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Knowledge of gods?

Skepticalone
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4/20/2016 3:07:36 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
How did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse learn of their gods? How is this different from modern religions? Assuming there is no difference, why are ancient beliefs generally considered to be nothing more than mythology and modern equivalents to be incontrovertible true?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
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4/20/2016 5:59:58 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Are modern beliefs destined to the same fate as ancient beliefs? If not, why not?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
12_13
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4/20/2016 7:24:14 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 3:07:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
How did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse learn of their gods? How is this different from modern religions?

I think the greatest and most meaningful difference with Christianity and other religions is in their teachings. Bible God has something meaningful to say, good and true teaching and his words come true in amazing ways, for example Jews got their land back, as promised thousands of years ago. Thor and other human like "gods" are actually irrelevant, even if they would exist. I wouldn"t keep Thor for example my God, even if he would really exist.
Skepticalone
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4/20/2016 7:35:39 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 7:24:14 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/20/2016 3:07:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
How did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse learn of their gods? How is this different from modern religions?

I think the greatest and most meaningful difference with Christianity and other religions is in their teachings. Bible God has something meaningful to say, good and true teaching and his words come true in amazing ways, for example Jews got their land back, as promised thousands of years ago. Thor and other human like "gods" are actually irrelevant, even if they would exist. I wouldn"t keep Thor for example my God, even if he would really exist.

That doesn't answer the question. I'll re-word it specific to Christianity. Is Christianity reliant on the same method of discovery (in relation to its god) as the ancient religions? If so, why are those gods no longer considered extant and the Christian god is?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
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4/21/2016 2:58:42 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I imagine these type of questions are a gong of dissonance for the believer.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
12_13
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4/21/2016 6:41:35 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 7:35:39 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/20/2016 7:24:14 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/20/2016 3:07:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
How did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse learn of their gods? How is this different from modern religions?

I think the greatest and most meaningful difference with Christianity and other religions is in their teachings. Bible God has something meaningful to say, good and true teaching and his words come true in amazing ways, for example Jews got their land back, as promised thousands of years ago. Thor and other human like "gods" are actually irrelevant, even if they would exist. I wouldn"t keep Thor for example my God, even if he would really exist.

That doesn't answer the question. I'll re-word it specific to Christianity. Is Christianity reliant on the same method of discovery (in relation to its god) as the ancient religions? If so, why are those gods no longer considered extant and the Christian god is?

Actually I don"t know how people got the information about the other so called gods. I think it is possible that they saw them similarly as they have seen people.

My point is, it doesn"t matter how they got to know the "gods", because they are just lie men, nothing that I would keep as my God.

I don"t see any reason to believe they are extant, but even if they would be, I wouldn"t keep them as my God. So the whole matter is irrelevant.
Skepticalone
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4/21/2016 7:12:14 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 6:41:35 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/20/2016 7:35:39 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/20/2016 7:24:14 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/20/2016 3:07:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
How did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse learn of their gods? How is this different from modern religions?

I think the greatest and most meaningful difference with Christianity and other religions is in their teachings. Bible God has something meaningful to say, good and true teaching and his words come true in amazing ways, for example Jews got their land back, as promised thousands of years ago. Thor and other human like "gods" are actually irrelevant, even if they would exist. I wouldn"t keep Thor for example my God, even if he would really exist.

That doesn't answer the question. I'll re-word it specific to Christianity. Is Christianity reliant on the same method of discovery (in relation to its god) as the ancient religions? If so, why are those gods no longer considered extant and the Christian god is?

Actually I don"t know how people got the information about the other so called gods. I think it is possible that they saw them similarly as they have seen people.

My point is, it doesn"t matter how they got to know the "gods", because they are just lie men, nothing that I would keep as my God.

I don"t see any reason to believe they are extant, but even if they would be, I wouldn"t keep them as my God. So the whole matter is irrelevant.

I get the point you're trying to make, but I think you're missing mine. I think we can agree no one actually saw Zeus throwing lightning bolts. Building on that, perhaps we will also agree no one actually saw Yahweh creating the universe or throwing flaming boulders down on the enemies of the Israelites. To claim the old gods are lies of men is to claim the modern gods are too since the knowledge of both seem to rely on the same method. In other words, your objection to ancient gods also attacks modern gods.

