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The Most Important Question?
01-28-2009, 01:35 PM (This post was last modified: 01-28-2009 08:42 PM by Pilgrim.)
Post: #1
The Most Important Question?
On recent conversations with certain contributors to these forums I came to the conclusion that this might be a good subject for examination and debate.

Premis = Theology, I think you'll agree, simply means the study of God. There are historically also two scientific methods. One, forms an hypothesis and then sets about trying to find evidence to support it. The second observes what is there and asks why? What does this mean? How does it work?

To truly study God with the first method requires that you first hypothesise the existence of such and is an impossible task since God's existence or lack thereof cannot be empirically proven.

For the second method you start from the premis of there actually being a God as a serious possibility and then formulate your first question. If there is a God what kind of being are we talking about? Is God as the Hindus and Buddhists declare just a force having neither thought nor form nor purpose, but acting like an eternal super glue that pervades and is everything. That exists, but has no independent existence outside of that which is? Or, is God as Judaisim, Christianity and Islam claim, a personal being. Having thoughts, feelings and therefore attitudes both about Himself and His creation. And existing as a distinct and separate entity from other things that exist?

Your answer will be dependent on how you view the world around you and and will determine your next set of questions and your further study of God.

If the former is true then good, evil, love, hate, happiness, beauty, justice in fact all the abstracts are an illusion. They do not exist. Even personality is an illusion because the abstracts are an inherent part of it. Anger at suffering or evil is futile and love is equally so. In fact Buddhists believe that there is no intrinsic difference between the two. There is no heaven, there is no hell and there is no salvation. The very personhood or self as we refere to it is irrelevant, and at best an inconvenience.

If the latter? Then we are faced with a very real problem. All that exists communicates. Would you agree with that in as much as it says something about it's nature? A table tells you it's function. It's form or design tell you not only it's function but much about it's creator regardless of what material it is fashioned in. But even that makes a statement.

Therefore, if God is personal as I have defined above He has no choice but to communicate because that is the irreducible characteristic of that which exists. More so in a being with personality which means character. If this is accepted then the logical conclusion & questions arising from it become 1) God has communicated & does communicate therefore what has He communicated? 2) How has He communicated it? And 3) why has He communicated it?

Your next questions then become obvious. What does God think? and How does God feel? ACKK! How does God feel and think about me?! (Very Scary that last one.) 'What if God was one of us?' Becomes a reality with real consequences.

Why? Because of the personality butterfly effect. None of us live in complete isolation. We think which produces attitudes which produces action which produces habits and those affect everyone in our immediate vicinity and affect how they react to and with us, how we react to and with them, and how we and they react to and with others in, as I like to describe it, a never ending ripple effect that encompasses the entire world and everything in it be it human or otherwise (hence Global Warming). As a side effect this makes everybody responsible by the by. Moreover, what I think, feel and do affects God and our mutual interaction! It therefore becomes vital that I answer that question.

Please understand that such comments as I make are according to my experience, view and contestation and are not designed to be an attack upon any individual faith system or it's adherents. It is simply stated as a stimulus and invitation to thought and conversation.

"Love is not a feeling, it's an act of your will." Don Francisco.
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01-28-2009, 07:10 PM
Post: #2
RE: The Most Important Question?
to be honest, there are only 2 questions that really matter.

1. is there an afterlife?
2. if so, how do you get to the "positive" after life?

everything except those 2 have little practical use.
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01-28-2009, 08:39 PM (This post was last modified: 01-28-2009 08:40 PM by Pilgrim.)
Post: #3
RE: The Most Important Question?
(01-28-2009 07:10 PM)B MAN Wrote:  to be honest, there are only 2 questions that really matter.

1. is there an afterlife?
2. if so, how do you get to the "positive" after life?

everything except those 2 have little practical use.
Hmm..interesting answer B MAN and one I find logically inconsistant since the existence of an afterlife be it positive or negative becomes the perview and is inextricably bound with our understanding of God regardless of the faith system in question. We conclude what the afterlife is as a consequence of our concept of God and act accordingly.

I'm interested though in the reasons that lay behind your statement. What brings you to this conclusion?

"Love is not a feeling, it's an act of your will." Don Francisco.
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01-29-2009, 07:46 PM
Post: #4
RE: The Most Important Question?
(01-28-2009 08:39 PM)Pilgrim Wrote:  
(01-28-2009 07:10 PM)B MAN Wrote:  to be honest, there are only 2 questions that really matter.

1. is there an afterlife?
2. if so, how do you get to the "positive" after life?

everything except those 2 have little practical use.
Hmm..interesting answer B MAN and one I find logically inconsistant since the existence of an afterlife be it positive or negative becomes the perview and is inextricably bound with our understanding of God regardless of the faith system in question. We conclude what the afterlife is as a consequence of our concept of God and act accordingly.

I'm interested though in the reasons that lay behind your statement. What brings you to this conclusion?
well, what god, if he does anything, does in earth is either
A) completely random
B)so complicated that it is not even worth looking into.

if you cannot use knowledge to precipitate a predictable outcome then it is rather useless. for all we know, acceptance into the "afterlife" might be just as random...but we don't know about that one, or even if that one exists.
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01-29-2009, 08:19 PM
Post: #5
RE: The Most Important Question?
Why do we seem to think that god is offering a ticket to the afterlife? To me i think being put on thi earth is our main concern.

