Goldmark Anthony Indico

Elementary Grades Teacher, DepEd Philippines

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WHO IS GOD?

Do you Believe in GOD? Why? Why NOT? Why is there the word "GOD"? Who is HE for you? What is his relation to you? Is God just a socio-cultural concept? What makes him a God to you? Why do different CULTURES HAVE GOD in their list of WORDS even though there is diversity?

How should an intelligent man deal with the word GOD?

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    Dec 5 2011: Am I the only one who gets mildly irritated when, in a conversation about God, TED admin removes comments about the Bible and Bible inerrancy because they are "off topic?"
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      Dec 5 2011: Seems to me that the comments that answered the question weren't removed. The comments that jumped on Peter's back for his answer to this question were removed. Instead of ganging up on Peter and forcing him to explain himself (which I think he does quiet clearly in his first response) why don't you (and others) try simply answering the questions with your own comment instead.

      Just my two cents.

      Plus, this Conversation isn't about the Bible, it's about God and God is not limited to the Bible.
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        Dec 6 2011: Hi Corvida,

        Well you are certainly entitled to your two cents but when someone says God is Jesus and bases his answer on the inerrancy of the Bible, the Bible then becomes a part of the discussion.

        And Peter can take care of himself. He does not need a nanny.

        Just my two cents.

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          Dec 6 2011: He doesn't need a nanny nor did I say he did so please don't put extra words in my mouth or twist my comment into another concept/direction that it wasn't going in.

          To further clarify for you Thomas, TED also is not interested in fostering an atmosphere that discourages people from wanting to put their opinion in the conversation if someone is going to make them defend it at every turn...unless the Conversation is in the debates section. This one doesn't fit the bill.
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        Dec 6 2011: Corvida,

        You seem to have a gentle heart. I have noticed, at least twice, you have "come to the defence" of other posters.

        But do you really think that Peter is, in any way, dissuaded from posting his opinion?

        By his own participation, and his own admission, he enjoys the exchanges. He's rather fond of us ... so he says. And we are fond of him too ... so we say.

        If you would like us to feel we can put our opinions here without "discouragement," I strongly suggest you stop deleting them.

        That is much more discouraging than having them challenged.


        [Edit: "you," in this case, means "TED" .. not "Corvida."]
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        Dec 7 2011: You have a good point Corvida and if my comments do come off as harsh that is not a reflection of who I really am and my intention is not to stur up a debate, but being a ted associate you perhaps may know more about the rules than I do. (I did not know prior to reading your post that comments had to be in the debate section to have a debate. That was new to me)

        I can only speak for myself but it was not my intent to gang up on Peter. if you ask me, Peter was making many truth claims about a lot of things. The burden of proof then falls on Peter, not us. I was questioning Peters comments, not his character (he actually seems like a nice guy that is easy to talk to). In my post I asked several questions about what he stated as well as offering what I thought about what he said, that way he can show the proof that backed up his claims, which he did in a respectful manner and before I could respond back, my comments as well as his were deleted.

        but then again perhaps I should read over what I say before I post.

        P.S. the thread is about who is God but sometimes people believe that the bible is a path to god so you can't really separate the two.
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          Dec 7 2011: I hear both of you (@orlando and thomas) and you're absolutely right, this is a conversation about god, which will inevitably include the Bible.

          I'm just giving my opinions, but the comments removed were no longer about who is god, but about Peter's God and left a gap in this entire Conversation about who is god to other people. The responses to Peter seemed more for a side conversation with Peter. The same could be said for these comments as well.

          Yes the debate is about God....but not Peter's God (no offense to Peter). I thought Peter's explanations were wonderful and liked the way he handled himself.

          Thanks for sharing both of your perspectives though. I will pass your comments on to the moderation team as a reference point for future Conversations. Thanks guys!
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        Dec 7 2011: No problem and thanks for the clarification. Now I know what to look out for in the future and try not to digress, so far from the original topic.

        Best wishes Corvida
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          Dec 7 2011: It's OK to digress, but when you see things becoming longer than 1 or 2 extra comments AND you want to continue that thread of discussion, shoot them an email. It does a courtesy to others that are trying to participate or even just lurk.
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      Dec 6 2011: Hi Guys

      Thomas, this is one of the times I get pissed. You are correct in that if we can't discuss God in a debate on 'Who is God', then where can we discuss it ?
      I doubt TED is trying to nanny me. Tell you what though, I think they will discourage proselytizing, & in that I am in agreement with them. Personally I prefer to stick to the science, & not get involved in my beliefs. I will of course answer relevant questions to the best of my ability; but I understand it may come across as attempting to convert. Although on this particular forum I would expect all religions to be fighting it out. That is the question after all.

      Corvida. Thanks for your support; why not join in the debate & have some fun ?

      :-)
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        Dec 7 2011: I am God and everyone is their own god in my opinion.

        And by saying I'm God I don't think I'm better than anyone and in fact it has nothing to do with other people. I can do all things through myself. With all the prayers I've sent up and the blessings I've received, I am the vessel that commands that kind of energy or circumstance. I believe we are in control of our lives more than we think. That's not to say I'm immortal or can give myself superpowers. Nothing like that.

        I've grown to this conclusion over time. I was raised Christian/Baptist and for a long time I never really believed in God. When I went to college all of that changed. I realized after a while that what I believe in is the prayer of my words and the ability to meditate, focus, and act upon a single desire that I have and to achieve it. That's God to me.

        Hope that makes sense.
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          Dec 8 2011: Hi Corvida,

          Yes you make perfect sense. Your attitude is similar to many today, & to an extent I can understand it. However the engineer in me always wants to know what makes things work, The very fact that you can make these decisions is only possible through the most amazing complexity of yourself backed up by the universe machine. The whole setup is beyond awe, & we inquisitive machines want to know who is behind it all. Big Bangs & Primordial Soup just doesn't wash with me. Great to chat about though.

          :-)
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    Dec 13 2011: Regarding Thomas Jone’s comment on the role of leadership in defining who God is and question about the psychology of leadership:

    I have noticed two principles of effective leadership: vision and passion. From these come the ability to plan, communicate, and inspire, along with valuing contributions of all involved and a sense of all working together toward a common goal.

    Two principles of ineffective leadership are, in my mind, precisely the opposite from those above: ego and control. From these come an emphasis on appearances, plans fudged together from others that may or may not be working in different contexts, a rigid demand for compliance and a clear hierarchical separation between leaders and those compelled to follow.

    In the quest to answer the question “Who is God?” Effective leaders strive to know God by developing an deepening, ever-expanding relationship. Ineffective leaders strive to disseminate what they think they know about God by demanding rigid adherence to principles based on isolated excerpts of scripture pulled out of context to support their preconceived ideas.
    • Dec 13 2011: Strictly speaking of christendom: Didn't Jesus say at Matthew 23:10, "Neither be called ‘leaders,’ for YOUR Leader is one, the Christ".

      When we see humans as our leaders, we are looking at someone like ourselves, imperfect.

      The men or women taking the lead in organized religion, should be more of fascilitators. They should strive to help others have an "ever-expanding relationship" with God, like Mr. Van Oosterhout mentions.

