Finding Truth With
I don't care whether or not you decide to put this on your forum...i'm only truly interested in YOUR opinion. Also, this is just mindplay. I just like to talk about philosophy and conjecture. I don't necessarily believe any of it. this mind trip came about during a ferocious psylocibin trip. just check it out.
I think it is strange that the bible (not capitalized) sets up the continual battle between god and the devil, insisting that god has more total power. However, it also claims that we must maintain faith in "god" in the event that he is not currently winning. That seems to indicate that either the devil has more total power, or that the majority power is constantly changing from one side to the other (yin-yang anybody?). Also interestingly, the bible demonstrates openly god's ability to be evil: "vengeful", "wrathful", "jealous," etc., but does not demonstrate Satan's ability to be good or beautiful. In this balance, we see god (half good, half evil) and Satan (all evil) combining for a total of 3 parts evil to 1 part good in the universe.
It also occured to me that "god" is only one letter away from "good" and the "devil" is only one letter away from "evil". Is it possible that humanity's need to personify everything has turned these human characteristics into autonomous personalities?
I personally believe in faith. But faith is not beleiving that something happened in the past that we have no proof of. Faith is looking toward the future to see a good possibility in a currently struggling philosophy. I have faith that humanity is capable of shifting the balance to the direct middle (yin and yang) or even maybe a little farther to the good side, even though evil may be a little more powerful. I also have faith that evil is necessary (as is clearly stated in the bible by god's own acts, despite what ANY christian will tell you) and that you cannot eliminate evil. In fact, a better way to put it would be order vs. chaos. Evil is a human characteristic describing our choice to advocate chaos over order, and good being vice versa. Therefore, since you cannot eliminate chaos out of the universe, you cannot eliminate evil, period. That is what faith is. And you my friend, demonstrate what i call ultrafaith. If there is a god, you make him proud in that the acts of good that you do are YOURS, having been derived by your own decision without someone looking over your shoulder.
Who really has more faith? The one who does good because he fears hell and feels guilty about commiting evil because his slot in heaven may be jeopardized....or the one who does good because he has mathematically determined that he is adding weights to the evolutionarily correct side of the scale, even though the other side is 3 times heavier (and always growing)?
I believe this is what is meant by "god created man in his own image." Does god have someone looking over his shoulder and checking his work?....nope. Neither do we, otherwise faith would not even be an issue. I hope you will respond to this quibble: I can't find the letter I once wrote to you on the message board so I hope you will just reply to my email address.
Let me close by saying that my actual belief does not put evil 3 times heavier than good. I believe that the universe is constantly at balance and that it is impossible to shift this balance too far in either direction. This doesn't make Christian's bad, just futile beings in that they are awaiting the return of someone who will destroy all evil, or "chaos". They can keep waiting for all I care. I'm living right now in a boiling pot of little chunks of hell and little chunks of heaven which make up the overall taste of a healthy existence. I have faith in balance.
PLEASE....KEEP UP THE "GOOD" WORK CLIFF
- fox -
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: Monday, August 28, 2000 3:06 PM
When you talk of "faith" you use a different definition for the word than most theists use when they talk about, for example, "a saving faith in Christ."
This practice is called Equivocation and we recommend being aware of it when using the term faith and several other terms that have more than one meaning -- but particularly when using the term faith.
Other examples of Equivocation that we see include using the term "god" (to mean one's supreme aim in life) to describe a principle that one is "devoted" to (meaning strict adherence or sincere loyalty), and then calling that person "religious" (that is, focused, sincere, dedicated, reliable, etc.).
Aside from that, I have, in similar states of mind, likewise stretched the concept of "created in His image" to its logical absurdity, and think this may be what the authors of Genesis had in mind when they put the words, "They have become as one of us" into the mouths of the council of tribal deities. Aspects that I have focused on are creativity and personal autonomy. No wonder I didn't get along in Church!
I believe that the universe is constantly at balance and that it is impossible to shift this balance too far in either direction.
The total physical energy contained within the universe is almost precisely zero. The universe is expanding at a fast enough rate to overcome the principle of entropy, and allow tiny pockets of order to form. One of those pockets is the planet earth, wherein exists the most highly concentrated pocket of order we've ever encountered: the human mind.
The human mind evolved a neocortex over a very brief time on the evolutionary scale, and it's not adapted to its organism the way we might like it to be. When humans began to develop the cities, it became necessary to keep the masses in line, and this was done through the trickery of religion and the collusion of state and religion.
The religion inevitably sent the message that there are forces more complex and more powerful than the human; I will agree with more powerful, but disagree with more complex. It is our complexity that is our advantage in surviving in today's world. Again, our minds are the highest concentration of complexity that we have encountered.
Unfortunately, since the state used religion to keep people in line, it had to deal with those who saw through the religion: banish them, or, better yet, kill them off. This not-so-random selection against critical inquiry (and thus in favor of credulity) has guaranteed that the human species will be very, very superstitious for a long time to come (assuming that the tendencies toward inquiry and credulity are genetically and not culturally controlled -- I know that I cannot help my inquisitiveness; I spent years of my life trying to suppress it until I finally gave up and figured out how to make a vocation of it).
If this tendency toward superstition is not genetically based, as I fear, we can expect the United States to follow Europe's example perhaps within another generation or so. When asked how long the earth has been around, a surprising number of Americans said "less than 10,000 years." When polled as to who was saying this, it was primarily the elderly and the poor: those who would tend to watch lots of television; those in the under-30 crowd were the least likely to think the Earth is young.
Frighteningly, it could take a situation similar to WWII to snap the United States in line; many Europeans I know point to WWII and the Holocast as the main explanation for Europe's current secular tendencies. But then, this also suggest that the tendency toward superstition is not as heavily based in genetics as some suspect.
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