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Best!

Brett

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday, time for something a little different

I couldn't find anything really interesting or funny this week. But I did think of something. I want you the faithful, to sell me on your religion. Tell me why I should believe you and none of the others. Why are you a believer, why should I become one as well.

I'm not going to get into any arguments in the comments, I really just want you know WHY, why you believe what you do. Have at it! I will let you post anonymously for this one.

Best,

Brett

20 comments:

Darolyn Hawks said...

Hogy MIÉRT hiszünk? Mert hinni akarunk. Mert már nincs semmi, ami megmaradt. (Mellesleg én az időjárásban hiszek.)

~ So WHY (we) believe? Because we want to believe. Because there is nothing to remained. (Anyway I believe in weather.)

Cryostar said...

I figured it like this.

A lot of folks have done a lot of thought at the core of these religions (take your pick, Hindo, Buddhism, judeo/christian/muslim) in regards to the core structure of people. Their core values are almost all the same, and in those (how to treat a person) you can believe. After that, when you take that "leap of faith"...well, if I'm going to take the leap for Dark Matter and Dark Energy to explain what science can't explain, what about the belief in something that's bigger than me? I just choose not to define it as rigidly as other folks.

Not that it makes me righteous, i don't care much what others believe outside of my family. I laugh at your Sunday Posts, and have a host of others that tickle me as well (the thor, hammer, nails always gets me)

Then again, I think if you live a good life, despite what you believe you're good to go in whatever afterlife there is (except if it's cthulu).

~Cryostar (The recovering catholic)

Anonymous said...

There is no sales gimmick for Christianity. In fact if you want a religion which works for you, I would stay clear. Most world religions try to cater to your needs or offer you earthly rewards or a chance to rebuild yourself into some self styled perfect version of yourself. Christianity is different; in the end you lose yourself and gain God, which seems terrible and sounds like some sort of mind control, until you meet Jesus and realize what you lost was not worth having and gaining God’s friendship is ultimately pleasing.

And as for mind control or becoming a fanatical zealot? Have you ever known anyone who got married because they loved someone else? Did it change their life? Their priorities? Their thought pattern? Did marriage (not all marriages of course are worth praising, but the good ones are) make them less of a person or did it some ways complete them? God says human marriage is one of the closest pictures of what life with Him is to be like. Often those who critique Christianity only use the obvious mistakes or failings of “believers” as proof of it being a scam, seldom do they comment on the staggering number of lives changed for the positive who actually model true obedience to Christ.

God will mess up your life if you give him the chance. His goals and direction are at complete odds with our own selfish plans. When you invite him into your life he rearranges everything. Those areas you mark as “personal” and not up for discussion, He hones in on and worms His way in.

Now here is the strange thing: I’m still in control, but I don’t call the shots. Life becomes a strange series of paradoxes: of living in power while learning to serve, of losing and gaining, of pain and reward, of dying but yet living more fully. I’ve been mocked, detested, and mistreated, and in the end I feel honored for being permitted to suffer. In suffering I’ve learned how to love better. I give more freely, I help more quickly, and I grieve more deeply for those I barely know as well as family and friends.

In Matthew 10: 39 Christ says,”Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Not much of a sales pitch. Lose your life? No thanks. But the life given freely to God is given back, and like the master craftsman He is, Jesus takes the broken, jacked up life and makes it more rewarding, productive, and meaningful than what it was before.

In the end there is really only one reason to follow Christ, because He is God. Christianity is true. Billions have tried it and it works.

But as for a sales plug, that ain’t really our deal. If we can sell you on something then someone else can come along and change your mind with a stronger or more persuasive argument. I’ll do my best to persuade you to try Christ, but it’s not my job to conert you. Smarter men than you or I have both accepted Christ and rejected Christ. The human argument for or against is pretty unsatisfying and not definative. But Psalm 34:8 tells us “Taste the Lord and know He is good.” God offers Himself to us if we really want to experience if it is true. You know why they give free samples in grocery stores? Because nothing is more persuasive than actually trying a product.


Steve

Brett said...

Cryostar,

LOL! Gotta love a Cthulu reference!


Steve,

But you are selling something, Gods love, eternal life and a way out of Hell. You're just trying to do it in a nice way, by not forcing it on people (you specifically on this, lots of other Christians aren't so nice about it), but I doubt you are forced to buy comics are you? You buy because you want to. I want to know why you want to and why should I? Not trying to argue, just trying to clarify.

Also please remember I was religious when I was young. Went to CCD and everything.

Best,

Brett

Brett said...

