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Thread: God, Theology, Dogma....

  1. #11

    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    One of the things I can appreciate about Nietzsche is the fact that he recognized that even science and metaphysics are founded in faith. Everything that we believe to be real, fact, resolute, observable, proveable are still faith based. We are all creatures of faith.

  2. #12
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    One of the things I can appreciate about Nietzsche is the fact that he recognized that even science and metaphysics are founded in faith. Everything that we believe to be real, fact, resolute, observable, proveable are still faith based. We are all creatures of faith.
    I'm not sure I'm with you on this. While Nietzsche questioned "truth", "objectivity", etc, I don't think he ever really got on board with faith.

    He thought that all values needed to be revalued and that we should try to find a new criteria for judgment/value. I believe, eventually, he came to the conclusion that we should find things that uphold life and the will to power to be of worth and that those things that are detrimental to life/the will to power should be rejected. Point being, I think he came up with a new criteria for value that isn't the same as the scientific paradigm, however it isn't faith-based either.
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  3. #13

    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Quote Originally Posted by eniparadoxgma
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn
    One of the things I can appreciate about Nietzsche is the fact that he recognized that even science and metaphysics are founded in faith. Everything that we believe to be real, fact, resolute, observable, proveable are still faith based. We are all creatures of faith.
    I'm not sure I'm with you on this. While Nietzsche questioned "truth", "objectivity", etc, I don't think he ever really got on board with faith.

    He thought that all values needed to be revalued and that we should try to find a new criteria for judgment/value. I believe, eventually, he came to the conclusion that we should find things that uphold life and the will to power to be of worth and that those things that are detrimental to life/the will to power should be rejected. Point being, I think he came up with a new criteria for value that isn't the same as the scientific paradigm, however it isn't faith-based either.

    Even though Nietzsche found that faith had no base in science, he went on to say in Joyful Wisdom, that any fixated beliefs are a form of faithful piety. The problem with the human condition is we take what we sense as reality (which is a fixated belief). Those senses combined with reason and scientific method form science. If one is faith based it is all faith based. When I pick up an apple I see that it is something I perceive to be an apple. I taste it's sweetness. I feel it's texture. All these tell me that I am indeed eating an apple. But, we know that the senses are objective and they will differ from person to person. We also know that there are those among us who suffer from auditory and visual hallucinations. These people believe their senses even though according to us "normal" people these individuals are seperated from reality. The problem here is who knows if any of our senses are conducive to measuring and evaluating truth. So, while Nietzsche never acknowledged the inseperable nature of faith and science he did so indirectly and unpurposefully. So, I suppose a better way of wording my previous statement was to say what I derived from his writings.

    Even though Nietzsche was anti-religion/anti-Christianity he did have some good insights. I don't remember the exact quote but he commented on adherance to and believing a rigorous set of beliefs even though that belief system brings a certain amount of sickness. He placed value on those things that sustain joyful living and questioned the value of belief systems that do not equate to a healthy mentality. I certainly see some value in that thinking. It was this mentality that led me to question everything I had been taught. I am a man of science...but I am also a man of faith. I do believe in the unproveable. I see value in doing so. But, when some of those beliefs created a great deal of cognitive dissonance I had to look for myself. I'm still on that journey. My belief system is always evolving and I'm willing to question and look at everything. That journey has led to a rejection of certain traditional teachings...and that has led to more peace in my spiritual life.

  4. #14
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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    I will assume you've read The Gay Science then. I don't recall him coming to this conclusion. Of course he says that there is no such thing as an objective standard of value, and in that way nothing is absolute or rigid. However, to say that he recognized science and metaphysics as being founded in faith is not something I can agree with.

    He practiced a form of heuristics that attempted to discover the basis for such things as morality, and in doing so he had already came to the conclusion that there is no universal "GOOD" or "EVIL" given to man. He sought the origin of morality in The Genealogy of Morals and came to the conclusion that in history the powerful decided what was good because they felt and decided it was good and that which was seen as "bad" was that which was seen as weak or degenerative to life or the spark of life (will to power IMO). However, "faith" isn't what I would call such a thing. The strong decided that which they liked and affirmed, that which led to the affirmation of life and the feeling of power, that was "good". I don't see where faith comes into it unless you're equating the perspective of the strong with faith, which I don't think you can do.

    I think my point here is that just because something isn't based on "truth", "science", or "reason", doesn't mean the only alternative is faith. Hedonism is one example.


    Even though Nietzsche found that faith had no base in science, he went on to say in Joyful Wisdom, that any fixated beliefs are a form of faithful piety.
    I really don't remember this. Can you point me to what passage you're referring to? Or is it more of an interpretation you get from the book overall?