      In this way, every one builds up one another and are all brothers and sisters, having only one leader: Christ. We should never expect perfection of others, especially of those taking the lead. Theirs is a challenging responsibility. We should all have a spirit of cooperation.

      That is my humble point of view, and also what I truly believe.
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        Dec 13 2011: Mary wrote "Strictly speaking of christendom: Didn't Jesus say at Matthew 23:10, "Neither be called ‘leaders,’ for YOUR Leader is one, the Christ""

        I find it quite illuminating to use the word "love" instead of Jesus when reading the gospels. (God is love and Jesus is the personification of love) In that way, MT 23:10 implies that love becomes our leader. Following love can transform our lives and our world.
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        Dec 15 2011: Hi Mary,

        The word that has been translated as "leader" in the KJV (and others) is the Greek word "kathēgētai." It actually means "guide" ... loosely "teacher." And of course, the word "Christ" (Christos from chrió) means "the anointed one."
        • Dec 15 2011: Hi Thomas,

          Thank you, yes I am aware of the greek for leader.

          Here is something H.G.Wells said: "A man's greatness can be measured by "what he leaves to grow, and whether he started others to think along fresh lines with a vigor that persisted after him.' Wells, although not claiming to be a Christian, acknowledged: "By this test Jesus stands first."

          The congregation I attend has those who take the lead in imitating Jesus, and so we can follow their lead. But we do not have a paid clergy, or collect tithe. We consider our only leader, teacher, guide, to be the Christ. We are all Christ's fellow workers, and motivated by love cooperate in fulfilling our Cristian ministry.....the proclamation of the good news of God's kingdom. We do this through a worldwide Bible educational work.

          Thanks for your comment Thomas
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        Dec 18 2011: It seems very democratic. I think the individualistic idea of salvation is true. However, how do you power movement, infrastructure, etc?

        I am curious but more interested upon how your congregation works.
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      Dec 14 2011: Hi Bob,

      Thanks for the heads up. I had not seen this post. I'll give it some thought and get back to you. I agree vision and passion are elements of leadership but my initial reaction is there are probably more I might like to include. Competence for example.
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      Dec 15 2011: Hi Bob,

      If "God" is a creation of leaders (and followers) here are some of the attributes of a "good" leader/manager.

      [I don't have much time so I've copied this from my training notes.]

      Top 10 Soft Skills for Leaders and Managers

      1. Strong Work Ethic. Are you motivated and dedicated to getting the job done, no matter what? Will you be conscientious and do your best work?

      2. Positive Attitude. Are you optimistic and upbeat? Will you generate good energy and good will?

      3. Good Communication Skills. Are you both verbally articulate and a good listener? Can you make your case and express your needs in a way that builds bridges with colleagues, customers and vendors?

      4. Time Management Abilities. Do you know how to prioritize tasks and work on a number of different projects at once? Will you use your time on the job wisely?

      5. Problem-Solving Skills. Are you resourceful and able to creatively solve problems that will inevitably arise? Will you take ownership of problems or leave them for someone else?

      6. Acting as a Team Player. Will you work well in groups and teams? Will you be cooperative and take a leadership role when appropriate?

      7. Self-Confidence. Do you truly believe you can do the job? Will you project a sense of calm and inspire confidence in others? Will you have the courage to ask questions that need to be asked and to freely contribute your ideas?

      8. Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism. Will you be able to handle criticism? Are you coachable and open to learning and growing as a person and as a professional?

      9. Flexibility/Adaptability. Are you able to adapt to new situations and challenges? Will you embrace change and be open to new ideas?

      10. Working Well Under Pressure. Can you handle the stress that accompanies deadlines and crises? Will you be able to do your best work and come through in a pinch?
      ---

      I'm going to open a new conversation on leadership.
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      Dec 15 2011: Hi Bob,

      I've opened a new conversation on leadership.
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    Nov 27 2011: I believe Douglas Adams once said that "Man created god so that he could look at the wonders of heaven and earth, and see... himself"
    • Dec 1 2011: Love it!
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      Dec 11 2011: Why do you think mankind needed that? Do we still need such way of thinking today? Why?
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        Dec 12 2011: Wouldn't it be great if the thing that created all this, looked and thought exactly like I do, and wanted me to do, exactly what I already want to do?

        It's a joke about male ego, and human narcissism. I think there is some truth to it though. Why do we need to believe it? We don't, it makes us feel good. People are crazy violent douchebags when you try to take it away from them though... Partially, because it feels so good to believe. Bet you can't talk to an omnipotent being that loves you, just once.
  • Nov 30 2011: I am an atheist, sorry to ruin the party! If I were to believe a God it would be one of two things.

    1) Me
    A)I create myself in my(God's) image
    B)I create my own "supernatural", or "miracles".
    C)Heaven means to be one with yourself--When I die, if I forgive myself for all the bad things I have done(sins) I will be accepted into heaven. My own safe haven.

    2)Energy
    A)Energy cannot be created or destroyed
    B)Energy is a manifest in everything (spirit)
    C)Energy is what created the Universe, and Energy will be the same thing that destroys it
    D)Positive Energy (God and his angels) is/are more powerful than Negative Energy (Satan)

    I was a Christian for my life until I stepped outside of it and saw how ridiculous it was. Maybe you all should do the same!
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      Dec 3 2011: Hi Blake,
      I don't give myself a label, but I agree that god, soul, spirit, and many other symbolic words try to describe the energy that fuels us.

      I experienced an NDE/OBE (near death experience) years ago, and I did not meet a god. I met energy beings, which is what I percieved myself to be as well. I'm not saying there is no god, and I am open to the possiblity, but my experience showed me that we are energy beings.

      Re: C)Heaven means to be one with yourself--When I die, if I forgive myself for all the bad things I have done(sins) I will be accepted into heaven. My own safe haven.

      With an evaluation or re-play of my life, I experienced my "self" as the judge and jury of how I had lived my life, so I agree with your statement very much:>)

      Are you aware of the core meaning of the word sin? It means "missing the mark", or "missing the target". I believe that was how it was used when originally written. Over the years, with translations made by people who wanted to control other people, the word was given a different meaning.

      I believe life is an exploration, and when we miss the mark, we have many opportunities to try, try, try again to hit the target. The "target", in my humble opinion, is creating our own "miracles", finding our own safe haven, realizing that our energy is all connected and manifest in everything:>)

      Very well said Blake:>)
      • Dec 3 2011: Hi, Colleen !
        Thank you very much for the " core meaning of the word sin". The meaning "missing the mark" more appeals to my understanding of the attitude of a loving parent to his unfocused child ! It is not judgemental, sounds like ;Sorry, try again ! And in the deeper sense "missing the target" is very disappointing for the performer in the first place and should arise the feeling of pity and desire to help not to punish.I think it puts everything on its right place. But you know in the dictionary one can find something like this :
        "any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse,etc.; great fault or offense "
        Could you elaborate on the etymology of the word or any link where I can read about the prior meaning ?

        Thank you !
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          Dec 3 2011: Hi Natasha,
          I learned this years ago, and do not remember the source.
          However, you can Google..."What is the origin and meaning of the word sin"
      • Dec 3 2011: Thanks Colleen !
        http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081006132647AAhrszt
        I've found it already!
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          Dec 7 2011: Hi Natasha,
          The root meaning of sin appeals to me a lot more too, and it seems more in keeping with the way a loving god might "guide" us, rather than with fear of an eternity suffering in hell. That has never made any sense to me even as a child.

