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Gordon Taylor

Retired engineer

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Are people of faith in fact gullible?

Gullibility is the belief in something with no substantiating facts to support that something. I contend that if you believe in something based upon Scripture, whichever religion you belong to then you are gullible. That is not to mean evil or stupid but simply gullible. This also differs somewhat from credulous depending on what actions you take in support of your beliefs or faith.

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      Apr 21 2013: I'm not sure you got my point.
      Any number of miracles, if they occurred don't mean the bible is 100% correct.
      If jesus ressurected, it is just a mystery unless you believe a particular interpretation or , or expansion.

      Lazurous ressurected apparently, that does not make him a god. Just a mystery.

      If Jesus ressurected we have another mystery. Its another leap of faith to believe he is a god or any interrptetation.
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          Apr 22 2013: No im just saying you need a reasonable case to believe every claim in the bible or how they are interpreted. Resurrection even if it occurred does not mean every other claim or interpretation of the various verses is correct.

          You might believe you have a reasonable case to believe in particular interpretations of the bible.

          Re lazurus, the bible claims jesus resurrected him. We dont know whether jesus did or how he did even if lazurus did rise from the dead. unless there is evidence or a compelling reason to believe what is written. Actually one gospel states there were many dead resurrected.

          Even something that qualified as a miraculous prophecy e.g predicting the moon would change into a red crystal, and this occurred, does not mean the claim god did it, or the rest of the bible is correct. But it would be a mystery deserving enquiry, and suggest the book should be taken more seriously.

          I don't know enough about your reasons for believing in the bible to refute or agree. Consistency with other old scriptures, prophecies fulfilled, special knowledge etc etc, does not mean every verse, claim, or interpretation is correct.
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          Apr 28 2013: Hi chris, i guess my point on the resurrection may not be clear.
          If it did happen, then there are more assumptions required if you are to believe jesus is a god.
          You have to believe more that is written in the bible about jesus and the ressurection.
          Otherwise you just have mystery.

          A man was killed. Then he came alive.
          We have no idea how it happened, unless you believe the bible is true in regards to the relevant details.

          Jesus could be a replicant, an angel, an alien, or just a man healed by advanced technology, or his twin etc etc. unless you believe much of the bible, the event would be a mystery.

          If it happened it doesn't make every claim in the bible correct. The bible mentions jerusalem, and a real place exists consistent with this. We have evidence that the bible is factually correct in this regards. It doesn't mean the rest is correct.

          My point is you need to be predisposed to the rest of the story being correct to believe it. You have to believe the story wasn't embellished or made up in critical details, that the details were recorded correctly, that no one lied or was honestly mistaken, that there are sprits that live on after death, that there is/are gods, that gods can become men etc etc.

          Then think about the implications. Some component of the creator of the universe, became human, and became a blood sacrifice to help prevent some who hear and believe the message going to hell. That the creator was finally taking an interest in non jews. God waited 13 billion years to do this. waited over 100,000 years since humans evolved. God sends people to hell.

          He did this at a time and place and in a way that insufficient evidence was collected to prove it happened. And then he disappeared. Odd.

          I know this is a more traditional christian interpretation, and probably different from yours.

          Anyway, the main point is the resurrection would be an unexplained phenomena, and does not prove jesus is god unless you make a whole bunch of other assumptions
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        Apr 22 2013: Obey, one simple answer should, or could, answer it all.
        There is nothing in the Bible that we are forced to accept or believe. We have total control over our attitude toward spirituality (that's what makes us human).

        The one single and most important advice Jesus gives is to become as little children. That does not mean handing in everything we know. All that is needed is the characteristic attitude of a child, which is to have the willingness to be lead. One result of that "attitude" would be to say, I believe it is the truth because Jesus says so.

        To me, the 100% consistency between what it says, spiritually, in Genesis and Revelation is the very reason I've become a Swedenborgian.