Could the answer be Voluntary perfection?
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01-30-2009, 04:53 AM
Post: #6
RE: The Most Important Question?
B MAN Wrote:
Quote:well, what god, if he does anything, does in earth is either
A) completely random
B)so complicated that it is not even worth looking into.

if you cannot use knowledge to precipitate a predictable outcome then it is rather useless. for all we know, acceptance into the "afterlife" might be just as random...but we don't know about that one, or even if that one exists.
I don't see why one should take the pre-supposition that what God does is either random or so complicated that it isn't worth looking into my friend. In fact I find this another excuse which sets up a self fulfilling prophesy paradigm. It presumes from the outset without questioning whether that presumption is in fact correct and therefore doesn't bother.

The use of knowledge to effect predictable outcomes only, is a very narrow use of knowledge and again determining that it is useless is a presumption that mitigates against knowledge being useful in any other way. A loving relationship and the joy it brings is a form of knowledge yet the eventual outcome in human terms cannot be predicted because people are inconsistant, they change over time which is the universal truth of human nature. Yet we still find the risks involved worth the gamble and effort.

This last point is circular in that of course we cannot know unless we refer to God and take God at His word concerning it. As to it's nature again that is determined upon the conclusions you come to from an honest investigation as outlined in my opening posts which precludes presupposition concerning the nature of God but rather warants, in the case of a personal Deity, asking honestly what He wants to communicate to you.

Questions concerning whether or not there is an afterlife and what is it's nature are irrelevant and a red-herring to distract from the main purpose of answering the prime question of what kind of God are we dealing with? As I said before it is a secondary consideration only made primary dependent upon what God has communicated and is communicating. Therefore it only becomes important in the light of that revelation if God communicates that it 1) Exists 2) Is important.

I agree with Morpheus on this. The investigation that I propose as the most important question any human can ask or answer should have as its primary concern the how of living with God now, here in the world which we inhabit. How we interact with God and our world.

God bless my friend.

Pilgrim Smile

"Love is not a feeling, it's an act of your will." Don Francisco.
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01-30-2009, 06:13 PM
Post: #7
RE: The Most Important Question?
(01-30-2009 04:53 AM)Pilgrim Wrote:  B MAN Wrote:
Quote:well, what god, if he does anything, does in earth is either
A) completely random
B)so complicated that it is not even worth looking into.

if you cannot use knowledge to precipitate a predictable outcome then it is rather useless. for all we know, acceptance into the "afterlife" might be just as random...but we don't know about that one, or even if that one exists.
I don't see why one should take the pre-supposition that what God does is either random or so complicated that it isn't worth looking into my friend. In fact I find this another excuse which sets up a self fulfilling prophesy paradigm. It presumes from the outset without questioning whether that presumption is in fact correct and therefore doesn't bother.

The use of knowledge to effect predictable outcomes only, is a very narrow use of knowledge and again determining that it is useless is a presumption that mitigates against knowledge being useful in any other way. A loving relationship and the joy it brings is a form of knowledge yet the eventual outcome in human terms cannot be predicted because people are inconsistant, they change over time which is the universal truth of human nature. Yet we still find the risks involved worth the gamble and effort.

This last point is circular in that of course we cannot know unless we refer to God and take God at His word concerning it. As to it's nature again that is determined upon the conclusions you come to from an honest investigation as outlined in my opening posts which precludes presupposition concerning the nature of God but rather warants, in the case of a personal Deity, asking honestly what He wants to communicate to you.

Questions concerning whether or not there is an afterlife and what is it's nature are irrelevant and a red-herring to distract from the main purpose of answering the prime question of what kind of God are we dealing with? As I said before it is a secondary consideration only made primary dependent upon what God has communicated and is communicating. Therefore it only becomes important in the light of that revelation if God communicates that it 1) Exists 2) Is important.

I agree with Morpheus on this. The investigation that I propose as the most important question any human can ask or answer should have as its primary concern the how of living with God now, here in the world which we inhabit. How we interact with God and our world.

God bless my friend.

Pilgrim Smile
no, that's not what i meant. i meant gods "plan" or how he "runs" earth is either too complicated or completely random.

gods existence is not an important question...simply bc there is no way to answer it...no matter how hard you try.

that's like asking what next week's lottery numbers are...no one knows the answer and anyone that says they do is either lying or guessing. so, you don't ask the cashier at the 7/11 what the numbers are : )
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01-31-2009, 07:01 AM (This post was last modified: 01-31-2009 07:02 AM by Pilgrim.)
Post: #8
RE: The Most Important Question?
(01-30-2009 06:13 PM)B MAN Wrote:  no, that's not what i meant. i meant gods "plan" or how he "runs" earth is either too complicated or completely random.

gods existence is not an important question...simply bc there is no way to answer it...no matter how hard you try.

that's like asking what next week's lottery numbers are...no one knows the answer and anyone that says they do is either lying or guessing. so, you don't ask the cashier at the 7/11 what the numbers are : )
Hmmm..how do you arrive at these conclusions B MAN? Since all that exists affects everything else that exists it follows that what we do affects God as much as what God does affects us. Whilst from a Biblical standpoint I would be in entire agreement with you that human reason is insufficient to aprehend the existence of God, I would contest that since God must be affected by His creation it follows that He has communicated to it and it's sentient finite beings in such a way that they are able to understand that communication. In fact I would say, considering the state of humankind's dealings with each other and ravagement of the planet, that this must be a prerequisite else there is no sense to existence. God as the infinite may ultimately be unfathomable but it does not follow that He is unknowable. Again, we come full circle back to the begining. If God exists it becomes vital that we aprehend the nature and being of God. That we understand our place and purpose in the universe or within the big picture if you will.

God bless

Pilgrim Smile

"Love is not a feeling, it's an act of your will." Don Francisco.
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