          Thanks for providing the link...I'm not good at transfering links:>(
      • Dec 8 2011: Hi, Colleen ! Thank you !
        The new/old meaning of the word helps me to realise that it is a 'sin' to name the God, whatever the name. Because doing so we are under the risck to 'miss the target'.
        It creates religions, institutions and takes us away from sacred teachings, people start to sing in groups and forget about the song, about the God !
  • Dec 13 2011: Can't God just be you? Ask any question of God and you can relate it directly to yourself.
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    Dec 8 2011: I practice ignosticism when answering these questions... Usually the point of being ignostic is to ask questions prior to understanding another persons interpretation of philosophy, religions and belief systems.

    *Do you Believe in GOD?
    Depends on the definition of God. God could mean "a force," "a path," "omni-being," and/or "experience."
    So, in proceeding order - yes, yes, depends, and yes

    *Why? Why NOT?
    Because I like to keep my options open, and if "actions follow words" why shut doors on subjects that cannot be proven either way?

    *Why is there the word "GOD"?
    Words are created to represent ideas. You can ask this question for any word. Interestingly enough, God is a relatively new word compared to "religion" and "worship."

    *Who is HE for you?
    IF the omni-being does exist in the form of Judeo-Christian perspective, what makes you really think "he" has a sex? IF you are asking more abstractly than that, why do you assume God is male? Men decide the X or Y, but women carry the XY or YY.

    *Is God just a socio-cultural concept?
    Why ask questions that are obvious? If it wasn't, there wouldn't be different religions.

    *What makes him a God to you?
    Ridiculous question, I see no way an Abrahamic practitioner could answer this without trapping themselves. To imply that your God is "a God" would be implying there are others in the same respect, which is not the case.

    *Why do different CULTURES HAVE GOD in their list of WORDS even though there is diversity?
    Is this seriously a question? How is this not the same as the other question?

    *How should an intelligent man deal with the word GOD?
    By learning about the brain when it is experiencing "God" and not by asking a series of ill-researched questions.
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      Dec 8 2011: Nicholas,

      Here's the thing: Your response seems well thought out (I skimmed it) BUT, personally, I don't feel inclined to participate in this conversation anymore because there is a good chance TED admin will deem a comment - or a number of comments - off topic and delete it/them.

      ---

      I will post this:

      QUOTE: "*How should an intelligent man deal with the word GOD?
      By learning about the brain when it is experiencing "God" and not by asking a series of ill-researched questions."

      "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; 
The proper study of Mankind is Man." – Alexander Pope

      And:

      Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed. The living images become only remote facts of a distant time or sky. Furthermore, it is never difficult to demonstrate that as science and history, mythology is absurd. When a civilization begins to reinterpret its mythology in this way, the life goes out of it, temples become museums, and the link between the two perspectives becomes dissolved. – Joseph Campbell

      ---

      The second quote leads one to conclude the study of "God" does not have to be based only on empirical science (for example, neurobiology.)
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        Dec 8 2011: I shouldn't have used "brain" and went with mind.

        The mind of "God" holds no bounds in science, philosophy, religion and/or in an any one individual.

        The mind of "God" is achieved or experienced when euphoria is achieved in active relations to another. Many claim this high level of positive emotions, a lot of things, but you are right, there is no empirical diction for such things. However, this all makes me believe that asking a series of God questions out of context teaches nothing.

        The fact you are able to quote a Roman Catholic Official - proves that last statement all the more true.

        Kabbalah has long before Christianity considered that God is apart of the mind and no separate deity, as well as a separate deity. Contradictions are easily performed involving superficiality of communicating ideas - NEEDING words.

        I stand by what I say and I feel I could of achieved such an answer without science, I just should of said mind. But that's because I believe the mind vs. body (brain) argument is misled.
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    Dec 3 2011: I don't believe god is a who. God is a word that represents many concepts, core to humans, to our understanding of the world and how it has come to be, and the concept that certain questions have answers very tough to identify so god is the answer to those thought patterns that haven't found a more satisfactory ending.

    Different cultures have gods because human nature has core problems with justice, empathy, guilt, and prime source that are common to us all. Spirituality is also common to us all and shows itself in gratitude, commitment, acceptance and c
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    Dec 3 2011: WHO IS GOD?

    Should we ask it, this is a question we have to answer for ourselves.
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    Dec 3 2011: Not Who, but WHAT is GOD?
    The 'who' trips human's into thinking it's a being like them, NO I don't believe that.
    I believe that she is Nature and the 13 Billion years of evolution that created this once garden planet which human's are rapidly turning into HELL.
    That is the critical message religion should focus upon, not some image of Christ on a crutch.
    Jung said, 'enlightenment is not about imaging figures of light, but about making the darkness consciousness'.
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      Dec 11 2011: I see... Wow. So, if God is nature itself that could possibly mean that nature must have created itself thereby becoming a huge organism consisting of many living things. Do you think nature will eventually die? Why?
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    Nov 28 2011: There is only one god called (Allah)

    Look at yourself, persons around you, animals, plants, the sky, seas & oceans, the earth, our planet, the solar system and the planets, and bigger of that the milky way, and then look to others galaxies.
    All of that is evidence of presence of one god who created all of that & also another creatures in accurate way,
    Allah is bigger than all of that and every thing you can imagine.

    I love Allah who creates me and gave me the most beautiful gift at all which is Islam.
    Islam organize my life and having all the answers of all questions you and every one ask about.

    My advice to you is to read about this religion and the holly book Quraan and think about it, then ask your question to yourself again and see what your answers about all the questions in your mind will be. ^_^
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      Nov 28 2011: Really... Islam has all the answers? It's teachings haven't worked out very well for it's believers over the centuries... There is beauty and truth in all religions, but to say that the one that is superior to all, also happens to be the one whose followers currently suffer the most poverty and war... is, verifiably inaccurate.
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        Nov 28 2011: Dear David, Islam is complementary to the previous religions, you are right to say there is beauty & truth in all religions, but you must know that Islam order us to respect all the previous religions as all religions' prophets was having the same message to people ( to guide them to think & reach to the truth of presence of one God ''Allah'' )

        The poverty and war are result of wrong political thoughts & decisions of presidents, our Islamic countries begin to change, and whenever there is a good president, we will get rid of poverty,
        and for the wars, Islam call for peace & the war only for self defending.

        sorry David, I want to say it again Islam has all the answers, JUST read in it and then make your own decisions about it , read in it before Judging about it. ^_^

        Thanks, :)
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          Nov 28 2011: What you mean by "all answers"?
          What was the answer say to cancer 100 years back from now from Islam?
          What is the current answer of Islam to same cancer now as medical science yet to find good answer for it?
          In 100 Years there were lot of development in treating cancer what was the contribution of Islam in this development?

          Can you please share from your knowledge of Islam?
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          Nov 28 2011: No judgement here Sally. What you say is actually very judgmental however, and I don't think you reallize it. "on god, called Allah"... So what if we call him something different? We're wrong?

