Who Knows

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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melanie
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Who Knows

#1

Post by melanie » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:20 am

We often tend to negate our feelings as byproducts of the human condition, so as not to be trusted. Just because we may feel a certain way, fervently so, it could be folly and hold no basis in truth.
That accounts across the board, in many differing areas.

We can’t really rely merely on intellect alone either because that’s a fools folly as our intellect is often just as flawed as our emotions. Perspective, is a lonely endeavour in that we all walk that path individually.

Which brings me to ponder, if we acknowledge that our emotions are inherently flawed as is our intellect then how do we really know for certain anything at all?

By what token do we base our individual truths on?

Interpretation of an ancient text that any given Christian can see differently backed up by a myriad of scripture than another may interpret entirely differently?

But we know the truth right? Based on our very own acute understanding. Says everyone. Always.

So I guess that leaves us with faith.

Faith holds its footing in emotion. It can’t be based on intellect alone because it is not a unified understanding of truth but rather a personal conviction.
So it’s no great surprise that we have such an interesting and colourful interpretation of everything in life. It really is a smorgasbord of opinion.

Christianity is just as colourful in its ideas and interpretations as any religion or wordly ideals. As every individual is working from a unique place of emotion and understanding.

I believe the most accurate assumption would be to acknowledge that we are flawed. In our understanding, in our interpretations and in our emotions.

Faith should be fluid, as should our understandings and convictions. There lies a great danger in being stagnated and prideful in our own intellect and emotions.
By fluid I mean we must evolve as we grow and learn because the moment we believe we have all the answers and are holding onto the ultimate nugget of truth is the moment we allow pride to blind us.

“I don’t know” has been one of my most liberating expressions in my spiritual walk. It has taken nothing away from my faith, in fact has only strengthened it.

Because I don’t know. Anything for certain.

I believe with every core of my being that I am a loved creation of God but I stand in no position to deflect my beliefs into thinking for one iota that I may hold any key of profoundness to even speculate for a second on the spiritual outcomes of others.

The idea that billions of people will be thrown into the fiery pits of hell by a God who loves them but apparently has his hands tied to their eternal fate based on their earthly choices is a notion that i believe is extremely flawed.
I’m not going to get into a debate of scripture because it’s pointless. I’ve been down that road before and your interpretation trumps mine....apparently. Legends in our own interpretative lunchboxes and all that.

I think many people misunderstand the heart of love. The essence of Creator to His creation. The same emotion that drives us to faith should also drive us to an understanding of love in its purest form.
Who would you condemn to the eternal lake of fire?
Honestly?
That answer may suggest more about yourself than God....

Then again that’s just my opinion.

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Re: Who Knows

#2

Post by Philip » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:06 am

If God created us and put us in a sometimes terrifying, depressing, and bewildering world without any guidance or instructions that we could be certain of - including His love - then how could He truly love us??? Every parent loves AND instructs their children. And Christianity teaches us that God became man - so that we could A) more clearly understand Him and His wishes and how to live spiritually rich and peaceful lives, and B) so that we could be shed of the imperfections and sin that He - being Holy and perfect - cannot / will not tolerate in His presence without their removal. And so He's provided a way out through the cross - and their is no remote place on earth that God cannot penetrate for the one who will receive His Spirit's prompting and guidance. But every person can permanently resist God - even before they know of the Gospel!

The ONLY reason we know about God, Jesus and His love for us, is because He sent His handpicked prophets, teachers and apostles, and inspired their written words to us. And when God Himself came to earth, in the form of Jesus, He Himself, in many passages, confirmed the Old Testament as ALL God-given and inspired: https://carm.org/what-did-jesus-teach-a ... testament

So, one can either trust that the God Whom created an astonishing universe on an unfathomable scale, Who can create life itself, can also control and protect His word to man! Otherwise, would God not care about protecting His Words to man - that Jesus said He came to DIE for and to fulfill - would He allow it to become entangled with lies, myths and half-truths???!!! What kind of loving and trustworthy God would do that???

We have FAR more than feelings about what is written - because of the incredible amount of fulfilled prophecies that are known but their date and their later precise fulfillment. Read about them below:

https://www.jashow.org/articles/incredi ... ts-part-1/

https://www.jashow.org/articles/incredi ... ts-part-2/

WE don't get to decide how our Creator has established things - whether now or in eternity to come. And our feelings have zero to do with God's sovereign decisions. So, it comes down to whether you trust God can and did protect His words, because the existence of a loving God does not match up with those who would assert Scripture to be untrustworthy - in fact, if it were not trustworthy, that would strongly question God's own love for us AND why anyone should trust such a God who allowed the corruption of His words to man! Think of all of the false religious teachings, hideous practices, and war caused by false teachings - and we're to believe that our loving God didn't care about such confusion and evil becoming entangled with His Holy Words to man???!!!

