What if you're wrong?

To solve world problems

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Willum
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What if you're wrong?

Post #1

Post by Willum »

We all have strongly held beliefs, they can't all be right. What if you discover that whatever your particular truth is, is wrong, and that in order to solve the worlds problems, which clearly are not being completely addressed by any belief, you find that in order to make the world better, you need to adopt another approach. Or perhaps it is as simple as committing more completely to the principles of your own, ones you ignore or do not adhere to for whatever reason?

Can we even introspect enough to suspect some aspect of what we do is causing rather than solving the world's problem.

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Post #2

Post by Divine Insight »

I personally don't see it as my responsibility to save the world or to even try to make the world a better place. At least not beyond my own personal behavior.

As many wise sages have said, "Be the change you would like to see in the world", and I am certainly that. If everyone were like me the world would be a wonderful place to live. We wouldn't be bothered with overpopulation, over-pollution, crime, wars, or even global climate change.

But everyone is not like me, and being the change I would like to see in the world doesn't seem to have changed the world for the better. ;)

There are several things I would like to address.

To begin with my "beliefs" about the state of reality are basically irrelevant. I don't know the truth of reality. Reality could be a perfectly natural materialistic accident as many atheists believe. And if that's the case the idea of solving the world's problems may be nothing more than a futile dream of romantics. It may simply not be a realistic goal.

I don't know whether there exists a "creator" or not. However if there is a creator then clearly the problems of creation sit squarely on the shoulders of the creator. Certainly not on my shoulders. There are many things I simply cannot be held responsible for. Animals eating each other is one obvious thing. Diseases that are very difficult to prevent or cure is another. And natural disasters are clearly beyond my responsibility as well.

I also hold that the behavior of other people is beyond my control as well. What I can say to religious radicals like ISIS, the Taliban, Al Quaida, or even the Jews, Christians, and Muslims who create the Middle East political crisis, etc.

I do my best to try to convince people that these religions are doing nothing but causing political unrest and violence. But even that seems futile.

