Tag: faith

Language and the Cultural Conscience

I’ve found that, especially pertaining to spiritual matters, translations between language loose the very essence of their meaning. For example din in Arabic is often translated to as “faith” or “religion” when it fact it means something closer to “the way you live your life in accordance to your spiritual beliefs” and contains many underlying connotations and cultural understandings that cannot be understood by people who are not intimately familiar with the culture. You see each place and people has a CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS from which they naturally draw much of their understanding and experience of the world. The negative here is that it causes people to be very ETHNOCENTRIC. ~Jones

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It’s Hard to Talk about God…

It’s hard for me to talk to people about God…

I think it’s because a lot of believers don’t take God as seriously a I do, and many of those who do ARE WAY TOO SERIOUS ABOUT IT. Now this might seem like a contradiction, but allow me to explain.

If you believe in God, the REAL God who created EVERYTHING and allowed every religion to exist and probably was the motivation behind at least a few, wouldn’t you want to know what He has to say? Not what people have to say about him (cause what to they know) or what you’d like to believe, but what HE ACTUALLY HAS TO SAY?

I sure do.

But a lot of religious people don’t take the time to really read their own religious scriptures. And so their whole conception of God is based on wishy-washy feelings, human logic (which is often just WRONG by the way, even if it makes sense – Spiritual vs. Temporal Wisdom), or what someone else told them (and by the way I am skeptical of priests, imams, etc. They are just men like us and so susceptible to flaw, confusion, and even corruption). I just have no interest in hearing these viewpoints, if they are not somehow scripturally based…

Then there are those who ACTUALLY READ THE SCRIPTURES, but more often than not (in my mind, and please correct me if I’m wrong) these people take life and the world TOO SERIOUSLY. In my opinion it is good to be serious about these things, but not to ACT serious. God also invented LAUGHTER, JOKES, and SILLINESS, and nowhere does make these things out to be a sin.

I shall pray that I find more like-minded people with while to share my love and fascination for God and all of his creations.

If you are one of these people, please leave a comment below so I know that I’m not alone!!

God bless 🙂

~Jones

God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

“It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing.  It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.”

When something is said better than you can say it, why paraphrase? I’ve included this article title “God or Atheism – Which is more rational?” If you have a friend or relative that is currently questioning the existence of God, this article might be really great for them to read, or for it to be explained to them. So weithout further ado…

“God or Atheism — Which Is More Rational?

Is it rational to believe in God?  Many people think that faith and reason are opposites; that belief in God and tough-minded logical reasoning are like oil and water.  They are wrong.  Belief in God is far more rational than atheism.  Logic can show that there is a God.  If you look at the universe with common sense and an open mind, you’ll find that it’s full of God’s fingerprints.

A good place to start is with an argument by Thomas Aquinas, the great 13th century philosopher and theologian.  The argument starts with the not-very-startling observation that things move.  But nothing moves for no reason.  Something must cause that movement, and whatever caused that must be caused by something else, and so on.  But this causal chain cannot go backwards forever.  It must have a beginning.  There must be an unmoved mover to begin all the motion in the universe, a first domino to start the whole chain moving, since mere matter never moves itself.

A modern objection to this argument is that some movements in quantum mechanics — radioactive decay, for example — have no discernible cause.  But hang on a second.  Just because scientists don’t see a cause doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  It just means science hasn’t found it yet.  Maybe someday they will.  But then there will have to be a new cause to explain that one.  And so on and so on.  But science will never find the first cause.  That’s no knock on science.  It simply means that a first cause lies outside the realm of science.

Another way to explain this argument is that everything that begins must have a cause.  Nothing can come from nothing.  So if there’s no first cause, there can’t be second causes — or anything at all.  In other words, if there’s no creator, there can’t be a universe.

But what if the universe were infinitely old, you might ask.  Well, all scientists today agree that the universe is not infinitely old — that it had a beginning, in the big bang.  If the universe had a beginning, then it didn’t have to exist.  And things which don’t have to exist must have a cause.
There’s confirmation of this argument from big-bang cosmology.  We now know that all matter, that is, the whole universe, came into existence some 13.7 billion years ago, and it’s been expanding and cooling ever since.  No scientist doubts that anymore, even though before it was scientifically proved, atheists called it “creationism in disguise”.  Now, add to this premise a very logical second premise, the principle of causality, that nothing begins without an adequate cause, and you get the conclusion that since there was a big bang, there must be a “big banger”.