God only rejects those whom first reject HIM! And this is a great evil that we can't always see in people. Why would God allow this corruption and evil into Heaven? He loves us unconditionally, offers us a beautiful, endless eternal existence basking in His love and glory - only an evil heart would reject the Lord! And if such evil were allowed into Heaven, it would eventually begin to mirror the corruption of the earth. God will not allow such!

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Re: Who Knows

#3

Post by DBowling » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:08 pm

Based on the simple fact that I do not have perfect knowledge or perfect understanding, somewhere deep in my psyche there is there is a little agnostic that prevents me from 100% certainty about almost anything.

However, as a person educated in engineering and the sciences, my inclination is to make the best evidence based decisions that I can. So even though there is little in my life that I would claim 100% certainty about. There are many areas where there is enough evidence to convince me that certain things are true "beyond a reasonable doubt".
And in my profession and in my life in general my little inner agnostic is content to make decisions based on a "beyond a reasonable doubt" criteria.

My Christian faith is also based on a "beyond a reasonable doubt" criteria.
Based on the evidence found in nature, I an convinced of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent Creator "beyond a reasonable doubt".
Based on historical evidence, I am convinced that Jesus of Nazareth lived 2000 years ago "beyond a reasonable doubt".
Based on the Scriptural evidence, I am convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was God in flesh "beyond a reasonable doubt".
Based on the Scriptural and historical evidence, I am convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by the Romans and rose from the dead "beyond a reasonable doubt".

So the reality of the basics regarding God and Jesus, really don't require much 'faith' from my perspective, because they are grounded in overwhelming evidence that from my perspective far exceed "beyond a reasonable doubt".

For me "faith" is not just believing facts about Jesus and God.
The decision for me is what life decisions will I make based on these evidence established facts about Jesus and God.

The most important being... Who is the most appropriate object of my faith and trust?
Do I put my faith/trust in the omniscient, omnipotent Creator of the universe who gave his life for me?
Or do I put my faith/trust in myself, with my imperfect knowledge and my imperfect understanding?
The most reasonable choice seems apparent to me.
:)

my .02

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Re: Who Knows

#4

Post by Philip » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:48 pm

DB: So the reality of the basics regarding God and Jesus, really don't require much 'faith' from my perspective, because they are grounded in overwhelming evidence that from my perspective far exceed "beyond a reasonable doubt."
And that's it, is it not? That so much massive evidence, from Scripture, the sciences, so many fulfilled prophecies, that we measure time itself by Christ - these collectively form, in my mind, a probability and certainty that go far beyond my doubts. I'll question this and that, or think of mysteries or things I'm uncomfortable with, but then I just do a mental scan of the many powerful evidences from all of these sources, and the probabilities are overwhelmingly in a God and Whose words we can trust. The rest is typically self-serving skepticism that often tries to redefine what God's love should look like. Love is NOT unlimited tolerance, as so many seem to define it. God's love is a love beyond human understanding.

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Re: Who Knows

#5

Post by Nessa » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:32 pm

melanie wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:20 am
We often tend to negate our feelings as byproducts of the human condition, so as not to be trusted. Just because we may feel a certain way, fervently so, it could be folly and hold no basis in truth.
That accounts across the board, in many differing areas.

We can’t really rely merely on intellect alone either because that’s a fools folly as our intellect is often just as flawed as our emotions. Perspective, is a lonely endeavour in that we all walk that path individually.

Which brings me to ponder, if we acknowledge that our emotions are inherently flawed as is our intellect then how do we really know for certain anything at all?

By what token do we base our individual truths on?

Interpretation of an ancient text that any given Christian can see differently backed up by a myriad of scripture than another may interpret entirely differently?

But we know the truth right? Based on our very own acute understanding. Says everyone. Always.

So I guess that leaves us with faith.

Faith holds its footing in emotion. It can’t be based on intellect alone because it is not a unified understanding of truth but rather a personal conviction.
So it’s no great surprise that we have such an interesting and colourful interpretation of everything in life. It really is a smorgasbord of opinion.

Christianity is just as colourful in its ideas and interpretations as any religion or wordly ideals. As every individual is working from a unique place of emotion and understanding.

I believe the most accurate assumption would be to acknowledge that we are flawed. In our understanding, in our interpretations and in our emotions.

Faith should be fluid, as should our understandings and convictions. There lies a great danger in being stagnated and prideful in our own intellect and emotions.
By fluid I mean we must evolve as we grow and learn because the moment we believe we have all the answers and are holding onto the ultimate nugget of truth is the moment we allow pride to blind us.

“I don’t know” has been one of my most liberating expressions in my spiritual walk. It has taken nothing away from my faith, in fact has only strengthened it.

Because I don’t know. Anything for certain.

I believe with every core of my being that I am a loved creation of God but I stand in no position to deflect my beliefs into thinking for one iota that I may hold any key of profoundness to even speculate for a second on the spiritual outcomes of others.

