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Author Topic: Why is religion taken literally?  (Read 7160 times)

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Offline Inkidu

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Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2008, 11:26:52 AM »
Except for the fact that Descartes started with the premise that anything detected by his senses could, in fact, be an illusion created by the mind.  Is the wall there, or have you just convinced yourself it's there, even to the extent of believing you feel it when you place your hand on it?  'I could be imprisoned in a nutshell and count myself master of infinite space, were it not for bad dreams,'.

That's sort of what I'm saying. Personally I like to believe I exist, and if I don't this is a pretty good facsimile of what it would seem to be. I also believe there is God, an all-powerful, benevolent force that loves and protects me. However, if one says everything or somethings shouldn't be taken for their literal meanings, then why think anything is literal? I like my literal rocks even if it puts me in a hard place at sometimes. Oh and just because I believe I exist doesn't necessarily mean I do, or anything does. I just choose not to think of it that way. I think that was the larger gist of what Descartes was really saying. "I want to exist so I think I do, and as such I will." But you know the French, gotta go for that short and sweet version. However, that's all I'm going to say on this subject. Have a wonderful day, all. :D

Online mannikTopic starter

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2008, 12:12:55 PM »
That's sort of what I'm saying. Personally I like to believe I exist, and if I don't this is a pretty good facsimile of what it would seem to be. I also believe there is God, an all-powerful, benevolent force that loves and protects me. However, if one says everything or somethings shouldn't be taken for their literal meanings, then why think anything is literal? I like my literal rocks even if it puts me in a hard place at sometimes. Oh and just because I believe I exist doesn't necessarily mean I do, or anything does. I just choose not to think of it that way. I think that was the larger gist of what Descartes was really saying. "I want to exist so I think I do, and as such I will." But you know the French, gotta go for that short and sweet version. However, that's all I'm going to say on this subject. Have a wonderful day, all. :D

Personally, I choose to interpret things literally or figuratively based on which is easier to comprehend. A rock is a rock. It has a clear cut deffinition of what it is and isn't. It's properties can be observerd, tested, and recorded. Logically, a rock being a rock makes sense.

With things like religion and philosophy on the other hand, the literal meanings don't make sense as nothing is clearly defined. What is God? It can not be observed, tested, or even recorded. There are virtually no knowns when it comes to God, so how can it be taken literally? I have tried for years to understand the bible using a literal inturpitation and it didn't work well. Only when I opened myself to the idea of a figurative meaning did the pieces start falling into place for me.

I actually feel a stronger connection to it now than I used to because of my new way of inturpreting it. If there is indeed a god (I think there is), then the bible might actually contain some of his words, though not the exact way he put them, because he would most likely have put them in the stars (which the bible is based on) not on paper that can be easily manipulated.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2008, 12:21:46 PM »
Well I have family that are Fundamentalists and literally take the entire Bible as true - scary. But one minister made his point clearly Evolution was the case here doesn't disprove the Creation account since that is a matter of abiding faith and the former a matter of physical evidence. They opt as people of faith to accept Creation and will let God explain things in the afterlife.

I wish more Fundamentalist Christians were that simple in their approach.

I guess its a matter of how much Faith you have in the religion you follow since I would think all but Confucionsm and some other philosophical based ones would be full of unexplainable things.

Online Oniya

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2008, 12:34:29 PM »
Well I have family that are Fundamentalists and literally take the entire Bible as true - scary. But one minister made his point clearly Evolution was the case here doesn't disprove the Creation account since that is a matter of abiding faith and the former a matter of physical evidence. They opt as people of faith to accept Creation and will let God explain things in the afterlife.

I had one person - who I admired greatly for it - explain that the two could go hand in hand because 'a thousand ages in God's sight are like an evening gone'.  On the first 'day' (thousand ages), God created the heavens and the earth.  And so on.  I think the exact order might be a little off (birds before land animals, I think?) but it's a pretty reasoned way of looking at it.

Offline Doomsday

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2008, 08:44:57 PM »
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

-Epicurus

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2008, 08:29:14 PM »
I really have to say that quote has so many fallacies that and loop holes that it's useless.

