Beliefs Tied to Geography
God has many skins, which would explain why geography is connected to faith. Claiming that those results are evidence against God is silly.
Genesis 1 - 26 Then God said, “ Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
^ It doesn't say, "then the God's said" it uses a non plural as a divine title. Then right after it mentions "us."
Exodus 3 - 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
In the story of the burning bush Moses specifically asks God to indentify himself by name. God uses the opportunity to teach Moses and his eventual followers what He is, and he most definitely is an entity that can be, or always is, more than one thing at a time.
Take the concept of a science fiction shape shifter, what is their original form? It could be said that they don't have an original form, but rather can take any form. Therefore if this God model is correct finding different belief sets based on geography is actually evidence FOR the God of Genesis rather than against the general existence of God. It also is evidence of a personal God that shows Himself to cultures that then take it and run with it often to their error.
ZIP Code + Parents = Your Religion <------- 90% of the time.
Sabastious - That is the best explanation I've heard.
Sab, talk about twisted reasoning.
The statements are not evidence against a god. They are evidence against a particular god. And I do believe one of those gods says that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Your god of many skins is definitely divided against himself.
If the god of many skins is evidence FOR the god of Genesis, then he is also evidence FOR the other gods you are talking about.
I won't even bother with this line of argument anymore. I will support it. So it is a wonderful thing to accept the gods of your choice. I kind of like the gods of ancient Egypt. I cannot figure out why the god of ancient Hebrews attacked himself at ancient Egypt, though. Maybe it's because humans are so insignificant to the god of many skins. (And maybe he doesn't really have skin)
"Moses, despite my being the gods of Egypt, I grow bored with them and want to be the god of your people now. Go and I will smite the Egyptians and probably not smite your people for decades or even centuries if I don't grow bored with you. Go now. I will be with you and I will seem to be with the Egyptians but let them down right when they need me the most."
Sab, if your reasoning is true, that means that now what is going on is,
God's or "I am"'s many personna's are fighting against eachother. How does this make sense in your reasonings?
So it is a wonderful thing to accept the gods of your choice.
My mother hates that I don't go to meetings. She hates that I can, in good conscience, never even think about a meeting again and still maintain my relationship with God. To her, the Kingdom Hall has to be involved in her worship so she is jealous of mine. That's just my speculation, but it's based off my observations. I get to have my cake and eat it too according to her.
Now, here you are telling me that I get to just gleefully take a "pick of the god litter" which is a strangely familiar argument. Once I pick one, however, you will call me intellectually dishonest for doing so.
My mother doesn't like the idea that her actions her whole life have been more in vain than not. That's a pretty sensible fear in my opinion so in order for her to feel good about herself she needs to validate the Bible. This urge to explain the mystery of this book we found in a cave is not in vain. The choice, OTWO, is to believe in God not what God to believe in. What God to believe in requires empirical evidence to be considered an intellectually honest endeavor. Evidence, that I and many others are trying to find for ourselves.
The statements are not evidence against a god.
The image you posted says "your faith, is not inspired by some divine, constant truth"
There is a constant and that constant is God. In Lawrence Krauss' new book "Something from nothing" he says that when you remove everything what is left is energy or nothing. That Nothing, I speculate is the constant. He also says that "nothing is unstable" which is why there is something rather than nothing. "Nothing", imo, is the canvas of which sets the stage for the painting, or story. Before the paining is started however the brush types are sorted and the type of paint is aquired and set up.
The religions that make up 3.6 billion people on this planet all point to one man: Abraham. The evidence for this man having some connection to forces not known to even us is very possible. Some call it ancient aliens, and some call it God. I choose to call it God, which I believe to be that First Cause, the canvas of life. Evolution has taught us that when given enough time life will always spring forth. I think that's a line of thinking that supports the First Cause: Energy to have a form of consciousness that we cannot fathom with our human brains which exists on that canvas.
I like this point, OTWO.
It illustrates how I feel about a couple of things.
That was one of the reasons I wanted to learn about different belief systems around the world, after I left the religion. What I discovered was there are commonalities in all the mainstream religions. The more we explore our differences, the more we find we are alike.
It's also why I always say "happy" or "lucky" to be Canadian, instead of "proud". It is only an accident of birth that I am here. (ie, I don't get patriotism.)
ps. I thought it was quite an interesting, sci-fi thingy way of justifying religion.
And if you were born in certain secular areas of Europe, you'd probably be atheist or agnostic.
None of which says anything about the truth or falsity of the given belief systems. The argument presented in this graphic is often used against anyone who believes that their particular belief system is true, but it really is no argument. The prevalence of belief or unbelief in certain geographical areas is unrelated to the validity of those beliefs. Citing the cultural, emotional or psychological reasons why someone believes only tells you something about that person, not about the truth value of his or her belief system. As an argument, this could actually be seen as a form of the genetic fallacy, since it seems to imply that belief systems are wrong because of how they were acquired, and not because of their merits as truth claims.
As C.S Lewis wrote,
" Suppose I think, after doing my accounts, that I have a large balance at the bank. And suppose you want to find out whether this belief of mine is "wishful thinking." You can never come to any conclusion by examining my psychological condition. Your only chance of finding out is to sit down and work through the sum yourself. When you have checked my figures, then, and then only, will you know whether I have that balance or not. If you find my arithmetic correct, then no amount of vapouring about my psychological condition can be anything but a waste of time. If you find my arithmetic wrong, then it may be relevant to explain psychologically how I came to be so bad at my arithmetic, and the doctrine of the concealed wish will become relevant — but only after you have yourself done the sum and discovered me to be wrong on purely arithmetical grounds. It is the same with all thinking and all systems of thought. If you try to find out which are tainted by speculating about the wishes of the thinkers, you are merely making a fool of yourself. You must first find out on purely logical grounds which of them do, in fact, break down as arguments. Afterwards, if you like, go on and discover the psychological causes of the error."
