im sorry... to me they both say the same thing. one says "i accept that god does not exist" and the other one says "i do not accept that god exists"...what am i missing? (please no "um, a brain?" snappy retorts...)
What kind of atheist are you?
Wow. Just goes to show that trying to reconcile the ugliness of a do-nothing god (or a nation building god, lol), will eventually drive a person mad. Sad.
"Mad" I am, SixofNine.
I found it interesting because, regardless of the original context of the quotation(Judaism/Christianity from a religious perspective), the arbitrary and formal contrast between those two practically equivalent and interchangeable sentences reveals the unsuspected ambiguity of every individual keyword ("believe", "God", "exist") and the numerous possible ways of interpreting each statement.
And of course, how we handle it tells much about our mind structure (scientific, logical, literary, etc.).
What most frustrated me in reading all the dense and deep posts above is the ugly feeling that I'm missing something on godma... I got the pun with dogma (and catma!) but I suspect there might be something else... Brenda please help me!
I believe that God does not exist, conclusively, intellectually speaking.. Now, let me qualify that statement.
When we attempt to understand matters of "existence" or the "soul" intellectually, we are spinning our wheels. Science, and logic simply confuse the issue. In fact they fly in the face of reality. Humankind has this overwhelming desire to "understand" all matters, when in fact, we are attempting to define an absolute, rather than experience something fluid and continuous. I personally think thought and effort are the origin of the struggle.
We were given intellect as a challenge. The challenge being, free will, logic and independence. With all these "attributes", we either "find" nothing, with regards to spiritualism, or "discover" our "self". Self awareness comes with complete effortless and emptiness of thought. I know that sounds contradictory, but it is the path toward understanding. I realize that understanding 2+2=4, requires logic. I realize the value of logic and intelligence in mankinds quest to build, design, cure, invent, discover, conquer, etc...etc. The problem we are experiencing, is we have lost the forrest for the tree. So, in essence, we are failing miserably.
I submit that a God does exist, and the success of our search lies in the peacefulness of silence, the calm of the breeze.....the coolness of the water, the warmth of the sun........and the depths of the soul.
Thanks for your tolerance,
Gator (of the never a JW variety)
6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of another.
I have FAITH that no god exists. As someone else has FAITH that god exists. There isn't any way to prove it one way or the other.
Christians "proof" is the bible. Atheists "proof" is the bible.
Sabrina, while I do your research for you, I'll let you contemplate some passages from the ancient religious documents of the Zaruba tribe of central Africa. The Zarubas are related to the Hutu of Rwanda, who killed some half a million Tutsis in 1994, are so ferocious that tales of their savagery appear even in the folk legends of their neighbors.
That the Zarubas have been guilty for centuries of dreadful slaughter is of course, while deplorable, nothing to mark them as unique among human tribes, for on every continent there is a more than ample record of battlefield and conquest atrocities. But the Zarubas do hold the dubious distinction of not only hating other tribes -- an evil to which all are prone -- but of glorying in such hatred. It is to be hoped that most men today, if moved to strong, sustained anger will not, except in the context of imminent military confrontation, attempt to justify their vindictive emotions; many will experience some guilt as a result of them.
There is scarcely any trace of such softening of heart in the religious literature of the Zarubas, however. They not only justify their anger, but they've inculcated it through many centuries, from generation to generation, so that Zaruba children are trained from the cradle to despise those whose only offense is that they are born into non-Zaruba tribes. The Christian admonition to love the sinner, while hating the sin, to do good to those that curse us, to love the enemy, to turn the other cheek, is an absurd heresy to the Zarubas, which is presumably why exceedingly few of them have ever been converted by Christian missionaries.
An unattractive mixture of paranoia and fawning subjection to their deity renders the Zaruba religious philosophy even less attractive to the modern mind, including the minds of young educated Africans of Zaruba ancestry.
The following excerpt from a Zaruba hymn of praise, which is typical, reveals this unedifying combination of emotions:
Oh Mbomu, do not hold your blessings from me.
For the mouth of the wicked and the lying speak against me.
They speak words of hatred and fight against me without reason.
I pray to Mbomu, but my enemies return evil and hatred for the good I do.
Oh Mbomu, set an evil chief over my enemy and let Kimba [the devil] stand at his right hand.
When my enemy be judged, condemn him. Let even his prayer be judged evil.
Let his life be shortened and let another man take his village.
Let his children have no father and his wife be a widow.
Let his children wander lost in the jungles, begging for their food.
Let thieves steal my enemy's property and let strangers spoil his work.
Oh, Mbomu, let nobody help this man. Do not even let anyone help his father and his children.
Let his children in generations to come be killed. Let their names be blotted out.
Let the sins of the fathers and the mothers harass the children down through the generations.
But let Mbomu remember the sins that he may stamp out the memory of my enemies from the earth.
But as for me, Mighty Mbomu, be good to me for I am poor and needy and my heart is wounded with a spear.
This is hardly edifying prayer; it is cursing, invoking as it does the power of the Deity to bring suffering to those the Zaruba consider their enemy. It must be understood here that the word enemy is not interpreted in the personal, but rather in a corporate, military, or ethnic sense. It is as if the prayer were spoken by, say, a German and by enemy he means not only the soldiers but all inhabitants of France, male and female, children, and the aged. Clearly the emotions expressed are primitive, vengeful -- what one might expect from at least some, though happily not all, primitive cultures.
The sentiments are particularly unattractive in the context of the fact that the Zaruba themselves are noted for their warlike behavior and for the ruthlessness with which they have, over many centuries, attacked and slaughtered their neighbors. A typical Zaruba prayer, for example, actually recommends, indeed blesses, the Zaruba tribe member who will capture the innocent infants of a neighboring tribe and dash their brains out against a stone. The exact quotation is:
Happy will he be that grabs ahold and does dash to pieces your children against the crag.
So, Sabrina, what do you think of the Zarubas? What do you think of their god Mbomu? Do these folks remind you of anyone?
I presume you to be an intelligent man.
Man kills, HS. Man rapes, HS. Man kills and rapes his own children, HS. Man wars for no good reason, HS. Man destroys the earth. Man is, shall we say, a demon in his own right. Please, don't complain to me about the rats, the insects and their creator. Until man rises above the insects he has no right to complain.
What does *any* of that have to do with the issue that I raised?
Why did a God of 'love' design this earth in such a way that every living creature must kill and eat another living creature to survive? This is not an issue of man, it is a issue of God. If indeed God did create it to work in such a way, what conclusions must we draw?
Best regards - HS
AlanF, I think that is probably the most compelling historical comparison I have ever seen. Can you give me the source for the material at hand?
*cough* ixnay efrancepay, sng *cough* :-D
eh....heh heh heh...