    The problem with the human condition is we take what we sense as reality (which is a fixated belief). Those senses combined with reason and scientific method form science. If one is faith based it is all faith based. When I pick up an apple I see that it is something I perceive to be an apple. I taste it's sweetness. I feel it's texture. All these tell me that I am indeed eating an apple. But, we know that the senses are objective and they will differ from person to person. We also know that there are those among us who suffer from auditory and visual hallucinations. These people believe their senses even though according to us "normal" people these individuals are seperated from reality. The problem here is who knows if any of our senses are conducive to measuring and evaluating truth. So, while Nietzsche never acknowledged the inseperable nature of faith and science he did so indirectly and unpurposefully. So, I suppose a better way of wording my previous statement was to say what I derived from his writings.
    Sounds like you're talking about perspectivism, which I find to be an important theory. Nietzsche (I believe) definitely disagrees with the type of positivism or objectivism that advocates that there is one objective reality that we all partake in.

    Even though Nietzsche was anti-religion/anti-Christianity he did have some good insights.
    I would say anti-organized-religion and anti-Christianity. In one of his letters he is quotes as saying that he is more religious than any adherent of a religion. IMO the "spark" of religious thought/feelings is something he cared deeply for, but the actual realization of that spark in the form of most religions and most supposedly "religious" people was very far removed from this spark.

    I don't remember the exact quote but he commented on adherance to and believing a rigorous set of beliefs even though that belief system brings a certain amount of sickness.
    I'm not sure what you mean here. Are you saying he advocated believing in something that brought sickness or was he just speaking about something of the sort, which I would typically assume to be referring to Christianity?

    He placed value on those things that sustain joyful living and questioned the value of belief systems that do not equate to a healthy mentality.
    Definitely agree there.

    I certainly see some value in that thinking. It was this mentality that led me to question everything I had been taught. I am a man of science...but I am also a man of faith. I do believe in the unproveable. I see value in doing so. But, when some of those beliefs created a great deal of cognitive dissonance I had to look for myself. I'm still on that journey. My belief system is always evolving and I'm willing to question and look at everything. That journey has led to a rejection of certain traditional teachings...and that has led to more peace in my spiritual life.
    I understand what you're saying about cognitive dissonance. IMO attempting to get the current paradigm of Christian thought to coexist with reason/science is a pretty difficult job that would cause a lot of cognitive dissonance. IMO the majority of humans on this planet are walking around and seeing things from the perspective of a complete illusion. Almost every is delusional. "Welcome to the Monkeyhouse" and all that.

    I don't mean to denounce anyone or anything that believes in anything specifically, but in general that's my opinion.
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  5. #15

    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    I think you got what I was trying to say towards the end. Your beginning three paragraphs I agree with. I am in no way saying that he was trying to advocate for faith. I was saying that he stated any rigid belief system is a form of faithful piety. From that I applied that to science. I do not have page numbers. What I remember was from about 11 years ago so I admit I am rusty. But, certain quotes and talking points really effected me from my college philosophy debates...therefore I remember them. I actually agree with nearly everything you said.

    I wasn't aware of him being "religious" unless you are referring to his own belief system. I do not know if he believed in a God. And yes I remember him writing about people who hold onto belief systems that make them sick. They are unwilling to change their beliefs even though those beliefs are to their detriment. I would assume he included Christianity but wasn't just talking about Christianity.

    On a slightly different note...I have stopped trying to convince people of the unproveable. People believe what they need/want to believe no matter how objective they feel they might be. I believe that. I believe in certain things for many reasons. Obviously my background...grew up in the church. Some science comes into play. The more I learn about the complexities of this world, the human body, nature...it would take a huge leap of faith for me to believe that came through random happenings. It's also hard for me to believe that this process would break the 2nd law of thermodynamics. In no way does that prove the existance of the Christian God but for me it leads me to believe in intelligent design. The rest came through my spiritual journey and personal experience. It is nearly impossible to quantify that for another individual. So, getting back to the original topic...my spiritual walk has benefited me as a human being. It has made me a better husband, father, and citizen. I don't think that is something Nietzsche would have been against. My belief system benefits me therefore it benefits society.

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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Is dogma NECESSARILY a bad thing? ...

    What I mean is this. If dogma is defined as that which is considered true and unshakeable, can you establish a case against dogma, without establishing at least one piece of dogma, or that which you consider to be true and unshakeable?