The idea that billions of people will be thrown into the fiery pits of hell by a God who loves them but apparently has his hands tied to their eternal fate based on their earthly choices is a notion that i believe is extremely flawed.
I’m not going to get into a debate of scripture because it’s pointless. I’ve been down that road before and your interpretation trumps mine....apparently. Legends in our own interpretative lunchboxes and all that.

I think many people misunderstand the heart of love. The essence of Creator to His creation. The same emotion that drives us to faith should also drive us to an understanding of love in its purest form.
Who would you condemn to the eternal lake of fire?
Honestly?
That answer may suggest more about yourself than God....

Then again that’s just my opinion.
Just to clarify...

Are you saying you don't believe in absolute truth?

That because emotions and intellect are flawed, our knowledge of truth must be flawed as well?

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Re: Who Knows

#6

Post by Nessa » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:44 pm

As for 'I don't know' as liberating..I think there needs to be caution with that.

Yes, no human can possibly know everything. But it also can be a way of washing our hands of the truth and appeasing to the world's standards

I think of a Christian music artist who was asked about homosexuality. Her response seemed to be that she had a lot of gay friends and she doesn't really know if it's right or wrong.

If we are uncomfortable with reconciling a loving God and an eternal hell then we should also be uncomfortable with the Old Testament.

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Re: Who Knows

#7

Post by Nessa » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:57 pm

And if faith really does hold its footing in emotion then to me, that's a totally subjective, unstable way to interpret faith.

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Re: Who Knows

#8

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:29 am

I take a different approach than Mel's to the post-modern dilemma.

Properly aligned and honed, one's reason and heart is truth-conducive rather than contrary to such. It is true some people are more correct in their beliefs than others.

As for faith, such is a necessary component to having a practical knowledge that allows one to get on in life, rather than becoming caged into an epistemological nihilism where one is able to claim anything as true.

Faith is something that more or less justified. Divergence of opinion doesn't mean noone can be right (or know they're right) simply because everyone has faith in something. The faith of some is more justified than the faith of others, and we can really seek out and discover truth.
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Byblos (Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:17 am)
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Who Knows

#9

Post by Byblos » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:19 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:29 am
I take a different approach than Mel's to the post-modern dilemma.

Properly aligned and honed, one's reason and heart is truth-conducive rather than contrary to such. It is true some people are more correct in their beliefs than others.

As for faith, such is a necessary component to having a practical knowledge that allows one to get on in life, rather than becoming caged into an epistemological nihilism where one is able to claim anything as true.

Faith is something that more or less justified. Divergence of opinion doesn't mean noone can be right (or know they're right) simply because everyone has faith in something. The faith of some is more justified than the faith of others, and we can really seek out and discover truth.
I am in general agreement with K here. IMHO, reason and faith are two sides of the same coin.
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Philip (Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:45 am)
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Who Knows

#10

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:14 am

Faith to me is trust and that goes hand-in-hand with reason.
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DBowling (Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:03 pm)

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Re: Who Knows

#11

Post by Philip » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:45 pm

The classical fideist would insist that faith is necessarily independent of logic and reason. But that isn't the instruction of Scripture - which teaches much the opposite. Random comments by the late theologian Norman Geisler's comments below make that clear:

God in fact calls upon us to use our reason (1 Pet. 3:15). Indeed, He has given “clear” (Rom. 1:20) “convincing proofs” (Acts 1:3 NASB) so that we do not have to exercise blind faith.

Even so, our faith in “things not seen” (Heb. 11:1 NKJV) is justified by the evidence we have that God does exist which is “clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Rom. 1:20).

Indeed, even though man knows clearly through human reason that God exists, nevertheless, he “suppresses” or “holds down” this truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). Thus, it is the presence of such strong evidence that leaves him “without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).

Paul reasoned with the philosophers on Mars Hill. He not only presented evidence from nature that God existed but also from history that Christ was the Son of God. Indeed, he cited pagan thinkers in support of his arguments.

... even from a biblical point of view God calls on us to use our reason (Isa. 1:18; 1 Pet. 3:15; Matt. 22:36-37). God is a rational being, and He created us as rational beings. God would not insult the reason He gave us by asking us to ignore it in such important matters as our beliefs about Him.

1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts acknowledge Christ as the holy Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to every one who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” This verse says several important things. First, it says that we should be ready. We may never run across someone who asks the tough questions about our faith, but we should still be ready just in case.

God created us with human reason. It is part of His image in us (Gen. 1:27 cf. Col. 3:10). Indeed, it is that by which we are distinguished from “brute beasts” (Jude 10). God calls upon us to use our reason (Isa. 1:18) to discern truth from error (1 John 4:6); to determine right from wrong (Heb. 5:14), and to discern a true from a false prophet (Deut. 18:19-22).

A fundamental principle of reason is that we should have sufficient grounds for what we believe. An unjustified belief is just that–unjustified. Being created rational creatures and not “unreasoning animals” (Jude 10 NASB), we are expected to use the reason God gave us.
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