Steve,

Just to clarify, the last Why's were retorical. You answered and thanks! I was just trying to make a point about a sales pitch.

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know it is rhetorical, but to clarify God changes your appetite.

We are all creatures of appetites or desires. We are motivated to try to feed those desires. We all also experience the same sense of frustration or fulfillment on our search to fill those desires.

In other words, the bank robber does what he does because he perceives it will fulfill a void in his life. The sex addict also tries to fill an empty gnawing in his life. Religious folks do the same, true Christians seek God to fill them.

One test is who finds healthy fulfillment and who continues a dog chasing its tail lifestyle, always frustrated.

Cryostar said...

Well, if we're looking for arguments, instead of arguing for a particular religion, i'd rather just argue for the existence of a higher being, and let your own reason define the faith you hold. I went to school in Jesuit schools for 8 years. They're not a bad lot of folks (event protestant ministers like them, not so bad for Catholics). One of the big books for them is the Summa Contra Gentiles, by Thomas Aquinas. You can find an online version here:

http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles1.htm

I completely agree with Steve as well, it's a deeply personal thing, and has to be right for you. That's one of the things that I liked about the Jesuits, they allow your faith to be guided by your reason.

There are too many religions that have too similar of a structure, with similar core beliefs for it to be a coincidence. Reason would dictate that there is a reason behind it. You don't have to believe it's God, Vishnu or Hecate, just believe it. Call him the Flying Spaghetti Monster (All bow to his holy noodleness) if you want...but for me, reason says there's something there.

sorry for the rambling. Hopefully you'll read the book. It's quite well written.

Brett said...

Hi Steve and Cryostar,

Evidence would be good, personal annicdotes and feeling simply aren't enough to convince me. I need actual physical evidence. Some sort of proof that hold up under scrutiny. Something that tells you why your religion is true and others are false. You say you know it's true but why do you think that?

I won't be able to read the book, I can't look at the screen for too long:( I simply don't read online books, which does sucks because one of those Kindle things would be awesome! I may glance at it a bit.

Best,

Brett

Cryostar said...

Honestly, i can't tell you that my religion is good for you, because it's something personal to me. And it should be something personal to you.

If you want to think about it scientifically, think of it as a proof that you'll spend the rest of your life trying to disprove. As much evidence as you can find for it, you'll find against. The best analogy I can think of is Dark Matter in astronomy.

Does Dark Matter exist? Who knows. The signs that it exists are out there. The universe is more massive than it should be. The universe is expanding too fast for what we can see. There isn't enough mass to hold things together. but you can't see it...you can't detect it. It's matter that's invisible. but hey, a majority of the astronomical society believes that it exists, so why not?

Personally, I read a lot on different things. I read the 8 fold path of Buddha. I read the stories of Dhrama, the bible and the Kohran. Take pieces of each of them, because i'll be honest, none of them are perfect and all are touched by man. But they can all serve as guides. if I had to pick one for you, i'd say try the 8 fold path first. Buddhism isn't as much a religion as a philosophy of living a meaningful and good life. Some folks have called him a god for his teachings, but he ultimately rejects it. But that's the base for anything, just leading a good life, and isn't that what it all comes down to?

Brett said...

Cryostar,

I'm still not getting a why. WHY do you follow, in this case some amorphous religion of your own creation? WHAT made you believe, what lead you to your ideas. I;m not looking for feelings, I'm looking for some evidence, I know Steve believes because someone told him it was true, that was painfully clear in the Gay marriage post. But what make you sure you're right?

I will say this, from what you describe, I think it's totally unprovable, since it seems to change with what you read. That's cool, but ultimately unrealistic. If it can't be defined then is it even real? With no evidence then how can it ever be proven?

Dark matter and energy have evidence, right now they are trying to find proof, hopefully CERN will give us the answers and help with a unified theory (a group of facts in this case, not the Sherlock Homes stuff.) I read a lot as well:)

Best,

Brett

Cryostar said...

But what if I'm trying to say that my religion may not be the religion for you?

Reason and science say that there is no such thing as a coincidence, however you have 3 distinct religions that follow very similar core beliefs, 2 of which have deity structures that are similar as well. Science would say that there's a reason behind that. We can hypothosize what that reason is, but i feel that there is something.

Personally, I was raised Catholic. 8 Years of Franciscan (the guys that ran the inquisition)education and 9 years of Jesuit education. The latter part helped me move from the rigid catholic thought to something more open.

