Although there is Barzakh. Hmm.. I ought to look this up! :D
Thanks Quantum you have convinced me to learn more about the islamic conception of the afterlife, a topic I have always found immensely.. er.. dry.
Ummm...your train of logic confuses me, but your welcome.
Bodies are also resurrected in Christianity. They're just . . . better. I mean, obviously something would have to differ else Heaven would just be another earth, and earth ain't exactly streets o' gold.
And I gotcha. Yeah people are like, at their best in islam. But that's when you get to Heaven I believe.
Obviously like if you're missing a limb, prettttty sure you get it back.
Collin...can you reply to my responses to the videos. I want to hear more of your evangelism. :)
Yup. Sorry; I think your misinformation's my fault. I neglected to tell you when we were discussing this like forever ago that my opinion at the time wasn't necessarily mainstream Christian doctrine. *Forced smile* ----> :)
And yeah, I've decided that worrying about the details of Heaven is pointless. It's not physical (in our sense of the word) so everything isn't gonna be easily explained, and obviously God's gonna make it as good as possible, so *shrug*.
I'm really really really sorry. I know you desperately wanna convert. :) I've just had a slightly hectic time with school startin back Monday. :O Plus it's, you know . . . your eternal destiny on the line. No pressure, Collin. :p
(In response to video 1)
-This is a big step towards theism that I myself made: the recognition that people themselves are insufficient to maintain civilized society and remain intellectually honest. I didn't like the idea of deluding myself into thinking there was something more to what I was doing; that there was a reason I shouldn't live selfishly. Both religion and atheism can give you a civilized society, but it is only the religious one that understands why it's civilized. Also, I think it's important to note that Heavenly rewards aren't exactly given a fair shake in modern culture,. They're an extension of justice that was never served on earth, not "pie in the sky" for people who simply have a pie craving. And it seems to me that not only is religion necessary to establish this eternal spectrum to justice, but to establish any morality at all. Yes, you can rely on your conscience to be a good person (and it seems to me from what I know about you that you're a pretty great guy), but you're a fact-based thinker, my friend. You have no reason to do so that can't be given by a sociopath, but you aren't a sociopath.
-I'm glad you think so. :)
-And I'd say it's above 50-50, but it should be noted that the scale won't shift very far in either direction due to the indescribably vast amount of things to learn in the universe. There will always be more humans don't know than that they do. Which is why the Christian concept of God is ultimately relational rather than factual: facts are merely clues to finding Him. People do not sing merrily while being crucified upside down for a belief based merely on scientific evidence. Their beliefs are rooted in something they believe to be deeper than that. And yeah, I think as far as discovering how the universe God created works, oversimplified interpretations of scripture can be less than productive. But it's important to note that Young Earth Creationism is a minority even within Christianity.
-I don't mean to be argumentative here, but I DO think truth-seeking is for everyone. Even the simplest of believers would want to know if they were living a lie. It seems many non-religious people believe they have a monopoly on seeking truth, but it seems to me that it's a universal human experience. And I would say that human minds are what does not have the ability to perceive reality with any measure of accuracy (beyond simple sensory awareness). Have you ever considered why prophets have been so popular in human history? Religion is our only chance of getting our worldview spot-on, so it is there I turn for absolute truth, searching for the Revelation which seems to come from outside the human experience yet describe it perfectly. In Christianity I have found this.
Ultimately, it seems to me that there is one world, in which fundamental religious values establish a civilized society and give mankind faith in their ability to perceive truth. Then, there are those who, believing they have discovered something the world is blind to, doubt the veracity of those religious values, yet do so using the faith in rationality and human civility which can only be established by said values. It appears to me that the atheist, in doubting God, is trapped by his own cleverness. From Darwinian evolution alone, he not only has no way to explain his desire to spread truth (viewing such action as virtuous), but neither does he have any assurity that the truths he discovers are really true, for he does not believe that his mind has even developed to perceive truth, but merely that which will help it survive, hence the creation of the religious world which he has forsaken.
And hahaha, good. I'm glad I can be the atheistic Satan. I'm enjoying it a lot. :)
And sorry, I didn't mean to seem condescending there. By "confused" I just meant that you're not sure what to believe. In that you still see the God question as open rather than insisting you somehow know beyond a reasonable dount that He doesn't exist, which I think is a ridiculous position.
(In response to video 2)
I'm glad you liked the video. McGrath seems like one of the most honest and straightforward speakers on the topic I've ever heard from either side.
But before anything else, let me point out that "literal Christianity" is more or less a meaningless term. All Christians believe that their beliefs should have a definite impact on every individual and every society in which they are present. They also believe they have a very real relationship with Jesus Christ and, through Him, God the Father. They believe that the Bible reveals things about reality that are very real and intensely meaningful. In this way, all Christians are literal Christians: it's the only kind of Christian.
