Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

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marco
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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #51

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RightReason wrote:

Hmmmm . . . kind of the typical slight against those who are born into a religion and simply accept? Or the typical calling religious belief infantile, as if faith is something we ought to out grow.
No, I am impressed by rational thought whether it supports religion or not. I can read the sonnets of Hopkins and understand his solid faith in God and I applaud Thompson's Hound of Heaven. In my own infancy I looked on the tabernacle with awe, as God's dwelling place; the ciborium had God's rays of light and incense rising from a pall-covered coffin was the very breath of heaven. Losing this is no triumph and no cause for celebration.
RightReason wrote:
IMO, there is nothing infantile about accepting truth.
I agree. Finding it is the problem.

RightReason wrote: “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.� -G.K. Chesterton
I suspect that in a conversation with G.K. I would soon grow tired of his paradoxes. We can dress thought in fine words but there is only the semblance of truth.
RightReason wrote:
I would think any beauty and truth that lifts the spirit brings us closer to God, seeing how God is the embodiment of beauty and truth.
If the face of God is merely the amazing display of galaxies, we can supply our own poetry. If he's the violent actor of the OT, nothing can redeem him, not even the Redeemer.

I would guess that a good God would love his idiot Marco to the extent of humouring him and occasionally correcting a foolish flaw. And maybe he uses ordinary people to do the pointing out. Who knows?

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #52

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[Replying to post 51 by marco]
In my own infancy I looked on the tabernacle with awe, as God's dwelling place; the ciborium had God's rays of light and incense rising from a pall-covered coffin was the very breath of heaven. Losing this is no triumph and no cause for celebration.
Beautifully expressed. Even some devout Catholics I know don’t get the imagery that you so perfectly capture with your words.

RightReason wrote:

IMO, there is nothing infantile about accepting truth.


I agree. Finding it is the problem.
I think it isn’t so much that finding it is the problem, rather it is more allowing oneself to find it. I think one would need to acknowledge that understanding the supernatural using only our natural means is always going to be imperfect. I think a person needs to recognize there is always a leap of faith necessary when dealing with religious matters. Of course, many things in life sometimes simply require an initial leap of faith. After that, everything just seems to fall into place.


I might have already posted this quote, but it’s a good one . . .


“Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. . . The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid.� -Chesterton

Any chance you could just accept God as a mystery that you will never in this world be capable of fully understanding?

I suspect that in a conversation with G.K. I would soon grow tired of his paradoxes.
Perhaps. :P :P Might start to sound a little like Yoda after awhile – thinking everything you say sounds profound, but it is really the same words just in a different order.

If the face of God is merely the amazing display of galaxies, we can supply our own poetry. If he's the violent actor of the OT, nothing can redeem him, not even the Redeemer.
Really? I guess I’m always a little surprised this is as big of a stumbling block for some as it is. You can’t imagine there might be information or details you aren’t privy to? I guess I just see that as a given. Some day we will understand more, but right now we just have to trust.

Or could it not be as simple as recognizing that when we rebel against God, there are consequences and sometimes it is the innocent who suffer the consequences. Is the OT not simply to relay the reality that evil happens when men reject God, and often the wrong people suffer for it? I’ve also heard it said that God’s mercy is greater than His wrath and I think even in the OT it would be hard to argue with that more often being the case. It would be like if someone you knew was a kind, gentle, merciful, slow to anger, loving, caring friend, but when something (evil) that couldn’t be reasoned with was threatening him, he felt compelled to retaliate and you then write him off. I guess I also don’t understand how some can’t understand that evil does exist and that it can be morally justifiable to overcome evil. That just doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

I would guess that a good God would love his idiot Marco to the extent of humouring him and occasionally correcting a foolish flaw.
I would imagine so. But what if the only way to protect Marco from evil was to fight evil before it got to Marco? Perhaps Marco doesn’t realize the unseen preliminary battles that might have been fought so that now he only needs an occasional correcting of foolish flaws. Perhaps you have already been saved from the clutches of pure demonic possession. It’s difficult for children to comprehend the kind of evil that their parents know exists in the world.

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #53

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[Replying to post 51 by marco]

Marco,

Sidenote: I just went to the movie theatre tonight with a few of my daughters. We saw Wonder Woman. I really liked it. Have you seen it?

Here was one blog post on it that I liked and felt was kind of related to your inability to accept the “violent God of the OT�:

Christian audiences will appreciate the ultimate decisions to err on the side of mercy and love instead of destruction and judgment. One character suggests that the 'god of war' and the 'god of truth' are one and the same, implying that it is man's disagreements over what is true that lead to war. One character's sacrifice becomes another's touchstone for understanding and choosing love. Defending is a "sacred duty." The importance of faith is present in the form of "it's what you believe" that matters. "Saving the world" as a life goal is questioned and examined. Diana questions working in the company of "liars, murderers and thieves," to which Steve points out that even good guys like himself have lied, killed and stolen in the war effort.

