Can you live with your self?
I think if we are to fully delight in life we must live without detachment. Because when we become attached to a beliief we feel a desire that we are right. The problem with being right, even if we are right is that our beliefs then try to attach themselfs to virgin snow, and change people to our thinking. Often all this accompanies is to leave our mucky footprints on another persons light hearted and cheerful disposition.
Ovbiously I appreciate my above comment has many holes in it, but I wrote it having looked back on my superior righteousness when I preached as a sincere witness. All I accomplished was many wasted hours.( I should say years) And with those whom I studied with it only accomplished taking away a persons light hearted and cheerful disposition.
Now when I meet people I want to accomplish something more important than my truth. I want people to simply like the person I am. I think that this is something worthwhile, and I now realise how often when I was on the ministry strangers whom I judged, gave me the special gift of themselfs.
This is why I enjoy the company of children, what they do not know about my deeper thoughts does not concern them, and nor should it. When the ball rolls down the path way, it simply rolls down the pathway, the science and religious stuff as why the ball rolls down the pathway is unimportant.
I think it's important to believe in yourself but not be so entrenched or dogmatic that you aren't open to new ideas that can change your outlook and possibly your beliefs.
The Rebel - "Can you live with yourself?"
I don't have a choice... he won't leave.
I have often commented with what looks like to Jews as an "obsession" with what one "believes" (or doesn't believe, for that matter). Your comments are the closest I've seen to what I've been trying explain.
Belief is merely a static, mental assent to a concept, usually an abstract one. Belief in God is such a thing, and even disbelief in God. It's all about whether or not one grasps an abstract concept of something transcendent in the mind or not.
Gentiles will argue, debate, and literally get violent over what one claims they do or do not mentally assent to. To many Jews this is ridiculous.* It's like how denominations draw membership lines based on what you "believe:" How can you ensure that a member properly grasps an abstract theological definition of God (take the Trinity as an example) in just the right way as to warrant membership and salvation? And isn't the theological definition always claimed to be limited by human frailty? How does demand that one assent to an abstract and inefficient theological concept as a requisite for communion and salvation if there is no way to validate that the claimant correctly mentally grasps the incomplete yet transcendent abstract concept?
And then, what big thing is it to say you don't believe in such a concept? If you can't prove what one truly mentally assents to, then how can you prove what they don't? And even if we could, what great accomplishment of proof of logical superiority is not exercising the mind to grasp an abstract belief? One might argue that not attempting to believe suggests mental laziness more than mental efficiency.
No, I'm NOT saying that atheism and theism are stupid. What I am saying is that what you mentally assent to and what you don't matters little if it doesn't affect the world around you in a positive way. One can claim belief in the most virtuous of gods and doctrines and still not be virtuous themselves. Likewise someone can be free of religion and be greatly just, honest, and not merely sanctimonious about it either.
Even in the Gospels, Jesus commends righteous living over true doctrine. The Good Samaritan proves to be right with God even though he, as a Samaritan, holds doctrinal beliefs that are wrong compared to those of the priest and Levite who pass by. (Luke 10:25-37) And the Eschatological Discourse of Matthew 25:31-46 has Jesus granting eternal life to those who serve strangers, the poor, criminals in jail, and other marginalized members of society as they would Jesus, not to those who make more converts to Christianity.
The point is that somewhere we may have become lost in the "belief" game, debating and attempting to convert others to our "way of thinking," while never being intelligent enough to consider how impossible it is to ensure how another does or doesn't grasp abstract concepts like we do. It's a waste of time, even for "believers" as Jesus illustrates.
Your illustration of dealing with children is perfect and can be applied to all. It's not what you claim you believe that matters as much as living out the best of what you believe in your treatment of others.
*Footnote: To be fair, some Jews have been as obsessed with the "belief" argument to the point of violence as well. It may be far less apparent however due to belief not being a requisite for status in Judaism, but Jews cannot claim complete freedom in their history from the problems caused by fighting over the issue of mental assent.
David_Jay - "Even in the Gospels, Jesus commends righteous living over true doctrine. The Good Samaritan proves to be right with God even though he, as a Samaritan, holds doctrinal beliefs that are wrong compared to those of the priest and Levite who pass by."
Nice. I think it's astonishing that most JWs don't pick up on that.
Another good one that I liked using to prove (to other JWs) that non-believers could still have God's favor was Cyrus the Great. The WTS refers to him as a precurser to Jesus... a "messiah" figure, due to his liberation of the Hebrews from Babylon.
Everyone would agree with that point, and then I would drop the bombshell; that Cyrus, as King, was compelled under Persian Law to subscribe to the state religion of the Persian Empire - Zoroastrianism - and as king was, in fact, prohibited from converting to another faith.
And yet he was referred to in the (WT) Bible as "God's anointed one"... and that therefore his name had to have written in Jehovah's "Book of Life".
I'm sure you can imagine the gobsmacked looks I got (it never got old ), but no one dared dispute it, not even elders.
I never got "counselled for it", either. :smirk:
Good topic, TR.
Vidiot - that's funny.
Yes, we thought we had something unique for ourselves and others. Why do we become so hellbent re/religion/politics/social structure/financial security, etc. Is it fear, aging -- we can't take anything with us in the end and think we're doing the right thing giving -- but really are we doing enough when we have limitations on time, energy, etc. I swing from conservative/liberalism trying to find mental balance and sometimes give up. Everything seems to be trial and error and history if we can look objectively at facts.
We certainly need to be open in our opinions, beliefs - not easy for us.
I believe you're saying that theological process is of secondary
It's positive results that count,
To paraphrase John "If I say I love God but am hating my brother I am a
Or in other words maybe "If you can't put up shut up!" Lol
Can you live with your self?
No matter where I go,there I am..
That was better than mine.
The Rebel - "Can you live with yourself?"
I've done this every day of my life. So far so good.