        No one has ever or will ever be forced to believe anything they don't want to believe. To believe something is to love it. Love cannot exist where there is no freedom. This applies to God as well as a spouse. And maybe even to sports :)

        One of you usual responses is, there are so many religions, but only one can be right. That is not how the spirit works. It sounds like, there are many marriages but only one can be right. It is not a 1+1=2 situation. There is not one human being that is the same as another. We all have our different loves, gifts and preferences. We all can love our 'higher power' in our own, and different way. The more pixels in a picture the more perfect that picture becomes.

        Heaven is meant to be a perfect picture of humanity. That's why people going to heaven, first go through 3 stages to adjust and learn. There are no such stages for the ones that want to go to hell because they refuse all help and cannot accept truths.
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          Apr 28 2013: Hi Adriaan,

          If you have to give up critical thinking, rely on faith rather than evidence, then you can believe anything. You will probably end up with lots of conflicting beliefs because there is no obvious truth or evidence to tie your beliefs too.

          That verse to be like children can be interpreted more than one way. One way is that god is so etherial, nearly non existent, that it helps if you have a child's intellect, naivety etc. its one aspect of faith based belief systems rely on in part.

          If your argument is to believe in god you need to stop looking for evidence, stop thinking critically, well it just ties into god concepts being psychological constructs.

          Expanding My usual point ... Some theists see there views as mutually exclusive from others. You seem to focus on the similarities and ignore or gloss over the contradictions, the unproven claims. So basically you are asserting that traditional christians, muslims, jews, mormons, who adhere to the standard dogmas are wrong, but it doesn't matter that much.

          Personally i choose not to try and believe in unsubstantiated claims. I prefer the best available explanations or admitting i dont know. actually for some of us its hard to believe in what is unbelievable even if you try. Spirit, gods, life after death,angels, demons etc they could exist, but seem manmade concepts without compelling evidence. I tried to be a christian for years, and the more i investigated it and other beliefs the more the dogma and more generic god beliefs seemed unsubstantiated.

          If god created me, it made someone who tries to use the brain he gave me, and the knowledge species has developed, and can not trick myself into believing what seems false, so it made me knowing i would go to hell, because to the best of my ability it does not exist, it might, but so might any other speculative imagining.
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        Apr 29 2013: Hello Obey,
        "If you have to give up critical thinking, rely on faith rather than evidence, then you can believe anything."
        Never have I said that, or ever will. I stronly believe that science and religions are from the same Source. I constantly see evidence around me that a loving God exists. That we have the freedom and the tools to become the best people we possibly can. Being human, however, gives us the option to use the gifts we have for bad and evil purposes instead and become the worst possible person we can become.
        There is plenty of eviddence of both roads taken.

        Just this morning this quote was sent
        “Being able to provide arguments to support whatever you want is not intelligence; intelligence is being able to see that what is true is true.”
        True Christian Religion 334, Emanuel Swedenborg

        You seem to focus entirely on the physical side of life and will not except the existence of the spiritual world. Any one with possitive doubt towards the spirit can fill in the doubt many times with support for the spirit. The present millions of NDE's, the 'system' of life on three levels/kingdoms.

        There were 12 tribes of Israel, Jerusalem had 12 gates, there are the 12 steps with AA (as an aside, AA was co-founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. Bill Wilson first came into contact with Swedenborg's writings in the summer of 1915 while falling in love with Lois Burnham. Lois was the granddaughter of the Rev. N.C. Burnham, a Swedenborgian scholar), 12 Apostels.
        To make a long story short, 12 means everything good from truth that makes up a church, and every person is a micro-church. That's why everyone who accepts goods and truths in his/her life and applies them, is and will become an angel.

        Chosing to be negative towards this principle is, willingly, to shoot oneself in the foot. All twelve of them :)

        BTW the Bible is full of number-systems with spiritual meanings. 1, 3, 7, 12, 40, 144000 to name a few. The spiritual evidence is convincing, NDE or not

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