I had brought up Dark Matter, because the schools of thought around it seem to be as polarized as that around god. There are some folks that believe that evidence is there, and we're right around the corner from discovering it. The other side swears that it's all a crock of crap, and people need to look elsewhere, but no matter what side you talk to, both agree that there has to be something causing what we see.

My assumption was that you were looking for something, otherwise you not have asked. Unfortunately, i can't tell you to believe in what i believe in, because it's shaped by my life and experiences. I believe that as long as you lead a good life, you'll be ok in the afterlife. I believe in an afterlife, because I hope that this is not the sum of our journey, there has to be something greater (no, i don't have evidence, but it'd be a damned downer that we only get 70 years).

However, if you're comfortable with atheism or agnosticism, then i ask you, why change?

Brett said...

Fuck, it ate my post!!

Not really looking for change, nothing that's been said has been really new information, just cleared a few things up for me. It's folly to not question your own ideas every now and then:)

Let me sum up. The 3 desert religions all have the same source, the Koran. they simply went in different directions in the different areas. They all go back to Moses and Abraham, Adam and Eve. They didn't appear all at once with similar ideas, there is a very clear pattern. The Muslim religion is only 700 years old.

I was actually looking to accomplish 2 things. To see why people don't use the same type of reasoning for religion that they do for everything else. And to make said people really think about why they believe what they do. The first part I got, but not the second. I heard this incredibly BAD argument this week. With absolutely no evidence to back it up at all. Yet the person spouting said idea was absolutely certain it was true because they were told by someone they trust that it was. Yet all the evidence says the opposite, papers and papers on it. But these actual facts are ignored in favor of the original idea, why? It seams that a pre-concieved notion is just hard to break through for some people and no amount of evidence to the contrary will shake their belief... Not the kind of thing a normal person would think is a virtue, but they do.

There doesn't have to be something else, but you did just answer my question. Be happy with 70 years, some animals get only hours. Now THAT would suck.

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

Now come on Brett! That is just dishonest. You know my life story way better than to try to say I believe because someone told me it is true. Remember God made himself most real to me when I was in open opposition and running the other direction. Definitely not someone idly sucking up whatever some church figure told me.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Brett there will always be an element of faith, but that is not a cop out. Faith can be a stronger motivator than fact. No child has ever been eaten by the closet monster. None. But children are more motivated by the belief of a closet monster than the fact that closet monsters do not exist. That is a case of faith and fact in opposition. It is good when you have both, but having faith or not neither proves nor disproves a fact-it is a response.

I believe my faith lines up with the facts, because it makes the most sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Now here is a true story I’ve told Brett before. Sometimes God talks to me. Not all the time and never from a burned image on a slice of toast which looks like the Virgin Mary.

One night God told me he wanted me to talk to someone about Jesus. I told a friend I was hanging out with who was also a Christian that I believe God was telling me to go to a particular bar on campus. My friend said He thought God wanted us to go to Dennys. We went to Dennys ate, hung out a bit, and we left. The whole time I felt uneasy like this wasn’t where I needed to be. We talked to no one about God, and I realized it was my friends stomach not God which told him to go to Dennys (later he told me that in fact was the case). I still had a bizarre nagging feeling I needed to go to a certain bar on Ohio State Campus-I had only been there once or twice before. That feeling I needed to go just kept bugging me and even though I was tired, I went. It was pretty busy and I immediately felt silly. I thought I was being paranoid or super sensitive, any way I thought there had to be better ways to do God’s will than just going randomly to bars at God’s prompting. There was an open place at the bar and the place was kind of packed so I thought that was my best option if I wanted to have a conversation with someone. The little voice inside said, “No, wait.” Now I felt extremely silly, people were staring-why was I standing at the door when there was an open spot at the bar? A couple minutes later a couple got up and left leaving their table open. The inner voice said, “Go sit there.” So I sat down at the table. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I felt like God was telling me to wait. So I ordered a drink and started reading a small Bible, it was very inconspicuous. There was a TV above the bar behind me. God said, “Look at the TV.” So I turned around, which meant I had to put my arm on the booth behind me, when I turned it put me eye to eye with the guy sitting at the table behind me. He was talking to his girlfriend at the table with him, but our eyes met as he finished what he was saying to her, “…I believe the Bible is just a book and has no relevance to my life today.” The inner voice I had been hearing all night said, “This is your opportunity.” Now I’m not a street preacher, I’m just a regular guy. I was scared too death and I still felt kind of silly but I cleared my throat and I said, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I couldn’t help but hear you say ‘the Bible had no relevance to your life today.” We ended up talking about God for probably a half hour or more. His girlfriend finally got upset and wanted to leave because she didn’t want to hear any more about God. He thanked me and was generally interested in what I had to say, but it was late and they left.