Now, Just to be clear, I'm not claiming any of the gods are "lies". I don't think the concept of god(s) came about by intentional deception.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
12_13
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4/22/2016 6:06:04 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 7:12:14 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
My point is, it doesn"t matter how they got to know the "gods", because they are just lie men, nothing that I would keep as my God.

Sorry, I meant to say in that: "are just like men", not lie men.

I think we can agree no one actually saw Zeus throwing lightning bolts.

Sorry, I can"t agree with that, because I can"t be sure that they didn"t see person that threw lightning bolts. I can admit that it is not usual, but it may be possible that they saw someone do something like that.

Building on that, perhaps we will also agree no one actually saw Yahweh creating the universe

It maybe so that no one saw it.

....or throwing flaming boulders down on the enemies of the Israelites.

That I believe some may have seen.

To claim the old gods are lies of men is to claim the modern gods are too since the knowledge of both seem to rely on the same method. In other words, your objection to ancient gods also attacks modern gods.

I don"t think it works that way. It all depends on the credibility of the one who tells the story. And the advantage that Bible has as testimony for God is that it consists of many testimonies in many different eras. The others are just one hit wonders.

And I don"t claim the ancient gods are a lie. I just wouldn"t keep them as my God.
Skepticalone
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4/22/2016 7:18:16 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/22/2016 6:06:04 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/21/2016 7:12:14 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
My point is, it doesn"t matter how they got to know the "gods", because they are just lie men, nothing that I would keep as my God.

Sorry, I meant to say in that: "are just like men", not lie men.

I think we can agree no one actually saw Zeus throwing lightning bolts.

Sorry, I can"t agree with that, because I can"t be sure that they didn"t see person that threw lightning bolts. I can admit that it is not usual, but it may be possible that they saw someone do something like that.

Building on that, perhaps we will also agree no one actually saw Yahweh creating the universe

It maybe so that no one saw it.

....or throwing flaming boulders down on the enemies of the Israelites.

That I believe some may have seen.

You are much more credulous than I am. If these beings (the boulder thrower and lightning bolt wielder) interacted with man in ancient times what happened to them? Why are they not around now? I think it is much more reasonable to think these beings were products of the imaginations of men (there is no doubt imaginations exist) rather than gods who once had an interest in humanity mysteriously withdrawing from it.

To claim the old gods are lies of men is to claim the modern gods are too since the knowledge of both seem to rely on the same method. In other words, your objection to ancient gods also attacks modern gods.

I don"t think it works that way. It all depends on the credibility of the one who tells the story. And the advantage that Bible has as testimony for God is that it consists of many testimonies in many different eras. The others are just one hit wonders.

Do you realize that Zeus was worshipped for thousands of years? -And that is not counting the modern pagans. (one hit wonder, lol) I am willing to acknowledge the story tellers contained in the Bible are more commonly familiar by name. That is not unusual since Christianity is a modern mainstream religion and paganism is not. However, that does not make Moses or Paul more credible than Homer or Hesiod.

And I don"t claim the ancient gods are a lie.

Yes, I realize now that was a typo.