If there is a creator, the responsibility for all of that is squarely on the shoulders of the creator, it most certainly isn't my responsibility. I renounce responsibility for all of it.

~~~~

On a political front, I don't even see where there exists a political agenda or platform worth supporting. It's all based on competition and economy.

What I would support is cooperation, humanitarianism, and ecology. But that's simply not on the table. And it's not even possible to put it on the table. No one would vote for a politician that runs on the ideals of cooperation, humanitarianism, and ecology. You would be dismissed as being insane.

People simply don't know how to live outside of competition, economy, greed and pollution. They just don't have a clue how to move away from that.

My beliefs have nothing to do with the world's problems.

Nor is it my responsibility to solve the world's problems.

I would be glad to try, but I'm sure no one would do anything I say, so it would be futile anyway. ;)

The world's problems may simply be out of control. And I actually believe that they are. I see no reason to believe otherwise.

There does not exist one world leader or politician that shows any signs of even having a clue of how to change the course of humanity. As far as I can see we're just going to continue down the highway of "Status Quo" until we have a head-on collision with reality. Which may not be too far into the future. In fact, we may actually already be in the collision as we speak. It may already be an irreversible collision that is already underway. That's probably the state of reality already.
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Re: What if you're wrong?

Post #3

Post by McCulloch »

Willum wrote: We all have strongly held beliefs, they can't all be right. What if you discover that whatever your particular truth is, is wrong, and that in order to solve the worlds problems, which clearly are not being completely addressed by any belief, you find that in order to make the world better, you need to adopt another approach. Or perhaps it is as simple as committing more completely to the principles of your own, ones you ignore or do not adhere to for whatever reason?

Can we even introspect enough to suspect some aspect of what we do is causing rather than solving the world's problem.
I did have strongly held beliefs which I did discover were wrong. Therefore, at some personal cost, changed publicly my beliefs. It was quite liberating. Now, more mature, I take a more provisional approach to beliefs. If it seems true, I will behave as if it is true, but always open to evidence and/or arguments that it is not true.
I believe that the solutions to the world's problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. If solutions to humanity's problems are to be found, they will be found through the application of the methods of science and free inquiry.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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Post #4

Post by Wissing »

I am fully aware that my beliefs could be wrong. However, if I go through life second-guessing myself, I'm definitely wrong. Postmodernism is no escape from the possibility of being wrong.
the worlds problems, which clearly are not being completely addressed by any belief
I really believe specificity is the most constructive way to deal with problems. Is there a specific world problem that you feel is not being addressed by Christ? Do you have an alternate solution in mind?

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How to start?

Post #5

Post by Willum »

[Replying to Wissing]
Shouldn't an all powerful god be able to send someone who leaves no doubts.

Doubts are what men use to persuade.

Shouldn't an all powerful god be able to effect change on the Earth that men can't. Jesus hasn't effected any change that men have not.

I think there should be a definite path the "better," which is clearly not demonstrated. All the centuries of belief have not made believers better than non-believers.

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Post #6

Post by Divine Insight »

Wissing wrote: Is there a specific world problem that you feel is not being addressed by Christ?
Are you kidding me? What world problem did the "Christ" supposedly solve?
Wissing wrote: Do you have an alternate solution in mind?
I don't see where "Christ" had a solution. Even if every human were to live as "Christ" suggested in terms of loving others as they love themselves the world would still be filled with animals that eat each other, diseases that maim and kill, genetic defects, natural disasters, accidence, broken bones, and you name it.

The "Christ" offers no solution at all to the ills of the world. In fact, as much as I try to live my life in terms of love of others the "Christians" would rather hate me in "Christ's" name for the sake of religious prejudice and bigotry.

It makes no sense to claim that a person is loving their neighbor when they refuse to embrace atheists, or non-Christians as people who are just as loving as anyone else. There is no magic in confessing that "Christ is Lord". On the contrary all that amounts to is religious bigotry.

In fact, in terms of bad genetics, and mental illnesses, many criminals who commit violent crimes are verifiability mentally ill. Where did Jesus address that issue? He didn't. On the contrary he went around casting "demons" out of people and taught others to do the same. :roll:

Jesus "the Christ" was nothing but a charlatan sorcerer teaching witchcraft in his own name.

And where did it bring any peace in the world? On the contrary, Christianity has been the fodder for wars just like all the rest of the Abrahamic religions. Christianity has also been the fodder for the Witch Burnings. In fact, arguments could be made that Christianity was the religious bigotry that Hitler used as an excuse to exterminate Jews.

IMHO, if Jesus was anything he was an idiot that caused the world far more harm than good.

The only "saving grace" for Jesus is that fact that we don't truly have anything that can be traced directly to him. So to be fair, we really can't even use the Gospel Rumors against him. All we can say is that whoever wrote the Gospels rumors made Jesus look like an idiot. Whether there even existed an actual man named Jesus is anyone's guess. Much less what he might have actually stood for, or would stand behind today.

My guess is that if an actual Jesus existed he would most likely renounce "Christianity" today in the same way he rejected the orthodox Judaism of his day as claimed by the Gospel Rumors.
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Re: How to start?

Post #7

Post by Wissing »

[Replying to Willum]

