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Thread: The Baha'i Source some call God(s) and why I believe in God.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    The Baha'i Source some call God(s) and why I believe in God.

    There have been similar threads in the old Tweb, but since the question has come up, because I consider the traditional arguments for God in traditional Christianity bad to the point of being logically outrageous, some have asked if this is how you view the arguments, Why do you believe in God.

    The first posting reflects my Foundation Assumptions of why I believe.

    Foundations of Belief

    Assumptions that form the foundation of what one believes or does not believe. A great deal of debate takes place on beliefs and differences without understanding the underlying assumptions of why people believe. Some of my basic beliefs are included.

    The first assumption is the most important, 'consider the universal' in all things as Aristotle proposed in Physica. This amounts to no a priori assumptions on anything including one's own belief system. This assumption relates to my Buddhist leanings, and the view that we can see more clearly if we wipe the slate clean as humanly possible, and consider all the evidence and possibilities.

    "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, the universal, then accept it and live up to it." – Buddha

    The second assumption is truth as well as human knowledge is relative and cannot be assumed to be absolute in any way. This assumption is based on the evidence of the nature of human knowledge, and the claims of ‘Truth’ over the millennia.

    The third assumption is that the physical existence we perceive through our senses is real, and our reason and logic, though fallible, is sufficiently reliable to trust in our relative knowledge of the objective knowledge of this physical existence. Math is a reliable construct of human logic as a tool to understand our physical existence. This assumption is based on the evidence of reliability of our senses, human reasoning and logic in understanding the nature of our physical existence over the millennia.

    The fourth assumption is our understanding of the subjective world beyond the objective physical nature of our existence is limited by our fallible nature, and human understanding of the subjective. Philosophy and logic are useful in exploring the subjective, and understanding our human nature, but remain human constructs of the subjective world of the mind only. This assumption is based on the diversity, and often conflicting and inconsistent subjective beliefs and logical arguments over the millennia.

    The fifth assumption is science is the present knowledge we have of our physical existence which evolves with time, and is reliable. It has priority over the understanding of our physical existence over any religious belief including my own. Actually, the Baha'i Faith recognizes this necessary of considering science on the level of Revelation in its own right, and reveals Creation as it is created, and gives it precedence over the interpretation of the Baha'i writings concerning the nature of our physical existence. This relies on the first, second and third assumptions.

    The sixth assumption is that IF God exists, God is universal and unknowable in the absolute sense. Doctrines and beliefs of individual religions cannot define the absolute nature of the Divine. The scriptures of the religions of the world reflect a human view of Revelation, and the relationship between humanity, Creation and the Source some call God(s). This is related to the first, second, third and fourth assumptions.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber
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    God is the being than whom nothing is greater. Now, you prove the possibility that God does not exist as defined.
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truthseeker View Post
    God is the being than whom nothing is greater. Now, you prove the possibility that God does not exist as defined.
    As per my assumptions there is no such proof. In my view there is the possibility that a Source some call God(s) does not exist. IF God exists, I believe God would be unknowable in this sense of proof from the fallible human perspective. IF God exists Creation as science describes our physical existence reflects the nature of God in the universal sense beyond human comprehension, The Baha'i view of God is apophatic.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    41st Mojave Summer DesertBerean's Avatar
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    Moderator ' s Notice: This thread is a better fit in Comparative Religions 101 since it's a discussion of Baha'i in comparison to other belief systems.

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    1. The First Assumption is not to be believed because by posting this assumption (the words of Buddha) a person would have to have read it. This is the vey thing we are told not base our belief on. Also, define "good" for that is what we are told to base our belief on.
    2. The Second Assumption puts for the idea that truth is no absolute which begs the question if that assumption is an absolute truth to be embraced.
    3. The Sixth Assumption presents a false dichotomy. Since God can not be fully known then all of what is written about Him is from a human point of view. Why couldn't there be SOME things about Him written from His point of view that He allows us to know?
    Last edited by foudroyant; 03-12-2014 at 07:53 AM.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foudroyant View Post
    1. The First Assumption is not to be believed because by posting this assumption (the words of Buddha) a person would have to have read it. This is the vey thing we are told not base our belief on. Also, define "good" for that is what we are told to base our belief on.
    You are misunderstanding and conflating 'blind belief,' versus a 'healthy skepticism,' in terms of what are the reasons one believes or not believes. Your view represent a rigid 'black and white' world of justification of belief, and not a search for knowledge and understanding of the diverse nature of the 'real' world in a less biased view.

    I believe 'Good' is best defined as a healthy relationship with the rest of humanity and the diverse world around us, and healthy and compassionate morals and ethics that promotes healthy spiritual and physical relationships. This probably requires some more thought and dialogue to understand fully.