I just wouldn"t keep them as my God.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Osman35
Posts: 52
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4/22/2016 10:15:13 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
A Dream Assembly
Comparisons between the Shari"a and modern civilization, and the genius of modern science and guidance of the Shari"a
In a true dream on a Friday night at the beginning of the Armistice Period following the First War, I was asked by a vast assembly in a World of Similitudes:
"What will the Islamic world"s situation be following its defeat?" I replied as the deputy for the present age, and they listened to me:
This State, which through undertaking from early times the religious obligation of jihad to maintain Islam"s independence and uphold the Word of God, considered itself bound to sacrifice itself for the undivided unity of the Islamic world and saw itself as the standard-bearer of the Caliphate "
this State"s, this Muslim nation"s, past calamity will certainly bring about Islam"s
prosperity and freedom.
The disaster of the past will be made up for in the future. One who loses three and gains
three hundred makes no loss. The zealous will transform its past into the future. For wondrously this calamity has made unfold compassion, Islamic solidarity and
brotherhood, the leaven of our lives, and has expedited the shaking, the destruction,
of civilization.
Present-day low civilization will change form, its system will fall apart, then Islamic
civilization will emerge.
Muslims will certainly be the first to enter it voluntarily. If you want a comparison, look
closely at the principles of the civilization of the Shari"a and those of present-day
civilization, and consider their results:
The principles of present-day civilization are negative. Its foundations and values are five
negative principles. Its machinery is based on these.
Its point of support is force instead of right, and the mark of force is aggression and
hostility, and their result is treachery.
Its goal is mean self-interest instead of virtue, and the mark of self-interest is rivalry and
dispute, and their result, crime.
Its law of life is conflict instead of co-operation, and the mark of conflict is this:
contention and mutual repulsion, and their result, poverty.
Its principle for relations between peoples is racialism, which flourishes through harming
others and is nourished through devouring others.
The mark of negative nationalism and racialism is ghastly clashes, disastrous collisions,
and their result, annihilation.
The fifth is this: its alluring service is to excite lust and the appetites of the soul and
facilitate the gratification of whims, and their result is vice.
The mark of lust and passion is always this: they transform man into a beast, changing his
character; they deform him, perverting his humanity.
If most of these civilized people were turned inside out, you would see their characters in
the form of apes and foxes, snakes, bears, and swine.
They appear to the imagination in their pelts and skins! Examples of its products are
these. The Shari"a, however, is the balance and equilibrium of the earth.
The mercy in the Shari"a comes from the skies of the Qur"an. The principles of Qur"anic
civilization are positive. Its wheel of happiness turns on five positive principles:
Its point of support is truth instead of force, and the constant mark of truth is justice and
balance. Security and well-being result from these, and villainy disappears. Its aim is virtue instead of self-interest, and the mark of virtue is love and mutual
attraction. Happiness results from these, and enmity disappears.
Its principle in life is co-operation instead of conflict and killing, and its mark is unity and solidarity, and the community is strengthened.
Its service takes the form of guidance and direction instead of lust and passion. And the mark of guidance is progress and prosperity in way befitting humanity;
The spirit is illumined and perfected in the way it requires. The way it unifies the masses repulses racialism and negative nationalism;
It establishes in place of them the bonds of religion, patriotic relations, ties of class, and the brotherhood of belief.
The mark of these bonds are sincere brotherhood, general well-being; defence in the case of external aggression. You have understood now the reason Islam was affronted, and did not embrace civilization.
Up to the present, Muslims have not entered this present civilization voluntarily, it has not suited them, moreover it has clamped on them fetters of bondage.
While it should be the cure for mankind, it has become poison. It has cast eighty per cent into penury and misery, and produced a false happiness for ten per cent.
The remaining ten per cent it has left uneasily between the two. Commercial profits have been the tyrannical minority"s. But true happiness is happiness for all;
Or at least salvation for the majority. The Qur"an, revealed as a mercy for mankind, only accepts civilization of this kind,
Happiness for all, or at least for the majority. In its present form the passions are unrestricted, caprice too is free; it is an animal freedom.
The passions dominate, caprice too is despotic; they have made unessential needs essential, and banished comfort and ease.
In primitive life, a man was in need of four things, civilization has put him in need of a hundred, and impoverished him.
Lawful labours are insufficient to meet the cost. This has driven mankind to trickery and the unlawful. It is on this point that it corrupted morality.
It bestowed wealth and glitter on society and mankind, but made the individual immoral and indigent. There are numerous witnesses to this.
This malignant civilization vomited all at once the combined savagery and crimes, all the cruelty and treachery, of former centuries, and its stomach is still queasy.22
The Islamic world"s holding back from it is both meaningful and noteworthy. It has been loath to accept it, and has acted coldly.
Yes, the distinguishing quality of the Divine light of the Illustrious Shari"a is independence and self-sufficiency.

22 This means it will vomit in even more violent fashion. Yes, it vomited so terribly in the two World Wars that it filthied the faces of the land, sea, and air, staining them with its blood.