          All previous religions had the same message, of guiding them to reach the truth of presence of one God Allah? You're literally patronizing every other religion here. You're saying "It's okay that you believe what you believed, we respect it, because it was designed to bring you to my way of thinking". That is so incredibly arrogant, it's exactly the same as if a Christian were to come up to you and say "It's okay you believed that nonsense, it was on your path to Christ"... You just have different words for the same thing, yet when you talk about your religions you use such absolutist terms, that you enrage people.

          Some Christians have the same problem, but if a Christian was to say to a Muslim, in America, or Europe "oh you just believed that on your way here", all the secular people, and most of the christians around that man would laugh at him. They would think the Christian saying that was a jerk, and a preachy asshole... It's not the same in the muslim world. Very few followers of Islam would call you out for doing the same thing to me.

          Also... I'm sorry... but you're a woman right? The answer to infidelity, and a lack of modesty is stoning? That's the perfect answer? We haven't evolved at all? We can't do any better than that? I'll admit there's a happy middle ground between stoning the whore, and making Paris Hilton famous... but can't you? Don't you practically have to soften the message of Islam to continue to believe in it nowadays?

          You can't mean that a literal translation of the Quraan is the best blueprint human kind has for how to live a noble life? Can you? It's a dark book, unless you have somebody to walk you through interpretations... It's like the old testament, a few pages in I think god's evil.
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        Nov 28 2011: Two basic things:Never judge a religion by its people. Many people are born muslim/ christian/ jew ...etc but not all of them follow their religions.
        Secondly, the people of a particular religion may be in the worst conditions for many reasons. This can be because of the religion itself, or maybe others are fighting the truth. Don't forget the media which may be very biased, and have the ability to alter thoughts. Another thing is that some people may do bad things and cause communities to carry false thoughts about their religion, when they actually do not represent the religion. This may be even worse: when others do crimes and some organizations claim that they are responsible for it -when they have nothing to do with it. An example of this is Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. They claimed that they attacked the most sensitive and protected places in the US and the world. But when you look carefully, you find that those people ride on top of the tanks they gain during attacks instead of sitting inside with maximum protection! I don't think it is possible for them to be responsible of the attack. That was the lie of the history, a lie that changed out thoughts, politics, and view to muslims and Islam.


        To find the truth, read alot about all religions and compare. You will reach the truth if you seek it. Use your brain and senses, that is why you have them .
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          Nov 28 2011: There is not a word of judgment in what I write, there is loads of judgment in the writing of Sally Ali. I am simply stating a verifiable fact, that if Islam is the one true religion, and there is an all knowing, all powerful god, that created Islam to make peolpe happy, than things would be going better for faithful Islamic people. To continue to believe the hypothesis, that it is perfect, and it has ALL the answers, after what I believe is over a millenia of war and bloodshed, to no end... is verifiably inaccurate. It's a bad hypothesis, and it should be discarded.

          I did not say, that Islam is not capable of being interpreted as a beautiful faith. There is no judgement, only an appeal to reason.
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          Nov 28 2011: Science Rocks,
          In case you do not feel like reading everything I said I'll give you this link right now: http://virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com/2007/01/03/thomas-jefferson-and-islam/

          there are other links as well but long story short how we view Islam in the U.S. is really nothing new. The founding fathers had the same perception because of what Jefferson read in the Qu'Ran and the attacks that were going on in the U.S. from Muslims. (Yes, Muslims were actually slaves back in those days as well)

          Now, I understand what your saying but as David stated, there really is no judgment about, in this case Islam.

          For example: If I was to see a christian stoning another individual and his community because they did not believe in god or they worshiped other gods and I was to state that Christianity is not a religion of peace, this would not be a bias judgement or misinformed perspective of Christianity but simply a fact of Christianity since the bible does talk about stoning individuals or communities for such reasons (Deuteronomy 17:3)

          This is what gets me: I understand that we should modify, be more liberal and focus on the good aspects of the bible. But while doing so, when bad things that are done in the name of religion and are justified by a religious text, they are thought to be a misrepresentation of that religion or just sheer propaganda. This creates a double standard which is: If good things happen in peoples lives or in their religion it is thought that the bible is such a great book written by the creator of the universe but if bad things happen then to people because of religion then god had no part in writing such a book, although the good things came out of the same book...

          I do agree that the media does distort the information that the public receives, there is no denying that but all because someone points out the bad aspects of another religion, why they claim it to be pure and just, does not mean they are distorting the information as well
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        Nov 28 2011: OK, firstly, Iam sorry for not showing what I meant by saying ( has the all answer), I meant all the answers for the questions Goldmark anthony had asked about.

        The holly book Quraan is guidance for people, putting a general frame for living, order us to walk on the earth and learn, so it order us learning not promising to introduce the science itslef to us.

        I didn't judge David at all, I said read in it and then make your own decision, you said it isn't accurate religion so you judged on it not me.

        Allah isn't the only name there are many names describes Allah you can search Google up and know them.

        I agree with you science rocks, I wanted to say what you said but I unfortunately find some difficulty in expressing in English ^_^

        Finally, I want to apologize if my words appeared tough ^_^, but this is because my weak English, Sorry again and I'm really happy to speak to you all.
        Thanks, :)
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          Nov 28 2011: Hey, we are all human no on is perfect

          I do not know you so I tried my best to not make a judgement in regards to you and simply talk about the religion (so if i came off as if I was attacking you, my apologies as well). I have had many people tell me I'm going to hell, that I'm morally bankrupt all because I do not believe in what they believe in. Such statement are not even thought to be bad by many people because they are using religious language. If I was to say the same thing about them but in a non religious way I would have been thought to be a jerk. To be honest with you, such statements are indeed uncomfortable to hear. It does have its affects and at times can sting.

          I simply think its about time where we can really be intellectually honest in what we say. I understand that the Qu'ran is a book for guidance, providing a general frame of living, to walk and learn from your experiences. These are great things but this is really separate from an existence of god. Religious values can serve as a lifestyle but to add all the other metaphysics to it I think is a step to far and then to state that people are going to be punished for it is really forlorn (I am aware that this is not what you stated so this is not directed at you).

          for what its worth apology accepted
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          Nov 29 2011: No reason to apologize to me Sally... I get genuinely confused sometimes, and I really wanted to learn more. Honestly, more and more, I think most of our problems, as cultures are related to language. I was thinking this when I replied to you and I should have said it, but...

          There is one god called Allah.
          and I believe in one god, we call Allah... are two entirely different sentences. One sounds like "I know, you don't, and it's called this"... One sounds like "We call him Allah, call him what you want, the idea that there is genuine purpose and beauty in the universe, god, whatever". I genuinely thought it was a language gap, and I'm very happy to hear you clarify that.

          I think often Christians and Muslims do the same thing. They have these phrases they all say, that sound completely honest, and kind, and genuine to them, but to the non believer, it inspires "Hey! What do you mean by that?"... I really think this is the cause of so much of our hatred in modern times, and we need to rise above it.

          I really hope that Islam inpires you and makes you a happy person... I really didn't mean to judge, I truly believe this language barrier causes lots of tension, and I wanted to talk about it. I have special sensitivity to this, because I feel the exact same way when Christians say to me "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?", as when muslims say "Allah, is the one and only true god"... I'm just like "What do you mean by that? Do you really think you're better than everyone else? Ghandi's got nothing on you because of your religion?"