    Where dogma gets its bad name comes from the fact that down the pages of history, certain "truths" (or dogma) have been twisted for power/manipulation/control. The particular "truth" in some given situation, may actually be a good thing. The problem has been in the twisted handling of the truth or doctrine, not the truth or doctrine itself. As Napolean said in Animal Farm, "Comrades, some animals are MORE equal than others."

    As an example, if you think of a knife as a truth (it is what it is, no matter what anyone thinks of it), then is a knife a bad thing because someone uses it to stab another person. Did the wrong come from the knife or did the wrong come from the one carrying the knife? In the same way, various good teachings have been subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) twisted and used as a platform for personal gain.

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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Every time I read the Bible, my perspective changes. I've read the whole thing cover to cover about 6 different times so far and I always get different thoughts from it as my experiences change.

    Sometimes I think my dog is the closest being to God in this world. Always happy, always energetic, always forgiving, simple, and loving. I sometimes think God watches me through my dog. And I don't think it's just a coincidence that God is dog spelled backward.

    Sometimes I think when we make these things too complex, we miss the boat on faith. Faith is so simple. I envy people that have it plentifully and I pity those that don't. I waver between both sides of that equation.

    Sometimes I think it's scary to believe in God because if God designed me, he built me for his purpose and that's a lot of responsibility.

    I figure if we're joyful and help others in this world, God will take care of all of us.

    And I think people aknowledge thier faith through their actions rather than through their minds.

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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Sometimes I think my dog is the closest being to God in this world. Always happy, always energetic, always forgiving, simple, and loving
    You could be talking about Buddha there...well, except the energetic part..

    Is Buddha God? Or God, Buddha?
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  9. #19

    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    Every time I read the Bible, my perspective changes. I've read the whole thing cover to cover about 6 different times so far and I always get different thoughts from it as my experiences change.

    I agree the Bible reads as if it's a living, breathing organism. It reads very differently to many people. It reads differently to me depending where I am at spiritually.

    Sometimes I think my dog is the closest being to God in this world. Always happy, always energetic, always forgiving, simple, and loving. I sometimes think God watches me through my dog. And I don't think it's just a coincidence that God is dog spelled backward.

    Sometimes I think when we make these things too complex, we miss the boat on faith. Faith is so simple. I envy people that have it plentifully and I pity those that don't. I waver between both sides of that equation.

    Possibly. I think faith is childlike...very simple...we do make it too complex. With that said, discernment of truth is very tough for me. I don't accept things that do not make sense. And many of man's interpretations of scripture do not make sense to me. They do not align with the loving God that I know.

    Sometimes I think it's scary to believe in God because if God designed me, he built me for his purpose and that's a lot of responsibility.

    What's a scarier thought for most Christians is Paul's teachings of predestination...that he built vessels for righteousness and destruction. God by his own hands built all we see before us. If we are predestined do we really have free will? If God built objects for destruction would he burn/punish these creations in eternal fire? Does that align with the nature of a loving God? How do Christians reconcile this? I think the universal reconciliationists are more on track with their interpretations of scripture.
    I figure if we're joyful and help others in this world, God will take care of all of us.

    And I think people aknowledge thier faith through their actions rather than through their minds.

    I think it's both. Every action whether good or bad starts with thought. Control your thought life and you control your actions.All in all though flippy no matter how it works out I think you got it right...basically love your neighbor and do the best you can do.

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    Re: God, Theology, Dogma....

    I've studied different Christian religions the Methodist teach that you should read the Bible as if it was written to a specific audience in a specific time period.

    Even though the Bible is living and always current, the people that wrote the individual books wrote them in response to the current happenings in the time period in which they lived. So if we try to read and interpret through the mindset of the people of that period, we may have some better insights into interpreting some of the more complex portions of the Bible.

    This can make some portions of the bible seem more reasonable to me.

    For example, consider Revelations which can be really complicated to make sense out of. Back in the day that it was written 12 x 12 x 1000 would have represented all of the people in the world and the number of 144,000 people being save could have been interpreted that God will save everyone.

    And you could also consider that Revelations represented an end of an Age where God will win over evil and people will thrive under God here on Earth after a time of religious persecution. This is different than Revelations being read as the end of all time which most people tend to think.

    Either could be possible.

    Predestination is another complexity.

    But from the very beginning, God gave choice to Adam and Eve. But I've also wondered if we're created in the image of God, how could we make the wrong ultimate choice if we have the mark of God in us?

    Sometimes it just isn't easy to know if there is any right answer. And sometimes the only thing we can trust is the God in us and in others around us.

    I'm motivated again to re-read the Bible again to get some better understanding.

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