It's just that we disagree on the kind of truths presented in different parts of the Bible. For instance, I'm inclined to believe that the Garden of Eden was not a literal place on earth but a description of man's spiritual state before He disobeyed God. The Fall still has massive implications on my thoughts regarding human nature, but not much impact on how I think early humans lived.
And instinctual belief is the crux on which all thought depends. Beliefs philosophers classify as "properly basic." For instance, the beliefs othe rpeople really exist, or that the past really exists. Alvin Plantinga has argued that belief in God is properly basic for those who hold it. It can be doubted, but then we've changed everything about how we see reality.
And I'm not sure she meant we invoke "God-talk" when speaking of, say, the behavior of quarks. I think her point is that Jesus invokes God talk when He speaks about those things which, as humans, we ought to understand about ourselves and yet don't. His message brought truths which we will never fully comprehend, even if we explore every square inch of the universe and discover all science has to tell us. His message told us truths about ourselves, and that message necessarily invokes God-talk. Unless Jesus brought a message from outside the human experience, she sees that his life story isn't done justice. The pharisees had no reason to cast aside their stones in shame and refrain from stoning the adulteress without invoking "God-talk." Without it, they were foolishly refusing to play their part in their societal paradigm by not prosecuting one who was harmful to their culture.
"-This is a big step towards theism that I myself made: the recognition that people themselves are insufficient to maintain civilized society and remain intellectually honest. I didn't like the idea of deluding myself into thinking there was something more to what I was doing; that there was a reason I shouldn't live selfishly. Both religion and atheism can give you a civilized society, but it is only the religious one that understands why it's civilized. Also, I think it's important to note that Heavenly rewards aren't exactly given a fair shake in modern culture,. They're an extension of justice that was never served on earth, not "pie in the sky" for people who simply have a pie craving. And it seems to me that not only is religion necessary to establish this eternal spectrum to justice, but to establish any morality at all. Yes, you can rely on your conscience to be a good person (and it seems to me from what I know about you that you're a pretty great guy), but you're a fact-based thinker, my friend. You have no reason to do so that can't be given by a sociopath, but you aren't a sociopath. "
Okay, Collin, I don't care how busy you are; you HAVE to read the excerpt of Islam Between East and West that I sent you. You will honestly love it. He analyses culture vs civilisation and it is amazingggg.
^Duly noted. :) Unfortunately I started back school Monday, so it's gonna be hard to squeeze into my schedule, but I'll make it happen. ;)
(In response to the video you posted)
Oh, Quantum. If I haven't already. I watched all 3 of the atheists' videos after I watched the theists'. :D Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Unless that enemy is Dawkins and the shallowness of his philosophical knowledge combined with a ridiculous amount of rhetoric make that impossible. None of which I found in Millican, Barker, or Shermer. Well, not to a large extent, anyways.
-Millican's claim that "some of us like to base our views on evidence" seems pretty pretentious in the circumstances. Scientific evidence is not the only kind of evidence, and furthermore many believers claim that science itself is part of their reason for belief. In the end science doesn't have much to say on the issue, and if Shermer snarkily claimed to St. Peter during his crucifixion that "some of us like to base our beliefs on evidence," Peter would have laughed in his face.
-Millican's rant about how they are only talking about one of many gods is an extremely immature mode of argument that I'm becoming weary of hearing. To claim that all gods are somehow on equal footing in science's eyes is simply false. Greek mythology has been disproved in that we have gone to space and seen that the earth does not rest on the shoulders of Atlas, and science has shown that, because matter originated in the Big Bang, then virtually every polytheistic creation story is false because they deal with gods making the universe out of some kind of pre-existing material. Not to mention the ethical value of different religions are not the same. Millican and all others who use this argument also disregard the cultures in which different religions emerge, which is simply to display anthropological ignorance. The inclusivistic paganism of ancient man are not in the same league as the monotheistic Abrahamic religions in that they accept mutually exclusive accounts of different things and do not put much emphasis on their stories beyond their cultural significance and the points they attempt to make. The Romans did not go on a crusade against their Greek neighbors; in fact, they never even tried to convert them: they just took on Greek gods as their own and gave them Roman names. This happened all over the pagan world. There were no pagan missionaries and no pagan holy wars because they not only did not worship the same god as J.ews, Christians, and Muslims, but they did not even worship the same kind of god.
Collin: Thank you. You're definitely pushing me here. I see the reason behind everything you've said. I think in the end the crux of the issue for me (and this something that Destinee brought up as well) is is it possible to justifiabley believe that human reason and logic can be trusted if it is shaped for survival and survival alone.
My response I've given to Destinee is this: No, I don't know if my human rationallity has any ablity at all to detect truths about reality, but for any worldview I must assume this the case to have any hope of understanding the universe. It is a necessary assumption. God, however, is not a requirement for us to have hope of understanding the universe (this might be one point at which you disagree). So I see know point in assuming something without proof we don't have to.
*bump* because I like this thread.