But is this “big banger” God?  Why couldn’t it be just another universe?  Because Einstein’s general theory of relativity says that all time is relative to matter, and since all matter began 13.7 billion years ago, so did all time.  So there’s no time before the big bang.  And even if there is time before the big bang, even if there is a multiverse, that is, many universes with many big bangs, as string theory says is mathematically possible, that too must have a beginning.

An absolute beginning is what most people mean by ‘God’.  Yet some atheists find the existence of an infinite number of other universes more rational than the existence of a creator.  Never mind that there is no empirical evidence at all that any of these unknown universes exists, let alone a thousand or a gazillion.

How far will scientists go to avoid having to conclude that God created the universe?  Here’s what Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind said:  “Real scientists resist the temptation to explain creation by divine intervention.  We resist to the death all explanations of the world based on anything but the laws of physics.”  Yet the father of modern physics, Sir Isaac Newton, believed fervently in God.  Was he not a real scientist?  Can you believe in God and be a scientist, and not be a fraud?  According to Susskind, apparently not.  So who exactly are the closed-minded ones in this debate?

The conclusion that God exists doesn’t require faith.  Atheism requires faith.  It takes faith to believe in everything coming from nothing.  It takes only reason to believe in everything coming from God.

I’m Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, for Prager University.”

Original article at:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3030100/posts

Did YOU choose your BELIEFS – and if not WHO DID?? ASK YOURSELF this question NOW!!

Here’s a common situation that has been occurring throughout human history:

IMAGINE you are sitting at home in your little village, where you’ve lived ALL YOUR LIFE. You barely have news of the outside world, nor do you really care too. Honestly, you probably just don’t give it much thought. THERE’S ENOUGH TO THINK ABOUT ALREADY… you figure. Now all of a sudden, one day, a large army walks right into your peaceful village and demands that you ABANDON your beliefs and adopt theirs.

I think that most people would feel rather INDIGNANT at the idea. Something like a red sign in their heads flashing the words “OH HELL NO!” I mean, who wants to be forced to change their beliefs?

But wait a second… Have we even addressed what either of those beliefs are?? What if I were to say that you lived in a tribe of incestual cannibals, and the conquerors were telling you NOT to eat people and NOT to sleep with your immediate family… would you be less resistant to them then?? Just because you have strong beliefs, doesn’t make those beliefs righteous or correct. In most cases, YOU DID NOT EVEN CHOOSE YOUR OWN BELIEFS. It was the society and environment that you grew up in.

A big part of MATURING, I think, is questioning those beliefs, in order to DECIDE FOR YOURSELF IF THEY ARE VALID. This includes beliefs about anything: yourself, your family and friends, your future, your past, your religion, the world, etc. If you don’t question your beliefs then you’re just taking a shot in the dark. I think it’s especially important to DEEPLY QUESTION your religion. REAL FAITH cannot be cultivated in a heart that afraid to question its beliefs. If you’re afraid to question your beliefs, then you clearly have some doubts about them being true. THAT’S FINE. But you must question them, and REALLY question them, (and ask God for guidance, I would suggest) in order to SINCERELY consider them as TRUTHS.

Did YOU choose your beliefs? Or did the MEDIA and SOCIETAL PRESSURES choose them for you? It’s unpopular (almost looked down upon) to be deeply religious in much of the USA today it seems. In television shows, any religious person is always portrayed as FANATICAL or wierd somehow. I get the feeling that many people (including myself) feel that they would be seen as such if they expressed their faith openly by in any way, such as by bringing God into a conversation (even casually). And HOW ABOUT PRE-MARITAL SEX? How NORMAL has it become in the minds of westerners. It’s pretty much considered CRAZY to even think about marrying anyone WITHOUT sleeping together first!

DID YOU CHOOSE THESE BELIEFS? And, more importantly, do you have the power to un-choose them if you’d like to? If you can IDENTIFY these beliefs (many of them are subtly ingrained in our subconscious and so it can be difficult to even realize that we have these beliefs) the you stand a chance to CHOOSE WHO YOU WANT TO BE FOR YOURSELF.

So don’t get too upset and defensive when someone challenges your beliefs, telling you that you’re wrong. TAKE A GOOD, LONG LOOK AT YOUR BELIEF and find out if it’s really valid. The other person may in fact be right. And if they’re wrong, then no harm has been done by considering the issue more deeply. Often you’ll find that nobody is right or wrong, THEY’RE JUST DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS.

Regardless, don’t be mad about it. Appreciate people who make you feel uncomfortable. They are the ones that you can learn the most about yourself from.

~Jones