Now I admit that is an odd little story, but it is true. The non-Christian has to say I’m either a liar, or it is all coincidence. It probably has very little weight to convince most people that God exists, but I lived it. I have to piece together the events of the evening and ask myself, “Does it make more sense to say at every step of the way it was a coincidence that I went to the right bar, at the right time, to the right table, to have a conversation with a stranger about God, or do I chalk it up to hearing God’s voice?”

I believe it was God using me in an extremely personal way, for me it is rather strong evidence of God’s existence because I lived it. Still I can either act in faith and say-that was God or I can deny God’s hand in it and say-it was all coincidence. I have the facts of what happened and the opportunity for faith. God is not going to force me to believe in Him, but He also gives me opportunities to respond in faith to what I experience in my life.

As I order the events of my life, what I've experienced is better explained by the intervention of God than a combination of bizarre coincidences.


-Steve

Brett said...

Steve,

I never heard that story... I don't by it, you've never mentioned it before. Plus it doesn't go anywhere. Did that guy convert? Was he just being polite. Was he listening to you for shits and giggles? It's like saying I was hungry, I wanted Pizza, but the pizza place was on the other end of the road and I didn't want to drive that far, my inner voice said
you want Pizza. But I saw a Wendy's and went there instead. Well they screwed up my order and I left unsatisfied. But Jess called and she forgot to have me get Zantacs for the sick dog so I wound up going to the place that had them next to the pizza place and had pizza! I was a miracle! the problem is... the pizza sucked and I left half of it, true story, happened on Wednesday. I left out the busy Chick-fil-a for time;) That's NOT evidence. It's a story.

Steve, it's not the church figures stuff you're sucking up. It's the lying cheating ID people and Creationist people, The Glenn Becks, they are constently proven wrong yet you keep eating it up because they tell you what you want to hear (there is a reason we call it Lying for Jesus.) It's nice to be told you're right, but it's not teaching you anything, no new knowledge is being brought to the table.

I'm just looking for an answer to a question. I got yours in your first comment. It took a bit to drag Cryostars out but I got it.

Best,

Brett

^^W^^ said...

It's Sunday again, eh?
Slayer goes to church too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHb4gs1hwck

Brett said...

Many thanks ^^W^^!

That's going up this week! Fricken awesome!

Best,

Brett

steve said...

I'm not really sure if I'm adequately telling the story correctly, because I really see very little correlation with Pizza, Wendy's and Chicken.

Everyone eats, you are going to eat somewhere. Backtracking from a meal or a restaurant is nothing unusual.

Ending up eating somewhere is not unusual. Most people do it a few times a day.

I seldom get that clear of instruction to go and do something I have no interest or desire to do.

So you have me doing something unusual and syncing up with a stranger who most likely doesn't spend every Saturday night hanging around bars waiting for someone to discuss the Bible with.

He was extremely interested, I can read people. His girlfriend was obviously not digging it; he was kind of spooked that I appeared out of nowhere and had answers for the questions he was pondering.

Yeah, it would be a cool story if he became a Christian or angels flew into the bar and turned all the booze into water, but I find God seldom works like that. It is about obedience in small things and leaving the results up to him.

I'm still confused about what church figures I'm sucking up to. I like some of Glen Beck's stuff and there is other views of his I disagree with, but I judge what he is saying by an individual standard. He is a Mormon, so we really have major different worldviews.

I think maybe the fact that I have a higher standard for science is what is throwing you off. Your average Evolutionists accept way more on faith than I do. I'm cool with saying there are certain things we don't know.


-Steve

Steve Bodio said...

Brett: I generally stay out of these discussions, and as a sort of "Catholic agnostic" may well have nothing worthwhile to contribute.

But-- first-- don't conflate all religions, like Dawkins (great evo bio writer, ignorant of religion-- and we share a good friend). Not all are anti- evolution for instance.

I make my living as a writer, but my academic background is in evo- populations biology, a still current interest manifested in my blog, dog breeding etc.

But where did I first hear about evolution? In Catholic school, in the 50's & early 60's (pre- Vatican 2-- I'm 60), from a French (this may matter) order of nuns, straight up with no ID nonsense, not even invented then. Only thing "God" had to do was metaphysically invest the evolving animal with a soul...

I came to crises of faith, but not over science, and could never be KNOWING enough after that to style myself "atheist", to me another faith.

Besides, I know a lot of smart non- fundie religious people-- some even support gay marriage.