God or convinced of a different God, i think it works for gaining humility and appreciation virtues, but if he doesn't believe to the God , how he want to appreciated the God ? So he should try to continue studying and ask his creator(if exists) to guide him, to gain believe, then he can appreciate the God. (or perhaps it works reverse, he should start to pray and do some religious things(without belief) , for gaining the belief.)
And plus believing the god and being sure about it, is two different things. i have belief to God, but i am not 100% sure that he exists. (im not gnostic).
"whereas someone who humbles themselves before God but is cocky in every other aspect, imo, fails."
Absolutely, totally agree with that.
"it's a plus, but a very minor one."
well, who knows, perhaps its a minor one, perhaps it's a big one.
"but do you really think he wants us to worship him as a greedy human king or a self righteous false prophet would?"
No, i don't see it that way, you see it like a king force you to worship him. But it's different, the God want us to love and adore him as a teacher. Its like when a husband worship her wife, or a fan worship his idol. So yes, i believe that we should worship the God (as a husband worship his wife) . Its more like adoring
And love for me, Not that kind of worship you have in mind.
"God may not put much weight in your judgement on whether you worship him or not"
Well i think worship(adoring and... ) is like trying to grow love to God, and i think it's an important one, it's like the love in husband/wife relationship, wich is so important.
But as there is perfect husbands who don't love their wifes , there is so many good people who don't love the God.
But you know that that husbands are not perfect, because they don't love their wifes.
"What's wrong with prostration? The God doesn't need it, again its for us. I think It will help a lot for modesty (humility)"
I dont mean that God "needs" it, but many claim that God "requires" it to qualify as virtuous. It certainly seems to add to the virtues of humility and appreciation, but a person who is humble and appreciative throughout his life but simple was unconvinced of a God or convinced of a different God, still qualifies as humble and appreciative in general. whereas someone who humbles themselves before God but is cocky in every other aspect, imo, fails. it's a plus, but a very minor one.
we are using a variety of words including appreciation vs worship. I can see God wanting his creations to appreciate the world he created and to grow from the trials he puts forth before us... but do you really think he wants us to worship him as a greedy human king or a self righteous false prophet would? I do not. as you said worship is for ourselves, god does not require it. I am not saying it is bad, I'm just saying God may not put much weight in your judgement on whether you worship him or not. rather it is the quality of your life and how you treated the rest of his creation, as well as personal trials, that determine your fate. (in my opinion of course)
furthermore, many people have sought God but their response lead to "murder the infidels/heathens" "start a war", or "burn the witches". is this really the word of God they are hearing? sounds like a devil. when you pray to the outside, you cannot know what voice responds, even if it sounds sweet. however when you look inside, all you see is the divine soul, a logical brain, and a moral conscience which if you believe we were made by God, could have no other source but him.
certainly many people do disagree on masturbation, whereas others disagree on the importance of table manners or vegetarianism. that doesnt mean God gives any significant moral weight to them. some things are just morally neutral.
this disagreement seems like the proof that God doesnt care. things like do not kill, do not steal, love your parents, love your neighbor are universal. some may ignore them, but almost all know them to be right.
your personal guilt may be due to upbringing, like a gay child born to a strict Christian family that shames him over his honest feelings. is that guilt, or trauma? in another environment there would be no shame, thus its man made trauma.
both islam and Judaism have many minor regulations but one must remember that both of these faiths evolved as both religious and state laws. one must be careful to not treat human law as divine. for example, the mandated covering of women's head and body were explained to me as necessary because there was widespread kidnapping and rape in the area and time of Muhammed. thus it was a mundane law based on safety, yet when people move to the west where rape is far more rare, the rule should be irrelevant and discarded, yet it is enforced as if it were divine.
when compared to the sins of murder and theft, or the virtues of love and charity... what significance do you think private masturbation has? does it not seem like a stupid distraction to the things that truly matter?
Part 2 of comment :
"I don't believe that God would requires such a thing"
Absolutely, need is imperfection, God is perfect. We need the God, God just love us, he doesn't need us.