    2. The Second Assumption puts for the idea that truth is no[t] absolute which begs the question if that assumption is an absolute truth to be embraced.
    No the second assumption considers does not assume that the absolute does not exist. It assumes that the evidence of the fallible limited nature of humans demonstrates that humans cannot 'know' absolute truths that are often claimed by different belief systems and contradictory even though they may be based on the same scripture.


    3. The Sixth Assumption presents a false dichotomy. Since God can not be fully known then all of what is written about Him is from a human point of view. Why couldn't there be SOME things about Him written from His point of view that He allows us to know?
    No false dichotomy as presented in the assumptions. The fallible nature of humanity precludes absolute knowledge. The 'Source' some call God(s) is the essence of absolute knowledge, but the very real question based on the evidence is whether fallible humans are capable of comprehending absolute knowledge.

    There are many things that could be 'known' in a relative sense, without fully be known from the absolute sense. Spiritual values. morals and ethics, compassion, and a healthy good positive relationship with other cultures and religions in an obvious diverse human world.

    The healthy positive view of the evolving scientific knowledge of our physical existence based on Methodological Naturalism also demonstrates the unlikely view that human knowledge is realistically consisting of absolutes.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-12-2014 at 11:45 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    Assumption 1
    a. You have a bias against the perception of the world existing in black and white. How do you know for certain that my search for knowledge could not have lead me to this conclusion?
    b. Your understanding of "good" is very subjective. Adolf Hitler could subscribe to it and still be "ok".

    Assumption 2
    a. To assert that not one human can know even one absolute truth because of competing claims for that truth would require you to know what the absolute truth is...the very thing you say one can not know.

    Assumption 6
    a. To assert that humanity can not attain any absolute knowledge of God is false. I say, "God exists". I have therefore asserted something that both He and I know is true. Yes, He knows this more deeply than I do but nonetheless you are asserting that it is impossible for me to absolutely know that. How are you absolutely certain that I don't know that?
    Last edited by foudroyant; 03-12-2014 at 02:19 PM.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foudroyant View Post
    Assumption 1
    a. You have a bias against the perception of the world existing in black and white.
    I object to the many diverse world views that 'Truth' from the fallible human perspective is a 'Black and White' issue, not because of bias, but because of the evidence of many diverse claims of the belief of absolute truths. On what basis would I determine which is true?

    How do you know for certain that my search for knowledge could not have lead me to this conclusion?
    Certainty??? The evidence of the many diverse conflicting claims of absolute 'Truth,' changing over time and in different cultures and religions, makes it severely problematic that any one claim is true. Again; On what basis would I determine which is true?

    By 'certainty' do you mean(1) certainty in the absolute sense, or (2) the most logical and reasonable view based on the evidence? I vote for (2).

    b. Your understanding of "good" is very subjective. Adolf Hitler could subscribe to it and still be "ok".
    A very vague meaningless answer. If you have a better explanation of what is good please offer it???


    Your joking right? This is ridiculous.

    I believe 'Good' is best defined as a healthy relationship with the rest of humanity and the diverse world around us, and healthy and compassionate morals and ethics that promotes healthy spiritual and physical relationships.

    There is no way that Adolph Hitler could fits the above. Please explain?? Adolph Hitler persecuted, ethnically cleansed minorities, waged war for domination of by a purely Aryan world view.

    Assumption 2
    a. To assert that not one human can know even one absolute truth because of competing claims for that truth would require you to know what the absolute truth is...the very thing you say one can not know.
    No it would not. My view is based on the evidence of the fallible nature of being human. This is conflating logic. How would I judge with any certainty which of the many diverse claims of absolute 'Truth' is true?

    Assumption 6
    a. To assert that humanity can not attain any absolute knowledge of God is false. I say, "God exists". I have therefore asserted something that both He and I know is true. Yes, He knows this more deeply than I do but nonetheless you are asserting that it is impossible for me to absolutely know that. How are you absolutely certain that I don't know that?
    What 'objective evidence' can you present other then the anecdotal claim, as opposed to someone who believes differently?
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-12-2014 at 11:00 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber
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    Shuny, you make statements like you expect us to accept as true. E.g., Adolf Hitler made war. You ask questions like you expect us to accept as meaningful and not idle.
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truthseeker View Post
    Shuny, you make statements like you expect us to accept as true. E.g., Adolf Hitler made war. You ask questions like you expect us to accept as meaningful and not idle.
    No, I do not expect people to agree or necessarily 'accept as true' anything I post here or elsewhere. This purpose of this thread is about my assumptions of belief for discussion, maybe true maybe false. thread

    Your statement about Adolf Hitler is incomplete and out of context. Do you consider my statement about Hitler false?

    No I do not ask question and expect anything. Those that respond do so of their own will, those who do not respond likewise. It would help if you cite me completely, and make you posts and statement coherent and meaningful, if you chose to post.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-12-2014 at 10:59 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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