November 17th 2008, 12:22 PM #61
> "So, what ?" is my attitude...even as a Christian."
Yes, at best ID would be ho-hum: it could demonstrate the probability of a something. But at worst the ID people, while trying to build a bridge between science and religion, are re-igniting the 19th century war of science and religion. For example, you say "a God who is a thinking person who acts with a will ... is repugnant to so many people. It's actually threatening to a good many." I don’t think this is what they react to. I think it is the idea of inserting this God as an agent in the scientific account that is repugnant, as it is to me. And in reaction to the threat, some people become anti-religious (anti-theist if you will): they get the idea that belief in a God would mean accepting something like ID as part of their science, and they don’t want that. The idea of a personal creator-God becomes an intellectual unmentionable, and that’s a great loss and quite unnecessary.
I have no trouble in believing that God is my creator, and also that I was born just like everyone else, because I understand that God-talk and history/science talk are two different things. Good fences make good neighbours, as Frost says. In trying to build a bridge, the ID people in their ignorance of the nature of both fields are knocking down a wall. So people on both sides, and those who manage to inhabit both, rush to defend the wall.
"Glory be unto Him who hath produced growth in the adjoining fields of various natures! Glory be unto Him who irrigated them with the same waters gushing forth from that Fountain!" (Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p 398.)
November 27th 2008, 12:12 PM #62
Sorry that I dropped off the face of the Earth. School has taken over my life for a while.
Jesse, I would like to take you up on your offer. But can we do this over Christmas break, when I’ll have more time to engage in a sustained discussion?
November 28th 2008, 11:56 AM #63
A bit off topic, but I actually feel the need to step in and defend shunyadragon (oh, it hurts... ) and senmcglinn's position here. From a different angle. And you two guys can write me off if I misrepresent in any way.
But, some of what I see in this thread is from a "protestant bias" point of view that many Christians fall trap.
Not every religion in the world is about having, or even place a high premium of having, the proper personal beliefs concerning a particular religion of choice. Practice takes precedent over beliefs in many religions. If this is not the case for Baha'i, then I apologize, as I don't know much about it.
It may surprise a lot of Christians, but not all religions place this kind of emphasis on proper theology that Christianity does.
For example, in Judaism, a Jewish person may feel compelled to Torah, and they may be obedient to loving God with all their heart soul and might as Torah commands, but that doesn't mean that the person must actually believe in God. Strange I know, but that's how it is. They just affirm the command because that person knows his or her own beliefs in God's existence or non-existence don't really matter. They are religious, so therefore affirm Torah and live by it as they can.
To a lot of religions, a personal thought or belief, that amounts to little more than firm opinion, isn't a pressing matter, whereas practice and tradition are emphasized, expression trumps personal beliefs, and the holding to a proper "theology" (and/or understanding of history) isn't emphasized, or even required at all.
Not every religion is about firm opinions of theology, and to accuse them of "cake and eat it too", or "wishful thinking", or trying to "feel good without the rest of it" is extremely misplaced and shows a lack of understanding when it comes to most religions of the world outside the Christianity (and Islam, being about the same or worse then Christianity on emphasizing theology).ECRAP (Evidence Credibility Requires Atheists' Permittance) : Tool of virtue for skeptics and ostriches.
Skyhook 11:1 "Multiverse is the substance of Science hoped for; the evidence of Science unseen."
November 28th 2008, 04:49 PM #64
November 28th 2008, 07:18 PM #65
You are right: for most of the religious believers in the world, belief is not a matter of beliefs. If one wants to understand what religion is, Protestant Christianity with its emphasis on doctrines is atypical, but not unique (the islam of the mosque and ulama also has its doctrines and theology books).
The Bahai Faith is scarcely doctrinal: Abdu'l-Baha for example seemed quite ready to treat Auguste Forel as one of the 'movement' although he did not believe in a personal God. This is partly because it is behaviour not avowed beliefs that matter, but also because the divine is unknowable, and religious language is limited - it points metaphorically at something that is not the same as what it says. If we have a keen sense of how limited our understanding is, and how limited the language is that we hear and use, there seems little point in arguing about which word is "right" .
November 28th 2008, 07:59 PM #66
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