It will not give up that quality, that light of guidance, so that the genius of Rome, the spirit of civilization, should dominate it.
The guidance of the former cannot combine with the philosophy of the latter, nor be grafted onto it, nor follow it.
The Shari"a has nourished the compassion and dignity of belief in the spirit of Islam. The Qur"an of Miraculous Exposition has taken the truths of the Shari"a in its shining hand;
Each is a Staff of Moses in that shining hand. In the future that sorcerer civilization will prostrate in wonderment before it.
Now, note this: Ancient Rome and Greece were two geniuses; twins from a single stock. One fanciful, the other materialist.
Like oil and water, they never combined. It needed time, civilization worked at it too, and so did Christianity, but none was successful at combining them.
Both preserved their independence. And now it is as though those two spirits have changed their bodies; one has become German, the other, French.
They experienced a sort of metempsychosis. O my dream-brother! This is what time has shown. Like two genius oxen those twins rejected any moves to combine them;
They still are not reconciled. Since they are twins, they are brothers and friends, companions in progress; but they fought and never made peace.
How could it be that with its different source, origin, and place of appearance, the light of the Qur"an and guidance of the Shari"a should be reconciled with the genius of Rome, the spirit of modern civilization, and should join and combine with it?
...source: risale-i nur collection
Osman35
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4/22/2016 10:17:43 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Their origins are different: guidance descended from the heavens, genius emerged from the earth. Guidance works in the heart, and works the mind.
Genius works in the mind and confuses the heart. Guidance illumines the spirit, making it seeds sprout and flourish; dark Nature is illumined by it.
Its potentiality for perfection suddenly advances; it makes the carnal soul a docile servant; it gives aspiring man an angelic countenance.
As for genius, it looks primarily to the soul and physical being, it plunges into Nature, making the soul an arable field; the animal potentialities develop and flourish;
It subjugates the spirit, dessicating its seeds; it shows up satanic features in mankind. But guidance gives happiness to life, it spreads light in this life and the next; it exalts mankind.
Antichrist-like23 genius, blind in one eye, sees only the domain of this life; it is materialist and worships this world. It turns men into beasts.
Yes, deaf genius worships Nature, it empowers blind force. But guidance

23 There is a subtle indication in this.

recognizes conscious art and looks to purposeful power. Genius draws a curtain of
ingratitude over the earth; guidance scatters the light of thanks.
It is because of this that genius is deaf and blind, while guidance is hearing and seeing. In
the view of genius, the bounties of the earth are ownerless booty;
It provokes the desire to seize and steal them thanklessly, to savagely snap them off from
Nature.
In the view of guidance, the bounties scattered over the breast of the earth and face of the
universe are the fruits of mercy; it sees a gracious hand beneath every bounty, and
has it kissed in gratitude.
I cannot deny that there are numerous virtues in civilization, but they are neither the
property of Christianity, nor the invention of Europe.
Nor are they the product of this century; they are common property, produced by the
conjunction of minds and ideas, from the laws of the revealed religions, out of innate
need,
And particularly from the Islamic revolution brought about by the Shari"a of Muhammad.
No one can claim ownership of them.
The leader of the Dream Assembly asked another question:
"Man of the present century! Calamities are always the result of treachery and the cause
of reward. Divine Determining dealt a blow and issued its decree.
"With which of your actions did you issue the fatwa to both Divine Decree and
Determining so that they decreed this calamity and gave you a beating?"
I replied: The error of the majority is always the cause of general disasters. Mankind"s
misguided ideas, Nimrod-like obduracy, Pharaoh-like pride,
Swelled and swelled on the earth till it reached the skies. It upset too the sensitive
mystery of creation.
It caused to descend from the heavens the plague and storm of the last war"s quakes; it
caused a heavenly blow to be visited on the infidel. That is, the calamity was the
calamity of all mankind.
The joint cause, inclusive of all mankind, were the misguided ideas arising from
Materialism. Bestial freedom, the despotism of the appetites.
The reason for our share was our neglect and giving up of the pillars of Islam. For the
Exalted Creator wanted one hour out of the twenty-four.
He demanded of us, and for us, only one hour for the five daily prayers, and commanded
this. But out of laziness we gave them up, neglected them due to heedlessness. So we received the following punishment: He made us perform prayers of a sort these
last five years by constant twenty-four hour drill and hardship, being driven on and
made to strive.
He also wanted of us one month"s fasting a year, but we pitied ourselves, so in atonement
He compelled us to fast for five years.
As Zakat, He wanted either a fortieth or a tenth of the property He had given us, but out of stinginess we did wrong: we mixed the illicit with our property, and did not give it voluntarily.
So He had our accumulated Zakat taken from us, and saved us from what was unlawful. The deed fitted the punishment. The punishment fitted the deed.
Righteous acts are of two sorts: one positive and voluntary, the other negative and enforced. All pains and calamities are good works; but negative and enforced. The Hadith offered consolation.24
This sinful nation took its ablutions with its blood; it repented actively. As an immediate reward, four million, a fifth of this nation, were raised to the degree of sainthood. It gave them the ranks of martyrdom and ghazis; it obliterated the sin.
The lofty dream assembly appreciated these words.
I awoke suddenly; rather, with awakening I went to sleep. I think the waking state is a
dream and the dream state a sort of wakefulness. There was this age"s deputy, and here is Said-i Nursi!
...source: risale-i nur collection
12_13
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4/24/2016 1:18:17 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/22/2016 7:18:16 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
You are much more credulous than I am.