Online mannikTopic starter

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2008, 09:28:09 PM »
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

-Epicurus

Sounds to me like they (The original person being quoted) are simply attempting to define an indefinable entity by using logic that pertains to human behavior to try and rationalize the behavior of something impossible to understand, IF it indeed exists (I assume it does, but base that assumption on no hard evidence or proof).

I argue that God is neither malevolent, nor benevolent...because why would it matter? All things are because God said so (If it is what we assume it is) God creating an earthquake that kills thousands of people is no more evil than you poisoning an ant bed you find in your yard.

And to answer the question, Whence cometh evil? Humans...Evil exists because we invented the idea of evil, we gave it a definition, and we catagorize our own actions according to those definitions.

So called 'evil' acts are performed everyday in the natural world...murder, rape, theft...all are natural occurences but are never called evil because they are only animals. They can't understand the concept.

Offline Algibard Glirings

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2008, 07:35:59 AM »
The God is us. Don't you see? Our doings drastically impacts future, one person can change the flow of events in a blink. We create our "tomorrow" same as our childrens. There is no supernatural being that controls us from above, there is just one big mind made of small cells called "people", and that's where all the crazy stuff is starting.

Other thought would be about the soul, how come Christians think that when they will leave their body, their soul somehow will keep the same looks, memories and thoughts they did? I mean if the soul decides what's in your head, then how to explain memory loss, change of behavior after brain damage... do you lose a soul, it changes places with other, "retarded", soul? Or is there no soul just a plain simple brain... I'm atheist myself, and I tend to think of everything alive as of little clocks - when their time comes, they just stop ticking.

I'm a bit angry at my parents, because they hammered christianity into my head since I was a child. Now I can think about existence, discuss it, thou in subconscious mind I still fear god. FEAR him. Christians, do you see? All loving and forgiving god, and it is taught to FEAR him! That's just one more reason to not be christian.

End of the rant  :D

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2008, 07:44:45 AM »
All loving and forgiving god, and it is taught to FEAR him! That's just one more reason to not be christian.


IMHO this has always been the one big, glaring oxymoron of the religion. It's the sort of thing that gets you to ask if such a thing is said for your benefit or the benefit of the people who ram it down your throat. Eventually, the answer becomes crystal clear.

My parents both grew up Catholic, so I don't fault them for putting me through that. My dad's been passed on for eight years now, but my mother hasn't attended church for years now, and although she still holds onto some core faith values, I think after countless debates she's grasping the wider picture as I do. My brother most definitely is, and I don't know if my sister bothers to mull it over at all.


Online Karma

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2008, 04:59:17 AM »
I'm not responding directly to anyone in the thread, just to the question, from my experience.

Religion is taken up because of weakness, the inability to define life for yourself and thus giving up your control to allow someone else to do it for you. This can be applied to me in my submission to my SO - but unlike religion, I don't need faith. He's proven himself to me.

Offline Valerian

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2008, 07:54:54 AM »
Please try to refrain from making sweeping statements that everyone who believes in a higher power is ignorant, weak, or some combination of the two.  Thanks.

Online Karma

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2008, 10:26:02 AM »
Sorry if I broke a rule. I don't mean to apply this to everyone. It's just the entirety of my experience.

Online Oniya

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2008, 10:44:38 AM »
More of a poor choice of phrasing.  *smiles*  I can see putting one's trust in a Dom as being very similar to putting one's trust in a Deity, especially considering the idea that the D in the relationship provides a sense of someone strong looking out for someone who feels weak.

Offline Valerian

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2008, 11:11:44 AM »
Yes, nothing against your comparison or personal experience -- I wanted to confirm that you didn't really mean to imply that of all people who have religious beliefs and/or follow a particular faith.  Just try and be more clear in the future.  :)

Offline The Overlord

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2008, 11:58:57 AM »
I'm not responding directly to anyone in the thread, just to the question, from my experience.

Religion is taken up because of weakness, the inability to define life for yourself and thus giving up your control to allow someone else to do it for you. This can be applied to me in my submission to my SO - but unlike religion, I don't need faith. He's proven himself to me.