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #54

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RightReason wrote:
I think one would need to acknowledge that understanding the supernatural using only our natural means is always going to be imperfect. I think a person needs to recognize there is always a leap of faith necessary when dealing with religious matters. Of course, many things in life sometimes simply require an initial leap of faith. After that, everything just seems to fall into place.
That is all very well if we are leaping into the unknown; I have already seen. I would not claim to have a desire to understand the supernatural; I can be intrigued by it. I find the concept of a caring, merciful, loving God at odds with my observations and at odds with my thinking. I can of course acknowledge that if I were to sit at the controls of a Boeing I would be flummoxed too and rather alarmed. I can accept that there are worlds beyond our own, more beautiful and more mysterious, such as eye hath not seen. I am denied access unless I voyage there mathematically.
RightReason wrote:
The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid.� -Chesterton
As I said, he would be a dreadful companion of an evening if he speaks like this all the time.
RightReason wrote:
Any chance you could just accept God as a mystery that you will never in this world be capable of fully understanding?
A mystery is a truth above reason but revealed by God. His revelation, if there was one, is opaque to me.
RightReason wrote:
Or could it not be as simple as recognizing that when we rebel against God, there are consequences and sometimes it is the innocent who suffer the consequences. Is the OT not simply to relay the reality that evil happens when men reject God,
We are giving a critique on two different pictures. Evil happens when men accept God too, as we see today. There are theocracies in today's advanced world that still stone girls. There is absolutely no human reason for doing this - it is done to comply with divine instructions.

Yes, yes, I know that this group and that have the wrong message. Surely the sender bears some responsibility? But I grew tired of the incessant squabbling about God's shoes and his hair-style, about man's wickedness and God's detestation of the smallest peccadillo, and the silly promises of Christ travelling on the biblical equivalent of a magic carpet waving regally to everyone trapped, wingless, below.

I believe in goodness, in justice, in helping others; in love, in hurt, in success and in regret; in the brevity of life and the mystery of why it was ever donated to me. Above the cumulus and nimbus clouds I see no deity. I can fully understand that you do and it pleases me that my mother hears an answer at the close of her rosary mysteries. I once did.

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #55

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RightReason wrote:
The importance of faith is present in the form of "it's what you believe" that matters. "Saving the world" as a life goal is questioned and examined. Diana questions working in the company of "liars, murderers and thieves," to which Steve points out that even good guys like himself have lied, killed and stolen in the war effort.

What one believes can redeem or kill. Falsehood has the unkind habit of looking exactly like truth to the degree that it makes people blow themselves up for what they believe. I do not doubt that a man's belief is itself as powerful as a bomb.

Errare humanum est - and sometimes we love people more for their faults than their virtues. A good film includes splendid advice in the price of admission.

Thanks for that little real-life anecdote. Peace be with you.

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #56

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[Replying to marco]

I think your assessment of God is inaccurate and really like Father Robert Barron. If you ever have 10 minutes, I think this is good:


Bishop Barron on Violence in the Bible




And if you ever have another 6 minutes, I like this too. It kind of addresses your comments,
I believe in goodness, in justice, in helping others; in love, in hurt, in success and in regret; in the brevity of life and the mystery of why it was ever donated to me.
. . .

Bishop Barron on Why Do We Believe in God?


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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #57

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RightReason wrote:

Bishop Barron on Why Do We Believe in God?
I imagine that the Bishop is convincing for those who are already convinced. I am impatient with leaps from seeking truth to seeking God. We don't need to accept that in seeking justice from oppression we are looking beyond the confines of Mother Earth; rather, we are extrapolating from what we ourselves want to what our brothers need.

The Bishop speaks fervently, sincerely but, for me, simplistically. If all he's doing is showing why HE believes, then that's okay. His effusions would not cause me to honour Yahweh. Rather, I see there is danger in being too effusive about one's God, for then we can place Him as higher than our own family. We might even comply if he told us to murder our son.

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #58

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[Replying to marco]
The Bishop speaks fervently, sincerely but, for me, simplistically.
Well, it is a 9 minute internet talk. I think fervently, sincerely, and simplistically were exactly what he was going for. These are quick talks to give people something to think about and encourage them to go deeper on their own.
If all he's doing is showing why HE believes, then that's okay. His effusions would not cause me to honour Yahweh. Rather, I see there is danger in being too effusive about one's God, for then we can place Him as higher than our own family. We might even comply if he told us to murder our son.
I am always a little fascinated how the Scripture passage of God putting Abraham to the test always comes up intended to be some kind of conversation stopper regarding obedience to God. As if it portrays religious people as ignorant, blind followers willing to do horrible things for some guy in the sky.

And yet, there are so few examples of Christians doing such things. And quite a lot of examples of secular non believing human beings doing horrendous things for whatever it is they worship. Many today have no problem dismembering children in return for finishing their education or at the request of a boyfriend or a mother. And yet religious are the monsters for admitting we answer to someone else.

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #59

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RightReason wrote:

I am always a little fascinated how the Scripture passage of God putting Abraham to the test always comes up intended to be some kind of conversation stopper regarding obedience to God. As if it portrays religious people as ignorant, blind followers willing to do horrible things for some guy in the sky.
If the hat fits.... Yes, I think it is a truth universally acknowledged that a person who encourages another to murder a child is a wicked person. If one's faith sees love, honour, truth in this instruction then one should question one's faith.

Today people praise their God after they commit some act of murder. They should question the faith that so inspires them.

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Re: Is religion at the root of present day atrocities?

Post #60

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[Replying to post 59 by marco]
Yes, I think it is a truth universally acknowledged that a person who encourages another to murder a child is a wicked person.
Even if the “person� is one’s creator who we know loves us and our child and would never do anything that wasn’t for our or our child’s own good? I think you fail to understand who God is. You equate Him to a mere fallible mortal and you also don’t seem to understand that our time on this earth is not the end of the story.

It is not wicked to teach those we love to trust us. Tough love can seem cruel to those who underestimate the love and mercy of the giver. God did not hurt Abraham’s son.

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