          I feel like saying "show a little humillity". Horribly ironic thing for an American to say nowadays. We could use some modesty and humillity over here ; p

          Pleasure talking to you, if I offended you, I truly apologize as well... I'm harsh. I don't like to dance around things. I very much appreciate you responding.
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        Nov 28 2011: Hi Orlando.

        Sometimes there is no way to settle an argument. I am not religious but i have two brothers who are christian pastors. We've been down this road many many times.

        There is an analogy we agreed on: There is a map of the usa, and within it we can focus on texas (of all states, why texas?, well, i like texas style bbq, that's why)

        Anyway, for me, the usa represents the human population, and texas represents the part of the human population that believes in the god of the bible.

        For him, the usa represents the people created by the god of christianity, and texas represents the portion who have realized the truth and practice christianity

        The same argument has been stated for christians vs catholics, catholics vs jews, christians vs. muslims, etc etc etc

        If there is no way to agree in the usa and texas, then at least we need to be able to recognize the other's point of view.

        In either case, don't mess with texas!

        cheers
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          Nov 28 2011: Andres,

          You make a great point but my intentions was not to stur up a debate since that would have diverted from the original question.

          I do believe though that it is time that such views about the world should be questioned. When it comes to religious debates, I tend not to come to a conclusion and just question what the other person(s) is saying, if it does indeed seem untrue..but I would also want to point out that I would hope that others treat my views the same way. If I say something that does not seem right, question it. I would gladly accept that.

          I do understand the Sally's point of view but with such a view comes many other beliefs and worldviews (infidels suffering, jihad, Qu'ran being the perfect word of the creator, great hygiene, family values, etc). these are things that should really but put into question.

          But in the end, Sally can believe what Sally wants as long as it does not harm others
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          Dec 11 2011: Tolerance?
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    Nov 28 2011: God is good. Just follow what feels good and God will be present in your life.
    It is symbolic for our ideal to restore love, harmony and beauty.

    As different cultures over the world originated they developed each their own intimate story about the sustaining force within their community and referred to it with their own name for God.

    With the conquest of Alexander the Great and later with the Roman Empire people from all different cultures brought with them their own description of God and then it looked like there were many. Politicians and dictators could claim one or another God to authorize their might and justice. By this, God was placed outside humanity and with it their responsibility for the good and harmony and transferred to that authority of state that presented God on earth and to which all people became subject to be controlled and ruled.

    After the collapse of the Roman Empire this mode of thinking and ruling had spread all over Europe and the Middle East and was adopted by new leaders to rule and fight each other. The one true God was used to mobilize the people and defend the interests of their ruling class. God was the mean for the mighty to oppress the people and justify their acts.
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      Dec 11 2011: If a God is a social symbol, why do rich cultures forget about God? How does the social concept change in the cultures?
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        Dec 12 2011: Social means community.
        Maybe you're not familiar with the Bible but somewhere Moses blames the people for worshipping the golden calf and Jesus says in lateron that one cannot serve two masters. Both events indicate that people are apt to swap their God for goods, the good for gold and that this will break the unity of any community.
        When everyone serves his own greed for wealth along the rules of society it isn't a community anymore.

        At first the law was of God and when emperors and kings took over in the name of God they made the law. So at first the law was for all people and then the law could serve the rulers and lawmakers.

        Modern societies can't be seen as cultures anymore in the original sense. At best it can be seen a mosaic of many cultures divided by the power of money.
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    Nov 27 2011: First , can you tell why the pronoun HE came in your mind?

    Many discussion already there on this here in TED .... .......
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      Dec 8 2011: Excellent point Salim !! A quite unfortunate deficiency of language.
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    Dec 27 2011: Do I believe in God? Of course, how can anyone not believe in God? God is as important a concept as the Ego, and I assume we believe in that. No one knows who first thought of the psychological construct "God", but it was brilliant when it happened many thousands of years ago. Although it was earlier used mainly to induce fear and obedience (Old Testament), after the ministry of Jesus, Paul the apostle massaged the concept into a "God of love," more palatable for the gentiles. So today God is used mainly to give comfort and hope, in line with modern needs.

    While I don't actually use the concept myself, God is incredibly real for the hundreds of millions who appear to need what "He" can offer. It is certainly one of the most active and vital ideas in play today, for better or worse. One would have to be a fool not to believe in that.
  • Dec 19 2011: God represents everything we do not know and cannot control. Once the knowledge and control of a object or situation is mastered god always seems to take a back seat.
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    Dec 13 2011: Who is God?

    Simple answer: God is love.

    Try changing the word "God" to "love":
    "Do you believe in love? Why is there the word love? Is love just a socio-cultural concept?..."

    I believe love is the essence of who we are and the purpose and focus of life. It is the path to peace and the road to fulfillment.
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    Dec 13 2011: God means Great Ok Definition, the all Mighty!
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    Dec 12 2011: Hello,

    I think that the two television series, Star Trek the Next Generation, and Stargate SG-1 do a very nice job with regard to covering Who God Is. They bridge together Science and Religion and include people (and aliens) of all faiths.
    I know that American's tend to consume too much, and not produce enough, but the above two television series are worth consuming!
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    Dec 11 2011: (paraphrased)
    Why are you a theist or an atheist? State your reasons.

    God?( etimology, history, etc.)

    God----connection----You( is there a relationship? should there be? logical/rational?)

    What makes God a God?

    Similarities in defining God.

    Differences in defining God.

    How(action) man deal with the word God.
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    Dec 7 2011: Hi Thomas

    I like your style; you only get 'mildly irritated'. I've been knocking around this site for a few years now, & I've been deleted quite often. However; all things considered, it is a pretty well run site compared with most. Right, back on topic!

    If you define God as that which is adored & generally looked to to solve all our problems; what/who do you think that would be today ? I would say MONEY. Almost everybody is chasing the dream of a Lottery Win, or some other means of becoming rich. The theory being that if they become rich they will become happy. We give bank 'carte blanch' ; & then when they go bust, we give them wads more money to waste. Here in the UK it must be one of our biggest industries; & what does it produce; absolutely zilch.

    So my contention is that today's God is money; & we are laying our children's future at it's feet.

    :-)
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    Dec 6 2011: hi Corvida , i belive on God
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    Dec 5 2011: Goldmark:


    Although there are many interpretations of the word “God”, the fact that you phrased your question with the word “Who” indicates that you are referring to the anthropomorphic version. Furthermore, since you are referring to God in the singular, I’ll further assume you are referring to the monotheistic variety.

    So, in answer to your question, I’d say the God you are referring to is a mental construction used by humans to relate to the infinite totality of existence (which is one). Since the human brain is finite it is useful to utilize metaphors, such as a personified deity, to relate to the infinite, of which we are a part.