" I don't believe that God hold it as a high virtue"
Well, i said from before that i don't know too much about philosophy of worship, but i think it can be a high virtue. (i know it doesn't make sense at first view, but it can be more deep)
"it is my belief that God would much prefer to hear a person proclaiming honest admiration for creation and a desire to leave it just alittle better, as opposed to hearing people prostrate themselves before him. is he foremost a king or a parent? does he wish to rule, or to guide?"
Man, everything has a philosophy. What's wrong with prostration? The God doesn't need it, again its for us. I think It will help a lot for modesty (humility). Actually i don't know you pray or not, but when i pray and prostrate , it's a good feel, it really helps to feel modesty against God and goodness. (i guess you're judging about it from outside and you see its surface). And about being honest about our worship(not to blind worship) , i think it works reverse, "we worship to get more close to god" , not "we worship the god because we are close to him"
Part one of comment :
"oh, sorry. I thought the masturbation question was just an example"
:) , yes that was, i asked it for a reason.
"the masturbation appears insignificant in comparison"
From Before, you said that we know the God's view about moral, and you said we can feel what's morally right and what's wrong. I wanted to say that none of this claims are 100% true. You have an opinion about masturbation , and others have other opinions, so you're probably wrong, because you didn't consider every aspect of it on every thing. For example you didn't consider every emotion(you just noted isolation) , you don't consider the affect of it after marriage, and the affect of it on soul, and so on.
You claimed that we know the God's perspective about everything, so what's God perspective about it? As you said, the bible didn't exactly talked about it. (it's various in different religions)
You claimed we know what's morally wrong and what's morally right, so why some people says its morally right and some say its morally wrong :
and even myself, i don't know about it, i feel bad about it, but why? Is it because of tradition, or its really a morally bad thing?
So i believe this kind of morality is not perfect, and we can't reach the highest level of heaven with this kind of morality, so it doesn't fullfitt the justice (because everyone should be able to reach the highest level of heaven) .
It doesn't mean that i agree with objective morality. In islam, some people study philosophy and religion and other related fields(we call them faghih), and they'll derive the subjective morality from religion morality. But it doesn't mean that we change the fundamental moralities in our relegion(our holy book) .
So i can't decide about Masturbation by myself, if the relegion (the holy book, the prophet, or the faghih) says that it's a sin, i should avoid it.
And plus, We ask the god everyday to show us the best way and halp us.
I want to say that if you try to be good (perfect, the highest you can reach in goodness) without faith to God and God's help, i think it's impossible.
oh, sorry. I thought the masturbation question was just an example to your point of objective morality.
regarding the question of masturbation, I think God wouldnt care one way or another. masturbation does not create suffering or misery to the world. I believe the holy books often fails to differentiate life advice from moral imperatives. kosher/halal food for example has many rules in it that are more for personal health then moral development, although the part about painless slaughter is an exception. masturbation often leads to isolation, but it is the isolation that is ultimately the failing. If one commits the fault of masturbation but then helps old ladies, feeds the poor, and praises god, the masturbation appears insignificant in comparison. the moral equivalent of Jay walking.
yes, I agree. if you wish to praise God for your own satisfaction there is nothing wrong with that. however, I dont believe that God would requires such a thing or hold it as a high virtue. it is nice of you.
it is my belief that God would much prefer to hear a person proclaiming honest admiration for creation and a desire to leave it just alittle better, as opposed to hearing people prostrate themselves before him. is he foremost a king or a parent? does he wish to rule, or to guide? I am not asking what you wish of him, but what a just, loving God would want of you.
"I dont see the necessity for an objective morality in an ever changing world"
"we usually have a conscience and guilt informing us of what is right and wrong"
Ok, let me repeat my question. I want to put my best effort to reach the highest degree in heaven. I'm single and i can't get married in my situation , is it better for me to masturbate or not?
"do you really believe that a perfectly just being cares to make his worship an absolute requirement?"