Actually I wouldn"t say I believe all of those claims, I just think those claims may have some truth in them. I leave them open questions, because I have no means to check them and because there is not really any reason to claim they are true or not true.

If these beings (the boulder thrower and lightning bolt wielder) interacted with man in ancient times what happened to them? Why are they not around now?

Bible suggests they were like men and were destroyed like men.

"You are gods, All of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you shall die like men, And fall like one of the rulers."
Psalms 82:6-7

Maybe ancient people and their ruler had some means to make miraculous things. Many modern things would be miraculous in ancient time; perhaps some ancient people also had miraculous abilities. Modern people can also make artificial lighting bolts.

I think it is much more reasonable to think these beings were products of the imaginations of men (there is no doubt imaginations exist) rather than gods who once had an interest in humanity mysteriously withdrawing from it.

Personally I think it is more probable that people really witnessed some miraculous things, but they may have for example given wrong meanings for those matters. The imagination of people is not really very good.

Do you realize that Zeus was worshipped for thousands of years?

Perhaps that is true, however, when was the original story told? When did people get the idea about Zeus? It seems to me that the story came suddenly at one point of time and then people for some odd reason lived as it would be true. Zeus doesn"t seem to have any meaningful teaching; he is just human like person in some ancient hill drinking wine with his buddies. Similar person can be found from many parks in Finland and I wouldn"t keep them as my God, even though they may have more to say than Zeus.
bulproof
Posts: 25,221
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4/24/2016 5:58:46 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/21/2016 6:41:35 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/20/2016 7:35:39 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 4/20/2016 7:24:14 PM, 12_13 wrote:
At 4/20/2016 3:07:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
How did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse learn of their gods? How is this different from modern religions?

I think the greatest and most meaningful difference with Christianity and other religions is in their teachings. Bible God has something meaningful to say, good and true teaching and his words come true in amazing ways, for example Jews got their land back, as promised thousands of years ago. Thor and other human like "gods" are actually irrelevant, even if they would exist. I wouldn"t keep Thor for example my God, even if he would really exist.

That doesn't answer the question. I'll re-word it specific to Christianity. Is Christianity reliant on the same method of discovery (in relation to its god) as the ancient religions? If so, why are those gods no longer considered extant and the Christian god is?

Actually I don"t know how people got the information about the other so called gods. I think it is possible that they saw them similarly as they have seen people.

My point is, it doesn"t matter how they got to know the "gods", because they are just lie men, nothing that I would keep as my God.

I don"t see any reason to believe they are extant, but even if they would be, I wouldn"t keep them as my God. So the whole matter is irrelevant.
If you lived in ancient Greece you would believe in Greek gods.
If you lived in Mecca you would be a muslim.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
RoderickSpode
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4/24/2016 7:31:38 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/20/2016 3:07:36 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
How did the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Norse learn of their gods? How is this different from modern religions? Assuming there is no difference, why are ancient beliefs generally considered to be nothing more than mythology and modern equivalents to be incontrovertible true?
What do you think about this possibility?

Genesis 6:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days--and also afterward--when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.


Perhaps these men of renown became legendary to the extent of becoming gods to the various Asian/European cultures.
12_13
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4/25/2016 8:48:54 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 4/24/2016 5:58:46 PM, bulproof wrote:
If you lived in ancient Greece you would believe in Greek gods.
If you lived in Mecca you would be a muslim.

I don"t believe that.

Perhaps I would believe Greek gods exists, but I wouldn"t keep them as my God, because it would not be reasonable.