    Does this agree with your understanding of the word? If not, where do you think I’ve gone wrong?
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      Dec 11 2011: I used the word who because my present background speaks of such. I do agree to your perception of my thoughts. However, the word who should not delimit the discussions. I would like to hear more from you.
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        Dec 13 2011: Since you ask to expand on the idea perhaps we should consider the evolution of god(s). In all early forms that I’m aware of there was not one, but many gods. A god of the sun, a god of the wind, and so on. Humans, being sentient beings, tend to project our way of being onto the outside world. We hear a russeling in the leaves and think there is some animal out there. If it turns out to be merely the wind, well, the wind must have a mind as well. In time we realized that this multitude of gods were really just one. All phenomena seemed to lead back to a single source. In time, perhaps, we will become intellectually evolved enough not to need archaic manuscripts and possessed prophets to understand the truth. Some day, I expect, we will no longer need the word GOD and will appreciate the beauty of the one without needing the metaphor.

        It is said that Galileo thought that nature is the book of God, written in the language of mathematics and science is its priestcraft.
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    Dec 5 2011: P E A C E.
  • Dec 5 2011: God is a title. Which God do I worship? Who is my God? The Creator. He is one. He is not a mysterious trinity. He has a personal name. He is love. He is a real being, not a concept. He is approachable. He is abundant in loving kindness. He gives wisdom and discernment to those asking for it. He is patient and kind. He is the Hearer of Prayer.

    He has given us two books to learn about him. One is creation, the other the holy scriptures.

    During the thousands of years of mankind's history, man's search for God has led down many pathways. The result has been the enormous diversity of religious expression found throughout - from the endless variety of Hinduism to the monotheism of Judaism, Islam, and Christendom and the Oriental philosophies of Shinto, Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. In other vast regions, mankind has turned to animism, magic, spiritism, and shamanism. Has this search for God been successful? Can you see unity among religious people? Is there a group of people on the earth today who live in peace because they have found THE God, the Creator? Do they in turn try to share their knowledge with others worldwide? Are they working tirelessly to reach people of all nations with the good news of God's kingdom, like God's son did 2,000 years ago? Are they willing to die for their beliefs?

    Regardless of your religious background, it behoofs each one of us to search for the true God. Love is the identifying mark of every true Christian.

    Who is God.....a god can be anyone or anything........Who is the true God......that is a different question altogether.

    "We are all theologians. The question is whether what we know about God is true." J. Harris
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      Dec 11 2011: Is it not LOVE a concept? How does God become a being?

      WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT GOD?
      • Dec 11 2011: I'm really not sure what kind of answer you are looking for?
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          Dec 18 2011: I know. I am not sure either. Peace.
          I do not want to limit the discussion. I am just here to learn.
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    Dec 3 2011: Thomas Jones wrote "WHO IS GOD?

    Should we ask it, this is a question we have to answer for ourselves."

    Excellent point Thomas! I believe each person needs to discover who God is for him/herself. God resides in each of our hearts and we live an effective and fulfilling life to the extent that we receive his love and share it with others. Ideally religion would help us to do this but many religious leaders tell us we must believe their limited vision of who they think God is.
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      Dec 11 2011: Why do you think religious leaders do so? So, what could be done?
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        Dec 11 2011: My best guess would be ego - which is the source of much evil in my opinion.. Religious leaders would seem to be particularly vulnerable to the temptation that they somehow know God better than the rest of us.
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          Dec 12 2011: [Bob, this is for Pierre but there's no reply button on his post.]

          QUOTE: "You can't teach people to be interactive, proactive and self-reliant, though, it is a good intent to have. :)"

          Hi Pierre,

          Well, it is true, some people are not particularly "teachable," I can say from experience it is possible to successfully teach people to be interactive, proactive and self-reliant. (I do it "all the time.")

          What makes you think it's not?

          QUOTE: "Can you yourself conceive an different system? :)"

          Yes, of course: an interactive, proactive, and collaborative system based on shared, mutual objectives and individual and collective responsibility.

          It works very well - much better, in my observation, than the traditional command and control cultures that are based on a military model.

          ----

          Whenever it is obvious that the order arises from the situation, the question of someone commanding and someone obeying does not come up. Both accept what the situation demands. Our chief problem then is not how to get people to obey orders, but how to devise methods by which we can best discover what the order shall be. When that is found the employee could issue direction to the employer as well as employer to employee. – Mary Parker Follett
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        Dec 12 2011: Leadership and followership are interesting processes. I think they go well beyond the confines of religion. Leaders within religions are just one manifestation of, what appears to be, a universal human dynamic.

        I often encounter leadership issues. Most of you know, I have been involved in training people all over the world. One of the BIGGEST challenges I have faced as a trainer is the expectation that I will be "a leader."

        My role is, at most to educate and to facilitate. My expectation is that the people I train will "lead themselves." (Although I do not use the word "lead" - the intention is they will become interactive, proactive, and self-reliant.)

        In the corporate setting, it is common to find executives who expect to be "obeyed," and staff who expect to be "directed." And there are people who, while feeding into and supporting this system, simultaneously complain and rebel against it.

        In the volunteer sector, it is common for people to expect to be "told what to do."

        (There are lots of exceptions.)

        However, when presented with an opportunity to "create" a different, better culture, it is also common for people operating within a system they hate, to react with defensiveness, fear and anger.

        It's as if we hate the system we have but cannot conceive of another and feel frightened if the system we know is threatened ... even hypothetically.

        I would love to find out more about the psychology (not the practice) of leadership and of followership.

        If anyone has any input or references, I'd be grateful to hear from you.

        ---
        EDIT: To keep this "on topic" ... I think our tendency to look for leaders is one of the reasons we create Gods. We believe we need an "ultimate" leader. So the answer to the question, "Who is God?" might be, "An imagined being who fulfills our perceived need for a leader."
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          Dec 12 2011: Hi Thomas,
          Not everyone can share your view. It is to outlandish for the world they know.
          I think people have to be given back their responsibilities and all will benefit from it.

          A few days ago I heard a German philosopher, Peter Sloterdijk, argue that tax should be voluntarily paid. At first some will pay nothing but after some time everybody will happily contribute and even more than now. They could even become proud of it and start to show off by their contributions for society. A bit like the old Romans that built ever more and better temples for the people to show their prestige.

          @Pierre

          It will be hard to teach people to take responsibilities and to be self-reliant if they have been conditioned many years to depend on authority. It is possible though and if children are brought up differently and aware of themselves as respectable contributors of society a much better world will rise. Leadership is for those that want to control out of fear and cannot put trust in anyone.
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          Dec 12 2011: Hi Thomas, This also is in response to Pierre, and your reply to him, neither of which has a reply button.

          Pierre wrote ""You can't teach people to be interactive, proactive and self-reliant, though, it is a good intent to have"

          I facilitated a program that helped hundreds of people in poverty discover their capacity to be interactive, proactive and self-reliant over a period of 8 years. You can view a program description and training manual at http://bobvanoosterhout.com/id3.html

          TO TED MONITORS: Although this may appear to be "off topic" regarding the question "Who is God," I would argue that it is clearly relevant when viewed from the perspective that God resides in each one of us. We cannot be "led" to God because he is already in our hearts. Religious leaders tend to take us in different directions, many of which have nothing to do with heart. Regarding Christianity, Jesus never really took on a role of leadership, He simply opened his heart and people naturally followed.
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          Dec 13 2011: Hi Thomas

          You wrote "I would love to find out more about the psychology (not the practice) of leadership and of followership"

          I posted a response suggesting that the principles of effective leadership were vision and passion at the first level to allow for more discussion. This is a summary that only recently became clear to me. I look forward to your feedback, especially as it relates to leadership toward God.