Willum, you seem like a compassionate, solution-oriented person. Otherwise, you would not have started this thread. "In order to solve world problems" is the motive you provide for why one might want to change worldviews. I cannot believe that you would have provided that as a reason unless you had a particular world problem that you've experienced, or one that you're actively trying to solve. So I ask again, could you please provide a particular problem that you feel is not being addressed, and provide some insight into how it might be better addressed?


Let me also address this comment:
All the centuries of belief have not made believers better than non-believers.
I don't know if there's anything exceptionally moral about believers. That would be difficult to decide, because I only know a few people, and I understand even fewer. What's exceptional is their belief. The problem we (you, me, others) run into, as you've pointed out in your original post, is that it's rather tough to figure out what's moral in the first place. "What if I'm wrong?" continually pesters us.

But from the beginning, God's primary concern, his first commandment, was not to be moral, but to abstain from eating from the tree of knowledge [1]. By eating of the tree, Adam and Eve showed their faithlessness. It wasn't for wrong action, but for reliance on their own insight instead of God's [2]. Pride.

Whereas Adam and Eve were blessed considerably, and still distrusted God, Job was punished for reasons he did not understand, and praised God nonetheless [3]. Job's faith was his virtue, not his morals.

Throughout Exodus, Moses was repeatedly asked to do all sorts of strange things [4]. Turning a staff into a snake cannot be considered an act of morality - it's an act of faith. And despite all of Moses' miraculous acts of faith (throughout Exodus he was asked to strike his staff on all sorts of things before God would enact his plans), Moses still didn't get to enter the holy land. Why? Because he struck a rock twice in Meribah instead of only once [5]. Seems a little harsh right? I mean, you've got idol-worshippers and sinners all throughout the congregation - Moses was doin' pretty good, relatively speaking. But no, it was the slightest act of mistrust that offended God. Not goodness. Faith. (I could go into the new testament at your request, if more examples are needed).

This is partly the same thing you're faulting people for right here - essentially, pride in one's own understanding of right and wrong. Indeed, "what if I'm wrong" should continually pester us, or else we're complacent! But instead of that humility driving us to a fruitless idleness (which is in itself wrong), we should let that uncertainty drive us to God, who does understand all the little details. We don't have to understand everything. But it is imperative that we have faith in someone who does. It's empowering to know that, despite the infinite complexity of the problems around me, I can actually have a real impact if I let the Spirit direct me.


[1] Gen. 2:17 NRSV "... but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."

[2] Gen. 3:4-5 NRSV "But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.�

[3] Job 1:13-22.
Excerpt from Job 1:22 NRSV:
Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.�

[4] Exodus 4:3 "And he said, “Throw it on the ground.� So he threw the staff on the ground, and it became a snake; and Moses drew back from it."

[5] Numbers 20:8-12.
Excerpt from Numbers 20:12 NRSV:
But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.�

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Post #8

Post by Monta »

[Replying to post 6 by Divine Insight]

"I don't see where "Christ" had a solution. Even if every human were to live as "Christ" suggested in terms of loving others as they love themselves the world would still be filled with animals that eat each other, diseases that maim and kill, genetic defects, natural disasters, accidence, broken bones, and you name it. "

Something we shall never know*)

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Post #9

Post by Divine Insight »

Monta wrote: [Replying to post 6 by Divine Insight]

"I don't see where "Christ" had a solution. Even if every human were to live as "Christ" suggested in terms of loving others as they love themselves the world would still be filled with animals that eat each other, diseases that maim and kill, genetic defects, natural disasters, accidence, broken bones, and you name it. "

Something we shall never know*)
Do you think it's reasonable to believe that if humans all became loving people that carnivorous animals would magically become vegetarians and all disease would just magically disappear?

I agree, we certainly couldn't know without testing the hypothesis. But at the same time it hardly sounds like a rational prediction.

But one thing I will agree with. It's extremely unlikely that we will ever know. Especially not in our lifetime. The idea that all humans would become loving people before I die would itself be a surrealistic miracle. That's for sure. If anything, they appear to enjoy hating each other more every day. But then again, that itself could be an illusion caused by the News media.
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Re: How to start?

Post #10

Post by ttruscott »

Willum wrote: Shouldn't an all powerful god be able to send someone who leaves no doubts.
imCo
Of course HE can but in face of this argument many Christians believe that every person has in fact seen the power and divinity of GOD, that is, it has been irrevocably proven to all people as it is written that no person has any excuse for unbelief...yet we see that this proof has done no good in changing sinners minds so what would be the reason for more? Even the sinful elect repress the memories of the proof of the truth because they love sin more.

If this proof is true then there is no need for us to deny HIM nor believe HE is deficient in power especially from my pov that a study of nature is not sufficient to provide the proof of HIS power and divinity that supposedly takes away all excuses in the world since there has been no person in recorded history who converted to YHWH as a result of studying nature...allowing me to assume it was our (every spirit created in the image of GOD being there and witnessing the creation of the whole physical universe that proved HIS divinity and power, as it would.

It is not proof of GOD we need but a change of heart from being addicted to evil to becoming holy and sanctified to righteousness and proof has not done that for us, or so it is written, so all demands for more proof seem to be moot.
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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