To put this more delicately, I think the choice to be religious or not does represent two important subsets of human psychology. In essence, some of us are satisfied to believe in established dogma, while others are not content to do so realizing these to be limited or inaccurate in scope, and are compelled to figure it out for ourselves. But few faiths come without a defined rulebook, so religionists are giving up a certain degree of personal freedom, whether it's abstinence, no meat on Friday, no alcohol, etc.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2008, 12:49:24 PM »
Quote
I'm not responding directly to anyone in the thread, just to the question, from my experience.

Religion is taken up because of weakness, the inability to define life for yourself and thus giving up your control to allow someone else to do it for you. This can be applied to me in my submission to my SO - but unlike religion, I don't need faith. He's proven himself to me.

I don't believe religion makes people weak. I can perfectly define life more myself. I just choose to believe God has a hand in it. Instead of some seemingly random amount of coincidence. I'm perfectly capable of renouncing God right here on the spot, but I won't. So saying religion is a weakness is very limited approach. There are people who use it to that effect like you said, but the same could be said for atheists.

An atheist believes there is no God, or gods, etc. So it could be said that he prefers logic; it could also be said that he just doesn't want to deal with something beyond his scope of thought so he chooses to renounce it. I consider that weakness. He prefers the safety of the definable not leaving himself open to bigger things.

So saying religion (or anything I suppose.) is taken up because of weakness alone is again the limited view. I'm not meaning to offend anyone on this I'm just trying to look at the whole picture.

On another note. The love God fear God thing. I love my parents but I also fear them (in disappointing them among other things.) So maybe the context of fearing God, is disappointing him? Because that's what I fear in God. I fear being punished by him just as I would have my parents doing the same. Again another way of looking at things.   

Online Karma

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2008, 12:52:30 PM »
Small note, Inkidu: Believing in a god (or God) and taking up a religion are NOT synonymous. I said nothing about belief in a higher power or spirituality. I'm not contesting anything you have to say - I just want to make sure you understand my distinction.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2008, 01:04:34 PM »
Small note, Inkidu: Believing in a god (or God) and taking up a religion are NOT synonymous. I said nothing about belief in a higher power or spirituality. I'm not contesting anything you have to say - I just want to make sure you understand my distinction.
Okay I didn't realize you didn't think they were synonymous.

Online Karma

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2008, 01:07:31 PM »
A religion is an external set of rules, not a philosophical concept. It's unfortunate that so many can't separate these two - I know many who would call themselves Christians who are ostracized because they prefer to do their own searching and learning instead of ascribing to this or that 'denomination.' That, however, is a different topic, and I'll stow that.

Offline Algibard Glirings

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2008, 01:13:20 PM »
Well, I'm atheist but I see the potential bright side in religions too. Same Christianity. Now I'll tell what irritates me in Christians, so if you're of a feint heart, don't read any further.

Some parts of following text might sound like "angry yelling" thou it isn't, just a coincidence I guess  ::)

Most of Christians I know, has this belief that no matter what they do, God will do it for them. Like -"Hey Harry needs help", -"God is with him on this" *goes back on the couch*...
God is used as a nonsense catalizator amongst the mob of Christians like "Hey, John Doe doesn't believe in God, let's throw something at him" -(Everyone else)"Yay, let's throw tomatoes at satan lover!". Now I know my example is a little to extreme, should of used something instead of tomatoes... But it happens all around, and it scares the *bleep* out of me.

Now, if Christians would believe that God HELPS, as in YOU do something and he just watches over and looks that nothing bad would happen to you while you actually DO something, then it would be in a completely different, higher and, in my eyes, better approach level. I mean look at some people in the history, they had tremendous power while relying on gods help, and yet again they actually was doing something in the first place, not just sitting there and going "God, make that my enemies would die". As for "mobs", it is really going out of hand, but the problem is not the people who are like lambs listening every word you say, but the churches, who doesn't tell you "McDonalds, BurgerKing or any other business has NOTHING to do with god, and if someone is saying different, you can call him a retard." or just plain simple "Church doesn support Mr. X ideas, which are in no way connected to Christian ways"... But no, church is doing nothing, except for child molesting...