Do you know the philosophy behind worship(adore) ? For example when someone adore his wife, why he do that? I think we worship the God to repeat to ourselves that we adore kindness, we adore the justice, we adore the good, we adore the God. (the God = goodness = justice = kindness,...) (Yes, i still can't understand the philosophy behind most of religion's plan for improving human being, like worship, but i don't deny it because i don't know much about its philosophy .)
in other words, there must be an arbiter for an objective morality. I dont see the necessity for an objective morality in an ever changing world. even something as simple as murder can be justified in certain situations, such as a prolonged famine. you do have a special obligations to those you born and to the person you made a personal commitment to. even if it is not right for one to kill to acquire food, it's harder to damn the one killing to defend his food.
another response would be that we already know Gods morality. unless something is broken in our heads, we usually have a conscience and guilt informing us of what is right and wrong. we can choose to trust it or ignore it, but we certainly have a part of us that knows the morality.
thanking god for his creation is certainly admirable, perhaps it fits into the same category of showing thanks to people who do good to you. but do you really believe that a perfectly just being cares to make his worship an absolute requirement? isnt that gross vanity? would God not be beyond that. it is excellent to show appreciation, but if God is as described, he would not care much for it, in my opinion.
Hi, sorry for delayed reply.
(and sorry for bad english and long comment, i wasn't able to explain it short.)
In my religion(islam) the life is a test. We should have(gain and grow) faith to the God and plus do good deeds to go to heaven. And final goal of human is to reach the God level. You asked what's the role of faith.
--- Do you agree that if i want to reach the highest level of heaven, it should be possible (because of justice)?
So what's the approach? Your approach is gaining virtue, but what's the virtue and moral? For example, is Masturbation and gay sex morally wrong?
Everyone has an opinion:
you know that everybody has his own philosophy, there is no such thing that we can call it absolute virtue. And for saying what's virtue and moral, mostly we only consider body and emotions , we don't know the spiritual effects of deeds.
So your approach doesn't guarantee that you have become as close to God as possible, because you're not sure what you call good is really good in God's view or not.
So what's my approach? In islam we believe that the God(our creator) is our teacher, an interactive teacher.
Our approach is we ask the God to guide us and show us the best way. We put our best effort to learn, think and decide and act, but also we ask the God to put the right people and right books in our way and to help us to think more clearly, and make the end of everything well and etc.
So human God relationship is so important in this approach , and believing in God as a teacher and actor is a fundamental.
--- Aside from that, thankfulness and worship(adoring the good) and having faith in God are big virtues(goods) in religion(in God's view) . (Its like wife/husband relationship, without believing your wife, you can't be a perfect husband, believing your wife is a big part of being a good husband, it's not separate). I'm not sure about Christianity, but it should be close to that .
the way I see it, the greatest form of faith is to believe god has all the answers and that you will fail to understand his logic so dont do anything, sit in your room or house of worship, and just pray to god to carry out whatever he intended to do without you. why did god even bother giving life to this person who does nothing and assumes God got it. what is even the purpose of such a life?
"doing good deeds like bringing the world closer to peace or away from hunger is not enough, we should make sure we have faith in God."
it is clear that deeds are great works that make the world better.
however you state that we should have faith, but what does that accomplish? why would a perfect being care whether you have blind faith as long as you live as he wished for you to live. good.
faith sounds like something demanded by priests, not a loving god.
why is faith such a vital component of virtue?
I have heard in Christianity going to heaven or hell is not depend on doing good deeds, it's just about believing in God. (in islam it depends on both). i think most of people have forgotten the importance of faith and they only try to do good deeds, doing good deeds like bringing the world closer to peace or away from hunger is not enough, we should make sure we have faith in God. And i think improving ourselves morally and spiritually is a good way to enhance our faith , isn't it?
I'm not sure if I'm following. I dont think you mean physical or mental improvement, because theres no way that is better for the afterlife than bringing the world closer to peace or farther from hunger.
if you mean spiritual or moral personal growth, I'm not sure about spiritual, but if you didnt improve morally, your not gonna make a very positive change in the world.
I think informing people of an afterlife made religions less virtuous. a carrot and stick builds obedience, not virtue.
Yeah, but i think in some religions like islam the afterlife is more important than this life. For example, you can set your goal to "make the world a better place" , instead you can set your goal to "make yourself a better human". The first one is great for this life, but second is better for the afterlife (at least i think) . What i'm trying to say is that when you target afterlife, your life will be more different than you target this life.
worrying too much about the next life makes one lose focus of what's important in this life