          (A problem with the structure of the forums is that new responses can be quickly moved down the list and responses to responses don't allow for continuing discussion) I wish there were a 3 dimensional way of doing this.
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        Dec 12 2011: [Goldmark, this is for Pierre ... there is no reply button on his post.]

        Hi Pierre,

        I am not sure what you mean by "the leadership model" or what you mean by it being "the only" model.

        If you are implying that, at any given moment, a person might be able to provide guidance, then yes, leadership is fairly universal.

        If you are implying "a single leader" must always be "the one" to do this and that the followers must always follow, then we are not in agreement.

        There are many other models. The image of a single leader with a group of followers is widespread but it is now considered to be one of the least efficient methods of organizing and optimizing human "capital." That is not to say it is not pervasive. It is. But other, newer models are seen as much more effective.

        I see collaboration as more effective than leadership (and I don't mean theoretically, I mean in practice.)
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        Dec 13 2011: Hi Pierre,

        I primarily teach "soft skills" and train people to work together and apply their collective strengths to achieve whatever it is they want to do. In practice, that means how I work with volunteers might be different than how I work with corporations; and how I work with one corporation or organization might be different than how I work with another similar enterprise.

        Each group is unique and requires a unique approach.

        ---

        It is only one of the things I do. I also "build companies from scratch." The skills required for both are complimentary.
    • Dec 11 2011: @Mr. Van Oosterhout...assuming you are talking about christendom's religions here in the US I will say:

      I agree that ego plays a big role. One pastor over an entire congregation of spiritually hungry, devout, sincere people....... why, it's enough incentive to even have the nerve to demand 10% of their earnings weekly.
      I'll share with you and Mr. Indico something else I have observed. Religious leaders who say what the people want to hear.....they "tickle the ears" of their perishioners knowing full well that his livelihood is in their hands.
      They, the churches of christendom, are happy for people to just believe....without regard to what they believe. There are bumper stickers, wooden signs, jewelry and stationary with the logo..."Believe"......

      So I really don't think it's a matter of simply telling people what to believe, at least not everywhere, I think when push comes to shove, money talks....Why do churches charge for marrying people? Why do they charge to give a funeral talk? It's all about money. I have many friends who have turned their backs on religion because of the hypocracy of their religious leader.....because their leader was a man.....they put their faith and trust in another imperfect human.....how sad.

      I'll close with a quote I read in an article on papal indulgences:

      "When the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from pergatory springs".
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        Dec 12 2011: Mary Munoz wrote "They, the churches of christendom, are happy for people to just believe....without regard to what they believe. There are bumper stickers, wooden signs, jewelry and stationary with the logo..."Believe"..."

        They seem to interpret the term "believe" as a cognitive process rather than a commitment from the heart, which is how I interpret the message of the gospels.

        Regarding your other comment: I believe ego and greed are twins. One feeds the other.
        • Dec 12 2011: I'm sorry, just for clarification, you interpret belief as?? A cognitive process, or a commitment from the heart?
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        Dec 12 2011: Mary wrote "I'm sorry, just for clarification, you interpret belief as?? A cognitive process, or a commitment from the heart?"

        I understand the gospels as a message of love. Jesus was the personification of love. Everything he did can be seen as an expression of love. In that context, to "believe" in him is to commit to deepening our capacity for love. Many Christian leaders seem to interpret "belief' as "buy into" which makes it possible to call oneself a Christian while leading a life focused on ego, greed, and self-righteousness, which, in my understanding is precisely what Jesus condemned.

        I spent 3 years doing an in-depth analysis of the message of love in the gospels. An early draft can be viewed at http://bobvanoosterhout.com/id1.html
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        Dec 12 2011: Some Christians love to quote John 3:16, but few refer to the lines after that.

        "19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

        Bibles, Crossway (2011-02-09). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (Kindle Locations 41940-41941). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
        • Dec 12 2011: I agree with all that you have said. So, believe to you is a commitment from the heart?

          This is course comes after you have certain knowledge and understanding of scripture, I'm I right?

          Here is something interesting for you to consider. Many use John 3:16 like you mentioned. Did you know that although many versions of the scriptures use the expression "believe" when translating this verse to english, the original greek verb translated literally is "believe into", or to "exercise faith" in?

          Recognizing this one fact helps a sincere christian to have works befitting ones believes....now it's not just believing, but exercising that belief because of faith.

          I personally feel "believing" is a very general term, since one can believe without having faith. I prefer the expression "exercising faith".

          I have enjoyed reading your ideas. Thank you for answering my questions, and sharing your understanding.:)

          Talking to others about their faith and beliefs is one of the things I most enjoy....because it helps me understand others and how they think. We are all so unique.
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        Dec 12 2011: Mary wrote: "So, believe to you is a commitment from the heart?
        This is course comes after you have certain knowledge and understanding of scripture, I'm I right?"

        I have met a lot of people who seem to "believe from the heart" and have limited or no understanding of scripture. Some people (many religious leaders) have in depth knowledge of scripture without seeming to understand the message from the heart. I believe that opening our heart is the essence of our nature but something that also must be consciously chosen. Scripture can help us to strengthen that choice and deepen our understanding of the importance of opening our hearts but, in my mind, is not a prerequisite.
        • Dec 13 2011: Mr. Van Oosterhout, it is true, sometimes scripture is not a prerequisite for believing.
          I know people who believe, without having knowledge, and I also know those who believe because they have acquired the knowledge.

          I am glad that we have scripture not only to appreciate the qualities of our creator, but to access principles for our every day life, and discern who today are living by the standards set out in scripture.

          You might find it interesting to read how the psalmist expresses himself at 119:73, 125, 130, 144, and 169. He calls for "understanding", to be able to exercise his knowledge correctly.

          That is, in my opinion, the humble attitide with which we should try to acquire in depth knowledge through the scriptures. We want the knowledge to motivate us from the heart to help our fellow man, to have empathy, to upbuild others with our words, and to provide a hope for the future, while enduring the trials of this system of things. That is what our exemplar did. He tried to help others to understand the surpassing way of love. He exposed the hypocracy of the religious leaders. He healed persons physically, emotionally. and spiritually. Today we do well to try to imitate him.

          We are imperfect humans, but we can, with a little understanding of the knowledge we acquire through scripture, have a powerful impact on those around us. Love has to be the motivating factor "...for he that loves his fellowman has fulfilled [the] law..." Romans 13:8b.

          Have a great day:)
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        Dec 13 2011: Mary wrote "You might find it interesting to read how the psalmist expresses himself at 119:73, 125, 130, 144, and 169. He calls for "understanding", to be able to exercise his knowledge correctly."

        "Understanding" is a much broader term than "knowledge." Understanding implies seeing things in a broader context over time and implies accepting the nature of what is real and what works. "Knowledge" can be obtained by accumulating a lot of facts. Understanding required patient interaction and observation.
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    Dec 1 2011: Hi Goldmark

    I believe that Jesus Christ is God, & creator of the universe. I believe the Bible is his message to us .

    Why do I believe this ?

    The bible is a historical document which can be verified by other historical documents. It is a prophetic document which can be verified by subsequent events. Although it is 66 books written by 40 authors, it reads like one cohesive book.