I've let this thread sit for far too long. Sorry, buddy. I know you're in spiritual turmoil. Senior year's just . . . a little less lax than they described it. Hope you're doin well. :) And if it's not too much to ask, my nosey side wants to stay updated on you and your Christian gf's relationship. I find that extremely interesting for some reason. You know the Bible technically tells her she shouldn't marry you unless you decide to convert, right? You must have a pretty devilish charm. (Get the pun? *Nudge*)
Anyways, I wouldn't say faith in our reason is necessary. In fact, the sheer trivial nature of our ability to grasp truth often makes me think the opposite. Skimp on 2 hours of sleep and you'll forget what you've studied. Bump your head one good time and you'll lose your connection to truth forever. And it seems obvious that belief in God is hardwired into the human brain, and it appears clear you think that's a mistake.
Just think about it. Do you truly think that mere atoms, no matter how long they're left, ever have the chance to accurately produce treatises on abstract topics? We're lucky they even provide accurate sensory information, though they technically don't always do that.
"Did you hear that?"
"Hear what? You're hearing things again."
Like I said before, it appears there's one dynamic that all fits together, then those who rebel against said dynamic for various reaons, but in so doing destroy themselves. How can you have any basis for believing much of anything?
htt p://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=SJ5RPn6nlwo
Collin: "Senior year's just . . . a little less lax than they described it."
Yeah - that's for sure. I'm getting even less sleep than last year. I know its a lot of work when my mom tells me I should switch one of my harder classes third trimester for something a little easier.
"Hope you're doin well. :)"
I'm doing pretty good. I'm running on only 6 hours of sleep a night, but other than I can't complain. Hope you're doing well as well :)
"And if it's not too much to ask, my nosey side wants to stay updated on you and your Christian gf's relationship. I find that extremely interesting for some reason. You know the Bible technically tells her she shouldn't marry you unless you decide to convert, right?"
Yeah....so I figured that out about the Bible. We mutually decided to break up a couple weeks in when I asked her about that. She said she wouldn't be okay having a long term relationship with a non-Christian, and I told her while believing in a higher power of some sort was a possibility I highly doubted I'd get to the whole Jesus is the son of God thing. So, we decided to break up before things got more serious. It kind of s.ucks, but it could have su.cked a whole lot more in the future, so yeah...
"You must have a pretty devilish charm. (Get the pun? *Nudge*) "
Haha. Not enough I suppose, but she did say that before she met me she wouldn't even have considered dating a non-Christian, so... :P
"Anyways, I wouldn't say faith in our reason is necessary. In fact, the sheer trivial nature of our ability to grasp truth often makes me think the opposite. Skimp on 2 hours of sleep and you'll forget what you've studied. Bump your head one good time and you'll lose your connection to truth forever."
I agree there are many states of mind where our reason is lacking, but I'm sure when you're in a fresh state of mind you trust in your reason or else the universe would make no sense at all. Even religion requires faith in reason.
"And it seems obvious that belief in God is hardwired into the human brain, and it appears clear you think that's a mistake."
I agree it is hardwired in, and I don't think it is a mistake. And while it may be there because it is a God, I don't think that is the non-mistake part of it. It isn't a mistake because belief in the supernatural is good evolutionarily. It has to do with group evolution theory. I'm fairly certain I've mentioned this before, but if you like I can detail how it works.
"Just think about it. Do you truly think that mere atoms, no matter how long they're left, ever have the chance to accurately produce treatises on abstract topics?"
Seems pretty crazy, but given enough time and enough chances, yes. The universe is very, very big. Really what would decide it for me though would be if a multiverse exists. If we can prove that it does then I would be much stronger in my atheism. If we can prove it doesn't it would have a good chance of making me at least an agnostic theist instead of an agnostic atheist.
"We're lucky they even provide accurate sensory information, though they technically don't always do that."
I agree they don't always, but note that you did imply in this statement that you have faith in reason.
I'll watch the video as soon as I get a chance.
Sorry it took so long to reply to this. The non-virtual world can get so busy though. :( My apologies, buddy.
Anyways, wow. I'm so sorry about your girlfriend. I know that must suck so much. :/ Now I feel stupid for mentioning it all peppy-like and all. But in the grand scheme of things, relationships between differing worldvies are seldom a good idea. Though you seem to hold Christian views and exhibit Christian behavior more than a lot of actual believers I know. :p If you'd just take that last step. Tsk. tsk. tsk. :)
And I do believe in reason, Quantum. I just don't know why you do. :p I can't think of any reason to place my faith in the validity of logic unless there is a rational mind outside our own on which it is based.
And I realize that belief in God has evolutionary benefits, but so does belief in our own abstract reasoning. If you believe that belief in God is something innate in the human mind which is not true, then why not logic as well? I can easily see how things like aesthetics and ethics might be innately false, and I'm sure a thorough study would create the same possibilities for other aspects of philosophical inquiry.