Online Karma

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2008, 01:18:06 PM »
Faith without works is nothing. It's a simple, effective sentence, and like so many others in the book, is selectively followed.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2008, 01:19:03 PM »
A religion is an external set of rules, not a philosophical concept. It's unfortunate that so many can't separate these two - I know many who would call themselves Christians who are ostracized because they prefer to do their own searching and learning instead of ascribing to this or that 'denomination.' That, however, is a different topic, and I'll stow that.
A religion is not a philosophy. However, I know what you're talking about. That's the doctrine of denomination. As I like to call it. The religion of Christianity for example is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, for whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." That's the principle of Christianity. When you get into denomination (Baptism, who goes to hell and what for, who are really Christians, one wife, many wives.) That's where it gets sticky. That's where people get ostracized.  

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2008, 01:22:58 PM »
Well, I'm atheist but I see the potential bright side in religions too. Same Christianity. Now I'll tell what irritates me in Christians, so if you're of a feint heart, don't read any further.

Some parts of following text might sound like "angry yelling" thou it isn't, just a coincidence I guess  ::)

Most of Christians I know, has this belief that no matter what they do, God will do it for them. Like -"Hey Harry needs help", -"God is with him on this" *goes back on the couch*...
God is used as a nonsense catalizator amongst the mob of Christians like "Hey, John Doe doesn't believe in God, let's throw something at him" -(Everyone else)"Yay, let's throw tomatoes at satan lover!". Now I know my example is a little to extreme, should of used something instead of tomatoes... But it happens all around, and it scares the *bleep* out of me.

Now, if Christians would believe that God HELPS, as in YOU do something and he just watches over and looks that nothing bad would happen to you while you actually DO something, then it would be in a completely different, higher and, in my eyes, better approach level. I mean look at some people in the history, they had tremendous power while relying on gods help, and yet again they actually was doing something in the first place, not just sitting there and going "God, make that my enemies would die". As for "mobs", it is really going out of hand, but the problem is not the people who are like lambs listening every word you say, but the churches, who doesn't tell you "McDonalds, BurgerKing or any other business has NOTHING to do with god, and if someone is saying different, you can call him a retard." or just plain simple "Church doesn support Mr. X ideas, which are in no way connected to Christian ways"... But no, church is doing nothing, except for child molesting...
"I believe God wouldn't have given us minds that reason if He didn't expect us to use them." Galileo, I think that's the gist of it at least. I don't believe in the churches anymore. I do believe in God. 

Online mannikTopic starter

Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2008, 01:25:27 PM »
I think there are a lot of people who believe in God simply because it comforts them to do so. I can certainly understand how believing there is some guiding force that looks out for you can bring someone a measure of comfort and feelings of security. I don't think that choice is inherently weak...if anything it would lend some measure of strength because they don't necessarily have to rely on a specific person to provide those feelings, thus they are more relyant on themselves.

Of course that's not to say it's not nice to rely on people. It is nice to KNOW someone has your best intrests at heart and are willing to help you in any way.

Either extreme however is bad. Rely to much on one person, and you won't be able to do things on your own. Rely too much on God and...well...spanish inquisition and crusade type stuff happens.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Why is religion taken literally?
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2008, 01:30:48 PM »
I think there are a lot of people who believe in God simply because it comforts them to do so. I can certainly understand how believing there is some guiding force that looks out for you can bring someone a measure of comfort and feelings of security. I don't think that choice is inherently weak...if anything it would lend some measure of strength because they don't necessarily have to rely on a specific person to provide those feelings, thus they are more relyant on themselves.

Of course that's not to say it's not nice to rely on people. It is nice to KNOW someone has your best intrests at heart and are willing to help you in any way.

Either extreme however is bad. Rely to much on one person, and you won't be able to do things on your own. Rely too much on God and...well...spanish inquisition and crusade type stuff happens.
I'm like that. "The courage to face thing, the strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the things I can't." That old adage. I know God isn't going to help me with every little thing, but he's not going to overburden me at the same time.