    When individuals follow Jesus their whole life can be turned around.

    The bible tells us that we are in rebellion against God & the normal reaction to the above statements bears this out.

    :-)
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          Dec 3 2011: The significance is that we are interconnected energy beings. I'm sure you've heard of ESP, collective consciousness, instinct and intuition. If you choose to call it "god", so be it:>)
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        Dec 3 2011: Hi Pierre

        We are all programmed with a conscience from God. He is our creator, & whether we believe in him or not, we instinctively know right from wrong. If we continue to do wrong in some area (I was into speeding for a while) then our conscience becomes weaker in that area.

        I am certainly not suggesting that Christians are more moral than Atheists, it's maybe just easier for us to get forgiven. :)

        :-)
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        Dec 3 2011: Hi Frans
        I can only leave you to your beliefs. If I come across as some kind of fanatic then I'm not doing very well. Sorry about that.

        Adultery causes untold grief & hardship. I think the idea is that no-one would do it, therefore no-one would get stoned.

        I know that the Isle of Man still birched people for anti-social behavior; at least until recently. Very few actually got birched; but it was a nice peaceful place to have a holiday.

        :-)
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          Dec 3 2011: You are making fun Peter, and it is better to laugh.
          You're a nice person and even more without you spreading your belief.
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      Dec 11 2011: Was it God who wrote the Bible? Or were they religious leaders?

      As we all know, every historian has his/her own biases.
      Do we have proof that the bible is not polluted with personal vested interests of past biblical leaders?
      how pure is the bible?

      WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
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        Dec 12 2011: Hi Goldmark

        The bible is a collection of 66 books written by approx. 40 authors over a period of 2 thousand years. It gives the history of the world from creation until it's demise, & recreation. It is split into an Old Testament & a New Testament. The OT follows the history of the Jews and importantly tells of a day when Jesus (God) will visit the planet in human form. The NT is basically the story of his coming & dying on a cross, returning to heaven for a while & coming again in power to rule. As a lot of it is history; both past, present, & future; it does open itself to factual scrutiny. Personally I am totally convinced, but in a minority on this site. However millions have & do believe it; & it's promise of eternal life.

        Yes it was written by men; however the way the books intertwine & support one another is amazing. I doubt that mankind could have made such a thing up. It has been damaged by the different translations, however only at the edges, & the keen student can delve into the ancient Hebrew (OT) & Greek (NT) to decide for him/her self. If God is who He claims to be, He could certainly guide the human writers & preserve His book. The Jews follow the OT as their 'Holy Book'; the Christians the OT + NT; and the Moslems the OT + the NT + the Koran. So a very large part of world faith is centered on the Bible. Most of the Cults & Sects use portions of it as well, so it must qualify as the most important book of faith ever written.

        TED has also censored me for talking about it; but I don't know how else to answer your question.

        :-)
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    Nov 29 2011: I should have started by linking Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce... A brilliant take on god... and spaghetti : p

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce.html
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    Nov 28 2011: It is known that no religion on earth comes even close to proving the existence of their god (and in the end, if it happens that one religion is indeed correct, I would state that this was by accident or coincidence)...

    anyhow this is my question: Even if such a being exist, why should this matter?
    If such a being does not exist why should this matter?

    Unless such a being is going to create world peace, spread compassion and decrease suffering (and get rid of capitalism) then I really do not care if such a being exist because as far as I can tell, when it comes to changing the world, spreading compassion, enjoying our moment to moment experiences of the world, this thing we call God, left us to do this by ourselves.
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      Dec 11 2011: "...this thing we call God, left us to do this by ourselves..."

      According to various Religions God is the creator, peace maker, forgiver, saviour...
      Why is it that you perceive God as such an opposite persona?
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        Dec 14 2011: Hopefully my comments wont get deleted but nonetheless I'll answer your questions

        To avoid playing semantics we first need to know what God we are talking about since there are thousands of them (your question only implies one).

        Your correct that in various religious traditions god is the creator, peace maker, forgiver, savior, etc

        Now you ask me why is it that I perceive God in another persona?

        To answer your question it is because in various religious traditions god is also imperialistic, condones slavery, jealous, sleep with other people's wives (Zeus), sacrifices ones own child, allow for people to die in his name, does not care about the well-being of the biotic communities of the planet, etc


        The persona of God goes both ways but with the countless suffering that goes on around the world, I have been compelled to believe that God can do nothing to alleviate this suffering or chooses not to.
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    Nov 28 2011: God is Dog looking in the mirror.
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      Dec 11 2011: Which literally means a pile of shit and lies. Uhm, can you please do state your reasons why?
  • Nov 28 2011: I'd put him up there somewhere along with Santa, James Bond, the easter bunny, Shiva and Harry Potter. But I do fancy the idea of having others believe in a deity whose will happens to go very well along with my personal wishes.
    • Dec 5 2011: I read a book called Half Broke horse. In it the writer calls Santa the patron saint of department stores.
      By the way I answered your question about truth in the conversation I started. TED removed it, I don't know if you got a chance to read it or not.

      Please email me if you want to continue talking about the truth I referred to.

      Mary
      PS. Funny how you seem to bring up Harry Potter once and again in your entries :)
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    Nov 27 2011: I think in the simplest terms god can be defined by faith that the purpose of life, exists outside the self. That there was cognitive intent in the creation of the universe, and that life should try and mirror that intent.

    If you don't believe in god, you believe that your life is your purpose, and that your intent creates your life. Faith in god, creates a sense of serenity when things are bad. Faith in the self, creates a sense of accomplishment when things are good.

    Was there a specific purpose when this universe created? If yes, you should live a good life, in the name of the creator. If no, than you should live a good life in the hopes that it leads to happiness... Either way it's the same. There is really no conflict between atheists and theists, they have the same moral code, as long as the atheist thinks long term, and understands his brain. We both just want a way to justify being happy against all odds.

    Human beings love conflict though, so we kill each other, and make atheists miserable while we affront god in the mind of the believer... Another one of those things that would be funny if it weren't so tragic.
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      Dec 11 2011: So, does it mean that God became an affirmation of man's existence or vice versa?
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        Dec 12 2011: Yes... God is only a concept that exists in the minds of men. It's a word, it signifies a vague belief... but there may be a cognitive intent to the creation of the universe. No human animal with four limbs, and two brains could ever possibly understand the motivations of something immense enough to create the universe, so we'll never know... Why do we care?

        Every single human being I've ever talked to, no matter what religion they followed, has a unique vision of god that is entirely personal. We each create our own vision of what God is, if there is in fact a creative intent to the universe. I'm a bit of an anti theist, but i'm not against the belief in god... I'm against anyone on earth pretending they understand exactly what that god is, and thinking they have a right to tell you. I'm anti-evangelical basically, in every form of religion. If someone is curious, and asks, express it, but express it as opinion... because you don't know.

        I don't know which is which, but either way, I'm not going to start doing immoral things... there's no future in it... Everyone just ends up hating you : p
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    Nov 27 2011: follow this link:

    http://www.jannah.org/articles/names.html

    This is what I believe. I am not saying that others are wrong. Search for the truth, follow your heart and brain, you will be judged for your decision.

    good luck