In the same essay, Lewis also wrote,
You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it "Bulverism". Some day I am going to write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father — who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than a third — "Oh you say that because you are a man ." "At that moment", E. Bulver assures us, "there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument. Assume that your opponent is wrong, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall." That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.
And if you were born in certain secular areas of Europe, you'd probably be atheist or agnostic.
* raises her atheist's hand *
or Canada, or any other part of the world ...
"God has many skins,...." sabastious
Have you EVER studied - or even read something OTHER than Watchtower literature - on the subject of Hinduism?? Buddhism?? Shintoism???
ALL of those religions have GODDESSES - and MANY DEITIES...
For that matter, the Israelites had GODDESSES BEFORE they picked up that Middle-Eastern war god as their 'prime' deity...
And don't even get me started on the goddesses arrogated into "sainthood" in Catholicism....
Or the indications within the bible itself of earlier forms of goddess worship - after all, many of those goddesses that the bible writers railed against were worshipped long BEFORE the bible god's worship arose.
That belief that somehow ALL of the vast variety of deities worshipped throughout the tens [to hundreds] of thousands of years of human history, are "versions" of a Middle-Eastern, Bronze-Age nomads' "god" that didn't even show up until the last 3,500 years, is beyond clueless - and TOTALLY out of touch with archaeological and paleo-archaeological discoveries...
Damn it! I'm trying to hang on to being in the agnostic category. But these threads keep chipping away at it! LOL
Thanks for sharing the pic OTWO.
I'm lucky. My dad embraced his native American side and that kind of spirituality. He was a scientist. Not all scientists are atheists.
Mom raised us in the Episcopal Church.Never talked about her own beliefs. If you asked her a question, she usually sent you off on a journey to answer it yourself. Only after you had an answer you were happy with, did she tell you her feelings. She was a spiritual person. When I was a teenager Mom read the tarot, palms and she read astrological charts. She let us go to any church or read anything we wanted about anything, hinduism, yoga, out of body experiences you name it.
And I'm pretty much what I always was, just a spiritual person who appreciates mystery, who embraces universalism. I grew up in Mobile, Alabama, Morgan City, LA and Atlanta, Ga.
NeonMadman: since it seems to imply that belief systems are wrong because of how they were acquired, and not because of their merits as truth claims.
Unless critical thinking is first and foremost, Unless a "belief system" has built-in corrective measures as far as testing its own truthfulness, then is would be correct to assume it is wrong.
edit: of course these corrective measures would be biase to support the "belief system's" viewpoint.
Crisis of Conscience, there is something in between the two extremes of fundamentalism and very staunch atheism. I hope you won't let this kind of thread chip away at your agnosticism. I like the quote from the late, great actress Tallulah Bankhead, "I'm a high Episcopaleon agnostic with a deep reverence for mystery." She was one of the more colorful, yet classy, southern belles to ever walk this earth. You can find a lot of interesting quotes and tidbits about her unconventional life in libraries and on the internet. Very few people make it through life without being agnostic at some point. Many people hit that in their teens or after the loss of a loved one. For me it comes and goes. I am comfortable with it.
Sometimes I wonder if there is a higher percentage of atheists among ex born/raised in ex jw's than in the general population. It seems like when they find out the mean, nasty, worse than Satan, bully god they were raised with is a fake, then sometimes they abandon any trust that there is a god or gods or more spiritual beliefs. It bothers me that a lot of the threads assume that all enlightened scientists are atheists. If there is truth in that, then fine, present that picture. But it isn't true. There are atheists and there are believers in the world of science. Like my dad, many of them believe in the evolutionary procress, but still believe in some kind of God.
"Sometimes I wonder if there is a higher percentage of atheists among ex born/raised in ex jw's than in the general population. ...." Flying High Now
This comment is frequently made on this board, but again it shows the unfamiliarity with religion in general that exists among many ex-Jehovah's Witnesses....
From what I've observed of the atheist community, atheists can - and do - come from every religion on the face of the planet...
Again, from personal observation, atheists appear to come from a disproportionately large segment of the "fundamentalist" religions - Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, Baptists, Apostolic Christian Church, Church of Christ, Christian Israelite Church, various other Evangelical Protestants, fundamentalist Mormons, MOST Islamic sects, and undoubtedly even some Hindus and Buddhists....
So, to claim that the Watchtower Corporation is somehow "generating" atheists, is to ignore the characteristics that the Jehovah's Witness cult has in common with all these other fundamentalist forms of "faith"....
In my opinion and based on my personal experience, it is often a combination of things -
(a) the realization of the extremely fallible and flawed nature of the people within the church/congregation/synagogue/mosque/temple,
(b) the realization that the stories in the Talmud/Bible/Qu'ran/Sacred Texts are actually mythology - that they are scientifically INaccurate,
(c) that the mores of the ancient peoples no longer apply, that the requirements of the holy books were applicable to a much more primitive human society, but are no longer applicable today...
Also, the violence that tends to arise from blind faith is enough to turn many people away from the deity/deities of their childhood and towards an atheistic viewpoint.
And..... Totally off the subject....
Just to be a brat......
Here's a funny list that I picked up at this website: http://www.evilbible.com/Top_Ten_List.htm
Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian
10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God. [or a personal failure or lack of "faith" on YOUR part.... ]
1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.
Number 10 is my favorite....
More than 90% of the time your religion is an accident of birth.